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97^.701 M. L. 








3 1833 01177 7122 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 

-f this work there have been printed 600 copies 
a Berkshire linen, in three volumes, and 135 
Dpies on French handmade paper, in four volumes. 

VOL. Ill 











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Copyright 1918, 





Smithtown 3 

Huntington 22 

Babylon 56 

Oyster Bay 59 

Hempstead 104 

North Hempstead 188 

Jamaica 219 

Flushing 287 

Newtown 33 * 

Long Island City 363 

Bushwick 365 

Williamsburg . 379 

Gravesend 389 

Flatlands 4 12 

New Utrecht 43 l 

Flatbush 452 

New Lots 477 



The Old Peconic House at Greenport. Reproduced in Color 

From a Rare Lithograph .... Frontispiece 


Deed from Wyandanch to Lion Gardiner for Smithtown 

Land (Facsimile) 7 

David Gardiner's Release of His Interest in the Smithtown 

Land (Facsimile) 8 

Huntington . . 22 

View at West Neck, Huntington 34 

View at Huntington . 52 

The Locusts. Residence of J. E. De Kay .... 59 
Residence of Benjamin F. Thompson at Hempstead . .104 

Marine Pavilion, Rockaway 173 

Clifton, North Hempstead 188 

Lakeville House 199 

Scene at Grove Point, Great Neck 205 

Old Presbyterian Church at Jamaica 219 

Union Hall Female Seminary, Jamaica .... 274 

View at Whitestone 287 

The Fox Oaks at Flushing 300 

College Point 324 

The Old Bushwick Church 365 

Erasmus Hall, Flatbush 452 

VOL. Ill 



Is bounded north by the Sound, east by Brookhaven, 
south by Islip, and west by Huntington, lying upon both 
sides of Nissequogue River, and extending easterly to 
near the outlet of Stony Brook Harbor. A large portion 
of the territory was the subject of a free gift to Lion 
Gardiner, July 14, 1659, from Wyandanch, sagamore 
of Montauk, and grand sachem of Long Island, in grate- 
ful remembrance of the good offices performed by his 
benefactor, in redeeming his daughter from captivity 
among the Indians across the Sound. As the Nissequogue 
or Nessequake tribe pretended title to the same lands, the 
grantee procured a release of their right also, in the year 

In 1663, Mr. Gardiner conveyed the premises to 
Richard Smith, then an inhabitant of Setauket, but who 
probably, as well as his father, had been acquainted 
with Mr. Gardiner in New England. Mr. Smith is 
named among the original proprietors of Brookhaven, 
and was a magistrate there for several years, and prob- 
ably until his removal to this town in 1665 or '66. But 
he spent the remainder of his life between his possessions 
here and in Rhode Island. He applied for and obtained 
a patent of confirmation of his purchase from Governor 
Nicoll, bearing date March 3, 1665, upon the condition 
that ten families at least should be settled upon the land 


within three years from that time. To make his first 
acquisition the more secure against any future claims of 
the first proprietor, he obtained previously in 1664, from 
David, eldest son and heir of Lion Gardiner, a release 
of the premises, confirmatory of his father's conveyance. 

The territory was at first called Smithfield, and was 
so denominated in the act of November 2, 1683, dividing 
the province into shires and counties. In 1665, Mr. 
Smith acquired from the Nissequogue sachem title to a 
valuable and extensive tract upon the west side of 
Nissequogue River, and a new patent was issued by Gov- 
ernor Nicoll, March 25, 1667, to Smith, in which the 
boundaries are as follows : " Easterly by a certain run 
of water called Stony Brook, stretching north to the 
Sound, and southerly bearing to a certain fresh water 
pond, called Ronkonkoma, being Se-a-tal-cott's west 
bounds; which said parcel of land was heretofore granted 
by patent to Richard Smith by Richard Nicoll." 

The omission of a western boundary in this patent 
(probably by mistake) led ultimately to a long and 
angry controversy between Mr. Smith and the propri- 
etors of Huntington; the latter founding their claims 
to all lands upon the west side of Nissequogue River, as 
being within the original jurisdiction of the Matinicock 
Indians, of whom they purchased. On this subject the 
following proceedings took place before the governor 
and council, held in the fort at New York, December 1, 
1670, as appears upon the minutes: 

11 Mr. Smith's peticon taken into consideracon about 
the bounds of Nesaquake River; his clayme being heard 
as to y e bounds of Nesaquake Lands, hee declared it to 
be as farr west as the Fresh Pond, on the west side of 
the River and soe to the Hollow. It is ordered, that the 


bounds of Nesaquake Lands as sett forth by Mr. Smith, 
being to the westermost side of y e ffresh pond, bee sent 
to Huntington for them to return an answer what they 
have to say to the contrary, and recommend a composure. 
Mr. Smith engages to settle 10 ffamilyes if he hath the 
land to the ffresh pond." 

