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HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES
BENJAMIN MYER BRINK
Ubat our Cbilftrcn ma:g be Ipatriote
we tell tbem of our 3f atbers
WITH SIXTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS
KINGSTON, N. Y.
K. W. ANDERSON & SON
THE LIBRARY OF
Two Copies Rece(veo
JUN. 14 1902
CLASS (V XXc. No
BENJAMIN m^ER BRINK.
A/l rights reserved.
TO THOSE OLD FRIENDS
Samjertics Chapter, Baugbtcrs of tbc Bmcrican IRevoIution,
WHO WITH HIM ARE
DESCENDANTS OF THE SAME SIRES, WHO, IN
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
LIVES, THEIR FORTUNES, AND THEIR SACRED HONOR
TO SECURE THE
CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
At the request of Saugerties Chapter, Daughters
of the American Revolution, the author has attempt-
ed to tell the story of the settlement and develop-
ment of the town of Saugerties, basing this work
upon papers contributed at various times to the
He would acknowledge the assistance given him
by that chapter, not only so far as it has been per-
sonal, but more than this in its cultivation of a
spirit of true patriotism which more than justifies its
existence as the world may thus know that its very
being calls attention to all our ancestors struggled
for, suffered and sacrificed that they and their chil-
dren might be forever free.
He has attempted to tell how those ancestors
lived their simple and sincere Hves ; to set forth
their manners, customs and pleasures ; to record
how they developed their young men and maidens
into men and women physically, mentally and
spiritually, and built the township we love.
He has attempted to gather up their old Dutch
ballads, folk songs, riddles, nursery rhymes and
nonsense verses before it is forever too late. This
has never been done, and it can not be done by
the next generation. He here expresses his indebt-
vi • PREFACE.
edness to the many friends whose assistance was
In selecting the subjects for the illustrations he
has chosen those alone which are connected with
the town history. He attempted to secure a pic-
ture of the first physician, but failed ; and sub-
stituted his residence instead. The typical Dutch
farm house is inserted because it is typical. No
portrait of pastor Kocherthal exists, nor of the
West Camp church. The monumental tablet is
given instead. The house of Christian Myer is
included for the reason that the home of the family
from which came eighteen Revolutionary soldiers
should be held in everlasting remembrance. The
first minister (except Kocherthal) and the first mer-
chant, with his residence and store, are included ;
but the first lawyer could not be. There was none
until shortly before the date at which this story
stops. And the author regrets that the book has
not reached the standard of his wishes, efforts and
Introductory and Descriptive .... 1
A Decisive Battle 7
The Earliest Records 14
The Coming of the Palatines .... 27
The Palatines at the Camp 34
The Palatines Find Homes 42
The West Camp Church 50
The Palatine Leader 55
Sixty Formative Years 60
Saugerties Village Before the Revolu-
Katsbaan Before the Revolution ... 75
Cedar Grove Before the Revolution . 83
Churchland and Plattekill Before the
Revolution ... 89
Saxton and Asbury Before the Revolu-
Maiden and West Camp Before the
Glasco and Flatbush Before the Revo-
The Legion of Honor 118
The Revolutionary War 126
Continuation of the Tappen Journal . 133
The Campaign of 1776 140
The Campaign of 1777 147
The Campaigns of 1778 and 1779 . .156
Patriotic Divines 163
x\n Indian and Tory Raid 168
In Captivity in Canada 177
XXVI. Captain Snyder's Escape . . . .183
XXVII. After the Revolution 191
XXVIII. Educational Conditions After the
XXIX. The Country Doctor 203
XXX. The Old Farm Houses 210
XXXI. Farm Life in Olden Time ... .218
XXXII. The Indispensable Loom .... 226
XXXIII. Social Life in Olden Time . . . . 232
XXXIV. Interesting Documents of the Revo-
XXXV. The Katsbaan Church 245
XXXVI. The Beaver Creek 257
XXXVII. The Days of Sloops 262
XXXVIII. The Trip of the Clermont . . . . 268
XXXIX. The Formation of the Town ... 275
XL. Beginning to Grow 283
XLI. Building the Factories and Open-
ing the Quarries 291
XLII. Military Leaders 299
XLIII. The Saugerties Bard 310
XLIV. ''Katsbaan" 316
XLV. Old Dutch Ballads, Rhymes and
Folk Songs 324
XLVI. Saugerties Chapter, Daughters of
the American Revolution . . . 346
Saugerties Soldiers of the Revolution . 349
The Graves of the Patriots 353
Site of Old Sawyer's Mill 6
Ravine Where the Indians Fought 11
The Oldest House in Town 24
The Kocherthal Tablet 57
The Post Tavern T2
The Katsbaan Church of 1732 76
The Persen Residence and Store 80
The Cedar CHpje 96
Steene Herte and Fountain 101
The House of Major Dan Wolven 106
Field Where Capt. Snyder was Captured . . . 1 68
Residence of Dr. Kiersted 208
A Typical Dutch Farm House 215
Cornehus Persen 229
Rev. George Wilhelmus Mancius 247
House of Christian Myer 359
The early history of
INTRODUCTORY AND DESCRIPTIVE.
The town of 'Saugerties is the northeast town
of Ulster county, New York, and extends from
the centre of the channel of the Hudson river
to the brow of the Catskills. Its northern limit
is the boundary line with Greene county, and
on the south the town of Ulster where the
Plattekill empties into the Esopus. Its area is
about 30,000 acres, and its population was in
1900 9,7S4- This had decreased in the preced-
ing twenty-five years from 10,934 in 1875.
The town was organized from the town of
Kingston, April 5, 1811, and is thus of the
Nineteenth Century. But for more than one
hundred and twenty-five years preceding it had
been a large factor in what constituted the
town of Kingston, and Katsbaan and West
Camp were known throughout the colonies
before the Revolution ; the latter as the scene
where was colonized the first German emigra-
2 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
tion to America in 1710, in an ill starred project
of tlie British Government for the production
of naval stores, which failed, and the former as
the location of a widely-known country store,
so widely, in fact, that Burgoyne had selected
Katsbaan as the site of one of his three
camps between Albany and Kingston upon his
intended march from the former city to New
York. The others were Kack's Hackey (Cox-
sackie) and Katskill (Leeds). It is needless to
add that some men from Katsbaan assisted in
dissuading him at a meeting they had with
Burgoyne at Saratoga.
The town occupies two distinct plateaus.
The lower one extends from the hills along
the Hudson to the mountain ridge, two peaks
of which are respectively Mt. Airy and Mt.
Marion. This ridge divides the town from
north to south into two nearly equal portions.
The eastern plateau lies upon strata of sand-
stone and shale along its eastern border, with
limestone ledges farther west. All these extend
in a northerly and southerly direction. The
upper, or western plateau lies upon a founda-
tion of greywacke, commercially known as blue-
stone, which has been for three-fourths of a
century the source of the chief industry of the
The town is well watered. Along the whole
of its eastern border flows the Hudson.
INTRODUCTORY AND DESCRIPTIVE. 3
Through the southern half come the waters
of the Esopus creel^ which have proceeded
from their source in the heart of the Catskills
for many miles in a southeasterly direction
until they were free from the confinement of
the mountains. When they reached the fertile
plain in the town of Marbletown they coursed
due north for thirty miles to Saugerties village,
where, after watering as productive fields as
the sun shines on, they empty into the Hudson,
Through parts of the northwestern portion of
the town the Cauterskill carries the rainfall
of the Catskills to the river, and through the
western part the Plattekill performs the same
service. The Beaver drains the upper and
lower plateaus in a ten mile course, and in the
northeast the little, though historic Saw creek
'does like duty. It is a peculiarity that all of
these streams except the Plattekill and Saw
creek flow north.
It is contemplated in this history to tell the
story of the settlement of the town and its
growth ; to show the nationality and character
of those who were the pioneers, and from whom
the people of the town descended until its
development into a manufacturing centre upon
the purchase of its immense water power at
Saugerties in 1825. In carrying out this inten-
tion the first important event will be the coming
of the Palatines in 1710 and the story of the
4 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
two churches which they founded at West
Camp and Katsbaan ; the second, the service
of townsmen in the French and Indian War,
and the third, the story of their connection
with the fight for our civil liberties. In this
connection it may be said that the dangers to
the patriot cause from the invasion of Bur-
goyne in 1777 called into military service in
the field during the summer and autumn of
that year practically the whole male popula-
tion, young and old, of the town capable of
bearing arms. Even men who had been Tories
at the beginning of the war were compelled to
assist or leave the country. A few families did
so and went to Canada. A few more remained
loyal to the British Crown, but the most of
those who had been opposed to the cause of
the patriots in 1775 became, under the stress
of events, at least nominal patriots. This will
explain why names of certain Tories are found
on the list of the patriots who served in the
This town was included in the charter given
to Kingston in 1667, and when, on the 19th
day of May, 1687, Gov. Dongan issued the
patent for the grant of the large territory to
the freeholders of the town of Kingston in
trust, which was for more than one hundred
years known as "The Kingston Commons," it
comprised all the town of Saugerties south and
INTRODUCTORY AND DESCRIPTIVE. 5
west of Sawyer's creek, with the exception of
the four Meals and Hayes patents, until the
bounds of the great Hardenbergh patent were
reached at the foot of the Catskill mountains.
Thus most of the early settlers derived the
titles to their farms and homes from the trus-
tees of Kingston Commons.
Although a part of the town of Kingston,
this town did not participate in its Indian
troubles of 1655 to 1663. There is no cer-
tainty of any permanent settler within the
borders of the town of Saugerties at that time.
The question of "the old sawyer," or "little
sawyer," will be taken up in a subsequent
chapter. But aside from him there is no rec-
ord of a settler within this town before 1688,
when Cornelius Lambertsen Brink acquired
lands on the southern border of the town at
the junction of the Plattekill and Esopus, and
built the stone house still standing. He had
been a captive taken at the massacre at Esopus
(Kingston) in 1663. With twenty-two others
he was rescued after a captivity among the
savages of just three months.
Nor were there any Indian troubles within
the town except when, during the Revolution,
the savages were incited by the Tories. Per-
manent settlement was not made until after
the treaties between the Indians and colonial
Governors Stuyvesant and Andros had extin-
6 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
guished all Indian titles, and thus the early
settlers were able to live without the dread of
a midnight attack by a savage foe with all the
horrors of the tomahawk and scalping knife.
Indian villages did not exist within the bord-
ers of the town. It was a sort of neutral ground
between the Katskill Indians on the north and
the Esopus Indians on the south. Evidences
such as arrowheads, knives and axes of stone
are continually found here which show it to
have been in their occupancy. The journal of
Capt. Martin Cregier in 1663 tells of the Indian
maize plantation just north of the present vil-
lage of Saugerties, and there are other evidences
about town that Indians were often here. It
is safe to say that no permanent Indian village
existed within the limits of the town of Sau-
In the earlier chapters of those to follow
much will appear concerning an " old sawyer,"
or a " little sawyer" who is only known by that
appellation. He had a sawmill at the mouth
of the little stream still known as the Saw
creek, and by the Dutch his mill was spoken
of in the possessive case as " de zaagertje's," or
the sawyer's. From this came the name of the
stream on which his mill was erected, then of
the locality, in time of the town and lastly of
A DECISIVE BATTLE.
" The Journal of the Esopus War," by Capt.
Martin Cregier, describes the destruction of
Wiltwyck (Kingston) by the Esopus Indians
in 1663, the capture of many of the women
and children, and the military expedition that
effected their release. A detachment of the
command, under Sergeant Niessen (Niese),
proceeded to Saugerties, while the main force
under Capt. Cregier tracked the savages and
their captives up the Wallkill valley. Capt.
Cregier's "Journal" says of Niessen's detach-
''July 12, 1663. Sergeant Niessen returned
with his troops bringing one squaw and three
children which they had captured. Examined
the squaw. She answered that some Kattskill
Indians lay on the other side near the Sager's
Kill, but they would not fight with the Dutch.
On the i6th, some Mohawks arrived and went
to see the Esopus Indians, and fetched from
them some captive Dutch women." There is
a text for a long sermon here. It is one inci-
dent in a story which had begun forty-five
8 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
years before, and was to be continued one
hundred years more until the power of France
on this Continent would be overthrown under
Montcalm at Quebec by the British under
Wolfe. A crisis in that long struggle culmi-
nated on the borders of our town of Saugerties.
It is necessary to go back to the days of Hud-
son to see why the Katskill Indians would not
fight the Dutch, and the Mohawks compelled
the Esopus Indians to release their Dutch cap-
In August, 1609, Henry Hudson discovered
the beautiful river which bears his name and
ascended it as far as Waterford. While he was
prosecuting his voyage Samuel de Champlain
in Canada was carrying on the work begun by
Jacques Cartier, and had just discovered lovely.
Lake Champlain, and was proceeding south
upon its waters. Thus representatives of these
two nations of Europe almost met. Almost,
but not quite. Champlain retired to Quebec
and Hudson returned to Europe to report
to his employers. A trading company was
formed in Amsterdam to prosecute the trade
for furs along the river and a trading post was
established about four miles south of Albany,
and here the Dutch unconsciously prepared
for the death grapple which their successors,
the English, would have with the French for
one hundred and fifty years until the Continent
A DECISIVE BATTLE. 9
became the home, not of absolutism, but of
freedom, by a masterly act of John Jacob
Eelkens in 1618.
In the opening lines of *' The Song of Hia-
watha" Longfellow sings :
" In the vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
There he sang of Hiawatha."
This green valley was on the west side of
the Hudson, six miles south of Albany, at
what is now Norman's Kill. And here in the
spring of 1618, Eelkens, the commander of the
trading post, assembled the representatives of
the Five Nations and entered into a treaty of
peace and amity with them which was never
broken, though troubles and difificulties often
arose. And to this amity the English suc-
ceeded upon the passing of the province into
their hands and the French, despite all their
efforts, could never detach them, or weaken
that friendship. In the words of representa-
tives of these Indian tribes in 1737, one hun-
dred and nineteen years after this, addressed
to the English Governor of this province " In
ancient times when our fore-fathers first met
at this place we will tell you what happened
before there was a house in this place, when
we lodged under the leaves of the trees, the
Christian and we entered into a covenant of
10 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
friendship." John Fiske says of this treaty that
*• It was never violated or seriously infringed.
The Five Nations were all more or less stead-
fast allies of the Dutch, and afterwards of the
English until 1763."
The Indians of North America belonged to
two great families, the Iroquois and the Algon-
quin peoples. The seat of the former was the
Mohawk valley and the lake region of New
York. The five nations, or tribes, were savage
and powerful warriors and dominated the Con-
tinent. The tribes of the Hudson and of New
England and Canada were Algonquins. But
the aggressive Iroquois were forcing them into
subjection and at last became their tributary
Early in 1628 the Mohegans of the upper
Hudson, the Hoosic and the Hoosatonic valleys
were driven from their haunts by the Mohawks
and an Indian war was begun. To resist their
aggressions the Mohegans had allied them-
selves with the Katskill tribe and the Esopus
Indians and with other scattered bands along
the upper waters of the Delaware and Scho-
harie. But the terrible Maquas, or Mohawks,
had pressed down the Catskill creek from Scho-
harie on frequent raids. At last the Mohegans
intrenched themselves at the junction of the
Cauterskill and Catskill creeks and built another
fort at Jefferson Flats, west of Catskill. These
A DECISIVE BATTLE. 11
forts were stockades of logs set close to each
other perpendicularly in the ground, and they
remained long after the Dutch had settled the
Tidings of their purpose and of their prepa-
rations for defense reached the Mohawks and
they determined once for all to subdue the
river Indians. Down the Catskill creek from
Schoharie they descended upon the Mohegans
at their forts. The fighting was fierce and the
Mohegans were driven out. A stand was next
made at the spring along the Saugerties road
to Catskill just where the watering-trough is
standing above the Embocht school house.
But the onset of the Mohawks was irresistible.
They were driven down to the present Ulster
county line and took refuge on Wanton Island
in the Hudson, recently the site of the National
Ice Company's ice house. Here they fought
with the energy of desperation and the Mo-
hawks were unable to dislodge tliem. The
Mohawks withdrew and built their camp-fires
quite a distance at one side and appeared to be
thoroughly discomfited. The Mohegans were
deceived into abandoning the island to fall
upon their enemies, who, finding them at last
on the main land, and taking them in flank and
rear along the road to the present Smith's
Landing, and in the ravine just east of the
old Connelly blacksmith shop, fell upon them
12 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
at dead of night with unearthly cries and with
fearful slaughter. Most were killed and many
were made prisoners. The power of the river
Indians was forever broken and the Iroquois
dominated the Continent. The tribes of New
England and Canada submitted and an annual
tribute of wampum and dried clams was exacted
by the conquerors.
Regularly every year this was collected. Two
Indians would start from the Mohawk castle,
proceed down the river of that name to the
mouth of the Schoharie, paddle up that stream
to its upper waters, then carry their birch bark
canoe by a short portage to the upper waters
of the Esopus creek and follow that stream to
its mouth at Saugerties, collecting tribute as
they went. Such was the prowess of the fear-
ful Iroquois that no one molested the embassy.
From Saugerties they paddled up the Hudson
either to Roelof Jansen's Kill (Livingston
creek) and ascended that stream, or followed
the Hudson to the Hoosic river above Troy
and entered the country of the New England
Indians from thence. But wherever they went
they were received with respect founded on the
fear their reputation inspired.
Many were the efforts made by the French
to detach them from the Dutch and English.
But down to the day in 1763, when Montcalm
and Wolfe both went to the grave at Quebec
A DECISIVE BATTLE. 13
and the flag of France on this Continent
was forever furled, these efforts were unavail-
ing. Did Gov. Stuyvesant or Gov. Andros
negotiate a treaty with the Esopus Indians at
Kingston? Some Mohawk chieftain was pres-
ent to approve, or not. Did the Indians about
New York city confer with the colonial author-
ities? An Iroquois chief was there. Did New
England officials negotiate with red men ? The
consent of the Maquas was necessary. No
wonder that the captive Katskill Indian told
Capt. Creiger that her people would not fight
the Dutch. Thus though Saugerties was neu-
tral ground nevertheless on its borders occurred
a battle of tremendous consequence to the
future of America in its coming fight for free-
THE EARLIEST RECORDS.
In the preceding chapter it is said that a
squaw informed Sergeant Niessen and his
troops that " some Kattskill Indians lay on
the other side near the Sager's Kill, but they
would not fight with the Dutch." This is the
earliest mention of the Sawyer's creek in the
old records and is under the date of July 12,
1663. It establishes the fact that the sawyer
from whom the town took its name had had a
mill there long enough before 1663 to name
the little stream.
The Indian treaties with Governors Stuy-
vesant in 1658 and 1664, and Nicolls in 1665
had extinguished the titles of the red men to
the lands at Kingston and to the west and
south of that place. The time had arrived
when this should be done to the territory north.
Therefore, in the spring of 1677, Governor Sir
Edmund Andros summoned the Esopus Indians
to a conference at Kingston with himself and
the magistrates of the town. The meeting was
held on the 27th of April, 1677, and the follow-
ing is the official account of the proceedings :
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 15
Conference Between Governor Andros and
THE Esopus Indians.
Kingston, the 27th of Aprill, 1.677.
Present — His Honor the Governor, Capt. Sahs-
bury, Capt. Chambers, Mr. West and the Magis-
trates, and Geo. Davit, Interpreter.
His Honor, the Governor, asked the Esopus
Sachems, Sewerakan, Pomerewague, Kaelcop, An-
krop and the majority of the Esopus Indians, women
as well as men and youths, whether they had any
claims'upon the land, occupied by us in pursuance of
the agreement made with His Honor, Governor
Nicolls. They went out and after some time spent
in deliberation, Kaelcop said that they did not think
they had sold land so far North, but they were well
satisfied we should have it provided His Honor
would give him a blanket, a shirt and a loaf of
bread. The Governor then inquired whether it
would satisfy them completely, to which he rephed,
''Yes, but if His Honor would add a piece of cloth
it would be well." He and the Sachems and all the
other Indians were told to point out, or describe the
boundaries as they were to be now. They described
them as follows : — Beginning at the Ronduyt Kil,
thence to a Kil called Kahakasnik North along the
hills to a Kil called Magowasinginck, thence to the
second fall. Easterly to Frudeyachkanieck on the
'' Groote Revier," along the river South to Ronduyt
Kil, with everything lying within these boundaries,
good and bad, hills, valleys, waters, etc.
Kaelcop further declared that he had ceded to
the old sawyer his claim upon a kil called the
Sawyer's Kil, and the land stretching up to the
boundary of the land belonging to the Katskil
Indians along the river as far as the mountains above.
16 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Whereupon His Honor, the Governor, asked the
Sachems and all the other savages, old and young,
whether this was so ; they should give a free and
fearless answer. They replied it was so and nobody
else had any claim upon the land. Questioned
once more if they were satisfied with the aforesaid
payment they said "Yes, fully." His Honor then
gave to Kaelcop in presence of all the others the
articles agreed upon as full pay, to wit : A blanket,
a piece of cloth, a shirt, a loaf of bread and baize
for socks. All being well satisfied. His Honor said
he intended to have the boundaries reviewed for
better satisfaction and desired Kaelcop and some
other Indians to go along and point out the land-
marks for which they should receive extra pay.
They accepted the proposition with thanks, and said
they were ready to go at any time.
Kaelcop, for the Amogarickakan family.
Ankerop, for Kettsypowy.
KuGAKAPO, for the Mahow family.
Wengiswars, for the Kahatawis family.
Pamiere Wack, Sachem ; Sen era Kau, Sa-
chem ; Mamarij Backwa, Sachem ; in
the name of all Esopus Indians.
In presence of His Honor and the undersigned :
Thomas Chambers, Hendrick Jochemsen,
G. Hall, Joris Davit,
JoosT, Sylvester Salisbury,
Dirck Schepmoes, Will Rodeney,
E. Whittaker, John West,
Wessel TenBroeck, N. DeMeyer.
Wm. La Montanye, Sec'y.
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 17
Thus is recorded in this Indian treaty of
1677 the fact that " the old sawyer" had secured
an Indian title to the Saw creek not only, but
to the land stretching from it to the lands of
the Katskill Indians, and as far back as the
mountains. The Indians always respected the
treaty, and no trouble with the whites ever
arose over the lands thus conveyed. So this
old sawyer, so far as Indian title could make
him, became the largest landholder the town
ever had. At least 15,000 acres must have
been conveyed him. But there is nothing to
show that he ever sought confirmation of his
title from the colonial authorities, and in fact
no one knows the name of him who gave the
name to the town of Saugerties. Nor has any
investigation ever disclosed when he secured
this Indian grant, nor when he first came here.
Cregier's Journal shows the stream thus named
fourteen years before the Andros treaty, or in
1663, so that he must have been here as early
as the first settlement of Kingston. For this
sawmill must have been there long enough
before that date to have named the little
stream. The date mentioned there, July 12,
1663, is the earliest mention of Sager's creek in
any record. The entry in that '' Journal " is
given in the last chapter.
On the 28th of August, 1683, Col. Thomas
Dongan arrived in New York to be governor
18 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
of the colony. In a few days he issued writs
for the choice of representatives of the free-
holders in a general assembly. On the 17th of
October, 1683, this assembly met. It was the
first meeting of representatives of the people
in a legislative assembly in the colony of New
York. At this first meeting of a legislature
one of the first acts was to divide the province
into counties, and twelve were created. One
of these was Ulster. Its description includes
these words " all the village neighborhoods and
Christian habitations on the west side of the
Hudson river from the Murderer's Creek to the
Sawyer's Creek," thus having its southeast
limit at the mouth of the creek entering the
Hudson just above Cornwall, at the High-
lands ; and its northeast in the present village
of Saugerties where the Saw creek empties
into the same river. Before the date of the
organization of Ulster county, November i,
1683, there is no record of a conveyance of
land and, presumptively, no settler.
This was not to remain so long. On the
15th of April, 1685, George Meals, a resident
of Albany, and Richard Hayes a resident of
Kingston, and both in the British service,
secured from the colonial authorities four con-
siderable parcels of land in the town of Sau-
gerties, the patents not being issued until May,
1687. One of these was for a swamp of three
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 1 9
hundred acres, now known as " The Big Vly,"
situate in the north of the town and lying
partly in Albany (now Greene) county. An-
other was situate on " The Old Kings Road "
along the Beaver creek, containing the farm
known as the Kemble place, and was of two
hundred and fifty-two acres ; the third lay just
north of the present village of Saugerties, on
both sides of the Sawyer's creek, and contained
two hundred and one acres and the fourth, the
largest of all, was on both sides of the Esopus
creek at its mouth and contained four hundred
and forty-one and three-fourths acres. It was
described to be at a place " called The Sagier's."
The bounds began on the Hudson just taking
in the falls at the mouth of the Saw creek and
proceeded in a direct line along the present
Division street of Saugerties village to about
the present bridge below the Geo. W. Wash-
burn place which spans the Tannery brook.
From thence it crossed the Esopus in a direct
line and ascended the hill to a point just west
of the Richard C. Washburn place. From
thence it proceeded in a straight line until
near the southerly bounds of the cemetery
on Barclay Heights and thence to the river.
November 22, 1687, George Meals and Sarah,
his wife, conveyed all their interest in the
patent to his partner, Richard Hayes, and on
the same day Hayes sold his interest in this
20 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
patent, so far as the south side of the creek
was concerned, and also in the Big Vly, to John
Wood. And on Oct. i, 1694, Sarah, wife of
the late George Meals, conveyed to Wood the
interest her husband and she had in the same
and which he in his lifetime had sold to Wood.
Then Richard Hayes and Goodwith, his wife,
sold the remainder of the village patent to
John Hayes, and on August 16, 1712, he con-
veyed the same to John Persen. So far there
had been no settlement on this tract. John
Persen became a settler. He built a grist mill,
estabUshed a ferry across the Esopus and in
his will, in 1748, bequeathed house, lands, mill,
negro slaves etc. to his wife. His daughter,
Vannitje, was the wife of Myndert Mynderse
who built the stone house on his estate which
is now the residence of F. T. Russell, whose
wife is a descendant. But up to the date of
the purchase by Persen (1712) there is no evi-
dence of any settler in the bounds of the
village. This date is subsequent to the coming
of the Palatines to West Camp, Oct. 4, 1710.
The records of conveyances of real estate show
that none of the Palatines settled in this village
until some years later. So it seems clear that
John Persen was the first settler within its
bounds, unless the nebulous sawyer be excepted.
John Persen was born in Kingston where he
was baptized Sept. 2, 1683. He was the son
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 2 1
of Sergeant Jan Hendricks Persen of the New
Netherland army and Annetje Mattys, his wife.
Both came to Kingston from Albany. John
Persen m.arried Anna Catryna Post, daughter
of Jan Jansen Postmael spoken of below.
Cornelius Persen, who kept the store in Kats-
baan, was a grand nephew of John.
On May 19, 1687, the same month in which
the Meals and Hayes patents were issued, Gov.
Dongan granted a large territory of land to
"the Inhabitants and Freeholders of the town
of Kingston" for their benefit. This tract
practically covered the present towns of Eso-
pus, Ulster, Kingston and Saugerties, except
what lay northeast of the Saw creek in the last-
named town, for the triangle between that
creek and the river in which is now West Camp
and Maiden was then part of Albany county.
The patent ordained and declared said inhab-
itants and freeholders a body corporate and
politic with succession forever, with full power
to hold and convey real estate and personal
property of every kind, and to sue and be sued
in the corporate name, and provided for an
annual election on the first Tuesday of March
of twelve trustees, to hold ofifice for one year.
Thenceforth all applications for lands within
the present town of Saugerties west of the Saw
creek were to be made to the trustees of Kings-
ton Commons instead of the colonial author-
22 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
Now who was the first settler in this town?
In 1763 upon the whole territory north of the
Esopus and within the village corporation of
to-day there were less than a dozen families
viz: Wilhelmus Burhans, Myndert Mynderse,
Isaac Post, Egbert Schoonmaker, Samuel
Schoonmaker, Hiskia Du Bois, Jan Post,
Abraham Post, Petrus Myer, Johannes Myer
and Jecobus Post. The most numerous of
these families are the Posts. They were de-
scended from Jan Jansen Postmael, spoken of
above, who emigrated from Harlingen, in Fries-
land, Holland ; married Jannitje Le Sueur,
daughter of Francois Le Sueur, and settled in
Harlem, New York. Afterwards he came to
Kingston where his son married Cornelia Yssel-
steyn in 1702. Their son Abraham, born in
1708, married Maria, daughter of Myndert
Schutt, who had the patent north of Maiden
which will be described in a subsequent chap-
ter, and Myndert Schutt had married Sarah,
a sister of John Persen spoken of above. The
Post families of the town were descended from
Abraham, who was not born until 1708, and
whose parents lived in Kingston. The first
conveyance of land to Abraham Post bears
date Feb. 28, 1735.
Wilhelmus Burhans obtained his property in
1740 from the Meals patent. He was the
father-in-law of John Brink, Jr., and this place
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 23
was known as the Brink place until very
recently. It was at the mouth of the Saw
creek on the Hudson and was the site of the
mill of " the old sawyer." Myndert Mynderse
obtained his property, as said above, through
the deed to his father-in-law, John Persen in
1712; Egbert Schoonmaker's deed is dated
Jan. 6, 1756; Samuel Schoonmaker's dates to
March 4, 1734; Hiskia Du Bois, March 2,
1722; while Petrus and Johannes Myer were
descendants of the Palatines of October, 1710.
Passing over the town the same conditions
prevail. Aside from those of Palatine origin,
and thus Germans and not earlier than 1710
there were the following early Dutch settlers :
Harmanus Hommel on the Luther Myer farm
in Hommelville, March 4, 1727; Evert Wyn-
koop at the same date bought what is now the
Rio Alto Stock Farm ; and Arie Newkirk
bought a part of the Meals and Hayes tract
along the Old Kings Road on the same day.
Nicholas Trumpbour purchased the Evert Sax
farm in Katsbaan March 3, 1735 ; Coenraedt
Reghtmyer the Winne farm in Katsbaan Feb.
24, 1738, and Hermanns Reghtmyer the pres-
ent Rightmyer farm in Katsbaan in the same
One of the earliest deeds given by the trus-
tees of Kingston Commons was of a small place
on the Old Kings Road to Johannes Minqua
24 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
(or John the Minqua, or Mohegan), which sug-
gests that he may have been a full, or at least
a half-blood Mohegan, or Delaware Indian.
The deed is dated March i, 1715.
There are no grants of land preceding the
date of the Palatines (i/io), except the Brink
patent at Mt. Marion ; the Paulison, the Trap-
hagen and the Winne grants. Of these the
Traphagen and the Paulison grants were sold ;
the Winne grant was made in 1692 and that of
Brink, which was the earliest of all and made
Feb. 6, 1688. This is the oldest grant in the
town except the Meals and Hayes patents
which precede it by about eight months. It is
stated in a former chapter that Cornelius Lam-
bertsen Brink immediately built upon his land
the old stone house which still stands upon the
hill just north of the covered bridge over the
Plattekill at the town of Ulster line, and much
of the tract is still in the possession of Charles
Brink, a descendant.
As a summary of this investigation it appears
to the writer that the first actual settler of the
town of Saugerties, aside from the undeter-
mined " old sawyer," was his great-great-great-
great grandfather, Cornelius Lambertsen Brink,
who came into this town about February 6,
Thus the year 1700 saw but two settlers
within the limits of the town, Cornelius Lam-
THE EARLIEST RECORDS. 25
bertsen Brink and Petrus Winne, unless the
sawyer was still living here. Who was he?
Jonathan W. Hasbrouck, who spent many
years gathering materials for a history of Ulster
county, which he never completed, speaks of
a Jacob Pietersen who lived at Saugerties about
1660, but does not give authority. He may
have been, if he ever existed, the sawyer. The
Seventeenth Century closed and a decade of
the Eighteenth passed without another con-
veyance of land within the bounds of the town
of Saugerties. It is probable that some trapper
may have made a temporary home in the wild-
erness which he shifted as game appeared more
plenty elsewhere. The trustees disposed of
the land on such easy terms that it was not
difficult to acquire homes and farms. Still,
before 1710, but few were applied for.
In connection with the sawyer another ques-
tion arises: " For whom did the sawyer saw?"
A sawmill is not constructed to have its product
used, or consumed, solely by its owner living
under primitive conditions in an unsettled
wilderness. The Indian chief, Kaelcop, speaks
of him, as before stated, as being here in 1677,
while Capt. Cregier mentions Sager's creek in
1663, fourteen years previously, and twenty-
four years before the Meals and Hayes patents
and fifty years before John Persen settled in
this village and built the grist mill on the
26 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Esopus. There were no roads at that early
date as the Old Kings Road, the earliest in the
town, was the " ffootpath to Albany" as late
as 1670 and not laid out as a road until 1703.
It has been said that he sawed for Livingston,
the first proprietor of Livingston Manor. But
this Livingston was not born until 1654 and
received his grant in 1686 which was by royal
charter erected into a manor in 1715. And
any one who knows the conditions of the Hud-
son at the mouth of the Saw creek would
hardly claim that the product of a saw mill
could be readily shipped in anything but a
fiat-bottomed scow. The sawyer is mysterious
and his customers seem mythical, but his exist-
ence seems a sufficientlv attested fact.
► CHAPTER IV.
THE COMING OF THE PALATINES.
As the year of our Lord 1710 was drawings
to its close there seems to have been but two
families settled within this town, both of whom
were living on the southern border on the Eso-
pus creek and the Plattekill. Since Petrus
Winne had obtained his grant in 1692 no one
had sought and secured a home within the
limits of this town. During those twenty years
its solitudes remained unbroken. Kingston on
the south slowly added to its population, and
Katskill (Leeds) on the north had had an un-
troubled existence and quiet growth since 1644.
But it was still the smallest of hamlets. Be-
tween the two settlements lay the primitive
wilderness and at the time of which we speak
almost untrodden by the red sons of the forest.
Their titles had been extinguished for a third
of a century, yet their successors seemed in no
hurry for its possession. In truth the whites
who could settle were very few. Emigration^
which had but just begun to any extent at the
close of Dutch supremacy, had not yet awak-
ened under their British successors. In Octo-
28 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
ber, 17 10, it was to come in as a flood, and the
present northeast corner of both the town of
Saugerties and the county of Ulster was to be
the scene. At that date, and for fifty years
longer, this spot was part of the county of
Albany (Greene) county. But as it was added
to Ulster in 1767, and is still in this county its
history will be treated as the history of the
town of Saugerties. For in October, 1710, the
colony of Palatines came to East Camp and
West Camp. It was the largest emigration at
any one time in colonial days, and it brought
into Ulster county a colony of Germans to
become pioneers and founders with the Dutch
in Kingston, and the French in New Paltz.
Who were the Palatines? Whence came
they, and why? They came from their homes
on the sunny, castled Rhine along which his-
tory has been made since civilization began.
There has always been a '' Wacht am Rhein."
It has always been the battlefield of Europe.
Into the history of the Palatinate this history
cannot go. It can only briefly state the causes
of the emigration.
There are two Palatinates in Europe, the
Upper and the Lower. With the Upper, or
Bavarian, this history has no concern. It has
to do with the Palatinate of the Rhine, the
Lower Palatinate. It might be somewhat in-
definitely said to be Alsace and Lorraine of
THE COMING OF THE PAL A TINES. 29
what was France to 1871, and Wurtemburg
and Baden in Germany. Its capital was Hei-
delberg. Its principal cities were Mayence,
Mannheim, Spires and Worms among many
other historic ones.
The people were mostly Protestant, and
about equally divided between the Lutheran
and the Reformed faiths. In 1685, the year
the Meals and Hayes grant was made, which
was the first step towards the settlement of
this town, Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of
Nantes, which had given safety to the Hugue-
nots of France, and eighty years of prosperity
to that kingdom. At once the flight of the
best of Frenchmen began. Tens of thousands
fled to the Pfals, as they termed the Palatinate,
which name survives in our New Paltz. And
the anger of Louis was kindled against the
Palatinate where already his covetous eyes had
been resting. From that time these beautiful
Rhine provinces were almost unceasingly har-
ried by the hosts of France. Lust and rapine
stalked rampant through the land. The story
of the wars of the Grand Alliance, of the
Spanish Succession, or of any of those which
during the next twenty years " made the Pal-
atinate a cinder," would be of interest but can
not be told here. Every great city on the
Rhine above Cologne was taken and sacked.
The Elector Palatine, from the walls of Mann-
30 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
heim, one day counted no less than twenty-
three towns and villages in flames. The brutal
soldiers of Louis even broke into the imperial
tombs in Spires and scattered the dust and
bones of the emperors. Many are the ruins
to-day along the castled Rhine which tell of
the atrocity of the army of the Grande Mon-
More than all the people suffered. Frozen
corpses lay over the fields, which in life they
had plowed and reaped. The conflagration of
Chicago did not sweep more insatiably than
did the besom of French destruction over this
land of the Rhine. Thousands of families
were homeless, and in direst straits wandered
through Germany, Holland and England.
Many permanently settled in those countries,
but the years 1708 and 1709 found 13,000 in
England still unprovided for. Queen Anne
was then on the throne and was first cousin to
their Prince. The Palatines never wearied of
singing her praises. One day a band of these
refugees led by one of their pastors. Rev.
Joshua Kocherthal, marched through the
streets of London. Their shovel hats, quaint
garments and wooden shoes were objects of
great curiosity to every observer. Their leader,
pastor Kocherthal, was a tall, grave man of
mature years. The queen sent for him and he
presented a petition for her favor as he, with a
THE COMING OF THE PAL A TINES. 3 1
company of forty-one souls, who had taken the
oath of allegiance to her, were about to depart
for America. She questioned him minutely,
and he described himself and his people. She
was impressed by his sincerity, ability and force
of character and granted his request. He
brought his little colony here and settled them
on the Hudson where is now the city of New-
As soon as he saw the colony firmly planted
he sailed for England. These few colonists
could be cared for. There were thousands
more in England who needed him. He had
another interview with the queen whose sym-
pathies were aroused, as were those of the
court and people. Collections had been taken
in the churches for their support. This history
will not tell the long story. Nor speak of the
serious problem before the government. At
last some wiseacre conceived the idea that Eng-
land, which was entirely dependent upon other
nations for naval stores, might produce them
herself from the pines upon the Hudson and
it was decided upon. Six thousand acres of
land were purchased from Robert Livingston
on the east side of the river and the FuUerton
tract of eight hundred acres on the west side,
and towards the end of January, i/io, ten
ships, upon which about 3,000 souls embarked,
set sail for the Hudson river. After weary
32 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
years of death and destruction, after wander-
ings over Europe the largest exodus that ever
took ship to seek a new home sailed away. To
what? Before them a vast and stormy wintry
sea. Beyond it a vague wilderness and to most
of them twenty years more of wandering be-
fore final homes were found in Pennsylvania.
As the last of the emigrants embarked, a boat
was overturned and its occupants were drowned.
Then a great storm arose, separated the ships,
and for five months these poor exiles were
tossed about in their packed vessels during the
most inclement of winters with scant provisions
and with a mortal sickness on board, beating
against adverse winds in search of a home.
Before June 13, 17 10, when they reached New
York, 470 had died. Their voyage was one of
the most terrible in history. And they little
knew what was worse than all. A semi-serf-
dom awaited them. These people are usually
spoken of as '' poor Palatines." And they were.
They possessed absolutely nothing materially.
Lust, rapine, murder, outrage and war for
twenty years had taken care for that. Once
they had not been so. Their land had been
the garden of Europe. Who that has sung
**Bineen on the Rhine" of the Palatines needs
such information? And they had more. No
one who has ever seen the documents signed
by these Palatines needs be told that they
THE COMING OF THE PAL A TINES. 33
came from lands of school houses. They were
the signatures of hands that were used to pens.
They came to West Camp Oct. 4, 17 10. Bark
and log huts were built for winter quarters.
Here they shivered and suffered. But they
built a church that very winter. And in Jan-
uary, three months after their landing, they
had a school house. And it was made of
sawed boards. Think what this means ! Think
what these exiles had passed through ! Think
where they were! They could keep their
weary bodies alive somehow. But mind and
soul must have the best obtainable in this
howling wilderness. The world has long ad-
mired the high ideals the Pilgrims at Plymouth
rock had set before them. But the relative
needs of body, mind and soul were nevermore
clearly seen, nor more quickly provided for
than by these exiles from their home along the
sunny Rhine who, in the direst straits of pov-
erty, in semi-serfdom, in mid-winter, while
shivering frames lacked nutritious food, first of
all built themselves a school and a church.
THE PALATINES AT THE CAMP.
On June 13, 1710, the first of the ten vessels
which had sailed from England dropped her
anchor in New York harbor. The new governor
of the colony, Col. Robert Hunter, came with
her, and on June 16, reports that " three of the
Palatine ships are wanting, and those that have
arrived are in a deplorable condition." And
they were. Many cases of contagious diseases
were among the colonists. So it was decided
to disembark them upon Nutten (now Gov-
ernors) Island where huts were built for them.
Not until the end of July did all the ships
report, and even then one had never come
farther than the eastern end of Long Island
where she went ashore. Her passengers were
saved, but the goods were much damaged.
Since they sailed from England in the latter
part of January, 17 10, four hundred and sev-
enty of their number had died at sea and
within eighteen months that number had in-
creased until one-fourth of the 3,000 who had
embarked had perished.
The death of so many of these emigrants
THE PALATINES AT THE CAMP. 35
left more than three hundred widows, single
women and children upon Gov. Hunter's hands.
The London Board of Trade in their wisdom
had decided to send the Palatines to the Hud-
son river to make naval stores from the pines,
and had caused them, on Dec. 21, 1709, to sign
a covenant before they sailed by which they
agreed to " repay to Her Majesty the full sum,
or sums of money in which we are indebted to
Her Majesty," by ** the production or manu-
facture of all manner of naval stores." They
farther promised not to leave the lands allotted
to them on any manner of pretense. For this
purpose they had been transported and now
Gov. Hunter set about colonizing them.
His first step, after placing the people on
Governors Island, was to find the most promis-
ing place in which the Palatines could accom-
plish the desire of the Board of Trade. He
immediately dispatched the surveyor-general
to the Mohawk river and to Schoharie to locate
a site. During his absence he issued an order
apprenticing the orphan children around in the
province and they were distributed from Liv-
ingston's Manor to Long Island. This in
those days meant a final separation in most
cases. It was the first act of the authorities
which embittered the people against the gov-
ernor. The report of the surveyor-general
recommended the settlement of the colony
36 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
upon the banks of the Hudson at what became
East Camp and West Camp. This was the
second of their grievances. They had met in
England a deputation of Mohawks from whom
they had obtained a promise of lands at Scho-
harie, and they came to this country believing
they were to be sent there. They began to
complain that faith was not kept with them.
In vain did the governor tell them that Scho-
harie was on the frontier and could not be well
defended; that there were no pines there for
the naval stores; that were there pines there
in paying quantities there was no means of
transporting the product to navigable waters.
They answered that they had been promised
lands in Schoharie, and it was a violation of
agreement not to be sent there.
The governor was inexorable and about
Oct. 1st he bought the land on the east and
west sides of the Hudson. He made a con-
tract with Robert Livingston to feed them, and
on the sixth of October he began their sup-
port. On November 14, 1710, Gov. Hunter
writes : " I have just returned from settling the
Palatines on Hudson's river. Each family hath
a sufficient lot of good arable land, and ships
of fifteen foot draught of water can sail as far
as their Plantations. They have already built
themselves comfortable huts and are now em-
ployed in clearing the ground. In the Spring
THE PALATINES AT THE CAMP. 37
I shall set them to work in preparing the
The colony was composed of seven villages,
the four in East Camp being Hunterstown,
Queenstown, Annsbury and Haysbury, and the
three in West Camp were named Elizabeth-
town, Georgetown and Newtown. As stated
in the last chapter no sooner had huts to shelter
them been constructed than the colony began
to erect a church in which the two pastors,
Rev. Joshua Kocherthal, the Lutheran, and
Rev. John Frederick Hager, the Reformed,
officiated. And here for twenty years they
lived in religious harmony until those of t*he
Reformed faith built the church at Katsbaan
on the west side, and that of Germantown on
the east side of the river and left the church
at West Camp to the use of the Lutherans of
of the colony. With the church arose the
school. Three months had but just passed
when a school house " of sawed boards" is
reported, and these poverty-stricken colonists,
who protested that their children had been
taken from them and apprenticed to strangers,
had gathered the rest for instruction under a
teacher who is said to have been a man by the
name of Johannes Mattice Jung (Young).
In their huts of logs, brush and bark the Pal-
atines passed the winter of 1710-11 shivering
and suffering. Tradition, which fixes their
38 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
coming on Dec. 24, says that the winter was
mild and open and the river did not freeze
over. But tradition, as it so often is, is griev-
ously at fault. According to the complaints
they made to the government the winter was
severe. They suffered greatly from the bitter
cold in their huts and tents in the wilderness,
and the insufficient clothing furnished. Further
than this they charged Livingston with provid-
ing food poor in quality, and inadequate in
quantity. What ground for these charges there
was cannot be ascertained. Nor how far their
natural disappointment was a factor. It must
be remembered that they had been full of
enthusiasm. The queen and the government
had been generous to them in England.
But they were now under men who were
attempting to make an enterprise financially
successful. The English government had in-
vested 8,000 pounds sterling in the scheme.
But every future dollar came from the pocket
of Gov. Hunter until he had sunk about
$130,000, and when it failed it was never
refunded him. The situation of the Palatines
was almost destructive of the last trace of
enthusiasm not only, but of hope. Unwit-
tingly it may be, but no less surely, they had
bound themselves by a covenant to reimburse
the cost of their transportion by a serfdom
which might last many years ; it was the dead
THE PALATINES AT THE CAMP. 39
of winter in an inhospitable climate, in a howl-
ing wilderness, in sheds of bark and logs, and
with many relatives bound out among strangers
and from whom they might never learn tidings.
This happened in some cases at least. No
wonder there was dissatisfaction and com-
plaint. And all this was aggravated by the
attitude of the ofificials placed over them, who
carried themselves as masters among slaves.
As the snows disappeared the people began
to work preparing the pines for a flow of tur-
pentine. Jean Cast, a Frenchman, who had
been left by the governor as his personal rep-
resentative at the Camp, writes under date of
March 14, 171 1, "The people are willing to
take their share of the salt beef which they
hitherto were unwilling to accept. While thus
occupied a great many of the settlers came
from all the villages to receive the tools sent
them from New York ; they all without excep-
tion evinced a modesty, civility and respect
which surprised, as much as it delighted me.
They have all exhibited equal readiness to clear
and prepare their gardens and have invited me
to spend a week with them."
But dissatisfaction increased. It soon be-
came apparent that the project would never
succeed. The trees were mostly white pine,
and although there were many pitch pines they
were but small. The children were set at work
40 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
gathering pine knots, of which the forest was
full and from them about sixty barrels of tar
were made. This seems to have been the sole
result of the undertaking. By May, 171 1, the
murmurs of the people were so persistent that
the governor came up to the Camp and found
a mutiny brooding. They demanded to be
sent to Schoharie and claimed to have been
cheated in the contract they signed. He paci-
fied them and returned to New York, but was
overtaken before he reached the city with tid-
ings that the mutiny had broken out again.
He was compelled to put it down with a force
of soldiers. The Palatines returned to their
villages and to their tasks. All through the
following summer they labored on, resignedly
and steadily. They worked at the trees pre-
paring 15,000 a day until over 100,000 had been
made ready. But by the winter of 171 1 -12
their patience was exhausted. Fresh troubles
arose. It was upon the same grievances. Still
they remained quiet until the spring when the
governor ordered from Albany an additional
force of a lieutenant and thirty men. From
this time the colonists appear to have been
under a kind of compulsory servitude, a slav-
ery. No wonder they were in a state of
chronic revolt. They tell the story of the pre-
ceding winter in a "Statement of Grievances"
sent to the king. The winter was " very severe
THE PALATINES AT THE CAMP. 41
and no provision to be had and the people bare
of clothes, which occasioned a terrible conster-
nation among them and particularly from the
women and children the most pitiful and dolor-
ous cries and lamentations that have perhaps
ever been heard from any persons under the
most wretched and miserable circumstances, so
that they were at last, much against their wills,
put under the hard and greeting necessity of
seeking relief from the Indians."
In April, 1712, some of them upon the east
side of the river deserted and crossing sought a
refuge among their brethren of West Camp
and many passed over to the Dutch across the
Sawyer's creek in Ulster county. But the
magistrates of Kingston, responding to the de-
mands of the authorities of the Manor, sent
them back. They then determined to go to
Schoharie and some of them started, but were
compelled to return by force. Finally on Sep-
tember 13, 1712, the governor decided that the
scheme was a failure and gave permission to
the Palatines to shift for themselves.
THE PALATINES FIND HOMES.
The release of the Palatines from the con-
tract to labor in making naval stores in payment
of the cost of their transportation to America
was accompanied by the notice that ihe "con-
tract is still binding and they must return on
call." But the failure was so complete that no
call was ever made and the colonists became
freemen. The Palatines on the Manor took
steps at once to secure that freedom. About
one-third of those on the east side of the river
remained there. The rest migrated to Scho-
harie. With their troubles in acquiring title
to the lands there and their dispersion to the
Mohawk and Pennsylvania we have nothing to
do here. Nor with the small band that founded
Rhinebeck and named it after their loved river
in the homeland. We must follow the Pala-
tines of our town.
It is difficult to determine the relative num-
bers of the colonists on either side of the river.
The colony had more than seven times the
acreage on the east side that it had on the
west side of the Hudson. Cobb's "Story of
THE PALATINES FIND HOMES. 43
the Palatines" takes it for granted that there
was almost no tar-making on the west side.
But to one familiar with the soil on either side
of the river it would seem that the west bank
would be a natural home of the pine. The
soil fulfils the pine land conditions better.
Besides there is direct evidence of tar-making
at West Camp. At a meeting of the Palatine
commissioners on July 4, 171 1, it was resolved
that '' Every two Palatine Coopers, whereof
there are 12 on this (east) side and 4 on the
other (west) side of Hudson's river have four
Palatines for their assistants, to cut down, saw,
and split the timber and assist in making the
barrel staves fit for the containing Tarr for
Transportation, and that the respective List
masters, or heads of Every Village on this side
Doe detach 24 men, and 12 men on the other
(west) side every munday in their turn -^ -^ ^
and there work till Saturday night." The list
masters (foremen) for the west side of the river
to supervise the tar-making were for Elizabeth-
town, John Christopher Gerlach ; for George-
town, Jacob Manck ; for Newtown, Philip Peter
Grauberger. But whatever the fact, one thing
is beyond dispute. The colonists at West
Camp remained where they were. They did
not go to Schoharie. The names of those pos-
itively known to have been here from the first
show that these families are in our town to this
44 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
day in their descendants. There is one thing
remarkable. Although the purchased lands
upon the east shore were so much more than
upon the west it seems that the headquarters
was on this side. Here was built the church.
