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Full text of "Historic Long Island, by Rufus Rockwell Wilson"

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Historic Long Island 

Rufus Rockwell Wilson 



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Historic Long Island 



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HISTORIC 
LONG ISLAND 



BY 
^ufus %ockwell Wilson 



Author op ''Rambles in Colonial Byways^ 

«* Washington: the Capital City" and 

**New York Old and New" 



FULLY ILLUSTRATED 



NEW YORK : THE BERKELEY PRESS 
1902 



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Contents 



CHArnnu Pagb. 

I. Ancient Long Island -13 

II. Thb Pivb Dutch Towns ... 23 

III. The Puritan Colonies .... 38 

IV. A Period op Storm and Stress 51 
V. The Reign op Stuyvesant ... 67 

VI. Dutch Days and Ways. ... 81 

VII. A Change op Rulers .... 99 

VIII. The Later English Governors 121 

IX. The Revolution and Apter -143 

X. When Brooklyn Was a Village . 165 

XI. The Whalers op Suppolk .187 

XII. Queens and Its Worthies 206 

XIII. The Second War With England .326 

XrV. The Island in the Civil War 241 

XV. Making the Greater City 264 

XVI. The Higher Lipe op Brooklyn 291 

XVII. Some Island Landmarks .312 



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Illustrations 



Paoi. 

Cedarmere^ Home of William Cullen Bryant Frontispiece 
The Town Pond at Easthampton facing i8 

Old Mill at Bridgehampton . '' 28 

Gardiner's Bay from the Bluff — Shelter Island " 40 

View near Southampton ''52 

The Main Street — New Suffolk ..." 62 
Paradise Bay — Shelter Island . . . " 74 

Broadway — Flushing "84 

The Whip Mill at Babylon . " 96 

Oystermen of Great South Bay ..." 106 
View ON THE River AT Patchogue . " 118 

The Beginning and the End — Port Jefferson " 128 
Between Cold Spring and Northport " 140 

Near the Fish Hatcheries — Cold Spring "150 

The Meeting House Pump — Westbury " 162 

A Bayshore Bit "172 

The Park and Water Tower — ^Riverhead . " 184 

Babylon from the Great South Bay " 194 

The Trout Stream — Sunken Meadow . " 206 

Avenue of Locusts — Oyster Bay ..." 216 
The Merrick Road in Winter . " 228 



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Pack. 

Lynnclyffb — Good Ground .... facing 238 

The West Shore — Huntington Harbor " 250 

Old Home of Rufus King at Jamaica " 260 

Quaker Meeting House in Flushing . . " 272 

The Youngs Homestead at Oyster Bay . " 282 

The Vanderveer Homestead in Flatbush . " 294 

View Between Manhanset and Roslyn . " 304 

The Pyramids — Montauk "316 



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FOREWORD 

The hist(M7 of Long Island is in epitome the history of the 
nation. Dutch and English joined in its settlement, and ruled 
it by turn during the pre-Revolutionary period. Through the 
French .and Indian wars the island contributed largely to the 
colonial forces, both in men and in provisions; and it bore its 
part and a worthy one in the struggle for independence. No 
less honorable was its record in the second war with England 
and in the contest for the preservation of the Union. 

But the distinctive fact in the island's history is that it 
has been from the first a land of homes and home-makers. The 
Dutch and English pioneers had no other thought than to 
rear in a new land new hearthstones for themselves and their 
children, and so strong and abiding speedily became their love 
of the pleasant country to possess which they had crossed the 
seas, that all over the island one will find men and women still 
holding the rich acres whereon their ancestors settled upward 
of two centuries ago. Later times and changed conditions have 
brought in another and larger army of h<»ne-makers. The 
Long Island railroad was built to Jamaica in 1836, and four 
years later extended to Hicksville and thence to Greenport. 
Since that time the growth of the island in peculation and 
wealth has been steady and some sections marvelously rapid. 
The chain of hills on the north side is rapidly being covered 
with the homes of a refined population ; but the greatest trans- 
formation has been wrought along the south shore, and where, 
thirty years ago, was nothing save a wilderness of uninhabited 
salt meadows and sand beaches and pine and scrub oak plains, 
is now a chain of thriving and prosperous villages, and of 
splendid homes and hotels. 

Set opposite the great city of which its westward reaches 
now form a part, the island's past shapes its future. Made 

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easier of access by the bridges and tunnels building and to be 
built, the residents of over-crowded Manhattan are, with the 
passage of the years, to turn to it in steadily increasing numbers 
as offering the most inviting and available sites on which to 
build their homes. Another decade will see a doubling of its 
population; and to this increase the man of large means, and 
the modest wage-earner will each contribute his share. The 
present work has, therefore, a double purpose. It aims to give 
attractive form to the island's wealth of historic associations ; 
to sketch its varied and active life in the present ; and to make 
clear the part it is to play in the future. The reader who dips 
into its pages will make acquaintance with the interesting and 
unfamiliar existence of the Indians who ranged the island 
before the c<xning of the white man; with the peace-loving 
burgher and the liberty-loving Puritan who next claimed it for 
their own; with the homes and ways of these pioneers; with 
Kieft and StU3rvesant and the rfest of the long procession of 
Dutch and English governors who ruled it "in good old colony 
times ;" with Washington and the other men of might and valor 
who waged and won the fight for freedom; with the island's 
quickening life in the middle years of the last century ; with the 
divers activities which now make it one of the most attractive 
of New World communities, and with the forces that are to 
keep it in the years to come, as in those that are gone, a land of 
homes and home-makers. 

The task is one that might well command an abler pen, but 
if the writer succeeds in kindling a wider and livelier interest 
in his subject he will feel that his labors have had abundant 
reward. 



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Ancient Long Island 

THE Indians whom the first white men found dwelling on 
Long Island belonged to the Moh^^ nation, but were 
split into a dozen tribes. The most numerous and 
powerful tribe in the westward reaches of the island 
were the Canarsies, who were also the first Ameri- 
cans to greet Henry Hudson and his men. The for- 
mer tells us in his journal that when he came to 
anchor in Gravesend Bay on the 4th of September, 1609, the 
Canarsies hastened to board his vessel and give him welcome. 
They were clad in deer-skins, and brought with them green 
tobacco, which they exchanged for knives and beads. Hudson 
further records that when they visited him on the second day 
some wore "mantles of feathers," and others "divers sorts of 
good furs" ; and he adds that they had great store of maize or 
Indian com, "whereof they make good bread," and currants, 
some of which, dried, his men brought to him from the land, 
and which, he says, were "sweet and good." 

A party from Hudson's ship landed on the second day in 
what is now the town of Gravesend, where they found "great 
store of men, women and children," dwelling in a country full 
of tall oaks. "The lands were as pleasant with grass, and 
flowers, and goodly trees as ever they had seen, and very sweet 
smells came from them." But another landing on the third day 
of some of Hudson's crew had tragic issue. John Colman, an 
Englishman, in some manner gave mortal offense to the 
Indians, and in the fight that followed he was killed by an arrow 
shot in the throat, while two of his comrades were wounded. 
0)lman was buried on Coney Island, and his fellows hastily 
sought the shelter of their ship, which next day weighed anchor 
and pushed northward into the Hudson. 

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Ancient Long Island 

Seventy years after Hudson's landfall, the Labadist mis- 
sionaries, Bankers and Sluyter, visited Long Island, and their 
journal, recently discovered, affords an interesting glimpse of 
the Canarsies, when the latter had been half a century in contact 
with white men. The Labadists with a friend named Gerrit 
were walking near what is now Fort Hamilton when they heard 
a noise of pounding, like threshing. ''We went to the place 
whence it proceeded," runs their journal, "and found there an 
old Indian woman busily employed beating beans out of the 
pods by means of a stick, which she did with astonishing force 
and dexterity. Gerrit inquired of her, in the Indian language, 
how old she was, and she answered eighty years ; at which we 
were still more astonished that so old a wcnnan should still have 
so much strength and courage to work as she did. We went 
thence to her habitation, where we found the whole troop 
together, consisting of seven or eight families, and twenty or 
twenty-two persons. Their house was low and long, about 
sixty feet long and fourteen or fifteen wide. The bottom was 
earth, the sides and roof were made of reeds and the bark of 
chestnut trees ; the posts or colunms were limbs of trees stuck in 
the ground and all fastened together. The ridge of the roof 
was open about half a foot wide f r<xn end to end, in order to let 
the smoke escape, in place of a chimney. On the sides of the 
house the roof was so low that you could hardly stand under it 
The entrances, which were at both ends, were so small that they 
had to stoop down and squeeeze themselves to get through 
them. The doors were made of reed or flat bark. In the whole 
building there was no iron, stone, lime or lead. 

"They build their fires in the middle of the floor, according 
to the number of families, so that from one end to the other each 
boils its own pot and eats when it likes, not only the families by 
themselves, but each Indian alone when he is hungry, at all 
hours, morning, noon and night. By each fire are the cooking 
utensils, consisting of a pot, a bowl or calabash, and a spoon 
also made of a calabash. These are all that relate to cooking. 

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Historic Long Island 

They lie upon mats, with their feet towards the fire upon each 
side of it. They do not sit much upon anything raised up, but. 
for the most part, sit upon the grotmd, or squat on their ankles. 
Their other household articles consist of a calabash of water, 
out of which they drink, a small basket in which to carry their 
maize and beans, and a knife. The impletfients are, for tillage, 
merely a small sharp stone ; for huntingi a gun and pouch for 
powder and lead ; for fishing, a canoe without mast or sail, and 
not a nail in any part of it, fish-hooks and lines, and a scoop to 
paddle with in place of oars. 

"All who live in one house are generally of one stock, as 
father and mother with their oflFspring. Their bread is maize 
pounded in a block by a stone, but not fine ; this is mixed with 
water and made into a cake, which they bake under the hot 
ashes. They gave us a small piece when we entered, and 
although the grains were not ripe, and it was half-baked and 
coarse grains, we nevertheless had to eat it, or at least not to 
throw it away before them, which they would have regarded as 
a great sin or a great affront. We chewed a little of it and 
managed to hide it. We had also to drink out of their cala- 
bashes the water, which was very good. . . . We gave 
them two jews-harps, whereat they were much pleased and at 
once began to play them, and fairly well. Some of their chiefs — 
who are their priests and medicine men and could speak good 
Dutch — were busy making shoes of deer-leather, which they 
render soft by long working it between their hands. They had 
dogs, besides fowls and hogs, which they are gradually learn- 
ing from Europeans how to manage. Toward the last we asked 
them for s<Mne peaches, and their reply was, *Go and pick scMne,* 
which shows their politeness I However, not wishing to offend 
them, we went out and pulled some. Although they are such a 
poor miserable people, they are licentious and proud, and much 
given to knavery and scoffing. When we inquired the age of an 
extremely old women (not less than a hundred one would 
think), some saucy young fellows jeeringly answered, 'Twenty 

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Ancient Long Island 

years.' We observed the manner in which they travel with 
their children, a woman having one which she carried cm her 
back. The little thing cltmg tight around her neck like a cat, 
and was held secure by a piece of duffels, their usual garment.'' 

One would have to search far for a more vivid and admir- 
able description of aboriginal life. When it was written the 
Canarsies were already a dwindling people, and another century 
saw their complete extinction. Originally they held dominion 
over all the land now included within the limits of Kings 
County and a part of the town of Jamaica. Eleven other tribes, 
at the time of the white man's coming, were habited on Long 
Island. The Rockaways occupied the southern part of the town 
of Hempstead, a part of Jamaica and the whole of Newtown, 
the seat of the tribe being at Far Rockaway. The Merrikokes 
or Merries held what is now the northern part of the town of 
Hempstead. The Massapequas ranged frc»n the eastern 
boundary of Hempstead to the western boundary of Islip and 
northward to the middle of the island. The Matinecocks 
claimed jurisdiction of the lands on the north side of the island 
east of Newtown as far as the Nesaquake River, while the Setau- 
kets, one of the most powerful of the twelve tribes, held sway 
from Stony Brook to Wading River, and the Corchaugs, an- 
other numerous tribe, from Wading River to Orient Point. 
The Manhansets, who could bring into the field 500 fighting 
men, possessed Shelter, Ram and Hog Islands. The Seca- 
togues were neighbors of the Massapequas on the west, and 
possessed the country as far east as Patchogue, whence the 
lands of the Poose-pah-tucks extended to Canoe Place. 
Eastward from the latter point to Easthampton was 
the land of the Shinnecocks. The Montauks had juris- 
diction over all the remaining lands to Montauk Point 
and including Gardiner's Island. 

There now survive remnants of only two of these tribes. 
A short drive from the railway station at Mastic along a sand 
and shell road takes one to Mastic Neck and to the reserva- 

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Historic Long Island 

tion of the Poose-pah-tucks, reduced in these latter days to 
less than two score souls. The reservation itself is a plot of 170 
acres, partly under cultivation and owned by the Indians in ab- 
solute commonwealth. A church, a school house and several 
small cottages are scattered about over the fertile slopes, aflFord- 
ing a sharp ccmtrast to the mansions of the summer sojourners, 
whose turrets and gables are seen beyond the Forge River, 
reaching down to the sea. The reservation was conveyed to the 
forefathers of its present occupants by the lord of Smith's 
Manor in the following deed : 

"Whereas, Seachem Tobacuss, deceased, did in his Life 
Time, with the other Indians, natives and possessors of cer- 
taine tracts of Lande & Meadow on ye south side of ye Islande 
of Nasaw, given for valuable consideration in sayd deedes, 
Did Bargin, sell alinate & confirm unto mee and my assines to 
have hold and enjoye for ever all their right, titel & interest of ; 
Bee it known unto all men that the intent sayd Indians, there 
children and posterryte may not want sufesient land to plant on 
forever, that I do hereby g^ant for mee, my Heires and assines 
for Ever, that Wisquosuck Jose, Wionconow, Pataquam, Steven 
Werampes, Penaws Tapshana, Wepshai Tacome and Jacob, 
Indian natives of Unquachock, there children & ye posterryte 
of there children for ever shall without any molestation from 
mee, my heires or assines, shall and may plant, sowe for- 
ever on the conditions hereafter expressed, one hun- 
dred seventie and five acres of Land, part of the Lande 
so solde mee ass is aforesayd ; and to bum underwood, alwaes 
provided that ye said Indians, there children or posterryte have 
not any preveleg to sell, convaye, Alinate or let this planting 
right, or any part thereof, to any persun, or persuns whatsoever ; 
but this Planting rite shall descende to them and there children 
forever; and that ye herbidg is reserved to me and my heirs 
and assines, when there croops are of & thaye yealding & pay- 
ing, as an acknowledgement to mee and my heires for ever, 
Two yellow Eares of Indian come. In testimony whereof I have 

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Ancient Long Island 

to these present sett my hande and seale at my manner of St 
George's, this second daye of July, Anno Domey Don, 1700. 

WiLUAM Smith/' 

The two ears of yellow com mentioned in the deed was 
annually carried to the manor house until about twenty-five 
years ago when the custom was allowed to lapse. The present 
chief of the Poose-pah-tucks, whose blood has become so mixed 
with that of n^oes as to make it doubtful if any pure-blood 
Indians survive, is **Mesh," otherwise known as "Deacon" 
Bradley, a lineal descendent of Tobacus, and a man of force of 
character and of influence with his people. Another leading 
member of the tribe is David Ward, son of Richard Ward, who 
for half a century, and until his death early in 1902 was its 
chief. "Our tribe in the old days," said he to a recent visitor, 
"possessed riches both in lands and seawan — ^that is, Indian 
money — the wampum, or white, and the paque, or black cur- 
rency of the tribes. The former was made from the stock or 
stem of the periwinkle, quantities of which are to be found 
about here, and the latter cut from the purple heart of the quo- 
haug, or hard shelled clam. So rich was the island in this 
money that throughout the State it was known as Sea-wan-haka, 
or Island of Shells, and was the object of repeated invasions 
by the mainland tribes who coveted this wealth. Time was 
when the Indians on the reservation lived in wigwams, but with 
the coming of outsiders and the intermarriage of negroes and 
Indians the remnants of the tribe took to the white man's mode 
of shelter. We are ruled by three trustees under the chief, who 
is first deacon of our church. Every June we have a reunion, 
for many of our people are scattered ; and thus our tribal interest 
is kept up and our people held together." 

David Ward's cottage on the reservation is in the centre of 
a large tract of ground, which he cultivates in summer. He is 
known as the best hunter on the reserve. Deer, fox, rabbit, 
grouse, partridge, quail, raccoon, 'opossum, mink and muskrat 
abound in the neighborhood, and in the winter season the In- 

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Historic Long Island 

dians exist on the fruits of rifle and trap. Poverty reigns, 
but none is too poor to own a rifle and a well-trained setter. 

Three miles west of Southampton village the level moor- 
land rises into the hills of Shinnecock, so named from the In- 
dians who were the original owners. In 1703 the Shinnecock 
region was leased back to the Indians by the settlers who had 
previously purchased the lands from the tribe and was used as 
a reservaticm imtil 1859, when the hills were sold to a local cor- 
poration, and the remnant of the tribe took up their abode on 
the Shinnecock Neck, where they still live to the number of 
about two hundred. These are a mixture of Indian and negro, 
the last full-blooded member of the tribe having died several 
years ago. The women till the soil and find employment among 
the cottagers and villagers, but the men hug the shady side of 
the house or hill, smoke, watch the women at work, and say 
nothing. The government furnishes them with a school master 
and a preacher, but small influence have they to win the Indian 
from his contempt of labor, his pipe and his taciturnity. The 
only thing taught him by the white man for which he has a 
liking is a keen relish for strong drink, and when in his cups 
he is said to be an ugly customer. In the main, however, the 
Shinnecocks are a silent and inoffensive people, gradually fad- 
ing off the face of the earth. 

Yet life among them has not been without its moving trag- 
edies. At the close of a summer's day seventy odd years ago a 
small sloop coming from the northward anchored near the 
shore of Peconic Bay. The only persons on the sloop who could 
be seen by the Indians fishing close at hand were a white man 
and a negro. After darkness had settled over the bay a light 
flickered from the cabin windows of the sloop, aad a voice, that 
of a woman^ was raised in song. In the early morning hours a 
noise was heard in the direction of the boat, and a woman's 
screams floated out over the water. Then the listeners on shore 
heard the sound of the hoisting of an anchor, and a little later 
in the early morning light the sloop was seen speeding out to 

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Ancient Long Island 

sea. Just before it disappeared a man standing in the stern 
threw something white overboard. Among the watchers on 
shore was one Jim Tumbull, an Indian known as the Water 
Serpent. After a time Tumbull swam out to the object 
still floating on the water. As he drew near he saw it was the 
body of a woman lying face downward. When Tumbull tumed 
the body over he recognized the face at a glance. The woman's 
throat had been cut and a dagger thrust into her heart. Then 
he ccMiveyed the body to the beach, and, aided by his compan- 
ions, buried it near the head of Peconic Bay. The following 
day the Water Serpent disappeared. He was absent for sev- 
eral weeks, and when he came back to the Shinnecock Hills 
gave no hint of his wanderings. Years later, however, when 
he was about to die, his lips opened and told a fearful story. 

During a winter storm a few months before the murder in 
Peconic Bay the Water Serpent and several other members of 
his tribe had been wrecked on the Connecticut shore. The 
Water Serpent, alone escaping death in the waters, was found 
lying unconscious on the beach by a farmer named Turner, who 
carried him to his home near by, where the farmer's daughter, 
Edith, a beautiful girl, nursed him back to health. An Indian 
never forgets a kindness, and the Water Serpent was no excep- 
tion to the mle. He did not see his young nurse again until he 
found her body floating in the waters of Peconic Bay. Follow- 
ing his discovery, he quickly made his way to the home of the 
girl, and leamed that she had eloped with an Englishman. Two 
of the girl's brothers went with him to her grave, opened it at 
night, and carried the body away for burial beside that of her 
mother. The Indian, who had seen the Englishman and re- 
membered his face, took up the search for the murderer, and 
finally traced him to a farm house near Stamford. One day 
the Englishman was missed from his usual haunts. Months 
afterwards his body was found in a piece of woodland — a dag- 
ger in his heart. It was the same dagger the Water Serpent 
had found in the heart of Edith. 

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The Five Dutch Towns 



THE Dutch Netherlands at the beginning^ of the seven- 
teenth century boasted the freest and most progressive 
people in Europe, a people who led their neighbors in 
commerce, the fine arts and scholarship, and in the development 
of the political ideas which have had fruition in the democracy 
of modem days. They were also a race of daring sailors, 
and at the time when the first English colonies were being 
planted in America, Dutch ships were finding their way to 
every comer of the Seven Seas. One of the tasks which 
drew these rovers forth was the search for a northern route 
to China ; and it was in quest of such a route, that in the spring 
of 1609, Henry Hudson, an English captain in the employ of the 
Dutch East India, sailed from Amsterdam in the little ship 
Hdf Moon, with a crew of sixteen or eighteen sailors. He 
reached the Penobscot in mid- July, and thence sailed south- 
ward to the Delaware, but presently turned northward, and 
on the 4th of September, as has been told in another 
place, anchored in Gravesend Bay. There he tarried 
for the space of three days, and then pushed through the Nar- 
rows and up the river which bears his name, until the shoaling 
water warned him that he was at the head of navigation, near 
the present site of Albany. He knew now that the way he had 
chosen led not to India, and so, dropping down the river, he 
sailed out through the Narrows and headed for Europe. 

Hudson had failed to find the new route to China, in 
further quest of which he was to perish grimly among the 
frozen waters of the north ; but the voyage of the Half Moon 
had fruitful issue in the opening of a new land to settlement and 
civilization. Hudson's glowing accounts of the great stores of 
fine peltries he had seen in the possession of the Indians during 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

his voyages up and down the River of Mountains found 
eager listeners among the Dutch merchants, who at that time 
yearly dispatched a himdred vessels to Archangel for furs. A 
country where these articles were to be had without the taxes of 
custom-houses and other duties was one not to be neglected, and 
during the next four years sundry merchants of Amsterdam 
sent ships to the Hudson to barter blue glass beads, and 
strips of red cotton for the skins of beaver and otter and mink. 
The year 1613 found four small houses standing on Manhattan 
Island, and Hendrick Christaensen plying all the waters near at 
hand in quest of skins. A twelve month later his employers 
sought and obtained from the States General of the Netherlands 
a monopoly of the fur trade during the time that might be 
required for six voyages ; and before this privilege expired they 
were granted, under the name of the United New Netherland 
Company, the exclusive right of trade along the coasts and 
rivers between the Delaware and Cape Cod. 

The monopoly thus granted expired in 1618, but its holders 
continued their trade for several years longer under a special 
license. Then, in June, 1 621, the States General granted to the 
newly formed West India Company exclusive jurisdiction over 
Dutch trade and navigation on the barbarous coasts of America 
and Africa. Its charter clothed the West India Company with 
well-nigh imperial powers. It was authorized to appoint and 
remove all public officers within its territories, administer 
justice, build forts, make treaties with subject peoples, and 
resist invaders. Branches or chambers of the company were 
established in the several cities of Holland, and these branches, 
while subject to a central board, sometimes known as the Col- 
lege of Nineteen, had severally assigned them specific territories, 
over which they exercised the right of government, and with 
which they possessed the exclusive right to trade. 

New Netherland, as the Hudson river country had now 
come to be known, fell under this arrangement to the Amster- 
dam branch of the company, which at once proceeded to organ- 

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Historic Long Island 

ize a government for its provinces. The chief executive officer 
was styled director-general, and the first person chosen to fill 
this office, in 1623, was Cornelius Jacobsen May. The same 
year brought to the province the ship New Netherland 
with the first party of permanent colonists. Some of these 
were put ashore at Manhattan, and others were carried to Fort 
Orange, within the present limits of Albany, while yet another 
party settled on the shore of Long Island where now is the 
Brooklyn navy yard. Most of the newcomers were Walloons, 
natives of the southern Netherlands, whom Spanish persecution 
had driven into Holland, where the West India Gxnpany had 
secured them as colonists. 

And thus the first white settlers came to Long Island. 
However, the first recorded grant of land within the present 
limits of Brooklyn was not made until 1636, when William 
Adriaense Bennett and Jacques Bent3m purchased from the 
Indians a considerable tract at Gowanus, and began a settle- 
ment. The following year Joris Jansen de Rapalje, a Huguenot 
who had married Catelyna Trico of Paris, and had resided at 
Fort Orange and at New Amsterdam, bought a farm on the 
Waal-boght, which name, later corrupted into Wallabout, had 
been given to the present site of the Navy Yard. Rapalje died 
in 1665, but his widow lived on at the Waal-boght — the mother 
of Brookl)m — ^and there in 1679 ^he Labadists missionaries, 
Bankers and Sluyter, found her with her eleven children and 
their descendants, who then numbered one hundred and forty- 
five. They describe her as devoted with her whole soul to her 
progeny. "Nevertheless she lived alone, a little apart 
from the others, having her garden and other conveniences 
which she took care of herself." When, in 1688, Governor 
Dongan wished to establish the fact that the first settlements on 
the Delaware were made by the Dutch he made use of the 
evidence of the widow Rapalje, who, describing her arrival in 
1623, told how, "Four women came along with her in the same 
ship, in which the Governor Arian Jarissen came also over, 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

which four women were married at sea," and afterwards with 
their husbands were sent to the Delaware. A few years later 
she made a second affidavit at her house "in ye Wale," wherein, 
recalling the Indian war of 1643, she pleasantly alluded to 
her previous life with the red men, for three years at 
Fort Orange, "all of which time ye Indians were all as 
quiet as lambs and came and traded with all ye freedom imagin- 
able." 

A public ferry across the East River was established in 
1642, and soon a number of houses sprang up about the Long 
Island landing at the present foot of Fulton Street. Southward 
from The Ferry, as this settlement was called, stretched a line 
of bouweries, while Wouter van Twiller, who in 1633 suc- 
ceeded Minuit as director-general of the province, had taken 
title to the promontory at Roode-Hoek or Red Hook, so called 
from its rich red soil. Following the Indian war of 1643, 
another settlement was begun between the Waal-boght and 
Gowanus Bay, in the vicinity of what are now Fulton, Hoyt and 
Smith Streets. The most desirable portions of this new terri- 
tory, formerly used by the Indians for their maize-fields, were 
taken up by Jan Evertsen Bout, Huyck Aertsen, Jacob Stoffel- 
sen, Pieter Comelissen and Joris Dircksen, and when, in 1645, 
the West India Company recommended that its colonists should 
establish themselves "in towns, villages and hamlets, as the 
English are in the habit of doing," Bout and his fellows, acting 
upon this advice, promptly notified the director and his council 
that they desired to found a town at their own expense. This 
they called Breuckelen, after the ancient village of that name on 
the Vecht, in the province of Utrecht. The director and his 
council without delay confirmed their proceedings in the follow- 
ing grant, which bore date June, 1646: 

"We, William Kieft, Director General, and the Council 
residing in New Netherland, on behalf of the High and Mighty 
Lords States General of the United Netherlands, His Highness 
of Orange, and the Honorable Directors of the General Incorpo- 

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rated West India Company, To all those who shall see these 
presents or hear them read : Greeting : 

"Whereas, Jan Evertsen Bout and Huyck Aertsen from 
Rossum were on the 21st of May last unanimously chosen by 
those interested of Breuckelen, situate on Long Island, to decide 
all questions which may arise, as they shall deem proper, accord- 
ing to the Exemptions of New Netherland granted to particular 
colonies, which election is subscribed by them, with express 
stipulation that if any one refuse to submit in the premises afore- 
said to the above-mentioned Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen, 
he shall forfeit the right he claims to land in the allotment of 
Breuckelen, and in order that everything may be done with 
authority. We, the Director and Council aforesaid, have there- 
fore authorized and appointed, and do hereby authorize the said 
Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen to be schepens of Breuckelen ; 
and in case Jan Evertsen and Huyck Aertsen do hereafter find 
the labor too onerous, they shall be at liberty to select two more 
from the inhabitants of Breuckelen to adjoin them to them- 
selves. We charge and command every inhabitant of Breucke- 
len to acknowledge and respect the above mentioned Jan Evert- 
sen and Huyck Aertsen as their schepens, and if any one shall be 
found to exhibit contumaciousness toward them, he shall forfeit 
his share as above stated. This done in Council in Fort Amster- 
dam in New Netherland." 

Meantime, other families following the coast line, had in 
1636 founded a settlement to which they gave the name of 
Amersfoort, in memory of the ancient town in Utrecht where 
Olden Bameveld was bom, and which thus became the germ of 
the modem Flatlands. Sixteen years later a third settlement 
called Middelwout or Midwout (the present Flatbush) arose 
midway between Breuckelen and Amersfoort, and about the 
same time another band of colonists took up their abode at a 
point on the coast, to which, moved by love for the fatherland, 
they gave the name of New Utrecht. Finally, in 1660, the vil- 
lage of Boswyck (now known as Bushwick) was planted be- 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

tween Newtown and Breuckelen. New Utrecht and Bos- 
wyck were given schepens in 1661, but at first had no schout 
of their own, being subject instead to the jurisdiction of the 
schout of Breuckelen, Amersfoort and Midwout. Thus came 
into existence the five Dutch towns of Kings County. "The 
axe rather than the plow," we are told, "first gave employment 
to the settlers. To those who in the Netherlands had toiled to 
reclaim their land from the ocean, this must have been unac- 
customed, but it could not have seemed like hopeless or dis- 
couraging work. They were now to cultivate a wilderness that 
had never been plowed or planted before, but these men brought 
to the task the energy they had gained in their labor among the 
dikes and dunes of Holland, and because they came of a stalwart 
race, they were hot afraid of work. Soon under their careful 
cultivation the beautiful garden and farming land of Kings 
County bore rich harvests. The plantations and farms, besides 
their ordinary farm produce, cultivated great fields of tobacco. 
ScMne of the best exported from the American colonies grew 
on the plantations about the Waal-boght. Later it is recorded 
that cotton was successfully raised in Breuckelen, although only 
for home use to be woven with native wool." 

The head of every family was a farmer, and a good one. 
"One rarely saw old and dilapidated outhouses or broken fences. 
The bams of the Dutch farmers were broad and capacious. 
There were beams across the second story, supporting poles on 
which the hay was piled, and the granary was usually boarded 
off in one comer. A horse stable also formed part of the 
barn, and several pairs of horses and generally a pair of mules 
were owned by every farmer. Near the bam stood the wagon- 
house, in the loft of which were sheltered the farmer's tools. 
Com cribs, filled in winter with cobs of golden com, formed 
the outer compartments of this building, and the wagons were 
in the open central space. A frame work, consisting of four 
heavy comer posts and a thatched straw roofing, which could 
be raised or lowered upon these comer posts, was called by the 

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OLD MILL AT BRIDGEHAMPTON. 



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farmers a barrack. One or more of these barracks was in every 
yard for the straw and hay, and served to relieve the over- 
crowded bams in seasons of a bountiful harvest. There were 
also rows of haycocks of salt hay from the meadows, of which 
every farmer owned a certain share, and which was highly 
valued. In the late autumn long rows of corn stalks were 
stacked higher than the fences for the use of the cows in the 
cattle-)rard, and the great golden pimipkins which grew between 
the rows of corn were laid along the sunny sides of the com 
cribs to ripen. Thus on all sides there were signs of peace and 
plenty. The returning seasons rarely failed to bring the farmer 
an abundant retum for the labor he had bestowed upon his land. 
The smooth fields, under the careful cultivation of their respec- 
tive owners, were never taxed so as exhaust their fertil- 
ity. They were judiciously 'planted with a view to changing 
crops and they were enriched as the experienced eye of the 
farmer saw what was needed. Though the life was quiet and 
uneventful, yet the farmer had a peaceful, happy home, free 
from the cares which fill modem life with turmoil and disquiet." 
Negro slavery was introduced on Long Island, in 1660, but 
from the first a kindly feeling seems to have existed between 
the owner and the slave. "If a slave was dissatisfied with hfs 
master, it was common for the latter to give him a paper on 
which his age and price were written, and allow him to seek out 
some one with whom he would prefer to live, and who would 
be willing to pay the stated price. A purchaser found, the mas- 
ter completed the arrangements by selling his discontented slave 
to the person whom, for some cause best known to himself, he 
preferred. The slave spoke the language of the family, and 
Dutch became the mother tongue of the Kings County negroes. 
It was considered in early times a sign of a well-to-do farmer to 
have a large family of colored people in his kitchen. The elder 
members of these families had been so thoroughly drilled in the 
work required of them that they were almost invaluable to the 
master and mistress. There were always small boys of every 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

age to do the running of errands, bring home the cows, and call 
the reapers to their meals ; and there were colored girls of every 
age to help or hinder, as the case might be, in the various house- 
hold duties. In most of the old Dutch houses there were small 
kitchens in which these families of colored people lived. They 
were not so far from the house as the slave-quarters on a South- 
ern plantation, but the building was a separate one annexed to 
the main kitchen of the house. Thus the negro race for more 
than a century and a half formed part of the family of every 
Dutch inhabitant of Kings County. Speaking the same lan- 
guage, brought up to the same habits and customs, with many 
cares and interests in common, there existed a sympathy with 
and an affection between them and the white members of the 
household such as could scarcely be felt toward those who now 
perform the same labor under widely different conditions." 

Long Island's early settlers were not, however, exclusively 
bound to slave labor. There were also indentured apprentices 
and servants. An indenture paper, by which a young girl from 
Queens County was bound out to a family in Flatbush, is still 
extant. "The master shall give unto the said apprentice," runs 
this old document, "a cow, a new wrapper, calico, at five shil- 
lings per yard, a new bonnet, a new pair of shoes and stockings, 
two new shifts, two new petticoats, two caps, two handkerchiefs, 
and her wearing apparel," the last, doubtless, referring to the 
garments in which she was clothed during her period of service. 
The copy of another indenture now before the writer, binds a 
girl of twelve, with the consent of her parents, until she reach 
the age of eighteen. "During all of which time," it is set down, 
"the said Lydia her said master shall faithfully serve, his secrets 
keep, his lawful commands everywhere readily obey. She shall 
do no damage to her said master nor see it done by others, with- 
out letting or giving notice thereof to her said master. She shall 
not waste her said master's goods, nor lend them unlawfully to 
any. She must not contract matrimony within the said term. 
At cards, dice, or any unlawful game she shall not play whereby 

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her said master may have damage. She will neither traflfic 
with her own goods or the goods of others, nor shall she buy 
or sell without license from her said master. She shall not 
absent herself day or night from her said master's service with- 
out his leave, nor haunt ale houses, taverns or playhouses, but 
in all things behave herself as a faithful servant ought to do 
during the term of service aforesaid." This indenture makes 
a generous provision of clothing, but in a third nothing is given 
to the girl when her time expires save a Bible. This girl, 
Suzanne, is indentured to Jacob Ryerson of the town of Brook- 
lyn as a servant. "He shall," says the indenture, "cause her to 
be instructed in the art of housekeeping and also of spinning 
and knitting. She shall also be instructed to read and write, 
and at the expiration of her term of service he shall give unto 
the said Suzanne a new Bible." 

No less interesting by reason of its quaint wording and its 
glimpse of olden customs is the indenture for an apprentice to 
learn a trade made in 1695 by Jonathan Mills, Senior, of 
Jamaica, and Jacob Hendricksen, of Flatbush. "Jonathan Mills, 
Jr., son of the above-named Jonathan Mills, Senior," reads this 
time-stained paper, "is bound to serve his master Jacob Hen- 
dricksen, above said, the time and space of three years, in which 
time the said Jonathan Mills, Jr., is to serve his said master duly 
and faithfully, principally in and about the trade and art of a 
smith, and also sometimes for other occasions. Jacob Hendrick- 
sen, above said is bound to said Jonathan Mills, Jr., to find 
washing, sleeping, victuals and drink during said time of three 
years, and also to endeavor to instruct said Jonathan in said art 
and trade of a smith during said term of three years, and also 
that said Jonathan may have liberty to go in night school in the 
winter, and at the expiration of said time his master is to give 
him a good suit of clothes for Sabbath-day, and also two pair 
of tongs and two hammers, one big and one small one." Let us 
hope that Jonathan mastered his trade, and made good use of the 
tools that came to him at the end of his apprenticeship. 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

The Dutch settlers of Long Island were a religious people, 
and they had not been long settled in their new homes before 
they bethought themselves of a settled pastor and a permanent 
place of worship. Clergymen from New Amsterdam preached 
now and then at private houses in the Dutch villages, but this 
arrangement did not long suffice, and early in 1654 Domine 
Megapolensis and a committee of the provincial council were 
deputed to assist the people of Long Island in organizing a 
church. Six hundred guilders were appropriated by the West 
India Company for a minister's salary, and the Classis of 
Amsterdam was called upon to select a man qualified for the 
post ; but before this request had been complied with, Domine 
Johannes Polhemus, who had been for some time stationed at 
Itmarca, in Brazil, arrived in New Netherland, and the magis- 
trates of Midwout and Amersfoort hastened to petition the 
council for authority to employ him. Permission was promptly 
given them, and without delay work was begun on a church at 
Midwout. Three thousand guilders were contributed by the 
people towards its construction, and the director-general added 
four hundred more out of tiie provincial treasury, ordering that 
the building should be sixty or sixty-five feet long, twenty-eight 
broad, and from twelve to fourteen feet under the beams ; that 
it should be built in the form of a cross, and that the rear should 
be reserved for the minister's dwelling. 

The West India directors duly approved of these arrange- 
ments, but intimated that the colonists should pay the salary of 
their clergyman without recourse to the company. There was 
murmuring at this decision, and the people of Breuckelen made 
their contribution to the support of Domine Polhemus condi- 
tional upon his preaching in Breuckelen and Midwout on alter- 
nate Sundays. The provincial council assented to this demand, 
but not so the people of Amersfoort, who pointed out that "as 
Breuckelen is quite two hours' walking from Amersfoort, it 
was impossible for them to attend church in the morning, and 
return home at noon. So they consider it a hardship to choose, to 

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Historic Long Island 

hear the Gospel but once a day, or to be compelled to travel four 
hours in going and returning all for one single sermon — which 
would be to some very troublesome, and to some wholly impos- 
sible." The council finally settled the matter by directing that 
the morning sermon be at Midwout, and that instead of the 
usual afternoon service, an evening discourse be preached alter- 
nately at Midwout and Breuckelen. Thus affairs remained until 
1660, when Domine Henricus Selyns arrived from Holland, 
and, after preaching a few sermons at New Amsterdam, was 
formally installed as the clergyman of Breuckelen, the boundary 
of his charge including "the Ferry, the Waal-boght, and 
Gujanes." Domine Selyns* congregation at first consisted of 
one elder, two deacons and twenty-four members, and while a 
church was building worshipped in a bam. Domine Selyns at 
the end of four years returned to Holland, and Domine Pol- 
hemus died in 1676. The following year Domine Casparus 
Van Zuren was sent over by the Classis of Amsterdam, and 
until 1685 served as pastor of the four churches of Breuckelen, 
Midwout, Amersfoort and New Utrecht. Domine Rudolphus 
Varick, the next minister over the Kings County churches, con- 
tinued in office until 1694, when he was succeeded by Domine 
Lupardus, who died in 1702. 

After the domine came the schoolmaster. The first school 
was set up in Breuckelen in 1661, and had for its master Carel 
de Beauvois, a learned Huguenot from Leyden. Schools were 
established ere long in the other towns, and how much care and 
thought the Dutch fathers gave to the instruction of their chil- 
dren is evidenced again and again in the records of the colonial 
period. Strong has translated and preserved in his "History of 
Flatbush,' long since out of print, this agreement made with 
Anthony Welp, the fourth schoolmaster of that town : 

"First — ^The school shall begin and end in a Christian man- 
ner. At 8 o'clock in the morning it shall begin with the morn- 
ing prayer and end at 1 1 o'clock with prayer for dinner. At 2 

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The Five Dutch Towns 

o'clock in the afternoon it shall begin with the prayer after meat, 
and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon end with the evening prayer. 

"Second — ^The above named schoolmaster shall teach chil* 
dren and adult persons low Dutch and English spelling and 
reading, and also ciphering to all who may desire or request 
such instruction. 

"Third — The above named schoolmaster shall have for the 
instruction of every child or person in low Dutch spelling, read- 
ing and writing the sum of four shillings; for those who are 
instructed in English spelling, reading and writing the sum 
of five shillings, and for those who are instructed in ciphering 
the sum of six shillings, and that for three months' instruction ; 
and also a load of firewood shall be brought for each scholar 
every nine months for the use of the school. 

"Fourth — ^The above named schoobnaster shall keep school 
five days in every week ; once in each week in the afternoon the 
scholars shall learn the questions and answers in Borges Cate- 
chism, with the Scripture texts thereto belonging, or as it may 
be desired by the scholar or by his guardian, for any other day 
in the week, so as to be most beneficial to the one instructed. 

"Fifth — ^The above named schoolmaster shall occupy the 
schoolhouse with the appurtenances thereto belonging; also, the 
above named schoolmaster shall be yearly paid by the Worthy 
Consistory the sum of four pounds to attend to the church ser- 
vices, such as reading and singing; and for the interment of 
the dead the above named schoolmaster shall be entitled to re- 
ceive so much as is customary in the above named town. (For a 
person of fifteen years and upward, twelve guilders, and for 
one under that age, eight guilders. If required to give invita- 
tions beyond the limits of the town, three additional guilders for 
the invitation of every other town ; and to go to New- York, four 
guilders.)" 

A "sixth and lastly" clause provided for three months* 
notice should the schoolmaster wish to give up his work, and 

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Historic Long Island 

that there might be no mistake regarding the finances, his frugal 
employers added this postscript: *The sums of money men- 
tioned in the third article shall be paid by those who send the 
scholars to school." 

The pioneers who settled western Long Island belonged to 
a mighty race and did a mighty work, a work whose real value 
has grown clearer with the years. Brodhead has well said that 
"to no nation is the Republic of the West more indebted than to 
the United Provinces, for the idea of the confederation of sover- 
eign states ; for noble principles of constitutional freedom ; for 
magnaminous sentiments of religous toleration; for character- 
istic sympathy with the subjects of oppressicm ; for liberal doc- 
trines in trade and commerce ; for illustrious patterns of private 
integrity and public virtue ; and for generous and timely aid in 
the establishment of independence. Nowhere among the people 
of the United States can men be found excelling in honesty, in- 
dustry or accomplishment the posterity of the early Dutch set- 
tlers in New Netherland. And, when the providence of God de- 
<Teed that the rights of humanity were again to be maintained 
through long years of endurance and of war, the descendants of 
Hollanders nobly emulated the example of their forefathers ; nor 
was their steadfast patriotism outdone by that of any of the 
Tieroes in the strife which made the blood-stained soil of New 
York and New Jersey the Netherlands of America." 



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The Puritan Colonies 



THE Dutch never exercised more than nominal jurisdic- 
tion over eastern Long Island. The English, by reason 
of Cabot's discoveries, claimed dominion over the 
American coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Fear River, 
and in 1635 Charles I., granted the whole of Long Island to 
the Earl of Sterling. The attempts of the latter's agents to take 
possession of the island were resisted by the Dutch, but this did 
not prevent the earl from making sales or the purchasers from 
settling on the lands to which they thus obtained title. 

The first sale made by the earl was to Lyon Gardiner, who 
in March, 1639, bought the island which bears his name, and 
in the summer of the same year took possession with his wife 
and children. Colonial history counts no sturdier or more 
heroic iigure than that of the man who thus established the 
first English settlement witfiin the present limits of New York. 
A man of gentle birth, Lyon Gardiner was first an <^cer in 
the English army under Sir Thomas Fairfax, seeing much 
active service in Holland. There he took to wife a Dutch 
lady, Mary Willemson, daughter of a "deurcant" in the town 
of Woerden, and became, by his own account, "an engineer 
and master of works of fortifications in the legers of the 
Prince of Orange in the Low Countries." There, too, he came 
into familiar intercourse with the eminent Puritan divines, 
Hugh Peters and John Davenport, who had found an asylimi 
and established a church in Rotterdam, and in 1635 was per- 
suaded by them to accept an offer from Lord Say and Seal and 
other nobles and gentry, to go to the new plantation of Con- 
necticut, under John Winthrop the younger, and to build a fort 
at the mouth of the river. 

Gardiner sailed for America in August, 1635, and landing 

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at Boston late in November tarried there long enough to com- 
plete the military works on Fort Hill, which Jocelyn described 
later on as mounted with "loud babbling guns," and which 
continued in use until after the Revolution. Meantime, the 
younger Winthrop had despatched a force of twenty men to 
break ground at the mouth of the Connecticut and erect suit- 
able buildings for the reception of Gardiner. Thence the latter 
journeyed with his wife, in the opening days of winter, and 
with less than a dozen men to aid him began the construction of 
a strong fort of hewn timber — with a ditch, drawbridge, pali- 
sade and rampart — ^to which when finished he gave the name of 
Saybrook. The Puritan captain dwelt four years at Saybrook 
fort — anxious years of hard labor, danger and unceasing war- 
fare with the Pequots, diversified by agriculture carried on 
under the enemy's fire. "During the first of those bloody years 
the savages lurked in the hollows and swamps like a malaria ; 
crawled through the long grass of the salt meadows like snakes ; 
ambushed squads from the garrison when they tried to garner 
their crops or shoot game for food ; destroyed all the outside 
storehouses, burned the haystacks, killed the cows and prowled 
in sly places by night for hiunan victims. Often they came to 
the walls of the fort and taunted the soldiers— calling them 
'women,' and daring them to come out and fight like men. 
They would don the garments of those they had tortured, and in 
front of the fort enact in mockery their horrible death scenes, 
ending with peals of laughter, after which they would take to 
their heels and run to the woods with the swiftness of deer." 
Gardiner himself was severely wounded in one close encounter 
with the Pequots. Several arrows struck him, and the Indians 
supposed he was killed, but a buflF military coat which Sir Rich- 
ard Saltonstall had sent him prevented serious results, and, 
in 1637, he had the satisfaction of aiding in the plans which 
assured the defeat and almost complete annihilation of the 
Pequots. 

Nothing daunted by his hard experiences, Gardiner, his 

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The Puritan Colonies 

engagement with the Connecticut patentees at an end, betook 
himself to a still more secluded spot, purchasing, as we have 
seen, the island called after his name. By the terms of the 
grant from Lord Stirling this island was constituted from the 
first ''an entirely separate and distinct plantation," and its pro- 
prietor was empowered to make all laws necessary for Church 
and State, obse;rving the forms — «so said the instrument — 
"agreeable to God, the King and the practice of the country," 
and he was also directed to execute such laws. The sequel 
proved him as skilled in the arts of peace as in those of war. 
Before going to his island, he made friends with Wyandance, 
chief of the Montauks, who placed unlimited trust in him, con- 
fiding to him ever)rthing which concerned the safety of the 
white settlements. Twice Gardiner thwarted conspiracies for 
a general massacre of the English, by means of the warnings 
which his firm friend gave him. Once Ninigret, chief of the 
Narragansetts, sent one of his chiefs to Wyandance proposing 
an alliance for war against the whites, but the Montauk sachem 
seized the messenger and sent him bound hand and foot to Gar- 
diner, who shipped him to the governor of New Haven. When 
Ninigret, bent upon revenge, seized and carried off the daugh- 
ter of Wyandance on the night of her wedding, Gardiner suc- 
ceeded in ransoming and restoring her to her father. Another 
time he remained as hostage with the Indians while Wyan- 
dance went before the authorities of Southampton who had de- 
manded that he should discover and pve up certain murderers. 
Thus white man and red man, acting in concert with entire mu- 
tual trust, kept the tribes of eastern Lx>ng Island on peaceable 
terms with the English. Thirteen years Gardiner remained on 
his island, developing his territory and deriving an income from 
the whale-fishery. Then, leaving the isle in charge of the old 
soldiers whom he had brought from Saybrook as farmers, he 
passed ten years at East Hampton, where he died, in 1663, at 
the age of sixty-four. He left three children, the youngest, 
Elizabeth, bom at Gardiner's Island, September 14, 1641, being 

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Historic Long Island 

the first child of English parentage born within the precincts of 
the state of New York. 

The pioneer of Gardiner's Island was not long without 
neighbors. A month after the confirmation of his purchase, 
James Farrett, the agent of Lord Stirling, received permissicMi 
from his principal to sell to Daniel Howe, Edward Howell, 
Job Sayre and other residents of Lynn, Massachusetts, eight 
miles square of land in any part of Long Island, at a value 
fixed by Governor Winthrop, which, on reference, was decided 
to be six bushels of com. Qothed with this authority the men of 
Lynn bought a sloop, bestowed their few goods, and sailed to 
Manhasset, at the head of Cow Bay. There they found the 
Dutch arms erected upon a tree, and Howe, the leader of the 
expedition, pulled them down; but the Indian sachem Pen- 
hawitz, who had lately ceded all of his rights to the Dutch, 
promptly carried word of their doings to New Amsterdam. A 
party of soldiers sent to eject them found one house already 
built and another in progress. The trespassers were arrested 
and conveyed to New Amsterdam, where Kieft, having rated 
them soundly, released them upon their signing an agreement 
to leave the territory of their High Mightinesses. 

Thus ended the first attempt to plant an English colony 
in western Long Island. Its failure led, however, to the imme- 
diate settlement of the town of Southampton, for when Farrett 
heard of the action of the New Netherland authorities he re- 
solved to gain for his master a permanent foothold at the east- 
em end of the island, and he, therefore, hastened to release to 
Howe and his associates ''all those lands lying and being 
bounded between Peaconeck and the eastemmost point of 
Long Island, with the whole breadth of the said island from 
sea to sea." The Indians whom the settlers found on their 
new patent proved friendly, and ceded all their rights to the 
newcomers, "in consideration of sixteen coats already received, 
and also three score bushels of Indian com to be paid upon 
lawful demand the last of September, which shall be in the year 

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1641, and further in consideration that they above-named Eng- 
lish shall defend us the said Indians from the unjust violence 
of whatever Indians shall illegally assail us." 

Landing at North Sea, on Great Peconic Bay, the men of 
L3mn at first settled about three miles southward in the woods, 
but in 1648 decided upon a more permanent abode. The 
result was the laying out of Main Street, half a mile south of 
the Old Town, where they then lived, and the allotment of 
three acres for a house lot and a quantity of adjacent farming 
land to each inhabitant. "Abraham Pierson, Southampton's 
first minister," writes Judge Henry P. Hedges, "held to the ex- 
clusive right of the church to govern in both church and state. 
Going back in fancy a little more than five half centuries to 
some bright Sunday morning we might see some forty rude 
dwellings sheltering as many families, compactly clustered on 
either side of the Southampton Street, each dwelling fortified 
by inclosures of palisades, and all guarded by like surround- 
ing fortifications. Near the centre are both watch-house and 
church. The rolling drum-beat of Thomas Sayre calls the 
worshippers. Parents, preceding children and servants, move 
to the church. The deacons sit fronting the audience, who 
are seated according to rank and station, the men and women 
divided by a centre line. The soldiers, with their arms, are 
placed conveniently for defense near the door. Minister Pier- 
son, serious, spiritual, severe, just, learned, logical, positive, 
presides over the assembly. With solemn air they await his 
utterance. With accent stern he invokes that Jehovah who 
thundered from Sinai. * * * jhe political genius of 
these pioneers shone conspicuously in their town meetings. 
This meeting was composed of that body of freemen accepted 
as such by the voters of themselves and those only. It was 
required that a freeman be twenty-one years of age, of sober 
and peaceable conversation, orthodox in the fundamentals of 
religion and have a rateable estate of the value of twenty 
pounds. The suffrage was limited, but not so far as to pre- 

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vent the government in the main from being the wisest expres- 
sion of the popular rule. Six freemen and one magistrate 
being present constituted a quorum for business. This town 
meeting, called the General Court, because, in the first instance, 
it tried important cases above the magistrate's jurisdiction and 
heard appeals from their decision, elected all their officers, and 
when convened for such election was called a Court of Election. 
The court of necessity must exercise powers of the widest 
scope. The colony swung free and solitary as an orb 
in space, must control itself or fall. Practically it 
did so govern. If an unwelccMne inhabitant sought to 
intrude himself into their community they would not accept 
him. Whom they would they accepted and whom they would 
they rejected. A power as sovereign as that of naturaliza- 
tion they exercised without scruple or doubt, and often for- 
bade the entrance of convicts or tramps into their commun- 
ity. No drone was allowed in their hive. No crime escaped 
its proscribed penalty. The records abound in instances of 
the exercise of the highest powers. If an inhabitant desired 
to sell his land to a stranger, unless allowed by the town, he 
could not invest an alien with title. The town meeting moved 
with the momentum of the many, and put down private and 
personal opposition. Fist law and shotgun law and chaos 
failed. Town meeting reigned. Some of the most com- 
bative souls that first trod this continent tried their individual 
strength against the collected will of the town. The beating 
wave no more moves the unshaken rock than the individual 
wave of wrath moved the town meeting from its course." 

The year of Southampton's settlement also witnessed the 
founding of the town of Southold, on the north side of Peconic 
bay. The first settler of Southold was John Youngs, a clergy- 
man from Hingham in Norfolk, a friend of John Davenport, 
who arrived at Boston in 1637, and the next spring led a party 
to found New Haven. Youngs landed in Salem about the same 
time, and going thence to New Haven, soon crossed the Sound 

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at the head of a party of colonists from his native county in 
England. The founders of Southold chose a sheltered nook 
for their village, protected from winter winds by a bluflF 
to the north, and open to the southern breezes in summer, tem- 
pered by a succession of salt water bays and streams. Familiar 
names are handed down to us among these pioneers, to whom 
ere long the revocation of the Edict of Nantes added a number 
of Huguenot families, and their descendants have included 
many eminent men. John Youngs, eldest son of the town's 
founder, was a public character for full half a century, serving 
as sheriflF, colonel of militia, head of commission to deter- 
mine the boundaries between New York and Connecticut, and 
as counselor to a succession of the Governors of New York. 
His old house still stands in Southold and hard by it is the home 
Benjamin L'Hommedieu provided for the bride with whom 
he fell in love in the most rcHtiantic fashion soon after his arrival 
in the town. Their grandson, Ezra L'Hommedieu, was a man 
of national renown, one of the great and useful characters of 
his generation. Whitaker refers to him in his "History of 
Southold" as the chief citizen of the town during the Revolu- 
tionary period, — ^member at divers times of the Provincial Con- 
gress of New York, the Continental Congress, the State 
Assembly and Senate, and the Council of Appointment; 
long clerk of SuflFolk county, and a regent of the university 
of the State from its organization in 1788 until his death in 
1812. 

Other bands of Puritans followed in the wake of the 
settlers of Southampton and Southold. Easthampton was 
founded in 1649 0° lands bought from the Montauks. Two 
years later settlements were beg^n at Huntington, Setauket 
and Brookhaven, and in 1663 Richard Smith led in the found- 
ing of the town called after his name. All of these towns were 
essentially religious corporations. The first settlers contributed 
according to their ability or the amount of their proposed hold- 
ings to the purchase of the grants from the Indians and the 



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royal charters, and they became allodial proprietors. All gov- 
ernment was reputed to be in the church; none but church- 
men were admitted to the entire privileges of freemen; and 
the churches and their pastors were supported by a town tax. 
The town meeting, in which only church members could take 
part, made orders for the division of lands, the enclosure or 
cultivation of conmion fields, the regulation of fences and high- 
ways, the education of children and the preservation of good 
morals. How strict was its supervision of affairs is shown by 
an extract from the records of the town of Brookhaven : 

"Orders and constitutions made by the authority of this 
town, 8th July, 1674, to be duly kept and observed : 

"Whereas, there have been much abuse and profaning of 
the Lord's day by the younger sort of people in discoursing of 
vain things and running of races; therefore, we make it an 
order that whosoever shall do the like again notice shall be 
taken of them and be presented to court, there to answer for 
their faults and to receive punishment as they deserve. 

"Whereas, it has been too common in this town for young 
men and maids to be out of their father's and mother's house at 
unseasonable times of night : It is therefore ordered that who- 
soever of the yoimger sort shall be out of their father's or 
mother's house past nine of the clock at night shall be sum- 
moned into the next court, and there to pay court charges, with 
what punishment the court shall see cause to lay upon them, ex- 
cept they can give sufficient reason for their being out late. 

"Whereas, God has been much dishonored, much precious 
time misspent and men impoverished by drinking and tippling, 
either in ordinary or other private houses : Therefore we make 
this order that whosoever shall thus transgress, or sit drinking 
above two hours, shall pay five shillings and the man of the 
house for letting of them have it after the time prefixed shall 
pay ten shillings, except strangers only. 

"That whosover shall run any races, or run otherwise a 

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horseback in the streets or within the town plot shall forfeit ten 
shillings to the use of the town." 

Not all of Suffolk county's first settlers were Puritans. 
When in 1637 the Earl of Sterling made James Farrett 
agent for the sale of his lands on or around Long Island, he 
authorized him to select ten thousand acres to become his per- 
sonal property. Farrett, accordingly, reserved for his own 
use Shelter and Robbins Islands in Peconic Bay. Shelter Isl- 
and, the Indian title having been extinguished by a formal pur- 
chase, was by its first owner soon transferred to Charles Grood- 
year, of New Haven, an eminent merchant and for several 
years deputy governor of the colony, who in June, 165 1, sold it 
for 1,600 pounds of "good merchantable muscovado sugar" to 
Nathaniel and Constant Sylvester, Thomas Middleton and 
Thomas Rouse. The Sylvesters were Englishmen, who, 
through their adherence to Charles I., found it inconvenient to 
remain in England. While Cromwell was leading his army 
against the Scots at Dimbar the Sylvesters (there were 
five or six brothers, all wealthy merchants) were pre- 
paring to leave the kingdom, and when, in September, 1651, 
Charles met with defeat at Worcester, they had al- 
ready purchased Shelter Island. Nathaniel Sylvester mar- 
ried and settled on the island in 1653, ^uid the Manhansets, 
who then inhabited it, warmly welcomed the newcomers. 
Three years later the first Quakers appeared in Boston and 
many of the sufferers by persecution found an asylum on 
Shelter Island. George Fox was twice a guest of the Sylves- 
ters, and preached to the Indians from the doorsteps of their 
mansion. Many of the Sylvester heirs died out in the course 
ot time, and a part of the island came into the hands of William 
Nicoll, patentee of 90,000 acres at Islip. The NicoU property 
has continued in the possession of that family through suc- 
cessive generations, and they now own the southeastern por- 
tion of the island known as Sachem's Neck, containing nearly 
2,000 acres. The Sylvester homestead, on the other hand, 

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descended to Brinley Sylvester, who came to dwell in the home 
of his fathers and in 1737 erected a new manor house on the 
site of the one which Nathaniel Sylvester built for his bride. 
This house is now known as the Sylvester Manor and is owned 
by the widow and daughters of the late Eben Norton Hors- 
ford, lineal descendants of Nathaniel Sylvester. 

Fisher's Island, farther to the eastward, but also a part of 
SuflFolk county, had John Winthrop the younger for its first 
white owner. The yoimger Winthrop, who was bom in 1606, 
followed his father to America, and in 1644, while governor of 
Connecticut, secured title to Fisher's Island. He died in 1676, 
and the island descended by right of primogeniture to the 
eldest of his sons, General Fitz John Winthrop. Thence it 
passed from father to son until in 1863 ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^le hands of 
William H. and Thomas R. Winthrop, from whom it was bought 
by George Chester. A little later Robert R. Fox became its 
owner, and took up his residence on the island in the old Win- 
throp manor house. Fox died in 1871 and a dozen years ago 
his heirs sold the property to E. M. Ferguson, of Pittsburg. 

One other Suffolk county pioneer demands a place in this 
chronicle. It was in 1693 that Colonel William Smith, com- 
monly called Tangier Smith from the fact that he had been gov- 
ernor of Tangier, received a grant of 40,000 acres of land be- 
tween Moriches on the east, Patchogue on the west, the ocean 
on the south and the Sound on the north. The grant included 
the headland that closes the eastern end of the Great South 
Bay, and there Tangier Smith built the home to which he gave 
the name of St. George's Manor. The present manor-house, 
the third upon the spot, was built in 18 10, and hardby is the 
family graveyard. Children have received allotments of the 
original tract and the 40,000 acres of 1693 have dwindled to 
7,000 acres in 1902, as different ones have taken their share of 
the inheritance; but the eldest sons have lived at St. George's 
Manor, and there they lie, with their wives and such of their 
children as remained in the family nest. 

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A few of the headstones m the Kttle graveyard tell stories 
of their own, as, for instance, one to the memory of a young 
wife who died at the age of fifteen. Among the neighbors of 
the Smiths were the Floyds. William Smith the third was one 
day talking to his neighbor Floyd as to the proper amount of 
money the four girls of the Floyd family ought to inherit 
Judge Floyd said he had put them down in his will for £i,ooo 
apiece, a large stun in those days — ^much too large in the opin- 
ion of Judge Smith, who declared that women had no idea of 
the value of money. One of the Floyd girls overheard the 
conversation, and it resulted in such friction between the two 
families that when young John Smith came a-courting Betsey 
Floyd, her mother refused to hear of the match. Young 
John renounced Betsy for the time being, married Lady Lydia 
Fanning and took her home to St. George's Manor. It was 
this young wife who died at the age of fifteen, when her 
son, William Smith, bom in 1777, was one month old. The 
widower's thoughts turned to Betsey for consolation, but as she 
would still have none of him he married Mary Piatt. Betsey 
Floyd meantime became the wife of Edward Nicoll. But 
Mr. Nicoll and the second Mrs. Smith having died, the faithful 
John laid suit to the Widow Nicoll and finally married her. 
The little boy, William Smith, born in 1777, was the great- 
grandfather of the present owners of the manor house. 

Although the Tangier Smiths do not own so much land as 
in the last century, they can still drive four miles in one direc- 
tion without leaving their own woods. They can drive twice 
this distance without leaving the lands that once belonged to 
the family, and in many instances are still owned by other 
branches. The future of St. George's Manor depends upon 
means of communication with the outside world. Now one 
must drive for miles through dense woods to reach it, but some 
day an electric railway will reach out to Smith's Point, and then 
that fine water front will be lined with summer residences 
having an outlook of many miles down the Great South Bay. 

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PETER MINUIT served six years as director-general 
of New Netherlands, and he was, all things considered, 
the ablest and best of the men who ruled the prov- 
ince during its domination by the Dutch. He established and 
maintained friendly relations with the Indians, and, along 
with the fullest religious toleration, gave to each newcomer 
a cordial welcome and the use of as much land as he 
could cultivate. Not only Walloons and Huguenots, 
but Lutherans, Baptists and Catholics, upon taking the 
oath of allegiance, were placed upon an equal foot- 
ing in all things, and flocking to the new land of 
refuge, helped to shape and emphasize the tolerant and cos- 
mopolitan spirit which has continued down to the present time 
to be the distinguishing feature of its life. Thus, under Minu- 
it's liberal and tactful rule, the population of New Netherland 
grew steadily in numbers and in wealth ; its trade increased and 
flourished, and the director was enabled to load the homeward- 
bound ships with larger and still larger cargoes of furs, which 
helped to make the stock of the West India Company rise to a 
high premium on the exchanges of Holland. 

Minuit was handicapped, however, by a vicious, 
and, as the sequel proved, wholly defective scheme of coloniza- 
tion. The West India Company allowed the settlers no part 
in the management of their affairs. The schout, who acted as 
sheriff and collector of customs, and the council of five mem- 
bers which assisted Minuit in the discharge of his duties, were 
appointed by the Amsterdam chamber of the company, and all 
of its acts were subject to approval or reversal by that body, 
which also framed most of the laws for the settlers. The 
director, moreover, was expected to manage his trust not for 

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the good of the colonists, but for the profit of the home com- 
pany, which regarded its wards as vassals rather than as free 
men, as a source of possible dividends rather than as the found- 
ers, with painful toil and amid countless hardships, of a new 
state in a new land. This mistaken policy, even when executed 
by a sensible and well-meaning man, made the settlers indiffer- 
ently loyal to the government under which they lived, and was 
to prove, when pushed to its logical conclusion by men who 
lacked Minuit's tact and shrewdness, a fatal source of weakness. 
One of its earlier issues was Minuit's own undoing. He 
was accused of favoring the colonists in ways which en- 
croached upon the company's profits, and in 1632 recalled 
to Holland. 

Minuit was succeeded by Wouter van Twiller. Bibulous, 
slow-witted, and loose of morals, the new director proved 
wholly unequal to his task. He managed, however, thanks to 
his unfailing good nature, to keep on fairly friendly terms with 
the settlers and the Indians, and the affairs of the colony con- 
tinued to prosper, so that during the year 1635 the directors in 
Holland received returns from it to the amount of nearly one 
hundred and thirty-five thousand guilders. Nevertheless, as 
time went on, the company found growing cause to question the 
honesty, if not the wisdom, of Van Twiner's rule. Proofs mul- 
tiplied that he was more concerned with the improvement of 
his own fortunes than with safeguarding those of his employ- 
ers. During Minuit's time a large portion of Manhattan Island 
had been marked off into six farms or bouweries, which were 
reserved for the use and prc^t of the company. One of these 
farms Van Twiller tilled on his own account ; a second he ap- 
propriated for a tobacco plantation ; and the others he permitted 
to fall into neglect or to be used without recompense by men as 
indifferently honest as himself. He further secured for himself 
Nooten Island — ^whence its name Governor's Island — and sev- 
eral islands in the East River. It was also alleged that he con- 
nived at the sale of g^ns and powder to the Indians, and 

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remained suspiciously inactive when unscrupulous colonists 
and oflBcials made surreptitious encroachments upon the ccwn- 
pany's monopoly of the fur trade. The end came in 1637, when 
he was removed from his oflSce on the charge of having diverted 
the moneys of the corporation to his own use. 

Van Twiller was succeeded, in March, 1638, by William 
Kieft. Again the company made a sorry choice of servants. 
Kieft, Brodhead tells us, "was bom at Amsterdam, where he 
was brought up a merchant. After doing business for a time at 
Rochelle, he became a bankrupt; and his portrait, accord- 
ing to the stem mle of those days, was affixed to the gallows 
of that city. Later, he was sent to ransom some Christians in 
Turkey, where, it was alleged, he basely left in bondage several 
captives, whose friends had placed in his hands large simis of 
money for the purchase oi their liberty." And to such an agent 
was now entmsted the government of New Nctherland. The 
sequel proved Kieft industrious and temperate, but of narrow 
views and uncertain temper, and without the talent for manag- 
ing men so needful in the leader of a company of pioneers. 
Thus he early became embroiled in petty quarrels with those 
around him, and, impatient of honest criticism, gradually as- 
sumed the tone of a despot dealing with his subjects. One of 
his first acts was to organize a council to aid him in the govem- 
ment. This council, however, consisted of only one man, a 
reputable Huguenot named Jean de la Montagne, and Kieft 
forestalled all danger of a tie by decreeing that La Montagne 
should have but one vote and himself two. Then he proceeded 
to govem by a series of edicts. One of these threatened death 
to all who should sell arms and ammunition to the Indians. 
Therein the director decreed wisely, but other of his edicts 
sought to interfere with and to regulate the private aflFairs of 
the people, prescribing when they should go to work and to bed, 
and rigidly restricting the sale apd use of liquor; and these 
attempts at sumptuary legfislation bred anger and resentment 
in the colonists, who, accustomed, the most of them, to a gen- 

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erous measure of self-government, protested with vigor against 
its curtailment. Kieft, before his first year had run its course, 
was the best hated man in New Netherlands. 