It seems that no compromise was effected. A suit was 
commenced which came in to be tried at the next assizes 
in New York, in which Richard Woodhull, Esq., Rev. 
Thomas James, and the Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, were 
cited and examined as witnesses. The result it appears 
was favorable to Mr. Smith's claim, but the other parties 
did not fully acquiesce in the decision then made, but con- 
tinued occasionally to intrude upon the lands awarded 
to Mr. Smith, and harassed him in the courts, for on 
the 6th of November, 1672, he petitioned the assembly, 
then in session at New York, complaining of certain 
proceedings in chancery against him by the people of 
Huntington on account of the same lands, and the con- 
troversy was not disposed of till the court of assize in 
1675, when it resulted in favor of the patentee. After 
which, the more effectually to protect himself against fur- 
ther difficulty of the like kind from any quarter, Mr. 
Smith applied for and received a more comprehensive 
patent from Governor Andros in 1677, of which the 
following is a copy : 

" Edmund Andros, Esquire, Seigneur of Sausmares, Lieu- 
tenant and Governor-General under his Royall High- 
ness, James, Duke of York and Albany, and of all his 
territories in America. 

" To all to whom these presents shall come, 

[L. S.] sendeth greeting. Whereas there is a certain 

parcell of land scituate, lying, and being, in the 


east-riding of York-shire upon Long Island, commonly 
called or known by the name of Nesaquake lands, bounded 
eastward by a certain runn of water called Stony Brook, 
stretching north to the Sound, and southward bearing to 
a certain fresh-water pond called Raconkamuck, being 
Seatalcott west bounds, from thence south-westward to 
the head of Nesaquake river, and so along the said river 
as it runns unto the Sound. Also another parcell or tract 
of land on the west side of the said river, extending to 
the westermost part of Joseph Whitman's Hollow, as also 
to the west side of Leading-Hollow to the fresh pond 
Unshemamuck, and the west of that pond att high-water 
mark, and so to the Sound, being Huntington east bounds; 
which said parcell or tract of land, on the east side of 
Nesaquake River, was heretofore granted by patent unto 
Richard Smith, the present possessor, by Coll. Richard 
Nicolls, and to his heyres and assigns forever; as also that 
on the west side of said river; with some provisoes and 
restrictions, the which has since, by due course of law att 
the General Court of Assizes, held in the year 1675, been 
recovered by the said Richard Smith from the town of 
Huntington. Know yee, that by virtue of his Ma ties letters 
patent, and the commission and authority unto me given 
by his Royall Highness, have rattifyed, confirmed and 
granted, and by these presents do rattify, confirm, and 
grant unto the said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns, 
the aforesaid parcells or tracts of land on both sides the 
Nesaquake River. Together with all the lands, soyles, 
woods, meadows, pastures, marshes, lakes, waters, fishing, 
hawking, hunting, and fowling; and all other profits, com- 
modities, and emoluments to the said parcells of land and 
premises belonging, with their and every of their appur- 
tenances; and every part and parcell thereof. To have 
and to hold the sayd parcells or tracts of land and prem- 
ises, with all and singular the appurtenances, unto the 
said Richard Smith, his heyres and assigns, to the proper 

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use and behoof of him, the said Richard Smith, his heyres 
and assigns for ever. The tenure of the said land and 
premises to bee according to the custom of the manor of 
East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in England, in 
free and common soccage and by fealty only. As also 
that the said place bee as a township, and bee called and 
known by the name of Smithfield or Smith town, by which 
name to be distinguished in all bargains and sales, deeds, 
records, and writings. The said Richard Smith, his heyres 
and assigns, making due improvement on the land afore- 
mentioned, and continuing in obedience and conforming 
himself according to the laws of this government; and 
yielding and paying therefor, yearly and every year, unto 
his Royall Highness'suse, as an acknowledgement or quit- 
rentfl^oebgepdri/att hkmb}BOr\t€>i4uoh. &&sisisv5¥ odfteeits?^ 
shall be empowered© mce^vk riieftatf«? jri ©?v%ri'^in t o*eP^ liiw 
hand, ^nol i sealed -with Ae, s&al of^e poiovinec ina^fcw 
York/this 25th day of March, in the twttt't^hiM^ift df 
his Ma ties reign, Anno Dom., 1677. 

" E. Andros." 

In an able and interesting history of Narragansett, by 
Mr. Potter, we are informed that Richard Smith, the 
elder, came from Massachusetts to Rhode Island at 
an early period, and purchased of the sachem a tract of 
30,000 acres, where he erected a house for trade, and 
gave free entertainment to travelers. Roger Williams 
says, he was from Gloucestershire, England, of a re- 
spectable family, and on coming to this country settled 
at Taunton. He remained there but a few years, as 
Taunton was first settled in 1637. His dwelling stood 
on the site of the present Updike house in North King- 
ston, which contains some of the old materials, it being 
originally a block house. Roger Williams built a house 
near it which he sold to Smith in 1651, together with his 

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use and behoof of him, the said Richard Smith, his heyres 
and assigns for ever. The tenure of the said land and 
premises to bee according to the custom of the manor of 
East Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in England, in 
free and common soccage and by fealty only. As also 
that the said place bee as a township, and bee called and 
known by the name of Smithfield or Smithtown, by which 
name to be distinguished in all bargains and sales, deeds, 
records, and writings. The said Richard Smith, his heyres 
and assigns, making due improvement on the land afore- 
mentioned, and continuing in obedience and conforming 
himself according to the laws of this government; and 
yielding and paying therefor, yearly and every year, unto 
his Royall Highness'suse, as an acknowledgement or quit- 
rent, one good fatt lamb, unto such officer or officers as 
shall be empowered to receive the same. Given under my 
hand, and sealed with the seal of the province in New 
York, this 25th day of March, in the twenty-ninth year of 
his Ma ties reign, Anno Dom., 1677. 

