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SKETCHES OF HUDSON,
SETTLEMENT OF THE CITY,
BUSINESS ENTERPRISES, CHURCHES, PRESS, SCHOOLS,
BY STEIMIEX B. MILLER.
BRYAN k WKIil? PRINTERS,
The collection of the facts embodied in the following Sketches was
undertaken as a matter of amusement. That they appear in the
present extended form of a Series, is due to the interest manifested in
their preparation by those to whom the writer has necessarily looked
for assistance. The task has been a pleasant one, yet attended with
difficulties. Besides the recollections of the few old citizens living, few
sources of information were available. Nothing has been attempted, be-
yond a plain and connected statementof facts relative to the settlement
of Hudson, (to some extent connecting them with the present,) under-
taken in a desire to preserve much which a few years hence could not
be collected. They are published in the hope that they may prove of
interest, and, although perhaps incomplete, may, at least at some
future day, serve as the foundation for a more perfect work.
SKETCHES OF nUDSO:N'.
CITY OF HUDSON.
Tlio (.'ily of Hudson was originally embraced within the limits of the town
of Chivorack, which until the year 1780, continued to be a portion of Albany
County, the County of Columbia having been formed in that year.
Claverack was settled by Dutch, for the most part from Holland, at a very
eaily date ; the organization of the first Ref. Dutch Church dating as far back
as 1716, in which the services continued to be in the Dutch language for
nearly a century after. > We have two different versions of the meaning of its
name. One is that the bluffs fronting upon the river were called the "Klauv-
ers" or Clovers, and as the limits of the town extended to these blufifs, it was
called ^- Klauver-rach,''' meaning Clover-reach. The other, which is given by
the late Judge Miller, of Claverack, who should be deemed good authority, is
that upon the river Were four cliffs, or "Klaufs'" in Dutch, and upon the easter-
ly limits of the town were four more, hence it was called ''Klititffer-acJiC,"
meaning eight cliflfs or hills. It remained the County seat of Columbia Coun-
ty until the year 1805, when it was changed to Hudson, urder an act enti-
tled "An act altering the place for holding the Courts in the County of Colum-
bia." The present fine residence of Peter Hoffman, Esq., in Claverack
village, was at that period the Court House, and in its immediate vicinity
stood the County Jail, a somewhat small structure of heavy, squared timber,
strongly bolted with iron. Hudson was at the date of its settlement known
as Claverack Landing, and among the names of the residents here at that
time, we find mention made of Peter Hogeboom, John Van Allen, Justus
Van Hoesen, Peter Van Hoesen, Casper Huyck, John, Jacob, Jonathan and
Leonard Hardick. There were two stores kept, each having a sloop landing
connected with it. One of these stood where now is the freighting establish-
ment of Messrs. Haviland, Clark & Co., kept by Col. John Van Allen, whose
dwelling, a brick house with the high pointed Dutch gable of that day, stood
where now is the residence and store of Mr. Geo. C. Huhbel. The other,
kept by Peter Hogeboom, was upon the site of the present freighting estab-
lishment of Messrs. Power, Bogardus & Co., his house being nearly opposite,
a short distance to the South, upon what was then the County road, after-
wards Ferry street. There was a canoe ferry, kept by Conrad Flock, start-
SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
iug from the site of the present ferry dock, and muniug' to Loonenburg, now
known as the -'upper purchase" of Athens, which was also a Dutch settlement
of a very early date, mention being mada of a tannery in operation there in
the year 1750. A single canoe was used for passengers, and two were lashed
together when teams were to cross, the wagons being fastened upon the canoes,
while the liorses were tied to them and compelled to swim. The inhabitants
at the landing were accustomed to attend religious worship at Loonenburg ;
some of them were ofiBcers in the Lutheran Church at that place. One indi-
vidual is still living in the city who, when a boy, regularly crossed upon the
Haljbath to attend service there. The landing of the ferry npon the West side
was in the vicinity of the rock, now known as the "Swallow rock." The
■•County road" referred to commenced at the ferry, running up the present
line of Alien street, to a point near the District School house, thence over to
and up the line of Partition street, to the present head of the city, then cross-
ing the s(|uare and out of the city.
Very near the site of the school house in the 1st District, was the private
burial ground of Justus Van Iloesen, whose' death, with that of his wife at
the same time, from being poisoned by arsenic, a few years after the settlement
of the city, occasioned great excitement. It was also used for interments, by
the families living at the landing, but with the opening of a new one at the
head of the town shortly after the purchase, its use was discontinued. A few
interments were also made by the new settlers, upon the hill on the North side
of the city, where now stands the residence of P. Farrand, simply as a matter
of convenience, until selection of a suitable spot for general use could be
made. The bodies were subsequently removed.
The ground for a new T)urial place was given to the proprietors by Col. John
"\'an Allen. Daniel Paddock and Cotton Gelston, having been appointed by
the proprietors a committee to make selection of a lot for that purpose, called
upon Col. Yan Allen for advice and assistance. After viewing several dififer-
ent localities they settled upon the site of the present ground, and asked Col.
A"an Allen his price for four or five acres. He replied that he would give
that quantity to the proprietors, to be used as a burial ground forever, and for no
other purpose. Additions have since been made, and the ground is now of
much greater extent than as originally given. We credit modern times with
the custom of choosing for the burial of the dead quiet and secluded spots,
amid the beautiful surroundings of nature. It is a little remarkable, that at
that early day a spot made so attractive by the hand of nature, and so far from
SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
the scenes of active life, should have been selected. A portion of the ground
was set apart, to be used exclusively by the .Society of Friends or Quakers.
The first person buiied in the new ground was Phebe, the wife of Benjamin
Folger. The first man buried, was Col. Van Allen himself, who died in the
year 1784. He returned from the funeral of Mrs. Folger and in conversation
with his wife relative to it, remarked, " poor Mrs. Folger lays there alone.''
He was then in good health, but within ten days was placed very nearly by the
side of "poor Mis. Folger." A substantial monument to his memory has been
recently erected by the City, bearing the following inscription :
" He was a man of strong mind and liberal heart. He took an active part
in the first settlement of Hudson, was the donor of the original burying ground,
and the third person buried therein."
The original ground is that portion first entered from the small gate. Very
near the entrance well preserved stones point out the resting places of the
Jenkins's, Gelston and others, with whom we shall become familiar in the pro-
gress of these Sketches. Standing b^ their graves, it seemed to the writer
but a brief period since they first entered the waters of the beautiful river, glit-
tering in the distance. They are resting, and borne upon the stillness of the
morning air, came the shrill whistling of the steam, the sound of bells upon
the water, mingled with the noise of the city which will long remain a monu-
ment, less perishable than marble, to their virtues and enterprise. Beyond
their tombs is an open space, where there is but little more than slight eleva-
tions of ground, and a few scattered remnants of crumbling brown stones,
covered with the mosses of age, tottering, ready to fall beneath the hand of
time, to tell where sleep many who three score years ago were active m these
streets. What, sixty years hence, will perpetuate the memory of those who,
to-day, are the busy, moving throng? It has been truly said, that in the ap-
pearance of a buryal ground can be read the character of any community,
and that indifference to the resting place of its dead, is an evidence of the lack
of enterprise among the living of any place. For years, when Hudson was de-
pressed, the burial ground bore evidence of the fact. With a returning spirit
of enterprise, it was enlarged, beautified and to-day is pointed to with pride
by its citizens, and sought by crowds, who love to linger in its pleasant, shaded
walks, and drink iu the loveliness of the views it affords.
In addition to the two stores mentioned, Peter Hogeboom also kept a grist
mill iu the hollow now known as " Spaulding's Hollow." Of the remain-
der of the inhabitants, some were farmers and others were engaged in fishing,
principally fur herring, which found a ready market in Xew York.
Such was Hudson, or '-Claverack Lauding, from all the information we have
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 6
been able to gather coiicernins' it, at the time of its purchase by the colony
from Nantucket and Frovidonco.
At an early period of the Revolution, the whale fisheries of Nantucket were
broken up by the English ^lariue. In the year 1783, a considerable number
of the inhabitants of the island, desirous of bettering their fortunes, determined
to leave it and make a settlement somewhere upon the Hudson River. The
enterprise doubtless originated at Providence, but was joined by others from
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Thomas Jenkins, to whom more than
any other individual it oWed its success, although a native of Nantucket, was
at the time a resident of the city of Providence, and a wealthy merchant. In
the Spring of 1783 he formed an association, to consist of not more than thirty
members, all of whom should be merchants, or "concerned in navigating the
deep." It was joined in Providence by Thomas and Seth Jenkins, David
Lawrence, Hezekiah Dayton, Nathaniel Greene, Samuel Mansfield, William
Wall, John Thurston, John Alsop and Cotton Gelston. In July, 1783,
Cotton Gelston proceeded to Nantucket, where it was joined by Stephec Pad-
dock, Joseph Barnard, Charles Jenkins, Deborah Jenkins, Gideon Gardner,
Reuben Folger, Alexander Coffin, Benjamin Hussey, Shubael Worth, Paul
Ilussey, Benjamin Folger, Reuben Macy, Walter Folger, Benjamin Starbuck
and John Cartwright. The two last named did not however come with the
others. On his return Mr. Gelston stopped at Edgartown, Martha's Vine-
yard, where Marshal and Lemuel Jenkins, Peleg Clark and John Allen, also
united with the enterprise. At Newport it was joined by William Minturn.
Ezra Reed and Titus Morgan joined it after they had purchased Claverack
The articles of agreement subscribed by them were the following :
ARTICLES OP AGREEMENT.
We, the subscribers, being joint proprietors of a certain Tract of Land Ijing
at Claverack Landing on the banks of the Hudson River, purchased by Thomas
Jenkins of Peter IJogeboom, Junr., and others, for the purpose of establish-
ing a commercial settlement, on principles of equity, do enter into the follow-
ing Articles of Agreement, to-wit : —
ARTICLE THE FIRST.
That each proprietor subscribe for such part of the above Tract, in propor-
tion as near as may be to his Stock in Trade, with the others concerned.
ARTICLE THE SECOND.
No person shall be permitted to purchase lards within two miles of the
said landing, unless he shall give the Proprietors the refusal thereof at the
rates at which he himself purchased it.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
That each and every one of tlie j)ropi-ielois slnill settle there in person and
carry his Tradinj^' Stuck on ur i.el'ure the tir^t day of Octol)er, A. Doni., one
tliousand seven hundred and ei,i;lity-five, unless prtivented by some unavoida-
))le event that shall be esteeint-d a sufHcient reason by some of the proprietors
for his non-compliance, and his poinjf innnediately after that obstruction is
removed. In case of Death his heirs, executors .or administrators, with fully
complying with these Articles, shall be entitled to the same privileges as other
That no person be permitted to dispose of his share who hag not fully com-
plied with these Articles, but said shai-e revert to the oth(>r I'mprietors, they
paying the first cost of said share without interest, and that tlu^ ])roprietors,
which have complied with the foregoing, shall hold possession of lands accord-
ing to their several proportions.
That no proprietor be permitted to enter any building on any proprietor's
land, until it shall be divided, and they shall be subjected to such regulations
as shall be hereafter made for regulating the Streets, Lanes, Highways, Gang-
That we further agree that if any one or more shall forfeit the right of his
or their interest in the aforementioned lai;ds, according to the true intent and
meaning of the preceding articles, that he or they, shall if furnished with Deeds
or other Instruments of conveyance from Thomas Jenkins, give up the same
to the Proprietors, or furnish them with a clear Deed or Deeds of all their
right, title and interest in said lands, they paying such person or persons the
first cost as described in article fourth.
That the subscribers do solemnly agree to abide by the preceding Articles
and regulations, and that this Instrument be signed and sealed by each indi-
vidual proprietor, and the original be lodged in the hands of the Proprietor's
Stephen Paddock, Thomas Jenkins,
Joseph Barnard, Reuben Macy,
Benjamin Folger, Cotton Gelston,
Seth Jenkins, John Alsop,
William Wall, Charles Jenkins,
Hezekiah Dayton, Ezra Reed,
David Lawrence, Gideon Gardner,
Titus Morgan, John Thurston,
Reuben Folger, Nathaniel Greene.
Where these articles of agreement were executed does not-appear. It is
said the original were dated at Providence. All the proprietors do not ap-
pear to "have signed them. This is explained by the fact that two or three did
not continue members, and the shares of some were included and covered by
the signatures of the other proprietors.
For the purpose of selecting a suitable site, a committee was chosen by
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
them, and sent, probably in the summer of 1783, to sail up the river and ex-
amine different localities. Thomas Jenkins and Cotton Gelston were a part
of that committee, with two others whose names we do not know, nor do we
know whether they were empowered to effect a purchase, or to what extent
they proceeded in a negotiation, before reporting to the Islanders. We have
not been able to get back of the fact of such committee being sent. They
were urged at New York by Col. Rutgers to make a purchase upon the East
River, and came near doing so. They tarried, too, at Poughkeepsie, with a
view of purchasing, but desirous of making a full examination of the river, pro-
ceeded, and finally made selection of Claverack Landing, as thesite of the
"future city." The purchase when made was in the name of Thomas Jenkins,
and by him the lands deeded to the other proprietors. Five hundred pounds
was paid down as part of the purchase money. What decided them in their
selection, does not appear — probably the natural beauty of the position, con-
nected with the fact that it was in the vicinity of a tolerably thickly settled
and thriving farming population and at the head of ship navigation. Not-
withstanding the early success of the enterprise, the selection in after years
proved not to have been judicious. It has always been contended by many,
that had the location of the settlement been upon the A\^est side of the river
the career of its prosperity could not have been checked, and Hudson could
not have failed to become what Albany now is. Of the correctness of this
view it is not the province of the writer to speak, "^liatever may be said of
the position in a business point of view, it is not surpassed by any upon the
river for healthfulness and the beauty of the scenery surrounding it. The
sagacity of those " men of old," may have been at fault, but let us be grateful
to them, at least, that they have made us a " city upon an hill," with the beau-
tiful and grand in nature upon every side of us.
In the fall of 1183, two families arrived here from Nantucket. It would be
interesting to know who those " first families" were, but we have been able to
ascertain only one of them, that was the family of Seth Jenkins. The first
child born after the purchase was Elizabeth Bunker, who died while young.
She belonged to a family who appear to have left Nantucket some years pre-
vious and settled in Dutchess County, coming to Hudson as soon as they
heard of the purchase. In the Spring of 1784, the other proprietors followed
with their families, bringing with them several vessels, and in some instances
the frames of dwellings, prepared at Nantucket, for erection upon their arrival.
One of those houses, at least, was standing in the lower part of North Front
street until within a very few years since, and' its frame is believed to be still
a portion of a dwelling since erected upon the spot. It was brought by
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Stephen Paddock. When Mr. Paddock arrived with his family, Col. Yan
Allen went on board of his vessel and otFered them the hospitality of his house
which they accepted, Mr. Paddock remarking " if that was a sample of the
Dutch, they were- in a happy land." The proprietors afterwards found in Col.
Van Allen a warm friend. He was a man of noble feelings and a well culti-
vated mind. In stature he was large and well formed, and true to his Dutch
taste, wore at that time a bright red coat. After his death and the purchase
of his land was completed with his widow, the proprietors presented to her
a house lot upon the Southerly side of Main street, where she built a house
and resided until 1787. It was then occupied by Ambrose Spencer, and in it
John C. Spencer was born. Its precise locality cannot be fixed.
It is said, at first the proprietors encountered opposition from individuals
in Claverack and Kinderhook, who endeavored in various ways to hinder
their progress, probably foreseeing that one result of the new settlement
would be to take from Claverack its position as the seat of the County
buildings. Not understanding the Dutch language, the proprietors employed
in the double capacity of book-keeper and spy, an individual who did, that
they might be able to counteract all efibrts made to injure them. It is related
that "they found warm friends in the Ten Broecks, Delematers, Huyck and
Elting, and the MUlers and Hogebooms were not hostile."
From the minutes of the proceedings of the proprietors, we gather the fol-
lowing facts, not without interest, it is thought, as showing their progress, and
the labors and duties put upon individual proprietors. Each seems in some
way to have borne his share of the toil necessary to a successful fulfillment of
the enterprise :
1784, May 14th. The proprietors held their first meeting at the house of
Seth Jenkins, and voted to proceed to elect such officers as were necessary to
regulate their internal measures, so far as their land extended. David Law-
rence was chosen Moderator of the meeting ; Keuben Folger, Clerk for one
year. Seth Jenkins, John Thurston, Daniel Paddock, Joseph Barnard, Thom-
as Jenkins, Gideon Gardner and David Lawrence were appointed a commit-
tee "to regulate streets, and to attend in a particular manner to the fixing
the buildings uniformly."
It was also voted, "that no person should fix his house without such direc-
tion from a majority of the committee as they might think proper ;*' and that
"no person should extend his steps more than four feet from his door or seller
10 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Samuel Mansfield, Gideon Gardner and John Thurston were appointed a
committee to view fences.
1784, May 15th. Alex. Coffin, David Lawrence, Chas. Jenkins and Heze-
kiah Dayton were appointed a committee "to lay out, sell or lease to David
Bunker and Redwood Eastou, a convenient lot for a tan yard."
They reported, that they had sold one quarter of an acre near Peter Hoge-
boom's grist mill, with benefit of the mill stream, for ^40, payable 310 per
1784, May 17th. Cotton Gelstou was voted Treasurer. Five proprietors
were authorized to call a meeting, by making application in writing to the
1784, June 2d. It was voted that a number of persons should be employed
"to dig on the hill in the direction of Main street, in order to open a way to
the river, and procure stone for the proprietors."
This was probably the opening of South Front street.
Gideon Gardner was appointed " to superintend that business."
The portion of the city first occupied, was that nearest the landing. The
first houses built, were the old building, for many years known as the Swain
house, standing upon the North side of Franklin Square, and the house ad-
joining. These were built by Seth Jenkins and John Alsop.
The first house in Main street was built by Peter Barnard, upon the site of
the present residence of Ansel McKinstry, Esq. Below it were corn-fields and
It is recorded of Peter Barnard, " that he was one of the kindest hearted,
best tempered and happiest men that ever lived. Though poor and earning
his bread by the sweat of his brow, no prince was richer and no king ever sat
upon his throne more contentedly than Peter sat upon his trucks."
The first store was opened by Cotton Gelston.
1784, June 28th. They voted that a house be immediately built at the ex-
pense of the proprietors, 20 feet by 30, to be appropriated for a Market House
and that Daniel Paddock superintend such building."
This was the establishment of the first or lower market.
1784, Sept. 2d. It was voted "that the three wells be stoned and masoned
up." Gideon Gardner, Cotton Gelston, Daniel Paddock appointed committee
"to superintend that business."
The " three wells" were probably three reservoirs, then commenced, one of
which is afterwards spoken of as the well in Third street," another in the vi-
cinity of Second street and the third near the market house. They contin-
ued to term them "wells" for many years afterwards.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 11
1784, Oct. 24th. It was voted, "that a bridge be built over the great hol-
low in Main street, with stone buttments." Seth Jenkins was appointed to
superintend the work.
The bridge was located in front of the present store of James Clark.
1784, Oct. 24. They voted, "that Thomas Jenkins have privilege to erect a
hay scale at his own cost on Market Square, (lower market) for five years, he
promising not to exact more than Is. 6d. per load for weighing."
1784, Nov. 14th. It was unanimously agreed by the proprietors that "in-
futer it should be called by the name of Hudson."
We have no account of any debate on the change of name, or the suggestion
by the proprietors of any other name than that given. Gov. Clinton suggested
and was desirous that the settlement should be called Clinton, and was dis-
pleased that the name met with no favor among the proprietors.
1784, Nov. 2.3d. Thomas Jenkins, David I^awrence and Gideon Gardner
were appointed a committee "to wait on Col. John Van Allen, impowered by
the proprietors to purchase his veal estate ior £2500, and one-thirtieth interest
in the first purchase made."
It would seem from this that all the property at the landing was not includ-
ed in the first purchase. Col. Van Allen having died, the same committee
were appointed "to ascertain from the widow Van Allen whether her late
husband had left her power to ratify the bargain, if so to get writings drawn
and executed immediately."
This property was the house and store and landing before referred to, with
all the land lying between Ferry street and the bay, and rtmning easterly to
1785, Feb. 17th. It was voted that a "petition be draughted to be laid be-
fore the Legislative authority of the State, for the purpose of getting ourselves
incorporated, with city privileges."
Ezekiel Gilbert, John Thurston, Ezra Reed, and Seth Jenkins were ap-
pointed a committee to draught the same.
Seth Jenkins, Gen. Van Rensselaer, John Thurston, Ezekiel ^^Gilbert were
appointed to repair to New York as soon as corvenient and present the same
before the General Assembly then in session, and use their utmost influence
to ge'. it passed immediately.
On the 22dday of April, 1785, the Act of incorporation passed, and Hud-
son became a city, the third in the State. The territory of the city, as char-
tered, extended from the line of the town of Livingston on the' South, to
12 SKETCHES OFHUDSON.
Major Abraham's (Stockport) creek on the North, and Claverack creek on
the East. A portion of the town of Stockport was taken off in 1833, and
the town of Greenport in 1837, leaving Hudson with but very little more
territory than that now embraced within the compact portion of the city.
The news of the passage of the act incorporating the city, occasioned great
joy. On the 4th day of May, Mr. Gilbert arrived from New York, bringing
with him the charter of the city and the appointment of Seth Jenkins by the
Governor and Council as Mayor. Its reception was attended with the firing
of cannon, raising of flags, and every other possible demonstration of gratifica-
tion, by the citizens. On the day following the arrival of Mr. Gilbert, Seth
Jenkins issued his proclamation announcing the incorporation of the city, his
appointment as Mayor, and calling upon all the freemen within the limits of the
city, to meet at the school house, a small frame building then standing upon
the county road near the river, on the Monday following, (the 9th day of May)
to choose necessary officers and to transact other important business. This
was Hudson's first charter election, but it was conducted without a contest.
We can find no statement of the vote cast, nor do we know the population at
that time, but the city grew with great rapidity, and from 1785 to 1786, one
hundred and fifty dwellings, besides wharves, barns, shops and out-houses
1785, July 25th. They voted "that one house lot on Main street should be
given to Ezekiel Gilbert as a free donation for his essential services done the
proprietors in bringing about the incorporation of this city." The lot given
was lot number 62 Warren street, as at present numbered.
1785, Aprd 8th. It was voted that Thomas Jenkins and David Lawrence
be a committee to name the streets ; also that Diamond street be put in a
passable condition, and that the proprietors should send as many men as con-
venient, until there were a sufiicient number to work them, and on producing
a certificate to Titus Morgan they should be entitled to receive four shillings
1785, April 19th. They voted that a lot 50 by 120 feet on Diamond street
should be granted to any person or persons who would build a school house,
not less than 40 feet by 24, such persons not to receive more than nine per
cent, on the cost of the building for the use of it, and to have the power to
sell it to the corporation at large, for their own use, whenever they had op-
portunity so to do, and that it should continue to be used for a School house
for every description and denomination of people then settled or which should
thereafter settle here.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 13
Shortly after its erection Joseph .Marshall, who styled himself the "public's
humble servant," gave notice that he designed opening a school in the Dia-
uiond street School house, from 5 to 7 o'clock P. M. pach day, for the in-
struction of "Misses" in writing, cyphering, composition, English grammar and
geography. The old school house, no longer a nursery for the young ideas of
"Misses," is still standing, moved to the lower part of Chapel street.
178;), June 19th. A committee was appointed to conclude upon a plan
for a proprietor's scliool house on Market Square.
1785, Jane 9th. Land was granted to the corporation for the erection of a
Gaol "on the N. E. corner of the northermost square on Fourth street."
The Gaol was constructed of logs, with iron grates at the windows, and
stood very nearly upon the site of the present blacksmith shop of Thomas Ty-
nan. It was reached by a foot path through the field from Main street. Fourth
street not yet having been opened. It is said of this Gaol, that almost the
first prisoner confined in it concealed an auger upon his person, bored through
the logs and escaped.
The City Hall was erected nearly opposite the Gaol, upon the present site
of the Presbyterian Church, which was then called the "upper end of Main
street." It was commenced in the year 1786, but remained for years unfin-
ished, the lower part being used at one time for the storing of hay, and was
not completed until there was a certainty that Hudson would become the
seat of the County Courts. It was a square brick building, in the very plain-
est style of architecture, two stories in height, the upper part capable of ac-
commodating four hundred people, being used for public purposes, and the
lower part for offices, and for some years a school room. In the year 1805,
when Hudson became the County seat, the Common Council appropriated it
to the County to be used as a Court House, votirg also the sum of $2000, and
a lot of land, for the erection of a new jail, which was ready for the reception
of prisoners in the month of October, in that year. The present office of the
Hudson Gazette was the building then erected as the "County prison." The
Court House was occupied by each religious organization in its infancy, and
still continued to be used for all public gatherings until its purchase by the
Presbyterian Society, from which time until the erection of tho present fine
structure, Hudson was destitute of a room for pubUc use, in the least degree
comfortable or adequate to the wants of its citizens.
1806, Jan. 11th. Benjamin Birdsall was voted by the Common Council
forty dollars for his services as committee-man in procuring a change of the
14 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
The present Court House and Jail were erected in the year 1835, at a cost
of !535,(iOO, under the direction of James Mellen, Henry C. Miller, John W.
Edmonds, John P. Mesick, Jehoiakim A. Tan Yalkenburgh.
1785, June 9th. A committee was appointed to lay out plot, &c., of the
city. The plot embraced Union, Main, Diamond and State streets, with Sec-
ond, Third, Fourth and Fifth streets crossing them. Fu-st street was not
opened until many years after.
1785, Dec. 30th. One house lot was voted to Cotton Gelston for his trouble
in laying out plot of the city.
PARADE HILL, ETC.
1795, March 9th. It was voted "that the certain piece of land, known by
the name of the Parade, or Mall, in front of Main street, and on the banks
fronting the river, should be granted to the Common Council forever, as a
public walk or Mall, and for no other purpose whatever."
The " i\[aU" remained in an unimproved condition for many years, except
the erection upon it of a house for the sale of "refreshments." This was octa-
gon in shape, the lower part used as a saloon for "refreshments," the upper
part surrounded by a covered piazza, affording a beautiful lookout upon the
river, and a flag staff surmounting the building. It was called the "Round-
house," and the hill until its improvement in 1834, was called the "Round-
house hill." It was in that year enclosed, laid out into walks, the house, which
had become a nuisance, removed, and after the suggestion through the press
of many very fanciful names, was given its present name of "Parade Hill."
Near the Southern end of the hill, visitors cannot have failed to notice a
small circular grove of trees, called "lovers' retreat." These were planted, it
is said, to mark the location of a rock known in the early days of the city as
"Love rock," and the spot, were "by moon-light alone," a large proportion of
the marriage contracts of our Quaker ancestors were "made and entered into."
Duruig the improvement of the hill, when the rock was levelled, a writer in
one of the city papers thus alludes to it :
" Could that rock speak, what then ? — but it is gone — years had it stood.—
men among us whose heads are white with the snow-flakes of time, have sat
upon it with the buoyant passions of youth. Women who can scarce raise
their feeble limbs, have leaped in glorious glee around its base. How many
bright moons have shed their light upon it, how many a strain of music melt-
ed away in the air above it, how many brilliant thoughts have there been in-
dulged. We have sat there ourselves and might tell many curious things about
it, but have given already sufficient flight to our imagination. We would say
to the rock, if it had a soul, 'peace to it.' "
Rocks, like dead men, tell no tales. Could "Love rock" speak, it would
doubtless give us many touching revelations.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 15
In 1795, the proprietors, upon the petition of Marshal Jenkins and Saninel
Edmonds, granted a lot of land upon the corner of LTnion and 'I'iiird streets to
the Society "called Free Masons," for the purpose of erecting a building there-
on suitable for their use. It was to be built upon within two years or the
land "should devolve to the Council for the use of the corporation." I'he
building was to be fifty by twenty-five feet in size, and it was a ccndition of
the grant that it should never be used as a tavern. "The Lodge," as it was
called, was deemed an "ornament" to the city, as originally erected. It was
partially destroyed by fire about thirty-fivo years ago, on the 4th of July, and
the present St. John's Hall built upon the ruins. As early as 1787, we find
tlie Masons celebrating the festival of St. John by a dinner and an oration.
Previous to the erection of the "Lodge" it was the custom to hold their meet-
ings at some one of the puMic houses.
In the war of 1812, the lower part of the Hall was used as barracks for
soldiers who enlisted under Capt. Smith, of the U. S. Light Dragoons, and
Lieut. Theophilus E. Beekman, recruiting officers. It was this service that first
brought Mr. Boekman to this city, of which he was long after a resident.
During a row among the soldiere in the barracks, which he endeavored to quell,
he received an injury for which he afterwards drew a pension.
1795, ^larch 9th. Proprietors deeded to the Common Council the lots
upon which the Gaol and City IJall stood, other lots in different parts of the
city, all the streets and lands not theretofore appropriated, to be opened by
them at their discretion, whenever it would benefit the public ; also the burial
ground presented to the proprietors, excepting such part as was enclosed by
the Society of Friends and to be conveyed to them.
1810, May 23d. The last meeting of the proprietors was held, Stephen
Paddock JModerator, Erastus Pratt Clerk. Provision had been previously
made for the delivery of the proprietors' books, plot of the city, etc., to the
Clerk of the city, and for a passage of a law by the Legislature, for a confir-
mation of all the divisions made by them. Their meetings had been more
fiequent than these extracts indicate, but the proceedings related principally
to the disposition and exchange of their lots or "public squares" as tliey tei'm-
ed them, and to the laying out of the "public roads," or streets.
In all the proceedings we find mention but two or three times made of their
financial condition, but it is evident, from these, that the "wheels of finance"
did not run perfectly smooth, as they speak at one time of being considerably
pressed, and advised the disposition of certain lots for relief.
We have as yet had no glimpse of the government of the city, which at the
16 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
date we take leave of the proprietors, already boasted of a populatioa of
nearly 5,000. It had attained a position which they had hardly looked or
hoped for, although they had brought to bear all their energy and influence to
secure its prosperity.
No place can claim more for the character of its founders, than can Hudson
for its original proprietors. All of them were men of influence, intelligence
and activity, and are described, physically, as "stout, well formed, noble looking
men." Nearly all of them were possessed of considerable pecuniary means,
which they at once employed in such ways as would most encourage the bus-
iness interests of the place. It is said of the Jenkins family, that they alone
brought with them more than a quarter of a million of dollars. They were re-
garded as the moving spirits in the enterprise, and every species of trade and
commerce was for many years successfully carried on by them. Thomas Jen-
kins is described as uniting the stately, dignified, princely air of an old school
gentleman with the address and energy of a man of business, and few like him,
it is said, are to be found at the present day, even in the great metropolis
itself, '^\^len standing on his wharf, with his gold headed cane in his hand,
watching and directing the preparations for the sailing of his ships, his air and
manner were authoritative, but in feeling he was not in the least degree haugh-
ty. His residence, built immediately after the settlement of the city, was
that now occupied by P. S. Wynkoop, Esq. as a residence and by the Misses
Peake as a Seminary. At the time of its erection it was considered palatial,
and as his means enabled him to live in a corresponding style, and which
doubtless presented a strong contrast to primitive Quaker simplicity, it is not
strange that he was thought even somewhat aristocratic.
Long after emigration had added greatly to the population of the place, and
many to the number of its public spirited and enterprising citizens, they con-
tinued to exercise a great influence in all its affairs. For over thirty years,
with the exception of the short period of two years, the office of Mayor of the
city was filled by some member of the Jenkins family. Numerous and influ-
ential however as it was at that time, scarce half a dozen of its descendants
are at this day residents of the city, to whose early prosperity they so largely
contributed, and with whose early history its name is so inseparably connected.
Thomas Jenkins died in New York in the year 1808, leaving four sons,
Thomas, Gilbert, Frederick and Elisha, and four daughters. His remains
were brought to this city upon a sloop, and buried according to the rites of
the Quaker society, in the ground belonging to them. No tombstone
was ever placed upon his grave and it cannot now be identified.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
Aiiotlior proprietor of whom we find very fre([uent mention made is Cotton
Gelston. who seems to have been a man of very great activity and energy, lie
was first treasurer for the proprietors, first postmaster, launched the first ship,
openad the first store, was the first surveyor, made the first plot of the city,
drew their first deeds ; in short seems to !iave l»cen the "chief scribe"' and nian-
of-all-work, for the proprietors, and from tlie time he was sent by Thomas
Jenkins to Xatitucket, to carry out the plan of his association, until his death,
was the servant of the city in some capacity. We have been shown a deed,
supposed to have been drawn by him, which, although something of a curiosi-
ty, being drawn upon a sheet of paper about four feet in length by one in
width, as apiece of penmanship, would be considered creditable at the present
day, and is remarkable for its paiticularity of description. Mr. Gelston was a
man of medium height, rather stout, with little iu his countenance indicative
of the force of character he possessed. It is said of him, that he was a man
of violent passions and led into frequent difficulties with those around him.
In a fit of anger he once knocked down Thomas Jenkins, who was doubtless
his best friend. At the last meeting of the proprietors there was much debate
as to the proper disposition of the proprietors' minutes, accounts, and other
papers. Mr. Gelston was violently opposed to their passing into the posses-
sion of the Common Council, and in a moment of excitement made an efibrt
to destroy them by burning. He succeeded in part, but the minutes were
taken from him by Gilbert Jenkins, then a young man, after a struggle. 'J'here
is not a descendant of Mr. Gelston living in Hudson at the present time.