The new director, however, did not a little to improve the 
condition of the colony. Trade therewith was, in 1638, opened 
to free competition for all people of the United Provinces and 
their friends and allies of any nation on pa)rment of certain 
duties on imports and exports; and certain commercial privi- 
leges formerly limited to a favored few were extended to all 
free colonists. A little later they were allowed to trade with 
all friendy colonies, and at the same time given the right to 
manufacture, hitherto denied them. The eflFect of this liberal 
policy was presently visible in a steady stream of new immi- 
grants. These included several large parties of men of sub- 
stance, and were of so many different nationalities that in 1643 
Father Jog^es, the Jesuit, could write that he found eighteen 
languages spoken in New Netherland. 

Long Island received a generous share of the newcomers. 
It has been told in another place how the first attempt to plant 
an English settlement in the western reaches of the island came 
to grief. Better success attended a second attempt. The 
spirit of persecution which drove Roger Williams from Massa- 
chusetts to a temporary refuge among the Dutch also brought 
to New Netherland many other Englishmen seeking fre- 
dom of conscience. One of these was Francis Doughty, a 
dissenting clergjrman, who while preaching at Cohasset had 
been dragged out of the assembly for venturing to assert 
that Abraham's children should have been baptized. Early 
in 1642 Doughty and several comrades made their way to New 
Amsterdam, where Kieft received them kindly, and granted 
them some thirteen thousand acres at Mespath. The pat- 
ent guaranteed to them, upon their vowing allegiance 
to the States General and the West India Company, the 
free exercise of religion, a magistracy nominated by themselves, 

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the right to erect towns, and "unshackled commerce, in con- 
formity to the privileges of New Netherland." 

Doughty and his associates at once began a settlement at 
Mespath ; and during the ensuing twelvemonth, Lady Deborah 
Moody, who had been dealt with by the church at Salem for 
denying baptism to infants, having, with many others "in- 
fected with Anabaptism," sought a refuge in New Nether- 
land, was permitted by Kieft to establish a colony at Grav- 
ensande or Gravesend, where four years before Anthony Jansen, 
a French Huguenot, had begun a settlement. Hardly, how- 
ever, had the pioneers of Mespath and Gravesend settled to 
their, work, when it was interrupted by the most destruc- 
tive Indian war in the history of New Netherland. This 
war had its beginning in the mid-winter of 1643, when a band 
of Iroquois warriors made a dash down the Hudson to collect 
tribute from the river and island tribes, who despairing and 
panic-stricken, fled to New Amsterdam for protection. A 
thousand of the refugees encamped at Pavonia, while another 
party, crossing the river, took refuge at what is now Corlaer's 
Hook on Manhattan Island, where a party of Rockaways had 
already built their wigwams. 

They met, however, with a sinister reception. Several 
Dutch colonists had lately been slain by members of the 
river tribes, but the murderers had not been delivered up 
for punishment; and Kieft, giving no heed to the protests 
of the wisest and best men in the colony, now or- 
dered a brutal vengeance to be taken on the hapless fugitives. 
Accordingly, on Shrovetide night, bodies of Dutch troops fell 
without warning on the camps at Pavonia and Corlaer's Hook, 
and butchered over a hundred of the Indians. Nor was this 
the end of the director's folly. Two days later a party of the 
residents of New Amersfoort, with the assent of Kieft, attacked 
the Marechkawiecks, a branch of the Canarsies residing be- 
tween them and Brookl)m, killed several of them, and plun- 
dered their village. "It only needed this outrage," writes 

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Brodhead, /'to fill the measure of Indian endurance. The 
Long Island savages up to this time had been among the 
warmest friends of the Dutch. Now they had been attacked 
and plundered by the strangers whom they had welcomed, and 
to whom they had done no wrong. Common cause was at 
once made with the river Indians, who burned with hate and 
revenge when they found that the massacres at Pavonia and 
Manhattan were not the work of the Iroquois, but of the Dutch ; 
and eleven tribes rose in open war. The farmer was mur- 
dered in the open field; women and children, g^nted their 
lives, were swept oflf into captivity ; houses and bouweries, hay- 
stacks and grain, cattle and crops were all destroyed. From 
the Raritan to the Housatonic, not a single plantation was safe ; 
and such as escaped with their lives fled from their desolated 
hcMnes to seek refuge in Fort Amsterdam." When Lady 
Moody's plantation was attacked, forty resolute colonists made 
a brave defense and repulsed the besiegers. Thus Gravesend 
was spared, but all the other settlements on western Long Isl- 
and were laid waste, including Doughty's colony at Mespath. 
Finally, however, the Long Island Indians relented, and 
dispatched delegates to Fort Amsterdam bearing a white flag. 
"Our chief has sent us," said the savages, "to know why you 
have killed his people, who have never laid a straw in your 
way, or done you aught but good. Come and speak to our 
chief on the sea-coast." David De Vries and Jacob Olfertsen 
volunteered to go as envoys, and were conducted to Rockaway, 
where they found an assemblage of several hundred savages. 
There they passed the night, but at break of the following 
day were led into the woods near at hand, where sixteen 
chiefs of Long Island waited their coming. The chiefs seated 
themselves in a ring and placed De Vries and Olfertsen in its 
centre. Then one of their number arose, holding in his hand 
a bundle of small sticks. "When you first came to our coasts," 
he began, "you sometimes had no food. We gave you our 
beans and corn, and relieved you with our oysters and fish. 

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Now, for recompense, you murder our people," and he laid 
down one of the sticks in his hand. "In the beginning of your 
voyages you left your people here with their goods. We traded 
with them, and cherished them as the apple of our eye. We 
gave them our daughters for companions, who have borne chil- 
dren. Many Indians have thus sprung from the Swannekens ; 
and now you massacre your own blood." 

The orator laid down another stick, but at this point De 
Vries, cutting short his reproaches, invited the chiefs to accom- 
pany him to Fort Amsterdam, where the director "would give 
them presents to make a peace." This invitation was accepted, 
and a treaty presently concluded with the Long Island tribes, 
whose sachems, a little later persuaded the river Indians to 
make peace with the Dutch. The truce, however, proved a 
short-lived one, and in August, 1643, several of the river tribes 
again took the warpath, killing or capturing many settlers. 
Such preparation as was possible was hurriedly made to resist 
this fresh attack. The colonists and the servants of the West 
India Company were armed and drilled, while fifty English 
residents of the province were taken into the Dutch service, 
and placed under the command of Captain John Underbill, one 
of the heroes of the Pequot war, who had lately settled at Stam- 
ford. There followed a year of desultory yet savage fighting, 
during which the Long Island Indians remained quiet. 

In the last days of 1644, however, they too were made to 
feel the white man's heavy hand, and that under conditions that 
render the story an unpleasant one to read. Early in the year 
just named a party of English colonists from Stamford, led by 
Robert Fordham and acting under a patent granted by Kieft, 
had located at what is now Hempstead, but scarcely had they 
settled themselves in their new home when Penhawitz, one of 
the sachems of the Canarsies, hitherto counted friendly to the 
Dutch, fell under suspicion. Several of his tribe were at the 
same time charged with covert hostility, and seven of them 
were arrested by Fordham, charged with killing two or three 

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pigs, "though it was afterward discovered that his own Eng- 
lishmen had done it themselves." Fordham, however, confined 
his prisoners in a cellar, and sent word of his doings to Kieft, 
who, without waiting to learn the truth of the matter, dis- 
patched Underhill with a force of one hundred and twenty 
men against the Canarsies. The expedition sailed in three 
sloops to Cow Bay, and landing unmolested, marched thence to 
Hempstead, where Underhill killed three of the Indians held 
captive by Fordham, and took the others prisoners. Then 
Underhill and his men, Brodhead tells us, attacked the Canarsie 
village at Mespath, and killed one hundred and twenty of the 
savages, while the assailants lost only one man, and had three 
wounded. On the return of the expedition, two of the Indians 
taken at Hempstead were carried to Fort Amsterdam where 
one of them, frightfully wounded by the long knives with which 
Kieft had armed the soldiers, dropped dead while dancing the 
death dance of his race. The other, after undergoing even 
more shocking mutilation, was led out of the fort and beheaded 
by Kieft's orders. A group of Indian squaws, taken prisoners 
in West Chester county, witnessed the spectacle, and, throwing 
up their arms, called out in their own lang^ge: "Shame! 
shame! What disg^ceful and unspeakable cruelty is this. 
Such things were never yet seen or heard of among us !" 

Nor was this the end of the bloody chronicle. A few 
weeks after the slaughter at Mespath, a still heavier blow was 
dealt the Indians. Seven hundred of them were gathered be- 
hind paHsades in the mountain country north of Stamford. 
Underhill and one hundred and fifty Dutch and English sol- 
diers, made their way by water to Greenwich, whence a long 
day's march took them to the stronghold of their foe. The at- 
tack was made at midnight by the light of a full moon, the 
troops charging, sword in hand, upon the fortress. The In- 
dians made a desperate resistance, but failed to break the Dutch 
line. Not a savage could show himself outside the palisades 
without being shot down, and within an hour, one hundred and 

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eighty of these were slain. Then Underhill, annoyed by 
the arrows of the besieged, resolved to fire the village. The 
wretched victims, when they endeavored to escape, were shot 
or driven back into their burning huts, and when morning 
came six hundred tawny corpses strewed the crimson snow. 
This appalling blow saved New Netherland. The Indians has- 
tened to sue for peace, and in August, 1645, ^ treaty was signed 
by Kieft and his council and the sachems of all the tribes en- 
gaged, putting an end to the war. 

The return of peace found less than twelve score white 
men remaining on Manhattan and western Long Island. The 
others had fled to Fort Orange or had returned to Holland. 
The struggle had issue, however, in the beginning of popular 
government in New Netherland. Kieft, in his hour of peril, 
had called a meeting of all the settlers and had chosen twelve of 
them to advise him in the war. He dissolved the Council of 
Twelve when it criticised his course and hastened to demand 
a larger measure of self-government ; but afterwards a Council 
of Eight was chosen by popular vote, and this body, when the 
director refused to heed its protests, sent a full statement of the 
colony's troubles to the West India Company. "Our fields lie 
fallow and waste," they wrote in October, 1644, while war with 
the Indians still held ; "our dwellings and other buildings are 
burnt ; not a handful can be either planted or sown this auttmin 
on the deserted places ; the crops which God permitted to come 
forth during the past summer remain on the fields standing and 
rotting; we are burthened with heavy families; we have no 
means to provide necessaries for wives or children ; and we sit 
here amidst thousands of Indians and barbarians, trxxn whom 
we find neither peace nor mercy. There are among us those, 
who by the sweat and labor of their hands, for many long years 
have endeavored, at great expense, to improve their lands and 
villages ; others, with their private capital, have equipped with 
all necessaries their own ships, which have been captured by the 
enemy, though they have continued the voyage with equal zeal, 

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and at considerable cost. Some, again, have come here with 
ships, independent of the ccwnpany, freighted with a large quan- 
tity of cattle, and with a nimiber of families, who have erected 
handsome buildings on the spots selected for their people ; 
cleared away the trees and the forest ; inclosed their plantations 
and brought them under the plough, so as to be an ornament to 
the coimtry, and a profit to the proprietors, after their long, 
laborious toil. The whole of these now lie in ashes through a 
foolish hankering after war. For all right-thinking men here 
know that these Indians have lived as lambs among us, until a 
few years ago; injuring no man; affording every assistance to 
our nation; and, in Director Van Twiller's time (when no sup- 
plies were sent for several months) furnishing provisions to the 
company's servants, tmtil they received supplies. These hath 
the director by various uncalled-for proceedings, from time to 
time so estranged frcmi us, and so embittered against the Neth- 
erlands nation, that we do not believe that anything will bring 
them and peace back, unless the Lord, who bends all men's 
hearts to His will, propitiate their people." 

"Honored Lords," — wrote the Eight Men in concluding 
their memorial, "this is what we have, in the sorrow of our 
hearts, to complain of; that one man who has been sent out, 
sworn and instructed by his Lords and Masters, to whom he is 
responsible, should dispose here of our lives and property ac- 
cording to his will and pleasure, in a manner so arbitrary, that 
a king would not be suffered legally to do. We shall end 
here, and conmiit the matter wholly to our God, who, we pray 
and heartily trust, will move your Lordships' deliberaticMi, so 
that one of these two things may happen— either that a gov- 
ernor may be sent with a beloved peace to us or, that their 
Honors will be pleased to permit us to return, with wives and 
children, to our dear Fatherland. For it is impossible ever to 
settle this country until a different system be introduced here, 
and a new governor be sent out with more people, who shall 
settle themselves in suitable places, one near the other, in form 

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of public villages and hamlets, and elect, from among them- 
selves, a schout and schepens, who shall be empowered to send 
deputies to vote on public affairs with the Director and Coun- 
cil ; so that the country may not be again brought into danger. 

A twelvemonth passed before the memorial of the Eight 
Men was acted upon by the West India Company. Then Kieft 
was recalled from the directorship and Peter Stujrvesant named 
to succeed him, with instructions to carry out sundry meas- 
ures for the betterment of the colony. Several events of mo- 
ment to the Long Island settlers marked this period of transi- 
tion. Kieft, soon after the conclusion of peace with the In- 
dians, completed by purchase from the Canarsies the title of 
the West India Company to most of the lands within the pres- 
ent counties of Kings and Queens ; and in October, 1645, he is- 
sued to John Townsend, Thomas Farrington, John Lawrence, 
Thomas Stiles and other English emigrants, a patent with mu- 
nicipal privileges for some sixteen thousand acres, to the east- 
ward of Doughtjr's ruined settlement at Mespath, whereon were 
presently laid the foundations of the town of Flushing. Be- 
fore the year's end Lady Moody and her associates also re- 
ceived from Kieft, in token of their gallant conduct during the 
Indian war, a patent for Gravesend, with a guarantee of "free 
liberty of conscience, according to the custom and manner of 
Holland, without molestation or disturbance from any magis- 
trate or magistrates, or any other ecclesiastical minister that 
may pretend jurisdiction over them." The Gravesend patentees 
were also allowed, loyalty to the Dutch authorities being alone 
required, "to erect a body politic and civil combination among 
themselves, as free men of this province and town of Graves- 
end," and clothed with all "the immunities and privil^fes as al- 
ready granted to the inhabitants of this province, or hereafter 
to be granted, as if they were natives of the Belgic Provinces." 

Stuyvesant,the new director-general, reached New Nether- 
land in May, 1647, ^^d in the following August Kieft sailed for 
Holland, in the ship "Princess," carrying with him, if the esti- 

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mate of his enemies be worthy of credence, a comfortable for- 
tune made irom the private still he had conducted on Staten Isl- 
and. But he never reached the fatherland. A mistake in 
reckoning carried the ship far out of its course and to wreck 
on the coast of Wales, where Kieft and eighty others lost their 
lives. It was a tragic sequel to the stormiest period in New 
York's early history, but in one quarter at least it awoke no re- 
gret, for the shipwreck, the pious Winthrop tells us, "was con- 
sidered in New England an observable hand of God against the 
Dutch, and a special mark of the Lord's favor to his poor people 
here and displeasure towards such as have injured them." 



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The Reign of Stuyvesant 

4 4 Y SHALL govern you as a father his children, for the ad- 
I vantage of the chartered West India G>mpany, and 
1 these burghers and this land." Such was the greeting 
of Peter Stujrvesant to the people of New Netherland, when 
on a May day, in 1647, they assembled at Fort Amsterdam 
to give him welcome as their new director-general. With 
the fine portrait of him, now among the collections 
of the New York Historical Society, it furnishes 
the key to those resolute and masterful qualities which were 
to make him a distinctive figure in the early history of the 
colony. "Mettlesome, obstinate, leather-sided, lion-hearted," 
are scmie of the epithets applied to him by the indulgent and 
whimsical Knickerbocker, and though set down half in jest 
they may be accepted as the sober verdict of the historian upon 
a man who knew both how to fight and how to rule, but who 
was often narrow in judgment and hasty in action, and who 
could never be persuaded that the opinions of others were to 
be consulted with his own. 

Bom in 1592 and bred a soldier, Stuyvesant spent most of 
his life in the service of the West India Company, and as gov- 
ernor of Curacoa lost a leg in a fight ^with the Portuguese at 
San Martin. This mishap sent him back to Holland, where, 
having regained his health and replaced his lost leg with a 
wooden one, he was selected by his employers as a fit and 
proper man to bring order and prosperity to the vexed colony 
of New Netherland. He was appointed to succeed Kieft early 
in 1645, but various causes delayed his departure from Hol- 
land, and it was not, as has been noted, until May, 1647, that 
he arrived in New Netherland. With him, besides soldiers 
and cdonists, came his wife, Judith Bayard, the granddaughter 

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The Reign of Stuyvesant 

of a Huguenot clergyman who fled to the Netherlands after the 
massacre of St. Bartholomew, and his widowed sister and her 
children. This sister had married a brother of Stuyvesant's 
wife, and their sons, Nicholas, Balthazar and Peter, were the 
progenitors of the Ba)rard family in America. 

One of Stuyvesant's first acts in office taught the colonists 
the meaning of the promise to rule them "as a father his chil- 
dren." Comelis Melyn and Jochim Kuyter, leading members of 
the G>imcil of Eight, petitioned for an inquiry into Kieft's 
policy and behavior during the Indian war, and that testimony 
be taken for use in a report to be forwarded to the company in 
Holland ; but the new director, seeing in it a blow at the sacred- 
ness of his office, angrily refused their request, with the decla- 
ration that "it was treason to complain of one's magistrates, 
whether there was cause or not." Nor was he content to 
drop the matter at this point, and when Kieft, bent upon re- 
venge, caused the arrest of the two burghers on a charge of 
rebellion and sedition, in that they had complained to the com- 
pany of his conduct, he saw to it that they were found guilty 
at the end of a trial which outraged justice, and then fined and 
banished both men. "If I was persuaded," said Stuyvesant, 
as he denied them an appeal and pronounced their 
sentence, "that you would bring this matter before their High 
Mightinesses, I would have you hanged on the highest tree in 
New Netherland." Melyn and Kuyter were placed on board 
the ship Princess, then ready to return to Holland, and we shall 
presently learn what befell them at the end of their voyage. 

Stuyvesant, despite his brave talk and despotic ways, soon 
found that he had to deal with men as stubborn and resolute 
as himself, men as jealous of their rights as he was of his 
prerogatives. He had been instructed to lose no time in re- 
pairing the military defenses of New Amsterdam, then in a 
sad state of dilapidation, but the treasury was empty and the 
colonists soon made it clear to him that the only way to get the 
money needed for the purpose was by giving heed to their pro- 

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tests against taxation without representation. He stormed 
and threatened, but finally yielded, and in September, 1647, or- 
dered an election in which the people chose eighteen of their 
"most notable, reasonable, honest and respectable" men, from 
whom nine were selected by the director and his council, to 
assist, when called upon, in providing for the general welfare. 
Six members of this board were to be succeeded annually by six 
others selected by the director and council from among twelve 
candidates nominated by the outgoing members. 

The Nine Men, though thus hedged about by restrictions 
designed to bring them more and more under the director's in- 
fluence proved from the first sturdy defenders of the 
interests of the people, and when Stuyvesant of a sudden 
called in all debts due to the company, thereby causing much 
distress, and at the same time set afoot a system of high custom- 
house duties, which told heavily against the infant commerce 
of the colony, they demanded that a delegation should be sent 
to Holland to set forth the condition of the colony and to ask 
for divers reforms. The director would not agree to this de- 
mand unless the delegation was sent in his name, a condition 
which those who made it declined to accept ; he refused to call 
a great council or assembly of citizens to consider the points 
at issue; and then, assuming the aggressive, he jailed Adrian 
van der Donck, the leader of the Nine Men, and seized all his 
papers. After which, to defend his action, he called a coun- 
cil of his own choosing and charged Van der Donck with making 
allegations calculated to bring the government into contempt. 
He must either prove or retract these allegations; and mean- 
time let him be unseated from the board of Nine Men. 

Thus the issue was clearly drawn between the autocratic 
theory and method as embodied in Stuyvesant and his office, 
and the demand for constitutional government voiced by Van 
der Donck and his fellows. It was a gloomy outlook for the 
popular party, but soon aid and cheer came to it from 
an unexpected quarter. Melyn and Kuyter escaped from the 

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The Reign of Stuyvesant 

wreck of the ship Princess, in which their accuser Kief t lost his 
life, and proceeding to Holland, so effectively pleaded their 
cause before the States General that Melyn was now sent back 
to New Netherland with a safe-conduct from their High 
Mightinesses, and bearing also a writ which cited Stuyvesant to 
appear at the Hague and explain his harsh treatment of the 
two burghers. The director accepted this unlooked-for re- 
buff with such composure as he could command. He sent his 
attorney to speak for him at the Hague, and he allowed the 
Nine Men to have their way in the matter of a memorial to 
the States General. Accordingly, Van der Donck and two 
colleagues^ in the midsummer of 1649, sailed for Holland with 
a memorial to their High Mightinesses asking that they should 
oust the West India Company and assume direct control of the 
affairs of New Netherland. 

The memorial of the Nine Men was accompanied by a Re- 
monstrance, which painted a gloomy picture of the conditicMi of 
the colony. "In our opinion," said the authors of the Remon- 
strance, "this country will never flourish under the rule of the 
honorable company but will pass away, and come to an end of 
itself, unless the honorable company be reformed. The mode 
in which the country is now governed falls severely upon it, 
and is intolerable, for nobody is unmolested or secure in his 
property longer than the director pleases, who is generally 
strongly inclined to confiscating. A good population would be 
the consequence of a good government. And although to 
give free passage and equip ships, if it be necessary, would be 
expensive at first, yet, if the result be considered, it would ulti- 
mately proved to be a wise measure, if by that means farmers 
and laborers, together with other poor people, were brought into 
the country, with the little property which they have. Of these 
the Fatherland has enough to spare. We believe this country 
would then prosper, especially as good privileges and exemp- 
tions, which we regard as the mother of population, would en- 
courage the inhabitants to carry on commerce and lawful trade. 

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Every one would be allured hither by the pleasantness, situ- 
ation, salubrity and fruitfulness of the country, if protection 
were secured within the already established boundaries. It 
would then, with God's assistance, according to human judg- 
ment, all go well, and New Netherland would in a few years 
be a brave place, and be able to do service to the Netherland na- 
tion, to repay richly the cost, and to thank its benefactors." 

Arrived in Holland, Van der Donck and his colleagues, one 
of whom was Jan Evertsen Bout, of Breuckelen, found the task 
they had set for themselves a stubborn and difficult one, but in 
the end a measure of success attended their efforts, and, though 
the West India Company flouted the complaints of misrule in 
New Netherland, denying with vigor the need for reforms, it 
was ordered by the States General to make divers wholesome 
changes in the government of the province. The visit to the 
Hague of the representatives of the Nine Men bore fruit in an- 
other way, for the long debates in the States General, and an 
excellent "Description of New Netherlands," published by Van 
der Donck in 1653, created an interest in America hitherto un- 
known on the continent of Europe, and, with the added knowl- 
edge that the traditional Dutch policy of religious toleration 
prevailed beyond the sea, drew a swarm of colonists to New 
Netherland. Waldenses from Piedmont, Huguenots from 
France, Lutherans from Sweden and Germany, Scotch Presby- 
terians, English Independents, Moravians, Anabaptists and 
Jews were among the newcomers, and so steady was the mig^- 
tion that between 1653 ^tnd 1664 the population of the province 
increased fivefold. But this wholesale influx of folk of many 
creeds brought a regretable break in the policy of complete re- 
ligious toleration which had hitherto distinguished New Neth- 
erland from her neighbors. This policy, be it said, was simply 
an informal adoption of the traditional custom of the Nether- 
lands. The rules of the company, on the other hand, forbade 
the setting up of any church except the Dutch Reformed, and 
these rules Stuyvesant, who was a fanatical Calvinist, now pro- 

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ceeded to interpret and enforce with all of a bigot's zeal. He 
arrested and deported to Holland a Lutheran minister who had 
been sent over by his co-religionists to form a congregation in 
New Amsterdam; he fined and imprisoned Lutheran parents 
who refused to have their children baptized in the Reformed 
Dutch church, and he banished from the province an unlicensed 
Baptist exhorter, who had administered the sacrament and bap- 
tized a number of converts, "though not called thereto by any 
civil or clerical authority." 

The director's hand, however, fell heaviest on the Quakers, 
a party of whom, expelled from Boston, in 1657, sought refuge 
in New Amsterdam. One of the refugees, Robert Hodgson, 
settled in Hempstead, and when he began preaching to the peo- 
ple of that town, he was hailed to New Amsterdam, brought be- 
fore Stu)rvesant and the council, and, without being allowed to 
speak in his own defense, sentenced to two years' hard labor 
with a wheelbarrow or to pay five hundred guilders. Hodgson 
had neither money nor friends to discharge his fine, and so on 
a sultry summer day he was brought from his cell, chained to a 
wheelbarrow, and ordered to load it. This he refused to do, 
declaring that he had done no evil and broken no law, where- 
upon he was stripped to the waist, and a stout negro with a 
piece of rope beat him until he fell to the ground. Still refus- 
ing to submit to his sentence, the poor Quaker was whipped 
the second day and again on the third ; kept for two nights and 
a day without bread or water, and then hung up by the thumbs 
and cruelly beaten with rods. But general sympathy was now 
aroused in Hodgson's behalf, and at last, shamed by the ap- 
peals and reproaches of his sister, the director ceased his per- 
secutions, and set the prisoner free. 

It is pleasant to record that such acts as these were hotly 
condemned by public sentiment, and it quickens the pulse to 
read the splendid protest put on record by the officers of Flush- 
ing, when, for holding Quaker meetings in his house, Henry 
Townsend, a leading citizen of that town, was fined eight Flem- 

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ish pounds^ or was else to be flogged and banished. 'The law 
of love, peace and liberty, extending in the state to Jews, Turks 
and Egyptians," declared the town officers of Flushing, in re- 
fusing to enforce this sentence, "forms the true glory of Hol- 
land; so love, peace, and liberty, extending to all in Christ 
Jesus, condemn hatred, strife and bondage. But inasmuch as 
the Saviour hath said that it is impossible that scandal shall not 
come, but woe unto him by whom it cometh, we desire not to 
oflfend one of His little ones, under whatever form, name, or 
title he appear, whether Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist or 
Quaker. Should any of these people come in love among us, 
therefore, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands on them. 
We shall give them free ingress and egress to our houses, as 
God shall persuade our conscienceis." The thirty odd men who 
put their names to this document deserve to be ever held in 
grateful memory, but their action, at the moment, brought 
them persecution from Stuyvesant The sheriff was cashiered 
and fined; the town clerk was thrown into jail, and the justices 
of the peace were suspended from office. 

Stuyvesant, however, was compelled at this point to stay 
his hand. Again he had erred through excess of zeal, and 
when news of his persecutions reached his employers in Hol- 
land they were condemned without a dissenting voice. "The 
consciences of men," ran the letter of rebuke which in due 
time came across the sea from the Amsterdam Chamber, "ought 
to be free and tmshackled, so long as they continue moderate, 
peaceable, inoffensive and not hostile to government. Such 
have been the maxims of prudence and toleration by which the 
magfistrates of this city have been governed ; and the result has 
been that the oppressed and persecuted from every country 
have found among us an asyltmi from distress. Follow in the 
same steps and you will be blest." The over-zealous director 
could not fail to understand the meaning of this rebuke, couched 
though it was in courteous phrases, and he never again sought 
to interfere with liberty of conscience. 

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Stu)rvesant, whose strong points and weak ones were those 
of a soldier, was often more successful in dealing with his foes 
than with his friends, as when in 1655 he faced and averted a 
threatened general massacre of the colonists by the Indians. 
The savages, thanks to the new director's tact and firmness, had 
made no trouble since the conclusion of Kieft's war, and that 
they now reverted to their old ways was due wholly to the 
stupid cruelty of one man, Hendrick van Dyck, of New Amster- 
dam. On a September afternoon in 1655 Van Dyck shot and 
killed an Indian squaw, whom he found stealing peaches in his 
orchard. It was a wanton and foolish act, and it bore terrible 
retribution. Stuyvesant and the military were absent on an 
expedition to the Delaware. The murdered woman's tribe, 
cognizant of this fact, quickly gathered the warriors of all the 
river tribes, and in the early morning of September 15 nearly 
2,000 of them swarmed into New Amsterdam, declaring that 
they came in search of some Indians from the north. A parley 
between the magistrates and the sachems was held in the fort, 
and the intruders were finally persuaded to betake themselves in 
their canoes to Governor's Island. They returned, however, at 
nightfall, and surrounding Van Dyck's house sent an arrow 
through his heart, while Paul van der Grist, who lived next 
door, coming to the rescue, was struck down with an axe. The 
startled burghers instantly rallied to a desperate defence, and 
drove the savages to their canoes, but only to change the scene 
of destruction. The Indians paddled to the Jersey shore, laid 
Pavonia and Hoboken in ashes, and thence crossed to and 
devastated Staten Island. The Gravesend colony was again 
attacked, and the other Long Island settlements threatened with 
extinction. Within three days 100 settlers were killed, 150 
taken prisoners and 300 lost their homes. Not a few were put 
to death with fiendish tortures. Such was the gruesome con- 
dition of aflFairs that confronted Stuyvesant upon his return 
from the Delaware. He acted with firmness and good sense, 
and, while making ready for an aggressive campaign, strove by 

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kind words and presents to placate the Indians. Success, in 
the end, attended his efforts. The Indians, alarmed by his 
preparations and pacified by his presents, consented to release 
their prisoners, and sign a new treaty of peace. 

The first naval war between England and Holland brought 
a train of evils to the people of New Netherland and especially 
to those of Long Island. Pirates and robbers, taking ad- 
vantage of the unsettled conditions thus produced, infested the 
shores of the island and preyed upon the settlers. Soon the 
English residents, who at first had heartily supported Stu)rvc- 
sant, began to mutter threats of mutiny at the inadequate meas- 
ures taken for their security, and in December, 1653, tibe di- 
rector, with ill-concealed reluctance, allowed a popular conven- 
tion to assemble at New Amsterdam for the discussion of public 
affairs. Four English and four Dutch towns were represented 
by ten Dutch and nine English delegates, all of whom signed a 
Remonstrance drawn up by George Baxter, of Gravesend, and 
addressed to the States General. This Remonstrance grouped 
the grievances of the colonists under six headings : 

First — The fear of the establishment of an arbitrary gov- 
ernment. New laws had been enacted by the director and 
council, without the knowledge or consent of the people, which 
practice was "contrary to the granted privileges of the Nether- 
land government, and odious to every free born man» and 
especially so to those whom God has placed under a free state, 
in newly settled lands, who arc entitled to claim laws, not tran- 
scending, but resembling as near as possible those of the Neth- 
erlands." Second — ^The provincial government having failed 
to protect the people against the savages, the people must look 
to their own defence. Third — Officers and magistrates had 
been appointed to many places, without the consent or nomina- 
tion of the people, and "contrary to the laws of the Nether- 
lands." Fourth — Old orders and proclamation of the director 
and coimcil, made without the knowledge of the people, re- 
mained obligatory, and through ignorance subjected them to 

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The Reign of Stuyvesant 

loss and punishment. Fifth — Prcmiised patents, on the faith 
of which large improvements had been made, had been sus- 
piciously delayed. Sixth — ^Large tracts of land had been 
granted to favored ones, to the g^eat injury of the province. 

A copy of the Remonstrance was delivered to Stu)rvesant, 
with a demand for answer to each of its heads, but from the 
rebuke thus impKed the director took refuge in subterfuge and 
evasion. Breuckelen, Midwout and Amersfoort, he declared 
could not rightfully send delegates to a popular convention, 
while the other members were "a few unqualified delegates, 
who assume, without authority, the name and title of com- 
monalty." The appointment of magistrates by the director 
and council would be continued until other orders came from 
Holland. If their nomination and election "were to be left to 
the populace, who were the most interested, then each would 
vote for one of his own stamp; the thief for a thief; the rogfue, 
the tippler and the smuggler for his brother in iniquity, so that 
h^ may enjoy more latitude in vice and fraud." The delegates, 
however, refused to be silenced. They appealed, in their re- 
joinder to the "law of nature," which permits all men to as- 
semble for the protection of their liberties and their property ; 
and declared that, if the director still refused to consider the 
several points of their remonstrance, they would protest to the 
States General and the West India Company. Stuyvesant, 
having already exhausted argument, now resorted to force. 
"We derive our authority from God and the Company, not 
from a few ignorant subjects, and we alone can call the inhabi- 
tants together," and with this parting defiancehetumed the con- 
vention out of doors. The West India Company, when it heard 
of these proceedings, heartily approved Stuyvesant's conduct, 
only chiding him for condescending to parley with the leaders 
of the rabble. "You ought," they wrote, "to have acted with 
more vigor against them. It is, therefore, our express com- 
mand that you punish what has occurred as it deserves, so that 
others may be deterred in future from following such ex- 

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amples." Accordingly, Stuyvesant expelled from their civil 
offices George Baxter and James Hubbard, who had sat as dele- 
gates for Gravesend, and, when they retorted by flying the 
English flag at Gravesend, promptly locked them up in Fort 
Amsterdam, where they remained the better part of a year. 

Stuyvesant's triumph was, for the moment, complete. 
Meantime, to counterbalance the influence of the English settle- 
ments in western Long Island, — ^he had, in 1650, practically 
abandoned to New England all claim to the eastern end of the 
island, — ^he hastened to g^rant municipal privileges to Breuck- 
elen, Amersfoort and Midwout. The number of Breuckelen's 
schepens was increased to four, and David Provoost was made 
the town's first separate schout. Midwout received the right 
to nominate three, and Amersfoort was given two schepens. A 
district court was also organized, composed of delegates from 
each town court, with general authority to regulate roads, build 
churches, establish schools, and make local laws for the govern- 
ment of the district, subject to the approval of Stuyvesant and 
his council. The director, however, kept a watchful eye on the 
affairs of the Dutch towns, and saw to it that every burgher 
performed his just share of service to the state. In 1654 Jan 
Evertsen Bout declined to act as schepen of Breuckelen, incau- 
tiously declaring that he would rather go back to Holland than 
continue to perform such burdensome duties. But no excuses 
regarding his private business were accepted, and though Bout 
had served for previous terms and filled other colonial offices he 
was not allowed to retire. Instead, the sheriff was formally 
ordered to notify him of these summary commands of the di- 
rector: "If you will not accept to serve as schepen for the wel- 
fare of the village of Breuckelen, with others, your fellow-resi- 
dents then you must prepare yourself to sail in the ship King 
Solomon for Holland, agreeably to your utterance." This 
threat of deportation served its purpose, and no further declina- 
tions in Breuckelen offices troubled the council. 

The municipal privileges granted to Breuckelen, Midwout 

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The Reign of Stuyvesant 

and Amersfoort bore date April, 1654. Two years later sev- 
eral residents of Hempstead asked permission to begin a planta- 
tion about midway between that village and Amersfoort, and 
Stuyvesant granted them leave to establish a town with such 
privileges "as the inhabitants of New Netherland generally do 
possess in their lands, and likewise in the choice of their magis- 
trates as in the other villages or towns." The new settlement 
was named by the Dutch Rustdorp, meaning quiet village, but 
the settlers themselves wished to call it Jameco, after the Indian 
name of the beaver pond in its neighborhood, and the village is 
now known as Jamaica. This was the last settlement planted 
on Long Island under Dutch auspices. The rule of the West 
India Company and the States General was drawing to an end, 
and the control of New Netherland was about to pass to other 
hands. But before entering upon this new chapter in the his- 
tory of the province, let us turn aside for a glimpse of the life 
and customs of a people, who, despite all changes of political 
mastery, remained Dutch to the core. 



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Dutch Days and Ways 

REMOTE and curious to the people of a latter time seems 
the life led by the Dutch settlers of Long Island, a life 
that tmderwent few outward changes during the better 
part of two hundred years. The first houses built on the island 
were, as a rule of stone, lighted by narrow windows, and pro- 
tected against Indian niarauders by strong palisades. Snugness, 
economy and safety were the ends kept in mind by their 
builders. The palisades which girt them about disappeared as 
time went on, and the houses themselves grew in size as the 
struggling pioneer days came to an end, but they were always 
long and low, seldom more than a story and a half in height. 
Now and then the roof was pierced by dormer windows, but 
more often there was an unbroken descent from the ridgepole, 
which at the front extended so as to cover a piazza, and at the 
rear came within six or eight feet of the ground. The windows 
had shutters of wood, turning upon heavy iron hinges, and with 
crescent openings cut in the tops to admit the light in the early 
dawn. Many of the houses built before 1800 had a projecting 
beam above, to which, on occasion, tackle was fastened for the 
hoisting of heavy articles into the roomy garret ; and, when of 
brick, had the date of their erection upon the front, the figfures 
built in with darker-colored brick, or made of iron and driven 
into the wall. The windows had rarely less than nine panes in 
each of their two halves ; and the front door was always cut in 
two, with knocker of brass or iron, and its upper half lighted by 
two round glasses called bulls'-eyes. Both knocker and bulls'- 
eyes were borrowed from the motherland, and the former was 
an object of assiduous care on the part of the Dutch matron. 

Broad throated chimneys rose from each gable-end, and 
when the house was built in a village, the long "front stoop" 

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gave directiy upon the street. This "front stoop," when weather 
permitted, was the spot most frequented by the family, and upon 
the seats which flanked its ends family and neighbors fore- 
gathered of an evening, the women to sew and spin, and the 
men to discuss, over their pipes and beer, the gossip of the 
countryside. Wings were added to these old houses when the 
growth of the family made it necessary, and while slavery held, 
a kitchen at the rear, standing close to but detached from the 
house, formed the quarters for the colored people. The sides 
and gable ends of the main structure were sometimes of rough 
unhewn stone, covered with stucco, but brick early came into 
favor, and remained the material most used, till a later genera- 
tion took to building the wooden houses, of which more than 
one quaint example survive in Brooklyn suburbs. But whether 
of brick or stone, the roofs were of shingles, as also were the 
gable ends above the projection of the piazza, clapboards not 
coming into use until the last century. 

The interior of the Dutch houses spoke a love of space and 
comfort. The ceilings were always low, with heavy hewn beams 
projected across those of the first floor; but the rooms were 
large, and had surbases of tiles, while in houses of an early date 
the fireplaces were of such generous size as to occupy nearly the 
entire side of the rooms. These, too, were tiled in the best 
rooms, and had shovel and tongs, fender and andirons of 
brightly polished brass. "The natural economy of the Dutch- 
men," we are told, "was not exercised in a way that would 
curtail the comfort of their families, and the woodland, which 
formed a part of all the large farms, rendered the supply of fuel 
such as to be only limited by the wants of the household or the 
leisure to pile up the wood-yard.'* Whittier's "Snow Bound" 
tells how the wood-fires were laid in his New England home, 
and his description holds good of the arrangement of the logs 
in the Long Island homestead of the colonial period : 

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"The oaken log, green, huge and thick 
And on its top the stout back-stick: 
The knotty fore-stick laid apart, 
And filled between with curious art 
The ragged brush; then, hovering near. 
We watched the first red blaze appear." 

With such a fire lighting up its wainscoted walls, a com- 
fortable place was the Dutch kitchen, which, in early times, was 
also the family sitting-room. White sea-sand, shaped into 
curious patterns with the broom, covered the floor ; a generous 
store of tin pans and pewter vessels hung upon the walls, and in 
a comer stood the kitchen "dresser," with its shining array of 
blue or brown dishes, plates, bowls and platters. The Dutch 
home maker also gave loving care to the building of his cellar, 
entered from without by means of sloping doors over the steps. 
This cellar, with its walls of unhewn stone and its brick or 
earthen floor, never failed to be as broad as the house itself, and 
it had need to be, for within its confines were stored in autumn 
all the pork and beef, fish, butter and vegetables required for 
family use during the long winter. There were bins of apples 
and potatoes, turnips and parsnips ; barrels of vinegar and cider, 
and of salted pork and beef; firkins of salted shad and mackerel, 
of butter and lard ; jars of pickles and kegs of pigs' feet, while 
festoons of sausage hung in the cold cellar pantry, and head- 
cheese burdened the swinging-shelves, which afforded sure pro- 
tection against foraging mice. 

No less interesting in its way was the garret of the Dutch 
hcmiestead. "Here," writes Mrs. Vanderbilt, "might be seen a 
corded bedstead with, perhaps, a dislocated leg, serving to sup- 
port the feather-beds not in use, the huge pile carefully cov- 
ered with a faded but clean patchwork quilt. Here one 
would find long chests on ball feet; the cradle and the crib 
outgrown by the children ; bags of feathers for future pillows ; 
the quilting frame; old hairy trunks looking as if the animal 
that furnished the leather had been mangy ; old bandboxes, used 
at a time when the ladies' bonnets were huge in size ; and f umi- 

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Dutch Days and Ways 

ture in all stages of dilapidation. All these things were placed 
in orderly rows along the roof between the beams, which, like 
watchful policemen, gave a rap on the head to the intruder who 
tmwarily came too near the slope which they supported. It was 
in this roomy garret that the careful housewife had the week's 
washing hung in stormy weather. The clotheslines were 
stretched from side to side, and thus, when in winter the ground 
was covered with snow, it was a convenience to have the gjeat 
basket of clothes carried up and hung out here, to freeze and 
dry undisturbed and out of the way; for in those days the 
laundry was not a room apart, the washing and ironing being 
done in the kitchen. The great spinning-wheels, which have 
been unused for so many years, were also stowed away close to 
the eaves in these capacious garrets. Near them remnants of 
flax hang on projecting wooden pegs, and hanks of thread are 
tucked between the beams and the time-stained shingles of the 
roof, as if the good old dames proposed to come back soon and 
resume their spinning; but, meantime, the Fates, who spin the 
thread of human existence had taken the distaff, and cut their 
diread of life before they could return to their wheels." 

The place of honor in the parlor of the Dutch homestead, 
only used upon state occasions, was held by the gixest*s bed, 
pride of the Dutch matron, with its curtains and valance of cam- 
let and killeminster, and in one comer of the same room stood 
a huge chest, built of oak, bound with iron, and filled to over- 
flowing with household linen spun by the women of the family. 
Another corner held the Holland cupboard, with its glass 
doors, displaying the family plate and porcelain. Sofas, couches 
and rocking chairs still belonged to the future, and the best 
chairs of the Long Island housewife were straight, high-backed 
affairs of Russia leather, profusely ornamented with double 
and triple rows of brass nails. "These chairs were of such 
excellent workmanship and material that many of them may 
still be found in families in which, although in daily use, they 
have been preserved for more than two hundred years. A low 

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chair, with a seat of twisted osier, on which was tied a loose 
feather-filled cushion, covered with some gay material, was 
generally placed in a comer of the kitchen near a sunny window 
with a southern exposure. In front of this stood an array of 
favorite plants — roses, geraniums or stock-gillies. On the back 
of this chair hung the bag of knitting, the little red stocking, 
and the shining needles plainly visible, indicating that this was 
the favorite seat of the industrious mother of the family, and 
that this was the work that she took up in her leisure moments ; 
or a basket of patchwork held its place upon a low stool beside 
the chair, also to be snatched up at odd intervals. In the comer 
of the fireplace stood the broad-seated armchair of father or 
grandfather, convenient to the narrow mantel-shelf on which 
lay crossed the long pipes, ready for use." 

Rope-corded bedsteads were the only ones in use, and it 
required a man's strength to tum the machine that tightened the 
ropes in cording these beds when they were put tc^ether. 
"When the bedstead was duly corded and strung to the required 
tension, then a straw bed, in a case of brown, home-made linen, 
was first placed over the cords, and upon this were piled feather 
beds to the number of three or four, and even more if this was 
the spare-room bedstead. The sheets and pillow-cases were al- 
ways of linen. Homespun open-work or knit lace often oma- 
mented the end of the pillow-cases, and this was made the more 
conspicuous by a strip of some bright color beneath it. The 
blankets were home-made, and were woven from the wool of the 
sheep sheared upon the farm. Upper coverings for beds were 
also made in the family, by dyeing the wool or flax and weav- 
ing the cloth in figures. Many bedsteads had the four posts 
richly carved, reached to the ceiling, and were surmounted with 
a tester. For young children a small bed called a trundle bed 
was frequently used. This was, as the name implies, a low 
bedstead upon rollers, which during the day was rolled under 
the great high-post bedstead and hidden by the valance. At 
night this was rolled out at the side of the mother, and was con- 

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Dutch Days and Ways 

venient for her watchful care over the little ones ; for the Dutch 
mother never gave up the care of her children to others, even 
in families where the colored people in the kitchen were numer- 
ous enough and willing to relieve her. The cradles were not 
the pretty, satin-lined, rattan baskets which rock the children of 
this generation. They were of heavy, solid mahogany, with a 
mahogany roof, if we may so call it, which extended one-third 
of the length above, to shield the light from the eyes of the little 
sleeper. These cradles were handed down from generation to 
generation, and some of them are still in existence. With the 
cradle there has also survived an old Dutch lullaby which tells 
us that to climb up to father's or mother's knee was for the 
child a little throne whereon he might be as happy as were the 
Jittle pigs among the beans, the cows among the clover, the 
horses among the oats, and the ducks splashing in the water." 
Mrs. Sigoumey in her autobiography describes the food 
and clothing of New England children during her childhood, 
and her description may also be accepted as a faithful account 
of household life on Long Island during the same period. 'The 
diet allotted to children in those days," she writes, "was judi- 
cious and remarkably simple. Well-fermented and thoroughly- 
baked bread of the mingled Indian and rye meal, and rich, 
creamy milk were among its prominent elements. I never 
tasted any bread so sweet as those large loafs, made in capacious 
iron basins. Light, wheaten biscuits, delicious, gold-colored 
butter, always made in the family, custards, puddings, delicate 
pastry, succulent vegetables and fruits, gave sufficient variety 
of condiment to the repasts allotted to us. The extreme regu- 
larity and early hours for meals — ^twelve being always the time 
for dinner — obviated in a great measure the necessity of inter- 
mediates, and saved that perpetual eating in which some little 
ones fall until the digestive powers are impaired in their incipi- 
ent action. If sport, or exercise in the garden, led me to desire 
refreshment between the regular meals, a piece of brown bread 
was g^ven me without butter, and I was content. Candies and 

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confectionery were strangers to us primitive people. The 
stomach not being unduly stimulated, no morbid tastes were 
formed and no undue mixture of saccharine or oleaginous 
matter caused eflfervescence and disease. The name of dyspep- 
sia, with its offspring stretching out like the line of Banquo, I 
never heard in early years. Spices were untasted, unless k 
might be a little nutmeg in the sauce of our rice puddings. 
When seated at the table I was never asked whether I liked or 
disliked aught that appeared there. It never occurred to me 
whether I did or not. I never doubted but what I should be fed 
with food convenient for me. I was helped to what was deemed 
proper, and there was never any necessity to ask for more. It 
did not appear to me, from aught that I saw or heard, that the 
pleasure of eating was one of the main ends of existence. My 
costume was simple. Stays, corsets or frames of whalebone 
I never wore. Frocks, low in the neck, and with short sleeves, 
were used both winter and summer. Houses had neither fur- 
naces nor grates for coal, and churches had no means of being 
warmed, but I cannot recollect suffering inconvenience from 
cold. Thick shoes and stockings were deemed essential, and 
great care was taken that I should never go with wet feet. 
Clear, abundant wood fires sparkled in every chimney, and I 
was always directed, in cold seasons, to sit with my feet near 
them until thoroughly warmed, before retiring for the night." 
Weddings among the Dutch settlers were celebrated at the 
house of the bride's parents, the ceremony being performe3 
early in the evening in the presence of the immediate relatives, 
and the invited guests assembling at a later hour. "A table was 
bountifully spread, and no expense was spared to entertain the 
guests. The elderly people left at an early hour, but the younger 
guests continued the festivity until after midnight. The 
groomsman and bridesmaid were expected to assist at the serv- 
ing of the supper, to see that the guests were all helped and to 
entertain the company. The cutting and giving the guests the 
bridal cake was also the work of the bridesmaids, and all pres- 

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Dutch Days and Ways 

ent expected to be provided with a piece to carry home. The 
custom of having a large circle of friends and relatives present 
at a wedding was very general, for it was considered the proper 
time for rejoicing and merry-making, but there were no wed- 
ding journeys. Instead, the day after the wedding, the bridal 
party went, accompanied by the bridesmaids and groomsman, 
to the house of the parents of the groom, where the bride was 
welcomed by her husband's parents, and there was a renewal 
of the festivity of the previous night. Much visiting followed 
upon the occasion of a wedding, and the bride and groom were 
invited by their relatives and friends, and entertained at tea- 
drinkings and evening suppers in a continued round of gayety. 
It was also customary for the bride to wear her bridal dress to 
church on the Sunday following her marriage, and the young 
couple were accompanied to service by the bridesmaids and 
groomsmen, who took seats with them. Some rich and hand- 
some fabric was chosen for the bridal dress, which could be 
worn upon other occasions, this practical view of things show- 
ing itself among the Dutch even in their festivities, and, as 
bright colors were then worn by men as well as women, it was 
considered a delicate compliment to the bride for the groom to 
recognize her taste in dress by adopting the same color in his 
own, the petticoat of the one and the waistcoat of the other 
being often from the same piece of damask. The engagement 
ring which the maiden expects from her lover in this age was 
not looked for, or it was left optional as to whether it should 
be given or not. A gold ring was generally a wedding gift, 
although it was not used in the ceremony of the Dutch church." 
No less interesting and characteristic were the funeral cus- 
toms of the Dutch settlers. Food and drink were abundantly 
offered on such occasions, and a bill of the funeral expenses of 
a resident of Flatbush, still extant, includes among other items 
"twenty gallons of good wine, and two of spirits." Indeed, 
tradition has it, that the choicest wines were always held in re- 
serve for funeral purposes. "When a death occurred in a DutcK 

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family, the sexton of the church was at once sent for, and to 
him was committed the business of inviting the friends to the 
funeral. He went from house to house and personally gave an 
invitation to every family. If any one was known to be seri- 
ously ill, the approach of the sexton, as he proceeded on his 
errand, was as certain an indication of death as if he had already 
announced the simmions to the funeral. The news of a death 
and the invitation to friends at a distance were generally given 
through the assistance of the neighbors. Two or three young 
men volunteered for this purpose, and divided between them- 
selves the routes through the diflferent towns to which they were 
requested to drive and deliver the announcement. Undertakers 
being as yet unknown, the local cabinet-maker was called upon 
to make a coffin. Some woman in the neighborhood was ex- 
pected to make the shroud, if it was not already in the house, 
ready made years before, as was often the case. This may seem 
remarkable^ but most persons having reached middle life felt it 
to be their duty to see that they had a shroud made, so that in 
case of sudden death their family would not be obliged to have 
it made in haste for them." 

Burials were usually made the third day after death. A 
bier was used to carry the dead when the funeral was not too 
far from the village graveyard, but in other cases the pall- 
bearers, of whom there were eight, and who were usually of 
the same age as the dead, carried the coffin from the house to 
the hearse, and from the hearse to the grave. When the dead 
person was of ripe age, "white scarfs containing three yards of 
linen were presented to the pall-bearers. When scarfs were not 
presented, the gift consisted either of black gloves or black silk 
handkerchiefs. The clergyman officiating at the burial service, 
and the family physician who had been in attendance, were 
included in the number of those who received these gifts. Not 
only were the women of the family clothed in crape upon the 
death of a friend, but the men wore heavy bands of crape upon 
their hats. This was not as now, merely a close-fitting band, 

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but, after encircling the hat from crown to brim, a long piece 
of the same was left hanging to reach almost to the shoulder. 
This was shortened at a later time by pinning it into a fold at 
the back, which fold stood out at a right angle to the hat, and, 
finally cutting oflF all superfluous length, it appeared only as the 
band of crape at present worn." More than one strange, super- 
stitious custom, be it said in closing, was prevalent among the 
Dutch pioneers. Thus, a coflSn was never placed near a mirror, 
and all the looking glasses in the house were carefully covered, 
while among those who owned many hives of bees, it was usual, 
in case of a death in the family, to knock on the hives and 
inform the bees of the fact, "lest the bees should leave." 

Mention has already been made of the huge chests which 
held their place in every Dutch homestead. These were of 
cherry or other dark, hard wood, and in size and shape were 
not unlike the elaborately carved coffers one sees in Italian and 
German museums, but in the simple homes of the Dutch pio- 
neers, "they held no costly treasures of jewels and gold; they 
were the receptacles for the rolls of homespun, from which the 
bed-linen, table-linen, and toweling were cut. When the yoimg 
wife was about to leave her father's house, it was from these 
stores that she received the linen for her new home. A style of 
bureau, of more recent origin than these chests, consisted of 
inclosed shelves in the upper portion, a writing desk with 
pigeon-holes and compartments in the central division, and 
drawers below. It was ornamented with plates of brass around 
the key-holes of the locks, and there were brass handles and 
plates upon the drawers. The desk portion had frequently 
secret divisions and hidden drawers, to be opened by unseen 
springs, which revealed places for concealing valuable papers 
and money. At a time when safe-deposit companies and patent 
safes still belonged to a remote future, the old parchment wills, 
bonds and mortgages were generally kept within these secret 
compartments. " 

There were few clocks and watches in use among the Dutch 

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pioneers, their place being taken by sun-dials and hour-glasses, 
but so regular were the lives of the people that the lack of time- 
pieces made small diflference to them. They rose at cock crow- 
ing, Mrs. Booth tells us, breakfasted at dawn, and went about 
their daily tasks. Dinner was on the table when the sun reached 
the noon-mark. This meal finished, "the worthy Dutch matrons 
would array themselves in their best linsey-jackets and petti- 
coats of their own spinning, and putting a half-finished stocking 
into the capacious pocket which hung from their girdle, with 
scissors, pin-cushion and keys outside their dress, sally forth 
to a neighbor's house to spend the afternoon. Here they plied 
their knitting needles and their tongues at the same time,. dis- 
cussed the village gossip, settled their neighbor's aflFairs to their 
own satisfaction, and finished their stockings in time for tea, 
which was on the table at six o'clock This was the occasion for 
the display of the family plate and the cups of rare old china, 
out of which the guests sipped the fragrant bohea, sweetening 
it by an occasional bite from the huge lump of loaf sugar which 
was laid invariably by the side of each plate, while they dis- 
cussed the hostess* apple pies, doughnuts and waffles. Tea over, 
the party donned their cloaks and hoods, for bonnets were not, 
and set out straightway for home in order to be in time to super- 
intend the milking and look after their household aflFairs before 
bedtime," which came precisely at 9 o'clock. 

Mrs. Booth also tells us that the dress of these buxom 
dames "consisted of a jacket of cloth or silk, and a number of 
short petticoats of every stuflF and color, quilted in fanciful 
figures. If the pride of the Dutch matrons lay in their beds 
and linen, that of the Dutch maidens lay equally in their elabor- 
ately wrought petticoats, which were their own handiwork, and 
often constituted their only dowry. They wore blue, red and 
green worsted stockings of their own knitting, with parti- 
colored clocks, together with high-heeled leather shoes. Con- 
siderable jewelry was in use among them in the shape of rings 
and brooches, and girdle chains of gold and silver were much in 

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vogue among the most fashionable belles. These were attached 
to the richly-bound Bibles and hymn-books and suspended from 
the belt outside the dress, thus forming an ostentatious Sunday 
decoration. For necklaces, they wore numerous strings of gold 
beads, and the poorer classes, in humble imitation, encircled 
their throats with glass beads, and strings of Job's tears, the 
fruit of a plant thought to possess some medicinal virtues." 

Laborers and artisans went clad in blouses or in jackets, 
and in wide, baggy breeches, but the well-to-do chose for hol- 
iday wear the same rich raiment as did their brethren of the 
Old World — "long-waisted coats, with skirts reaching almost to 
the ankles, vests with larg<e flaps, and numerous pairs of 
breeches. The coats and vests were trimmed with large silver 
buttons, and decorated with lace. The low-crowned hats were 
made of beaver, and caps of fur and taflfeta were also much in 
vog^. Though this costume was somewhat ponderous, the 
men do not appear to have fallen behind the women in extrav- 
agance in dress. Taflfeta, plush and velvet were the favorite 
materials for their habiliments ; their shoe-buckles and buttons 
were of solid silver, and they sported silver-hilted small swords 
and ivory-mounted canes." Their workaday garb, however, 
"was of good substantial homespun. Every household had from 
two to six spinning-wheels for wool and flax whereon the 
women of the family expended every leisure moment. Looms, 
too, were in common use, and piles of homespun cloth and snow- 
white linen attested to the industry of the active Dutch maid- 
ens. Hoards of home-made stuffs were thus accumulated in 
the settlement, sufiicient to last till a distant generation." 

There were no idlers in the New Netherland of Stuyve- 
sant's time, yet the Dutch were a pleasure-loving people, and 
found leisure for an abundance of homely and hearty sports. 
Dancing was a favorite amusement, and every extra task was 
made the occasion for a social gathering, this in obedience to 
the ancient maxim that "many hands make light work." Thus 
there were quilting-bees, apple-bees, husking-bees, and raising- 

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bees, whereat, the allotted task completed, the workers sat down 
to a bountiful meal, and then ended the evening with a merry 
dance. Each family had holidays of its own, such as birthdays 
and marriage anniversaries, and there were besides five national 
festivals which were observed throughout the colony. These 
were Christmas, New Year, Easter, Whitsuntide and St. Nicho- 
las or Christ-Kinkle Day. The women of New Netherland on 
New Year's day decorated their houses with all the art at their 
command, and in silk and taffeta welcomed the dignitaries of 
the neighborhood. No gentleman who counted himself eligible 
to good society failed to call on every lady of his acquaintance 
on the first day of the year. The custom grew in popularity 
with the growth of the city, and as the English and French 
contributed to the increasing population, they adopted it with 
especial zest. Other communities in more recent times, have 
copied it from New York until it seems to have found favor in 
almost every place of any size on the continent. 

Christmas and Christ-Kinkle, however, were the days best 
beloved by the little folks, if not by those of a larger growth. 
While the Puritans of New England banned Santa Claus, the 
Dutch of New Netherland gladly welcomed and honored him. 
Tradition, in fact, has it that the figure of St. Nicholas pre- 
sided as the figure-head of the ship that brought the first settlers 
to Manhattan Island, and he was esteemed the patron saint of 
the colony, giving his name, as we know, to the first church 
built within the walls of Fort Amsterdam. As the Dutch vil- 
lages grew into towns large enough to be clothed with municipal 
privileges, the yearly celebration of Christmas was endorsed by 
the authorities, and the whole business of the community sus- 
pended, not only for one day but for several days in succession, 
even all unnecessary household work being laid aside until the 
end of the holiday season. Church and houses were trimmed 
with evergreens, and these, as a rule, were not removed until 
Candlemas. Joy ruled the hour, and old and young, grave and 
gay, joined in all manner of cheerful games as well as boisterous 

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Dutch Days and Ways 

revels. Among the records of the burgomasters and schcpens 
are several paragraphs showing that the peppery Stuyvesant 
frowned upon a few of the practices in vogue, one occasion 
absolutely refusing to allow some of the people, who had sought 
his consent, to "ride the goose" at one of the annual feasts. But 
family reunions, exchange of presents, and home frolics were 
never cmiitted, even in the director's household. 

Santa Qaus, in the minds of the Dutch younkers, was 
a rotund, rosy-cheeked old man, with a low-crowned hat, a pair 
of Flemish trunk-hose, and a pipe of surprising length, who 
drove his reindeer sleigh loaded with gifts from the frozen re- 
gions of the North over the roofs of New Netherland, and 
stole down each chimney to fill with toys the stockings of all 
good children, while the Christmas tree was adopted in New 
Netherland long before its appearance in any other colony. 
Carpers tells us that the legend and the custom of the olden 
time are slowly passing away, but those who hold the illusions 
of childhood in loving and grateful memory prefer to believe 
that the day is still far distant when kindly saint and bursting 
tree will cease to have a foremost place in the Yuletide rejoic- 
ings of the modem State. 



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DISPUTES between the Dutch and English communi- 
ties in America continued during the whole of Stuy- 
vesant's time. The English, who, as we know, claimed 
the entire continent as having been discovered by Cabot, 
looked with covetous eye upon the rich possessions 
of their Dutch neighbors; despite the threats and pro- 
tests of Stuyvesant, the Dutch in 1650 were compelled 
to abandon all claim to New England territory; West- 
chester and eastern Long Island fell successively into the hands 
of their rivals, and as the latter slowly yet surely extended their 
rule, men who could read aright the signs of the times saw 
clearly that they would be content with nothing less than the 
whole of New Netherland. Indeed, whenever the Dutch and 
English were at war New Netherland had always to fear the 
threatened attack of some English squadron. Cromwell in 
1654 sent four ships to America, and this fleet, manned by 
200 English regulars and thrice as many New England volun- 
teers, was about to sail from Boston for New Amsterdam when 
word came that peace had been made between the Lord Pro- 
tector and their High Mightinesses, and the Dutch colony was 
given a fresh lease of life. 

Ten years later, however, the always-dreaded blow really 
fell. There was peace at the time between England and Hol- 
land, but that fact had small weight with the Stuart king, who 
then ruled the former country, and there were, on the other 
hand, strong reasons for his asserting by force his claim upon 
New Netherland. No European goods, it had been enacted 
by Parliament, should be brought into the English colonies in 
America except in English vessels sailing from England, but 
this law promised to be more honored in the breach than the 

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observance so long as the Dutch retained control of New Neth- 
erland. More than that, control of the Hudson river, the main 
outlet of the profitable fur trade, eagerly coveted by England, 
was also essential to the military command of the continent by 
the English. And so, pondering these facts, Charles II. re- 
solved to sieze New Netherland by surprise, even if by so doing 
he brought on war with Holland. 

Accordingly, in 1664, the king granted to his brother 
James, Duke of York and Albany, a patent of Long Island and 
of the mainland between the Connecticut and the Delaware, in- 
cluding the whole of the Dutch possessions in America Then 
the Duke of York, moving with the deepest secrecy, lest Holland 
should take alarm and send a fleet to the defense of New Neth- 
erland, dispatched four ships, with 500 veteran troops under 
command of Colonel Richard Nicolls, already appointed gov- 
ernor of the province about to be seized, to take possession of 
the coveted territory. The English squadron, re-enforced by a 
number of volunteers from the Connecticut colony, anchored in 
the Lower Bay on an August morning, in 1664, seized the 
blockhouse upon Staten Island, and cut off all communication 
between New Amsterdam and its neighbors. 

Stuyvesant, trained soldier that he was, had long recog- 
nized the military weakness of his position, and had again and 
again appealed to the company for men and means to defend 
the province, but his appeals had been unheeded, and the com- 
ing of the English found the town ill-prepared to stand a siege. 
Fort Amsterdam mounted only twenty g^ns, with a scant sup- 
ply of powder, and both the river banks were without defenses, 
while not more than 400 men were able to bear arms, and 
among these were many Englishmen who were secretly longing 
for the triumph of their countrymen. The enemy's ships, on 
the other hand, carried not less than 120 euns, and a fighting 
force of nearly 1,000 men. Stuyvesant wished to fight, even 
against such odds, but he was not allowed to have his way. 
Besides the English in the town and on Long Island there were 



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many disaflfected Dutchmen, who, wearied of the company's 
narrow policy and the director's overbearing ways, were not 
averse to a change of masters ; and when NicoUs coupled a sum- 
mons to surrender with the assurance that the privileges of the 
Dutch should be in no wise restrained, but that they should con- 
tinue to have full liberty to settle in the colony and to go and 
return thither in ships of their own country, Stuyvesant was 
urged by leading citizens to accept the terms of the English and 
save the town from sack. "I would rather be carried out 
dead," was his reply, but he was at length obliged to yield, and 
to order the white flag raised above the fort. Articles of 
capitulation were quickly agreed upon, and at 8 o'clock on the 
morning of September 8, 1664, the flag of the West India Com- 
pany fell from Fort Amsterdam, and the Dutch soldiers, with 
Stuyvesant stumping sullenly at their head, marched to the 
waterside, where boats were lying to carry them to the ship 
which was to convey them to Holland. At the same time the 
English forces marched blithely down Broadway, — from where 
they had been waiting about in front of where Aldrich 0>urt 
now stands ; the flag of England went up over what then be- 
came Fort James, and Governor NicoUs formally took pos- 
session of town and province, in the name of the English king. 
And so, without the striking of a single blow, the rule of Hol- 
land in America came to an end. 

Colonel NicoUs, who thus become the first governor of 
New York, as New Netherland was promptly renamed, was a 
man of shrewdness and sagacity, and he managed with tact and 
moderation the delicate task he had taken in hand. AU classes 
were protected alike in person and property, and the better part 
of a year passed before the government of the colony was reor- 
ganized in accordance with English customs. This change was 
made in June, 1665, and at the same time there was promul- 
gated a code known as The Duke's Laws, which proved to be 
liberal both in letter and spirit. The burghers of New Amster- 
dam complained, not without reason, when NicoUs sunmioned 

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only the people of Long Island and Westchester, where the 
English were in the majority, to consider the new code, and the 
Dutch on both sides of the river objected to the establishment 
of trial by jury, preferring their own simpler ways of securing 
justice; but all classes heartily approved the clause in the code 
which provided that no Christian should be in any wise mo- 
lested for his religious opinions. Nor did the introduction of 
the Church of England and its services prove a source of fric- 
tion. Here again conciliation was the watchword, and for a 
time Dutch domine and English chaplain made common use of 
the existing places of worship. 

The peace of Breda, signed in 1667, formally ceded New 
Netherland to the English in exchange for Surinam, and 
in the following year Nicolls resigned the governorship. He 
was succeeded by Colonel Francis Lovelace, a worthy and 
well-meaning man, under whom the colony continued to pros- 
per. Lovelace, however, was not long permitted to direct its 
affairs. The third naval war between England and Holland 
broke out in 1672, and in August of the following year a 
powerful Dutch fleet, which had been cruising in the West 
Indies to harrass the English, dropped anchor in New York har- 
bor. Lovelace being absent on Long Island, the English com- 
mander in the fort sought to make terms with the invaders, but 
they would listen to nothing save instant and unconditional sur- 
render. "We have come for our own," was their message, "and 
our own we will have." The Dutch militia would not fight 
against their countrjrmen, and so, after a brief exchange of vol- 
leys between garrison and fleet, the English flag was struck, and 
the fort surrendered to the Dutch troops. There was little 
delay in undoing the work of the ousted English, Anthony 
Colve, a captain of infantry, being made governor of the 
province, which resumed its old name of New Netherland. 
Colve proved a most energetic ruler, putting down with a strong 
hand all resistance to his authority, but his sway lasted only a 
vear and a quarter. The treaty of Westminster, which ended 

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the war, in which England and France were united against Hol- 
land, provided for the mutual restitution of all conquered, and 
in November, 1764, the province of New Netherland was again 
given up to the English. 