" E. Andros." 

In an able and interesting history of Narragansett, by 
Mr. Potter, we are informed that Richard Smith, the 
elder, came from Massachusetts to Rhode Island at 
an early period, and purchased of the sachem a tract of 
30,000 acres, where he erected a house for trade, and 
gave free entertainment to travelers. Roger Williams 
says, he was from Gloucestershire, England, of a re- 
spectable family, and on coming to this country settled 
at Taunton. He remained there but a few years, as 
Taunton was first settled in 1637. His dwelling stood 
on the site of the present Updike house in North King- 
ston, which contains some of the old materials, it being 
originally a block house. Roger Williams built a house 
near it which he sold to Smith in 1651, together with his 


two big guns, and an island for keeping goats, which had 
been given him by the sachem. 

Smith and his son afterwards made additional pur- 
chases of the Indians. Coginiquant leased them, March 
8, 1656, the land south of their dwelling for sixty years, 
and June 8, 1659, he added a larger tract for 1,000 years, 
with the meadows at Sawgoge and Paquinapagogue, and 
a neck of land on the other side of the cove. October 
12, 1660, Scidtob and Que quag annet confirmed the same. 
In 1654 the war began between Ninigret * and the Long 
Island Indians, and continued with various success for 
some years. 

The patentee died in 1692, and was buried near his 
residence at Nissequogue, where his grave, and that of 
his wife Sarah, are yet to be seen. Even the gun with 
which he fought in Cromwell's wars, and among the 
Indians, is still preserved. His will, executed in Rhode 
Island, bears date March 5, 1691, by which he devised 

* In one of Ninigret's expeditions, he took captive the daughter of 
Wyandanch at Montauk, it being on the night of her nuptials, and her 
husband was slain. By the exertions of Lion Gardiner, the hapless 
bride was redeemed and restored to her afflicted parent, at Smith's 
house. His son, the patentee, spent a part of his time at Setauket, and 
the remainder at Rhode Island, holding the office of magistrate in both 

In the war with the Dutch, he was desired by the governor and council 
to put the province of Rhode Island in a state of defence. He is some- 
times styled major in the records, and was, it seems, frequently engaged 
in military operations. Hutchinson says he was one of the council of 
Andros in 1686. 

He took possession of his Nissequogue purchase in 1664-65, and April 5, 
1686, sold his Setauket lands to Samuel Eburne for £90. 

In 1675 he was a deputy with Major Wait Winthrop on behalf of 
Connecticut, to conclude a treaty with the Narragansett Indians, which 
was effected on the 15th of July, in that year, and in which it was agreed 
that if they or any of them would deliver Philip of Pokanoket alive, 
to the English or to Mr. Smith, they shoujd receive 40 trucking cloth 
coats, and for his head only 20 like coats. July 23, 1673, he bought 700 
acres of the estate of Humphrey Atherton, in the Boston Neck purchase. 


A'' / * ' 

David Gardiner'*, (son of Lion) release of his interest' in the 
Smithtown land to Richard Smith who purchased from Lion . T\i T 
Gardiner. In the form of an endorsement on back Si h rkft original 
deed from Wyandanch to Gardiner. 

f'hofbpfophed from : u ifkentjn possession of the Long 

Island HistoricdK^Society' 




two big guns, and an island for keeping goats, which had 
been given him by the sachem. 

Smith and his son afterwards made additional pur- 
chases of the Indians. Coginiquant leased them, March 
8, 1656, the land south of their dwelling for sixty years, 
and June 8, 1659, he added a larger tract for 1,000 years, 
with the meadows at Sawgoge and Paquinapagogue, and 
a neck of land on the other side of the cove. October 
12, 1660, Scultob and Quequagannet confirmed the same. 
In 1654 the war began between Ninigret * and the Long 
Island Indians, and continued with various success for 
some years. 

H^H bhsl rrwo:rrf*irn2 

which he fought in CrorowblK§ <*ra#8?£fan4^rtaieifflgbdkh£ 


Island, bears date March 5, i69i,^%y o wHi<?h^he v Vifevi^d 

* In one of Ninigret's expeditions, he took captive the daughter of 
Wyandanch at Montauk, it being on the night of her nuptials, and her 
husband was slain. By the exertions of Lion Gardiner, the hapless 
bride was redeemed and restored to her afflicted parent, at Smith's 
house. His son, the patentee, spent a part of his time at Setauket, and 
the remainder at Rhode Island, holding the office of magistrate in both 

In the war with the Dutch, he was desired by the governor and council 
to put the province of Rhode Island in a state of defence. He is some- 
times styled major in the records, and was, it seems, frequently engaged 
in military operations. Hutchinson says he was one of the council of 
Andros in 1686. 

He took possession of his Nissequogue purchase in 1664-65, and April 5, 
1686, sold his Setauket lands to Samuel Eburne for £90. 