Here pastor Kocherthal lived, died and was
buried. Here the colonists were content to
It is an interesting question what was the
number of Palatines who came to the Camp,
and how many remained. But it is somewhat
difficult to answer. There is a discrepancy in
the different accounts of the number of those
who sailed from England in January, 1710.
The journal of Conrad Weiser gives 4,000.
Other accounts state the number at above
3,000. This number is probably nearer the
truth. On February 8, 171 1, the Lords of
Trade report to Queen Anne that the number
of Palatines settled at the Camp is 2,227. Of
these the names of 82 heads of families, and
a total of 257 persons is given as having win-
tered at West Camp. On March' 25, 171 1, the
subsistence of 1,437 persons is reported. A
report made May i, 171 1, says that 1,761 per-
sons were here, of whom 583 are at West
Camp. The number given on June 24, 171 1, is
1,874, of whom 639 are at West Camp, Octo-
ber 24, 171 1, the number at the Camp is only
1,422. The last report of all is made a number
THE PALATINES FIND HOMES. 45
of years after this, and after the exodus to
Schoharie, when 680 persons are reported at
Schoharie, 232 at West Camp and those at
East Camp are 359, with 140 at Rhinebeck.
At this time 40 are said to be in Kingston, or
probably, Kingston Commons, meaning else-
where in this town than in the vicinity of West
Camp. It is expressly said that no widows or
orphans are included in this statement.
In the covenant made between the Board of
Trade and the Palatines while in London, a
promise was made of an allotment to each per-
son of forty acres of land free of taxes, or rents
for seven years from the date of the grant, and
to be made at the conclusion of their service.
This was never made them. And when they
were released and bidden to seek for them-
selves, most of those at West Camp passed
over from the Fullerton patent to the Kingston
Commons seeking homes. In another chapter
we will see the effect of this upon the church
at West Camp for a generation and a half.
Nevertheless some families remained at West
Camp and acquired good titles to homes and
farms. On Oct. 10, 1715, Gov. Hunter reported
that the Palatines who were supporting them-
selves not only did so very comfortably, but
the more industrious really began to make
money. On July 7, 1717, he reports that all
earn a living and some are grown rich.
46 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
There is one quaint estimate of what the
colony would need made in November, 1710,
a month after the settlement, which, after giv-
ing the number of sets of harness, blacksmith's,
carpenter's and other tools and implements,
says that ''some things are wanted forth with,
as a church for divine service in each of the
settlements ; a warehouse in ye same and house
for ye ofificers ; 3 pair of millstones; 250 cows
and 600 sowes." Also wanted '' 100 pounds
in New York money to pay a Phisitian general,
40 pounds to pay 2 surgeons; 20 pounds to
pay 2 schoolmasters. Four nurses are wanted
for ye hospital at 216 pence a week. The sub-
sistence of the above will be paid."
A full list of the Palatines who came to New
York with Gov. Hunter, in June, 1710, was
never made, nor of those who came to the
Camp. And the constantly changing numbers
increases the difficulty of mentioning them.
But the following names of those who settled
on the west side of the river are taken from the
records, mentioning only those whose descend-
ants are found in this town. Peter Maurer,
(Mower), wife and an adult woman ; Frederick
Mirckle (Markle), wife, 2 lads and 3 girls ; Val-
entine Wolleben (Wolven) and wife; Philip
Wolleben ; John Becker and son ; Albert Ded-
erick Marterstock and wife; John Eberhard ;
Peter Wolleben, wife and three children; An-
THE PALATINES FIND HOMES. 47
thony Kremer (Cramer); Stephen Frolich
(Freligh), wife and 3 children ; Gartrud Eiker-
tin (Eckert) and 2 children ; Peter Becker and
wife; Valentine Ffaulkinberg, wife and one
child; Wilhelm MuUer (Miller) ; Elizabeth Jung
(Young) and 3 children; Elizabeth Bayherin
(Bear) and one child ; John Michael Emerick
and wife; Peter Diebel (Dibble), wife and
child; Catherine Schultzin ; Christian Myer
and wife ; Peter Overbach and wife ; Hyerony-
mous Schib (Shoub) and wife. These spent
the first winter at West Camp. Among those
who came up from New York in the spring of
171 1, and during the summer are Palatines by
the names of Young, Plank, Bronck, Dederick,
Schutt, Newkirk, Eligh, Wanamaker, Valk, Sax,
Snyder, Romer, Felton, Hoffman, Schumaker,
Hauver, Hagedorn, Schaffer, Keyser, Sagen-
dorf, Riffenberg, Linck, Hoff, Winter, Dill,
Sharpe and Kieffer. And from those who
came in 1708 to Newburgh there came the
following: Daniel Fiero, Andreas Valck and
Isaac Turck and their families.
It is not within the scope of this history to
trace these families along the lines descending
from this Palatine stock. Descendants of most
are residents of this town to-day. The earliest
homes of many of them will be located in
So Saugerties received its strongest element
48 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
and the most numerous. At this time there
was but a handful of settlers within our borders
and these were Dutch. Some of the earliest
deeds granted were to Palatines. A few
Huguenot families were early resident. And
one or two English. But this influx of at least
two hundred and fifty people was enough to
stamp a character upon the community for
generations. They were an intelligent people.
Their signatures show that they were used to
handling a pen. The journal of Weiser is well
written. Their first act, which built a school
house immediately, proves it. And the next
chapter but one will show their leader, Koch-
erthal, to have been a man of fine education.
They were God-fearing, for their earliest record
is that they built a church forthwith, as well as
a school house. They were liberty loving.
Their semi-serfdom was irksome, and only
acquiesced in because they felt indebted to the
queen and her government for assistance. And
they were patriotic. Their record of service for
their adopted country is noble. The first win-
ter they sent a company of volunteers for
service against the French in Canada. And
during the Revolutionary war no patriots were
more self-sacrificing than they. Among the
apprenticed orphan children, previously spoken
of, was one named John Peter Zenger, who, in
after years, established a paper in New York
THE PALATINES FIND HOMES. 49
and fearlessly criticised the arbitrary colonial
government. He was arrested and imprisoned.
His trial and triumphant acquittal established
the freedom of the press in America, and would
be an interesting story, but it does not particu-
arly relate to the history of our town.
THE WEST CAMP CHURCH.
No sooner had the Palatines been landed on
the shores of the Hudson at the Camp than
they took steps to provide a place for the
public worship of God. The authorities had
been advised that two such buildings be erected,
one on either side of the river. But without
waiting for the action of the civil authorities
the people themselves provided a place at
West Camp. And they did this the first
winter they were there. It has been often
said that pastor Kocherthal was not with the
colony at the Camp during the winter of
1710-11. But the baptismal register shows
baptisms during these months. If this be
answered that he was with the colony at New-
burgh and the baptisms were there it is sub-
mitted that Jean Cast, writing from West
Camp, March 27, 171 1, reports a conversation
with Kocherthal regarding the repugnance of
his flock to the making of tar and other naval
stores which unmistakably establishes the fact
of his presence there.
The church at West Camp was erected
THE WEST CAMP CHURCH. 51
almost upon the site of the present one. As
the colony reached West Camp on or about
Oct. 4, 1710, it is probable that divine seryices
were immediately held and have continued
from that date, with an exception to be men-
tioned. The building was erected for the wor-
ship of the colony, which was composed of
Lutherans and those of the Reformed faith.
There were two pastors, the Rev. Joshua Koch-
erthal, Lutheran, and the Rev. John Frederick
Hager, Reformed. Hager resided at East
Camp, and we find them jointly reporting the
number of families under their charge in 1718.
In October, 1715, Hager petitioned Gov,
Hunter for leave and help to build a church
at East Camp, promising that services should
be performed after the liturgy of the Church
of England. Nothing resulted from the peti-
Tradition has always held that a bell was
presented to the church by Queen Anne which
has since disappeared. But it seems that tra-
dition must be m error. The church records
kept by Kocherthal do indeed mention the bell
given by Her Majesty. But Kocherthal had
brought over the Quassaick (Newburgh) colony
in 1708, two years before he brought the Camp
colony. With the first colony he brought the
bell as his records, which cover both colonies,
show. They also show that the bell was loaned
52 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
to the Lutheran church in New York, where it
remained for more than twenty years, when it
was brought to Newburgh in 1733. Kocherthal
died in 17 19, when about to journey once more
to England with a Palatine commission to
secure the promises covenanted to the colonists.
The church was served by Hager for a while
and then by the Rev. John Jacob Ehle, Re-
formed, and the Rev. Daniel Falckner and the
Rev. W. C. Berckenmayer, Lutherans, the last a
son-in-law of Kocherthal. These services were
continued occasionally until 1729. In 1727,
the present Reformed Church was organized at
Germantown, and in 1730, the Rev. ' George
Wilhelmus Mancius came from Holland to the
Camp, and finding most of the colony settled
upon lands of the Kingston Commons and
worshipping on the Kats Baan became their
pastor. In 1732, upon his incitement, they
erected the old stone church there. From this
time the records cease at West Camp until
after the death of Mancius in 1762. In 1765,
they began again, and in 1775, the Rev. Philip
Groz was settled as pastor in West Camp.
The old church was replaced by a new one
about 1791-2, and was afterwards rebuilt. In
1871, it was torn down after the erection on a
site but a few feet distant of the present beau-
What was the reason for this long lapse in
THE WEST CAMP CHURCH. 53
the records of the church ? A suggestion seems
to be in what has been told in this connection.
The settlement at West Camp was upon the
patent of Thomas Fullerton. This was repur-
chased by the British government through Gov.
Hunter, who advanced $130,000 towards the
naval stores scheme. When the project failed
the government would not reimburse Hunter.
His money was invested but the sole asset was
the property here at the Camp including the
Fullerton tract. So there was a cloud on the
title to the lands. The Palatines passed over
the Sawyer's creek to the Kingston Commons
and took up land there. Here there was plenty
which could be purchased for not more than
$2.50 per acre, or leased for ten years at a rental
of two fat hens per annum and after that time
for not more than a peck of wheat per acre
with the privilege of purchase at any time.
And most of the Palatines availed themselves
of the privilege. For many years most of the
families resided there and after the Katsbaan
church was built worshipped there. For Man-
cius preached in German at Katsbaan, at least
at first, and afterwards both in German and
Dutch. At his death in 1762 his successors
preached in Dutch only. By this time the
land question was settled and West Camp had
received its proportionate share of settlers.
Then a pastor came and the records on the
54 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
church book are continued. Thus this church
at West Camp is the oldest within the present
town of Saugerties. From 1765 the services
have been regularly held and are to this day.
The congregation is large and widely extended.
A curious difference has always been manifest
between the Palatines holding the Reformed
faith in this town and those of the Lutheran.
The Reformed intermingled with the Dutch
and Huguenot element not only, but built no
less than five Reformed churches in different
parts of the town, while the Lutheran element
intermingled comparatively little, and all re-
mained loyal members of the original church
at West Camp wherever they resided.
THE PALATINE LEADER.
It remains to speak of the remarkable man
who led the exodus from the Palatinate into
England and then brought two colonies across
the Atlantic to the valley of the Hudson. He
was not only the pastor of the flock, but their
leader and guide in temporal affairs, their coun-
sellor and friend. He was just in the prime of
life, a tall and grave man, scholarly and retiring
and of a winsome personality. He impressed
all with whom he came in contact, whether the
Lords of Trade, or the people of England;
whether Queen Anne, or his suffering com^pa-
triots. Her Majesty set aside customs in his
favor and provided for his support as a clergy-
man in a communion not of the Church of
England. His entries in the records of his
church show a poetic soul whom the dark
waters of affliction could not overwhelm ; a
Christian scholar whose interpretation of his
varied experiences accorded with a faith which
surmounted every obstacle and found every
event another proof of the favor of his Master
56 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
As we have been telling the story of the
colony we have given glimpses of his spirit.
We will add some matters of his personal
record. The Rev. Joshua Kocherthal was
born in the year 1669, the year of the birth,
of his beloved Sibylla Charlotte, as he calls his
wife. She accompanied him upon his first
voyage which brought the Newburgh colonists,
and with them their three children. Two
others were born in this country. On their
voyage out they came with the fleet bringing
Lord Lovelace, the new governor of New York
and New Jersey. The weather was tempestu-
ous and they were eleven weeks at sea, reach-
ing New York on New Years Day, 1709, having
suffered severely. He left his wife and children
in New York on his return to England for the
larger emigration and while he was away his
fourth child was born. The story of the six
months voyage to New York with the 3,CX)0
Palatines in 1710, we have already told, of
their hardships, sufferings from fever and
storm, their serfdom and final dispersion. In
all this their pastor was their constant guide,
counsellor and helper. September, 17 12, saw
the release of the people from their thankless
and grinding task at the pines. It also wit-
nessed the breaking up of the pastor's flock.
A little over one year more and his beloved
Sibylla Charlotte was called away on Decern-
THE KOCHERTHAL TABLET.
THE PALATINE LEADER. 57
ber i6, 1713, and the pastor was left alone
with his five children, the oldest of whom,
Benigna Sibylla, was a girl of fifteen years.
Faithfully, for six years longer he lived and
served in West Camp and shepherding the
people of his widely scattered charge. Then
the Palatines at Schoharie, along the Mohawk
and here on the Hudson, disappointed in not
receiving their promised lands, determined to
send a committee to London to secure from
the government the lands they claimed at
Schoharie and asked their pastor to go. He
consented, but while preparing, suddenly ex-
pired. With reverent hands his affectionate
people laid his weary frame to rest in the green
field southeast of the church at West Camp
and here in 1742, his daughters laid over his
grave a large slab of brown stone bearing a
quaint German inscription which was written
by some one not too familiar with that lan-
guage, and which, after correcting some mani-
fest errors is as follows :
'* Wisse Wandersmann unter diesem Stein
ruht nebst seiner Sibylla Charlotte ein rechter
Wandersmann der Hoch-Deutschen in Nord
Amerika, ihr, Josua, und derselben an der Ost
und West Seite des Hudson's river rein Luth-
erischen Prediger. Seine erste Ankunft war mit
Lord Lovelace 1707-8, den iten Januar. Seine
zweite mit Col. Hunter, 1710, den 14, Juny.
58 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Seine Englandische Rueckreise unterbrach
seine Seelen Himmelische Reise an St. Jo-
hanestage, 17 19. Begehrst du mehr zu wissen
so untersuche in Melancthon's Vaterland wer
war der Kocherthal, wer Harschias, wer Win-
B. Berkenmayer, S. Huertin, L. Brevort.
The three names at the bottom are those of
his three daughters Benigna, Susanna and
Louisa, and Berckenmayer, Huertin and Bre-
vort were the names of their respective hus-
bands. Who Harschias and Winchenbach
were the writer has never learned. The Rev.
PhiHp Lichtenberg, formerly of this village,
thus translated the inscription :
" Know, traveller, under this stone rests, be-
side his Sibylla Charlotte, a real traveller, of
the High Dutch in North America their Joshua
and a pure Lutheran preacher of the same on
the east and west side of the Hudson river.
His first arrival was with Lord Lovelace in
1709, the first of January. His second with
Col. Hunter, 1710, the fourteenth of June.
The journey of his soul to Heaven on St.
John's Day, 1719, interrupted his return to
England. Do you wish to know more? Seek
in Melancthon's Fatherland who was Kocher-
thal, who Harschias, who Winchenbach.^"
THE PALATINE LEADER. 5^
But the character of the Palatine leader and
his poetic nature are most fully shown in the
entries in his own handwriting in the records
he kept of baptisms, marriages and the like in
his church book. The title page, under date
of December, 1708, has this inscription: ''A
vie Josua de Valle Concordice, vulgo Kocherthaly
ecclesicB Germanice Neo-Eboracen minisiro pri-
mo,'' (by me, Joshua, of the Valley of Concord,
commonly called Kocherthal, first minister of
the German church in New York). The bap-
tismal record has this caption ; ^'Jesu Auspice^*
(Jesus our Leader). The list of church mem-
bers is headed: '' Jesu ecclesice sues Auctore et
6Vnj^rt/^/<?r^" (Jesus, Author and Preserver of
His Church). Where he recorded gifts to his
church he placed at the head of the page :
^'Jesu reiribuente,'' (Jesus Repaying). Over the
record of his marriages he wrote '^ Jesii ccelesti
7iostrarum aitimariim Sponso,'' (Jesus, heavenly
Bridegroom of our souls). And when he re-
corded the death of those who passed away he
wrote '^ Jesu VivificanteJ' (Jesus vivifying).
Here in the green fields of his own Newtown,
on the banks of the Hudson, his remains rested
as in a new valley of concord until 1896 when
they were disinterred and placed under the
West Camp church and the stone that had so
long covered his grave was removed and placed
in the vestibule of that edifice as a mural tablet.
SIXTY FORMATIVE YEARS.
From the date of the abandonment of the
scheme for the production of naval stores by
the Palatines in September, 1712, to the begin-
ning of the Revolutionary war, there is but
little for a historian of this town to record.
Less than seven hundred people resided in its
borders and there were but three centres of
population, Katsbaan, West Camp and Sau-
gerties, and these but small clusters of houses.
Former chapters have shown where scattering
farmers lived. There were no factories, but
such as saw mills, grist mills and the like inci-
dental to the wants of an agricultural people.
Of these and of other industries which arose
soon after the Revolution, another chapter will
speak. It is here proposed to tell the few
historical incidents of the period between 171 5-
To do that is to begin with the troubles
between the English and French in 1710-11 in
America in which the Palatines took part. It
was an incident in the long struggle for the
possession of North America which is so fully
SIXTY FORMATIVE YEARS. 61
told in the glowing pages of Francis Parkman.
During the summer of 1710, when the Pala-
tines were at New York preparing for the
settlement at the Camp, an expedition against
the French in Canada was decided on. During
the first winter of the Palatines at the Camp
(1710-11) they were called upon to furnish
volunteers. Such a summons could not fall
upon more willing ears. The long and brutal
career of devastation and death during which
they had suffered from the French in the
homeland was not forgotten and with alacrity
they enlisted. Two companies were formed,
one of fifty-nine men under Capt. John Con-
rad Weiser and one of fifty-two men under
Capt. Hartman Winedecker. A force of 1,600
men from New York, New Jersey and Con-
necticut was mustered at Albany for the inva-
sion of Canada, and a fleet of sixteen men-of-
war and forty transports with troops sailed
from England for the St. Lawrence. But this
fleet was wrecked on the rocks in that river
and the invading force, hearing of the tidings
as they reached Lake Champlain, returned to
Albany and disbanded.
During the decade and a half that succeeded
the dispersion of the Palatines the town gradu-
ally acquired population. The Palatines were
reinforced by Dutchmen coming from King-
ston until, by 1730, the vicinity of Katsbaan
62 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
had many settlers. About 1727 Johannes
VanDriessen, a brother of Rev. Petrus Van-
Driessen, pastor of the Reformed church of
Albany, through forged certificates, succeeded
in obtaining from the Congregationalists of
Connecticut, an ordination to the ministry.
He came to East Camp, organized the present
Reformed church of Germantown and built an
edifice. Complaint was made to the Classis of
Amsterdam, in Holland, and by that body all
who were concerned therein were censured,
and Rev. George Wilhelmus Mancius, (who
had just been ordained), seems to have come
to America to the Camp to investigate. He
sailed from Amsterdam July 12, 1730. Arriv-
ing at East Camp he found himself powerless.
The people were attached to VanDriessen and
content in the long-desired church. So he
passed over the river to West Camp. Examin-
ing into the state of affairs there and finding
most of the colony worshipping two miles
westward on the hill at Katsbaan he became
their pastor in the autumn of 1730 and in 1732
the old stone church was built. Soon the
whole flock was worshipping here. For some
reason, presumably for the one given else-
where, which was the difficulty in acquiring
title to lands east of Sawyer's creek, most of
the colony had settled on Kingston Commons
and services at West Camp were interrupted
SIXTY FORMATIVE YEARS. 63
until 1765 when they were regularly contin-
ued. But we can not enter here upon the
farther history of the Katsbaan church.
In 1754 Gen. Edward Braddqck was com-
missioned by the British government as Com-
mander-in-Chief of all their forces in America
and sent to the colonies. With his disastrous
expedition this history is not directly con-
cerned. But the French and Indian war then
beginning affected this town. The operations
against France were to be carried on all along
the line and to Sir William Johnson was
intrusted the command of an expedition
against Crown Point of 6,000 men of New
England and New York. Some of these were
from Ulster county and a few may have been
recruits in our town. But in 1757 a grand
campaign against Canada was projected. One
expedition was determined upon to proceed by
the way of Lake Champlain and was placed
under the command of Gen. Webb. He
reached Fort Edward with 4,000 men. Col.
Munroe, another British officer, was at Fort
William Henry, sixteen miles distant, with
3,000 men. Montcalm, in command of the
French and Indian forces, approached with
9,000 reported troops and Col. Munroe called
upon his superior, Gen. Webb, for assistance.
It was not sent. Montcalm came upon Col.
Munroe and for six days the latter was
64 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES,
besieged, when finding no reinforcements com-
ing he was compelled to surrender on the
promise that he should march out of Fort
William Henry with the honors of war. But
the French ruthlessly violated the terms and
permitted their savage allies to murder and
torture those who had relied upon their prom-
ise and surrendered. Among the troops under
Webb lying but sixteen miles away and clam-
oring to be led to the relief of their country-
men were many of the Ulster county militia
and of these was a company from Saugerties
under the command of Capt. Tobias Wyn-
koop, who resided upon the Old Kings Road
on the farm now known as the Kemble place.
These Ulster county troops numbered three
hundred and were commanded by Col Thomas
Allison. They proceeded to Albany by sloops
and then marched under a torrid August sun
from Albany to Fort Edward in two days,
carrying upon their backs their full equipment.
Many dropped out by the way and the energy of
the officers occasioned much complaining from
the men. But officers as well as men marched,
carrying muskets, fording streams and hasten-
ing forward unceasingly. And when they
heard that the army was not to go to the relief
of Munroe their indignation knew no bounds.
It is said of the Ulster regiment that the whole
contingent got under arms in less than an hour
SIXTY FORMATIVE YEARS. 65
and waded across the Hudson through water
reaching their shoulders clamoring to be led
against their hated foe. For many of them
were from the valley of the Rondout and had
long been sufferers from Indian outrage in
Sullivan county, in Orange and in Wawarsing,
and they had cheerfully enlisted to make an
end of the atrocious warfare the French and
Indians were conducting. This western fron-
tier of Ulster county was peculiarly harassed
by Indians during these years, and Sergeant
Abraham Post, of Saugerties, had led a band
of Saugerties men as scouts along this frontier
during the year 1757.
For the campaign of 1758 Ulster county was
called upon to furnish 228 men. There is no
means of ascertaining how many were from
this town. No Ulster county troops were with
Abercrombie at his defeat at Ticonderoga as
they had been sent with the force of Col. Brad-
street to reduce Fort Frontenac, on Lake
Ontario. This was captured and the troops
returned to Albany. The campaign of 1759
resulted in the capture of Quebec by Wolfe
and the end of the war. But it is impossible
to give the names of those who served, or tell
who were the soldiers from this town. It seems
probable that the company of Capt. Tobias
Wynkoop was a part of this force against Fron-
tenac in 1758 and of that of 1759 which, under
66 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Amherst, succeeded in driving the French from
Lake Champlain. But who composed it can
not be told at this late day. The records have
disappeared, or none were ever kept.
From this date until the Revolution no event
for the historian seems to have occurred. The
people quietly pursued their business from
which they were to be aroused to battle for
their I'iberties in the great contest with Eng-
land. Here they nobly bore their part. An
attempt will be made to show where they re-
sided within the borders of this town when the
contest began. In the chapters to follow it is
proposed to tell the part borne by men of Sau-
gerties, of whom so many served, and whose
honored remains rest in so many of the ceme-
teries of this town. In too many cases their
dust has returned to kindred clay and no mark
is on the spot. In others the stone needs an
Old Mortality to decipher it. The Saugerties
Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution, composed of the descendants of
those patriots of this town, have sought out
many of those graves, and have determined to
care for them, and upon each Memorial Day
lay a wreath upon each while others do the
same to those who fought to preserve what
they fought to secure.
SAUGERTIES VILLAGE BEFORE THE
Before the story of the War of the Revolu-
tion is taken up it is proposed to pass over the
earlier settled portions of the town and con-
sider such of the families then resident as
were possessors of original patents, grants, or
deeds, and where they were located before
that great conflict. In doing this the point
of view will be the decade 1760-70, looking
towards our own time (1900). It is proposed
to invite to a walk about town. The tramp
will be over so much of the present village of
Saugerties as lies on the north side of the
Esopus creek. Instead of the spreading town
which would greet us in 1900, within its
bounds there are but twelve dwellings, all
told, and a school house. There is no church
edifice, as the people worship at the " steene
Kerk op de Kats Baan," although for six
years from 1780 to 1786 the pastor, Rev. Lam-
bertus De Ronde resided in the Post house on
the grounds of the present residence of Mrs.
Dawes. We will set out for our walk from
68 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the spot from whence the village takes its
name. This is at the falls in the Saw creek at
the Mason residence which will be for genera-
tions known as the Brink homestead. The
mill of the old sawyer, or little sawyer, as he
was familiarly called, (klein zaagertje,) stood
here where the waters tumble down into the
river out of this wild ravine.
On March 3, 1740, Barent Burhans, the
miller, was recently deceased and had pur-
chased, during his lifetime, a part of the pat-
ent of George Meals and Richard Hayes to
lands at Saugerties. This patent is dated
May, 1687. His four sons Johannes, William,
Jacob and David, that day released each other
and the trustees of Kingston Commons gave
them a deed for their lands. John Brink, Jr.,
will marry a daughter of William Burhans and
the place thus pass into the Brink family.
John Brink will then establish a ferry across
the Hudson to Chancellor Livingston's, which
ferry will survive in the ferry to Tivoli. His
son, Capt. Andrew Brink, will run a sloop to
New York, carrying among other things the
farm products of Livingston, and when Robert
Fulton with Livingston will build the Cler-
mont, will be associated with them, and com-
mand the boat upon her successful steam
voyage, August 3, 1807, and that night she
will lie anchored just opposite where we stand
EARL Y SA UGER TIES. 69
to resume her voyage in the morning to
Albany. When she is fitted up for passengers
she will be commanded for some time by Capt.
Brink. John Brink, Jr., will be a soldier of
the Revolution and enlist three times during
that war, and serve in succession in different
regiments. His remains will lie with other
soldiers of the same conflict in Main street
cemetery. This place will remain in the Brink
family until nearly 1900.
We would say in passing that we are stand-
ing at the northeast boundary of Ulster county
on the Hudson as the act dividing the province
into counties in 1683, bounded Ulster county
on the Hudson from Sawyer's creek to Murder-
er's creek, which is between Newburgh and
Cornwall. In 1767, the legislature will change
the county line and it will start from the river
at Wanton Island, near Smith's Landing, in-
stead of from here.
Now let us pass to the south along the river.
We are on the large Meals patent. Here is
the stone house of Myndert Mynderse, built in
1743, twenty years before our walk. It is on
the first land grant in the town given to George
Meals and Richard Hayes covering 441^ acres
on both sides of the Esopus creek at its
mouth. George Meals subsequently conveyed
his interest to his partner who conveyed the
same to John Hayes, from whom it passed to
70 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
his son-in-law, John Persen. He in turn be-
queathed it to his daughter, the wife of the
Myndert Mynderse spoken of. This place will
be in 1900, still in possession of the family in
which it has remained for eight generations.
John Persen built a grist mill on the falls of
the Esopus and a scow ferry. Here an iron
bridge will be built in 1874. Another ferry
will be maintained at Stony Point until a pon-
toon bridge replaces it, which Henry Barclay
will buy. These ferries in turn will be suc-
ceeded by a wooden bridge in 1839, ^"^ ^^^
by the above mentioned iron bridge.
We journey on past the old grave yard on
the Mynderse place with its venerable stones.
Notice the beautiful prospect over the Hudson.
None is finer in this vicinity. At the foot of
the hill on the dock is standing the old Post
house under one of the largest buttonball trees
along the river.
From here we return northward. On this
corner of Main and Maiden streets is the house
of Egbert Schoonmaker It will be still in the
family of a descendant, the son of the late
Peter P. Schoonmaker, in 1900. A little north
is that of Samuel Schoonmaker near the second
Meals' patent. Attention is directed to the
fact that this land is a natural park. The lands
of this region were heavily wooded except
directly north of the village until about the
EARL Y SA UGER TIES. 7 1
vicinity of the " People's Road " east of the
Canoe Hill. This park had long been culti-
vated by the Indians in maize, or Indian corn.
In Capt. Martin Cregier's ** Journal of the Eso-
pus War," written Sept. 24, 1663, he writes:
"The party that was sent out in the night
returned home about two o'clock in the after-
noon ; they were at Sager's Killetje, on the
Indian maize plantation, but saw no Indians,
nor anything to indicate that they had been
there for a long time, for the maize had not
been hoed and could not come to its full
growth, but had been much injured by the wild
beasts; neither will any of it reach perfection,
except one plantation of it, which was good,
having been hoed by the Indians. It was,
however, much injured by the wild beasts;
each of our people brought a load of it home
on his back and left some more standing which
we will when convenient bring hither. They
also say that it is beautiful maize land, suitable
for a number of bouweries and for the imme-
diate reception of the plough."
It is well to notice that it is to John Persen,
mentioned above, that the old stone church of
Katsbaan is indebted for the grant upon which
the church stands, which he obtained for it in
March, 173 1, from the trustees of Kingston
Commons and he was the first elder in its con-
sistory. And, returning to Egbert Schoon-
72 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
maker's, we should remark that the church will
owe its continued life during the interval from
the death of Domine Mancius in 1762 to the
settlement of De Ronde as its pastor in 1780,
a period of eighteen years, to its most active
elder, Egbert Schoonmaker, whose efforts will
keep it alive during the time when the Dutch
Reformed church is rent by an ecclesiastical
contest, and the country is at war and Kats-
baan without a pastor.
From the house of Egbert Schoonmaker on
the corner we pass westward. Here are two
houses on opposite sides of the street belong-
ing to Hiskia DuBois. One will be long
known as old Kiersted house. Just west of
these and near where will be the Reformed
church resides John Post. His brother,
Abraham, keeps tavern still farther westward.
It is the village gathering place. It is built of
strong timbers firmly clasped and will remain
the village tavern for almost a century. On
its site in 1900 will stand the hardware store
of James Russell. But the tavern meanwhile
will pass from the Posts to Frederick Krows in
1817, who will conduct it until about 1850,
when the buildmg will be moved back from
the street to the rear of the hardware store
and will be a tinshop until 1900. North of
this tavern of Abraham Post, Jecobus, another
brother, resides. On this site Dr. Dawes will
THE POST TAVERN.
EARL Y SA UGER TIES. 73
build after many years a residence farther east
than the house of Jecobus Post, which stands
close to the street. It is in this house that
Domine DeRonde resided as said above.
Northwest of this residence of Jecobus Post is
the dwelling of Isaac Post. This building will
be still standing later than i860 under the hill
west of what will afterward be the terminus of
We will return to the tavern of Abraham
Post. This is yet, in 1763, a part of the town
of Kingston and will be for fifty years. But
with the store of Cornelius Persen at Katsbaan
it is one of the centres of the town and in a
dozen years it will be the meeting place of
men to discuss the issues of the Revolution.
Here will come the messenger from Kingston
with the patriotic Articles of Association
which all will sign. Here will be told the
victories and defeats of the long war. These
roof-trees will ring with the shouts that pro-
claim the victories of Saratoga and Yorktown
and the conquests of John Paul Jones. And
from here, and from Cornelius Persen's, will
depart the militia re-enforcements for the cap-
ture of Burgoyne. To this old tavern will
come the messenger to tell that Vaughan's
soldiers have set fire to the Wolven house,
where in 1900 John G. Myers will live, and
here in the long years of the following peace
74 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the story will be often told to younger gen-
But we will resume our walk. No houses
now until we reach that one in the distance
except the school house near where afterwards
will be the Russell Block until we reach
Petrus Myer's which will be occupied after
long years by Sherwood D. Myer, a descen-
dant. One dwelling more remains. In it is
living Johannes Myer, and it will remain in
the possession of his descendants until it is
purchased by John Michael Genthner.
The ever beautiful site of the village with
its grand guardianship of the Hudson and the
Catskills, where the Esopus sweeps into the
river, is the same in the middle of the Eigh-
teenth Century, as at the opening of the
Twentieth. But the dozen houses of 1763 are
hundreds now, and the fifty inhabitants then
are thousands to-day.
KATSBAAN BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.
Beginning at the old stone church in Kats-
baan our next walk will be around that section
of the town. It is the most populous portion
and we will find as many residents as there
will be in 1900. As we assemble at the church
before us lies one of the grandest visions of
the majesty of the Catskills. At no point from
which these mountains are visible are they so
impressive as from the cemetery hill near at
hand. Although around us is a thickly settled
region most of the houses are simple structures
of frame, or stone, and many are of logs. The
forests have been cleared hereabout, except
that there is a large grove of white oaks around
the church of which a few will remain until
1900. This white oak forest extends eastward
across the Saw creek and over the flats to West
Camp and will be spoken of in another chapter.
The church has stood already almost forty
years. Who built it and why is told elsewhere.
The trustees of Kingston Commons under date
of March i, 1731, leased in perpetuity to Jo-
hannes Persen and Hendrick Fees, and to their
76 HIS TOR V OF SA UGER TIES.
successors in office an acre of land on each side
of the **01d Kings Road" for those "profess-
ing the religion and doctrines disciplined in the
Reformed Protestant Church of Holland ; in-
stituted and approved by the national Synod
of Dort ■«■ * -5^ * to build a house for
God's worship ^ * "^ * "^ at a place called
* Ye Kats Baan ; ' said place being a rock ledge
where the King's Highway that leads from
Kingston to Albany runs a great way upon
said ledge ; the said two acres to be where the
ledge or rock shows itself most open," the
rental to be three pepper corns per annum if
demanded ; and twenty-two acres more were
granted as a glebe to be used for the minister.
This was situate at the north end of said open
rock, and from thence to the Saw creek, and is
practically the land of the Everitt and Whitney
places. Afterwards another grant of sixteen
and one-half acres, situate where will be the
farm of Alfred W. Fraser, was added to the
The church will be the same edifice in 1900,
and yet not the same. At that later day it
will extend seventeen feet to the south and the
side walls will be greatly altered. At this pre-
Revolutionary day it has a Gothic roof and the
eaves come half-way down the side walls as
they will be in 1900. The entrance is on the
east side and through a porch in which hangs
EARL Y KA TSBAAN. 77
a conch shell to announce the hour of worship.
Over the porch and under the eaves are in-
serted a number of brown stones inscribed with
the names of the builders, which stones will be
removed and inserted in the north wall when
the church is rebuilt in 1867. There is no
steeple nor bell. When built in 1732 there
were no pews. These came later. And in
November, 1743, there was a sale of seats.
The pulpit is on the west side of the church
and opposite the entrance. It is an octagon
and stands on a pedestal. An aisle through
the centre separates the men and women.
Across the centre another aisle runs from north
to south so that the two aisles form a cross
the four arms of which are of equal length.
The half of the church on the north of the
aisle from the door to the pulpit is occupied by
the "manse bancken," or seats for the men,
and on the south side by the " vrouwen banck-
en," or seats for the women. One row of seats
begins at the left of the minister and runs all
around the wall on three sides to the door,
with a corresponding row from his right hand
around three sides to the same door. Besides
this row there are on the men's side three rows
of seats east and west to the cross aisle, with
three cross rows, and on the women's side three
east and west rows and one cross row. On the
farther side of the cross aisle five cross rows on
78 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the men's side, and six for the women with one
row on either side from the cross aisle to the
door. At this date there is no fire in the build-
ing in winter, but long oval stones from the
beds of streams are heated at home and brought
along to the services. It is not proposed to
speak in this place of the attire of the wor*
shipers, nor of the services. Domines Mancius
and De Ronde will be described in another
chapter. These pastors covered successively a
period of forty years of faithful service among
a faithful people.
The story of this church will be told in
another chapter. We will proceed upon our
walk. Below the church hill, on the west side
of the King's Road, lived Hermanus Recht-
myer. His descendants in 1900, after one
hundred and sixty-three years of occupancy,
will still own this farm.
Across the Beaver creek westward resides
Hendrick Freligh. This farm was purchased
by the Frelighs March 4, 1727, and they after-
wards acquired the William H. Hommel farm
as well; while Peter Freligh, son of Hendrick,
lived upon the Abram E. Hommel farm and
afterwards upon the first named, or Hendrick
Freligh farm, upon the death of his father.
Two sons of Peter, Solomon and Moses enter-
ed the ministry of the Dutch Reformed
Church, as did Peter, son of Solomon. Sol-
EARLY KATSBAAN. 79
omon became a noted divine and professor of
theology, and trained the Rev. Dr. Henry
Ostrander for the ministry. He (Solomon)
will be so ardent a patriot during the Revolu-
tion as to be hated and hunted by the British.
This Freligh farm during the next century will
be known first as the Wells and then as the
On the east side of the Old Kings Road
resides Richard Davenport. His land stretches
from the road from the stone church leading
to West Camp all the way south to where, in
1900, will be the hotel of Jacob Kaufman and
his dwelling is here where Ephraim I. Myer
will long afterwards live. The Davenports
will be Tories in the Revolution and when the
cause of England will be wiped out in patri-
otic blood they will find more congenial neigh-
bors in Canada, and his tract will be divided
into three or more farms. The homestead
will be owned by Jonathan Myer, who will
conduct a tavern here. When he dies, about
1814, his widow will marry Elias Snyder,
whom the Indians in 1780 will capture and
carry to Canada, and who will escape from
captivity. In 1823 Elias Snyder will sell the
farm to John Snyder Myer, the father of
Ephraim I. Myer. Adjoining the Davenport
tract on the south is the small place of Cor-
nelius Osterhoudt which will soon pass to the
80 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Fieros, and will for over a century be a tavern^
and on the death of Mrs. Mary Fiero, in 1854,
be successively conducted by Vander Beck,
Gaddis, Bostvvick and Jacob Kaufman.
Next to this place on the south resides Cor-
nelius Persen. Here is the store of the whole
region. In the approaching war, when the
British will occupy New York City, the mer-
chandise will have to be hauled from Philadel-
phia by an inland route. Here the patriotic
meetings during the long war will be held.
Here the recruits to reinforce the army at
Saratoga will assemble. And after the war
John Jacob Astor will have his headquarters
here to which the trappers of the Catskills will
bring their furs. The place will remain in the
possession of the descendants of Cornelius
Persen, the Cornelius P. Brink family, until
about the close of the coming century.
One-fourth of a mile farther north, on the
west side of the Old Kings Road, is the home
of Johannes Trumpbour. In after years the
church will sell the glebe lands mentioned in
this chapter, which lie north of the church and
purchase this property and build a parsonage.
In 1 85 1 it will be sold and be successively
owned by Reuben Quick, John P. Sax and
Teunis Aspel resides on the farm westward
which will be owned in succession by the
EARLY KATSBAAN. 81
Fieros; by William Valkenburgh, Peter M.
Valkenburgh and lastly by Chauncey P.
Finger. South of this is the farm of Petrus
Luyck, or Loucks, on both sides of the Beaver
creek. This will be in after years in posses-
sion of the Fieros, then of different members
of the Sax family until Addison Sax in 1900.
It was purchased by Luyck March 4, 1746.
We have now reached the Saugerties road.
Beginning at Saugerties this follows prac-
tically the present course of the Canoe Hill
road of 1900 northward and westward until
w^here William Clement will reside in 1900.
Thence it will run south along the division
fence about three hundred yards, and then
west across the land of Cornelius Persen to
the Old Kings Road. Thence it will follow
this highway until within one hundred feet of
the coming turnpike when it will turn west-
ward and pass close alongside of where the
limekiln of William Fiero will stand ; swing
south around by the house of Petrus Luyck
(Addison Sax's) ; ford the Beaver creek and
then swing back under the hill to where will
be the future turnpike at the residence, in
1900, of Stephen F. Valkenburgh. This road
will be described as running " from Sager's to
the cedar clipje and thence to the blue moun-
tains." This "cedar clipje" is the large boul-
der still lying in 1900 nearly opposite the
82 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Fisher store in Quarryville and was at the
time of our walk surmounted by a cedar tree
which will remain there until about i860. No
houses are along this road above the long
Quarryville hill until Saxton is reached, and
the road runs through a dense woods. The
invaluable quarries are unknown, and from
them millions of dollars of bluestone are yet
to be taken. But at Saxton there are some
fifteen houses, and the rich plain at the foot of
the mountains is known and cultivated.
CEDAR GROVE BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.
Our walk is resumed at the store of Cornelius
Persen in Katsbaan. This store stands by the
road side, and will until September 4, 1852, the
day of the explosion of the steamer Reindeer at
Maiden, when by a " bee" of neighbors it will
be moved back from the road about fifty feet.
Here it will stand until the summer of 1900,
when it will be torn down. Meanwhile it will
be a storehouse excepting during 1867, while
the church is being enlarged and rebuilt, when
the pulpit and furnishings will be placed in
this building and it will be used for worship.
Across the road is the blacksmith shop of
the settlement. Here labors Jan Top, one of
two African slaves owned by Cornelius Persen.
Top is a character whose love of horse flesh
and whose shrewd sayings will be spoken of
about Katsbaan for two or three generations,
as he will remain here until the slaves of this
state are finally emancipated in 1827, and for
a number of years thereafter as a freeman.
Under a shelving rock at the foot of these pre-
cipitous limestone walls just westward dwells
84 HIS TOR V OF SA UGER TIES.
the last Indian of this region. The remains of
his wigwam will remain there for seventy-five
years, and more, and ashes may be found there
in 1900. He is called '* Nachte Jan" or Night
John. He is a close friend of Cornelius Persen
and when Runnip and his Indians, in 1780, will
capture and carry off to Canada Capt. Jeremiah
Snyder and his son Elias, Nachte Jan will warn
Persen in time to escape and save his goods
Passing south along the Old Kings Road we
will find Johannes Young living on the east
side of the road on lands to belong in 1900 to
the Winne estate. The house will be standing
after 1850, and the well will be in existence in
1900. The part of the Winne estate on the
west side of the road belongs to the tract
granted Coenradt Reghtmyer, February 24,
1728. The dwelling was where the house of
Isaac Hommel will stand in 1900, and the old
stone house in which Hommel will then live
may be, in part at least, of the earlier date.
On the west side of the Old Kings Road^
and in the vicinity of where Nathan Van Steen-
berg will live in 1900 is the school house.
Afterwards another school house will be erected
on the opposite side of the road farther south
on the site of the house in which Christian
Myer will live in 1900. Here school will be
kept until the Common School law of June 19,
EARLY CEDAR GROVE. 85
1812, is passed, when the site of the then exist-
ing school in Katsbaan will be purchased and
the school be continued there in successive
buildings until 1900. But a school house will
afterward be erected opposite the Myer house
and be known as the Cedar Grove school.
On the east side of the Old Kings Road and
farther south and east than the dwelling of
Young is the house of Johannes Mower. This
is very near the site in 1900 of the dwelling on
the estate of the late Peter W. Myer. It will
pass from the Mowers into the ownership of
the Myers, and descend from David to his
grandson Peter. There was at one time a
large tract in the hands of the Mower family
and on this tract stands the house in which
Frederick Eygenaar lives. It is east of the
road and back in the fields northeast of where
in 1900 William D. Brinnier will have his sum-
mer home. The ruined house may be seen
A half mile west of the Old Kings Road and
westward from the school house is the house
of Ury and Hermanns Hommel. At the close
of the next century it will pass from the Hom-
mel family to Luther Myer. Still farther west
is living Christian Snyder.
We will return to the Old Kings Road. As
we go south we come to the Meals and Hayes
grant. This contains 252 acres and was given
86 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
those parties by Thomas Dongan, Governor of
the province of New York, under date of April
15, 1685. It is described as being "at a place
called Sagiers, three miles westward from the
mouth of the Esopus creek at a run called the
Bever Kill." So this little stream has had its
name from that early date. This grant stretches
over the farms which in the next century will
belong to the Kembles and the Wynkoops and
reach south to the "church land," or grant to
the Dutch church of Kingston. Thus this
Meals and Hayes tract will cover farther south
than the site in 1900 of the old farmhouse of
Mrs. Germond. The grant is long and not
wide enough to reach as far west as the houses
which will be in 1900 the dwellings on the Rio
Alto Stock farm and that of Russell Wynkoop.
Evert Wynkoop resides, as we take our walk,
on what will be the stock farm and he is the
great-great-grandfather of Russell Wynkoop,
who will be the owner in 1900 of part of the
tract. Towards the north end of this grant is
the house of Johannes Valk nearly opposite to
what will be after many years the Brinnier
house spoken of. Farther south Capt. Tobias
Wynkoop resides, where will be the Kemble
house of the Nineteenth Century. And near
ihe south bounds of the grant is the house of
William Myer, where long afterward will stand
the old farmhouse of Mrs. Germond. On
EARLY CEDAR GROVE. 87
the east side of the road, and farther south,
Ephraim Van Keuren lives on the site at the
large spring where in 1900 Abram Wolven will
reside, and farther south on the hill will be after
the Revolution the hotel of Johannes Myer,
whose farm will be in 1900 in possession of
Wells Myer, his grandson. This tavern will be
in twenty-five years a noted hostelry. Aaron
Burr, among other public men, will make it a
frequent stopping place on his trips to and from
Albany. Here he will enjoy many an even-
ing's chat with mine host " Oom Hans Myer,"
with whom he had served in the Continental
army, and stories of the brilliant and fascinat-
ing Col. Burr will linger long in the traditions
of the vicinity of this tavern and that of Abra-
ham Post in Saugerties, where he so often re-
sorted. A mile farther west beyond the great
bend of the Beaver creek resides Maria Snyder
on the farm in after years of Noah Snyder,
which will be in possession of John J. Jordan
in 1900. And a little farther east is that of
Hieronymus Valkenburgh, whose descendant
John Valkenburgh will sell it near the close of
the next century to Thomas Spellman, who
will dispose of it to the West Shore Railroad
Co. And a short distance north is the house
of Johannes Hommel on the Peter I, Snyder
farm of after years.
We have walked from Katsbaan to Union-
88 HIS TOR V OF SA UGER TIES.
ville. We return to the house of Cornelius
Persen in Katsbaan and pass down the road
that winds across the fields to Saugerties.
Here is the residence of Wilhelmus Valk.
This farm will remain in possession of the Valk
family until 1870, when Peter V. Snyder will
purchase it. The road here runs east, but
soon turns southeast and crosses this little
brook. Beyond this and on the east side of
the road resides Hendrick Osterhoudt, where
long afterwards will dwell Cornelius Hoff. A
mile farther south, where afterwards will run
the ** People's Road," lives Adam Short on the
gravel hill. His house will long remain and be
called " the old fort." Farther east and near
what will long afterward be the Brede crossing
of the West Shore railroad are living John
Monk and John Fennal. A quarter mile south
from them, and west of the Canoe Hill road,
and south of the above '* People's Road," on
what will in 1900 be the Cantine farm, just
below the hill in front of the Lasher house, is
living Petrus Eygenaar whose farm stretches
across the flat to the Canoe Hill. Thus we are
brought to Saugerties, described in Chapter X.
CHURCHLAND AND PLATTEKILL BEFORE THE
The next pre-Revolutionary walk about
town will be down the Old Kings Road to the
southern boundary of the town at the bridge
over the Plattekill. We will assemble at the
inn of Johannes Myer, which stands where
Wells Myer will reside a century later.
As we get ready suppose we talk of this Old
Kings Road. It is the oldest highway in the
town. The first allusion to it occurs in a
petition of John Osterhoudt, Jan Burhans and
Cornelius Vernoy, all of Kingston, to a special
court held in April, 1670, at " ye towne hall
at Kingston, in Esopus " by a commission
appointed by Governor Francis Lovelace '' for
setting out the Boundaryes of Kingston,
Hurley, and Marbleton and for Regulateing
the Affaires of those places and ye parts
adjacent." The petitioners ask '* that fifty-
foure acres cleare and good land that his
Honr, the Govr, hath been pleased to promise
and grant them on a certain neck of land five
miles distant from Kingston, north, over the
90 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Kill and near the ffootpath leading to Albany
be commended to the Govr. to be confirmed
and allowed." With this petition there was
one by Tjerck Claes DeWitt and William
Montania for a grant to set up a saw mill for
the public benefit at the same place, with
seventy five acres a mile further at a place
called " Dead Men's Bones." This too was
granted on condition that the above five
petitioners, with two others build their seven
houses all together in an 'Mnnshipp" for
mutual protection. The spot where the mill
was to be, and was erected, was at what will
be our stopping point to-day at the bridge
over the Plattekill between the towns of Sau-
gerties and Ulster. The " ffootpath " to
Albany was where is now the Old Kings
Road. On June 19, 1703, an act was passed
b}^ the colonial legislature *' for the laying out,
regulating, clearing and preserving public
Common Highways throughout this Colony."
This act directed that a road be laid out from
the New Jersey line to Albany, and the com-
missioners from Ulster county were John
Cock, Jacob Aertsen and Abraham Hasbrouck.
This road passed through Goshen, Shawan-
gunk. New Paltz and Rosendale, to Kingston;
thence north, through Fox Hall and Pine
Bush to the fording place across the Esopus
creek, at the mouth of the Sawkill ; thence on
CHURCHLAND AND PLATTEKILL. 91
the west side of the Esopus creek northerly to
Albany. As Queen Anne was reigning it was
named ''The Queen's Highway," and so
appears in old deeds. But as no female sov-
ereign sat on the British throne again while
New York was a colony the name of "The
Old King's Road " soon displaced the other.