Stephen Paddock, Joseph Barnard, Nathaniel Greene and Alexander Cof-
fin are also prominently spoken of as energetic, active citizens. IJeside the
Jenkins's and Gelston, but few of the proprietors at first engaged in mercantile
pursuits. Several of them were '-sea-faring" men, others shortly after their
arrival settled upon farms in the vicinity, and some early left the settlement.
It luis sometimes been remarked, as not a little singular tiiat of some of the
proprietors there have never been any since, among the residents of the city,
bearing theirnames. The fact that some of them did not long remain here,
will probaljly explain it. In giving the credit we do to the proprietors for the
early prosperity of Hudson, we should not forget the fact, that their efforts
were seconded by many, not only from the immediate vicinity but from a dis-
tance, who were at once attracted to the enteiiirise by its bright prospects.
Ezekiel Gilbert, who seems very early to have taken an active interest iu it,
was at the time a resident of Claverack, from which place he moved his law-
oflice in 178.5, thus becoming Hudson's first lawyer ; first not only in order,
but for many years first in ability. Mr. Gilbert was not a man of great talents,
18 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
but made himself of great service to Hudson, in its early days. He was Rep-
resentative in Congress about the year 171)0, and through his efforts Hudson
was made a port of entry. About the year 1800 he occupied a pleasant coun-
try residence standing very nearly upon the site of the public house of S. S.
Martin, and gave to the city a portion of the ground for the upper public
square, with the intention of having it laid out as a park. He died about
twenty years ago, at an advanced age, very infirm, and in somewhat reduced
circumstances. Of the firms who were shortly after the settlement so largely
engaged in business, the greater part were of those who immediately followed
The first meeting of the Common Council was held on the 9th day of May,
Present — Seth Jenkins, Esq., Mayor ; Nathaniel Greene, Esq., Recorder ;
William Mayhew and Stephen Paddock, Esqs., Aldermen ; Dirck Delamater
and Marslial Jenkins, Esqs., Assistants.
The following individuals have held the office of Mayor, appointed by the
Governor and Council of Appointment :
Seth Jenkins, April, 1785. Robert Jenkins, February, 1815.
Thomas Jenkins, November, 1793. John Talman, February, 1820.
Robert Jenkins, Februaiy, 1808. Alexander Coffin, February, 1821.
John Talman, March, 1813.
ELECTED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL.
Rufus Reed, June, 1823 & 24. Henry Smith, January, 1833, 34 & 35.
Thomas Bay, January, 1825 & 26. Robert G. Frary, January, 1836.
Oliver Wiswall, January, 1827 & 28. Robert McKinstry, January, 1837.
Samuel White, January, 1829. Allen Jordan, January, 1839.
Samuel Anable, Jan'y, 1830, 31 & 32. George W. Cook, January, 1840.
ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.
Robert G. Frary, April. 1840 & 41. George H. Power, J^pril, 1852.
Samuel Anable, April, 1842. Joshua T. A¥aterman, November 1852.
Charles DarUng, April, 1843. Peter S. Wynkoop, November, 1853.
Cyras Curtis, April, 1844 & 45. John C. Dormandy, November, 1854.
Robert G. Frary, April, 1846. Joshua T. Waterman, November, 1 856.
Matthew Mitchell, April, 1847 &48. Jacob W. Hoysradt, December, 1858.
Hugh McClellan, April, 1849 & 50. Samuel Bachman, December, 1860.
Peter S. Burger, April, 1851.
The only individual now living, Avho filled the office diu-ing the first half
century of the existence of the city is Oliver Wiswall, Esq.
The first Recorder of the city, appointed by the Governor and Council was
Nathaniel Greene, 1785. His successors have been as follows :
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 19
llezckiali L. Hosmer, 1793. Joscpli D. Monell, 1815,
Levi Wlieatdii. Jr., 1 794. Aiiibroso L. Jordan, 1821.
Alexander Coflin, .Tanuarv, 1797. John W. Edmonds, 1827.
Cotton (ielston. June, 1797. Darius Peck, 1833.
Kiisha Pitkin, 1801. Iloltort AlcClellun, 1843.
David Lawrence, 1802. Rodolplms P. Hkirner, elected, 1849.
Philip S. Parker, 1808. Stephen L. Magouu, " 1852.
Hezokiah L. Hosnicr, 1810. Klijaii Pavn, " 1855.
Joseph D. Monell, 1811. Henry Miller, " 1858 .t 9
Ilezekiah L. Hosmer, 1813. Alexander S. Rowley, " 18G1.
The first City Clerk was John Bay, 1785.
The first Chamberlain was John Alsop, 1785.
Of all who filled the office of Aldermen during the first fifty years, the fol-
lowing' only, are now living in the city :
Oliver Wiswall, Israel Piatt,
Ilohert A. Barnard, Henry I). I'arkman,
Henry C. Miller, Benjamin F. Deuell,
Solomon AVescott, Ansel McKinstry.
For a full list of all the officers of the city from the date of its incorporation ,
we refer the reader to the Civil List for Columbia County, compiled by Edwin
C. Terry, Esq., in 1858.
Li August, 1785, a seal for the city was purchased ; Nathaniel Greene, Seth
Jenkins, John Bay, Ezra Reed, Stephen Paddock, Benjamin Folger, Dirck
Delamater, John Ten Broeck and Peter Hogeboom eacli contributing eleven
shillings and four pence to defray its cost. This seal is still in use, never
having been changed.
PROCEEDINGS OF COUNCIL.
From the early minutes of the Council we make the following extracts :
1785, June 7th. Nathaniel Greene, William "Wall and 31arshal Jenkins
were ai)pointed a committee to erect a gaol within the city Hmits 30 feet long,
20 feet wide, and one story high.
This is the log gaol before mentioned.
1785, July 2Gth. Abimelech Riggs was appointed keeper of gaol.
1785, July 26th. Benjamin Folger, Thomas Jenkins and Ezra Reed were
appointed a committee to regulate and rent the ferry, which appears still
to have been in the hands of I\rr. Flock. The canoe had given place to a
boat twenty feet long and very narrow, and sharp at both ends. In order to
carry teams across, the horses were placed one at each end of the boat and
timbers laid across it, upon which the wagon rested. The feriy did not pass
20 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
fully into tlie control of the city until about the year 1790, when the boat de-
scribed gave way to a scow with sails, so constructed that teams could enter
from either end, and the following rates and regulations had been established :
•Tor every single person, except sucking child, Is. Gd.
man, horse, ox, cow, Is. 6(/.
loaded wagon or ox cart, 2s. 6d.
empty " " Is- 6d.
hog or pig under 80 lbs. dead, 4d.
" " alive, 6ci.
dead sheep or lamp, od.
live " calf, id.
barrel of rum, sugar and molasses, 6c?.
pail of butter, 1 penny, firkin or tub, 2d.
bushel of wheat, peas or grain 1 penny."
One half more was charged when compelled on account of low water to go
around the flats.
For every neglect to pay, treble the amount of ferriage was to be forfeited.
Before sunrise and in the evening, the ferryman was entitled to double rates.
He was to keep two scows, with four able hands to each, and to run con-
stantly from sunrise to sunset, wind and weather permitting, or forfeit twenty
shillings for every neglect. On the arrival of the boat at Loonenburgh land-
ing, it was the duty of some one of the ferrymen to blow a shell or trumpet, in
order to give immediate notice of such arrival, and to remain there fifteen
1803, April 14th. Mayor, Recorder and Mr. Power were appointed a com-
mittee to confer with the citizens on the west side of the river, respecting a
"Canal through the flats." The "Canal" was not constructed until many years
after. In the year 181G, the work was done under the direction of Robert
Jenkins, Oliver AViswall and Judah Paddock, a committee appointed by the
The use of scows continued until the spring of the year 1816, when they
gave place to the horse-boat, which was built by William Johnson, at a cost
of six thousand dollars. Its introduction was a great event in the history of
the city, and considered a very decided step forward.
The Mayor and a portion of the Council made a trial trip in it around the
flats, when the pilot, not yet accustomed to the management of his new craft,
came in collision with a vessel so forcibly as to bring the official party down
to a level with the deck. It contiimed to nin, with the exception of an un-
successful attempt some years ago to sustain a steam ferry, until the present
steamboat did away, we trust, forever in these waters with horse flesh as a
propelling power for ferries.
SKETCH KS OF HUDSON. 21
1785, July 5th. It was resolved, '-That a Stocks and Whi])piiig Post be
made and erected nigh the market in this city, and that William Wall, Esq.,
cause the same to be completed, and that he lay an account of the expenses
thereof before this Board, who engage to provide for the payment of the same."
It was a heavy post, deeply set, to which the offender was tied, receiving
upon his bare back the number of lashes fixed by the Justice passing the
sentence. Its cost was £3, 4s. lid. The punishment of whipping was inflict-
ed for petty offences. In addition to the whipping, the offender was some-
times sentenced to be driven out of the city. In that case he was tied to the
tail of a cart, and commencing at the lower end of Alain street, received a cer-
tain number of lashes at each corner until the head of the street was reached,
where he was set at liberty and directed to leave the limits of the city. The
officer inflicting the punishment was called a "whipping master," and received
his appointment from the Common Council. EUsha Foote officiated in this
capacity for many years.
1785, Aug. 2d. It was ordained "that it should not be lawful for any person
or persons whatsoever, to run or gallop his, her or their Horse or Horses
through any of the Streets of the said City, and that if any person or persons
should be convicted of running or galloping his, her or their Horse or Horses
through any of the Streets of said City, he, she or they should, for every such
offense, forfeit and pay the sum of six shillings, current money of the State of
New York, to be recovered before the Alayor, Recorder, or any of the Alder-
men, with Costs of Suit, one half to go to the Informer, the other half to the
Overseers of Poor of the City for the use of the poor thereof."
1785, Sept. 7th. "Whereas John Dewitt, late of the city of New York, had
run away and left his wife and children :" it was ordered, "That Mrs. Dewitt,
wife of the said John Dewitt, with her children, be sent to the city of New
York, the place from whence the said John Dewitt came."
1785, Dec. 5th. Ordinances were passed prohibiting store keepers from
throwing glass in the streets, boys from swimming near the ferry landing, also
prohibiting any person chopping wood on Main street "with an axe," and the
running at large of "any hog or hogs, goose or geese, unless properly yoked."
1786, Daniel Pinkham, Elihu Bunker, John Powell and Shubael Worth
were appointed Guagers for one year, to receive 6d per hogshead, "smaller
casks in proportion, and no more."
1787, March 1st. Forty-one licenses to sell liquor were granted, for sums
varying from eight to sixteen shillings. It is fair to infer some liquor was
drunk in early times.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Daniel Paddock and Jared Coffin were voted £13, Is, Gd each for services
as assessors for one year.
1787, March 1st. Freelove Clark was ordered to be sent back to Nantuck-
et, and Stephen Paddock was authorized to take proper measures to remove
her. It was the custom to send vagrants back tc their former place of resi-
dence ; several instances like the above are reported in the minutes of the
1788, Jan. 5th. Citizens voluntarily associated themselves into a watch
against thieves and fires, and to preserve order in the city at night. Shortly
after, the Common Council, deeming it a "salutaiy institution" ordained that
it should consist of four citizens for each night, to begin their watch at 9 o'-
clock in the evening and continue until day-break. Jonathan Worth was ap-
pointed to notify the citizens on the roll, at least twelve hours before they
were to come on the watch, and in case of absence or inability, was to supply
their places. They were empowered to interrogate any persons out at an un-
seasonable hour, and unless satisfactory answers were received, to confine
them in the watch house until the following morning, when they were taken
before the proper officer and discharged or punished. Each man received one
dollar a night for his services, and was provided with a heavy oak club, for the
double purpose of protection and sounding the hours, which was done by
heavy blows upon the posts or side-walk, and crying out with the hour, "all's
well." Night locks, window fastenings, iron safes, revolvers, and the numer-
ous other articles of the present day, for protection against burglars, were not
yet invented, nor had the need of them been felt. Robberies, however, were
frequent and rowdyism not unknown. Stoops were over-turned, gates un-
hinged, signs misplaced, door-knockers mysteriously worked and many other
similar pranks, which we are apt to think peculiarity belonging to a modern
period, were nightly played. The press complained loudly of "the disgraceful
course certain young men are pursuing," and threatened them with exposure
in its columns unless they desisted from their "evil practices." Subsequently
the "watch" was efficiently organized and existed for many years. Old citizens
are often heard to remark, that they have never since it was abandoned, en-
joyed the same pleasant sense of security at night.
1790, Oct. 23d. It was resolved that Stephen Paddock and Thomas Froth-
ingham be a committee to engage and agree M-ith the Printer to strike off one
hundred pounds in small bills or notes of credit upon the Corporation. One
ream of paper was directed to be furnished of suitable quality, and struck off in
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 23
"tickets" to be signed by the clerk of the city, of the vahie of one, two, three
and four cents. There was a scarcity of silver and almost a total absence of
"coppers" and these "tickets" circulated freely as "small change."
1791, Aug. 30th. It was resolved, "that John Kemper be appointed to
take the pump brake and upper box from the public pump, and at the hour of
six in the morning, at twelve at noon, and at five in the evening of each day,
go with or deliver it to the hands of some careful persons to be carried to the
pump, that each of the citizens applying for water might have an equal pro-
portion, and that said brake and box should not be delivered at any other
times of the day, until a constant supply of water should be found in the
'J'lie "town pump"' was located near the lower market.
In the year 1785, several citizens associated themselves together, for the
purpose of bringing water into the city to supply themselves and such others
"as might be deemed consistant." Each lot-holder was entitled to a share in
such association, upon the payment of twenty-live dollars, with the riglit to
take the water from the main pipe which ran through i\Iain street and "carry
it into his possessions or house for the supplying of the family or families"
which his house contained, but should not be allowed to sell water to his
neighbor or any other person. Persons not shareholders were supplied upon
the payment of an annual tax. The water first brought in was from the spring
known as the Ten Broeck spring, given to them by John Tec Broeck and
located upon the farm now the property of the heirs of William E. Heermance.
In 1793, they purchased the "Huyck Spring," better known as "the Fountain,"
situated upon the road leading from Claverack to Hudson. In the year 1789
they presented a petition to the Legislature, stating that they had "at consid-
erable expense brought water into the city by an aqueduct, from a fountain
two miles distant," and felt the need of a regular system, to compel share-
holders to bear their equal proportion of expenses for repairs, &c. In March,
1790, "An act for the better regulating and protecting the Aqueducts in the
city of Hudson" was passed, providing for the election of officers, passage of
by-laws and giving to the Common Council the right by ordinance, to fix a
penalty not exceeding five pounds for a breach of any of the by-laws of the
Company.' Hezekiah Dayton was for nuiuy years Inspector and Collector, for
which servace they voted "one shilling per hour when actually engaged." It
was the custom of Old Squire Dayton, as he was familiarly called, to detect
leaks and waste by entering the cellars of shareholders and listening for the
24 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
sound of trickling' or dropping water, then reporting offenders at headquarters.
1794, May 10th. Thomas Frothinghani, Elisha Jenkins and Jared CofBn,
three of the principal men of the place, were appointed Scavengers.
1 794, July 24th. It was ordained that all bread falling short of the estab-
lished weight or price, should be forfeited to the city for the use of the poor.
Thomas Frothinghani was appointed an inspector of bread, whose duty it was
to thoroughly enforce the ordinance. The established weight and price, which
were kept standing conspicuously printed at the head of the Hudson Gazette,
was as follows :
Loaf of Superfine flour, 3 lbs. 8 oz., one shilling.
" " " 1 " 12 " sixpence.
" Common " 3 " 13 " one shilling.
•' " " 1 " 14 " sixpence.
" Eye " 3 " 4 " sixpence.
Walter Johnson was the principal baker, and carried on the business quite
extensively for the supply of ships, upon the corner of Front and Ferry streets.
]\Irs. Newberry, who kept a small shop further up in Front street, was his
rival in the department of cakes and buns, most of which were sold through
the streets in baskets. The old lady knew how to protect as well as sup-
port herself. An individual once ventured to say something in her shop which
she construed into an insult. Stepping up to him she ejected him by a gentle
application of her foot, sending a loaf of bread after him in close proximity to
his head. lie was doubtless after that a better bre(a)d man.
In somewhat later years in the lower part of Union street dwelt Ursula
Bunker, better known as "Aunt Usley," who maintained the dignity of a
house full of maiden sisters by carrying on a domestic bakery. No tea table
was deemed complete upon great occasions, without a supply of "Aunt Usley 's
soft tea biscuit," "the wonder of the old, the delight of the young." We be-
lieve a "cloud of witnesses" might be found to confirm the statement, that
since her day Hudson has seen nothing superior in that line.
1795, March 23d. Jemmy Frazer was appointed bell-man, and paid at the
rate of £16 per year. The bell upon the Presbyterian Church was ordered to
be rung, at sunrise in the morning, at twelve o'clock at noon, and at nine in
the evening, not less than five minutes at any one time on working days, aud
at nine and ten in the morning, two in the afternoon and nine in the evening
1797, November 3d. Cotton Gelston and Mr. Kellogg were appointed a
committee authoiized to direct the construction and the placing of a number
S K E T C H E S F II U D S O N . 25
of lamps not exceeding twenty in the streets, and to provide a suitable person
to light the same upon the dark nights. Three hundred dollars were appro-
priated for the same by the Council.
1798, May 10th. Eecorder Gelston and Samuel Edmonds were appointed
a committee to build a fence three boards high, with red cedar posts and a
suitable gate around the burying ground, and have the bushes cleared up ; and
Reuben Folger was directed to procure a suitable lock. The cost of the fence
was £84, 5s, and 3d, and of the lock four shillings. Previous to this, little
had been done towards placing the ground in a condition suitable for the pur-
pose for which it was given. Up to this time it was reached by a road,
through a piece of woods, leading from the County road, (now Green Street,)
in the vicinity of Schermerhorn town, a name by which a collection of buildings
in that locality was known.
1798, June 10th. Samuel Edmonds and James Nixon were paid three dol-
lars each, "for mending the cover to the well in Third street." This was one
of the Reservoirs which we have before referred to.
1799, April 6th. It was resolved, "that in future the Common Council meet
on Saturday after the Mayor's Court, in each month, at four o'clock, and ttat fif-
teen minutes' grace be allowed from Mr. Parkmao's time piece." Up to and
for many years after this period, the Council had no regular place of meet-
ing, but met at the different public houses, a sort of portable body,
like the Government of the rebel Confederacy of modern times. In the year
1815 they met in a bed room, in the tavern of Samuel Bryan, upon the South-
west corner of WaiTen and Third streets. Robert Jenkins, then Mayor, said
that he considered "it a shame that the Common Council of such a city as
Hudson should meet in a bed room," and appointed Oliver Wiswall and Jon-
athan Frary a committee to provide a suitable room in the City Hall, in which
shortly after they regularly held their meetings.
1799, June 1st. Elisha Pitkin was authorized to erect a suitable Market
House on the jail square, north side of "Warren street. Tliis was the second
or upper market.
1799, October 10th. The name of Main street was by resolution of the Coun-
cil changed to Warren. The public were informed of the change, by the fol-
lowing notice chalked upon the fences, which at that time weri mostly red and
"This street is no longer Main Street, but called Warren by order of the
1799, September 9th. The Mayor was reported absent in ioicn, Aldermen
26 SKETCHES OFHUDSON.
Taylor absent in town, the other Aldermen and Assistants absent out of town,
and the Recorder, "solitary and alone," adjourned the Council to meet on the
following day at Eussel Kellogg's tavern.
1800, April 7th. Peter Hall was appointed bell man, bell to be rung as
usual, to be paid at the rate of thirty-eight dollars per year. Jemmy Frazer
was promoted to the office of City Crier, and their respective appointments
were ordered to be published in the Hudson Gazette. How Jemmy lost his
office we shall learn hereafter. The city crier received "a reward of not less
than one shilling for every time of service, and not more than three, agree-
able to the exigencies of the weather."
1801, June 14th. Ordinances were passed, regulating the sale of Iamb,
preventing boys playing ball or hoop in Warren or Front streets, prohibiting
the smoking of pipes or cigars in any of the streets or alleys after sunset, and
providing for the killing of dogs after the 1st day of August.
1801, July 17th. It was resolved, that no meat should be exposed for
sale in the market or elsewhere in the city after the hour of eight o'clock on
That all barber shops should be shut at the hour of ten o'clock on Sunday
That the Council would aid and assist the Country ISIagistrates in suppress-
ing all disorderly behavior on Sunday. Justus Van Hoesen, Thomas Froth-
ingham and Cornelius Tobey had previously been appointed a committee "to
superintend the execution of the law against Sabbath breaking."
1801, August 5th. Mr. Hathaway was authorized to purchase Daniel
Allen's house on State street for the reception of the aged and other poor of
the city, for a sura not to exceed .$180. This house is still standing in State
street, known as the Underwood house, and was used for the purpose men-
tioned, until the completion of the building now occupied by the Rev. John
B. Hague as a Seminary for young ladies, which was erected as a City Poor
House in the year 1818, by Ephraim Baldwin, under the direction of John
Tallman, Judali Paddock and Barnabas Waterman as building committee,
after a plan drawn by Robert Jenkins. Its cost was five thousand seven hun-
dred dollars. In 1832 it was given up as a poor-house, and a lunatic asylum
was established in it by Doct. Samuel Wliite, which continued until the open-
ing of the State Asylum, having received during its continuance three hundred
The first Overseers of the Poor in the city were Cotton Gelston and John
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 27
1801, Auffust 15th. Erastus Pratt and Reuben Folger were appointed a
committee to procure a suitable clock, with three dials, to be placed in the
steeple of tlie Presbyterian Meeting House, and were authorized to loan not
exceeding §200, to be applied with the sura already subscribed and deposited
in the Bank for that purpose. The same clock is now placed in the steeple
of the old Episcopal church, where "still it moves, but never speaks."
1801, December 9th. Daniel Buruap was paid §20 in addition to the sum
agreed for clock, for additional work. The committee reported that they had
placed the clock in the meeting house and had made provision to pay De-
borah Jenkins §200 for borrowed money.
1802, January 3d. Overseers of the Poor were authorized to allow Phebe
Cumniings §2,50 per month, if she would take herself and three children out
of the city.
1803, April 1st. It was resolved that any member of the Council not a^
l>esir'mg vfithin Jifieen minutes oiler the hour of meeting, should pay to and
for the use of the Council the sum of Ji/li/ cents ; the time always to be de-
termined by the city clock. Mr. Parkraan's time piece had ceased to be the
GROWTH OF THE CITY.
When the city was first settled the bulk of emigration was from Nantucket,
embracing the families so numerous in the early population of Hudson, of
Bunkers, Folgers, Coffins, Macys, Colemans, &c. Shortly after, a steady pop-
ulation flowed in from various points in the Eastern States, principally, how-
ever, from Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The growth of the city in wealth and population was rapid. The following
list, which was first published some years ago, contains the names of such of
the inhabitants as were assessed £100 and upwards, in the year 1797, taken
from the "tax book" for that year, which was certified to as follows :
"This Tax Book contains the value of each man's estate, both real and per-
sonal, within the city of Hudson, to the best of our kno\.ledge according to
the usual way of Assessment. Jacob Davis, )
Hudson, 27th May, 1797." Jonathan Becraft, v Assessors.
Isaac Norturop, )
Bunker, Barsilla 120
Bunker, Elihu 130
Becraft, Jonathan, 230
Bolles, John R. 120
Bolles, Jeremiah 160
Burk, James 100
Coffin, Alexander 300
Cofiin, Jared 135
Colfin, David 340
Coffin, Uriah 120
Arthur, Mc Arthur
Barnard, Joseph Est.
KETCHES OF HUDSON
Coventry, William 300
Comstock, Thomaa 170
Clark, (ieoro^e 105
Clark, Daniel 170
Cheanee, Abiel 190
Delaraater, Dirck 550
Delaniater, Claudius I. 470
Delamater, Claudius 150
Dakin, Paul 160
Decker, George 225
Dayton, Hezekiah 205
Dayton, Isaac 100
Elting, James 300
Everts, J. & Sons Est. 180
Ernst, John T. 120
Edmonds, Samuel 180
Folger, Reuben 225
Folger, Benjamin 100
Frothingbam, Thomas 140
Frary, Giles 300
Greene, Nathaniel 820
Gelstou Cotton 415
Gilbert, Ezekiel 160
Gardiner, William 120
Goldthwart, Thomas 180
Gunn. John 140
Hardick, John F. 280
Harder, Jacob Jr., 250
Harder, John M. 120
Hoydorn, Adam 225
Hosmer, Prosper 135
Hyatt, James 230
Hubbell, Levi 100
Hammond, Abner 110
Haxtun, Benjamin 130
Hogeboom, Peter 540
Hallenbeck, William 320
Hallenbeck, Robert 320
Hallenbeck, Mathias 200
Hallenbeck, John R. 180
Hallenbeck, William G. 140
Hathaway, John 500
Hoxie, Christopher 160
Huyck, Casper Estate 300
Irish, Jonathan 100
Jenkins, Thomas 2 6 GO
Jenkins, T. k Sons 1150
Jenkins, Seth, Estate 850
Jenkins, Marshall 750
Jenkins, Marshall & Son 310
Jenkins, Charles 270
Jenkins, Ijenmel, Estate, 200
Jenkins, Deborah 195
Jenkins, Robert & Co. 200
Johnston, Walter 120
Kellogg, Russell 270
Lawrence, David 325
Lescure, Hyacinth 115
Mooklar, James & M. 230
Morgan, James 105
Morton, Reuben 115
Macy, Capt. Reuben, 450
MoiTison, James 170
Moores, Reuben 130
Nixon, James 200
Nichols, Samuel G. 150
Northrop, Isaac 125
Olcott, Josiah 225
Paddock, Stephen 425
Paddock, Daniel, Estate 130
Plass, John 435
Power, Thomas 233
Parkman, Thomas 100
Reed, Ezra 900
Rand, Peter 190
Race, Jonathan 135
Riley & Storrs, 100
Schermerhorn, John 100
Spercer, Ambrose 180
Sears, Nathan 100
Stoddard, Ashbel 100
Slade, William 100
Thurston, John 120
Ten Broeck, John Estate, 600
Ten Broeck, Jeremiah 550
Ten Broeck, Samuel 130
Tobey, Seth 325
Tallmau, John 120
Van Hoesen, J. H. Est. 700
Van Hoesen, Abraham 190
Van Hoesen, Peter 290
Van Hoesen, Jenny 105
Van Hoesen, Peter Estate 100
Van Rensselaer, Henry I. 600
Van Rensselaer, William 430
Van Deusen, Tobias 300
Van Allen, Adam 265
Vander Bergh, Peter 165
Vander Bergh, James 165
Whittaker, Ephraim 210
White, Mrs. 140
Whitlock, Thomas 145
Worth, Shubael 225
Worth, Thomas 2nd, 100
Webb, Job 140
Ward, Samuel 200
SKETCHES OF H u"d SON. 29
In the year 1800, the city numbered 4048, inchiding eighty-eight slaves,
ranking third in the State in commerce, and fourtli in manufactures. Com-
pared with the growth of many places within the last quarter of a centuiy, this
increase of population for a period of seventeen years may not seem great. It
must be borne in mind that at that early day there was no foreign emigration
to swell the population, and very few of the facilities for travel of the present
day then existed.
When the question of a removal of the seat of legislation from New York
came up in the "General Assembly," Hudson needed but one more vote to
have been designated as the location for the new capital. Albany secured
that "one vote" and became thenceforth the "capital city."
In 1803 the following vote was thrown at a charter election, "not warmly
contested and not a full vote :"
For Supervisor — Cotton Gelston, 232 ] For Supervisor — Jared Coffin, 180
In 1806, at^a charter election, a vote of .500 was cast, and in 1807 at a
State election, a vote of 700. Until 181.5, city officers were elected upon a gen-
eral ticket, and were obliged to qualify upon the night following the day of elec-
tion. In that year the law in this respect was changed, and the city divided
into two wards. Third street being the line of division.
In 1820 the population numbered 5310, and from that period to the present
the increase has been slow.
SHIP BUILDING, &C.
Ship Building commenced in the first year of its settlement, and for many
years was extensively earned on. Many of the proprietors brought vessels
with them, and in the year 1786 twenty-five vessels, carrying twenty-five hun-
dred tons, were owned here ; more than were at that time owned in the
city of New York. These vessels were for the most part engaged in the AVest
India trade, a small number being employed in the whale and seal fisheiy.
The first account we have of any ship yard is in 1784, when Titus Morgan
applied for the privilege of building one on the purchase, "adjoining the North-
ermost street, and in consideration of a lease being granted him for the term of
four years, he agreed to make the road or street, from Market street to the
river, passable for wagons, at his own expense. This was the opening of North
Front street. In 1785, in view", of his having been to "extra cost and ex-
pense in blowing open said road," his lease was extended from four to ten
years. His yard was located in the vicinity of the foot of State street, and
was subsequently occupied by Capt. Abiel Cheney, of whom it was said in the
30 SKETCHKS OF HUDSON.
paper of that day, that he had "given to Hudson a great reputation for the
building of substantial vessels." Other yards were opened immediately after
by Obed Sears, Marshal Jenkins, John T. Lacy, James Morgan and others.
One was located where the oil works of Messrs. Barnard, Curtiss and Mit-
chell subsequently stood, another on the present site of the Hudson River
railroad depot, and still another on the site of the new soap factory in the
South bay. As late as 1827, two large barges were built in the South bay,
very near the elm trees at the foot of the Universalist hill. As many as
five large ships have been known to be upon the stocks in these various yards
at one time. Launching days were frequent and were always kept as a hol-
iday. Booths were erected outside of the yard for the sale of refreshments —
which consisted principally of Mrs. Newberry's gingerbread, — schools were
dismissed, the people from the country came in, and with the greater part of the
population of the city, would gather at the yard and often wait patiently for
hours for the moving of the vessel, which was the signal for the firing of guns
and the cheers of the the crowd. In addition to the ship yards here, there
were yards at Athens, at which several of the largest vessels owned by Thom-
as and Marshal Jenkins were built.
In 1796 Leverett Cruttenden commenced the building of small boats, which
he continued until the year 1812, when through the influence of Elisha Wil-
liams he was induced to take charge of Congress Hall, Albany, which was
built for him. In his new capacity he was afterwards known as "the prince of
hotel keepers." His boat yard was a short distance South of the freighting
establishment of Messrs. Haviland, Clark & Co.
The first ship launched here was in 1785, by Jenkins and Gelston ; a ship
of three hundred tons, called the Hudson, and commanded by Capt. Robert
The extensive commerce of the city gave great life to every branch of bus-
iness connected with the building and fitting out of ships. Sail-making, black-
smithing, painting, rope-making and many other branches of industry, furnish-
ed emplojnnent to a large number of men.
In 1785 Thomas Jenkins, Josiah Olcott and others, built a rope-walk six
hundred feet long, on the westerly side of Third and North of State street, the
land having been granted by the proprietors for that purpose. The making of
ropes for many years was successfully carried on by Mr. Olcott, and about the
year 1830, the works passed into the hands of Messrs. Durfee, May & Co., who
for several years manufactured ropes of great length and size, for the use of in-
clined planes upon railroads. Many of these ropes were of such weight as to
SKETCHES OF HUDSOX. 31
require several yoke of oxen to convey them to the river, to be shipped. The
rope-walk was ever, with the boys, a favorite Saturday resort, the processes of
spinning and twisting amusing them, while its great length afforded an ample
field for gymnastics, chief of which was i\\Q foot-race. Many a staid citizen of
to-day, proved himself there a "fast young man."
In 1786 a brewery was established by Benjamin Faulkins, who stated in the
Gazette "that he had been regularly brought up to this philosophical branch
of business in England, and he did not doubt his brewery might become of
great utility to Hudson, by giving his ale the name of Hudson Ale," the prices
of which were : stock ale five dollars, and mild ale three dollars per barrel.
This brewery was upon the North side of the city, in the vicinity of the
In 1787 Seth Jenkins and Stephen Paddock built a hemp and ducking fac-
tory on Third street, upon the rear of the lot upon which stands the residence
of the late Kobert Rainey. Of the articles manufactured a portion were sent
to New York, but the greater part were used hy the sail-lofts here.
In 1789 Joseph Barnard built a wind grist mill upon Prospect Hill. The
site undoubtedly furbished the motive power in abundance, but "carrying grist
to mill," must have been far from a desirable task to his customers. The mill
was octagonal in shape, two stories in height, built of heavy oak timber, sides
shingled, and the wings, which were very strongly constructed, were nearly
seventy feet from the ground. In all the approaches to the city it was a very
prominent object and visible many miles distant. It remained there several
years and finally gave place to a house erected as a saloon for refreshments,
with the design of making the hill a place of public resort. The undertaking
did not succeed, and the building is now occupied as a dwelling at the foot of
the hill. The grist mill gave to the hill the name of "Wind-mill hill," by which
it was known for many years.
In 1784 the first store was built and opened by Cotton Gelston, upon the
site of the present residence of Garret Deyo ; his dwelling being the house
now occupied by Mr. Hiram Morrison. The store was a small two story frame
building, in the upper part of which he kept the Post Office, which was first
established here about the year 1790, up to which time, for all their mail mat-
ter, the people of Hudson had been obliged to go to Claverack village. He
continued in the office until the election of Thomas Jefferson to the Presi-
dency, when he was removed and Alexander Coffin appointed in his place.