In 1675 he was a deputy with Major Wait Winthrop on behalf of 
Connecticut, to conclude a treaty with the Narragansett Indians, which 
was effected on the 15th of July, in that year, and in which it was agreed 
that if they or any of them would deliver Philip of Pokanoket alive, 
to the English or to Mr. Smith, they should receive 40 trucking cloth 
coats, and for his head only 20 like coats. July 23, 1673, he bought 700 
acres of the estate of Humphrey Atherton, in the Boston Neck purchase. 





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his lands in that province and other parts of New Eng- 
land, to the children of his sister Katherine, widow of 
Dr. Gilbert Updike,* those of his sister Elizabeth, wife 
of John Vial, and of his sister Jane, wife of Thomas 
Newton. His Nissequogue or Smithtown lands were 
principally disposed of among his children by deeds of 
gift. His son Obadiah was drowned in crossing the 
Nissequogue River in 1680, and his daughter Elizabeth, 
wife of William Lawrence, and afterwards of Governor 
Cartaret of New Jersey, also died in his lifetime. 

In 1707, the survivors petitioned the court of assize 
to appoint commissioners, for the purpose of apportion- 
ing the lands mentioned in their respective deeds, fixing 
boundaries, &c. In pursuance of which, Richard Wood- 
hull, John Hallock, and George Townsend were ap- 
pointed, who in the next year made report of their pro- 
ceedings, which was confirmed. From the account given 
of the patentee by Roger Williams, and from traditions 
respecting him, it is certain that he was no ordinary indi- 
vidual, but a person of strong intellect, highly intelli- 
gent, and endued with an uncommon share of inde- 
pendence, firmness, energy, and decision. The estima- 
tion in which he was held is clearly shown by many 
stations of importance which he filled through a long 
life. On several occasions he was principally instru- 
mental in concluding treaties with the Indians, both on 
behalf of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Indeed, such 

*Dr. Updike (says Mr. Potter) was of a Dutch family, settled at 
Lloyd's Neck, upon Long Island. When Colonel Nicoll reduced New 
York, he came to Rhode Island, and married a daughter of Richard 
Smith (the elder), who lived near where Wickford now is. His sons 
were Lodowick, Daniel, James, &c. Three of his sons were killed in the 
great swamp fight with Philip of Pokanoket, in 1676, and buried with 
the others that were slain, in one large grave. Lodowick alone survived 
his father, and died about 1697, leaving several children. 


was his power and influence, that it created jealousy 
among the leading men of that day, in New England, 
and probably the ill treatment, not to say ingratitude, 
he experienced there, induced his removal to Long Island. 

Whether from necessity or caprice, it is alleged of 
him that he made use of a large bull, for purposes usually 
allotted to horses at this day. It is, however, probable 
that the latter animals were neither plenty, nor generally 
employed in the almost universal manner they now are; 
and this may sufficiently account for what, under other 
circumstances, would be thought strange. At any rate, 
his posterity have ever since been designated by the term 
"Bull Smith" as the descendants of Colonel William 
Smith have been as universally called " Tangier Smith" 
from the fact of his having once held the office of colonial 
governor of that island. 

In Thatcher's History of Plymouth, it is remarked 
that in the early period of that colony, it was not uncom- 
mon to ride on bulls; and it is a well known tradition, 
that John Alden, going to Cape Cod to marry Priscilla 
Mullins, covered his bull with a handsome piece of 
cloth, and rode upon his back. On his return, he seated 
his lovely bride upon the same bull, and walking himself 
by her side, led the uncouth animal by a rope, fixed in 
a ring through the nose. Had the servants of Abraham 
used bulls instead of camels, it may be doubted whether 
the maid Rebecca would have accepted their offer so 

This town has an area of one hundred square miles, 
or sixty-four thousand acres. Upon the north, the land 
is a good deal broken and hilly, while the southern por- 
tion of it is quite level, and free from stone. 

Wood, both for timber and fuel, is abundant, and of 


rapid growth, and has long been an article of trans- 
portation — in return for which, large quantities of ashes 
and other manure are brought here. 

The division line between this town and Brookhaven 
was for some time a subject of dispute, but was com- 
promised by a reference, March 7, 1725. 

Nissequogue River, the only one of consequence in 
the town, has its source in a great number of springs in 
the southern part of the territory. By their united 
volume a considerable stream is formed which, flowing 
northerly, discharges its contents into the Sound, through 
Nissequogue, or Smithtown Harbor. The water is of 
sufficient depth to admit vessels of ordinary draught 
three or four miles from the Sound. The scenery which 
presents itself from the elevated banks of this river, 
is beautifully diversified, and there are many eligible sites 
for building. 

Stony Brook Harbor, which lies mostly in this town, 
is of some importance for navigation; and at the settle- 
ment called the Head of the Harbor, a small stream or 
brook discharges its contents into tide water. 

On the east side of this harbor is the place called Sher- 
awoug, and on the west is Nissequogue Neck, consisting 
of many hundred acres of good soil. 

Rassapeague is a peninsula, containing two or three fine 
farms, and terminates on the east, near the entrance of 
Stony Brook Harbor. 