In our former walks we have endeavored to
locate the houses and families and tell who
was residing in them as we passed by. On
this trip we will merely speak of the grants of
land we pass and of some of the features. As
we leave the inn of Johannes Myer the tract
on the west side of the road is the " Church-
land " and it will give the name to the locality.
It is a grant of two hundred acres originally
made March i, 1710, to the Kingston Dutch
Church and greatly enlarged by grants of
adjoining lands, and land in the vicinity made
subsequently. The original grant begins on
the small stream called in the grant ''The
Muddah Kill" and runs to the mountains
(Mt. Marion) and thence north along the
mountains to the Meals and Hayes patent ;
then along their south bounds to and across
the "Queen's Highway." The northwest part
of the grant will be the farm of the heirs of
Isaac Snyder. In this grant the small stream
running past what will be the house of Peter
B. Post is called "Cartrit's Kill."
92 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
South of the churchland is the grant of
Frederick Markle. It was originally of eighty-
four acres, with later additions. The first
grant bore date March i, 171 5. This will be
the farm of C. S. Lowther. The bounds are
given thus: Northwest by the Styll Berg
(Mt. Marion) and southwest, southeast and
northeast by Kingston Commons. Thus no
adjacent lands had been granted at that time.
Then crossing to the east side of the Old
Kings Road we find the farm of Christian
Myer, one of the most prominent of the Pala-
tines who landed at West Camp, October 4,
1710. His deed was given 21 February, 1724.
It will be the Cantine farm of 1900. In the
deed is described the cave of the Muddah Kill
which is so well known to residents of Sau-
Next south is the farm of Peter Winne. This
will pass into the possession of David Polhe-
mus, Benjamin Myer and towards the close of
the next century to Mynderse Wynkoop. It
will be the birthplace of the late Dr. Jesse
Myer, of Kingston, and of the father of the
late John G. Myers, of this village.
Some distance south of the Markle land is
the place of Cornelius Langendyke, which will
remain in the Longendyke family for more
than one hundred years when it will be pur-
chased by Peter Snyder. The lands reached
CHURCHLAND AND PLATTEKILL. 93
down to the Plattekill, above the Gilsinger
falls. Part of this land was known in 1725 as
"Robert Chism's plantation." Adjoining the
Longendyke farm Frederick Scram on March
28, 1729, purchased 42 acres along the land of
Tunis Osterhoudt which included part of the
Traphagen tract now to be mentioned. But
all the flats north and east to the Winne land
at the Muddah Kill are still commons. Only
where a century later Francis Myer and Alex-
ander Dowling will live are two small houses.
We are now come to the Traphagen tract
which passes the doors of where Myer and
Dowling will live. On the fifth day of Decem-
ber 1688, there was granted to Johannes, Hen-
drick and William Traphagen a long, narrow
strip of land containing two hundred and fifty
acres, the north bounds of which were near the
West Shore crossing of 1900 south of Scher-
merhorn's, and the south bounds reached
almost to where in coming years will be the
Plattekill church. It did not reach farther
east than where in after years will be the Mt.
Marion station of the West Shore railroad, nor
as far west as the hotel west of that station.
At its southeast corner it almost touches a
triangular grant of 133 acres to Paulus Paulison,
which runs diagonally to where will be, in 1900,
the covered bridge over the Plattekill into the
town of Ulster. Its base is almost on the line
94 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
of the West Shore south from the railroad sta-
tion. This grant was given in 1688, but subse-
quent to the Brink grant mentioned below, and
occasioned trouble as the bounds of the Pauli-
son grant infringed upon the preceding one to
Brink. On the west side of the Old Kings
Road are the eighty-six acres, and the subse-
quent forty additional ones granted to Peter
Winne. Here in 1900 will be the Ira Snyder
farm. This was first conveyed December 15,
1692. It will remain with the descendants of
Peter Winne until almost 1900. Its west bound
is the Plattekill, its south bound the Brink
tract and its east bound the Old Kings Road.
On the west side of the Plattekill and across
from the Winne grant are fifty-one acres sold
to Lucas DeWitt February 24, 1728.
We have reached the last grant in the town
and one of the very first in point of time. It
was purchased by Cornelius Lambertsen Brink
February 6, 1688, from the trustees of the
Kingston Commons. Huybert Lambertsen
Brink emigrated from Wageningen, Holland,
and arrived in New York December, 1659, on
the ship Faith. The above son Cornelius was
born on the voyage. The father settled in
Kingston and then became one of the original
patentees of Hurley and moved there. In
1663, at the Indian massacre of Kingston, his
wife and three children, including Cornelius,
CHURCHLAND AND PLATTEKILL. 95
were captured by the Indians and carried to
the Shawangunk mountains where they were
held captives three months. At last they
were rescued and restored to their family.
When Cornelius was twenty-six years of age
he married Maretje Meynderse and three
years later bought the tract spoken of on
which we stand. It follows the Plattekill from
this covered bridge to the Esopus and then
down below the coming West Shore bridge
and the falls. He built this old stone house
and it will be the residence of a descendant,
Reuben Brink, two hundred years after this,
when it will pass into the possession of
Charles Brink, another descendant, who previ-
ously owned another part of the same grant.
Another part will be long in the possession of
Peter H. Brink, of the same family, and then
be owned by the Finger estate. Here is the
covered wooden bridge over the Plattekill and
the line of the town of Ulster. It is the limit
of our walk.
SAXTON AND ASBURY BEFORE THE
Following the road to "the blue mountains
by way of the cedar clipje " we will attempt to
locate the families settled there before the
Revolution. This is rendered more difficult
than in other parts of the the town as the
records of early deeds and grants in the office
of the county clerk give but little assistance.
But it can be done approximately.
As we pass up the road through the future
Quarryville all is the silence of a dense forest
in which is the budding of spring, and the
early song of countless birds is heard alone.
As we reach the plain at the foot of the Cats-
kills we find spreading farms around. The
Dutch settlers had a native scent for fertile
lands and soon learned what was to be had at
the foot of the mountains.
Somewhere in the vicinity of the iron bridge
of 1900, on the road from Saugerties to Wood-
stock, Hendrick Wolven, John Wolven and
Jacob Brink are living, and northeast from
them Tunis Shoe. We cannot locate them ex-
THE CEDAR CUPJE.
EARLY SAXTON AND ASBURY. 97
actly and will not pass so far south. We have
reached the farm where, towards the close of
the next century, Milton Crapser will live and
die. Here is living Capt. Jeremiah Snyder, of
the First Ulster Regiment, and his son Elias.
They are very ardent patriots, and very efficient
in the cause, and have incurred the enmity of
their Tory neighbors, of whom there are a
number here along these mountains and near
the county line. In May, 1780, incited by
these disloyal neighbors, a band of Indians will
carry the captain and his son to Niagara and
Canada as captives. Just north of Snyder's,
near the residence in 1900 of John S. Over-
baugh, is living Lawrence Winne, and across
the Plattekill, a half mile east, resides Matthias
Markle. North of Winne's about half a mile
is the house of Evert DeWitt, and a little
farther north is living Aaron Winne with Fred-
erick Rowe, Jr., as a near neighbor. This
Rowe, a Tory, will be met by Capt. Snyder
while a captive on his way to Canada, frater-
nizing with his Indian and Tory friends.
We are now come to where in the next cen-
tury will be the residence of Col. Christopher
Fiero, and the birthplace of his son, J. Newton
Fiero. Near this spot resides Samuel W^ells,
who will be an ancestor of the wife of
Col. Fiero. And proceeding north over what
will be in coming years the Saxton flats we
98 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
pass in succession the houses of Luke DeWitt,
Johannes Rovve, William Burhans, Michael
Plank and John Burhans before reaching the
county line. Johannes Plank is living across
the fields near what, in 1900, will be the home
of William Winne. Of these John Burhans,
William Burhans, Johannes Rowe, Johannes
Plank, Jr., and Frederick Rowe, Jr , will be
ardent loyalists and for this reason hated in-
tensely by their patriotic neighbors.
Having reached the Albany county line
(soon to be Greene county), we will descend
by a road through the woods to what will be
Asbury. As we reach the lowlands under the
range of hills northeast of the future Quarry-
ville, we find Myndert Dederick living on what
will be afterwards the homestead of John Ded-
erick (late Chidester's) and farther east is the
dwelling of William Dederick ; while south,
near where in 1900 Gideon P. Ostrander will
live, is living Wilhelmus Rowe. Thence cross-
ing over to the Katsbaan church and passing
north we find Peter McGee dwelling near where
James E. Dederick is to live in the next cen-
tury, while farther south, along the Saw creek,
resides Johannes Shoub.
Let us walk on north. Crossing to the west
side of the Old Kings Road we find Hans Ury
Eligh on the Andries Eligh farm, to be owned
later by Nicholas Mower. Farther northeast
EARLY SAXTON AND ASBURY, 99
across the Kings Road are the lands of
Christian Dederick, with the house of John
Luke just south of Dederick's ; and at Asbury,
on the west side of the above road, reside
Zachariah Snyder and Evert Wynkoop. Far-
ther north and east of the road, at the county
line, is living Valentine Fiero. On his lands
is the " Steene Herte Fonteyne " (Stone
Heart Spring), or source of the Saw creek,
and thus the northeast corner both of Ulster
county up to 1767, and of the patent of the
Kingston Commons. Its location was the
occasion of dispute and legal strife during a
severe litigation, in 1738. The question arose,
** Where did Albany county begin?" In the
original description Albany county extended
south to the Sawyer's creek. Ulster extended
north to the Sawyer's creek. Now, what was
meant ? The mouth of Sawyer's creek is at
Saugerties village on the Hudson. The
source is the above spring west of the " Big
Vly." The trustees of Kingston Commons
contended that Albany county came to the
source of the creek and followed it to the
river. The assessors of the town compelled
the trustees to indemnify them, which was
annually done, and at last the strife was ended
by granting the contention of the trustees.
Afterwards the county line was continued in a
straight line to the river.
100 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Not only was the question of the boundary
involved, but it included that of the bounds of
the Kingston Commons. The trustees had
begun a number of ejectment suits in which
the question of title was raised. This had to
be determined by locating the county line as
this was the bound of the Commons. As told
in Schoonmaker's " History of Kingston " one
of the witnesses testified :
*' Margaret Snyder, the wife of Zachariah
Snyder, being duly sworn deposeth and saith,
that she is the daughter of Valentine (Felte)
Fiero, * * * that she was born and
brought up at her father's, and after being
married removed to near the * Steene Herte,'
and lived there until about twenty years ago.
When she was ten, twelve, or thirteen years of
age her father turned the cattle (as she
believes about the 25th April) in the woods
near the Steene Herte Fonteyne where one of
the cows was entangled in the morass. She
went to see, and found a cow, which she
called her own, just drawn out. * * *
** Her father having cut a switch, took her
to the north side of the Steene Herte rock,
and taking her by the hair, told her he would
give her something to remember, that that
side was Albany, showing her letters, and gave
her a smart whipping. After which he took
her to the south side of said rock and told her
EARLY SAXTON AND ASBURY. 101
that side was Esopus, and pointed at letters
on that side of the rock, and giving her a
second whipping told her to remenaber that
he had been flag bearer, and Peter York and
Nicholas Branden chain bearers on the survey,
and that was the line between Albany and
In the illustration the spring is given and
the overhanging rock, which from the spring
resembles, measureably, a heart rudely shaped
in stone. The spring is on the west side of
the " Big Vly," at the point where the Saw
creek is the outlet and thus was at that time
the northeast corner of Ulster county, and of
Suppose we retrace our steps and go to the
river along this creek, the county line. Before
we reach the vicinity of the Katsbaan church
we come into a great forest of immense white
oaks extending a mile each way over the flats
towards West Camp. These flats are very low
and swampy. The trees are of tremendous
girth, height and age. A very few will still
remain in 1900 at Katsbaan church, but the
spreading forest will be cleared by the grand-
father of the Cornelius Hoff, who will reside in
1900 on the Canoe Hill road.
Immediately east from the church, on the
east side of the Saw creek, and thus in Albany
county until 1767, is the patent of Dederick
102 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES,
Mauterstock which stretches to the east and
south for many hundreds of acres. Part of
this land will be in possession in 1900 of John
H. Mauterstock, a descendant. Farther south
are fifty acres granted to Peter Mowerse.
This is the land which will lie in 1900 where
the creek will turn east before it reaches the
Maiden turnpike and will be at that date the
land of Jeremiah Mower and Mrs. Ellinger.
The "Muddy Kill" of 1900 is called, as we
walk, " The kill from the fountain," which
fountain will still flow with a large stream in
1900, before the door of William Valk. In
the deed of Mowerse the hill east of what will,
in the next century, be the Hoff place, is
called " Armpachlo's bergh," or, in English,
" the hill of poor duds." This deed of Mow-
erse was given February 24, 1728. West of
the Mowerse land is a small piece of glebe of
the Katsbaan church which will belong to
Alfred W. Fraser in 1900.
Our course is still along the Saw creek south
and east. Here is the farm which will be
owned next century by Michael and then by
Luther Fiero. Now it is the possession of
Robert Beaver, who purchased it February 28,
1735. It is described as lying east of "Arm-
pachlo's bergh," and he has more land farther
south and east of the next, or Canoe Hill.
This word, spelled " Kanow Hill," first appears
EARLY SAXTON AND ASBURY. 103
in a deed given to Hiskia DuBois February 25,
Once more we have reached the patent to
Meals and Hayes which lies east of the trotting
course at Saugerties and stretches north beyond
the north end of the Washington avenue of
1900, and have thus reached the settlement at
Saugerties described in a former chapter.
MALDEN AND WEST CAMP BEFORE THE
The northeast portion of the town of Sau-
gerties, between the Saw creek and the Hudson
was a part of Albany county until 1767, as
heretofore stated. Greene county was formed
in 1800. This territory is what will afterwards
be Maiden and West Camp, with the adjacent
farm lands. Starting from the mouth of Saw-
yer's creek, and proceeding north we first pass
over the fields of the Brink farm until we reach
what will in 1900 be the lands of John G.
Myers. We have now reached the Major Dan
Wolven grant, or Gottfried De Wolfen tract,
as it is sometimes called. Almost the whole
of this corner of the town was originally cov-
ered by patents or.grants. The first was this of
Wolven. On the north, adjoining, was that of
Myndert Schutt. Bordering on the Schutt
grant on the north was the long grant to
Fullerton which reached from the Schutt tract
to the county line at Wanton Island. The
" Big Vly " was covered by one of the Meals
and Hayes grants; Dederick Mauterstock had
MALDEN AND WEST CAMP. 105
a large triangular patent west of Fullerton,
while reaching t-o the north end of the Wash-
ington avenue of 1900, from the north line of
the corporation of Saugerties village was
another large patent of Meals and Hayes.
But we will stop a moment at the stone
house of Major Wolven and speak of what is
to happen in October, 1777. Burgoyne will be
surrounded at Saratoga by the patriot forces
and must surrender, if not relieved. The
farmers from this vicinity will be in the Ameri-
can army there. Sir Henry Clinton will send
Gen. Vaughan up the river from New York on
a marauding expedition to lay waste the coun-
try from which every available soldier will be
either with Gen. Gates at Saratoga, or with
Governor Clinton defending the Highlands of
the Hudson. From where we stand we can
see the smoke ascend when Vaughan burns
Kingston, and his marauding vessels will come
as far as here. On the opposite side of the
Hudson the buildings of Gen. Petrus Ten-
Broeck, the house, barn and out houses of
Robert G. Livingston, and a house and mill of
Chancellor Livingston will be burned the day
after Kingston is destroyed. The next day
another house of the chancellor will be burned,
one of John Livingston, and three others be-
longing to neighbors. Then a house on the
east side belonging to Judge Smith will be con-
106 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
sumed, when the British will cross to this
side of the river. They will find here a sloop,
or brig, at anchor and one on the stocks and
burn them. They will land at this house of
Major Wolven and set it on fire, but the fire
will go out and the charred spot will be visible
during the next century, A detachment will
start for the Brink place, but before it reaches
it a signal gun from Vaughan's ship will recall
it as the news has reached Vaughan of Bur-
goyne's surrender and the vessels will come
about and immediately proceed to New York.
But, meanwhile, the wife of John Brink, whose
husband is with the army at Saratoga, flees
with her child and carries him all the way to
Woodstock for safety.
This tract of Major Wolven reaches all the
way along the river- to a point just north of
where next century will stand the store of the
Ishams in the village of Maiden, and to the
bounds of the Myndert Schutt tract. On
May 9, 1808, two hundred acres of it will be
sold to Asa Bigelow and Samuel Isham for
$6,000. At this time Bigelow will have a gen-
eral store in Saugerties on the site of the
future Russell Block which he will own. In
this store will be the first post office of the
village and Bigelow be the first postmaster.
Before this day there will be a tri-weekly mail
from New York to Albany on the west side of
MALDEN AND WEST CAMP. 107
the Hudson by the Old Kings Road, returning
on alternate days, and letters and mail be left
at the store of Cornelius Persen in Katsbaan.
It is a long cry and distinct advance which
before the century closes will see frequent
daily mails in the village, and daily rural free
delivery all over the town.
Soon after the purchase of the Wolven tract
Bigelow and Isham will begin to build a frame
store on the street, in Maiden, leading to what
will be afterwards the Isham dock. In 1814,
they will build the brick store, afterwards to
be known as the Isham store. This will be
near the north end of the Wolven tract. In
1813, Bigelow will purchase of John Van
Steenberg a part of the Schutt grant and on
it in 1818, he will build a stone building still
to be used in 1900 as the Blue Stone Co.
office, having previously withdrawn from the
partnership with Isham. Here is to grow up
the village of Bristol, which will be called
Maiden, later, so as to secure a post office.
From this place a turnpike will be built in
1826 to Palenville, and here will be established
one of the most successful industries in this
state in buying, selling and manufacturing
blue stone. On November 6, 181 5, Bigelow
and Isham will sell the south end of the
Wolven tract to William Myer, from whose
heirs it will pass December, i860, through
108 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Russell N. Isaacs to Francis Pidgeon, and
from him to John G. Myers.
Adjoining the Wolven grant on the north is
that of Myndeit Schutt. It reaches west to
the Sawyer's creek and north to the FuUerton
patent. The dwelling of Myndert Schutt was
built about 1712 and will be standing down
through the next century. Myndert Schutt
married Sarah Persen, of the family at Sau-
gerties who became the owners of the Meals
and Hayes patent at the mouth of the Esopus
creek, and their daughter Maria Schutt mar-
ried Abraham Post, from whom the Post fam-
ily, who will be so prominent in the early
history of this village, is descended. Most of
the Schutt grant passed into the possession of
Abraham Post. Then Thomas VanSteenberg
purchased 183 acres in 1757, so that at the
time of our walk the tract is comparatively
From the Schutt grant north to the county
line of 1900 is the P^ullerton patent. It reach-
ed almost as far west as the patent of Meals
and Hayes, which covered the " Big N\yr and
contained about eight hundred acres. When
the Palatines were brought over from England
in 17 10 by Governor Robert Hunter and
settled at East Camp and West Camp in
October of that year, Gov, Hunter was com-
pelled to purchase lands for them. On the
MALDEN AND WEST CAMP. 109
east side of the river he purchased 6,000 acres
of Livingston, but on the west side he could
not find sufficient land available and coveted
with pines from which naval stores of tar,
pitch, resin and turpentine could be made.
After considerable negotiation he succeeded
in purchasing this patent from its possessor,
Thomas Fullerton, who was an officer in the
Royal Custom's Service in Scotland. This
tract had been granted by Governor Thomas
Dongan February 28, 1687, to Robert Fuller-
ton and lay southwest from Wanton island.
On this Fullerton tract the Palatines were dis-
embarked October 4, 1710, and gathered in-
to three villages convenient to the pines call-
ed Elizabethtown, Newtown and Georgetown.
These villages were only a mile apart, but as
they were merely of log huts for those who
were cutting pines for tar, etc., they perished
when the enterprise was abandoned and the
colonists scattered to become possessors of
farms of their own. This was not as easy
upon this Fullerton patent as it was a mile
farther west upon the lands of Kingston Com-
mons and most of the enterprising among the
Palatines passed over and soon acquired farms
from the trustees and mingled with and inter-
married among the Dutch.
The name of Fullerton will long survive.
There is in existence a map of General Bur-
110 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
goyne on which were located the places on the
west side of the Hudson, where he meant to
encamp his army on his march to New York
after capturing Albany, provided he defeated
our army. One of these encampments was to
be at •* Katsbaan near Fullerton." But
''The best laid schemes of mice and men
Gang aft agley,"
Burgoyne came to Albany, but tradition
says he rode a paroled prisoner in an ambu-
lance wagon driven by " Oom Hans Myer,"
who afterwards kept the inn in this town,
where, in 1900, his descendant. Wells Myer,
will live, as told in a former chapter, and when
this wagon was driven through Katsbaan on
its way home Burgoyne was on his way under
parole to England. It might be in place to
state that a part of the box of this wagon is
preserved in the Senate House in Kingston.
GLASCO AND FLATBUSH BEFORE THE
We have now looked into the condition of
the whole of the town which was settled
before the Revolutionary war, except the
peninsula formed by the Hudson river on the
east and the Esopus creek on the north and
west. This region is Glasco, Flatbush and
When Kingston Commons was originally
laid out and mapped the woodland, mountain-
ous and wild lands were divided into what was
there denominated classes. The third, fourth,
fifth and six classes covered the wild lands
from the south bounds of the town to Albany
county line covering the hills, some of the
peaks of which were afterwards called Mt.
Marion, Mt. Airy, etc. The seventh class lay
on the east side of the Esopus creek and
began at the mouth of that creek on the south
side, and ran up the creek to Glenerie falls,
(upper falls) ; then easterly to where the
settled lands in Flatbush appeared, and thence
north to a point northwest of where in the
1 1 2 HIS TOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
next century will be the hotel of Schoentag.
Thus the half of this part of the town was
wild land and much of it will so remain until
1900. In this portion a grant of one hundred
acres was made to Arent Tunis Pier. On this
grant will be the site of the Glenerie of the
future as it lies on the east and south side of
the Esopus. The grant was dated December
5, 1688. This fine water-privilege will not be
used to a great extent except the upper falls
upon which a fulling mill and afterwards a
paint mill will be erected. The middle falls
will never be harnessed and little will be done
with the lowest, or Glenerie falls proper, until
about 1835, when Colonel Edward Clark will
establish a white-lead plant there, which will
be developed by his successors, Battelle &
Renwick, into one of the best in the United
States. Around it will spring up one of the
most beautiful of small villages until the com-
pany will be absorbed into a great white lead
trust, when the works will be abandoned, and
the village be deserted and fall into ruin.
Our tramp will begin on the hill afterwards
to be called Ury, and later Barclay Heights.
This hill is reached from the village by cross-
ing the Esopus on a scow ferry above the
upper falls at Stony Point. Later another
such ferry will run from the foot of the future
MacCarthy street at Phillips' boat yard. The
GLASCO AND FLATBUSH. 113
wooden arch bridge of 1839, with its successor
the iron bridge of 1874, will abolish these fer-
ries. But during the summer of the latter
year, while the iron bridge is building, this
ferry will be re-established from Phillips' for a
number of weeks. As we journey south from
the top of the hill in these days of old we find
first the lands of Edward Wood. Part of this
property was purchased from the Meals and
Hayes grant, but on March 4, 1734, he bought
thirty-four acres of the trustees of Kingston
Commons. During the Revolution a tavern
will be kept here by Hendrick Schoonmaker
for some years. In 1825, the property will
pass into the possession of Henry Barclay, the
founder of the future village of Saugerties,
who will build his residence here and will live
to 185 1. In 1854 his dwelling will be torn
down to erect the residence of Joseph B.
Next south is the land conveyed by the
trustees to Tjerck Schoonmaker on March 4,
1734, the day of the conveyance to Wood.
On part of this Mynderse Schoonmaker will
live in 1900. West of this is the grant to
John Legg, or Laig. This was made Febru-
ary 24, 1740. This will be the Richard C.
Washburn place of 1900. Legg's descendants,
Samuel Legg and William Legg, will be mer-
chants at the upper landing soon after the
1 1 4 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
Revolution, and later a Samuel Legg, a
descendant, will make a moderate fortune
here as the manufacturer of a whip, known
up and down the valley of the Hudson as the
** Esopus whip," which drivers will consider
To Peter VanLeuven on March i, 1731, and
to Andries VanLeuven February 6, 1747, and
at subsequent times were granted large tracts
of land further south along the river and west
to the Esopus creek. These lands covered
the Spaulding place of 1900, and reached to
Glasco. They will remain for a century in the
family and among the descendants. The site
of the future village of Glasco is at present
ungranted land, but on September 15, 1786,
the trustees will convey a tract to Herman
Minklaer which will reach along the Hudson
beyond the south bounds of the coming
The river bank south was originally granted
by Governor Dongan to Jan Mattysson & Com-
pany, in a patent dated February 13, 1688. In
this grant were six hundred acres and it was
divided into two hundred acres to Capt. John
Spragge on the north; two hundred acres to
Mattys Mattysson in the middle and two hun-
dred acres to Claes Westphalen and Abel West-
phalen to the south and reaching to Kalkoene
Hoeck (Turkey Point). At this point it bound-
GLASCO AND FLATBUSH. 115
ed on the Haines grant which extended over
into the bounds of the town of Ulster. But
the patent lapsed in some unknown way and
the tract became part of Kingston Commons.
On January 22, 1722, the trustees deeded
thirty-five acres on the north end of this tract
to James Whitaker, whose lands are described
as being over against Magdalen Island and
bounded on the west by lands of John Laig.
He also had seventeen acres lying west of a
hill called " Rondebergh," while south of the
lands of John Laig, and southwest of those of
Whitaker, a tract of land had been granted to
Lawrence Swart. Much of this property will
remain in the possession of descendants of
Whitaker during the next century until in the
latter half it will be owned by Egbert Whitaker
of this village.
During the Revolution, on August 24, 1781,
the trustees granted to James Osterhoudt,
Petrus Burhans, Samuel Burhans, Isaac Bur-
hans and Abraham Burhans, all of Flatbush,
all those lands situate at Flatbush south and
east of a line running along the south bounds
of Jecobus (James) Whitaker from a point on
the road eastward to the Hudson. This grant
extended south to the Haines patent. A very
large proportion of this tract will be in 1900 in
possession of the different branches of "the
Osterhoudt family and their descendants.
116 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
We have now tramped over the whole of
the town which was settled previous to the
Revolution. While the writer does not claim
to have found the house of every settler, nor
even to have located every original patent,
grant, or conveyance of land he feels he has
done so with as many of them as can be de-
termined at this late day, more than one hun-
dred and twenty-five years from the beginning
of that war, and at least some two hundred and
twenty-five years from the original settlement
of the town.
He has found a number of tracts, lots and
farms which he is unable to locate after long-
continued search among old deeds, etc., which
are, at least, one hundred and seventy-five years
old. As a specimen he will mention sixty
acres conveyed to Christian Fiero. He was
one of the elders when the Katsbaan church
was built in 1732. From him, probably, all
those of that name in this town are descended.
On June 14, 1728, the trustees of Kingston
Commons granted him a parcel of land •* at the
southwest end of a place called Tryn Claesen
Vlackten " (the flats of Catherine, wife of
Nicholas), containing sixty acres. February
28, 1729, the trustees granted Johannes Ever-
hard sixty acres adjoining, and on the same
day sixty acres more to Daniel Miller adjacent
to the land of Everhard, with the further de-
GL A SCO AND FLA TB USH. 1 1 7
scription that it lay at the foot of a high hill.
Here are one hundred and eighty acres of land.
Where did it lie? There is no record of a
subsequent purchaser. It was "flats." And
it is noticeable that no upland was taken up
until all the level land was. No one coming
from low and level Holland secured anything
else as long as level lands could be obtained.
There seems to be no place from the Plattekill
to the Greene county line where one hundred
and eighty acres could be crowded in which he
has not covered.
In 1803 ^r^d 1804 the trustees finally divided
the commons, or corporate lands, among the
inhabitants entitled thereto, and on December
13, 1816, assigned the funds in their possession
to the supervisors and the overseers of the poor
of the towns of Esopus, Saugerties and Kings-
ton and then, after a corporate existence of
one hundred and thirty years finally and per-
THE LEGION OF HONOR.
Preceding chapters have brought the story
of the town of Saugerties down to the begin-
ning of the Revolutionary war. There were
less than seven hundred and fifty inhabitants
within the borders of the town in 1775, and
of these not one hundred within the bounds of
this village. Neither Maiden nor Glasco ex-
isted. Not a soul lived where are now pop-
ulous quarry villages. Katsbaan and West
Camp had probably as many residents as they
have to-day. And a few farmers were settled
in Plattekill, Flatbush and Saxton.
Despite the fact that schools had begun to
teach the English language it was rarely
spoken. Public documents must needs be
written in English. Nevertheless many made
their wills in Dutch. Aside from this all busi-
ness was in Dutch, as was all conversation.
Among the Palatine settlers and their descend-
ants were many who still spoke German, espe-
cially among those Lutheran families who had
not intermingled with the Dutch. And the
writer remembers Palatine German speech
THE LEGION OF HONOR. 119
among such families as late as the civil war of
1 861-5. The services in the West Camp
church were in German for many years, and
when Rev. George W. Mancius came to Kats-
baan in 1730, he preached at first in German.
When he went to serve the church in Kingston
in 1732, as colleague of Rev. Petrus Vas, the
consistory of that church gave him two years
to perfect himself in Dutch speech. He was a
learned man of remarkable linguistic acquire-
ments, being able to speak nine different lan-
guages. But German at the Katsbaan church
was very soon superseded by Dutch, and in the
latter language all the services were held until
the coming of Rev. James David Demarest
as pastor in 1808. When Rev. Dr. Henry
Ostrander was settled in 1812, he continued
English services with stated ones in Dutch for
many who could hardly understand the Eng-
lish, or who were able to worship with less
restraint in their mother tongue. But time
changed it all. Down to the last generation
there were many families in which Dutch was
the language of the household, and even as
late as 1900 the writer knew a number of homes
in the town in which all family affairs were still
discussed in the old tongue and around the
table both parents and children used the speech
brought from Holland almost three hundred
years ago. But the next generation will know
1 20 HIS TORY OF SA UGER TIES.
it not. Dutch words and expression survive
and will continue with Dutch force of charac-
ter, but the tongue has become a memory along
Among those who were residing in 1775
within what is now the town of Saugerties
were but two or three English families. All
the others were of Dutch, Palatine, or Hugue-
not origin. Hence there was no prepossession
in favor of England here. On the whole her
government had been just and liberal until the
advent to power of Lord North and his ultra
Tory ministry. A conflict had been going on
in the Reformed church for years which is
known as the Coetus and Conferentie strife, and
which, in 1772, was decided in favor of the
former. The Conferentie party wished the
church to remain under control of the Chu'-ch
of Holland. The former, or Ccetus party,
wished it to be American and free. This long
strife had educated the Dutchmen in the prin-
ciples of Americanism, although the conserva-
tive Dutch of this town were largely Confer-
entie. But Rev. Lambertus DeRonde, the
pastor of the Katsbaan church during the Rev-
olution, preached the sermon at the Synod
which had united the factions and henceforth
the Reformed Church was to be free from
European control. This was in 1772, and
when Lexington was fought, April 19, 1775 >
THE LEGION OF HONOR. 121
three years of complete Americanism had had
its influence upon the men of Saugerties.
There was no village of size in the town. But
the tavern of Abraham Post in Saugerties and
the store of Cornelius Persen in Katsbaan had
known many discussions of the principles at
stake and the disputants were awake to the
fact that Americans could and must resist
tyranny, and were able to regulate their own
affairs, while many were holding that they
could govern themselves.
The high handed measures of the British
Crown so thoroughly awakened the patriots of
Ulster county that a meeting was held in
Hurley on the sixth of January, 1775, to
arouse the people to resist the demands of
tyranny, and its ^nroachments. This was fol-
lowed by a meeting of the patriots of the
town of Kingston which then included the
town of Saugerties. A Committee of Obser-
vation was appointed consisting of seven
members, of which three were from Sau-
gerties, viz: Johannes Persen, Christian Fiero
and Egbert Schoonmaker. One of the acts of
this committee was to see that merchants did
not ''sell or vend any East India tea." On
April 19, 1775, occurred the battle of Lexing-
ton. As fast as messengers could ride the
news spread over the land. On April 28, a
call was issued for another Provincial Congress
122 HISTORY OF SAUCER TIES.
to meet in New York May 22. Ulster county
was represented by seven deputies. On May
29, this congress resolved that *' a general
association of freeholders and inhabitants be
formed, and that the articles thereof be pre-
sented for signature to every inhabitant before
July 15, 1775, and on that date those who
refused, or neglected to sign them be report-
ed." Ulster county promptly fell in line.
Articles of Association for the patriots of the
county were immediately drawn by which the
signers bound themselves " to mutual defense
of rights and liberties ; to prosecute measures
necessary to safety ; to prevent anarchy and
confusion ; to preserve peace and good order
and the safety of individuals and private prop-
erty until a reconciliation between England
and America, on constitutional principles, can
The articles were circulated at once. In the
whole town of Kingston there were five hun-
dred and sixty-five signatures and only thirty-
three refusals. The paper was duly brought
to Saugerties and circulated. Who the mess-
engers were is not definitely known at this late
day. They were probably the three members
of the General Committee, Johannes Persen
and Egbert Schoonmaker of the present vil-
lage of Saugerties and Christian Fiero, of
Katsbaan. As the names of the signers in
THE LEGION OF HONOR. 123
Saugerties are included among those residing
elsewhere in the town of Kingston the follow-
ing list may be only approximately correct.
But it can not vary greatly. They were
Barent Burhans, Juren Bear, Adam Bear,
Johannes Backer, Hendrick Backer, Petrus
Backer, John Brink, John Brink, Jr., Cornelius
C. Brink, Petrus Brink, Jacob Conyers, George
Carle. Sampson Davis, Hezekiah DuBois,
Hezekiah DuBois, Jr., Jacobus DuBois, Lucas
DeWitt, Jurrie W. Dederick, Jacobus Ded-
erick, William Dederick, Jr., Matthew Ded-
erick, Johannes Dederick, Myndert Dederick,
Frederick Eygenaar, Wilhelmus Emerick,
Johannes Emerick. Christian Fiero, Christian
Fiero, Jr., Stephanus Fiero, Hendrick Fiero,
Hendrick P. Freligh, Peter Freligh, Samuel
Freligh, John Freligh, Philip Felton, Johan-
nes Felton, Jacob France, Michael Hoff,
Martynus Hommel, Jerrie Hommel, Jr., Her-
manns Hommel, Peter Hommel, Luke Kier-
stede, Christoffe Kierstede, Cornelius Langen-
dyke, Luijker Langendyke, Dederick Mauter-
stock, Adam Mauterstock, Jacob Mauterstock,
William Mauterstock, Johannes Mauterstock,
Benjamin Myer, Benjamin Myer, Jr., Hen-
dricus Myer, Christian Myer, William Myer,
Petrus Myer, Johannes Myer. Jr., Petrus
Myer, Jr„ Petrus Low Myer, Tobias Myer,
Teunis Myer, Stephanus Myer, Jacob Mower,
1 24 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
Johannes Mower, Jr., Petrus Mower, Leonard
Mower, Nicholas Mower, John Monk, Har-
mon Minkelaer, Myndert Mynderse, Arie
Newkirk, Jan L. Osterhoudt, Abraham Oster-
houdt, Cornelius Persen, Johannes Persen,
Jacobus Persen, Abraham Post, Jecobus Post,
Martynus Post, Jan Post, Isaac Post, Hendrick
Post, Jurrie W. Rightmyer, Johannes Right-
myer, Coenradt Rechtmyer, Hermanus Recht-
myer, Lodewick Russell, Hendrick Snyder,
Benjamin Snyder, Abraham Snyder, Isaac
Snyder, Jeremiah Snyder, Martynus Snyder,
Egbert Schoonmaker, Samuel Schoonmaker,
Hezekiah DuBois Schoonmaker, Hendrick
Schoonmaker, Edward Schoonmaker, Tjerck
Schoonmaker, Jr., Solomon Schutt, Adam
Short, Petrus Sax, Phillipus Viele, John Val-
kenburgh, Christian Valkenburgh, Johannes
Valck, Jr., Wilhelm Valck, Aaronhout Valck,
Peter Whitaker, Jacobus Whitaker, William
Whitaker, Barent Whitaker, Johannes Wol-
ven, Johannes Wolven, Jr., Godfrey Wolven,
Hendrick Wolven, Jeremiah Wolven, John
Wolven, Laurence Winne, Peter A. Winne,
Arent Winne, Benjamin Winne, John Wells,
Hendricus Wells, Evert Wynkoop, Hezekiah
Wynkoop, Tobias Wynkoop, Cornelius E.
Wynkoop, Jurian Young, John Young and
Jeremiah Young — one hundred and thirty-four
in all. The only persons in this town who
THE LEGION OF HONOR. 125
refused to sign were Richard Davenport,
William Eligh, William Fiero, Abraham Hom-
mel, Peter Luecks, Josias Minklaer, Johannes
Plank, Johannes Plank, Jr., Johannes Row,
Frederick Row, Jr., Johannes Row, Jr., Johan-
nes Trumpbour, and Nicholas Trumpbour.
Thus there were but thirteen Tories in its
The roll of signers of the Articles of Asso-
ciation has always been esteemed a Roll of
Honor, and justly so. Almost every man on
this roll entered the military service during
the long war unless physically disqualified, or
too old and feeble. And many who were old
shouldered the musket as the rosters frequent-
ly show that fathers and sons served in the
same regiment. And what is true of the mill-
tary service is much more true of the above
Articles. In many instances every man in the
family signed and grandsire, son and grandson
pledged themselves to a mutual defense of
their liberty not only, but to individual peace
and safety. And through seven long and dis-
couraging years they nobly kept the faith.
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
So far in the progress of events there was no
purpose of independence. But events were
moving apace. The Continental Congress as-
sembled in Philadelphia concluded it would be
wise to assume the aggressive. The invasion
of Canada was determined on, and the Provin-
cial Congress began to make provision for this.
Among the regiments called was one from
Ulster county, of which James Clinton was
made colonel. It was placed in a brigade
under command of Gen. Montgomery and
reached Quebec where the latter fell, and the
In August, 1775, an act was passed reorgan-
izing the militia. In this re-organization Ulster
county was called upon for four regiments.
This town was included in the northern, or
First Ulster, and the command of the regiment
was given at first to Col. Johannes Harden-
bergh. The regiment had various vicissitudes,
and when it was finally organized it entered
the service under Col. Johannis Snyder, a na-
tive of this town, then resident of what is now
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. 127
Kingston. He was the son of George Snyder,
a Palatine who came to West Camp with the
colony of 1710. When this regiment was
officered, Oct. 25, 1775, the third company was
under the following officers: Capt. Matthew
Dederick ; First Lieut. Evert Wynkoop, Jr. ;
Second Lieut. Petrus Eygenaar and Ensign
Hendrick Myer. The fourth company was
officered as follows : Capt. John Lucas DeWitt ;
First Lieut. Petrus Osterhoudt ; Second Lieut.
Tobias Myer and Ensign Petrus Brink.
On May i, 1776, the regiment was reported
ready. It was under the command of Col.
Snyder. The company of Capt. DeWitt was
now numbered the second, and consisted of a
captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, eight non-
commissioned officers and fifty privates. This
company was raised in the south part of the
present town. The company of Capt. Ded-
erick, now number four, when the return was
made had one lieutenant, no ensign, eight non-
commissioned officers and forty-eight privates.
This company was raised in Katsbaan and West
Camp. The company of Capt. Jeremiah Sny-
der, which was raised in the western part of the
town did not organize as soon as the others.
So far the contest had been resistance to
tyrannical enactments in the vain hope of re-
conciliation with the mother country. But
Parliament had by an act declared the colonies
128 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
in rebellion, had raised troops for its suppres-
sion and hired mercenary troops in Germany
for subjugation. So the issue was joined.
On June 7, 1776, the die was cast. Congress
that day *' Resolved, that these United Col-
onies are, and of right ought to be, free and
independent states; that they are absolved
from all allegiance to the British Crown, and
that all connection between them and the State
of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally
dissolved," and appointed a committee to draft
a Declaration of Independence.
July 4, 1776, saw the immortal document
signed. The world knows the result. The
Provincial Congress of New York had been
elected in April of that year. It met in May,
1779, at White Plains. When the resolution of
Continental Congress of June 7, was laid before
it, it was decided that it was of too great mo-
ment to be acted upon without a reference to
the people. It was so referred and another
election ordered. This new body met at
White Plains July 9, 1776; the action of the
Continental Congress was laid before it, and
the same day the Congress at White Plains
'* Resolved, unanimously, that the reasons as-
signed by the Continental Congress for declar-
ing the United Colonies free and independent
States, are cogent and conclusive ; and while
we lament the cruel necessity, which has ren-
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. 129
dered that measure unavoidable, we approve
the same, and will at the risk of our lives and
fortunes, join with the other colonies in sup-
porting it." Messengers were sent through the
colony to publish the declaration and the reso-
lutions of approval, and the strife was on.
The writer has been permitted to make use
of a diary in the handwriting of Christopher
Tappen, of Kingston, now in possession of
Mrs. William Mould, of the village of Sau-
g€rties. Mr. Tappen was a brother-in-law of
Governor George Clinton, and was one of the
delegates to the above congress, at White
Plains. His diary begins with his journey
from Kingston to that village at the session
spoken of, on July 9, 1776, and is concluded on
the 25th of the following January. It gives
an inside history of the times and reveals the
petty envies and jealousies which then, as
now, mar human actions even when the
motives are the most patriotic and Christian.
Human nature is ever human nature. The
writer has condensed the diary, and added
explanations in parentheses.
Mr. Tappen writes: I set out on horseback
from Kingston on July 9 to go to the Provin-
cial Congress of New York, to be convened at
White Plains; crossed the Hudson and put up
at Poughkeepsie. I was there informed that
Congress had removed to Harlem. My asso-
130 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
ciates Colonel (Levi) Pawling, Colonel (Charles)
DeWitt, and Mr. (Matthew) Cantine, agreed
to cross again to the west side of the river, so
as to leave our horses in the English Neigh-
borhood. (This is in the vicinity and north-
west of Nyack.) On Friday, the I2th we
arrived at Burdett's Ferry, (the ferry between
Nyack and Tarrytown). Soon before we
arrived a firing of cannon being heard by us
we made all the haste possible to the ferry to
know the cause thereof. When we came
there two men-of-war, one schooner and two
tenders were discovered standing up the river.
• We applied to the ferrymen to put us over,
who were unwilling. This gave us an oppor-
tunity to see the firing of Mount Washington
on the shipping. We arrived in New York on
Saturday and were informed that Congress
was sitting at White Plains. Returned to
Burdett's on the Sabbath.
On Monday we crossed the ferry and
arrived at White Plains at 4 p. m., when we
went to Congress and delivered in our creden-
Tuesday, 16 July, 8 o'clock p. m. :— By a
motion of Mr. Robert Yates, Mr. Robert R.
Livingston, Mr. John Jay, Mr. Gilbert Living-
ston, Mr. Paulding and myself were appointed
a secret committee for the purpose of obstruct-
ing the channel, or annoying the enemy's
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, 131
ships in their navigation of the Hudson. On
the next day set out on the business and
lodged at one Purdy's, near Croton's river.
At six in the morning of Thursday we went to
Peekskill where we waited for Messrs. Jay and
R. R. Livingston who arrived at 4 p. m. Just
then the ship Rose, commanded by Captain
Wallace, and her tender came up and anchor-
ed near the Donderberg. Soon after the
tender barge went to the west shore in order
to pilferage the inhabitants there, but being
disappointed by a couple of our men who lay
in ambush and fired on them they returned to
the tender, when the captain of the ship and
four or five of the barges went ashore, killed
five or six poor hogs, and set fire to the dwel-
ling of one Holstead, which consumed in a
Friday morning we went to Fort Montgom-
ery in order to consult with General Clinton,
Colonel Clinton and Captain Bedlow and
lodged there that night. On Saturday Gen-
eral Clinton informed us that he had been to
view a high point of land on the south side of
Poop Loop's Kill, which he was of the opinion
ought to be fortified, and insisted that we
should go with him to view the spot, which we
did, and advised him to fortify it ; then we
proceeded to Fort Constitution, from whence
Gilbert Livingston and I went to Poughkeepsie,
132 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
On Sabbath Day we met with Captain Law-
rence, and Tudor and Jacob VanZandt and
divided our business into several departments
and gave instructions for that purpose. The
next day I received from Gilbert Livingston
the sum of 223 pounds, 14 shillings and 8
pence to execute part of my instructions
and set forth for Kingston. On Tuesday I
employed several blacksmiths to make she-
vaux, etc. (A chevaux de-frise, or Friesland
horse, is a heavy boom of timber traversed
with large iron bars about six feet in length,
and sharpened to a point. This boom was
stretched across the Hudson at Polopel's
Island, but had no forts or earthworks for its
protection at either end. A heavy chain was
also welded, and was stretched across the
Hudson at West Point, the construction of
which by this committee will be told in the
next chapter. Forts Montgomery, Clinton
and Constitution, prevented its removal until
they were reduced in the autumn of the next
CONTINUATION OF THE TAPPEN JOURNAL.
The Tappen diary continues: Wednesday,
July 25th, 1776 — went to Sawgertjes ; pur-
chased a sloop of Benjamin Snyder, when Mr.
White came up with me and delivered me a
letter of Robert R. Livingston.
Thursday, 26th. — Purchased Low's sloop for
170 pounds; also pitch, tar and dry wood.
After dinner went to the landing (Rondout) to
order the materials on board of said sloop and
buy some cannons. Mr. White came over with
a letter from Mr. Yates on the subject that
Mr. Livingston wrote to me about the day
before, and applied to me for an order to im-
press teams, which I gave him. Also desired
me to provide him with twenty axe men the
next day to fell and hew timber at ten miles
up the river. I understood that the officers of
the First Regiment were convened at the sign
of The Indian King in order to agree upon a
set of officers for the regiment, to be raised
under the command of Colonel (Levi) Pawling.
Think as the militia were to train in a few
days, that if I was to send out any men um-
1 34 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
brage would be taken. I went over to where
the officers were assembled. Requested of the
landlord to call out Col. (Johannis) Snyder, to
whom I applied for twenty men of his militia;
showed him my papers, of which he demanded
a copy, an extract of which I made with my
request at the foot thereof and carried into the
room where he and a number of other gentle-
men were sitting, delivered it to the colonel^
who laid it down on the table. Major (Adrian)
Wynkoop took it up and read it, when Major
(Philip) Hooghteling took it up to read, when
I withdrew from the room in order to wait for
an answer, and went about some other busi-
ness in the meantime. In about an hour there-
after waited upon the colonel, found the door
open, seeing him engaged upon some other
business with other people stepped back to the
stoop at the door and sat down. Addressed
myself to Major Hooghtelingby asking whether
they had fixed their officers. He answered me
in a surly tone, ** What do I know? — the
Congress. Why have they not done it?" I
answered ** The Congress have done a part
and left the other for you to do." To which
he replied : " I do not know what you do
there. I could send my negro Jug there and
he would do as much as you all could." I
asked the occasion of that affront. He replied :
"You are a scoundrel." I told him "You talk
THE TAPPEN JOURNAL. 135
like a fool." Whereupon he gave me a back-
handed stroke in the face which in a manner
stunned me. However, I raised myself from
the seat. He was ready for the second blow
which I defended, took hold of him, and laid
him over the stoop, when another person at his
back gave him a lift, or push, so as to send me
to the opposite side, he on me. I tumbled
him from me, but he, taking me in the hair
twisted my neck so as to have an advantage to
strike me in the face. I defended every stroke
until some persons took hold of the arms. I
had to defend them when he beat me to such
a degree that I was blind for twenty hours in
one eye and but for a dim glimmer out of the
other, which brought on a slow, weak fever so
as to disable me for any business for eight
days. On Friday, the next day, sent an ex-
press to Sawgertjes to know how the works
were going on, and received a letter from Mr.
White. On Saturday Egbert DuMond was
kind enough to go to the landing to take
account of the things sent on board of Low's
On Sunday I sent an express for Mr. Liv-
ingston to Poughkeepsie, and Monday evening
Messrs. Livingston and Paulding came to my
house where we consulted upon the business
in my department and issued orders for this
1 36 HISTORY OF SA UGER TIES.
By Wednesday, July 31st, my face and eyes
were much better, but having great pains in
my breast and stomach I was not able to go
out. On Saturday, i^ugust 3rd, I went to the
landing (Rondout) to buy canoes. Various
minor matters occupied me until Friday, the
9th, when I attended Capt. Hazewood at the
fire vessels and superintended the works. At
nine in the evening set out for Fort Montgom-
ery to examine the state of the provisions of
which great complaints are made, and to bring
up one of the fire vessels from thence. We
arrived there at eight in the morning of Satur-
day and found Gen. Clinton's brigade on the
march to a post on the north side of Kings
Bridge. Went to examine new forts and or-
dered the fire ship off. We set out on Sunday
from Fort Montgomery to Fort Clinton where
we dined. After dinner we went to Pough-
keepsie which we reached at ten.
On Monday, August 12th, went to the ship-
yard and ordered sundry things and after din-
ner formed a committee at Mr. Poole's. By
order of this committee we went next day to
John Schenck's and marked four hogsheads of
West India rum belonging to one Franklin, as
Mr. Schenck says, and consigned to one Mab-
bett, and that he has no particular orders to
sell it. As Messrs. Jay and Yates had import-
ant business at home they requested leave of
THE TAPPEN JOURNAL. 137
absence. They departed leaving instructions
to Mr. Livingston and me how to proceed in
the meantime. I obtained leave on Saturday
to go home and took with me money to pay
accounts. On Monday I hired men to go to
Poughkeepsie to bring three canoes there.
Tuesday I went to Poughkeepsie and settled
accounts and Wednesday wrote a letter to Mr.
Yates concerning cannon. Went down to
Davis' where the carpenters are at work upon
logs for the chain. Next day I wrote a letter
to the chairman of Kingston for ten or twelve
carpenters to work upon the locks. They ar-
rived to-day. I purchased a canoe of Capt.