Stores were opened shortly after Gelston's, by the Jenkins's, Frothingham,
Dayton, Worth and others.
32 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
The portion of the city at first most rapidly built up, was that nearest the
river ; AVater and Ferry streets being the first opened. Until the fires in late
years, this part of the city (that now occupied by Franklin Square, with that
lying South of it, now occupied by the buildings of Messrs. Hunt & Miller,
and the Hudson River Rail Road Co.,) remained very compactly built, and
longer than any other retained its primitive Quaker aspect.
Main, Union, Diamond, State, Front, Second and Third streets were im-
mediately laid out and opened by the committee chosen by the proprietors at
their first meeting ; but were at first little more than rough roads.
In 1792, after all the machinery of a city government was in operation, the
work of grading and widening the streets, and the building of sewers was ac-
tively entered upon.
1793, September 1st. An ordinance was passed directing the commence-
ment of the paving of the side-walks in Main street. Cotton Gelston, Am-
brose Spencer and Jared Coffin were appointed a committee to superintend
the work. Previous to this, there was no attempt at uniformity in the walks ;
some were stone, others were plank, and a great portion were naked ground.
It used to be said in wet weather, "that it cost two shillings to get a woman
out of the mud."
Front street, between Main and Union, required much heavy blasting and
and digging near its junction with Union street was crossed by a deep hollow,
over which was built a bridge. Through this hollow flowed a stream of water,
which was entered by another, where the County road crossed the street,
thence emptying into the South bay.
Main street was opened upon a ridge which sloped upon each side towards
the bay, and as far as Third street presented nearly a level surface, covered
with fields with a very few trees scattered through them. Upon the hills on
the North bay M^ere woods, while those upon the South were covered with
beautiful and extensive orchards. Commencing nearly midway between Third
and Fourth streets was a deep hollow over which at a very early date was a
bridge, the remains of which were found, during the construction of a sewer,
many years after. At this point, the street or road was so narrow as to afford
only room for the passage of one conveyance, and so low, that the ertrances to
the first houses erected were many feet above it, requiring plank leading from
the street up to the doors, in order to enter them. At the corner of Fourth
street was the "great hollow" over which in 1784 was built the "bridge with
stone buttments." This was a broad, deep hollow, requiring a bridge of con-
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 33
siderable length. The work of filling it was immediately undertaken, and so
far accomplished that the bridge was in a few years removed ; the labor hav-
ing been done mostly with hand carts. It remained for several years in a bad
condition, loaded wagons from the country frequently requiring assistance in
getting through it.
Above this, the street ascended somewhat unevenly, to the head of the
city, with ravines upon either side, so near, that when graded in after years,
the side-walks in some places required the support of plank and timbers.
About midway between Fifth and Sixth streets it was crossed by another
hollow of considerable extent. Fourth street was the upper end of the city,
and to the City Hall was considered a very lengthy walk. For many years
there was but a single dwelling above it, and in 1798 but one store, kept by
Isaac Northrop, where the store of Mr. Solomon Wescott now stands. A
few years after, Mr. Northrop purchased tLfarm including the laud upon which
the village of Athens now stands. Nearly all the stores were below Second
street, while Front street was occupied for the most part by shops devoted to
different mechanical branches. In a few years after, however. Front street was
built up with stores and residences of a substantial character, and became a
fair rival to Main street in appearance. Many of these are still standing, but
are now the abodes of a far different class of citizens. Business gradually fol-
lowed the growth of the city "up town," until at the present time the greater
part of the principal stores are located there.
The road up the Academy hill was opened by the Columbia Turnpike Com-
pany iu the year 1800. The Company was chartered in 1799, and was the
first Turnpike Company in the State. Not long after, the road leading out of
Main street in a Southerly direction, was opened by the Branch Turnpike
Company. The South Bay road was opened in 1806, by the Highland Turn-
pike Company, the President of which (Mr. Howland,) resided iu New York
city. ITie operations of this company extended from New York to Albany.
In 1823 and 24 the road connectiug Third street and the Bay road was con-
structed. Previous to this, there was nothing but a cow path leading up the
hill. In 1827 the road entering the city by Underhill's Pond was completed.
The two last roads were built by the city, and met with opposition from par-
ties whose interests suffered by their construction. It was thought that each
road helped to divert trade from the lower part of the city. Allen street was
opened about the year 1835, called after Lieut. William H. Allen. A portion
of it, that between Second and Third streets, was opened at a much earlier
date, and known as Federal street.
34 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
Hudson became a port of entry in 1790, the first Government officers being
Doct. Joseph Malcolm and Isaac Dayton. It was then rapidly growing in
commercial importance and seemed destined to become the second city in the
State. Some of the statements relative to the business of the city at that
period seem almost incredible, but there is no reason to doubt their accuracy.
In 1802, on the first day of March, twenty-eight hundred loaded sleighs
entered the city. We find this fact stated in the Columbia Balance of that
date. It is said to have been frequently the case, that a continuous line of
teams from the river extending into Main street, would be kept waiting, to dis-
charge in order their loads at the diSerent freighting establishments. The large
brick store-houses near the river, built at a very early date, and some of which
are still standing, confirm these statements. Fifteen vessels, heavily laden,
were often known to depart at one tAne.
The articles exported were beef, pork, shad, herring, staves, heading, hoop-
poles, leather and country produce generally. The packing of beef and pork
was very extensively carried on, a large number of cattle and hogs coming
from Berkshire County in Massachusetts. The slaughtering and packing
establishments were located chiefly upon the North side of the city. A
gentleman engaged in business in that day states that he has sold and shipped
in a single day as many as one thousand barrels each of beef and pickled her-
ring. Herring were much more abundant than at the present time. A vessel
of one hundred tons was known to have been filled, in the vicinity of Rogers'
Island, at one tide. In addition to the pickling of herring, shad were to some
extent put up and great quantities of herring were smoked and boxed. Staves,
heading, lumber and hoop-poles were largely exported to the West Indies,
the vessels in return bringing valuable cargoes of rum, sugar and molasses.
The only vessel from the "old world" ever known to have entered this port,
was a Dutch ship from Amsterdam, consigned to William Wall, which loaded
with lumber and returned to Holland. During its stay it was visited by a
large number of the Dutch people in the vicinity, delighted to see a vessel from
their "father land" and a crew who could speak their own tongue.
The English language was at this time scarcely ever used by the inhabi-
tants of this region. There were a few who could speak it, but their religious
services were in the Low Dutch tongue and in all their intercourse with each
other they used no other. It is said that the "Yankees," as the proprietors
were called, found great amusement in listening to the broken EngHsh of their
Dutch neighbors. One old citizen states that they frequently drew him out
S K K T C H E
in conversation, simply to have a laugh at hia expense, but he thinka he al-
ways had the advantage, for he ''knew what they said about him but they
couldn't tell what he said about them." It is said that for years, the proprie-
tors found their inability to understand the Dutch language, a difficulty in all
their business transactions. The Dutchmen would hear their propositions in
English, and discuss them among themselves in Dutch ; hence the proprietors
could never anticipate, the decision they were coming to.
We have the following amusing incident connected with a voyage of one of
the vessels to St. Domingo, loaded with lumber, which had been rafted down
the river very late in the fall, and shipped after the beginning of cold weather,
considerably covered with ice, some of which was found, upon her arrival out,
still clinging to it. It was the first ice the negroes had ever seen, and so terri-
fied were they by its touch upon their naked backs that they plurged over-
board whenever the sailors applied it. The crew enjoyed the sport so long
and heartily, that some severity was necessary upon the part of the Captain
before he could put an end to it and finish unloading.
During the winter months considerable trade was carried on with some of
the Southern ports of the United States, principally with Charleston, It was
a custom also for many of the mechanics of the city, to seek employment South
during the close of navigation. Many branches of industry were directly de-
pendent upon the commerce of the city, and gave employment to a much
larger number of men during the warm seasons than in winter, and those who
did not choose to remain idle sought employment South, returning in the
Spring. The articles of commerce with the South were provisions and general
country produce, in return the vessels bringing cargoes of cotton and rice, a
portion of which found a market at New York, but of the former article the
greater part was consumed here. Very few woolen goods were then used,
most families spinning, dyeing and manufacturing cotton into yarn and clothing.
We have heard much within the last year of "Charleston" and "cotton ;" our
ancestors were quite as familiar with both, but in a decidedly more pleasant
The early whale fisheries were very successful, the vessels usually returning
valuable cargoes of sperm oil. In 1797 the ship American Hero, Capt. Solo-
mon Bunker, returned from the Pacific Ocean with a cargo of sperm oil, which
at that time was the largest that had ever been brought into the United
States. Capt. Alexander Jenkins was the last living member of the crew
who made the voyage.
In Diamond street, between First and Second streets, were the oil and
36 SKETCHES ornuDSON.
candle works of Thomas Jenkins, and on the North East comer of Second
and State streets were those of Cotton Gelston. These works were as extensive
as any then existing, but the amount manufactured in one year was not as large
as the oil works of later years manufactured in one month. This was ascer-
tained upon examination, as a matter of curiosity.
When Tallyrand was travelling through the States, he visited Hudson and
was shown through the oil works of Thomas Jenkins, examining thoroughly in-
to all the mysteries and details of the manufacture of sperm candles.
Up to about the year 1800 the seal fishery was carried on to a considerable
extent. Five or six vessels were constantly engaged in it, bringing from the
Falkland and other islands in the South Atlantic, large numbers of fur and
hair seal skins, and usually with them, a quantity of (sea) elephant's oil. Many
of the skins were sold in New York, but the greater part were tanned here,
the leather being very generally used for shoes. The last voyage for seals was
made in the year 1799, in the ship Ajax, Capt. Pinkham, Zephaniah Coffin
first mate. Some of the Captains engaged in the seal fishery were accustomed
to tell wonderful stories of the islands which they visited ; among other things,
they boasted that they lived upon turtles so large, that one man could not turn
them over, and some of the eggs which they boiled were little less in size than
a man's head.
There were also several extensive tanneries located both in the North and
South Bay. Eobert Taylor, Nathan Sears, Marshal Jenkins, Giles Fi*ary and
David Bunker, each manufactured large quantities of leather, for a great por-
tion of which they found a market in New York.
Upon the site of the stove foundry of Messrs. Hunt & Miller stood a large
distillery. Two or three others, at different periods, were also in operation,
and the business of distilling was for many years successfully and profitably
In addition to the brewery of Mr. Faulkins, before mentioned, there was
another owned by Auchmoody, standing very nearly in the rear of the resi-
dence of Mr. L. G. Guernsey, and one other in the vicinity of the North Bay.
Near Auchmoody's brewery was also a pottery of some extent, carried on by
Joseph Shove. The amount manufactured at these different establishments
compared with similar establishments now, would appear veiy small, none of
the breweries turning out more than five barrels per day. There were, how-
ever, few more extensive than these any where to be found at that day.
In 1815 Hudson ceased to be a port of entry. Dm-ing the revolutionary
SKETCHES OF HUDSOK. 37
struggle in France, and long protracted war in Europe, there was a great de-
mand for neutral vessels. Large prices were paid for freight, and many of
the vessels owned here were engaged in the carrying trade. British orders
and French decrees swept many of thera away from their owners, others were
lost by shipwreck, and the war, embargo and non-intercourse gave a finishing
stroke to the commerce of Hudson. The losses at sea produced great em-
barrassment and many failures, and with the failure of the Bank of Hudson in
1819, brought losses upon many of the neighboring farmers, and the decline of
the prosperity of Hudson began. In 1830 there were but twelve sloops and
scows, varying from forty to one hundred tons burthen, owned here, and en-
gaged in trade with New York and Albany.
In 1829 the whale fishery was revived. Believing that Hudson offered
equal advantages, possessed equal enterprise, and could fairly rival those east-
ern cities which the whale fisheries had built up, a company was organized
and commenced operations at a time when the business of Hudson was in a
most languishing condition. The return of their first ships animated their
hopes, and the business was largely entered into ; as many as fourteen vessels
being at one time owned and fitted out here. The most valuable cargo re-
turned by a single vessel was valued at eighty thousand dollars. As many as
eight thousand baiTels of sperm oil were returned in a single year by the dif-
ferent vessels. An act was passed in 1833 by the Legislature, incorporating
the company, under the name of the "Hudson Whaling Company." Laban
Paddock was President, but all its business was for many years transacted
under the superintendence of Robert A. Barnard, Esq. Three vessels were
owned by the company, the remainder by individuals, and for many years the
fishery was carried on successfully, with a prospect of its becoming a source
of permanent prosperity to the city. In a few years after, however, from
causes beyond the control of those engaged in it, it declined, and in the year
1845, after bringing heavy losses upon many individuals, it was abandoned.
The last ship, the Martha, was sold in that year. Then it was that Hudson
was called "a finished city."
Until the year 1807, all of the freighting and carrying of passengers was by
sloops, of which there were several lines, owned by Hathaway, Coffin, Hoge-
boom, Edmonds, Folger, Hyatt, Van Hoesen and others, all previous to 1800.
Mr. Edmonds was a clerk to Col. Van Allen when the settlement was made,
and succeeded him in his business after his death. Capt. John Hathaway
advertised that Jus sloops had better accommodations than any other upon
38 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
the river. In 1790, the Captain advertised that he would be pleased to have
any body to whom he was in debt, "call upon him and get their pay if they
A trip to Xew York was made by sloops, under the most favorable circum-
stances of wind and tide, in twenty-four hours, but oftener occupied four or
five days. An average trip occupied from two to three days. The usual rate
of fare was three dollars, the company finding '-board and lodging," or one
dollar and fifty cents, passengers "finding themselves."
In the year 1806, two packets were built and run exclusively for passengers,
not even a package of goods being allowed to be carried upon them. They
were each of one hundred tons burthen, with 'three lengths of berths in their
after cabins, five in their great cabins, the forecastle being occupied by the
hands." They sailed from Hudson and Xew York alternately, on the Sunday
and Wednesday mornings of each week, and made the trip in time varying
from ten to thirty hours, charging five dollars fare and finding everything.
They were called the Experiments, and were commanded by Capt's. Laban
Paddock and ElihuS. Bunker, by whom they were built and owned, and are
said to have been the first vessels ever built in this country for the carrying
of passengers only. In speaking of them a Xew York paper at that time,
commented upon the utility of such a line, and hoped their success would
''induce its adoption in every town of consequence upon the river. No com-
petition need be feared from anything which sailed upon the river." Shortly
after the establishment of this line, a steamboat commenced to run regularly
and the "Experiments" were not found to be a profitable investment and were
put to other uses.
On the ITth day of August, 1807, Fultoc's steamboat, the Clermont, passed
here, through the Western channel, making the passage from Xew York in
thirty-three hours, "without the use of sails or oars, being propelled by a com-
mon water wheel which was moved by the assistance of machinery with steam."
On her return trip next day she gratified the citizens of Hudson by making
her passage through the Hudson channel. Every spot which aflforded a view
of the river, was crowded with people eager to get a view of "the great curios-
ity." Her average rate of travel was between five and six miles an hour. Not
long after her first trip she came from X"ew York in twenty-seven hours, land-
ing here with one hundred and twenty passengers, which fact was considered
worthy of a special notice. About the same time, the Hudson Bee made the
following announcement, doubtless a very pleasant one, to its readers :
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 39
"HERE S YOUR BEAUTIES OF LOBSTERS."
"These with sea bass, cod aud black fish, jmnpiiiE: and alive in Hudson market,
afford quite a dainty to an epicure one hundred and twenty miles from the
ocean. They are brought here on the Steamboat, and sold in the brick market
fresh and in good order, every time she arrives from New York."
We find in the Bee of June 1808, the following curious advertisement :
For the Itifomiation of the Public.
fTHE steamboat will leave New York for Albany every Saturday
-^ afternoon, exactly at 6 o'clock — and will pass
West Point about 4 o'clock Sunday morning.
Newburgh. 7 do.
Poughkeepsie, 11 do.
Esopus, 2 in the afternoon.
Redhook, 4 do.
Catskill, 7 do.
Hudson, 9 in the evening,
She will leave Albany for New York every Wednesday morning, exactly at
8 o'clock, and pass
Hudson about 3 in the afternoon.
Esopus, 8 in the evening.
Poughkeepsie,12 at night.
Newburgh, 4 Thursday morning.
West Point, 7 do.
As the time at which the Boat may arrive at the different places above
mentioned may vary an hour more or less according to the advantage or dis-
advantage of wind and tide, those who wish to come on board will see the ne-
cessity of being on the spot an hour before the time. Persons wishing to
come on board from any other landing than here specified, can calculate the
time the Boat will pass, and be ready on her arrival. Inn-keepers or boatmen,
who bring passengers on boai-d, or take them ashore, from any part of the
river, will be allowed one shilling for each person.
Prices of Passage — From New York.
To West Point $2 50
Newhurgh 3 00
• Poughkeepsie 3 50
Esopus 4 00
Redhook 4 50
Hudson 5 00
Albany 7 00
To Hudson 82 00
Redhook 3 00
Esopus 3 50
Poughkeepsie 4 00
Newbm-gh and West Point 4 50
New York 7 00
All other passengers are to pay at the rate of one dollar for every twenty
miles, and a half a dollar for every meal they may eat.
40 SKETCHES OF H U- D S O N .
Children from 1 to 5 years of age to pay one third price and sleep with the
persons under whose care they are.
Young persons from 5 to 15 years of age, to pay half price, provided they
sleep two in a berth, and whole price for each one who requests to occupy a
Servants who pay two-thirds price are entitled to a berth ; they pay half
price if they do not have berth.
Every person paying full price is allowed 60 lbs. of baggage ; if less than
whole price, 40 lbs. They are to pay at the rate of three cents a pound for
surplus baggage. Store-keepers who wish to carry light and valuable mer-
chandise, can be accommodated on paying three cents a pound.
Passengers will breakfast before they come on board ; dinner will be served
up exactly at 2 o'clock ; tea, with meats, which is also supper, at eight in the
evening ; and breakfast at 9 in the morning ; no one has a claim on the stew-
ard for victuals at any other hour.
The first steamboat owned here was the Legislator, purchased in the year
1828, by the "Hudson Tow Boat Company," Previous to this a company,
consisting of Messrs. Plumb, Hammond, Wiswall and Reed had built barges
for the transportation of freight, which were towed to New Tork by steam-
boats running from Albany.
The Hudson Tow boat Company, succeeded the freighting firm of Judah
Paddock and Co., established by Capt. Judah Paddock in 1818, doing busi-
ness in the building still occupied for that purpose by Haviland, Clark & Co.,
It was at this period that the business interests of Hudson were in a depressed
state. Power, Livingston & Co., were a firm also somewhat extensively en-
gaged in the freighting business, about the year 1812. They carried on also
an extensive mercantile business in the store for many years past known as
the hardware Store of Mr. Israel Piatt. A gentleman states that from that
store in 1813 he conveyed to Boston for them, a wagon load of flour, for the
use of the army. The principal members of the firm were Capt. John Power
and Moncrief Livingston. Capt. Power throughout his life was an active, en-
terprising citizen, alive to everything which would promote the prosperity yf
During the close of navigation passengers were conveyed by stages, running
from New York to Albany ; we find mention made of a line of stages as early
as 1787. There was also a line connecting Hudson with Hartford, Conn.,
and a weekly line between Hudson and Albany, at the same time.
The fare from New York to Albany by stage was ten dollars, two trips
being made in a week. The stopping place in Hudson was at the tavern of
Russel Kellogg, which pointed itself out to the traveler by a huge sign, upon
which was conspicuously painted a portrait of Gen. Washington in full uni-
form, on horseback. This was the second public house erected in Hudson
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 41
and stood upon the site of the Worth House. It wiis kept in later years by
Samuel Bryan, "whose good coaches, excellent horses, skillful drivers, strict
attention to the wants, comforts and convenience of his visitors, obtained for
his house the emphatic title of the Traveller's Home." Mr. Bryan's was also
the "stage house," and it was to accommodate the great amount of travel by
stage, that the Hudson House (now the Worth House) was built, in the year
1837. It was not an uncommon thing at that day, for two hundred passengers
to stop here daily for meals, during the winter months, and of the large num-
ber of visitors to the Springs at New Lebanon during the Summer, the greater
part were sent there by stages from this place. With the construction of the
various railroads, this source of prosperity to Hudson was also cut off. The
first public house in Hudson was kept by Col. McKinstry, upon the site of
the residence of Robert W. Evans. This house held out for its sign a por-
trait of the King of Prussia. Most of the public houses in the vicinity were
at that time designated by a sign bearing the portrait of some crowned head
of the old world. In the year 1793 a number of the ''fast young men" of that
day, to whom these signs were distasteful, made a visit to most of them and
demolished them. On their return they paid a visit to the tavern of Joseph
Horn, standing upon the site of the public house of Mr. S. S. Martin, which
was then quite out of town, and converted the lower rooms of the house in a
vei7 short space of time into one. The King of Prussia next received their
attention and shai-ed the fate of the others. Their proceedings were brought
to a close by honoring Mr. Kellogg's sign of Gen. Washington with three
cheers ; "a tiger" probably uc t yet having been heard of. They were subse-
quently prosecuted and made to pay heavy damages ; Horn recovering about
three hundred dollars.
• The first bank was chartered in 1792. This was the Bank of Columbia,
and was the third chartered in the State, one other being located at New
York and another at Albany. The building known in later years as the
"Hosmer house," and for many years the residence of Mr. Prosper Hosmer,
standing near the foot of Warreu street, was built exclusively for the use of
this Bank. It was afterwards, about the year 1803, moved to the corner of
Second and Main streets, and occupied the second story of the building now
used by James Best & Co. as a meat market, going thence to the building
occupied at present by the Hudson River Bank. Its first President was
Thomas Jenkins. James Nixon first Cashier. It failed in 1829.
The second Bank was organized in 1808, called the Bank of Hudson. It
42 SKETCHES OFHUDSON.
occupied, at first, the rooms oii the corner of Second and Main streets, until
the building now occupied as a residence by Hon. Henry Hogeboom, was
erected for its use. Its first President was John C. Hogeboorc, and Gorham
A. Worth first Cashier. It failed in 1819.
The third Bank, the Hudson Kiver, was organized in 1830, occupying the
building of the present bank of same name, and continuing under the presi-
dency of Oliver Wiswall, until its charter expired in the year 1855. In that
year the present Hudson River Bank commenced operations under Robert A.
Barnard as its first President.
The Fanners' Bank was organized in the year 1835, Elihu Gifford its first
and present President.
The Hudson Savings Bank was instituted in the year 1850.
Niobe Nixon, a lady whose remains were brought here for interment dur-
ing the past winter, was for many years a clerk in the Bank of Columbia. It
was much more customary at that day than at the present, for women to fill
positions of that nature, and in the early days of Hudson, places of business
conducted by women were far more numerous than now. Particularly was
this the case among the Friends or Quakers. Within the early recollection
of the writer several such still existed, two or three of which, although small,
had quite a local reputation.
In Union street, near the corner of Second, was the store of Elizabeth
Stratton ; she the embodiment of Quaker neatness, and her store and stock
partaking of it. This was a favorite trading place with Friends. Her judg-
ment and taste were thought to make up for a somewhat limited stock, and
it was always remarked, "that somehow Elizabeth Stratton managed to suit
Near the lower end of Warren street was another store noted among Friends,
that of Mary J. CofiBn, who ofiered a greater variety than Elizabeth Stratton,
but Was always said "to charge more."
There was still another in the lower part of Warren street, quite as well
known as the two former, kept by a worthy Friend, who is still a resident of
Idleness was not tolerated by the early Quaker creed. Even the celebrated
Hannah Barnard did not deem it beneath her to do something to help on the
world ; so she gave to it a "soothing balm for every wound :" "Cousin Han-
nah's salve." Hundreds to-day call her blessed, who remember and of old
rejoiced in its relief-giving virtues. Its use was extensive, scarcely a family
SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
being without it. We have been kindly favored, for pubhcation, with the old
lady's recipe for making it, in the hope that as one of the early "institutions"
of Hudson it may be restored. It has long been numbered among the "lost
arts :" "Take 2 oz. Burgundy pitch, 1-2 oz. of beeswax, and melt them with
one even table-spoonful of hog's lard. Spread it when used on a piece of old
nankeen or cotton cloth ; better than leather. Compress it close on the part
Of the first public movement in relation to the protection of the city against
fire, we have the following facts :
As early as 1792, considerable anxiety was felt upon the subject, and the
press urged upon the citizens great caution, picturing the terrible suffering
which must result from a conflagration. As there was to be considerable
building in that year, it suggested, as a matter of safety, that the buildings
should not be placed too near together. In the month of November, 1793, &
number of citizens, deeming it necessary for their safety to purchase an engine,
circulated a subscription for that purpose. Twenty citizens, it is said, "im-
mediately showed themselves forward enough to sign it," and the necessary
amount was secured to purchase such an engine as might subsequently be
agreed upon. They petitioned the Common Council that they might be
privileged to form themselves into a company. Kobert Jenkins, Erastus Fratt
and Laban Paddock were appointed a committee to organize the Company
and wait on Benjamin Cady to contract for an engine, to be completed in three
months. It was to cost £100, hold one hundred and eighty gallons, be con-
structed with four pumps, to throw three hundred feet 1 also, to "be fixed with
a suction and do good execution."
The engine not being finished as soon as was expected, before its comple-
tion another company had been formed and an engine purchased by them.
On the 17th day of April, 1791, it was i-esolved by the Common Council
that the following persons be aj)pointed Firemen to superintend Fire Engine
No. 1, to wit :
John Kemper, JoKijithan Parington,
44 SKETCHES OF H C D 5 O K .
That H. L. Hosmer and Levi "WTieaton, be a committee to draog^ some
Bye-laws to regulate the said Company.
1794, Xov. 10th. A Company was organized for the engine before refff-
red to, calling themselves Company Xo. 2, by the following persons :
Samuel Mansfield, Eobert Jenkins,
Pelee Thurston, Samuel Lawrence,
Cotton Gelston, Erastus Pratt,
John H. Dayton, James Mookler,
Laban Paddock. William Jenkins,
Arthur McArthur, Benjamin Lane,
Amiel Jenkins, John "Walgrove,
Reuben Folder, Samuel Plomb,
Benjamin Allen, Oliver Gelston-
They resolved to meet monthly, on the last Saturday of every month, and
adopted as their uniform '•a white jacket and trowsers," with a leather cap. —
The uniform of Xo. 1 was at first a green flannel jacket with leather cap.
In 1794, the Common Council directed two houses to be built. ''suitable for
the wants of the companies and the protection of their engine." Tbiej wwe
located, one in Third street and one near the lower market, and were of very
small dimensions, but they managed, nevertheless to accommodate companies
of considerable numbers. The "wants" of the Firemen of that early day were
comparatively few. The engines were both very small. Xo. 2 being the largest
and most powerful. No. 1 in after years was called the "pocket machine,'*
and '-sausage stuflfer," and fijially became a plaything for the juveniles in her
In 1S03, Company Xo. 3 was formed, and in 180S a petition was presented
to the Council for the organization of Company Xo. 4, bat we have nothing
further relative to either Company.
In July. 17S5. -Chimney Tiewers"' were appointed, and many regulations
were established for the protection of the city, and for the prevention of fires.
It was required by an ordinance, that the owner of every house with three
fire-places should provide two leather buckets, and every house with more than
three fire-places, three leather buckets, sufficient to contain at least two gal-
lons of water. Brewers, bakers and tavern keepers were required to furnish
them to hold three gallons. They were to be marked with the owner's initials
and kept haniring up in some conspicuous place in the entry, near the fix)nt
door, ready to be used for extinguishing fires. They were to be furnished by
the owner of the dwelling, or, if by the tenant, the price was deducted from
his rent, and for every month after notice he failed to provide, he was to for-
feit six shiUings for each bucket-
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 45
In 1794, the Overseers of the engines were required after a fire to cause all
the buckets to be collected and carried to the Market House, that the citizens
might know where to find them, and if injured to cause them to be repaired
at the expense of the city ; and if any were lost, they were replaced, upon
proper proof of the fact, by the city. Any person detaining them from the
owner above twenty-four hours after any fire, forfeited for every one so detain-
ed twenty shillings.
Fire Wardens were appointed, whose duty it was, immediately upon a cry of
fire, to repair to the place, to direct the inhabitants in forming themselves in-
to ranks, for handing the buckets to supply the engines with water. The citi-
zens were enjoined to comply with the directions of such wardens, and it was
expected that all other persons would refrain from giving orders or directions,
and cheerfully obey such as were given by authorized persons. It was cus-
tomary for the women to aid in the hues for passing the buckets, they usually
passing up the empty line, while the men returned them filled.
The Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen, upon such occasions, were to carry a
wand five feet, at least, in length, painted white, with a gilded flame at the
top. The Fire Warden was to carry a speaking trumpet in his hand, painted
white, and each Fireman was required to provide himself with a leather cap,
with the crown painted white, or forfeit the sum of six shillings for every
month he neglected to do so.
It was enjoined upon all the citizens, in case of a fire in the night, to place
lighted candles in their windows, in order that the inhabitants might pass
through the streets in safety, and to throw their buckets into the street, that
there might not be delay in obtaining them.
1799, Nov. 9th. Paul Dakin was appointed to procure four small fire-
hooks, chains, ropes, poles, and six ladders, from twelve to sixteen feet long,
with hooks and brads, to be used at fires in pulling down buildings.
Robert Folger and others were appointed 'bag-men," to preserve and secure
property at fires, and were directed to procure bags and other implements ne-
cessary for that purpose.
Simple and curious as these regulations may seem at the present day, they
were doubtless efiFective at a period when fires were much less frequent than
now, and a fire depaitment as efiBcient as that of which Hudson now boasts,
was not known in the countiy.
The first fire in the city was the bookstore and printing office of Ashbel
Stoddard, in 1787 or 8S, of which we find the following accomit :
"The organization of the fire department being extremely deficient, there
46 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
being no engines, no buckets, no water, no firemen ; the fire was left to lake
its own covu-se, and it accordingly raged not only unchecked, but unmolested.
Fortunately the night was calm, and the flames ascended directly upwards, to
the very skies, carrjnng with them innumerable fragments of papers and burn-
ing books, blazing as they flew ; filling the whole air with their fiery forms, and
then descending in every direction, covering the town as with a shower of
falling stars. Such a scene, so beautiful, was not easily to be forgotten."
The first fire of magnitude was in 1825, commencing in the alley south of
Warren street, near First, extending through Warren to Diamond, destroying
in its rapid progress a large number of buildings. First street was opened
immediately after this fire. In later years few places have suffered more fre-
quently and heavily from fires than Hudson ; that portion of the city nearest
the river having undergone an almost entire change from that cause.
There seems to have existed in the early days of Hudson a much greater
military spirit than in later years, and we find a military company in existence
almost as soon as the city was incorporated. The first organized was pro-
bably in the year 1786, a company of artillery, under the command of Capt.
Daniel Gano, called Gano's Artillery, of a parade of which we find mention
made in 1787, but have no account of its numbers or officers.
In 1788 mention is also made of another company, under the command of
Capt. Thomas Frothingham, called Frothingham's Artillery, numbering about
fifty members, but beyond an allusion to their appearance upon several public
occasions, we have no further account of them. They aided in "duly cele-
brating" the 4th of July in that year, of which celebration we have the follow-
ing report :
" Frothingham's Artillery ushered in the day with a salute of thirteen guns,
on the eminence near the river, which with thjee cheers enlivened the counte-
nances of the very numerous crowd present. At three o'clock in the after-
noon an elegant dinner was provided at Russel Kellogg's tavern, at which
was present a large number of the most respectable inhabitants of the city.
Patriotic toasts were drank, which were announced by a discharge of cannon.
The day closed with a most beautiful exhibition of fire-works, at which were
present a great many ladies and gentlemen from the adjacent country, who
seemed to retire extremely pleased with the evening's amusement."
This was the first general celebration of the day in Hudson. It was cele-
brated annually with much spirit afterwards, and as the bitterness of party
strife increased, political celebrations were introduced, and we have frequent
accounts of two celebrations, and occasionally the mechanics of the city, appa-
rently disgusted with both parties, added a third. One party had its orations
in the Presbyterian church, the other in the City Hall, and upon one or two
occasions, the Episcopal church was used.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
In 1786, Ezekiel Gilbert is spoken of as Brigade Major, and in 1788 Mai>
shal Jenkins as Adjutant of tlie Regiment.
In the month of August, in the year 1788, the two companies of Gano and
Frothinghara, appeared in Claverack for inspection by Gen. Fish, and were
highly complimented upon their "neat and soldierly appearance," each wearing
the continental uniform.
On the fourth day of July, 1792, intelligence was received that the Hon.
John Jay that day intended to stop at Hudson, on his way from the vil-
lage of Kinderhook, where he had been upon a visit. Steps were immediate-
ly taken to give him a "fitting reception." A cavalcade of two hundred gen-
tlemen was formed, who met and received him at the village of Claverack, and
after calling upon WilliamH. Ludlow, Esq., at his residence, " where they re-
galed themselves with a glass of wine," escorted him into the city. Upon
his arrival he was received by a salute from Frothingham's Artillery, and af-
ter " proceeding through the various streets, was taken to Eussell Kellogg's
tavern, where an elegant entertainment had been provided," his Honor, Seth
Jenkins, then lilayor, presiding. Mr. Jay drank to "the prosperity of Hud-
S071," which called out the Mayor in a speech, concluding with a toast to " ike
Man of the dcnj,'^ to which Mr. Jay replied at some length. During the eve-
ning he was waited upon by a large number of citizens, and upon the morning
following he sailed on board of the sloop Porapey for the residence of Gov.