Over this tract, a few centuries ago, were spread a 
large Indian population, of whose posterity not an indi- 
vidual is now known to exist. The sites of their wigwams 
are, however, indicated by extensive heaps of shells yet 
remaining in various places. 

Mill's Pond village consists of some half a dozen 


dwellings only, located on the circular margin of a small 
collection of water, common to all the inhabitants, who 
are extensive and wealthy farmers. 

The principal village in the town, called the Branch, 1 
is situated in a central part of the territory, forty-five 
miles from the city of New York, in which the public 
business of the town is usually transacted, and where the 
clerk's office is kept. The principal office of the county 
clerk is also at present located here. 

A nursery for the cultivation and sale of fruit and orna- 
mental trees, flowering plants, etc., was established here 
a few years since, by Mr. Gold Silliman of Flushing, 
which has been thus far successful, and can hardly fail 
to prove profitable and useful. 

The late President Dwight, who travelled through the 
island in 1804, remarks as follows: 

" The best land, which we saw on this day's journey, is 
in and about Smithtown. Here we dined, or rather 
wished to dine; the inn at which we stopped, and the 
only one on the road, not having the means of enabling 
us to satisfy our wishes. In this humble mansion, how- 
ever, we found a young lady, about eighteen, of a fine 
form and complexion, a beautiful countenance, with bril- 
liant eyes, animated with intelligence, possessing manners 
which were a charming mixture of simplicity and grace, 
and conversing in language which would not have dis- 
credited a drawing room or a court. Her own declara- 
tions compelled us to believe, against every preconcep- 
tion, that she was a child of this very humble uneducated 
family. But nothing we saw in the house could account 
for the appearance of her person, mind, or manners. I 

1 Or Smithtown Branch. — Editor. 


was ready to believe, as all my companions were, when 
we left the spot, that some 

1 Flowers are born to blush unseen, 
And waste their sweetness on the desert air.' " 

It may gratify the curiosity of the reader to know that 
the house referred to was kept at that time in the Branch 
by Derick McCoun, and that the young lady (so highly 
extolled by the venerable Doctor) was his daughter, 
Phebe, now the widow of the late Major Nathaniel Smith, 
of Patchogue. 

The Presbyterian Church in this village was first 
erected in 1750, and rebuilt in 1823. But there is reason 
for believing that a more ancient house of worship existed 
at Nissequogue, standing eastward from the river, upon 
an eminence, on the south side of the highway, and nearly 
opposite to the old Smith family cemetery; the ground 
for which, as well as the expense of building, were con- 
tributed by the children of the patentee, who also made 
a donation of land to the Rev. Daniel Taylor, in consider- 
ation of his agreeing to labor among them, in the work 
of the ministry, for the term of four years. 

This edifice probably remained till about the time of 
the completion of the church in the Branch as above men- 
tioned; and the present burying ground, at Nissequogue, 
occupies a place near where the old church stood. 

Hauppauge, on the southern border of the town, a 
part of which is in the bounds of Islip, was originally 
settled by the family of Wheeler, and was formerly 
known by the name of the Wheeler settlement. The 
meaning of its Indian appellation is sweet waters?- the 

1 This is another instance where Tooker disagrees with most of the 
historians. He gives " overflowed land " as the meaning. See his Indian 
Names on Long Island. — Editor. 


place abounding in springs of the purest water, which 
are the tributaries of Nissequogue River. Here was the 
residence of the late Hon. Joshua Smith, and here he 
died at the age of eighty-two years, April 12, 1845, a 
gentleman well and favorably known for his intelligence, 
and integrity of character. His education had been lim- 
ited, and he was bred a farmer, yet such was the vigor 
of his intellect, and strength of memory, assisted by a 
discriminating mind, that he readily profited by all he saw, 
heard, or read. He represented his county in assembly 
in 1794, and again in '95, '99, and 1825. In 1821 he 
was a member of the constitutional convention. He was 
for several years a judge of the county courts, and from 
1823 to '28, first judge. He also served a term as state 
senator, and in every station of life was useful and 
respectable. His son Joshua B. Smith has been a repre- 
sentative in assembly, a judge of the county, and state 

Fresh Ponds and Sunken Meadow are small settle- 
ments in the north-western part of the town, and are 
composed almost entirely of industrious farmers. The 
Indian name of the former was Cowamok, and of the 
latter Slongo; in the neighborhood of this last place the 
British erected a fortification during the Revolutionary 
War, which they called, very appropriately, Fort Slongo, 
and which was captured by the Americans, under Colonel 
Tallmadge, in October, 178 1. The following, from an 
old newspaper, shows that the people of this town were 
early aware of the importance of concerting measures 
for the security of independence. 

" At a town meeting, held in Smithtown, it was re- 
solved, and we do fully declare ourselves ready, to enter 
into any public measures that shall be agreed upon by a 


general congress ; and that Solomon Smith, Daniel Smith, 
and Thomas Tredwell be a committee for said town, 
to act in conjunction with committees of the other towns 
in this county, to correspond with the committee of New 
York; and the said committee is fully empowered to 
choose a delegate to represent this county at the general 
congress; and that said committee do all that shall be 
necessary in defence of our just rights and liberties 
against the unconstitutional acts of the British ministry 
and parliament, until another committee be appointed." 