Hughes. On Friday put carpenters to work,
and blacksmiths also. In the afternoon took
some iron in a sloop to have it forged in Kings-
ton. Mr. Livingston and I conveyed it there
Saturday. I engaged Abram VanKeuren to
work on the iron in making the chain. I re-
turned to Poughkeepsie on Sunday and the
next day inspected the fire vessels. Returned
to Kingston on Saturday and back to Pough-
keepsie on Monday, September ist. As none
of the committee came back to Poughkeepsie
by Tuesday I resolved to go to the Congress
in order to inform them of the state of our
business. I reached Fishkill, where Congress
was sitting, by ten on Wednesday. Next day
I was taken sick with a fever. Although very
138 HISTORY OF SAUCER TIES.
sick on Friday Mr. (Charles) DeWitt informed
me that no session of Congress could be held
unless I attended. This I did. I remained
very sick until the next Wednesday, when feel-
ing somewhat better I concluded to go to Mr.
Clinton's (Gov. George Clinton's). I hired
Capt. Jackson's sloop to bring me up. The
next day I arrived home. I did not return to
Congress until Monday, December 9th, when I
set out for Fishkill, where it was sitting, in
company with Col. DeWitt. (The remain-
ing entries in the diary are unimportant and
cease altogether on Saturday, January 25th,
The above journal establishes the fact that
the heavy impeding chain built to prevent the
ascent of the Hudson by the British was made
in Kingston. Links of this chain are still to be
seen at West Point, and at Newburgh. The
boom was made by carpenters at Poughkeepsie
and the fire ships bought at Saugerties and
And it shows the unfortunate jealousy exist-
ing all through the war between Congress and
the army. This hampered the movements of
Washington from year to year and caused
constant insubordination. Cliques and cabals
which were governed by political reasons, or
envious ones, constantly interfered with mili-
tary plans, changing leaders and depriving
THE TAPPEN JOURNAL. 139
armies of necessary men and equipment for
political reasons, if not for worse.
Major Philip Hooghteling served as such in
the First Ulster Regiment, which was raised in
Kingston and Saugerties. The Third Ulster,
spoken of as Col. Pawling's, was raised in the
valleys of the Rondout and the Wallkill. The
journal shows how an effort was made to secure
enlistments from the above town also. It is
certainly a tribute to the patriotism of Kings-
ton and Saugerties that such a call was made
by the Third, as the Fourth Ulster was largely
a Saugerties and Kingston regiment. We can
understand the opposition of the First to the
application, if we cannot excuse it.
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1 776.
In the chapter which preceded the last the
writer narrated the story of the organization
of the militia of the town, and especially of
the First Ulster Regiment, in which the great
majority of Saugerties men served. As there
stated, it was reported to be ready on May i,
1776, and under the command of Colonel
Johannis Snyder, of Kingston, a native of
Saugerties. The captains of the three Sau-
gerties companies were Matthew Dederick,
John Lucas DeWitt and Jeremiah Snyder.
On July 4th the colonies were declared to be
*• Free and Independent States." Five days
after, on July 9th, this action of Congress was
ratified by the State of New York, and, on the
sixteenth of the same month the New York
Convention resolved that one-fourth part of
the militia of the counties of Westchester,
Dutchess, Orange and Ulster be forthwith
drawn out for the defense of the liberties,
property, wives and children of the good
people of this State. Then a resolution was
passed urging those who remained at home to
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1776. 141
render all necessary assistance to the families
of those who enlisted, and another directing
that all the men raised in the counties of
Ulster and Orange be stationed in the High-
lands on the west side of the river, to guard
those defiles, the possession of which Briga-
dier-General George Clinton shall think most
conducive to the safety of the State. The
convention at the same time asked General
Washington to appoint an of^cer to take
command of all the levies on both sides of the
river. Washington, having no one to spare,
and having such confidence in Clinton that he
deemed him the most suitable, nominated him
to the command. This nomination the con-
vention approved, a levy of one-fourth of the
militia was made and Colonel Johannis Snyder
called his regiment together to fill the quota
We are not concerned here with the diffi-
culties met in filling this quota which arose
over the services of a troop of horse attached
to the regiment, etc., but must sketch the ser-
vice rendered so far as concerns Saugerties
Meanwhile the Fourth Ulster, under Col-
onel Johannes Hardenbergh, in which were
many from this town had gone to New York
to aid in the defense of that city by Washing-
ton. On August 9th the colonel complained
142 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
to the State Convention of the destitute con-
dition of the troops, and asked a supply say-
ing, that his men were even willing to have
the funds to purchase supplies deducted from
their pay. The convention immediately order-
ed the supplies furnished on those conditions.
This is worth noting to show the ardent
patriotism of those who fought to secure our
Through all the disastrous campaign of 1776
which ended in the loss of the city of New
York, Ulster county carried her full share.
And while so many of her sons were fighting
on Long Island one-quarter of those remaining
at home were drafted for service in the passes
of the Highlands. But arms were scarce for
their equipment and it was determined to arm
only those who were drawn for immediate ser-
vice, and equip the remainder with lances.
This exhibits the straits in which the patriots
Colonel Johannis Snyder proceeded to the
Highlands to command the levies reaching
there October 18, 1776. He found an order
issued eight days before to detach three hun-
dred men of his command, well armed, with
three days' provisions, to proceed to Peekskill
to continue in service three weeks. And on
the 13th the field officers of the First Regi-
ment had selected Major Adrian Wynkoop, of
THE CAMPAIGN 'OF 1776. 143
that regiment to take command of the detach-
On November 3d the Committee of Safety
ordered the militia of Orange and Ulster coun-
ties to hold themselves in readiness at a
moment's warning to oppose the invasion of
the British on the west side of the Hudson.
But the British made no attempt upon the
passage during the remainder of 1776 after the
capture of New York and confined their
operations to a campaign in New Jersey. The
coming of winter and the freezing over of the
Hudson released most of the militia to their
homes, and Colonel Snyder's regiment all
returned as its term of service expired.
To understand this it is well to look for a
moment at the constitution of the military
forces. There were three classes of these.
The first was the Line, as it was called, which
would be called to-day the regular army, but
in those days came to be denominated "The
Continentals." These regiments were under
the direct command of General Washington as
The second branch was the Levies. These
were drawn from the militia regiments and
sometimes by a direct draft upon the people
for a specified term, and they could be com-
pelled to serve outside of the state during
their entire term of service.
144 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
The last class was the Militia. They could
then, as now, be called to render service out-
side of the state for three months only at a
time. " Every foot soldier must provide him-
self and appear and muster with a good, well-
fixed musket, or fusee, a good sword, belt and
cartridge-box, six cartridges of powder, a horn
and six sizable bullets, a flint, a blanket," and
sometimes a tomahawk. For want of these
articles a fine of twenty shillings and prison
charges was imposed until the fine was paid.
At his discretion the captain was allowed and
authorized to sell the delinquent's goods. *' In
case the offender be unable, or refuse to pay^
and he have no goods to distress, he shall ride
the wooden horse, or be laid by the neck and
heels in a public place for not to exceed an
The militia were called out when they were
needed and kept as long as needed, and then
permitted to return to their homes subject to
another call. Sometimes a whole regiment
would be called out for many months at a
time, sometimes for but a few days, and this
frequently during several months ; and some-
times no call would come for a whole year.
Sometimes a whole regiment would be called ;
sometimes one company ; sometimes twenty
or twenty-five men. Thus the same men
might serve in two or three companies in
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1776. 145
the same year and even in two or three regi-
The counties were divided into districts,
and each district placed under a colonel who
was to see that every man liable was enrolled.
Quakers, Moravians and United Brethren were
enrolled, but could be exempt from actual ser-
vice by paying an exemption fee. Towards
the end of the Revolution this was one hun-
dred pounds (New York currency), or $400 per
year. One miller to each grist mill, three
powder makers to each powder mill, five iron
makers to each furnace, three journeymen to
each printing ofHce and one ferryman to each
public ferry were exem.pt.
Four times a year the militia must meet for
training in specified localities and once a year
a general training day was ordered for "all
the soldiers within the government." All
males between the ages of sixteen and fifty
were liable for military duty and, in case of
invasion, all between fifteen and sixty. Cases
did arise where they were called out, if able-
bodied, up to seventy.
The pay of a private was but %6.66 per
month and this not always in money, and if so
often in money not current. He was also
allowed one pound of sugar, two ounces of tea
and one pound of tobacco a month besides his
subsistence. If a slave enlisted and served
146 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
three years, or until discharged, he became a
freeman. Thus the opening of the New Year
(1777), which was to witness the most severe
call ever made upon the patriotism and ener-
gies of this town, found almost every man and
boy of its population who would carry a gun
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777.
The year 1777 was dark and discouraging as
it opened upon the American cause. Wash-
ington had been driven out of New York and
across New Jersey, and though he had won a
notable success at Trenton on Christmas, the
patriotic sky was gloomy. The invasion of
New York from Canada had not taken place
and Burgoyne had retired to winter his troops
in Canada, yet it was known that the advance
would be made the following summer, and it
was expected in force. From whence would
the patriots obtain troops? Those inured to
war were with Washington in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania and few but the militia were
All through the winter of ly'jS-'/ prepara-
tions were going on. All over the valley of
the Hudson and in New England lead was
being run into bullet moulds and powder was
made in small quantities everywhere. The
militia constantly drilled, as never before, and
at every store and church the discussion of
their rights and wrongs and of means of resist-
148 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
ance was carried on. In the town of Sauger-
ties the great places for discussion and debate
were the store of Cornelius Persen, in Kats-
baan, and the inn of Abraham Post, in what is
now the village of Saugerties. But not alone
here. In groups around the two churches in
town, the one in Katsbaan and that at West
Camp, successive Sundays heard the ceaseless
story of the injustice of Great Britain and the
determination to win the fight for liberty.
Rev. George Wilhelmus Mancius, the pastor
at Katsbaan, had died in 1762 and the next
one to serve was Rev. Lambertus DeRonde,
who did not come until 1780. But in these
intervening eighteen years the people were
regularly supplied by the pastors of Albany,
Kingston and Catskill, now Leeds. All three
of these were ardent patriots. But no one more
fervently so than the pastor of the last named
church, Rev. Johannes Schuneman. His father
had been one of the Palatines of the West
Camp colony in 1710, and the son had entered
the ministry of the Reformed Church. Where-
ever he went he was on fire for liberty. Whether
he led his people in worship at Leeds, or Cox-
sackie, or whether he came to Katsbaan for
Sabbath service his messages from the pulpit
were not only those of religion, but the claims
of patriotism and liberty. So his frequent
visits to Katsbaan were occasions for the en-
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777. 149
kindling of a spirit of determined effort to
achieve the independence of America from the
control of Great Britain forever. He is the
hero in a story very popular fifty or sixty years
ago entitled "The Dutch Domine of the Cats-
kills." So the year 1777, though gloomy as
the opening months passed, found the people
of Saugerties never so determined to win as
For the campaign Lord Howe asked of the
British government a force of 50,000 men to
cut the united colonies in two along the line of
Lake Champlain and the Hudson river. To
this end a powerful army was to come down
from Canada to meet a force proceeding up
the Hudson from New York. What was to
resist this? New York State was then nothing
more than Long Island with the valleys of the
Hudson and the Mohawk. The opposition to
Burgoyne and St. Leger would demand every
soldier from the Mohawk and the Upper Hud-
son. The Lower Hudson and Long Island
troops were with Washington in New Jersey.
So the defense of the Highlands devolved
upon the counties of Orange, Ulster, Dutchess
and a part of Westchester. Once more the
First Ulster took the field under Col. Snyder
and went to the support of Gen. George Clin-
ton. To show their entire confidence in Clin-
ton the State convention passed resolutions
150 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
authorizing him to call out the whole, or any
part of the militia whenever he deemed it nec-
essary, and station them where he deemed best,
and gave him power to impress carriages,
horses, teams, boats and vessels whenever he
deemed it necessary. For these he was author-
ized to draw on the convention for payment.
Nor were these extraordinary powers ever
abused. Faithfully and well did Clinton meet
the expectations of his people, and when in
the following July the new State of New York
was constituted, George Clinton was elected by
the people to the ofifices both of governor and
lieutenant-governor. He declined the latter
ofifice and, by successive re-elections they con-
tinued him in the former for twenty-one years.
We cannot narrate nor review the campaign
of this eventful year. During the whole sum-
mer the most of the First Ulster Regiment was
with Clinton in the Highlands. Those were
despondent days. Over all hung the cloud of
Burgoyne's advance from Canada, and in July
it became a fact. Schuyler had not the troops
to put up a defense. But the axe of the wood-
man preceded the advance of the enemy and
every step onward from Lake Champlain was
obstructed by the felling of trees and the de-
struction of bridges, etc., so that it took him
twenty-four days to march twenty-six miles.
Meanwhile Schuyler was calling on Gov. Ch'n-
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777. 151
ton for reinforcements. If sent they could be
only those of Ulster and Dutchess counties,
and every man was needed for the defense of
the Highlands. At last Clinton determined
that the progress of Burgoyne must be stopped
at all hazards and any cost and directed that
the militia of the north end of Ulster and
Dutchess counties be sent. They were placed
under the command of Gen. Peter TenBroeck,
of Dutchess, who resided opposite to Sauger-
ties, on the Hudson.
Every able-bodied man was summoned to go
to the relief of Schuyler. Down to fifty years
ago tradition in the town had many tales of
the events of the march. Many were afoot, a
few drove wagons carrying members of the
family and neighbors, and some were on horse-
back. One of these traditions gives the fol-
lowing incidents : Tobias Wynkoop was con-
stantly urging a more rapid march and when
they reached a spot from whence the cannon-
ading could be heard he became excited
over the possibility that the battle would be
over and he not obtain a shot at the redcoats
and Hessians. Ephraim Myer begged his
father for permission to go along. His father
told him he was too young to carry a musket.
But at last the lad's entreaties prevailed and
the father consented that he take his fife, as he
was a skilful player. And the martial strains
152 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
of this were very effective in summoning the
patriot farmers to follow upon horseback and
even on foot. Before they had proceeded
many miles enough had gathered for two com-
panies and they were thus mustered. But
arriving at Saratoga the musician quickly
exchanged his fife for a musket.
One company was in charge of Orderly Ser-
geant Cornelius Wells, but arrived too late for
much active service and was detailed to
gather the wounded, and the wagon which
Christian Myer had driven up became of great
service as an ambulance. The orders for
gathering the wounded were that they must
first relieve those less severely injured and
leave those mortally hurt until the last. One
man was found seemingly dying, if not already
dead. They rolled him over and left him.
But before they had gone far the wounded
man arose and followed them exhibiting a
severe wound in his head which had stunned
him. This ambulance wagon was one belong-
ing to William Myer, who resided on the Ger-
mond place in this town. The wagon, in
charge of his sons. Christian and Johannes,
had conve^^ed many of the neighbors to Sara-
toga before it was thus detailed. When the
militia returned Burgoyne is said to have
ridden to Albany with the Myer brothers, and
the wagon was ever preserved in the family on
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777. 153
this place, and afterwards in that of Hendrick
Myer at Brabant, and is now in the Senate
House in Kingston.
But this anticipates. In the meantime the
summer had almost passed. Re-enforcements
had begun to reach Schuyler. General Herki-
mer, the brave Palatine leader along the
Mohawk, had fought and fallen in the bloody
battle of Oriskany, but had stopped St. Leger
and his Indians from joining Burgoyne. The
battle of Bennington had been fought and
won and on September 19th the two armies
had met and the British advance had been
checked by the first battle of Stillwater. For
eighteen days there was no further movement.
But all this time the Americans were stripping
the surrounding region of all supplies. The
action of the 19th was hailed with joy every-
where and the militia flocked to Saratoga. It
is at this point that those of our town enter
the scene and at the end of these eighteen
days they were a part of two thousand men
who appeared under the command of General
On the 7th of October occurred the second
battle of Stillwater, or Bemus Heights. Here
our Saugerties militia were in the thickest of
the fight in the attack upon the British centre,
while the British Tight was being broken by
the vigorous charge of Morgan's Virginia rifle-
1 54 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
men and the impetuosity of Benedict Arnold.
This really ended the campaign and brought
about Burgoyne's surrender ten days after.
His army was marched across New Eng-
land, while Burgoyne was brought a prisoner
of war to Albany. General Schuyler had
entertained the captive general with honors
befitting his rank at his country home near
Saratoga, and invited him to dine with him and
Mrs. Schuyler at their residence in Albany.
Burgoyne wrote home of the gentlemanly
courtesy and hospitality of Schuyler, and was
ever after a friend of America in the British
Tradition has always held that upon the
return of the Saugerties troops from Saratoga
they were given a welcome by barbecue at
Asbury as they crossed the county line into
Ulster, and were then escorted as they came
down the Old Kings Road through the town.
Meanwhile the First Ulster Regiment, as
an organization, was with Colonel Johannis
Snyder defending the Hudson Highlands.
The British left New York on October 3d by
land and water. Following a circuitous route
around the Donderberg their forces reached
Forts Montgomery and Clinton by the rear.
They were built for defense against a fleet and
had but little to oppose on the landward side
with the handful of troops under Governor
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777. 155
Clinton. On tlie afternoon of the sixth the
British appeared and carried both forts by
assault. Governor George Clinton escaped by
sliding down a precipice and crossed the river
in a small boat, while General James Clinton
escaped to the woods. Two hundred and fifty
patriots surrendered and their losses in killed
were about one hundred, while the British lost
three hundred killed.
When the chain and chevaux-de-frise had
been forced the enemy proceeded up the river,
and on the i6th burned Kingston. The next
day they reached Saugerties and burned the
buildings of General Peter TenBroeck and the
Livingstons on the east side of the river. On
the 22d they continued their devastations on
the west side at Saugerties where they set fire
to ''two houses with barns and appendages,"
one of which was on the place of John G.
Myers. Next day they burned a sloop in the
creek and one on the ways here. It is said
that armed troops visited the house now
owned by Mrs. Frank Pidgeon foraging, but
did not set fire to the buildings. Then hear-
ing of the surrender of Burgoyne, they came
about and returned to New York. This prac-
tically closed the campaign of 1777 so far as
the Hudson valley was concerned.
THE CAMPAIGNS OF I778 AND 1779.
The bloody battle of Oriskany, fought on
August 4, 1777, which cost the life of the noble
old Palatine, Gen. Herkimer and the lives of
one-fourth of his command admirably suc-
ceeded in its purpose. Not only was St. Leger
and his Iroquois Indians prevented from mak-
ing a junction with Burgoyne, not only was
the Mohawk Valley saved from conquest, but
the Indians were taught a lesson which they
never forgot. Hereafter it was impossible for
the British to raise an Indian army for allies.
But there was one sad result. The wives
and families of the settlers in exposed places
on the frontiers were open to the vengeance of
skulking foes. At Oriskany more than one
hundred Indian warriors had fallen under the
muskets of frontiersmen and the tribes were
thirsting for scalps in revenge.* For this the
scalp of a woman or a child would satisfy
where none other could be obtained. And
during the summer of 1778 exposed buildings
everywhere were burned and the tomahawk
dripped with the blood of defenceless women
THE CAMPAIGNS OF 1718 AND 1779. 1 57
and children. Toward this hostility they were
skilfully cultivated by Sir John Johnson and
other leading Tories.
These savages were led by two ferocious
Tories, John Butler and his son Walter, and by
the celebrated Mohawk chief, Joseph Brant.
Brant had been educated among the whites
and to his savage nature was added a culti-
vated mind. He has been held responsible for
the atrocities committed by the Indians after
the battle of Oriskany, but later historians
have rescued his memory from undeserved
obloquy. He opposed the bloody acts of his
savage brethren, but they were led by two
fiends in human shape, the Butlers, and wher-
ever they appeared destruction and death
marked their track. The warfare Brant would
have conducted would have been as devastat-
ing as that of Sheridan in the valley of the
Shenandoah, but he opposed the bloodthirsti-
ness of his Indian brethren and their more
savage leaders, the Butlers. From July to No-
vember, 1778, they carried on a merciless war-
fare from the valley of the Susquehanna north-
ward. Whole .settlements were given to the
flames and from gray-haired women to infants
in the cradle no mercy to age nor sex was
shown. Only to mention the names of Wyom-
ing and Cherry Valley is to call to mind the
horrors of Indian warfare. These massacres
1 58 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
were in June and November of that year. The
latter name recalls as well the cultivation and
refinement which marked that village as its de-
votion to the patriotic cause. This warfare
was not confined to New York aud Pennsyl-
vania. The tribes of Kentucky were then
bitterly at war with Daniel Boone. The battle
of Vincennes was that year fought with the
Indians of Indiana. Readers of "Alice of Old
Vincennes" will recall this story.
The British during that year made an expe-
dition up the Hudson and captured Stony
Point. Washington threw a force into West
Point and sent " Mad Anthony" Wayne to re-
capture Stony Point in which efTort he was
dashingly successful. The writer is not able
to establish it as a fact, but there seems evi-
dence that Col. Snyder, with some of his regi-
ment was stationed at West Point at this time.
During all these months of 1778, the fron-
tiers of Ulster were menaced by bands of
prowling Indians, with their often more savage
Tory allies. In the autumn of this year, Brant
appeared along the Ulster frontier carrying
dismay and death. He ravaged along the
mountain border of the town of Saugerties and
through the Rondout valley.
In 1779, Brant made another raid and the
scene this time was in the vicinity of Goshen,
near where the bloody battle of the Minisink
THE CAMPAIGNS OF 1778 AND 1779. 1 59
was fought. Washington deternained to stop
these raids, and committed the task to Gen.
SuHivan, for whom Sullivan county is named.
The expedition consisted of four brigades, in
one of which were four New York regiments,
containing many Ulster county men. On May
4, 1779, they struck camp at Wawarsing under
orders to march to Wyoming. He found Brant
marauding at Fantine Kill, six miles distant.
On his approach, Brant with one hundred and
fifty men fled to the mountains. About fifteen
people of Ulster county had been massacred
by these Indians before Brant was driven away.
Gen. Sullivan was thorough in his work. In
three weeks he had succeeded in completely
subduing the tribes of hostile Indians, and so
effectively taught the lesson, that they sued
for peace and promised to bury the hatchet.
From this time the Indian warfare was confined
to predatory bands until the close of the war.
They were only outcasts of the various tribes
led by those more bloodthirsty allies, the con-
temptible Tory degenerates.
It is impossible to detach from this general
account the part taken by Saugerties men.
Under officers from different companies they
were in constant service. Different detach-
ments were out at different times watching the
frontiers and scouting in the mountains of
Ulster and Delaware counties.
160 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Some time during this year of 1779 Capt.
Jeremiah Snyder, who resided at Blue Moun-
tain, with his son Elias, and three others were
scouting along the Catskills watching some
prowling Tories when Capt. Snyder and An-
thony Van Schaick became detached from the
rest of the party. As they were cautiously
passing through the dense woods and under
the brow of a cliff they were suddenly startled
by the discharge of musketry and five bullets
struck the rocks and earth near the captain.
They looked up and saw the enemy on the
cliff who ordered them to surrender. Their
muskets were discharged and then they ran for
their lives. Thirteen shots were fired at them,
but they escaped unhurt.
There is in existence a pay-roll of a party of
Saugerties men of Johannis Snyder's regiment
who were under the command of Lieut. Peter
Post, of Saugerties, who scouted for one month
from April 3d to May 3d, 1779, along the east-
ern base of the Catskills. When their service
was up Lieut. Post stopped on his way home
to stay over night with a friend, a Mr. Wolven,
who lived near Pine Grove on what has been
known as the William H. Cunyes farm. After
he had retired for the night a party of Tories
and Indians surrounded the house and carried
him off a prisoner to the mountains where he
was detained for five days. Then he was
THE CAMPAIGNS OF 1778 AND ijjg. 1 6 1
stripped of his uniform and released upon giv-
ing his parole.
The Rev. Dr. Anson DuBois is the authority
for the following:
One Sunday morning during these years two
families from Woodstock came to Katsbaan
church to service. Each family brought a babe
for baptism. There was a Tory at church who
quietly slipped out before the close of service.
When these two families were returning home,
and were just above Unionville, they suddenly
found themselves surrounded by Indians whom
the Tory had put on their track. The men
were made prisoners and the women and chil-
dren left sitting in the wagon to get home the
best way they could. The Sunday hat of one
of the men was seized by an Indian who clapped
it on his head and danced about the frightened
women with wild grimaces.
The activity of Brant and his Tories and
Indians along the Catskills kept the whole
community excited. The Tories were partic-
ularly embittered because the store of Cornelius
Persen in Katsbaan had been for years the
meeting place of the patriots and on one of the
raids of Brant it had been determined to seize
Cornelius Persen. A friendly Indian named
Nachte Jan (Night John) whose wigwam was
on Persen's land and who felt indebted to
Persen informed him of the scheme and Persen
162 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
left home every night while his patriotic neigh-
bors watched with him his house and store
from points in the adjacent woods and fields.
The blow of SulHvan relieved the situation.
With the close of 1779 the demand for active
service upon the men of this town practically
ceased. There were a few calls for short serv-
ice, and many of the militia had enlisted either
in the Continentals, or were serving in the
Levies. But the militia had almost no sum-
During the war of the Revolution the
Reformed Dutch Church of Kingston had as
its pastor the Rev. George J. L. Doll. He
was an earnest preacher, but a still more
earnest patriot. His pulpit often rang with
notes less suggestive of the gospel of peace
which in less stirring times he delighted to
preach than of a summons to arms. Many an
ardent exhortation fell from his lips to the
struggle for civil liberty and the rights of free-
men which was then on.
In the earlier years of the war the church of
Katsbaan had no settled pastor. But the
pulpit was pretty regularly supplied by Dom-
ine Doll and by the Rev. Eilardus Westerlo,
of Albany. Both of these men were full of
the patriotic spirit and earnest in advocacy of
the cause. But the preacher who more fre-
quently than the others supplied that pulpit
was one who was a veritable Boanerges, a son
of thunder. He was the Rev. Johannes Schu-
neman, of Coxsackie and Catskill, now Leeds.
His father was one of the Palatines who
164 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
settled in West Camp in 17 lo where the dom-
ine was born.
The year 1780 was comparatively a quiet
one in the Hudson river valley. This was the
year of Arnold's attempt to betray West
Point, but the region about Saugerties was in
comparative peace. Domine Schuneman con-
tinued to come down to Katsbaan to supply
the pulpit. And just here a fuller tribute to
this patriot should be given. He lived, as a
former chapter said, at what is now Leeds.
Between there and Katsbaan church is a
distance of ten miles and at that time it was
largely wooded and much of it a dense forest.
He was intensely hated by the Tories because
of his ardent patriotism. And he hated the
enemies of his country and never lost an
opportunity to denounce them. From Leeds
to his other charge at Coxsackie was a dis-
tance of twelve miles and much of this way
too was along a forest road. But the domine
feared nothing but his God. No foe lived
who had any terror for him. He was short
and corpulent and was marked with the small-
pox. He was a dead shot with the rifle and
his enemies knew it. And that rifle was his
constant companion. He always took it with
him into his pulpit during these years and
when arising to preach set it close at his side
after carefully examining the priming.
PATRIOTIC DIVINES, 165
The Rev. Dr. Henry Ostrander said of him :
*• His voice was one of great power and com-
pass. His distinct and impressive tones, his
natural and vigorous gesticulation and the mani-
fest fervent kindliness of his spirit conspired with
the eminently evangelical character of his dis-
courses to render his preaching effective. The
Revolutionary troubles called into full exercise
Domine Schuneman's intense patriotism, in
connection with his heroic and self-sacrificing
spirit. The district of country in which he
lived was the theatre of great commotion and
horrid cruelty. So deeply convinced was he
that the interests of religion, as well as the
civil interests of the country were bound up
in the great struggle that he gave himself up to
it, in his appropriate way, with all the earnest-
ness and energy of a ruling passion. * * *
He knew well that he was looked upon by the
enemy as a prize of more than ordinary value;
but nothing daunted by this he never withheld
any good service in aid of his country's inter-
ests which it was in his power to render. He
was armed night and day with instruments of
death for the defense of his own person ; but
his main trust was in the living God." No
tidings of disaster disheartened him, no im-
pending danger terrified him, no warnings or
entreaties to keep out of the way of imminent
peril made any impression on him. And he
166 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
kept up his course unmoved and unharmed
during all these years of war riding every Sun-
day along his wooded roads with his trusty
rifle, and his fervent sermons inspired the dis-
couraged patriots until in 1783 the glorious
battle was won.
"The Dutch Domine of the Catskills" and
his patriotic services should never be forgotten
by the people of this town and this region.
His was a strenuous life and he inspired those
with whom he came in contact with his enthu-
siasm. His services at Coxsackie and at Leeds
were regular, those at Katsbaan were special,
but very frequent. And more so during the
years when the Upper Hudson was the theatre
of war. He preached up to within six days of
his death, which occurred May 10, 1794, in his
This year 1780 saw the church in Katsbaan
receive its second pastor the Rev. Lambertus
DeRonde. And it is remarkable that his ardent
patriotism too was the cause of his coming.
He was one of the pastors of the Collegiate
Dutch churches of New York city, which was
then occupied by the British. His sermons
had long been severe upon the course of the
British government and its brutal treatment of
its prisoners of war. At last he dealt with
the matter in plain language and the British
commander sent him from the city and up the
PATRIOTIC DIVINES. 167
Hudson. He came to Katsbaan and was its
pastor for six years.
The cause of the patriots was greatly
strengthened by the course of the ministers
of the gospel before the opening and during
the continuance of the long war None were
more ardent advocates than they. The serv-
ices of such men as Witherspoon in Congress
were indispensable and the valley of the Hud-
son during those '* times that tried men's souls"
was especially fortunate that, with no uncer-
tain sound, such men as Doll, DeRonde and
Schuneman inculcated the doctrines that "■ all
men are created equal and that they are en-
dowed by their Creator with certain unalien-
able rights, that among these are life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure
these rights, governments are instituted among
men, deriving their just powers from the con-
sent of the governed."
And when to such steadfast doctrine was
joined a fearlessness and courage such as " The
Dutch Domine of the Catskills" possessed, and
in such an aggressive personality, men were
compelled to take their stand whenever and
wherever he came in contact with them. It
resulted in making this region as thoroughly
patriotic as any spot in all America during the
AN INDIAN AND TORY RAID.
The principal event of the year 1780 in the
town was the capture of Capt. Jeremiah Sny-
der of the First Ulster Regiment and his cap-
tivity in Canada. As military operations in the
early part of this year were suspended along
the Hudson the militia were at home at their
agricultural labors. On Saturday, May 6th,
Capt. Snyder and his son Elias, then in his
eighteenth year, were engaged in getting ready
a field near their house at Blue Mountain for
planting corn. The field was bounded on three
sides by the primeval forest. Father and son
were separated by nearly the length of the
field, which was the long white strip of
plowed land running across the accompanying
illustration. This was open on the north and
towards the house. All at once a terror
seemed to possess their horses, and the next
moment three distinct parties of Indians and
Tories painted vermillion appeared from the
three wooded sides of the field. The captain
and his son abandoned the horses and fled
towards the house where the way was still
AN INDIAN AND TORY RAID, 169
open. Then the six Indians in the rear, among
whom were the notorious John Runnip and
Shank's Ben, raised the yell and rushed after
them in pursuit. As they neared the house
they found themselves cut off by three Tories
who came over the hill in the rear of the
house, at about the spot where the snowbanks
appear. Completely surrounded, Elias sur-
rendered to a tall fellow named Hoornbeek,
who was with Ben's gang, while the captain
was seized by Runnip. A dispute arose be-
tween the parties nearest the captain as to who
was entitled to the prisoner, because of the
reward the British offered for captives, which
came near a settlement as one of the disputants
struck at the captain with his tomahawk to
obtain his scalp. The blow made the captain
reel and cut him deeply near the ear. He
attempted another, but Runnip parried this
just in time to shove aside a spear thrown by a
third at the captain.
All this was observed by the women of the
family from the house, and they fled with the
children to the woods. The united bands of
savages ransacked the house and piled upon a
heap its contents, especially the pork, clothing
and maple sugar. The leader then demanded
of the captain four guineas which had been
paid him by a Tory a few days before, saying
he knew they were in the chest. The key was
170 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
delivered him, but the impatient savage split
the lid with his tomahawk. The number of
guineas was correct, but in his eagerness he
overlooked one in the chest, and one rolled
away on the floor. But he obtained two and
$200 in Continental bills. By this time the
outbuildings were ablaze. Then Capt. Snyder
begged that some things be left for his wife
and children. Permission was granted, and
some were carried out. They were soon ordered
to desist, and the house was fired. Then, tak-
ing the captain and two sons, they set out for
the mountains. Upon urgent pleading of the
captain and Elias, the Tories finally released
Ephraim, the younger son, who was lame and
only nine years old. And another act of
humanity is worthy of mention. As they
proceeded the women were discovered hiding
in the bushes, but were not molested. Aftera
while a halt was made, and the captors pro-
ceeded to divide the plunder and paint the
prisoners. Then all moved on in Indian file.
Nothing had been allowed the prisoners, and
in their ordinary attire they were marched on
and soon became footsore. They climbed the
Catskills in an oblique direction from what is
now Palenville, and passed between the two
Mountain House lakes to the east branch of
the Schoharie kill, which they forded and then
camped for the night. The next morning
AN INDIAN AND TORY RAID. 171
their fears were relieved by Runnip, who told
them that they would not be hurt unless they
attempted to escape. He intended to take
them to Niagara, and would be kind to them
as far as circumstances would permit.
It was now Sunday morning. The Tories
and Indians separated, the former taking the
$200 and the guns and the latter the prisoners
and the rest of the booty. Runnip now as-
sumed command and led the party to a depot
for provisions built in a ravine of hemlocks on
a scafTold formed about ten feet from the
ground and supported by two hemlocks and a
crotch. This depot was near the head of the
Schoharie kill. Monday was wet, and they re-
mained in camp. Runnip produced the papers
he had obtained from the captain's chest. He
threw the smaller ones into the fire and pre-
served the larger. Among the former were
many important memoranda relating to the
military operations of the patriot army which
it was well should not be read by the enemy.
Among the latter were the captain's commis-
sion and some deeds. (About twenty years
ago the writer learned that the commission was
in the British Museum, and he made an effort
through the then Secretary of State, Hon.
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, to obtain them for
the descendants of Captain Snyder. The ef-
fort failed, but copies of some valuable papers
1 72 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
relating to the capture and their escape were
Tuesday morning at daybreak the luggage
was divided into eight packs and each of the
Indians shouldered one. Then Runnip and
Hoornbeek, the owners of the prisoners, made
a subdivision and Captain Snyder and Elias
shouldered their packs. Hoornbeek after a
little pitied the boy enough to relieve him of
one-third of his load.
Towards sunset that evening they encamp-
ed on one of the branches of the Delaware.
The Indians separated, some to search for
potatoes on the abandoned fields of white
settlers and some to build an elm canoe. Two
remained near at hand repairing their moc-
casins, having left their tomahawks at a little
distance. The moment when a successful
attempt at escape might be made seemed at
hand. Elias was just preparing to spring at
the tomahawks when four Indians returned
and thwarted the design. As they returned
to their elm, they took Elias with them.
The canoe was finished by noon of the next
day and in it the whole party of ten embarked
with all their baggage. Three miles down
stream a small timber canoe was discovered
and two Indians with their baggage took pos-
session. They floated on down that after-
noon about twenty-four miles and the next
AN INDIAN AND TORY RAID. 173
day sixteen miles farther until the junction of
the east and west branches of the Delaware.
At this point the canoes were abandoned and
the march was resumed. After proceeding
five or six miles Runnip was suddenly taken
very ill. A rattlesnake was killed, cleaned,
skinned, boiled into a soup and eaten, both
soup and flesh by Runnip, and he was a well
At noon on Saturday the Susquehanna was
reached and another canoe was constructed
from the bark of a large chestnut upon which
they floated sixty miles down to Tioga Point.
Here a young elk was shot which afforded a
welcome change of food. They left their
canoe here and proceeded on foot along the
Chemung river and passed the breastwork
which the Indians had thrown up the year
before to resist the invasion of General Sul-
livan. Between the Indian breastwork and
the Genesee Flats, on Sullivan's route, a
mound was passed at * the side of the path.
"There are your brothers" said Runnip in
Dutch as he pointed to them. They were the
graves of a scouting party of thirty-six men
which had been intercepted and killed by the
Indians. In the vicinity of this mound they
fell in with a pack horse which had wandered
from the army and had wintered in the wild
grass on the Chemung flats. He was a small
174 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
chunky bay, low in flesh, but apparently in
good heart. By this time the feet of Elias
were covered with large blisters, which almost
prevented walking. One day his sufferings
became so acute that he was about to drop.
For such things the Indians have no sym-
pathy, nor any remedy but the tomahavvk.
Providentially they halted for the night an
hour before sundown that day.
On the morning of Sunday, May 2ist, the
party reached Genesee Flats and met there
the first white men they had seen since their
captors had separated. They were Tories and
neighbors of Captain Snyder. Their names
were John Young and Frederick Rowe.
Young had lived for a number of years within
a mile of Snyder and now he had a long con-
versation with him. Rowe did not utter a
word. The party forded the Genesee river
through water up to their arms. Then, never
stopping to dry their clothes, they marched on
a dozen miles and encamped for the night.
Soon after a white woman of about twenty-
five years, with a child in her arms came to
the camp with an Indian who was her hus-
band. She enquired in English who the pris-
oners were and all the circumstances of their
capture, destination, etc., and then volunteer-
ed the story of her life. In the French and
Indian war, as a small child, she had been cap-
AN INDIAN AND TORY RAID, 175
tured and had remained with them ever since.
She knew not from whence she had come, nor
who she was. She was a woman of intelli-
gence despite her surroundings and her hus-
band seemed a chief. Her face after all its
exposure to the elements still retained a meas-
ure of beauty.
On the 24th of May they camped on a
stream about thirty miles from Niagara.
Here the Indians stopped to fish and the
younger ones drove the fish down the stream
so that the older ones could spear them. A
species of sucker was caught averaging three
feet in length. The next morning a passing
band of Indians compelled the captain to give
them his coat and they walked away with it.
Not long after they met a band of Indians and
squaws and the squaws robbed them of their
hats. A little later they met two more
squaws, one of whom was the sister of Run-
nip. Their greeting was very joyful and the
women extended their goodwill to the pris-
oners whom they took cordially by the hand.
They spent the night about four miles from
the fort and on the morning of May 26 march-
ed over towards it. They passed through an
encampment of several thousands of Indians
and the youths and squaws armed with clubs
tried to strike at them as they went by, but
Runnip and their captors carefully guarded
176 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
them from the gauntlet. They were soon
safely within the gates of Fort Niagara. The
fort, though to be a prison, seemed a haven of
rest to the weary captives and within the
stronghold they gradually recovered from
IN CAPTIVITY IN CANADA.
By the circuitous path from Saugerties to
Fort Niagara Capt. Snyder and his son Elias
had journeyed more than five hundred miles.
They had experienced but one rainy day when
they rested under a scaffold of hemlock at the
head of Schoharie creek while the Indians lay
wrapped in their blankets on the naked earth.
They had been fairly well fed and of food
which consisted largely of suppaan, or unbolted
Indian meal, boiled with dried peas. The pork
which had been foraged from the premises of
Capt. Snyder had been carried with them until
it was eaten. An elk had been shot and a part
of a deer taken from wolves, otherwise they
had had no game but muskrats. But they
could not join their captors in a meal upon
The Indian who had almost tomahawked the
captain was his barber now and shaved him
regularly twice a week. He was quite an ex-
pert with a razor. The prisoners were painted
on the first and second days of their captivity
and then not again until they reached the
178 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Susquehanna. After this they were painted
regularly every morning. All were generally
silent on the march and the little conversation
had was in broken Dutch. Runnip told Sny-
der of a proposed raid into Shawangunk after
higher ofificers and in July Snyder met some
more recently taken prisoners who told him
that they had met Runnip on his way to
Shawangunk. A year after this Capt. Snyder
met Capt. Anthony Abeel, of Catskill, also a
captive in Canada, who told him the result
of the raid into Shawangunk. The officers
wanted were not captured, but some negro
slaves were seized. These rose in the wilder-
ness and slew their captors, among whom was
Fort Niagara had been built by the French
during their long control of Canada and had
been one of their strongholds. Since Canada
had become British the latter had increased
the strength of the fortifications until it was
a seat of their power. It was at the outlet of
the Niagara river into Lake Ontario. About
six or eight acres were inclosed about the fort
within which the British commander had
erected a handsome residence. This was now
occupied by Col. Guy Johnson, son-in-law of
Sir William Johnson, of Johnstown. To him
the Snyders were brought for an interview.
He was a short, stout man, about forty years
IN CAPTIVITY IN CANADA. 179
of age, of stern countenance, and a haughty
demeanor, dressed in British uniform, with
powdered locks, cocked hat and sword by his
side. He ordered all served with a glass of
rum, the Indians first. Then Runnip delivered
the captured papers to Col. Johnson and gave
a succinct account of the captives and the place
where they were taken. Johnson then in-
quired the news of the frontiers and Runnip
replied that the British fleet had ascended the
Hudson as high as Kingston ; that he and his
comrades had been at Kingston Point and
witnessed it. Then turning to Capt. Snyder,
Johnson inquired : ** Do you know anything
about it?" Deeming it prudent not to con-
tradict the Indian the captain said, '' It may be
so, but we do not know." Various questions
were asked relating to the conduct of the war,
after which Runnip arose and made a speech
in his native tongue of some ten or fifteen
minutes, which a well-educated Stockbridge
Indian rendered fluently into English. As far
as the captain could gather it the purport was
that the quarrel and war was between the
British and Americans and the Indians de-
manded to be well paid for their help. John-
son replied that they would be rewarded with
rum, provisions and corn ; but they must not
give any to the Indians who hung around the
1 80 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
After this was settled Runnip took Capt.
Snyder by the hand and placed it in that of
Col. Johnson thus handing him over. The
same ceremony was repeated as Elias was
transferred. They were then conducted to the
guard house on the top of the wall, where they
were confined for a week. On the third day a
Tory named Rowe, a sergeant in the British
army, paid them a visit. He had been brought
up a short distance from Snyder's residence in
Saugerties, and called to enquire about his
friends and relatives in that neighborhood.
He was very civil, and appeared to commiserate
their condition. They were not allowed any
private conversation. About this time they
were each presented with a frock coat of coarse
While in the guard house they were visited
by the celebrated chieftain. Brant. He was a
likely fellow, of a fierce aspect — tall and rather
spare, well spoken — and apparently about
thirty years of age. He wore moccasins ele-
gantly trimmed with beads, leggings, breech
cloth of superfine blue, a short green coat with
two silver epaulets, and a small, laced, round
hat. At his side hung a beautiful silver
mounted cutlass, and his blanket of bluecloth^
purposely dropped in the chair to show his
epaulets, was gorgeously decorated with a bor-
der of red. Brant's language was very insult-
IN CAPTIVITY IN CANADA. 1 8 1
ing. He asked many questions, and, among
others, from whence the captain came ?
When he answered that he came from Esopus,
Brant replied, ''That is my fighting ground."
At the close of the interview he addressed
Elias and said: "You are young, and you I
pity ; but for that old villain there I have no
pity." As he said this he pointed to the cap-
At the end of a week they were removed
across the river and with three other white
prisoners put into the hold of a twelve-gun
vessel on Lake Ontario. Sergeant Rowe re-
peated his visit, and presented the captain and
his son with second-hand hats, while a humane
Tory named Birch, who had lived on the east
branch of the Delaware, generously offered to
supply their wants. He had been well ac-
quainted with Benjamin Snyder, a brother of
the captain, and seemed anxious to requite
former kindnesses of that brother. During
the afternoon of Friday, June 2nd, the
vessel got under way, and when off from the
wharf, the prisoners were allowed to come on
deck. On Sunday afternoon, June 4th, they
were put ashore on Carleton Island at the foot
of the lake. In a small fortress on this island
they were confined about three days of rainy
and foggy weather, when they were transferred
to boats and sent off towards Montreal under
182 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
guard of Tories from Sir John Johnson's bat-
talion. On their way down the St. Lawrence
they stopped at Ogdensburgh, where they re-
ceived on board a female prisoner with five
deserters from the American army. A heart-
rending scene was witnessed as the woman was
separated from her husband, who was detained
a prisoner at Ogdensburgh. At Cote du lac,
about forty miles from Montreal, they were
landed and confined in the guard house for an
hour. Re-embarking, they were carried with
the current to La Chine, which they reached
June 12. From this place they were marched
on foot to Montreal, a distance of nine miles.
The poor female was released as soon as she
arrived. By noon the captain and his son had
quarters assigned them in the Prevot. Here
in this dismal and disgusting den they were
confined for months.
CAPTAIN SNYDER'S ESCAPE.
The Prevot at Montreal was a large dismal
looking place of stone, with great windows,
and it served not only as a prison for American
soldiers, but for criminals of every description.
In a room twenty feet by sixteen, in the second
story, forty Americans, military prisoners, were
closely shut up until August ; and their sleep-
ing apartment was still smaller. It was but an
entry or gangway thirteen feet long and eight
wide, and in this the forty were stowed at night
in two rows with heads to the wall and feet inter-
laced. Sometimes when the prisoners were
many at least fifty were crowded in. Their
jailer was a humane man who had married his
wife in Albany and did as much for them as he
About the first of August they were taken
before Gen. M'Clean. Those who could pro-
cure recommendations from loyal Canadians
were released upon parole. But neither the
captain, nor his son could do so. Gen. M'Clean
finally sent away the captain to labor on the
island, retaining the son as a hostage. At the
184 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
end of ten days he had so far ingratiated him-
self with the one in charge, Sir William Grant,
that he was able to secure the liberation of his
On the night of Oct. 8th six of the prisoners
escaped. As a result all were again confined
in the Prevot. Here they remained, without
stockings, under a cruel Hessian keeper, who
beat his prisoners with a sword, until June 13th
following. After a time Capt. Snyder suc-
ceeded in obtaining some indulgence when this
Hessian learned that he smd his son were of
German descent from the Palatines who had
come to West Camp. Their time was occupied
in cards, except the large share devoted to
clearing themselves of vermin which infested
On the thirteenth of June, 1781, Col. James
Gordon, of Ballston, was brought in a prisoner
with others. Through his influence Capt. Sny-
der and son, and Capt. Anthony Abeel and son
were liberated on parole and billetted among
the Canadians on the island of Jesu, sixteen
miles above Montreal. Here they were not
treated well, but better than in the prison.
They remained here until the first of December
when all of the prisoners here, of whom there
were twenty-one, were confined in one house.
After a few days things were relaxed ; but it
was not until Christmas that they first began
CAPTAIN SNYDER'S ESCAPE. 185
to taste the blessings of good treatment and
cleanliness. During the winter they were pre-
sented with a roll of cloth by a compassionate
Quaker. This they made into clothes them-
selves after a fashion. The following summer
they obtained work among farmers and me-
chanics and spent the winter again at cards.
An Irish prisoner had somehow obtained a
copy of Pliny's Epistles which he gave Capt.
Snyder and these furnished his sole intellectual
With the coming of the spring of 1782 the
prisoners began to make plans for escape. The
captain objected because of his parole. But it
was urged that he was absolved from this as
the British commander had broken his prom-
ise by locking them up in the house in Decem-
ber which had released the obligation. Then
Elias declared that he would desert at all events
and his father yielded. Preparations were
made. Some leather for moccasins was bought.
A passport to Montreal was obtained. While
there a pocket compass was bought and
wine to celebrate the Fourth of July. And
when that day arrived twenty faithful Ameri-
cans met in Capt. Snyder's quarters and com-
memorated the day in four gallons of wine,
two of rum and other incentives to what was
then considered a proper spirit.
On the evening of September loth, 1782,
186 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the attempt to escape was made. At a con-
certed point Capt. Snyder and Elias, Jonathan
Millet, of Stonington, Anthony Abeel, of Cats-
kill, and James Butler, of Philadelphia, set
forward for the lower part of the isle. Here
they found two boats which they lashed to-
gether. About three miles below there was a
rapid and as the night was dark Snyder, Abeel,
Millett and the baggage were landed, while
young Snyder and Butler, having separated
the boats, were to navigate them as well as
they could to a point below the rapid. They
succeeded in passing without accident, but
missed those who had gone by the shore. The
night had nearly passed before they were
landed on an island ten miles below Montreal.
Their boats were drawn up into the long grass
and they lay all day in their wet clothes wait-
ing for the night.
After dusk they took the boats and crossed
to the east side of the St. Lawrence, and by
daybreak they had reached the river Chambly.
Here they lay all day in an old hedge. After
sunset they found a canoe and came across.
But by an oversight they had lost their axes,
the only weapons they had. Conceiving them-
selves beyond danger, they now advanced by
daylight, passing around all the settlements
except one through which they walked armed
with clubs. We cannot follow their perilous
CAPTAIN SNYDER'S ESCAPE. 187
journey through the trackless wilderness to the
headwaters of the Connecticut River, and the
straits to which they were brought for the
want of food. Almost starved, Elias found a
thigh of a moose stripped of all but its sinews,
which they burned and ate of for two days.
Some days after they found a frontiersman at
work in a field and obtained a loaf of bread.
That night they slept at the house of a Mr.
Williams, who made them eat a moose pie
prepared for the family supper. Neighbors
came in with a magistrate, who examined
them and then furnished them with passports
to Gen. Bailley. The people of New Hamp-
shire were exceedingly kind to them, and pro-
vided for all their wants. They reached Gen.
Bailley 's quarters on Sunday, September 29.
He provided them with shoes. After two days
there the general fitted out the captain with a
horse, and he rode home through Massachu-
setts and Connecticut, crossing the Hudson at
Poughkeepsie. The rest came on foot and
crossed at Kinderhook.
On his way home Capt. Snyder had an inter-
view with Governor George Clinton on the 6th
of October. The writer has a copy of the of-
ficial record of the examination. It was con-
cerning the authenticity of the rumors that
the British in Canada were preparing for an-
other invasion of this State, by the way of
188 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Lake Champlain and the Hudson River valley.
We now know that no such move was in pre-
paration, as the commissioners of Great Brit-
ain and the United States were negotiating for
peace, and within eight weeks, on November
30, 1782, a preliminary treaty was signed.
This was followed by the definite treaty of
September 3, 1783, and the evacuation of New
York by the British November 25, 1783, and
the establishment of peace.
Captain Snyder in the interview and Gen-
eral Bailley and General Sullivan in contem-
poraneous reports refer to these rumors of
another invasion. But it is now known that
they originated in the troubles between the
authorities of this State and New Hampshire
over their claims to what is now Vermont.