Lewis, leaving amid the cheers of the people and the firing of cannon.
In 1793, a third company of Artillery existed, mider the command of Ben-
jamin Haxton, called Haxton's Artillery, and shortly after, a company of In-
fantry, under the command of Capt. Nicholas Hathaway, calling themselves
Hathaway's Infantry, wearing a black cocked hat, blue coat faced with red,
and white or blue pantaloons, but we find no account of either company beside
an allusion to them in the following proceedings of the Council, upon the re-
ceipt of the news of the death of Washington :
At a Common Council, holden in and for the City of Hudson, the 26th day
of Dec, 1799, Present Cotton Gelstou, Esq., Recorder, Elisha Pitkin, Paul
Dakin, Samuel Edmonds, Thomas Power, Aldermen. Robert Folger, Robert
Taylor, Silas Rand, Rafus Buckus, Assistants.
The Council having received certain accounts of the Death of our illustri-
ous, beloved General Washington, and being desirous of testifying their sor-
row in the most public manner, do Resolve that the citizens be immediately
notified to repair to the City Hall, to form a procession to the Presbyterian
Meeting House, where suitable prayers will be made by the Rev. Mr. Samp-
son, and an Eulogy will be spoken by Mr. Gilbert on the solemn occasion.
48 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
The procession to move in the following order :
Capt. N, Natliaway's Company of Infantiy with Ai-ms Reversed and Musick
Muffled & .Shrouded.
Recorder and Orator.
Common Council two and two.
Officers of the late Revolutionary Army.
Other Officers Civil and Military. »
Citizens two and two.
During the moving of the procession, the bell was tolled, all places of
business were closed and the citizens, wearing crape upon their left arms,
assembled in great numbers to listen to Mr. Gilbei't's touching and eloquent
eulogy, commencing with the words, "He is not dead, but sleepeth." Upon
this occasion, Haxton's Artillery fired minute guns.
After Hathaway's Infantry came the Wigton Artillery, commanded by Capt.
William Wigton. Their uniform consisted of a blue coat trimmed with
red, blue pantaloons with red stripe, and black cocked hat with red plume.
They numbered about seventy, and for many years were a large and well
drUled company. At this time party feeling was strong, and seems to
have been as fully carried into every department of life as at the present day.
The papers were filled with the most bitter personalities, each party had its
club, its bank, and each its military company.
The Hudson Greens, a company of Infantry, was the Federal company.
Their uniform consisted of a green coat and pantaloons, black hat and
green feather. They numbered about fifty members, and were commanded at
first by Capts. Samuel Canoll, Harry Croswell and Leverett Cruttenden.
The Wigton Artillery was the Republican Company.
Both the Wigton Ai-tillery and Hudson Greens were ordered ofiF in
the war of 1812 and stationed at New York. In this connection, it may be
an interesting fact to mention, that shortly after the opening of that war,
Gen. Scott, with seven hundred men, encamped over night in this city, upon
the open green then lying upon the easterly side of the present Court House.
Under the lead of Capt. John Hathaway, the General and his men were
supplied with wood, coffi^e and an abundance of the best of provisions. The
lighted camps were visited by a large number of citizens, and upon the fol-
lowing morning Gen. Scott proceeded upon his way North, passing up Main
street, himself the admii-ation of the hundreds crowding the sidewalks. Capt.
Hathaway was a generous hearted, pubUc spirited man, at the same time ex-
tremely close and particular in all matters of business. He was an ardent
SKETCHES OF H U S O N . 40
supporter of the war of 1812, tiiul gave largely in various ways in aid of the
In 1802. a company called the IFudson Rangers is mentioned as heading
the funeral procession of (Jen. Robert Van Rensselaer. They were coni-
niaiided by Nicliolas Hathaway. Sanutel Cunoll und Joseph D. Monc 11, woar>
ing as their Uniform short blue coats, trinuned with red, white pantaloons and
bear skin caps ; they cannot, however, properly be said to liave belonged to
Hudson, most of the ttiembci-a residing in the vicinity and in the town of
After the WIgton Artillery and Greens, came the Hudson City Guards and
Scotch I'laids, both of which companies did escort duty upon the visit of
Lttfayette to Hudson in 1824. Hudson was one of the first cities in the
Uniou M'hich sent a conmiittee of invitation to meet Lafayette in Xew York,
and tender him the hospitalities of the city. In the month of September,
in 1824, he start <;d upon the steamer James Kent, couunanded by Capt.
Samuel AViswall, or the "Couunodore" as he was styled, to visit the different
places upon the North river. Upon his arrival at the residence of the
Hon. Edward P. Livingston, the evening previous to his visit here, word
was sent to the city, when a committee of citizens, consisting of Rufus
Reed, Esq., Mayor, Doct. John Tullman, and Col. Stroilg, accompanied by
the two military companies mentioned, tlie Hudson Brass Band, Gen.
Jacob R. Van Rensselaer and suite, Brig. Gen. James Fleming and suite,
proceeded upon the steamboat Richmond, Capt. AVilliam J. AYiswall, to meet
Lafayette at Clermont and escort him to this city upon the day following.
In the evening the grounds and d^'elling of Mr. Livingston wefe beautifully
illuminated, and a ball giVcn, attended by several hundred people, among them
many of the movst distinguished citizens of the State. The military compa-
nies from this city \Vere quai-tered over night upon the James Kent, After
a short visit at Catskill, Lafayette reached Hudson about noon of the day
following, and "met with a recc'ption the most heartfelt and joyous ever
bestoiiVed Upon man." He was conducted to an elegant carriage drawn by
four black horses, attended by four grooms in livery, and accompanied by a
lengthy procession of military and citizens of Hudson and its vicinity, under
the direction of Col. Charles Darling as IMarshal of the day, was carried
through the principal streets, which were literally choked with people, to all
of whom Lafayette tried in vain to bow. Arches of evergreens were erected
at various points, bearing inscriptions of welcome, and that at thr' head of the
street was surmounted by a colossal figure of the Goddess of I^iberty, beal'ing
the Stars and Stripes in her hand. At the Court House, which was filled "by
50 SKETCHES O F H U D S O N .
elegantly dressed women," he was welcomed by his Honor, the Mayor, to
whom he replied in a brief speech. Sixty-eight veterans of the Revolution
were then presented to him, for each of whom he had a kind word ; after them
the military officers, lastly the "elegantly dressed women." Dinner had been
provided for a great number of people at Mr. Allen's tavern, the long room
of which had been beautifully decorated by the ladies. Over the chair design-
ed for Lafayette was suspended a beautiful wreath of flowers, enclosing an
appropriate poetical welcome, while around the room were the most tasteful
and elaborate decorations which had been anywhere seen upon his journey.
But these labors of love were all lost, ihe want of time preventing his remain-
ing for dinner ; he did, however, so great was the pressure of citizens upon him
in passing this point, alight, and after remaining for a short time and partaking
of a glass of wine, bade the multitude farewell, proceeded directly to the river
and embarked for Albany about the middle of the afternoon.
We take the particulars of this reception from the Commercial Advertiser
of that date, whose reporter accompanied Lafayette upon his extended tour
through the country.
In the year 1820, Hudson was A'isited by the Cadets from the Military Acad-
emy at AVest Point, who encamped on the Universalist Hill, remaining about
four days. Their camps covered the entire hill, which at that time was of
much greater extent than at present, much of it in later years having been
taken up by the construction of the road leading to the Bay, and the erection
of buildings. Hudson at that period, for the first time, being without a mili-
tary company, their reception was by a cavalcade of citizens under the direction
of a committee consisting of Cornelius Miller, Henry Dibbler and Robert A.
Barnard, appointed by the Common Council. A ball was given by the citi-
zens at Holley's tavern, during their stay, and the hospitalities of the city,
public and private, were so marked and generousas to draw from them a
warm expression of gratitude upon their departure.
The Hudson City Guards were organized about the year 1820, under Orville
ITolley as Capt., Daniel B. Tallmadge as 1st Lieut., Henty D. Parkman 2d
lieut., AVilliam Jenkins as Orderly Sergeant. Their uniform consisted of blue
coats, silvered buttons, white pantaloons, with a high bucket shaped leather
hat, surmounted by a white plume about half a yard in length. It was con-
sidered in its day a fine uniform, and the company always with full ranks
and spirited, was the pride of the city.
The Scotch Plaids were organized about the same time, under Darius Culver
as Capt., John Forbes 1st Lieut., Solomon Shattuck, Ensign.
S K E T C II E S O F HUDSON. 51
These two companies were rivals, but with good feeling. The uniform worn
by the Plaids was a frock coat and pantaloons of bright plaid, trimmed with
black and bright buttons. Tlie cap was one o'f black beaver, low, with a
cluster of black plumes upon its front, falling upon either side. It was an
attractive dress, and from its novelty, it is said, made the Plaids always the
favorite company with young Hudson.
There was also at this time a military company at Athens, known as the
Athens Lafayette Guards. There seems also to have been an association
in this city known as the Hudson Military Association, but it numbered only
a few members, and we can get no information of its particular oi)jcct or
character. It formed a part of the procession upon the occasion of the inter-
ment of Lieut. Allen's remains in 1827.
Lieut. Wm. H. Allen, who was distinguished as an officer and gi-eatly es-
teemed as a citizen, was a native of Hudson. He was appointed midshipman
in 1808, and a lieutenant in 1811. In 1813 he took a conspicuous part in
the engagement between the Argus and the Pelican, and was killed while in
command of the Alligator, in an attempt to rescue some merchant vessels
from a gang of pirates. His remains were first interred at Matanzas, and sub-
sequently, after a correspondence between Oliver Wiswall, Esq., then Mayor
of the city, and the Secretary of the Kavy, were removed by the United
States Government to this city. The news of his death was received here in
the month of December, 1822, casting a general gloom over the city. A
public meeting was held at the City Hall, at which Alexander Coffin, Am-
brose L. Jordan and Doct. Samuel White presided, and a eulogy^ pronounced
by the Hon. James Strong.
On the fifteenth of December, 1827, the schooner Grampus arrived at New
York, having on board the remains of the lamented hero. On the reception
of this intelligence, the Common Council deputed Mr. Reed, former Mayor,
and Mr. Edmonds, the Recorder, to receive and bring them to his native
city. On the Wednesday following, they were removed from the Navy Yard
at Brooklyn, under the escort of the marine corps of that station, and accom-
panied by Commodore Chauncey and a numerous body of naval officers. The
colors at the Yard, and at New York, were at half-mast, and the procession
landed at New York amid the firing of a salute from the Grampus, which
had been moored in the stream for that purpose. At New York the proces-
sion was joined by the Common Council of that city, and an immense con-
course of citizens and officers, and moved across the city to the steamboat,
which brought them to Hudson. Here a'salute was fired by a detachment of
62 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
artillery, aud by the marine coj-ps, and the remains were delivered by Commo-
dore Chaunc(?y to the Hudson deputation. His remains were accompanied to
Hudson by tlie followini;; officers of the Navy : Lieuts. Francis H. Gregory,
George N. Hollins, William D. Newman, John R. Coxe, John Swartwout
and Alexander M. Mull ; sailing-master Bloodgood, and midshipmen Lynch.
Nichols, Schermerhorn, Lawrence and Pinckney, and arrived early on Thurs-
day morning. 'J'hey were welcomed by a national salute, aud were escorted
to the dwelling of Capt. Alexander Coffin, and afterwards followed to the
grave yard by a detachment of military and a numerous escort of citizens,
which moved in the following order :
Hudson City Guards.
Athens Lafayette Guards.
The ^Military under command of Col. William A Dean,
with standards furled and drums muffled.
The Reverend Clergy.
Borne by Lieuts. Gregory, Hollins, Newman, Coxe, Swartwout and Mull, the
Midshipman Lynch, and Nichols.
Mourners, including Messrs. Bloodgood, Schermerhorn, Lawrence,
Pinckney of the United States Navy.
Hudson Military Association.
Brigadier General Whiting and his suite.
The Mayor and Recorder.
Clerk and Marshall of the City.
Clerk and Sheriff of the County.
Committee of Arrangements.
While the procession moved, the bells of the city were tolled, and minute
guns were fired from Parade hill. On its arrival at the grave-yard, the body
was conveyed in front of the line of the military resting on arms reversed, and
was committed to the earth, near the grave of Lieut. Allen's mother. Tlie fu-
neral service was read by the Rev. Mr. Stebbins, and a volley fired over the
grave by the military. The procession then returned to the United States
Hotel, where it was dismissed.
At three o'clock, P. M., the naval officers sat down to a public dinner, given
them by the citizens, at which about one hundred citizens were present.
The evening was spent at the hospitable mansion of Col. Livingston.
On Friday the officers paid their respects to the Mayor, and departed amid
the roar of cannon, with the heartfelt gratitude of the whole city for their
generous attention on this occasion. The following correspondence took
place between the officers of the Navy and the committee :
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 53
Hudson, December 21, 1827.
The officers of the Xavy assembled on the present mchincholy occasion, re-
ciprocating the sentiments expressed by the citizens of Hudson, return tlioir
tlianks for the unparalleled tribute paid to the memory of their late <rallaiit as-
sociate. They at the same time return their acknowledirments for tlio liberal
hospitality whicli has characterized the whole jiroceedinij ; and in departinjr,
beg leave to say, tliat whether applied to the individual or professional stand-
ing of their departed member, the conduct of the citizens is alike honorable to
their feelings and principles as men and patriots. Laboring under emotions
too powerful to be conveyed in adequate language, they tender the committee
a grateful and affectionate farewell.
Jlvomv, Dece7nher 21, 1827.
The committee of the city of Hudson, in acknowledging the favor of the of-
ficers of the Navy, assembled on this occasion of paying the last honors to tlie
memory of the lamented Ai.len, gladly avail themselves of this opportunity to
assure those gentlemen of the high sense entertained by this whole community
of the obligation conferred upon them, by the attendance of individuals deser-
vedly distinguished for their public and private worth ; as the committee can-
not entertain a dpubt that the lives of those officers of the Navy will be as
honorable, so they cannot but hope that their deaths will be as glorious, and
their memories as much respected as those of the gallant and unfortunate Wil-
liam Howard Allen. By order of the committee.
DAYID WEST, Chairman.
William A. Dean, Secretary.
The fine marble monument which marks his resting place, was erected to his
memory by the citizens of his native place in 1833.
With the disorganization of the two companies of Guards and Plaids, the
military spirit seems entirely to have died out. The Hudson Light Guards,
afterwards the Worth Guards, under the command of Capt. E. P. Cowles, ex-
isted for a few years, and attempts have since been made to organize other
companies but without success. Recently two companies, composed exclu-
sively of Irish citizens, have been formed which maintain thus far a creditable
We have spoken of Lieut. Allen, of the U. S. Navy. Hudson may be
proud of having given birth likewise to a distinguished officer of the Army,
Gen. Wm. J. Worth, whose remains also should have found a resting place
here. Gen. Worth was born in 1794, in the house, which is still standing,
upon the southerly side of Union street, three doors from Second. He was
for some time a clerk in this city, and entered the army in 1813. He was
rapidly promoted, and after rendering valuable and distinguished service in the
^Mexican War, died in Texas in the year 1849. His remains were interred in
New York city. In the summer of 1844 Gen. AVorth visited this city and
received from its citizens an elegant and valuable sword as a testimonial of
54 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
the esteem in which they held him, both i,s a soldier and a man. That, with
several others presented by the Government of the United States and the citi-
zens of other places, can at any time be seen in the State Library at Albany.
The most imposing military display ever witnessed in Hudson was the re-
view of the companies stationed here during the "Anti-Eent War" of 1844.
In the autumn of that year the spirit of rebellion winch for months previous
had existed among the tenants of the Manor landc in Albany and Rensselaer
counties, began to manifest itself in the Southern or Manor towns of Columbia,
and frequent meetings were held for the purpose of adopting measures to re-
sist the payment of their rents. The "patriots" of Albany and Rensselaer
pointed their "fellow-sufferers" of Columbia to the successes in their own coun-
ties, urged upon them the justice and feasiljility of resisting the demands of
the legal proprietors of the soil, and finally induced them to adopt their law-
less views and follow their directions.
In the month of November a general meeting of the tenants was held in
the town of Taghkanic, the result of which was the formation of an association
styling itself the "Taghkanic Mutual Association," with the following officers :
John I. Johnson, President.
James M. Strever, George I. Rossman, Peter Poucher, Samuel A. Tanner,
George I. Finkle, Vice Presidents.
Philip B. ^liller, Treasurer.
Anthony Poucher, Recording Secretary.
Peter Poucher, Corresponding Secretary.
John Bain, James M. Strever, Executive Committee.
Their articles of association were prefaced by the following high-sounding
"Whereas, it has pleased the All-wise Providence to awaken the attention
of this community to a lively sense of the great injustice of the present system
of land ownership, by the laws of this State, permitting individuals to hold
large tracts of land for which they have never rendered any equivalent to the
State or Nation ; and whereas the happiness and prosperity of this and future
generations depend in a great measure upon our exertions to blot from our
statute-book the last relics of Feudalism ; We, therefore, in imitation of our
Patriotic fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the better
to accomplish our freedom, do adopt the following Constitution, and solemnly
pledge our honor to abide by the articles therein contained."
After the adoption of the constitution and by-laws for the regulation and
government of the association, they pledged themselves to use all lawful and
honorable means to rid themselves of their unjust burthens, and that they
would neither make to nor accept any proposition from any person claiming
land under the Livingston patents, for the payment of rent or the purchase of
the soil, without the consent of a majority of the association.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
lu addition to this association, tliere was an extensive organization of the
t enants into tribes of "Indians," under the direction of Chiefs "JJig Thunder,"
(Smith A Boughton,) and "Little Thunder," (Mortimer C. Belding.) of Eensse-
laer county, whose special oliject was to forcibly resist the officers of the coun-
ty in the discharge of their duties.
The writer witnessed the first gathering of the "Indians" in the town of
Tag'hkanic, in the month of November in that year. It is not possible to give
any description which would convey an accurate idea of their ridiculous, yet
hideous appearance. Every species of disguise had been adopted which
would most successfully prevent recognition. All wore uniforms of calico,
to which were added the skins and tails of various beasts, horns and feathers,
tin ornaments and other dcconitions, according to the fancy of the "native."
The faces of some were covered witii masks of calico, others blaclvcfied, others
painted red ; and their arms were as varied as their disguises. Gttns, pistols,
hatchets, spears, clubs, being carried without any attempt at uniformity.
After a short drill by their Chief, they were marched around for the benefit
of the spectators, to the inspiring strains of "Dan Tucker," played upon a
single fife, accompanied by a small drum, and were then addressed by Big
Thunder, who dwelt upon their wrongs, the justice of their cause, counselling
them to stand firm by their motto "down with the rent," and resist any
attempt to collect it by the strong arm of the law ; to all of which the tribes
responded by a whoop of the genuine sort and a terrible brandishing of weap-
ons. After this speech a song was sung, the chorus of which ran as follows :
"Git out of the way, big Bill Snj'der, —
We'll tar your coat and feather your hide, Sir!"
Before the adjournment of this interesting meeting, the writer who had
been sent there, if possible to discover who participated in its proceedings,
had taken the advice given to "big Bill Snyder," and was a respectable dis-
tance " out of the way."
On the 12th day of December, 1844, the first forcible resistance to the
Sherifip, Henry C. Miller, was offered in the town of Copake, where he attempt-
ed to serve processes and make sale of property belonging to disaffected par-
ties. It was deemed advisable that he should undertake the duty without an
accompanying force, and he proceeded to the spot with a single individual.
On their approach pickets were discovered stationed along the road, and upon
arriving at Copake they were met by a force of three hundred "Indians" and
a concourse of about fifteen hundred people not in disguise. He was taken
into a room of a public house in the vicinity, by Big Thunder and six other
56 SKKTCHES OF HUDSON.
Chiefs, who stated that he would not be permitted to proceed iu the discharge
of his dltlies. Swords were drawn, pistols placed at his breast, his papers
demanded and given to them, which were subsequently burned in the presence
of the crowd.
Trhe return of the SherifT and the report of his reception produced the most
intense excitement in the city. It was evident that force would have to be
met by force, and a general determination was manifested upon the part of the
citizens to uphold and vindicate the law at any sacrifice.
On the 18th day of December Big Thunder was advertised to address a
meeting of the tenants of the lands under the Van Rensselaer title, at Smokey
Hollow, in the town of Claverack. The fame of the "orator of the day,'' and
the curiosity to see the Indians drew together an immense concourse of peo-
ple. The Indians appeared in force, and during their antics a young man
among the spectators by the name of W. H. Rifenburgh was killed by the fir-
ing of a pistol, whether intentionally or not could not be clearly established.
News of the occurrence being received in the city, upon consultation, the
Sheriflf determined to proceed to the spot and attempt an arrest of Big Thun-
der. Joseph D. Moaell volunteered and was the only individual who accom-
panied him. They reached Smokey Hollow towards evening, after the meet-
ing had broken up and most of the Indians had laid aside their disguises.
Big Thunder was found sitting very unconcernedly,- in conversation with sev-
eral individuals, in a back room of the tavern, and was without ceremony
made a prisoner by the Sheriff. He offered no resistance until reaching the
front door, where, surrounded by a number of his followers, he drew his pistol
and attempted an escape, and would have succeeded but for the intrepidity of
John S. Anable and Deputy Sheriff Thomas Sedgewick, who were present at
the time. During a severe struggle in which the clothing of the parties suffer-
ed severely, he was overpowered and secured. Little Thunder was also ar-
rested and with his fellow chief brought in and confined in Jail. Upon their
arrival in town they were followed to prison by an immense crowd, who gave
vent to their feelings in the most Vociferous cheers. On the day following, an
examination was commenced before Judges Wilcoxson and Peck, at the Court
House, conducted by Theodore Miller, Esq., then District Attorney, upon the
part of tiie People, Henry Z. Hayner, of Troy, and James Storm, Esqrs., ap-
pearing as counsel for the prisoners. Upon the ari-est of Big and Little Thun-
der, the excitement was no less intense in the country than iu the city.
INfeetings private and public were held and threats so freely thrown out, that if
men and nioi:ey could accomplish the rescue of the prisoners they should not
be wanted, that it was deemed advisable to take immediate steps for the pro-
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 57
tection of the Jail and safety of the prisoners. Anns and ammunition were
procured from Albany, and the fullest preparation made to meet any attempt
at rescue. On Thursday following the arrest, a public meeting- was held at
the Court House, which was addressed by H P. Cowles, lleniy 1 Togeboom
and Josiah Sutherland, Esqrs., urging upon the citizens the importance of
taking a bold stand in favor of law and order. A committee, consisting of
Col. Charles Darling, E. P. Cowles, Killian Miller, Rufus Reed and Warren
Rockwell, was appointed to report some plan of organization for the protec-
tion of the city at night, fears being entertained that an attempt to fire it
might be made. A patrol for each night of twenty citizens in each ward was
established under the control of the committee mentioned, and the Hudson
Tiight (ruard, Capt. Cowles, were ordered to rendezvous with loaded muskets
and twenty rounds of ball cartridge, at the Court House instantef , in ciise of an
alarm, of which notice would be given by the ringing of the bell of the Pres-
l)yterian church. On the Saturday following Attorney General Barker visited
the city and advised the immediate enrolment of one hundred men, to be arm-
ed and equipped, and in the pay of the State, subject to the Sheriff's order,
to aid and assist him in the exercise of his official drttics. Tiie suggestion
was immediately acted upon, and one hundred men were enrolled, under the
command of Capt. Henry Whiting, late of the U. S, Arm^, with four pieces
From mformatioi^ received from the country, and in'dicaltions within the
city, the opinion was entertained by the authorities that art attempt at rescue
would be made on that day or the following night. The examination of the
prisoners was suspended, men were stationed at the different church bells to
give the alarm, the Home Guard and Light Guard were under arms, and the
city, in consequence of tlie rumors, in a state of gfneral commotion. Aid Was
also sent for from the village of Catskill. CoL Darling was sent there and
after calling the citizens together at the Court House by the ringing of the
bells, stated to them the condition and fears of the people of Hudson. A
large number volunteered and returned with Col. D., who was joined by an-
other force at Athens. They reached Hudson late on Saturday niglit, return-
ing on Monday morning.
A second meeting of citizens was held on tlie evening of the 21st of De-
cember, which Was addressed I)y John Gaul Junior, Esq. and others, and a
committee consisting of Rufus Reed, John Gaul, Jr. and Matthew Mitchell
appointed to report some plan for the organization of the citizens. It was
resolved to raise a volunteer company of five hundred men, to be called the
"Law and Order Association," to hold themselves subject at all times to the
58 SKETCIIKS OFHUDSON.
call of the Sheriff of the County. A Committee of Safety was also appoint-
ed, authorized to call upon the authorities of the State for a supply of not less
tlian five hundred stand of arms for their use. The Association was immedi-
ately filled up and placed under the command of the following officers :
CiiARiiES DAmjxG, Colonel.
John S. Anaule, Charles A. Darlint,, Aids.
Leonard Freeland, Lieut. Col. ^\m. W. Hannali, Adjt.
Isaac Gritfen, Major. Joseph Coodwin, (Quarter Master.
llobert C Frary, Surgeon.
The force was divided into four companies, under the following officers :
First Ward, Company Xo. 1, Capt. Thomas P. Newberry.
" " 1st Lieut., John Smith.
" " 2d Lieut., Peter S. Burger.
" Company No. 2, Capt. Ichabod Rogers.
" " 1st Lieut., James Elmendorf.
" " 2d Lieut., Justin Winslow.
Second "Ward, Company No. 1, Capt. llirani Cage.
" " 1st Lieut., Llenry Waterman.
" " 2d Lieut., Wm.'H. Spencer.
" Company No. 2, Capt. Warren Rockwell.
" " 1st Lieut., Charles Mitchell.
" " 2d Lieut., John Best.
The arms desired were furnished by Gov. Bouck, and at the request of the
Common Council, the Albany Burgesses Corps came down to remain until the
excitement should subside. The following proclamation was then issued by
the jNIayor of the city :
Citizens of HrDSox : Deeply must all good citizens deplore the exigency
which now (h^mands, for the fii'st time in oui history, the gathering of a stand-
ing armed force, in this city ; but, no alternative is left. The Supremacy of the
laws must be maintained, or the tyranny of Anarchy reigns triumphant !
We have witnessed in our County a Rebellion ; an armed resistance to Law ;
the personal safety of the Sheriff violated, and ///e sacrificed. The Sheriff of
the County, supported by the determined energy of a handful of individuals,
chief among whom ranks our most respected fellow-citizen, Joseph 1). j\Ionell,
Esq., has arrested persons charged with being the rim leaders of the re-
bellion. Information which can be most implicitly relied on has been received,
that their aiders and abettors in tliis and other counties have threatened to
rescue these prisoners at any and all hazards ; and, if necessary to accomplish
that purpose. iofl,re tlie city ! An express sent by the Sheriff of this County,
to the Attorney (Jeueral of this State, at Albany, was intercepted, and for a
time detained in the county of Rensselaer. A contemplated rescue of these
prisoners was discov(M'ed on Saturday List, and prevented only by a prompt and
general rally of the friends of Law and Order under arms at the Court House.
The design of effecting a rescue, we are informed, is not yet abandoned.
Self-respect — our own reitutation as friends of just laws and good order —
every ccnsideration of patriotism and duty demand that all such designs should
be frustrated, aud impartial justice administered.
SKETCHES O F II U U S O X . 50
Such considerations slioiilil be our rulini;- motive ; but, our pecuniary inter-
est is also at stake, lleiiieaiber. (Jiti/.ens. iliat no Poliui/ of Insiinince, will
Corel' Losses by Fire, ivhen caused b>/ ''Invasion, or Insurrection, or Ciril
Commotion." So far. Citizens, we have done our duty : tiius settinjr a noble
example, which it is hoped, our sister (Jities and Ooutitii^s will emulate. Kn-
ergy, resolution and vigilance are all tliat are required. At the invitation of thi^
Recorder of this City, the State AttcH'uey (ieneral has viaited us, who hiuhly
commends the course taken by our Judicial and K.xecutive officers, and strong-
ly urges a perseveranct;, i)ledging aid from the State it needed. Tlie Ex-
ecutive of the State has furnished us with ")()() stand of arms and u large sup-
ply of ball cartridge. An efficient force of One Hundred armed men enlisted
for thirty days with four pieces of artillery. and all under the command of ('apt.
Henry Whiting, late of the United States Arm}^ is stationed at th(^ Court
House. The Hudson Light (Juard, under command of Capt. K. P. Cowles
are fully supplied with ammunition and ready for duty at a moment's warning.
The Albany Bu7'gesses Corps, a gallant band of citizen soldiery, by the invi-
tation of our Common Council, arrived here yesterday, under the conunand of
Maj. Franklin Townsend, and reported themselves to nn; for duty, 'i'hey have
in charge one piece ot artillery, and 300 stand of arms, forwarded by the Com-
mander-in-Chief for the defence of our City.
By the liands of the Governor's Private Secretary, I have received official
infijrmation from the Connnander-in-Chief. through the Adjutant General of
the State, that a large l)ody of troops, consisting of mounted artillery, cavalry
and infantry will hold themselves in readiness for actual service, and will be
ordered to this place, if required.
It is desirable for the citizens of Hudson to organize an armed force of .500
minute men. Such an organization has already been connnenced, under charge
of a proper committee. Our oldest and most respectable citizens have already
joined it, and when completed, this corps, together with the Hudson Liglit
Guard, will be under the command of Col. Charles Darling ; and in case of
alarm, will rendezvous at Davis's City Hall. Arrangements have been made
by which the approach of a hostile force will be known and reported long be-
fore its arrival, and notice given to the citizens by ringing the bell of the Pres-
byterian Church. An efficient city patrol is also constantly kept up. And
now. Citizens, let us do our duty ; prompt action now may, and no doubt will,
eventually save much treasure and many lives.
Oilmen tender my hand and seal of the City of Hudson, the 2^lh day of De-
CYRUS CURTISS, Mayor.
Aii address signed by a large number of the leading citizens of Hudson was
sent to the tenants, warning them of the penalties they were bringing upon
themselves, and appealing to them to cease their attempts to obstruct the ad-
ministration of justice ; but without any good effect. Bands of disguised men
continued to fire upon and arrest officers, taking from them their papers, and
it was found necessary for the Governor to send here an additional military
force, consisting of the Emmet Guards, the A''an Rensselaer Guards, Albany
Republican Artillery, "Washington Riflemen, and a German Company of Cav-
alry from New York, under the command of Capt. Krack. These were quar-
tered at the various public houses and upon the boats then wintering at the
60 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
wharves. Hudson presented the appearance of a military encampment. Can-
non were planted in front of the Court House, the streets resounded with
martial music and the tramp of soldiery. Sentinels walked "their lonely
round" night and day, and at all times their bright uniforms were seen in every
part of the city.
Aided by detachments of military, arrests were made in rapid succession,
and in a very short time comparative quiet was restored and the military force
gradually withdrawn, having remained here about one mouth. They left for
their homes with ranks not in the least thinned by the enemy they came to
meet, of whose fire, we believe, the nearest approach was upon the sentry of
the Emmet Guards stationed at the Hudson (Worth) House, at whom a ball
was fired upon a very dark night, about the midnight hour, by a "solitary man
on horseback." The sentry escaped, a colunm upon the stoop receiving the
charge intended to put an end to his "military career," which still shows the
spot where it entered. Not the slightest clue to the individual who fired it
was ever obtained. With the exception of a few midnight excursions for the
purpose of making arrests, their stay was marked by veiy little adventure, and
was a lengthened holiday to the militaiy ; and after the disappearance of the
panic which at first pervaded the city, afforded a pleasant excitement to the
citizens. The officers of the various companies were entertained at the resi-
dences of the Mayor, Sheriff and other citizens. A ball was given by the
Light Guard at the Hudson House, and every attention which could relieve
their visit of its monotony was bestowed upon them by the grateful citizens of
In the month of January a review of the whole force by the INIayor took
place, including the Home Guard, Light Guard and Volunteers, after wliich
a parade, the whole forming a lengthy procession, the like of which Hudson
will not soon again look upon.
Big and Little Thunder were both indicted and the former brought to trial
in the month of March before Judge Amasa J. Parker. Great interest was
manifested throughout the trial, and the court room was densely thronged.
John Van Bureu, Esq., the State Attorney General, and Theodore Miller, Esq.,
conducted the prosecution, Ambrose L. Jordan and James Storm, Esqr's, ap-
pearing for the prisoners. The result of the trial, after occupying nearly two
weeks, was the disagreement of the Jury. In the month of September he was
again tried before Judge Edmonds, the same interest as before being manifest-
ed in the trial, which resulted in his conviction and confinement in the Chnton
County State Prison, from which he was shortly after pardoned by Gov.