The terms of this treaty transferred New Netherland from 
the States General to Qiarles II., but that monarch granted it 
afresh to his brother, and the Duke of York chose as governor" 
of the province a young and dashing major of dragoons, Ed- 
mund Andros by name. The new governor at once reinstated 
the Duke's Laws and the English form of government, and in 
many ways impressed the stamp of a strong individuality on the 
affairs of the colony. But the colonists chafed under the abso- 
lutist rule of a royal deputy. A stubborn love of liberty was 
common to both of the races which made up the bulk of the 
populace, and it had been the hope of a majority that 
the first change from Dutch to English rule would result in self- 
government with a regular legislative assembly. Nothing had 
come of this hope under Nicolls and Lovelace. Both 
were loyal servants of their master, and James Stuart held 
to the view that popular assemblies were dangerous and useless 
institutions. Delay, however, only added to the discontent of 
the colonists, and no sooner was Andros installed in office 
than they renewed their petition for an assembly. Again it was 
denied, and the rule of the Stuart governor continued without 
constitutional check. 

But early in 168 1 Andros, summoned home to answer com- 
plaints against his methods that had found their way across the 
sea, sailed for England, and the colonists, emboldened by his 
absence, at once put forward a fresh demand for a legislative 
assembly. A New York grand jury formally presented to the 
court that the lack of such an assembly was a g^evance, which 
view was promptly adopted by the court, the judges whereof ac- 
cepted as their own and forwarded to the duke a petition drawn 
up by the high sheriff of Long Island. This document declared 
government without representation to be an intolerable burden 

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A Change of Rulers 

upon the colonists ; called attention to the freer and more flour- 
ishing colonies by which New York was flanked on either hand, 
and prayed that thereafter the province should be ruled by a 
governor, council and assembly, the latter to be elected by the 
colonial free-holders. The sequel proved this petition to have 
been happily timed. The duke when it reached him, discour- 
aged by the stoppage of the collection of taxes, was seriously 
considering the sale of "his unproductive province to whoever 
would offer a fair price for it ; but the counsel of William Penn 
caused him to adopt another course. "Sell New York!" said 
the Quaker. "Don't think of such a thing. Give it 
self-government and there will be no more trouble." And the 
duke, in one of his gracious moods, concluded to take Penn's 
advice. 

Accordingly, Andros, who had readily satisfied the duke as 
to his official conduct, was made a gentleman of the King's 
chamber and presented with a long lease of the island of Alder- 
ney, while in his place Colonel Thomas Dongan, a Roman Cath- 
olic Irishman, of high birth and character, and of unusual 
capacity, was made governor of New York, with instructions 
to call the long hoped-for general assembly of the people. 
Dongan, who was to prove himself the best of the 
colonial governors of New York, reached his post in 
April, 1683, and, in October of the same year, the 
provincial assembly, which he had promptly summoned, 
convened in Fort James. The assembly included, besides 
the governor and ten councillors of his own choosing, 
eighteen representatives elected by the freeholders, and its first 
important act was to frame a Charter of Liberties, which or- 
dained "that supreme legislative power should forever reside in 
the governor, council and people, met in general assembly ; that 
every freeholder and freeman might vote for representatives 
without restraint ; that no freeman should suffer but by judg- 
ment of his ^eers, and that all trials should be by a jury of 
twelve men; that no tax should be assessed on any pretense 

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whatever, but by the ccMisent of the assembly ; that no seaman 
or soldier should be quartered on the inhabitants against their 
will ; that no martial law should exist ; and that no person pro- 
fessing faith in Go3, by Jesus Christ, should at any time be in 
any way disquieted or questioned for any diflFerences of opinion 
in matters of religion." This charter, a real and long step 
toward self-government, was sent to England for the duke's 
approval. It still awaited his signature, when in 1685 the death 
of Charles II, made the duke king and New York a royal prov- 
ince, a change which, as will presently appear, altered his policy 
toward his whilom domain. Nevertheless, the government of 
New York was carried on under its provisions for several years. 
Another important act of the first provincial assembly which 
demands a passing word ccMiferred full rights of citizenship 
upon all white citizens who should take the oath of allegiance 
This was designed to benefit the Huguenots, who were then 
being expelled from France, and who by thousands sought an 
asyltun in America, many of them settling on Long Island. 

The Charter of Liberties of 1683 also made material 
changes in the map of the province. Nicolls in 1665 had joined 
Long Island to Staten Island under the name of Yorkshire, and 
divided the newly created district into three Ridings, this in 
imitation of the original Yorkshire. Thus Suffolk county be- 
came the East Riding; the present Kings county, with New- 
town and Staten Island, the West Riding, and the rest 
of Queens the North Riding. The Charter of Liberties, however, 
divided the province into ten counties, and Yorkshire disap- 
peared from the map. The East Riding became SuflFolk county, 
and Newtown a part of Queens county, while the five Dutch 
towns with Gravesend constituted Kings county. To all of 
the Long Island towns patents were reissued by Nicolls in his 
term, and by Dongan in his. 

Governor Dongan had breadth and sagacity of mind, tact, 
magnetism, and the blithe humor and ready wit of his race. 
Wherever he went he won all hearts, and never was king better 

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served than was morose James II. by his Irish governor of New 
York. But already there was preparing anodier crisis in the 
history of colonial America. James Stuart once upcm the 
throne resolved to make himself absolute master of his colcmies 
as well as of the mother country. With this purpose in mind, 
in the spring of 1688 New England, New York and New Jersey, 
which a dozen years before had been separated from its parent 
colony, were thrown into cme province. Their several charters, 
including New York's half-granted one, were abolished, and all 
the colonists put under the direct control of a single ro3ral gov- 
ernor. Major Andros, who had now been knighted and made 
Sir Edmund, was sent over to assume the governorship, while 
Dongan, who would have had no stomach for so sorry a busi- 
ness, went home to Ireland to become, in due time. Earl of Lim- 
erick. It is a familiar story of how Andros took in hand the 
task cut out for him, serving all too faithfully a master whcxn 
Englishman were already preparing to pull from his thrcme, 
but it is a story that has a quick ending. Before the year was 
out William of Orange landed in Devonshire. The coming of 
another spring found the last Stuart king an exile beyond sea, 
and his governor of New England lodged in a Boston jail. 

The downfall of Andros and his royal master was followed 
by a period of turmoil and confusion in New York. The mass 
of the citizens were eager to have done with their old officials, 
while the aristocratic and conservative class were for awaiting 
new instructions from William and Mary, who in the meantime 
had ascended the throne of England. Finally a committee of 
safety was appointed, and Jacob Leisler, a leading merchant of 
New York, chosen to be commander pending the arrival of a 
new governor. Leisler's principal lieutenant was his son-in-law, 
Jacob Milbome. The aristocratic party, however, rebelled 
against his authority, and two of its leaders, Nicholas Ba3rard 
and WUliam Nicoll, were thrown into jail. Toward the end of 
1690, King William appointed Henry Sloughter governor and 
Richard Ingoldsby lieutenant governor of the province. They 

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set sail for America, but Sloughter's ship was blown out of its 
course, and when Ingoldsby reached New York, early in Feb- 
ruary, 1691, Leisler refused to recognize his authority. For 
six weeks the two parties remained under arms, threatening 
each other, Ingoldsby's headquarters being in the City Hall and 
Leisler's in the fort. Then a skirmish took place in which sev- 
eral of Ingoldsby's soldiers were killed or wounded, while 
Leisler's militia, shielded by the fort, escaped unharmed. The 
following day Sloughter's ship entered the harbor and he at 
once landed and took command. Leisler had drawn his author- 
ity from the people, but one of Sloughter's first acts was to seize 
and imprison him, despite the fact that he had all along mani- 
fested willingness to resign his authority to a properly accredited 
representative of the king. Worse still, it was before a court 
made up in the main of men bitterly hostile to Leisler that the 
latter, with Milbome and others of his adherents, was, on March 
30, brought for trial. The prisoners were charged with treason 
and murder, and how grievously justice was outraged in their 
trial is shown in the fact that the indictment to which they 
were called upon to plead falsely set forth that they had "forci- 
bly held" the fort not against Ingoldsby, but against Sloughter 
himself, and that shots had been fired from it after instead of 
before his arrival. Some of their associates were tried and 
condemned upon evidence, but Leisler and Milbome denied 
the competency of the court, contending that it belonged to the 
king to declare whether the former had acted upon legal au- 
thority, and were as "mutes" condemned to death. 

Though Sloughter had fallen under the empire of the aris- 
tocratic party there is little doubt that at this point, left to him- 
self, he would gladly have stayed his hand. He refused at first 
to sign the death warrant of Leisler and Milbome, pardoned 
their associates and permitted them to apeal to the king. But 
the men who had brought about their condemnation, led by the 
embittered Bayard and NicoU, thirsted for their blood, and 
finally found a way to mould the weak and worthless governor 

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to their purpose. A tradition in existence as early as 1698 has 
it that Bayard and his friends made a feast for Sloughter, and, 
when he was far gone in his cups, cajoled him into 
signing the death warrant. Be this as it may, the 
warrant was signed, and in the rain and gloom of 
a chill May morning, Leisler and Milbome were 
led forth to die. The gallows stood near the present site 
of the World Building in Park Row, on Leisler's own grounds, 
and in full view of his country seat. Weeping friends and sat- 
isfied foes made up the throng which came to witness the end, 
met by both men with noble resignation. "So far from revenge 
do we depart this world," declared Leisler, "that we require 
and make it our dying request to all our relations and friends, 
that they should in time to ccane be forgetful of any injury 
done to us, or either of us, so that on both sides the discord 
and dissension (which were created by the devil in the begin- 
ning) may with our ashes be buried in oblivion, never more to 
rise up for the trouble of posterity * * * Why must you die?" 
said he to Milbome. "You have been but a servant doing my 
will. What I have done has been but in the service of my king 
and queen, for the Protestant cause, and for the good of my 
country; and for this I must die. Some errors I have com- 
mitted ; for these I ask pardon. I forgive my enemies as I hope 
to be forgiven, and I entreat my children to do the same." Mil- 
bome's dying speech was also full of humility and forgiveness, 
although when he saw Robert Livingston, one of the anti- 
Leislerian leaders, standing near the scaffold, he exclaimed: 
"You have caused the King that I must now die, but before 
God's tribunal I will implead you for the same." 

The drop fell, and in another moment Leisler and Mil- 
bome had passed into silence. Their bodies were taken down, 
and buried, by Leisler's own request, in his garden near the 
present site of the Sun Building. So perished the first governor 
of New York who drew his power frcan the people. Leisler 
had faults and fell into mistakes, but, as has been aptly said, 

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by another his chief blunder lay in overestimating the interest 
that William's government took in its province of New York, 
and the willingness of its agents to deal fairly by all New 
Yorkers. That blunder cost him his life, but his death, as the 
sequel proved, only served to quicken and strengthen the demo- 
cratic spirit of which he had made himself the champion, and 
Americans, proud of our brave but modest beginnings, will al- 
ways pronoimce with respect a name inseparably associated 
with the first triumph of democracy in New York. 

It is good to know that Leisler left a son proud of his acts, 
and able to defend them. The younger Jacob Leisler prosecuted 
in due time the appeal which had been denied his father; se- 
cured an order for the restoration of his confiscated 
estate, and finally, in 1698, obtained an act from 
the parliament of England which completely rehabili- 
tated the dead man's memory. This act cancelled 
the judgments of the courts in New York and sustained 
Leisler's course as governor. Three years afterward the bodies 
of Leisler and Milborne, denied funeral honors at the time of 
their execution, were taken from their temporary resting place, 
and, with impressive ceremony, reinterred in a burial ground 
which stood in what is now Exchange Place. No man knows 
their present sepulture, nor has New York ever erected a fitting 
memorial to Leisler's life and work. 

Colonel Sloughter came to New York charged with a mes- 
sage from King William to give the province a legislative as- 
sembly, and his first act after the arrest of Leisler was to issue 
writs for the election of such an assembly. It met in April, 
1691, and, though a majority of its members were of the party 
opposed to Leisler, and resolutions were passed condemning his 
acts, its other proceedings gave proof of the democratic spirit 
which hereafter was to shape the aflairs of the colony. Thus, 
while it declared its loyalty to William and Mary, it ascribed its 
own existence to the inherent right of freemen to be governed 

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through their own representatives, and it limited to two years 
the grant made for public expenditures. 

Sloughter died suddenly in the midsummer of 1691, and 
Major Ingoldsby acted as governor until the arrival of Q>lonel 
Benjamin Fletcher in August of the following year; The new 
governor was a brave and capable soldier, but loose of life and 
morals, and wholly imfitted for a civil post. He arrayed himself 
on the side of the aristocrats as opposed to the Leislerians, who 
had now plucked up heart and were demanding a share in the 
government, and thus became embroiled in more than one 
angry dispute with the provincial assembly, in which 
though the suflFrage was limited by a strict property quali- 
fication, the popular party had always its allies and mouth- 
pieces. Fletcher sought at the same time, by prodigal and 
wholesale grants of the public lands, to divide the soil of the 
province among a few rich families, and to build up 
a system of great tenant-farmed estates. His grants were made 
to ministers and churches as well as to laymen, and he abetted 
private individuals in the acquisition of large tracts of land 
from the Indians, all, it would seem, with a settled purpose of 
concentrating wealth and power into the hands of the aristoc- 
racy and the Church of England, of which he was a devoted 
if not consistent member. 

The Leislerians protested hotly against Fletcher's acts and 
policy, and, in 1698, the king recalled him. He was succeeded 
in the- governorship by the Earl of Bellomont, an honest and 
resolute man, who forthwith attacked with a will the abuses 
that had sprung up under his predecessor. He forfeited such 
of the land grants made by Fletcher as smacked of fraud, and 
sought, though unsuccessfully, to establish the rule that no per- 
son in the province should hold more than one thousand acres 
of land. He was also a hearty believer in political equality, 
and in token of this belief made several of the Leislerian lead- 
ers members of his council, and saw to it that the estates of Leis- 
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his influence, the government became Leislerian in all its 
branches. Bellomont's course earned him the hostility of the 
powerful and favored classes who had profited by Fletcher's 
questionable acts, but the common people loved and trusted 
him, and" bitter was their regret when, in 1701, he died sud- 
denly, after a short rule of three years. 

During the period of political contention and distrust cov- 
ered by the administrations of Fletcher and Bellomont, and 
their immediate successors, the colony continued to thrive 
apace. Manufactures as yet were few. Men who went down to 
the sea in ships formed the bulk of New York's white popula- 
tion, and ocean industries were what most contributed to its 
growth and wealth. The river and coast trade claimed much 
of its enterprise and activity, but the sea trade with England, 
Africa and the Indies held first place, and in those troublous 
and not over-squeamish times, when commerce was other than 
the peaceful pursuit it has since become, a promising venture 
in privateering was often preferred to slower if safer sources 
of profit by the strong-stomached merchants and mariners of 
New York. Nor was the line dividing the privateer, who 
preyed upon certain nations at certain times from the pirate, 
who warred against all nations at all times, so sharply defined 
as to bar the way to generous gains when opportimity offered. 
There were plenty in the colony "who failed to draw any 
nice distinction between the two classes of vessels and the full- 
armed, strongly manned trading-ship, which was always ready 
to do privateering work in time of actual war, in time of peace 
was not unapt to hoist the black flag for the nonce in distant 
seas. Many a skipper who obeyed the law fairly well in Atlantic 
waters, felt free to do as he wished when he cruised through 
the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, while at Madagascar there 
was a regular station to which the New York mer- 
chants sent ships for the sole purpose of trading with the 
pirate vessels who carried their ill-gotten goods thither. There 
were plenty of adventurous young New Yorkers, of good blood, 

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who were themselves privateersmen, Red Sea men, or slavers ; 
and in the throng of seafaring men of this type, the crews and 
captains of the pirate ships passed unchallenged. More than 
one sea-chief of doubtful antecedents held his head high among 
the New York people of position, on the infrequent occasions 
when he landed to revel and live at ease, while his black-hulled, 
craft was discharging her cargo, or refitting for another voy- 
age. 

The home government, however, failed to look with an ap^ 
proving eye on the colonists' free-and-easy relations with their 
piratical friends, and when in 1698 Fletcher was succeeded in 
the governorship by the Earl of Bellomont, the former came 
charged with orders to put a quick and sure ending to tHe Red 
Sea trade. But Lord Bellomont, though appointed governor 
in 1695, did not receive his commission until 1697, 
and in this interval of waiting, by a strange perversity of for- 
tune, he had played a chief if an unwitting part in setting afloat 
one of the most notable pirates in history — ^William Kidd. Fre- 
quent conferences in the opening days of 1695 between King 
William and his council as to the best means of suppressing 
piracy ended in a decision to make it a private undertaking, and 
a proposition, Dunlap tells us, "to purchase and arm a ship for 
this service met encouragement so far that the Duke of Shrews- 
bury, Lord Chancellor Somers, the Earls of Romney and Ox- 
ford, became sharers in the enterprise with Bellomont, — the lat- 
ter taking upon himself the equipment of the vessel." A captain 
of known honesty and valor was needed, and Robert Living- 
ston, of New York, who was then in London, and who seems 
to have been a prime mover in the aflfair, recommended Kidd 
as the man for the command. Livingston had good grounds 
for his recommendation. Kidd, a native of Greenock, in Scot- 
land, had followed the sea frc«n his youth; had proved his 
bravery in privateering ventures against the French, and for 
some years had commanded the packet ship "Antigua," trading 
between London and New York, where he made his home. 

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Kidd became a member of the Bellomont syndicate, and 
took shares to the amount of £6,000, Livingston signing his 
bond for one-half of that amount. Then, a total of £30,000 
having been subscribed, and a thirty-six gun frigate, the "Ad- 
venture," duly equipped, he was given letters of marque against 
the French and a special commission to arrest all pirates where- 
soever found and to bring them to trial. The proceeds of the 
cruise were to be divided among the members of the syndicate, 
after a royalty of ten per cent, had been reserved for the King ; 
and to strengthen the bargain, Livingston joined with Kidd in 
giving a bond to render a strict account of all prizes to Lord 
Beliomont. These details completed, Kidd, with a crew of fifty 
men, in April, 1696, sailed for New York. There 
he lay long enough to treble his crew, and early in 
1697 set sail for Madagascar. The sequel pj-oved 
that his errand had been hatched under an evil star. 
The voyage to Madagascar consumed nine months and 
brought the crew to the verge of famine. Moreover, neither 
pirates nor French vessels were encountered on the way, nor 
were any of the former to be found in their usual haunts when 
the "Adventure" reached Madagascar. Kidd accordingly sailed 
for the Malabar coast, but further quest brought no legitimate 
prize of any sort, and the crew, which had been recruited on the 
basis of "no prize, no pay," now demanded that the captain at- 
tack the first vessel he should meet. Kidd seems to have been 
reluctant to yield to the demand, and in one of the disputes with 
his men he struck and killed a gunner, William Moore. Never- 
theless he finally yielded to the clamors of the crew, and the 
"Adventure" replaced her ensign with the black flag. The first 
prize taken were two or three ships of the Great Mogul, but the 
most important capture of all, made in January, 1698, was the 
"Quedah Merchant," a large and richly laden vessel owned by 
Armenian traders. Kidd carried his prize to Madagascar where 
its cargo fetched a large sum, three-fourths of which was di- 
vided among the crew. Whereafter his own ship being badly 

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out of repair, he transferred his armament to the "Quedah Mer- 
chant" and burned the "Adventure." Then, having lost many 
of his men by desertion, he enlisted a new crew, and in the late 
summer of 1698 sailed for the West Indies. 

News of these matters reached London in the autumn of the 
same year, and a royal squadron was at once dispatched to the 
Indian Ocean, charged with the apprehension of Kidd and of 
all other unrepentant pirates. Kidd, however, was already well 
on his way across the Atlantic, and it was not until 
he reached the Carribee Islands that he learned that 
he had been excepted by name from a recently issued 
royal proclamation oflFering pardon to all pirates that 
would surrender themselves for acts committed before 
May-day of 1699. He was thus singled out for 
punishment because his conduct reflected most seriously upon 
the group of noblemen who had sent him to the East Indies, 
and who were quick to perceive that the only way they could 
free themselves from odium was by washing their hands of 
their whilom agent. Kidd at first did not fully grasp the fatal 
import of these facts, but he took care to test his chances for 
securing immunity from punishment before he ventured into any 
port under English control. He first chartered a sloop called 
the "Antonio," belonging to a man named Bolton, with which 
he fell in off San Domingo, and which he sent to Curacoa for 
needed supplies. After that he bought the sloop out and out, 
mounted her with six g^ns, transferred himself and his choicest 
valuables to her, and with a small crew started northward upon 
a spying expedition. The "Quedah Merchant" was left at San 
Domingo in Bolton's charge, and what became of her and her 
cargo is not known. 

Kidd appeared in the eastern end of Long Island Sound 
near the end of June, 1699, ^^d from Gardiner's Island opened 
communication with Lord Bellomont, who was then in Boston. 
The letters which he sent to the governor declared that all the 
piracies that had occurred had been done by his men in a state 

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of mutiny, and never with his connivance ; that indeed they had 
set aside his positive conunands, and had locked him up in the 
cabin. OflFer was made at the same time to share with Bello- 
mont or the syndicate goods to the amount of $40,000. Bello- 
mont's answer was an invitation to Kidd to come to Boston 
coupled with the assurance that if the captain could make 
good his claims that he had been driven into piracy against his 
will he might count upon the governor's protection. Kidd ac- 
cordingly journeyed to Boston, but his story told at first hand 
failed to satisfy Lord Bellomont, and when he refused to dis- 
close the whereabouts of the "Quedah Merchant" unless Liv- 
ingston's bond in his favor was discharged — ^which refusal 
showed fine loyalty toward his friend — ^he was ar- 
rested with his crew and thrown into prison. Kidd 
and his fellows were detained in Boston for some 
months, and it was not imtil the summer of 1700 
that he was transported to England in a man-of-war sent 
out for the purpose. There he was confined for another year 
while evidence against him was sought in the East Indies. 
Meantime so much discussion had been aroused in England 
that when he was finally brought to trial, in the spring of 1701, 
his case had grown to be one of great political importance. King 
and ministers had, indeed, become so alarmed with the aspect of 
the aflFair as to regard the hanging of the captain as the only 
sure means of clearing their own skirts. 

This view of the case is borne out by the r^ord of the 
trial. Kidd was first brought to the bar of the Old Bailey on 
a charge of murdering the gunner, William Moore, and a con- 
viction secured before the charge of piracy was pressed against 
him. Kidd's defense as to the first charge was that Moore was 
engaged in mutiny, and rightfully slain, and to the second that 
he had only captured vessels sailing under French colors, except 
in one or two cases when his men overpowered him and took the 
command out of his hands. The prosecution did not break down 
this defense; but the fortunes of the Whig party as well as 

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Kidd's life were at stake, and the jury, as probably had been 
determined from the beginning, brought him in guilty. This 
was on May 9, 1701, and three days later Kidd was hanged. 
Doubtless he deserved his fate, but it is also probable that he 
would have gone free had not his misdeeds involved far larger 
interests than his own. 

Be this as it may, Kidd's execution closes the record of 
New York's participation, open or disguised, in the Red Sea, 
for long before it occurred Lord Bellomont had brought to a 
victorious end the work cut out for him by his royal master. 
He found the task a by no means easy one. "I am obliged," he 
wrote to the king, "to stand entirely upon my own legs. My 
assistants hinder me, the people oppose me, and the merchants 
threaten me. It is indeed uphill work." Richard of Bellomont, 
however, was not the man to be dismayed by obstacles. The 
collector of the port of New York, though his own kinsman, 
he cashiered for remissness in enforcing the laws; William 
NicoU was dismissed from the council charged with being the 
agent through whom Fletcher had carried on business with the 
pirates; and, when the covert opposition of the leading mer- 
chants changed to open hostility, he did not hesitate to remove 
or suspend from office five other members of his council. 
His enenties, made desperate by his resolute ways, finally 
sent an attorney to England to pray for his removal by 
the king, who was assured that his continuance in office would 
ruin the commerce of the colony ; but this prayer was promptly 
answered by the condemnation of Fletcher ; nor did the charge 
that Lx)rd Bellomont had himself, through his connection with 
Kidd, been a promoter of piracy serve to stay his hand or shake 
him in the esteem of the home powers. It was a pretty fight 
while it lasted, yet shrewd men saw that it could have but one 
ending. Lord Bellomont's position was sustained in every 
point raised against him, and when he died, piracy and sea-steal- 
ing at second hand had become extinct industries in the prov- 
ince of New York. 

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A STEADY widening and quickening of the democratic 
spirit is the thread upon which the historian must string 
the story of New York during the earlier decades of the 
eighteenth century. And it is a story studded thickly with stir- 
ring and dramatic episodes. When the Earl of Bellomont died 
suddenly, in 1702, control of affairs in the province fell into the 
hands of John Nanfan, the lieutenant-governor. Nanfan, like 
Bellomont, was a warm sympathizer with the Leislerian party, 
which then counted a majority both in the assembly and in the 
council, but he lacked Bellomont's resolute ability to control 
and restrain warring factions, and the Leislerian leaders were 
not slow to take sweeping, and in a measure resentful, advan- 
tage of this fact. An act was forthwith passed by the assem- 
bly to enable the Leisler family to institute lawsuits for dam- 
ages which they alleged they had sustained at the hands of the 
Aristocratic party during the change from the House of Stuart 
to the House of Orange, while Robert Livingston, one of Leis- 
ler's bitterest foes, was removed from his office of secretary of 
Indian affairs and collector of customs. Livingston's accounts 
were known to be then in the hands of Lady Bellomont, but, 
nevertheless, demand was made for them by the assembly, and, 
upon his failure to produce them, he was pronounced a de- 
faulter, and expelled from the council, his property being con- 
fiscated for the public good. 

Still harsher measures were adopted in the case of another 
of Leisler's whilom enemies — Nicholas Bayard. Early in 
1702 word reached New York that Lord Combury had been 
named to succeed to Lord Bellomont, and Bayard headed a 
petition to the crown, signed by most of the Aristocratic lead- 
ers, which savagely denounced Nanfan and the Leislerians, and 

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prayed that the new governor might be sent with all possible 
haste. When news of this petition reached Nanfan he at once 
gave orders that Bayard and John Hutchings, an alderman of 
the city who had been active in procuring signatures to the ob- 
noxious paper, should be arrested and thrown into jail. Ten 
years before Bayard, to secure Leisler's condemnation, had 
secured from the assembly summoned by Sloughter, the 
passage of an act which provided that "any person who should 
endeavor by any manner of way, or upon any pretence, by force 
of arms or otherwise, to disturb the peace, good and quiet of 
the province, should be esteemed rebels and traitors, and should 
incur the pains and penalties which the laws of England had 
provided for such oflFence." The weapon forged for use 
against an enemy was now invoked for its maker's own undoing. 
Indictments for rebellion and treason were, accordingly, found 
against Bayard and Hutchings, and the chief justice and so- 
licitor-general of the province, both ardent Leislerians, haled 
them for trial before a court made up of their declared foes. 
Despite the efforts of their friends and counsel, both men were 
found guilty, and both sentenced to be disembowelled and 
quartered. 

This sentence, however, was never carried into execution. 
Instead, a reprieve was granted the condemned men until 
the king's pleasure should be known, and the arrival of Lord 
Combury, in May, 1702, suddenly and completely changed the 
posture of aflFairs. The new governor was the eldest son of 
the Earl of Qarendon, and a near kinsman of Queen Anne, 
who a few weeks before had succeeded King William on the 
English throne. His first act upon his arrival was to de- 
nounce the doings of the Leislerians, and espouse the cause of 
the Aristocratic party. The assembly was dissolved and its 
acts annulled; Livingston was restored to his offices and es- 
tates, and Basrard and Hutchings were set free, while the chief 
justice and the solicitor-general, who had secured their con- 

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demnation, were compelled, under assumed names, to seek a 
refuge in Virginia. 

A further taste of Combury's quality, however, proved 
him a bigot and a tyrant, and served, ere long, to unite all 
classes against him. During the summer of 1702 New York 
was scourged by an epidemic of yellow fever, and the fright- 
ened town folk fled the city by hundreds. G>rnbury and his 
council took quarters at Jamaica on Long Island. Many of 
the residents of that village were Presbyterians, who had lately 
built a small church and bought a house and glebe for the use 
of their minister. The manse was the best house in the town, 
and the minister, in a spirit of hospitality, tendered it for the 
governor's accommodation, removing with his family to a 
nearby cottage. Combury's requital of this courteous act took 
curious shape. An act passed by the assembly in Fletcher's 
time had provided for the building of a church in New York, 
another in Richmond, two in Westchester and two in Suffolk, 
in each of which was to be settled a Protestant minister, to be 
paid by a tax levied on the inhabitants. The word Protestant 
in this act has been construed to mean Episcopal. The church 
at Jamaica had been built by a vote of the freeholders, which 
did not secure it to the use of any particular denomination, and 
there was a handful of Episcopalians in the town, who, em- 
boldened by the presence of the governor among them, resolved 
to profit by the act of Fletcher's assembly. A number of them, 
accordingly, seized the church of a Sunday morning, and, when 
the Presbyterians sought to expel them by force, the governor 
promptly interfered to sustain the claims of the intruders. 
Worse still, with his sanction, the sheriff seized upon the glebe, 
and leased it for the benefit of the Episcopal party, while 0>m- 
bury, on his return to New York, instead of restoring the par- 
sonage to his host, surrendered it into the hands of the Episco- 
pal clergyman, who occupied it as his place of residence. 

Combury's persecution of the Presbyterians, who were 
seeking a foothold in other parts of the colony, did not end with 

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the Jamaica incident Four years later two preachers of this 
5ect, Francis Makemie and John Hampton, journeying from 
Virginia to New England, halted in New York, and were in- 
vited to occupy the pulpits of the Dutch . and Huguenot 
chtu-ches. The invitation, however, was coupled with the 
proviso that they should first obtain the consent of the gov- 
ernor, for Combury, who. Smith tells us, "was averse to every 
sect except his own," had now set up the rule that neither min- 
ister nor schoolmaster should preach or instruct in the province 
without a license from him. It was declined by Makemie and 
Hampton on the ground that "they had the queen's authority 
to preach anywhere in her dominions," and while cm the fol- 
lowing Sunday the former addressed the Presbyterians of the 
city at a private house, the latter preached in the Presbyterian 
church at Newtown, Long Island. The governor, when he 
heard of their doings, ordered that they should be arrested 
and brought before him. "The law," he told them, "will not 
permit me to countenance strolling preachers, who, for aught I 
know to the contrary, may be Papists in disguise. You must 
first qualify yourselves by satisf)ring the government you are 
fit persons to occupy a pulpit before you can be permitted to 
preach." Makemie, smarting under the indignity to which 
he and his comrade had been subjected, made defiant answer 
that he had qualified himself according to law in Virginia, and 
that, having done so, he "would preach in any part of the 
Queen's dominions, as well as in Virginia, and that the license 
he had obtained there was as good as any he could obtain in 
New York." This ended the interview, and the clergymen 
were committed to jail, where they lay for many weeks. Mean- 
time, public opinion, irrespective of sect, was earnestly aroused 
in behalf of the imprisoned men, and their trial, when it at 
length came on, resulted, "amid great excitement and great 
cheering," in their complete acquittal. Thus, through the 
obstinate bigotry of a small-minded governor, was settled, once 
for all, the question of religious liberty for the province. 

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Combury's questionable part in this aflfair met with sharp 
rebuke from those who knew that his assumption of religious 
zeal was a cloak to hide a vicious private life. A dissolute 
spendthrift, he did not hesitate to accept bribes thinly disguised 
as gifts, or to make free with the public money. There were 
frequent disputes between the governor and the assembly, which 
took a keener edge as time went on, and ended, in 1708, in a 
sharp refusal to continue his yearly salary. Moreover, the as- 
sembly coupled this refusal with a series of resolutions which 
denounced the governor's misdeeds in good set terms, declar- 
ing that they would, if continued, "prove the ruin of the col- 
ony." These resolutions, along with divers petitions asking 
for Cornbury's removal, were forwarded to the home govern- 
ment, and upon their receipt Queen Anne, with some reluctance, 
revoked her kinsman's conmiission. The deposed governor's 
last days in the colony were troubled ones, for as soon as news 
of his downfall reached New York, his creditors threw him into 
the debtor's prison. There he remained until the death of his 
father made him Earl of Qaredon, and brought him money 
to pay his debts. Then he departed for England, and Amer- 
ica saw him no more. 

Combury's place was taken by Lord Lovelace, nephew 
of the nobleman who succeeded Nicolls, but the new governor 
died a few months after his arrival in the colony, and in 1710 
direction of the government was assumed by Robert Hunter, 
whose term lasted nine years. Both under Lovelace and Hunter, 
the assembly, having learned wisdom from experience, refused 
the grant of a permanent revenue, and declared its purpose to 
vote none but annual appropriations, thus making the salary of 
the governor dependent upon his good conduct. Hunter 
chafed at the salutary check-rein placed upon him by his 
assembly, but his gracious personality and upright ways won 
him the hearts of the colonists, and there was keen regret 
when, in 1719, failing health compelled his return to Eng- 
land. He was succeeded by William Burnet, son of the 

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famous prelate and historian, and himself a man of exceptional 
parts and capacity as his course as governor bore witness. Bur- 
net continued at the head of affairs tmtil the accession of George 
II. in 1728, when he was transferred to the governorship of 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He was succeeded by 
John Montgomery, who died in 1731, and the next year came 
William Q>sby, who had lately retired from the governorship 
of Minorca, leaving unsavory memories behind him. 

The new governor was a needy and grasping adventurer of 
the Combury t)^e, and, like Combury, he lost no time in fur- 
nishing proof of these facts, for one of his first acts after his 
arrival in the province was to demand an equal division of the 
salary and perquisites of the governorship since the date of his 
appointment between himself and Rip van Dam, a leading mer- 
chant of New York, who, as president of the council, had con- 
ducted affairs during the interregnum after Montgomery's 
death. Van Dam refused to comply with this demand, and 
Cosby, to recover the half of the salary which he claimed, in- 
stituted proceedings before the judges of the supreme court sit- 
ting as barons of the Exchequer. Two judges of this court, 
James De Lancey and Adolphus Philipse, were known to be 
intimate friends of Cosby, and, on this account, Van Dam's 
counsel excepted to its jurisdiction, and sought to institute a 
suit at common law. Lewis Morris, the chief justice, sup- 
ported their plea, but it was overruled by Delancey and Philipse, 
who declared the cause of Van Dam lost and ordered him to 
pay half of his salary to the governor. Then Cosby removed 
the independent Morris, and named De Lancey chief justice in 
his stead, at the same time suspending Van Dam and several of 
his friends from the council. 

The governor had triumphed, but in a way which bred 
righteous anger in the mind of every lover of fair play in the 
province. And the triumph was only for the moment. Cosby's 
discomfiture was already making, and with it one of the su- 
preme incidents in colonial history. Since 1725 there had been 

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a newspaper in the colony, the New York Gazette, edited by 
WiUiam Bradford, an Englishman, who, in 1693, had set up the 
first press in the colony. Bradford was printer to the gov- 
ernment, and in his journal gave support to the cause of Cosby. 
Van Dam and his friends, therefore, resolved without delay upon 
a newspaper which should champion their own cause, and, while 
the proceedings before the court of exchequer were still in 
progress they aided John Peter Zenger, an energetic young 
Grerman and former apprentice of Bradford, in setting up the 
New York Weekly Journal. Zenger was himself a writer of 
pith and quality, and he had to aid him in his warfare upon 
Coshy and his council the caustic pens of William Smith and 
James Alexander, two of the ablest lawyers in the colony. Week 
by week the Journal poured upon the opposition a steady stream 
of sarcasm and invective. The wit and pungency of these at- 
tacks were keenly relished by the commonality. The governor 
and his councillors, on the other hand, writhed under them, and 
finally, in November, 1734, ordered that four numbers of the 
oflFending journal should be burned at the pillory by the com- 
mon hangman, in presence of the mayor and aldermen. The 
latter, however, declared the order illegal and forbade its ex- 
ecution by the hangman. The papers, in the end, were burned 
by one of the sheriflF's negro slaves. 

Then Zenger was arrested on a warrant from the governor 
and council, which charged him with publishing seditious libels, 
and thrown into prison. De Lancey, moreover, disbarred Zen- 
ger's lawyers, Smith and Alexander, so that "he had to be de- 
fended by one imported from Philadelphia when finally brought 
to trial in the summer of 1735. But the people made Zenger's 
cause their own, and stood resolutely by him ; while every ounce 
of possible pressure and influence from the Crown officials was 
brought to bear against him. The defense was that the state- 
ments asserted to be libellous were true. The attorney general 
for the Crown took the ground that if true the libel was only 
so much the greater. The judges instructed the jury that this 

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was the law; but the jury refused to be bound and acquitted 
Zenger. The acquittal, which definitely secured the complete 
liberty of the press, was hailed with clamorous joy by the mass 
of the population; and it gave an immense impetus to the 
growth of the spirit of independence." 

The five-and-twenty years between the acquittal of Zenger 
and the accession of George III. to the English throne, though 
attended by an almost continuous struggle between the repre- 
sentatives of the Crown and the representatives of the people, 
passed without moving incident in New York. During these 
years half a dozen royal governors played their brief parts on 
the colonial stage. Cosby died suddenly in 1736, and his place 
was taken by George Clarke, a long-time resident of the colony, 
who as lieutenant-governor directed aflFairs for seven years. 
Then came Admiral George Qinton, a sailor turned ruler, who 
at the end of a decade gave way to Sir Danvers Osborne. The 
latter died by his own hand on the morrow of his arrival in the 
colony, and after an interregnum of two years, filled by James 
De Lancey, as lieutenant-governor. Sir Charles Hardy, another 
sailor turned ruler, succeeded to the governorship. Each of 
these men sooner or later found himself at odds with the provin- 
cial assembly. Most often the point in contention was whether 
the grant for the colony to the officers of the crown should be a 
permanent one, or only for a limited period. The assembly 
held stubbornly to the latter view, insisting also, as time went 
on, that all grants should be for specific purposes. The gov- 
ernors, on the other hand, saw in the stand taken by the assem- 
bly an infringement of the royal prerogative, and in some years, 
owing to the obstinacy of the one and the inflexibility of the 
other, supplies were not granted at all. 

Religious differences also helped to shape the leadership 
and following of the rival factions. Most of the court party, 
which included the crown officials and the larger portion of the 
local aristocracy, were members of the Episcopal Church, or the 
Church of England as it was then, while the much more num- 

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erous Presbyterians, and the majority of the Dutch and Hugue- 
not congregations, formed the bulk of the popular party, where- 
in such of the gentry as set belief in freedom above pride of 
caste also found their proper place. The Episcopalian De Lan- 
ceys and Johnsons were the leaders of the court, and the Pres- 
byterian Livingstons and Morrises of the popular party. Dur- 
ing this period and until the separation from England the court 
party ruled town and colony, and divided all the patronage of 
the government. This, in the end, however, "proved a dearly 
bought advantage. Gratitude for past benefits naturally at- 
tached the leaders of the court party to the Crown, and secured 
their loyalty or neutrality during the Revolution. Loyalty at 
the close of that struggle brought confiscation of their estates, 
and neutrality long deprivation of political honors and influence, 
while the Livingstons and Morrises enjoyed the highest posi- 
tions of trust and honor." 

The strife between factions in New York was, for the mo- 
ment, thrust into the background by the French and Indian war 
which began in 1754 and ended nine years later in the British 
acquisition of Canada. During this contest New York, while 
contributing her quota to the operations by land, sent forth a 
swarm of well-armed and well-manned vessels to pluck and 
harass the enemy on the seas. "There are now thirty privateers 
out of the place, and ten more on the stocks and launched," runs 
a letter to a London merchant, written in January, 1757, and 
the writer adds : "They have had hitherto good success, having 
brought in fourteen prizes, value one hundred thousand 
pounds." A year later, the Mercury gives a list of upward of 
eighty captures made by the New York fleet since the beginning 
of the war, and about the same time Lieutenant-Governor De 
Lancey, writing to Secretary Pitt, declares that "the country is 
drained of many able-bodied men by almost a madness to go a 
privateering." Most often those who went a privateering, and 
these included many Long Islanders, had golden rewards for 
their labors, the value of their prizes before the war's end 

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mounting into the millions. But whether they lost or won 
the ships and sailors of New York never failed to display a reso- 
lute fighting spirit, and the record of their battles is of a sort to 
stir the pulse of the stolidest man. "On the tenth instant," 
reports the Mercury, in October, 1757, "the privateer sloop 
Weasel, Captain Fenton, returned here almost an entire wreck, 
having lost his mast, his boom, his best anchor and four of his 
guns in a violent gale of wind." Yet no whit dismayed by his 
dismantled condition. Captain Fenton, when he fell in with a 
ship and snow of the enemy, "made all the sail he could, and 
about seven o'clock, came up with the ship, when he engaged 
her and the snow with only six g^s, and without a mast, for 
three glasses, and would have boarded one of them, but his 
sloop would not turn to the windward, having seventy-five stout 
men on board. Finding it impracticable," the report concludes, 
"to attempt anything of the kind, as his consort could not come 
up to his assistance, he sheered off to mend his rigging, the lit- 
de he had being almost shot away." 

The Peace of Paris, signed in 1763, ended the war which 
had sent these sturdy fighters to sea. Two years later came the 
passage of the Stamp Act, and the banning of the contest that 
was to give independence to the colonies. During the long 
premiership of Sir Robert Walpole, the first two Georges had 
been king in little more than name. George III., however, 
came to the English throne in 1760, determined, in dogged, nar- 
row fashion, to rule as well as to reign. And, the better to ef- 
fect his purpose, the new king sought from the first not only to 
break down the growing system of cabinet government in Eng- 
land, but also to set at defiance the demand of the American 
colonies that there should be no taxation without representation. 
The last half of the programme appeared easiest of accomplish- 
ment, and to it George III. first bent his energies. A weak 
man is pretty sure to surround himself with vicious and short- 
sighted advisers, and the king found advisers of this sort in 
George Grenville and Charles Townshend, who in April, 1763, 

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took office, the one as prime minister and the other as first lord 
of trade; with especial control of colonial affairs. Both of these 
men were in full sympathy with the policy of their royal 
master; and so it was that in March, 1764, Grenville announced 
in the House of Gammons the intention of the government to 
raise a revenue in America by requiring all legal doctunents to 
bear stamps. Need of money to help defray the expenses of the 
French war was the excuse offered for this intention which a 
year hence was to take effect in a formal enactment. 

News of the proposed Stamp Act provoked angjy protest 
from the Americans. The colonies had contributed more than 
an equitable share both in men and money to the expenses of 
the French war, and they were willing, as of old, to generously 
contribute from their resources to the needs of the empire ; but 
one and all, speaking through their several assemblies, declared 
that they could not rightfully be taxed by the House of Gam- 
mons unless they were represented in that body. New York 
was especially earnest in its protests, and the memorial which 
its assembly adopted and forwarded to the Grenville ministry 
was couched in terms so vigorous that no member of Parliament 
was found bold enough to present it. Remonstrances, how- 
ever, were without avail. By reason of the rotten borough sys- 
tem, which excluded the most progressive parts of the kingdom 
from representation in Parliament, the friends of America 
counted but a small minority in the House of Commons, and 
early in 1765 the Stamp Act became a law. New York, in cchh- 
mon with her sister colonies, received the news of its passage 
with hot indignation. The citizens resolved upon the instant 
that no stamped paper should be used among them, while copies 
of the act, with a death's-head substituted for the royal arms, 
were hawked about the colony under the title of "The Folly of 
England and the Ruin of America." Nor was formal and united 
defiance long delayed. The Massachusetts legislature dis- 
patched a circular letter to all the colonies calling for a general 
congfress to concert measures of resistance, and on the seventh 

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of October delegates from nine of the colonies assembled at 
New York. Robert R. Livingston headed the New York dele- 
gation, and Timothy Ruggles, of Massachusetts, was chosen 
president of the O^ngjess. The session lasted three weeks, 
and bore fruit in memorials to the King and to both Houses of 
Parliament, and in a declaration of rights which set forth with 
masterly skill the claims and grievances of the colonies. 

The spirit of resistance, meantime, found expression in less 
formal but not less decisive ways. Barre, while the Stamp Act 
was being debated in the House of Commons, had referred to 
the Americans as the Sons of Liberty, and this name was now 
taken by a secret order which spread with electric speed through 
the eastern and middle colonies. The Sons of Liberty were sol- 
emnly pledged to resist the execution of the obnoxious act, and • 
in New York they had for leaders such men as Isaac Sears, John 
Morin Scott, Marinus Willett, Alexander McDougall and John 
Lamb — ^all patriots of invincible ardor. A meeting which these 
men had set afoot was held on the last day of October, and 
adopted an agreement, then or later subscribed to by more than 
two hundred merchants, to import no goods from England until 
the Stamp Act should be repealed. The same meeting ap- 
pointed a committee, made up of prominent members of the 
Sons of Liberty, to urge upon the other colonies the adoption 
of like measures of resistance, and gave further earnest of its 
purpose by offering a reward for the detection of any person 
who should make use of the stamped paper. 

The morrow of this meeting was the day appointed for the 
Stamp Act to take effect. Sir Qiarles Hardy had retired from 
the governorship of New York in 1757, leaving the government 
once more in the hands of James De Lancey, the lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. De Lancey died in 1760, and in the following year Gen- 
eral Robert Monckton, who then commanded the royal forces 
in the cdony, succeeded to the governorship. But Monckton 
returned to England in 1763, and when the Stamp Act was 
passed Cadwallader Colden, the lieutenant-governor, was the 

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chief representative of royal authority in New York. The son 
of a Scottish parson, and educated at the University of Edin- 
burgh Colden was a man of parts and of sound and varied 
scholarship. He was, however, wholly lacking in sympathy 
with popular government. Long residence in the colony had, 
therefore, failed to win him the respect and liking of his neigh- 
bors, and the course which he now adopted speedily provoked 
their bitter enmity. "I shall give you no countenance," he told 
a committee of the Stamp Act Congress, when they asked his 
sympathy and aid. A fortnight later the stamps allotted to 
New York arrived from England. James McEvers, stamp dis- 
tributor for the colony, refused to receive them and resigned 
his commission, but Gulden had them conveyed to the govern- 
ment house within the fort, and on the last day of October took 
oath to carry the Stamp Act into effect. 

All Saint's Day, which had been selected by all the colonies 
as a day of protest, passed without incident in New York; but it 
was the lull before the storm. Early in the evening, some hun- 
dreds of citizens led by the Sons of Liberty assembled on the 
Common or Fields, now City Hall Park, where on an improvised 
gallows they hanged Colden in effigy, beside a figure of the devil 
that held in its stuffed hand a big boot, che symbol of Lord Bute, 
the reputed author of the Stamp Act. Then the mob formed a 
torchlight procession, and carrying gibbet and effigies, marched 
down Broadway to the fort. General Thomas Gage, com- 
mander-in-chief of the British forces in America, had his 
headquarters in New York, and the town was filled with sol- 
diers. Moreover, Colden, a few days before, had caused the 
garrison of the fort to be strengthened, and its guns to be loaded 
with grape and turned up Broadway. But threat of death did 
not dismay the angry men who now came swarming down thai 
thoroughfare. They placed the gibbet against the door of the 
fort, under the mouths of the cannon, and they hammered the 
door with clubs, the while daring the soldiers drawn up on the 
ramparts to fire upon them. Next they broke open the stable 

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of the lieutenant-governor, dragged out his chariot, and put the 
stuffed figures into it. Then, in full sight of Colden and the 
garrison, they tore down the wooden fence that enclosed the 
Bowling Green, and, upcoi a bonfire kindled from this material^ 
burned chariot, gibbet and effigies. Nor was this the end of 
the night's work. Major Thomas James, commandant at Fort 
George, was a noisy champion of the Stamp Act, and had 
boasted that he would "cram the stamps down the rebel 
throats." While the bonfire on the Bowling Green was still 
burning, a part of the crowd made their way to the residence of 
James, rifled it of its rich furniture, and burned their loot in 
another bonfire. James at a later time was indemnified for his 
losses, but like satisfaction was refused Colden, who, it was 
held, had received just if lawless punishment for his folly. 

Gage, during this eventful night, did not dare to use the 
military, for fear of bringing on a civil war ; and on the morrow, 
Colden, retreating from the bold stand he had taken in behalf 
of the law, delivered the stamps to the mayor and common coun- 
cil, by whom they were at once locked up in the city hall. This 
ended the contest, for when Sir Henry Moore, then on his way 
from England to assume the governorship, reached New York, 
his first act, after taking office, was to declare that he would 
have nothing to do with the hated papers. Scenes very like 
those just described had meanwhile been enacted in all the 
colonies. The stamp officers, almost to a man, were compelled 
to resign their posts ; the stamps upon their arrival were burned 
or thrown into the sea ; and in every town leading merchants 
agreed to import no more goods from England. Thus the fact 
was clearly brought home to the authorities in England that the 
act could never be enforced without a war. The Marquis of 
Rockingham was now prime minister, having replaced Grenville 
in July, 1765; Conway, a stout friend of the Americans, was 
secretary of state for the colonies in the new ministry ; and the 
issue of these changed conditions was the unconditional repeal 
of the Stamp Act in February, 1766. 

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There was an outburst of enthusiastic loyalty when late in 
May news of the repeal reached New York. But the era of 
good feeling thus inaugurated lasted little more than a twelve- 
month. In July, 1766, Townshend, the evil genius of George 
III., again became chancellor of the exchequer, and in the fol- 
lowing year, urged on by the King, he pushed through Parlia- 
ment new measures for taxing America. The Townshend acts 
of 1767 imposed duties on wine, oil and fruits if carried to the 
colonies from Spain or Portugal; on glass, lead and painter's 
colors ; and lastly on tea. The revenue from these duties was 
to be devoted to paying a fixed salary to the royal governors and 
to the judges appointed at the King's pleasure, while the crown 
was also empowered to create a general civil list in each colony, 
and to gjant salaries and pensions at will. Townshend thus 
aimed a deadly blow at American self-government; but even 
more galling to the colonists were the temper and purpose be- 
hind a special act which at the same time received the sanction 
of Parliament. The people of New York, under the Mutiny 
Act passed in the previous year, had been required to furnish 
quarters for all soldiers stationed among them by ro)ral com- 
mand, and to provide certain supplies for their maintenance. 
The colonial assembly, however, had put aside the special in- 
structions irqm England, and insisted upon providing these 
supplies in its own way. Parliament, to rebuke this bold spirit, 
now passed an act suspending the legislative power of the as- 
sembly, and forbidding the governor to assent to any bill from 
it until it should have complied with the terms of the Mutiny 
Act. The assembly, nevertheless, met as usual, and continued 
to transact business until formally dissolved by the governor. 
Moreover, when a new assembly, convened in 1768, yielded to 
the royal demands, a gjeat meeting held on the Commcm sternly 
rebuked its submission, while the leaders of the Sons of Liberty 
openly charged it with a betrayal of its trust. 

A swift fever ere this had made an end of Townshend, but 
not before the acts of which he was the author had again ar- 

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rayed all the colonies in open hostility to the crown. Leading 
merchants in most of the towns once more agreed, as in the case 
of the Stamp Act, to import no English goods tmtil the Towns- 
hend acts should be repealed ; and so faithfully was the agree- 
ment kept that trade with England was brought almost to a 
standstill. This bred distress and panic amcmg those inter- 
ested over sea ; the merchants of London, seeing ruin ahead ot 
them, earnestly petitioned Parliament that the new taxes be 
taken off ; and after long discussion Lord North, who was now 
at the head of the exchequer, promised the repeal of all the 
Townshend acts, save the one which laid duty on tea. That 
was the least of the taxes, and the King insisted upon its reten- 
tion, to save the principle of the bill and show that Parliament 
had not reconsidered its right to tax the colonies. 

Late in January, 1770, Lord North became prime 
minister of England, and in April following he car- 
ried through Parliament the promised repeal of all the 
Townshend acts, except the one imposing duty on 
tea. The first effect of this partial repeal was to 
weaken the spirit of oppositicm in the colonies. The 
merchants of New York withdrew in July from the non-im- 
portation agreement, and sent orders to England for all sorts of 
merchandise except tea. Before the end of the simimer most 
of the other colonies while denouncing New York's defection, 
followed her example, and for the mcwnent brought to naught 
the non-importation policy which hitherto had been relied upon 
to force the repeal of the Tea Act. Nevertheless, on both sides 
of the sea, clear-headed men had been quick to perceive that a 
compromise which yielded nothing in the matter of principle 
would do no lasting good ; nor was George III. the sort of man 
to rest content with a barren victory. Instead, he hastened to 
make use of what seemed to the royal mind a favorable oppor- 
ttmity for a final test of the tax on tea. The East India Com- 
pany was in sore need of money, partly through loss of its 
American trade, for the colonists since the passage of theTowns- 

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hend acts had smuggled their tea from Holland. Mere force 
could not stop the smuggling, but, and this without abating the 
duty of three pence on a pound, a way might be found to sell 
English tea in America cheaper than foreign tea. The East 
India Company paid twelve pence to the royal treasury on every 
pound of tea it imported, and that it might sell its tea cheap in 
America, it was now relieved of this tax on all consignments to 
the colonies. The Americans, argued the King and his ad- 
visers, would no longer object to the principle involved in the 
duty when they found that, despite its retention, English tea 
could be bought for less than the tea smuggted from Holland. 
Accordingly, in the fall of 1773, the East India G>mpany sent 
tea-laden ships to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Charles- 
ton, where agents had been appointed to receive the tea. 

An ingenious scheme for ensnaring the colonists, but the 
sequel proved that they were of one mind in the determinaticm 
to buy nothing with a parliamentary tax on it. When the 
Dartmouth, first of the tea-ships, arrived at Boston late in No- 
vember, a band of patriots disguised as Indians, threw the chests 
overboard ipto the harbor. A few days afterward at Philadel- 
phia, the ship designed for that port was stepped before it had 
come within the jurisdiction of the custom house, and its cap- 
tain forthwith compelled to set sail for England. At Charles- 
ton the tea was landed, but the consignees having resigned, 
there was not one to receive it or pay the duty, and a public 
meeting saw to its secure disposal in a damp cellar. New York, 
when the time came, followed an equally effective course. A 
great meeting held at the City Hall resolved not to permit the 
landing of the tea, and the Sons of Liberty promptly reor- 
ganized to shape this resolve into deeds. Adverse winds de- 
layed the arrival of the Nancy, the tea-ship destined for New 
York. When she finally reached the Hook on the eighteenth 
of April, 1774, she was not allowed to enter the bay, and her 
captain, convinced that he had come cm a bootless errand, sailed 
again for England. He got off more easily than the skipper of 

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the merchant ship London, which arrived about the same time 
with sundry boxes of tea hidden in her cargo. The Liberty 
Boys boarded the London in open day, threw the chests into the 
harbor, and bade the captain cross the Atlantic, which he was 
wise enough to do peaceably and without delay. 

Once more was the issue squarely joined between crown 
and colonies. The Americans would not obey Parliament, and 
would be governed only through their own assemblies. King 
and ministers must now abate their claims, or resort to force, 
and choice of the latter weapon meant revolution. 



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The Revolution and After 



THE King and his ministers resolved to resort to force. 
"To repeal the tea duty would stamp us with timidity," 
said Lord North, when such a measure was proposed. 
Instead, he forthwith framed four acts designed to make 
refactory Massachusetts an example to the other colon- 
ies. One act closed the port of Boston, transferring 
its trade to Salem, until the former town should 
have indemnified the East India Company for the loss 
of its tea. A second act suspended the charter of the 
colony. A third provided for the quartering of troops within 
the province ; and a fourth legalized the transfer to England of 
trials growing out of attempts to quell riots in the colony. All 
four, despite the strenuous opposition of Burke, Barre, Fox and 
other friends of the colonies, were passed by Parliament in 
April, 1774, and were regarded by George III., as he himself 
declared, "with supreme satisfaction." 

News of their passage reached America early in June, and 
the king's war upon Massachusetts at once arrayed all the colo- 
nies in her defense. "Don't pay for an ounce of their damned 
tea," ran the message sent by Christopher Gadsden, South Caro- ' 
Una's patriot leader, to the men of Boston; Colonel George 
Washington, of Virginia, declared that if need be he would raise 
a thousand men, subsist them at his own expense, and march 
at their head to the relief of the town, while the sympathy of the 
Sons of Liberty in New York took practical shape in a proposal 
for a Ccmtinental Congress. This proposal, made at the in- 
stance of John Jay, a yotmg lawyer of Huguenot descent, found 
quick and general approval, and every colony save distant 
Georgia sent delegates to the Congress which assembled at Phil- 
adelphia in September. Jay headed the New York delegation, 

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and led in the framing of a declaration of colonial rights, which 
claimed for the American people "a free and exclusive power of 
l^slation in their provincial l^islatures, where their rights of 
legislation could alone be preserved in all cases of taxation and 
internal polity." The Congress, besides adopting this declara- 
tion, formed an association pledged to import no goods from 
England or the West Indies, and before it dissolved on October 
26 appointed the tenth of the following May for a second Qm- 
g^ess. A little later New York's half-royalist assembly ad- 
journed, never to meet again, and its place was taken by a 
Provincial Congress. This body, made up in the main of un- 
yielding patriots, had not yet b^:un its labors, when on a Sun- 
day afternoon in April, 1775, news came speeding from the 
eastward that the battle of Lexington had been fought and that 
the appeal to arms had at last come. 

The position of the people of Long Island during this crit- 
ical period was a divided one, "'and the division ran often be- 
tween family relations and even households. Plenty of Tories 
were found in Kings county, but there were not a few ready to 
do battle for independence. Early in 1775 a call came from the 
New York committee of correspondence for the counties to elect 
delegates to a provincial convention to be held in New York 
City on April 20. Accordingly, a committee of del^;ates, 
chosen by the towns of Kings, met at the courthouse in Flat- 
bush, all but Flatlands, which chose to remain neutral, being 
represented, and named five delegates to go over to New York 
on April 20 and join in the selection of delegates to the Conti- 
nental Congress called to meet in May. This convention ad- 
journed the day before the news of Lexington, and thereupon 
the committee of correspondence by circulars requested the 
counties to choose deputies to a Provincial Congress to meet on 
May 24. A Long Island man, Nathaniel Woodhull, of Mas- 
tic, was chosen president of this body, but the deputies from 
Kings had to be admonished for their apathy and irregularity in 
attending the Congfress at all. The population of the Dutch 

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towns was generally loyal to the king, and there was also a num- 
erous and active royalist element in Queens county. Indeed, 
the latter county voted three to one against sending delegates 
to the Provincial Congress, and many of its citizens, after Lex- 
ington and Bunker Hill, armed themselves in support of the 
King. Such actions as these called for summary proceedings 
in return, and early in 1776 a patriot force under Colonel Heard 
of New Jersey was sent into Queens county to disarm the mal- 
contents. Heard, with six hundred men of his own command, 
and three hundred of Stirling's battalion, crossed at the Hell 
Gate ferry, and passing through Newtown township, vigor- 
ously carried out the directions of his superiors. A great num- 
ber of the inhabitants were deprived of side arms, guns, powder, 
and lead, and were made to subscribe an oath of obedience to 
Congress. Thereafter the Long Island lo3ralists resorted to 
other methods for furthering their cause, and the plot to capture 
or poison Washington after he had come to New York in April, 
1776, was hatched to a great extent at Flatbush. Ninety-eight 
persons were charged with having had a part in the plot, and of 
these fifty-six lived in Kings and Queens counties. Nor did 
the exposure of the conspiracy tend to decrease the ill-feelings 
cherished by the patriots toward the all too generally loyalist 
population of the Dutch towns. One must wonder why these 
descendants of the men who fought for liberty during eighty 
years should have been so sadly out of S3mipathy with a kindred 
struggle. They had never felt or exhibited any great affection 
for their English masters ; yet now they were prepared to make 
common cause with them against independence. It must have 
been the inertia of conservatism, superinduced by the easy pros- 
perity of their bucolic life and pursuits." 

Nevertheless the first avowed battle for independence was 
fought on Long Island. When Washington, having driven 
the British from Boston, removed his army to New York in the 
late spring of 1776, one of the points which he hastened to for- 
tify was Brooklyn Heights. This eminence commanded New 

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York exactly as Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights com- 
manded Boston, and possession of it was absolutely necessary 
to the Americans if they were to keep their hold upon the town. 
Greene, accordingly, spent the early simmier in fortifying it, 
and there 9,000 men, one-half of the patriot army, was con- 
centrated under Putnam, when late in June, the British Gen- 
eral Howe, sailing from Halifax, came to anchor oflF Long 
Island. In July his brother, the admiral, joined him with a 
formidable fleet and reinforcements that swelled his fighting 
force to 30,000 fully equipped and disciplined soldiers. 

It was Howe's purpose to carry the Americans' entrenched 
lines around Brooklyn, occupy Brooklyn Heights and drive 
Washington out of New York. With this design in mind, on 
August 22, he landed 20,000 men at Gravesend Bay, whence 
four roads led to the American position. Two of the roads 
crossed a range of densely wooded hills, one running through 
Bedford and the other through Flatbush village. A third fol- 
lowed the shore line to Gowanus Bay, and the fourth ran 
through Flatlands to Jamaica, turning the Americans' eastern 
base. Howe spent four days in reconnoitering. Then early 
on the morning of the 27th, while a part of his brother's fleet 
made a feint upon New York, to occupy Washington's atten- 
tion, he began his advance. Grant, with 5,000 Highlanders, 
marched along the Gowanus road to the western base of the 
hills where the American outposts were held by Lord Stirlingf's 
brigade, while Von Heister and his Hessians proceeded along 
the Bedford and Flatbush roads to the passes through the hills 
defended by Sullivan. Meantime, under cover of darkness, 
half of the British army, under Howe in person, accompanied 
by Comwallis, Qinton and Percy, pushed up the Jamaica road 
to take the Americans in flank. A patrol watching this road 
was captured early in the morning, and the flanking column 
gained the rear of the village of Bedford without being dis- 
covered. Thus, hardly had the fight begun on the crest of the 
hill between Von Heister and Sullivan, when the latter found 

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himself assaulted in the rear by Cornwallis, and caught between 
two fires — "outnumbered, ridden down and sabred by dra- 
goons, riddled by solid infantry, mowed by light batteries." 

Presently all that remained of the American left were pris- 
oners in the hands of the enemy or fugitives in the hills, and 
what fighting was still to be done was transferred to the Ameri- 
can right, where Grant with 5,000 men confronted Stirling's 
2,000 — the Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut regiments, 
with Atlee's rifle corps and Kitchline's Pennsylvania musketeers 
forming the advance. The British had already driven the 
American outposts from the Gowanus road, when Stirling 
formed his line of battle, stretching from Gowanus Bay to the 
Flatbush road, with his centre on Battle Hill, in what is now 
Greenwood Cemetery. About 10 o'clock Grant, having been re- 
enforced by two regiments from the fleet, began a fierce assault 
upon the Americans. Atlee's men on the skirmish-line were 
all killed or captured, and the Connecticut regiment, holding 
the Gowanus road, was overwhelmed and swept away. Then 
Von Heister and his Hessians poured in on Stirling's left and 
rear, to capture the Cortelyou house, which commanded the 
bridge over Gowanus creek. This onslaught was not to be 
resisted, and they gave no quarter, slaying the wounded and 
mutilating the slain. They were still at their savage work, 
when Cornwallis, fresh from the rout of Sullivan assaulted 
Stirling in the rear, and took the Cortelyou house. 

Then came a charge unsurpassed in all the annals of hero- 
ism. Stirling, bent upon saving his command from capture, 
quickly changed front, and taking with him the remnant of the 
Maryland regiment, now less than 400, under Major Nordecai 
Gist, he formed them, as best he could, at the junction of the 
present Tenth Street and Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, and hurled 
them against the enemy. "Artillery plowed their lines, infan- 
try rained lead into their ranks, and the Hessian jagers picked 
them off from the hills; but," says Palmer, "above the roar 
of the slaughter and the scream of the hideous cheers and jeers, 

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the shout of the patriot leaders rang loud and hearty, 'Close up ! 
Qose up!' — and the staggering but unflinching files, grown 
fearfully thin, closed up across the corpses of their fellows, and 
again turned their faces to the foe. They drove the British 
advance back upon the Cortelyou house, and never halted until 
'Comwallis poured grape and canister into their faces. The 
shattered column was driven back — ^but only for a breathing 
space to gather their hearts together, as Stirling pointed to the 
struggling masses in the water, choking, drowning and dying, 
and shouted, 'Qose up!' Panting, bloody, wild-eyed, they 
gathered about him once more and charged again — ^this time 
with such frantic impetus that they swept the gunners frcwn 
their battery, and dashed, like breakers, against the very walls 
of the house. Comwallis, astounded and confused, would have 
recoiled, but again the fire from the jagers on the heights drove 
those wild lads back — only to return three times to fling them- 
selves upon a re-enforced enemy ; of scarcely 350, the dead and 
the wounded prisoners numbered 271." The brave Stirling 
himself was taken prisoner, but through the valor of the men 
of Maryland "an hour more precious to American liberty than 
any other in its history had been gained; and the retreat of 
many hundreds of their countrymen covered. The carnage 
of a battle could scarcely have been more destructive than that 
retreat, for at this time no vestige of an army formation re- 
mained — only a mob of flying people, among whose masses 
officers and privates were borne undistinguished along." 

The close of the day found Putnam and his shattered army 
cooped up behind the works on Brodclyn Heights, watched by 
Howe's triumphant phalanxes. A thousand had been cap- 
tured, and 400 killed and wounded, mainly in the fight between 
Stirling and Grant. The Americans were now seemingly at 
the mercy of Howe ; but while the British general, sure of his 
quarry, planned the siege that was to dislodge them, Washing- 
ton, who had hastened across the river to take command in per- 
son, interposed one of those strokes of strategy that proved 

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him a master captain. Swiftly and secretly all the boats that 
could be found in either water from the Battery to the Har- 
lem, were assembled at the Brooklyn ferry, and the fishermen of 
Gloucester and Marblehead who manned them did their work 
so well that while a single foggy night held every man and ev- 
ery gun of the beaten army were landed on the New York 
side. And the King's generals, who had slept within hear- 
ing of the patriot camp, woke in the morning to find that the 
Americans had slipped away from them. The men of Mary- 
land played a leading part in this retreat. ''Besides those slain 
or captured on the field of their splendid fame, and others who 
had fallen at different points of the fight, some were drowned 
and some were shot while struggling through the Gowanus. 
But three companies," says Miss Dorsey, "had burst, by sheer 
force of hard fighting, through the girdle of flame and death 
when the rout began; and these with the small remnant of 
Gist's battalion, were joined to the Pennsylvanians of Shee and 
Magaw, with Glover's men of Marblehead, and from daybreak 
on the 28th to the evening of the 29th, though torn by the 
shock of battle, they stood on the skirmish-line twelve hours in 
the beating rain, and marched and countermarched all that 
night, to outwit the enemy. Finally, with no re-enforcement, 
except from the decimated battalion of Hazlett, they covered 
the retreat of the Continentals, and were the last to sail away 
in the wake of the friendly fog that saved the patriot army." 