Vermont was clamoring to Congress for
admission as a state into the Union and Con-
gress was postponing such admission until the
treaty of peace was signed. But the people of
Vermont were restless and impatient, and that
impatience manifested itself in constant col-
lisions between the soldiers of New York and
New Hampshire and in charges of sympathy of
Vermont with the common enemy. This had
led Captain Snyder's party to avoid Vermont
on the way home, and to the circuitous route
through New Hampshire. After the Consti-
tution of the United States was formed Ver-
CAPTAIN SNYDER'S ESCAPE, 189
mont and Kentucky were the first states
admitted to the Union.
There is in existence a return of Colonel
Johannis Snyder of the levies raised in his
regiment for the reinforcement of the army
under date of July loth, 1780. The three
companies from the town of Saugerties are
thus reported : Captain John L. DeWitt, 100
men ; Captain Matthew Dederick, 91 men ;
Lieutenant Peter Backer, 70 men ; in all 261
soldiers. Lieutenant Backer was in com.mand
of the company of Captain Jeremiah Snyder
during the captain's captivity in Canada.
This ends the story of the connection of the
town of Saugerties with the Revolution. The
last two years had been quiet. The theatre of
war had been shifted to the South, neverthe-
less as late as March 12, 1781, the trustees of
Kingston Commons employed four men to
constantly scout from the bounds of Hurley
to the Albany (now Greene) county line near
Palenville to watch the Indians and Tories.
This covered the western border of Saugerties,
and on April 3, 1781, they purchased three
hundred pine trees for stockades.
Nor was this all. Thirteen days after this
they purchased two hundred pounds of gun-
powder for defense, and on June 4, 1781, the
trustees appointed a committee to consult
with Colonel Johannis Snyder for the defense
190 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
of the town. So late the annoying troubles
with the Tories and Indians continued. At
last the reward came. No hostile foot has
ever trodden the soil of this town since that
day. And when the history of that conflict
was written it was recorded that not only had
Ulster county and Saugerties furnished in full
every call for troops made during the long
war, but had exceeded that quota by more
AFTER THE REVOLUTION.
No happier day was ever enjoyed by the
people of this town than the day when the
news came that Cornwallis had surrendered at
Yorktown to Washington. It was a perfect
day in October, most of the militia were home,
for there were not many soldiers from this
region in the army in Virginia and as all were
farmers they were engaged in securing their
fall crops. On most of the farms husking
corn was in progress when a messenger on his
way to Albany along the Old Kings Road
brought the tidings. All work was immedi-
ately suspended and neighbors flew to tell
neighbors the glad news that the long war was
now, in all probability, over. To the tavern of
Abraham Post, in Saugerties, and to the store
of Cornelius Persen, in Katsbaan, most of the
people found their way to ascertain the credi-
bility of the tidings and to discuss the future.
Tradition tells how Jan Top, a negro slave of
Persen, came into the assembled crowd from
the pile of corn which he was husking with a
long ear from which he deliberately removed
192 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
every kernel, after which he held it up exclaim-
ing " Here it is at last, and he is no more
Cornwallis, but Cob-wallis." On the following
Sunday all the region was assembled in the old
stone church in Katsbaan to a service of
thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God for
the success which had crowned our arms. The
pastor, Domine DeRonde, who had been the
eloquent preacher of New York before he was
driven from his pulpit there by the British,
arose to the occasion, and his patriotic periods
were long remembered by his auditors. The
Dutch is a very expressive tongue and the dom-
ine, who had many old scores to settle, never
used the language with acuter pungency, or
But the rejoicings, the celebrations and the
acknowledgments over, the conviction grad-
ually dawned upon the people that all had not
yet been secured. Money there was in plenty,
but it was nothing but Continental currency,
of which forty dollars were hardly worth one
dollar in silver. Not a coin of what was in
circulation was the product of a mint in this
country except coppers. English and French
guineas, Spanish joes, doubloons and pistoles
and one or two French coins were the only
gold in circulation and most of the residents in
rural regions had rarely seen a gold coin.
English crowns, shillings and sixpences, and
AFTER THE REVOLUTION. 193
Spanish milled dollars, picayunes and pista-
reens were the coins in silver.
But when the value of these came to be
computed confusion worse confounded reigned.
Values which had been estimated in pounds,
shillings and pence began to be reckoned upon
the basis of the Spanish milled dollar. But
what was that value? A shilling meant six-
teen and two-thirds cents in Massachusetts.
But in New York and North Carolina it meant
twelve and one-half cents. In most of the
states seven and one-half shillings made a
dollar. In New England six shillings were one
dollar ; in New York and North Carolina eight
shillings; in Georgia five shillings, while in
South Carolina it required thirty-two and one-
half. Besides all this the current coin had
been so clipped, sweated and counterfeited
that a man needed to travel with a pair of
scales in his pocket and a ready-reckoning table
in his memory to receive any approach to a
true value when money was paid him.
The result was barter everywhere. The
stamp acts, navigation laws and all the other
oppressive measures of the British Parliament
had resulted in throwing the people upon their
own resources. Every farm house was not
only a hive of industry in producing products
of the soil, but a farmer and his family were
manufacturers of everything they needed, or
194 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
used. They made their own sugar and mo-
lasses, they brewed their own beer, they spun
and wove their own clothing and bedding from
the wool and flax they raised on their own
acres. ' Every farmer was cooper enough to
make his own pails and tubs, blacksmith
enough to weld iron and shoe his own horse,
carpenter enough to build his own house if
needed, and wagon maker enough for his own
wagons and sleighs. No butcher brought him
meat, for he salted every November the year's
supply, and during the year his calves were
killed when six weeks old, and the quarters
divided among his neighbors from whom he
received similar quarters when they had calves
of that age. The skins were taken to a farmer
who had a tan vat, and there in a liquid strong
with oak or hemlock bark, it lay for eighteen
months in process of tanning. Then it was
dressed and ready for the peripatetic shoe-
maker, who came to board with the family
while he made the family shoes for a year.
The homespun cloth from the family looms
was taken to some mill where it could be fulled,
and then an itinerating tailoress would come
and be the family guest while she cut and made
the garments of the household, meanwhile re-
tailing the gossip gathered upon her flittings
through the neighborhood. All through the
livelong day and far into the evenings the spin-
AFTER THE REVOLUTION. 195
ning wheels hummed. When they ceased, the
fires on the hearth were carefully covered to
keep a coal alive for the morning to avoid the
necessity for flint and tinder, or, may be, a
a journey through snowdrifts to borrow a live
coal, for fifty years were to pass before a fric-
tion match would be invented.
When the farmer was cutting his firewood in
the forests, his eye was ever open for a tough
and solid tree with a suitably-forked limb,
which, pointed with iron, would make a plow,
for iron plows were unknown until after the
Nineteenth Century had come. His hay was
cut with a scythe, whose snath he had bent
himself, and the short blade had been made by
the neighboring smith. His hay was raked by
the hand rakes made at his fireside on winter
evenings when he was not employed in fash-
ioning axe-helves after a design which seemed
to him perfectly adapted to his natural method
of swinging an axe.
His oxen plowed his fields with yokes his
hands had made. His team of horses had
never known a hame collar, as the harness was
of his construction, and the broad breast
pieces were of leather from his beeves of pre-
vious years, whose hides had been dressed for
him. From these his own skill had constructed
the broad leather belts which almost covered
the animals. Where harness was not thus
196 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
made it was of rope from the tow from which
flax had been spun. But this constantly broke,
and repeated repairs covered the faithful ani-
mals with every species of knots.
Labor was scarce. There were many fam-
ilies who owned a slave, but many more did
not. And of those who did but few owned
two. Even if labor could be hired, there was
no money to pay wages. It had to be paid in
produce of the farm. So the universal custom
of " bees '* became established. Farmers had
plowing bees, planting bees, logging bees»
stumping bees, hoeing bees, mowing bees,
reaping bees, husking bees. There were bees
to raise new buildings ; there were bees to
gather loose stone. There were bees to spin
and bees to weave. There were apple-cutting
bees and quilting bees, and out of all this
neighborliness the farmers of this town were
found in the year that gave us civil freedom
poor in what the world calls wealth, but rich in
that affluent living when every interest of a
neighbor is an interest of our own.
EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS AFTER THE
In the last chapter an attempt was made to
describe the condition of this town when the
seven years of war of the Revolution were
closed. It is here proposed to glance at the
In the American histories which undertake
to describe the social conditions of this period
there is a strange distortion of certain facts.
The people are pictured as not only poor
financially, but intellectual and educational
conditions are put at a very low ebb.
McMaster even says that " in New York and
Pennsylvania a school house was never seen
outside of a village or town." Let us see if
this is true of what is now the town of Sau-
The county of Ulster has a peculiar position
among the original counties of the thirteen
states which formed the American Union. It
grew not only from one original permanent
settlement in early colonial days, but from
three. And each of the three was from a
198 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
different country in Europe, and each brought
its own language. Kingston was a Dutch
settlement, New Paltz was a French and West
Camp a German. But they had one thing in
common. Before anything else might be
done a church and a school must be built.
Kingston had Andries Van Der Sluys to teach
the children of the colony as soon as the
colony was started. New Paltz did the same
thing, and a former chapter told how the
Palatine colony at the Camp, which came on
the fourth of October, 1710, and lived in huts
of bark and brush that winter built a school
house of sawed boards within three months of
the day it landed.
The chapters which took our readers on a
walk about Saugerties and Katsbaan locating
the buildings during the decade 1760-70 called
attention to a school house in each place.
The writer can establish the fact that the
present Union School of Saugerties is the
historical successor of the school then stand-
ing near the site of the present Russell block,
and the school house at Katsbaan that of the
school of that early day. The writer has the
certificate by which the owners of the school
house then on that site in Katsbaan conveyed
the school they had so long maintained to the
people of the newly constituted district upon
the organization of the school system of this
EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS. 199
state. This disposes of the assertion of
McMaster as at the date of which he wrote
(1784), both these schools were at least twenty
years old, and probably sixty.
But while it is a fact that our Revolution,
ary sires had provided schools for the young,
but little else was provided. There was a
desk all around the room before which was a
seat without a back. This seat was usually a
heavy slab into which holes had been bored
and peg feet inserted. No map nor chart was
on the walls, no globe nor model to enable the
eye to catch the meaning or shape of the
thing described was in the room. Nor was it
a part of the task of the teacher to make it
plain. The average teacher trained his pupil's
memory far more than the reason. His pupils
were taught to read with some degree of
fluency, to write with ease and in a legible
hand, to spell as fairly as could be expected
when all authorities did not agree on ortho-
graphy, to cipher until the pupil could cal-
culate by the rule of three and to learn long
rules with multitudinous exceptions upon the
use of language. This was all. The pupil
had to sit upon the hardest of benches for
eight hours a day struggling over Cheever's
Accidence, or Daboll's Arithmetic, wrestling
with the polysyllables of Dillworth's speller,
committing to memory long pages of Web-
200 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
ster's American Institute and long sections of
the Catechism interspersed with Dr. Watts*
*' Hymns for Infant Minds." The school
books were printed upon a kind of straw
paper in letters which were not pleasing to the
eye, and were illustrated with the rudest of
wood cuts which had done duty for genera-
tions of school books and would for genera-
tions more until Noah Webster introduced
the first of the glorious list of modern school
books with his famous spelling book.
The schoolmaster was not specially trained
for his labors, nor was his a life profession. He
was usually some student for the ministry, law
or medicine, who eked out his scanty funds
with a few months each year in pedagogy. He
would give two months to this every winter,
while some maiden who desired to provide
somewhat towards a matrimonial outfit would
devote two months of one summer, or two, to
teaching. The boys went in the winter with
a few girls living near by, and the girls went in
the summer and with them the little boys.
Such were the conditions which obtained all
over the land, and yet in these unpromising
surroundings the minds of the men and women
were trained who developed and moulded this
country of ours during the wonderful Nine-
The teacher boarded around among his
EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS. 201
patrons. He needed a strong constitution as
he would sleep one night in the best room, the
next one in the garret ; one night in a room in
which there was fire, the next in one in which
no fire had been lighted in six months; one
night he would have heavy bed blankets, on
another he would sleep between a thin feather
bed and a thick one, while on a third would
have linen sheets on his bed and over all the
skin of some wild animal.
He was expected to make himself agreeable
during the long winter evenings, to help back-
ward pupils with their sums, to escort the
young ladies of the family to singing-schools,
apple-cuts, spinning bees, or quiltings, and as
he went on Sunday morning with the family
with whom he chanced to be sojourning to the
chilly church it was his province to carry the
footstove with glowing hickory coals to keep
warm the feet of the lady of the house who
was entertaining him. And on winter nights
when the wind was heaping the snow outside
of the house where he was staying he would
be found employed in turning the swift or reel
for the spinning maidens, or holding the yarn
as the daughters of the family wound it.
His authority in the school was absolute.
His scepter was the rod or ferule, his word in
the home was final in matters to be learned
from books, his rivalry was dreaded by coun-
202 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
try swains and were he a gentleman by
instinct and in manner his attentions would be
most readily accepted by the fairer sex in the
His salary was but a pittance, his duties
laborious, but his position carried with it a
standing among his fellows unknown in this
day of trained teachers, well equipped schools,
varied curricula, and text books, which, in
clear and intelligent language convey the idea
and the thought in the things they teach.
He exacted reverence and respect and such
were paid him. But with it was inculcated a
respect for law and the rights of others that
was most valuable to a people just made free
and independent that their liberty should not
degenerate into license and selfishness. He
taught the rising generation well in things it
needed to learn during the infancy of the
Republic and many of those lessons might
with great advantage be taught to the genera-
tion of the opening of the Twentieth Century.
THE COUNTRY DOCTOR.
As we pass in review the conditions of the
town at the close of the Revolution, or one
hundred and twenty years ago, no one will in-
terest us more than the country doctor. Others
may have known much of the town ; he knew
the town. Others may have been faithful in
their day and generation ; he was the faithful
one. When highways went around hills, and
were swamps when rains were falling; and
were an object lesson in ruts, stumps and stones
in times of drought, he was the one person who
knew those terrible roads by day, and pursued
their tedious miles at every hour of the night.
He knew the town and the people of it for had
he not ushered them into it and did he not
close their eyes as they made their exit ? Had
he not physicked them, plastered them and
bled them? Was not his name a witness to
every will when the drugs he had pounded in
his own mortar had not proved as effective as
he had hoped in warding off some disease
which had baffled his wisdom to diagnose and
his skill to cure ? And best of all, were there
204 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
not at every cross-road and along every coun-
try lane, in houses without number, many of
those who had been restored to health by his
cheering word, his winning smile, his infectious
laughter and his simple remedies when calomel
and purging had failed, when copious bleeding
had been ineffective and when rhubarb and
molasses had been prescribed in daily doses all
in vain ?
What though the old white horse which he
bestrid carried the only drug store in a score of
miles? What though universal medicines had
not been invented, nor favorite remedies com-
pounded ? What though almanacs with testi-
monials from those who had risen from the
grave because a bottle of some useful panacea
had been placed in the coffin were not yet
printed? In spite of the primitive conditions
prevailing sick and suffering humanity all over
the town blessed the day in which that old
white horse stood tied at the door while the
old doctor with beaming face was within with
warm greeting and warmer clasp of hand and
warmest word direct from a heart that was
pumping its own red blood until the afflicted
one felt his very presence a reviving hope.
That restless sufferer might be tossed with
fever; he might be denied water especially if
it were cool ; to him ice might be forbidden
when his veins were afire and instead small
THE COUNTRY DOCTOR. 205
quantities of clam juice be administered ; he
might be cupped and leeched and bled ; he
might find his gums shriveled from his teeth
by the mercurial compounds he swallowed, yet
the faithful physician in his constant attend-
ance and unremitting care oft-times had brought
him through it all in safety.
These were days when there was no royal
road into the medical profession. There were
but two medical schools in the country and
these but poorly equipped. Many a medical
student was admitted to practice who had
never dissected a human body. So difficult
was it to obtain anatomical subjects that it is
said that the Harvard medical school had made
a single body do duty for a whole year's course
of lectures. And the writer remembers the
gruesome tales of the efforts made in their
student days by the practitioners of fifty years
ago to obtain cadavers for the purpose. How
many a grave was violated in those days the
world will never know ; how rarely did the
body of a dying criminal escape the knife med-
ical students would never reveal.
But meager as was the education obtained in
those days in medical schools most of those
who entered the profession were denied even
this. Almost all who sought to enter upon
the practice of medicine could do no more
than study with an old practitioner. Such a
206 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
student went into the office, the pestle rarely
left his hands as he had to grind the powders
in the mortar day by day. It was his to hold
the basin while the patient's blood was filling
it ; to mix and roll the pills the doctor had
compounded ; scrape the lint, tear the band-
ages and sew wounds while his master directed.
What if but few of the drugs of to-day were
known ? He learned to know the medical
qualities of all the plants and herbs of the
neighborhood. What if the books he studied
abounded in errors and false speculations?
Granted that he had a keen eye and logical
mind, a memory that was tenacious and an
apprehension that was quick he soon reached
the limit of the book knowledge of his master
and began to draw on the stores of his experi-
ence, and before long was equipped with
what was needed to carry a benediction to
those who were suffering.
He could know that in the community none
was more welcome than he. None more re-
spected. None occupied a higher station.
None more readily rose to prominence and
wealth. And yet none other felt the impo-
tence of man as he. Fevers raged and deci-
mated whole communities, for it had not yet
been learned what sanitation will do to banish
them. Quinine had not yet been discovered,
though cinchona bark was pounded in small
THE COUNTRY DOCTOR. 207
quantities. Small-pox carried off its victims
by the hundred and disfigured many more, for
vaccination was not made known until 1798,
and innoculation was still declared to be against
the law of God. Surgical operations were still
performed regardless of the pain and mis-
ery occasioned the victims, for anaesthetics
were unknown until 1846, and the wonderful
triumphs of the surgery of the present day
would have been regarded as but little short of
the miraculous ; while the long and increasing
list of remedies found in this year of grace in
the materia medica would have been entirely
unintelligible to him, and a glimpse at the spe-
cial and mechanical instruments and devices of
modern surgery would have been the great-
est of revelations.
Few volumes were found in the doctor's li-
brary, and aside from saws, lancets and turn-
keys, few surgical instruments used in his prac-
tice. No medical societies called for the read-
ing of his experience and discoveries, and no
medical journals were published to tell of his
successful cures or operations. His renown
was local, and he survived for a generation or
two in the memory and love of those whom he
had cured, or at least helped, and when he died
he went to his long rest worthy of such a
tribute as Ian MacLaren paid Dr. William
MacClure in the *' Bonnie Briar Bush."
208 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
It remains to speak of the earliest physicians
of this town. The old stone house now stand-
ing on the north side of Main street in this
village was the home upon the farm of Hiskia
DuBois. This farm was upon both sides of
the present Main street. In 1773 it was sold
by David DuBois to Dr. Christopher Kiersted,
whose mother was Leah DuBois of New Paltz.
Dr. Kiersted was born in the city of New
York in August 1736. There he was edu-
cated, and, as stated, came to Saugerties in
1773. This house he made his residence and
ofifice. He was then the only physician in
town. He died March 23, 1791, but before
his death two young men from Katsbaan had
studied medicine with him. They were Dr.
Coonradt Newkirk, who was born in 1766, and
Dr. Abram Fiero, born in 1770. When they
began to practice they both located in Kats-
baan, Dr. Fiero upon the place now owned by
William Clement and Dr. Newkirk upon that
now in possession of William Fiero. These
were the town physicians for many years, Dr.
Fiero dying in 1828 and Dr. Newkirk as late
On Tuesday, July i, 1806, thirteen phy-
sicians of Ulster county met in Kingston and
organized the Ulster County Medical Society.
Two of these were Drs. Newkirk and Fiero
and thus became charter members. Their
THE COUNTRY DOCTOR. 209
first act was to consider and ascertain the
cause of an epidemic of fever in Kingston at
the request of the authorities of that village
and it was found in a mill pond of stagnant
water, and the first paper discussed was
In the early days of the last century Dr.
Christopher C. Kiersted, son of the old doctor,
began to practice in this village. The writer
does not know the year he was admitted, but
he became a member of the Ulster County
Medical Society in 1819. With the develop-
ment of the great manufacturing interests and
the consequent growth many other physicians
settled here of whom it is not within our
province to tell. This book deals only with
the origins of things in the town.
THE OLD FARM HOUSES.
The chapters just concluded have made the
attempt to transport us back to 1783 and to
the conditions under which the people of this
town, having just emerged from a seven years
war, were living. It is here proposed to look
at their dwellings and farm buildings.
Of the old stone farm houses of one hun-
dred and twenty-five years ago and over, very
many remain in different parts of the town.
Year by year some are torn down, but every
community has several. Some are unoccupied,
some used for other purposes, but most have
been greatly transformed and fitted to modern
conditions of heating and furnishing. Yet
some can be found with the old-time charac-
This dwelling was usually of stone and most
frequently limestone, then as now, abundant.
Those earliest built were low and rambling.
The front roof descended from the ridge-pole
very steeply to the eaves, while the back roof
came to within eight feet of the ground. There
was usually no break in the roof, but dormer
THE OLD FARM HOUSES. 211
windows were frequent in that front. The
house was of one story and above this was a
garret covering the whole lower floor. This
garret rested upon heavy beams for it was
chiefly used for the storage of grain and usually
contained the indispensable loom. The house
was entered in front across a " stoep" on either
side of which were long seats which in summer
fulfilled the purpose of a family sitting room
and place for neighborly chat and gossip over
a friendly pipe. In the rear of the house,
especially if that rear was towards the east,
was built as a lean-to a large room for summer
purposes. This was of frame and along its
outside was a long horizontal shutter which
could be let down and supported in the man-
ner of a bracket, and which thus became a shelf
on which to expose to the actinic rays of the
morning sun the newly washed milk pans. In
this summer room was found during that sea-
son the family table which was a round one,
and when not in use the top was turned up on
a roller hinge revealing a lid under which were
kept the knives, forks and pewter spoons in
daily use. Around the room were chairs of
maple with flag or splint bottoms.
The table furniture was largely of pewter
aside from steel knives and forks. Pewter
spoons, cups, tea-pots, dishes, bowls, molasses-
pots and measures abounded. Large pewter
212 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
platters were on every table. Even pie dishes
were made of the metal. Silver ware, espe-
cially spoons, every family had, but not in
every day use.
From the front door a wide hall extended
across the house to a rear door and in this hall
summer evenings ever were the sweetest. On
one side of this hall was the large family sitting
room with its immense fireplace and its well-
scrubbed floor, the home of the spinning wheel
and its accompanying reel and swift. On the
other side of the hall was the parlor, or
best room containing, oft-times, high-backed
chairs of mahogany with claw feet.
Entering the house from either front or rear
one came through a door divided into an upper
and a lower half, the lower of which was
usually shut. Upon it hung a heavy brass
knocker for announcing a caller. The house
was guarded by shutters which were kept open
by a large iron letter S. Many shutters had a
crescent shaped slot towards the top to give
enough light for one to pass in the room with-
out running against furniture when they were
The floors of the house were laid with wide
white or yellow pine planks and these were
often hewed and the under side of those on
the lower floor was a slab. A chair rail ran
around the plastered wall of the living room.
THE OLD FARM HOUSES. 213
and the big fireside with its immense brass and-
irons was the family centre all the winter
The cellars were large, cool and airy. They
were flagged with stone and for more than half
the year they held the family provisions. Here
were firkins of butter, barrels of pork, corned
beef and salted shad and herring, with a large
tub containing soused pig's feet, headcheese
and roletjes. Along another side was a hogs-
head of vinegar and just beyond were barrels
of cider and probably, one of wine. Here too
were stored the apples, potatoes, cabbage and
vegetables for the winter.
In the bedrooms were high-post bedsteads
and around the walls were large blue chests of
pine, oak, or it may be cedar containing rolls
of the family linen, or manufactured articles
from the same, with blankets of wool, quilts
and coverlets. And when a bride was to be
fitted out her trousseau could be furnished
from these blue chests.
On the high bedstead was a downy feather
bed over a straw mattress, or tick, resting upon
tight cords crossed in the frame of the bed-
stead. The bed was draped with white dimity
curtains, or perhaps a kind of chintz, with vines
and birds and flowers. The bedstead was high
enough to receive under it during the day the
trundle bed in which the children slept at
214 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
night and a valance hid it from sight when
thus disposed of.
In the living room, or in the wide hall ticked
the six-foot clock with a face recording the
changes of the moon as well as the hours,
minutes and seconds of the day. Near it stood
a writing desk, or secretary, with drawers to
the floor. This was either cherry, or mahogany
ornamented with brass mountings and contain-
ing pigeon-holes and other receptacles for the
stationery, papers and documents of the family.
The upper part was frequently the bookcase
for the family library. Also either in the hall
or in the living room was the closet with glass
doors behind which was the china of the family
awaiting a wedding or a New Year's dinner to
displace the pewter of daily use.
Behind the house was the great kitchen.
Here was the domain of the negro women of
the household if such there were. Here stood
the dresser on which was displayed the pewter
of the family shining as brightly as frequent
polishing could make it. Beside the mammoth
fireplace was the brick oven with its long spadle
for placing or taking out the platters of bread
or biscuit, or the pewter pie dishes. Within
the chimney jams hung the crane ready for
instant use, and beside it stood a tin Dutch
oven ready for service in front of the glowing
fire, while against the jam was the spit for the
THE OLD FARM HOUSES, 215
roast. Long iron toasting forks, long-handled
frying pans and griddles, revolving gridirons
and ladles were in their accustomed places and
beside the dresser stood a wooden mortar with
a long cylindrical stone for a pestle to grind
the spices for the family.
Most of the remaining houses have been alt-
ered so often that their early features have gone.
The lean-to described has disappeared from
almost every one in town. The house of
Luther Myer, in Hommelville, still has one in
all its pristine glory. Many still have their
heavy beams and low ceilings. But even here
the ruthless hand of the renovator has often
robbed it of beauty by cutting part away, or
covering them with ceiling boards or plaster.
Most of the divided doors have gone, the high
post bedstead has disappeared with pewter
dishes and spinning wheels, and the large open
fireplaces vanished with the groups that made
merry around the pine-knot fires.
Shortly after the new century began with
i8oi, a new style of stone houses began to be
erected. When a more modern limestone
dwelling was built at that time upon the farm
so long in the possession of the late Ephraim
\. Myer, of Katsbaan, it was the talk of the
town. The ceilings were made high and plas-
tered, and a circle of plaster ornamented the
ceihng above the centre of the room. Then
2 1 6 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
the stone parsonage at Katsbaan was built a
two-story house and set another fashion.
The village of Saugerties has types of both
these styles of Dutch stone dwelling architec-
ture. The Mynderse house, the Peter P.
Schoonmaker, and the Kiersted representing
the older, while that of Sherwood D. Myer
represents the newer.
The barns were immense affairs. As abund-
ant room was necessary to swing the flail barn
floors were built of great size. Of necessity
crops were stored overhead and oak beams of
strength and size must be used to support them.
In these latter days these barns have been
torn down. Threshing by machinery requires
little barn room, bays hold the crops which in
storage are thus but little removed from the
ground, and labor-saving machinery gathers
and stores them. Nevertheless the changed
conditions are not greater than can be wit-
nessed to-day. Could a modern farmer of this
town be transported to a Dakota prairie and
see machines doing every species of farm
labor he would not be more interested than
an Eighteenth Century farmer of Saugerties
returning to see the present-day methods on
his own acres.
Readers of this chapter will find much in it
which seems of a later day than the close of
Revolution. But the change from the con-
THE OLD FARM HOUSES. 217
ditions of that day was slow and gradual.
Those whose memory recalls the middle of the
last century saw much of what existed one
hundred years ago. But since the civil war of
1861-65 almost all the life of the former days
has been swept away. And the coming gen-
eration will find it diflficult to understand the
manners and customs that continued in this
town until shaken to their destruction by the
earthquake of the terrible civil war.
FARM LIFE IN OLDEN TIME.
When we were glancing at the settlement of
this town in one of the earlier chapters, we
noticed how little land was under cultivation
before the year 1700. Attention was called to
the great "bouwerie" of maize the Indians
were cultivating just north of the village of
Saugerties in 1663, and had been during un-
known years, and the beginning of farm life as
the first permanent settler, Cornelius Lambert-
sen Brink, took possession of his grant in 1688
on the Plattekill and Esopus at the south end
of the town, with Peter Winne adjoining him
in 1692. No one besides these resided in the
town when the year 1701 ushered in the
For twelve years there was no further con-
veyance of land in the town of Saugerties.
The four Meals and Hayes grants of i685-87
had been passing through different hands with-
out anything being done towards settlement
upon them. On the i6th of August, 1712, the
large patent covering so much of the village of
Saugerties was deeded to John Persen, who
FARM LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 21^
settled upon it. One month later (September
13, 1712) the British government abandoned
the tar-making project at West Camp, and al-
lowed the Palantine colonists to seek homes
for themselves, which most of them who were
on the west side of the Hudson did v/ithin our
town. The twenty-five years following (171 5-
40) witnessed the clearing of the forests and
the breaking of the soil to the plow, especially
at Katsbaan and about the present village of
Saugerties. And almost every one of the
early deeds in this town on record covering the
more desirable farming land is dated during
these twenty-five years. So that at the time
under consideration, or the year 1783, the
farms of the town had not been tilled for much
more than fifty years. We propose to look in
this chapter at this comparatively virgin soil
and its harvests.
We find the farmers raising the standard
crops year by year. On every farm the great
crop was hay for the subsistence of the domes-
tic animals of the farm. There was no local
market for it, as every one but Domine De
Ronde, who lived where is now the residence
of Mrs. Dawes in the village of Saugerties, was
engaged in farming. Captain Benjamin Snyder
carried some to New York, as he had resumed
his trips with his sloop from the creek since the
Treaty of Peace was signed. But baling hay
220 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
was not yet thought of, and the sloop could
not carry much loose.
Old meadows, as now, were turned over
by the plow, and potatoes or corn planted on
the upturned sod. Potatoes was the profitable
crop in the virgin soil. And on almost every
farm were potash kettles producing pot and
pearl ash from the exhaustless forests, and the
residuum kept the fertile soil yielding such
crops of potatoes as the town has never pro-
duced since. The same may be said of the
cereals, corn, rye and wheat, and during the
short days of winter the country resounded
with the ring of the flails as the golden sheaves
of wheat and rye were parting with their treas-
On every farm was a tobacco patch. Every-
body smoked or chewed, and the use of snuff
was almost universal. It was known that bet-
ter tobacco came from Virginia, but there was
no money for Virginia tobacco, and the home
product must suffice, though snuff was brought
up the river and could be obtained at Persen's
store in Katsbaan. In those days, as now, the
great tobacco firm was that of the Lorillards,
and jars of Lorillard's snuff stood on the shelf
of every merchant. On every farm were flocks
of sheep. The winter clothing of all was
woolen. This was from the backs of the sheep
of the farm. Sheep shearing every spring
FARM LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 221
provided the raw material, which was then
taken to the wool carder and returned in rolls
for the large spinning wheel to be spun for the
loom, and the whir of these made music in
every house as the spinner, holding the roll in
her left hand and whirling the wheel with her
right, stepped back five or six feet on the floor
and then wound the spun thread upon the
spindle as she returned. Twenty years before
this Hargreaves had invented the spinning-
jenny, which could spin a dozen threads or
more at once, and a few of these had already
come in use in the town. This yarn was then
dyed and woven into cloth or blankets and
the cloth again taken to the mill to be fulled^
after which a traveling tailoress cut and made
the family clothing.
Every farmer had his field of flax as well.
This was carefully tilled and when ready to
gather was pulled and laid in rows to rot the
outer stalk. Then it went to the "crackle,"
by which those stalks were broken. This was
a frame of long wooden knives upon which
was a lid of similar knives hinged to the frame
at one end. The upper knives were raised
and, descending, each just avoided the corre-
sponding lower knife while breaking the outer
stalks of the bunch of flax placed between the
knives. The bunch of flax went next to the
" switchel," or "swingle." This was an erect
222 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
board, not quite perpendicular, about three
feet high and the upper end was sharpened.
The bunch of flax from the crackle was laid
over this and beaten with a long wooden knife
to separate the fibrous parts from the stalky
and entirely break up the coarser fibers. It
was then ready for the '* hetchel." This was a
board with a square of iron teeth in alternat-
ing rows. Through this the bunch was repeat-
edly drawn and the fine fibers of flax were
combed from the coarser tow. This fine pro-
duct was then ready for the distaff of the
small flax wheel, so well known everywhere,
on which it was spun. Its future course to
the loom and the bleaching-green need not be
told. The years we are describing found
chests and presses filled with countless yards
of linen, and garments of the same, in the
dwellings of the town. Some of these were
especially fine in texture and witnessed to the
labor and skill of the fair hands that had spun
and woven them. One of the pleasantest
recollections of the boyhood days of the writer
is a scene in which a half a dozen or more men
were cradling grain together, each man one
step behind the one leading him, and each
clad in a suit of homemade white linen. The
graceful swing of the cradle, as each kept
stroke along a hillside was a pastoral picture
which will never be seen again. The tow, the
FARM LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 223
coarser flax from the hetchel, was spun into
rope or mops, or woven into doormats.
The orchards were laden with apples. There
were not as many varieties as to-day, many of
those we use having been developed by the
systematic and scientific culture of the apple.
But a few of the excellent old varieties as the
Straat and Esopus Spitzenbergh are either
lost, or deteriorated. The delicious pears of
to-day were almost unknown as they were
originated during the Nineteenth Century.
This is true of most of the orchard fruits as
peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots.
Many of the vegetables which now enrich
our tables were unknown. There were no
cauliflowers, no egg-plants, no tomatoes, no
nasturtiums. The seeds of the tomato were
brought in after years from France to be cul-
tivated as an ornamental shrub for its golden
love-apples. The fruit was at first thought to
be poisonous. Turnips, beets, cabbage and
onions were grown, but not spinach and aspar-
agus though the latter began to be gathered
where it was found to be growing wild.
On the hills and in the woods huckleberries,
strawberries, raspberries and blackberries grew
in abundance. But nothing had been done to
produce the exquisitely flavored berries found
in the gardens of today. Nor were the
beautiful flower gardens of to day possible.
224 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
The beautiful geraniums, fuchsias, and chry-
santhemums which bloom with us were
unknown. So were many others of those
which every woman cares for now and loves.
Tulips were there and roses. But the exquisite
productions of the propagating skill of the
florist which we enjoy had not been conceived
of. And yet the gardens of those days with
their bachelor's buttons, sweet peas, sweet
Williams, holly hocks, marigolds, pinks and
violets will be ever fragrant in the memory of
those who gathered them in childhood.
No one gathered ice in those days. Every
thunder storm curdled the milk. The butter
was hung after every meal in a pail in the
coolest corner of the well and bushes were left
to grow to shade the cellar windows to pre-
serve the delicious coolness to be found in
every farmer's cellar.
Oranges were sometimes seen, cocoanuts
often and lemons were frequently found in
groceries, but pine-apples and bananas were
unknown. A fruit store, such as every coun-
try village now knows, had never been seen in
the largest cities, and a representative of
sunny Italy could hardly be found in America
at that day. It was known that Columbus
was an Italian, and Amerigo Vespucci, but it
had not been conceived that any other would
ever come, and modern Italian exhibitions of
FARM LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 225
fruit could not have been displayed at their
completest county fair.
On every farm porkers were fattening for
the November " butchering." And in the
stall a beef was being fed for this event. In
May the farmers flocked to the Hudson river
for shad and herring, and a barrel of each was
salted for the family larder. Game was still to
be had in reasonable plenty and streams were
stocked with fish. Every farmer had a flock
of poultry, including ducks, geese and turkeys
while the last in their wild state were fre-
quently found by the sportsman. Every spring
the sky was darkened by the interminable
clouds of wild pigeons flying north, of which
hundreds found their way into the farmer's
kitchen. So the life of those days was still
one of comfort and plenty though many
things we find to be necessities had never
been conceived of. Above all there was a
whole-soulness in the life they lived which the
strenuousness of modern existence has almost
destroyed from the earth.
THE INDISPENSABLE LOOM.
Much more remains to be told of the life
and work on the farm in the early days of
1783. The present generation will be inter-
ested in the appearance of our grandsires and
dames. They were largely, or almost entirely,
clad in garments homespun and made. We
attempted to tell of the cultivation, prepara-
tion and use of the flax and linen. More should
be said of homemade woolens.
A description of the large spinning wheels
for wool, and for tow as well, was given in the
last chapter. We propose to take the reader
to a Saugerties farm in the spring. There
comes a balmy day in that season and the flock
of sheep is driven to some stream where a
waterfall is tumbling. The flock is there im-
pounded. One by one they are taken to the
fall and the water pours into the heavy fleece
which has coated them through the wintry
days now gone. Holding the sheep in his
arms the farmer rubs the drenched fleece until
the water from it runs clearly. Then another
takes its place. After a few days drying it is
THE INDISPENSABLE LOOM. 227
ready for the shearer who quickly robs it of its
winter coat. This was taken to the fulling mill
where it was carded to remove burs and other
foreign substances, and to transform it into
rolls for spinning. From the spindle the yarn
was run off upon a reel which had a clock
ratchet to give notice when a hundred yards of
yarn had been wound. This was called a skein,
and two or more of them twisted together a
**hank." Sometimes it was necessary to twist
the threads of yarn. Two skeins were then
hung around a "swift." This was a cage of
wooden rods which hung upon an upright staff
upon which it revolved. The only bearing
was at the top of the staff which was sharpened
and inserted in the cross-pieces supporting the
rods. From the revolving swift the yarn un-
wound as it was twisted upon the spindle of
the large spinning wheel. As the bearing of
the swift had never been known to be oiled the
friction soon produced a wierd, uncanny sound
which, once heard, could never be forgotten.
Thirty knots of warp and stocking yarn, and
forty of woof, or filling were considered a day's
After reeling the yarn was scoured and went
to the loom. The warp was "spooled" and
thence run off on the warping bars. Then each
thread by itself was drawn through one of two
*• harnesses" and wound on the warping beam
228 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
after each passed through a reed. The filling
was run on a quill, which was usually a cone of
small paper, home-made. A quill wheel was
used to fill both spools and quills. The quills
were then inserted in a shuttle which was
thrown by hand through the alternating threads
of warp. Then by treadles worked by the foot
one harness was pulled down as the other
raised, the reed, hung in a heavy frame, was
beaten with one hand and the shuttle with the
woof was thrown back by the hand which had
caught it to the hand which threw it while the
other harness was brought down and the shuttle
From the loom the web went to the dye.
The colors were usually snuff-brown or butter-
nut and either often mixed with white. After
dyeing the cloth was fulled, teasled, sheared
and pressed and was then ready for the tailor-
ess, as before described. But no process could
keep this homemade cloth from catching lint
and dust, and from fulling when it became wet,,
and the clothes often shrank in the wearing.
It possessed one great virtue, it would wear^
and through seasons not a few. To prevent
the shrinking the wool was frequently mixed
with cotton and a cloth called satinet was
made which was almost universally worn, or
the wool was mixed with linen and called
THE INDISPENSABLE LOOM, 22^
Dresses and petticoats were also made from
homemade flannel, and whatever the aesthetic
eye might say about them they had the merit
of warmth, and with the homemade woolen
stockings, cuffs, mittens and comfortables the
women, boys and girls of the families were
ready for the blasts of winter.
For all ordinary wear, and even for service
on Sunday, our ancestors, both in youth and
in older years were thus clad in homespun
woolen, and in summer in linen of their own
production. But all occasions were not ordi-
nary, especially for the young of both sexes,
and few were so poor as to be unable to secure
a suit, at least, of what was worn in the outer
world. This had been hard to obtain. It was
difficult to secure the money to buy with and
more difficult to buy. During all the years
from 1776 to 1783 the British had been in pos-
session of New York city and thus merchants
up the Hudson had been shut out from the
city. Cornelius Persen, who kept the town
store at Katsbaan, had been compelled to
transport his merchandise all the way from
Philadelphia by the inland route of the Ron-
dout valley to Port Jervis and the Delaware
valley to Philadelphia. And during the long
months of the British occupation of that city
he had made the long journey with teams to
Boston. As most of what the people used
230 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
was raised on their own farms a merchant did
not keep the assortment of to-day. Still
spices were needed, and tea. Salt was a
necessity. Farmers produced their own flour,
sugar, molasses and tobacco. But they pur-
chased their snuff, exchanged farm products
for their tea and spices, and in their barter
provided for finer garments from the mer-
chant's shelves. What had he to offer? His
dry goods were called broadcloths, tammies,
half-thicks, persians and pelongs, blue sagatha
and red bunts, ticklenburghs and black ever-
lastings, and handkerchiefs bearing the unin-
telligible names of bandanoe, lungee, romals,
culgee, puttical and silk setetersoy. If Per-
sen's shelves could not supply the would-be
purchaser who desired any of the above dry
goods a journey of twelve to fifteen miles over
a rough road would provide for his or her
selection the assortment to be found in
Groote 'Sopus, as the Dutch always called
The wagon of that day had no springs, and
jolted fearfully over the roots and stumps and
through the ruts of country roads. One day
Cornelius Persen brought home a vehicle
which was the wonder of the country-side. It
had only two wheels. The body was hung
upon two heavy straps of leather stretched
from a cross-bar in the shafts under the box
THE INDISPENSABLE LOOM. 231
and around big iron bows behind the seat and
thence down to the axle. There was not
much spring to the leather straps, but when
the wheels struck an obstacle there was a
lateral motion which prevented a jolt at the
risk of being thrown from the gig. This
vehicle could be used only to ride to church
and on other occasions of state. But it was
the predecessor of modern conveyances, and
the days of the lumber wagon as a family car-
Most of the labor was done by oxen. Oxen
plowed the fields, for they were cheaper and
more steady and patient to break up the
newly-cleared ground so full of stumps, roots
and stones. Oxen drew the logs and fire-
wood, oxen were yoked to most of the wagons
upon the highways. The crops were drawn
from the fields upon ox-carts and hay was
loaded so far over the beasts that they were
hidden and the load seemed almost to move
itself. These patient beasts of burden were
emblematic of the slow, the sure and the safe
life of those days when the foundations of the
prosperity of this mighty land were being laid.
We may smile at their slowness. But our
fathers built sure, and they built well. The
foundations thus laid have never needed
repairs and all the stress of modern life would
have shaken any other to its overthrow.
SOCIAL LIFE IN OLDEN TIME.
The culmination of the year among our an-
cestors one hundred years ago was the holiday
season. With the labors of the field completed
and, for the time, the flail in the barn sus-
pended and the wheel and the loom in the
house set aside, the families who had toiled so
hard gave themselves over to a season of en-
joyment. In those days this season began
with the day of Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas,
December 6th. That worthy saint, or his em-
bodiment, went about distributing presents to
good children, and at that time all were good, by
filling their stockings hung in chimney corners.
All had made great preparation for his recep-
tion. The children had been singing all day:
** Santa Claus, goedt heilig man,
Loop uw weg van Amsterdam,
Van Amsterdam na Spanje,
Van Spanje na Oranje,
En breng deze kindjes eenige graps.
Sint Nicholas, mijn goeden vriend,
Ik had u altijd wel gediend.
Als gij mij nu wat wilt geven,
Zal ik u dienen mijn leven."
SOCIAL LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 233
This petition might be roughly rendered into
English after this fashion to us degenerate
Dutch Americans :
Santa Claus, good holy man,
Go your way from Amsterdam,
From Amsterdam to Spain,
From Spain to Orange,
And bring these Httle children toys.
Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend.
To serve you ever was my end.
If you me now something will give,
Serve you I will as long as I live.
But a generation or so before the time of
which v^^e are writing this day had been less
and less frequently observed and all its essen-
tial features transferred to Kerstijdt, or Christ-
mas, which followed in nineteen days thereafter.
Services were held in the church, with the
communion of the Lord's Supper, while at
home great preparations were in progress for
the family dinner of the year.
Nieuw Jaar, or New Year's Day, was always
kept. There was not as much calling to bring
the greetings of the New Year as in villages
and cities, but houses were ever open on that
day and the fullest hospitality shown. And
every New Year's day services were held in
the church in Katsbaan and the sermon re-
viewed the year. With the coming of the
234 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Rev. Dr. Ostrander, in i8i2, he introduced the
feature of an interpretation of the immediate
future in the h'ght of the recent past, which
was exceedingly profitable, as he used the
Scriptures to show how all was bearing on the
extension of the kingdom of Christ on earth.
Paas, or Easter, was duly observed and Pinxs-
ter, or Whitsuntide, was a holiday. This was
the special day of the colored people.
Shortly after New Year's day had come and
gone a succession of visits was begun and con-
tinued. Leaving part of the family at home
to care for the stock on the farm and keep the
house the team w^as hitched to the sleigh and
driven to some distant relatives for a stay of a
day or two. From there to another, and some-
times a dozen or more such visits would be
paid to relatives and friends living within a
radius of twenty or thirty miles. Upon their
coming home the visiting family would begin to
receive return visits and this interchange would
be kept up until the returning sun would begin
to send the sap of spring into the sugar maples,
and the season for providing the sugar and mo-
lasses for the year's supply was at hand, and it
was time to tap the maples.
It was a busy scene around the sap-bushes.
The upturned troughs of previous years
would be cleaned, the elder or sumac spiles
prepared and the trees tapped. It was a work
SOCIAL LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 235
that required attention to gather the sap into
the sugar house and boil it. In those early
years brass and iron kettles hung over the fire
and slowly evaporated the water, but in time
the well-known large, shallow pans displaced
the former and rapidly reduced the sap to the
desired sweets. No one who has ever been so
fortunate as to enjoy the delicious sugaring-off
can ever forget the occasion when a mass
thrown into the newly fallen snow to cool de-
lighted the palate.
• But no sooner was the close of the winter
celebrated by these preparations for the sac-
charine neccessities of the family than busy
housewives found other needs equally pressing.
Into an immense tub set upon a large flat
stone, and upon a layer of straw, a great
quantity of ashes was put for leaching. The
lye thus obtained was boiled into soap with
the accumulated grease. In the cellar of the
house usually stood a trough excavated from
the trunk of a huge tree and divided into two
compartments. Into one of these compart-
ments this soap, which had been made soft,,
was poured and kept for a year to thoroughly
cure before using. The succeeding spring the
other compartment was filled and from the
first the year-old soap was used.
Meanwhile during the short days of winter^
the threshing had been done and the beaten
236 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
grain been winnowed by being thrown by
broad winnowing baskets against the wind
blowing across the barn floor, as fanning mills
were yet unknown. It was a long and laborious
process. And during all this time the axe had
been plied in the forests, and the year's supply
of wood for the fires, and of rails for the Vir-
ginia fences, which zigzagged around all the
fields, had been chopped, brought home, split
and piled. The farmer had erected his rope-
walk, and the tow from the flax the women had
spun had been made into rope. His flint-lock
musket had been cleaned for the northward
flight of the wild pigeons that would darken
the sky for days, and pigeons in every variety
of preparation would find their way from his
kitchen to his table.
With the young men and boys he had set his
traps in the forests about, and many a skin of
mink, otter or muskrat, or it may be of larger
game, had been obtained. The gun had se-
cured for him the pelts of a number of foxes,
and these were prepared for the annual visit of
John Jacob Astor to Persen's store in Kats-
baan. Here they brought welcome dollars to
the hunter and the trapper, for Astor came
with the earliest sloop up the Hudson in the
spring, and trappers and hunters from the Cats-
kills and beyond the mountains resorted to this
store to meet him. At times the old store-
SOCIAL LIFE IN OLDEN TIME. 2y7
house was filled with them, and Astor carried
the overflow into the kitchen against the indig-
nant protests of the mistress of the house.
The social life of the young people had been
maintained through the winter. Many had
been the spinning-bees, and these had been
followed by a frolic. Quilting bees had been
numerous, and to these the young men came in
the evening. Regularly during the winter a
singing school was held every week. Here
some vocal instructor gathered the young in
school house or church, and catching the pitch
of the key from his pitch-pipe instructed and
led them in sacred song. Often some one who
was an expert with the flute or violin would
give instruction thereon as well, and train a
choir of voices not only, but develop an or-
chestra in the use of violin, violoncello and
flute. About the year 1830 a teacher by the
name of Dunton was such an one, who visited
Katsbaan and trained a choir remarkable for
their cultivated voices and skill with the above
Debating societies were features of the win-
ter. The questions were argued with every
recurring year. The disputants were ranged
upon the affirmative and negative sides, and
the decision as to which brought forward the
better arguments and reasoned most cogently
was left to three judges. Our Dutch ancestors
238 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
in this locality became noted reasoners, and
held their opinions with tenacity, but there
were those who prided themselves upon their
logic. It was related of some that when they
found their opponents abandoning the field,
they would go over to those adversaries' side
and argue their view of the case to a trium-
phant conclusion. In these forums the ques-
tion of liberty had been argued time and
again preceding, during and after the Revolu-
tion ; and preceding the civil war of i86i-$
these debating societies were once more arenas
for the discussion of the mighty questions
finally decided in that momentous conflict.
The Fourth of July was the great holiday of
the year. Around it centered all that was
patriotic. Its spirit was an exhilaration of the
energy of a young nation conscious of possess-
ing boundless resources not only, but of being
free. The day was ever celebrated by young
and old. The Declaration of Independence
was read by him who possessed the most so-
norous voice, and the orator of the day was
ever expatiating on the deeds of Washington
and the army, and ever viewing the universal
spread of liberty and American institutions.
And in view of what has been achieved in the
Nineteenth Century the boast of those orators
has been entirely justified.
INTERESTING DOCUMENTS OF THE
The story of our town was brought down to
the close of the Revolution, but before we
leave this period the writer desires to call
attention to two or three interesting docu-
ments and have them become part of that
story. We will consider them in their chrono-
logical order. The first is a request made by
Captain Jeremiah Snyder of Governor Clinton
for ammunition. To explain the situation it
should be said that the battle of Oriskany, in
the Mohawk valley in 1777 and the terrible
slaughter of the Indians there aroused in them
a burning desire for revenge. From this time
the settlements on the frontier suffered from
the torch and tomahawk, or were in constant
alarm. Early in 1778 Governor George Clin-
ton placed the defense of the north-west
frontier of Ulster county in the hands of Col-
onel Johannis Snyder. He had charge of this
until the close of the war. One of the princi-
pal approaches by which the savage foes came
to the settlements was through the Esopus
240 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
valley. Colonel Snyder stationed a force at
Little Shandaken which was continued there
with short intervals until 178 1. Captain Jere-
miah Snyder, of this town, was in command
in the autumn of 1778 and his letter needs no
Captain Snyder Asks For Ammunition.