Young. During this trial a personal encounter took place between Ambrose
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. Gl
L. Jordan and Jolm Yuh l>uron, Esq.,g-rowin£r out of a heated debate. Little
'I'lmnder was not tried, but after a year'd confinement in tlie county jail, was
discharged. Of the otlier parties arrested and indicted, some were subsequently
discharged, others followed Big Thunder into retirement, and peace was finally
restored throughout all the "infected district," although for some time it was
not deemed safe for officers to venture into it imanned or without an armed es-
Looking back to all this military preparation, it is often remarked tliat it
was wholly unnec(issary. It may have been so. It is difficult to tell to what
length of outrage the misguided tenants, calling themselves Indians, under the
lead of wicked men, might not have gone, had not this force been arrayed
TIIK PRESS, IXriDEXTS, &.C.
Ashbel Stoddard was the pioneer printer of Hudson. Two years after it
was founded, in company with Charles R. Webster, who had been an ap-
prentice with him at Hartford, in the office of the (Jonxecticut Couraxt, he
commenced the publication of a weekly paper called the Hudson Gjvjzettk,
on the corner of Warren and Third streets. The first number was issued on
the seventh day of April, 178.5. In it he points out to the public the many
advantages which would result to "our already flourishing place," from the
estabhshment of an impartial newspaper. "To the curious," he says, "it will
afford a rich fund of entertainment, it will bring chaps to the merchant, cus-
tomers to the mechanic, show the husbandman where he can best dispose of
his produce, to the poor man who has but a penny, where he can best lay it
out to advantage, and will point out to the world in general the method of
obtaining riches, by commerce and agriculture." "Being deprived of so many
privileges, must be seriously felt by Hudson," tlierefore he had commenced
the publication of the Hudsox Gazette, to be issued weekly at the rate of
twelve shillings per year ; money to be refunded to subscribers who were not
satisfied with the paper. It was small, being about fifteen inches square in
size, printed upon coarse paper of a yellowish tint, but in very fair type.
It seems at first to have received a poor support, very few advertisements,
save ^Ir. Stoddard's own, being found in its business columns. Its editorials
were few ; selections and correspondence principally from abroad filled its col-
umns, now and then an item of local interest finding its way in.
The number of conmiunications upon the subjects of "slavery," and "human
freedom," is particultuly striking. Poetical contributions of the same nature
G2 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
were freqaeut. An early number contained a poem of two hundred lines in
length on the "Miseries of Slavery and the happiness of Freedom."
Advertisements of the sale of negroes, and rewards offered for runaway
negroes were numerous. Cotton Gelston advertised a negro "as having walked
away, being too lazy to run."
We give the substance of a few other curious advertisements and communi-
cations in its columns :
In the winter of 1785, Mr. Robardet, from Connecticut, advertised that he
would open a class, for "instruction in the polite accomplishment of dancing
after the most approved method." Scholars would be taken from seven to
fifty years of age. A Connecticut dancing master, advertising for scholars
fifty years old, in a Quaker city !
Ambrose Liverpool advertised that he would open a Seminary, "where he
would teach all the English branches, also Latin and Greek classics ; also
at convenient times the principles of several musical instruments, and that he
had also several dozen strong Exglish beer which he ■wished to dispose of."
In 1786, Mrs. Hussey notified the ladies of Hudson that she would be hap-
py to wait upon their commands in millinery and mantua making, after the most
approved fashions regularly received trom New York City, at her house on
the hill near the wharf.
Monsieur Hyacinth Lescure stated that he kept a "choice lot of Essences
near the Market House," also, that he would furnish "cushions to ladies, and
quieus to gentlemen of excellent human hair," for which he would take his pay
"in wheat and Indian corn." Monsieur Lescure had been a dnammer under
Burgoyne and was barber to the corporation, there being no other at this time
in the city. He is described as having a frizzled head, broad low forehead,
little black eyes, high cheek bones, wide mouth and triangular visage, accus-
tomed to walk backward and forward before his little shop door, humming a
tune and snapping his fingers. His dress was in keeping with his person and
profq^sion ; a long broad striped calico gown, a short white apron, tight nan-
keen small clothes, ruffled shirt, completed with silk stockings and yellow slip-
On the 15th day of August, 1786, Mr. Pool advertised the exhibition of a
circus "on the green," stating that he was the first American who had ever
attempted wonderful feats of equestrianship, and among other wonderful
things which he would exhibit, were two horses which at word of command
would "lay down and gi-oan as if in pain." The price of admission was three
shillings, and ladies and gentlemen were "beseeched not to bring any dogs
with them to the performance."
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. G3
About the same time, two camels were advertised for exhibition, described
as "stupendous animals, being the greatest curiosity on the continent, having
necks three feet eight inches long, a high bunch on the back like a pedestal,
four joints in their legs, will lie down and get up at word of command and can
travel fourteen days without water." The curious were invited to come and
see them without fail. Admission one shilling.
From what would be called its "chip basket" at the present day, we take
the following :
"A good wife should be like three things, which three things she should not
belike. First, like a snail, keep w/7/«'« 7/e?* o/fw. /<o?<.se, but not like a snail,
Ciirnj all she has upon her hack. Second, like an echo, ansirer when npn/ren
to, but not like an echo, have the last word. Third, like a town clock, keej)
lime and regularity, but not like a towu clock, be heard all over town."
To which Miss Barbara Crabtree replied,
"That a good husband should be like three things, which he should not be
like. First, like a snail, he should have a house over his head, but not like
a snail be a creeping thing, but brisk and active. Second, like an echo, he
should always .«y;ea^- in union and accord with his wife, but not like an echo
tell tales. Third, like a clock he should be regular in his habits, but not like
a clock, 7)6 often wound up."
It published the following as a "wonderful tale :"
"Robert White was married to Betsey Harris on Tuesday, May 1st, (1787)
who was brought sick on AVednesday. delivered of three children on Thursday,
who all died on Friday, and Were buried on Saturday."
In 1792 the Gazette was somewhat enlarged, and its columns gave evidence
of prosperity, but throughout its publication it was deficient in matters of local
interest. Mr. Webster being also engaged in the publication of the Albany
Gazette, shortly after the commencement of the Hudson Gazette, retired from
the concern and Mr. Stoddard remained its sole publisher until 1803 or 4,
when it was discontinued, other political papers having taken the field. Mr.
Stoddard then confined himself exclusively to his printing and bookselling
business. In 1785 he commenced the publication of the "Columbian Alman-
ac," the only one ever published in this city, and still issued at the old stand,
being better known now as Wynkoop's Almanac. In olden times it Was
deemed the only one reUable, and there are many at the present day, who ask
for and will have no other than "Stoddards old Almanac," and if it were the
same as when commenced, would be satisfied to regulate their domestic affairs
by its weather table.
He also printed the Columbian Magazine, edited by Rev. John Chester,
and the ^Messenger of Peace, which continued but for one year (1824) edited
by Richard Carrique, Esq.
64 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
i\rr. Stoddard was small and of a slender constitution, but lived to the age of
seventy-eight years, dying in the month of October, 1840, a wor<ihy and great-
ly respected citizen. Up to within a few days of his death his silvered head
and trembling, bent form, were seen in personal attention to his business.
In 1 801 the publication of the Balance and Columbian Eepository was
commenced by Ezra Sampson. George Chittenden and Harry Croswell, in the
upper part of a store which then stood upon the spot now occupied as a
garden connected with the residence of Mrs. Erastus Patterson, in Warren
near Second street.
]\[r. Sampson was a Presbyterian clergyman who. in the simplicity and force
of his style, was said to resemble Dr. P'ranklin. He was for a short time,
previous to 1800, settled over the Presbyterian chvn-ch in this city, as a tem-
porary supply. He died at an advanced age in the city of XewYork, and was
buried in Hudson.
Mr. Chittenden was a book-binder, and for some years earned on his busi-
ness in the small building so long known as "old Mr. Leslies tailor shop,"
which stood upon the site of the present residence and store of A. Behrens.
Shortly after, Mr. Chittenden went into the manufacture of paper in the town
of Stockport, then a wilderness, in which he continued fo? nearly half a centu-
ry, dying there in the year 1845, aged sixty-nine years.
]\Ir. Croswell was a printer, and not long afterwards became an Episcopalian
minister, and was settled for a gi-eat many years iu New Haven, where he died
at an advanced age.
The Balance was first published as a neutral paper, bitt before the expira-
tion of its first year became the organ of the Federal party, the proprietors
refunding to such of the subscribers as did not like the change, their due
proportion of subscription money. It was printed iu small quarto form, upon
coarse, dingy paper, but being edited with ability, had a la)'ge subscription and
circulated throughout the United Stales. In 1808 it was removed to Albany,
and in 1811 was discontinued.
In 1802 the publication of the Bee was commenced by Mr. Charles Holt,
in the upper part of the store of Judge Dayton, which stood upon or very near
the site of the present reddence of Mrs. Peter G. Cofiin ; the lower part of
the store being used for rfiany years as the headquarters of the Democratic
club. "There, 'round a red hot stove, in an atmosphere blue with tobacco
smoke, seated upon old pine benches and wooden-bottomed chairs, with the
dust and cobwebs of twenty years remaining undisturbed upon the shelves,
met the great Anti-Federal fathers of the city." Prominent among them
S K E T (J a K S O V HUDSON
were Robert Jenkins, described as ''abrupt and decisive in his tone and man-
ner" — Judge Dayton, "'a g-ood citizen and ui>riglit man, fond of ai-gunient ;
never convinced and never convincing'' — Robert Taylor, ''well-dressed, portly-
looking, a little obstinate and a little crusty," — David Lawrence, ''a man of
great respectability, keen observation, strong sense and ready wit," — John
Hiitliaway, "a worthy citizen and honest man," — 'Squire AVorth, "a man of
integrity, good sense, but excessively odd ; short, round-shouldered and red-
haired! who once quarreled with an artist for making him look, in his portrait,
he said, like a one-story house with the chimney on fire," — and, la^stly, Capt.
Alexander Coffin, "frank, generous, warm-hearted and brave."
]Mr. Holt, with some interruptions, had pnl)lished the Bee for the previous
five years, at Kew London, Conn. Having incurred a fine and imprisonment
there, under the sedition act, it became necessary for him to seek another lo-
cation, and being invited by the Republicans of Hudson, transferred his print-
ing materials and paper to this city. Its circulation was about one thousand.
On the appearance of the Bee in Hudson, a small paper less than a letter
sheet in size was issued from the office of Mr. Croswell, called the "Wasp,
edited by "Robert Rusticcat, Esq." Its object was iudicatedby the following
"If perchance there comes a Bee,
A Witsp shall come as well as he."
It was published but a short time, and both AVasp and Bee stung with
There was much violent controversy between Messrs. Holt and Croswell,
and the columns of the Bee and Balance were filled with harsh personalities,
which led the editors into frequent difficulties. Both papers were ably con-
ducted and warmly supported by their respective parties. While the Repub-
lican or Democratic club was composed of citizens of the "more rough and
honest sort," the Federal club was made up of "lawyers and men of distin-
guished ability," and it was said had among it.^ members, the wit, talent and
gentlemen of the city. Elisha Williams, one of the most influential politicians
in the State, was its acknowledged leader, but prominent among its members
were Bay, Grosvenor, McKinstry, Hyatt, Hosmer, Hubbel, Gelston and many
other of the leading citizens of that day. Their meetings were always held
in the best furnished room of some one of the public houses.
In addition to the clubs, each party maintained a large and well-trained in-
strumental band, composed exclusively of members of the party. The uniform
66 SKKTCHES OF HUDSON.
of the Eepublican baud was white ; that of the Federal was a red coat with
Party strife at this time and long after was bitter to a degTee not exceeded,
if equalled, at the present day. Not only in the press did this Manifest itself,
iDUt in the social and business circles, indeed everywhere. Personal collisions
were not unfrequent.
An article appeared in the Bee which bore heavily upon Elisha Williams.
Mr. Williams, taking with him two or three of his political friends, whom he
stationed in the cellar of an unfinished building, that they might by their aid
secure him fair play, if needed, waited near Mr. Holt's office, and upon his
appearance in the street knocked him down. The afifair, from the position
of the parties engaged in it, created a great excitement in the political ranks.
Capt. Alexander Coffin, who was a noble-hearted old man, as well as an ardent
Democrat, said that since the Federals had begun that kind of work, the Dem-
ocrats had better make a finish of it, and oiFered to be one of twenty men to
meet twenty picked Federals and fight the matter out ! The Captain's novel
method of settling political difficulties was not adopted, but he undoubtedly
meant it. He was a man of strong poUtical prejudices, fiery temperament,
and always ready for a fight. At the polls upon an election day, a dog un-
fortunately passed between his legs, causing him to fall. Upon arising, ignor-
ant of the cause of his misfortune, and attributing it to some pohtical oppon-
ent, he turned in a belligerent attitude, shouting, "Come on, I can whip the
whole d- — n lot of you !" Upon another occasion, it is related of him, that a
young man wishing to explain some matter then in dispute, laid his hand upon
tlie Capt's shoulder and requested him to step to the door. Mistaking the
object of his request, he rephed, "Yes Sir — fist or pistols ; don't care a d n
which !" The absurdity of the thing brought down a hearty laugh, in which
the Capt., perceiving his mistake, readily joined. He was at that time over
eighty years of age, and throughout his long life was a man of great personal
respectability, possessing many noble qualities. His portrait, after his death,
was placed by the City in the Common Council room, where it still remains.
In 1810 Mr. Holt sold out his establishment and went to New Tork, ISIr,
Samuel W. Clark becoming his successor in the publication of the Bee. Mr.
Clark was its proprietor until 1821. It was the organ of that portion of the
public who justified the war of 1812, and numbered among its contributors
Martin Yan Bureu, Benj. F. Butler, John W. Edmonds, and others of equal
talent and position. Its next proprietor was John W. Dutcher, who changed
the name to that of Coluraljia Centinel, and two years thereafter united it
with the Columbia Republican.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 67
Mr. Holt died not many years since in Jersey City, Laving in his old ag-o
obtained a remission of his fine, witli an allowance of interest by the Govern-
ment, Mr. Clark died in this city in 1832, aged 53 years.
In 1807 a paper in the interest of the Lewisite portion of the Democratic
party was established, but shortly afterwards discontinued. It was called the
In 1808 Francis Stebbins commenced the Northern Whig, and was suc-
ceeded by Wm. L. Stone, (afterward of the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser,)
from 1811 to 1816. Mr. Stone's successor was Richard L. Corse, a writer
of ability, who continued it till 1821, when it passed into the hands of Wm.
B. Stebbins, son of the original proprietor, who discontinued it in 1824. Its
circulation was large, and it was considered one of the ablest Federal papers
in the State. It numbered among its regular contributors Elisha Williams,
William W. Yan Ness, Thomas P. Grosvenor, James Yan Derpoel and others
of that stamp.
In 1817 a literary paper, called the Spirit op the Forum and Brief Ee-
M.iRKER appeared, but seems to have had a short existence.
The Columbia Republican commenced its existence in 1820, under the
charge of Solomon Wilber, as a Democratic paper. In 1824, through the
efforts of Ambrose L. Jordan, by whom it was purchased, its political charac-
ter was changed. From 1824 to 1834, it was at different times published by
Ambrose L. and Allen Jordan, Charles F. Ames, and Samuel Curtiss. From
1834 to 1843 its proprietor was Lawrence Yan Dyke. P. Byron Barker was
next, for about one year, its owner, when it was disposed of to Messrs.
Palen & Jordan, Mr. Barker remaining editor. In 1845 it was purchased by
Messrs. Bryan & Moores, Mr. Moores retiring in 1851. It is now published by
Messrs. Bryan & Webb. It has been since 1824 the organ of the Whig party,
and in later years of the Republican, and is ably and judiciously conducted.
After the purchase of the Republican by Mr. Jordan, the Hudson Gazette,
(2d) was established, mainly through the efforts of Oliver Wiswall and Solomon
Wescott. It was commenced in the year 1824 by Peleg Sturtevant, in the
upper part of the store of Reuben Folger on the North-east corner of Warren
and Second streets. There was a Democratic reading room also in the same
building. Mr. Sturtevant a few months afterwards transferred it to Hiram
Wilber. Mr. Wilber continued its publication until the year 1834, when it
passed into the possession of P. Dean Carrique, who was its proprietor for
near a quarter of a century. In the year 1854 it passed into the control of
68 SKETCHES OF HUDS ON .
S. L. Magoun, Esq., as Assignee, and after a succession of changes of owner-
ship it was purchased by Messrs. "Williams & Brother, in 1859, by one of whom
it is now neatly published and ably edited. It has always been the organ of the
Democratic party, or of some one of its divisions.
The Columbia Washin'gtoxian urder J. E.. S. YanYleet was commenced in
1842, as the advocate of "total abstinence." In 1843 it was transferred to
Warren Eockwell. In 1847 Mr. Rockwell sold the establishment to Alexander
N. Webb, who, in the year 1850, changed its name to the Hudson Weekly
Star, and still continues to puljlLsh it.
In 184T,Mr. Webl) also commenced the publication of the Daily Evening
Star, and still continues it as the Hudson Daily Star.
In 1824, a semi-monthly literary paper, called the Rural Repository, was
started by Wm. B, Stoddard, neatly printed, in quarto form. It was discon-
tinued in the year 1851, to the great regret of the large number of families in
which for so long a time it had been a regular and welcome visitor.
The Columbia & Greene Co. Envoy was commenced in 1831 by Edward
G. Linsley, and continued two years.
The Diamond, serai-monthly, was published in 1833 by George F. Stone.
The Magnolia, a semi-monthly, was published by P, Dean Carrique in 1834.
The Flail and the Tiirasuer were political campaign papers, in the Tip-
pecanoe times of 1840.
The Temperance Palladium was published by John W. Dutcher in 1851.
The Democratic Freeman, an organ of the Free Soil Democracy, was
brought to this city from Chatham Four Corners in the year 1848, and under
the editorship of Charles H. Collins, published until 1851. In that year it
passed into the control of Wm. Caldwell, and was shortly after discontinued.
The American Repository, a paper supporting Fillmore for the Presidency
in 1856, was commenced in that yeai', but discontinued shortly after the elec-
tion. Its editor was R. Yan Antwerp, who, a short time previous to the
Repository, also commenced the publication of a Daily which continued for
The CoLUiiBiA County Family Journal, a semi-monthly literary paper, was
commenced in 1861, by F. H. Webb, but discontinued after the expiration of
six months, Mr. Webb having become associated in the proprietorship of the
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. G9
LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS, &.G.
The first public library of which we find any mention made, was established
as early as 1786. It was a circulating library of three hundred volumes which
were furnished to subscribers at the following- rates : four dollars per year,
one dollar and twenty five cents per quarter, and to occasional readers at the
rate of two cents per day. Subscribers were allowed to retain books as long
as desired, except books new and in great demand, which must be returned
within one week, and for the use of the library they could pay either in money
or desirable books. We find nothing more concerning it, save a notice that
persons desirous of subscribing, could do so by leaving their names at the
printing office of the Gazette.
Another library was founded shortly after this, by an association of gentle-
men, called the "Columbia Library Association," but of its rules and regula-
tions we find no account, nor of its oflScers, save that Shubael Worth was for
many years Librarian, and Llenry P. Skinner Clerk. The library was at first
and for a long time after kept in the store of Mr. Worth, built by him on the
N. West corner of Main and Second streets, better known in later years as
"Sprague's corner." It received a poor suppoit and never was in a prosperous
condition, but kept up an existence for many years ; Eobert A. Barnard,
Esq. acting as its last President. Being constantly and considerably in debt,
all their effects, including books, were finally sold, that the association might
at least die honorably.
In 178G a debating society was established calling itself the "Union Debat-
ing Club." We have nothing in relation to it, save that the following questions
were discussed at its first meeting :
First. "Will the establishment of the Union Debating Society prove a ben-
efit to Hudson ?"
Second. "Is the Slave trade consistent with principles of humanity ?''
The Hudson Forum was established in the year 1826 and existed until
about 1835. Its Officers consisted of a President, Vice President, Secretary
atid Board of Directors, who decided upon the questions for debate, and at
each meeting assigned the disputants for the next. It was supported by a
membership fee of twenty-five cents per year, and having a large number of
members, this afibrded an ample fund for all of its expenses. The debates of
the Forum were extremely popular, and drew audiences quite as crowded as
the lectures of the F. L. Association at the present day. Nearly all of the
younger members of the bar of that day, and students, many of whom are
VO SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
now eminent in their profession, participated in tliem. In 1839 the following
question was debated :
"Is there a prospect of a dissolution of the Union within the next fifty
And in December, 1834, the following :
"Are the principles of the Colonization Society more deserving the support
of the people of the United States than those of the Anti-Slavery Society ?"
We have no account of the debate or decision upon the former, but great
interest was manifested in the debate upon the latter question, and from one
of the papers of that date, we take the following account of it :
"CoLONiZATiox Debate. — We do not recollect a question which has excited
such general and deep interest as the one selected by the members of the
Hudson Forum, for the subject of their first discussion. At an early hour on
the appointed evening, the Court-House was thronged to overflowing by an
auditory of the highest respectability from this and its adjacent towns. The
public excitement in regard to the removal and colonization of the blacks has
reached us in full force, and the intimate connection which the subject has
with the honor and destiny of the countiy, is profoundly realized. Indeed,
every thinking person must be convinced that the agititiou of the public mind
throughout the country upon this suliject is not uncalled for, though it may
be premature. As if slavery did not of itself present a sufficiently alarming
prospect, associations have been formed having as their object its immediate
abolition. Pamphlets have been published, and pulilic meetings held with
this purpose. Fire-brands from the press have been thrown into the Southern
States, having the tendency to excite and hasten a general insurrection of the
blacks. Meanwhile the Colonization Society offering a benevolent project
for the amelioration of the negro's condition, and his eventual emancipation
and removal, is assailed with a violence of opposition and virulence of lan-
guage which manifest anything but the spirit of philanthropy. The principal
advocate of the Anti-Slavery measures appeal's before a British audience and
there traitorously slanders the country that gave him birth and to which he
owes allegiance. The North is now called upon to decide between the rival
societies ; with the South there is no question about it. Such a decision ex-
pressive of the public sentiment in this City has been recently had."
"Upon the first evening of the debate, the question was argued by Edwin C.
Litchfield, Esq. and Hon. H. Hogeboom on the affirmative, and J.AV. Fairfield,
Esq.. for the negative. Upon the adjourned meeting the discussion was con-
ducted by ^Ir. Litchfield, Campbell Bushnell, Esq. and Ret. Jared Waterbury
in the affirmative, and John D. Parker, Esq., J. W. Fairfield, Esq., and a
black man whose name if he has one, we are not in the possession of, in the
negative. "We were never more struck with the quizzing propensities of
our laughter-loving citizens than on this occasion. 'Xegative,' 'negative,'
'negative,' issued from many a man friendly to the Colonization Society, but
determined to enjoy the joke of astonishing its advocates upon the floor with
the little effect their learned arguments had produced. As it was, however,
the Affirmative was carried by an overwhelming majority. We are not dis-
posed to make critical remarks upon the debate, but must say that we con-
sidered the speech of Campbell Bushnell, Esq., a master-piece of argument
and eloquence. The Negative was also ably and zealously sustained."
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 1\
In 1835 an association styling itself the "Hudson Association for mutual
improvement," was organized with the following officers :
Elisha Jenkins, President. Cyrus Curtiss, Eufus Reed, Joseph D. Mon-
ell, James Mellen, Vice Presidents. Edwin C. Litchfield, Secretary.
The exercises consisted alternately of lectures, addresses and debates. It
continued only through the first winter of its organization.
The Franklin Library Association was organized in the year 1837. In the
year 1834, a few young men, most of whom were connected by family ties, met
at the tallow chandler's shop ot William A. Carpenter, (then on Cross street,
the lot being now occupied by the Hudson River Rail Road as a wood
yard,) and organized a debating club, which they called the Franklin Debating
Society. It's design being that all should engage in debate, new officers
were chosen at each meeting. The first meeting for debate was held in the
Orthodox Friends meeting house in Union street, January 11th, 1835. Robert
Smith was chosen Moderator, Geo. W. Carpenter Secretary, the following
individuals in addition embracing the entire membership at that time : Hiram
Macy, James Batchellor, William A. Carpenter, Thomas Marshall, William R.
Steel, Edward B. Macy, Richard M. Remington and John Hamhn. The ques-
tion discussed was the following :
"Ought mechanical labor in state prisons to be abolished ?"
Hiram Macy and William A. Carpenter opening the debate and choosing the
disputants to follow. The club continued to meet regularly for debate, dechn-
ing to admit any new members during that winter.
The method subsequently adopted for the admission of members was to ballot
for the candidate proposed for membership, without his knowledge, and if the
vote was unanimous apprise him of the fact of his election and invite him to
become a member. Its support was from individual contributions.
The first annual meeting was held in the building then known as the Select
Academy, in Third Street ; George W. Carpenter, by appointment, delivering
the address, which was followed by brief remarks from the members generally.
At this meeting a proposition was made by Wm. A. Carpenter to connect
with the Association a Ubrary and to take measures to secure a permanent
location. The proposition was adopted and resulted in the erection of a small
but convenient room in Union Street, upon the lot now occupied by Capt.
George Barker ; the building having been since removed is now occupied as a
Chapel by the Episcopal church. It was built by an association of members
of the debating club called the Franklin Hall Association, with a capital of
three hundred and seventy-five dollars in shares of five dollars each. The
work of collecting a library was immediately entered upon, and in 1837 the
72 SKETCHES OF HUD
Fraukliu Lil^rary Association was regularly organized, with Wm. R. Steel as
President, James Batchellor Secretary, and during the following winter was
incorporated with Wm. A. Carpenter as President, Hiram Macy, Vice Presi-
dent, Chas. A. Darling, Secretai-y ; the other officers consisting of a Treasurer,
and a Board of Directors. It still acts under the same charter, the only
original members now belonging to it being Iliram Macy and William A.
Carpenter. With the exception of Edward B. Macy, its founders are all living,
five of them now residents of the city.
The first lecture before the Association was delivered by Prof. Potter (now
Bishop) of Union College, in 1838, in the old Episcopal Church ; his sub-
In 1837 through the liberal contributions of fifty dollars each from James
Mellen, (whose portrait the Association has placed in its Library room,) Cyrus
Curtiss and Eiihu Gifford, a philosophical apparatus was purchased, at a cost
of about six hundred dollars, the remainder being made up by stock in shares
of ten dollars each. This apparatus was in later years disposed of by the As-
sociation and is now in use in the Female Academy of Rev. J. B. Hague.
The first lawyer admitted as a member of the F. L. Association was Theo-
dore Miller, Esq., by whom the first annual report of its executive committee
From this small beginning has grown an Association now numbering a
membership of nearly two hundred and fifty ; possessing a library of about
twenty-five hundred volumes, sustaining annually a course of lectures, and with
an income during the last year from all sources, of about fourteen hundred
We find frequent mention made in early years of the establishment of
Schools, the granting of various lots for the erection of school houses, and
the building of a Proprietors' school house, but no provision seems to have
been made for free education until the year 1816. In the month of September
in that year, a number of gentlemen met at the Library room, for the purpose of
taking into consideration the practicability of estabhshing a Lancaster School,
for the gratuitous education of the children of the poor. Ezra Sampson was
chosen chairman, Josioh Uuderhill Secretary. The result of the meeting was
the organization of a Society called the "Hudson Lancaster Society,'' which
was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed April 15th, 1817, with
the following Trustees :
Elisha Williams, James Strong, Robert Taylor,
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 73
Judah riuklock, Dauicl ClufBii, Haimiftl White,
Thomas Jenkins, Patrick Fainiing, liohert Alsop,
Prosper irosnier, Suniuel Plumb, Thomas 13ay.
The erection of a buikling was commenced in 1817, the lot having been
granted for that purpose by the Common Council, the other expenses being
defrayed by donations. The first teacher employed by the Trustees was Josiah
Underhill. It was not Avholly a free school, one hundred scholars at first re-
ceiving gratuitous education, the number afterwards being changed according
to the financial condition of the Society. A committee of the Trustees visit-
ed the school monthly, and no scholar was admitted without the inspection
of a physician, if required by the teacher, and none continued in the school
whose parents would not keep them clean in all respects and decently clothed.
For its support it received from the Common Council the school money, the
excise fimd, and that from lottery licenses, the balance needed being raised
by individual contributions. Not long after its establishment an effort was
made to withdraw from it a portion of the fund received from the city. It was
strongly opposed and did not succeed ; it seems, however, at one time to have
seriously interfered with its successful operation, for we find Heniy Dibblee
and Cornelius Miller offering to become personally responsible for the educa-
tion of fifty children, until the Council should abandon the effort to take from
the school the fund apportioned to it. In 1828, a committee of the society
reported the number of children in the compact portion of the city, between
the ages of five and sixteen, to be 1012. In the same year steps were taken
for the support of an "African School" in connection with the Lancaster.
The committee appointed to raise funds, reported that the different religious
societies would contribute annually to its support as follows : Universalist,
$25 ; Presbyterian, 92r^ ; Friends, ^2b ; Episcopal, $20 ; Methodist, $12 ;
Baptist, $12. The Lancaster Society appropriated $25, and petitioned the
Common Council for and received an annual donation of $50. The school
was immediately established in the old or first Methodist Church in Third
street, not now standing.'
The Lancaster School was sustained until the year 1841, but in its later
years had not an income adequate to its support, the ladies at last coming to
its aid with the proceeds of a fair. In that year the Boai'd of Trustees con-
veyed tlieir school property to the Common Council. In the same year the
present public schools of the city were organized. The last Trustees of the
Lancaster School were :
Laban Paddock, Gayer Gardner, Charles Darling,
74 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
Charles IMcArthur, John Power, Israel Piatt,
Cyrus Curtiss, A. Y. V. Elting, Kobert McKinstry,
Its earliest supporter and the most liberal contributor to it, is said to have
been Capt. Judah Paddock, with whom it was a favorite project. At his
death he also left a fund to be devoted to its support. Capt. Paddock was
a man of wealth, energetic and benevolent. He retired from the seas in 1807.
Nearly every one is familiar with the narrative of his shijiwreck on the coast
of Barbary and subsequent confinement among the Arabs, published many
years ago, and recently re-published in the columns of the Hudson Gazette.
Previous to this he was engaged in trade with the West Indies, afterwards
with Liverpool and Russia. He died in the year 1822. Both Judah and
Laban, who recently died, an old and greatly respected citizen, for almost four
score years identified with the history of Hudson, were sons of Stephen Pad-
dock, one of the original proprietors. There is preserved in the Masonic
Lodge of this city, a sword presented prior to 1800, to Judah Paddock, by
the Empress Catharine, of Russia, for rleeiving a Russian man-of-war when in
distress, and by him presented to the Lodge, of which he was one of the earli-
est members, in 1807, "as a token of his high regard for masonry."
The Hudson Academy was chartered in the year 1807, with the following
Ezra Sampson, Timothy Babcock, Noah Gridley,
Peter Yan Denbergh, William Frazer, William Whiting.
Harry Croswell, Peter Yan Rensselaer, Saml J. Ten Broeck,
John Swift, ^Villiam Ashley, William Shaw,
Reuben Sears, Luther Dunning, Cornelius Tobey,
Elisha AVilliams, Joseph Mosely, Y^lilam Noyes, Jr.,
Wm. W. Yan Xess, Benjamin Miller, Obed W.Folger.
Ebeuezer Reed, John Bennett,
The erection of the building was commenced in the year 1805, the land for
that purpose having been given by Captain Seth G. Macy, another of that class
of citizens so numerous in the early days of Hudson, who, retiring from the
seas, became active in everything that could promote the prosperity of the
city. Capt. Macy l)uilt and occupied the fine residence now belonging to Capt.
Lathrop, in Stockport, (then Hudson) and established the works afterwards
purchased by Joseph Marshall, and so extensively known as Marshall's Print
The small collection of buildings on the Academy hill was at that time known
as Unionville. The fii'st house erected there was by Capt. Wm. Ashley, now
the residence of George McKinstry. Esq. To the first individual who should
SKETCHES ^.O F II U D S O N . 75
erect a house there, was to be given the privilege of naming the hill. Capt.
Ashley claimed it, and after some disagreement with others interested, declar-
ed that he "named that hill Prospect hill, and Prospect hill it shall be."
It had previously been called "Windmill hill, but has ever since been known
by the name given to it by Mr. Ashley. It could not have been more appro-
priately named, for it afiFords a prospect which for extent, beauty and variety,
is rarely equalled.
The first teacher in the Academy was Andrew M. Carshore. He remained
but one year and was followed by Ashbel Strong. Among those who subse-
quently filled the position were Amasa J. Parker, now Judge of the Supreme.
Court of this State, and Josiah W. Fairfield, Esq., of this city. Among the
many who have studied within its walls, was one to whom all eyes are now
directed and who fills a large place in the nation's heart : Gen. H. W. Ilalleck.
He was connected with the institution about three years, under the name of
Wager ; taking the name of his grandfather, to avoid the cruelty of an unnat-
ural and tyrannical father.
The Hudson Select Academy in Third street, was built in 1813, by an asso-
iation of which Seth Jenkins, who was chiefly interested in its establishment,
was President. It ceased many years ago to be used for the purpose for
which it was erected and was never deemed a successful undertaking. Mr.
Jenkins made a great eflTort to secure the passage of an Act by the Legislature,
granting to the Academy the fishing grounds in the vicinity of Hudson, with
the right to impose a tax upon all persons fishing upon them, the income
to go to the support of the institution. He was strongly opposed and failed
in his attempt, but it gave to the building the name of the "Shad Academy,"
by which for many years it was known.