The morrow of the retreat of the patriot army was marked 
by a brutal outrage, the story of which still stirs the blood. 
Nathaniel Woodhull, who had been president of the Provincial 
Congress, and was then brigadier-general of the militia of 
Queens and Suffolk counties, was stationed with a hundred men 
at Jamaica, awaiting orders from his superiors. None were 
sent him, and on August 28, finding the outposts of the enemy 
inconveniently near his own, he removed his men to a place four 
miles east of Jamaica. The same evening he set out to follow 
them, but, being overtaken by a storm, found refuge at a road- 

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Side tavern. Here he was surprised by a detachment of British 
under Colonel Oliver De Lancey. Surrender was the only 
alternative left to Woodhull, "but he had no sooner yielded up 
his sword than the major of the troops struck him a savage blow 
upon the head, and a second blow of the sword glanced down his 
arm, and severing the flesh from the bone, cut deep into the 
elbow joint. De Lancey stayed the hand of his subordinate; 
but did not relieve the scoundrelism of the act by seeing to it 
that the unfortunate prisoner received proper care. Instead; 
Woodhull was hurried to Jamaica and left to spend the night 
unattended in the bare church. He was next removed to a ship 
lying off New Utrecht, which had been used as a cattle trans- 
port for the British army. Here his condition moved 
a kind-hearted officer to apply for permission to remove 
him to a more comfortable place on shore, where 
too he could obtain surgical aid. He was carried first 
to the New Utrecht church, standing then in the 
graveyard at the comer of the Kings Highway and the 
present Sixteenth avenue. It was foimd necessary to ampu- 
tate the arm, as mortification had set in, but the operation was 
bunglingly performed, or was too late to stop the spread of the 
gangrene. He was then removed to a house next door to the 
church, and allowed to send for his wife, who nursed him ten- 
derly during the intervening weeks. Having bidden her bring 
with her as much money as she could, he generously distributed 
this among his fellow prisoners, whose dreadful plight he had 
witnessed, and whose miseries could only obtain relief from the 
sordid British officers by the offer of payment for the com- 
monest services of humanity. Death ended WoodhuU's suffer- 
ings three weeks after his capture," He was buried at his 
home, St. George's Manor, where a mtMiument marks his 
grave, with the inscription "Regretted by all who knew how to 
value his many private virtues, and that pure zeal for the rights 
of his country, to which he perished a victim." 

Washington could no more hold Manhattan Island with the 

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Historic Long Island 

forces at his command than he could hold Brooklyn Heights. 
He had already decided upon the evacuation of the city and had 
removed his headquarters to Harlem Heights, where on the fif- 
teenth of September Howe, crossing from Long Island landed 
his troops at Kip's Bay, near the present site of East Thirty- 
fourth street, and sought to sever the American army, scattered 
between the Battery and King's Bridge. The militiamen, upon 
whom Washington counted to delay a landing until Putnam 
with the divisions south of Kip's Bay should have time to re- 
treat, broke at the first fire, and Washington himself, vainly es- 
saying to stay their flight, was only saved f rc»n capture by one 
of his aides, who seized his bridle reins and forced him from 
the field. Howe, however, moved with such slowness that Put- 
nam, quickly warned of his peril and guided by young Aaron 
Burr, who knew every foot of the ground, was able, with small 
loss, to march his four thousand men up the shore of the Hud- 
son, until, passing Bloomingdale, he touched the right wing ot 
the main army, and was safe. 

Though Washington had been compelled to retire from 
New York, he was still resolved to fight whenever there was the 
least promise of success, and the morrow of Howe's landing 
was marked by a skirmish that put new hope and cheer into the 
hearts of the Americans. The British forces on the morning 
of the sixteenth of September extended in a diagonal line from 
the Beekman house, at Fifty-first street near the East River, 
where Howe had his headquarters, to the Apthorpe house, at 
Ninety-first street and Tenth avenue, where Clinton and Com- 
wallis were stationed. The American lines extended from the 
mouth of the Harlem westward across the island. Early in 
the morning of the sixteenth, Washington, anxious to force the 
hand of the enemy, sent Colonel Thomas Knowlton and his Con- 
necticut Rangers to reconnoitre. Knowlton's party came in 
contact with the British pickets at One Hundred and Fourth 
street and the Boulevard, then the Bloomingdale Road, and after 
a half hour's hard fighting were compelled to slowly give way 

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before superior numbers. The British now advanced and oc- 
cupied the hill near Grant's Tomb, but only to be made the vic- 
tims of a surprise planned by Washington. To draw them 
from the hill, the American commander threw a body of volun- 
teers into the valley to the south, known as The Hollow Way, 
while he ordered two hundred men under Knowlton and Major 
Andrew Leitch, of Virginia, to make a circuit and catch them 
in the rear. The British took the bait, and a brisk fight was in 
progress in the valley, when, of a sudden, the second American 
detachment appeared on some rocks at One Hundred and 
Twenty-third street and the Boulevard, and began a fierce at- 
tack upon the enemy's flank. Both Leitch and Knowlton were 
mortally wounded in the action, but the Americans, despite the 
loss of their leaders, fought with stubborn valor, and step by 
step drove the British into a buckwheat field at One Hundred 
and Twentieth street, now part of the ground west of Columbia 
University. Here the British made a second stand, and here, 
both sides having been strongly reinforced, occurred the hardest 
fighting of the day. The enemy held their ground for upwards 
of an hour, but were finally routed, and the end of the battle 
found the Americans holding the ground from which Knowl- 
ton had been driven in the morning. About a hundred of the 
Americans and thrice as many British had been killed or 
wounded. And so keenly did Howe and his generals take to 
heart the lesson of this severe skirmish that nearly four weeks 
passed before they again hazarded an attack on the patriot army. 
It was during this period of waiting that Captain Nathan 
Hale met the fate that gives him a place in the story of 
the Revolution. After the defeat of the American forces on 
Long Island, Washington was in sore need of knowledge of 
the movements of the enemy, and Hale, a young Connecticut 
schoolmaster turned soldier, volunteered to enter the British 
lines in disguise and obtain this knowledge. Accordingly, Hale 
disappeared from camp, passed up the Connecticut coast, 
changed his uniform for civilian garb, crossed to the Long Isl- 

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and shore, and then made his way to the enemy at Brooklyn and 
New York — ^never to return. He had finished his work and 
was seeking to rejoin the patriot forces, when he was seized 
within the British picket line on the Harlem river-front, near 
One Hundred and Tenth or One Hundred and Twelfth street, 
and, on the night of the twenty-first of September, brought be- 
fore General Howe at the Beekman house. The British gen- 
eral, waiving a court-martial, pronounced Hale a spy, and or- 
dered his execution to take place on the following morning, 
after which he was put into the care of a provost marshal, who 
refused to grant him the services of a clergyman, denied him 
the use of a Bible, and destroyed before his eyes the letters he 
had written to his sisters and his sweetheart. Hale was ex- 
ecuted near the comer of Forty-fifth street and First ave- 
nue, meeting the end with quiet but steadfast bravery. 'This 
is a fine death for a soldier !" said one of the British officers who 
surrounded the place of execution. "Sir," replied Hale, lifting 
up his cap, "there is no death which would not be noble in 
such a glorious cause. I only regret that I have but one life 
to lose for my country." The roll of drums cut oflf further 
speech, and in another moment Hale had passed into silence. 

For nearly a month Howe remained fronting the Ameri- 
can lines. Then the British frigates forced the passage of the 
Sound and the Hudson, and Washington was compelled to 
withdraw the main part of his army into Westchester county. 
Nevertheless, he held his own before the British in a sharp 
encounter at White Plains in the last days of October, and did 
not lose his hold upon Manhattan island, until in mid-Novem- 
ber, Fort Washington, held overlong by Greene, was attacked 
by Howe with sudden energy. The fort was taken, after a 
sharp struggle, and its capture carried with it the surrender of 
three thousand of the best troops in the patriot army. This 
heavy blow was followed by the loss of Fort Lee on the oppo- 
site shore. Washington's dwindling army retreated into the 
Jerseys, and New York was left in the hands of its captors. 

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Thereafter and until the end of the war the situation of 
Long Island remained that of a conquered country. The farm- 
ers of Kings and Queens returning to their homes after the 
bulk of Howe's army had taken departure found them 
too often in ruins; and "poverty-stricken as they were, 
they made the most primitive provisions for reoccupy- 
ing them. Where the fire had left the walls stand- 
ing, but had gutted the interior, floors between stores 
were only partially restored. Crops and cattle were both 
gone. A few families on returning to their farms 
found one or two cows hidden in back lots, shielded from ob- 
servation by the friendly thickets. Keeping them there out of 
sight and securing their milk, this and the butter therefrom se- 
cured for thrifty housewives goodly returns from the British 
officers. An honest penny was also turned by the care and 
pasturage of the officers' horses. Despite the prevalence of 
loyalty to the English government in Kings county, striking evi- 
dence is afforded of the deep devotion of many of the people to 
the patriot cause when it is mentioned that out of these pre- 
carious earnings, with all they had liable to robbery at any mo- 
ment, the families of the country managed to contribute nearly 
$200,000 to that cause. The sums were conveyed in small in- 
stallments through the American officers who had been pris- 
oners as they were exchanged to whom they were entrusted 
without a scrap of paper stating amount or purpose, so that all 
depended on their honesty. The island towns were of course 
under martial law ; and officers and men were quartered upon 
the inhabitants without consulting their conscience. Studied 
humiliations were put upon the people whether Tory or Whig 
The men who owned farms and slaves were compelled to doff 
their hats as they passed the officers on pain of caning or worse 
punishment, and they must hold their hats under dieir arms 
when they conversed with them. License in conduct had full 
sway, and the quiet towns rang with carousing and profanity. 
Gambling, drinking and licentiousness ran rampant, and left 

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many a permanent effect on the half-grown youth of the vil- 
lages, whose ideas of fine gentlemen were formed upon what 
they saw of the 'gentlemen* of the army." 

Nevertheless those who favored the patriot cause suffered 
most from their own countr3niien, the Tories, many of whom pa- 
raded as "adherents of the English only to practice unmolested, 
or under the quasi-authority of military rule, their real pro- 
fession of robbery. And what the enemy needed they took 
wherever it could be found. Every autumn and as the winter 
approached the people of Long Island were called upon to fur- 
nish thousands of cords of wood for the British garrison in the 
city and surrounding camps. Thus, the woods of Kings and 
Queens counties gradually disappeared. The winter of 1780-81 
was extremely severe; to meet the emergency Queens county 
was ordered to furnish 4,500 cords of wood, and Kings county 
1,500, under heavy penalties if the supply should come short. 
The East River was frozen solidly halfway across, and on the 
edge of the ice-bank the farmers were directed to pile up the 
fire wood for further transportation to the city. While draining 
the island of food and fuel supplies, the British soldiery also 
made it serve their moments of leisure and recreation. On 
birthdays of members of the royal family, on the anniversary ot 
the coronation of the King, and at every possible excuse for 
merrymaking the superior attractions of public houses at Brook- 
lyn or Bedford, and other centres of population, brought over 
great numbers of the military for banquets or dances, or carous- 
ings generally. For the meaner soldiery, bull-baitings were pro- 
vided. Flatlands Plains was constantly made lively by horse- 
racing; sports being frequently carried on for three days in suc- 
cession, including trial of speed by packs of hunting dogs, foot 
races by men, and even by women. Booths were erected all 
over the vast level country, and a veritable Vanity Fair created 
in the otherwise solitary wilderness." 

There was another side to the picture. Flatbush and a 
number of the other towns were selected for the billeting of 

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American officers captured in battle, who, instead of being con- 
fined in prisons, were required to give parole, and then sent to 
board among the families of the county, "Congress agreeing to 
pay two dollars a week for their board. The board bill 
amounted to $20,000 at the end of the war, and in later years 
upward of $30,000 was appropriated by Congress to meet that 
sum and its interest. Colcxiel Graydon was one of those thus 
billeted at Flatbush, at the home of Jacob Suydam. Room and 
bed were clean, he relates in his memoirs, but the living rather 
scanty. What was meant for tea at breakfast he calls a sorry 
wash ; the bread was half baked, because of the scarcity of fuel. 
A little pickled beef was boiled for dinner when the officers first 
came ; but that gone, clams, called clippers, took its place. For 
supper they got mush, and skimmed milk or butter milk, with 
molasses ; and this was the food relished best of all, after they 
became used to it. Another captive officer quartered on Long 
Island was Colonel Ethan Allen, the hero of Ticonderoga. 
During the campaign against Canada in the winter of 1775-76, 
Allen made a rash movement against Montreal, wherein he was 
left unsupported, and he and his men had to surrender to over- 
whelming nimibers of the enemy. He was sent in chains to 
England and imprisoned there in Pendennis Castle. When 
this came to the knowledge of the friends of America in Parlia- 
ment, great indignation was aroused, and Allen was released 
from chains and close confinement. He was soon sent back 
to America, and in the transit experienced various treatment 
from different captains charged with his keeping. Finally, he 
was sent to Kings county, and billeted at the house of Daniel 
Rapalje, still standing on the New Lots road, between the pres- 
ent Sheffield and Pennsylvania avenues, East New York. Allen 
remained here until news came to him of the battle of Benning- 
ton, in August, 1777, fought and won by the patriots under Gen- 
eral Starke, in his native Vermont. When the impulsive colonel 
heard of this he mounted the roof of Howard's Halfway House, 
and, swinging his hat, gave three cheers. The British authori- 

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ties chose to regard this as a violation of his parole, and Allen 
was consigned to the Provost Prison in New York. He was 
later exchanged for a British officer of equal rank, and lived to 
a good old age in his own State." 

Far worse was the lot of the men confined in the prison- 
ships. First in the North River off the Battery and later in 
Wallabout Bay on the Brooklyn side, a dozen old hulks were 
moored, and used in succession, two or three at a time, 
as floating prisons. The most notorious of these because the 
one longest in service was the Jersey — christened by her de- 
spairing inmates "the hell afloat." A sixty-four gun ship be- 
fore her dismantlement, the Jersey was sent to the Wallabout 
in 1780 and served as a prison until the end of the war. "The 
life on board the Jersey," Mrs. Booth tells us, "may be re- 
garded as a fair sample of the life on all the rest of the prison- 
ships. When a prisoner was brought on board, his name and 
rank were registered, after which he was searched for weapons 
and money. His clothes and bedding he was permitted to re- 
tain ; however, scanty these might be, he was supplied with no 
more while on board the prison ship. He was then ordered 
down into the hold, where from a thousand to twelve hundred 
men were congregated, covered with rags and filth, and ghastly 
from breathing the pestilential air ; many of them sick with the 
typhus fever, dysentery and small pox, from which the vessel 
was never free. Here he joined a mess of six men, who, ev- 
ery morning, at the ringing of the steward's bell, received their 
daily allowance of biscuit, beef or pork and peas, to which but- 
ter, suet, oatmeal and flour were occasionally added. The bis- 
cuit was mouldy and literally crawling with worms, the butter 
and suet rancid and unsavory, the peas damaged, the meal and 
flour often sour, and the meat tainted, and boiled in the impure 
water from about the ship in a large copper kettle, which, soon 
becoming corroded and crusted with verdigris, mingled a slow 
poison with all its contents. Yet for these damaged provisions 
the highest prices were charged to the king by the royal com- 

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missioners, who, by curtailing the rations and substituting dam- 
aged provisions for those purchased by the government, 
amassed fortunes at the expense of thousands of lives; and, 
when accused, forced their prisoners by threats of still greater 
severity, to attest to the kind treatment which they received at 
their hands. The prisoners were confined in the two main 
decks below; the lower dungeon being filled with foreigners, 
who were treated with even more inhumanity than the Ameri- 
cans. Every morning the prisoners were aroused with the cry, 
'Rebels, turn out your dead I' The order was obeyed, and the 
bodies of those who had died during the night were brought 
upon deck and placed upon the gratings. If the dead man had 
owned a blanket, any prisoner was at liberty to sew it around the 
corpse, after which it was lowered into a boat and sent on shore 
for burial. Here a hole was dug in the sand, and the bodies 
hastily covered, often to be disinterred at the washing of the 
next tide. The prisoners were allowed to remain on deck until 
sunset, when they were saluted with the cry of *Down, rebels, 
down !' This order obeyed, the main hatchway was closed, 
leaving a small trap-door, large enough for one man to ascend at 
a time, over which a sentinel was placed, with orders to permit 
but one man to ccMne up at a time during the night. These 
sentinels were often guilty of the most wanton cruelty. Wil- 
liam Burke, fourteen months a prisoner in the Jersey, says that 
one night while the prisoners were huddled about the grate of 
the hatchway, the sentinel thrust his bayonet among them, kill- 
ing twenty-five of their number ; and that there were frequent 
repetitions of this outrage." 

Thousands were buried from the prison-ships, but many 
survived them to take terrible vengeance for their sufferings, as 
a story told by Silas Talbot bears witness. "Two young men, 
brothers, belonging to a rifle corps, were made prisoners, and 
sent on board the Jersey. The elder took the fever, and in a 
few days became delirious. One night (his end was fast ap- 
proaching) he became calm and sensible, and, lamenting his 

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hard fate and the absence of his mother, begged for a little 
water. His brother tearfully entreated the guard to give him 
some, but in vain. The sick youth was soon in his last struggles, 
when his brother offered the guard a guinea for an inch of 
candle, only that he might see him die. Even this was refused. 
'Now,' said he, drying up his tears, *if it please God that I ever 
regain my liberty, I'll be a most bitter enemy.' He regained 
his liberty, rejoined the army, and when the war ended, he had 
eight large and one hundred and twenty-seven small notches on 
his rifle-stock." His brother was avenged. What remains 
of the Jersey now lies buried beneath the Brooklyn navy yard. 
The bodies of its uncounted victims, as we have seen, were 
buried in shallow pits at the water's edge, where the tide soon 
uncovered their graves, but in later years their bones were 
recovered and given Christian burial in Fort Greene Park. 

The village of Bedford early became and remained until the 
end of the war the headquarters of the British forces on the isl- 
and. These were located at the house of Leffert Lefferts, the 
Tory town clerk of Brooklyn, which stood on the present Ful- 
ton Street, between Nostrand and Bedford avenues. But at 
last came Yorktown; then provisional peace, and finally the 
evacuation of New York on November 25, 1783. A celebra- 
tion of the last named event, Van Pelt tells us, was held at Flat- 
bush, "where gathered all the returned patriots to give empha- 
sis to their joy at their restoration to country and home. Char- 
acteristic of the desolation wrought by the enemy was the ap- 
pearance there of two stanch Kings county Whigs hailing from 
Flatlands. These were Elias Hubbard and Abraham Voor- 
hees. All that each found on his return to his farm was an old 
horse blind of one eye. They hitched these two dilapidated ani- 
mals together to one wagon, and thus drove to Flatbush, where 
their appearance and its significance created a sensation. As a 
prudent preparation for the jubilee, the keeper of the Kings 
Arms Tavern at Flatbush, by a stroke of genius, preserved its 
sign as well as its custom under the changed conditions. An 

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American eagle was added to its device of the Kings Arms, rep- 
resented as flying away with the same." 

Civil authority as well as independence came ere long to re- 
store the ravages of British occupation. These, however, were 
hardly appreciated by the new government of the State of New 
York. The patriots in the legislature looked only to the fact 
that in Kings and Queens the enemy had found lodgment and 
comfort and the supply of necessities, and had been welcomed by 
the people, who remained on their farms. Hence in May, 17S4, 
that body passed an act laying a tax of $37,000 upon the Long 
Island counties, to make up for their lack of zeal in the cause of 
independence. Unhappily the f ramers of this measure took no 
account of $200,000 given voluntarily and clandestinely at the 
risk of life and goods by various families with patriotic sym- 
pathies, for the sweeping tax pressed as heavily on these as upon 
those whom it aimed to punish. Two years later a wiser 
and more equitable law was enacted giving to the various 
towns the privilege of commuting the old quit rents established 
by the original patents. This could be done by paying all ar- 
rearages (deducting the eight years of the war), and a sum 
equal to that of fourteen years to come, after which they would 
be forever rid of all further payments. And so with the dis- 
charge of new burdens and release from old ones Long Island's 
part in the Revolution came to an end. 



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When Brooklyn Was a Village 



A HUNDRED years ago the assessed valuation of the 
whole of Long Island was less than that of any single 
ward of the Brooklyn of today, and it was not until 
1817 that Brooklyn itself became an incorporated village which 
grew in 1834 to the dignity of a city. Twenty years later 
Williamsburg was united with Brooklyn, followed by the ab- 
sorption of the towns of Kings County in 1886 and 1894, and in 
the consolidation with New York in 1897 this enlarged munici- 
pality has now become the Borough of Brooklyn. 

Behind this bald statement of fact lies a marvelous story 
of almost uninterrupted growth which may be said to date 
from the application of steam to river and harbor naviga- 
tion. The first ferry between New York and Brooklyn ran 
over somewhat the same route as the present Fulton Ferry. 
The boat which did the work is described as a square-ended 
scow, rigged with mast and sails. The fare for a horse was 
one shilling, and five for a wagon. Only a child in arms went 
free. This ferry was running as early as 1735, but three- 
quarters of a century brought little improvement in the methods 
of its founders, and it was not until 1814 that horse-boats, twin- 
boats, with the wheel in the centre, propelled by a sort of 
horizontal treadmill worked by horses, was introduced upon the 
Catherine Ferry. This was a boat of eight-horse power, 
crossing the river in from twelve to twenty minutes. Fulton 
was then at work upon a steam ferry-boat, and the fruit of his 
labors, the Nassau was put on the Fulton Ferry in May, 1814. 
The new agent, however, being found as expensive as it was 
expeditious, it failed to win favor in the eyes of the company, 
and for several years remained the only steam ferry-boat 
upon the river. Finally, in 1824, the monoply which had been 

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When Brooklyn Was a Village 

granted to Fulton was set aside by order of the Supreme Court 
The use of steam was thrown open to public competition, and 
the horse-boats soon gave way to the new agent. An early 
improvement in the steam ferry-boat was the single boat with 
side-wheels, the first of which was the Hoboken, built in 1822, 
by R. L. Stevens. Coincident with this advance came Fulton's 
invention of the floating bridges which rise and fall with the 
tide, aided by counter balancing weights on the shore, and the 
spring piles devised by Stevens. These improvements quickly 
found favor on the ferries, and the genius of steam gained 
undisputed mastery of the waters. 

Brooklyn had been recognized as a town under the State 
government in March, 1788, and in the same year had begun 
for it the history of shipping on a large scale. The ship 
Sarah, owned by the brothers Comfort and Joshua Sands, 
who had lately become large property holders in Brooklyn, 
took in a cargo of merchandise on this side of the East River, 
and thereafter brigs and vessels came to land on the Brooklyn 
shore, bringing tar, wine and tobacco from the West Indies, and 
carrying thither staves, planks and flour. Ten years later the 
first merchant ship was launched on this side, and in 1799 the 
frigate John Adams, of thirty-two guns, was built at the Walla- 
bout. The same year the first newspaper was established in 
Brooklyn. Its publisher, Thomas Kirk, had his office at the 
comer of Fulton and Front streets, and under the ponderous 
name of "The Courier and New York and Long Island Ad- 
vertiser" it was issued weekly for four years. Schools, mean- 
time, were springing up both in Brooklyn and its sister towns, 
and Flatbush had won glory for itself by the establishment in 
1787 of Erasmus Hall Academy. Following 1794 John Henry 
Livingston, the first theological professor of the Dutch Re- 
formed Church in America, was long at the head of this school ; 
and among its earlier graduates was William Alexander Duer, 
son of Lady Kitty Duer, and president in after years of Col- 
umbia College. 

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Brooklyn, as we have seen, became an incorporated village 
in 1817. It then had a population of 4,400 souls, and Van Pelt 
gives a vivid, satisfying picture of the conditions under which 
the lusty youngster was preparing to put off its swaddling 
clothes. He tells us that from what are now the Fulton and 
Catherine ferries, "roads, or streets, ran up toward the high 
ground along the present Sands Street, meeting (as do Fulton 
and Main streets) just before the highest point was attained. On 
these two thoroughfares the houses clustered most thickly. Al- 
most the first thing that met the gaze of the visitor who landed 
at the steamboat dock, or climbed the stairs from a row-boat, 
was the market, standing squarely in the center of the Old 
Road, hardly fifty feet from the slip, its straggling buildings 
stretching up as far as Elizabeth Street. There were six stands 
in it, occupied by as many butchers, who were famous citizens 
in their day, and became men of substance in body as in purse. 
The hardware store of Birdsall & Bunce, on the upper comer 
of Front and Fulton streets, was also a centre of interest for 
the community as the post office, Joel Bunce serving his coun- 
try and his neighbors in the capacity of postmaster. Towering 
above the landing, the market and the dwellings on the left side 
of the Ferry Road, were the Heights, where resided merchants 
or landholders who had accumulated wealth and were disposed 
to enjoy the fruits of it in elegant mansions, whose piazzas and 
windows commanded a prospect of unrivaled beauty. There was 
a road along the shore under the heights, and here and there a 
shop, dwelling house, or slip for landing. One man evapor- 
ated salt water in shallow vats; another was a famous boat 
builder ; a third was a waterman, with pumps and casks galore, 
who would go out in his scow or piragua, and supply the ship- 
ping in bay or river with fresh water. Near the foot of what is 
now Orange Street was a dock for the accommodation of men 
in the milk business. Another dock jutted out into the stream 
about half way between Clark and Pierrepont streets, and fur- 
ther south a third one, owned by Samuel Jackson, which bore 

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three wooden storehouses. At the end of the shore road, where a 
break in the heights allowed a turn of it back into the interior, 
about where Joralemon Street is now, was Pierrepont's dis- 
tillery, which had been Philip Livingston's in an earlier time. 
Here, again, were docking facilities, and a large wharf jutting 
out into the river, held wooden storehouses and a wind-mill 
which ground grain for distilling purposes." 

A row of high and spreading elm trees, at the time of which 
we are writing, reached all the way from Orange to Clinton 
streets. "Talleyrand, who lodged for a time in a house on 
Fulton Street, nearly opposite Hicks, delighted to walk under 
these trees and watch the farm wagons coming into town. On 
their return from New York, he would often request a ride into 
the country, feasting his eyes upon the fertile fields of Flatbush, 
Flatlands and the other towns. The village almshouse with a 
two-acre garden around it stood in Nassau Street, between Jay 
and Fulton, and in the last named thoroughfare, a little north 
of the comer of Nassau, was a long one-story-and-a-half house, 
built of bricks brought from Holland. The Provincial Assem- 
bly met here once or twice in colonial days when small-pox 
raged in New York, and here Putnam had his headquarters 
during the battle of Long Island. Myrtle Avenue still belonged 
to the future, but there was a Myrtle Street, laid out rudely a 
short distance to the left of Fulton. Near the comer, upon high 
ground, was a dwelling house, in which was kept a grocery 
store, surrounded by a garden used for picnic parties. Thence 
to the Wallabout no houses were in sight, while there were few 
buildings on the Old Road beyond Joralemon Street. Near the 
junction of Joralemon and Fulton streets, on the present site of 
the county court house, was a pleasure resort known as the 
Military Garden, where musical and histrionic art for Brook- 
lyn began its history. The village in 182 1 contained 626 
houses, and two years later there was 865, while in all the town 
there were a little over 1,000, of which not quite 150 were of 
stone or brick." 

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Brooklyn had now grown to be a community of 7,000 souls, 
and the year 1824 saw the setting afoot of its first bank. It was 
called the Long Island Bank, and had Leffert Lefferts for its 
president. The Brooklyn Savings Bank was organized in 1827 
with Adrian Van Sinderen as president. Meanwhile, in 1824, 
the town's first fire insurance company, the Brooklyn, began 
business on the comer of Front and Dock streets, with 
William Furman as president. During the same period a new 
market was opened in James Street, since wiped away by the 
bridge approaches, and the town's first bonded warehouse, a 
three-story fire-proof structure, established on Furman Street, 
at the water's edge. Brooklyn at this time could boast eight 
rope walks and seven distilleries, besides tanneries, a dozen 
factories, seven tide mills, two wind mills, two printing offices 
and seventy grocery and dry goods stores. Real estate in the 
village was assessed at upward of $2,000,000, and was steadily 
and swiftly rising in value. 

There had already been laid the ground work of the 
public school system that has since become the especial pride 
of Brooklyn. When the century opened a school, with two 
teachers and sixty scholars, was maintained at the Ferry. Ten 
years later there were four schools in the village, and the Brook- 
lyn Select Academy, conducted by John Mabon. For the poor 
and neglected children of the village a number of worthy 
women in 1813 established a school called the Loisian Seminary, 
whose teachers were young women serving in turn without pay. 
The seminary existed as a separate institution until 1818, when 
it was made the nucleus of a general school system, and a house 
built for it on the comer of Concord and Adams streets, the cost 
thereof being laid as a tax on the inhabitants. Thus district 
school No. I came into being, with John Dikeman as its first 
teacher. Later Public School No i was built on the same site. 
District School No. 2 was begun in 1827 in a rented frame 
house at the comer of Adams and Prospect streets, to be re- 
moved in 1838 to a building on Bridge Street near Plymouth, 

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and again, in 1840, to its present location at the comer of Bridge 
and York streets. District School No. 3 was established in 
1830 in the school house of the Dutch Reformed Church, where 
children of the church had been taught at the cost of the society, 
but which was now transferred to the uses of the public school 
system. Meanwhile, in 1833, the Brooklyn Lyceum had been 
organized for the promotion of intellectual improvement, with 
P. W. Radcliffe as its first president. 

Brooklyn during the first decades of the last century was 
also earning for itself the title of the City of Churches. The 
Dutch Church built in the day of first things on the Jamaica 
and Flatbush road, between the present Lawrence and Duffield 
streets, was replaced in 1810 by a gray stone structure, with 
small windows and a heavy square tower, which stood in Jor- 
alemon's Lane, now Joralemon Street, facing an open field 
which later furnished a site for the present City Hall. The 
plan of one management and pastorate for the churches of the 
several Dutch towns, along with exclusive preaching in the 
Dutch language, had now come to an end, and in 1802 the Rev. 
John B. Johnson was called as pastor for Brooklyn alone. St 
Ann's Episcopal Church was erected in 1805 at the comer of 
Sands and Washington streets, but gave way at the end of 
twenty years to a more spacious structure on the same site. 
St. Ann's first rector was the Rev. John Ireland, a man active 
in all that made for the uplifting of his townsmen ; and among 
his early successors were the Rev. Henry U. Onderdonk, who 
became assistant bishop of Pennsylvania, and the Rev. Charles 
P. Mcllvaine, afterward bishop of Ohio. Other Episcopal 
churches came into being with the growth of the town — St. 
John's in 1826 on the comer of Washington and Johnson 
streets, and St. Paul's in 1834 in Pearl Street near Concord. 

The first Methodist church of Brooklyn was established 
in 1794, and housed in a modest structure in Sands Street, 
replaced in 1810 by a larger building. Seven years later the 
colored members of the organization set up a church of their 

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own. A second swarming from the mother hive led in 1823 
to the founding of the York Street Methodist Church, and 
the year 1831 brought the organization of the Washington 
Street Methodist Church. The First Presbyterian Church of 
Brooklyn was founded in 1822, and built its first house of wor- 
ship in Orange Street. A second Presbyterian church was 
organized in 1831, and housed in 1834 in a brick structure in 
Clinton Street, near Fulton, parts of which are incorporated 
in the store now occupying the site. The Baptists built their 
first church in 1826 in Pearl Street, between Concord and 
Nassau streets, and eight years later a second church was built 
on the comer of Tillary and Lawrence streets. 

The organization of the first Congregational church in 
Brooklyn dates from 1844, when the Church of the Pilgrims 
began its career. Two years later the present edifice on Henry 
and Remsen streets was built, and the Rev. Richard S. Storrs 
as its pastor entered upon the work which gave him national 
fame. There were few Roman Catholics in Brooklyn a hun- 
dred years ago, and these were under the care of the pastor of 
St. Peter's Church in New York, but by 1822 they were able 
to establish a parish of their own. A site v''""\»ought on the 
corner of Jay and Chapel streets, ana, in August, 1823 
the edifice erected thereon was consecrated by the bishop 
of New York. One of those who led in the building 
of St. James, as it was called, was George McQoskey, 
who owned a farm near Fort Greene, and whose son entered 
the priesthood and lived to become cardinal archbishop 
of New York. Sunday-school work in Brooklyn had its incep- 
tion in 1816, when, as the outcome of a public meeting, the 
Brooklyn Sunday-school Union Society was organized, with 
Joshua Sands as president, and for several years held its 
sessions in District School No. i, at Concord and Adams 
streets. However, in 1818 the Episcopalians organized a Sun- 
day-school of their own, and by 1823 their example had been 
followed by the other denominations in the town. 

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While Brooklyn was yet a village, and the several settle- 
ments clustered about it were still distinct from it and from 
each other, the navy yard was established at the Wallabout. 
The federal government bought 200 acres of land there in Feb- 
ruary, 1 801, but leased it for a number of years to private indi- 
viduals, and it was not until 1824 that a dock and shipyard were 
erected upon it. Meantime, we are told, the Wallabout had come 
to be on the highway of travel between the interior of the 
island and the ferries at Brooklyn. Before 1802 the people of 
Flushing traveled to Brooklyn by way of Jamaica and the 
Jamaica Road, through Bedford to the ferries. Then William 
Prince, of Flushing, organized the Flushing Bridge and Road 
Company, which built a causeway and bridge over the salt 
meadows at the head of Flushing Bay, thus reducing the 
distance to Brooklyn by four miles. The farmers now came 
through Newtown, and so, by the Cripple Bush Road, still 
through Bedford. Prince, in 1805, saw a chance to cut off 
another three miles by a causeway and bridge over the flats at 
the Wallabout Cove, and, accordingly, organized the Wallabout 
and Brooklyn Toll-bridge Company. Leaving the Cripple Bush 
Road where Flushing Avenue is now, the new road led toward 
the hills of which Sands Street forms the ridge. The bridge 
and causeway extended from the end of Sands Street to the 
comer of Flushing and Portland avenues, where was the 
toUgate. This diversion of traffic caused a nuclus of the later 
city to gather at the Wallabout. Ship-carpenters had already 
settled there, while a ropewalk stretched from Classon Avenue 
to Graham Street, and in 1832, when streets were laid out, the 
population was sufficient to constitute a village by itself. 

The component towns were growing apace during the first 
decades of the last century. Steps were taken in 1809 to make a 
turnpike of the road from Flatbush to Brooklyn, upon which a 
tollgate was placed near the junction of the Jamaica Road, at the 
present intersection of Fifth and Flatbush avenues. Flatbush in 
1 82 1 organized a fire department, and in 1830 a line of stages 

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was established between the village and Brooklyn, a stage leav- 
ing in the morning and returning in the afternoon. The same 
year the county poor-farm was bought at Flatbush, but when, in 
1832, fire destroyed the courthouse the county seat was removed 
to Brooklyn, which thus became the shire town. Erasmus Hall, 
meantime, had been considerably enlarged, and in 1834 had for 
its principal the Rev. William H. Campbell, afterward for many 
years the president of Rutgers College. The Reformed Church 
of Flatbush became an independent organization in 1822 with 
the Rev. Thomas M. Strong, who served until 1861, as its sole 
pastor. In 1824 a church was organized in the New Lots 
of Flatbush, now the Twenty-sixth Ward of Brooklyn, with 
Flatlands forming a part of the parish. New Utrecht became 
a separate congregation in 1809, and in 1832 Gravesend called 
a pastor of its own. Other sects were the while gaining a foot- 
hold in the outside towns. A Methodist church was organized 
at Bay Ridge in 1831, and three years later St. John's Episcopal 
church was established at Fort Hamilton. 

An interesting story lies behind the founding of the latter 
church. Fort Hamilton was completed in 183 1 as part of a plan 
of defense for the harbor of New York, and a couple of officers 
attached to the garrison, with three or four families of the neigh- 
borhood, formed the nucleus of a congregation that grew with 
the years. The worshippers at the outset met every Sunday 
morning in the district school room, and for the afternoon 
service in the fort. At the end of three years a tract of land 
at the comer of the present Fort Hamilton Avenue and Ninety- 
ninth Street was donated as a site for a church, and thereon 
was erected a structure which was dedicated in July, 1835. 
The original St. John's, a wooden building, modest in dimen- 
sions, with the altar pointing due east, and having the semblance 
of a castellated steeple over the front elevation, was torn down 
in 1895 to make room for a larger and more durable stone 
structure, but luminous memories attach to its vanished walls. 
Robert E. Lee, when an officer of engineers stiationed at Fort 

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Hamilton, served as vestryman of St. John's, and there Thomas 
Jonathan ("Stonewall") Jackson received the sacrament of 
baptism. Old residents at Fort Hamilton recall Jackson as a 
rigid Sabbatarian, who never travelled on a Sunday, never 
called for bis mail cm that day, attended church both morning 
and evening, and taught in two Sunday schools. 

The population of Brooklyn in 1830 exceeded 15,000 souls, 
and the rapid growth to which this fact bore witness, led to 
active agitation for incorporation as a city. The people of New 
York City strongly opposed and for a time defeated such a 
measure, but in April, 1834, a bill for incorporating the City of 
Brooklyn was passed by the legislature and became a law. The 
village had included only a part of old Breuckelin,but the earliest 
city took in all of the town, including Wallabout, Cripple Bush, 
Bedford, Gowanus and Red Hook. It was divided into nine 
wards, each of which chose two aldermen, and these in turn 
elected the mayor. George Hall, a leading merchant, was 
chosen first mayor of the city, and again held that office when 
the first consolidation brought Williamsburg within the corpor- 
ate limits. One of the first acts of the city authorities was the 
erection of a city hall. The site selected was the plaza formed 
by the diverging lines of Fulton, Joralemon and Court streets, 
and the then open fields between them. The panic of 1837 
caused a long break in the construction of the building, and it 
was not completed until 1849, ^y which time the population of 
the city exceeded 60,000. 

This growth, which made Brooklyn "New York's bed- 
room," led also to an increase of ferries between the two cities. 
South Ferry, running its boats from the foot of Whitehall Street 
in New York to Atlantic Street (or Avenue), Brooklyn, be- 
gan operation in 1836, and in 1846 the Hamilton Ferry was 
established, with boats plying between the southern end of 
Manhattan and the Atlantic Basin, of which more in another 
place. A later venture was the ferry which after 1853 con- 
nected Wall Street, New York, with Montague Street, in 

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Brooklyn. All three were managed by the Brooklyn Union 
Ferry Company, which also controlled the Fulton Ferry. 

Brooklyn in its first days as a city was protected against 
fire by volunteer companies established in different parts of the 
town, but after 1855 the firemen were organized as the Fire 
Department of the City of Brooklyn, two members from each 
hose company constituting a board of management. The city 
during this period was twice visited by destructive fires. The 
first of these broke out on the night of September 9, 1848, in a 
frame building on Fulton Street, opposite Sands. The flames 
swept swiftly over the entire block, reaching back to Henry 
Street, and then across Middagh Street, on the one side, and 
Fulton on the other. Nearly all the houses on Sands Street to 
Washington were consumed, while on Fulton Street there was 
almost total destruction of the three blocks between it and 
Henry, as far as Orange Street on the west, and of the blocks on 
the east between it and Washington, as far as Concord Street. 
The firemen, aided by twenty engines from New York, made a 
heroic fight, but a scarcity of water rendered their efforts with- 
out avail, and the progress of the fire was stayed only by the 
blowing up with gunpowder of the houses in its path. The total 
loss exceeded one and a half million dollars. The second fire 
occurred in July, 1850, and raged for several hours among the 
storehouses on Furman Street, with a loss of $400,000. 

Four years later the city was disturbed by a riot of serious 
proportions. During the months of May and June, 1854, we 
are told, "persons of the Primitive Methodist persuasion held 
open-air preaching services in the Brooklyn streets. Such a 
meeting held on May 29 on the comer of Atlantic Avenue and 
Smith Street, was attended by some 300 Know Nothings from 
New York. The Know Nothings were violently anti-Catholic, 
and, on their way home across the Catherine Ferry, they had 
to pass through an Irish and Catholic neighborhood. The ill- 
feeling thus aroused prompted an attack upon them on their 
return from another open-air service on June 4, when a lively 

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fight ensued in the vicinity of the Catherine Ferry, at Main and 
Front streets. The New Yorkers were assailed with clubs and 
stones, and replied with pistols. The Brooklyn police, who 
had tried to disperse the attacking mob before the troufile 
began, did noble work in restraining and arresting the rioters, 
but the militia had to be called out to aid them in the restoration 
of order. The following Sunday, the mayor was fully prepared 
with police and military to quell any possible disturbance. The 
street-preaching was not forbidden, for the principle of free 
speech was in peril and must be vindicated ; but the display of 
force prevented any further rioting." 

Brooklyn's growth during its first decades made itself felt 
in varied ways. Many of the existing thoroughfares were 
widened, while Water Street was laid out on land where afore- 
time were marshes and mud flats ; and warehouses and factories 
were built beyond the former line of beach at the rear of the 
houses on Front Street. The shore at the same time was pushed 
far beyond the old road under the heights ; the road leading from 
what is now the crossing of Fifth and Flatbush avenues to 
Gowanus gave way to the present Fifth and Third avenues, and 
quick development was assured to another part of the town by 
the laying out of M)atle Avenue, in 1853 extended beyond the 
dty limits into the Myrtle Avenue and Jamaica Plank Road. 
About the same time, to foster intercourse between the city 
and the interior of the island, the toll bridge on the 
Flushing and Newtown Road (now Flushing Avenue) was 
made free, and the Brooklyn, Greenwood, and Bath Plank Road 
built from Fourth Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street to the Bath 
House in New Utrecht, to be transformed with the years first 
into a dummy-engine and then to a trolley car road. 

Gas was first used in Brooklyn on an extensive scale in 
1848, and six years later street cars made their first appearance 
in the town. These were the cars of the Brooklyn City Railroad 
Company, which came into being in December, 1853, and the 
routes upon which they were run were Fulton, Myrtle and 

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Flushing avenues and Court Street, thus carrying passen- 
gers to the four quarters of the town. Another enterprise 
vitally affecting the growth and development of Brooklyn was 
the construction of the Atlantic Basin. "Along Buttermilk 
Channel, from Red Hook northward, were numerous inlets or 
ponds, issuing by narrow mouths into the bay. They were filled 
at high tide, and the surrounding flats covered, but at low tide 
the flats were bare and the ponds shallow. Daniel Richards, 
about 1840, conceived the idea that out of these ponds and flats 
could be constructed a basin into which vessels could be 
conveyed and sheltered while they discharged their cargoes 
for importation or reshipment into adjoining warehouses. Ac- 
cordingly, a company organized by him purchased forty acres 
of flats and inlets along the shore of Buttermilk Channel, op- 
posite Governor's Island. Cribs of piles filled in with stone 
were built upon the outside flats, and as the shallow ponds were 
deepened, the mud and soil thus secured was made to increase 
the solidity of the outer portion. Upon these was built a half- 
mile row of four-story granite warehouses, broken in the cen- 
ter by a passage two hundred feet wide, which opened into a 
basin capable of holding hundreds of large sea-going vessels. 
Piers and wharves were thrown out into the middle of this 
basin, and another line of warehouses built along the shore 
in its rear. The construction of the Basin, begun in 1841 and 
completed during the next decade, secured an immense concen- 
tration of traffic, and gave to Brooklyn accommodations for im- 
port trade far superior to anjrthing New York could offer, 
as goods could be transferred from ship to storage without 
intervening transportation upon carts." It also led to the quick 
development of the section of Brooklyn in the vicinity 
of the Basin. Before the end of 1848 no less than thirty- 
five streets were laid out in the neighborhood, and soon houses 
were being built along all of the new thoroughfares. 

The city's financial institutions had now been increased by 
the organization of the Atlantic and Brooklyn, the Long Island 

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and the City Banks, and in the same period fell the establish- 
ment of the Long Island and Phoenix Fire Insurance Com- 
panies. City and island had the while engaged with energy 
in the construction of steam railroads. The Brooklyn and 
Jamaica Railroad Company was incorporated in 1832, and in 
April, 1836, began to run trains to Jamaica over its 
double track of eleven miles. The same year and month the 
Long Island Railroad Company, chartered in 1834, broke 
ground for the continuation of the road to the end of the island. 
The promoters of this enterprise aimed to provide a quick 
means of transit between New York and Boston, but before 
the road was completed in 1844, direct communication was es- 
tablished between the two cities, involving no transfer of boats, 
and the Long Island Railroad has, therefore, remained until 
the present time simply a developer of insular interests and 
traffic. The road, at the outset, started at South Ferry, pierced 
Cobble Hill by a tunnel and sunken roadbed nearly a mile in 
length, and thence ran through and out of the city along the 
line of Atlantic Avenue. The speed attained, we are told, 
was never more than twelve miles an hour, but residents upon 
Atlantic Avenue objected to the perils of a train rushing 
along at that rate of speed ; and so, after a time, the company 
was forced to leave its terminus at South Ferry, close up 
the tunnel with its approaches, and betake itself to regions 
quite outside the city limits. Flatbush Avenue being as 
yet without the line of dense population, the trains might run 
on Atlantic Avenue beyond that point, but the main offices and 
station were taken to Hunter's Point, and, as the result of the 
excessive nervousness of a few hundred citizens, Brooklyn 
is still practically only a side station, with the terminus of its 
railroad system at an inconvenient point. 

An important event of 1841 was the founding of the 
"Brooklyn Eagle," the first number of which appeared on Oc- 
tober 26 of that year. The founder and publisher of this jour- 
nal, so closely and honorably identified with the growth and 

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advancement of Brooklyn, was Isaac Van Anden, who until 
his death in 1875 retamed practically unbroken control and 
ownership. Its first editor was Henry C. Murphy, long re- 
garded as the man most distinguished among those native to the 
soil of Brooklyn. Mr. Murphy, however, soon returned to his 
law practice, and was succeeded in the editorship of the 
"Eagle," first by Richard Adams Locke and later by William 
R. Marsh. When Marsh died in 1846 the vacant chair was 
taken by a man whose fame in after years filled the world. 
This was Walt Whitman, who held the editorship for a year, and 
then resigned on invitation. The "Eagle's" historian records 
that Whitman carried into his work the eccentricities of his 
genius, or rather they carried him out of the work, for when 
the sun shone nature wooed him to her charms to such a d^^ee 
that stormy days were hailed with satisfaction in the "Eagle" 
office as being days on which work could be gotten from the 
editor. On other days he was "loafing and inviting his soul" 
on the hills where Prospect Park now rests or in the forest 
that lay back of Brooklyn. Later editors of the "Eagle" were 
Henry McQoskey, Thomas Kinsella and Andrew McLean. 
The post has been held since 1886 by St. Qair McElway. 

Brooklyn was visited by the scourge of Asiatic cholera 
during the summer of 1849, ^uid nearly 650 people fell victims 
to it. The plague came again in 1854, when the deaths slightly 
exceeded those of the previous visitation. Reference to 
those dark days naturally calls to mind a distinguishing fea- 
ture of modem Brooklyn — ^the great number of cemeteries in 
and about the city. Greenwood, perhaps America's most beau- 
tiful City of the Silent, covers the hills of Gowanus, upon 
which was raged the most desperate fighting of the Battle 
of Long Island, and dates from 1840, when the first person was 
buried there. Its present dimensions exceed 400 acres, and, 
what with its superb location and the skill and taste which have 
wrought its adornment, it has long been, despite its funereal 
associations, one of Brooklyn's chief boasts. Cypress Hills, 

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which crowns a range of hills lying along the Jamaica 
Road, was initiated in 1848, and the following year lovely 
Evergreens were laid out upon the utmost ridge of the island's 
backbone, but nearer the city than its sister cemetery. Calvary, 
Holy Cross, Linden Hill, Mount Hope, St. Michael's, and St. 
John are most of them creations of a more recent time. 

Brooklyn after its incorporation continued to strengthen 
its claim to be called the City of Churches, for their number 
multiplied as the town grew in population. The first Unitarian 
Church (of the Saviour) was. organized in 1834, and the first 
Universalist Church in 1841, the one finding a home on Pierre- 
pont and the other on Adams Street. Meanwhile, the second 
Dutch Church, organized in 1837 and housed after 1850 in a 
spacious structure on Pierrepont Street, was winning fame 
through the ministry of the Rev. George W. Bethune, cotmted 
one of the foremost orators of his time. The year 1845 found 
three Dutch Reformed, eight Episcopalian, an equal number 
of Methodist and seven Presbyterian churches flourishing in 
Brooklyn, while the number of Roman Catholic churches had 
so increased that in 1853 Long Island was created a diocese 
with the Very Rev. John Loughlin as bishop. 

The most noteworthy religious event of the period under 
review, however, was the founding of Plymouth Church by 
nine members of the Church of the Pilgrims, who had been set 
apart to organize another Congregational society. The build- 
ing and grounds of the first Presbyterian Church on Orange 
Street were purchased; in June, 1847, the Rev. Henry Ward 
Beecher, of Indianapolis, Ind., was called to be the pastor of the 
new church, and in October of the same year he began the 
labors which were to cover two score years and win him en- 
during renown. Mr. Beecher belonged to a family remarkable 
for moral and intellectual endowment. Son of Dr. Lyman 
Beecher, a rugged, intrepid pioneer not only in social, but in 
ecclesiastical reform ; touched with Boston life for four or five 
years and seasoned with salt before the mast in a stretch of 

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seafaring; graduating at Amherst and then transplanted to 
Lane Seminary, Ohio, under the training of its president, his 
father, he entered the ministry in the West, and in his formative 
years drank in the large unconventionalities, the fearless en- 
terprise, the blunt individuality, the sense of human kinship, 
and social interdependence bom only of pioneer life. Thus, he 
entered the Plymouth pulpit at the age of thirty-four fitted for 
a work which we now see could have been accomplished by no 
other man of his time. 

Plymouth Qiurch had only twenty members when Mr. 
Beecher became its pastor, but, before the end of the first year, 
his eloquence and independence gave him a growing army of 
admiring listeners. A visitation of fire made it possible to 
replace the damaged church with a new and spacious edifice, 
which was completed and occupied on New Year's Day, 1850. 
Here was a novelty in church enterprise, for with a structure 
having a seating capacity of 2,800 and an organ costing $22,000, 
the entire outlay scarcely exceeded $90,000, and this plant be- 
came exceedingly thrifty, bringing in a largess of pew rentals 
reaching from $11,000 in 1853 to more than $60,000 in the 
later years of Mr. Beecher's pastorate. The society, however, 
did not confine its activities to Plymouth Church. In 1866 it 
adopted the Bethel Mission, expending more than $75,000 in 
the purchase of the church buildings, and six years later it in- 
creased its range of work by adopting the May Flower Mission, 
providing upwards of $25,000 for its building in Jay Street. The 
parent church during this period numbered 3,000 members, and 
the great edifice could hardly hold them in a single congregation. 
The usual answer given to strangers in New York 
inquiring the way to Plymouth Church, was: "Cross 
Fulton Ferry and follow the crowd." Standing room was 
always at a premium, and scarcely a Sabbath passed when 
hundreds were not turned away for want of even standing 
room. Mr. Beecher's oratory has been happily described by 
one who often felt its spell. "He was," we are told, "poet, 

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When Brooklyn Was a Village 

philosopher, actor, wit, humorist, and more, rolled into one. 
To some the ministry is a cage. To him the gospel was wings. 
To some a pulpit is a prison. To him it was a standpoint where- 
f rom he saw his field, which was the world. To some a text is 
a guide. To him it was only a hint — to be taken or thrown 
away. He regarded a theme as something which he trans- 
formed into wine for the weak, bread for the hungry, hope for 
the depressed, milk for babes, meat for strong men, and pab- 
ulum for all according to their needs. The love, faith, fear, 
shame, remorse, sorrow, repentance and exaltation he inspired 
in others were invoked by him at will, because he felt them 
himself in his constant dramatization of life into sermons. His 
mind, heart and temperament were an unique equipment. They 
brought to him grief as well as joy, trouble as well as success, 
temptation as well as triumph, enmity as well as devotion, — ^but 
they made him the strongest personal power our pulpit has 
known." The principal charm of Mr. Beecher's sermons lay 
in the fact that they were neither bookish or shopworn. There 
was none of the atmosphere of the study on them, nor the flavor 
of midnight oil.. He gathered his material in the shops and 
stores, in, the streets and in the ferry boats ; and he preached to 
his people, not at them. When shall we see his like again ? 



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THE most stirring pages of Suffolk history during the 
last century have to do with the county's part in the 
whaling industry. Three-score years ago Sag Harbor 
sent forth a fleet of five-and-sixty whaling vessels, and the male 
population of the town was divided into those who were away 
on a whaling voyage, those who were just returning from one, 
and those who were preparing to start on one. The youth who 
had not. doubled Cape Horn was counted a sluggard, and had 
no more chance with the village belles than a non-combatant 
has with those of a garrison town. Summer loiterers in Sag 
Harbor may still hear snatches of "Round Cape Horn," a song 
much in vogue when the whaling industry was at its height. 
A few characteristic stanzas follow : 

I asked a maiden by my side, 

Who sighed and looked to me forlorn, 
"Where is your heart?" She quick replied, 
" 'Round Cape Horn." 

I said, "I'll let your fathers know," 
To boys in mischief on the lawn ; 
They all replied, "Then you must go 
'Round Cape Horn." 

In fact I asked a little boy 

If he could tell where he was bom ; 
He answered, with a mark of joy, 
" 'Round Cape Horn." 

There was truth in these stanzas. A woman who had no 
children to keep her at home considered it her duty to share the 

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The Whalers of Suffolk 

perils of her husband's calling. For a whaler's wife to have 
doubled the Cape half a dozen times was nothing tmusual, and 
many a bride stepped from her home aboard her husband's 
ship for a hone)rmoon on a three years' voyage to the Pacific 
and Arctic oceans, to return perhaps with a toddleskin or two 
bom at sea. Again, ''every vessel that sailed carried messages 
to relatives and friends thousands of miles away, and every 
vessel that came to her moorings brought tidings of cheer and 
sorrow from distant ones. A wife might have the letter which 
she had written to her husband two years before returned to 
her, because his vessel had not been spoken, — ^and alas ! she had 
not been spoken by any of the vessels that had returned during 
the year. Time would surely deepen the mystery of the hus- 
band's fate, and perhaps the wife would never know whether 
his ship was cut upon one of the islands of the Pacific and the 
crew massacred by the savage inhabitants, or split upon a 
sunken reef and engulfed with all hands ; and so she would sit 
weeping in her lonely chamber while her neighbors made merry 
over the return of a son, father, lover, or husband, and the 
streets rang with the songs of happy Jack. Whalemen return- 
ing home frequently found that many changes had taken 
place during their long voyages. One old whaleman was 
obliged to sail on a voyage just after his mother's burial, leav- 
ing his father bowed down with grief. His vessel was hardly 
at her moorings three years later before said father slapped him 
on the back and said, 'Alfred, come up to the house and I will 
introduce you to your mother !' " 

What with its manifold and varied perils whaling de- 
veloped men who seemed bom to command. "All the sources 
of a quick, ready mind were often called into play during 
a whaleman's career, not only in weathering storms and 
in avoiding destruction of boats and loss of life when at- 
tacking whales, but also in escaping massacre from savage isl- 
anders and in outwitting pirates. Many years ago the whale 
ship Syren, while on a voyage to the eastward of Cape Horn, 

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met with an adventure that would have proved fatal to all 
hands but for a quick stratagem of the mate. One fine day, off 
one of the Pelew Islands, all the boats being after whales, and 
but a few men left aboard the vessel, a large band of armed 
natives suddenly swarmed over the bulwarks. The crew fled 
to the rigging, leaving the naked, howling savages in full com- 
mand of the ship. The mate, on coming alongside, took in the 
situation at a glance, and quickly ordered the men to open the 
arm chests and scatter on deck all the tacks they could find. In 
a moment it fairly rained tacks upon the naked savages. The 
deck was soon covered with these little nails. They pierced 
the feet of the islanders who danced about with pain which in- 
creased with every step they took, until, with yells of rage and 
agony, they tumbled headlong into the sea." 

Old whalers also delight to tell of the adventure which 
befell the ship Awashonks, when she touched on an autumn day 
in 1835 at Ramarik Island, one of the Marshall group. "The 
natives, as was customary, came on board, but not in tmusual 
numbers. About noon, the ship's company being scattered, 
the natives made a sudden rush for the whaling spades and be- 
gan a murderous onslaught upon all on deck, killing the cap- 
tain and the first mate. The third mate escaped by jumping 
down the fore-hatchway. The natives, now in possession of 
the deck, fastened down the hatchway and closed the com- 
panion-way, after which their leader took the wheel and headed 
the ship for shore. But the men aloft on the lookout for 
whales promptly cut the braces, and, the yards, swinging 
freely, the ship lost her steerageway and slowly drifted toward 
open water. Meanwhile those below had worked their way aft 
to the armory in the cabin, from which they fired with muskets 
whenever a savage presented a mark. The third mate now 
ordered a keg of powder up from the run, and a large quantity 
of its contents was placed on the upper step of the companion- 
way and a train laid to the cabin. C(Hnmanding the men to 
rush on deck the moment of the explosion, regardless of the 

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consequences to him, the mate fired the train. With the crash 
of timbers were mingled the yells of womided and mangled 
savages; and the crew, rushing on deck, swept the terrified 
islanders overboard. The third mate took charge of the ship 
and brought her home." 

Now and then a whaling ship was sunk by a whale. Such 
was the fate of the Essex, Captain George Pollard, which in 
August, 1819, sailed for the Pacific. The afternoon of Novem- 
ber 16, the ship's boats being in a school of whales, the boat of 
First Mate Chase was stove in by a whale and returned to the 
vessel for repairs. Then it was that he discovered a huge sperm 
whale lying about twenty rods off the weather bow. Let the 
rest of the story he told in his own words : 

"He spouted two or three times and then disappeared, but 
almost instantly came up again, about the length of the ship off, 
and made directly for us, at the rate of about three knots. His 
appearance and attitude gave us at first no alarm; but while 
I stood watching his movements, and observing him but a 
ship's length off, coming down for us with great celerity, I or- 
dered the boy at the helm to put it hard up, intending to shear 
off and avoid him. The words were scarcely out of my mouth 
before he came down upon us with full speed, and struck the 
ship with his head, just forward of the forechains with a jar 
that nearly threw us all on our faces. The ship brought up as 
suddenly as if she had struck a rock, and trembled for a few 
seconds like a leaf. We looked at each other with perfect 
amazement, deprived of the power of speech. Many minutes 
elapsed before we were able to realize the dreadful accident, 
during which time he passed under the ship, grazing the keel 
as he went along, came up to leeward, and lay on top of the 
water, stunned with the violence of the blow, for the space of 
a minute, after which he started off to leeward. 

"Recovering in some measure, from the sudden consterna- 
tion that had seized us, I of course concluded that he had stove 
a hole in the ship, and that it would be necessary to set the 

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pumps going. Accordingly they were rigged, but had not been 
in operztioa more than a minute before I perceived the head 
of the ship to be gradually settling down in the water. I then 
ordered the signal to be set for the other boats, which scarcely 
had I despatched before I again discovered the whale apparently 
in convulsions, on top of the water about one hundred rods to 
leeward. He was enveloped in the foam that his thrashing 
about in the waiter had created around him, and I could 
see him smite his jaws together as if distracted with rage and 
fury. He remained a short time in this situation, and then 
darted off across the bows of the ship to windward. The ship 
by this time had settled down a considerable distance in the 
water, and I gave her up for lost. However,! ordered the pumps 
to be kept constantly going, and turned to the boats, two of 
which we then had with the ship, with the intention of clearing 
them away and getting all things ready to embark in them if 
there should be no other resource left. While thus engaged I 
was aroused with the cry of a man at the hatchway : *Here he 
is I He is making for us again 1' 

"I turned and saw the whale about one hundred rods ahead 
of us, coming down apparently with twice his ordinary speed, 
and with tenfold fury and vengeance in his aspect. The surf 
flew in all directions about him, and his course towards us was 
marked by a white foam a rod in width, which he made with the 
continual violent thrashing of his tail. His head was about 
half out of the water, and in that way he came upon, and again 
struck the ship. He struck her to windward, directly under the 
cathead, and completely stove in her bows. He passed under the 
ship again, went off to leeward, and we saw no more of him." 

Barely, in the face of this fresh disaster, had the mate cut 
adrift and launched the spare boat, than the ship fell over on 
her beam ends, full of water. The captain and the second mate 
and their boats had now come up, and all haste was made to 
secure provisions, water and a few nautical instruments from 
the sinking ship. This done, the boats left the Essex, more than 

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a thousand miles from land, and shaped their course south- 
southeast. Each man at the outset was allowed one biscuit and 
half a pint of water per day, but this had to be reduced one 
half before land was sighted cm December 20. The landfall, 
however, proved to be Ducie's Island, a tiny stretch of rock and 
sand, and at the end of a week it was abandoned by all but three 
of the crew, who chose to remain there rather than face added 
suffering at sea. The boats were separated by a storm on Jan- 
uary 12, 1820. "We were as yet just able," Chase wrote in his 
journal, "to move about in our boats and slowly perform the 
necessary labors appertaining to her ; but we were fast wasting 
away, and we daily almost perished under the torrid rays of a 
meridian sun ; to escape which we would lie down in the bottom 
of the boat, cover ourselves with the sails, and abandon her to 
the mercy of the waves. Upon attempting to rise the blood 
would rush into the head and an intoxicating blindness come 
over us, almost to occasion our suddenly falling down again." 

Another week reduced them to a still more wretched con- 
dition. "We were now hardly able to crawl around the boat," 
wrote Chase. "Our ounce and a half of bread, which was to 
serve us all day, was in some cases greedily devoured, as if 
life was to continue but another moment ; and at other times it 
was hoarded up and eaten crumb by crumb, at regular intervals 
during the day, as if it was to last us forever." One of the crew 
went mad and collapsed on February 8, and his comrades, as 
the only hc^e of prolonging their life, agreed that his body 
should serve as food. Thus Chase and two others sustained 
life until February 18, when, after having been nearly three 
months at sea, they were rescued by the brig Indian of London, 
and a week later landed at Valparaiso. 

The second mate's boat became separated from the cap- 
tain's on January 28, and was never heard of more, but not 
before the flesh of three n^joes who had died of exhaustion 
was divided between the two boats. Three days after the sep- 
aration, the captain and the three other men with him, finding 

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themselves once more without food, drew lots to see who should 
die and who would be the executioner. We are told that it 
fell upon Owen G>ffin to die and upon Charles Ramsdale to slay 
him. Coffin was a kinsman of the captain, and the latter begged 
Ramsdale to kill him instead of the doomed man; but Coffin 
would not allow the sacrifice. The death on February ii of 
Barzilla Ray left Pollard and Ramsdale the only survivors, 
and they were raving with hunger and exhaustion when picked 
up a few days later off the island of St. Mary by the whale-ship 
Dauphin. The three men who remained on Ducie's Island were 
rescued by an English skipper who found them almost too weak 
to talk. Pollard on his next voyage wrecked his ship on a reef, 
whereupon he retired from the sea, but Owen Chase's subse- 
quent voyages were invariably fortunate ones. 

The whalers of Long Island did not all hail from Sag Har- 
bor. Southampton also furnished captains and sailor^ to man 
the ships which sailed from the harbor of Sag to the uttermost 
parts of the sea ; and in the closet of more than one of the old 
houses of the town still lie the canvas-bound logbooks of 
whalers which went out in command of Southampton captains. 
Their time-stained pages would furnish material for a small 
library of the most entertaining books that ever were written ; 
and they would all be, in their main features, absolutely true. 
Let the memories which attach to an old house yet standing in 
the angle made by Southampton's main street and the North 
Sea Road prove this statement. The house in question, a pic- 
turesque gambrel roofed structure half hidden by the trees, was 
bought by a whaling captain for his bride in the early part of 
the last century ; and in the dining room may still be seen the 
old fireplace before which he delighted to sit and recount the 
stories of his voyages. 

He made seventeen in all, the last as captain, but the one 
of which he most delighted to tell belonged to his early man- 
hood. "He had long carried in his mind," so ran the captain's 
story, "the image of a certain maiden of the village, and he re- 

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solved to win her before he sailed on his next voyage. Her 
apparent indifference only added fuel to his determination ; but 
she was obdurate and would not listen to his proposals. The 
young man sailed away, and for many a month no news of his 
ship came to Southampton. There was good reason for the 
silence. The vessel had been wrecked on the shores of Brazil, 
and while the anxious ones at h(Mne were watching and waiting, 
a score of unkempt white men were laboriously pushing their 
way through the forests toward Rio Janeiro. When a year had 
ccHne and gone and no news of the ship had reached South- 
ampton, it was revealed to one young woman that she cared 
whether some one came back or not. 

"One afternoon, a month or more after the whaler had 
gone to pieces, a company of men in torn clothing straggled 
down the streets of Rio Janeiro to a sailor's boarding house. 
Here they told their story to the captain of a small vessel about 
to sail for New Bedford, and begged him to take them with him. 
He replied that he had room for only a few, and that th'ey, 
should draw lots to determine who should be the few. Lots, ac- 
cordingly, were drawn, but the young man for whom the South- 
ampton maiden longed was not among the fortunate ones. Yet 
when the ship sailed there was one more of the whaling men 
aboard of her than the lot had selected, for the young man with 
a sweetheart at home had decided that it was of great import- 
ance that the vessel should not sail without him. He was not 
discovered until the ship was far out at sea, and then he received 
with cheerfulness the captain's ultimatum that he should serve 
before the mast for his passage. 

"Thus it came about that on a September afternoon in the 
same year two men, one with a youthful face, grimed with the 
dust of the sandy highway, approached Southampton on the 
Sag Harbor road. The white shingled houses of the village 
stretched out along the plain could be seen among the trees. 
They were again in sight of home. A w6man chanced to be 
standing at the gate in front of her house, which fronted on the 



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Sag Harbor road. The two men came trudging into view. She 
glanced at them, took a longer look, and then rushed down the 
road crying: *Oh, Lord a' massy; there comes them two poor 
fellows that was drownded in the bottom of the sea !' It did not 
take long for the news to travel over the village that the lost 
ones had returned to their own; and many times were they 
called upcMi to tell the story of their escape. Three years later 
the young man bought the gambrel roofed house in the angle 
of the main street and the North Sea Road, and took there as 
his bride, the maiden who had once lent an unwilling ear to his 
suit, but whom shipwreck and silence had taught to read aright 
the world-old story that is always new." 

One of the tales the captain would tell as he sat before 
his fire in after years was of an adventure that brought glory 
and promotion to the young second mate of a whale ship. It 
was an August afternoon in the North Pacific that all the boats 
were lowered for a sperm whale of uncommon size. The skip- 
per ordered the second mate to attend upon the other three 
boats, but he managed to creep up and get fast, the first 
and third mates' boats being already so, but apparently unable 
to do anjrthing. Let the rest of the story be told in the cap- 
tain's own words : 

"The whale was a fighter and soon had the lines of the three 
boats so snarled that they could not get near him. They were 
making ready to cut adrift and begin again when of a sudden 
the whale turned a somersault beneath them and again rose to 
the surface with the second mate's line entangled in his lower 
jaw. The other two officers seeing that the game was now in 
the hands of the second mate, cut adrift, whereupon, the whale, 
as if conscious that he had now wcm two-thirds of his freedom, 
darted forward at full speed, defying all eflForts of the crew to 
get up close to him. Night was now at hand, and only a few 
minutes remained before the darkness would close in upon 
them, yet every one of these minutes carried them farther from 
the ship and from their fellows in the other boats. The last 

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faint streaks of light were fading when the second mate suc- 
ceeded in hauling up on the whale's flank and giving him a 
thrust which put an end to the fight. 