Little Schondeacon, Octbr, 15, 1778.
Sir, I think proper to let you know that upon my
taking the Command at this place I found that the
Company was in a bad posture of Defence in Regard
to Ammunition. I, therefore, would be glad you
would endeavor to send a fresh Supply as soon as
possible, that we may be able to make some Resist-
ance in case the enemy should make an excursion
upon this Settlement, but we have at Present no
Intelligence of their being near this Place.
This Company now Consists of Forty-one Private,
besides Serjeants & Corporals, and these I can not
Suply with three Cartirages a peice ; from this you
may Judge what Defence we can make. My Request
is, therefore, you will Send a Siipply as soon Possible
and you'll oblidge. Sir,
Your Most Hble Serv't
Jeremiah Snyder, Capt.
To Gov. George Clinton.
The second document is a year and a half
later. To the First Ulster Regiment, com-
manded by Colonel Johannis Snyder, had been
attached a troop of horse commanded by Cap-
tain Sylvester Salisbury. For some reason
this- troop had been detached from this regi-
INTERESTING DOCUMENTS. 241
ment and assigned to some other. Neither
the circumstances nor the other regiment is
now known. The petitioners, who were Sau-
gerties men, protested and joined in the follow-
Petition to Governor George Clinton.
Kingston, April 24th, 1779.
The Petition of the Troopers in the north Part of
Ulster County to his Excellency Governor Clinton
humbly sheweth :
As a mutual attachment and good Understanding
between Officers and their men are an Essential Part
of the many Requisites which are necessary to ensure
victory to our arms and Freedom to our Country,
And, Whereas, Capt. Sylvester Sahsbury, (between
whom and your petitioners there subsisted the Great-
est Harmony and Confidence), has resigned his
Commission, and that solely, because he was to be
under the Command of a man whom he deems
unworthy of the Rank he holds :
We, the Subscribers, Beseech your Excellency,
either to annex the Troop to some other Regiment,
or put them under the Command of some superior
Officer, and re-appoint Captain Sylvester Sahsbury
to the Command of the Troop. Should this be the
case, your Petitioners beg leave to assure your
Excellency, that their Services shall be, as they have
heretofore been. Free, Chearful, & Ready. And
your Petitioners &c. shall ever Pray &c.
Adam Woolfven, Abraham Keater, Roeloff
Eltenge, Christian Dull, Moses Pattison, Tjerck
Low, Petrus Winne, Junier, Henry P. Freligh, John
Dewitt, Jr., John A. D. Witt, John E. Schoon-
maker, Peter C. Brinck, Edward Osterhoud, Hen-
242 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
dryck Turck, John Turck, John Frehgh, Benjamin
Velten, John J. Chrispel, Benjamin Winne, John
DeWitt, Jun,, John Brink, Jun., Baltus Kiffer,
Peter VanLeuven, Christian Fero, Marten Hommel,
jr., Hermanns Hommel, Abraham Hoffman.
The third of these documents exhibits a
serious state of affairs. We have just noticed
the conditions that required the presence of
troops to guard against invasion by the way of
the Esopus valley in 1778. Before that year
had passed Wyoming and Cherry Valley had
been blotted out by the tomahawk, the torch
and scalping-knife. And every settler in an
exposed place trembled for his home and loved
ones. It was known that the savage foe was
preparing for further devastation. In view of
pending danger the following petition was
started in Katsbaan and circulated through the
Saugerties Men Ask for a Guard.
To His Excellency George Chnton, Esq., Gov-
ernor and Commander in Chief of all the Militia of
the State of New York and Admiral of the Navy of
The Petition, of the principal well affected Inhab-
itants of the most northerly part of Ulster County,
Humbly Sheweth :
That, whereas, after Sincerely consider' d our
present Situation, we find that we live in a very Dan-
gerous part of this State \ many Disaffected Persons
among us, and a Savage Enemy dayly on our weakly
Guarded frontiers ; and whereas, four young men of
INTERESTING DOCUMENTS. 243
our Neighborhood, who have lately Engaged in the"
Eight months service, are gone off, and Joyned
without Doubt the Enemy, they will Discover unto
them, our present weak Situation, for the Small
Guard at Woodstock is in no State to our Safety, for
this minute we are alarmed, and Called out to the
Blue mountains, for the Enemies are making their
approach on our Quarter, as we Supose, will take
their Revenge on us, because a few Disaffected Per-
sons have been sent under Guard to Kingston out of
our Neighborhood. In any General Alarm, when
the mihtia is Called forth in Defense of this State,
the well affected men turn out, and the Disaffected
Persons remain at home ; as witnesseth the late
alarm in every such Case. Our FamiUes and Ef-
fects are greatly Exposed, for some of our mihtia
Men are gone to Nepenak (Napanoch), some at
Woodstock, and if more men Should be Continually
Called, our Farming Business must be neglected, to
the great Loss of this State, and we fear much, if
we be not Timely assisted. Shall be obliged to flight,
and leave our all to a Savage Enemie.
Therefore, We, the Subscribers, most humbly
approach your Excellency with this our humble
Petition, imploring your Protection in Sending a
Reinforcement of Fifty or Sixty men out of Dutch-
ess County, and to Station them at the Blue Moun-.
tains, at and near Tobias Wynkoop's, for Such a
Guard will be most handy, when Station' d as above
said, either to reinforce the present Guard at Wood-
stock, or assist us in time of need.
Sir, we do not presume, to prescribe unto your
Excellency how to protect this State, but knowing
your Excellency's Mind can not at once be every-
where, makes us approach you with these presents,
not doubting your aid.
Sir, That Divine Providence may bless and pro-
244 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
long your Days and give Success to your Endeavours
to Suppress our Savage Enemy, we Shall Ever pray.
John Christian Fiero, Christian Will, Christian
Fiero, Jeremiah Snyder, Yurry William Reghtmyer,
Petrus Emrich, Jurry Hommel, Benjamin Snyder,
Johannes Folck, John L. DeWitt, Capt., Johannes
Rechtmeyer, Peter Osterhoudt, Lu., Ludwigh Roes-
sell, Ephraim Myer, Christian Fiero, Jr., CorneHus
DeWitt, Petrus Backer, Abraham Low, Jr. , Stephen
Fiero, John Langandyck, Christiaen Snyder, Peter
T. Myer, Petrus Myer, Jacobus Whitaker, Jr., Jo-
hannes Persen, Peter Myer, Jr., Cornelius Persen,
Jacop Frans, Matthew Dederick, John Cox, Jr.,
Peter Eygener, Corn's Langendyck, WiUiam Emer-
ich, Tunis Myer, Salomon Schut, PhiHp Feltan,
Jacobus Dederick, Tunis Osterhoupt, Jury William
Dederick, James Winne, WiUiam Falk, Willi' m De-
Witt, Peter Eygener.
May ye 15th, 1779.
The Governor granted their request. A for-
mer chapter told of the scouting during 1779
by Capt. Jeremiah Snyder and Anthony Van-
Schaick along the foot of the Catskills, and of
the service of the detachment under Lieut.
Peter Post in the same year. It also told of
the terrible punishment visited on the savages
by Sullivan's expedition, which destroyed their
crops and villages. Although the next year
(1780) Capt. Snyder and his son were seized
and carried into captivity in Canada, there was
no other molestation of the people of this
town. Nevertheless, the regiment of CoL
Snyder patroled this frontier until 1781.
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH.
This old church is frequently called in early
documents "de steene kerk op de Kats Baan,"
the stone church on the Kats Baan. What
was the Kats Baan ? To this there have been
two answers. In the first entry made in the
church records by Domine Mancius (who was
a German) the name is spelled Kaatsbaan.
Kaatsbaan is the Dutch word for tennis court,
and many have held its derivation to have
been that the church, which is upon a hill,
stands upon the south end of a barren rock,
almost level, which extends northwards for
one-fourth of a mile. An active imagination
may fancy this rock to resemble a tennis court
on which Titans might play. There was a
spot two hundred years ago between Kingston
and The Strand (Rondout) which was called
in deeds of that day by the same name, " Kaats-
The other derivation finds the root of the
name with Katskill and Katerskill in the pan-
ther, or wild cat, with which this densely
wooded region was infested. As Katskill is
246 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the kill or creek of the wild cat, Katerskill the
creek of the male of the species, so the Dutch
words Kats and baan, a haunt, resort, course or
range mean the haunt or resort of the animal.
Around this baan, or haunt, the most majestic
of white oaks flourished in which these terrible
creatures had their home.
When the Palatine colony came to the Camp
in 17 lO they immediately built a church at
West Camp. This was a church for the col-
ony in which the services were conducted by
both the pastors, Kocherthal, the Lutheran,
and Hager, the Reformed. The people lived
in peace and amity during the next ten years,
and worshipped there. But a cause of dissen-
sion had arisen. On Dec, 20, 1709, a month
before the Palatines sailed from England,
Hager had taken orders in the Church of Eng-
land, being ordained by the Bishop of London,
and upon his arrival at the Camp had en-
deavored to introduce the ritual of the Angli-
can Church in the worship of the colony.
Kocherthal protested. But he died in 1719
and Hager in 172 1. The colonists had but
occasional religious services for a year or two
from Rev. Daniel F. Falckner and Rev. William
C. Berckenmeyer, both Lutherans, when an-
other Reformed clergyman appeared, Rev.
John Jacob Ehle, or Oehl, a German, who also
had taken orders before leaving London. He
REV. GEORGE WII,HEI.MUS MANCIUS
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH, 247
attempted to continue the efforts of Hager and
remained among the people until about 1727.
But the Germans did not take kindly to these
attempts at conformity, and would have none
of the ritual or liturgy. To what extent this
caused them to be found worshipping "on the
Kats Baan " in 1730 it is impossible to say.
But Nov. 8, 1730, the records at Katsbaan be-
gin in the handwriting of Rev. George Wilhel-
mus Mancius, who signs himself in Dutch
"their at that time pastor."
Who was Mancius? He was born in Nas-
sau, Germany, 1706; was educated in Leyden
University, Holland, and Herborn Theological
Seminary in Germany, and sailed from Amster-
dam to this country July 12, 1730, coming
immediately to the Camp. The question why
he came here to this town has never been
answered. But reasons may be found. The
Palatines upon the east side of the Hudson
greatly desired a church of the Reformed faith,
but could not obtain a minister. The Classis
of Amsterdam, in Holland, would not permit
an ordination in America, and candidates for
the ministry were compelled to take the long
voyage across the sea. John Van Driessen
was ready to become the pastor at East Camp
(Germantown), but unwilling to go to Holland
for ordination. So he presented himself to a
Congregational Association in Connecticut and
248 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
laid before them documents which had been
forged, upon which they ordained him to the
ministry, and he assumed charge of the Pala-
tine church of East Camp. When the Classis
of Amsterdam heard of it they protested, but
could do nothing. (See Chapter IX.) The
writer is disposed to find a reason for the com-
ing here of Mancius by the way of Holland in
this matter in connection with the efforts of
Hager and Ehle to Anglicize the Palatine
church, taking account of the further fact that
Mancius, a German, would naturally come to
the place where the first German colony in
New York had settled.
When Mancius appeared at West Camp he
found most of the colony removed a mile or
two west to the lands of the Kingston Com-
mons, as stated in Chapter VII. There is no
record or evidence of his organizing the church
at Katsbaan. He speaks of ** de germeente,"
or the congregation worshipping on the Kats-
baan and says the churchbook is begun Nov.
8, 173O; by himself, ** their at that time pastor."
Where they worshipped, or in what building is
not known, as the stone church was not erected
until 1732. He became their pastor and con-
tinued so until his death in 1762, with the
exception of eight months during 1731-2 when
he was the pastor in Schraalenberg, New Jer-
sey. He was called to Kingston in May, 1732,
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH. 249
to become associate pastor in the Reformed
church with Rev. Petrus Vas and continued in
charge of Katsbaan with his Kingston church
until his death.
The lease for the land upon which the stone
church was built and a description of the
church have been given in Chapter XL As
stated in Chapter VII the Lutheran church at
West Camp seems to have been virtually
abandoned from this time until 1765, after the
death of Mancius, and the church of Katsbaan
was the only place of worship between Kings-
ton and Katskill (Leeds). The death of Man-
cius in 1762 created a vacancy in the pastorate
which was not filled until 1780. During this
interval it was supplied by Domines Doll, of
Kingston, Schuneman, of Katskill, and West-
erlo, of Albany, who regularly administered
the sacraments. Occasional services from other
ministers appear from the church records.
Rev. Lambertus DeRonde became the fourth
pastor of the flock, of which we have reckoned
Hager, Ehle and Mancius his predecessors.
His pastorate began in 1780 and continued
until 1786. How he was driven by the British
from the Collegiate Church in New York city
for his patriotism is told in Chapter XXVII.
But this persecution gave to Katsbaan a faith-
ful pastor. For seven years after 1786 the
church stood without a pastor and was, as be-
250 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
fore ministered to by Domines Schuneman and
Doll until the coming of Rev. Petrus Van
Vlierden in 1793 to be the fifth pastor. He
came by way of the island of St. Croix in the
West Indies, now just transferred from the
sovereignty of Denmark to the United States.
He had taken high honors at Leyden Univer-
sity, and remained in the pastorate at Katsbaan
for eleven years, or until 1804. The church
was once more without a pastor until 1808,
when for two years Rev. James D, Demarest
served. Again pastorless until 1812, Rev. Dr.
Henry Ostrander was called and settled in May
of that year, and continued for fifty years.
This long pastorate brings down the story far
beyond the limits of this work.
A legend has been handed down by tradition
through successive generations in the Katsbaan
Church to this effect : After the Palatines came
to the Camp, and the Lutherans and Reformed
separated the question arose whether Katsbaan
should be a German Reformed or Dutch Re-
formed church. A meeting was called of which
the presiding officer was Hans Martin Snyder.
The argument that there would be no other
German Reformed church with which to affili-
ate, while all future growth would be from the
incoming Dutch from Kingston prevailed, and
the vote was a tie. Snyder gave the casting
vote as president and as he was not fluent
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH, 251
in Dutch he decided in favor of a '* Neger
Deutsche kerk" (Negro Dutch church), and
not Neder Deutsche (Low Dutch), as he in-
But there are difficulties in the way of this
tradition. The name of Hans Martin Snyder
does not appear among the Katsbaan church
people until about 1770 ; there is no evidence
that it was ever organized as a Dutch Reformed
church at all; and while Mancius was here
both Lutherans and Reformed worshipped in
the stone church as in the church of the colony
until 1762. The church never came under the
supervision of the Dutch Reformed church
until after 1773, as it was reported, to" Synod
that year that it still ''stood out ; "and was first
reported under the jurisdiction of Synod in
1784. If the traditionary incident ever occurred
it must have been about 1780, and there was a
Hans Martin Snyder at Katsbaan at that time.
The meeting may have then and thus decided
through its president in this ludicrous manner
that Katsbaan become a Dutch Reformed
A generation or two ago there was a story
current at Katsbaan which showed the wit of
Domine De Ronde. He did not reside in
Katsbaan, but in what is now the village of
Saugerties upon the present Dawes property.
There was a time during his pastorate when
252 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
his salary was greatly in arrears. One Sunday
after preaching a most excellent discourse, as
he came down from the pulpit, and took the
hand of each one of the consistory in turn, one
of the elders remarked in Dutch, " Well,
domine, you have given us employment for a
whole afternoon ; there is enough in the
sermon we have just heard for a week's
digestion." He replied, "Very well, then it
will be on Sundays with you as upon every
other day of the week ; you are filled to the
full, and I, I have nothing from you but
mauger zaagertjes (lean Saugerties)."
The old church of 1732 remained unchanged
until 181 5, except some minor improvements
and a new floor in 1813. In 1815 the roof was
taken off, the walls were raised, galleries were
built on the east, west and south sides of the
church, the pulpit was placed at the north side
of the church, with a canopy above it, straight
back pews were put in place of the former
benches, the porch upon the east side was
removed, two doors were inserted in the south
wall and a steeple was erected in which a bell
was hung. When all was done the seats were
distributed by lot. But even with these
improvements the church could not hold the
worshippers. When days were pleasant and
weather favorable, the church was full to over-
flowing and on summer days outside every
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH. 253
open window were groups of listeners to the
preaching of the Word of God. For from the
Emboght and from Kiskatom, from Maiden
and from Saugerties, from Blue Mountain and
from Plattekill, the people gathered. Thus
the building remained until 1867 when it was
rebuilt as it is to-day. In 1841 the canopy
and pedestal had been taken away and the
The church was not incorporated until
March 28, 1796, when its title became *' The
Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Reformed
Protestant Dutch Church of Kaatsbaan in the
town of Kingston, in Ulster Country." When
the town of Saugerties was organized in 181 1
this title became a misnomer, and as the town
grew and the consistory had charge of the
religious interests of the whole town including
Saugerties village, Blue Mountain, Maiden and
Plattekill it was re-incorporated July 11, 1826,
under the title "The Minister, Elders and
Deacons of the Reformed Dutch Church of
the town of Saugerties." It has been said it
was made ''The Church of Saugerties," but
actually, it had the comprehensive title just
stated. When the division was made in 1839^
and Katsbaan became a new organization it
was incorporated as "The Reformed Protest-
ant Dutch Church of Cattsbane." But this
title was not historically correct, and the con-
254 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
sistory constantly erred in official papers. At
last this was corrected by a re-incorporation
April 4, 1892, as *' The Reformed Church of
In 1816 the residents of the present village
of Saugerties petitioned for a house of worship
in that village. The Katsbaan church respond-
ed favorably, provided that the necessary funds
were raised. Nothing resulted therefrom, and
in 182 1 another petition was presented with a
like reception and with the same result. In
1826 a third petition was successful and the
brick church was built, which was afterwards
the Saugerties Academy and is now the George
Burhans building on Livingston street. In
1 83 1 the village of Saugerties was incorporated
as the village of Ulster and the inhabitants,;
which were largely of other extraction than
Dutch, made a determined and continuous'
effort to get rid of the name of Saugerties for
that locality. The bank when incorporated
was "The Bank of Ulster," the papers "The
Ulster Palladium" (1828); " The Ulster Star "
(1833) and "The Ulster Telegraph" (1846);
the iron mill was "The Ulster Iron Works,"
and the lead mill "The Ulster White Lead
Co.," and in every way possible the attempt
was to rid the community of the Dutch name
which seemed to mean nothing, and was.
thought to be of uncertain origin. This effort
THE KATSBAAN CHURCH. 255
was finally abandoned in 1855 ^"d the village
was re-incorporated as the village of Sauger-
ties. The conservative families of the town
and village had continued to call the latter
by the old name during all the prolonged at-
tempt to foist the new one.
On October ist, 1833, the classis of Ulster'
was petitioned by residents of the village of
Ulster to divide the congregation, and on Jan.
II, 1834, the application was made to the con-
sistory for a separate organization in the village
to be known as the Reformed Church of
Ulster. This petition was denied. Few
signers were of the Dutch membership, or ele-
ment because of the fear that in a new church
elements not Dutch would preponderate, and
that at an early date an effort might be made,
and be successful, to take the church into some
other denomination. In denying the applica^
tion the consistory remarked "Some are not
members and others not of our denomination."
It expressed a willingness to divide as soon as
each could support a church. In 1835 another
petition was presented, with one in opposition.
In June of that year consistory met with a
committee of the classis of Ulster to see if a
division could be made, and a day was ap-
pointed when the male members of the con-
gregation should meet at the church in Kats-
baan to vote on the proposition. Such a vote
256 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
was taken and the division was disapproved of.
In 1838 another petition of the inhabitants of
the village of Ulster was denied.
By this time it became evident that some-
thing must be done in the matter. As these
petitions came almost wholly from the elements
in the church in the village of Ulster which
were not Dutch the consistory felt more and
more indisposed to grant their request. The
result was that Katsbaan was influenced by
the consistory and their pastor to be consti-
tuted a new congregation. This would leave
the Dutch element in Ulster as a balance of
power in the church where they would not
petition to be. But it would make the Ulster
church the old organization, the church of the
tow7i of Saugerties legally, which it was not in
history, nor in fact. It cost the people of the
Katsbaan church many a feeling of sadness
thus to give up the historic church of their
fathers to those whom they felt to be in many
things not in harmony with their origin. Very
few of the families of the village of Ulster in
1839 were of Palatine descent, the element
there which was called Dutch being mostly of
Holland lineage, while at Katsbaan nine-tenths
of the Dutch families were of Palatine ances-
try. These felt that they surrendered some-
thing when they consented that the Palatine
church, as an organization go to strangers.
THE BEAVER CREEK.
The development of the manufacturing in-
dustries of this town is but a story of the last
seventy-five years. But it will be of interest
to speak of the history of such industries
which preceded 1825. The name of the town
came from the "little sawyer" who had a mill
at the mouth of the Sawyer's creek before 1670
and two grist mills, respectively, upon the upper
and lower falls of the Esopus, or particularly at
Stony Point and about the site of the Martin
Cantine Co., were built before 1725. The mill
of the Posts, now owned by Martin Terwil-
liger, is older than the Revolutionary war, but
older than any was the grist mill on the south-
ern border on the Plattekill at the bridge into
the present town of Ulster. Still this mill
was not, nor has it ever been, within the bor-
ders of this town.
When the Palatines landed at West Camp in
1710 there was no grist mill in the town. The
colony was fed by Robert Livingston, of the
Manor, under contract with Gov. Hunter, from
Livingston's mill on RoelofT Jansen's kill.
258 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Complaints were made as to the quality of the
flour furnished, and a white-washing investiga-
tion was made. But there is no disputing the
facts that complaint was made by the colon-
ists. Tradition in the family of the descend-
ants of Christian Myer has always kept alive
the following story : The wife of Christian
Myer was Anna Gertrude Theunis, of a well
born Palatine family reduced to destitution in
the terrible wars in the Palatinate. When
they came to the Camp she submitted to the
trials and deprivations of the terrible first win-
ter without complaint until at last, under the
miserable quality of the flour furnished, her
spirit broke down completely. Her husband
had obtained some wheat somewhere, but there
was no mill nearer than Twaalfskill, now Wil-
bur, in the city of Kingston. Obtaining his
consent, which, not thinking her in earnest, he
gave one morning as he went to his task of
preparing pines for the production of naval
stores to release their obligations to the gov-
ernment, she took a schepel of wheat (three-
fourths of a bushel) in a bag and carried it on
her shoulders through the woods all the long
way from West Camp, by way of the Old
Kings road to Wilbur, where it was ground,
and back again the same day, arriving hom.e
after her thirty-four mile tramp exhausted, but
conscious that she had flour fit for the table.
THE BEAVER CREEK. 259
It is worthy of remark that the industries of
the town aside from grist and saw mills began
along the Beaver creek. No other stream in
the town pursues so many miles of course
within its borders. It rises in a swamp on the
farm of Larry Van Wart near the Blue Moun-
tain church. Flowing south it reaches the
valley of Unionville and makes use of this to
reach the lowlands. Swinging a great circle it
bisects the farm of Mrs. Germond and then
upon a course due north it winds through a
valley for about five miles until it flows into
the Cauterskill at the Greene county line.
To-day its windings can be traced by the
many walnut trees upon its banks. Some
twenty years ago a local poet wrote of it :
*' Soft-flowing Beaver, by thy winding side
I wander with the hours of passing day.
Through thy pellucid depths and shallows glide
The phantom forms of finny tribes at play.
Umbrageous are thy banks; in close embrace
The walnuts o'er thy bosom interlace;
And in their mottled shade, by yonder spring,
The circling swallow dips his restless wing. ' '
When the first mention is made of the region
in the earliest land grants in 1685, it was
already called the Beaver creek. Hunters and
trappers had obtained their peltries for many
years along its banks and from its beaver
dams. As we pass in review the incipient in-
dustries of the town we will follow the stream
260 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
towards its mouth. The first claiming our at-
tention, if not the earliest erected, was the mill
at Unionville which was built by Adam Mon-
tross in the earliest years of the last century
for a grist mill. This subsequently passed into
the possession of a man named Backus and
then into the Van Hoesen family. From a
grist mill it was made a plaster mill and finally
dismantled has disappeared. Even the high
dam is broken and the stream is unconfined.
On the northern portion of the Wynkoop
tract was the next industry. Here where now
is the bridge leading over the Beaver to the
house of Russell Wynkoop, was a hat factory.
There are those still living who remember the
stone benches within it where beaver skins
were dressed. Judge Henry Wynkoop, who
lived there seventy-five years ago, was called
"The Hatter." The stone foundations of this
factory are now the abutments of the bridge
above named. Just north of the old hat fac-
tory is a strong sulphur spring and there is
another a mile north on the farm of Addison
A few hundred yards north of this spring of
Sax, a brick yard was in operation early in the
past century. The brick in the erection of the
store of Daniel Lamb in this village were from
this brickyard. A little farther north, on the
north side of the Maiden Turnpike, was the
THE BEAVER CREEK, 261
tannery of Cornelius Fiero. This remained
there until within the past fifty years, and
the vats were where is the present bed of the
stream for, by a freshet after the tannery was
demolished the raging waters cut through a
new course which the line of vats made one of
Another grist mill was built in olden times
on a branch of the Beaver where is now the
residence of C. P. Finger and a saw mill on the
same branch at the residence on the farm of
William H. Hommel and in days long since
another brickyard was in operation upon the
farm of Abram E. Hom.mel.
All of these have disappeared. Not a wheel
is turned upon the Beaver to-day. No brick is
made and so far as this stream is concerned
tanning is a lost art. The little stream in its
winding course of almost ten miles flows un-
obstructedly and fed by never failing springs,
waters the valley even in its droughtiest sea-
sons recalling Tennyson's " Brook " :
^' For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever."
THE DAYS OF SLOOPS.
When the Treaty of Peace between Great
Britain and this country was at last in effect in
1783 the interest and concern of the people of
this town turned in the direction of the peace-
ful pursuits of life. So far almost the sole
occupation had been agriculture. The grind-
ing of grain and the sawing of lumber were
about the only work of mills. As the British
had swept the river of what sloops there had
been in 1777, river commerce had almost dis-
appeared. A former chapter told of the pur-
chase of the sloop of Capt. Benjamin Snyder
during 1776 for a fire ship, and a subsequent
one of the burning of two sloops in the Eso-
pus at this village by Vaughan's marauding ex-
Soon after the keel of another was laid by
Capt. Snyder, and for some years it ran regu-
larly to New York on monthly trips. Some
time about the middle of the decade (1790-
1800) Capt. Andrew Brink built a large sloop,
which he named for a favorite sister, ''The
Maria." His father had instituted many years
THE DAYS OF SLOOPS. 263
before the scow ferry which crossed the river
from his door at the mouth of the Sawyer's
creek to Chancellor Livingston's, just opposite,
and the son was born with a love of the water.
The Maria was thought by the people of those
days a craft of wondrous size, and its owner
immediately secured from the Chancellor the
transportation of the products of his manor,
and from other up-river towns a most profit-
The captain of a Hudson river sloop before
the advent of steam occupied a unique
position. He was the link socially between
the river towns and city life. He was the
business agent not only of the merchant, but
of the farmer. He selected the merchant's
stock ; he sold the farmer's products ; he was
the expressman ; he carried the news ; he
matched the goods in the city from samples
which the housewives of the river towns gave
him ; bore the messages of friendship and bus-
iness with which he was entrusted at each end
of his route ; he was the welcome guest in the
city families on which he called, to whom he
told of their country friends, and through him
the news of sorrow and bereavement of his
patrons, or the tidings of their prosperity,
were conveyed, for he often carried the writ-
ten missives as postman, but more frequently
he was intrusted with the verbal message
264 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
which bore the tidings of a sad death or
burial ; or was the happy messenger to
announce a marital engagement of youthful
lovers; or he bore the gossip of the river
village as he was asked to carry to city friends
and relatives what had passed since the last
When the boat arrived at the pier in the
city and her lines were thrown the captain
went ashore to deliver his messages from
house to house and do his errands from store
to store. With him went the ladies who had
been confided to his care during the voyage
and whom he delivered to their friends.
When his errands were all done he set about
drumming up a return cargo. The pur-
chases for merchants and farmers made he
would peradventure find the sloop not yet
half laden. He must use his influence to
secure some business ventures on the part of
mercantile friends. Meanwhile days slipped
by. The date of the return of the vessel was
problematic. But when at last a satisfactory
cargo was obtained, or in default when the
captain decided that a cargo of grain and
timber, or hay, or skins, or other products of
the soil or chase could be more readily
obtained up the river than one of goods in the
city the captain gave the announcement that
on a certain day the sloop would sail. It
THE DAYS OF SLOOPS. 265
quickly circulated from mouth to mouth and
when the appointed day and hour arrived
there was a gathering on the pier that rivaled
a modern farewell at the departure of a
European steamer, and amid the fluttering of
handkerchiefs and good-bye cheers the vessel
dropped out from her pier into the stream.
It was an Elysian delight to lie on deck on
a summer day under the shadow of a sail and
watch the transformation of the Highlands, or
the lights and shadows of Catskill mountain
scenes. But all days were not summer days,
nor all days Elysian. There were voyages in
storms of snow, or when ice was forming.
There were days in late autumn when the hay
from farms was loosely piled in a mighty stack
on the deck of the craft. And then no fire
must be built on the vessel, despite the dis-
comfort. For no ardent mariner dared risk
the danger, as baling hay was unknown and
the idea of stoves was yet unborn.
Once started on the voyage, the uncertainty
of its duration was the most prominent fea-
ture. A sloop setting sail on an afternoon
might have reached her destination at Sauger-
ties when her passengers awoke the next
morning. And again, it might be becalmed
before Spuyten Duyvil was reached, and be a
week on the trip up the Hudson. And light
winds often blew so gently that the travelers
266 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
would go ashore in a small boat and buy
butter, eggs or milk and regain the vessel a
mile or two from where they left it.
As stated above the sloop Maria carried
much of the produce of Livingston Manor.
And during the ten years Captain Brink sail-
ed her, Livingston was a frequent passenger.
He had been experimenting with steam before
he went as Minister to France in 1801, and
while there had been interested in the steam-
boat that Robert Fulton had put on the Seine
in 1804, and which had broken down. The
men became very intimate and Fulton married
a niece of the Chancellor. So he came to be a
frequent and welcome guest at Clermont, the
home of Livingston.
In the cabin of the Maria the Chancellor
and Fulton often discussed the problem of
steam navigation as a quicker means of com-
munication, and a more reliable power than
wind, and around the captain's table talked
over their plans, the obstacles encountered
and 'the causes of their failures. They were
now in the presence of a practical navigator,
who had been on the water from boyhood and
was in command of the fleetest of river craft
built under his own supervision. Fulton was
a man of great scientific knowledge for one of
those days, and had many a mechanical inven-
tion to his credit ; and Livingston to a pro-
THE DAYS OF SLOOPS. 2^7
found knowledge of law and statecraft added
a rare skill in mechanics, and besides was the
possessor of one of the largest of American
fortunes. On a voyage up the river the three
decided to attempt once more to solve the
problem and use every means to succeed.
They went to work. Chancellor Livingston
furnished the capital. Robert Fulton obtain-
ed from Scotland a Watt engine of twenty
horse power, with a copper boiler, which he
adapted to his plans, while Captain Brink set
about embodying his ideas as to what the
craft should be from his experience as a navi-
gator of the Hudson. The latter part of the
year 1806, and until midsummer of 1807 were
spent upon the boat and the engine, to the
ridicule of many of the acquaintances of the
captain in his own town. Even his own wife
laughed at him to which he replied that he
he would soon go to Albany in command of
the steam craft and stop opposite his father's
place on the river and take her along. All she
could say was '* when I see you and Mr.
Fulton driving a boat with a tea kettle I will
believe it." We will see how the captain's
wife took her ride.
THE TRIP OF THE CLERMONT.
The morning of August 3, 1807, was bright
and warm. At a pier in the harbor of New
York a vessel was lying which the events of
that day were to make historic and the trip
she was just to undertake would never be
forgotten. A motive power would be utilized
that day which would change the face of all
the earth and would plow every sea. The
power of millions of millions of horses would
not be able to accomplish during the century
then just begun what would be wrought by
the force confined in what was derisively
called "a tea kettle." Fulton's copper boiler,
bubbling and hissing at that North River pier
that morning, seemed to be throbbing with a
consciousness of its power and what it was to
do when it would come to its birth. And all
the material forces of modern civilization
awaited a touch of a hand on a lever there
that day to spring full-grown into being.
The craft that was lying at the pier that
morning in the early days of the Nineteenth
Century would have excited the contempt of
THE TRIP OF THE CLERMONT 26^
those who saw that century's close. A long
narrow vessel with two masts on each of
which was to be spread a sail ; a low cabin on
each side of the deck ; somewhat forward of
the center of the vessel a revolving wheel on
either side with ten paddles like the arms of a
wind-mill, and these unenclosed in a wheel
house ; and on the pier a jeering crowd of
spectators exchanging cheap witticisms with
each other at the expense of Fulton and his
associates on board, silent, but confident.
When the appointed hour had arrived the
vessel was cast loose, and the scoffing crowd
became quiet, for they saw her paddles revolve
and the boat worked its way out into the
stream. Soon after reaching the middle of
the river there was a break in the machinery
which occasioned alarm, and which took some
time to repair. This was duly accomplished
and the vessel slowly proceeded up the Hud-
son, and the crowd was quiet as the visionaries
with their jeered-at boat propelled by a tea
kettle passed out of sight.
The trip excited great interest along the
river and some alarm, especially at night, as it
was thought to be a vessel on fire. Dry pine
wood was used in the furnace and its light
illuminated the sky for miles. The boat left
the pier in New York at one o'clock in the
afternoon of Monday, August 3rd, and reached
270 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Clermont (opposite Saugerties), the seat of
Chancellor Livingston, at one o'clock, on
Tuesday. The one hundred and ten miles
had been covered in just twenty-four hours.
Here the boat was anchored in mid-stream
and Fulton went ashore to spend the night
with Livingston, while Captain Brink, at his
father's on the opposite bank, at the mouth of
the Saw creek, came to redeem his promise
and take his wife to Albany in the boat driven
by a tea kettle.
Anchor was raised on Wednesday morning
at nine o'clock and Albany reached that after-
noon at four so that the actual traveling time
had been thirty-one hours. The next morn-
ing at nine the return began and Saugerties
was not made until six in the evening — nine
hours. Here they anchored for the night and
left for New York at seven on Friday morn-
ing, which was reached at four that afternoon,
or in nine hours, the whole return trip in
eighteen hours of actual traveling. Both on
the trip to Albany and upon the return the
wind had been dead ahead and no benefit
could be derived from the sails.
It is a fact but little known that Fulton had
named the craft " Experiment " and it was not
until her return to New York and her paddle-
wheels had been enclosed and cabins and
other accommodations provided for carrying
THE TRIP OF THE CLERMONT. 271
passengers that the name " Clermont " was
substituted. By the latter name she has
always been known.
It is a striking comment on the lack of news
enterprise in those days that the Albany jour-
nals contained no notice of this trial trip.
The vessel arrived in Albany on her second
trip on Saturday, September 5th, 1807. The
Albany Gazette of that date notes in an
obscure corner of an extra, without flourishes ;
**The steamboat which left New York on
Friday morning arrived at Albany on Satur-
day, having twenty-four passengers on board."
It left on Monday morning following with
forty ladies and gentlemen as passengers. On
October ist following the New York Evening
Post announced that the steamboat arrived
from Albany with sixty passengers in twenty-
eight hours. She left New York next day at
ten o'clock against tide and a strong head
wind, ran foul of a sloop eighteen miles up
which tore away one of her paddle wheels,
and after various detentions arrived in Albany
on the evening of October 4th, at ten o'clock,
with ninety passengers, having forced her way
up against a constant wind with one paddle
She was now put on the regular course to
Albany for freight and passengers. The writer
has in his possession the following letter of
272 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
instructions written to his grandfather by-
Robert Fulton :
New York, Oct. 9, 1807.
Capt. Brink : —
Sir — Inclosed is the number of voyages which is
intended the Boat should run this season. You may
have them pubHshed in the Albany papers.
As she is strongly man'd and every one except
Jackson under your command, you must insist on
each one doing his duty or turn him on shore and
put another in his place. Everything must be kept
in order, everything in its place, and all parts of the
Boat scoured and clean. It is not sufficient to tell
men to do a thing, but stand over them and make
them do it. One pair of quick and good eyes is
worth six pair of hands in a commander. If the
Boat is dirty and out of order the fault shall be
yours. Let no man be Idle when there is the least
thing to do, and make them move quick.
Run no risques of any kind when you meet or
overtake vessels beating or crossing your way. Al-
ways run under their stern if there be the least
doubt that you cannot clear their head by 50 yards
or more. Give in the accounts of Receipts and ex-
penses every week to the Chancellor. Your most
The boat was advertised to sail from " Paul-
er's Hook ferry (now Cortland Street Ferry),
provisions, good berths and accommodations
provided." For the first time in history travel
on the Hudson river could arrange its journey-
ings with regard to time. It was the begin-
THE TRIP OF THE CLERMONT. 27 Z
ning of the day of time tables for journeys by
water. The schedule of rates was as follows:
New York to Newburgh $3 oo i4h
*' *' " Poughkeepsie ... 4 oo lyh
*' '' ** Esopus (Kingston) . 5 00 2oh
"■ " '' Hudson 5 50 3oh
" *' " Albany 7 00 36h
It was proposed to accomplish three entire
trips from Albany to New York and back in
two weeks. On November 6th the boat car-
ried over one hundred passengers.
The Hudson Bee in June, 1808, contains
this interesting description of the boat : " The
steamboat is certainly a curiosity to strangers.
To see this large and apparently unwielded
machine without oars or sails, propelled through
the element by invisible agency at a rate of
four miles an hour, would be a novelty in any
quarter of the globe, as we understand there is
none in Europe that has succeeded in the plan
upon which this is constructed. The length
of the boat is 160 feet, and her width in pro-
portion so as not to impede her sailing. The
machine which moves her wheels is called, we
believe, a twenty-horse-power machine, or equal
to the power of so many horses, and is kept in
motion by steam from a copper boiler, 8 or 10
feet in length. The wheels are on each side,
similar to those of water mills, and are under
274 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
cover; they are moved backwards or forwards,
separately or together, at pleasure. Her prin-
cipal advantage is in calms, or against head
winds. When the wind is fair, light square
sails, etc., are employed to increase her speed.
Her accommodations, 52 berths, (besides sofas,
etc.,) are said to be equal, or superior to any
vessel that floats on the river, and are
necessarily extensive as all the space unoccu-
pied by the machinery is fitted in the most
convenient manner. Her route between New
York and Albany is a distance of 160 miles,
which she performs regularly twice a week,
sometimes in the short period of 32 hours, ex-
clusive of detention by taking in and landing
passengers. On her passage last week she left
New York with 100 passengers, upwards, and
Albany with 80 or 90. Indeed this aquatic
stage, the Experiment, from Albany, together
with the public sloop, the Experiment, of this
city, bid fair to attach the greatest part of the
travelers which pass the Hudson, and afford
them accommodations not exceeded in any
other part of the world." Thus the connection
of this town with the introduction of steam
navigation was vital and close.
THE FORMATION OF THE TOWN.
As the history of the town has been brought
down to the opening years of the Nineteenth
Century a glance at the development of the
village of Saugerties may be of interest.
In chapter X. it was shown that in 1763 but
twelve, or strictly speaking, eleven houses were
to be found on the north side of the Esopus
within the corporate bounds of the village of
Saugerties. To obtain this number the house
of John Brink, Jr., at the mouth of Sawyer's
creek, of Myndert Mynderse on the river and
others had to be counted. So that in the
closely built part of the village there were but
six houses, namely: Those of Hiskia DuBois,
John Post, Abraham Post, Jecobus Post, Isaac
Post and Petrus Myer. Those occupied nearly
the location of where are now the old Kiersted
house, the Reformed Church parsonage, James
Russell's store, the Dawes residence, a site
under the hill west of the north end of Elm
street, and the Sherwood D. Myer residence.
The house of Johannes Myer on the site of the
present house of J. M. Genthner might be added.
276 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
The close of the Revolution in 1783 saw
little change in the village. About 1792
Robert R. Livingston became a purchaser of
lands hereabout, and in after years the Liv-
ingston family owned considerable property
here. When Henry Barclay began the manu-
facturing interests in Saugerties in 1825 the
Livingstons invested largely in real estate in
The present town of Saugerties had always
been the northerly part of Kingston Commons,
and thus part of the town of Kingston. But
the lands belonging to the Kingston trustees
had been sold off, or divided, about the year
1804 and there was little need for the corpora-
tion to continue. Besides dissensions arose
among the trustees and complaints against
them became frequent. They finally and per-
manently dissolved December 13, 1816, after a
corporate existence of one hundred and thirty
years. The funds remaining in their hands
were divided and assigned to the overseers of
the poor of the towns of Saugerties, Esopus
and Kingston, in which three towns the lands
of the corporation lay.
Previous chapters have spoken of the dis-
puted questions of the boundaries of the town.
The northern portion about Asbury was long a
scene of strife between the town officials of
Catskill and Kingston because the boundary
THE FORMATION OF THE TOWN. 277
line was indefinite. About 1746 this was de-
termined. Then arose the question of the
triangle bounded by the Hudson river, the Saw
creek and the present Greene county line.
This was what is now West Camp, Maiden
and the adjacent territory. The inhabitants
had to attend to all their civil duties as far from
home as Albany and a forty mile drive over the
miserable roads of those days and as many
back occasioned much complaining. Finally
the present boundary of Ulster county on the
north from the Hudson westward was fixed in
1767 and the triangle was annexed to this
town. With the opening century it became a
burden to transact all town affairs as far from
home as Kingston and a separate town exist-
ence was mooted. Almost a dozen years
passed before this was effected. The town of
Saugerties was incorporated April 5, 181 1, and
on April 16 the first town meeting was held at
the house of Christian Fiero (now Kaufman's)
in Katsbaan at which John Kiersted was chosen
supervisor; Capt. Andrew Brink town clerk;
Benjamin Snyder and Hezekiah Wynkoop over-
seers of the poor; Cornelius Wynkoop, John
T. Schoonmaker and Samuel Post assessors;
Peter P. Post, Jonah Valck and Abraham
Wolven commissioners of highways ; and Elisha
Snyder collector. By successive elections Capt,
Andrew Brink was continued town clerk for
278 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES,
the next ten years and had his office at the
store of his father-in-law, Cornelius Persen, in
Katsbaan, as Capt. Brink had retired from the
command of the steamboat Clermont, had de-
clined the offer of Livingston and Fulton to
move to Albany and act as the Albany agent
of their steamboat line, and had taken charge
of Persen's store.
The town was laid out in twenty-nine road
districts upon organization, and the present
bounds of such districts largely follow the old
establishment both in the number of the dis-
trict, its limit and the feature natural or arti-
ficial which bounds it.
At the incorporation of the town in i8ii
the following families were living in the pres-
ent village of Saugerties : Jacobus Post was
living under the Canoe Hill ; John Post on
what is now the corner of Market street and
Ulster avenue (the Jeremiah Russell place) ;
Peter Post on the Dawes property; Abraham
Post where is now the James Russell store,
and in the building now in the rear of that
store and which was then the village tavern ;
Cornelius Post where was lately the Gustave
Peters saloon on Partition street ; Petrus
Myer where Sherwood D. Myer now lives ;
Abram Myer where J. M. Genthner lives ; Peter
I. Post on the Fosmyre place on Main street ;
Tjerck Schoonmaker on what is now the site
THE FORMATION OF THE TOWN. 27^
of the Whitaker building on Main street ;
John Burhans on the opposite corner where
the Davis shoe store stands ; Andrew McFar-
lane where is now the Zeigler saloon on Parti-
tion street ; Luke Kiersted in the old Kiersted
house on Main street ; Peter Schoonmaker at
the corner of Main street and Maiden avenue
where the late Peter P. Schoonmaker lived ;
Janaes Brink on the Brink homestead on the
river ; Garret Mynderse in the old stone house
at the river now the residence of F. T. Rus-
sell ; Isaac Post in the old stone house on the
dock near the mouth of the Esopus ; Henry
Heermance, who taught the village school,
lived on Partition street below the Phoenix
hotel; Samuel Schoonmaker on the Finger
place on Market street ; while Asa Bigelow,
who had come to Saugerties from Connecticut
in 1807, lived and kept store on the site of
Farther north were two small houses owned
by Alexander McKenzie, one of which burned,
while the other was afterwards long the home
of Joel T. Persons. The only other house was
that of Samuel Wolven east of the Canoe Hill,
where is now the place of James O. Beers.
Thus in 181 1 there were but twenty-one houses
in this village north of the Esopus, and this
was but an increase of nine from the twelve
found here in the spring of 1763, forty-eight
280 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
years before. But the progress was to be more
rapid in immediately succeeding years, even
before the boom came in 1825, with the com-
ing of Henry Barclay.
The town was but a year old when the war
of 1812 broke out. Four years before a mili-
tary company had been formed in the town
which was known as " The Rangers." It main-
tained its organization for thirty years. Cap-
tain John Clark, its commander, moved from
the town in 181 1, and the first lieutenant, Luke
Kiersted, removed to Durham, Greene county;
Abraham Post, the ensign, went to Ontario
county in 181 1, leaving the company under the
command of the orderly sergeant, Peter Post.
Then Captain Peter Elmendorf was placed in
command, with Peter Post first lieutenant.
The company was ordered to Plattsburg,
where they served three months. Another
company was formed from this town and
Woodstock, of which William Osterhoudt died
in the service ; Daniel E. DuBois was killed in
a sortie at Fort Erie, and Alexander McKen-
zie died in the service. The others who served
from this town were of the garrison on Staten
Island and were the following: — Andrew
Brink, James Brink, Francis Brown, John H.
Coon, Philip Carle, John H. Carr, Tjerck Bur-
hans, Andrew DeWitt, Jr., John I. Decker,
Egbert Dederick, John H. DuBois, Jeremiah
THE FORMATION OF THE TOWN. 281
DuBois, Peter Elmendorf, Cornelius Fiero,
Joshua Fiero, Peter M. Fiero, Peter Freligh,
Valentine Freligh, John Hendrick, Cornelius
Hoff, Thomas Holland, Abraham Hommel,
Andrew Hommel, Isaac Hommel, John A.
Hommel, Matthew Hommel, Levi Hommel,
Solomon Hommel, Thomas A. Houghtaling,
Henry Hovenburg, Alexander Ingram, Jacob
I. Kipp, Frederick Krows, James Kortz,
Solomon Lewis, William Low, fifer ; Peter A.
Low, William Lasher, Adam Moose, Benjamin
C. Myer, Jonathan C. Myer, Peter D. Myer,
Simeon Myer, Tjerck Myer, Isaac Myer, John
A. Myer, Jacob Mauterstock, Benjamin Over-
bagh, Garret Post, Abraham I. Post Abram
Post, Victor Post Samuel Raymond, John
Rightmyer, Robert Schoonmaker, Egbert
Schoonmaker, Joseph Schutt, John Shute, Jr.,
George J. Sitzer, Alexander Snyder, Elisha
Snyder, Martin Snyder, Jeremiah Snyder, Joel
Snyder, Noah Snyder, Peter I. Snyder, Zach-
ariah Snyder, Jacob Staats, Henry Stewart,
Moses Schutt, Jeremiah Teetsell, drummer;
John Teetsell, Peter VanKeuren, Jonas Van-
Etten, Peter VanVlierden, Jacob Valck, Moses
Valck, Aaron Vedder, Peter P. Whitaker,
Peter L. Winne, Peter P. Winne, William
Winne, Andrew Wolven, Evert H. Wyn-
koop, Henry Wynkoop, Admiral Warren,
Gunn Watts, and Henry VanHovenberg. But
282 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the service of those from this town was but
short as the theatre of war was not in this
vicinity, and the latter part of the conflict was
on the ocean so largely, and the later military
operations were around Washington and New
Before this chapter is concluded mention
should be made of the coming to this town of
Rev. Dr. Henry Ostrander in 1812 to become
pastor of the church of Katsbaan. Here he
continued for fifty years, or until 1862. He
was intellectually the most gifted man, prob-
ably, who ever resided in the town and his
influence was very great, especially during the
early years of his residence. Through his
efforts a library was established in 1814 which
consisted of about seven hundred volumes,
covered with leather, and which was called
*'The Saugerties Library." It was kept in
Katsbaan and some volumes of it were in
existence as late as 1895. It was largely of
historical works and travels, with volumes of
adventure and such works as the " Spectator."
Comparatively little fiction was in the library.
BEGINNING TO GROW.
With its incorporation as a town in 1811
Saugerties began to grow. At that date the
village, as was shown in the last chapter, had
added to its numbers but about nine houses
since 1763, or in about forty-eight years, and
the rest of the town had advanced but little as
well. Until 1807 there had been only two
churches in town, the Lutheran at West Camp
and the Reformed in Katsbaan. The West
Camp church had had intermittent pastor-
ates before 1800, and during the existence of
the Katsbaan church from 1730 to 1812 there
had been at various times no less than thirty-
two years of dependence upon occasional ser-
vices of such ministers as could be obtained to
administer the sacraments and preach as
opportunity was afforded. The Reformed
church of Flatbush had been organized in 1807
and had increased the number of the churches
of the town at its organization to three. In
May, 1812, Rev. Dr. Henry Ostrander was
called to become the pastor of the Church of
Katsbaan. He was immediately an intel-
284 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
lectual and moral force in the town. Within
three years he had rebuilt the church in Kats-
baan ; had begun religious services at Sauger-
ties, using for the next fourteen years the ball-
room of the hotel of Frederick Krows ; had
begun services at Plattekill in conjunction
with the pastor of the Flatbush church, and
was conducting like services at Blue Moun-
tain, Saxton, Maiden and elsewhere. He
organized the first Sunday school in the town
in 1818; he started a town library of seven
hundred volumes in Katsbaan in 1814 and
almost as soon as he came into the town
agitated the question of a classical school.