The first School opened in Hudson was by James Burns, in the year 1783,
in a small building then standing upon the County road, near the river, upon
the site of the present store of WiUiam Poultney, built by the inhabitants at
Claverack Landing for a school house. It remained there until Front street
was opened. During the blasting of rocks necessary in opening the street, Mr.
Burns always dismissed his school, seeking some place of safety until the firing
was over. Laban Paddock, Seth Jenkins and many others, who were after-
wards leading citizens, were pupils of Mr. Burns. Henry Harder or "old Doct.
Harder" as he is now familiarly called, who is still living, was also a pupil,
then seven years old. With the opening of Front street, the building was
demolished, and the Diamond street school house, before mentioned, was
76 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
The system under wliicli the Public Schools of the city are at present con-
ducted was adopted in the year 1841. They exist under a special act of the
Lef islature, and are under the control of Superintendents, who receive their
appointment from the Common Council. The schools are four in number,
three white and one colored. Ample provision is made for their support and
they rank among the most efficient and thorough in the State. The first Su-
perintendents were Oliver Bronsou, Josiah W. Fairfield and Cyrus Cm-tiss.
The present Superintendents are Kobert B. Monell, Lcrenzo G. Guernsey and
Hiram Morrison. The average number of children in attendance is about
seven hundred and fifty. The number of children in the city between the
ages of four and twenty-one is twenty-three hundred and eighty-three. The
present number of teachers engaged is seventeen. The amount expended for
the support of the schools is about the sum of five thousand dollars. The
number of volumes in the public school library is twelve hundred and fifty.
In private schools of a high order, Hudson has never been deficient. Those
existing at the present day, the Rev. J. B. Hague's and the Misses Peake's
for young ladies, the Rev. E. Bradbury's, Rev. J. R. Coe's and Wm. P. Sny-
der's, for boys, are among the veiy best in the country.
We have before alluded (page 15) to the grant of a lot by the proprietors
and the erection of St. Johns Hall, by the Masonic Lodge of this city. The
Lodge was organized in the year 1787, three years after the settlement of the
place. In the month of March in that year, a petition, signed by
Seth Jenkins, Thomas Frothingham, Thomas Worth,
Jared Coffin, Robert Folger, William Wall,
Joseph Hamilton, Lemuel Jenkins, Daniel Gano,
John McKinstry, Shubael Worth, David Lawi-ence,
, John Thurston, Joseph Olney, Benjamin Chace,
John Pennoyer, Isaac Bateman, Samuel Mansfield,
was presented to the Grand Lodge of the State of New York by Daniel Gano,
requesting that a charter might be granted them, "for the purpose of making,
passing and raising Free Masons." It was given them in the month of May,
and in June the following individuals proceeded to Albany, and were installed
the first officers of Hudson Lodge, by the Worshipful Senior Grand Warden :
Worshipful Seth Jenkins, Master ; Jared CofiSn, S. W.; David Lawrence,
J. W.; Samuel Mansfield, Treas'r ; Daniel Gano, Sec'y ; Thomas Frothingham,
S.D.; Simeon Stoddard, J. D.; Shubael Worth, Benjamin Chace, Stewards.
The first celebration of the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, in the
SKETCIIKS OF HUDSON. '7*7
County of Columbia, took place at Hudson in 1787, under the direction of
LemuelJenkins, Shubacl Worth and Paul llussey. Ezekiel Gilbert delivered
"an elegant oration," for which he received the thanks of the Lodge through
David Lawrence and Levi Wheaton. After the oration, the Lodge proceeded
to a dinner at the house of Brother Joseph Gordon. The Festival of St.
John the Baptist was first celebrated in 1788, under the direction of Ambrose
Spencer, Samuel Mansfield and Joseph Gordon, "at which time, a sensible
and well adapted oration," was delivered by Doct. Levi Wheaton.
Prior to the erection of a hall, it was the custom of the Lodge to hold its
meeting at some one of the public houses. The first meeting was held at
the house of John McKinstry, whom we have before mentioned as the keeper
of the first pubHc house in Hudson. In Stone's life of Brant, we find related
the following interesting incident in the life of Mi'. McKinstry :
He was an oEBcer in the Revolutionary army, was engaged in the battle at
Bunker's Hill, and during the Canadian campaign, commanded a company
at Cedar Keys on the river St. Lawrence, where his command was shaqjly on-
gaged by a body of Indians under Brant, before whom his troops were several
times compelled to retire. Rallying however Avith spirit, the Indians were
repulsed in turn, and the respective forces were thus successively driven by
each other back and forth, according to the doubtful and varying fortunes of
the hour, until the Americans were overpowered by numbers and compelled
to surrender. Capt. McKinstry being wounded, fell by the side of a tree and
was taken prisoner by the Indians. He subsequently ascertained that he had
been selected by them as a victim, and that the usual preparations had been
made for putting him to death by the torture of fire. He remembered to
have heard that Brant was a Mason, and gaining his eye, gave him the proper
sign, and thus secured his release and subsequent kind treatment. Through
the personal exertions of Brant, in connexion with some humane English offi-
cers, a sum of money was raised, and an ox purchased which was given to the
Indians and by them roasted in the flames kindled for their gallant prisoner.
Capt. McKinstry never forgot the kindness of Brant. He afterwards became
a Colonel, and after a residence of a few years in this city, moved upon a farm
in the Manor of Livingston, where he several times entertained Brant as his
guest. Brant's last visit was in 1805, when, in company with Col. McKinstry,
he visited the Lodge in this city, where his presence attracted great attention.
The erection of a building was commenced by the Lodge in 1795, in which
year it seems to have had a large accession to its numbers. Laban Paddock
was an active member of the building committee, It was occupied in 1796,
and we have the following account of the
78 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
of the dedication of Mason Hall, Hudson, Anno Lucis 5796, corresponding to
December 27, 1796."
On the morning of the Festival the Brethren convened at Brother Joseph
Gordon's, and moved from thence in the following order to the Lodge Room,
Tyler with drawn Sword.
Deacons, with Rods.
Four Brethren, supporting the altar, two and two.
Six Brethren, two and two.
A Brother with Pitcher of Wheat.
A Brother with Pitcher of Wine,
A Brother with Pitcher of Oil.
Nine brethren, three and three.
Stewards, with Wands.
First LIGHT, carried by an Officer.
Second LIGHT, by an Officer.
Third LIGHT, by an Officer.
Wardens, with Jewels.
ARCHITECT, with Square, Level and Plumb.
Brethren, Workmen on Lodge, two and two with Instruments.
Officer, carrying Bible, Square and Compass on velvet Cushion.
Secretary, with Bag and Jewels.
Treasurer, with Staff and Jewels.
Chaplains for the Day, with Gown and Scarfs.
Brethren of Hudson Lodge, two and two.
Visiting Brethren of different Lodges, not in Office, two and two.
Officers of Lodges not engaged previously, two and two, with Scarfs and Jewels.
MASTER of Hudson Lodge, with Book of Constitutions.
Deacons of Hudson Lodge, with Rods.
In the above order the Procession arrived at the LODGE ROOM, where
they were accosted by Brother Ernst and the Choristers with the following
Anthem, composed and set to Music by him, accompanied with Instruments
of Music, until the Procession had gradually walked tliree times round the Hall.
]\Iortal Creature ! on Death Summons. Hesitate :
Not one Moment on God's Judgment seriously to contemplate !
*The Words of this Anthem are but a feeble Display of its musical Excel-
encies and Variations, when properly performed.
SKETCHES OFHUDSON. 79
Be in constant Readiness ;
For witliout^Pleasure and e'er thou dost guess,
May'st tliou experience a deadly Distress.
How shall then
Divine Justness — on thy Goodness — Sentence give —
"When contrary to His Statutes thou didst live ?
Shalt thou not in Anguish hover —
Shall thy Heart within not shiver —
When Reproaches thee do cover : at God's Bar ?
"When to avenge Transgression —
God hears no Intercession —
But makes a Declaration — Just and fair. —
Therefore, Mortal ! at present give Ear.
For to die happy, be times thee prepare :
Or thou wilt sutler eternally there I
When the ALTAR was placed in the center of the Hall on which were de-
posited the three pitchers, and the three great and three lesser LIGHTS, on
proper Pedestals, and in ancient Form, the Masters and Past Masters took
their seats ; the rest of the Brethea standing and joining in the following
To Heaven's high Architect all praise,
All praise, all gratitude be given,
Who deign 'd the human Soul to raise.
By mystic Secrets sprung from Heaven.
Sound aloud the GREAT JEHOVAH'S praise,
To HIM the Dome, the Temple raise !
The Anthem ended, the Architect, in behalf of himself and working Breth-
ren, advanced to the Master, and offered the return of the Implements used
in erecting and finishing the Building : The Master, expressing his appro-
bation in behalf of the Society, reciuested his Officers to take the Implements
and place them on a triangular Pedestal, erected for the puri)ose ; and all the
Brethren then seated themselves, and assisted in singing the following ^\ji-
them, composed by Brother Ernst.
(Tune, "God save Great Washington.")
Tliou great Architect ! Time flies on Wings away,
AVE, who're yet full Defect, Makes for us here no stay,
On Thee now call : But hastes in flight.
In a rough State we are, LORD ! may each Moment be
Graciously US prepare, Improved carefully :
According to Thy Square, For an Eternity
Lord oVer all. Before thy sight.
There is a Day of Grace, Signs of Mortality
Given the human Race : May teach Humility :
For them t' improve. Men as we are.
Let zis do as the Wise : LORD ! let not Death's dire Blow
Pray, work and rest precise, Lay all our Prospects low,
Follow but thine Advice But teach us Thee to know
LORD God of Love I And to prepare.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
As WE advance in Light,
So shall we niol'o unite :
In Bonds of Love.
May every Hand and Heart,
Unite in pious Art ;
To give the due Desert :
To GUI) above.
To an industr'ous Bee
We condescend and see :
Order and Wealth.
May WE, while here in Life,
Be subject without strife ;
Sheltered by our Hive
Have Bread and Health.
Li thy great House, LORD !
Beanty and Strengili accord.
These ne'er give 'way.
ISIay sti-ength and Beauty be :
Pillars of ■Nhisonry
And the Fraternity":
Let All exalt their Voice,
Let All at once rejoice :
To sound thy Fame,
Thou great ! great Architect !
Thy Children all connect
With Love and joint llespect :
To bless tliy Name.
From All beneath the skies,
JFTTOVAH'S Fraise arise.
His Name confes'd ;
And may his sovereign Grace
Shine upon every Face
And render Adams Eace
Happy and bles'd.
After which, the Brethren were called on to join in the PRAYER of
DEDICATION, by Brother GARDINER.
The Master then ordered the Lodge tyled. The Lodge being opened, the
Secretary informed the Master that it is the desire of the Society to have the
Tiodge dedicated ; on which intimation the Master requested the Officers and
Chaplains present to assist in that ceremony. The Brethren all standing.
CEREMONY OF DEDICATION.
The Master and A^^irdens advanced and took each a Pitcher ; then the Offi-
cers and Master followed tlie Junior Warden with the Pitcher of Corn, who
at the end after first round poured out the Corn : ''WE do in the Presence of
the Supreme Architect of Heaven and Earth, DEDICATE THIS HALL TO
MASONRY !" Which being proclaimed by the Secretary ; the Gfand Honors
were given by all present.
The Master and Officers then followed the Senior Warden once round ;
who then poured out the Contents of the Pitcher of Wine, and "In the Name
of Holy St. John !" dedicated the Hall to VIRTUE ; which being proclaimed
by the Secretary, the Grand Honors were again given.
At the end of the third Procession, the Master then poured out the Pitcher
of Oil. and "In the name of all the Brethren present," dedicated the Lodge to
UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE, when the Grand Honors were given !
While the above ceremony was performing, solemn Music was given by
Immediately after the Dedication the following Anthem was sung by all the
"Oh Masonry ! our hearts inspire."
And warm us with thy sacred lire :
SKETCHESOF HUDSON. 81
Make us obedient to thy Laws,
And zealous to support thy cause :
For thou and Virtue are the same,
And differ only in the name.
"Pluck narrow notions from the mind,
And plant the love of Jiuman Kind,
Teach us to fec^l a brotlun-'s woe.
And feelinji' comfort to bestow.
Let none unheedeil di-aw tii(; sigh,
No grief unnoticed, pass us Ijy.
"Let swellinEr pride a stranger be.
Our friend, compos'd liuniility,
Our hands let steady justice guide,
And 'i'enip'rance at our boanls preside ;
Let Kocresy oin* steps attend,
And injur'd Worth our tongues defend.
Drive Meanness from us ; fly Deceit,
And Calumny, and rigid Hate :
O! may our highest Pleasure be,
I'o add to man's 1^'elicity ;
And may we, as thy A'otries trae,
Thy paths. Oh MASONRY ! pursue.
Tlio Anthem being finished, the Brethren proceeded to tlie Meeting-IIouse
in the following order.
Tyler, witli drawn Sword.
Deacons, with white Eods.
Workmen on Lodge, two and two.
A rchitect — (Brother Hathaway.)
Brethren of Hudson Lodge, two and two.
A Brother with Bible on Cushion.
Chaplains, or Orators of the Day.
Brethren of the neighbouring Lodges, not in office.
W" 1 j OlTicers of Jludsoii ijodn'o.
vv aniens, I Q(ji(,yj.g ^f visiting Lodges.
Visiting Masters and Bast Alasiers.
]\IASTEII of Hudson Lodge.
Stewards with Wands, &c.
When seated in the Meeting-Houso, the following Anthem, set to Music by
Brother Ernst, was performed, by the C'horisters in the GaUery, viz.:
"Solo. Praise thou my Soul, the most mighty and great Lord of Glory."
After which the Brethren and Congregation received the Benefit of a
Prayer by Brother EBXST.
After the Prayer, the following Ode was sung by the Choristers. Set to
Music by Brother Ernst.
Blessed, who with constant Pl(\isurc,
Studies GOD'S revealed AVill ;
Seeking there for heavenly Treasure,
Day and Night, his Soul to fill.
82 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
He is like a living Tree,
Whicli by gentle streams we see :
Stretching forth its fruitful Branches
'Till the gath'ring Time advances.
An ORATION by Brother GARDINER was then delivered.
The ORATION being ended, a Collection was made for the suffering Poor
in the City of Hudson, by Brother TEN BROECK ; and then the following
ODE was sung by the Brethren and Choristers of the Gallery jointly, viz. :
Praise GOD from whence all Blessings flow !
Praise HIM all creatures here below !
Praise HIM all ye Anirelic Host !
Praise FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST.
Which concluded the Devotional Exercises of the Festival : when the
Brethren returned in the same order they came, to Brother Joseph Gordon's
N. B. Brother Andrew Mayfield Carshore was appointed Master of the
Ceremonies for the Day."
The "meeting house" in which these services took place was the Presbyte-
rian, the use of which had been granted by the trustees, after much hesitation,
and not until the Lodge agreed that an oration should be delivered instead of
the preaching of a sermon, as at first intended.
The Lodge was organized as No. 13, but was incorporated in the year 1824
as Hudson Lodge No. 7, the property being vested in the Masters and War-
dens. From it have originated the following organizations connected with the
Order : Hudson Royal Arch Chapter No. 6, charter granted by the Grand
Roj^al Arch Chapter of the Northern States, dated 1798 and signed by De-
Witt Clinton, Deputy Grand High Priest ; Thomas Frothingham, Deputy
Grand King ; Jedediah Sanger, Deputy Grand Scribe. Charter members were
Samuel Edmonds, High Priest ; Thomas Frothingham, King ; Elisha Jenkins,
Scribe. Chapter is still in existence.
Hudson Council No. 2, a Lodge of Royal Masters, was organized by a
charter from the Grand Council of the State of New York in 1824. Charter
members were Campbell Bushnell 1st officer, Charles Waldo 2d, Clai-k Smith
3d. The Council is not now in existence.
Lafayette Encampment was chartered by the Grand Encampment of the
State of New York in the year 1824, with Lionel U. Lawrence 1st, Orrin E.
Osborn 2d, and Gordon Dickson 3d officer, and is still existing.
Hudson Lodge, during the political excitement in the days of Anti-Mason-
ry, kept up its organization through the persevering efforts of a few of its mem-
bers. In 1841 the spirit of Masonry revived, from which period the Lodge
SKETCIIKS OF HUDSON. 83
has steadily grown in numbers and now lias a membership of one hundred and
fifty. The present oiBcers are, Cornelius Esselstyn, W. Master ; II. H. Cran-
dall, S. Warden ; Frederick Best, J. Warden ; W. H. W, Loop, Sec'y ; Theo-
dore Snyder, Treasurer ; J. M. Houck, S. Deacon ; Nelson Dutcher, J. Deacon.
The Past Masters (who are honorary members for life, not subject to the pay-
ment of dues) now living, are Cyrus Curtiss, Stephen A. Coffin, George Bar-
ker, Cornelius Bortle, James Batchellor and William A. Carpenter.
Richard Carrique, who died in 1849, was at the time of his death Senior
Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He was in-
terred by the Grand Lodge, Hon. John D. Willard, Grand Master, of Troy,
officiating, and a monument to his memory has been erected by the Grand
Lodge in the burial ground of this city.
Hudson Lodge No. 7, may be considered about the oldest "public institu-
tion" in the city with which very nearly from the time of its settlement it has
been co-existent. The society of Quakers only date their organization a short
period previous to the Lodge, which was in a strong and flourishing condition
years before any other church organization than the Quaker had been under-
taken, and embraced in its membership most of the prominent citizens of that
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS.
Allen Lodge No. 92 was chartered by the Right Worthy Grand Lodge of
the State of New York, August 3d, 1843, and instituted August 12th of the
same year. Charter members were Alfred Drake, James Batchellor, Wm. H.
Morey, M. L. Pultz, Alfred Heermance, M. D. Chariot. First officers : M. D.
Chariot, Noble Grand ; M. L.Pultz, Vice Grand ; James Batchellor, Secretary;
Alfred Heermance, Treasurer.
The officers for the term ending December 31, 1862, were Wm. H. Con-
verse, Noble Grand ; Henry Smith, Vice Grand ; Esdras Shear, Recording Sec-
retary ; Wm. S. Taylor, Permanent Secretary; Charles C. Malcher, Treasurer.
Present number of members one hundred and twenty.
Hudson City Lodge No. 389 was chartered by the Right Worthy Grand
Lodge of the State of New York, August 2d, 1849, and instituted August 9 ,
1849. Charter members were Abm, G. Vosburgh, Silas W. Tobey, M. W.
Leland, Henry Miller, Wm. H. Coons, Wm. I. Traver, Wm. H. Crapser, Chas.
Mitchell, M. H. Chrysler, John Crapser, Edward Grossman, John H. Chariot.
First officers : Abm. G. Vosburgh, Noble Grand ; M. H. Chrysler, Vice Grand ;
E. Grossman, Recording Secretary ; Henry Miller, Permanent SecretaVy ; Chas.
84 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
Officers for the terra ending December 31st, 1862 : Joliu Peeper, Noble
Grand ; Samuel Kline, Vice Grand ; Wm. H. Crapser, Secretary ; Allen Rey-
nolds, Treasurer. Present number of members thirty-five.
PATRIARCHAL BRANCH OF THE ORDER.
Union Encampment No. 10 was chartered by the Grand Encampment of
the State of New York, July 8th, 1844, and instituted July 18th, 1844.
Charter members were James Batchellor, M. L. Pultz, Chas. F. King, Wm.
E. Steel, H. G. Fowler, liemy Doty, Stephen A. Coffin, Hazard Morey, Wm.
H. Morey, Gordon Dickson, E. R. Abrahams, John L. Hills. First officers
James Batchellor, Chief Patriarch ; M. L. Pultz, H. P.; Stephen A. Coffin,
Senior Warden ; Wm. R. Steel, Scribe ; Henry Doty, Treasurer ; Gordon Dick-
son, Junior Warden. Officers for the term ending December 31st, 18C2, were
E. C. Terry, Chief Patriarch ; J. II. Chariot, 11. P.; Franklin Taylor, Senior
Warden ; Wm. S. Taylor, Scribe ; Charles Myers, Treasurer ; J. T. Waterman,
OTHER BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES.
There have been at different periods, Divisions of the Rechabites, Sons of
Temperance, United American Mechanics, and Daughters of Samaria organ-
ized, but existing for a short time only. About the year 1800 we find in ex-
istence an Association styled the "Hudson Mechanics' Association," and
another the "Mechanics' Benevolent Association," but we can gather no facts
relative to either. The Hudson Oi'phan and Relief Asylum was incorporated
in the year 1846, with Messrs. Aaron C. Macy, Carey Murdock, Robert
McKinstry, Elihu Gifibrd and Cyrus Curtiss as Trustees. It was estabhshed
chiefly, indeed we may say wholly, through the efforts of Mrs. Robert Mc-
Kinstry in the year 1843, and occupied the building, now the residence of
Henry McCann, in Diamond street. Abner Hammond paid the rent of the
building for the first year, and Mrs. McKinstiy labored unceasingly to provide
for its support and secure its establishment. In the year 1847 the present
building was erected, the lot being given by Mr. Hammond, and the cost of
the building, six thousand dollars, being paid by individual contributions.
Mrs. McKinstry during her life never ceased her active efforts for the com-
fort of its inmates or for its support, which has been chiefly hitherto from
donations, aided by annual appropriations from the State and County. It was
the desire and aim of her life that it should become self-sustaining ; a desire
which she lived to see almost accomplished. It has now a permanent fund of
near fifteen thousand dollars, with the certainty of additions which ere long
will probably place it beyond need of the care and effort which past years have
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 85
called for. Upon the death of Mrs. McKiustry, which took place ou the 22d
day of June of the present year, the Managers of the Association paid their
tribute to her self-denial and benevolence in the following resolution :
"That in the death of Mrs. McKiustry the Association has lost its earliest,
warmest and most devoted friend and supporter ; that wliile we feel her loss
can never be made up to the Association, or the city and county in which she
resided, her example of unparalleled benevolence and self-denying efforts for
this institution and to ameliorate the condition of the poor generally, calls
upon us all to exert ourselves to imitate her example and follow in the foot-
steps of one whose whole life was spent in doing good to othei-s."
The first religious organization in the city was that of the society called
Friends or Quakers. In the proprietors' minutes we find a resolution to the
following effect, passed Sept. 8th, 1784.
AVhereas, divers of the Proprietors were members of the society called
Quakers, and had requested that a piece of ground be set apart on their right
for a meeting-house and school-house, that they should be authorized and
empowered to make choice of such one of the public squares or lots, for a
meeting-house as they should think proper, the lot to be given by the Propri-
etors, if built upon before any other society should make application. The
half of another lot adjoining, was to be selected also, for a school-house. A
deed of conveyance of the lots was to be given for the purpose mentioned,
and that only. A lot upon the South side of Union street, seventy-five by
sixty feet, near the corner of Third street was selected and conveyed to them
where now stands the residence of Mr. E. M. Hedges, upon which a small
frame building was erected.
• The society increasing rapidly in numbers, pm'chased the lot upon the
opposite side of Union street, Corner of Thii-d, where in the year 1794 they
erected a large brick building, fifty-two by thirty-eight feet, two stories in
height, capable of accommodating six hundred people, and in which they
worehipped until the year 1853. In that year an exchange having been effcct-
with the Methodist society, the old building was demolished and the Friends
occupied the building vacated by the Mt,'thodists, where they worship at pres-
ent. This will doubtless be their last "meeting-house," the society having
dwindled to a very few families in number.
The old brick meeting-house was built in strict accordance with the simpli-
city of taste and character which marked the sect at that day. It was totally
devoid of exterior ornament, not boasting for many years even of a gai'b of
paint, and with so little to designate its use that a stranger would not readily
86 SKETCHES OFHUDSON.
have taken it to be a house of worship. The interior was fitted up with plain,
high-backed, hard benches, upon which a protracted sitting was trying to flesh
and blood. Facing these were arranged a few elevated seats upon which sat
the elders and scribes of the society and from which the preachers discoursed,
whenever the spirit moved them so to do. We were in our youthful days
always made to believe, that from those seats the elders kept close watch of
the juveniles, and if any one was caught napping, or in any impropriety, he
was gently approached and reminded of the fact, by a friendly tap upon the
head. Perhaps some one was specially deputed to this portion of the service.
Few juveniles, we are certain, ever entered the "temple gate," without leaving
behind every inclination to levity, or without the fear of a quakerly cane before
their eyes. The building was divided by a moveable partition, which upon
particular occasions was used to entirely separate the sexes. On all occasions
the men occupied the left side of the house, the women the right. No part of
the interior was ever painted. It would be difficult to imagine a more unat-
tractive room in appearance, yet it harmonized closely with the gravity and
silence of its occupants. Their worship was ordinarily silent. There were
preachers among them who did however occasionally discourse to them : —
mention has been particularly made of Thomas Comstock and Hannah Bar-
Thomas Comstock not only preached to the society at home, but often felt
himself impelled to visit and speak to Friends in different parts of the country,
Hannah Barnard was an extraordinary woman, one of the most gifted of her
day, and probaljly the most intelligent female Friend in the country. She was
of medium size and spare, with a keen black eye, and pleasing expression of
countenance. She possessed great power of language, a remarkably inquisitive
turn of mind, was a woman of much thought and extensive reading, and had
travelled considerably in Europe ; but all her good qualities could not save
her from falling under the censure of the society and being "read out of
During a visit to England and Ireland, which she proposed to extend to
Germany, for the pm'pose of preaching, she fell into a controversy with Friends
in England, who charged her with not being "in unity" in her belief respecting
various parts of the Old and New Testament. After many intemews with her
they recommended her to desist from speaking and "quietly return to her own
habitation." They reported her to the meeting at Hudson as holding ideas
inconsistent with the principles of truth as believed by the Friends of England,
and upon her return here she was dealt with in a spirit of kindness, but failing
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 87
to convince her of her error, she was at first silenced as a preacher. After
frequent conferences with her the committee appointed by the meeting at
Hudson reported that they had no hope of her recovery from thi; dark and
bewildered state of mind into which she had fallen, that she had so far become
clouded in her mind as to be led away by the spirit of delusion and at last dis-
owned her as a member of the society of Friends. This occurrence at the
time attracted the attention of Friends throughout the country, from the great
reputation she enjoyed among them.
Determined and independent, she did not fear to face committees or
resolves of meetings. "I tell thee," said she to one of the old elders, who
dealt with her, "thy 'ipse dixit' doesn't pass for law with me." In her last
remarks before the society she predicted that the '-meeting of Hudson would
come to nought."
The "Friends" were not only numerically strong, but the society embraced
nmch of the wealth and influence of the city, and numbered among its mem-
bers many of the most active and enterprising business men. It is said that
at one time, fully two thirds of the families of the city were Quakers, and of
the remaining third, the greater part were "half Quakers."
In the year 1828 a division occurred in the society throughout the country.
Several families here, styling themselves "Orthodox," seceded from the old
meeting, and built a small place of worship on the Southerly side of Union
near Fourth street, where, few in number, they still meet. The original soci-
ety was called "Hicksite," and after the division still remained very strong in
numbers and influence.
In their discipUne they were strict. Neglecting to attend public worship,
sleeping in church, departures from plainness of speech or apparel, neglect to
read the scriptures, indulging in the corrupt conversation of the world, read-
ing of pernicious books, marrying or attending a marriage out of the society
or where a "priest officiated," attending places of diversion or taverns, tale-
bearing, backbiting, neglect of poor, nonpayment of just debts, holding of
slaves, were a few among the many matters which were made the subjects of
regular inquuy and report at their meetings. In all these particulars the great-
est care and watchfitlricss v/cre exercised by the society.
The same simplicity which marked their place and form of worship, marked
their whole character and was carried into every department of life. They
never uncovered their heads in worship, nor upon any pubUc occasion, nor did
they in their intercourse with each other or the "world's people," ever make
use of any titles in their address, simply callins; each other by their given
names. In dress they observed the most severe plainness in every respect.
88 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
probably for many years not varyiug from a j^articular style, or certain variety
of shades and material. No approach to ornament was ever attempted and
jewelry never tolerated. They were cheerful and hospitable at their homes,
but in their interior arrangements and mode of living the same simplicity was
to be seen. Perhaps nowhere was their dislike of show more noticeable than
upon funeral occasions. Until within quite a recent period nothing but the
plain white pine cofSn was ever seen, unstained, unvarnished and most fre-
quently carried without even the customary black pall to hide it from public
gaze. It may traly be said of them, they were a "peculiar people." Lovers
of order, temperate, frugal, benevolent, regular in all their habits of life, indus-
trious and peaceful in their pursuits, they were not only gi-eatly respected as a
class, but well calculated to increase the prosperity of their new home.
No sketch of Hudson would be complete without this tribute to the worth
of the "Friends" of early days. There are at present, but few of the society
left, and they to a great extent have laid aside the peculiarities which distin-
guished them in former days from the "world's people." It cannot be many
years before the last plain Friend will have been seen in the streets of Hudson.
The second religious organization was that of the Presbyterian denomina-
tion, second in order, and at that time second in numbers and influence. In
the year 1790, Marshal Jenkins applied to the proprietors for a grant of land
upon which the society might erect a place of worship. The lot given by the
proprietors, was upon the Easterly side of Second street. South of Union,
now lying between Partition and Allen street, then known as Federal street.
The erection of the building was commenced in the year 1790, and it Was com-
pleted in 1792. It was a plain, but substantial brick building, capable of seat-
ing about five hundred people, and was surmounted by a spire of considerable
height. The site of the church was a very beautiful one, commanding a full
view of the river and mountains, and in an approach to the city from the
South, the building was a very prominent object.
The society was organized in 1790, by the election of Nathaniel Greene,
Marshall Jenkins, Eussel Kellogg and Thomas Frothingham as Trustees.
Until the erection of their church edifice, they worshipped in the City Hall.
For several years the society was weak, and was supported mainly by the
contributions of its wealthy members, but about the year 1800 grew rapidly
in wealth and numbers. Shortly after they entered tlieir building, a writer
signing himself "Selah," censured them through the columns of the news-
SKETCHES OF II U D S O X . 89
paper for tolerating such poor singing, and urged thorn to patronize liherally
a singing school which was soon to be opened. Thcjy were at that time
without a choir, which he explained by stating thut it had disbanded probably
"disgusted" with its own music, and that the congregation certainly were.
The first pastor, Eev. John Thompson, was installed in the Spring of 1793,
at a salary of one hundred and seventy-five pounds, and dismissed in the year
following. In 1795 the Rev. Bildad Barney was settled as Pastor, for a short
time only, the Rev. Kzra Sampson supplying the pulpit until the Spring of
1798, when the Rev. Chauncey Lee was settled, soon followed by the Eev.
Reuben Sears, who remained its pastor until the j'oar 1810. In that year the
Rev. John Chester was ordained and remained until the year 1815, when th(^
Rev. Benjamin F. Stanton was installed, who was dismissed in 1824. Upon
the installation of both Mr. Chester and Mr. Stanton, a dinner, by direction of
the church, was provided at Messrs. Nichols and Bement's, at which the
Mayor and Corpoi'atiou were invited to dine with the Presbytery. Mr. Stan-
ton was succeeded by the Rev. William Chester, who remained its pastor
until 1832. lu the Spring of 1833, Rev. Jarcd B. Waterbury was settled and
remained until 1846, when he was succeeded by Rev. Henry Darling. Its
present pastor. Rev. "William S. Leavitt, was settled in 1853.
The edifice now occupied by the society was erected in the year 183G, upon
the site of the old City Hall, then generally known as the "old Court House,"
which at that time had stood just half a century. The present membership
of the church is about three hundred and sixty. The number of families con-
nected with the society is about two hundred.
The third religious society organized was the jNIethodist. On the 12tli day
of March, in the year 1790, leave was granted by the Proprietors, upon appli-
cation of Samuel Wigton, to build a place of worship upon some one of the
public lots owned by them and to be selected by him. Marshall Jenkins
and Cotton Gelston were appointed a connnittee to wait upon and confer
with Mr. AVigton and give him his choice of land, not previously granted,
"sufficient to accommodate him and his society." They reported to the Pro-
prietors that they had selected a lot on the South East Corner of Third and
Diamond streets, "back of John Hathaway's lot," and were then empowered
by the Proprietors to convey same to the society. How long previous to this
it had been established we cannot ascertain, but at that time it was small and
occupied a building erected as a place of worship, afterwards used as a school-
90 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
housft and owned by Mr. Wigton, situated upon the hill in Cherry Alley, run-
ning up from South Front Street.
After the grant of a lot to Mr. Wigton a small frame building was erected
capable of accommodating two hundred persons, upon the site of their present
parsonage, which they occupied until the erection, in the year 1825, of the
building now occupied by the society of Friends. Their present Church
edifice was erected in the year 1853.
Owing to the peculiar organization of the Methodist church, their minutes
are wide-spread and we have been able to gather but few particulars con-
cerning the society in this city ; and so frequent their change of ministers,
that it would be difficult to furnish their names. The society at present num-
bers, in comnmnicants four hundred and thirteen, and in families about one
hundred and twenty.