Mr. Tredwell was born here in 1742, and graduated 
at Princeton in 1764. He was not only well educated, 
but highly distinguished for his good sense, prudence, and 
firmness, in the trying times of the Revolution, being 
almost constantly engaged in the cause. The farm now 
owned by Ebenezer Bryant then belonged to him. In 
1775, he was a member of the provincial convention, and 
afterwards of the provincial congress. On the surrender 
of the island in 1776, his family fled to Connecticut, and 
remained exiles during the war. He was in the conven- 
tion that framed the constitution of this state in 1777, 
and survived every other member of that venerable as- 
sembly. He was one of the first senators under the con- 
stitution, and in all respects fitted for the perilous times 
in which he lived, receiving, on all occasions, from his 
fellow citizens, the highest testimonials of respect and 
confidence. He was made judge of probate in 1783, and 
held the office till surrogates were appointed; when in 
1787 he was appointed surrogate of Suffolk, and con- 
tinued till 1 79 1. He was a member of the state conven- 
tion of 1788, and opposed the Constitution of the United 
States, in which he was supported by Clinton, Yates, Lan- 
sing, and twenty-three other whig members. Soon after 


the organization of Clinton County he removed to Platts- 
burg, and was chosen a senator from that district. In 
1807 he was made surrogate of the county, which office 
he held till his decease, January 30, 1832. Chancellor 
Kent says, that he was always distinguished for singular 
simplicity of character, and that he received satisfactory 
evidence of his well-founded pretensions to scholarship 
and classical taste. He had two sons and four daughters. 
His son Nathaniel H., who settled in upper Canada, had 
twelve children, and his daughter Hannah P., is the wife 
of the Rev. Dr. Henry Davis, a native of Easthampton, 
and former president of Middlebury and Hamilton Col- 

The first clergyman in this town of whom we have 
any correct account was the Rev. Daniel Taylor, born in 
1687. He graduated at Yale in 1707, and was living here 
at the death of his wife, whose grave may be seen in the 
oldest burial place of the Smiths. He subsequently re- 
moved to Orange, N. J., where he died, January 8, 1747, 
aged sixty. 

Rev. Abner Reeve was born at Southold in 17 10, grad- 
uated at Yale in 1731, and in 1735 commenced his minis- 
terial labors in the old church at Nissequogue, where he 
lost his wife Mary, May 6, 1747, at the age of thirty- 
three years. He took his leave of the congregation soon 
after, and preached in various places till 1756, when he 
settled at Blooming Grove, Orange County, N. Y., from 
whence he went to the First Congregational Church of 
Brattleborough, Vt., where he was settled in 1770. Hav- 
ing preached there about twenty-six years, he was suc- 
ceeded in 1794 by the Rev. William Wells from England. 
He died the next year, at the age of eighty-five years. 

Notice has been taken of his son Tapping Reeve in 


our account of Southold, where it appears from his tomb- 
stone he was born, although his father was then resi- 
dent here. His son, Paul Reeve, lived and died at South- 
old, and his daughter married the late Elnathan Satterly 
of Setauket, October 26, 1760, and died, aged eighty-five, 
October 20, 1808. The said Paul Reeve was the father 
of the late Josiah Reeve, sheriff of Suffolk County for 
many years. 

Rev. Napthali Daggett, the next pastor, was the 
second son of Ebenezer and Mary Daggett of Attlebor- 
ough, Mass., where he was born, September 8, 1727. 
He graduated at Yale 1748, being distinguished for his 
industry and close application to study. He settled here 
September 18, 175 1, the year following the completion 
of the Branch church. He was descended from John 
Daggett, ancestor of all the families of that name here 
and in Connecticut, who went to Attleborough from 
Chilmak, Martha's Vineyard, in 1709. 

He married Sarah, daughter of the third Richard 
Smith, by his wife, Anna Sears. November 6, 1755, he 
was dismissed, removed to New Haven, and assumed 
the professorship of divinity in Yale College, where from 
the decease of President Clapp, in 1766, to the accession 
of President Stiles, in 1777, he officiated as president also. 
Dr. Bacon says he was a preacher of the most proved and 
approved Calvinism, and very acceptable to the people. 

Dr. Holmes also remarks that he was a good classical 
scholar, well versed in moral philosophy, and a learned 
divine. Clearness of understanding and accuracy of 
thought were characteristics of his mind, and he received 
the degree of D. D. both at Yale and Princeton. 

His daughter Mary married Robert Piatt. One of 
his brothers was Colonel John Daggett, so favorably 


known in the Revolution. Dr. Ebenezer Daggett, an- 
other brother, was the father of the Rev. Herman Dag- 
gett, former minister of Southampton. 

During the barbarous attack on New Haven in July, 
1779, President Daggett distinguished himself by the part 
he acted in its defence. He was particularly offensive 
to the British, because in the pulpit, and before the stu- 
dents in the lecture-room, he never failed to inculcate 
the duty of resistance to their enemies, by which he in- 
curred their marked displeasure. Neither his advanced 
age or the sacredness of his profession could shield him 
from the outrages of these vandals; for he was terribly 
beaten, and compelled to walk several miles in the most 
extreme hot weather. This savage treatment doubtless 
accelerated if it did not occasion his death, which took 
place November 25, 1780, in the fifty-third year of 
his age. 