That year (1812) witnessed the organization of
the State system of district schools. Under it
the town was divided into twelve school dis-
tricts. Dr. Ostrander earnestly desired that a
classical school be formed to give an advanced
education. His wishes were not destined to
an immediate realization. But such a school
was organized in Maiden in the early 30's and
was conducted by Merritt Bradford, of Connec-
ticut. It preceded the organization of the
Saugerties Academy, which was instituted
about 1855 when the congregation moved from
the old brick church into the present Reformed
Church in this village. While speaking of this
church it is worthy of remark that services in
Dutch were never held there. At the old
BEGINNING TO GROW. 285
stone church in Katsbaan none other were
held until the pastorate of Domine Van Vlier-
den closed in 1804. With the coming of Dem-
arest in 1808 English services began and when
Dr. Ostrander became pastor in 1812 he alter-
nated the services between the two languages.
When he began to preach in Saugerties in the
ball-room of Frederick Krows he did so in
English, with occasional Dutch, leaving those
who desired Dutch preaching to have it at
Katsbaan. As the older generation died less
and less was had until in 1825 it ceased alto-
gether. After that date Dr. Ostrander held an
occasional Dutch service, but it was usually at
a school house in the outlying parts of his con-
gregation on a Sunday afternoon. The last
Dutch sermon in the town of Saugerties was
preached at the Blue Mountain church about
1886 by its pastor, the Rev. Abram G. Lansings
and was thoroughly enjoyed by his many
parishioners who were able to understand it,
as well as by many from surrounding congre-
gations. It is an interesting question if an
audience of three hundred could be gathered
from our town population of ten thousand
to-day who could understand a sermon in
Dutch, even if it were in the colloquial dialect
spoken as late as 1850.
To what was said above concerning the or-
ganization of schools it should be added that
286 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
from the very first settlement of the town the
education of the young was attended to. One
of the earliest of these chapters told how the
Palatines of 17 lo built a school house even be-
fore they built dwellings for themselves. And
our glimpse in former chapters of the conditions
of things in 1763 showed school houses in
every settled locality within our borders. It
was there noticed that when the educational
act of 1812 went into force the trustees of the
Katsbaan district (No. 6) received from the
school board of that place a deed for the school
house and site, and ever since the school has
been conducted on that spot where for years
before the youth had been trained ; and it
should be noticed that when the Kingston
Academy, which had been founded in 1774,
was incorporated in 1795, the third name of
incorporators in the list was that of the Rev.
Petrus Van Vlierden, pastor of the Katsbaan
From its formation as a town Saugerties be-
gan to be actively alive. The last chapter
spoke of Asa Bigelow as a resident of the vil-
lage and keeping store where is now Russell
Block. He had begun the shipment of the
produce of the town to New York markets.
But ingress and exit by the Esopus creek,
which was full of sand bars, was very uncer-
tain, and in 1813 he removed to Bristol (now
BEGINNING TO GROW. 2S7
Maiden), where he had purchased a village site
of the Wolven heirs in 1808 and built a frame
store. In 18 14, with Samuel Isham, he built
the brick store so long known as "The Isham
Store," and four years later the stone store,
now the ofifice of the Bluestone Company.
Thus before 1820 the village of Maiden had
entered upon its prosperous career, and was to
become the chief centre of the bluestone in-
dustry when the immense quarries would be
discovered during the next decade. To the
Wolven lands Bigelow had added by purchase
in 1813 a part of the Schutt patent, so that the
growing village had an unrestricted oppor-
Although Bigelow withdrew from Saugerties
village in those early years of the town to
found Bristol, or Maiden, others came to take
his place. In the spring of 1814, Jeremiah
Russell, who had been keeping a country store
in Asbury, removed to Saugerties and engaged
in the business of a merchant and forwarder,
shipping to New York large quantities of wood,
tan bark, staves and lumber. He built a num-
ber of sloops, and continued in business until
1833, when, disposing of it to his son, William
F. Russell, he became a private banker.
George A. Gay also engaged in mercantile pur-
suits in those earlier years and continued a
merchant on the site of the present " Corner
288 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Drug Store " until he was elected county clerk
Nor were these the only centres of business
in the town before 1820. Aside from Persen's
store in Katsbaan, which had been the prin-
cipal one for fifty years, and the store at As-
bury, of which mention has been made, about
1820 William Adams opened one at West
Camp, and for ten years Glasco had been
growing into notice. About the time of the
organization of the town a company had been
formed for the manufacture of glass in Wood-
stock, and it was known as '* The Woodstock
Glass Company." Although their factory was
not within the bounds of the town of Sauger-
ties, their shipments were made across it. The
company built its docks on the Hudson below
Saugerties and built a road from the river to
Bristol, in the town of Woodstock. This road
has ever since been known as " The Glasco
Turnpike." Upon its storehouse on the river
was painted in large letters "The Glass Co.
Store House," and by dropping the final '' s "
from the name the locality became known as
Glasco. The company had hard sledding from
the first. Dissensions arose, the transporta-
tion of raw material and finished products over
more than ten miles of very rough and hilly
roads cost more than the advantage of unlim-
ited fuel for the furnaces was worth, and the
BEGINNING TO GROW. 289
company became loaded with debts. On the
17th of August, 1816, Isaac Honfield recovered
judgment against the glass company for %'j6^-
018.56, and an execution seized the property.
Despite the litigation an effort was made for
years to keep the enterprise going. At last the
burdens became so heavy that its life was
crushed out, leaving no memorials of it but a
local name for a road and for a village. The
latter has been perpetuated by the inexhaust-
ible deposits of blue clay for the manufacture
of brick. Here uncounted millions have been
made each year for more than half a century.
There remains one other event of the decade
ending 1820, which requires our notice. It is
the incorporation of the Methodist Episcopal
Church of Saugerties. A certificate was filed
bearing date August 12, 181 5, but the church
does not seem to have been organized until the
the spring of 1828, when the lot on which the
church now stand was bought of Henry Bar-
clay on March 19, for $200. During the next
year the church was built.
The date of the first Methodist services in
the town is not as clear as it might be. The
Rev. John Crawford, a soldier of the Revolu-
tion, who came from Westchester county, is
said to have preached in a barn which stood
near the Exchange hotel in the village of Saug-
erties, as early as 1794, and also to have held
290 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
services in Asbury as early as 1800. From
these dates services were occasionally and
sometimes frequently held in private houses,
with camp meetings annually in various parts
of the town down to the year when the incor-
porating certificate was filed. Whatever the
date of the first Methodist services, the Meth-
odist Church of the town, so strong in num-
bers and influence in our day, may properly be
said to have begun in the decade under con-
sideration in this chapter.
BUILDING THE FACTORIES AND OPENING
In the last chapter we considered the growth
of the town from its organization in i8ii
through the first decade of its existence. That
growth was rapid and steady. But the second
decade was to witness a boom. This had two
causes — the beginning of Tnanufacturing and
the opening of bluestone quarries.
Petrus Burhans and others conveyed to John
Brink and Robert R. Livingston, under date
of December i, 1790, about one hundred and
five acres of land on the north side of the
Esopus in the village of Saugerties. The in-
terest of Brink therein was sold to Liv-
ingston January 26, 1792, and October i,
1806. Thus Robert R. Livingston became a
landholder here and his holdings were increased
until about 1820 he owned a large portion of
the north side of the Esopus.
On the first day of September, 1825, the
founder of the village and its industries ap-
peared. Henry Barclay that day purchased
for $7,0CX) of Tjerck Schoonmaker, Jr., and
292 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Jane, his wife, one hundred and fifty acres of
land. Four months later, January i, 1826,
he completed his scheme by purchasing of
Robert L. Livingston for $28,250, forty-eight
and one-fourth acres on the north side of the
creek, a small tract on the south side and ten
acres on an island in the Esopus called " Per-
sen's Island." Barclay had now both sides of
the stream, including the lower falls and the
upper at Stony Point. He constructed a dam
on the lower falls, cut the raceway through the
rocks, and began to build the iron mill and the
paper mill. The foundations for both these
enterprises did not await the purchase of the
Livingston property, but began in 1825 in the
same month in which Barclay secured the land
of Schoonmaker. In 1827 the Ulster Iron
Company was formed and took possession of
the iron mills in that year. John Simmons
signed a contract with the company April 18,
1828 as manager. Some attempts had already
begun at iron making, but Simmons remodeled
the furnaces, and in the autumn of 1828 oper-
ations started in earnest. For sixty years this
mill was the principal industry of this town.
It is not purposed in this history to tell the
story of the iron mill. The writer would only
call attention to the quality of the iron made
by an incident of the year 1840. The Navy
Department desired chain cable of iron of ten-
FACTORIES AND QUARRIES, 293
acity disproportionate to the size of the iron it
was proposed to use. A test was ordered, and
the links were to be made of iron two and one-
eighth inches in circumference. It was made
in the Washington navy yard, with President
Young, of the Ulster Iron Company, present.
The cable stood the test. He then asked that
it be subjected to twice the strain. It stood
this. He then requested a greater strain.
The officials demurred that it would break the
chain. Mr. Young insisted, saying that he
would risk the chain if they would the ma-
chine. They consented, and the test was
applied. The links were drawn together until
the chain resembled a solid bar of iron, and
finally the machine broke down under the
terrific force. The naval officials hung up the
chain as a specimen of the iron America could
With the building of the iron mill Barclay
had laid the foundation for the paper mill,
which was put in operation in October, 1827,
Upon the death of Barclay in 185 1 it passed
into the hands of J. B. Sheffield & Co. This
book is not to tell the history of the paper
mill, which continued to turn out an increased
product until it suspended, more than sixty
years later. As an element in the growth of
the town it ranks next to the manufacture of
294 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Three years later, in 1830, Isaac McGavv
erected a building for the manufacture of
calico prints on the north side of the Esopus,
and below the falls, paying Henry Barclay a
rental of $850 a year for the water privilege.
It was never used for the purpose, and in 1835
Charles Ripley bought and enlarged the works
and began the manufacture of white lead.
This was continued until after the beginning
of the civil war of 1861-65, when the works
were abandoned. In this connection the white
lead works at Glenerie should be mentioned,
v/hich were also begun in 1835 and were finally
closed only with the absorption of the Ulster
White Lead Company into the lead trust.
With these industries, whose motive power
was derived from the almost exhaustless
power of the falls in the Esopus, the town
grew into the most active and prosperous
place in the Hudson river valley. The village
was chartered as the village of Ulster in 183 1,
and continued as such until 1855, when it was
re-incorporated as the village of Saugerties.
The scope of this work will not cover the
organization of the banks, fire companies, the
origin of the steamboat lines, etc., of the town.
These have followed the enterprise we have
mentioned as such always follow. We are
compelled to deal only with the origin of what
distinctively made the town of Saugerties,
FACTORIES AND QUARRIES. 295
pausing solely to speak of the press. The
first paper published in Saugerties was the
Ulster Palladium, by P. J. Fish and C. Frary
in 1828; The second was the Ulster Star, in
1833, by William Cully. Both died in their
infancy. The third, the Ulster Telegraph, by
Solomon S. Hommel in 1846, is still published
as the Saugerties Telegraph.
Here we must notice the tanning industry
which was largely carried on across the town
during the first half of the Nineteenth Cen-
tury, but which was not located distinctively
within the town except the tannery of Peter
B. Myer in this village, and the Shaler tannery
at West Saugerties. All this has passed away
with the passing of the hemlock forests. Also
just speak of the manufacture of powder on
the Plattekill and Cauterskill by the Laflins,
although the latter mill was just over the
county line. Nevertheless the powder was
shipped through Saugerties. This industry
was established in Fish Creek by Matthew
Laflin in 1832 and developed into the great
Laflin & Rand Powder Company. The bus-
iness was finally removed from the town in
The story of the town includes the dis-
covery and development of the blue stone
quarries. Silas Brainard came to this town in
1 83 1 to build for Henry Barclay a bridge over
296 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
the Esopus in this village. He heard of the
opening of a flagging-stone quarry at Coey-
mans, and went to investigate. He found the
stone to be the same as he had seen cropping
out on the farm of John Valkenburgh at
Unionville. Returning to town he purchased
twenty acres of Valkenburgh for $2,000 and
opened a quarry. The following year his
nephew, Nelson Brainard, purchased the
remainder of the Valkenburgh farm, and
engaged in the business. Meanwhile Elisha
Parks had found the same blue flagging-stone
at Quarryville, and the industry rapidly
extended. This town became the centre of
the business in the United States, and from
Maiden alone more than $1,000,000 of dressed
blue stone was shipped per annum for years.
A large industry to-day is brick making.
Its development within forty years at Glasco
has been enormous. Preceding chapters have
spoken of this and of the earlier yard on the
We have considered the nationalities of the
first settlers. The earliest comers were the
Dutch, with a few Huguenot families and one
or two English. In 1710 the Palatine colony
at West Camp brought in a preponderance of
Rhineland Germans. More families of Eng-
lish descent came in during the next one hun-
dred years from New England, but at their
FACTORIES AND QUARRIES, 297
close in 1811, when the town was organized,
the proportion was practically the same. In
the decade beginning with the coming of
Henry Barclay in 1825, a great change came
over the town as strong immigration affected
its population. Many English iron-makers
settled here, and many Irish. But far more
of the latter came when the quarries were
opened and Quarryville was settled. The lead
mills brought many Germans from elsewhere
in Germany than the Palatinate, and less akin
to the Dutch. The making of brick in recent
years has added hundreds of Italians. So that
to-day it is probable that the descendants of
the original Dutch and Palatines are not one-
half of the population.
The last chapter said that in 181 1 there
were no churches in town, but the Reformed
at Katsbaan and Flatbush and the Lutheran
at West Camp. And it told of the organiza-
tion ot the Methodist church in 181 5 in this
village. During the '20's the Methodist church
at Asbury was built. Before 1840 the influx
of new elements of population had called for
the organization of Trinity Episcopal in Sau-
gerties in 1831 ; St. Mary's Catholic in Sau-
gerties in 1832; the Baptist in Saugerties in
1833 ; the Presbyterian in Maiden in 1834; the
Reformed in Plattekill in 1838; and the sep-
aration of the original Reformed congregation
298 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
into Katsbaan with the stone church there,
and that of Saugerties in the village of Ulster
with the brick church which had been built in
1827. This division was made in 1839. Many
other churches have been incorporated since
that day, but later than the period under con-
sideration. The consecutive story of the
origin and development of the town of Sau-
gerties has been as closely covered as the
scope of this work will permit it and it has
been brought down to a date late enough to
take in all the elements that have entered into
the making of the town.
Among the names of the leaders of the
patriots of the Revolution in Ulster county
there is none shining with a brighter lustre
than that of Colonel Johannis Snyder, who
commanded the First Ulster Regiment during
the war. The public services of George Clin-
ton, James Clinton and Charles DeWitt have
received recognition, but little has been said
of those of Colonel Snyder. There are a few
allusions to his services in some of the papers
of The Ulster County Historical Society and
in Sylvester's History of Ulster County, and
Schoonmaker's History of Kingston speaks
of him at some length. Most of what has
been published is based upon the paper on
"Vaughan's Expedition," read before the
historical society by Col, George W. Pratt,
October i6, i860. This paper states that " no
descendant of Col. Snyder remains in Kings-
ton," which was an error that has been per-
petuated by speakers and writers ever since,
for a number of families in that city are
descended from him, and many in this town.
300 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Colonel Johannis Snyder was a son of
George Snyder and Christina Theunis, his
wife, and was born in what is now the town of
Saugerties, January 4th, 1720. George Snyder
was one of the Palatines who settled at West
Camp. He removed to Kingston. Here for
forty years, and up to the time of his death
the colonel served as justice of the peace and
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
This sketch is especially concerned with the
military record of Colonel Snyder. The ap-
pointment, in August, 1775, of George Clinton
as brigadier-general, occasioned deep feeling
among the officers of the Northern Regiment
of Ulster county, and they united in a protest
against being superseded. Various attempts
to settle were unsuccessfully made. Finally
the First Regiment was officered, on May i,
1776, with Colonel Snyder as colonel. It re-
ported 472 officers and men. In April of that
year he had been elected Delegate to the Pro-
vincial Congress and the regiment was not
called to active service until Sept. I, 1776, ^fter
the battles of Long Island and Harlem had
put the British in possession of New York
city. He was then directed to proceed to
Fort Montgomery in the Highlands, opposite
Anthony's Nose, to take command of The
Levies. Here he arrived September 2'j. The
three months for which his regiment had been
MILITARY LEADERS. 301
called out expired November 30, and as offen-
sive operations by the British during the winter
were impossible the regiment of Colonel Sny-
der returned home at the end of its term of
On May 5th, 1777, a great excitement was
occasioned in Kingston by the act of Colonel
Snyder in taking into custody Charles DeWitt,
a member of the Convention which formed the
first constitution of this State. The name of
Charles DeWitt had been included in a list of
delinquents in serving in the militia, and who
had not furnished a substitute. By the orders
of Colonel Snyder all such were taken into
custody. DeWitt claimed exemption because
of his position as member of the Convention.
The Convention sided with him and reported
that Colonel Snyder was ''guilty of a high
breach of the privilege of the Convention."
He was ordered before it, but did not go.
General George Clinton wrote a long letter
defending Colonel Snyder and the matter was
dropped. His regiment is shown by the Clin-
ton papers, just published, to have been at
Fort Montgomery as early as June 4th of this
year (1777) under his command until the or-
ganization of the State government July 30,
1777, when Colonel Snyder took his seat as
Member of Assembly in the first legislature
chosen in the new State. To this ofifice he was
302 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
repeatedly re-elected and sat as such in the
legislatures of 1777, 1778, 1786, 1787 and 1791.
The year 1777 was the most momentous in
the history of this State. It was at the darkest
hour of the Revolution and the commonwealth
was struggling to the birth. On the north
Burgoyne was preparing to cut the revolting
colonies in twain along the line of the lakes
and the Hudson. On the south Howe and
Sir Henry Clinton were preparing to co-oper-
ate, and all the energies of the patriots were
aroused to defend the northern frontier and
the passes of the Hudson. Colonel Snyder's
activity was untiring. He was at the head of
his regiment in the Highlands ; he was assigned
by Gen. George Clinton to almost every court-
martial convened to try Tories who were active
everywhere, and whom our troops were seizing
on every hand ; he was a member of the Coun-
cil of Safety ; he was Member of Assembly and
in all these capacities, executive, legislative
and judicial his strong common sense made
him easily first. None could be more energetic
than he when action was required, and none
more calmly poised when conflicting evidence
was to be weighed and decided on, and the
opinion of none was more highly esteemed as
measures were to be proposed for enactment
As before stated, Colonel Snyder left his
MILITARY LEADERS. 303
regiment to meet the first legislature, and after
its prorogation to serve on the Council of
Safety it appointed. For Gov. Clinton had
prorogued the Legislature in view of the ap-
proach of the British. So Colonel Snyder was
at Kingston when Gen. Vaughan landed to
destroy it. Gov. Clinton had written to the
colonel committing to him its defense. But
with what? He could find but five small can-
non and no troops. They were either with
Governor Clinton defending the Highlands, or
at Saratoga facing Burgoyne. All told, in-
eluding old men and boys, not one hundred
and fifty, and these poorly armed responded to
his call. Colonel Snyder threw up a hasty
earthwork at Ponckhockie, and one near the
present site of the City Hall and planted his
toy cannon. But the British, numbering about
2,000, soon drove away the defenders. The
story of the destruction of Kingston is so fa-
miliar that it need not be told here.
After Governor Clinton withdrew to New
Windsor and the Highlands with his forces
Colonel Snyder was left here in charge of the
remaining troops until he went to Poughkeep-
sie to meet with the Legislature, Jan. 5, 1778.
As spring approached the people of Kingston
began to take measures to rebuild the settle-
ment. But they needed assistance. The story
is familiar of the noble contribution made by
304 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Charleston, S. C, and the help of Robert R.
Livingston. The official assistance received is
less so. Governor Clinton assigned Colonel
Snyder and a part of his regiment to Kingston,
and he energetically took hold of the work
with the men of his detachment.
Things assumed new life and energy when
the colonel directed them and the town rap-
idly arose from its ruins. But new tasks
awaited Colonel Snyder. The battle of Oris-
kany in August, 1777, and the bloody slaugh-
ter of the Indians who ambushed the patriot
troops on that hard-fought field aroused the
savages to vengeance. Everywhere the settle-
ments on the frontier suffered greatly during
the next three years. Wyoming, Cherry Val-
ley and Minisink are witnesses to the cruelty
of the fiendish foe. It is to the credit of Col.
Snyder that no descent was made in Ulster
county upon the exposed settlements. Gov-
ernor Clinton committed the defense of its
north-west frontier to him as he committed
the south-west to Colonel Cantine. The ene-
mies were not the Indians alone. More blood-
thirsty than all were the Tories who were liv-
ing all around among the patriots. While
with his regiment in the service during the
years 1776 and 1777 Colonel Snyder had been
a member of most of the courts martial held
when Tories had been tried, and when their
MILITARY LEADERS. 305
guilt was proved had been severe. Now, with
the frontier of Ulster county to defend against
such human devils as gave to the tomahawk
and scalping-knife defenceless women and chil-
dren at Wyoming and Cherry Valley, Colonel
Snyder laid a heavy hand upon the Tory whites
who incited the red men to their fiendish deeds.
An article in an Ulster county paper some
years after the Revolution speaks of Colonel
Snyder's success in unearthing their machina-
tions, and defeating their plottings so invariably
that no raids occurred in his territory except
the one when Captain Jeremiah Snyder was
Part of his regiment was usually stationed
at Little Shandaken to watch the approach
through the valley of the Esopus, and until the
close of the war scouts constantly covered the
territory from the Hurley woods to the Palen-
ville Clove along the foot of the Catskills. On
two or three occasions marauding Indians and
Tories were turned back by finding their move-
ments watched, and at least one raid in force
along the line of the present Ulster and Dela-
ware Railroad in Shandaken led by nearly one
hundred Tories was thus foiled. To his regi-
ment was attached a troop of light horse which
did very efficient service and was commanded
by Captain Sylvester Salisbury, most of the
members of which had been recruited in the
306 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
town of Saugerties. A petition by them to
Governor George Clinton will be found in an-
other chapter in which they ask to remain with
their old regiment.
With the advent of peace Colonel Snyder
returned to his duties as magistrate, and to
active labor in the Board of Trustees of the
Corporation of Kingston, of which for many
years he had been a member. Here he con-
tinued to serve until his death in 1794, at which
time he was president of the board and had
been of five preceding ones.
On Friday, August 22, 1794, Colonel Johan-
nis Snyder died in the seventy fifth year of his
age. The next day a public funeral was given
him. At three in the afternoon the procession
was formed at his residence on Maiden Lane,
and his remains were taken to their burial in
the churchyard of the Dutch church. Min-
ute guns were fired from field pieces stationed
on "The Plains," as the present Academy
Green was then called, during the march to the
grave and as the procession returned. That
procession was the greatest that Kingston had
ever seen, and the officials, soldiers and citizens
composed a rank and file which was longer than
the distance from his residence to the grave.
His residence was on the south-west corner
of Maiden Lane and Fair street, in Kingston
on the site of the present residence of the Rev.
MILITARY LEADERS. 307
F. B. Seeley, the pastor of the Fair Street Re-
formed Church. Colonel Snyder's house was
torn down in 1807 by Edward Eltinge, and the
site has been occupied by the residences of
various prominent families until it passed to its
present owner a year ago.
The only other military officer above the
rank of captain in the army of the Revolution
who can be claimed as a Saugerties man was
Major John Gillespy of the Fourth Ulster
Militia. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in
1741, and was the son of John Gillespy and
Elizabeth Wilkins, his wife. He was early left
an orphan, and was brought to this country by
an aunt, and reared by her at New Windsor^
Orange county. New York. Here he lived and
married Miss Margaret Smedes.
When a boy he volunteered in the French
and Indian War and served in the navy on the
vessel " Harlequin." He was engaged in one
fight at sea, which lasted '' nine glasses," or
hours. After the war he served as justice of
When the colonies rebelled against Great
Britain he immediately espoused their cause
and offered his services. He was made major
of the Fourth Ulster Militia, Colonel Johannes
Hardenbergh commanding. Early in the sum-
308 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
mer of 1776 he went with the regiment to
New York city to assist in its defense. The
regiment then consisted of four companies
from Ulster county and one from Livingston
Manor, Columbia county. But many of the
troops were without arms, and lacked most of
the necessaries for service. Upon an earnest
request from Colonel Hardenbergh addressed
to General Woodhull, President of the State
Convention, on the 9th of August, 1776, in
which he stated that his troops asked to be
supplied even if it were deducted from their
pay, supplies were granted at the expense of
the patriotic troops themselves.
On the 27th of the same month the bloody
battle of Long Island was fought, in which
this regiment bore its share. The Americans
were defeated, and many of the prisoners
taken were murdered in cold blood by the
British and Hessians. Among these was Gen-
eral Woodhull himself.
The regiment participated in the battle of
Harlem Heights and in the other engagements
in the vicinity of New York city. During the
summer of 1777 the regiment was with Gov-
ernor George Clinton defending the passes of
the Highlands of the Hudson, and when the
passage was forced in October of that year,
they came with the rest of Clinton's command
to the relief of Kingston. They had reached
MILITARY LEADERS. 309
the residence of their colonel in Rosendale,
eight miles from Kingston, on the afternoon
of October i6th and halted temporarily.
Major Gillespy was dealing out rations to his
men when the smoke from the burning town
of Kingston became visible. Orders to re-
sume the march were immediately given, but as
the troops came over the *' Kijkuit " and
caught sight of the town they found they
were too late. The enemy were retiring to
their vessels off Rondout.
Major Gillespy removed to Saugerties after
the close of the war and died here January
5th, 1810, aged 69 years. During the whole
of his residence in this town he was engaged
in the business of a tanner, and his home was
the constant resort of members of his old reg-
iment to whom his hand and purse were ever
open to so great an extent that he suffered
much in financial depletion.
THE SAUGERTIES BARD.
Sir Walter Scott has made forever famous
the troubadours of his native land, who wan-
dered as minstrels through the mountains and
valleys of Scotland, singing the brave deeds of
olden times. All remember the opening lines
of " The Lay of the Last Minstrel " :
*' The way was long, the way was cold,
The minstrel was infirm and old.
His withered cheek, and tresses gray,
Seemed to have known a better day ;
The last of all the bards was he
Who sang of border chivalry.
For well-a-day ! their date was fled.
His tuneful brethren were all dead.
And he, neglected and oppressed.
Wished to be with them and at rest. ' '
There are many living to-day who will
recall the wandering minstrel, who was uni-
versally known along the Hudson in the years
preceding the Civil War.
All through the counties of Ulster and
Greene, at least, was he well known in the
years from 1835 to i860; and often was he
THE SA UGER TIES BARD. 3 1 1
seen all down the Hudson River valley, and
even upon the streets of New York, and west-
ward along the Mohawk he had occasionally
wandered, and into Canada. He was harm-
less, eccentric, impulsive, and at times inco-
herent, with a faculty for impromptu rhyming,
a sweet, sympathetic voice, and skill sufificient
to draw the sweetest sounds from violin or
flute. He would take a popular air, which
everyone just then happened to be singing,
and passing along the country sides would
gather the local events and happenings. Then
with violin in hand, would improvise the tale
in a song to the popular air, and the passer by
would stop to hear. And if the song caught
the fancy of his auditors, he would have the
words printed as a ballad, and with an old
horse, and his loved violin and flute, he would
drive away, along the country roads, or village
streets, accompanied by his troop of dogs,
singing, playing and selling his ballads.
Such was Henry S. Backus, ''The Sauger-
ties Bard," as he called himself. He was a
native of the northern part of Greene county.
New York. His father was a colonel in the
War of i8i2, and was at Sackett's Harbor
during the building of Commodore Chauncey's
fleet, and was shot in one of the conflicts on
the Niagara frontier. The colonel was an
agreeable companion, with an excellent voice
3 1 2 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
and great skill with musical instruments, and
from him his son derived his love for martial
music. A brother of the bard was educated
at West Point, married a daughter of General
Brady, U. S. A., became a colonel also, and
repeatedly received honorable mention for
gallantry in the Mexican War.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood
with a passion for what concerns a soldier.
He possessed a peculiarly correct ear for
martial music, and in early years was an
efificient teacher of the fife, the drum and the
bugle. Later he taught school, and coming to
Saugerties he married a Miss Legg, with
whom he lived for a number of years. After
her death his mind received a peculiar bias
and he began to lead the life of a wandering
minstrel. When events occurred which startled
the community, he often retired into the room
in the rear of the store of his friend, John
Swart, in the village of Saugerties, and
reduced the account to rhyme. This he pub-
lished, and on his minstrel tours would sell
these penny ballads with others narrating
striking events in the region. Much of his
composition, in cold type, is the merest dog-
gerel, which, when sung as an improvisation,
in his sweet voice, accompanied by his charm-
ing violin, seemed to capture his auditors.
The songs are forgotten to all except a few
THE SAUGERTIES BARD. 313
of the older inhabitants, and yet occasionally
one of the almanacs of the Saugerties Bard
comes to light, of one of the years from 1845
to 1855, which contains, besides the tables of
an almanac, his ballads on the local events of
the previous year. There is a little poetic
merit in his " Dying Californian " :
'' Lay up nearer, brother, nearer.
For my limbs are growing cold ;
And thy presence seemeth dearer
When thine arms around me fold.
I am dying, brother, dying,
Soon you'll miss me from your berth,
And my form will soon be lying
'Neath the coral-bedded earth."
One summer evening the writer remembers
to have heard the notes of a whip-poor-will in
a thicket not far away. Listening to the
querulous complaint of the bird, he did not
notice in the darkness that someone was pass-
ing. Presently a voice was heard to sing:
" In rural strains, with right good-will.
Loud sings the lovely whip-poor-will
From eve till dawn of day.
She all night long the descant sings.
Through shady groves her music rings,
A sharp and thrilling lay —
Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will."
It was the Saugerties Bard, who, with a
troop of dogs, and his ever-present violin,
314 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
passed by, and found his inspiration in the
But the poetic muse was impractical.
Though he wooed her and received her favors
she did not provide for his subsistence.
Friends, voluntarily, contributed for years to
his support. But as his generation died, or
sought homes elsewhere, the bard began in his
older days to suffer want. The writer can see
him now pass by, clad in a suit of gray, with
long gray locks covered with a cap ; and his
wanderings took him from his more familiar
haunts. The country during the winter of
1860-61 was in the throes of the excitement
before the great Civil War. The minstrel was
forgotten, and his mental powers were in their
decadence. During the winter he was hardly
seen. The night of Monday, May 13, 1861,
was cold, cheerless and wet, as sometimes are
nights in May. On Tuesday morning, James
H. Gaddis, who kept a hotel at Katsbaan,
went past a shed near his barn at an early
hour. He saw a man lying there, and exam-
ining him found him unconscious, numb with
the cold and almost starved. He was fed and
taken to the village of Saugerties. Here some
one entered a charge of vagrancy against him,
and an ofificer was sent with him to the Kings-
ton jail, and the harmless singer of the hap-
penings of village and countryside was com-
THE SAUGERTIES BARD. 315
pelled to learn that practical men had no com-
passion upon an impracticable troubadour who
could not work, or, if he could, would rather
sing. The sick and starving minstrel was
locked in a cell, a physician prescribed for him,
but never came to see him again. The jail
physician threw away the medicines of the first
practitioner and left others, but gave him no
further attention. For two or three days the
poor outcast tossed on his cot in his cell unat-
tended, suffering physically and mentally until
the morning of Monday, May 20, 1861, when
he turned his face to the wall and breathed his
last. One who had known him heard of it and
went to the jail. On his cot was lying an
emaciated skeleton, scantily clad and exhausted
by starvation and sleeping out of doors. His
violin was gone, his canine companions were
dead, his friends had deserted him, and now,
within the walls of a jail, the sweet voice of
the Saugerties Bard was silenced forever, to
the disgrace of those whose inhumanity saw in
the helpless indigence of a harmless trouba-
dour nothing but the worthlessness of a
vagrant, fit only for a convict's cell.
In a former chapter on the Beaver creek
allusion was made to a poem, " Katsbaan,"
from which a few lines were quoted. This
poem was published in the Saugerties Tele-
graph about twenty-five years ago without the
name of its author. As some lines are descrip-
tive of persons and scenes of which former
chapters speak it has been thought well to
give the poem entire in this connection.
The glorious splendor of thine arching sky ;
The winning beauty of thy smiling fields,
As verdant in the summer' s sun they lie,
Or golden with the stores their harvest yields,
Woo me, sweet Katsbaan, to thy paths to-day.
By brook, or lane, or field, or haunt to stray.
And let thine influence o'er my spirit steal.
To sing thy charms — thy history reveal.
Each day to greet thee, with enraptured haste
Taghkanic's peaks he climbs — the morning
Then when, with ever new delight, has gazed
Through all the hours thy varied charms upon,
The Catskills makes his easel in the west
To paint the curtained chambers of his rest, —
Delighted, as thy beaming eyes behold
His cloud-wove tapestries of purpled gold.
Soft-flowing Beaver, by thy winding side
I wander with the hours of passing day.
Through thy pellucid depths and shallows gUde
The phantom forms of finny tribes at play.
Umbrageous are thy banks. In close embrace
The walnuts o' er thy bosom interlace ;
And, in their mottled shade, by yonder spring
The circling swallow dips his restless wing.
How clear those fountain depths reflect the
How glistening that crystalline outflow !
I take this cup, of shell of cocoa made,—
The virtues of ''The Powder Spring" would
Deep in that sparkhng mirror plunge the cup,
And, of its hquid brightness, gather up
A draught medicinal. Health overflown !
Then grasp my pilgrim stafl" and wander on.
I pass along thy lanes and many a bee
His clover-gathered harvest homeward brings ;
Robert of Lincoln's burst of melody.
As rising from yon copse he floats and sings ;
Those fields of corn in serried ranks extend
With spears upraised, they would their stores
And, as a veil of gauze no charm conceals.
That orchard fruit that every leaf reveals.
Another field, God's acre. Resting here
Behold the spoils the hand of death hath won :
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And year
By year the conflict and defeat goes on.
318 HISTORY OF SAUCER TIES.
'Tis quiet here. Beneath this tree I'll rest, —
Ponder the questions springing in the breast :
Is it defeat ? And evermore to be ?
May not this field become a plain of victory ?
Behold this ancient church of mossy stone, —
The tapering spire that pointeth to the skies ;
Tell these of conquering Death, and this alone ?
Of hopeless griefs, and cheerless miseries ?
Let us approach the venerable pile
With reverent step and docile heart the while :
God's house it is. His Holy Name it bears
Honored through fifty and one hundred years.
What is the tale thy rock-based walls can tell ?
What teachings from that sacred desk within ?
<' I tell of victory over death and hell, —
I tell of God's great sacrifice for sin, —
I teach to all, — to thee if thou wouldst know,
God saved the world that sin had plunged in woe! "
Tell some calm message to my heart in strife.
'' I am the Resurrection and the Life."
O comfort this ! His is the victory !
The conqueror Death His messenger becomes
To hold our bodies in security.
And take our spirits to their heavenly homes !
Within thy walls, O house, a while I wait.
Wouldst thou the history of thy years relate ?
Who were the heralds from the courts of grace
Who told these precious truths within this place ?
It speaks. "From homes in ruin by the torch
of war ;
From hills ; from valleys by the storied Rhine ;
A band of storm-tossed exiles journeying far,
Here found a home, and here arose this shrine.
Here 'op de Kats Baan ' laid they stone on stone
With songs of praise to Him, their Guide alone ;
Far from the Fatherland, and far from war's
They raised this temple to the Prince of PeacQ.
• Here came the myriad-tongued, came Mancius,
Dutchman and Palatine and Huguenot in one :
Their voices to a common Father swelled, —
Reformed or Lutheran, — an irenicon.
The Wallkill valley and the Hudson wide
Saw spires arise in vale ; on mountain side, —
Of an unceasing toil the monument,
As thirty years and two of life were spent.
So stood I here reveahng God to man ;
For many years thus floorless, fireless stood.
Then Mancius died. And eighteen years passed
No pastor here to guide this flock to God.
'Twas Freedom's time; and fortunate in their
Came patriots to preach, who came to lead, —
To fan the patriot flame to ruddy glow.
Thus Doll ; thus Schuneman ; thus Westerlo.
As Israel's tribes to Zion's holy hill.
Up to these courts the worshippers would come
From where is Saugerties ; where Plattekill,
Flatbush, Blue Mountain, Maiden, Kiskatom :
All daughters fair of mine. But passing fair
Those faithful ones who traveled leagues to
Call others privileged ? These had this much ;
The gospel undefiled in Holland Dutch.
320 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
'' I see the pulpit high — an octagon.
Its pedestal, doophiiisje, winding stair ;
And room within for one, and one alone ;
A canopy above, suspended there.
No spire, no bell ; but, 'neath the eaves, a porch
With trumpet hung to summon all to church :
Till innovation brought stoves, bell and spire,
Floors, straight-back pews, voorleser and a choir.
" With brows enwreathed by the scholastic bays
In rivalry at far-famed Leyden won ;
Van Vherden, first in learning and in grace.
Took up the task De Ronde had laid down.
Through eleven years of controversial storm.
While feuds ran high and party spirit warm.
He preached the cross, and multitudes were blest.
Then passed the short two years of Demarest.
'' The ' noblest Roman of them all ' I see !
Before me stands Paul of this latter age !
Giant in logic — deep in philosophy —
Learned in the lore of classic history's page —
Mighty in Scripture— theologian —
A lion-hearted, tender-hearted man !
Ostrander ! yes, thy locks of driven snow
Before me rise ! Thine eagle glances glow !
*' Perchance to-day the sovereignty of Heaven
The burden of his theme. On wings sublime
A view of God' s prerogatives is given ;
Or we with Moses up Mount Sinai chmb.
Perchance His fatherhood. The wayward will,
Drawn by the filial cords he binds with skill ;
Breaking, is led to Abba, Father, call —
Returning home, a weeping prodigal.
Or justifying faith, that maketh whole, —
Or hope — the anchor caught within the vail ; —
Devotion — wing of the aspiring soul, —
Or charity — that nevermore shall fail.
Depravity — lo, an Egyptian night !
God's holiness — mount of transfiguring light !
Man ruined ; — see the track a cyclone trod !
Redeemed, — a living temple of his God !
Perchance God's wondrous love, in Christ,
See, as he speaks, his tender bosom glow !
Perchance the theme God's arm in justice bared :
The spirit of Elijah burning now.
Perchance a Pisgah view ; as with the seers
He reads with Daniel of the coming years ;
Or walks with John the rock-ribbed isle of
And sees the dawning of Millennial peace.
Or by the couch of pain, or bed of death
He tells of Him who pain and sickness bore :
Who made the grave His spoil : Who vanquisheth
The King of Terrors now and evermore :
Who bore our sins, — is wilHng to receive
All who will come, repent, confess, believe.
The dying, and the Hving, day by day
He points to Jesus and he leads the way.
' The story this of half a century's space.
Sons laid their sires to rest beneath this sod :
His tears were dropped with theirs within this
Committing them unto their father's God.
Their sons in turn laid theirs. That pastor old —
The old, old story of the Love re-told
322 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
That came and wept, and won at Bethany :
'Forevermore the dead shall Uve, in Me.'
" Often another and a different scene :
Some Cana here, as once in Galilee :
He went, as following the Nazarene ;
And when the vows in their sincerity
Were made his spirits burst their close restraint
With humor, wit, tales new, and old, and quaint :
As from a bubbHng spring his mirth outpoured —
Cheer filled the room, as plenty filled the board.
*' Such is the story of these ancient walls.
I can not of the living pastors tell —
Of ColUer, Chapman, Searle — in winning souls
They served their Master, and they served Him
Such was the tale. With hngering steps, and
And many a backward glance, I turned to go :
And still that voice oft in a silent hour
The ''Old Stone Church's" tale re -tells with
Ye field of oaks, down all the hoary past
The faithful sentries at this house of God ;
Ye braved the summer' s hghtning — winter' s
True to your charge in solid phalanx stood.
How few ye are ! About on every side
I see the stations where your comrades died ;
Faithful to death, in branch, in twig, in stem.
The zephyr sings e'en now their requiem.
Again I set me down. Around me lie
The goodly farms that cover hill and plain ;
The happy homes ; their guardian roof-trees by :
Do any after all these years remain
An olden heritage, and unconveyed ?
Behold the home by yonder maple's shade ;
The spreading farm house, through whose open
We see God's gift of generations more.
I take my staff, dear Katsbaan, to depart ; —
Thy well-taught lessons on my soul impressed \
And as I journey on would Hft my heart
To do His will, and leave with Him the rest.
The evening shadows round my pathway He, —
The Catskills darken in the western sky ; —
I soar in soul ! Their aspiration given :
They lift their peaks and converse hold with
OLD DUTCH BALLADS, RHYMES AND
Among the pleasing recollections of every
one brought up from infancy in a home where
the parents were able to speak Dutch there is
one that ever haunts the memory with its
strains. It is that of the rhymes of the nur-
sery. Who that was ever trotted on the knee
of such a father can forget ** Trip a trop a
Trip a trop a troontjes,
De varkens in de boontjes,
De koetjes in de klaver,
De paarden in de haver,
De eenjes in de water-plas,
De kalf in de lang gras ;
So groot mijn kleine poppetje was.
This might be rendered into English
Trip a trop a troontjes,
The pigs are in the bean vines,
The cows are in the clover blooms,
The horses in the oat fields,
The ducks are in the water-pond,
The calf is in the long grass ; —
So tall my little baby was !
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 325
Or, when he had thrown one leg over the
knee of the other and made a saddle of the
free foot, he asked you to ride, and then he
Zoo rijden de Heeren
Met hun mooije kleeren ;
Zoo rijden de vrouwen
Met hun bonte mouwen ;
Dan komt de akkerman
Met zijn paardjes toppertan ;
Hij drijft voorbig nauw Amsterdam
Met zijn koetsier achteran :
Schoe, schoe paardjes
Met zijn vlossa staartjes ;
Draf, draf, draf.
A free-handed translation into English could
render it :
So ride the Lords
With their handsome clothes ;
So ride their ladies
With their calico sleeves ;
Then comes the farmer
With his horses tandem ;
He drives them on to Amsterdam
With his coachman behind :
Shoe, shoe the horses
With their flossy tails \
Trot, trot, trot.
And as the mother rocked a Dutch cradle
she might be heard to sing
326 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES,
Slaap, kindje, slaap,
Daar buiten loopt een schaap,
Een schaap met vier witte voetjes,
Dat drinkt zijn melk zoo zoetjes :
Witte wol en zwarte wol,
Zoo krijgt ieder zijn buikje vol.
The English would be
Sleep, baby, sleep,
In the fields there runs a sheep,
A sheep with four white feet
That drinks its milk so sweet :
White wool and black wool ;
So either gets its stomach full.
When spinning-bees were held the maidens
would tease each other with the following
*' Spin, mijn lieve dochter,
Dan geve ik u een hoen."
" Ach ! mijn Heve moeder,
Ik hav het niet gedaan ;
Ik kan niet spinnen, —
Ach zie ! mijn vinger doet mijn zoo zeer.
" Spin, mijn Heve dochter,
Dan geve ik u een schaap. ' '
'' Ach ! mijn heve moeder,
Het geve mij de gaap ;
Ik kan niet spinnen, —
Ach zie ! mijn vinger doet mijn zoo zeer.'*
** Spin, mijn lieve dochtor,
Dan geve ik u een koe,*'
" Ach ! mijn lieve moeder,
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 227
Het maakt mij zoo moe ;
Ik kan niet spinnen, —
Ach zie ! miin vinger doet mijn zoo zeer."
*' Spin, mijn lieve dochter,
Dan geve ik u eenpaard. "
*' Ach ! mijn lieve moeder,
Ik ben het niet waard ;
Ik kan niet spinnen, —
Ach zie ! mijn vinger doet mijn zoo zeer."
" Spin mijn heve dochter,
Dan geve ik u een man."
** Ach ! mijn lieve moeder,
Dan gaan ik daaran ;
Ik kan wel spinnen, —
Ach zie ! mijn vinger doet mijn geen zeer.*'
In English the song would be similar to
'' Spin, my beloved daughter,
Then give I thee a hen."
" Oh, my beloved mother,
I never this have done ;
I can not spin, —
Oh, see ! my fingers are so sore. ' '
'' Spin, my beloved daughter.
Then give I thee a sheep."
'' Oh, my beloved mother.
That would only make me yawn ;
I can not spin, —
Oh, see ! my fingers are so sore."
*^ Spin, my beloved daughter,
Then give I thee a cow. ' '
328 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
** Oh, my beloved mother,
That makes me so tired ;
I can not spin, —
Oh, see ! my fingers are so sore."
** Spin, my beloved daughter.
Then give I thee a horse."
'' Oh, my beloved mother.
It is not worth the while ;
I can not spin, —
Oh, see ! my fingers are so sore."
" Spin, my beloved daughter.
Then give I you a husband."
'* Oh, my beloved mother.
Then go I now right on ;
I can spin well, —
Oh, see ! my fingers do not get sore.
A popular ballad of the olden time was
De Heer en de Meisje.
Ik zagen een mooije meisje ; en vroeg zij
Voor haar zoete-lieve uit zij onderzoeken gaan :
Zij trachten en zij zoeken uit onder de linde,
Maar zij kunnen haar zoete-heve niet ergens
Met dat komt een heer, en, ophouding, hij roep ;
" Schoon meisje, wet gij wel wat gij zook ? "
*' Ach ! wet gij mijn heer ik mijn zoete-lieve
En ik kun niet van hem zien, — ik kun niet van
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 329
Met dat trekt de heer uit zijn fluweelen mouw
Een ketting zoo lang van geellachtig goud :
** Schoon meisje, dit zal ik met blijdschap beschenk,
Dan zal gij op uwe lieve niet langer gedenk. ' '
*' Hoewel de ketting bezitting zuck lengte,
Dat het van de aarde tot de hemel bereik,
Dan liever ik wensch voor eeuwig verreizen,
Als dat ik een ander geliefde verkiezen."
Met dat spreek de heer, bezweren bij zijn bloed ;
*' Schoon meisje, wet gij wel wat gij doet ?
Gij zeker zal zoo wezen mijn heve huisvrouw.
En ook een ander heve zal ik ooit getrouw."
Without attempting to give a translation in
rhyme or rhythm, a rendering into English
might read :
I saw a handsome maiden, and early she arose ;
For her sweet-heart she went out to search :
She tried and she searched out under the hndens,
But she could not her sweet-heart anywhere find.
With that came a lord, and, holding up, he called :
<< Beautiful maid, know you well what you seek? "
<' Oh, know you, my lord, I my sweet-heart have
And I can not of him see ; I can not of him
With that drew the lord out his velvet sleeve
A chain so long of yellow gold :
< ' Beautiful maid, this shall I with pleasure bestow,
Then shall you on your love no longer think."
330 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
'* Although the chain possessed such a length
That it from the earth to the heaven reached,
Then rather I desire to spend it forever in search,
As that I another lover must choose."
With that spoke the lord, a swearing by his blood :
" Beautiful maid, know you well what you do ?
You surely shall so be my loving wife.
And too no other love shall I ever marry.' '
There was another little rhyme very widely
sung which runs after this manner :
Daar was een mooije meisje in het killetje vervallen :
Had ik niet hoor haar dompelen, —
Had ik niet hoor haar schreeuwen, —
Had haar kopje niet boven steken
Dan had zij wis verdrunken.
The English of this would be :
There was a handsome maiden in the httle creek
had fallen :
Had I not heard her plunging, —
Had I not heard her screaming, —
Had not her head kept out
Then had she sure been drowned.
Some Dutch Mother Goose must surely
have dreamed the following nonsense rhymes.
How her patriotic soul delights to impale the
Spaniards whom her compatriots had so suc-
cessfully fought for eighty years :
Hinken de pinken
Zitten te klinken, —
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 331
Zat met de kan
Dat hij uit gedrinken.
** Is daar niet in ?
Laten het halen !
Jan van Spanje
Hij zal het betalen ! "
Or, rendered into English, the rhyme runs :
Hinker the winker
Sitting to touch glasses —
Drunk with the can
That he had emptied.
'^ Is there nothing in ?
Let it be brought !
John of Spain,
He shall pay the bill ! "
A boisterous boaster is thus described :
Daar komt hij ! Een snoeshaan geweldig gestampen \
Een beest hij gebruUen ! Een mansbeeld gezwoUen ;
Een openlijk bloodard ! Het maakt neen vershil ;
Het ware Jan van Spanje zonder zijn bril.
Or, in English :
There comes he ! A braggart hard riding !
A beast he a-roaring ! A mannikin swelled up !
An arrant coward ! It makes no difference ;
He is John of Spain without his spectacles.
The allusion seems to be to the historic joke
of Holland, in vi^hich the loss by the Duke of
Alva of the city of Brille has always been
called " The loss of the Duke of Alva's spec-
tacles " (zijn bril).
332 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Here is a churning song :
Ha ! ja ! zaa ! ha ! ja ! zaantjes !
De boter loopt door de roerstok eindjes.
Ha ! ja ! je ! Ha ! ja ! je !
Boterje, boterje, komt !
ledereen kUentje tobbetje vol.
So far as it can be expressed in English, it
would be :
Ha ! ja ! zaa ! ha ! ja zaantjes !
The butter runs through the dasher's ends.
Ha! ja! je ! Ha ! ja ! je !
Butter, butter, come !
Everybody a httle tub full.
In this is a riddle :
Dans boven de zolder ;
En al de lands heeren
Kunnen niet Holder-de-bolder
Van de zolder pareeren.
The answer is " Smoke," and the English
Dances over the garret ;
And all the nation's lords
Can not Topsy-turvey
Ward off from the garret.
The Netherland Mother Goose was surely
the author of this :
<* Ik bakken mijn brood ; ik brouwen mijn bier ; —
Had ik mijn paardjes ik zouda gij jagere."
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 333
* Wedden uwe paardjes weinigje man
Op den koop toe, achter an."
This jingle may be in English :
* I bake my bread ; I brew my beer ;
Had I my horses I would you drive."
•* Wager your horses, httle man.
Into the bargain, on behind."
In one of her patriotic moods the venerable
dame thus sings :
Wij wil mee naar Engeland vare,
Voor Van Tromp doet Engeland zeer.
Engeland is opsluiten ;
De sluitel is verbreken.
Zwarte bedelaar, wat doen gij hier ?