"The monster's dying agonies were soon over, and the mate 
hastened to bore a hole in the whale's fluke with his boat spade 
wherein to secure the tow line for hauling the prize alongside 
the ship. While thus engaged he split his hand open to the 
bone on the spade's edge. But the work was finished, and with 
the whale secure the young man set about binding up his hand. 
He had hardly completed his rude surgery, however, when a 
huge Kanaka, his harpooner, suddenly became crazy with fear 
of the darkness and his inability to see the ship, howled with 
fright and demanded water and food. The mate strove to quiet 
the frantic man, but in vain. Then, noting that the rest of the 
crew showed signs of demoralization, he reached for his bomb- 
gun, and calling all hands to witness that if compelled to shoot 
the Kanaka, he was doing such an act only in the common in- 
terest, he sat pointing the gun with its awful charge at the 
madman, trying the while to forget the pain which was slowly 
deadening his left side from the jaw to the waist. 

"There is little doubt he would have died had not his after 
oarsman in a happy moment thought of filling the only pipe in 
the boat with strong, rank tobacco. Lighting it with the flint 
and steel he passed it to his oflicer, who smoked it and felt it 
send a blissful feeling of lethargy all through his frame. So 
sweet was the sensation that when the pipe was smoked out he 
asked for another, and when that had been consumed he felt 
entirely happy, not sleepy, but free from pain. Thus through- 
out the long night, this youngster of twenty-one sat calmly in 
his boat's stem, his prey wallowing at his side, and before 
him the sleeping forms of his crew covered with the boat- 
sail, until the first blush of dawn mantling the eastern blue 
ended his vigil, and he saw afar oflF the silhouette of the ship. 
Even then, however, he had need of all his firmness of purpose 
to prevent his being compelled by his men to cut adrift from 

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his whale and pull for the ship, so fearful were they that she 
would miss them; and two hours of sternly holding his own 
with them passed slowly away, before it was seen that she 
knew of their whereabouts, and all was well." 

Three other short yams must close this record of the perils 
and romance of whaling. The ship Ann Alexander^ in August, 
1850, raised a whale and lowered for it The monster at once 
took the oflfensive, smashed two boats, and pursued a third to 
the ship, which it then attacked, breaking a large hole through 
her bottom. All hands were obliged to take to the boats, but 
were rescued a few days later by a sister ship. No less exciting 
was an earlier adventure of' the whaler Hector, A whale with 
which her crew was engaged struck the mate's boat, staving it 
badly. "When the captain's boat advanced cwi the whale, the 
monster turned, seized the boat in its jaws, and shook it to 
pieces. Then the mate led another attack with a picked crew ; 
but the whale again assumed the initiative, and the order was 
g^ven to 'Stem all I' for life. The monster chased the boat 
for half a mile, often bringing its jaws together within a foot 
of it; but at last the mate succeeded, as the whale tumed to 
spout, in burying his lance in the cetacean's vitals. When it 
was cut in two, harpoons belonging to the ship Barclay were 
found, and it came out later that a few months before the 
Barclay's mate had been killed by this whale." 

The third yam has to do with the mate of a whaler who 
was pursuing a sperm whale, when the monster dived, rose 
again beneath the boat, and bit it in two, after which it seized 
the mate in its mouth, and went down with him. The captain 
coming to the rescue, saw the body of the mate in the jaws of 
the whale as it disappeared from view. He waited on the spot, 
knowing that the whale had not finished its spoutings out or 
number of breathing times, and soon the monster rose again, 
with the mate's body yet hanging on the edge of its lower jaw. 
The captain leaped overboard on the instant, and holding the 
tow line with one hand, with the other snatched the body of 

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his mate from its awful position. Then, regaining his boat, he 
left the whale to the second and third mates, and raced for the 
ship, when it was found that the suflferer had not been wounded. 
Instead, the whale's teeth had only gone through his clothing; 
and he still lives, hale and hearty, at the age of ninety. 

The master whaler's quick wit and readiness of resource 
often stood him in good stead when not in pursuit of his chosen 
game. Two whaling sloops, commanded by Isaiah Chadwick 
and Obed Bunker, were once lying at anchor in the harbor of 
Abaco in the Bahamas. A ship off the mouth of the har6or 
signalled for assistance, and one of the captains, with a crew 
made up of men from both sloops, went to her aid ; but when he 
boarded her the commanding officer presented a pistol to his 
head and ordered him to pilot the ship into the harbor. The- 
Yankee skipper made haste to obey, but saw to it that the vessel 
cast anchor where a point of land lay between her and the 
sloops. He also took notice, before being dismissed, that all of 
the men on the deck of the ship were armed, while one unarmed 
man paced the cabin. The inference drawn from these circum- 
stances was that the ship was in the hands of pirates or mu- 
tineers, the man in the cabin being the former captain, and plans 
were at once laid by the whalers to recapture the vessel. 

The usurping captain was, accordingly, invited to dine on 
one of the sloops ; and when he came aboard, acc(Mnpanied by 
the boatswain and the man who had been seen pacing the cabin, 
he was, at a given signal, seized and bound. The actual cap- 
tain wh(»n the -usurper had introduced as a passenger, now ex- 
plained that the crew had mutinied in order to turn pirates; 
and the whalers promised immunity to the boatswain if he 
would return to the ship, come back to the sloop with the former 
mate who was in irons, and aid in the recapture of the vessel. 
They coupled this offer with the intimation that a man-of-war 
was close at hand, and said they would set certain signals when 
they had obtained help from the vessel of war. The boatswain, 
playing false, failed to reappear, and one of the sloops put to 

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sea as if to invoke the aid of the man-of-war. The mutineers 
shifted their guns and trained them so as to sink her, but the 
sloop, suddenly changing her course, swept by on the opposite 
side, and was soon out of sight. An hour or two later she re- 
appeared, and, flying the signal agreed upon with the boatswain, 
made straight for the corsair. The latter's crew, when they 
saw the signal, at once concluded there was an armed force from 
the man-of-war aboard the sloop, and taking to their boats, they 
fled to the shore. The whalemen took possession of the prize, 
released the mate, and sailed the ship to New Providence, where 
a handsome bounty was awarded them. All of the mutineers 
were afterwards captured. 

Hundreds of islands in the Pacific Ocean were discovered 
and charted by whalemen; and it was one of the voyages of 
Captain Mercator Cooper, of Southampton, which gave to that 
village the honor of opening up Japan and introducing her to 
the family of nations. There came a time, however, when whales 
grew fewer and farther between ; profits declined in the face of 
the discovery and use of petroleum ; few new ships were built, 
and finally most of the time-tried whalers became the property 
of the government and went to make up the "stone fleet" sunk 
in Charleston Harbor during the Civil War. The town's last 
whaling vessel was sold in 1862, and Sag Harbor began to live 
on its eventful past. To-day one finds its wharves deserted, 
and its handful of ancient mariners fallen into the sere and 
yellow leaf. Loss of life and trade, however, give it an added 
charm for the wayfarer. Every house is full of mementoes of 
distant voyages, — idols from the South Seas, wooden goggles 
worn by Eskimos, rough relics from the Middle Ground, and 
quaint carvings done by idle sailors becalmed on the Spanish 
Main, — while the village itself is as lovely as one would expect 
to find an old sea-port on a sheltered bay. Stately mansions 
with pillars in front stand back from the rambling street, with 
wide stretch of lawn in front and shaded breadth of garden 
behind ; and between them are scores of ancient houses, built a 

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hundred years or more ago, but whose picturesque gables, rose- 
embowered doorways and narrow windows prcxnise for many 
a decade to delight the eye of the artist. Age sets more grace- 
fully upon Sag Harbor than upon most men and women. 

Southampton also fell into peaceful and pleasant slumber 
when the whaling industry declined, only to wake into new Fife 
a few years ago as a resort for artists and for summer sojourn- 
ers from the city. Now the tide of modem wealth has set in up- 
on it ; the old and the new jostle and mingle delightfully in the 
village of to-day, and in a walk along its main street, 
lined all the way with splendid elms, one comes upon venerable 
landmarks like the old Say re house, built in 1648, and handed 
down from father to son for ten generations, touching elbows 
with smart summer cottages of the most recent pattern. The 
palace of a new-made millionaire keeps company with the old 
Pelletreau house, where Lord Erskine made his headquarters 
during the British occupation of 1779; a golf-link and a club 
house are within sight of the ruins of three forts which that 
nobleman caused to be erected, and along the shores of old 
Town Pond, transformed by recent comers into Fort Agawam, 
and over the Ox Pasture and Great Plains roads, thorough- 
fares opened in the middle of the seventeenth century and 
flecked with windmills of the olden time, the visitor drives by a 
hundred modern villas, the creation of yesterday. 

Easthampton has also become a resort for city dwellers 
who flock to it for their summer homes ; but everything about 
the old town is still a suggestion of the men and things of an 
earlier time. Lyman Beecher, the famous father of yet more 
famous children, was ordained in Easthampton and for a 
dozen years was pastor of its church. "How did Lyman 
Beecher preach ?" was once asked of an ancient resident of the 
village. "How did Lyman Beecher preach ?" was the reply. "I 
will tell you how; he would get up and read a psalm and a 
chapter in the Bible, just like other ministers. Then he would 
take his text and shut up the book and lean over the pulpit, and 

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the way that man would talk was a cauticm." The three pas- 
torates of the Easthampton church prior to that of Lyman 
Beecher covered a period of 154 years. The third of these, that 
of Dr. Samuel Buell, embraced a period of fifty-three years. 
Dr. Buell was installed in 1746, and was still vigorous in mind 
and body at the time of the Revolution. His s)rmpathies were 
with the patriot cause, but when the British occupied the eastern 
end of the island, he managed to keep on good terms with the 
royalist officers, and often joined them in the chase. He was 
late on one of these occasions, and the rest of the hunting party 
had mounted when he came in sight. Lord Erskine commanded 
all to dismount and receive his friend. Lord Percy obeyed this 
order with ill grace, and when Dr. Buell was introduced to hTm 
took no pains to conceal his disgruntlement. "May I ask what 
portion of his majesty's forces you have the honor to com- 
mand ?" was the clergyman's courteous greeting. "A legicm of 
devils just from hell I" was Lord Percy's churlish reply. **Then 
said Dr. Buell, with a low bow, "I suppose I have the honor to 
address Beelzebub, the prince of devils." 

It was at Dr. Buell's suggestion that Clinton Academy was 
established in 1784. This school was famed throughout Suffolk 
county for four-score years, and educated many men who later 
played leading parts in the history of the island. William 
Payne, father of John Howard Payne, taught in Qinton Acad- 
emy for some time, and a weather beaten house, half covered 
with vines, which stands near the old Easthampton cemetery, is 
pointed out as the birthplace of the author of "Home, Sweet 
Home." Payne himself maintained that he was bom in 
New York, but perscms of authority declare that the weight 
of evidence is in favor of Easthampton. Payne's story is one of 
the romances of our literary history. He was a boy prodigy on 
the stage, and a commonplace actor in his maturity. Thrown 
into a LcMidon jail for debt, he evened his prison door with a 
successful piece of play-making. Then he sent some plays in 
manuscript to Charles Kemble. 

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The Whalers of Suffolk 

One of these was "Clari, the Maid of Milan," now remem- 
bered only for the song of which it was the original sletting. That 
plaintive ballad, wedded to the melody the loitering playwright 
had first heard sung by an Italian peasant girl, melted the heart 
of London and of the world, and with its one touch of nature 
that makes the whole world kin, rendered Payne's name im- 
mortal. Its author, however, never again wrote or did any- 
thing memorable. He returned to America, and in 1843 he was 
appointed consul at Tunis, where in 1852, "an exile from 
home," he died. Thirty years later his remains were brought 
back to his native land, and laid finally in Oak Hill Cemetery, 
near Washingtcm. The federal city holds many monuments, 
but none of them is visited by a greater throng of pil- 
grims nor shrines a memory with a tenderer appeal to all of 
them than that of the "wide-wandering actor who lived and 
died alone, and of whom nothing is remembered but that he 
wrote one song." 

Cooper is said to have laid the opening scenes of his "Sea 
Lions" near Southampton, and the place is rich in other strange 
and moving memories. On an April day in 1840 there came an 
unusual visitor to the hamlet's solitary inn. The new-comer was 
a man of fifty, handsome, courtly, reserved, and both he and 
the servant who accompanied him spoke with a marked Scotch 
accent. They were assigned quarters by the inn-keeper, and 
with him they remained five years. Then the servant went 
away, and the master found a home with a leading family of 
Easthampton. His means were ample and remittances reached 
him regularly through a chain of banks. The life he led in the 
quiet town was in every way a sweet and lovely one. He was 
the constant patron of the poor, the warm friend of all the boys 
in the village, prompt and generous in every good work, and a 
regular attendant at church, contributing freely to the building 
of a chapel at Easthampton. 

And yet for more than thirty years this singular man led 
the life of a hermit. But once in that time did he pass the limits 

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of Easthampton, and that was to visit Southampton, only a few 
miles away. During all these years his identity remained un- 
known to those about him. John Wallace was the name he gave 
when he came to Easthampton, and John Wallace is the name 
you will find carved on the white slab that stands above his 
grave in the village cemetery. At rare intervals he would come 
from the post-office holding a letter in his hand and remark to 
the members of the family with whom he lived, "This is from 
my lady friend in Edinburgh." And this was the only hint he 
ever gave of his former life. He was eighty-one years old when 
he died on a stormy night in December, 1870. After he was 
gone his landlady wrote a letter describing his end, addressed 
it to "Mr. Wallace's Lady Friend, Edinburgh," and despatched 
it through the New York bank by which the old man's remit- 
tances had reached him. Months later there came a reply, brief, 
formal and unfeeling, signed "Mr. Wallace's Lady Friend." 

Years after, quite by accident, the mystery of the dead 
man's life came out. In 1840 the sheriff of a great Scotch 
county was a certain man residing in Edinburgh. He was a 
bachelor of middle age, of upright life, benevolent impulses, 
the ever generous friend of those in distress, and widely known 
and universally beloved on account of his good works. Of a 
sudden a grave crime was charged against him. One evening 
the lord high advocate visited a friend of the sheriff and told 
him that at ten o'clock next morning a warrant would be issued 
for the sheriff's arrest. That night the sheriff disappeared 
from Scotland, and a few weeks later John Wallace's long and 
lonely penance m the little village on Long Island had begun. 
Now it is ended, and he sleeps as peacefully in the Easthamp- 
ton burial-ground as he would in the soil that gave him birth. 



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Queens and Its Worthies 

THE county of Queens during the last century may be 
aptly described as a country without a history, for its 
record during that period is one of steady and unevent- 
ful growth. The population of Newtown, the most westerly 
township in the county, had by 1793 reached 3,000 souls; 
and before the end of the same decade there was a line of 
stages which ran regularly to Brooklyn three times a week. 
The Flushing Avenue extension of the Cripple Bush road 
in 1805 lessened by four miles the distance to Brooklyn, and 
in 1816 the completion of the Williamsburg turnpike opened 
traffic fr(Mn Newtown direct to the new ferries at that point, 
thus reducing by one-half the distance to New York. By 1850 
the town's population exceeded 7,000, and when in 1854 the 
Long Island Railroad built its North Side branch to Flushing 
and beyond Newtown found itself on the way to become a 
suburb of Brooklyn. It was not, however, until 1876, that a 
line of horse cars was extended from the city to the village. 

De Witt Qinton during the opening years of the last cen- 
tury had his country residence in the Maspeth section of New- 
town. This uncommon man was bom in 1769, and was grad- 
uated at G>lumbia in 1786, first among the honor men of his 
class. He studied law, soon entered public life, and in 1799 
was elected to the Senate of New York, where he at once took 
a leader's place. Three years later he was elected to the fed- 
eral Senate, but resigned from that body in 1803 to become 
mayor of the city of New York. This post he held, excepting 
two years, until 18 15, serving at the same time as State senator 
and lieutenant-governor. He was the Federalist candidate fot 
President as opposed to Madison in 1812, but received only 
eighty-nine electoral votes. 

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Clinton was made governor of New York in 1818, and 
thereafter his career was identified with the building of the Erie 
Canal, of which he had early beccmie the enthusiastic and per- 
suading advocate. He was re-elected governor in 1820, and 
though he declined a third nomination in 1822, he continued 
from 1816 to 1824 to act as president of the canal board. Then 
his enemies induced the legislature to remove him from office, 
without either charges or trial ; but this action aroused profound 
disgust, soon leading to fury, and he was at once renominated 
and elected governor by an unprecedented majority. The 
Erie Canal was finished the following year, and a celebration 
took place which was the wonder of the nation. Clinton was 
again chosen governor in 1826, and died at the close of his 
term. The Maspeth house, where he was wont to enjoy rest 
from political agitations and his contention for the canal, came 
to him from his first wife, Maria Franklin, the daughter of a 
Quaker merchant of New York. It yet stands at the comer of 
Flushing and Maspeth Avenues, and may be seen by railroad 
travellers on the way to Jamaica, partially hidden by trees, 
many of which Clinton planted with his own hand. 

Woodside, Winfield, Elmhurst and Corona are settlements 
within the old township of Newtown, which have come into 
being during the last half century. Long Island City, now be- 
come a part of the Greater New York, is also a growth of mod- 
em times, although the history of some of its cc«iponent parts 
goes back to the day of first things. Settlers located in the vi- 
cinity of North Beach and Bowery Bay as early as 1638, wten 
Breuckelin was yet to comte by eight years ; what is now Hunter's 
Point but was once the Domine's Hook was settled in 1643; 
and the Hallett's Cove of an earlier time derived its name from 
William Hallett, an Englishman, who emigrated hitherward 
from Dorsetshire in 1652, and became, by g^ant from StU3rve- 
saht and by purchase from the Indians, owner of all the lands in 
the section now known as Astoria. Nearly all of these first set- 
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Queens and Its Worthies 

the years, and Thompson, writing in 1839, describes the vicinity 
of Hallett's Cove as a "theatre of activity and enterprise in 
various branches of business/' He adds that its industries then 
included a carpet factory, a chair factory, a wood card factory, 
a bellows factory, and chemical works. The nurseries of Grant 
Thorbum, America's pioneer seedsman, were likewise located 
here, and that quaint and interesting individual for seme years 
served as postmaster of Hallett's 0>ve, He and his wife were 
among the founders, in 1839, of the Reformed Church of As- 
toria, and a granite shaft in the rear of the present structure 
marks the site of his family vault. 

Many wealthy men, lured by the beauty of the situation, 
had by this time established country seats along the shore of 
Hell Gate. One of these was General Ebenezer Stevens, whose 
substantial stmimer home topped an eminence which faced the 
little bay opposite the northern end of Blackwell's Island. The 
son of General Stevens married the daughter of Albert Grallatin, 
whose service as secretary of the treasury gave him a place 
in our financial history second only to Alexander Hamilton. 
Gallatin when he retired from public life became the president 
of a bank in New York, still in existence, first called the Na- 
tional and now the Gallatin Bank. He withdrew from all sorts 
of business in 1839, and thereafter passed much of his time at 
his daughter's home on the East River shore. There he passed 
away on an August day in 1849, three months after his aged 
wife, who had died in the adjoining room to his own, he so 
helpless that he could not leave his bed. His grave is in Trinity 
burial-ground. New York, near that of Hamilton. 

The Hallett's Cove region became an incorporated village 
in 1839, and, John Jacob Astor having promised to contribute 
to the support of a female seminary then building, it took the 
name of Astoria. Homer Whittemore was chosen first presi- 
dent of the village, which, soon connected by ferry with Eight- 
sixth Street, New York, thereafter enjoyed a steady business 
and industrial growth. Meanwhile other sections of the Long 

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Island City of the future, were becoming centres of activity. 
The Ravenswood neighborhood, lying midway between Astoria 
and Hunter's Point, was, after 1841, connected with New York 
by stages, which ran by way of Astoria and the Eighty-sixth 
Street Ferry to the lower end of the Bowery. About the same 
time one Neziah Bliss purchased a large tract on the further 
side of Newtown Creek, in the secticm called Dutch Kills, and 
gave the name of Blissville to the settlement which grew up on 
his lands. Bliss had for a partner in his ventures no less a 
person than Dr. Eliphalet Nott, president of Union Coll^^, and 
the latter's holdings being eventually turned over to that insti- 
tution sold at a later time for nearly a million dollars. 

It has been told in another place how the fears of the 
dwellers on Atlantic Avenue, in Brooklyn, compelled the Long 
Island Railroad Company to remove its principal terminus to 
Hunter's Point. This action, though hurtful to Brooklyn, as- 
sured increased ferry facilities and quick development to the 
Himter's Point section. By 1869 the western end of Newtown 
township could boast a population of 16,000, and this led to 
active agitation for incorporation as a city. Accordingly a 
charter was duly prepared and laid before the l^slature. Many 
of the landed proprietors of the section, fearing an increase in 
taxes, strongly opposed the measure, but it passed both 
branches of the legislature, the governor signed it, and on May 
6, 1870, it became a law. The charter divided the city into five 
wards — ^the First Ward, or Hunter's Point ; the Second Ward, 
or Blissville; the Third Ward, or Ravenswood; the Fourth 
Ward, or Astoria, and the Fifth Ward, or Bowery Bay. 

Abram D. Ditmars was elected first mayor of the new city, 
and its twenty-seven years of independent existence were 
marked by steady growth. The piano house of Steinway and 
Sons in 1870 and 1871 b^^ to erect their plant in the neigh- 
borhood of Bowery Bay, thus bringing into being the now thriv- 
ing town of Steinway, while in 1872 the Empire and Standard 
Oil works were established along the East River, to be later 

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Queens and Its Worthies 

pushed back close upon the banks of Newtown Creek. The 
year 1872 also saw Long Island City made the county seat of 
Queens, and this action was followed by the erection of a roomy 
court house built of brick with granite trinmiings. Long Island 
City during all its years of separate existence was a storm 
centre of politics, with Patrick J. Gleason easily the most strik- 
ing figure in the series of battles which marked its history. 

Gleason was bom in Ireland, in 1844, and was one of eight 
brothers, three of whom had preceded him to America, when 
he arrived in New York at the age of fifteen. His first job was 
in a Brooklyn brewery at five dollars a month and his board, 
but he soon left it to conduct a hotel in Newtown. Then the 
Civil War broke out, and Gleason went to the front as a vol- 
unteer. His record was a good one, and he came out of the 
service with the rank of lieutenant. The war ended, he en- 
gaged in the distillery business in Flushing, but in 1869 failed 
and lost all his savings. About this time he entered politics, 
and in 1872 was a candidate for member of assembly in the 
seventh district of Kings county. "I was elected," he used to say 
in after years, "by 235 votes and counted out by fifteen." Just 
before this he had secured a franchise to run a street railroad 
from the Long Island City Ferry to Calvary Cemetery, but he 
took his defeat so sorely to heart that he borrowed money 
enough to take him to a brother in San Francisco and started 
for that city, vowing he would never return to the East. 

Gleason had not been long on the Pacific coast when he 
met a distiller to whom he sold a distilling secret for a hand- 
some sum. With this money he speculated in mining shares, 
and soon had $32,000 to his credit in bank. Then he read in a 
New York newspaper that some men were going to build a 
street-car line on his franchise. This aroused his fighting 
blood, and, hurrying back to Long Island City, he began to 
build his railroad, working with the laborers who constructed 
the roadbed. When it was oxnpleted he found himself with one 
car, some tracks and two or three horses. He slept in the stable, 

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cleaned and fed the horses, drove the car, and collected the 
fares. "And many a run in," he would say, "I had with 
passengers who didn't want to pay." He prospered, however, 
and secured other street railroads, until he controlled nearly all 
the lines in Long Island City. 

Gleason, meanwhile, had re-entered politics, and in 1887 
was elected mayor of Long Island City. He found its affairs 
in a wretched condition — ^its treasury empty, and its school 
teachers, police and other officials many months in arrears for 
salary. There was no fire department, no street or gas fund, 
and the city was without credit. The new mayor, however, 
changed all this in a short time. He straightened out the tangles 
in every branch of the government, established a paid fire de- 
partment, built school houses, created an excellent water supply 
system, wiped out the floating debt, reduced the tax rate, and 
from the verge of bankruptcy restored the dty to a solid finan- 
cial basis. He had always a fight, great or small, on hand, but 
the struggle of his life was with the Long Island Railroad Com- 
pany, which had closed up various city streets with gates and 
sheds. Often the mayor, sallying out axe in hand, would 
chop down the obstructions himself ; and once, arming the en- 
tire police force with axes, he made a clean sweep of all the 
railroad property which he thought was on the city lands. 

Mayor Gleason also fought the Standard Oil Company 
for years, and though he made a resolute stand, he was, in the 
end, compelled to admit that the undertaking was too much 
even for a fighting mayor. He did not cease, however, to fight 
telephone, telegraph and lumber companies, when they exceeded 
their rights; and he fought the ferry companies, compelling 
them to reduce the fare from four to three cents. After serving 
as mayor for two terms of three years each, he was defeated for 
re-election in 1892, but refused to admit defeat, and remained 
in possession of the city hall until the police, acting under an 
order from the court, ejected him. Gleason had always one 
platform which he would not alter to suit the different issues 

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Queens and Its Worthies 

of diflferent campaigns. "I always win," he once said, "by just 
driving round and yelling at me friends, and there's no plat- 
form, no nothing, — ^just me, Paddy." These tactics led to his 
re-election as mayor in 1895, and he had a year to serve when 
Long Island City became a part of the Borough of Queens. 

Taking up now the history of Flushing, it is to be recorded 
that as early as 1801 communication with New York was reg- 
ularly established by means of a stage which ran daily, passing 
through Jamaica and Bedford, a distance of twenty miles. 
A few years later a bridge was built over Flushing Creek, and 
a road and causeway by way of Yonkers Island over the salt 
meadows about Flushing Bay. After that the stages ran direct 
from Flushing to Williamsburg, crosteed the Grand Street 
Ferry, and thence made their way to the Bowery and Chatham 
Square; and this continued to be the order of things until in 
1854 the Long Island Railroad was extended to Flushing. Be- 
fore this the settlement at the head of Flushing Bay, now grown 
to nearly 2,000 souls, had been incorporated as a village. This 
event occurred in 1837, ten years after the founding of an insti- 
tution which was long the pride and boast of the village. 

It was in 1827 that the Rev. William A. Muhlenburg, a 
young clergyman of great ability and high aims, during a cas- 
ual visit to Flushing was invited to fill the vacant rectorship of 
St. George's Episcopal Church. He consented only to a pro- 
visional arrangement, as it was his cherished purpose to devote 
himself to the education of youth upon new and original lines ; 
but he had not been long in Flushing before an opportunity 
came to him to carry out bis ideas. Thus the comer stone of 
the Flushing Institute was laid in August, 1827, at the comer 
of the present Main and Amity streets, and early in the fol- 
lowing year it was ready for occupancy. Dr. Muhlenberg, 
while making the religious influence foremost in his work, 
sought at the same time to foster the closest ties of affection 
between teacher and pupil; and so well did he succeed that 
"his method was a revelation to the age in which he put it into 

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practice." When, as will be told in another place, he trans- 
ferred his work to 0>llege Point, the school at Flushing was 
abandoned, but in 1845 Ezra Fairchild bought the property, 
and carried over to the Institute a school which he had pre- 
viously conducted in New Jersey. The work after his death 
was taken up by his son, EznbA.. Fairchild, who has since sue- y /^J/\n ^ 
cessfuUy carried it forward /upon lines similar to those laid/ xj 

down by Dr. Muhlenberg. A noteworthy feature of this school 
for many years was the number of boys from Cuba and the 
South American republics enrolled among its pupils. 

Flushing, long before it became an incorporated village, 
had won fame through its nurseries. The Linnoean Botanic 
Garden was established in 1750 by William Prince for the pur- 
pose of raising young fruit and shade trees for sale; and so 
much success attended the venture that before 1839 sixty acres 
were needed to accommodate the Prince nurseries. The Par- 
sons nurseries were established in 1838, and although the main 
business was in 1872 removed to Kissenah Lake, the old nur- 
series on Broadway, near Bowne Avenue, are still the wonder 
and delight of every visitor to Flushing. The building of the 
North Side branch of the Long Island Railroad to and beyond 
Flushing brought a growing army of dty workers to dwell in 
the village, and this movement gained added impetus when the 
trolley cars came to make direct and quick connection with 
Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Long Island City, and the upper part 
of New York by means of the Astoria Ferry to Ninety-second 
Street. Streets were laid out upon the high ground east of 
Flushing, and it had become a town of 20,000 population, when 
consolidation made it a part of the greater city. 

College Point, at the northerly end of the Flushing town- 
ship of other days, derives its present name, if not its being, 
from Dr. Muhlenberg, who, in 1835, bought here a large tract 
of land facing the Sound. It was his purpose to make his pur- 
chase the site of St. Paul's College, for the preparation of young 
men for the ministry of the Episcopal Church. The finan- 

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Queens and Its Worthies 

cial panic of 1837, however, played havoc with his plans, and 
the coHege was never realized on the scale designed by its 
founder. The college buildings were finished and occupied in 
1840^ but Dr. Muhlenberg left the institution at the end of six 
years to begin his career as rector of a free church and founder 
of St. Luke's Hospital, New York, and, those who succeeded 
him proving unequal to their task, before 1850 the existence of 
St. Paul's College came to an end. College Point, after the 
failure of this educational venture, became an industrial centre, 
mainly through the efforts of Conrad Poppenhusen, a German 
who in 1854 established here a factory for the making of hard 
rubber knife-handles. Ribbon mills, ultra-marine works and a 
brewery were later added to the industries of the town. In 1868 
Mr. Poppenhusen induced the Long Island Railroad Company 
to build a branch from Flushing to College Point, and in 1880 
came the incorporation of the latter as a village. 

Whitestone, a few miles east of College Point, has been 
since 1845 ^^ important manufacturing center. Thence a fine 
road leads along the shore of Little Neck Bay to Willett's Point, 
where since the middle years of the Civil War there has been 
a federal military reservation of upward of a hundred acres 
admirably located and laid out for the defense of New York 
harbor. Willett's Point has long been the headquarters 
of a battalion of engineers, and is essentially a training 
school for the engineer corps of the army. "The garrison," we 
are told, "is composed of some 500 engineer soldiers, who are 
constantly exercised in the duties of this special branch of ser- 
vice as well as in infantry drill. These men as a rule are of a 
high order of intelligence, and are required to become familiar 
with the principles of mechanics ; to construct and lay bridges ; 
to sink, explode or take up torpedoes ; to understand the nature 
and operation of high explosives, steam-engines, and electrical 
apparatus, as well as the duties formerly appertaining to sappers 
and miners." Bayside, on the west shore of Little Neck Bay ; 
Douglaston, nearer the head of the bay, and Little Neck, on its 

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eastern bank, are other settlements just within the precincts of 
Flushing that has come into being during the last half century. 

The most interesting event in the history of Jamaica in 
the years immediately following the Revolution was Wash- 
ington's visit to the town in the spring of 1790. Washingt(m 
left New York, then the federal capital, on the morning of 
Tuesday, April 20, and his first day's journey, which included 
Brooklyn, Flatbush, New Utrecht and Gravesend, ended at 
Jamaica, where he lodged over night at Wame's Tavern, de- 
scribed by him in his diary as "a good and decent house/' The 
journey, resumed the following morning, was extended to 
Brookhaven, Coram, Setauket, and by way of Smithtown, Hun- 
tington, Oyster Bay, and Manhasset back to Flushing, which 
was reached on Saturday morning. Then passing through 
Newtown, Bedford and Brooklyn the President and his party 
crossed the ferry and were back in New York on the evening 
of the same day. 

The year after Washington's visit occurred another im- 
portant event in the history of Jamaica, the founding of Uni(Hi 
Hall Academy. This was due, in the main, to the efforts of 
Rynier Van Nest, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. As 
the result of a meeting held in March, 1791, a fund of $2,000 
was pledged by the citizens of the towns of Jamaica, Newtown 
and Flushing, and a building erected on Union Hall Street, 
which on May i, 1792, was opened with elaborate ceremony. 
Maltby Gelston was the first principal of Union Hall Academy, 
and he and his successors labored to such good purpose, that in 
1816 a female academy was added which gave instruction to 
young women in "all branches of a polite and finished educa- 
tion." Four years later the first home of the academy gave way 
to a larger building, which, we are told, "contained recitation- 
rooms for a principal and five assistants, a library, and a room 
fitted up with philosophical apparatus." The fame of the school 
had by this time become widespread, and many of its principals 
were men of note in their calling. The best known of these 

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was Henry Onderdonk, who taught at Union Hall from 1832 
until 1865, and whose exhaustive researches into the early his- 
tory of Long Island have placed later students under lasting 
obligation to him. The fortunes of Union Hall, however, de- 
clined with the growth of the public school system, and in 1873 
its existence came to an end. Its old h<xne, wholly changed in 
outward seeming, is now used for residence purposes. 

Jamaica, during the period under review, numbered many 
citizens of mark. The one best remembered by men of a later 
time was Rufus King, who, borii in Boston in 1755, was grad- 
uated at Harvard at the age of twenty-two, and later studied 
law with Theophilus Parsons, one of the leading jurists of his 
generation. During the Revolution he was aide-de-camp to 
General Glover and proved himself a brave and capable soldier. 
He was a member of the Massachusetts legislature in 1783, and 
thereafter was for three years a delegate to the Continental 
Congress, taking a leading and forceful part in its delibera- 
tions. His State in 1789 sent him as a delegate to the conven- 
tion that framed the Federal Constitution, and its proceedings 
show that he was easily one of the great leaders of that body. 

Young King was married in 1786 to Mary Alsc^, daughter 
of John Alsop, a member of the first Continental Congress from 
New York, to which State he transferred his domicile in 1789, 
shortly after the adoption of the Constitution. "He had been so 
busy with his political duties," writes one of his biographers, 
"that he had no time to make himself acquainted with the peo- 
ple of his new home. Great, therefore, was his surprise, in the 
same year when they elected him to the New York Assembly, 
and greater still a few days after joining that body, when made 
their choice with Philip Schuyler for colleague as senator from 
New York to the first Congress of the nation. His career in 
the Senate was marked by ability and fidelity, as well as by in- 
finite patience. He was always in his seat, and attended every 
session of the committees of which he was a member. He took 
a strong part in the important debates of the period, and was 

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instrumental in shaping the course of legislation as well as the 
policy of the government Now that a century has elapsed it 
is easy to see that he was one of the great men of that body, 
and that to him was due much of the welfare which the nation 
subsequently enjoyed. In 1796 Washington sent him as min- 
ister to the G)urt of St. James, where he remained during the 
administration of Adams and part of Jeflferson's first term. 
Much work devolved upon the minister at that time, more in 
fact, than is the case to-day, but King, with characteristic in- 
dustry, attended to every matter, great and small, working 
sometimes eighteen hours out of the twenty-four. He stood 
the strain for seven years, and then, finding that his health was 
giving way, he was relieved at his own request." 

Upon his return to America King settled in Jamaica, where 
he led for several years a studious but busy life, expressing 
himself with force upon the public questions that arose 
from time to time, often, with unusual independence, taking 
issue with his own party — ^the Federalists. He was again 
chosen senator in 1813, and seven years later returned to the 
same c^ce. He was a second time appointed minister to Eng- 
land in 1825, but after a few months he found that his failing 
strength was unequal to the burdens of the office, and he ac- 
cordingly resigned and returned home. He died in 1827, and 
rests in the Episcopal bur)dng-g^ound at Jamaica. William 
Sullivan, whose book on "Public Men of the Revolution" is 
rare, says of King: "At thirty-three years of age he was an 
uncommonly handscmie man in face and form, had a powerful 
mind, well cultivated, and was a dignified and graceful speaker. 
He had the appearance of one who was a gentleman by nature, 
and who had well improved all his gifts. It is a rare occurrence 
to see a finer assemblage of personal and intellectual qualities, 
cultivated to the best eflfect than were seen in this gentleman. 
King was a public man through his long life, and he may be 
considered as one of the most successful of the eminent men 
whose relations to the public endured so long." 

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Queens and Its Worthies 

He was that and scMnething more. His letters advocating 
the expulsion of Spain from America, show that he compre- 
hended, perhaps more fully than any man of his time, the des- 
tiny of his country ; and there is no doubt that had the United 
States, mindful of her own debt to France, taken a correspond- 
ing part in the liberation of Spanish America, the inevitable 
consolidation of the New World in a republic far more mag- 
nificent than was the Roman, would have been hastened by at 
least a century. Many of King's descendants have played a 
prominent part in affairs, and in 1856 his eldest son, John Alsop 
King, was elected governor of New York. The King place at 
Jamaica is now a public park. 

Jamaica became an incorporated village in 1814, when its 
population was nearing a thousand. Its growth thereafter was 
slow but steady until the building in 1836 of the Brooklyn and 
Jamaica Railroad gave its people quicker and easier access to 
the outer world. The evening in 1854 of the Myrtle Avenue 
and Jamaica Plank Road greatly shortened the distance to 
Brooklyn, and later horse-cars ran from Jamaica to East New 
York, where they met several lines of horse cars, or dummy 
trains from the Brooklyn ferries. Later still the Rapid Transit 
trains of the Long Island Railroad were made to run at reg- 
ular intervals to Jamaica, and in the opening years of the last 
decade came the trolley-car to complete the system of quick 
and constant communication between this end of the greater 
city and its more central portions. Population and development 
followed close upon these means of travel, and now there is a 
series of settlements extending in an almost unbroken line from 
East New York through Jamaica to the pleasant little town 
of Queens. One of these, Woodhaven, is the seat of a great 
agate-ware factory, which started in a small way in 1863 
now covers three acres of gfround, with no less than ten wide 
spreading brick buildings. 

The story of the making of the greater city will be told in 
another place ; but here it must be noted that by the act of con- 

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solidation three of the six townships constituting the county of 
Queens — Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, — fell within the 
territory of the Greater New York throughout their whole ex- 
tent. There was also included within the corporate limits a 
small strip of Hempstead along its western border ; but the re- 
mainder of that township, together with those of North Hemp- 
stead and Oyster Bay, were erected into a new county called 
Nassau, an appropriate reminder of an ancient name of Long 
Island. The best remembered dwellers within the limits of 
Nassau county during the last century were Elias Hicks, the 
Quaker preacher, and William CuUen Bryant, the poet. Hicks 
was in many ways the most remarkable man Amercan Quaker- 
ism has yet produced and the leader in the most serious schism 
that has marked its history. He was bom and reared in the 
town of Hempstead, but in 1771, when he was twenty-three 
years old, he took to wife a Quaker maiden of Jericho, which 
became and remained his home until his death in 1830, at the 
ripe age of eighty-two. 

The youth of Hicks, he tells us in his journal, was one of 
indifference to the faith in which he was bom, but the coming 
of his twentieth year witnessed a great change in his thoughts 
and mode of life, and seven years later he entered the Quaker 
ministry, laboring therein with untiring diligence for more 
than half a century. It is recorded of him that he travelled 
above 10,000 miles on foot, visiting in this way Canada and al- 
most every State of the Union and preaching more than a thous- 
and times in the open air. A poor man all his days, he asked 
and would accept no compensation for his services, and when 
not preaching labored on his farm in the outskirts of Jericho. 
The doctrines which Hicks expounded with so much vigor and 
power may have slight significance for the men and women of 
another generation, but the fact lives that this lion-hearted old 
man early opposed negro slavery, wrote and preached against 
it, and was chiefly instrumental in securing the passage of the 
act that on July 4, 1827, gave freedom to every slave within the 

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State of New York. Therein he wrote for himself a nobler 
epitaph than could have been graven by the hand of man. 

From Jericho, with its memories of Hicks, it is scant eight 
miles to Roslyn, long the home of William CuUen Bryant. Ros- 
lyn has a history running well back into the eighteenth century, 
but was a village of only a few hundred souls when Bryant vis- 
ited it in 1843, ^^d maldng it his place of summer abiding, soon 
grew to regard it as the most beautiful spot he had ever seen. 
Love of nature was the poet's absorbing passion, and to this 
taste Roslyn ministered with gentle prodigality, furnishing the 
inspiration for much of his sweetest verse. Though he yearly 
made pilgrimage back to his New England home at Cumming- 
ton in the Hampshire Hills, Roslyn grew to be the spot he loved 
best in all the world, and in his latter years he hastened to it 
early in the spring and lingered there until late in the fall. 

The Quaker homestead to which Bryant gave the name of 
Cedarmere and in which he dwelt for thirty-five years, is a 
roomy, rambling structure in the colonial style, with broad 
piazzas, quaint extensions, and heavy oaken timbers as staunch 
and perfect as when they were put in place more than a hun- 
dred years ago. It stands on a bench in the hillside, flanked 
on the one hand by a lake and brook, and on the other by a 
garden teeming with flower-beds and fruit. Before and below 
it the glimmering harbor spreads its ever changing panorama. 
Inside Cedarmere are wide, open grates, huge-throated chim- 
neys, and antique balustrades, while a broad hallway runs the 
entire length of the house, which has altered little since Bryant 
knew and loved it. Reverent hands shield it from neglect, and 
each pleasant day in summer finds some visitor knocking at 
the old-fashioned door for a ramble over the poet's home. 
Bryant's grave is in the village cemetery, whose burial-stones 
whiten the slope of a neighboring hill. The lot is large and 
hemmed in by trees, with a plain granite shaft in the centre. 
On one side of the shaft is recorded the death of Frances Bry- 
ant, the poet's wife, who was "the beloved disciple of Christ, 

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exemplary in every relation of life, affectionate, sympathetic, 
sincere, and ever occupied with the welfare of others." On die 
other side appears the poet's name and birthplace, and the time 
of his birth and death. There is no epitaph and none is needed. 



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LONG ISLAND was not the actual site of battles, but her 
sons had a hand in most of the hard fighting of the 
second war with England, which proved American 
ships and American seamen the best and bravest on the seas. 
Warships built and manned on this side of the Atlantic were 
more than equal, ship for ship, to those sent out by England, 
while a fleet of privateers, which swarmed like bees upon Brit- 
ish commerce, carried the American flag into every navigable 
water on the globe. The aim of these privateers was to destroy 
British commerce, but being fleet, strong, powerfully armed, 
and manned with stout-hearted American tars, eager to cross 
cutlasses with the enemy wherever found, they did not hesitate 
when cornered to give battle to ships of the line. The odds in 
such encounters were always with the enemy ; but the American 
privateers won as often as they lost, and more than once took a 
part in the making of history. 

Baltimore furnished a larger number of privateers than 
any other port, but Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Salem and 
Sag Harbor each sent out their dozens. "They varied in size," 
we are told, "from mere pilot boats, with twenty to forty men 
each, to harrass the small trade of the British West Indies, to 
the largest and most powerful frigates, fit to cope with the best 
ships of the British navy. By far the largest number were 
schooners, swift, medium-sized, powerfully armed. Several 
brigs and brigantines sailed also. They went out overloaded 
with men, so as to have crews to bring home the prizes which 
they expected, as a matter of course, to take. Sometimes a 
privateer would capture half a dozen or more British ships 
while on a cruise, and would return so depleted of seamen 
that she had scarcely men enough to handle sail." 

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Most of the privateers which sailed from New York and 
New England ports were in part manned and in some cases 
commanded by Long Island men. Take the case of the Scourge, 
a 250-ton schooner built and owned by Peter Schenck and Fred- 
erick Jenkins of New York, mounting fifteen carriage guns, 
manned by a hundred men, and commanded by Captain Samuel 
G. NicoU. The log of the Scourge, still preserved by the fam- 
ily of its commander, tells the story of a dozen thrilling encoun- 
ters. On May 26, 1813, the schooner lay in Long Island Sotmd 
with the United States ships Macedonian, United States and 
Hornet, awaiting information concerning some British men-of- 
war reported between Block Island and Montauk Point. The 
sloop Beaver from the Vineyard was hailed eariy in the after- 
noon, and reported that three ships composed the British squad- 
ron. The Scourge and the warships thereupon weighed anchor 
and made for the eastern entrance of the Sound, speaking on 
the way a sloc^ from Block Island which reported that the 
enemy's vessels consisted of two 74's and a frigate. 

Further searching, however, )rielded no trace of the British, 
and on May 28, the Scourge parted from the warships and stood 
out to sea. One month to a day later she was off the coast of 
Norway, where she made her first capture, a British bark from 
London bound for Archangel. A prize crew was put on board 
with orders to proceed to Drontheim. An English ship mount- 
ing eight guns was taken after a short action on July 14 ; and 
then the Scourge, working well to the southward, was soon on 
the cruising ground of the enemy's ships of war. On the morn- 
ing of Sunday, July 18, a vessel was sighted with a brig hard- 
by. Foggy weather prevailing at the time. Captain Nicoll, to 
establish her identity, ran up within gunshot and opened fire on 
the stranger, only to find that he was engaging a ship of war, 
which hove about and stood for him. The Scourge fled from 
the scene under full sail. Certain signs, however, led Captain 
Nicoll to believe that his supposed enemy was an American 
frigate. Accordingly, he signalled with the private code sup- 

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plied to all privateers and national vessels, and, receiving a fav- 
orable reply, ran down under the stranger's lee, to be informed 
by Commodore John Rodgers that the supposed enemy he had 
engaged was the United States frigate President. 

Captain NicoU was ordered to come aboard and explain 
his action, and that his explanations were deemed satisfactory 
is shown by the fact that, after sinking an English brig, the two 
ships started in company on a cruise. The second morning two 
sails were discovered to the southward, and chase was made 
with crews at quarters, but when almost within gunshot, the 
strangers were found to be a British line-of-battleship and a 
frigate. The chasers now became the chased, but the Ameri- 
cans managed to elude their pursuers, and the Scourge at the 
end of a twenty-four hours' run found herself out of sight both 
of the President and of the enemy. A fortnight later she had 
another narrow escape from capture. "Saw a sail bearing south 
southeast, which gave chase to us," runs the record in her log 
book. "Out boats and pulled away with our sweeps, but she 
bringing up the wind with her neared us fast. Wet our sails ; 
started twenty-five casks of water ; hove overboard most of our 
ballast, and cut away the small bower and kedge from the bows. 
Discovered the chase to be a two-decker man of war. She keep- 
ing up well to windward nearly becalmed our sails. The chase 
fired several shots that fell short. At ii A. M. she showed 
English colors and gave us a gun. Kept the sweeps going and 
encouraged the men. At lo P. M. got the weather-gauge of 
the ship ; gave her long Tom — ^the forward gun — ^and its con- 
tents, when a thick fog came on and a fresh breeze with it. In 
sweeps at II P. M. Squared the yards; made all possible sail 
and stood in for the land." 

The Scourge had been joined the while by the privateer 
brig Rattlesnake, with which she now cruised about the mouth 
of the Elbe, a field of operations which yielded a harvest of 
prizes in the shape of English ships trading with the Baltic 
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snake started in pursuit of one, an unarmed bark, while the 
Scourge chased an armed brig, whose captain did not seek to 
escape, but hove up into the wind and awaited her coming. 
The fight that followed came soon to an end. "Captain NicoU," 
we are told, "held the weather-gauge, where, beyond the reach 
of the enemy's guns, he pounded him with his bow chaser until, 
unable to make effective reply or to escape, the Englishman 
struck his colors and surrendered. The capture proved to be 
the armed brig Burton on a cruise. With six vessels the result 
of their joint operations, the two privateers proceeded to DrcMi- 
theim, where one of the captured brigs was turned into a prison 
ship for the detention of the crews of the prizes. From Dron- 
theim the two privateers sailed to the southward to cut off 
stragglers horn the British convoys botmd in and out of the 
Baltic. They were separated by foul weather, and the Scourge 
arrived first at the cruising ground, just in time to cut off a 
brig that had fallen to leeward of a southward bound convoy. 
A British frigate guarding the rear of the merchant fleet de- 
tected the object of the Scourge and started in pursuit; but 
Captain NicoU followed his prey imtil after dark, under cover 
of the night and almost within gunshot of the frigate, he cap- 
tured the vessel, which proved to be the brig Economy, loaded 
with tar, bound from Archangel to Chatham. With three more 
prizes to their credit, the Scourge and the Rattlesnake sailed 
for Drontheim, where they arrived safely on September i6, 
1813." Dissensions, however, now arose between the officers 
and crews of the two vessels, and they did not again put to sea. 
Long Island men also helped to man the privateer which 
fought the last naval battle of the war. This was the brig 
General Armstrong, commanded by Captain Samuel Reid 
and owned by a syndicate of New York merchants. Reid, 
then only thirty-one years of age, had followed the sea from his 
youth, serving as a midshipman under Truxton, and among 
master sailors had few equals in skill and bravery. He sailed 
from New York with a crew of ninety men on September 9, 

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The Second War with England 

1814, and seventeen days later put into the port of Fayal in 
the Azores for water. It was Reid's purpose to proceed on 
his voyage in the morning, but before the day ended a British 
squadron bound for Jamaica to join Cochrane's naval expedi- 
tion against New Orleans, cast anchor in the harbor. This 
squadron consisted of the frigates Plantagenet and Rota and the 
brig Carnation, mounting 130 guns and manned by 2,000 men. 
The General Armstrong, with her crew of ninety men and 
nine guns, the largest a twenty-four-pounder, lay in the waters 
of a neutral power, but this fact did not weigh with the British, 
who at once resolved upon her capture. The light of a full 
moon enabled Reid to follow the movements of the enemy, and 
when boats were launched and arms passed into them, he moved 
his vessel a little nearer to the shore, and ordered her deck 
cleared for action. At midnight fourteen boats, each manned 
by forty men, approached the General Armstrong in solid col- 
umn, while the Carnation, being light of draft, sailed up within 
shot of the privateer to be handy should she slip her cables and 
put to sea. The attempt to board was made upon every side 
at the same instant, but the Americans were ready for their as- 
sailants, and there followed forty minutes of fierce and bloody 
fighting. Reid and his men, leaning over the rails, poured 
a deadly fire from muskets and pistols into the approaching 
boats. The boarders swarmed up shouting, "No quarter 1" 
"No quarter!" returned the Americans, shooting them down 
with pistols held in faces and prodding them with pikes, until 
the sides of the vessel and the sea were stained with blood. The 
fight ended in the total defeat of the British. Three of thdr 
boats were sent to the bottom and four others, filled with dead, 
drifted to the shore. Some were left without a man to row 
them, and the most that any one pulled away with was ten. 
The British had lost over 250 in killed and wounded. "But to 
the surprise of mankind," wrote an eye-witness of the battle, 
"the Americans had but two killed and seven wounded. God 
deliver us f rcwn our enemies if this is the way to fight 1" 

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The following morning, despite the protests of the gov- 
ernor of Fa)ral, the Carnation made sail, and, approaching 
within short firing distance, poured broadside after broadside 
into the privateer, but soon the latter's return fire so disabled 
the brig that she had to be withdrawn from the fight. Then the 
Plantagenet and the Rota approached for a general attack, and 
Reid, seeing that further resistance meant useless slaughter, 
scuttled his ship and pulled for the shore. The British, having 
burned the General Armstrong to the water's edge, threatened 
to pursue him, but stayed their hand when the American cap- 
tain and his men threw themselves within a stone fortress near 
the shore, and made ready for another stubborn defense. The 
fight at Fayal had a luckless sequel for the British. Ten days 
their ships were detained for burials and repairs, and this in 
turn delayed Cochrane's departure from Jamaica, so that the 
combined British fleet did not reach New Orleans until Jackson 
had possessed the city, and completed the defences which made 
possible the crowning victory of the war. Reid's heroic fight 
had saved New Orleans. He was highly honored upon his re- 
turn to America, and without delay was appointed a sailing 
master in the navy. This place he held until his death, serving 
at the same time as a harbor master and as collector of the port 
of New York. He died at the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, in 
1861, and sleeps, with shame be it said, in an unmarked grave 
at the comer of Zephyr Path and Cypress Avenue, Greenwood. 
Babylon on the south shore of Long Island saw the close 
of one of the most remarkable passages in the history of the 
war. It was early in July, 1812, that the frigate Essex, dis- 
guised as a merchantman, sailed out of New York. She was 
commanded by Captain David Porter, a sailor of intrepid valor, 
and when she returned to port two months later she could 
boast of the capture of ten prizes, among them the British war- 
ships Aliert and Mercury, both of which were superior in guns 
and men to the Essex, Once more, on October 26, the Essex 
sailed from New York. Porter had orders to act with the 

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squadron of Coimnodore Bainbridge in an attack on British 
commerce in the South Atlantic, but missing his commanding 
officer, he boldly put his frigate around the Horn and began a 
cruise against the English whaling fleet, which ended only when 
he had sunk or captured every ship. Being out of reach of a 
port in which his prizes, all of which carried arms, might be 
condemned, Porter instead enlisted them in the navy of the 
United States, and cruised up and down the- South Pacific with 
a fleet so large that at one time every officer of the Essex, save 
the surgeon, was in command of a vessel of his own. One of 
these was David G. Farragut, the future admiral, then a mid- 
shipman in his early teens. 

Porter at the end of a year put into the harbor of Val- 
paraiso, having inflicted fully $6,000,000 damage upon the com- 
merce of the enemy. The British ships Phoebe and Cherub 
sought to surprise the Essex, but were foiled in the attempt. 
Then, on March 28, 1814, Porter spread his sails and made a 
bold dash for the open Pacific. A heavy squall, however, dis- 
abled the Essex, and ccwnpelled her to return to her old position 
in port, where the British, notwithstanding they were in neutral 
waters, opened fire upon her. The fight that followed lasted 
two hours, and was one of the bloodiest naval encounters in 
history. Twice was the enemy compelled to withdraw for re- 
pairs, and it was not until the Essex was on fire and three- 
quarters of her crew were killed or wounded that Porter struck 
his colors. Thus ended the cruise of the Essex. "We have been 
unfortunate, but not disgraced," wrote her captain. "The de- 
fence of the Essex has not been less honorable to her officers 
and crew than the capture of an equal force, and I now consider 
my situation less unpleasant than that of Ccwnmodore Hillgar, 
who, in violation of every principle of honor and generosity, 
and regardless of the rights of nations, attacked the Essex in 
her crippled state within pistol shot of a neutral shore." 

The Essex Junior, one of Porter's fleet, was made a cartel 
ship and sent to New York. A British ship detained her off the 

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Long Island coast, and Porter, considering the detention a 
violaticm of the cartel agreement, escaped in a whaleboat and 
landed at Babylon. He was suspected of being a British offi- 
cer, but when he showed his papers the citizens gave him a 
hearty welcome, and his progress to New York heczmt a tri- 
umphal procession. Every village greeted him with glad accla- 
mations; Congress passed him a vote of thanks, and banquets 
and public receptions innumerable were tendered him. The 
Essex was sent to England and added to the British navy. 

The eastern end of Long Island was harrassed by British 
cruisers throughout the entire course of the' war. Sir Thomas 
Hardy anchored his flagship in Gardiner's Bay early in April, 
1813, and for many months thereafter a number of the ships of 
his squadron made Gardiner's Island headquarters. John Lion 
Gardiner was then proprietor of the island, and more than one 
exciting passage did he have with his unwelcome guests. Com- 
modore Hardy, we are told, "prefaced his requisitions for pro- 
duce from the island with promises of payment, but his seamen 
were perpetually coming ashore, and taking whatever pleased 
them. Oxen were often shot at the plow and carried to the 
vessels. Lewis Edwards, the overseer of the island, claimed 
and received the market price for what was taken with his 
knowledge ; but his hatred of the British was very great and he 
tried to outwit them, not infrequently sorting out the poorest 
cattle and sheep and placing them where detachments coming 
ashore would see them first. Gardiner discovering that an at- 
tack was to be made on Sag Harbor, where a force of New York 
militia was stationed during the entire war, sent a trusty col- 
ored servant thither with a note of warning, directing him to 
keep a stone tied to the missive while crossing the bay, and if 
overhauled by the British picket-boats to drop it in the water. 
The negro accomplished his mission in safety, and when over 
a hundred assaulters, in one latmdi and two barges from the 
squadron, approached the village at midnight they were met by 
the militia and driven to their vessels in disorder." 

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Again, when the squadron of Gxnmodore Decatur was 
blockaded in New London harbor by the British, a boat's crew 
of Americans managed to elude the vigilance of the enemy and 
landed on Gardiner's Island. "They concealed themselves in 
the woods until a party from one of the British ships, among 
whom were several officers came ashore and strolled up to the 
manor-house, then coming suddenly into view made them all 
prisoners. The astonished captives, enraged but helpless, were 
quickly and quietly conveyed across the water into Connecticut 
Barges were at once ordered by the enemy to patrol the waters 
about Gardiner's Island, and tro(q>s were sent for the arrest of 
the proprietor, who was supposed instrumental in betraying the 
British into the trap, but who was really as much surprised as 
themselves, and entirely ignorant of the presence of the Ameri- 
cans until the skirmish occurred in his own dooryard. Gardiner 
escaped captivity through the presence of mind and ingenuity 
of his wife. He went to bed, feigning sickness, and being a 
delicate man the reflection of the green curtains of the bedstead 
and windows gave him a sickly look. A table was placed by his 
bedside with medicines, glasses and spoons. When the officers 
appeared and insisted upon seeing their victim, Mrs. Gardiner 
came forward, and, tearfully asking them to make as little 
noise as possible, admitted them to her husband's room. They 
were completely deceived, and not wishing to be encumbered 
with a sick man on board ship took their leave, but demanded 
as hostage his eldest son, a lad of ten — ^who was fortunately 
away at school." 

While events like this were occurring on and about eastern 
Long Island, at its western end vigorous measures were being 
taken to guard against the approach of the enemy. Brooklyn 
and her larger sister, New York, were exposed on every side, 
and knowledge of this fact doubled the vigilance of their citi- 
zens. Manhattan Island bristled with redoubts and block- 
houses, while on the Brooklyn shore haste was made to restore 
and strengthen the defences erected at the opening of the Rev- 

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olution. These stretched from Wallabout Bay to the head of 
Gowanus Creek. The Fort Greene of an earlier time now be- 
came Fort Fireman, Fort Putnam was renamed Fort Greene, 
and an oblong redoubt at Hudson and DeKalb avenues was 
called Fort Cummings. Cobble Hill became Fort Swift, so 
named in honor of the general who supervised the construction 
of all of the works, while upon a hill between what are now 
Bond, Nevins, State and Schermerhom streets arose a new forti- 
fication called Redoubt Masonic. Men of all vocations and 
trades volunteered to labor on these works of defense, and, 
after the capture of Washington and the bombardment of Bal- 
timore, so great was the rush of volunteers that turns had to 
be taken by the various trades. 

Thus we read that on the first day at Fort Greene men from 
New York's Seventh Ward labored side by side with soldiers 
from the regular army. The second day those who worked 
on the trenches were tanners, curriers and plumbers, and a large 
force of exempt firemen, whose places were taken on the 
third day by a body of medical students. Men from other 
towns lent their aid, and on September 4, 1814, 800 citizens of 
Newark marched to Paulus Hook, crossed the North and East 
rivers, and plied spade and pickax at the Brooklyn lines. These 
were followed within the week by 200 men from Morris county. 
New Jersey, who came under the leadership of their pastor; 
and on another day seventy volunteers from Paterson, led by a 
veteran of the iCevolution, labored in the trenches. Better still, 
we are told, that "labor was lightened by the whole-hearted 
enthusiasm which brought men hither in such large numbers, 
and which was fed by stirring mottoes, inscribed upon banners 
as they marched. The Newark men rallied under the sentiment, 
'Don't give up the soil,' an adaptation of the then recent, and 
now immortal, command of the dying Lawrence. The Masons 
passed among their ranks as a watchword Lord Nelson's fam- 
ous signal, modified to their own circumstances: The Grand 
Master expects every Mason to do his duty.' And upon roads 

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The Second War with England 

or streets or ferryboats as they marched or rode to the points 
assigned them, and in the trenches as they grew in strength 
from the Wallabout to Gowanus, the men sang the words 
or whistled the time of a song called 'The Patriotic Diggers/ 
composed by the author of 'The Old Oaken Bucket/ Samuel 
Woodworth/' 

Fortunately the preparations for war carried forward in 
such hearty fashion were never put to the test. A treaty of peace 
was signed at Ghent by the ccxnmissioners of the United States 
and England, on December 24, 1814, and on the night of St. 
Valentine's Day, February 14, 181 5, news of this event reached 
New York. All night long residents on Brooklyn Heights saw 
great numbers of moving lights passing up and down the streets 
on the farther side of the river. It was known early next 
morning that these were carried by people who had come from 
their beds to celebrate the return of peace; and before no<Mi 
word was speeding to all the towns and villages of Long Island 
that the war was at an end. Her pe(q)le were quick to feel the 
thrill of returning prosperity, and the antiquary of to-day who 
searches for visible reminders of those dark times will find that 
not a vestige remains save the twin cannon on the plateau 
where once stood Fort Greene. 

That historic name, however, is preserved by the oldest of 
Brooklyn's many parks. Thanks to the efforts of a few public- 
spirited citizens, a law was passed by the legislature in 1847, 
which secured for a public park all the region around the old 
fort — an area of some thirty acres. This stretch of wood and 
dale was soon made doubly historic by the reverent reburial in 
its soil of the heroes who sealed their patriotism on the dreaded 
prisons ships of the Revolution ; and skill and labor have since 
developed it into one of the most beautiful of pleasure grounds, 
with its noble view over two cities (now boroughs) and the 
river and bay between them. The way to it should never lack 
for pilgrims, for it leads to consecrated ground. 



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FOR a round score of years after the Revolution old Bush- 
wick, one of the j&ve Dutch towns of the day of first 
things, remained essentially an agricultural community. 
The influences which were to make it a part of the modem 
city first manifested themselves in 1802, when Richard W. 
WoodhuU, a New York merchant, bought a tract of land at the 
foot of the present North Second Street, and had it surveyed 
and laid out into dty lots. A ferry at the same time was estab- 
lished to Corlear's Hook, where now is the foot of Grand 
Street, on Manhattan Island. A little later Thomas Morrell, 
of Newtown, bought a tract of land centering about the foot of 
the present Grand Street, Brooklyn, and also established a 
ferry to Corlear's Hook. The settlements which grew up about 
these two ferries, along with all the territory between Broad- 
way and Newtown Creek, took the name of Williamsburgh, 
and in 1827 received incorporation as a village. The act of in- 
corporation, however, excluded the portion of the later city 
known as Greenpoint at the north, and this rule still held when 
in 1835 the village charter was so amended as to add to its 
territory what are now the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Wards 
of Brooklyn. 

Before this steam power had been introduced on the ferries, 
and a rapid and steady growth gave Williamsburg, in 1845, a 
population of 11,000, made up in the main of people engaged 
in business on the farther side of the East River. The Wil- 
liamsburg "Daily Times," as it was then called, was founded 
in 1848 ; two years later a gas company was inaugurated, and 
in 1 85 1 the Williamsburgh Savings Bank came into being. 
Meantime, in the short space of five years, the population had 
increased to 30,000, and on January i, 1852, Williamsburgh 

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became an incorporated city. The city of Williamsburgh, 
however, enjoyed an existence of only three years. In 1854, 
William Wall, the mayor of the town, led in a movement for 
consolidation with Brooklyn. A bill looking to this end was 
passed by the legislature in the same year, and on January i, 
1855, Williamsburg became a part of Brooklyn. 

The new and enlarged city covered the Brooklyn township 
of an earlier time, the city of Williamsburgh and the remainder 
of the old town of Bushwick, including Greenpoint on the 
banks of Newtown Creek, which during the preceding twenty 
years had grown to be a village of some importance. George 
Hall was elected first mayor of the* Greater Brooklyn — since 
1840 occupants of that office had been chosen by popular vote — 
and one of the notable achievements of his period of service 
was the assurance of an adequate water supply. The Nassau 
Water Company, soon to become the property of the city, was 
incorporated in April, 1855, and in the summer of the follow- 
ing year broke ground for its plant on Reservoir Hill. Water 
was first introduced into the pipes and circulated through the 
city late in November, 1858, and in April following the com- 
pletion of this great public work was celebrated throughout 
the city with formal and ncrisy rejoicing. The introduction of 
an artificial water supply led in turn to an extension of the 
drainage and sewage system adequate to the needs of a rapidly 
growing community. In 1859 the city was divided into four 
districts, two of which aided by the slope of the ground, dis- 
charged water and house drainage into the Wallabout Bay and 
the East River, between the Bay and Red Hook, while at the 
north and south the sewers were scoured by means of tide 
gates placed in Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal, which 
held a supply of water when the tides went down, the head 
of water thus secured being sent into the sewers at ebb tide. 

Meantime the city's horse car lines had been increased by 
the Atlantic Avenue lines to Greenwood and Bedford, which 
began operations in 1859. Yet another line after i860 ran 

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from Grand Street, Williamsburgh, to Newtown, and in the 
same year a line was established between the Broadway Ferry 
and East New York. Within the years immediately preceding 
the Civil War also fell the construction of the Erie and Brook- 
lyn Basins on Gowanus Bay, the one covering sixty acres south 
of Red Hook, and the other immediately adjoining it to the east 
The period was, in truth, one of widening and quickening activ- 
ity. Industrial plants of many kinds sprang up in Williams- 
burgh, Greenpoint and old Bushwick, and around the Walla- 
bout, giving employment to hundreds and thousands of men. 
The Brooklyn City Hospital began its work in 1855, and four 
years later came the organization of the Long Island College 
Hospital. By 1855 the number of public schools had increased 
to twenty-seven, and there were more than a hundred churches 
within the city limits. The organization of the Mercantile 
Library Association was one of the noteworthy events of 1857, 
while the opening in January, 1861, of the Academy of Music 
assured adequate accommodaticMis for the higher amusement 
of the people. Before this the ntmiber of Brooklyn newspapers 
had been increased by the founding, in 1859, ^f ^^ "Standard." 
The "Union" was established in 1863, and later, by consolida- 
tion with its forerunner, helped to form the "Standard-Union" 
of the present time. 

We have come now to the eve of the Civil War. The first 
call for troops which followed the fall of Fort Sumter met with 
quick and hearty response from all parts of hong Island. There 
were then four regiments of the National Guard of the State 
of New York in Brooklyn — ^the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Seven- 
teenth and Twenty-eighth. These were speedily recruited to 
their full quotas, and on April 20 the Thirteenth and Twenty- 
eighth went to the front for three months. Neither regiment 
was under fire during its period of service. The men of the 
"Fighting Fourteenth," on the other hand, having enlisted for 
three years or until the end of the war, went forward on May 
19, and a few weeks later took part in the bloody conflict at 

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The Island in the Civil War 

Bull Run. Colonel Alfred M. Wood, commander of the Four- 
teenth, was severely wounded and captured in that first battle, 
and 143 of its men were left upon the field, killed, wounded or 
missing. The story of their heroism, when it reached Brooklyn, 
fell on sympathetic ears. One public spirited citizen gave $10,- 
000 to be distributed in sums of fifty dollars, as bounties to men 
who .would enlist in the Fourteenth — ^the whole being thus 
promptly disbursed, — ^and when Colonel Wood, having been 
exchanged, returned home, a public reception was tendered 
him, while in the following year he was nominated and elected 
mayor by a large plurality. 