Rev. Thomas Lewis was born at Fairfield, Conn., in 
1737, graduated at Yale in 1760, and labored here from 
1763 to 1769, when he removed to New Jersey, where he 
continued to preach for several years. He died in 18 15, 
aged seventy-eight. 

His daughter Anna married Jonas Phillips of Morris 
County, grandson of the Rev. George Phillips, second 
minister of Setauket, by whom she had one child, Anna, 
who married Daniel Phoenix, and is the mother of the 
Hon. Jonas Phillips Phoenix of the city of New York, 
and eight other children. 

Rev. Joshua Hart, the successor of Mr. Lewis, was 
born in Huntington, September 17, 1738, graduated at 
Nassau Hall 1770, was ordained by the Suffolk pres- 
bytery April 12, 1772, and installed here April 13, 1774. 
His wife was Abigail, daughter of David Howell of 


Moriches, by whom he had ten children. His dismissal 
took place September 6, 1787, after which for about 
twenty years he preached alternately in the parishes of 
Fresh Ponds and Hempstead, from which time he gave 
his whole services to the latter, till his death October 
3, 1829, at the age of ninety-one years. During the 
Revolutionary War, being a whole-souled whig, he drew 
down upon himself the vengeance of the enemy, and 
suffered much from confinement in the prison at New 
York. He was a man of large stature, possessing great 
bodily strength, of which many extraordinary feats are 
related; yet his disposition was mild, playful, and con- 
ciliatory. Indeed, if all the well authenticated anecdotes 
told of him were to be preserved, they would form a very 
amusing collection. 

Rev. Luther Gleason, who had been ordained by 
the Strict Congregational Convention of Connecticut in 
1788, and preached some time at Stillwater, Saratoga 
County, N. Y., came here in October, 1796, and was 
installed September 28, 1797. He remained till August 
20, 1807, when, having been previously impeached before 
the Long Island presbytery of practices unbecoming his 
sacred officej he was suspended and October following 
deposed from the ministry. Although his education was 
defective, he possessed genius and humor which, with 
his native eloquence, made him a popular preacher. He 
was the son of Ephraim Gleason of Connecticut, where 
he was born in 1760, and married Mary, daughter of 
Samuel Knapp of Danbury, by whom he had five sons, 
and as many daughters. After his departure from the 
island, he preached again at Stillwater, and finally re- 
moved to Columbus, Shenango County, where he died in 
1820, and his widow in 1833. 


Rev. Bradford Marcy, a native of New England, com- 
menced preaching here in September, 1811, and at Baby- 
lon, between which places his services were divided; but 
in August, 1 8 14, he left the island, was married shortly 
after, and is now settled in Massachusetts. 

Rev. Henry Fuller, son of the Rev. Stephen Fuller, 
first Congregational minister in Vershire, Vt., was or- 
dained and installed here October 23, 18 16. He married 
Maria, daughter of Isaac Buffet, of the parish of Fresh 
Ponds, March 17, 1818, and in 1821 removed to the 
parish of North Stamford, Conn., where it is believed he 
still remains. It may be noticed as somewhat remark- 
able, that while he with the Rev. Piatt Buffet of Stanwick 
parish (a native of Smithtown) were in the act of ad- 
ministering the sacrament in his church, July 3, 1842, 
both were prostrated by a stroke of lightning, and the 
latter so considerably injured as to be taken up for dead, 
while no other person present was materially affected. 

Rev. Richard F. Nicoll came here in 1822, was or- 
dained June 25, 1823, and dismissed June 5, 1827. He 
is the son of the late Samuel B. Nicoll of Shelter Island, 
where he was born in 1785, married Margaret, eldest 
daughter of General Sylvester Dering, by whom he has 
several children, and is now a respectable farmer upon 
his native island. 

Rev. Ithamer Pillsbury began his ministerial labors 
here September 9, 1827, and was installed April 21, 1830. 
He was a native of New Canaan, N. H., graduated at 
Yale in 1822, and married Mary Mix of New Haven, 
who died April 16, 1837, aged fifty-three. The following 
year he married Caroline, daughter of James Miller, 
formerly of this town. His dismission took place April 
I 7> x 833, and after spending some time in different places 


upon the island, he removed with a few other adventur- 
ers, and commenced the settlement of Andover, in the 
state of Illinois, where he was installed April 17, 1841. 

Rev. James C. Edwards is the son of Webly Edwards 
of Warren, N. J., where he was born March 12, 1807. 
He graduated at Princeton College in 1830, and two 
years after was appointed a teacher of languages in 
that institution. He resigned in 1833, having then been 
licensed to preach. He next accepted a situation in Union 
Hall, Jamaica, where he remained a short time, when he 
commenced preaching in the city of New York, and re- 
mained till 1835. He assisted materially in organizing 
the Eighth Avenue Presbyterian Church of that city. 
His installation here took place May 5, 1835. His first 
wife was Harriet, daughter of John Johnson, of Newton, 
N. J., who died in 1836, and January 19, 1837, he mar- 
ried Sarah Maria, daughter of Henry Conklin of this 
town, where he still continues. 