The reference to Van Tromp is, without
doubt, to his great naval victories over the
British, after which the Dutch admiral sailed
up the English channel with a broom at his
masthead. The translation is:
We will also to England sail,
For Van Tromp does England sore.
England is locked up (blockaded) ;
The key is broken.
Black beggar, what do you here ?
At parties of young people in those days
this ditty was usually sung :
Het regent, en het hagelt, en 'tis onstuimig weder ;
In komt de boerman zuigen cider :
334 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Wie wezen de maaier ? ik wezen de binder ;
Ik heb mijn lieve verloren ; waar zal ik vind haar ?
The song survives and is still sung in rural
companies in the English version as' follows :
It rains, and it hails, and ' tis boisterous weather ;
In comes the farmer sucking cider :
Who is the reaper ? I am the binder ;
I have. my love lost ; where shall I find her?
A popular children's rhyme vi^as
Wie komt met mij naar koetjestal
Zoete melk ter halen ?
Ik en gij en kindjes al
Zal het wel betalen.
Vier paardjes voor wagen
Had het haast verjagen.
Toe, paardjes, toe.
which may be translated thus :
Who comes with me to the dairy
Sweet milk to bring ?
You and I and children all
Shall pay for it well.
Four horses before the wagon
Had almost run away with it.
Hurry, horses, hurry.
Here is an old riddle :
Een koning moet een koning onder een essche-
De koning tot de koning zegt, ''Wat ben uwe
DUTCH RHMYES AND SONGS, 335
*' Goud ben mijn zadel ; zilver ben mijn teiigel ;
essche ben mijn boog.
Ik vertelt mijn naam drie tijdt in een rij."
In English the riddle would run thus :
A king met a king under an ash tree :
The king to the king said, '' What is your name?"
•' Gold is my saddle ; silver is my bridle ; ash is
I told my name three times in a row. ' '
Here is the story of the trading of
Een Arme Schepzel.
*' Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan !
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
'' Van de markt." '' Wat doen gij daar ? "
" Verkooptmijn dochter." '' Wat krijgtgij voor? '
'<• Een schepel geld." '' Geve mijn de geld."
" Kom aan," zegt Jan.
'* Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan !
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
' ' Van de markt. " " Wat doen gij daar ? ' '
" Handelt mijn geld." ''Wat krijgt gij voor? "
'' Een vosse paard." '' Geve mijn de paard."
'' Kom aan," zegt Jan.
" Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan 1
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
' ' Van de markt. " ' ' Wat doen gij daar ? ' '
«' Handelt mijn paard." " Wat krijgt gij voor ? '
' ' Een»bonte koe. " " Geve mijn de koe. ' '
" Kom aan," zegt Jan.
336 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
** Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan !
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
' ' Van de markt. " ' ' Wat doen gij daar ? ' *
'' Handelt mijn koe. " " Wat krijgt gij voor ? "
^' Een zwarte schaap." *' Geve mijn de schaap.'*
** Kom aan," zegt Jan.
'' Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan !
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
'' Van de markt." " Wat doen gij daar? "
'' Handelt mijn schaap." '' Wat krijgt gij voor? '*
" Een kraaien hoen." " Geve mijn de hoen."
'' Kom aan," zegt Jan.
" Goeden-morgen, naaste Jan !
Waar komt gij zoo vroeg van daan ? ' '
"• Van de markt." " Wat doen gij daar ? "
'' Handelt mijn hoen." "Wat krijgt gij voor?'*
" Een bits wetsteen." " Geve mijn de steen."
" Kom aan," zegt Jan.
Met dat hij verwerpt zijn wetsteen achter zijn
'• Arme schepzel " is a contemptuous ex-
pression meaning " A poor creature," and the
story of his trading may be told in these
" Good-morning, neighbor John !
Whence come you so early to-day? "
' ' From the market. " " What did you there ? ' '
* ' Sold my daughter. " " What got you for her ? "
' ' Three pecks of money. " " Give me the money. ' *
** Come on," said John.
" Good-morning, neighbor John !
Whence come you so early to-day ? ' '
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 337
From the market." " What did you there ? "
Traded my money." " What got you for it? "
** A sorrel horse." " Give me the horse."
'' Come on," said John.
The next day, John returned from the
market, having traded his horse for a spotted
cow, the next his cow for a black sheep, then
his sheep for a crowing rooster, then the
rooster for a keen whetstone. Then, realizing
his foolishness, he threw the whetstone after
When boys were anxious that the sap should
loosen the bark that whistles might be made
Sappen, sappen, rijpen !
Wanneer zal gij pijpen ?
Onsluit mij fluitje !
Los ! los ! los !
Or in English
Sap, sap, ripen !
When will ye pipe ?
Unlock my whistle !
Loosen ! loosen ! loosen !
The following was inscribed in an old book:
Die dit vint en brengt het hier, —
Om een appel ; om een peer :
Die het vint en niet het doet ;
Is hij gallig niet te goet.
338 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
And interpreted it is:
Who this finds and brings it here, —
About an apple, — about a pear :
Who it finds and does it not ;
His gall is not too good.
A St. Nicholas song is given in a fornaer
chapter. Here is another:
Zie ! de maan schijnt door de boomen !
Makkers, stuit uwe wild gerass !
De heilig avondstonds aankomen ;
De avonding van Santa Claus.
Van verwachting klopt onze hart —
Wie de koek krijgt ; wie de garde.
Attennpting to render this into English we
See ! the moon shines through the trees !
Comrades, stop your wild rackets !
The holy evening is approaching ;
The evening of Santa Claus.
With expectation throbs our heart —
Who the cake gets ; who the rod.
Then follows a short homily on diligence
and industry :
Wie in de somer vergaardert haast,
Dan kun hij in de winter leest.
Die set hem bij een warme vier
En eet en drinkt op zijn pleizier.
Maar die niet somer' s haast gespart,
Men ziet wel hoe zijn winters varet ;
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 339
Zij leven lui, en slaapen lang ;
En borgen op de Kersttijdt aen ;
Betalen op St. Nimmer's dag ;
Zulk lui gespuys ik niet vermaagh.
De Schrift de wijz haar tot de mier ;
Al is het maar een arme dier.
A free translation would make it :
Who in the summer reaps with speed,
Then can he in the winter read.
Such sits him by a warm fire
And eats and drinks at his pleasure.
But such as summer' s haste have spared,
Men see well how their winters go ;
They hve lazily, and sleep long ;
And borrow on the Christmas next ;
Paying upon St. Never' s day.
Such lazy rabble I do not delight in.
The Scriptures point them to the ant ;
Though it is but a poor insect.
Another rhyme which was often repeated in
former days was this :
De molenaar is een groote dief, —
De groote zakken have zijn Hef ;
De kleine laten hij doorlopen.
Uit elk een zak
Hij sluipen wat ;
Dan nood hij niet eenig brood te koopen.
English readers may read it after this
The miller is a great thief, —
The larger bags have his love ;
340 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
The smaller lets he run out.
Out of each bag
He steals a Httle ;
Then needs he not to buy any bread.
The following is a Mother Goose rhyme pure
and simple :
Terre, leere, hts-a-lote —
De hond lijt in de keuken doode :
Zijn staart was voort ;
Zijn kop ontbloot.
Toe komt mijn heer, a jonger ;
En hij zegt de hond was dronker.
Den komt een timmerman,
En timmert de hond zijn staart weer aan.
Suppose we make this read
Terre, leere, lits-a-lote —
The dog Ues in the kitchen dead :
His tail is gone ;
His head is bare.
Then comes my young lord ;
And he says the dog is drunk.
Then comes a carpenter,
And builds the tail on again.
Another children's riddle was similar to
Daar blijft een mooije dingetje altijd langst de dijk \
Met zijn oogen op zijn kopje als rondom hij kijk ;
Met zijn voeten in de moerashij dans wipperty- wop.
Raader, raader, raader, wat dingetje was dot ?
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 341
The riddle might be thus in English :
There lives a handsome little creature the while
beside the dyke ;
With his eyes above his head all around him he
With his feet in the swamp he dances whipperty-
Guesser, guesser, guesser, what creature is that?
There was a riddle w^hich ran after this sort :
Ik vare hier van oude land,
Verbonden dicht met ijzer band \
Moorde have ik niet gedaan; —
Maar een pin is in mijn kop verslaan.
To English children the riddle would be:
I sailed here from the old land.
And am bound with iron bands;
Murder have I not done; —
Yet a peg is beaten into my head.
Old-time horses are represented as saying
Op de berg slaan mij niet;
Neder de berg haast mij niet;
Door de vlakte spaar mij niet;
So kan ik werk en verget u niet.
342 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
An American horse would interpret this to
Up the hill whip me not;
Down the hill speed me not;
Across the level spare me not;
So I can work and forget you not.
An old Dutch aphorism made use of by
Washington Irving is this :
De waarheid die in duister lag ;
Die komt met klaarheid aan den dag.
It is just as true in English :
The truth that in the darkness lay ;
That comes with clearness in the day.
The advice in this motto is certainly
Drink wat klaar is ;
Spreek wat waar is ;
Eet wat gaar is.
Translated it is :
Drink what pure is ;
Speak what true is ;
Eat what is well cooked.
Something of an entirely different order is
the following homely rhyme :
Wij planten eens aardappelse, — de oogst was niet
DUTCH RHMYES AND SONGS. 343
En wij gedachte zij zoo verrotten daar was nietig
voor ons nood.
Wij doen hen in de kelder in de mooije drogen
En de aardappelse ware mooije de heel jaar door.
An English version would have it :
We planted once potatoes ; the harvest was not
And we thought they had rotted so there was noth-
ing for our need.
We put them in the cellar in the lovely dry weather,
And the potatoes were excellent the whole year
The following is cumulative after the man-
ner of the English ** House that Jack Built ":
De eerste dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn Heve stuurde tot mijn
Een patrijs in de peerboom.
De tweede dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Twee tortelduif en een patrijs in de peerboom.
De derde dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn Heve stuurde tot mijn
Drie Fransch hoenen, twee tortelduif en een patrijs
in de peerboom.
De vierde dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Vier leggen ganzen, drie Fransch hoenen, twee tor-
telduif en een patrijs in de peerboom.
344 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
De vijfe dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Vijf eendjes zwemming, vier leggen ganzen, drie
Fransch hoenen, twee tortelduif en een pat-
rijs in de peerboom.
De zesde dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Zes vioole speelen, vijf eendjes zwemming, vier
leggen ganzen, drie Fransch hoenen, twee
tortelduif en een patrijs in de peerboom.
De zevende dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Zeven gedansen meisjen, zes vioole speelen, vijf
eendjes zwemming, vier leggen ganzen, drie
Fransch hoenen, twee tortelduif en een pat-
trijs in de peerboom.
De achtste dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Acht beene hammetje, zeven gedansen meisjen,
zes vioole speelen, vijf eendjes zwemming,
vier leggen ganzen, drie Fransch hoenen,
twee tortelduif en een patrijs in de peer-
De negende dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn lieve stuurde tot mijn
Negen bulle bruUing, acht beene hammetje, zeven
gedansen meisjen, zes vioole speelen, vijf
eendjes zwemming, vier leggen ganzen, drie
Fransch hoenen, twee tortelduif en een pat-
rijs in de peerboom.
De tiende dag van Kersttijdt
Mijn Heve stuurde tot mijn
DUTCH RHYMES AND SONGS. 345
Tien paardjes drafen, negen bulle brulling, acht
beene hammetje, zeven gedansen meisjen,
zes vioole speelen, vijf eendjes zwemming,
vier leggen ganzen, drie Fransch hoenen,
twee tortelduif en een patrijs in de peer-
A rendering of the first verse and the tenth
will sufficiently translate it:
The first day of Christmas
My loved one sent to me
A partridge in the pear tree.
The last verse comprises all the rest :
The tenth day of Christmas
My loved one sent to me
Ten trotting horses, nine bulls bellowing, eight
bones of ham, seven dancing maidens, six
violins a-playing, five ducks a-swimming,
four geese a-laying, three French hens, two
turtle-doves and a partridge in the pear
tree. (A Dutch partridge is the American
In giving an English rendering of the above
ballads and rhymes no attempt has been made
to do it in the English idiom. The translation
has usually been a bald and literal one. They
are given as closely as possible as they were
sung by our ancestors in the Dutch of former
SAUGERTIES CHAPTER, DAUGHTERS OF THE
The latter years of the Nineteenth Century
witnessed a revival of a spirit of patriotism in
this country in the direction of a recognition
of our debt to those who gave us the liberties
we enjoy. The civil war had called forth all
the energies of the American people, and in
the appreciation of the valorous defense of the
Union by the soldiers of that terrible conflict
the deeds of their sires had almost passed out
of sight. But during the last two decades a
number of societies have arisen to teach this
generation the debt thus owed. Among these
there is none so large or so efficient as The
Daughters of the American Revolution. For
some time it had been felt that Saugerties
should have a chapter. This work has told
how true the fathers were. Their daughters
felt that an obligation was resting upon them
to cultivate this spirit in the rising genertion
of this town.
During the autumn of 1900 and the follow-
ing winter the matter took a definite shape.
SAUGERTIES CHAPTER, D. A. R. 347
A preliminary meeting was held January 17^
1901, and on February 13, following, Sauger-
ties Chapter, Daughters of the American Rev-
olution, was organized with fourteen charter
members. These were Mrs. Katharine C^
Spaulding, Mrs. Lydia C. French, Mrs. Julia
M. Phelps, Mrs. Annie M. F. Smedberg, Mrs.
Marie K. W. James, Mrs. Eliza R. Seamon,.
Miss Jessie F. Dawes, Miss Katharine G. Sah-
ler, Mrs. Ella F. Mould, Miss Ella DeWitt,
Miss Ethel Gray, Mrs. Isabel F. Overbagh, Mrs.
Kate S. F. Davis, Miss Annie Wilbur.
To effect this organization Mrs. Katharine C.
Spaulding was elected Regent ; Mrs. Lydia C.
French, Vice-Regent ; Mrs. Annie M. F.
Smedberg, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Marie
K. W. James, Corresponding Secretary ; Mrs.
Julia M. Phelps, Treasurer; Miss Jessie F.
Dawes, Registrar, and Miss Ethel Gray, His-
To the chapter the following members were
added before June 1st, 1902 : Mrs. Fannie R.
Cantine, Miss Edith Corse, Miss Julia E.
Lamb, Miss Gertrude M. Lamb, Mrs. Maude
M'F. Washburn, Mrs. Helen S. Gale, Mrs. M.
E. P. Gillespy, Mrs. Peter Cantine, Mrs. Eliza-
beth S. W. Lewis, Mrs. Mary V. E. Burhans,
Mrs. Nora B. Hommel, Mrs. Mary K. Pidgeon^
Miss Abby P. Leland, Miss Anna M. Russell,.
Miss Jennie A. VanHoesen, Miss Mary E.
348 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
VanHoesen, Mrs. Anna E. S. Miller, Mrs.
Mary G. Lasher, Mrs. Julia Welch Searing —
thirty-three members in all.
The chapter determined to decorate the
graves of such soldiers of the Revolution as
are within the bounds of the town of Sauger-
ties whose names and resting places are
described in the appendix preceded by a list
of the soldiers of the Revolution from the
town. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1901, this
was done by committees appointed to take
charge of each locality.
Prizes have been offered by the chapter for
papers upon subjects of Revolutionary history
to pupils in our public schools, and this history
of the town is now published at its request to
tell fully and connectedly who they were who
founded our town ; what our ancestors did to
secure the freedom we enjoy, and how they did
it. The heritage will be better appreciated
when we know what it cost, and know that it
was secured by those whose blood flows in our
Saugerties Soldiers of the Revolution.
The following list of those who, as residents of
what is the present town of Saugerties, were soldiers
in the patriot army during the American Revolu-
tion is probably, as correct as it can be made at this
late day. Some names may be omitted ; a few
repeated ; many served in more than one regiment
and some names may be the same under more than
one way of spelling. Great pains have been taken
to include all.
FIRST ULSTER MILITIA,
Col. Johannis Snyder.
Capt. Matthew Dederick Lieut. Peter Osterhoudt
Capt. John L. DeWitt Lieut. Johannes Persen
Capt. Jeremiah Snyder Lieut. Peter Post
Lieut. Peter Backer Lieut. Edward Whitaker
Lieut. Petrus Eygenaar Ensign Peter Brink, Jr.
Lieut. Martin Hommel Ensign Stephen Fiero
Lieut. Tobias Myer Ensign Tobias Wynkoop
Adam Baer John Brink, Jr.
Cuffee, Adam Baer's slave John A. Brink
Henry Baer John G. Brink
John Baer John T. Bink
Jurrie Baer Peter Brink
John Beaver Frederick Pritt
Peter Beaver William Britt
Cornelius Brinck Barent Burhans
Cornelius C. Brinck John Burhans
Hendrick Brink iP^" Burhans, Jr.
Jacob Brinck Tjerck Burhans
Jacob Brink, Jr. Hieronymus Carnright
John Brinck Jurrie Carle
John C. Brink George Carle
John J. Brmk Jacob Cunyes
Peter C. Brink Henry B. Crura
Henry Brink Henry W. Crum
HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
John B. Davis
Cato, Gilbert Dederick's slave
John T. DeWitt
Peter Eygenaar, Jr.
Peter P. Eygenaar
Cornelius Eygenaar .
Peter D. Eygenaar
Wiihemus Emerick, Jr.
John C. Fiero
Christian Fiero, Jr.
Han Christian Fiero
Jacob France, Jr.
Hendrick Freligh, Jr.
Jurrie Hommel, Jr.
Harman Hommel, Jr.
John Legg, Jr.
Peter Magee, Jr.
Peter L. Myer
Johannes Mower, Jr.
Benjamin Myer, Jr.
Johannes Myer, Jr.
Peter Myer, Jr.
Peter B. Myer
Peter L. Myer
Peter T. Myer
Stephen Myer, Jr
William Myer, Jr.
Peter L. Osterhoudt
Abraham A. Post
Henry Post, Jr.
Isaac Post, Jr.
Martin Post, Jr.
Herman us Rechtmyer
George Rechtmyer, Jr.
Jurry W. Rechtmyer
Egbert Schoonmaker, Jr.
Tjerck Schoonmaker, Jr.
Johannes Snyder, Jr.
Andries Van Leuven
John Van Leuven
John Van Leuven, Jr.
Zachariah Van Leuven
John Van Steenburgh
Paulus Van Steenburgh
Petrus Van Steenburgh
Thomas Van Steenburgh
Peter A Winne
John Wolven, Jr.
John Wynkoop, Jr.
FOURTH ULSTER MILITIA.
Major John Gillespy
Lieut, Jurry Hommel
Ensign Petrus Brinck
John Brink, Jr.
Lieut. Christian Fiero
Lieut. Evert Wynkoop
CAPTAIN SYLVESTER SALISBURY'S LIGHT HORSE TROOP.
John J. Crispell
John DeWitt, Jr.
John Brink, Jr.
Peter Van Leuven
Petrus Winne, Jr.
Henry P. Freligh
Martin Hommel, Jr.
John DeWitt, Jr.
John A. DeWitt
352 HISTOR Y OF SA UGER TIES.
John E. Schoonraaker John Turck
Peter C. Brinck John Freligh
Edward Osterhoudt Benjamin Felton.
COLONEL ALBERT PAWLING'S LEVIES.
Adam Brink WilUam Myer
Cornelius Brink Henry Post
Cornelius Brink, Jr. Isaac Post
John Brink Jacobus Post
John C. Brink Martin Post
Tjerck Burhans Samuel Post
John Eygenaar Christian Schutt
Coonradt Ferris Solomon Schutt
Abraham Fiero Abraham Snyder
Peter Fiero Elias Snyder
Adam France Christian Snyder
Abraham Myer Isaac Snyder
Teunis Myer John Turck
Peter Myer Nicholas Trumpbour
Benjamin Myer George Young
FIFTH REGIMENT OF THE LINE.
FOURTH WESTCHESTER MILITIA.
Notes. — Colonel Johannis Snyder's name is in-
cluded in the list as he was a Saugerties man by
birth, although living in Kingston at the time of the
war. Major John Gillespy did not become a resi-
dent of Saugerties until after the war. The same is
true of John Crawford, who became a minister of
the Methodist Episcopal Church and was the father
of that church in the town.
Cuffee, the slave of Adam Baer, under the law
was entitled to his freedom after he had served
three years, the State recompensing his master.
So was Cato, the slave of Gilbert Dederick.
The hst includes the names of some who at the
beginning of the war were Tories. But they so
angered their patriotic neighbors that they were
SAUGERTIES SOLDIERS. 353
compelled either to emigrate to Canada, or enter
the service of the army of the patriots. Many
chose the latter course. Here are 316 names.
Allowing for duplicates 250 men must have served.
The Graves of the Patriots.
During the year 1901 a thorough and extended
search was made all over the town of Saugerties to
locate and identify the graves of the soldiers of the
Revolution who sleep in the bosom of the town.
Most of the graves have lost the stones which mark-
ed them. Excepting the three cemeteries at Kats-
baan, Saugerties and Plattekill these patriots lie
scattered in almost forgotten graves upon the farms
on which they lived at the close of the war.
It is not attempted to give the inscriptions in full.
Only the name, and date of birth and death are
given. And where only the date of death and age
are told merely this is transcribed. A number of
the inscriptions are in Dutch, and one is in Palatine
German. Of these the English rendering is given.
The page given with the name is the one on which
such service is found in " New York in the Revolu-
tion." Where no regiment is mentioned the
military service was in the First Ulster Regiment.
In the cemetery at the Katsbaan church are
found the graves of
Cornelius Persen, who died 7 February 1S27, aged 82 years, 11 months
and 20 days. See page 189.
Ephraim Myer, born 21 October 1759; died 18 February, 1S43. Page
Jecobus Wells ; died 20 December 1798, aged 54 years. Page 190.
354 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
Christian Fiero, died 2S January 1826, aged 67 years, i month and 21
days Page 188.
Johannes Mauterstock, died 31 January 1833; aged Si years. Page
Ensign Stephen Fiero, died 16 September 1831 ; aged 81 years and S
months. Page 187.
Hermanns Rechtmyer, died 13 May 1835; aged 81 years, 2 months and
13 days Page 1S9.
Abraham Fiero, died 4 November 1S26 ; aged 63 years, 6 months and
5 days. He served in Colonel Albert Pavvling's Regiment of the Levies.
Peter Fiero, died 1S02, aged 41 years. Page 188.
In the field southeast of the station at West Camp lie Captain Matthias
Dederick, died 19 December 1S08 ; aged 71 years, 9 months and 19 days.
Wilhelmus Emerick, died 27 November 1841 ; aged 86 years. Page
On the farm of Luther Myer, in Hommelville, is buried
Hermanus Hommel, died i April 1828 ; aged 82 years Page 189.
On the farm of Russell Wynkoop, in a lonely cedar woods rests
Johannes Falck, born i January, 1740 Died 2 November 1822 Page
On Rio Alto Stock Farm is the grave of
Lieut. Evert Wynkoop, died 16 April 1S30 ; aged 86 years, 7 months
and 8 days Also in Fourth Ulster. Pages 191 and 200.
In the Main Street Cemetery, Saugenies, lie buried
John Brink, Jr., died 9 June 1814 ; aged 69 years, 8 months and 8 days.
He also served in Fourth Ulster Regiment. Pages 187 and 200.
Major John Gillespy, died 5 January 1810 ; aged 69 years. He was of
Fouith Ulster Regiment. Page 199
Martinus Snyder, died 2 February 1S31 ; aged 82 years, 11 months and
10 days. Page 190.
Samuel Schoonmaker, born 5 April 1755; died 25 March 1815. Page
Petrus Myer, died 30 December 1813 ; aged 81 years, 5 months and 26
days. Page 189.
Abraham Myer, born 5 March 1762 ; died 1S21. Page 189.
Johannes Myer, died 5 January 1829; aged 82 years, 10 months and 16
days Page 189-
Isaac Post, died 31 July 1S12 ; aged 51 years, S months and S days.
Lieutenant Peter Post, died 12 March 1787; aged 43 yeais, 7 months
and 25 days. Page 187.
Isaac Snyder, died 26 January 1829 ; aged 78 years, 5 months and 17
days Page 290. His name is not on any list, but he was granted a Land
Bounty Right for service in First Ulster Rcgunent.
On the Mynderse farm one stone remains. It is at the grave of
Henry Myer, died 30 September 1793; aged gi years Page 189.
On the Spaulding place are the two graves of
John VanLeuven, died 15 January 1S05 : aged 51 years, 10 months and
8 days. Page 190.
SAUGERTIES SOLDIERS. 355
Andrew VanLeuven, died 23 May i8c6 ; aged 51 years and 13 days.
On the Schoentag place, near Glasco is buried
Abraham Osterhoudt, died 3 November 1817 ; aged 69 years, 6 months
and II days Page 189.
On the farm of Allen Griffin, on the Hudson, at Flatbush are three
Joseph Davis, born 5 July 1761 ; died 23 September 1836, page 188.
John Osterhoudt, died 23 December 1813 ; aged 73 years, i month and
23 days. Page 189.
Peter L. Osterhoudt, died 10 November 1S09 ; aged 61 years, 5 months
and 29 days. Page 189
In the old cemetery in Plattekill, west of the chureh, is the largest
cluster of Revolutionary graves in the town. Here lie
Ensign Peter Brink, died 16 March i8i8 ; aged 68 years, 10 months and
15 days. Also in Fourth Ulster. Pages 187 and 200.
Stephen Myer, born 8 November 1760 ; died 4 April 1841. Page 183.
Peter B. Myer, born 12 June 1762 ; died 30 March 1S41, Page 189.
Teunis Myer, died 22 November 1S31 ; aged 76 years. Page 189,
Wilhelmus France, " A Fevolutionary Soldier," who died 13 July iSiS ;
aged 93 years, 9 months and 26 days. Page 188.
John C. Brink, died 30 June 1S43 ; aged 80 years, 4 months and 25
days Page 1S7.
Benjamin Myer, died 12 December 1819; aged 89 years, i month and
21 days Page 189.
Peter C. Brink, died 22 January 1839; aged 81 years, 3 months and 12
days Page 1S7
Benjamin Winne, died 28 April 1808 ; aged 54 years. Page 191
Tjerck Burhans, died 25 November 1832 ; aged 73 years, 4 months.
Jacob Conyes, died 27 February 1815 ; in his 83rd year. Page 1S7.
Johannes Snyder, born 28 August 1750; died 15 October iBiS- Page
Just north of the Gilsinger mill at Mt. Marion lies
Tjerck Low, died 8 May 1824; aged 79 years, 4 months and 13 days.
On the Trumpbour farm at Mt. Marion is buried
Cornelius Langendyke, died 2 September 1S3S ; aged So years and
6 days Page 189.
On the Francis Myer farm are the graves of
Lieutenant Tobias Myer, bora 9 February 1734 ; died 28 January 1809.
Peter T. Myer, died 10 October 1S39 ; aged 77 years, i month and 2S
days Page 189
On the Cantine farm at Churchland rest
Benjamin Myer Jr., born 1 November 1755; died 19 May 1800. Page
Stephanas Myer, born 25 July 1725 ; died 7 May 1790. Page 1S9
On the bank of the Hudson, on the grounds of John G. Myers, in a
plot carefully tended lie the remains of
356 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
John Wolven, who died 26 September 1798 ; aged 55 years, 6 months
and 26 days Page 191.
On the John W. Davis farm northeast of the West Shore station is the
John Post, who died 20 November 180- , aged 71 years, 5 months and
15 days. Page 189.
In the cemetery at Unionville rests
John Valicenburgh, who died 24 September 1827, aged S2 years, 2
months and 20 days. Page 190.
At the foot of Mt, Marion, on the farm of C. S, Lowther are buried
Captain John Lucas DeWitt who died 27 May 1803, aged 72 years,
I month and 9 days. Page 1S7.
■ Abraham DeWitt, died 9 December 1845 ; aged 82 years, 9 months and
19 days Page iSS
On the farm of Larry Van Wart, at Blue Mountain is the grave of
Samuel Freligh, who died 29 September 1838, aged 83 years, 8 months
and 2S days. Page 188.
At the Greene county line, in the old cemetery on the borders of the
Abeel and Saile farms north of Saxton repose :
Hezekiah Wynkoop, " A soldier of the Revolution," who died 19 June
1839, aged 89 years, i month and 22 days. Page 191.
Christian Myer, died 31 May 1817 ; aged 77 years, 9 months and 7 days.
Cornelius Myer, died 22 July 1828; aged 63 years, 9 months and 18
days. Page 1S9
At Saxton, west of the house of the late Colonel Christopher Fiero, is
the grave of
Henry VVells, who died i March 1824, aged 83 years and 2 months.
South of Quarryville, on what was known as the Frank Stone farm, is
found the grave of
Peter Hommel. who died i February 182S, aged 77 years, 3 months and
I day. Page 1S9.
North of Asbury, on the Trumpbour farm, is the grave of
Valentine Trumpbour, who died 20 February 1830, in the 68th year of
his ajre Page 190.
In the old cemetery on the hill above West Camp landing are buried
Guy.sbert (Gilbert; Dederick, died 5 September 1S37 ; aged 85 years.
Jacob Trumpbour, died ir April 1824; aged 75 years, 3 months and
3 days Page 190.
Along the Hudson north of Maiden, and just above the brickyard of
John J. Cooney, is the grave of
Solomon Schutt, who died 27 April 1802, aged 78 years Page 190.
On the adjoinining farm of E. P. Simmon, are two graves.
Joseph Martin, who died i November 1825, aged 98 years, 11 months
and 6 days Page 189
Christian Schutt, who died 10 March 1825, aged 64 years, and 4 days.
A little farther north along the river on the farm of the Friendship ice
house are two graves,
SAUGERTIES SOLDIERS. 357
Jacobus Dederick, who died 21 March 1S29, aged 86 years and 7
months. Page 188.
Harmon Dederick, who died 6 May 1S51, in the 88lh year of his age.
Page 1 88.
Christian Schutt and Solomon Schutt each had additional service in
Colonel Albert Pawling's Regiment of the Levies. Page 86,
On the farm of the late Jeremiah O'Bryon, in Saxton, is the grave of
William Myer, who died 21 July 1840, aged 81 years, 11 months and 16
days. Page 189.
On the farm of Washington Myer, at Blue Mountain, is the grave of
George Young, born 1722; died 1799. He served in Colonel Albert
Pawling's Kegiment of the Levies. Page 87,
On the Judson Herrick farm, Pine Grove, rests
John Wolven, who died 5 October 1826, aged 63 years, 9 months and
4 days. Page 191.
In the cemetery at the church in Asbury, are the remains of
Rev. John Crawford, who died 7 March 1851, aged 91 years and 14
days. He served in the Fourth Westchester Regiment. Page 214.
Thus the graves of seventy-two of the more than
two hundred and forty from the town of Saugerties
in the Revohition are here identified. Colonel
Johannis Snyder, of the First Ulster Regiment,
under whom nearly all served Hes in a well-cared-
for grave in the churchyard of the First Reformed
Church, in Kingston. The graves of Captains
Dederick and DeWitt of this town are in the hst,
but that of Captain Jeremiah Snyder is not known.
Of these two hundred and forty soldiers and over
there remained sixteen who were hving on Septem-
ber 10, 1832. On that day the people of Kingston
celebrated the fiftieth year after the close of the war
of the Revolution by giving a dinner in their honor
in Kingston at which ninety-six veterans of the
Revolution assembled from all over Ulster county.
They met at the court house at 2 p. m. and formed
in hne, preceded by bands of music and followed by
judges, court officials and citizens. The veterans
358 HISTORY OF SAUGERTIES.
uncovered their heads as they began their last
march, and cheered Old Glory as it was unfurled.
Their ages were from 68 to 92. Each veteran
carried a cane and attempted the old mihtary step.
Not a dry eye was in the mass of citizens on Wall
street. Amid the roar of cannon the march to the
dinner at the Kingston Hotel on Crown street was
taken. But the ranks moved very slow. Most of
the honored guests were over eighty years of age
and before the hotel was reached some had to be
An ox had been roasted whole and every thing
was appropriate to such an occasion. Crown street,
Kingston Hotel, its spacious yard and all the build-
ings were packed. After the cloth was removed
Hon. John Sudam, then the representative Ulster
county orator, addressed the guests in his happiest
vein, and his speech was long remembered as a
masterpiece of the oratory of that day. Those
present from Saugerties were Samuel Post, 72;
Ephraim Myer, 73 ; Adam France, 75 ; Peter C.
Brink, 75 ; John C. Brink and Adam Brink (twins),
70; Cornehus Langendyke, 74; Hezekiah Wyn-
koop, 83 ; Wilhelmus Emerick, 73 ; John Brink,
72; Conrad Fiero, 83; Abraham DeWitt, 70;
Joseph Davis, 71; Wilham Myer, 74; Abram Low,
68; Martin Post, 70.
Before we conclude the remarkable record of the
family of Christian Myer must be noticed. He was
one of the Palatines of 17 10, and his home was at
Churchland on the farm recently owned by the late
SAUGERTIES SOLDIERS. 359
Peter Cantine. Of the above seventy-two soldiers
whose graves are identified eighteen are those
of sons, grandsons and one great-grandson of
Christian Myer. Nor is this all. There were a
number of soldiers who served in the Revolution
who were sons of his daughters. Still without the
latter a record of eighteen from one family is with-
The accompanying illustration of the home of
this patriotic family gives the house as it appears
to-day. To a great extent it is altered from its
appearance in Revolutionary days.
Abeel, Capt. Anthony, 178, 1S4,
Adams, William, 288.
Allison, Col. Thomas, 64.
Andros Indian treaty, 15
Armpachlo's bergh, 102.
Articles of Association, 122.
Asbury, barbecue at, 154.
Asbary, church, 297.
Aspel, Tunis, So.
Astor, John Jacob, So, 236
Backer, Lieut. Petrus, 189.
Backus, Henry S., 310-315.
Baptist church. 297.
Kailley, Gen., 187
Barbecue at Asbury, 154.
Barclay heights, 112.
Barclay, Henry. 11 a, 276, 291, 295.
Battelle & Renwick. 112.
Beaver creek, 3, 81, 86, 87, 257-261.
Beaver, Robert, 102.
Berckenmeyer, Rev. William C,
Bigelow, Asa, 106, 107, 286
Big Vly, 19, 104. 108.
Blue stone quarries, 295, 296.
Bradford, Merritt, 2S4.
Braiaard, Nelson, 296.
Brainard, Silas, 295.
Brant, Joseph, 157, 158, 161, iSo.
Brick making, 260, 261, 289
Brink, Capt Andrew, 6S, 262, 266-
Brink, Charles. 24, 95
Brink, Cornelius P., 80.
Brink, Cornelius Lambertsen, 5, 24,
Brink, Huybert Lambertsen, 94.
Brink, John, Jr., 22, 68, 69, 106, 275
Brink, Ensign Petrus, 127.
Brink, Peter H., 95
Brinnier, William 1)., 85.
Burgoyne, Gen. John, no, 150,
Bui bans, Barent, 6S
Burhans, Peter; Burhans, Samuel;
Burhans, Isaac ; Burhans, Abra-
ham ; Osterhoudt, James ; 115.
Burhans, Wilhelmus, 22, 68.
Burr, Aaron, 87.
Canoe hill, 88, 102.
Cartrit's Kill, 91.
Catskills, the Dutch Domine of the,
149, 166, 167.
Cedar Clipje, 81, 96.
Churchland, S6, 91.
Clark, Col. Edward, 112.
Clement. William, 81, 20S
Clermont, the, 6S, 266-274.
Coetus and Conferentie strife, 120.
Continentals, the, 1.13
Continental currency. 170, 192.
Country physicians, 203-209.
Crapser, Milton, 97
Crawford, Rev. John, 2S9
Cregier, Capt. Martin, 6, 7, 71.
Cunyes, William H., 160.
Davenport, Richard, 79.
Daughters, American Revolution,
baugerties Chapter, 66, 346-348.
Dawes residence, 72, 219, 275.
Debating societies, 237.
Declaration of Independence, 128.
Dederick, Capt. Matthew, 127, 140,
Dederick, Christian, 9S.
Dederick. James K., 98.
Dederick, Myndert, 9S.
Demarest, Rev. James D , 119,
DeKonde, Rev. Lambertus, 67, 73,
78, 120, 148, 192, 219, 249, 251, 320.
DeWitt, Capt John Lucas, 127,
DeWitt, Evert, 97
DeWolfen, Gottfried. 104.
Doll, Rev. George J L., 163, 249,
Dovvling, Alexander, 93.
Dry goods, 230.
DuBois, Hiskia, 22. 72. 275.
Dutch Domine of the Catskills,
149, 166. 167.
Dutch language, 119, 284, 285.
Dutch preaching, 53, 119. 284, 285.
Dutch songs, 232, 324-345.
Educational conditions, 197-202.
Eelken's treaty, 9.
Ehle, Rev. John Jacob, 52, 246.
Eligh, Andries, 9S.
Eligh, Hans Ury 98.
ElHnger, Mrs. 102.
Esopus Indians, 10.
Exemptions from military service,
Eygenaar, Frederick, 85.
Eygenaar, Petrus. SS.
Eygenaar, Lieut. Petrus, 127.
Falckner, Rev. Daniel, 52, 246.
Farm life, 192-196, 210-217, 218-
Fees, Hendrick, 75.
Fennal, John, S8.
Fiero, Dr. Abram, 208.
Fiero, Christian, 116, 122, 277.
Fiero, Col. Christopher, 97.
Fiero, Cornelius, 261.
Fiero, J. Newton, 97.
Fiero, Luther, 102.
Fiero, Mrs. Mary, 80.
Fiero, Valentine, 99.
Fiero, William, 81, 208.
Finger, Chauncey P., Si, 261.
First postmaster, 106.
Flowers, 223, 224.
Fort Niagara, 177, 178-180.
Eraser, Alfred W., 76, 102.
Freligh, Hendrick, 78.
Freligh, Rev. Moses, 78.
Freligh, Rev. Peter, 78,
Freligh, Rev. Solomon, 78.
Freligh. Peter, 78.
Fulierton tract, 31, loS, 109.
Fulton, Robert, bS, 266 274.
Gay, George A., 2S7.
Gerlach, John Christopher, 43.
Germantown church, 62, 247.
Germond, Mrs. 86, 259.
Genthner, John Michael, 74, 275.
Gillespy, Major John, 307.
Grauberger, Philip Peter, 43.
Groz, Rev. Philip, 52.
Hardenbergh. Col. Johannes, 126.
Hager, Rev. John F , 37, 51, :i46.
Hayes, John, 20.
Hoff, Cornelius, 88, lOi.
Hommel, Abram E., 78, 261.
Hommel, Hermanns, 23, 85.
Hommel, Isaac, 84.
Hommel, Johannes, 87.
Hommel, Ury, S5.
Hommel, William H., 78, 261.
Hooghteling, Major Philip, 134,
Hoornbeek, 169, 172.
Hunter, Gov. Robert, 34, 36, 38,
Indian battlefield, 11.
Indian maize plantation, 71.
Indian raids, 156 160, 161, 168-189.
Industries, 60, 194-196, 218-238,
Iroquois, 10, 11.
Isham, Samuel, 106, 107, 286.
Jan, Nachtc, 84, 161.
Jordan, John J., 87-
Johnson, Col. Guy, 178.
Katsbaan, i, 3, 17, 323.
Katsbaan church, 71, 75-78, 119,
161, 164. 245-256, 318-321.
Katskill Indians, 8, 10.
Katskill (Leeds), 27, 163, 164.
Kaufman, Jacob, 80, 277.
Kiersted, Dr. Christopher, 208,
Kiersted, Dr. Christopher C, 209.
Kiersted, John, 277.
Kings Road, Old, 19, 23, 26, 85, 89,
Kingston Commons, 4, 21, 23, 53.
75. 99, 109, 111, 276.
Kocherihal, Rev. Joshua, 30, 37,
48. 51. 55-55- 246.
Krows, Frederick, 72, 284.
Laflin, Matthew. 295.
Lamb, Daniel, 260.
Langendyke, Cornelius, 92.
Legg, John, 113, 115.
Legg, Samuel, 114.
Levies, the, 143.
Livingston, Robert 31.
Livingston, Robert R., 263, 266-
272, 276, 304.
Lowther, C. S., 92.
Luke, John, 99.
Luyck, Petrus, 81.
Maize plantation, 71.
Making the impeding chain, 137,
Maiden church, 297.
Maiden turnpike, 107.
Manck, Jacob, 43.
Mancius, Rev. George W., 52, 62,
78, 119, 148, 247 319,
Markle, Fredeiick 92.
Markle, Matthias 97.
Mauger Zaagertjes, 252.
Mauterstock, Dederick, loi, 302,
Mauterstock, John H., 102.
McGaw, Isaac, 294.
McGee, Peter. 98.
Meals and Hayes patents, 18-21.
68, 60, 85, 86, 103, 105, 108, 113,
Militia, the, 144. 147.
Military service, exemptions from,
Minklaer, Herman, 114.
Minqiia, Johannes, 23.
Monk, John, 88.
Montross. Adam, 260.
Mower, Jeremiah, ic2.
Mower, Johannes, 85,
Mower, Nicholas, 98.
Mowerse, Peter, 102.
Mt. Airy, 2.
Mt. Marion, 2.
Muddah Kill, the, 91, 92.
Muddy Kill, the, 102.
Myer, Benjamin, 92.
Myer, Christian, 84.
Myer, Christian, 92, 258, 358.
Myer, Ephiaim, 151.
Myer, Ephraim 1, 79, 215.
Myer, Francis, 93.
Myer, Ensign Hendrick, 127.
Myer, Dr. Jesse, 92,
Myer, Johannes, 22, 74, 275.
Myer, Johannes (Oom Hans), 87,
89, 9/, no, 152.
Myer, John Snyder, 79.
Myer. Jonathan, 79.
Myer, Luther, 23, 85, 215,
Myer, Peter B,, 295.
Myer, Peter W., 85.
Myer, Petrus, 22.. 74, 275.
Myer, Sherwood D., 74, 216, 275.
Myer, Lieut. Tobias, 127.
Myer, Wells, 87, 89.
Myer, William, S6, 152.
Myer, William, 107.
Myers, John G., 73, 92, loS, 155,
Mynderse, Garret, 279.
Mynderse, Myndert, 20, 22, 23, 69,
Naval stores, 35, 36, 40, 41.
Negro Dutch church, 250.
Newkirk, Arie, 23.
Newkirk, Dr. Coonradt, 208.
Niagara, fort, 177, 178 180.
Niessen, Sergeant, 7, 14.
Old Kings Road, 19, 23, 26, 85, 89,
Old sawyer, 5, 6, 17, 25, 68, 257.
Orphan children apprenticed, 35.
Osterhoudt, Cornelius, 79.
Osterhoudt, Hendrick, 88
Osterhoudt, James; Burhans,
Peter; burhans, Samuel; Bur-
hans, Isaac ; Burhans, Abraham ,
Osterhoudt, Lieut. Petrus, 127
Osterhoudt, Tunis, 93.
Ostrander, Gideon P., 98.
Cstrander, Rev. Dr. Henry, 79, 119,
165, 250, 282-285, 320.
Overbaugh, John S., 97.
Palatine dissatisfaction, 39.
Palatines, names of, 46, 47.
Palatines, number of, 44, 46.
Palatine statement ot grievances,
Parks, Elisha, 296.
Paulison grant, 24, 93.
Peoples road, 88.
Persen, Cornelius, 73, 80, 81, 83,
88, 107, 121, 161, 191, 229, 230,
Persen, John, 20, 6g, 71, 75, 122,
Persen's store, 2, 80, S3, SS, 121,
148, 161, 191, 220, 230, 236.
Petitions to Gov. Clinton, 241, 242.
Pidgeon, Francis, ic8.
Pidgeon, Mrs Frank, 155, 216.
Pietersen, Jacob, 25.
Pier, A rent I'unis, 112.
Plattekill chutch, 297.
Polhemus, David, 92.
Post, Abraham, 22. 72, 73, 87, 121,
148, 191. 275. 278
Post, Sergeant Abraham, 65, 108.
Post, Isaac, 22, 70, 73, 275, 279.
Post. Jan, 22, 72, 275, 278.
Post, Jecobus, 22, 72, 275.
Post, Peter B , 91.
Post, Lieut Peter, 160.
Post, Peter P., 277, 27S.
Post, Samuel, 277.
Post's hotel, 72, 73, 87, 121, 148,
Postmael, Jan Jansen, 21, 22.
Postmaster, the first, to6.
Quick, Reuben, 80.
Reghtmyer, Coenradt, 23, 84-
Reghtmyer, Hermanns, 23, 78.
Regiment, First Ulster, 126, 139,
142, 149, 154, 158 160, 240.
Regiment, Fourth Ulster, 139, 141,
Rio Alto Stock Farm, 23, 86.
Ripley, Charles, 294.
Road, Old Kings, 19, 23, 26, 85, S9,
Robert Chism s plantation, 93.
Rondebergh. 1 15.
Rowe, Frederick. Jr., 97, 174.
Rowe, Wilhelmus, 98.
Runnip, John. 169-180
Russell, Frederick T., 20, 279.
Russell, Jaaies, 72, 275.
Russell, Jeremiah, 287.
Russell, William F., 287
Salisbury, Capt. Sylvester, 240
Sap boiling, 234.
Saratoga, Saugerties troops at, 153.
Saugerties academy, 254.
Saugerties Chapter, D. A. R., 66,
Saugerties library, 2S2. 284
Saugerties, Methodist church, 289.
Saugerties Reformed church. 254-
Saugerties Telegraph, 254, 295.
Saw creek, 3, 17. 19, 25, 75, 99, loi.
Sawyer, the old, 5, 6, 17, 25, 68,
Sax, Addison, Sf, 260.
Sax, Evert, 23, 80.
Sax, John P , 80.
Schoonmaker, Egbert, 22, 70, 72,
Schoonmaker. Hendrick, 113.
Schoonmaker, John T., 277.
Schoonmaker, Mynclerse, 113.
Schoonmaker, Peter P,, 70, 216.
Schoonmaker, Samuel, 22, 70.
Schoonmaker, Tjerck, 113.
Schoharie, claimed by Palatines, 36.
Schuaeman, Rev. Johannes, 148,
163, 249, 319
Schutt, Myndert, 104, 106, loS.
Scow ferry, 112
Scram, Frederick, 93.
Shank's Ben. 169.
Shearing, 220. 226
Sheffield, Joseph B , 113, 293.
Short, Adam, 88
Shoub, Johannes 9S.
Singing schools, 237.
Snyder, Capt Benjamin, 133, 181,
219, 262, 277.
Snyder, Christian, 85.
Snyder, Ehas, 79, 84, 168-190.
Snyder, Elisha, 277
Snyder, Hans Martin, 251.
Snyder, Isaac, 91.
Snyder, Captain Jeremiah, 84, 97,
127, 140, 160, 168-J90, 1S9, 240,
Snyder. Colonel Johannis, 126, 141,
142, 149, 154, 158, 160, 189, 239,
240, 299-307, 357.
Snyder, Maria, 87.
Snyder, Noah, 87.
Snyder, Peier, 92.
Snyder, Peter I , 87.
Snyder, Peter V,, 88.
Snyder, Zachariah, 99.
Soap making, 235
Social life. 232
Soldier's dinner, 357.
Spaulding, Charles A., 114.
Spellman, Thomas, 87
Spinning and weaving, 221, 227,
St. Mary's church. 297.
Steene Herte footeyne, 99, 100.
Stock Farm, Rio Alio, 23, 86.
Sudam. John, 358.
Swart, Lawrence, 115.
Tappen, Christopher, assaulted,
lappen journal, 129-139.
TenBroeck, Gen. Peter, 105, 15I,
Terwilliger, Martm, 257.
'i'ivoli ferry, 68.
Top, Jan, 83, 191.
Traphagen grant, 24, 93.
Treaty of peace, 18S.
Trinity Episcopal church, 297.
Trumpbour, Nicholas, 23.
Trumpbour, Johannes, 80.
Turkey point, 114.
Ulster Iron Works, 293.
Ulster Palladium, 254, 295.
Ulster Star, 254, 295.
Ulsier Telegraph, 254, 295.
Unionville, 87, lOi.
Valk, Johannes. 86.
Valk, Jonah, 277.
Valk, Wilhelmus, 88.
Valk William, 102.
Valkenburgh, Hieronymous, 87.
Valkenburgh, John, 87.
Valkenburgh, Peter M., 81.
Valkenburgh, Stephen F., 81.
Valkenburgh, William, 81,
Vaughan's expedition. 73, 105, 155.
Van Driessen, Rev. Johanne.s, 62.
Van Hoesen's mill, 260.
Van Keuren, Ephraim, 87.
Van Leuven, Andries, 114.
Van Leuven, Peter, 114.
Van Schaick, Anthony, 160, 244.
Van Steenberg, Nathan, 84.
Van Steenberg, John, 107.
Van Steenberg, Thomas, 108.
Van Vlierden, Rev. Petrus, 250,
285, 2S6, 320
Van Wart, Larry, 259.
Veteran's dinner, 357.
Wanton island, ii, 104, 109.
Washburn, George W., 19.
Washburn, Richard C, 19, 113.
Weaving, 221, 227, 228.
Weiser, Capt. John Conrad, 61.
'"Wells, Sergeant Cornelius, 152.
— Wells, Samuel, 97.
West Camp, i. 33. 34-S9. 257-
West Camp churchy 50-54, 59, M^-
Westerlo, Rev. Eilardus, 163, 249,
Whitaker, Egbert, 115.
Whitaker James, 115.
White oak forest, 75, loi.
Winedecker, Capt. Harlman, 61.
Winne, Aaron, 97.
Winne, Lawrence, 97
Winne, Petrus, 24, 92, 94.
Wolven, Abraham, 277,
Wolven. Major Dan, 73, 104, 105.
Wood, Edward, 113.
Wood, John, 20.
Woodstock Glass Company, 288.
Wynkoop, Major Adrian, 134, 142.
Wynkoop, Cornelius, 277.
Wynkoop, Evert, 23, 86.
Wynkoop, Lieut. Evert, 127.
Wynkoop, Judge Henry, 260.
Wynkoop, Hezekiah, 277,
Wynkoop, Mynderse, 92.
Wynkoop, Russell, S6, 260.
Wynkoop Capt. Tobias, 64, 65, 86.
Wynkoop, Tobias, 151.
Young, Johannes, 84.
Zenger, John Peter, 48
COFYOa. TO I
JUN. l4 1902
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