Long Island did not rest with sending thousands of her 
sons to the field ; her aid to the Union cause took other and no 
less effective forms. The Monitor whose fight with the Merri- 
mac in Hampton Roads revolutionized naval warfare was built 
in the Greenpoint ship-yard of A. J. Rowland, and with such 
dispatch that the vessel was ready for action in one hundred 
and one days after her keel was laid. Nor was this the end of 
the story. Rowland's yard within two years set afloat seven 
other monitors. One of these was the Puritan, a ship of 3,000 
tons displacement, whose successor in the name at the present 
day maintains the tradition of the older one in being the largest 
and most formidable of her class. 

Long Island during the first year of the war put nearly 
15,000 men in the field, and when in August, 1862, President 
Lincoln called for 300,000 troops to serve for nine months, the 
new demand was met with spirit and energy. In Brooklyn 
alone over a thousand volunteered before the end of the first 
week. "The city," we are told, "presented a lively spectacle. 
Nine recruiting tents were standing in the triangular space in 
front of the City Hall, and many more were pitched in Fort 
Greene Park, at the navy yard, and in other available places. 
Before these tents the drums kept up a lively rattle all day, 
while squads of men, led by officers, were constantly passing 
from them to various headquarters in the city, so that from end 

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to end the otherwise quiet and sedate city, echoing only to the 
tread of men going or returning to business in the morning and 
in the afternoon — hearing nothing more vociferous at noon than 
the whistles of its numerous factories — ^now presented to eye 
and ear alike the stir and bustle of a military camp near the 
scene of battle." 

The patriotic spirit which animated all classes and condi- 
tions of men is well illustrated in a story told by Dr. Stiles. 
"The Sunday after the second battle of Bull Run, the post- 
master of Brooklyn, George B. Lincoln, while calling on Mayor 
Opdyke, of New York, was told by the latter that he had re- 
ceived a telegram from the Secretary of War, requesting aid 
in securing a number of physicians and surgeons as volunteers 
for service at the front, where the great number of wounded 
men made his presence very urgent. Opdyke threw out the 
suggestion that possibly the medical fraternity of Brooklyn 
might wish to respond to this call and share in the noble work. 
It at once fired Lincoln's civic pride, and he hastened back to 
place the matter before the physicians of Brooklyn. Going the 
rounds to their houses he found all but some ten or twelve away 
from home. These at once volunteered to go to the front, and 
Lincoln hastened back to New York to arrange for their trans- 
portation to Washington. Then the postmaster, weary with 
his day's work, returned to his own home, which he reached 
late in the afternoon. 

"A strange sight met him as he entered his house. It was 
filled to overflowing with doctors ! Old and young were there ; 
men with a large practice and those with little or none, repre- 
senting every grade and specialty of the profession; but all 
united as one man in their earnest, unqualified wish to be sent at 
(Mice to the relief of the suffering and wounded at the front. 
Before their host's return they had organized a meeting, and 
when he appeared upon the scene he at once addressed the as- 
sembly, laying before its members the case as it had been put to 
him by Mayor Opdyke. The appeal was responded to en masse 

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The Island in the Civil War 

by those present, and thus embarrassment arose from the excess 
rather than from deficiency in numbers, as only twenty could 
be accommodated. The favored ones left that evening for the 
seat of war, envied by their less fortunate fellows. Not until 
8ix months after did Mr. Lincoln discover how these medical 
patriots came to assemble at his house on that eventful Sab- 
bath afternoon. An enthusiastic and public spirited citizen, 
who met him on his recruiting rounds during the morning, 
rushed to the police headquarters and made use of the police 
telegraph to direct the captains of the different precincts to 
notify all physicians within their districts to rendezvous at Post- 
master Lincoln's on business of great importance. The result 
has been told." 

A third call for troops came from the Governor of the 
State, in June, 1863, and twenty-four hours later six Long 
Island regiments were reported in readiness for duty. Before 
the end of June all had left the State, and a few days later 
several of them received their baptism of fire at Gettysburg. 
During the same period fell the Draft Riot in New York City. 
Brooklyn did not wholly escape the destroying hand of the dis- 
toyal mob. A band of ten score ruffians on July 15 fired two 
grain elevators at the Atlantic Basin, and they were burned to 
tfie ground with a loss of a little over $100,000. That Brook- 
lyn was not a heavier sufferer during that tr)ring week, was 
diiefly due to the fact that from the first extra precautions were 
taken to g^ard against attack, the police being called Out to the 
last man, and no one being allowed to go off duty for an hour. 

The citizens of Brooklyn at the same time hastened to 
render assistance to those of New York. A number, we are 
told, "assembled in Gothic Hall, on Adams Street, and resolved 
to offer themselves to the authorities of New York to aid in 
suppressing the rioters, whose excesses grew from day to day. 
They were advised in response to their offer that their services 
would be most needed in strengthening the hands of General 
Sanford at the arsenal at the comer of Seventh Avenue and 

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Thirty-fifth Street, where a handful of militia was seeking to 
protect valuable stores of arms and ammunition from the mob. 
The condition of affairs made it impossible for the Brooklyn 
volunteers to proceed to the arsenal in a body. They would 
have been cut to pieces had they attempted it. Instead, the men 
went over separately, as if with no ostensible object, and so re- 
ported themselves for duty one by one to the commanding 
officer. Guards had been skillfully disposed in the neighbor- 
hood, shutting off the approaches along the several streets lead- 
ing to the building; but scanty numbers had made these lines 
of pickets dangerously thin, and the men from Brooklyn were 
warmly welcomed, and were at once employed to fill up the 
lines to more efficient quotas. Hence succeeding attacks were 
repulsed with more certainty of success. Meantime the regi- 
ments of New York troops had been hurried from the seat 
of war, and by July i8 the worst was over, and the Brooklyn 
contingent returned home from their praiseworthy errand." 

No account of Long Island's part in the Civil War would 
be complete that failed to make generous reference to the labors 
of the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, pastor of Plymouth Church. 
The latter from his first coming to Brooklyn proved himself 
the champion of the slave. He thundered from his pulpit de- 
nunciations of the traffic in human beings ; and when, in 1850, 
the Clay Compromise was before Congress, he published in 
the New York "Independent" a series of articles known as the 
Star Papers, wherein he flung to the world this truism : "Slavery 
is right or slavery is wrong; slavery shall extend or slavery 
shall not extend ; slavery shall live or slavery shall die." This 
cry, ringing throughout the country, became the keynote of the 
absolute abolitionist, and made its author known wherever 
tfie language was spoken as the friend of the slave. When, 
in all the vicinity of New York, no door was open to 
Wendell Phillips save the door of Plymouth, the prophet of 
liberty found a royal welcome in the Brooklyn church. Mr. 
Beecher's uncompromising stand made him an object of bitter 

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The Island in the Civil War 

attack. "He was abused as a negro-worshipper," writes his 
widow ; "he was threatened with personal violence ; a mob was 
formed in New York to tear down the church in which he 
preached. I have known him to walk in the middle of the 
streets of Brooklyn with his hand on the revolver in his pocket, 
lest he should be suddenly attacked. Letters announcing the 
dispatch of infernal machines to our house were often received, 
in fact, they averaged one or two per week." 

Yet Mr. Beecher never swerved from his course. Often 
during these years, when the light of impending war shone 
fiercely upon the nation, slaves stood upon the platform of 
Plymouth with the pastor. His appeals brought forth from the 
congregation the money which bought their freedom, nor did 
he hesitate, when opportunity offered, to afford his church 
and city a living illustration of slave dealing. The first slave 
auction in Plymouth Church was held on June i, 1856; and an 
eye witness has thus described the scene : 

That Sunday morning was a memorable one. Mr. 
Beecher's intention had been noised abroad, and at eight o'clock 
people began gathering by hundreds in front of the church, al- 
though the doors were not opened until ten and service did not 
begin until ten-thirty o'clock. When ten o'clock came the 
streets on both sides of the church were literally jammed with 
people, and carriages were compelled to discharge their occu- 
pants nearly a block distant. When Mr. Beecher arrived at 
the church entrance seemed impossible, and for fifteen or twen- 
ty minutes several policemen were kept busy making a passage- 
way through the crowd so that he could reach the doors. The 
church was densely crowded; every available foot of space 
was occupied, and thousands were outside unable to gain ad- 
mission. When Mr. Beecher appeared on the platform a death- 
like stillness fell upon the entire auditorium. 

For a few moments Mr. Beecher surveyed the wonderful 
assemblage before him, and then, closing his eyes in prayer for 
a single minute he arose. Every one of that congregation was 
instantly the embodiment of expectancy. He began the service 
by reading the beautiful Scriptural story of the man who was 
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tion, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath Day or to do evil, 
to save life or to kill ?" Then he said : "About two weeks ago 
I had a letter from Washington, informing me that a young 
woman had been sold by her own father to be sent South — for 
what purpose you can imagine when you see her. She was 
bought by a slave-trader for $1,200, and he has offered to give 
you the opportunity of purchasing her freedom. She has given 
her word of honor to return to Richmond if the mcmey be not 
raised, and, slave though she be called, she is a woman who 
will keep her word. Now, Sarah, come up here so that all may 
see you." 

The solemn, impressive silence of that vast Plymouth 
assemblage was absolutely painful as a young woman slowly 
ascended the stairs leading to the pulpit and sank into a chair 
by Mr. Beecher's side. Instantly assuming the look and manner 
of a slave auctioneer he called for bids. "Look," he exclaimed, 
"at this marketable commodity — ^human flesh and blood, like 
yourselves. You see the white blood of her father in her r^- 
ular features and high, thoughtful brow. Who bids? You 
will have to pay extra for that white blood, because it is sup- 
posed to give intelligence. Stand up, Sarah ! Now, look at her 
trim figure and her wavy hair!— 4iow much do you bid for 
them ? She is sound in wind and limb— I'll warrant her I Who 
bids? Her feet and hands — ^hold them out, Sarah I — ^are small 
and finely formed. What do you bid for her? She is a Chris- 
tian woman — I mean, a praying nigger — and that makes her 
more valuable, because it insures her docility and obedience to 
your wishes. 'Servants, obey your masters, you know. Well, 
she believes in that doctrine. How much for her? Will you 
allow this praying woman to be sent back to Richmond to meet 
the fate for whi<£ her father sold her? If not, who bids?" 

The impression produced by these words is indescribable. 
As every word rang out in Mr. Beecher's clear voice it seemed 
to enter into the heart of each of his hearers.. Every eye was 
fixed upon the slave woman on the platform. Mr. Beecher 
once told Robert Bonner that, if he had not been a preacher, 
he would have been an actor, and his acting as the auctioneer 
was perfect. His mellow voice was trasformed into hard, rasp- 
mg tones ; he glared at the girl and at the audience as if all he 
cared about was the money that she might bring. The people 
almost held their breath from excitement as Mr. Beecher pro- 
ceeded: 

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''Come now ! we are selling this woman, you know, and a 
fine specimen she is, too. Look at her. See for yourselves. 
Don't you want her? Now, then, pass the baskets and let us 
see. 

The suggestion was made none too soon. The congrega- 
tion was wrought up to the very highest pitch. Tears of pity 
and indignation streamed from eyes unused to weeping. Women 
became hysterical ; men were almost beside themselves. Some 
one near the pulpit stepped forward and laid a banknote at 
Mr. Beecher's feet. 

"Good," cried Mr. Beecher. "The first; now then I" 

For a half hour money was heaped into the contribution 
boxes, while those to whom the baskets seemed too slow in 
coming threw coin and banknotes upon the pulpit. Women 
took off their jewelry and put it in the baskets. Rings, brace- 
lets, brooches piled one upon the other. Men unfastened their 
watches and handed them to the ushers. Above all the bustle 
and confusion of the remarkable scene Mr. Beecher's power- 
ful voice rang out : 

"Shall this woman go back to Richmond, or be free?" 

"Free!" said several men, as they emptied their pockets 
into the collection baskets. 

"In the name of Qirist, men and women, how much do 
you bid?" 

Just at this point, when the scene was becoming hysterical 
in its intensity, Louis Tappan rose and shouted above the 
din: 

"Mr. Beecher, there need be no more anxiety as several 
gentlemen have agreed to make up the deficiency, no matter 
what it may be." 

"Then, Sarah, you are free!" cried Mr. Beecher, turning 
to the girl beside him. 

This statement inspired the almost frenzied audience to 
wildest demonstrations of enthusiasm. The applause, mingled 
with exclamations of praise and prayer, fairly shook the walls 
of the great church. The assemblage lost control of itself in 
the exultation over its great triumph, and quiet was not restored 
for several minutes until Mr. Beecher raised his hand for 
silence. Obedience to his gesture was instantaneous. Then 
in his usual, mellow voice he fervently exclaimed : 

"God bless Plymouth Church! When tfie ancient Jews 
went up to their solemn feasts they made the mountains round 

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about Jerusalem ring with their shouts. I do not approve of 
unholy applause in the House of God ; but, when a good deed is 
well done, it cannot be wrcmg to give an outward expressicm to 
our joy." 

Tlie collection left no deficiency to be made up. All of 
the $1,200 had been given for the purchase of Sarah's freedom, 
and there was money enough besides to buy for her a little 
home at PeekskilL 

Other slaves were sold by Mr. Beecher in Plymouth 
Church, and not one had to be sent back to the slave-traders. 
During the summer of 1863 Mr. Beecher visited England. The 
spirit of that country was then bitterly hostile to the Union 
cause ; and at first the great preacher's path was a thorny and 
troubled one. But in the face of angry auditors he fearlessly 
preached the gospel of human freedom, and cold hearts warmed 
under the influence of his burning appeals. His progress be- 
came a triumphal one, and when he came back to this country 
he had created among the sober, thinking portion of the Brit- 
ish public a frame of mind distinctly favorable to the Unicm 
cause. The story of this wonderful campaign in England is 
best told in Mr. Beecher's own words : 

I went on my own responsibility; and with no one behind 
me except my church. They told me they would pay my ex- 
penses and sent me off. When I reached England, and saw 
what was the condition of public feeling there, I refused to 
make any speech, and declined all invitations. I would not go 
under the roof of any man who was not a friend of the North 
in this struggle, and throughout the whole of my stay in Eng- 
land I refused to let any man pay one penny for me. I never 
would let any one pay my expenses on the road, nor my hotel 
bills, nor would I go as the guest to the house of any man, 
unless he had been forward to promote our cause. Everywhere 
my answer was : "My church pays my expenses, and I cannot 
afford to take any hospitality or money from the enemies of the 
North, and I won't take it." 

I started from England, refusing to make any engage- 
ments, or say an3rthing publicly. I was in a towering indigna- 
tion. Almost every man in England who rode in a first-class 
car was our enemy. The great majority of professional men 

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were our enemies. Almost all the Quakers were against us. All 
the CcMigregational ministers in England — not in Wales — ^were 
either indifferent or lukewarm, or directly opposed. The gov- 
ernment was our enemy. It was only the common people, and 
mostly the people that had no vote, that were on our side. 
Everywhere the atmosphere was adverse. In Manchester our 
American merchants, and men sent out to buy were afraid, and 
knuckled down to the public feeling. The storm in the air was 
so portentous that they did not dare to undertake to resist it 
No man ever knows what his country is to him until he has 
gone abroad and heard it everywhere denounced and sneered 
at. I had ten men's wrath in me — ^and my own share is tol- 
erably large — ^at the attitude assumed all around me against 
my country. 

I came over to England again, and was met in London by 
the same gentleman who had previously urged me to make ad- 
dresses. I said : "No ; I am going home in September. I don't 
want to have aavything to do with England." But thdr state- 
ment made my resolution give way, and changed my program 
entirely. It was this: "Mr. Beecher, we have been counted 
as the off-scouring, because we have taken up the part of the 
North. We have sacrificed ourselves in your behalf, and now, 
if you go home, and show us no favor or help, they will over- 
whelm us. They will say, 'Even your friends in America de- 
spise you,' and we shall be nowhere, and we think it is rather 
a hard return. Besides," said they, "there is a movement on 
foot that is going to be very disastrous, if it is not headed off." 
To my amazement, I found that the unvoting English possessed 
great power in England; a great deal more power, in fact, 
than if they had had a vote. The aristocracy and the govern- 
ment felt : "These men feel that they have no political privileges, 
and we must administer with the strictest regard to their feel- 
ings, or there will be a revolution." And they were all the 
time under the influence of that feeling. Parliament would 
at any time for three years have voted for the South against 
the North, if it had not been for the fear of these common 
people who did not vote. A plan, therefore, was laid to hold 
great public meetings during all that autumn and early winter 
among the laboring masses, to change their feelings, and if 
that atmospheric change could be brought about. Parliament 
would very soon have done what it was afraid to do, but wanted 
to do all the time — declare for the Southern Confederacy. The 

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committee said : "If you can lecture for us you will head off 
this whole movement." 

Those considerations were such that I finally yielded. I 
consented, at first, to speak at Manchester ; and very soon it was 
arranged that I was to speak at Liverpool also, and out of that 
grew an arrangement for Glasgow and Edinburgh, and then 
for London. There was a plan for Birmingham that failed. 
I had been making the tour of Scotland, and came down to 
Manchester just one or two days in advance of the appoint- 
ment The two men that met me were John Escort and young 
Watts. His father was Sir Something Watts, and had the 
largest business house in Central England. He was a young 
man just recently married, and E^ort was the very beau 
ideal of a sturdy Englishman, with very few words, but plucky 
enough for a backer against the whole world. They met me at 
the station, and I saw that there was something on their minds. 
Before I had walked with them twenty steps. Watts, I think 
it was said : "Of course, you see there is a great deal of excite- 
ment here." The streets were all placarded in blood-red letters, 
and my friends were very silent and seemed to be looking at me 
to see if I would flinch. I always feel happy when I hear of a 
storm, and I looked at them and said: "Well, are you going 
to back down?" "No," said they; "we didn't know how you 
would fed." "Well," said I, "you'll find out how I am going 
to feel. Fm going to be heard, and if not now I'm going to be 
by and by. I won't leave England until I have b^ heard !" 
You never saw two fellows' faces clear off so. They looked 
happy. 

I went to my hotel, and when the day came on which I 
was to make my first speech, I struck out the notes of my speech 
in the morning, and then came up a kind of horror — I don't 
know whether I can do an3rthing with an English audience ; I 
have never had any experience with an English audience. My 
American ways, which were all well enough with Americans, 
may utterly fail here, and a failure in the cause of my country, 
now and here, is horrible beyond conception to me ! I think I 
never went through such a struggle of darkness and suffering 
in all my life as I did that afternoon. It was about the going 
down of the sun that God brought me to the state in which I 
said : "Thy will be done. I am willing to be annihilated. I am 
willing to fail, if the Lord wants me to." I gave it all up into 
the hands of God, and rose up in a state of peace and of serenity 

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simply unspeakable, and when the coach came to take me down 
to Manchester Hall, I felt no disturbance nor dreamed of any- 
thing but success. 

We reached the hall. The crowd was already beginning 
to be tumultuous, and I recollect thinking to myself, as I stood 
there looking at them : "I will ccwitrol you ! I came here for 
victory, and I will have it, by the help of God !" Well, I was 
introduced, and I must confess that the things that I had done 
and suffered in my own country, according to what the chair- 
man who introduced me said, amazed me. The speaker was 
very English on the subject, and I learned that I belonged to 
an heroic band, and all that sort of thing, with abolitionism 
mixed in, and so on. By the way, I think it was here that I was 
introduced as Rev. Henry Ward Beecher Stowe. But as soon 
as I began to speak, the great audience began to show its teeth, 
and I had not gone on fifteen minutes before an unparalleled 
scene of confusion and interruption occurred. No American 
that has not seen an English mob can form any conception of 
one. I have seen all sorts of camp-meetings, and experienced 
all kinds of public speaking on the stump ; I have seen the most 
disturbed meetings in New York City, and they were all of 
them as twilight to midnight compared with an English hostile 
audience. 

I took the measure of the audience, and said to myself: 
"About one-fourth of this audience are opposed to me, and 
about one-fourth will be rather in sympathy, and my business 
now is not to appeal to that portion that is opposed to me, nor 
to those that are already on my side, but to bring over the mid- 
dle section." How to do this was a problem. The question 
was: Who could hold out longest? There were five or six 
storm-centres, boiling and whirling at the same time; here 
some one pounding on a group with his umbrella, and shouting, 
"Sit down, there !" — over yonder, a row between two or three 
combatants; somewhere else, a group all yelling together at 
the top of their voice. It was like talking to a storm at sea. I 
threw my notes away, and entered on a discussion of the value 
of freedom as opposed to slavery in the manufacturing interest 
I never was more self-possessed and never in more perfect 
good temper, and I never was more determined that my hearers 
should feel the curb before I got through with them. The up- 
roar would come in on this side and on that, and they would put 
insulting questicms and make all sorts of calls to me, and I 

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would wait until the noise had subsided and then get in about 
five minutes of talk. The reporters would get that down, and 
up would come another noise. Occasionally I would see things 
that amused me, and would laugh outright, and the crowd would 
stop to see what I was laughing at. Then I would sail in again 
witfi a sentence or two. A gcxxl many times the crowd tlu-ew 
up questions which I caught at and answered back. I may as 
well put in here one thing that amused me hugely. There were 
baize doors that opened both ways into side-alleys, and there 
was a huge^ burly Englishman standing right in front of one 
of those doors, and roaring like a bull of Bashan: one of the 
policeman swung his elbow around him and hit him in the belly 
and knocked him through the doorway, so that the last part of 
the bawl was outside in the alley-way; it struck me so ludic- 
rousjy to think how the fellow must have looked when he found 
himself "hollering" outside that I could not refra^ from 
laughing outright. The audience immediately stopped its up- 
roars, wondering what I was laughing at, and that gave me 
another chance, and I caught it. So we kept on for about an 
hour and a half before they got so far calmed down that I could 
go on peaceably with my speech. 

They liked the pluck. Englishmen like a man that can 
stand on his feet and give and take, and so for the last hour 
I had pretty clear sailing. The next morning every great 
paper in England had the whole speech down. I think it was 
the design of the men there to break me down on that first 
speech, by fair means or foul, feeling that if they could do that 
it would be trumpeted all over the land. I said to them then 
and there: "Gentlemen, you may break me down now, but I 
have registered a vow that I will never return home until I 
have b^ heard in every country and principal town in the 
Kingdom of Great Britain. I am not going to be broken down 
nor put down. I am going to be heard, and my country shall be 
vindicated." And G^ was behind it all ; I felt it and I knew 
it, and when I got through and the vote was called off you 
would have thought it was a tropical thunder-storm that swept 
through that hall as the ayes were thundered, while the noes 
were an insignificant and contemptible minority. It had all 
gone on our side, and such enthusiasm I never saw. I think it 
was there that when I started to go down into the rooms below 
to get an exit, that big, burly Englishman in the gallery wanted 
to shake hands with me, and I could not reach him, and he 

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called out "Shake my umbrella!" and he reached it over. I 
shook it, and, as I did so, he shouted : "By Jock, nobody shall 
touch that umbrella again !" 

From there I went to Edinburgh, where I discussed the 
effect upon literature and learning and institutions of learning 
and general intelligence of the presence of slavery, on the basis 
again of the history of slavery in America, and the existing 
state of things. I thought I had seen a crowd before I went 
there, but when I went Sirough the lower hall and tried to get 
into the assembly-room, the people were wedged in there so 
tight that you might just as well try to find a passage through 
the wall, and I was finally hoisted over their heads and passed 
on by friendly hands and up to the gallery, and down over the 
front of the gallery on to the platform, in order to get to the 
position where I was to speak. There I had less commotion 
than anywhere else. 

I went from there to Liverpool. If I had supposed I had 
had a stormy time I found out my mistake when I got there. 
Liverpool was worse than all the rest put together. My life 
was threatened, and I had had communications to the eflFect 
that I had better not venture there. The streets were placarded 
with the most scurrilous and abusive cards, and I brought home 
some of them and they are in the Brooklyn Historical Society 
now. It so happened, I believe, that the Congregational Asso- 
ciation of England and Wales was in session there, and pretty 
much all of the members were present on the platform. I sup- 
pose there were 500 people on the platform behind me. There 
were men in the galleries and boxes who came armed, and some 
bold men on our side went up into those boxes and drew their 
bowie-knives and pistols and said to these young bloods : "The 
first man that fires here will rue it." I heard a good many nar- 
ratives of that kind afterward, but I knew nothing of it at the 
time. But of all confusions and turmoils and whirls I never 
saw the like. I got control of the meeting in about an hour and 
a half, and then I had a clear road the rest of the way. We 
carried the meeting, but it required a three hours' use of my 
voice at its utmost strength. I sometimes felt like a ship- 
master attempting to preach on board of a shop through a 
speaking trumpet with a tornado on the sea and a mutiny among 
the men. 

By this time my voice was pretty much all used up, and I 
had yet got to go to Exeter Hall, in London. ... So I 

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plucked up courage and went to the hall that evening and the 
streets of London were crowded. I could not get near the hall 
except by the aid of a policeman. And when I got around to 
the back door, I felt a woman throw her arms around me — I 
saw they were the arms of a woman, and that she had me in her 
arms — ^and when I went through the door, she got through, 
too, and on turning around I found it was one of the members 
of my church. She had married, and gone to London, and 
she was determined to hear that speech, and so took this way 
to acomplish an apparently impossible task. She grasped and 
held me until I got her in. I suppose that is the way a great 
many sinners get into heaven finally. Well, I had less trouble 
and less timiult in London than anywhere else. The battle had 
been fought. 

Such is Mr. Beecher's accoimt of his remarkable mission. 
"After a few months' absence," wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes 
at the time, "he returns to America, having finished a more 
remarkable embassy than any envoy who has represented us in 
Europe since Franklin pleaded the cause of the young republic 
at the Court of Versailles. He kissed no royal hand, he talked 
with no courtly diplomatist, he was the guest of no titled legis- 
lator, he had no official existence. But through the heart of 
the people he reached nobles, ministers, courtiers, the throne 
itself." Brooklyn was not slow to acclaim her great preacher 
for his noble work, and now that he has passed from earth, his 
statue set in the very heart of the city's life bears beautiful 
and impressive witness to the service he rendered to his country 
in the days that tried men's souls. 

What Long Island did for the sick and wounded soldier, 
and for those widowed and orphaned by the war furnishes the 
theme for another stirring story. There early came into being 
two important associations for this purpose — ^the War Fund 
Committee of Brooklyn and County of Kings, and the Woman's 
Relief Association of the City of Brooklyn, the latter the repre- 
sentative in Brooklyn of the United States Sanitary Commission. 
These two bodies during the fall of 1863, the women of Brook- 
lyn leading the way, joined hands in a fair to raise funds for the 

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work of the Sanitary Commission. A public meeting called by 
the War Fund Committee was held on December 19 in the 
chapel of the Polytechnic Institute, and before the end of the 
month, $50,000 was pledged by generous citizens for the fair. 

It was decided to hold it in the Academy of Music, but 
even that spacious building was soon foimd to be inadequate 
to its new purpose. Two temporary structures were accordingly 
erected, Knickerbocker Hall on an open lot adjoining the Acad- 
emy on the west, and the Hall of Manufactures and New Eng- 
land Kitchen on the opposite side of Montague Street, where 
later arose the building of the Mercantile Library. The Taylor 
mansion, at the corner of Montague and Clinton streets, was 
also engaged and fitted up as a museum. The recepticoi of 
goods to be offered for sale began on February 15, and CMie 
week later, on Washington's Birthday, the formal opening of 
the fair was celebrated by grand parades of volunteer troops 
and United States marines. "The main attraction," runs one 
account, "was the Academy of Music, where most of the goods 
were displayed in booths aranged in concentric circles. The 
decorations were superb, and at night thousands of gas jets 
lent brilliancy to the scene. Knickerbocker Hall was arranged 
into a vast restaurant, where 500 people could be served at 
once, while the New England Kitchen set forth a farm house 
of the olden times." And such was the success of the fair that 
when it closed, the managers were able to turn over to the Sani- 
tary Commission more than $400,000. 

Another twelve month brought the end of the war, and 
with it an incident that remains a pleasant memory with many 
an aging resident of Brooklyn. The day following Lee's sur- 
render at Appomatox, upward of six score prominent citizens of 
Brooklyn sailed on the steamer Oceanus to witness the raising 
of the Union flag over the ramparts of Fort Sumter in Charles- 
ton harbor. This ceremony, set for the anniversary of the sur- 
render four years before, was made doubly memorable by a 
noble oration delivered by Mr. Beecher, while another famous 

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Brooklyn preacher. Dr. Storrs, offered the prayer at its close. 
When the hero of the surrender,* now General Anderson, lifted 
the flag to its old position aloft, the whole assembly rose to their 
feet, and then for half an hour cannon boomed their salutes. 
It was a joyous occasion, but it had a tragic sequel in the death 
of President Lincoln. News of this event was brought to 
those aboard the Oceanus on their homeward voyage, and they 
returned to Brooklyn to find the city plunged into inconsolable 
grief. This was on April i8, and eight days later Brooklyn 
officials and associations joined in the procession that escorted 
the remains of Lincoln through the streets of New York on their 
way to their last resting place in Illinois. Meantime the War 
Fund Committee had named a sub-committee "to open a sub- 
scription for the erection of some suitable and permanent me- 
morial in the city, of him for whom the nation is in mourning ;" 
and so prompt and vigorous was the action of this sub-com- 
mittee that Brooklyn's statue of Lincoln was the first erected 
in any city of the Union. It was unveiled on October 21, 1869, 
with appropriate exercises. 

Twenty-three years to a day after Lincoln's statue was un- 
veiled on the Plaza of Prospect Park, there was reared on the 
same site another monument to those who had died in the same 
cause. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch of Brooklyn, stand- 
ing near enough to the entrance to Prospect Park to form a 
portal to it, is larger than any other in the world save the Arc 
de Triomphe at Paris, while in grace and majestic beauty it has 
no superior. Its only inscription is the simple yet eloquent one : 
'To the Defenders of the Union, 1861-65." 



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THE first years of peace were for Brooklyn years of pros- 
perity and steady growth. Nearly 7,000 buildings 
were erected in 1867 and 1868, most of these in the 
outlying wards of the city, and by 1870 the popula- 
tion had grown to 400,000. With this growth came 
the completion of old projects and the birth of new 
ones. A bill had been passed by the legislature in April, 
i860, creating Prospect Park, which as originally laid out was 
to be bounded on the east by Washington Avenue, on the west 
by Ninth Avenue, on the south by the Coney Island road, and 
by Douglass Street at its northern and narrowest end. Opera- 
tions, however, were suspended when the war came to drive 
all other things from the thoughts of the people, and were not 
resumed until the return of peace. Then, under the direction 
of James S. T. Stranahan, who from the first had been at the 
head of the commission intrusted with the task, there was dili- 
gent application of the art and skill which it demanded, and in 
1871 Prospect Park, beautiful by nature and beautified by art, 
was ready for public enjoyment. An area of 516 acres is included 
within the the park, and that the millions expended upon it 
bring returns in something better than gold is proved by the 
myriads who from year to year flock to it for exercise and en- 
joyment. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, it should be 
added, now have twenty-six other parks and squares, and six 
noble boulevards. 

Bridging the East River was a project early mooted by 
far-seeing residents of Brooklyn and New York. "It has been 
suggested," wrote General Jeremiah Johnson more than a hun- 
dred ye^rs ago, "that a bridge should be constructed from this 
village across the East River to New York. The idea has been 

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treated as chimerical, from the magnitude of the design; but 
whosoever takes it into their serious consideration will find 
more weight in the practicability of the scheme than at first is 
imagined. Every objection to the building of this bridge could 
be refuted, and there is only needed a combination of opinion 
to favor the attempt." Again in 1836, General Joseph G. Swift 
proposed to dam the East River with a dyke surmounted by 
a boulevard, and in 1849 we find the New York "Tribune" de- 
claring that "the great project of municipal improvement now 
occupying public attention in this city and Brooklyn is the build- 
ing of a splendid bridge connecting the two shores of the Elast 
River and thus making New York and Brooklyn emphatically 
one. The bridge is the great event of the day. New York and 
Brooklyn must be united, and there is no other means of do- 
ing it. The thing will certainly be achieved one of these days, 
and the sooner the better." 

It was not, however, until 1868 that the enterprise took 
definite and practical shape. In that year Colonel Julius W. 
Adams, an eminent engineer residing in Brooklyn, matured a 
plan for a bridge, and succeeded in interesting William C. 
Kingsley, a contractor, in the project. Kingsley was a man of 
uncommon force and energy, and his efforts soon enlisted the 
support of a number of leading citizens. One of these was 
Henry C. Murphy, long president of the bridge commission, 
and the story of how he was won over to the enterprise, as told 
by Justice McCue deserves a place in this chronicle. Kings- 
ley called on McCue one afternoon in 1866, and asked the 
justice to keep him company in a visit to Murphy at Bay Ridge. 
"After a while," writes the justice, "Mr. Kingsley brought up 
the subject of the bridge. Mr. I»I. rphy listened to him with 
much attention. He listened as a man under a spell. Then, 
as if resenting the dominion of another, he began to inter- 
rogate and criticise and doubt. To everything he advanced 
Mr. Kingsley gave the most respectful consideration. No 
sooner would Mr. Murphy stop, however, than Mr. Kingsley 

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would meet him with arguments, illustrations, and rejoinders, 
which were persistent, comprehensive and unanswerable. The 
result was that Mr. Murphy avowed himself a convert to the 
feasibility of the pr<^)osition, and agreed to draw the enabling 
bill. It was far toward morning when he left Mr. Murphy's 
house, but, on that night, and in that talk, the bridge, as a fact, 
was bom." 

The bill drawn up by Murphy, then a member of the State 
senate, was duly passed by the legislature, and in April, 1867, 
became a law. It provided for the formation of a private cor- 
poration with the two cities the chief contributors to the capital 
stock, and this provision was promptly met by the common 
council of Brooklyn with a resolution to subscribe $3,000,000, 
conditional upon the subscription of $2,000,000, and with the 
added stipulation that the city should have a representation in 
the board of directors. The common council of New York fol- 
lowed with a subscription of $1,500,000 on condition that the 
mayor and two other city officials should be ex-oMcio members 
of the company. Private individuals subscribed to the remain- 
ing $500,000 of the capital stock. Meanwhile, John A. Roeb- 
ling, constructor of the Niagara suspension bridge, had been 
appointed chief engineer. His plans for the proposed structure, 
which duplicated on an enlarged scale the one at Niagara, were 
completed in September, 1867, and the first borings and sound- 
ings were made before the end of the same year. A founda- 
tion of gneiss rock having been found ninety-six feet below 
high-water mark, the sites for the two towers were located, 
but while superintending the survey of the one on the Brooklyn 
side, in August, 1869, Chief Engineer Roebling met with an 
accident that a fortnight later caused his death. 

Colonel Washington A. Roebling took in hand the dead 
man's task, and early in January, 1870, made his home on 
Columbia Heights, determined to complete the largest sus- 
pension bridge in the world as a monument to the mem- 
ory of his father. The towers of the bridge, as is 

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well known, rest on huge caissons filled with con- 
crete. While these were being sunk into the required 
positions, Coh nel Roebling was never away for an 
hour, but visited the work day and night. Indeed, devotion 
to his task, joined with the fact that he spent more hours of 
the twenty-four in the compressed air of the caissons than any 
one else, wore out his strength. One afternoon in the spring of 
1872 he was brought out of the New York caisson nearly in- 
sensible, and for many hours his death seemed a matter of min- 
utes. He rallied and returned to the work, but was finally 
ordered by his physician to leave the country for a time. 

Fearing that he might not live to finish the bridge, and 
knowing how incomplete the plans and instructions were, Col- 
onel Roebling spent the winter writing and drawing, and the 
papers written while illness made it impossible for him to leave 
his room contained the most minute and exact directions for 
. makmg the cables and for the erection of all the complicated 
parts which compose the superstructure. However, he finally 
completed the work. The Brooklyn tower was finished in the 
summer of 1875 ; another twelve-month brought the completion 
of the New York tower, and on August 14, 1876, the first wire 
of the cables was strung across from tower to tower, rising 
270 feet into the air. Thereafter the work went slowly yet 
steadily forward, and the coming of the spring of 1883 saw the 
end of this splendid feat of mechanical daring and skill. 

It was a noble task nobly wrought. "The extreme length 
of the passage over the bridge," to quote an expert description, 
"is a mile and a furlong. The curved approach on the Brook- 
lyn side has a length of 971 feet, while on the New York side 
the straight line of the same kind of structure, looming high 
above neighboring buildings, has a length of more than 1,500 
feet. The suspension bridge proper begins from the end of these 
approaches. Down from the top of the towers the four cables 
sweep to the anchorages at the termini, subtending with the 
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The length of each of these land spans is 930 feet. Between 
the towers the huge cables curve downward to the bridge path, 
which in turn curves upward, so that the centre of the arch 
is sixteen feet higher than its extremities at the towers. Thus 
the bridge-floor at the centre is 135 feet above high water and 
only the tallest sailing ships need take down their top-hampers 
before passing under it. And the length of this span — ^the 
crucial portion of the whole structure, the final conquest of the 
river — is 1600 feet. The diameter of each of the four cables 
which hold in mid-air the various parts or passageways is 
fifteen and three-quarter inches, making a circumference of 
nearly four feet; and each of them contains 5,296 parallel 
steel wires, not twisted, but welded together by transverse 
wires binding them fast into one solid whole. The perma- 
nent weight these four cables are called upon to sustain, before 
any other has entered upon the bridge to be upborne, is no less 
than 14,680 tons, but each cable can sustain 12,500 tons ; and, 
thus the four tc^ether can easily manage 50,000 tons." The 
first cost of the bridge, formally opened to the public on May 
24, 1883, was $15,000,000, and a sum nearly half as large has 
since been expended upon it. 

Before passing to other matters, a word or two should be 
given to the other bridges across the East River provided 
for or in process of construction. These are three in number. 
The first, now nearing completion, will end at Norfolk Street 
in the borough of Manhattan, and just west of Havemeyer 
Street in the borough of Brooklyn. Its estimated cost is $12,- 
000,000, and in many respects it will be one of the most re- 
markable structures of its kind in the world. According to 
its designer, "it will be four times as strong as the Brooklyn 
Bridge. Each of its four cables will be about twice as stout 
as those which support the span of the older structure, and in 
other respects its superiority will be maintained. Each of the 
cables will consist of thirty-seven strands, and each strand will 
have 282 single wires, a total of 10,434 wires in each cable. 

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The normal pull on each cable will be about 5,000 tons, and as 
each cable will be capable of supporting 200,000 pounds to the 
square inch, and will have 222 square inches net, the suspen- 
sion power of the bridge will be four times greater than the 
maximum demand upon it. The width of the new structure 
will be 118 feet, as compared with the eighty-five feet of the 
Brooklyn Bridge, and the character and amount of its traffic 
accommodation will be proportionately greater. It will have six 
railroad tracks, two carriageways, each twenty feet wide, two 
footwalks, and as concessions to the growing tastes of the 
public, two bicycle paths. In actual channel span the two 
bridges will not present a great difference, merely a matter 
of four and a half feet, but in the total length of the span the 
new bridge will hold the record by 1,200 feet. The Brooklyn 
Bridge has a channel span of 1,600 feet, and a total length of 
6,000. The figures of the new bridge are respectively 1,600 
feet and 7,200 feet. The steel towers of the new bridge are 
about 59 feet taller than the masonry spires of the Brooklyn 
Bridge. The cap of the steel work from high water is 335 
feet; similar measurements on the Brooklyn Bridge give a 
height of 276 feet. The minimum height of the bridge for 
200 feet on either side of the centre above mean high water of 
spring tides is 135 feet; the Brooklyn Bridge has the same 
height, but only at the central point." 

The second of the three bridges, with an estimated cost, 
including approaches, of $16,000,000, will extend from De 
Lancey Street in the borough of Manhattan to South Fifth 
Street in the borough of Brooklyn. It will have a total length 
o^ 9»335 feet, consisting of a main suspended span, 1,465 feet 
long, two flanking suspended spans each 850 feet long, a Man- 
hattan approach of 1,940 feet, and a Brooklyn approach of 
4,230 feet. The minimum height of the bridge above high 
water will be 135 feet, and its total width 120 feet. It will 
carry a central carriageway of thirty-eight feet between the 
inner pair of cables; and on each side of this, between the 

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inner and outer cables, will be a pair of trolley tracks on the 
same level as the roadway; that is, there will be four trolley 
tracks on the bridge, two one each side. Outside the trolley 
tracks will be the footways, and above them, between the stif- 
fening trusses, two elevated railroad tracks, one on each side of 
the bridge. The third bridge will ccmnect the sections of the 
city fronting Blackwell's Island from which it has already taken 
its name. It will have two cantilever spans, and will accom- 
modate two elevated railroads, two double roads for trolley 
lines, paths for bicycle riders, footpaths, two roadways for heavy 
teams and also roadways for lighter vehicles. The estimated 
cost of the structure is $6,000,000, and it will have a total length 
of 8,200 feet. 

With the building of the Brooklyn bridge came the solu- 
tion of the problem of conveying the city's rapidly growing 
population with dispatch and in large numbers to its entrance. 
The first step in this direction was taken several years before 
the opening of the bridge. The Long Island Railroad Com- 
pany, in August, 1877, hegBXi running trains of two cars each 
drawn by a small engine, which started at twenty minute inter- 
vals from the terminal at Flatbush Avenue, and stopped at 
open platforms placed at the intersections of several promi- 
nent streets on Atlantic Avenue. These trains at first ran only 
to East New York, but in time the run was extended, first to 
Woodhaven and later to Jamaica. This service, however, af- 
forded only a partial and unsatisfactory solution of the prob- 
lem of a rapid transit system adequate to the needs of all sec- 
tions of the city. Another step forward was taken in May, 
1875, when an act of the legislature created the Brooklyn Ele- 
vated Railway Company with power to construct and operate 
a railroad from the Brooklyn end of the bridge, to Woodhaven. 
This company later became the Kings County Elevated, and 
so frequent and protracted were the delays in the execution 
of its plans that not until 1889 was its road fully in operation. 
Its route follows Fulton Street to East New York, when it 

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runs southward for several blocks, and then again turns east- 
ward to make its terminus near Jamaica. 

During the same period another company, the Brooklyn 
Union, was building an elevated road which ran from Fulton 
Ferry, through York Street to Hudson Avenue, so to Park 
Avenue, through Park to Grand, through Grand to LexingtCHi, 
and so to Broadway. Though the portion from Hudson 
to Grand along Park Avenue, and from Park to Myrtle along 
Grand, was afterward abandoned and the structure removed, 
the company pushed its line along Broadway to East New York 
with such vigor that in the fall of 1885 trains were running to 
Alabama Avenue, whence at a later time it was carried first to 
Van Siclen Avenue and then to Cypress Hills. Subsequent 
extensions of the Brooklyn Unicm system have been the line 
down Broadway to the Williamsburgh ferries; the line on 
Myrtle Avenue, running out toward Ridgewood ; the Hudson 
Avenue extension to Myrtle Avenue; the branch from Myrtle 
through Hudson and Flatbush to Fifth Avenue, and along the 
latter as far as Thirty-sixth Street, where oxmection is made 
with the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad. This 
portion of the system, opened to the public in 1889, has since 
been carried upon a lofty curve down toward Third Avenue, 
and ancient Gowanus connected with the bridge as far as 
Sixty-fifth Street. 

Twenty years ago Brookl)ai embraced only what had once 
been the townships of Brooklyn and Bushwick, but the develop- 
ment of an adequate system of rapid transit was speedily fol- 
lowed by the corporate absorption of the remainder of the orig- 
inal Kings county. The first of the outlying towns to beccMne a 
part of the city, was the eastern portion of old Flatbush, which 
in 1852 had been erected into the township of New Lots. So 
rapid was the growth of New Lots during the next three decades 
that by 1882 it had attained a population of 14,000. The im- 
perfect control of a town government did not satisfy the 
needs of these thousands, and active agfitation for annexation 

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to Brooklyn finally brought permission from the legislature to 
submit the question to a vote of the people. The majority was 
found to be in favor of such action ; and on May 13, 1886, an 
annexation bill was signed by the governor and became law. 
It went into effect in August of the same year, and New Lots 
township became the Twenty-sixth Ward of Brooklyn. 

Another decade brought the annexation of the rest of the 
Dutch towns of the first days. A movement looking to this 
end, set afoot in 1873, had come to nothing through the adverse 
action of the voters of the towns; but in 1894 bills for the 
annexation of the several towns, a separate bill for each town, 
were introduced in the State legislature and passed by that 
body. The governor signed the bill for the annexation of 
Flatbush on April 28, 1894, and that for New Utrecht and 
Gravesend on May 3, 1894, both acts going into effect in July 
of the same year. The act annexing Flatlands went into opera^ 
tion on January i, 1896, and thus the whole of Kings county 
became identical with the City of Brooklyn, which could now 
boast an area of sixty-six square miles, and a population of 
more than a million. 

Brooklyn, during this period of growth and expansion,, 
maintained, as of old its right to be called the City of Churches. 
Many of the men who filled its pulpits were preachers of re- 
nown. These included the Rev. Abram N. Littlejohn, who in 
1869 retired from the rectorship of Holy Trinity to become the 
first bishop of the Episcopal see of Long Island, and the Rev. 
Charles H. Hall who succeeded to the place thus made vacant. 
Two other preachers of uncommon force and eloquence were 
the Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, founder and for nearly a genera- 
tion pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presfbyterian Church, 
and the Rev. Joseph T. Duryea, whose labors in the pulpit of 
the Classon Avenue Presbyterian Church are held in grateful 
remembrance by thousands. 

The most widely known, however, of the preachers whose 
coming to Brooklyn fell within the period now under review 

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was the Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage, who, in 1869, was called 
to the pastorate of the Central Presbyterian Church in Scher- 
merhom Street. When he undertook his work there, his 
church had only a score of members. But Dr. Talmage at once 
succeeded in drawing many hearers to his old fashioned church. 
After fifteen months he persuaded the trustees to sell the 
edifice and to erect on lots adjacent a different type of struc- 
ture — ^the first Brooklyn Tabernacle, in Schermerhom Street. 
It was an immense auditorium in the shape of a horseshoe, 
the exterior of corrugated iron. While it was being com- 
pleted Dr. Talmage made a visit to Europe. He at once filled 
the new church with eager hearers on its completion, and a 
career of prosperity was begun, to be cut short in the latter 
part of 1872 by the destruction of the edifice by fire. Dr. Tal- 
mage arranged to preach in the Academy of Music while the 
Tabernacle was rebuilt, and the new structure, on the same site, 
was opened early in 1874. It was said to be the largest church 
edifice at the time in this country, and for fifteen years Dr. 
Talmage preached to audiences which crowded it to the doors. 
He was also engaged in active editorial work, in publishing 
volumes of his sermons, the circulation of which from week to 
week in newspaper publications was enormous, and in lectur- 
ing in all parts of the country. One of the features of the 
services at the Tabernacle was having congregational singing 
instead of a choir. For years the seats were all free, sittings 
being assigned to regular attendants, but in 1883 the sale of the 
pews at auction was adopted. At that time a newspaper man 
asked Dr. Harrison A. Tucker, president of the board of trus- 
tees, how many the church would seat. Dr. Tucker replied: 

"Well, we havd had them counted and the pews will seat 
2,650, but the domine (Dr. Talmage) always says 4,650. He 
sees things large." 

There were repeated efforts to free the Tabernacle from 
debt, which at one time amounted to $72,500, and several times 
it was reported that this had been accomplished ; but when the 

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second edifice, in Schermerhorn Street, was burned, in 1889, 
there was still a large indebtedness. Dr. Talmage had ar- 
ranged to make a trip to the Holy Land, starting the day after 
this second fire, and he carried out his plans, sending sermons 
for publication during the trip. A movement to build a new 
church on another site, at Clinton and Greene Avenues, was 
successfully made, and there a much larger structure was put 
up, and after his return from his trip Dr. Talmage preached 
in the Academy of Music in both New York and Brooklyn 
for several months, until the third Tabernacle was completed 
in 1891. This was an immense structure, said to be capable of 
holding six thousand persons, and costing $410,000, but the 
success of the church organization was not great, despite the 
fact that large audiences assembled at the Sunday services. 
This building in its turn was burned on May 13, 1894. The 
congr^^tion made no effort to rebuild and in November, 1894, 
Dr. Talmage announced his resignation of the Tabernacle 
pastorate. The church was scattered and nothing of the or- 
ganization remained save the Sunday school, which lasted a 
few months. The following year Dr. Talmage took up his 
residence in Washington, where he became assistant to Dr. 
Sutherland in the First Presbyterian Church. Afterwards he 
was pastor of the same for a period, but later retired owing to 
differences which led to Dr. Sutherland's return to the pulpit 
He died in Washington in April, 1902. 

The doctrines preached by Dr. Talmage were of the old 
fashioned orthodox type. He used to say that he had long 
since "lived down" the frills and ncmessentials of religion. 
"At twenty," he would explain, "I believed several hundred 
things ; at fifty I believed about a score, but now, with clearer 
vision, as I grow older and come nearer the close of the jour- 
ney, I hold only to three things as vital — ^that God our Father 
loves us far better than we know, that Jesus Christ, his son, 
is our Redeemer and Savior and that I am a sinner, enriched 
by his grace, though all unworthy." 

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Dr. Talmage was a thorough-going believer in the in- 
spiration of the Bible, and many times during his career he 
came to the front as a defender of its integrity. He repudiated 
the "higher criticism" as a menace to the old religion, and de- 
nounced as impious the doubts concerning miracles and in- 
spiration. Often he chose as a target the foibles and be- 
setting sins of society, and he never spared his ammunition. 
He poured out broadsides on Wall Street, the saloons, gamb- 
lers, low politicians, and all who came within the range of his 
criticism. His forceful denunciation of popular vices was equaled 
only by his ability to move his audience to tears of sjrmpathy 
when he chose to appeal to the emotions. No preacher of his 
time could describe in such moving language the charms of 
home, the mother's love for a wayward child, the delights of 
rural life or the simple faith of the believer in Christ and 
heaven. He was always at his best when facing a miscel- 
laneous assemblage in the great cities, and he delighted also in 
an audience of farmers. Such gatherings failed not to com- 
prehend his homely doctrines. Yet his finest work was not 
among the shallows. He could go deeply into the secrets of 
the heart and soul, and such was his rare gift that with a single 
sentence he could move a multitude. 

Henry Ward Beecher died in March, 1887, and his passing 
was mourned as a national loss. The vacant pulpit of Ply- 
mouth Church was filled at the end of a year by the calling of 
Dr. Lyman Abbott, who in 1900 g^ve way to the present pastor, 
the Rev. Newell D. Hillis. To complete the record of church 
life in Broklyn, mention should be made of the men who, after 
fruitful service within its borders, have been called to fill higher 
places in other fields. Dr. Littlejohn, as we have seen, left 
the rectorship of Holy Trinity to become the first Episcopal 
bishop of Long Island, and the same post is now filled by Dr. 
Frederic Burgess, formerly a Brooklyn rector. Dr. George 
F. Seymour, long rector of old St. John's, was afterward called 
to the bishopric of western Illinois ; Dr. William A. Leonard, 

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rector of the Church of the Redeemer, became bishop of Ohio ; 
and Dr. Chauncey B. Brewster, for a time rector of Grace 
Church on the Heights, was later made bishop coadjutor of 
Connecticut. Among the Roman Catholic clergy, several who 
were once priests in Brooklyn have also become bishops. Father 
Bacon, of the Church of the Assumption, and founder of St. 
Mary of the Star of the Sea, became bishop of Portland, and 
the Very Rev. Charles E. McDonnell, who in 1892 succeeded 
to the bishopric of Brookl)m, was bom and educated within the 
diocese now ruled by him. 

Nor should reference be omitted to what Mr. Beecher 
was wont to call St. Children's Day — Brooklyn^jp Sunday- 
school parade, held on some day in May of each year. 
This gracious custom was inaugurated in 1861, and it has ever 
since been a unique and distinctive feature of the city's higher 
life. "It is a great day for the children, and a great day for 
the children of larger growth. Flags are out from every 
house possessing one, and the streets are gay with the white 
dresses and flowery adornments of the little ones. All classes 
take a holiday, and line the route of march in great multitudes. 
A band precedes each school, at the head of which is carried 
a handscHne silk banner inscribed with its name and date of or- 
ganization. A point is selected as a rule where a large number 
of the schools pass by in review before some person of dis- 
tinction, and Presidents of the United States have more than 
once honored the occasion with their presence. In 1897, in 
view of the imminent consolidation, the mayor of the three 
cities involved occupied the reviewing stand in Prospect Park, 
while on another occasion the public school children also joined 
in the march, and as many as 60,000 persons were in line. It 
is a moving and impressive spectacle, and while there may be 
fluctuations in the number taking part there are always several 
thousand on the march from year to year. Brooklyn never 
grows tired of the event, and each year with fresh eagerness 
prepares to make it a success." 

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Brooklyn received a new charter in March, 1862, and in 
May 1873 yc^ another charter was granted it. Between these 
dates a paid fire department was substituted for the volunteer 
system, and a police department created, under a commission 
consisting of the mayor, ex officio, and two other members. The 
charter of 1873 provided that the mayor, auditor and comp- 
troller of the city should be elective offices; that there should 
be one alderman for each ward ; and that the mayor and alder- 
man should appoint the heads of the thirteen departments 
which made up the city government. Divided responsibility, 
however, it was found made for confusion and corruption in 
municipal affairs. Accordingly, in January, 1880, a bill was 
laid before the legislature which gave the mayor power to 
appoint absolutely the heads of the several departments of the 
city government, a single head for each department; and on 
May 26, 1880, despite vigorous opposition, it was passed and 
became law. 

The new charter was described a few years later by the one 
first entrusted with the execution of its provisions. "In 
Brooklyn," he said, "the executive side of the city govern- 
ment is represented by the mayor and the various heads of de- 
partments. The legislative side consists of a common council 
of nineteen members, twelve of whom are elected from three 
districts, each having four aldermen, the remaining seven being 
elected as aldermen-at-large by the whole city. The people 
elect three city offices besides the board of aldermen ; the mayor, 
who is the real, as well as the nominal head of the city; the 
comptroller, who is practically the bookkeeper of the city, and 
the auditor, whose audit is necessary for the payment of every 
bill against the city, whether large or small. The mayor ap- 
points absolutely, without confirmation by the common coun- 
cil, all the executive heads of departments. These in turn 
appoint their own subordinates, so that the principle of defined 
responsibility permeates the city government from top to bot- 
tom. The executive officers appointed by the mayor are ap- 

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pointed for a term similar to his own. Each one of the great 
departments is under the charge of a single head, the charter 
of the city conforming absolutely to the theory that where ex- 
ecutive work is to be done it should be committed to the charge 
of one man." 

Seth Low, whose words have just been quoted, was the 
first mayor elected under the new charter, and so well did he 
carry out its provisions that in 1883 he was renominated and 
re-elected for a second term. Indeed, in his hands, the "Brook- 
lyn idea" in city government became a vital and uplifting force 
in politics, winning praise from the students of civil govern- 
ment in all lands. "This Brooklyn system," wrote the late 
John Fiske in 1886, "has great merits. It insures unity of ad- 
ministration, it encourages promptness and economy, it locates 
and defines responsibility, and it is so simple that everybody 
can understand it. The people having but few officers to elect 
are more likely to know something about them. Especially, 
since everybody understands that the success of the govern- 
ment depends upon the character of the mayor, extraordinary 
pains are taken to secure good mayors, and the increased inter- 
est in city politics is shown by the fact that in Brooklyn more 
people vote for mayor than for governor or president. The 
Brooklyn system seems to be a step toward lifting city govern- 
ment out of the mire of party politics." More recently the 
system has been adopted in modified form by other cities, and 
its basic principles, especially in the matter of the appointing 
power of the mayor, shaped the framing of the charter of the 
Greater New York. 

During the past forty years, under Brooklyn's successive 
forms of government, the Democratic party has been the one 
most often in control of its affairs. The leader of the local 
Democracy during that period has been Hugh McLaughlin, 
now the oldest and in many respects the most remarkable poli- 
tical "boss" in America. He was bom in Brooklyn, of Irish 
parentage, and has lived there during all of his seventy-five 

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years of life. He began life as a carpenter, and early drifted 
into politics. He once held a public office, that of registrar of 
Kings county, but only for a single term. For more, than thirty 
years he has been content to remain in the background, and to 
act as the political clearing-house of his party, a role which he 
has filled with extraordinary and practically unbroken success. 
A recent pen sketch of him, drawn by a not unfriendly hand, 
ascribes his success to shrewdness united to caution and backed 
by a sense of strict honor. He has never been known to fail 
in his word or willingly to have disappointed the hope of those 
who have placed their trust in him. His word is always 
literally as good as his bond. 

McLaughlin's methods are at once simple and effective. 
He sits all day in an auction shop in which he has no interest, 
a gentle, soft-spoken man, who finds enjoyment in smoking, 
but none in drink and profanity. All sorts and conditions 
of men find their way to this singular shrine of democracy, 
and often wait hours for an audience. These audiences are 
usually short and to the point. The veteran leader listens to 
everybody on all sides of every disturbing question, and at the 
end lets fall a word or a sentence that settles each question in 
its turn. "I would'nt if I were you," or "I don't think so," 
becomes a command against a proposed course of action. "All 
right," or "Go ahead," serves as an order to move. He never 
dictates, is secretive and tactful and listens rather than talks. 
He is often able to manage so that troublesome matters settle 
themselves without his interference. When several men want 
a nomination that can go to but one, he says to each "Go out 
and make your case." Of course they stir the town, and the 
Democracy, and, before the "boss" decides, the applicants 
themselves perceive which is the strongest if not the best 
among them. 

McLaughlin has also the faculty of forgiveness ; and men 
now close to him were once his bitterest enemies. This lack 
of the implacable in his character has proved an inestimable 

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benefit to him in the course of his long career. His policy 
has always been to conciliate a powerful foe rather than to 
exasperate him, and with this end in view he has at times made 
concessions which were thought to be ruinous by his col- 
leagues, but in the end have never failed to vindicate his judg- 
ment. It should be added that he is held in high esteem by 
the clergy of his church. He is a practical Catholic himself 
and his family has from the beginning of his career been inti- 
mately associated with the charitable enterprises of his re- 
ligion. Most of the pastors of Brooklyn are personally, and 
some are intimately acquainted with the noted politician. It 
is very often through the intercession of clergymen that poli- 
tical favors are obtained. Appeals of this kind made to the 
"boss" are understood to have a special efficacy, for, however, 
brusque he may be in his intercourse with the majority of those 
who ccMne in contact with him, he always shows marked cour- 
tesy to the priests of his Church. The result of this con- 
sideration is seen in the almost universal esteem which he en- 
joys among the Roman Catholic clergy. He has contributed 
generously to the support of his Church and is a familiar and 
prcmiinent figure at the various fairs, lawn parties and enter- 
prises of like nature. He has little taste for society, and the 
only social function which he attends, and has never missed, 
is the annual ball of the Emerald Society, given for the benefit 
of the Brooklyn orphans. A curious illustration, however, of 
his power as it affects the social organization of Brooklyn was 
given upon the marriage of his daughter some years ago. 
Everybody with political aspirations felt constrained to send 
a present. The gifts ranged from diamond necklaces down, 
and were so numerous that the house literally could not hold 
them. Their value was estimated at two hundred thousand 
dollars. When they were removed to the bride's new home 
they filled twelve big furniture vans. The event, in the atten- 
tion it created within the boundaries of McLaughlin's do- 
main, resembled the marriage of a princess of a royal line. 



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Two memorable events in the later history of Brooklyn as 
a city were the Moody and Sankey revival meetings in the fall 
and winter of 1875, and the burning of the Brooklyn Theatre 
in the following year. It was in October, 1875, that Moody 
and Sankey, fresh from labors in England that had given them 
international fame, began their first American campaign in 
Brooklyn. Their meetings were held in the Clermont Avenue 
rink in which were placed chairs for 5,000 people. Soon this 
was filled, and then, by the help of the local clergymen and 
laymen, the overflow meetings and special services were ac- 
commodated in the different churches. Moody was not a fin- 
ished speaker, and he did not even let a lapse in grammar 
bother him at all, but his direct words, ready illustrations, 
his earnestness and his emotional intensity made great crowds 
listen to him with rapt attention. He persuaded those 
emotionally susceptible to go to the penitent bench. If his 
listeners were already in the church, he filled them with desire 
to do something more than they had been doing. A nervous 
vibrancy in his voice accentuated this power. He spoke 
rapidly, more than two hundred words a minute sometimes, 
yet he never seemed to be talking fast, and he changed his 
subject, or the phases of it, and followed exhortation with in- 
cident, so abruptly and so frequently, that he kept his auditors 
constantly on the alert. Once an emotional chord was struck 
in the audience he seemed to know it at once, and while keep- 
ing up the play of his quick changes he never ceased to play 
directly upon that chord until women sometimes wept and men 
were shaken. The unbelieving sometimes succumbed and some- 
times rose and left the hall. He did not seek to expound doc- 
trine. He sought to show that Christianity was the best thing 
on earth and that the people he was talking to ought to have 
it. He held out heaven as the greatest thing to come, and 
reasoned backward that there must be its opposite. 

"A young man came to me after one of the meetings in 
Brooklyn and said he believed the Christian way was best, but 

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he couldn't come out and take it," Moody said, "because his 
roommate would laugh at him. He came to me two or three 
times and finally prcnnised to go home and talk to his room- 
mate. He found him reading the Bible. The roommate had 
been to the meetings, too. That man is a happy man now 
and knows he did right. Isn't it worth while to be courage- 
ous?" Moody would not push the point, but would turn to 
some other illustration or incident. "Heaven is a city like 
Brooklyn. I believe that. And if there is a heaven there 
must be an opposite place — call it hell, or perdition or what- 
ever you like. There's no road without two ends. If heaven 
is one end, where is the other? If I see a man doing wrong 
I know he's not going the same way I'm going. It's settled 
in my mind that heaven is a place of joy. And do you think 
that a carnal man is going to heaven? Can death change him? 
Oh, no! It is only those who will now follow the right path 
that will enter heaven. We shall see our friends there and 
we'll have the angels and cherubim and seraphim. Oh, we'll 
have select company in heaven." 

Such was the evangelist's familiar talk at the big meet- 
ings he addressed. Once in a while he would be epig^rammatic. 

"I'll wait till Thanksgiving before telling whether these 
meetings are successful. Then if there are plenty of turkeys 
traveling from the homes of the rich to the homes of the very 
poor, and if there is charity and love in abundance, I will say 
that they have been successful." Their success, as a matter- 
of-fact, was extraordinary. They continued for four weeks, 
and those who at first criticised the meetings expressed pro- 
found respect in the end, for Moody's methods, and for the 
results that attended them. 

The burning of the Brooklyn Theatre was a calamity whose 
tragic consequences give it an abiding place in the minds of 
men. This playhouse, built in 1871 at the comer of Washing- 
ton and Johnson streets, was then the handsomest theatre in 
Brooklyn. There on the night of December 5, 1876, an audi- 

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ence of more than i,cxx) persons gathered to witness the play 
of "The Two Orphans," with Kate Claxton in the principal 
role. The last act was in progress, when it was discovered 
that the theatre was on fire, and that the stage was already 
envelc^ed in flames. The actors, with rare presence of mind, 
went on with the performance, but when the audience, nearly 
one-half of whom were seated in the upper gallery, became 
aware of the danger, a mad rush was made for the stairs. 
There was ample time under ordinary conditions for all ta 
escape before the flames reached the body of the house, but 
in the panic bred by fear the human mass became immovably 
jammed in the passageways and on the staircase, and were there 
engulfed in flame or choked with smoke. Two hundred and 
ninety-five was the number of those who thus met their death. 
A hundred of the victims could not be identified, and four days 
later were buried in a common grave at Greenwood. The 
building of the "Eagle" newspaper now occupies the site of 
the Brooklyn Theatre. 

Brooklyn's history during its last decade of independent 
existence was one of steady growth, a growth which in 1890 
gave it 10,560 manufacturing establishments in 229 lines of 
industry ; and these employed more than 100,000 toilers. The 
list included very large hat, chemical and iron-works, candy 
factories, coffee and spice mills, and boot and shoe factories. 
Then as now, however, the most important of Brooklyn indus- 
tries was the refining of sugar and the manufacture of molasses 
and syrup. There are now upward of a dozen refineries inr 
the Williamsburg section, and Brooklyn manufactures five- 
eighths of the entire production of sugars and syrups in the 
United States. Two other features of Brooklyn business 
enterprise in recent years have been the erection of a large 
number of many-storied fire-proof storage houses for the safe 
keeping of furniture and other valuables, and the evolution 
of the Wallabout Market to its present mammoth proportions. 
The site of this market, was purchased by the city in 1891 at a 

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cost of $700,000. The portion at present in c^eration abuts, 
on the east side, the lands of the navy yard reservation, and 
is bounded on the west by Washington Avenue, on the south by 
Flushing Avenue, and on the north by the Wallabout Canal. 
Thus, it is approachable on one-half its area by wide avenues, 
upon each of which is a double tracked railroad, while on a 
third of its remaining boundary line the bulkhead of the canal 
affords a landing place for every description of produce sent 
to it by vessel. There are now more than 200 buildings in 
the market erected by lessees for the sale of produce, meat, 
fish and poultry. The market square is 900 feet long by 240 
feet in width, and the contents of nearly 600 wagons have been 
disposed of therein during a single day. 

The application of electricity to street railway propulsion 
in Brooklyn dates from January, 1892, when an ordinance 
granting the needed permission was passed by the city coun- 
cil. The Brooklyn City Railroad Company, in June of the 
same year doubled its capital in order to make the change from 
horses to electricity, and with such dispatch was this change ef- 
fected that by the end of 1894 not a horse car was to be seen on 
any of the street railroads of Brooklyn. Four years later, in 
the spring of 1898, trolley-tracks were laid over the roadways 
of the bridge, and passengers carried from its New York en- 
trance to any part of Brooklyn for one fare of five cents. In 
June of the same year the tracks of the elevated railroad com- 
panies were connected with those of the bridge cable-cars, and 
passengers carried to New York without change. This period 
of rapid transit development brought the organization in 1895 
of the Brooklyn Wharf and Warehouse Company which, by ab- 
sorbing all the warehouses and docks along the East River 
from Catherine Street Ferry to Gowanus Bay, assured unified 
control of the whole water-front of Brooklyn. And this con- 
solidation was followed by the building of a wharf railroad, in 
1896, along the two and a half miles of water front, with nu- 
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turer of Brooklyn has been placed on an equal footing with 
his competitor across the river. Instead of carting his product 
to and from the railroad and freight stations in New York, 
as theretofore, the goods are now received and delivered at 
these stations on the water front." 