In the month of IMarch, 1795, John Tallman and John Powell presented
a petition in behalf of the Episcopal society, for a grant of land upon which
to erect a house of worship. The petition was submitted to Thomas Jenkins,
Alexander Coffin and David Lawrence, as a committee, who subsequently re-
commended that a quit-claim deed be given to John Tallman and John Powell
as Wardens of the Episcopal church, in trust for said society, for a lot for the
purpose of building a church thereon, and "that use only." The location of
the lot first selected is not mentioned, but it was granted with the privilege
to the Wardens of changing it, and subsequently was changed for the lot upon
the corner of Second and State streets.
It was conditioned that the church should be erected within five years or
the land sliould revert to the Proprietors. The building was commenced im-
mediately, but progressed slowly from pecuniary embarrassments, and was not
completed until the year 1802, and then not wholly, remaining without a
steeple until the year 1823. The Proprietors, however, seem not to have
taken advantage of the condition of the grant. The society suffered heavily
from the defalcation of an individual by the name of Gardner, their first
minister, who held the greater part of their building fund, and decamped with
some three or fom' thousand dollars in his possession. In 1802 they adopted
the title of Christ church. Previous to the erection of their church edifice
they worshipped in the Diamond street school-house. Of the first organization
of the society or of its early strength we have no account save that among its
supporters are found the names of several of the most prominent citizens of
SKETC II ESOF HUDSON. 91
The church was consecrated by Bishop Moore in October, 1803, but the first
service in it was upon Christmas day, in the year previous, and at the same
time the first renting of the pews took place, amounting to nearly three hun-
dred dollars. Upon the first visit of Bishop Moore to Hudson, before the com-
pletion of the building, the trustees of the Presbjlerian church offered to the
Episcopal society for the service of the Bishop, the use of their new edifice,
then just completed. It was not accepted.
Eev. Bethel Judd was the first Rector settled, after Mr. Gardner, receiving
a salary of three hundred dollars, officiating every other Sabbath. John Mal-
cher was the first sexton, receiving for his services ten dollars a year, after-
wards increased to sixteen.
In 1803 a charity school was established in connection with the church,
numbering at one time forty scholars. In its behalf, a sermon was preached
monthly by the rector, and a collection taken up for its support.
It is said that the first Sabbath-school in the State of New York (prol)ably
outside of the city of New York) was established by Christ church of Hudson,
how early we do not know.
In 1811, their first organ was erected, at a cost of four hundred and fifty
dollars. The old church was occupied until the month of October in the year
1857, when their new and beautiful edifice upon the corner of Union and East
Court streets was consecrated by Bishop Potter.
After the Rev. Mr. Judd, its rectors have been Rev. Messrs. Prentice,
Cooper, Croswell, Bedell, Stebbins, Andrews, Cairns, Pardee, Babbitt, Tuttlo
We have before spoken of Mr. Croswell as one of the editors of the Hudson
Balance and Repository. After his entry upon the ministry his first sermon
was preached in Christ church in this city. The occasion drew out a largo
attendance of his former political friends and acquaintances. Mr. Croswell
solemnly addressed them, telling them, "they had seen how well he had served
his political masters, and should bear witness how much more faithfully ho
should follow the new master upon whose service ho had entered."
The present rector is Rev. George F. Seymour. The society numbers one
hundred and ninety-one communicants and one hundred and forty-eight fam-
In the year 1810, on the 4th day of August, a number of individuals of tiie
Baptist persuasion met at the house of H. P. Skinner for the purpose of
92 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
forming themselves into a Baptist society, under tlie direction of Elder Daniel
Steers, a Missionary from New York. On the 2Sth day of August delegates
from several churches in the vicinity met in the Coiirt House to deliberate
upon a constitution to be adopted by them, and after the examination of
twelve individuals, as to their qualifications for membership, organized them as
the First Baptist church of the City of Hudson. Their first Pastor was Kev.
Harvey Jenks. For a short time they worshipped in private houses, and in
the year 1811, leased the school-house, owned by Thomas Power, in Union
street near Second, at a rent of fifty cents per week, as a regular place of wor-
ship. Increasing in numbers, they occupied the Mayor's Court room, in the
Court House, and in 1818 on the 7th day of June, entered and dedicated the
church which they have recently vacated. It was described as "new, neat and
commodious." The society was then under the pastoral care of Rev. Avery
Briggs, who preached the dedicatory sermon, from Exodus 39th chapter, 30th
verse, to a aumerous audience. The cost of the building or room was fifteen
hundred doUs^rs. The society at this period numbered one hundred members.
Mr. Briggs was succeeded by Rev. Howard jNIalcora, of Philadelphia, who re-
mained with them many yeai-s, an able and successful preacher. Their present
church edifice was dedicated in the month of October, 1861. The society is
now under the pastoral charge of Rev. G. W. Folwell and has a membership
of one hundred and fifty-nine. The number of families connected with it is
about one hundred.
Its pastors since Mr. Briggs, have been Rev. Messrs. James G. Ogilvio,
Howard Malcom, Ebenezer Loomis, "William Richards, Israel Robords, Moses
Field, John W. Gibbs. E. D. Towner, T. G. Freeman, Leroy Church, G. ^Y.
Hervey, ^Vm. B. Smith, ^7illiam C. Ulyat, G. ^Y. Folwell.
The Universalist society was organized in the year 1817. In the winter of
the previous year, Capt. John Hathaway, who was one of the founders of the
Presbyterian church in this city, requested Abner Kueeland, a Universalist
minister of considerable reputation, to visit Hudson and preach. Capt. Hath-
away personally invited a large number of families and individuals to hear him
at the Couit House, made all necessary arrangements for the meeting, bore all
the expenses, and secured for Mr. Kneeland a large audience. The result of
the meeting was the immediate organization of a so.ciety, and the taking of
steps to build a place for worship. Capt. Hathaway gave to them a lot of land
and contributed liberally to the erection of the building, which was completed
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 93
and occupied iu the same year, 1817, being the building- occupied by tlie soci-
ety at the present time. Until its completion they continued to worship in
the City Hall. The records of the society being very incomplete, we have
been able to gather few particulars concerning its early strength, but it imme-
diately drew to its support a large number of influential citizens and maintain-
ed a leading position.
The first minister regularly employed was Rev. Joslma Flagg, at a salary
of six hundred dollars, llev. Messrs. I'ickering. Carrique, King, Smith, Whit-
comb, Whittaker, Bunker, A ckley,|Lefevre, CoUins, Browne, Borden, have
since Mr. Flagg, been its ministers. Eev. A. 11. Abbott, their present minister,
was settled in 18G0. The present numl)er of communicants in the church
is forty-eight, of families iu the parish between eighty and ninety.
Believing that there existed room and necessity for another church organi-
zation in this city, a few individuals then connected with the I'resbyterian
church, in the Summer of 183.5, met at the office of Joseph I). Monell for con-
sultation. The meeting consisted of Joseph D. Monell, John Gaul, Killian
Miller, Stephen W. Miller, A. Y. V. Elting, Wm. E. Ileermance and James
E. Delamater. Desh'ous that the new organization should be of the Reformed
Dutch order, they with other citizens made application to the Classis of
Rensselaer, and on the 20tli day of September, 183.3, a society was organized,
by a committee corsisting of Rev. ISIessrs. Andrew N. Kittle, Peter S. Wyn-
koop and Richard Sluyter, as the First Reformed Protestant Dutch church of
Hudson. A sermon was preached on the occasion by Rev. Peter S.Wynkoop.
Their first services were held in the old Court House, and the first sermon
was preached by Rev. John B. Hardeuburgh, D. D., then of Rhinebeck, now
of N. Y. City. The first consistory ordained consisted of the following i)er-
Elders.— John Watrous, A. Y.Y. Elting, Jonathan Stow, Thos. F. Mesick.
De.\cons.— Robt. D. Yan Deusen, Jacob C. Everts, Jacob Yan Deusen.
The first pastor. Rev. George H. Fisher, was called from the First Reform-
ed Dutch church of Fishkill, and iustaUed October 20th, 1835.
A sermon was preached by Rev. Clu-istopher Hunt, from John ii. 17 :
"The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." The form was read, and
charge to the pastor delivered by Rev. Andrew N. Kittle. The charge to the
congregation was delivered by the Rev. Richard Sluyter.
94 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
Mr. Fisher was dismissed, to become pastor of the Broome street church,
in New York, December 28, 1841.
After the sale of the Court House, the congregation met on several Sab-
baths, in the Baptist church. St. John's Hall was then occupied, until the
completion of the church edifice, which was built in the year 1836, under the
direction of a building committee, composed of Stephen W. Miller, Joseph D.
Monell, James E. Delemater, William E. Heermance, Abraham V. V. Elting.
It was dedicated December 18, 1836, when a sermon was preached by Rev.
John H. Van Wagenen, pastor of the church at Linlithgow, from John x. 22 :
"And it was at Jerusalem, the feast of the dedication, and it was winter."
The Lord's Supper was administered for the first time on the last Lord's
day in January, A. D. 1836. At that time there were seventeen communi-
cants, and at the first renting of pews, the society numbered about fifty
The second pastor. Rev, John Gosman, D. D., was called from the Re-
formed Dutch churches of Coeymans and New Baltimore, and installed May
15th, 1842. The installation services were performed by Rev. Andrew N.
Dr. Gosman was, at his own request, which the state of his health compelled
him to make, released from the pastoral charge, April 20th, 1852.
The third and present pastor. Rev. David D. Demarest, D. D., was called
from the Second Reformed Dutch church of New Brunswick, N. J., and
installed August 1st., 1852.
A sermon was preached by Rev, John G. Johnson, from Gal, vi. 14 : "But
God forbid that I should glory," &c. The form was read by Rev. L^a C. Boice.
The charge to the pastor was delivered by Rev. CorneUus E. Crispell, The
charge to the congregation was delivered by Rev. Jacob N. Yoorhis.
The present number of members is two hundred, number of families about
one hundred and sixtv.
St. Mary's Church, Catholic, was established as a mission about twenty years
ago, under the charge of a pastor at first from Saugerties, afterwards from Al-
bany, who held occasional services here, occupying the lower part of StJ
John's Hall. The congregation growing rapidly, a chm-ch was erected in 1848,
at a cost of about ten thousand dollars, including additions subsequently made
to it. It was consecrated by Bishop McCloskey, was then under the charge
of Father Howard, and numbered about one hundred communicants. Its pre-
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 05
sent pastor is Father 0"SulIivan, and it numbers about one thousand commu-
nicants, and two hundred families, with an income of fifteen hundred dollars
from pew rents. In connection with the church, a free day school is sustained,
numbering two hundred and forty-seven scholars, with an average attendance
of two hundred.
There are at present two African churches in existence, which have organ-
ized, dis-organized, and re-organized so ol'ten, as to make it impossible to fix
their beginning. They occupy, one the old Episcopal church, the other the
old chapel connected with it, and together embrace nearly the entire colored
population of the city, a very few being connected with the other churches.
They are rival organizations, and both look for their support to the white
population, through the medium of fairs and strawberry festivals.
Among her early native born citizens there have been many to whom Hud
son may point with pride, who have risen to distinction, some in professional
life, others in mercantile pursuits, unaided by the advantages of either wealth
or power. Among her residents, also, there have been many, alike distin-
guished for poUtical eminence and professional ability. To more than mention
them would be to open a field which we dare not enter.
Gen. William J. "Worth, Lieut. William H. Allen, Maj'tin Tan Buren,
Elisha Williams, W^illiam W. Van Ness, John C. Spencer Ambrose L. Jordan,
Ambrose Spencer, Amasa J. Parker, Daniel B. Tallmadge, John W. Ed-
monds, Thomas P. Grosvenor, Joseph D. Monell, Killian Miller, Elisha
Jenkins, Thos. W. Olcott, make up a list, the equal of which, without men-
tioning others little less prominent in a public point of view, few i)laces can
furnish. From those who have at different periods been connected with the
legal profession in this city, ten have occupied the bench of the Supreme
Court of the State of New Tork, William W. Van Ness, Ambrose Spencer,
Daniel B. Tallmadge, John W. Edmonds, Amasa J. Parker, Edward P.
Cowles, Henry Hogeboom, Josiah Sutherland, Theodore Miller and Claudius
Among the early physicians of the place were several eminent for their
skill and ability. Doctors Hamilton, Wlieaton, Tallman, ]\Ialcolm and Wliite
96 SKETCHES OF HUDSON,
are particularly mentioned. All of them were here previous to the beginning
of the present century.
Dr. Wheaton was the earliest, and is spoken of as a careful, judicious physi-
cian. ITis first residence was near the foot of Warren street, upon the South-
erly side, but he afterwards built the large brick dwelling, in Union street,
recently occupied by Mr. Israel Piatt. In the year 1791, he entered into
partnership with Dr. Younglove, celebrated for his successful treatment of the
Dr. Hamilton is described as "an original in mind and manner as well as
practice, whose three great remedies were calomel, bark and brandy. He was
nevertheless a well educated, strong-minded man ; but fond of hearing himself
talk, careless of time, and often rendered himself disagreeable by his long
visits and still longer stories." His residence was in Diamond, between Second
and First streets.
Dr. Tallman enjoyed a large practice and was called one of the finest looking
men in the city : "large, portly, always well dressed and of the most polished
and gentlemanly manners." When appointed to the office of Mayor, it was
said his good looks secured his appointment. He was "in personal appear-
ance, air and manner, the beau ideal of the medical faculty." His practice
was larger than that of any other physician. His first residence was upon the
North-west corner of Union and Second streets ; in later years he occupied the
present residence of the Misses Peake.
Dr. Malcolm, it is said, was a "gentleman in the highest sense of the word, a
man of education, talent and science, who literally starved in his profession."
Dr. White also enjoyed a large practice. In some branches of his profession
he was superior, and has left behind him a reputation equal to that of any
other physician in the State. We have before mentioned the Lunatic Asylum
established by liim, and for years so successfully conducted.
Doctors are proverbial for disagreeing. We have an illustration of this truth
in the practice of two of the most eminent of these old physicians of Ifudson.
A son of Cotton Gelston retm-ned sick from sea ; one of them pronounced his
disease scurvy and treated him accordingly. Not improving, he placed him-
self under the care of another, who called his difficulty incipient dropsy. A
little feeling grew out of the affjir, ending in a dispute, which found its way
into print, and finally ended in a six months' controversy of the bitterest char-
acter, carried on through the columns of the Bee, in which such epithets as
"country booby," "smutty doctor," &c., were freely used. The doctors exhaust-
ed themselves, and the patient died without a settlement of the question.
SKETCHES OP HUDSON. 07
Tho controversy to tlio parties douI)tles3 scemeil iniporlaut, but at tlii:i
distant day appears trivial and amusing.
It was early said that Hudson was "noted for tlic cuiinpncc of its physi-
cians." From the days of the old physicians mentioned, the medical facully
of tlie city has always embraced many educated, skillful, gentlemanly physi-
cians. Of their present numl)er, one, (Dr. R. G. Frary,) who has long been
eminent for his ability, laboring under tho weight of years, nnist soon cease
from his active duties, missed by a largo circle to whom his presence has
brought comfort and healing.
Speaking of tlic ministers of Hudson, prior to 1800, the author of -'Ilandom
llecollections" says :
"TTudson, though she has figured greatly on the bar and on the bench, even
in the Senate and the Executive chair ; though she has added to the laurels
of the Army and Navy, and performed wonders in tlie political wurld, yet
she has contributed nothing to the splendor and but little to the comfort of
Little can bo said of them for the simple reason that there were few at
that early period to speak of. In the early days of the city, as we have before
riMuarkod, tho Friends overshadowed every other denomination, greatly ex-
ceeding all combined, in number. Of their ministers, Thomas Comstock and
Hannah Barnard, we have spoken.
Of Rev. Ezra Sampson and Reuben Sears, Presbyterian ministers, the
same author thus speaks : of the fonncr, tha the was ''distinguished for classical
and biblical learning. He was indeed an excellent writer, a man of sound
practical sense and great purity of mind." Of the latter, that he was '"a man
of moderate talents, without art, without force, and without even an occasional
gleam of eloquence ; but honest, warm hearted, and of the most exemplary
piety. His sei'mons were exceedingly dull, but not exceedingly tedious, for
they had one redeeming admirable quality, they were short. In this they
were in excellent keeping with his compensation and the patience of his hear-
ers. Four hundred dollars was the amount of one, and fifteen minutes the
extent of the other."
Of the Episcopal church he says, "for many years itwas without any regular
or cstaljlishcd minister." The first allusion we findto any is to the Rev. Mr.
Judd in 1803, who is spoken of as a "man of education and a faithful minister."
Samuel Wigton seems to have been the only minister of the ]\Iethodist
church, up to the period nientiorcd. His strength lay in his voice, and his
pulpit efforts were mostly confined to singing.
98 SKETCHES O F II U D S O N .
Wc tliink wo do not err in saying, that since the year 1800, the pulpits of
no city of the same population as Hudson, have been filled by a higher order
of talent or men of greater purity of character, than those of Hudson.
We turn to a different class of personages, a few of whom are found in every
community, and are too prominent to bo omitted from any picture drawn of
it ; a mixture of "vagrant, loafer and lunatic." We shall call them oddities.
We cannot do better, and we take the liberty of drawing from the pages
of '-Eandom Eecollections" descriptions of several of that species, belonging
to Hudson in early times.
There flourished in the city about the same'period three Johns, the first "a
crazy, wild, fire-eyed fellow known by the name of old John AVillod, whose
wife, it was said, had turned his brain, and whose relations, it was believed, had
picked his pockets. He was a sort of erratic meteor in the moving world ;
sometimes mild and sometimes mischievous. He sung psalms and catches up-
on the hills, threw up his arms into the air, and cut such terrific capers as
frightened the boys out of their wits, and even attracted the attention of the
cattle in the field. At the sound of his voice in the streets, the housemaids
ran in and hasped their doors, while the youngerlings dropt their marbles and
fled like quicksilver. He seemed to take especial pleasure in frightening
the smaller boys whenever he came across them either in the town or fields."
The second was familiarly known as "old Brooks." "Brooks belonged to
the antiquities of the old world. He certainly had all the appearances of an
antediluvian, "i'^et I never could learn that his history had been traced further
back thali to the period of the Van Troomps of the Netherlands. He came,
it was said, firom Amsterdam, in or about the year 1G52, and was supposed to
be at the time somewhere in the vicinity of one hundred years of age ! But I
do not vouch for the accuracy of these traditions. I first saw him in 1788,
and after the lapse of eighteen or twenty years, he still appeai'od in all respects
unchanged. His habits were unaltered, his faculties unabated, and the light
of his eye Undimmed. Time, in that interval at least, seemed to have made
no impression upon him. There was, indeed, no place left for a new twist or
a new wrinkle. As for the ordinary signs of age, he had long since ran
through the catalogue, and exhausted their number. His head, his hands, and
his voice had boon shaking, as if with the palsy, for half a century, and were
shaking still. His little twinkling oye and the tip of his nose, were all that
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 90
coukl bo seen of his face. His laiignago was a dialect compouiuled of tlireu
other dialects — high dutch, low dutch, and broken English, and to those un-
used to it, utterly unintelligible. His outside garment, which was always the
same, winter and summer, was composed of as many colors as Joseph's coat.
The original texture had long since been lost and covered under a cloud of
patches. His shoes were fastened to his feet by thongs and fibres of bark.
He wore a Uttle cocked hat, banded and braided with divers colored strings,
which might, from its form and fashion, have been worn by l)o Ruyter himself.
His pipe, black with the smoke of a thousand years, still answered the ends
for which it was created, and gave to his figure in a frosty morning an addi-
tional sign of vitality.
He lived about three miles from the city, to which he traveled on foot, twice
or three times a week, the year round. He carried a willow basket strapped
upon his back, filled with roots and herbs, mostly of a medicinal character.
These simples he gathered with his own hands, and it was by the sale of these
he obtained his livelihood. Old and poor as he was, and lone and miserable as
he seemed, yet he was never known to beg or to complain. On the contrary,
ho seemed to enjoy good health, was always cheerful and apparently contented."
Hudson in later days furnished an almost exact counterpart, in appearance,
at least, to old Brooks, in the person of "Bill Morris, the root digger," as he
was generally called. No more accurate description of liis "external" man
could be written of Morris, than that furnished of Brooks. His knowledge
of roots and herbs was extensive and he frequently made it his boast that no
root grew within ten miles of Hudson which he did not know. Morris was a
man of depraved habits, biit we think he will be remembered as a "useful insti-
The third John was "Copper John." "Copper John, tliough resembling
Brooks in some things, was very unlike him in others. He had no knowledge
of the medical qualities of roots and herbs. He had no taste for the culling
of simples, and no disposition to traffic in any thing. He took no thought for
the morrow, either as to what he should cat or what he should drink ; it was
sufficient for hira to know that he could find his way into a kitchen in the day
time, and into a barn at night. But John was is no sense a responsible person.
His intellectual pitcher was cracked, and the vessel was therefore unfit for use.
Yet he possessed great bodily strength, and was certainly capal)le of some
things if not others. He could split wood and fetch water ; he could bog, too,
but not like a beggar ; he could work, but not like a man ; ho was in size a
giant, but huge and strong as ho was, he nevertheless submitted to any show
100 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
of authority, and put up with any kind of treatment ; hence, he was always in
tlie liands of the boys, who played hiin an endless variety of tricks ; they did
him some g-ood and much evil ; they forced him to work, and learned him to
drink, though he had no great taste for either. He had a natural antipathy
to cats, which the boys soon found out, and John, to his horror, every now and
then, found one attached by a cord to the tail of his coat. His first impres-
sion on these occasions, was to run and roar, — the cat had no choice but to
follow his example ; and such a roaring- on the one side, and such a caterwaul-
ing on the other, was never hcatul before in any civilized town ! The boj's
were in fact Johns best friends and worst enemies. They were liberal in their
gifts, (his whole wardrobe indeed came from them,) but they made him pay
for their liberality in various and most annoying ways. They contrived, with-
out his perceiving it, to tar the inside of his hat ; they even put powder in his
j)ipe, and ipecac and ginger in his gin ; all of which he bore like a philosopher,
— nay, the medicated gin he swallowed without making a wry face.
But that which most particularly distinguished John from ail other loafers,
cracked or uncracked, was his passion for coppers ; and as he was never known
to part with one, it was believed that he hid them in holes, or burioil i,hem in
the ground. He would take no other coin, not even as a gift, and hecice his
name of Copper John, lie loitered about the town and its vicinity for so2no
ten or liftce-y years, without any occupation, homo or common resting phice ;
and yet, v/as liever seen in a suffering condition. lie was, seemingly, proof
against all diseases, winds and weathers. 'I'hough he readily comprehended
whatever was said to him, yet his mind was Wiilehettcv thou a lab idai'usa.
At length, however, John disappeared ; and, as he came, no one knew
whence, so he went, no one knew whither ; and but for this incidental notice,
the knowledge of Uis existeuee oc earth, might have been lost forever !"
The writer caa bear pei-souai tcatiiiiony to the accuracy of the foregoing
sketch. In bis earliest recollection "Copper John" was still the butt of all
the jokes of the older and the iciTorof the younger boys, and many a coin he
has laid in the old mans palm,. Iji futm'o days slioukl a vein of copper ever
bo found in this vicinity, it may be set down as old Copper John's bank. It
would bo safe to say that a quaKer of the present adult population of Hudson
were threatened in early life with being passed bodily over to old John for bad
behavior. It can never be known how many "honorable citizens" of to-day,
are such from their fear of becoming the property of the old man when
young. "Ill give you to Copper Jolm," was the standing menace of provoked
mothers to bring back their rebellious juveniles to good conduct.
S K E T C II E
Coteraporary with Copper Joliii was another, always held up as a terror to
yontliful evil doers, an old half-breed, called ''Indian ITany." Tradition said
that this individual had for many years lodged in the barns in the vicinity,
from which at midnight he made excursions to the neighboring- gardens for
his subsistence, milking coics in a clam-shell, and now and then as a relish
"eating up'' some very naughty little one. This might or might not have all
been true of him, but it is certain that the appearance of his long locks in the
distance, Avas always seen to put an end to all sport, and send every juvenile
"homeward bound" at a rapid rate of speed.
Three others there were, a Frenchman, Belgian and ITcssian, who had all
served under Burgoyue. The Frenchman, Monsieur Lescurc, we have before
"I'he Belgian commenced his career in Hudson, (and ended as lie began),
by peddling clams and rehite sand, which he carried about from door to door,
in an old ricketty one horse wagon, taking his pay in ashes/ His appearance
in the streets was a subject worthy of the study of Teniers, or even of lluljens
himself. ITis horse was as blind as a beetle, and every bone in his Ixtdy might
liave been counted as easy as the spokes in the wheel of the wagon to which
he was attached. As for the old Belgian himself, he was, if possible, more of
a wreck of bones than his horse ; almost as blind and twice as much of a scai'c-
crow. His frame seemed to be a mere complication of angles. There was
nothing about him curved or round, save his head. IJis dress, if dress it might
be called, was composed of sundry specimens of ancient costume, seemingly
selected by the hand of taste to set him off to advantag-e. His coat, which
had probably been in more wars than one, came down to his very heels — at least
one tail of it : the other, it was said, had been left on the Plains of Abraham.
A part of one sleeve, too, was missing. That was believed to have been lost
at Saratoga. The color had been originally blue, but had grown grey, partly
through age, and partly through the mystifying influence of sand and ashes.
Its buttons had shared the fate of the tail and sleeve ; they had been detached
and left behind in the wars. His nether garment stopped short at the knees,
and all below that point was in a state of nature. To crown all, his hat was
crownless — that is to say, entirely open at the top. It was, moreover, minus
two-tliirds of the brim. Such a team, man, horse and wagon, no human eye
ever beheld before, or will ever behold again !"
"Human eyes" in Hudson, since this subject passed away, have seen two,
very nearly answering the above description. One is still living, and to his
calling as "ashman" has added that of collector of bones. The other was one
102 SKETCHES OF HUDSON
wlio for yoars provided with clams tlie lovers of that delicacy ; who passed,
with his establishment, long since from these streets, but whoso song is fresh
in the recollection of many :
Yer fine clams ter be sold.
Co me a II
Ye gentleinen and ladies,
For you 've all got money.
And I haint got none.
Come and buy my fine clams
And let me go home.
Yer fine clams ter be sold.
Sung in a clear musical voice, it never failed to waken numerous echoes,
or bring him numerous customers. John Little had a black skin, but he de-
serves to go on record with the Belgian.
"The ITossiau was a surly dog, and though cowardly, kept the boys at bay ;
few of them wore hardy enough, when they saw him passing, to set up their
usual shout of 'There goes one of Burgoyne's men !' And yet a sly egg from
an unseen hand occasionally overtook him in turning a corner, and left a mark
sufficiently evident to more than one of the senses."
Jemmy Frazcr has appeai-ed in these sketches before as an early "official" of
Hudson. He was familiarly known by the name of Jemmy — though on the
list of the civil dignitaries of the town, he was written down James Frazer —
for Jemmy liad found favor in the eyes of the Common Council, and had re-
ceived the high and lucrative appointment of town crier. But Jemmy loved
a glass of grog, and was happier, it is said, with two than with one. Be this
as it may, he was popular in the lower wards, and his office gave him influence
at the polls. Hence he was looked up to, as one dog does to another who
wears a collar. His evening levees were generally held in and about the mar-
ket-place, and were numerously attended by the boys, who encored his speech-
es and applauded his gyrations, sometimes by shouts, and sometimes by a
volley of eggs, which Jemmy too often discovered were none of the sweetest.
Of the style in which he performed his official duties, the following may be
taken as a specimen :
IMr. Nixon, Cashier of the Bank of Columbia, in going late in the evening
from the office to his house, lost the key of the Bank ; but it was near midnight
before he missed it. Not wishing to create an alarm by a search at that late
hour, ho concluded to say nothing about it till morning ; l)ut the search in the
morning proved unsuccessful, and as the last resort, Jemmy was sent fc>r.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 103
The particulars were related and Jcmuiy was directed to cry the lost koy
through the streets, with a reward of two dollars to the finder, but was special-
ly charged to let no one know that it was the Tcey of the Banlc. So, a little
after sunrise. Jemmy commenced his round, boll in hand — Clingnling! cling-
ding ! Hare ya ! hare ya ! But early as it was, Jemmy had been u^i long enough
to get pretty well corned, and as the boys were collecting and shouting at his
heels, his memory became somewhat confused, and the several particulars of
time and place, with his instructions what to say and what not to say, got
somehow or other all jumbled together ; — But, ringing his bell stoutly, as if to
clear up his ideas, he began again, 'Hare ya! hareya! Lost between Jamy
Nixon's and twelve o'clock at night a large kay !' Here the boys interrupted
him with — 'What sort of a key \\di.s \iV 'Go to the deil!' cried Jemmy,
turning short upon them, 'and I tell ye that, yell be after getting into the Bonk
with it!' For this very natural and judicious answer, Jemmy lost his com-
"Old Miner," as he was called, "city crier" of Hudson at a later period, in
two particulars, his love of ''the beverage^' and his popularity with the boys,
was not unlike Jemmy Fmzer. The ring of his Ijell upon the corners never
failed to call around him a crowd of juveniles, who came with the double pur-
pose of listening to his humor and playing some joke upon him, to which he
always made a show of resentment, so far as to make a short pursuit after
his tormentors ; but it was only show, for the old man was really kind-hearted
and always merry, although he lived by crying.
PKOSPERITY OF THE CITY.
In a work recently published, entitled "Men and Times of the Revolution,
including a journey of travels in Europe and America from 1777 to 1812," the
writer thus speaks of Hudson :
"In 1788, 1 visited the new city of Hudson, then first starting into lieing
through the energy and enterprise of New England emigrants, and exhibiting
a progress at that time almost without a parallel in American history. It
had emerged from a Dutch farm into the position of a counnercial city, with
considerable population, warehouses, wharves and docks, ro]i('walks, shipjiing
and the din of industry. All these remarkable results had been aocoi;ii)lished
in the brief term of four years. The streets were broad and spacious."
At this day, when towns and cities not unfrequently double their population
in a single year, the figures which we give below, do not seem to ns to
justify a statement like the above. Yet of the same charactei-, is every
104 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
allusion we have found to the early prosperity and enterprise of Hudson ;
uniformly mentioned and regarded for a time, as the most flourishing place in
From a table published by the State in 1845, we find the population in
1790 to havei)een 2,584, of which we estimate about two thousand to have
been within the compact portion of the place. In 1800, it was 3,GG4. We
have previously stated it at that time as a little over 4000, having taken the
figures from an early Gazeteer of the State. It did not exceed 4000 until
1810 when it was 4,048. In 1814, 4,725 ; 1820, 5,310 ; 1825, 5,004.
We have before given 1819 as the year when the prosperity of the city
began to decline. A period of five years and the only period in the history
of the city, in which there was a loss, shows then a decrease of population.
In 1830, it had again increased to 5,392. At this time the whale fisheries had
been revived and were successfuly carried on. In 1840, the population num-
bered 5,672, after losing during the previous ten years about 1,800 taken off by
the formation of the towns of Greenport and Stockport. In 1845, the whal-
ing business had again been abandoned and the population was 5,677. In
1850, G,286 ; 1855, 6,720 ; 1860, 7,265 ; showing for the last ten years not a
large but steady increase. With the population of the towns taken from it
since 1830, it would now number very nearly 11,000. Their formation sliould
be borne in mind in making comparison of the present with the earlier con-
dition of the city.
Another fact to be remembered is that Hudson possesses little territory,
save that contained within its compact limits. Its suburl^s lie within the limits
of the town of Greenport and embrace a population wlio in every way contribute
to its support and prosperity as fully as its own citizens.
From one of the city papers, in 1830, we take the following article relative
to the public buildings of the city at that time :
"It is often and very sneeringly remarked, 'Hudson will never recover from
the slumber into which it has fallen. The summer-like days of her commercial
prosperity have passed, and public spirit and public pride are buried, with no
prospect of resurrection.'
We do not mean, at the present time, to cross a lance with those adventurous
knight errants who make it a point, on aU occasions, to assail our ancient city ;
this wo may do, when our leisure will permit us to enter the lists and silence
the caluiriuies of all gainsayers. Our object now is, while our citizens are look-
ing about them for objects of improvement, and arc not only able, but willing
to expend their means in the pulilic good, huml)ly to suggest a channel where
their efforts might be most usefully directed. We mean, the improvement of
our pnhlic hidldlngs. With the exceptions of the Lunatic Asylum and the
]>auk, there is not a single edifice among them which is honorable to the city.
This is a sweeping remark, but no one doubts or denies its truth. Let us take
SKETCHES OF HUDSON. 105
for instauce the Court House, occupyinp^ a prominent position in Warren
street, tliron,2;ed, durinjr tlie terms of Court, by the inhuliilaiitsof this and adja-
cent counties, an object of intense curiosity to the traveler wlio h<.s heard that
there a Van Ness, a Spencer, a Van Buren, a Grosvenor. and last, but not
least of the shinino- t^roup. a Williams, have earned their immurtality ; and
while we realize what such a building should be, we blush when we see what it
is. A large, uiisymmetrical, decaying pile, from the exterior surface of which
the paint has been obliterated long since, the ceilings of which are cracking,
and the timbers trembling like the limbs of an ague patient, or the shrunk
bones of P^zekiel's valley. Will tlu; T'oard of Supervisors p(!rmit such a struc-
ture to stand ? If something is not done speedily, the trouble of demolishing
it will be saved ; it will come down of its own accord ; the very swallows
whose countless tribes have tenanted its belfry for years, are forsaking it.