Meantime Brooklyn was making ready for the last and 
greatest of her consolidations. The long mooted welding of 
Brooklyn and New York into one city took definite shape in 
1890, when a commission of eleven members, headed by 
Andrew H. Green, was appointed to inquire into and report 
upon the expediency of including in one great municipality. 
Manhattan Island, Brooklyn, part of Queens county, Staten 
Island or Richmond county, and the southern portion of West- 
chester county. The findings of this ccxnmission were em- 
bodied in a bill passed by the l^slature in 1894, which provided 
for the submissicm of the question to a vote of the people of 
the cities, towns and villages included in the proposed OMisoli- 
dation. The people gave their vote in November of the same 
year, and only the residents of Mount Vernon and the town 
of Westchester failed to record their approval. Westchester 
township's vote against oxisolidation, however, was speedily 
rendered ineffective by an act of the legislature which, in June, 
1895, annexed West Chester, East Chester, Pelham, and Wake- 
field (or South Mount Vernon) to New York City. 

This carried the city line to the limit in Westchester 
county recommended by Commissioner Green and his asso- 
ciates, and in January following a bill was passed by the legis- 
lature which made Kingfs county, a portion of Queens, and all 
of Richmond integral parts of Greater New York. The consti- 
tution adopted by the State in 1894 gives to the mayors of the 
several cities the right to veto bills dealing with their aflFairs.* 
The mayors of New York and Brooklyn objected to the con- 
solidation bill when it was laid before them, while the mayor of 
Long Island City approved it. The measure was, however, 
again passed over the veto of the mayors, and on May 11, 

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Making the Greater City 

1896, with the approval of the governor, it became law. Then 
a commission of nine members was appointed by the governor 
to frame a charter for the new municipality, and report the same 
to the legislature ; and their labors had issue in a bill which on 
May 5, 1897, received the signature of the governor. This 
measure, which took effect January i, 1898, but has since 
undergone material amendment, divides the city into five 
boroughs, — Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and 
Richmond,-— embracing an area of a little less than 318 square 
miles, and counting a population in 1902 of three and a half 
millions. The settlements planted by the Dutch pioneers, 
fulfilling their imperial destiny, have now become the second 
city of the world. 



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The Higher Life of Brooklyn 



BROOKLYN is essentially a city of homes, and for that 
reason an impelling enthusiasm for education has 
been from the first a distinguishing feature of its 
higher life. The beginnings of its public school system has 
been traced in earlier chapters. When in 1843 2tn act of the 
legislature established the board of education, there were eight 
schools in the city. Nine years later there were fifteen schools. 
Thereafter, from year to year, they grew steadily in number 
and in efficiency^ until now there are upward of six score gram- 
mar, intermediate and primary schools, most of them housed 
in modem buildings admirably adapted to their purpose. 
There are also seven high schools, and these include the largest 
girls' high school under one roof in America, and the most 
beautiful of all the boys' high schools of the land. 

Aside from its public schools, Brooklyn has good cause 
to be proud of its other educational institutions. First among 
the latter are the Packer Collegiate Institute for girls, and the 
Polytechnic Institute for boys. Both are thoroughly modem 
schools with a large attendance, and both have a history that 
may be traced to a common source. The Brooklyn Female 
Academy, established in 1845, had but fairly entered upon a 
successful career, when, in January, 1853, its two school build- 
ings were destroyed by fire. Three days after the fire a note 
came to the trustees from Mrs. Harriet L. Packer saying that it 
had always been the intention of her deceased husband, Wil- 
liam S. Packer, to give a sum of money for founding some in- 
stitution of leaming, and that she was now resolved to ex- 
ecute his wishes. "What I contemplate," she wrote, "is to 
apply $65,000 of Mr. Packer's property to the erection of an 
institution for the education of my own sex in the higher 

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branches of literature in lieu of that now known as the Brook- 
lyn Female Academy." 

The trustees made haste to accept this generous gift ; the 
female academy was dissolved as a corporation, and a new in- 
stitution was incorporated under the name of the Packer Col- 
legiate Institute. After this Mrs. Packer made a second do- 
nation of $20,000, and in November, 1854, the institute 
began its work in the building which, with a later addition, 
yet stands on Joralemon Street, between Court and Clinton, 
and reaching back to Livingston. Dr. Alonzo Crittenden, its 
first principal, served in that capacity until 1883, when he was 
succeeded by Dr. Truman J. Backus, formerly professor of 
English at Vassar College. The Packer Institute began with 
300 pupils, and their number has been more than doubled in 
recent years. A high standard has been maintained from the 
first, and a certificate from the Packer secures admission to 
Smith, Vassar or Wellesley. 

When the Brooklyn Female Academy went out of exist- 
ence in 1853 its trustees at once incorporated a school of a 
similar character for boys. Thus the Brooklyn Polytechnic 
Institute came into being in 1855, and, growing with the years, 
now gives instruction to more than 800 pupils. In 1869 the 
Polytechnic was allowed to confer the degree of Bachelor of 
Science, and since 1890 all of its four courses of instruction 
have led to collegiate degrees. Another Brooklyn school with 
a celebrity that has grown out of long and good standing is 
the Adelphi Academy, later Adelphi College. This institution, 
which admits pupils of both sexes, takes its name from a pri- 
vate school established in 1863 at 336 Adelphi Street. Within 
four years, so rapid was its growth, its pupils numbered 300, 
and in 1868 the present building was erected on Lafayette 
Avenue. Eighteen years later a gift of $160,000 by Charles 
Pratt permitted the erection of a second building at the comer 
of St. James Place and Clifton Place, and about the same time 
all the powers of a college were conferred upon the institution, 

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which previously had confined its labors to preparing young 
people for other colleges. 

A later comer in the Brooklyn educational field is the 
Pratt Institute, the most important school of its kind in the 
United States, if not in the world. Behind its founding lies 
the life story of a remarkable man, a man whose traits were 
as typical of as his successes were peculiar to our western civ- 
ilization. Charles Pratt was bom in Watertown, Massachu- 
setts, October 2, 1830, and his parents are said to have been 
so poor that necessity compelled him, at the age of ten, to leave 
home and seek work on a farm, where he labored three years, 
attending school in the winter months. He next became a 
grocery clerk in Boston, and there, as on the farm, received no 
compensation but his board; for not until he began to learn 
the machinists' trade in Newton, Massachusetts, did he earn 
his first dollar, of which he always spoke with pride as having 
been made at the work-bench. With the savings of his first 
year in the machine-shop he entered Wilbraham Academy, 
where he diligently studied twelve months, subsisting on about 
a dollar a week. He then became clerk in an oil store in Bos- 
ton, and in his leisure hours availed himself of the privileges 
of the Mercantile Library for self-improvement. 

Pratt came to New York in 1851, and was engaged suc- 
cessively as clerk in Appleton's publishing house and in the 
paints and oil establishment of Schenck & Darling. In 1854 
he joined C. T. Raynolds and F. W. Devoe in the paints and 
oil business. Later, on Mr. Devoe's retirement, the firm be- 
came Raynolds, Pratt & Co. In 1867 arrangements were made 
whereby C. T. Raynolds and certain partners should take 
control of the business in paints, and Charles Pratt & Co. con- 
duct the oil trade. The success of the latter firm as oil-refiners 
was extraordinary. Astral oil was in demand everywhere; 
and the works in Brooklyn, continuous and surprising as was 
their expansion, found it difficult to keep pace with the con- 
sumption. When the Standard Company resolved virtually 

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to monopolize the traffic in oil, Pratt entered into business 
association with it, his relation to the vast trust being as pres- 
ident of the Charles Pratt Manufacturing Company. There- 
after his wealth grew by leaps and bounds, and the value of 
his possessions were estimated by himself a short time before 
his death in 1891 at $20,000,000. 

During the last years of his life Pratt devoted much of his 
time to the philanthropies in which he delighted, and whieh 
perpetuate his name. Adelphi College received from him sums 
aggregating $500,000; and to the Emanuel Baptist Church, 
of which he was a member, he was always generous, giving 
<lollar for dollar subscribed by its people towards improve- 
ments, and for benevolence. The chief object of his thought 
and gifts, however, was the Pratt Institute, in Ryerson Street, 
founded in 1887 "to make the way c^en to as many young 
people as possible to intdligently enter upon the technical 
high-school course of instruction, and to establish for other 
schools a type of what kindergarten and primary education 
should be" ; in a word, to make a school which should be com- 
plete, from the primary to the graduating courses, and for 
fitting the youth of both sexes to gain their livelihoods at 
skilled manual labor. Pratt dealt with this oflFspring of his 
philanthropy in a spirit of royal liberality. Apart from Its 
buildings, their equipment, and those adjuncts which yield a 
part of its revenue, he endowed it with $2,000,000. The fol- 
lowing extract from a recent report shows how much he be- 
stowed upon it: 

Endowment fund $2,000,000 00 

Real estate, buildings and equipment fund, to be 

used as required 835,000 00 

Cost of present Institute buildings, equipment, 

and grounds 5^3*337 61 

Cost of Astral, Inwood, and Studio buildings. . . 332437 07 



$3,690,774 68 
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Historic Long Island 

Income from endowment fund, rents, leases, etc. .$182,136 23 
Less deficit (expenses and receipts of the Insti- 
tute) 120,462 90 



$61,673 33 
The Institute buildings are models of their kind. They are 
built of brick and stone, and are notable for their strength, sim- 
plicity, plentiful illumination by windows, and the neatness and 
cleanliness that distinguish all parts — even the eng^e-room, 
foundry, and machine and plumbing shops. In the rooms of 
the department of science and technology boys and young men 
are to be seen at work as carpenters, as wood-workers, at mould- 
ing and forge-work, at painting, sign-writing, frescoing, and 
wall-papering, and in the studies that are pursued in a well- 
equipped machine-shop. The visitor also sees boys and girls 
and men and women studying in complete chemical laboratories 
and at wood-carving. Classes of girls learn dress-making, mil- 
linery, plain sewing, art needle-work, biology, cookery, laundry- 
work, and what is called "home-nursing," which is a science in- 
cluding and going beyond what is known as "first aid to the in- 
jured." Other classes study drawing (including mechanical and 
architectural drawing), clay-modeling, designing, and painting. 
There are music classes, and classes in phonography, type- 
writing, and bookkeeping, and the foundation includes a kin- 
dergarten, a large circulating library, an excellent technical 
museum with a wide range of exhibits, a class in agriculture 
studying in a country district on Long Island, a play-ground 
for ball and tennis, and a class in "thrift," taught by means of 
a savings-bank managed upon the system of a building and 
loan association. 

The high-school department, which includes physics, 
chemistry, and the technical courses, also gives instruction in 
English literature and languages, mathematics, natural science, 
political economy, French, Spanish, Latin, elocution, and phys- 
ical culture, forming all together a three years* course for both 

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The Higher Life of Brooklyn 

sexes. The circulating library has a branch in the Astral model 
tenements in Greenpoint, the rents from which are part of the 
Institute's revenue, as is the income from the Studio building, 
which is separate from the Institute and at a distance, and in 
which a number of artist graduates have work-rooms. Though 
some of the trades are taught, Pratt Institute with its thous- 
ands of pupils, is not a "trade school." Its departments of sci- 
ence and technology recall the English technical schools, but 
in some of the courses of study it is purely professional, such as 
the training of teachers in the arts, domestic science, and kinder- 
garten departments. No higher grade in these lines is reached 
in the country, while in the high school, allied since 1891 with 
the Froebel Academy of Brooklyn, there is carried on a c<Mn- 
plete course from the kindergarten to the college. The books 
of its library have a circulation surpassing that of any library 
in Brooklyn; and in connection with this branch are classes 
in library training and economy for the instruction of library 
workers. Though variety in its scope has come with develop- 
ment, it has well been said by an acute observer that the concep- 
tion of the founder of Pratt Institute underlies all its many lines 
of educational work, and binds them into unity. 

Brooklyn also has cause to be proud of another of its in- 
stitutions, the like of which exists in no other American city. 
Thompson tells us that the Apprentices' Library Association 
was formed in 1824, and that Lafayette, then on a visit to the 
nation, laid the comer stone of its building. That event took 
place on July 4, 1825, and one of those who witnessed it was the 
poet Whitman, then but six years of age, who long afterward 
placed on record an account of the affair. "The greater part of 
the show," writes Whitman, "consisted of the Sunday and other 
schools. The day was a remarkably beautiful one. The boys 
and girls of Brooklyn were marshaled at the old ferry in two 
lines, with a wide space between. Lafayette came over in a 
carriage from New York and passed slowly through the lines. 
The whole thing was old-fashioned, quiet, natural, and with- 

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out cost, or at the expense of a few dollars only. After Lafay- 
ette had passed throug the lines, the people who had congregated 
in large numbers (women and girls as ntmierous as men), pro- 
ceeded in groups to the site of the new building. The children 
and some of the citizens formed a procession and marched from 
the ferry to the same spot. Arriving there we recollect there 
was some delay in placing the children where they could see 
and hear the performances. Heaps of building materials and 
stone obstructed the place. Several gentlemen helped in hand- 
ing the children down to stand on convenient spots, in the lately 
excavated basement, among the rest Lafayette. The writer 
well recollects the pride he felt in being one of those who hap- 
pened to be taken in Lafayette's hands and passed down " 

The building thus begun stood at the comer of Henry and 
Cranberry streets. It was sold to the city in 1836, and the 
books and classes of the association transferred to the building 
of the Brooklyn Lyceum, on Washington Street near Concord. 
The Lyceum, organized in 1833, had been able in 1841 to erect 
a substantial structure of granite, but it failed to prosper, and 
in 1843 ^he Apprentice's Association purchased the building. 
The same year the charter of the association was amended to en- 
large its scope, and its named changed to the now familiar title 
— the Brooklyn Institute. In 1848, Augustus Graham, one of 
the founders, freed from debt the building of the institute, and 
dying soon after bequeathed to it $27,000 for lectures, collec- 
tions, and apparatus illustrating the sciences, toward a school 
of design and a gallery of fine arts, and for maintaining 
Sunday evening religious lectures. Thus the institute became 
and for many years remained "a most important factor in the 
social, literary, scientific land educational life of Brooklyn. Its 
library had a large circulation ; its public hall was the scene of 
many social and historic gatherings ; and from its platform were 
heard such eminent scientific men as Agassiz, Dana, Gray, 
Henry, Morse, Mitchell, Torrey,Guyot and Cooke; such learned 
divines as McCosh, Hitchcock, Storrs, and Buddington; and 

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such defenders of the liberties of the people as Phillips, Sumner, 
Garrison, Emerson, Everett, King, Bellows and Beecher." 

After this came a period of weakened vitality. The insti- 
tute building was remodelled in 1867, at an expense of $30,000, 
and a portion of this took the form of a mortgage indebtedness, 
which was not wiped out until 1887. Thus handicapped, the 
activity of the institute for a score of years was only moderate ; 
its membership numbered less than a hundred; and its work 
was limited to the circulation of its library, the maintenance 
of its drawing classes, and an annual address. The final ex- 
tinguishment of the mortgage, however, brought fresh life to the 
institute. A new policy was adopted in 1887, and, under the 
direction of Professor Franklin W. Hooper, who had become 
secretary of the institute, its plan and scope were so broadened 
as to give the greatest possible encouragement to the advance- 
ment of knowledge along literary, art and scientific lines. The 
Brooklyn Microscopical Society, yielded to Professor Hooper's 
overtures, joined the institute in a body, and became the depart- 
ment of microscopy. A little later the American Astroncmiical 
Society became the department of astronomy. The Brooklyn 
Entomological Society followed, becoming the department of 
entomology, and the Linden Camera Club became the depart- 
ment of photography. The leading existing societies with sci- 
entific proclivities having been brought into line with the in- 
stitute work and made factors of it, departments of physics, 
chemistry, botany, mineralogy, geology, zoology, and archae- 
ology were created and established in connection with the in- 
stitute, each of which dozen departments began to hold monthly 
meetings with lecture and demonstration features. Stereop- 
ticon illustrations were extensively used, and popular interest in 
the institute work developed not only locally, but throughout the 
United States and foreign countries. New departments were 
formed as importunity was presented, and architecture, elec- 
tricity, geography, mathematics, painting, philology, political 
and economic science, and psychology had subsequent repre- 

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sentation among the departments of the institute. The library 
was largely augmented, and its circulaticm reached about 55,000 
per annum. 

Such was the record of growth between 1887 and 1890. 
The new name, Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, was 
adopted in 1890, and in the same year a movement supported 
by citizens to secure museums in connection with the institute 
bore fruit in legislation at Albany, authorizing the city to ex- 
pend $300,000 in the erection of museum buildings for the in- 
stitute whenever the institute should become possessed of $200,- 
000 with which to maintain them. A fire on September 12, 
1890, partially destroyed the institute building on Washington 
Street, rendering it unavailable for institute uses, besides de- 
stroying some of the collections belonging to the institute and 
its members. The work of the institute while thus hampered 
was not suspended, but through the hospitality of other Brodc- 
lyn institutions was carried on with only slight interruption. 
The Young Men's Christian Association, the Union for Chris- 
tian Work, the Packer Collegiate Institute, the Brookl)m Libra- 
ry, the Polytechnic Institute, the Brooklyn Heights Seminary, 
the Church of the Saviour, the Adelphi Academy, and the 
Brooklyn Art Association, contributed the use of rooms for in- 
stitute lecture purposes, so that even while the work was scat- 
tered progress continued. 

Nor was there any break in the record of wonderful growth. 
During 189 1-2 632 new members came in, one-third of the num- 
ber being teachers in the public and private schools. The archi- 
tectural department established a school for junior architects 
and draughtsmen; the department of painting established the 
Brooklyn School of Fine Arts ; departments of music and peda- 
gogy were formed; the photographic section housed itself ad- 
vantageously ; one summer school of painting -was established 
by the sea on Long Island, and another was started in the Ad- 
irondacks. The lectures and meetings numbered 405, 
and more than 100,000 persons attended them. Ex- 

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hibitions of collections were given by several dqwirt- 
ments. Meanwhile the institute sold its old building, 
and frcmi that and other sources raised more than the 
needed $200,000. A little later designs for the museum 
building were obtained, by competition, and on December 14, 
1895, the cornerstone was laid by Charles A, Schieren, then 
mayor of Brooklyn. The first section, the northwest wing, was 
opened to the public on June 2, 1897, but the plan of the whole, 
to be carried out in the fulness of time, demands a building 550 
feet in length on each of four sides, three stories high and 
basement. The site of the museum upon Prospect Hill is the 
most desirable one in the whole city and comprises nearly twelve 
acres. The collections in the museum cover a wide scientific and 
artistic field, and are being constantly increased by gift, pur- 
chase and exchange. Lx)an exhibitions in various departments 
are frequent, and opportunities for seeing the choice and se- 
lected specimens from the private collections of the institute 
members and others which are not usually available are thus 
provided. Annual exhibitions are also held by many of the 
departments like the microscopical and photogjaphical depart- 
ments which always attract many visitors. 

There is another institute museum, which is an interesting 
and valuable experiment — ^the Children's Museum in Bedford 
Park, established for the especial benefit of young people be- 
tween six and twenty. The idea has been to bring together 
collections in every branch of local natural history that could 
interest children, and to illustrate in every possible attractive 
way the most important subjects of a child's education and 
daily life. In the zoological cases are exhibits illustrating in- 
sect metamorphosis, large dissectible models of t3q>ical animal 
forms, such as snails and bees, that can be taken apart down 
to the very smallest detail of their structure, collections of spec- 
imens illustrating the life histories of various insects and small 
animals. The botanical department shows dissectible models 
of flowers and plants, leaves and blossoms and roots and stems 

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chat come to pieces in a fashion to delight any child's heart, and 
yet can be put together again, which is more than can be done 
with real flowers, and makes the models doubly fascinating. 
There are charts, too, and collections of flowers and fungi. The 
geological cases show children all the interesting features of the 
rocks and soil around their homes, .of the pavements and the 
yards and the parks. The great htmian industries are illustrated 
— the raw product, the processes of manufacture, and the com- 
pleted product being shown. Geography is made a delight by 
the way it is illustrated. 

The annual income of the institute has grown in fifteen 
years from less than $4,500 to more than $200,000, the per- 
manent funds from $37,000 to $256,000, the nimiber of institute 
members from eighty-two to 6,836, and the annual attendance 
from 6,900 to 542,000. There were eighteen meetings and 
classes open to all members in 1887; now there are 600 while 
the sixty special classes of an earlier time have multiplied as 
many fold. New departments have been added to the list from 
year to year to meet the needs expressed by the public until now 
they number twenty-seven. They include anthropology, ar- 
chaeology, architecture, astronomy, botany, chemistry, domes- 
tic science, electricity, engineering, entomology, fine arts, geog- 
raphy, geology, law, mathematics,* microscopy, mineralogy, 
music, painting, pedagogy, philology, photography, physics, po- 
litical science, psychology, sculpture and zoology. Each of 
these sections holds meetings and is making collections, but the 
educational work of the institute is conducted chiefly by lectures, 
of which perhaps a dozen are given each season under the aus- 
pices of the institute as a whole. The others are provided by 
the several departments, acting in co-operation with Professor 
Hooper. From October i to June i there are, on an average, 
500 lectures, to which admission is free to all members of the 
institute. Besides there are upwards of 2,500 other meetings, 
either held by sections of a department for informal addresses 
and conference or else possessing the character of a concert. 

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dramatic reading or other entertainment, for which an extra 
charge is made. Even for such attractive specialties as George 
Riddle or Garrett P. Serviss or Commander Peary a member is 
seldom asked to pay over twenty-five cents ; but for a Philhar- 
monic concert, which is not given exclusively under the man- 
agement of the institute, it is necessary to pay more. And yet 
one may be so lucky as to hear not only scores of talented men 
and women who are residents of Brooklyn, but also eminent 
people from all over the country, with an occasional foreigner, 
within the limits of a single season, and without any expense 
beyond the annual dues of five dollars, and incidental carfare. 
Joining the institute entitles a person to become an active mem- 
ber of three or four departments, and to enjoy any slight ex- 
clusive privileges which may be granted only to those who iden- 
tify themselves especially with one of the subordinate organi- 
^tions ; but the weekly ticket which is issued to members ad- 
mits them to all the meetings, lectures and exhibitions of the 
other departments for which there is no pecuniary charge. As 
these are more than 500 in number, the member gets generous 
return for his money, if he only takes advantage of it. 

It is the policy of the institute to as far as possible popu- 
larize scientific topics. Archaeology, for instance, is made a 
pretext for admirably illustrated talks on ancient sculpture and 
ruins. Geography is the head under which popular heroes and 
favorites recount their thrilling adventures or fascinate by their 
charming descriptions. Philology, as pursued by the institute, 
is really literature and elocution, inasmuch as the exercises 
given under this title are almost without exception either lec- 
tures on the authors and writings of various times and lands, 
or else dramatic readings. Even zoology (which affords an 
excuse for talks about birds), botany, astronomy, chemistry, 
electricity and microscopy have their picturesque phases, of 
Which advantage is often taken by their exponents. 
• ' The largest and most notable of the purely scientific de- 
partments of the institute are those of pedagogy and political 

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science. The former includes a large number of school teachers 
of every grade, and is admirably organized, having a dozen or 
fifteen committees on diflferent branches of school work and 
half a dozen reading circles. This department practically at- 
tained its full development last year, and now ranks fifth in 
size in the whole institute. The department of political sci- 
ence stands third on the list. This subdivision of the in- 
stitute covers a great deal of ground in the way of history, pol- 
itics and economics, and studies not only great movements of the 
past but also such modem issues as the trust question and the 
government of cities. The department of philology, to which 
reference has been made, has a membership of i,ioo, and has 
not grown any of late. But the department of music, now 
ntmibering 1439 members, is not only the largest in the insti- 
tute, but has grown most rapidly, having added no less than 
500 names to its list in the last four years. Fine arts comes 
fourth, with 687 members. Photography ranks sixth, and bot- 
any seventh, their respective memberships being 329 and 304. 
It should be remarked, however, that while in a general way the 
number of names on the roll of a department gives some indi- 
cation of the interest taken in its work, yet there are exceptions 
to the rule. A striking example of this sort is afforded by the 
department of geography, which has less than 200 members 
but offers such numerous and powerful attractions in the way of 
lectures as to secure an aggregate attendance of 15,000 to 20,- 
000 in the course of a season. It thus proves a close rival of the 
departments of music and philology, with from six to eight times 
the membership. There are other divisions of the institute in 
which, perhaps, only eight monthly lectures are given each sea- 
son, with an average attendance of less than 100. 

Several special schools are conducted by the departments 
of painting, architecture, political science and zoology. That 
first mentioned affords instruction in drawing and painting from 
life and still life, in decorative design and modelling. The 
school of biology, at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, affords 

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fine advantages in the way of laboratory apparatus and instruc- 
tion to students of elementary zoology, cryptogamic or phaeno- 
gamic botany and bacteriology. Exhibitions, lasting several 
days at a time, are given every year by the art school and the 
departments of photography, architecture and microscopy, and 
occasional displays are made by other departments. The de- 
partments of archaeology, architecture, botany, zoology, ento- 
mology, geology, geography, mineralogy and chemistry, as we 
have seen also have permanent collections of no little value and 
interest. Excursions are organized every season for outdoor 
work and research by some of the members who are interested 
in botany, geology and photog^phy. The department of music, 
whose phenomenal development has already been referred to, 
provides courses of piano and song recitals, chamber concerts 
and symphony concerts every seas<xi, and arranges for inter- 
esting and instructive expositions of symphony programmes and 
kindred topics. All in all the work done by the institute is a 
great and wonderful work, and has been the result, or else the 
creator, of a revolution in Brookl)m. 

The Mercantile Library Association of Brooklyn had its 
birth in November, 1857, and for the first five years housed 
its books in temporary quarters at the comer of Atlantic and 
Clinton streets. Its collection, however, grew rapidly, and in 
1864 ground for a building of its own was bought on Mcmtague 
Street. The structure erected on this site was opened to the 
public in 1869, and now contains a library of 130,000 volumes. 
This institution, known since 1870 as the Brooklyn Library, has 
been absorbed during the last few years by the Brooklyn Public 
Library, and, with the Carnegie bequest for branches, the bor- 
ough of Brooklyn is now assured of a free library system ad- 
equate to its growing needs and population. Another institu- 
tion which bears witness to Brooklyn's interest in intellectual 
pursuits is the Long Island Historical Society, founded in the 
spring of 1863 under the enthusiastic leadership of Henry C. 
Murphy, in order "to discover, procure, and preserve whatever 



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Historic Long Island 

may relate to general history, to the national, civil, ecclesi- 
astical and literary history of the United States, the State of 
New York, and more particularly of the counties, cities, towns 
and villages of Long Island." The career of this society was 
from the iirst a most successful one, and in 1880 it was able to 
build at the comer of Clinton and Pierrepont streets a handsome 
building which houses a musetmi of historical curiosities, and 
a library of 50,000 volumes, many of them books of great value. 
Amcmg its important publications have been the journal of the 
Labadist missionaries, Dankers and Sluyter, discovered by Mr. 
Murphy while serving as American Minister at The Hag^e; 
and yet another remarkable discovery made by Mr. Murphy, a 
letter written in 1628 by the Rev. Jonas Michaelius, the first 
minister of the Reformed Church in New Netherland. The 
original of the Michaelius letter, which gives a graphic descrip- 
tion of the beginnings of the Dutch colony, is now in the Lenox 
Library. A translation of it is given in an appendix to the 
present volume. 

Though club life has been of comparatively slow develop- 
ment in Brooklyn, the borough now supports several clubs, 
such as the Brooklyn and the Hamilton, in old Brooklyn ; the 
Lincoln, Oxford and Union League, on the Hill ; the Montaulc, 
on the Park Slope; the Hanover, in the Eastern District; the 
Algonquin, of South Brooklyn ; and the Crescent, an organiza- 
tion of a large number of young men with country quarters and 
a fondness for out-of-door life. The favorite club of the old 
residents is the Brooklyn, and the Hamilton Club is of the same 
class, though of more recent origin. The latter is an out- 
growth of an earlier organization known as the Hamilton Lit- 
erary Association. In 1880, ninety-two members of the old 
association incorporated the Hamilton Club, and after four 
years in hired quarters erected a handsome building of their 
own at the comer of Clinton and Remsen streets. The Hamil- 
ton possesses a fine art gallery, and in front of its building 
stands a bronze statue of Alexander Hamilton, the "patron 

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The Higher Life of Brooklyn 

saint" of the club. The Union League Club, incorporated in 
1889, also has its own club-house at the comer of Bedford 
Avenue and Dean Street, fronted by an equestrian statue of 
General Grant erected by subscription of a number of the mem- 
bers of the club. The fine house of the Mcmtauk Club, estab- 
lished in 1889 and with purposes purely social, is on Eighth 
Avenue, Lincoln Place, and the Plaza Cirlce. The limit to its 
membership, set at 500, was reached a few months after its 
organization. 

An account of the higher life of Brooklyn may well close 
with reference to its devotion to music, a fact of which we have 
already had striking proof in the work of the Brooklyn Insti- 
tute. The Philharmonic Society, organized in 1857, '^^ ^^ ^^ 
erection of the Academy of Music, and long yearly employed one 
orchestra or another to give concerts. Theodore Thcmias played 
for it for many years ; but since his orchestra could no longer 
be had, the plan of the Philharmonic has been changed, and in 
inducing the Boston SymphcMiy Orchestra to play in Brooklyn, 
it gives only its moral support to the venture. The Brooklyn 
Choral Society of 300 voices gives winter concerts similar to 
those of the Handel-Haydn Society of Boston ; and a number 
of concerts and rehearsals are also given every year by the Apol- 
lo Club, of three or four score voices, forming a male chorus. 
The Amphion Society renders a like service to the people of 
the Eastern District, while the Euterpe Society maintains a 
male chorus, and an orchestra of men and women. The Arion 
Society and the Saengerbund hold first place among a great 
number of German musical organizations. 

It was, however, the labors of the late Anton Seidl which 
in recent years most effectively contributed to the education of 
Brooklyn's people in the taste for music. This gifted man, 
backed by the brilliant reputation he had won in Europe, came 
to this country in 188 1 to take the place of Leopold Damrosch as 
director of the Metropolitan Opera House of New York. Seidl's 
American career was from the first a most successful one, and 

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in 1889 ^ l^ge number of Brooklyn ladies organized a society 
which took his name. The great conductor, under the auspices 
of this society, each summer gave concerts in the Pavilion at 
Brighton Beach, which furnished a regular education in classical 
music, and in the winter season brought his orchestra to Brook- 
lyn for a course of concerts at the Academy of Music. Both at 
Brighton Beach and in Brooklyn, lectures on music, with inter- 
pretation of masterpieces, were given at regular intervals, and 
Seidl's great popularity was skillfully employed by him to 
arouse the interest of the public in the works of the masters. 
No one has yet appeared to fill the place left vacant by his sud- 
den and untimely death. 



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PREVIOUS chapters have told the story of Long Island 
from the coming of the white settler until the close of 
the last century. The writer's present purpose is to 
describe the island's most notable landmarks, and this, perhaps, 
can be best fulfilled in a series of rambles al(Mig its shores, 
turnpikes and cross-roads. Let the first of these rambles be 
along the north shore. A ferry from the foot of East Ninety- 
ninth Street, New York, passing through Hell Gate and across 
Bowery Bay, lands one at Sanford's Point, whence a road 
threading the silvery stretch of sand known as North Beach 
leads to Flushing past one of the oldest landmarks on the 
island — ^Jackson's tide-mill on the shores of the creek of the 
same name. Flushing, to-day a town of handsome modem 
homes, is haunted by the spirit of its Puritan founders and of 
the Huguenots and Quakers who followed after them. It was 
in 1672 that the immortal zealot, George Fox, came to Flushing, 
sent by Penn, who saw among the Long Islanders, many of 
them, for conscience' sake self-exiled from England, a prom- 
ising field for the simple faith of the Friends. John Bowne, a 
well-to-do tradesman, was his first convert. Fox made Bowne's 
house his home during his stay in Flushing, and in one comer of 
it is still shown the lounge on which he rested after his em- 
passioned outpourings in the open air. Later Bowne's indis- 
creet hospitality led to his banishment to Holland, but he tumed 
his punishment to good effect by pleading the cause of the 
Quakers, and returning with an order for the tolerance of the 
persecuted people. 

The house, whose doors Bowne opened to the apostle of 
his new found creed, still holds the site its builder selected for 
It in 1661, and though built of wood has remained unaltered 

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to the present day. Nor through all of the changes of more 
than two hundred years has it ever left the possession of its 
first owner's family, being now the property of a descendant of 
John Bowne. After serving as a meeting-place for the Friends 
for more than a generation, Bowne's house was relinquished 
for the occupancy of a more substantial building erected in 1696, 
now the oldest Quaker meeting-house in the State, and per- 
haps in the country. This structure was the home of the 
brethren for upward of a century and is yet standing practically 
unchanged on its original site. Flushing has also its memorials 
of the Revolutionary era. The Garretson house, built, tradi- 
tion has it, in 1642, and still standing in Main Street, was used 
during the Hessian occupation as a hospital for soldiers, while 
old St George*s Church across the way served as a stable 
for the horses of the detachment quartered in the neighborhood. 
ITius does the past touch elbows with the present in shady, 
leafy and delightful Flushing. 

The main-travelled road from Flushing to Oyster Bay 
leads through Bayside, Manhanset, Roslyn, Glenwood, Sea 
Cliff and Locust Valley. Roslyn, besides its memories of Bry- 
ant, boasts an ancient paper-mill, the first one established in the 
State, and Locust Valley has an old academy of the Friends, 
erected more than six score years ago, while just beyond the 
latter hamlet is Mill Hill, where British fortifications were 
built during the Revolution. A short detour northward from 
Locust Valley also takes one to Dosoris, long the country 
home of the late Charles A. Dana. The island of Dosoris is 
distant from the mainland of Long Island about 100 yards and 
is a portion of an old estate which has borne that name for near- 
ly two hundred years. The original title was derived from the 
Matinecock tribe of Indians, and in 1668, under a patent granted 
by Richard Nicolls, the first English Governor of the province, 
it passed into private hands, and in 1693 "i* was owned/' says 
the record, "by John Taylor, who died seized thereof, leaving 
his surviving daughter and heir-at-law, Abigail, who subsc* 

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Some Island Landmarks 

quently intermarried with the Reverend Benjamin Woolsey, 
and the title was, therefore, by deed of lease and release, con- 
veyed to him, and the trust f rcmi that circumstance acquired the 
name of Dosoris — dos uxoris." Some thirty years ago the 
island was bought by Mr. Dana, who at once htgan the sys- 
tematic planting which, continued by his heirs, has made it 
one of the most interesting gardens in the country. The entire 
island, about forty-five acres in extent, is now one garden, 
and is maintained throughout as a garden, the pastures and 
forage lands being on the neighboring mainland. 

The ccrflection of trees and shrubs and herbaceous 
plants has grown year by year, until it rivals in richness the 
most complete private collections of the world, and yet the 
island is much more than an arboretum or a plant museum, for 
the planting has been disposed with reference to some fine old 
trees which already stood about the house, and to the belt of 
forest which already fringed the island, so as to bring out and 
emphasize the natural beauties of the place. The house, with 
broad, hospitable, vine-shaded piazzas, stands on high ground, 
and from one side the prospect is over a stretch of perfect lawn, 
with glimpses of the open waters of the sound between the 
trees, to give life and light to the picture. On the other side 
the most attractive view is down a long slope and through a 
vista of rich foliage toward the bridge which unites the island 
to the mainland. A seawall is built all around the island, and 
it is draped and festooned with matrimony-vine, our native 
bitter-sweet, a Japanese species of the same genus (Celastrus 
articulatus) and Periploca Graeca, which are planted on the 
top, and relieved by an upright growth behind them of Eleag- 
nus, Tamarix and some species of Prunus. On the banks, ex- 
posed to the lashing of the storms, are set such sturdy trees as 
locust and red cedar, while the waxberry and beach plum have 
proved perfect shrubs for such a position, extending down to 
high-water-mark, and hiding the dry sand and gravel of the 
bank with a mantle of luxuriant leafage. Within this trim 

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circumference, in every shrub-border and group of trees and 
flower-bed, the universal health and vigor of the v^etation 
bear witness to the skill and intelligence with which the garden 
is cultivated and cared for, and over all is the charm of perfect 
neatness and of order that is absolute. 

Oyster Bay has won fame in recent years as the home of 
President Roosevelt, but one of the things which g^ve it interest 
for the lover of the past is the Youngs homestead, probably 
the oldest house on the north shore. Captain Daniel Youngs 
was the occupant of this house, when President Washington 
made his famous tour of Long Island, and halted for a night 
at Oyster Bay. The bedroom in which Washington slept, to- 
gether with different articles of furniture which he used at the 
time, have been kept exactly as they were 112 years ago. Part 
of the silver tea set used on the occasion of his visit has passed 
out of the possession of the Youngs family, having been g^ven 
many years ago to branches of the family which now bear 
another name. The mirror, table, bed and curtains, and a part 
of the table silver still remain in the quaint old bedroom in the 
Youngs homestead, and are treasured as the most valuable 
relics. 

The original owner of the old house was Thomas Youngs, 
a son of the Rev. John Youngs, who settled in Southold, Suffolk 
County, having come to America from a town of the same name 
in England. The English lineage of the family runs back to 
1364. Thomas Yoimgs built the old house in Oyster Bay Cove 
in 1652, and nearly twenty years later he leased his lands at 
Oyster Bay to his sons, Thomas and Richard. The lease is 
in the possession of the family of William J. Youngs. The 
personal effects which went with the farm, and which are men- 
tioned in the lease were "four cows, one two-year-old heifer, 
one two-year-old bull, four yearlings and the principals engage 
to make good at the term and time of three years and a half 
all of these creatures." Another paragraph in the lease reads 
as follows : "Then for the sheep. There are thirty, and they 

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Some Island Landmarks 

are to deliver to me thirty pounds of wool each year — that is, 
one pound for each sheep--and there are nine lambs, and at 
the end of three years and a half they are to deliver to me 
thirty sheep and nine lambs, and they are to tan my hides for 
one-third, and they are to have six bushels of oats, two bush- 
els and a half of peas, two bushels of barley and one bushel 
and a half of flaxseed." 

Since the time of Captain Daniel Youngs the house has 
been handed down from father to son, and is now owned by 
Thomas Youngs, Susan M. Youngs and William J. Youngs, 
the last-named inheriting the share of Daniel K. Youngs. 
The old house has been repaired in some of its minor 
features, but the frame is in a first-class state of preser- 
vation, and on the north side of the house the shingles are 
those which were put on when the house was built. There was 
a time during the Revolution when the Hessians and British 
were quartered on the premises, and when they departed they 
left as mementos of their stay a handsome horn punch ladle 
fashioned into a whistle, a pipe of antique design and work- 
manship, a sergeant's sword and a hat brush. 

Oyster Bay, in truth^ saw stirring days during the Revolu- 
tion, days of confusion, bustle and of shrewd blows, the mem- 
ory of which contrasts sharply with its sleepy, uneventful pres- 
ent. The old Townsend homestead, which dates from 1740, 
and stands amid a thick growth of trees in the centre of the 
village, was during the British occupation of the island the 
head-quarters of Qjlonel Simcoe and his band of Queen's 
Rangers, who danced and flirted with the handsome daughters 
of the master of the house, and carved their names and those of 
the girls on the window panes. These panes of glass are 
among the relics cherished by the present occupants of the 
Townsend homestead, built in such enduring fashion that it 
promises to outlive another century. It should be added that 
the hill from which Oyster Bay borrows its name was the scene 
of a stirring naval fight in November, 1779, between two 

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Historic Long Island 

American privateers and a large, well-armed British brig, in 
which the latter was badly worsted. 

A few miles to the east of Oyster Bay is Huntington Har- 
bor, reputed scene of the capture of Nathan Hale, and thence 
a short journey takes one to Lloyd's Neck, where during the 
Revolution the British built a stockade that can still be traced. 
The fort was called Fort Franklin, in honor of the Tory gov- 
ernor of New Jersey. He was at the head of the detested 
Board of Associated Loyalists, composed of lukewarm partisans 
of the king, of refugees, and of wood-choppers. Their head- 
quarters were at Fort Franklin. They had quite a fleet of small 
boats, that plundered along the Sound and made Oyster Bay 
their rendezvous. Their operations were directed chiefly 
against individual Whigs of either shore of the sound, and 
were generally petty affairs of cruelty and robbery. The 
atrocities, indeed, roused in the patriots a spirit of retaliation 
that often forgot all claims of common humanity ; and their free- 
booting at last produced such manifest injury to both parties 
that the British dissolved the association of their own accord, 
and evacuated the fort on Lloyd's Neck. This whaleboat war- 
fare was a peculiar feature of the Revolutionary struggle 
on the waters about New York. When the British were firmly 
settled in New York and its neighborhood, they tempted the 
Americans of both parties with the profits of bartering products 
of the soil for the luxuries coming from Europe. A brisk busi- 
ness was established; in fact, "London trading," as it was 
called, became even a dangerous element in the contest, by giv- 
ing the English very necessary supplies. From almost every 
inlet along the sound light boats, freighted with provisions, 
darted back and forth between the shores and the British 
ships in the channels. 

These boats, like those used by whalers, were long, sharp, 
and light ; they were manned by from four to twenty oars, and 
were perfectly arranged for quick and silent work. This trade 
became so profitable that honest means of supply did not meet 

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Some Island Landmarks 

the demand. Then many of these whale-boats became armed 
pirates. They plundered friend and foe — for both parties had 
representatives in this disg^ceful practice. So expert and 
daring were these boatmen, that they and their methods were 
often employed by both armies for perilous but legitimate mil- 
itary purposes. Thus the bays about New York, Staten Island, 
and along the sound sometimes witnessed stirring and honorable 
adventures as well as desperate crimes. The inhabitants mean- 
time lived in daily fear of their lives and in uncertain possessicMi 
of their property. The dread of robbery led them to the most 
varied experiments in concealment, for there were no banks to 
keep their money, nor safe investments for securing it. The 
people buried their coin under the hearth-stone or under the 
roots of a tree, hid it in a hollow bed-post, even under a pile 
of rubbish, stored it behind a rafter or a beam, or in a hole 
in the great stone chimney. When the robbers came, they 
tortured the men with beating and burning to make them re- 
veal the hiding-place. They whipped the women and even 
murdered the children, and, very often, they succeeded thus in 
getting a part or all of the hidden treasures. But some of the 
money lay so long in its hole that it was forgotten. Even at 
this late day, some of these little piles of English coin are dis- 
covered when old buildings are torn down, old fence posts dug 
up, and old pear-trees removed from the garden. 

Sometimes their expeditions were bent on quite consider- 
able captures. In July, 1781, two whale-boats from Fort Frank- 
lin crossed the sound and landed thirty-eight men near Nor- 
walk. When the good people of Darien were assembled for 
worship, these whale-boat men surrounded the church, robber 
the congregation, and brought away fifty men and forty horses. 
The prisoners were then taken to Oyster Bay; and there on 
the village green, where the liberty pole stands, they were 
ironed together in pairs by riveting hoop-iron around their 
wrists. This was but the beginning of their sufferings, for they 
were then marched to the provost in New York. 

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The pilgrimage which led us to Lloyd's Neck ended at 
Northport, whose dilapidated mill and ancient shipyards are 
favorite subjects for the artist, and thence the return trip to 
New York was made by boat. The rambles of a later day led 
the writer to the old Cortelyou house in New Utrecht ; to the 
Bergen and Vanderveer homesteads in Flatbush, to yet another 
old homestead at Flatlands Neck, and to Greenwood Cemetery. 
The Cortelyou house, which stands on the Shore Road, adjoin- 
ing the military reservation at Fort Hamilton, was erected in 
1699 by Simon Cortelyou, a French Huguenot who had been 
banished from his native land. The building was occupied by 
American officers at the time of the arrival of Lewd Howe 
and his fleet in Gravesend Bay, on August 12, 1776. On this 
day, as has been told in another place, the American troops to 
the number of three hundred, including two hundred Penn- 
sylvania riflemen, opposed the landing of Lord Howe's men and 
picked the Britishers off in rapid succession as they marched 
up the beach in front of the house. The fight lasted for several 
hours, and the Americans only retreated when heavy pieces 
from the warship were brought ashore and fired upon them. 

When the Hessians gained possession of the field Howe 
and his staff made the building their headquarters for nearly a 
month, and it was then that Catherine Cortelyou, a daughter of 
Simon, fell in love with one of the young British officers. The 
officer's suit was not regarded with favor by Simon, and 
when the former asked for his daughter's hand he refused the 
request. Not to be daunted by the objections of Simon, the 
young couple planned to elope. This they did one fine moon- 
light night on horseback. On their return to the Cortelyou 
house Simon upbraided his newly-made son-in-law and a stormy 
scene followed. The officer took the matter so much to heart that 
on the morrow of his marriage he went down to the beach front- 
ing the house and put a bullet through his head. Catharine 
Cortelyou, according to the history in the Cortelyou family, 
went insane. At the close of the Revolution Simon Cortelyou 

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was imprisoned for his inhuman treatment of American prison- 
ers, he being one of the many Tories who infested Long 
Island. 

Following Simon's death the house fell into the possession 
of one Napier, who turned it into a tavern. During Napier's 
ownership the place was the home of the sporting men of that 
period, and many noted prize fights, cocking mains, dog fights, 
badger fights and buUbaiting took place there. When Napier 
died the house again passed into the hands of the G>rtelyous, 
Simon, a son of the elder Simon, becoming owner. Young 
Simon by his marriage had three children, a daughter, Cath- 
.erine, and two sons. Garret and Van Wyck. Catherine married 
Simon Garretson, of Gravesend. The wife of the second 
Simon was a Vanderveer, of Flatbush, and by this marriage he 
came into possession of a large tract of land in that town. On 
this property now stands the handsome Cortelyou Qub house, 
built a few years ago. When the Cortelyous left this historic 
structure a family by the name of Stillwell took it, and after 
their departure it remained vacant imtil 1892, when it was 
purchased by the federal government. The house has changed 
little since it was erected. It is built of stone with a gable roof, 
and the flooring is of hand-hewn pine, which is said to be in- as 
good condition today as when it was put in. There are no 
nails in the flooring, wooden pegs being used. Behind the 
house, until a few years ago, was the old burial plot of the 
Cortelyou family. 

The Bergen homestead stands at the comer of Flatbush 
Avenue and Albermarle Road, but no one knows when it was 
erected, nor does local history shed any definite light on the 
subject. It was there before the Revolution, and was occupied 
during that conflict by David Clarkson, then its owner and one 
of the wealthiest of the Flatbush patriots. It was the theatre 
of stirring scenes just before and during the battle of Long 
Island, and was sacked by the British troops and afterwards 
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Americans. David Clarkscm had removed his family to New 
Jersey before the British entered Flatbush, and when the in- 
vaders came they found only servants in charge. One of these, 
who manifested a marked leaning toward the royal troops, re- 
vealed to an officer the fact that a large quantity of excellent 
wines and liquors was concealed in an upper room of the house, 
the entrance to which had been boarded up. The room was 
broken open, and during the orgy that followed Clarkson's fur- 
niture was smashed and the house itself was greatly damaged 
The house is, its great age considered, remarkably well pre- 
served. It is much larger and more roomy than it seems from 
the outside, and is a splendid example of Dutch colonial archi- 
tecture. It is two and one-half stories high on the Flatbush 
Avenue side, and the L on the Albemarle Road side is a story 
and a half in height. The lower back walls of the chimneys 
at the two ends of the main building are exposed and plastered. 
The Vanderveer homestead, which in 1798 replaced an 
earlier house on the same site, stands near the crossing of Ave- 
nue C and Flatbush Avenue. The land on which it is situated, 
granted by the Dutch governor of the New Netherland in 1660, 
has never passed save by inheritance, and the present owners 
are^ direct descendants of the original patentee. The owner of 
the house during the Revolution was Cornelius Vanderveer, 
captain of the Flatbush militia. When the British landed on 
the island, Captain Vanderveer conveyed his family to New 
Jersey, but returned at night to get his arms and uniform, which 
he had concealed in the woods near his house. He found the 
British in possession of Flatbush and was compelled to follow 
a circuitous route to reach the hiding place. Attended by one 
slave he succeeded, and in order not to have to carry anything 
he put on his uniform and shouldered his rifle. In trying to 
regain the American lines he ran into a Hessian sentinel and 
was captured. He was taken before the officer of the guard, 
who was for hanging him on the spot. No defence was pos- 
sible under the circumstances, and the militia captain said his 

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prayers. They had a rope around his neck and were preparing 
to swing him up on a neighboring tree, when some one in au- 
thority interfered. He was taken before Lord G>mwallis, 
who sent him to New Utrecht. There a royalist friend secured 
his release. He went before Captain Cuyler, one of General 
Howe's aids, who asked : 

"Will you take a 'protection' and go back to your farm ?" 

"If you don't ask me to fight against my country," said 
Vanderveer. "That I will never do." 

"That need not worry you," said the British officer. "We 
have fighting men enough without you. You may go to the 
rebels or to the devil, for all I care." But he wrote out an order 
to the effect that Vanderveer was under Lord Comwallis's 
protection, and was not to be disturbed. 

The house at Flatlands Neck to which pilgrimage was 
made though erected in 1664, is practically the same now as 
when built, and seems good for another century of comfortable 
habitation. The bricks for the chimneys, fireplaces, and side 
lining, and the shingles, of best white cedar, for the roofs and 
siding, were imported from Holland. The shingle siding on 
the south side of the house has never been changed. As to the 
roof, the family say it was never touched until twelve years 
ago, when a tin roof was put on. In 1819 some repairs were 
made on the north side in shortening the overhang of the roof, 
which extended so far out and so low down that a person could 
safely jimip to the ground from it. The north and east sides of 
the house were then reshingled, and a few rooms were lathed 
and plastered for the first time. The rooms are low-studded, 
the oak beams and flooring being the only ceiling. In the din- 
ing room this ceiling was never painted, and from long wear 
and smoke from log fires and Dutch pipes it long since assumed 
the color of walnut. The great fireplaces are suggestive of 
brass handled andirons and fenders, with great log fires roar- 
ing and crackling, and the family board groaning with a weight 
of Dutch comfort and hospitality. Many heirlooms of the 

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family date back over 250 years. There are reminders of the 
time when pewter mugs for tea drinking, and great pewter 
plates, measuring eighteen inches across and weighing several 
pounds, were amc^g the few table dishes in common use. Great 
numbers of them were melted up and cast into bullets for the 
army in the time of the Revolution. There are also relics, 
ploughed up on the farm, of the time when the redcoats and 
Hessians overran the land. Four rods south of the house some 
trees indicate the spot where two English spies were hanged 
before the American army was driven off Long Island. Ac- 
cording to family tradition and other evidence Pieter Wyckoff, 
a Holland emigrant, located at Flatlands Neck about 1630. 
The land he purchased of the Canarsie Indians has been handed 
down in the family from generation to generation for over 270 
years. The house, nearly 240 years old, was built the year 
Dutch was superseded by British rule in exchange for Suri- 
nam. The property of fifty-six acres belongs to the estate of 
the late John Wyckoff, who died ten years ago, and is only a 
part of that formerly owned by his ancestors. 

Though a host of famous men and women take their rest 
in Greenwood, to most Americans the name of Henry Ward 
Beecher come first to mind as one of the cemetery's celebrated 
dead. The body of the great orator lies in a simple sarcoph- 
agus that is visited by a host of people every year. Two other 
reformers who were known the world over were Peter Gwper 
and Henry George. It is an interesting coincidence that the 
graves of these men are not marked by a stone. A monument 
will soon be erected on the grave of George, it is understood, 
but the cemetery authorities say that the founder of Cooper 
Institute left a request that no stone should mark his grave. 
It is nearly always covered with flowers, and it will probably 
be many generations until it is forgotten. Students of New 
York State history are always interested in the grave of De 
Witt Qinton. By order of the family the body was removed 
from Albany to Greenwood in 1844. Of soldiers there are 

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Generals Henry W. SlcKum, Francis B. Spinola, Halleck and 
George W. CuUom, and of those who were pioneers or founders 
of great business enterprises there are Elias Howe, of sewing- 
machine fame ; John Roach, the shipbuilder ; William Steinway, 
the piano man; Theodore A. Havemeyer, of the American 
Sugar Refining Company; James Gordon Bennett, the elder; 
John Anderson, the tobacco man, and Hoe, of printing-press 
fame. 

William J. Florence and many another famous actor of 
other days sleep in Greenwood. The Florence family plot is 
one of the most beautiful in the great city of the dead. There 
the actor's father and mother are at rest, and some day his 
widow will be buried by the side of him whose love for her 
never failed, and whose gentleness and loving kindness to her 
was one of his most marked characteristics. It is a beautiful 
mound, on one of the broad avenues that leads directly into the 
town of Flatbush. In the summer days flowers grow lux- 
uriantly, birds sing sweetly, and a gardener daily keeps the 
ground in order and free of weeds. A huge granite monument, 
surmounted by a cross, makes the tomb noticeable even in the 
silent city, where there are hundreds of splendid and tasteful 
mommients to those gone before. 

Only a short distance away is the last resting place of the 
great impersonator of "Toodles" — ^William E. Burton. Rotund, 
and to the outer world jolly, this accomplished actor was for 
years a sufferer from an incurable ailment. Many and many a 
time, while an audience was roaring with laughter at the comic- 
alities of poor "Billy" Burton, the actor was suffering excru- 
ciating pain. English by birth, but American by adoption, 
he did much to elevate and improve the stage. He was once 
lessee of Burton's Theatre, on Chambers Street, the present site 
of the American News Company's building. Later he was 
lessee of a second Burton's Theatre, on Broadway, directly op- 
posite Bond Street. This theatre was afterwards known as the 
Winter Garden Theatre, on whose stage Edwin Booth achieved 

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^ Historic Long Island 

his first great triumphs. A stone's throw from Burton's monu- 
ment and in sight of that of William J. Florence, sleep Frederic 
B. Conway and his wife. Conway was also an Englishman 
who was extremely popular at the Broadway Theatre cm Broad- 
way, near Pearl Street. His wife was Sarah Crocker, one of a 
family of actors. Lillian, now dead ; Minnie, once the wife of 
Levy the cometist and now known as Mrs. Osmond Tearle, and 
Frederic, an actor, were the children of Mr. and Mrs. Conway. 
The latter was for many years managress of the old Park Thea- 
tre and also of the Brooklyn Theatre, in which so many people 
met their fate one eventful night when "The Two Orphans" 
was the attraction. 

Over on the other side of the cemetery, on Battle Hill, from* 
which the bay and the city can be viewed, sleeps Barney Wil- 
liams, almost the first actor in the line of Irish comedy. His 
monument is a rich and costly one, of the Gothic order. It 
is adorned with a marble bust of the comedian. On the base 
of the monument is the name "Bernard Flaherty," which was 
the real name of Barney Williams. This plot is kept in splendid 
order by the actor's widow, still a handsome woman, whose 
snowy hair seems like a crown upon her shapely head. Among 
the other actors of a period long passed away, who sleep in 
Greenwood, are Harry Placide, William Rufus Blake and John 
Brougham, all comedians of high degree. For years Harry 
Placide and his brother Tom were considered the ideal Dromios. 
Blake was for years a favorite in this city. He came here a 
dashing young man and here he remained until he died, passing 
successively from light comedian to leading man and finally 
to "old man" parts. Placide and Blake rest in adjacent plots. 
Brougham's grave on Sassafras Avenue near Mistletoe Path 
has over it a square monument of Scotch granite. 

Close by, not a hundred feet away, sleeps Charles M. Wal- 
cot, the best Bob Acres of his time. The grave of Harry Mont- 
ague is near that of Henry Ward Beecher. It is in the Wallack 
burying plot, and alongside of Montagfue rest Lester Wallack, 

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Some Island Landmarks 

and Wallack's famous actor-father, James William Wallack. 
Under an imposing sarcophagus Harry Mcmtague awaits the 
resurrection mom. The sarcophagus is made of white marble. 
On the front in large gold letters is the single word "Monta- 
gue." Laura Keene, beautiful and gifted, who was on the stage 
at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, in the play of "Our Amer- 
ican Cousin," when Lincoln was murdered, is also interred 
in Greenwood. An evergreen hedge completely shuts in her 
grave, but the base of the monument which covers it has been 
chipped by relic hunters. Lola Montez, beautiful and wa)rward, 
rests in a plot in an abandoned driveway, under the name of 
Mrs. Eliza Gilbert. 

The list of Greenwood's author dead is also a long one. 
There are the graves of George Arnold and Fitz-James O'Brien ; 
of the sister's Alice and Phoebe Gary, who lie side by side ; and 
of McDonald aarke,the hapless hero, of Halleck's "Discarded," 
and himself the author of much graceful and tender verse. 
Qarke first appeared in New York when a youth of twenty-one, 
and he remained until his death a melancholy and unmistakable 
figure in the life of the town, — made so by his poetic genius, 
his sharp wit and the vagaries of an unbalanced mind. Broad- 
way was his chosen haunt, and for a score of years his tall 
form, in blue coat and cloth cap, was one of the familiar ob- 
jects of that thoroughfare. No one knew aught of his ante- 
cedents or his means of support, aside from the sale of his books 
of verse, but the sequel proved that he was often in need of food 
and lodging. On a stormy night in March, 1842, a policeman 
came upon him wandering about the streets, destitute and de- 
mented, and took him to the city prison for warmth and shelter. 
The following morning he was found dead, having drowned 
himself in his cell. Friends provided a tomb and burial, and 
he sleeps now in the poet's mound on the margin of Sylvan 
Lake in Greenwood. 

Qarke's grave has many visitors, but it is probable that 
there are not a dozen literary people who chance to know that in 

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Greenwood also reposes all that remains of James K. Paulding. 
Nor could any cme find his resting-place, even if the knowledge 
was theirs, unless specially directed. Although on an eminence 
overlooking the entire cemetery, the place is almost inaccessi- 
ble. It is one of the underground vaults now in disuse in the 
cemetery — dismal, damp and cold. A fragrant honeysuckle 
climbs over the only entrance to the tomb, almost hiding it from 
view. There is no indication of the author's burial save the 
name "Paulding," cut in small letters on a granite gatepost of 
the plot. For many years the vault has not been opened, and 
no visitor would ever dream of searching in this mouldy and 
tunneled chamber of death for the resting-place of the once bril- 
liant Paulding. He was one of Washington Irving's most 
valued friends, and to Paulding's entertaining books, "The 
Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan," and his 
"John Bull in America," may be traced subsequently published 
books. 

Another day than that of his visit to Greenwood, found 
the writer at Point o'Woods on the Great South Beach, where 
nearly three score years ago Margaret Fuller met her tragic 
death. This once famous and now almost forgotten woman 
was bom in Cambridge, Mass., in 1810, the daughter of Tim- 
othy Fuller, a lawyer and member of Congress who died in 
his prime, leaving a large family to struggle for themselves. 
Margaret was for a short time a teacher in Bronson Alcott's 
school, but soon began to attract attention by her writings. 
Later her famous "Conversations" made her widely known. 
She was associated with Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and 
other leading men of letters in the publication of "The Dial," 
of which she finally became the editor. This was a period in 
which all sorts of reforms were widely discussed, but Miss 
Fuller's interest in most of them was merely that of the ob- 
server. The one advance in which she did sympathize and 
which she warmly urged was that American writers should 
cease to ape the English and find charms in the things of this 

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Some Island Landmarks 

country. "Let us write of the woodthrush and the bluebird 
rather than of the skylark and the nightingale" was one of her 
utterances. Her first book was "A Summer at the Lakes," 
written sifter a trip through Ohio and Michigan. Later 
"Woman in the Nineteenth Century" appeared and found many 
readers and warm admirers. 

An important change in her life was her removal to New 
York and her association with Horace Greeley as an editorial 
writer on the New York "Tribune." Her contributions were 
signed by a star, and while her personality was thus concealed, 
the articles attracted wide attention. In 1846 she went to 
Europe, and after a brief trip through England and France, 
reached Italy, where the struggle for Italian liberty was at its 
height under the leadership of Mazzini. Margaret was deeply 
interested in this attempt to establish a Roman republic and 
devoted herself to aiding the patriots and the care of the 
wounded. It was in this way that she met the Marquis Gio- 
vanni Ossoli, an enthusiastic republican who had been cut off 
by his family because of his devoticm to the cause of freedom, 
and an attachment ^rang up which soon led to marriage. The 
American minister at Rome, Lewis Cass, and a Boston friend, 
Mrs. William Story, were informed of the fact, which was for a 
time withheld from the world at large. The heroic struggle 
failed, and the Marquis found himself without means of sup- 
port, Margaret was cut off from sufficient means of earning 
money in this land of strangers, and they decided to go to Amer- 
ica. They sailed in a small freight-carrying ship, the Elisabeth, 
with their little son, Angelo. When the tedious voyage was 
over and they were in sight of the shores of home, a violent 
storm arose and the boat was driven on the treacherous sands 
off Fire Island beach. Some of the stoutest of the sailors 
reached the land, but the doomed family hung for two days in 
the rigging hoping for succor which never came. Then the 
wreck went to pieces and Margaret, her husband, and child 
were dashed to their death in the wild surges. The body of the 

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Historic Long Island 

little boy drifted ashore, but the others were never recovered. 

One other literary shrine of Long Island calls for a word : 
the village of Patchogue is dear to the sentimental pilgrim as 
the last hcMne and burial-place of Seba Smith, a fellow of in- 
finite jest and most excellent fancy, the friend and welcome 
comrade of Lincoln, and, under the nam de plume of Major 
Jack Downing, the best-known humorist of his time. Smith 
spent the closing years of his life in Patchogue, and died there 
in 1868 at the age of seventy-six. His grave is in an abandoned 
burial ground near the edge of a wood at the back of the vil- 
lage. The storm-worn marble slab above it tells the passer-by 
that he was the author of "Way Down East" and many other 
works, and that "he was well beloved," but no stone marks the 
grave beside his own, where ten years ago the body of his wife, 
die once famous and beloved Eliza Oakes Smith, was laid to 
rest. Yet in the literary circles of New York sixty years ago 
no woman was counted more brilliant or beautiful. She was 
the central figure of coteries that had for their spirits such men 
as Irving, Bryant, Willis, Poe and Ripley, while women like 
Mrs. Sigoumey, Anna Estelle Lewis (Stella), Anna Cora Mo- 
watt, and the sisters Cary regarded Eliza Oakes Smith as their 
most talented fellow worker. She was the soul and life of every 
great literary gathering in those times, and the brilliant salon 
of Madame Vincenza Botta had not a more charming figure. 
Sixty years ago her fame was at its zenith, and her book, 
"The Sinless Child," carried her name to other lands. But 
men pass away and tastes with them, and long before her hus- 
band's death she had disappeared from public view. After that 
she lived for a time in a small and secluded cottage at Patch- 
ogue. Then she moved to North Carolina, and her death in 
1892 was notable chiefly because it reminded a busy and care- 
less world that such a woman as Eliza Oakes Smith had ever 
lived. 

And so, pondering over the fickle thing call fame, the writer 
left Patchogue behind him, and made his way by wheel to Med- 

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Some Island Landmarks 

ford and thence by rail through Riverhead and Jamesport to 
Southold, which, as we know, boasts the highest age of any Eng- 
lish town on Long Island. Riverhead evidences a growing pros- 
perity which deprives it of all picturesque interest, but James- 
port, which once promised to be an important seaport, has now 
sunk into a fishing hamlet and pleasant summer refuge from 
city dust, while more than one house in antique Southold, 
stretching for a mile along a broad and shady street, claims 
its two centuries of age. The most noted of these is the Hor- 
ton house, which is still inhabited, and was the homestead of 
Barnabas Horton, one of the first settlers of the town. All the 
timbers and most of the planking for this house were hewn or 
split out of live-oak, and mortised together in the most solid 
manner, while not only the roof but the whole exterior was 
shingled, the shingles being split out of red cedar, and many of 
them lasting in fair condition to the present time. Small 
wonder that the Horton homestead has stood for two hundred 
years, and has the promise of other centuries still before it. 

From Southold it is a short journey eastward to what 
was once the farm of the Webbs. In 1820 this farm was sold 
by auction for $2,300 to some persons who lived on the shore 
opposite Shelter Island. The tract was cut up into lots, a town 
laid out, and the wisdom of the investment proved by the 
growth on that spot of Greenport, the terminus of the Long 
Island Railway, and the most important business point east of 
Riverhead. The historian of Greenport tells us that sixty 
years ago "the settlement was called Sterling ; and in Sterling 
Basin, an inlet of the bay eastward of the town, used to lie 
the fleet of whalers whose cargoes made the business of the 
town, and caused its rapid growth. The first whale-ship, 
bought and fitted out in 1830, fared so well that the fleet soon 
increased to twenty. They went to St. Helena and the West- 
wards Islands, to the Arctic Ocean, and round the Horn into 
Pacific cruising grounds. But the trade dwindled, and the 
pursuits of the monstrous whale, yielding his barrels of oil, gave 

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Historic Long Island 

way to the siening of moss-bunkers, from which could be 
squeezed half as many thimblefuls. Long before this, when 
no village was there at all, great ships used to anchor in Ster- 
ling Basin to load up for the West India trade. The farmers 
would bring produce and cattle, taking as pay part money, and 
part sugar and coffee, molasses and nrni. Returning the ships 
would bring tropical goods to New York, sell them, and then 
sail out to Sterling for a fresh load of Long Island produce. 
The main owner and merchant in this trade was Captain 
Orange Webb, who had many illustrious descendants, among 
them Ledyard, the oriental traveller. He was celebrated as a 
man of the world, and in 1763, was visited by the Rev. George 
Whitefield, still more celebrated as a man of God. The great 
evangelist wrote with a diamond on a pane of glass in his host's 
living-room, 'One thing is needful," and left it as a suggestive 
reminder of his visit. This is the story, and the glass is said 
to have been in existence in the middle years of the last cen- 
tury." 

Eastward from Greenport runs the highway to Orient and 
Orient Point, the northern of the capes which terminate Long 
Island and enclose Gardiner's Bay. This road is shaded almost 
continuously with patriarchal cherry-trees, so that in May a 
snow-storm seems always to be travelling just ahead of you, so 
white are the masses of tree-tops on either side, and a ride along 
it is an experience to be remembered for a life-time. Fruitful 
also in delightful memories is a visit to beautiful Shelter Island, 
which fills the entrance of Peconic Bay, looming up like an op- 
posite mainland as you look across the mile of water from 
Greenport. There are many old farms on the island; and as 
you ride along its winding roads you every now and then come 
suddenly upon a house so antique in design that you find it hard 
to believe yourself on the new side of the Atlantic. The best 
known of these ancient structures is the house known as the 
Sylvester Manor which was built in 1737, and is now owned by 
the widow and the daughters of Professor Eben N. Horsford, 

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Same Island Landmarks 

the lineal descendants of Nathaniel Sylvester, first resident 
proprietor of Shelter Island, who occupy it as their country- 
seat. Sylvester Manor, a white, two-storied and dormer-win- 
dowed house, is rich in rare and striking relics of the past, and 
a visit to it affords fit conclusion to these rambles around 
Historic Long Island. 



(The End.) 



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Appendix A. 



Reverend Jonas Michaelius to Reverend Adrianus 
Smoutius 

de vrede christi. 

Honorable Sir, Well-beloved Brother in Christ, Kind Friend ! 