'Twill make a monstrous gap in the legal profession, should it fall in term time.
Why may not that piece of ordnance, vulgarly y'cleped a nine pounder, which
stands before the market, with its greedy mouth directed to these Halls of
Justice, he employed with efft'Ct ? VVe must likewise enter our remonstrance
against the location of a gaol in front of our principal thoroughfare, and suggest
a speedy removal. Our churches are also in a mi-erable condition. Every
strong wind shakes their steeples, and enters within doormo.st unceremonious-
ly. There is nothing of architectural finish, or even comfort about them. The
same remarks may applv to our Academies. Fellow citizens, shall these things
be ? It has been said that "the public l:)uildings of a city are its ornament or
disgrace." Let us weigh well the truth of this remark, and be up and doing."
At a later period, 1847, the author of "Random Recollections of Hudson,"
speaks of its population having greatly diminished. "It was indeed," he says,
"for many years one of the most beautiful and flourishing towns on the noble
river whose name it bears. The days of its prosperity hare long since passed
away. Its wealth has diminished, its business sources have dried up and
almost every vestige of its former glory has disappeared. There are now no
shipping at its docks and no ships building. There is no song of the anvil to
be heard, no sound of the axe or hammer. There is no bustle of seamen along
its wharves, no song of the rope-maker upon its hills, no throng of wagons from
the interior, no crowds of men in its streets. The ship-yards are overgrown
with grass, the wharves have mouldered away, the rope-walk is deserted, the
warehouses are empty and the once busy ci-owds have long since disappeared.
It is only on the arrival or departure of a steamboat that any decided signs of
life are visible. The silent half-depopulated town seems to communicate a
melancholy air to everything around it."
In this dark picture, he throws just one streak of light. He adds : "Not-
withstanding this total absence of life and spirit, there is no appearance of
wretchedness or want in any part of the city. There is no exhibition of vice,
no spectacle of misery in any quarter. On the contrary, there is a general
appearance of neatness, frugality and order. But for the want of business no-
106 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
thing can compensate, for the tedium of eternal dulhiess nothing can atone.
The spirit of enterprise is indeed dead." The cause he finds in the unwilUng-
ness of its citizens who have the means, '-to risk one farthing for the general
good, having neither the public spirit nor energy of character to employ those
means to advantage." We are not willing to admit the correctness of this
overdrawn picture of the desolation of Hudson, and we particularly notice it as
it has helped to give to Hudson the reputation it has so long enjoyed as a
"dead town, ^'' a ^'finished cifi/.'^
While we do not claim for it that life and growth which have marked many
other places, we are safe in saying, that there has been no time when it has
either been "half-depopulated," or its former glory had entirely departed. In
1880 its population was 5,392. Greenport and Stockport (in part) were then
taken from it, and we still find instead of being greatly diminished it had a
population increased to 6.280, in 18.50 ; showing most satisfactorily that the
statement in "Recollections" is erroneous. In fairness, it should also have
been stated that Hudson was just then suffering, not so much from lack of
enterprise, as from unsuccessful enterprise. The capital of its citizens, invest-
ed in the Hudso'i & Berkshire Hail Eoad, the whale fishery, the erection of the
Hudson House and other enterprises, had nearly all been sacrificed, and two
destructive fires had just brought additional loss to many of them, and thus
under an accumulation of misfortunes every business interest had become de-
pressed. But that period has passed, and we are glad to know that the days
of its prosperity have in a measure returned, notwithstanding we still hear it
persistently asserted abroad that "the place is about used up."
Not un frequently, too, we hear it remarked by visitors, that they "cannot
see that Hudson has changed in the least; everything is just as it was thirty
years ago." This seems passing strange to us, in view of the fact, that in
that period almost everything about it has changed. Let us walk through it,
and sei> if we do not discover, not only evidences of change but of prosperity.
We t;ike our stand upon Parade Hill. Looking off, the same unequalled
view of river and mountains which nothing human ever can change, still meets
us ; but around v.s all is different. The hill itself, instead of a naked rock, has
been transfornuid into a pleasant and shaded resort, where the lover of the
beautiful or the seeker after pleasure or health may comfortably linger in their
search. From its base, instead of the gentle dashing of the waves, we hear
the heavy rumbling of trains, and the shrill whistle, whose echo comes back
thrice n^peated by the opposite hills. Across the river's breast, instead of the
horseboat, the butt of so many jokes, the ruin of so much horseflesh and the
S K E T CUES OF HT D 3 O N . 107
unconscious cause, we fear, of so many •'lianl vvol■(l^,■■ Hits like a binl, one of
the neatest and swiftest steam ferry boats upon tlie river. Fur tliis ciiiinfre,
made in ISoS, we are indebted to the enterprise of Messrs. Morton & Edmonds,
of Athens. Should it be the hitter part of the day, we shall see enterinfi: her
wharf, returning from her daily trip to Albany, a fleet, beautiful little steamer.
the "City of Hudson," owned by .Messrs. Power, Martin & Co., with groups of
passengers upon her pleasant decks. At the same hour we shall see asiilendid
steamer, either the Oregon, owned by Messrs. ilaviland, Clark & Co., or the
('onnecticut, by Messrs. Power, Bogardus & Co., boats in no particular second
to any upon this or any other river, leaving for Xew York, and with a w(?ight
of freight and passengers which would call for the combined capacity uf all
the sloops of olden Hudson. ^Vho shall say tliat in facilities for travel and
business Hudson is not enjoying the advantages of great change ?
Looking from the Southerly end of the hill, we see little beside the large
store houses, to remind us of the ancient order of things in that portion of the
city. Heavy fires, with the construction of the Hudson River Rail Road,
have produced an entirely changed appearance. Instead, however, of "decayed
wharves, siiip-yards overgrown with grass." and "empty store-houses," we see a
net-work of railroad tracks, trains constantly passing, depots, foundries, fur-
naces, etc., from which come sounds quite as indicative of life as the "song of
the rope-maker," or the "ring of the hammer." In the distance are the e.Yten-
sive works of the Hudson Iron Company, organised in 1849, with a capital
of $.'J.")0,000 — nearer to us are those of the Columbia County Iron Company,
organised in 1857, with a capital of S7r),000, now carried on by Messrs. J. A.
Griswold & Company, — the depot of the Hudson & Boston Railroad Compa-
ny, organised upon the failure of the Hudson & West Stockbridge Rail Road
Comjjany, and now in successful operation — the exter.sive stove foundry of
Messrs. Hunt & Miller-^the depots of the Hudson River Rail Road Company
— the works of the Hudson Gas Company — the freighting establishments of
Messrs. Haviland, Clark & Co., Power, Martin & Co., Power, Bogar-
dus & Co., while upon the North side of the city stands the extensive
brewery of Messrs. R. W. Evans & Co., and that of Messrs. Millard & Bar-
nard — all giving employment to a large number of men, and furnishing gond
proof that this end of Hudson, although greatly changed in its business, is nut
Passing through Warren street, we find it difficult to point out a residence
or place of business which has not been modernized, greatly improved, or
wholly changed in external appearance. The same is true of Union, while the
108 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
beautiful residences on Allen street and vicinity, and at the head of the town,
have all been built within a few years.
Turning to what is generally termed the business end of the city, we notice
the extensive establishment of Mr. James Clark, for the nianutacture of cloth-
ing— that of Messrs. Charles White & Co., for the manufacture of boots
and shoes, the machine shop of C. H. Prentiss, the extensive furnace and
adjoining works of Messrs. E. Gilford & Sons- -all in ordinary times furnish-
ing employment to many individuals. We find many spacious stores erected
and scarcely one remaining not greatly enlarged and improved, indicating, and
all of them doing, in times of general prosperity, an amount of business which,
if stated, would not be believed by those who assert that "there is little or
nothing done in Hudson."
Looking at our public buildings, we note still a greater change. The "shaky"
houses of worship have all disappeared, and we see four new edifices erected
within a few years, and two but a short time previous, so that every congrega-
tion now enjoys increased and comfortable church accommodations. The
census of I860 puts the valuation of the churches of Hudson at ^120,000 with
accommodations for six thousand people. The old Court House, deemed so
disgraceful thirty years since, has given place to a fine marble structure, and
we have added a City Hall at the cost of ^27,000, capable of accommodating
twelve hundred people, of which we justly have reason to be proud. We have
in that period also erected a public house, an ornament to the city, and which,
although for a while not meeting the expectation of its originators, is now in
successful operation. We find the Press of the city all established with greatly
enlarged and improved facilities for doing business ; we see our streets well
paved and well lighted with gas ; we enjoy greatly increased water privileges ;
we have a Fire Department full and efficient, the pride of the city ; and in every
respect the equal of any other city ; and in every particular, the Hudson of to-
day, instead of being the "same old," is a very different and greatly improved
place, from the Hudson of a quarter of a century ago.
Yet, in spite of all these evidences .of a comfortable degree of prosperity and
sure growth, although it may be slow, we find many constantly speaking of it
as the "same oldjylnce," "no change," "dead" and "finished." Much more than
it is, Hudson indeed might be, but we claim for it, and especially from those
who have gone from among us, the credit due it for just what it is : a healthy ,
pleasant, improved, living and growing place, neither dead, deserted, half-de-
poulated, nor in the midst of melancholy surroundings.
We can never know how much of capital or wealth has been turned from
Hudson by this false impression given of its condition ; but we believe it is
S K E T C II K S OK H^U D S O N . 109
rapidly being corrected, and it is gratifying to those interested in its welfare,
to hear frequent expressions of pleasure and surprise at its thrifty and prosper-
ous appearance from visitors who have come among us prepared to see nothing
but decay and dilapidation.
In 1855 the number of dwellings was given at nine hundred and six : the
real estate valued at about one and a half million of dollars. The census of
1860 shows the number of dwellings to be one thou.sand and fifty eight, and
the real estate valued at about two million of dollars.
Born "within her walls," his ancestors numbered among its early settlers,
attached by many and strong ties to Hudson, it would be pardonable, perhaps,
in the writer, should he even claim more for his native city tbar would seem
to others less interested, just. In presenting briefly what would be deemed of
any place the evidences of its life and prosperity, this feeling has led him into
DO exaggeration. What is needed to make Hudson what it might be, and all
its citizens would be glad to see it become, is as evident to him as others ;
and while it would be idle to claim for it a position to which it is not entitled,
we should, on the other hand, no longer suffer it to bear a reputation which
facts and figures do not justify. We believe the first step toward a still better
condition than now enjoyed, is for her citizens, whenever opportunity occurs,
to correct this impression and not either by silence encourage, or by dejyrecia-
tive remarks strengthen it.
The acknowledgments of the writer are due to many who have aided him in
the preparation of these sketches, but more particularly to Messrs. Oliver
Wiswall, Robert A. Barnard and Hemy P. Skinner. With the exception of
Mr. Henry Harder, the recollection of Mr. Wiswall dates back to an earlier
period than any other citizen now living. Mr. Harder, or "Doctor," as he is
familiarly called, was a boy of about seven years of age, playing in the fields
and woods, where now are busy streets, when the settlers of Hudson landed.
He remembers their coming, but very little connected with it. At the time,
he was living with his uncle, Justus Van Hoesen, of whom we have before
spoken, whose dwelling was upon the site of the present residence of Mr.
Daniel Limbrick, and whom he describes as a "good old man, and didn't like
it if the boys didn't all come in to prayers," and ia said to have shared with
most of his neighbors their dislike of "the Yankees." In 1838, during the
opening of Allen street, when the remains of Mr. Van Hoesen and family
were removed from the old family ground in the orchard upon the hillside,
Doct. Harder was the only relative left to follow them to their new burial place.
His memory is not perfectly clear, but we are indebted to him for suggestions
110 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
and information. He has always been an industrious, respected citizen, is still
active, but must soon pass away, and in his death the last link counecting the
city of to-day with the Claverack Landing of 1783, will be broken.
^Ir. Wiswall was born upon the island of ^lartha's Vinyard, where his
father died, but came here as early as the year 1789, six years after the settle-
ment of the city, the first residence of his mother and brothers being the
house for many years occupied by the late Samuel Bryan. He was then nine
years of age, and after a brief period spent at school, under the instruction
ot Dorrance Kirtlaud and Mrs. Wilson, or "Marra Wilson," as she was usually
called, at the age of thirteen commenced his business life in the store of his
uncle, Marshall Jenkins, then doing business in the building now occupied as
a residence by Mr. Ebenezer H. Gilford. In 1801 he entered into business
fur himself, in partnership with Capt. Beriah Pease, who came here immediate-
ly after the Proprietors, and continued until that time to sail from Hudson in
the mere' ant service. Their first place of business was the small frame
building one door below the present residence of Hon. Henry Hogeboom,
(the Bank of Hudson, originally,) that locality then being the "business cen-
tre." In 1804 they built the large brick building now the residence of Mrs. E.
Hyatt, occupying it for many years as the residence of Capt. Pease, and as
their place of business until 1819. The large brick residences opposite were
erected and occupied by different members of the Jenkins family. In 1820
Mr. Wiswall entered into the freighting business, with others, under the firm
of Wiswall, Smith and Jenkins, in which he continued until he retired from
active business life, occupying the building upon Franklin Square known as
the Mc Arthur store, and the brick warehouse adjoining, and doing what he
represents as an immense business. In 1830 he became the President of the
Hudson River Bank, remaining in that position until the expiration of its
Mr. Wiswall is now the only resident of Hudson who was in any way
connected in business with the Proprietors and early settlers, and the oldest
citizen living who came here after its settlement. A nephew of one of the
Proprietors, connected with many others, and in constant intercourse with
them all, he is familiar with everything relative to tliat period of the history
of the city. Famihar, too, with all the early business interests of the city,
active for many years in promoting them, early entering warmly into political
life, and thus coming in contact with the politicians of that day, his recollec-
tion is stored with personal incidents and anecdotes, full of interest to one
desirous of h^;aring of "by-gone days." He has served the city as Mayor,
Alderman, Supervisor and Member of Assembly, and in 1848 was nominated
S K E 'I' f n E S OF HUDSON. Ill
as ail elector U|»<iii the Cass ticUi't. Until dir-aMed liy an accidciil tluiiiiL; the
past winter, he was remaikahle I'lir his eiieriiy iind activity. KiireeliliHl
somewhat liy conlinenieiit. he still possesses a i;lear ami active mind, and
much contained in these sketclies must have 'leen lost to Hudson but for liis
retentive memory. In liis departure from tlie city whidi lie has known and
where he lias dwelt for nearly three quarters of a century, will pass away the
last living representative of its earliest business men and interests.
Judge Barnard is among, if not the oldest of the native-born citizens of
ITudson. lie is a descendant of Stephen Paddock and Josejih Barnard, two
of the Proprietors of the city. He was born in the year 1787, and is living
in the house erected in 1784, in which his father and grandfather lived and
died before him, and in which he e.xpects to finish his dnys. Durinji- a visit to
England and Scotland a few years since, in reply to the charge made in his
hearing, that the "Americans were a people so fond of change that it could
not be told one year where they would be the next," the Judge remarked that
he was an exception, and stated the above fact. It could hardly be credited,
and it was said such a fact in England would place hiin among the aristocracy.
The very few years of schooling which in common with most of the boys of
that day were allotted to him, were also commenced under the guidance of
"Marm Wilson," with John C. Spencer and a numerous class of the boys of
that period. Always an active business man, and particularly interested in
the whale fishery when revived in 1829, he has done much to promote the
prosperity of the city his ancestors helped to found, is now President of the
Hudson River Bank, and has filled the positions of Alderman, Supervisor,
Postmaster, Senator, Associate Judge and Presidential Elector. He is still
vigorous, possessing a clear recollection of what he knew and has heard of
Hudson, in its early days, and has also furnished for these sketches umch
valuable and interesting matter.
Mr. Skinner is a native of Columbia County but not of Hudson, and came
here a boy in the year 1798, at the age of thirteen years. He connnenced
life as a clerk with Erastus Pratt, his uncle, then doing business as a merchant
in the building now occupied by Batchellor's Bazaar. He has always been
in active business, f -miliar and identified with the business interests of the
city ; one whose quiet tastes and retiring disposition have never led him into
public life or station, yet who has sustained the character of a benevolent, use-
ful and prominent citizen. .^Mthough nearly fourscore years have passed over
him, he is yet erect, strong and active, still attending daily to his business and
never failing to take his accustomed walk of miles before breakfast, which he
112 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
has followed for many years, and to the benefit of which his well preserved
condition of mind and body bears the best testimony. May it be long yet,
before he shall be called to give up his position as King in the "Bee-hive,"
or his active step be missed from these streets.
In bringing these sketches of Hudson to a conclusion, it is due to himself
that the writer should again state that when undertaken, there was no thought
in his mind of their attaining the form of a book, or the facts they contain
might have been presented with a more systematic and careful arrangement.
From a general sketch prepared without particular reference at first to the
order of events, they have been changed to a series, embodying much more
and covering a much wider field than at first intended. Much may be hereaf-
ter brought to light which ought to have found a place in them, but all the
information from sources available to him he has given, and they are submitted
in the hope that they may prove of value, and not without interest.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
OFFICERS OF THE CITY.
APPOINTED BV THE OOVERNOR AND COUNCH, OF APPOINTS Ext.
Si^tli Jenkins, April, 1TS5.
Tlionias Jer.kins, Novt>niber, 1 793.
Robert Jenkins, February, 1808.
John Talman, March, 1813.
Robert Jenkins. February, ] 81 0.
John Tillman. February, 1820.
Alexander Coffin, February, 1821.
ELECTED BY THE COMMON COUNCIL.
Rufus Reed, Juno, 1823.
Rufus Reed, January, 1824;
Thomas Bay, January, 182.5.
Thomas Bay. January, 1826.
Olivet- Wiswall, January, 1827.
Oliver Wiswall, January, 1828.
Samuel White, January, 1829.
Sanuiel Anable, January, 1830.
Samuel Anable, January, 1831.
Samuel Anable, January, 1832.
Henry Smith, January, 1833;
Ifenry Sinitll, January, 1834.
Henry Smitli, January, 1835.
Robert G. Fraty, .lanuary, 1830.
Robert ^McKinstry, January, 18B7.
Allen Jordah, January, 1839.
George W. Cook, January, 1840.
Robert G. Frary,
Robert G. Frary,
Robert G. Frary,
Matthew IM itch ell,
ELECTED BY TUE PEOPLE.
April, 1840. Hugh McClellan, April, 18.50.
" 1841. Peter S. Burger, « 1851.
" 1842. George H. Power, " 1852.
" 1843. Joshua T. Waterman, Nov. 1852.
" 1844. Peter S. WjTikoop, " 1853.
" 1845. John C. Dormandy, " 1854.
« 1846. Joshua T. Waterman, " 1855.
" 1847. Jacob W. Hoysmdt, Dec, 1858.
« 1848. Samuel Bacbman, " 1860.
Nathaniel Greene, 1785.
Hezekiah L. Hosmer, 1793.
Levi Wheaton, Jr., 1794.
Alexander Coffin, January, 1797;
Cotton Gelston, June, 1797,
Elisha Pitkin, 1801.
David Lawrence, 1802.
Philip S. Parker, 1808.
Hezekiah L. Hosmer, 1810.
Joseph D. Monell, 1811.
Hezekiah L. Hosmer, 1813.
Joseph D. Monell, 1815.
Ambrose L. Jordan, 1821.
John W. Edmonds, 1827.
Darius Peck, 1833.
Robert McClellan, 1843.
Rodolphus P. Skinner, elected, 1849.
Stephen 1j. Magoun, '
J'ilijah Payn, '
Heiuy Miller, '
Heni-v Miller, *
Alexander S. Rowley, '
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Jolm Bay, 1785.
Levi Wheaton, 1787.
Ambrose Spencer, 1789.
Thomas Frotliiugliam, 1804.
Erastus Pratt, 1«06.
Cotton Gelston, 1810.
Erastus Pratt, 1811.
Abner Austin, 1813.
Jonathau Frary, 1814.
Gayer Gardner, 1815.
James Barton, 1821.
Nathan Chamberlin, 1829.
Fletcher M. Beekman, 1832.
Ga3'er Gardner, 1835.
Stephen L. Magoun, 1845.
WiUiam Bryan, 1848.
William Caldwell, 1851.
William Bryan, 1852.
John Alsop, 1785 to 1790.
Stephen Paddock, 1790 to 1802.
Robert Jenkins, 1802.
Samuel Edmonds, 1 803.
William Slade, 1804 to 1808.
Robert Folger, 1808 to 1813.
Jacob Davis, 1813 to 1815.
Robert Folger, 1815 to 1822.
Joseph Goodwin, 1822.
Alexander Coffin, 1823 to 1829.
David West, 1829 to 1832.
Stephen Currie, 1832.
Silas A. Stone, 1833 to 1835.
Edward Hyatt, 1835.
Henry Smith, 1836 to 1841.
William Hudson, 1841 to 1844.
Silas A. Stone, 1844 to 1846.
William A. Dean, 1846.
Henry Jenkins, 1847 to 1849.
John R. Currie, 1849.
Robert Coffin, 1850.
William H. Clark, 1851.
Philip K. Burger, 1852 to 1855.
Robert W. Evans, 1855.
William 11. W. Loop, 1856.
Alexander Meech, 1857 to 1859.
George B. Allen, 1859 to 1860.
Ralph Utley, 1860 to 1861.
Ebenezer IL Giffijrd, 1861 to 1862.
Ebenezer H. Gifford, 1862 to 1863.
Henry I. Yan Rensselaer, 1787 & 88
Thomas Jenkins, 1789, 90 aud 91.
John Thurston, 1792.
Stei^hen Paddock, 1793, 94 and 95.
Elisha Jenkins, 1796, 97 and 98.
Robert Jenkins, 1799, 1800 and 01.
Cotton Gelston, 1802, and 3.
James Hyatt, 1804 and 5.
Moses Yoiuiglove, 1806.
Robert Taylor, 1807 and 8.
Samuel Edmonds, 1809.
Nathan Sears, 1810, 11 and 12.
Amariah Storrs, 1813 and 14.
Robert IT. Yan Rensselaer, 1815.
John P. Jenkins, 1816.
James Nixon, Jr., 1817 and 18.
Barnabas Waterman, 1819 and 20.
John Power, 1 1325 and 26.
Thomas Bay, j
Joseph D. Monell
1827 and 28.
Robert G. Frary, )
Joseph D. Monell, j
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Lovett R. Mellen, ) 10,^
Eobert McKinstry, f ^^^"•
Hemy C. Miller, ) -,Q,^
Henry Hubbel, P^"*^'
Henry C. Miller, )
James Storm, J
Robert G. Frary, I -i q , o
Leonard Freeland, \ ^^'^'^^
Robert G. Frary, ) , ^
James Storm, j ^°**'
Seneca Butts, )
Killian Miller, j
Henry Hogeboom, | !«,«
Hiram Gage, f ^^*'^'
Joseph D. Monell,
Robert A. Barnard, } tq^q
Henry Waldo, f ^^^^•
Peter S. Burger,
Peter S. Burger,) , J,- ^
Henry ililler, p®^"*
John C. Dormandy, ) ,q-,
Allen Rossman. p^^^*
Philip K. Burger, } ,„.„
Edwin C. Terry, [ ^^'^■'•
John C. Dormandy, ) -lo-o
Frederick A.Giffurd, r^'^'^'
Philip K. Buraer, ) -lor 1
Volkert Whitbeck, )
Cornelius Bortle, ) iqk-
Robert F. ( Jroat, \ ^"^^•
hdwin C. lorry, )
William A. Carpenter, ) , r,^^ ^q
George H. Power, ) '
Sylvenus E. Heath, ) -.om t m
jJsiahW. Fairfield, r^-^^'-^^O.
Sylvenus E. Heath, ) -, r,^-,
John M. Welch, ) ^°^^-
Sylvenus E. Heath, ) -. opn
William II. Crapser. )
MEMBERS OF COMMON COUNCIL.
U. I. Van Kensselaer,
H. I. Van Rensselaer,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
John Ten Broeck,
Justus H. Tan Hoesen, Thomas Worth,
Justus H. Van Hoesen. John Ten Broeck,
Duncan Ingraham. Claudius I. Delamater, David Smith
Matthew Marvin, Claudius I. Delamater, David Smith,
Peter Hogeboom, Jr.
Justus H. Van llocseu.
Claudius I. Delamater.
Thomas Frothingham, Zachariah Seymour. Peter Rand,
Samuel I. Ten Broeck.
SKETCHES OF HUDSC
Claudius I. Delamater, Peter Rand,
David Smith. Daniel Clark,
Samuel I. Ten Broeck,
David Smith, Peter Rand,
Claudius I. Delamater, Paul Dakin,
Samuel I. Ten Broeck,
Samuel I. Ten Broeck, Paul Dakin,
Russell Kellogg. William Ashley,
Claudius I. Delamater.
Samuel I. Ten Broeck,
James Nixon, Jr.,
Claudius I. Delamater.
Peter Van DeBurgh,
James Nixon, Jr.
Peter Van De Burgh,
James Nixon, Jr.,
Samuel I. Ten Broeck,
John R. Hallenbeck.
Claudius I. Delamater,
Claudius I. Delamater,
John M. Mann,
John M. Mann,
Claudius I. Delamater
Nicholas Ten Broeck,
John R. Hallenbeck.
John R. Hallenbeck,
Seth G. Macy,
James Van Deusen,
John M. Mann,
Alexander Van Alstyne.Thomas Whitlock,
Obed W. Folger, Samuel I. Ten Broepk.
James Van Deusen
Reuben Moo res,
John R. Hallenbeck,
John R. Hallenbeck.
James Van Deusen,
John R. Hallenbeck,
Peter F. Hardick,
R. H. Van Rensselaer.
KETCHES OF HUDSON
Nicholas Ten Broeck,
James Nixon, Jr.,
John Ft.. Hallenbeck,
Robert A. Barnard,
Robert A. Barnard,
Peter Van DeBurgh,
Job B. Coffin,
Job B. Coffin,
Seth G. Macy,
Henry C. Miller,
Henry C. Miller,
Robt. L. Livingston,
James Nixon, Jr., John M. Harder,
Alex. Van Alstyuc. Samuel Stocking,
Nicholas Ten Broeck, Levi Ilubbel,
Alex. Van Alstyne. John M. Harder,
Barnabas Waterman, John R. Hallenbeck,
Nicholas Ten Broeck. John Uardick,
Barnabas Waterman, Oliver Wiswall,
Jonathan Frary. Thomas Whitlock,
R. H. Van Rensselaer,
John K. Hallenbeck,
John R. Hallenbeck,
Barnabas Waterman, Jolin R. Hallenbeck,
Philip White. Ezekicl Butler,
Alexander J. Colfin,
Seth G. Macy,
John F. Jenkins,
Henry C. Miller,
Benjamin F. Deuell,
Wm. W. Treusdail,
James H. Teackle.
R. II. Van Rensselaer,
Robert A. Barnard,
Wm, H. Coleman.
Lionel U. Lawrence.
Lionel U. Lawrence.
Henry W. Bessac.
William R. Macy.
WilUam R. Macy.
John I. Tobey.
John W. Jenkins,
John I. Tobey.
Abm. I. Hardick.
Wm. Van Deusen,
Wm. C. Ten Broeck.
Samuel N. Blake,
*Died November, 1S22 ; Ezra Reed elected to fill vacancy.
SKETCHES OF HUDSON
Robt. A. Barnard,
Job B. Coffin,
Silas A. Stone,
Robert G. Frary,
Robt. A. Barnard,
Oliver H. Allen,
George W. Cook,
Joshua T. AVaterman,
Jehu W. Smith,*
Joshua T. AVaterman,
Philip K. Burger,
Philip K. Burger,
AA'illiam E. Heath.
AVilliam A. Dean.
AVilliam A. Dean.
AVilliam E. Heath.
William E. Heath,
Stephen W, Miller,
William E. Heath,
Heni-y D. Parkman,
John V. Deuell,
Silas A. Stone,
AVilliam A. Carpenter,
George W. Cook,
Peter B. Barker,
Jacob C. Evarts.
Peter B. Barker,
Jacob C. Evarts.
Jacob C. Evarts,
Sidney S. Durfee,
Jacob Van Deusen.
John V. Deuell,
Frederick D. Gardner.
AVm. E. Heermance.
Henry S. Belding.
Henry B. Van Deusen, Joshua T. Waterman,
Warren Rockwell. Matthew Mitchell,
Henry B. Van Deusen, Joshua T. Waterman,
AVarren Rockwell. Robert Coffin,
Joshua T. AVaterman,
George H. Power,
Milo B. Root,
Benj. R. Millard,
George H. Power,
Jehu AV. Smith,
John C. Newkirk,
Samuel N. Blake,
Samuel N. Blake, George Storrs.
Henry B. Van Deusen. Peter Decker,
Philip K. Burger,
Silas W. Tobey.
Thomas P. Nash,
Ira D. Richmond.
Thomas J. Weir,
Samuel N. Blake.
Conrad J, Houghtaling,
John S. Anable,
Conrad J. Houghtaling.
George Storrs. Richard M. Remington.
Conrad J. Hougntaling.Abner H. McArthur,
Elbridge Simpson, AVilliam Poultney, Jr.,
James T. Perkins. Alexander Meech,
James T. Perkins.
Lorenzo G. Guernsey,
George N. Simpson.
*Died August 4th, 1S46 ; AVilliam A. Carpenter elected to fill vacancy.
KETCHES OF HUDSON
Richard P. Clark,
Abner H. McArthur,
Allen Rockefeller, Jolni T. Burdwin,
Samuel N. Blake. George C. Tollcy,
William H. Terry,
Abel W. Baker.
Joshua T. Waterman, Hiram Macy, II. I. Van Rensselaer,
Richard M. Remington,lIunry Miller. Theodore Burdwin,
George L. Little,
George W. Baringer.
Benjamin F. Deuell,
Sylvenus E. Heath,
Hiram Macy, AViUiam Moore,
Peter S. Wynkoop. Wm. H. \V. Loop,
AVm. H. Crapser.
Rich'd M. Remington,
Abijah P. Cook,
Wm. H. Crapscr, William French,
Major M. Bullock. Franklin Roberts,
Robert H. Burns, Benjamin P. Deuell, Jacob Ten Bi-oeck, Peter Bo^ardns,
Hiram Morrison, Wiliiam A. CariJtntcr. David D. Rose, Alfred Wattles.
Benjamin P. Deuell,
Robert U. Burns,
Abner H. McArthur, David D. Rose,
James Batchellor. Alfred Wattles,
Henry J. Baringer,
Jacob AV. Hoysradt,
James Batchellor, Samuel Bachman,
Robert B. Lawton. Henry C. Avery,*
Wm. A. Jordan,t
Henry J. Baringer,
Jacob W. Hoysradt,
James Batchellor, Samuel Bachman,
Robert B. Lawton. Abel W. Baker,
Ebenezer H. Gififord,
Abner H. McArthur, Amiel Folger,
William Parmenter, Charles A. Stevens,
James N. Townsend,
Ebenezer H. Gifford,
David A. Rainey, Araiel Folger,
William Parmenter, William H. Crapser,
James N. Townsend,
Ebenezer H. Gifford,
William Parmenter, William H. Crapser,
Benjamin F. Deuell, Abram Bogardus,
Robert W. Evans,
Benjamin F. Deuell, Abram Bogardus,
Augustus Behrens, William H . Terry,
James N. Townsend.
*Died September 16,1S57; Abel W. Baker elected in November to fill vacancy.
tRemoved from the city in May, 1S57 ; Peter Bogardus elected in November to fill vacancy.
120 SKETCHES OF HUDSON.
A few years since, in digging the cellar for the house now occupied by Mr.
R. Cheeney, in Warren street, the remains of a human skeleton were fotiiid.
It is thought from this circumstance that there might have been a burial place
there in early times. This is possible, but we have no account of any other
than those mentioned on page 4.
Elizabeth Bunker was the first female, but not the first child born in Hud-
son. John Van Hoesen, now a resident of Athens, born near the present
residence of Duncan Hood, in 1785, is believed to have been the first. John
F. Jenkins, now a resident of Albany, was born in the same year, a few months
after Mr. Yan Hoesen.
Ezekiel Gilbert was a representative in Congress in the year 1193, remain-
ing such until the year 1797. Upon his first return from Washington he
brought with him a piano, the first in the city of Hudson. He represented
Columbia County in the Assembly in the years 1790, 1800, and 1801.
Thomas Jenkins was Presidential Elector in 1800.
Elisha Jenkins was Comptroller of the State in 1801. Secretary of State
in 1806, 1808 and 1811.
In addition to the newspapers named, the Hudson Mirror and Columbia
County Farmer was published by P. D. Carrique in the year 1838, and dis-
continued in the year following;
The cost of the first Presbyterian church, erected in 1790, was ^£865. We
find the following individuals mentioned as subscribers to the building fund.
Marshal Jenkins £100, Nathaniel Greene £40, Russell Kellogg £20, Samuel
Nichols £17, John Hathaway £16, and Elisha Jenkins £12.
The Columbia Turnpike Company was the third chartered in the State, and
not first, as stated on page 33. The Albany and Schenectady and Great West-
ern were each chartered before it.
Daniel B. Tallmadge and Claudius L. Monell were Judges of the Superior
Court of New York City, and not of the Supreme Court.
Robert A, Barnard is a descendant of Abisha and not of Joseph Barnard.
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