The favorable opportunity which now presents itself of writing to 
you, Right Reverend Sir, I cannot let pass, without embracing it, accord- 
ing to my promise. And I first unburden myself in this communication 
of a sorrowful circumstance. It has pleased the Lord, seven weeks after 
we arrive in this country, to take from me my good partner, who has been 
to me for more than sixteen years, a virtuous, faithful, and in every 
respect amiable yoke-fellow ; and I find myself with three children very 
much discommoded, without her society and assistance. But what have 
I to say? The Lord himself has done this, in which no one can oppose 
Him. Wherefore I should also be willing, knowing that all things must 
work together for good to those who love God. I hope, therefore, to 
bear my cross patiently, and by the grace and help of the Lord, not to let 
the courage fail me which I stand in need of in my particular duties. 

The voyage continued long, namely, from the 24th of January till 
the 7th of April, when we first set our foot upon this land. Of storm and 
tempest we have had no lack, particularly about the Bermudas and the 
rough coasts of this country, the which fell hard upon the good wife and 
children, but they bore it better as regards sea-sickness and fear, than 1 
had expected. Our fare in the ship was very poor and scanty, so that 
my blessed wife and children, not eating with us in the cabin, on account 
of the little room in it, had a worse lot than the sailors themselves; and 
that by reason of a wicked cook who annoyed them in every way ; but 
especially by reason of the captain himself, who, although I frequently 
complained of it in the most courteous manner, did not concern himself 
in the least about correcting the rascal : nor did he, even when they were 
all sick, give them anything which could do them any good, although 
there was enough in the ship; though he himself very well knew where 
to find it in order, out of meal-times, to fill his own belly. All the relief 
which he gave us consisted merely in liberal promises, with a drunken 
head which promises nothing followed when he was sober, but a sour 

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face, and thus has he played the brute against the oflkers, and kept him- 
self constantly to the wine, both at sea and especially here in the (North) 
river; so that he has navigated the ship daily with a wet sail and an 
empty head, coming ashore seldom to the Comicil and never to the public 
Divine service. We bore all with silence on board the ship ; but it grieves 
me, when I think of it, on account of my wife; the more, because she 
was placed as she was — ^not knowing whether she was pregnant, and be- 
cause the time was so short which she had yet to live. In my first voy- 
age I travelled much with him, yea, lodged in the same hut, but never 
knew that he was such a brute and drunkard. But he was then under 
the direction of Mr. Lam, and now he had the principal direction him- 
self. I have also written to Mr. Godyn about it, considering it necessary 
that it should be known. 

Our coming here was agreeable to all, and I hope, by the grace of the 
Lord, that my services will not be unfruitful. The people, for the most 
part, are all free, somewhat rough, and loose, but I find in most of them 
both love and respect toward me; two things with which hitherto the 
Lord has everywhere graciously blessed my labors, and which will pro- 
duce us fruit in our special calling, as your Right Reverend yourself well 
knows and finds. 

We have first established the form of a church (gemeente), and, as 
brother Bastiaen Crol very seldom comes down from Fort Orange, be- 
cause the directorship of that fort and the trade there is committed to 
him, it has been thought best to choose two elders for my assistance and 
for the proper consideration of all such ecclesiastical matters as might 
occur, intending the coming year, if the Lord permit, to let one of them 
retire, and to choose another in his place from a double number first law- 
fully presented by the congregation. One of those whom we have now 
chosen is the Honorable Director himself, and the other is the store- 
keeper of the company, Jan Huyghen, his brother-in-law, persons of very 
good character, as far as I have been able to learn; having both been 
formerly in office in the church, the one as deacon, and the other as 
elder in the Dutch and French churches, respectively, at Wesel. 

We have had at the first administration of the Lord's supper full 
fifty communicants — not without great joy and comfort for so many- 
Walloons and Dutch ; of whom, a portion made their first confession of 
faith before us, and others exhibited their church certificates. Others 
had forgotten to bring their certificates with them, not thinking that a 
church would be formed and established here; and some, who brought 
them, had lost them unfortunately in a general conflagration, but they 
were admitted upon the satisfactory testimony of others to whom they 
were known, and also upon their daily good deportment, since we cannot 

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observe strictly all the usual formalities in making a beg^ning under 
such circumstances. 

We administer the Holy Sacrament of the Lord once in four months, 
provisionally, until a larger number of people shall otherwise require. 
The Walloons and French have no service on Sundays, otherwise than 
in the Dutch language, of which they understand very little. A portion 
of the Walloons are going back to the fatherland, either because their 
years here are expired, or also because some are not very serviceable to 
the Company. Some of them live far away, and could not come on 
account of the heavy rains and storms, so that it was neither advisable 
nor was it possible to appoint any special service for so small a number 
with so much uncertainty. Nevertheless, the Lord's Supper was admin- 
istered to them in the French language, and according to the French 
mode, with the preceding discourse, which I had before me in writing, as 
I could not trust myself extemporaneously. If, in this and in other mat- 
ters, your Right Reverend, and the Reverend Brothers of the Consis- 
tories, who have special superintendence over us here, deem it necessary 
to bestow upon us any correction, instruction, or good advice, it will be 
agreeable to us, and we will thank your Right Reverend therefor ; since 
we must have no other object than the glory of God in the building up 
of his kingdom, and the salvation of many souls. I keep myself as far 
as practicable within the pale of my calling, wherein I find myself suffi- 
ciently occupied. And, although our small Consistory embraces at the 
most — when Brother Crol is down here — not more than four persons, all 
of whom, myself alone excepted, have also public business to attend to, 
I still hope to separate carefully the ecclesiastical from the civil matters 
which occur so that each one will be occupied with his own subject. 
And, though many things are mixti generis, and political and ecclesias- 
tical persons can greatly assist each other, nevertheless, the matters and 
offices tending together must not be mixed but kept separate, in order to 
prevent all confusion and disorder. As the council of this place consists 
of good people, who are, however, for the most part simple, and have 
little experience in public affairs, I would have little objection to serve 
them in any serious or dubious affair with good advice, provided I con- 
sidered myself capable, and my advice should be asked ; in which case I 
suppose that I would not do amiss, or be suspected by any one of being a 
busybody, or meddler in other people's affairs. 

In my opinion it is very expedient that the Lofds Managers of this 
place should furnish plain and precise instructions to their Governors, 
that they may distinctly know how to regulate themselves in all difficult 
occurrences and events in public matters; and at the same time that I 
should have all such Acta Synodal ia, as are adopted in the Synods of 

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Holland, both the special ones relating to this region, and those which 
are provincial and national, in relation to ecclesiastical points of diffi- 
culty, or at least such of them as, in the judgment of the Reverend 
Brothers at Amsterdam, would be most likely to present themselves to 
us here. In the meantime, I hope matters will go well here, if only on 
both sides we do the best in all sincerity and honest zeal ; whereto I have 
from the first entirely devoted myself, and wherein I have also hitherto, 
by the grace of God, had no just cause to complain of any one. And if 
any dubious matters of importance happen to me, and especially if they 
will admit of any delay, I will apply to the Reverend Brothers for g^ood 
and prudent advice, to which I have already wholly commended myself. 
As to the natives of this country, I find them entirely savage and 
wild, strangers to all decency, yea, uncivil and stupid as posts, proficient 
in all wickedness and godlessness ; devilish men, who serve nobody but 
the devil, that is, the spirit, which, in their language, they call manetto; 
under which title they comprehend everything that is subtle and crafty, 
and beyond human skill and power. They have so much witchcraft, 
divination, sorcery and wicked tricks, that they cannot be held in by any 
bands or locks. They are as thievish and treacherous as they are tall ; 
and in cruelty they are more inhuman than the people of Barbary, and far 
exceed the Africans. I have written concerning these things to several 
persons elsewhere, not doubting that Brother Crol will have written suffi- 
cient to your Right Reverend, or to the Lords Managers thereof; as also 
of the base treachery, and the murders which the Mohicans, at the upper 
part of this river, against Fort Orange, had committed ; but their misfor- 
tune is, by the gracious interposition of the Lord, for our good, who, when 
it pleases him, knows how to pour unexpectedly natural impubes into 
these unnatural men, in order to hinder their designs. How these people 
can best be led to the true knowledge of God and of the Mediator Christ, 
is hard to say. I cannot myself wonder enough who it is who has imposed 
so much upon your Right Reverend and many others in the Fatherland, 
concerning the docility of these people and their good nature, the proper 
principia religionis and vestigia legis naturae which should be among 
them ; in whom I have as yet been able to discover hardly a single good 
point, except that they do not speak so jeeringly and so scoffingly of the 
godlike and glorious majesty of their Creator, as the Africans dare to do. 
But it is because they have no certain knowledge of him, or scarcely any. 
If we speak to them of God, it appears to them like a dream ; and we are 
compelled to speak of Him, not under the name of Menotto, whom they 
know and serve — for that would be blasphemy — but under that of some 
great persons, yea, of the Chiefs Sackiema ; by which name they— 41ving 
without a king— call those who have the command over any hundreds 

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among them, and who by our people are called Sackemakers, the which 
their people hearing, some will begin to mtitter and shake their heads as 
of a silly fable, and others, in order to express regard and friendship to 
such a proposition, will say orith, that is, good. Now, by what means 
are we to make an inroad or practicable breach for the salvation of this 
people? I take the liberty on this point of enlarging somewhat to your 
Right Reverend. 

Their language, which is first thing to be employed with them, me- 
thinks is entirely peculiar. Many of our common people call it an easy 
language, which is soon learned, but I am of a contrary opinion. For 
those who can understand their words to some extent and repeat them, 
fail greatly in the pronunciation, and speak a broken language, like the 
language of Ashdod. For these people have difficult aspirates and many 
guttural letters, which are formed more in the throat than by the mouth, 
teeth, and lips, which our people not being accustomed to, guess at by 
means of their signs, and then imagine that they have accomplished 
something wonderful. It is true, one can learn as much as is sufficient 
for the purposes of trading, but this occurs almost as much by signs with 
the thumb and fingers as by speaking, which could not be done in relig- 
ious matters. It also seems to us that they rather design to conceal their 
language from us than to properly communicate it, except in things 
which happen in daily trade ; saying that it is sufficient for us to under- 
stand them in those; and then they speak only half their reasons with 
shortened words; and frequently call a dozen things and even more by 
one name; and all things which have only a rude resemblance to each 
other they frequently call by the same name. In truth it is a made up 
childish language ; so that even those who can best of all speak with the 
Indians, and get along well in trade, are nevertheless wholly in the dark 
and bewildered, when they hear the Indians speaking with each other by 
themselves. 

Let us then leave the parents in their condition, and begin with the 
children who are still young. So it should be. But they must be sepa- 
rated in youth from their parents; yea, from their whole nation. For, 
without this, they would be as much given as their parents to heathenish 
tricks and deviltries, which are kneaded naturally in their hearts by them- 
selves through a just judgment of God; so that having once obtained 
deep root, by habit, they can with difficulty be wholly eradicated there- 
from. But Uiis separation is hard to effect ; for the parents have a strong 
affection for their children, and are very loth to part with them; and, 
when they are separated from them, as we have already had proof, the 
parents are never contented, but take them away stealthily, or induce 
them to run away themselves. Nevertheless, we must, although it would 

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be attended with some expense, obtain the children through a sense of 
gratitude on the part of their parents, and with their consent, by means 
of presents and promises ; in order to place them under the instruction of 
some experienced and godly schoolmaster, where they may be instructed 
not only to speak, read, and write in our language, but also especially in 
the fundamentals of our Christian religion, and where, besides, they will 
see nothing but good examples and virtuous lives ; but they must speak 
their native tongue sometimes among themselves, in order not to forget 
it, as being evidently a principal means of spreading the knowledge of 
religion through the whole nation. In the meantime it must not be for- 
gotten to pray to the Lord, with ardent and continual prayers, for his 
Messing, who can make things which are unseen to be quickly and con- 
veniently seen, who gives life to the dead, calls as nothing that which is, 
and being rich in mercy has pity on whom he will : as he has compassion- 
ated our people to be his people, when we before were not pitied, and 
were not his people; and has washed us clean, sanctified us and justified 
us, when we were covered all over with all manner of corruption, calling 
us to the blessed knowledge of his Son, and from the power of darkness 
to his marvellous light. And this I regard so much the more necessary 
as the wrath and malediction of God, which have been found to rest 
upon this miserable people hitherto, are the more severe. May God have 
mercy upon them finally, that the fullness of the heathen may be gradually 
accomplished, and the salvation of our God may be here also seen among 
these wild and savage men. I hope to keep a watchul eye over these 
people, and to learn as much of their language as will be practicable, and 
to seek better opportunities for their instruction than hitherto it has been 
possible to find. 

As to what concerns myself and my household. I find myself, by 
the loss of my good and helping partner, very much hindered and dis- 
tressed — for my two little daughters are yet small ; maid servants are not 
here to be had, at least none whom they advise me to take; and the 
Angola slaves are thievish, lazy, and useless trash. The young man 
whom I took with me, I discharged after Whitsuntide, for the reason 
that I could not employ him out of doors at any working of the land, and 
in doors he was a burden to me instead of an assistance. He is now 
elsewhere at service with the boers. 

The promises which the Lords Masters of the Company had made 
me of some acres of surveyed lands for me to make myself a home, In- 
stead of a free table which otherwise belonged to me, is wholly of no 
avail. For their Honors well know that there are no horses, cows, or 
laborers to be obtained here for money. Every one is short in these par- 
ticulars and wants more. The expense would not trouble me, if an op- 

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porttmity only oflFered; as it would be for our own accommodation, 
although there were no profit from it (save that the Honorable Managers 
owe me as much as the value of a free table) ; for there is here no refresh- 
ment of butter, milk, etc., to be obtained, although a very high price be 
offered for them ; for the people who bring them and bespeak them are 
suspicious of each other. So I will be compelled to pass through the win- 
ter without butter and other necessaries, which the ships did not bring 
with them to be sold here. The rations, which are given out and charged 
for high enough, are all hard, stale food, as they are used to on board ship, 
and frequently this is not very good, and there cannot be obtained as 
much of it as may be desired. I began to get some strength through the 
grace of the Lord, but in consequence of this hard fare of beans and grey 
peas, which are hard enough, barley, stockfish, etc, without much change, 
I cannot become well as I otherwise would. The summer 3rields some- 
thing, but what of that for any one who has no strength? The Indians 
also bring some things, but one who has no wares, such as knives, beads, 
and the like, or seewan, cannot have any good of them. Though the peo- 
ple trade such things for proper wares, I know not whether it is permitted 
by the laws of the Company. I have now ordered from Holland most all 
necessaries ; but expect to pass through the winter with hard and scanty 
food. 

The country yields many good things for the support of life, but they 
are all to be gathered in an uncultivated and wild state. It is necessary 
that there should be better regulations established, and people who have 
the knowledge and the implements for gathering things in their season, 
should collect them together, as undoubtedly will {^dually be the case. 
In the meanwhile, I wish the Lords Managers to be courteously inquired 
of, how I can have the opportunity to possess a portion of land, and at 
my own expense to support myself upon it. For as long as there is no 
more accommodation to be obtained here from the country people, I 
would be compelled to order everything from the fatherland at great 
expense, and with much risk and trouble, or else live here upon these 
poor and hard rations alone, which would badly suit me and my children. 
We want ten or twelve farmers with horses, cows and laborers in pro- 
portion, to furnish us with bread and fresh butter, milk and cheese. 
There are convenient places which can be easily protected, and very 
suitable ; which can be bought from the Indians for trifling toys, or could 
be occupied without risk; because we have more than enough shares 
which have never been cleared, but have been always reserved for that 
purpose. The business of furs is dull on account of a new war of the 
Maechibaeys (Mohawks) against the Mohicans at the upper end of this 
river. There have occurred cruel murders on both sides. The Mohicans 

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htye fled, and their lands are unoccupied, and are very fertile and pleas.- 
ant It gieves us that there are no people,, and that there is no regulation 
of the Lord's managers to occupy the same. They fell much wood here 
to carry to the ^therland, but the vessels are too few to take much of it 
They are making a windmill to saw the wood, and we also have a grist- 
mill They bake brick here, but it is very poor. There is good material 
for burning lime, namely, oyster-shells, in large quantities. The burning 
of potash has not succeeded ; the master and his laborers are all greatly 
disappointed. We are busy now in building a fort of good quarry stone, 
which is to be found not far from here in abundance. May the Lord 
only build and watch over our walls. There is a good means for making 
salt; for there are convenient places, the water is salt enough, and there 
is no want of heat in summer. Besides, as to the waters, both of the sea 
and rivers, they yield all kinds of fish ; and as to the land, it abounds in all 
kinds of game, wild and in the groves, with vegetables, fruits, herbs, and 
plants, both for eating and medicinal purposes, working wonderful cures, 
which arc too long to relate, and which, were it ever so pertinent, I could 
not tell. Your Right Reverend has already obtained some knowledge 
thereof in part, and will be able to obtain from others further informa- 
tion. The country is good and pleasant ; the climate is healthy, notwith- 
standing the sudden changes of cold and heat The sun is very warm ; 
the winter strong and severe, and continues full as long as in our coun- 
try. The best remedy is not to spare the wood— of which there is enough 
—and to cover oneself well with rough skins, which can also easily be 
obtained. 

The harvest, God be praised, is in the bams, and is better gathered 
than ever before. The ground is fertile enough to reward labor, but they 
must clean it well, and manure and cultivate it the same as our lands re- 
quire. It has hitherto happened much worse, because many of the people 
are not very laborious, or could not obtain their proper necessaries for 
want of bread. But it now begins to go on better, and it would be en- 
tirely different now if the masters would only send good laborers, and 
make regulations of all matters, in order, with what the land itself pro- 
duces, to do for the best 

I had promised (to write) to the Honorable Brothers, Rudolphus 
Petri, Joannes Sylvius, and Dom. Qoppenburg, who with your Honor 
were charged with the superintendence of these regions; but as this 
would take long, and the time is short, and my occupations at the present 
time many, will your Right Reverend be pleased to give my friendly and 
kind regards to their Reverends, and to excuse me, on condition that I 
remain their debtor to fulfill my promise— God willing— by the next 
voyage. Will you, also, give my sincere respects to the Reverend Dom. 

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Triglandius, and to all the brothers of the Consistory besides, to all of 
whom I have not thought it necessary to write particularly at this time, 
as they are made by me participants in these tidings, and are content to be 
fed from the hand of your Right Reverend. If it shall be convenient 
for your Honor, or any of the Reverend Brothers, to write hither to me 
a letter concerning matters which might be important in any degree to 
me, it would be very interesting to me, living here in a savage land with- 
out any society of our order, and would be a spur to write more assidu- 
ously to the Reverend Brothers concerning what might happen here. 
And especially do not forget my hearty salutation to the beloved wife 
and brother-in-law of your Right Reverend, who have shown me nothing 
but friendship and kindness above my deserts. If there is an3rthing in 
which I can in return serve or gratify your Right Reverend, I will be 
glad to do so, and will not be behindhand in anything. Concluding then 
herewith, and commending myself in your Right Reverend's favorable 
and holy prayers to the Lord, 

Honored and learned Sir, Beloved Brother in Christ and Kind 
Friend ; 

Commending your Right Reverend and all of you to Almighty God, 
by his Grace, to continued health and prosperity, and to eternal salvation 
of heart. 

From the island of Manhatas in New Netherland, this nth August, 
anno 1628, by me your Right Reverend's obedient in Christ. 

Jonas Michakuus. 

(Indorsed.) The honorable, learned and pious Mr. Adrian Smoutius, 

faithful minister of the holy gospel of Christ in his church, dwelling 

upon the Heerengracht, not far from the house of the West India 

Company, Amsterdam. By the care of a friend whom God preserve. 

(Sealed with a wafered signet not discernible.) 



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Appendix B. 

The True Story of Captain Kidd as Told by George 
Parsons Lathrop. 



Great numbers of people have searched for what is called ''Kidd's 
Treasure" in many places along our shores. Yet there is only one spot 
in which Captain Kidd is known, by official and credible records, to have 
buried valuables. That was on Gardiner's Island, a famous old manor- 
ial estate still owned by the Gardiner's, a few miles to the eastward of 
Long Island, within the arm of Montauk promontory. 

The deposit was duly unearthed and turned over to the represent- 
atives of the Crown soon after it was placed there. Yet in the manu- 
script family records of the manor I have read, among the notes of John 
Lyon Gardiner (1770 to 1815), this memorandum: "For a whole century 
people from adjacent parts of the continent have been digging for 
money on this island. * * * Not a year passes without their dig- 
ging in vain for hidden treasure." 

Almost as mysterious as his mythical treasure is the matter of 
Kidd's reputation, and the question whether he wholly deserved the stain 
of darkness and ferocity as a marauder of the sea which has long rested 
upon his innocent-sounding name. Was he an innocent Kidd, or a guilty 
one? Was he a whole, out-and-out pirate, or only a part of a pirate? 
And if the latter be the true case, how much of a pirate was he, or how 
little? Was he an unmitigated wrongdoer, or may he have been to some 
extent a victim of other men in high places, who had become entangled 
in his misdeeds and found it needful to make him a scapegoat? 

The old anonymous ballad about him makes him say, or howl, 
mournfully : 

My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed, as I sailed, 

My name was Robert Kidd, as I sailed. 
My name was Robert Kidd, God's law I did forbid. 
And much wickedness I did, as I sailed. 
But his name was not Robert as he sailed, or at any other time. It 
was William; and he was bom at Greenock, Scotland, in 1650. From 
his youth he "followed the sea," and about 1690 he did gallant service as 

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a fighter in the West Indies, in what we know as the old French or 
King William's war. Colonel Hewson testified for him: "He was a 
mighty man. He served under my command. He was with me in two 
engagements against the French, and fought as well as any man I ever 
saw, according to the proportion of his men. We had six Frenchmen to 
deal with, and we had only mine and his ship." And Thomas Cooper 
said : "Captain Kidd brought his ship from a place that belonged to the 
Dutch, and brought her into the King's service at the beginning of the 
war; and we fought Monsieur du Cass a whole day, and I thank God we 
got the better of it ; and Captain Kidd behaved himself very well in the 
face of his enemies." 

At forty-one he was married in New York under a license recorded 
at the Surrogate's office the i6th of May, 1691, as "Capt William Kidd, 
Gentl., of the one part," to Sarah Oort, widow of a New York merchant, 
John Oort. He had been running a packet ship called the Antigua be- 
tween London, the West Indies and New York, but seems to have pre- 
pared to settle down on an extensive and comfortable scale. His widow 
bride owned a good house on Hanover Square, and Kidd bought a lot on 
Teinhoven (now Liberty) Street, near Nassau, and built another dwell- 
ing there. He stood well, and there was no smirch upon him. 

The business of piracy and of trade with pirates was then very 
flourishing in New York. What the Dutch called the Krommcgou, or 
"Crooked District," at the east end of Long Island, made a good lurking 
place for these counterfeit merchant ships, with its many bays and coves, 
and was *'crooked" morally as well as geographically. Moreover, the 
pirates were not only fitted out from New York, but came openly into 
port with their stolen goods. 

The Earl of BelIonK)nt, who became royal Governor here in 1698 and 
was also Governor of Massachusetts, wrote to the home Government 
the next year that Long Island was "a receptacle of pirates." And as to 
New York, he said; "The pirates are so cherished by the inhabitants 
that not a man of them is taken up." 

This was natural enough, because the inhabitants made enormous 
profits from the business. They sent out rum at two shillings a gallon, 
and sold it at the piratical rendezvous in Madagascar for fifty shillings. 
Madiera wine costing £19 a pipe in New York sold over there for £300 ! 
The booty of the pirates also was brought to New York and disposed of 
at a great gain. Bellomont reported that at the time he was writ- 
ing his despatch eight or nine pirate ships had entered the harbor of the 
infant metropolis with half a million dollars' worth of goods, but 
dared not land them because of his presence. "It is the most beneficial 
trade that ever was heard of," Bellomont wrote to the Lords of Trade. 

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Very respectable peoi^e were concerned in these more than dubious 
enterprises. The reason was simple. Piracy grew up easily from the 
unsettled condition of sea commerce at that time, and from the system 
of privateering or reprisals upon the merchant marine dunng wars. 
The line between authorized privateering and plunder for personal bene- 
fit was sometimes difficult to draw. At any rate, people were not always 
scrupulous about drawing lines when they could draw fat dividends in- 
stead. 

Now the curious part of all this is that, while Lord Bellomont was 
writing this indignant despatch to his Government in July, 1699, he was 
himself a heavy stockholder in what soon became, and has remained, the 
most notorious of all the piratical companies of that period. He had come 
out to this country with a firm purpose to suppress piracy, and it does 
not appear that he looked upon the company of which he was a member 
as being itself piratical. Yet it is hard to discover any radical differ- 
ence between the purpose of that association and the purposes of the 
citizens here who had fitted out pirate ships. 

Depredations upon marine commerce had become so serious, that in 
January, 1695, King William III., of England, Lord Chancellor Somers, 
the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Bellomont and others formed a 
syndicate to fit out a ship that should cruise against pirates by royal 
commission, under command of the reputable Captain William Kidd. 
They all contributed money for the purchase of this vessel, the Adven- 
ture Galley, and her armament; all except the King, who actually paid 
in nothing but his name and authority. Kidd was recommended for the 
command by Colonel Robert Livingston of New York, then in London. 
Kidd took shares to the amount of $6,000, Livingston signing his bond 
for one-half that sum. On his trial, six years later, a witness for Kidd, 
Colonel Hewson, deposed that the Captain had been very loath to have 
Livingston go upon his bond ; that he did not want to go into the enter- 
prise at all, but said that Lord Bellomont told him there were great men 
and they would stop his brigantine, the Antigua, in the river (meaning 
the Thames) if he did not accede. 

This would mean arbitrary interference with his peaceable trading 
trips. If the assertion was true, it would seem that Kidd was literally 
dragged away from his legitimate business and "impressed" into this 
new service, which turned out to be so disastrous for him. 

The proceeds from seizures of pirate ships, to be made by the 
Adventure Galley, were to be divided among the members of the syndi- 
cate. King William, who although a stockholder, never advanced the 
money for his share, was to get one-tenth of the gains. The actual 
investors were to have proportions according to the amount they 

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contributed. In all this there was absolutely no provision for the pub- 
lic good, except in so far as a single armed ship might be expected to 
exterminate a horde of pirates infesting many parts of the high seas. 
To the cool and relentless modem eyt, the whole thing looks very much 
like an attempt to make "public office" a "private snap/' though no 
doubt King William would have been fastidiously shocked by the word 
"snap ;" and it might not altogether have suited Lord Bellomofit*8 taste 
either. If we are cynically inclined, we may suspect that Bellomont's 
irritation against the prosperous pirates in New York, in 169^ was 
partly owing to the fact the Adventure Galley had then been out scour- 
ing the sea for three years, and so far as we actually know had not 
brought the high-titled investors the profits they expected. Moreover, 
painful rumors had by that time come from distant quarters of the ocean 
that Kidd had engaged actively in piratical work on his own account, 
and had absorbed the returns therefrom. So very painful had these 
rumors become, that King William, in December, i6g8, had issued a 
proclamation offering pardon to all pirates who should surrender before 
July, 1699, but expressly excepting "Henry Every, alias Bndgman, and 
William Kidd," 

To the sting of pecuniary loss there was thus added, for Bellomont, 
a motive of official zeal against successful pirates. The expedition to 
which Kidd had been assigned was thoroughly vicious in scope and 
principle, notwithstanding that the soverign of Great Britain had at- 
tempted to cast around it the glamour of a high moral purpose. It was 
really the sending out under royal authority, a new official pirate to prey 
upon the unofficial pirates. 

Kidd received two royal commissions, one empowering him to seize 
all pirates on the high seas, whether subjects of England or of other 
nations, and to take all merchandise or money found on board of them. 
If t^ey would not yield to him without fighting then he was to compel 
them to yield by force. The other commission authorized him to "set 
forth in warlike manner the ship called the Adventure Galley, under his 
own command, and therewith by force of arms to apprehend, seize, and 
take the ships, vessels, and goods belonging to the French King and his 
subjects, * ♦ ♦ and such other ships, vessels and goods as arc or 
shall be liable to confiscation," and bring them to port to be adjudged 
and condemned by the High Court of Admiralty. It was in fact a letter 
of marque and reprisal, and was issued in December, 1695, nearly a year 
after his commission against piracy had been granted in January. Ap- 
parently the owners of the Adventure had come to the conclusion that 
they could not make enough out of the pirates alone; perhaps because 
pirates were not always easy to identify. The broad terms of this letter 

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oflFered a dangerous opening for Kidd; an attempt to bar which was 
made by clauses providing always that he should keep an exact journal 
of his proceedings, and note therein all his prizes and the circumstances 
of their capture ; also that nothing should be done by him or his "mar- 
iners or company contrary to the true meaning of our aforesaid instruc- 
tions." The document likewise stated that he would be held personally 
answerable for any breach of the conditions named, as to bringing prizes 
into port and having them formally condemned before selling them or 
their contents. In so far, then, William Kidd could not well complain 
that he had not received warning of the fate in store for him if he 
should lapse from the letter of his instructions. 

Finally, at the end of April, 1696, he sailed from Plymouth, Eng- 
land, in the Adventure Galley, 287 tons, with an armament of thirty 
guns and a crew of fifty men, "designing for New York," where he ar- 
rived in July, having on the way fallen in with and captured a French 
. "banker," which was duly convoyed to port and there disposed oi This 
was a fine and lawful beginning. Kidd's initial performance seems to 
have made a great impression, and the Provincial Assembly of New 
York, with feverish haste, voted him a gratuity of £250 for his services, 
present or prospective in protecting commerce, although, in fact, he 
was working for a syndicate with due provision for his reward. 

Flushed with popularity and high hopes, and feeling that he needed 
a stronger force to cope with French vessels and Red Sea and East 
India robbers, he set up "articles" publicly in New York, calling for 
recruits and promising every man a share in the proceeds of his cap- 
tures. By this means he quickly brought the number of his crew up to 
155. His enemies and his prosecutors afterward represented that he 
was planning to turn pirate, and desired an increase of strength for that 
purpose. 

One account says he cruised for a while on the American coast ; but 
the chief witnesses at his piracy trial said that he sailed from New York 
to the Madeiras (where presumably he laid in a supply of wine), and 
thence to Bonavist, where he purchased salt From Bonavist, or Boa- 
vist, he went to St Jago, and then set his course for Madagascar. On 
the way, near the Cape of Good Hope, he met Captain Warren of the 
British navy, cruising with the Tiger, the Kingfisher, and two other 
men-of war, and kept company with him for three or four days. This 
was the same Warren who, three years afterward, was sent out with a 
small squadron to apprehend all unrepentant pirates. It appears little 
to the credit of King William that the task was not intrusted to him 
then, instead of to Kidd's syndicated privateer. The great island of 
Madagascar was the lair, the mart, and the pleasure ground of the pirates 

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where they revelled in luxuries that were made very costly to them, and» 
after seasons of active crime, spent their leisure and their money in wild 
vice and drunken riot This was Kidd's main objective point; but there 
is no record of his having accomplished anything there in the line of the 
errand upon which he had been sent. Arriving in February, 1697, he 
watered and victualled at Madagascar, and then started off for Joanna 
and visited Mahala, where "he graved his ship." Here also there was 
much sickness on board, four or five men dying sometimes in a single 
day. And now he wandered back to Joanna once more, where sundry 
Frenchmen and English who had lost their own ship came aboard and 
lent the captain some money "to mend his ship." Thence he put forth 
again, and in June or July "came to a place called Mabbee, in the Red 
Sea," where he seized from the natives a stock of Guinea com and took 
in water. 

Up to this point his voyaging, since clearing from New York, 
seems to have been curiously ineffective, and no explanations of these 
rovings was given at the trial by either side. It is possible, though, that 
the Adventure Galley had entered into piratical operations some time 
before this. For, later on, in 1701, there was presented to Parliament 
a petition of Cogi-Baba, "on behalf of himself and other Armenians, 
inhabitants of Chulfa, the suburb of Spahan, and subjects of the King of 
Persia," setting forth that they freighted a ship called the Karry Mer- 
chant, and that Captain Kidd seized and carried her away, with her 
lading to the value of 400,000 rupees, the ship herself being worth 40,000 
rupees. This, they said, was in February, 1697, between Bengal and 
Surat The case of the Karry Merchant did not come up on trial. If 
the robbery actually occurred, we must suppose that freebooting began 
about the time of Kidd's visit to Madagascar; which would certainly 
look very bad for him. But, if he made such a large haul as 440,000 
rupees' worth in February, how shall we account for his having to bor- 
row money to repair his ship so short a time after that? May it have 
been that he had secretly sent home these spoils to the share holders? 
This period of his voyage remains mysterious. 

The first attested marauding move charged against him was not 
made until July, 1697 ; that is, nearly a year after he left New York. It 
was at this time that he went from Mabbee to Bab's Key, in the Red Sea, 
there to lie in wait for a kind of ocean caravan of merchantmen, which 
was known as "the Mocca fleet" The whole of his checkered and finally 
disastrous cruise extended only over three years; and one-third of his 
time had now passed without evidence of piracy, if we regard simply the 
Old Bailey court records. 

At Bab's Key he remained a fortnight, sending out boats to recon* 

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noitre, and men upon the highlands of the shore, so as to ascertain the 
movements of the merchantmen. As Robert Bradinham, the ship's sur- 
geon, testified, Kidd did not wait for any "French effects" in that fleet, 
but only for the Moorish vessels, "the natives of India, the Mahome- 
tans." There were some fourten or fifteen ships under English and 
Moorish colors, and at last they set sail. "When Captain Kidd fetched 
them up (at night) he found they were under convoy, and so he left 
them." He fired a gun after a Moorish ship, but the two escorting men- 
of-war fired back and made the situation too hot for him. Steering then 
for Malabar, he ran across a separate Moorish vessel commanded by an 
English captain, Parker, and having on board also one Don Antonio, a 
Portuguese. These two men he took out of, or purloined from, iheir 
ship, intending to use the Portuguese as "a Linguister," that is, inter- 
preter. He likewise took out of her a bale of coffee, a bale of pepper, 
and twenty pieces of Arabian gold, hoisting up a number of the Moors 
by their arms, whom he caused to be drubbed with a naked cutlass to 
make them confess what money they had. Things were now getting 
decidedly lively . 

Soon afterward he met a Portugues man-of-war. which opened fire 
upon him as he came up : which fire Kidd returned from so many of his 
thirty guns as he could bring to bear. They fought hard for four or five 
hours, and Kidd had ten men wounded; but the encounter was appar- 
ently a drawn battle, since nothing is reported as to its close. Kidd 
sailed away to one of the Malabar islands for wood and water. There 
according to Surgeon Brandinham, he went ashore with several meti, 
plundered some of the native boats, burned several houses, and then had 
one of the natives tied to a tree, and made one of his men shoot him. 
The general and pervasive unfairness of Kidd's trial is shown by the 
way in which this circumstance was presented on the witness stand. It 
was offered, plainly, to give the jury an impression that Kidd was wan- 
tonly ferocious and brutal. But further questioning brought out the 
fact that the ship's cooper had been ashore, and some of the natives had 
cut his throat ; "and that was the reason he (Kidd) ordered his men to 
serve this man so," ♦. e., to shoot the native. 

These incidents had passed away the time until October. In Novem- 
ber the Adventure took a Moorish ship belonging to Surat There were 
two Dutchmen aboard, evidently commanding and navigating her. "Cap- 
tain Kidd," said Brandinham, "chased this ship under French colors, 
and when the Dutchman saw that, he put out French colors, too. And 
Captain Kidd came up with them, and commanded them on board, and 
he ordered a Frenchman to come up on deck and to pretend himself Cap- 
tain. And so this commander comes aboard, and comes to this Monsieur 

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Le Roy, that was to pass for the captain; and he shows him a paper, 
and said it was a French pass." A French pass it may be explained, 
was a document attesting that a vessel sailed under the protection of 
France. 

"And Captain Kidd said, 'By God, have I catched you? You are a 
free prize to England.' " 

The booty was not much, only two horses, ten bales of cotton, and 
some quilts. But Kidd also took the ship, which he rechristened the 
November, from the month of her capture; put men aboard, and car- 
ried her to Madagascar. 

In December the Adventure met a Moorish ketch and sent out a 
boat which boarded and took possession of her without other casualty 
than the wounding of one of his men. Running her ashore, Kidd and 
his men transferred from her thirty tubs of sugar and a bale of coffee 
and then turned her adrift On the JOth of January, 1698, they captured 
a Portuguese vessel that had come from Bengal, which yielded them two 
chests of opium, more butter, some wax, bags of rice, and sundry East 
India goods. This vessel they kept for a week, until they were chased 
by seven or eight sail of Dutch, and then they were obliged to let her 
go. 

The next, and apparently the most important capture of all, was 
that of the Quedagh Merchtnt, which occurred some time in this same 
January. She was a large vessel, with a cargo that proved to be very 
remunerative. Bradinham and one Joseph Palmer, who had been a 
member of the Adventure's crew bore witness that Kidd chased her 
under French colors, and, coming up with her, ordered the master to 
come aboard him. Thereupon the Quedagh people attempted finesse, 
and sent over in their boat an old Frenchman. But after he had been 
for awhile in conference with Kidd, he was obliged to confess that he 
was not the captain, but the gunner of the other vessel. Kidd then dis- 
patched a boat for the veritable captain, and brought him on board. He 
proved to be, like most of the skippers apparently, who traded in those 
parts, an Englishman, Wright by name. He had with him two Dutch- 
men and the French gunner, the rest of the ship's company being Moors ; 
but the craft and her contents were owned by some Armenians, and 
they were also sailing with her. Kidd made Captain Wright a prisoner, 
and took the Quedagh in charge. The Armenians came to him weeping, 
and begged him to let her go for a ransom, offering him 20,000 and even 
50,000 rupees. But Kidd is reported to have answered that this was but 
a small portion of the value represented, and Palmer says he pretended 
his men would not give up the vessel, although "there was not a quarter 
part of the men concerned in it." 

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Nevertheless, all the men, according to the same evidence, received 
shares of the booty; which certainly made them accessories after the 
fact. Some .of the goods from this prize were disposed of, that is, sold 
to traders, on the India coast ; and here Kidd seems to have loitered for 
a while. He boarded several ships, "and took out of them what was for 
his turn;*' peacefully carrying on the sale of goods in the intervals of 
these more vigorous transactions. It was with the Mohammedans that 
he dealt ; and when he was about to sail away, he effected a new stroke 
of business in respect of them, which could hardly have been to their 
taste. Some of them had come on board prepared to make purchases as 
usual. But, instead of letting them have any goods, he plundered them 
of their money and sent them ashore empty handed, retaining in his own 
hands some 500 pieces of eight which he had stripped from them. 

He then made sail for Madagascar, with both the Quedagh and the 
Adventure; overhauling on the way another Moorish vessel, from which 
he seized a few supplies. Arrived at Madagascar again, he had all the 
remaining goods from the Quedagh put ashore; and the money 
and the merchandise were now divided on a basis of 160 acres, 
of which Kidd took forty for himself. Some of the men received a half 
share of money and a whole share of goods. These were the "landsmen" 
and servants. The able-bodied seamen received a whole share. The 
total amount of the booty from the Quedagh was variously and loosely 
estimated at from £8,000 to £12,000. A curious and picturesque little 
incident was sketched by the witnesses as having occurred during this 
stay at Madagascar, and was intended to have a damning effect on 
Kidd's integrity. Robert Culliford, a well known pirate, as to whose char- 
acter and occupation there was no sort of doubt, lay there with his ship, 
the Resolution, and sent to Kidd a "canoo" manned by several English- 
men, who told him they had heard that he was going to seize and hang 
them. Whereupon "he assured them it was no such thing, and after- 
ward went aboard and swore to be true to them, and he took a cup of 
bomboo, and swore to be true to them and assist them ; and he assisted 
this Captain Culliford with guns and an anchor to fit him to sea again." 
Or, as Joseph Palmer put it, with greater spiciness: "They made some 
bomboo, and drank together, and Captain Kidd said, 'Before I would do 
you any harm I would have my soul fry in hell fire,' and wished dam- 
nation to himself several times if he did." Bomboo, as innocently de- 
fined by the witness, was a mixture of water, sugar and limes, but we 
may safely conjecture that there was some rum in it. 

Being questioned as to the truth of this accusation by one of the 
judges, Kidd, it must be owned, did not indignantly deny it. but replied: 
"This is only what these witnesses say." Perhaps by the time that point 

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was reached in the proceedings he had become thoroughly dejected and 
disheartened, and had no spirit left for denial. He had already, on the 
previous day, been tried for murder, and had been condemned with vin- 
dictive swiftness; so that the whole of his piracy trial was for him, a 
superfluity, and could have no very vital interest. 

The manner of these trials we shall come to presently. First let 
us finish the story of his cruise and of his home-coming. It must be 
remembered, though, that this entire account of his alleged piracies 
comes from treacherous former members of his ship's company, who had 
shared in all the booty, but had now turned against him to secure their 
own safety. 

The Adventure Galley had become so leaky from her long voyaging, 
and probably from the insufficiency of repairs, that she had two pumps 
going all the time on the return to Madagascar, and Kidd no longer con- 
sidered her seaworthy. He therefore abandoned her, and transferred 
himself and his forces to the Scuddee Merchant (as the Quedagh was 
also called). Some ninety-five of his men also deserted him here, which 
gives color to his assertion that it was they who made away with the 
greater part of the spoils and distributed it among themselves, and that 
he was unable to control them. He seems now to have recruited men, a 
few at a time, to take their places, and to have started by a devious route 
homeward. But there is no very clear or satisfactory account of his 
wanderings and adventures, from this time on, until his reappearance 
off the Delaware coast and in Long Island Sound. As he took the 
Quedagh in January, 1698, lingered along the Indian coast for some time 
after that, and then made a dozen or more captures, it may easily have 
been well on in the summer of that year before he reached Madagascar 
and abandoned the Adventure there. By December 8th of the same 
year, 1698, the rumor of his alleged piracies had caused such a commo- 
tion in England that William III. issued his proclamation against Kidd 
and Every (or Avery), already mentioned, but granting pardon to all 
other pirates who should surrender to certain specified Commissioners 
before the end of the following July, and he also then sent out the squad- 
ron of search under Captain Thomas Warren. 

It would seem probable that Kidd must have taken wing from Mad- 
agascar long before this. Yet he did not touch the American shore until 
June of the next year, 1699. Whether he waylaid any more unlawful 
prizes or was forced to let his men do so does not appear authentically. 
During this long interval the mystery surrounding him deepened into 
myth, and the fables of his secreted treasures date from this time. 

At Anguilla, the most northerly of the Carribee Islands, in the 
spring of 1699, Kidd learned that he had been outlawed. Not daring, 

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therefore, at once to make atty port tlttder English control, he contrivcff 
to charter a Philadelphia sloop called the Antonio, belonging to a man 
named Bolton, which he sent to Cura^oa for much needed supplies. 
When she returned he bought her, mounted her -with six guns, and 
transferred himself and a selection of his choicest valuables to her, with 
a small crew. According to some accounts he ran the Quedagh into a 
river in Hispaniola, leaving her there in charge of Bolton, with a com- 
plement of twenty-two men, her armament of thirty guns and twenty 
more in the hold ; and a cargo of great price, comprising 150 bales of the 
finest silks, 80 tons of sugar, 10 tons of junk iron, 15 large anchors, 40 
tons of saltpetre, and abundant ammunition. This done he steered in 
the Antonio for Delaware Bay, and made a brief landing at Cape May, 
where a few more of his men deserted him, hoping by prompt surrender 
to get the benefit of the King's pardon. 

Sailing northward and east again, Kidd avoided New York, although 
it is evident that in some way he commimicated with his friends there, 
and suddenly appeared in Gardiner's Bay near the end of Jtme. The 
manorial estate of Gardiner's Island (or as it was then still called, the 
Isle of Wight) carried with it an informal though authorized title of 
lordship ; and John Gardiner, the owner at that time, was known as the 
"Lord of the Isle of Wight." One evening he noticed this mysterious 
six-gun sloop riding at anchor off the island, but giving no sign. A Mr. 
Emot that same day had come to him and asked for a boat to go to New 
York, which Gardiner lent him. Was Mr. Emot (or perhaps Emmet) 
the messenger who bore tidings to New York of Kidd's presence? Lord 
John waited patiently two days, and on the second evening rowed out to 
visit the stranger sloop, which he then discovered to be Kidd's last ves- 
sel, the Antonio, with the outlawed captain in command. 

The celebrated sea rover, whom he had never met before treated 
Lord John, according to his account, very courteously. He said he was 
going to Lord Bellomont, at Boston, and, meanwhile, wished Gardiner to 
take two negro boys and a negro girl ashore and keep them until he came 
or sent for them. The next day he demanded a tribute of six sheep and 
a barrel of cider, which was cheerfully rendered. The captain, however, 
gave Gardiner two pieces of Bengal muslin for his wife, handed Gar- 
diner's men four pieces of gold for their trouble, and offered to pay for 
the cider. Some of Kidd's men also presented the island men with 
muslin for neck cloths. After this interchange of civilities the rover 
£red a salute of four guns and stood for Block Island, some twenty 
miles away, where he was joined by a New York sloop commanded by 
Cornelius Quick and having on board Mrs. Kidd and Kidd's daughter, 
writh Thomas Qarke of Setauket. 

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Three days later Kidd came back to the manor island, and sending 
the master of the other sloop and Whisking Qarke ashore to fetch Gar- 
diner, commanded the latter to take and keep for him or order a chest 
and a box of gold, a bundle of quilts, and four bales of goods, saying 
that the box of gold was intended for Lord Bellomont. The chests were 
buried in a swamp by Cherry Harbor, near the manor house, and Kidd 
with a timely touch of ferocity, told Lord John that if he called for the 
treasure and it were missing he would take his head or his son*s. At 
the same time two of the Antonio's men — one of them, Hugh Parrot, 
afterward sentenced with his captain, deposited with Lord John small 
bags of silver and gold dust Before departing, Kidd presented him with 
a bag of sugar. 

There can be no suspicion of complicity on the part of the worthy 
and honorable proprietor of Gardiner's Island. He was made Kidd's 
trustee under duress, on account of the safe seclusion of his demesne. 
But, in order to clear himself from all possible doubt, he afterward 
formally stated that "he knew nothing of Kidd's being proclaimed a 
pirate, and if he had he durst not have acted otherwise, having no force 
to oppose them, and that he hath formerly been threatened to be killed 
by privateers if he should carry unkindly to them." It is supposed to 
have been on this occasion, also, that Kidd requested Mrs. Gardiner to 
roast a pig for him, and was so pleased with the result that he gave her 
a piece of cloth of gold, a fragment of which is still kept at the manor. 

Then Kidd set sail for Boston. But Gardiner deposed that during 
his visit to this then remote, secluded bay, two other New York sloops 
had come alongside and taken off goods; and much of the Antonio's 
clandestine freight was also transferred to Quick's sloop at Block 
Island. From the latter place, as well as Gardiner's Bay, Kidd had sent 
letters to Bellomont, earnestly declaring that all the piracies which had 
occurred had been done by his men in a state of mutiny, and never with 
his connivance; that, indeed, they had set aside his positive commands, 
and had locked him up in his cabin while committing their crimes. 

There is a pathetic contrast between Kidd's glorious departure from 
New York, three years earlier, with the thanks and substantial reward 
of the Assembly and a new, well-equipped thirty«>gun ship, and this 
furtive, hovering return in a little six-gun sloop, to meet the menace of 
death held forth in the King's proclamation. Yet it seems clear that he 
would never have gone to Boston had he not counted on inununity at 
the hands of Bellomont With the treasure amassed on the Quedagh, he 
could easily have found refuge and comfort in .some foreign country, 
where hit wife and child might have come to him. That he did not do 
so makes in his favor, as showing that he believed in his own essential 

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innocence; however, he may have yielded to circumstances and con- 
sented to accept the lion's share in the profits of crime. 

It is conceivable that he may have fallen into this line of consent, on 
the excuse to his conscience that he might eventually bring home to his 
partners a considerable return for their investment, and then explain the 
course he had been driven to. But with a capital danger now threaten- 
ing him, he evidently determined to put all this wealth where it could 
not be seized by the authorities before presenting himself and his case 
to them. From Block Island he had also despatched a present of jewels 
to Lady Bellomont, and it is a somewhat curious fact that she kept this 
gift for some time; finally explaining through her husband, the Earl, 
that this was done in order to encourage Kidd to make confidences, on 
the theory that if his present were returned he might refuse to tell any^ 
thing about his actions or the repositories of his booty. 

The same plea was made in extenuation of the fact that he was not 
arrested until the sixth day after he landed in Boston. Mrs. Kidd went 
at once to the boarding house of a Mr. Duncan Campbell, while the cap- 
tain stayed aboard his sloop and was allowed to pass freely to and fro, 
although he was an outlawed person, and although immediately on his 
arrival the Earl had summoned him to a long parley, held carefully in 
the presence of witnesses. 

The explanation of the delay in apprehending him may have been 
perfectly true; yet the motives and asseverations on the Earl's side 
are not free from suspicion. It appears that Kidd had offered to share 
with Bellomont or the syndicate goods to the amount of £40,000. The 
political feeling stirred up in England by the Kidd episode made it diffi- 
cult to treat with such an offer. A sharp debate in Parliament on the sub- 
ject led to the attempted impeachment later of the Earl of Oxford and 
Lord Somers for their alleged unlawful association with the pirate or pri- 
vateer, and to most unpleasant rumors of the King's having participated 
in his profits. Still, it is possible that Bellomont may have thought that 
by temporizing he could find some way of adjusting things and recover- 
ing this large sum of $aoo,ooo. Kidd resolutely refused to disclose the 
whereabouts of the Quedagh unless the authorities would first dis- 
charge Colonel Livingston from the bond for $3,000, on which he had 
gone surety. This showed certainly a fine loyalty toward his friend. 
But when it was found that Kidd would not reveal his places of deposit 
he was arrested. 

Soon afterward, July 17, 1699, Captain Nicholas Evertse came into 
Boston harbor with a positive statement that the man Bolton had stolen 
all the goods of the Quedagh Merchant at Hispaniola, had set fire to her 
and gone off on another vessel, and that he, Evertse, had seen the flames 

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of the burning vessel in sailing by. No one ever ascertained positively 
what became of the Quedagh^ but she was Kidd's chief bank, and, 
whether her disappearance had anything to do with it or not, his doom 
was now evidently sealed. The attempt of one of his men, on the day 
of his arrest, to hire a sloop for $150 to run down to Gardiner's Island, 
disclosed the hiding of his treasure there. His papers which were 
seized, showed that another large bulk had been secreted by Whisking 
Qarke and Harrison of Jamaica in a house in New York. The Earl of 
Bellomont and his commissioners at once required Lord John Gardiner 
to render up the goods in his charge, to the amount of $22,500, and what 
they collected elsewhere came to $47,500 more; in all, about $70,000 
worth out of the $200,000 which Kidd had mentioned The rest was 
probably on the Quedagh, 

In the treasure recovered from Gardiner's Island there were bags of 
coined gold and silver, a bag of silver rings and unpolished gems, agates 
amethysts, bags containing silver buttons and lamps, broken silver, gold 
bars and silver bars, and sixty-nine diamonds or other precious stones. 
This telltale assortment of things could hardly all have been received in 
exchange for the commonplace spoils of baled goods and the like, men- 
tioned in the subsequent trials. They hint apparently at dazzling 
robberies which never came out at all in the public investigation, deeds 
which even the State's evidence, or King's evidence, men thought it 
best to pass over in silence. This glitter of gems and silver lamps re- 
kindles our belief in the mystery of romance of the career of Kidd's 
men, as having been something rather wilder than any of them would 
admit, something that would account for the powerful hold which their 
history and the tradition of their Captain took upon the popular imagi- 
nation. 

Kidd and his fellow prisoners were kept in Boston for some months, 
and the delay in removing him to England for judgment greatly inten- 
sified the excitement there, caused by his partnership with the King 
and Ministers ; so that when at last he was transported to London early 
in 1700 by Admiral Benbow, in a man-of-war sent out for the purpose, 
has case had become one of great political importance. Owing to the 
high tension of public feeling, the House of G)mmons in March, 1770, 
petitioned the King that "Capt. Kidd may not be tried, discharged, or 
pardoned until the next session of Parliament." This was partly for the 
sake of fair play; more perhaps for the protection of the Ministry, to 
give time for popular opinion or passion to cool, and the reference to 
discharge or pardon suggests a tendency toward mercy. April 8, Mr. 
Secretary Vernon announced that Kidd had arrived in the Downs, and 
that "a yatch" would be sent to bring him up in custody of the Marshal 

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of the Admiralty. He was then kept in Newgate prison for a year, dur- 
ing which all the papers relating to him were transmitted over from 
Lord Bellomont It b not clear why they were not sent with him. 
During this time, also, the opposition party were waxing hotter on the 
subject, and rumors that he had actually been pardoned were set afloat. 

Finally, the case came up again, March i6, 1701. The papers were 
laid before the House, read and sealed up again. Then Kidd's private 
examination before the Commissioners of the Lord High Admiral were 
read, and Kidd himself was twice examined before the House, and 
remanded to Newgate. Near the end of March a motion wi^ made that 
the grant given to Bellomont and others, under the great seal, of all the 
booty to be seized by Kidd was illegal and void. This was a direct 
blow at the King. Yet the motion was defeated by only eleven votes. 
The King and his Ministry must now have become thoroughly alarmed 
at the aspect of the affair. Only four days later, April i, his Majesty 
decided that the Captain's trial should proceed ; and it had evidently by 
this time come to appear to the Ministers and the Whig party a measure 
of necessity to destroy Kidd at all hazards, in order to clear their own 
reputation. 

This is made plain by the conduct of the trials and by the fact that 
he was first brought to the bar of the Old Bailey on a charge of murder 
and piracy, not of piracy alone, and was convicted on the murder charge 
primarily, as though to "finish" him at the start and to avoid all risks 
upon the other accounts, as well as possible later reproach for hanging 
him as a pirate, when perhaps he was only a privateer. 

The trial took place May 8, 1701. The bill which the Grand Jury 
found against him accused him of murdering his gunner, William 
Moore, on the Adventure Galley near the coast of Malabar, October jo, 
1697, and also of piracy with nine other men, viz., Nicholas Churchill, 
James Howe, Robert Lamley, William Jenkins, Gabriel Loffe, Hugh 
Parrot, Richard Barlicom, Abel Owens, and Darby Mullins. 

Kidd asked for counsel, but was told that he must plead before 
counsel could be assigned. 

"I beg your lordships I may have counsel admitted," said he, "and 
that my trial may be put off. I am not really prepared for it." 

Whereupon the Recorder, Sir Salathiel Lovell, made the hostile 
remark : "Nor ever will be if you can help it" 

But Kidd was in fact, not prepared; he had had no one to help 
him with his case; and, moreover, he seems to have been rather thick- 
witted and ignorant as well as timorous regarding the procedure of 
I^eading. Apparently he feared that if he once made any kind of a 
plea he would be lost, which, indeed, turned out to be not far from the 

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truth. But after much haggling, on being told firmly that if he did not 
ientcr a plea judgment would be pronouncel against him, he pleaded not 
.guilty. Forthwith the first indictment for murder was read. It recited 
'*that William Kidd, late of London, mariner, not having the fear of 
<God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of 
the devil, * * * did make an assault in and upon one William 
Moore, in the peace of God and of our said sovereign lord the King, 
'*''''* with a certain wooden bucket bound with iron hoops, of the 
^alue of eightpence." Whether this curious detail of the small value of 
ihe bucket was considered an aggravating circumstance is not specified ; 
and its pecuniary phase was not again alluded to. The main point was 
that Kidd, with this bucket, did violently, feloniously, voluntarily, and 
^f his malice aforethought, beat and strike Moore a little above his right 
wear ; and that Moore died of the wound the next day, October 31. Now 
the Crown officers did not succeed in proving at all that this act was 
•done with malice aforethought; but they got poor Kidd convicted, just 
the same. 

He asked to have Dr. Oldish and Mr. Lemmon for his counsel, and 
this was granted. They said a few words for him at the outset, but 
after that they lapsed into nullity, and the forlorn Captain was left to 
the mercy of the Solicitor-General, the Prosecuting Attorney, the hostile 
witnesses, and his own notions of defence. The Judges pounced upon 
him like hawks at every opportunity. The prosecution was permitted to 
harangue the court and jury against him after the evidence was in; but 
there was absolutely no summing up for the prisoner. Dr. Oldish de- 
clared it was "very fit his trial should be delayed," because the ships in 
which piracies were charged had French passes— a fact that made them 
lawful prizes— and these passes could not be found. "The passes were 
^zed by my Lord Bellomont, that we will prove as clear as the day," 
Kidd declared. Mr. Lenmion added that the prisoner "was doing his 
King and country service, instead of being a pirate," and that the Que- 
Jagh in particular, which was the occasion of the chief piracy indictment, 
carried a French pass, seized by Bellomont. "And there was a letter 
writ to testify it," said Mr. Lemmon, "which was produced before the 
Parliament ; and that letter has been transmitted from hand to hand, so 
that we cannot at present come by it" 

Oldish and Kidd also complained that only a fortnight's notice of 
trial had been given and no attention had been paid to their petition for 
counsel fees until the very night before coming into court, when £50 
were received. After this preliminary discussion of the piracy indict- 
ment the charge of murder was proceeded with, and Oldish and Lem- 
moa became dtmib. 

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There was no doubt or denial of Kidd's having killed the gunner, 
Moore. But he contended that it was done in a fit of anger and because 
the man was mutinous. The witnesses against him were two of his 
company who had turned King's evidence, and were plainly resolved to 
swear away the Captain's life in payment for their own freedom. The 
first, Joseph Palmer, said: "About a fortnight before this accident fell 
out Capt. Kidd met with a ship on that coast that was called the Loyal 
Captain, And about a fortnight after this the gunner was grinding a 
chisel aboard the Adventure, Capt. Kidd came and walked on the 
deck, and walks by this Moore ; and when he came to him says, 'Which 
way could you have put me in a way to have taken this ship and been 
clear?* *Sir,' says William Moore, *I never spoke such a word, nor ever 
thought such a thing.' Upon which Capt. Kidd called him a 'lousy 
dog.' And says William Moore, 'If I am a lousy dog, you have made 
me so ; you have brought me to ruin and many more.' Upon his saying 
this, says Capt. Kidd, 'Have I ruined you, ye dog?' and took a bucket, 
bound with iron hoops, and struck him," etc 

Mr. Cowper — Did he give him the blow immediately after he gave 
him that answer? 

Palmer — He walked two or three times backward and forward upon 
the deck before he struck the blow. [This answer was perhaps intended 
to prove deliberation and malice.] 

Mr. Couiers (for the prosecution) — Tell my lord what passed next 
after the blow. 

Palmer — ^He [Moore] was let down the gunroom ; and the gunner 
said, "Farewel, farewel, Capt. Kidd has given me my last" And Capt 
Kidd stood on the deck and said, "You're a villain." 

To understand the above, we have to sift out from the whole mass 
of oddly vague and conflicting testimony and of question and answer 
the point that Kidd insisted that he was talking to the gunner about a 
ship then in sight, which the gunner wanted him to attack and capture. 
The Crown witnesses, on the contrary, maintained that the talk was 
about a ship which had been sighted and left behind a fortnight before. 
Kidd, cross-examining Palmer, asked: "Was there no other ship?" 

Palmer — ^Yes, a Dutch ship. 

Kidd — ^What were you doing with the ship? [Evidently now refer- 
ring to the Adventure, which Palmer was navigating.] 

Palmer — She was becalmed. 

Kidd-— the ship [«. e., the Dutch ship] was a league from us, and 
some of the men would have taken her, and I would not consent to it, 
and this Moore said I always hindered them making their fortunes. 
Was not that the reason I struck him? Was there a mutiny aboard? 

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Palmer — No; you chased this Dutchman, and in the way took a 
Malabar boat and chased this ship all the whole night ; and they showed 
their colors and you put up your colors. 

Kidd — This is nothing to the point; was there no mutiny aboard? 

Palmer — There was no mutiny; all was quiet. 

Here the jury asked the cause, then, of Kidd's striking the blow. 
Palmer reiterated that it was solely the episode of the Loyal Captain, 
commanded by Capt. Hoar, which they had met a fortnight earlier. 
Capt. Hoar came on board Capt. Kidd's ship, and Capt. Kidd went on 
board his, and then Capt. Kidd let the ship go. Nevertheless, Palmer 
admitted that when Hoar came aboard the Adventure "there were eight 
or nine men that had muskets or other arms, and they were for taking 
the ship ; and Capt Kidd was against it ; and so it was not done." This 
really seems to confirm Kidd's contention that his dispute with Moore 
related to the proposal by the men then under arms to capture Hoar's 
ship and make him prisoner while he was on the Adventure. On the 
other hand, it seemed impossible to ascertain from any of the witnesses 
whether it was Capt. Hoar's ship or a Dutch vessel that was in sight at 
the time of the quarrel, or whether the discussion referred to a ship that 
had been passed two weeks previously. 

Richard Barlicorn, who had been Kidd's servant on board, decid- 
edly sustained his master's assertion when put on the stand, but weak- 
ened under questioning and compromised by saying that the other ship 
had been met one week before the killing of Moore. Barlicorn was him- 
self under indictment for piracy and was anxious to save his own neck, 
although desirous of helping Kidd so far as he could. But even the 
hostile Palmer's testimony seems to reveal that Kidd's statement was 
true. The unfortunate Captain declared to Baron Ward: 

"My lord, I will tell you what the case was. I was coming up 
within a league of the Dutchman, and some of my men were making a 
mutiny about taking her, and my gunner told the people he could put 
the Captain in a way to take the ship and be safe. Says I, 'How will 
you do that ?' The gunner answered, 'We will get the Captain and men 
aboard.' 'And what then?' 'We will go aboard the ship and plunder 
her, and we will have it under their hands that we did not take her.' 
Says I, 'This is Judas like ; I dare not do such a thing.' Says he, 'We 
may do it; we are beggars already.' 'Why,' says I, 'may we take this 
ship because we are poor?' Upon that a mutiny arose, so I took up a 
budcet and just throwed it at him, and said, 'You are a rogue to make 
such a motion.' " 

But he could not prove his story. The motives of the other men on 
board were too complicated to leave any of them free to stand by him 

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throughout Kidd's final defence was : "I had all the provocation in the 
world given me ; I had no design to kill him ; I had no malice or spleen 
against him. It was not designedly done, bnt in my passion, for which 
I am heartily sorry." Nothing availed, however. Baron Ward's charge 
to the jury was snch as almost to insure conviction. After being out an 
hour they came in with a verdict of guilty. 

The next day, with great briskness, Kidd was subjected to three 
several trials for piracy and robbery— one based on the Quedagh affair, 
another on four more indictments, and a third on two additional 
indictments. He was convicted on all. 

In one of these trials he stoutly denied having gone aboard the 
pirate Culliford's ship and hobnobbed with him, as Palmer and Bradin- 
ham had so vividly narrated; though he afterward met the reassertion 
with that despondent answer already noted. It is a striking circum- 
stance that on the same day, in the same court, this out-and-out pirate, 
Culliford, with several of Kidd's former sailors, was tried for another 
act of piracy; and after pleading not guilty, and then guilty, and claim- 
ing that he came in on the King's pardon, "his judgment was respited 
and he set aside." 

Several times Kidd burst forth in vehement protest against the tes- 
timony offered. Once he exclaimed: "Because I would not turn pirate, 
you rogues you would make me one!" Again, he asked Surgeon Bra- 
dinham : "Are you not promised your life to take away mine?" At other 
moments despair seems to have overtaken him, and he refused to ques- 
tion the witness, Bradinham, further. "No. no; so long as he swears 
it, our words or oaths cannot be taken." 

Mr. Say, "from the prison," an official perhaps, testified in support 
of Kidd, that this very witness Bradinham, now so unqualified and un- 
relenting in his assertions of Kidd's guilt, had shortly before the trial 
dechred to Say : "I believe he has done but what he can answer, or that 
cannot do him any hurt" Upon which, one of the judges cut in 
promptly with a defence of Bradinham, saying it was quite natural he 
should not have wished to say anything against Kidd then. The infer- 
ence is that the surgeon, after receiving assurance of pardon for him- 
self, underwent a great change as to his view of facts, and was willing 
to swear to whatever might insure Kidd's death. 

In a burst of appeal to his old-time friend, G>1. Hewson, who had 
vouched for his bravery in the wars, Kidd exclaimed : "Do you think I 
was a pirate?" 

"I know," replied Hewson, "his men would have gone a-pirateering, 
and he refused it, and his men seized upon his ship ;" which apparently 
referred to the war period in the West Indies. The G>lonel likewise 

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testified that, before the Adventurg's voyage, he had talked with Kidd 
about the possible danger of his starting out as a privateer and then 
becoming a pirate, and Kidd "said he would be shot to death before he 
would do any such thing." 

The accused man affirmed positively that he did not divide the 
captured goods from the Quedagh; that it was done by his men. "They 
lay in wait for me to kill me. They took what they pleased, and went 
to the island." And when reproached by the presiding Judge, Ward, 
that if this or other vessels taken had French passes he should have 
condemned them in due order, he declared that the crew mutinied and 
would not let him do so. His final word before sentence was : "I have 
nothing to say but that I have been sworn against by perjured and 
wicked people." After Dr. Oxendale, for the court, had pronounced his 
doom, he said again : "My lord, it is a very hard sentence. For my part, 
I am the innocentest person of them all, only I have been sworn against 
by perjured persons." 

Sentence having been given. May 9, he was hanged in chains at 
Execution Dock, only three days afterward, May 12, 1701. 

He insisted to the last that his commission would bear him out in 
all that he had done, if only he could produce the papers which would 
prove this, but which were withheld from him. At best the enterprise 
into which he had been lured or compelled was a risky one, conceived 
upon a false basis by persons much above him in station, with whom the 
wrong seems to lie, rather than with him. At the worst, also, he appears 
more a victim than a deliberate criminal ; and even with regard to the 
tragedy of William Moore, murder was not proved. The probabilities 
are that it was manslaughter, or it may be, justifiable homicide, if mu- 
tiny was threatening at the time. 

Had Kidd been wholly a pirate, or a reckless trader on the chances 
of his high associations, he might, as I have said, have escaped easily 
and enjoyed his gains. He was able to approach close to New York, to 
conmiunicate with his friends there, and to have his wife and child join 
him at Block Island, without detection. What, then, was to prevent his 
flying to a distance with his little family and his considerable wealth? 
Nothing. His wife, it is true, brought with her to Block Island some 
plate and a few hundred dollars, as though prepared for esc24>e; but 
all his previous moves show that he was resolved to land openly, in face 
of the king's outlawing proclamation. By so doing, he risked his life 
and further companionship with his wife and child. He must, then, 
have held that there was one thing still more important, both to them 
and to him— namely, his reputation. And he must have believed that 
he could vindicate this by appearing in Boston. 

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If this view of him takes away something of the luridness and blue 
light with which he has so long been surrounded and suffused, it adds 
a degree of sturdy humanity and a good deal of pathos. I don't suppose 
it ever occurred to Kidd to regard himself as pathetic, even at the end 
He was a thorou^^ seafaring man ; an able fighter, as we know ; doubt- 
less rous^ and bluff, with a capacity for strong language and strong 
waters, even "bomboo;" fierce at times, and liable to kill a gunner on 
provocation. No attempt is made here to rehabilitate him as a peaceful, 
upright, wholly respectable, and injured citizen. Yet perhaps this 
sketch may present him as a still more interesting enigma than he was 
to the general mind before. 



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