The Methodist Church at Hauppauge was built in 
1806, that at Smithtown Landing in 1834, and another 
of a more respectable appearance in the Branch was 
completed in the fall of 1845. 


Is bounded north by the Sound; east by a line running 
from Fresh Ponds to the north-west angle of Winne- 
comack Patent, from thence down to the creek east of 
Sunquam's Neck, then down said creek to the South Bay, 
and so on to the ocean; south by the ocean; west by 
Cold Spring Harbor, and a line running from the head 
of said harbor to the creek, west of West Neck, then 
down said creek to the South Bay, and then south to a 
monument on the beach, fixed by commissioners in the 
year 1797; having Smithtown and Islip on the east and 
Oyster Bay, Queen's County, on the west. 

Its extent on the Sound is about ten miles, upon the 
Bay six miles, and from north to south twenty miles. 
Area, 160 square miles, or 102,400 acres, being centrally 
distant from New York City thirty-five miles. Horse 
Neck, now called Lloyd's Neck, lying within the bound- 
aries of the town, was, by an act passed in 1691, annexed 
to Oyster Bay, of which it still makes a part. 

" These boundaries and distances are of the old Town 
of Huntington before the Town of Babylon was erected 
in 1872 from its southern portion. Lloyd's Neck was 
ceded to Huntington in 1886. See chapter on Oyster 
Ba y-" Editor. 

The first deed for land in this town was made by the 
Indians to his Excellency Theophilus Eaton, governor 
of New Haven, of the tract called Eaton's Neck, in 1646; 
while the first Indian conveyance to the actual settlers 



Hfltv - j 






was given in 1653, which comprised six square miles, 
being all the land between Cold Spring and Northport, 
and extending from the Sound to the old country road. 

This deed includes Lloyd's Neck, but the bona fide 
intention of including it was firmly denied by the grantors, 
who afterwards conveyed it, in 1654, to three of the 
inhabitants of Oyster Bay. The consideration paid in 
1653 was six coats, six bottles, six hatchets, six shovels, 
ten knives, six fathoms of wampum, thirty muxes (eel 
spears) and thirty needles. 

In 1656 a deed was obtained also for all the premises 
from Northport Harbor to Nissequogue River, and ex- 
tending from the Sound to the country road. 

Some of the South Necks were purchased in 1657, 
and others in 1658 and after, as well as the rest of the 
lands south of the country road. The lands within the 
town were claimed at the same time by the Matinecock, 
Massapeage and Secatogue tribes, but the sachem of 
Nissequogue, and JVyandanch, grand sachem of Long 
Island, both denied the right of the Matinecocks to any 
land lying between Cow Harbor (now Northport) and 
Nisssequogue River, which they had thus sold to the 
people of this town. 

The particular and conflicting claims of these different 
tribes caused a controversy between the town of Hunting- 
ton and the proprietor of Smithtown, which, after an 
arbitration and several. lawsuits, was terminated in 1675 
by an equitable division of the territory; and thereupon 
the boundary between the towns was determined to be a 
line running from Fresh Pond to Whitman's Hollow, the 
north-west corner of Winnecomack Patent. The first set- 
tlers in all cases purchased their lands from the Indians 
who claimed them; the price paid was, however, very in- 


considerable, usually consisting of blankets, clothing, 
fishing implements, and sometimes of guns and ammuni- 
tion, with a small quantity of wampum. The settlers at 
first merely took up a house-lot in the village, which is 
supposed to be all the land taken up previous to the first 

Immediately after the conquest of New York in 1664, 
the governor ordered the purchasers to take out a patent 
of confirmation, and forbade further purchases to be 
made from the natives without a license from the gov- 
ernment. The governor, it seems, with the advice of the 
council, had the disposition of all the public lands; no pur- 
chase could be made without his license, and none was 
of any avail unless confirmed by patent, for which such 
sums were demanded as his avarice dictated. 

The fees charged for patents constituted a perquisite 
of the governor, which, together with quit-rents charged 
thereon, produced no inconsiderable revenue to the 
crown. In 1666 the inhabitants of Huntington obtained 
a patent, by which the whole territory between Cold 
Spring and Nissequogue River, and between the Sound 
and the ocean, was erected into a town, with town 
privileges; but the patent gave no power to the inhabi- 
tants to purchase any lands still held by the Indians 
within the limits of the town. This patent is in the words 
following : 

" Richard Nicoll, Esq., Goveno r Generall, under his 
Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke and Albany, of 
all his territoryes in America; — To all to whom these 
presents shall come, sendeth greeting: — Whereas there is 
a certaine towne with in this govern*, commonly called and 
knowne by the name of Huntington, scituate and being on 
Long Island, now in the tenure or occupation of severall 


^freeholders and inhabitants there residing, who have here- 
tofore made lawfull purchase of the lands thereunto be- 
longing, have likewise manured and improved a consider- 
able part thereof and settled a competent number of ffam- 
ilyes thereupon. Now for a confirmacon unto the s d 
ffreehold rs and inhabitants in their Enjoyment and posses- 
sion of y e p r mises — Know yee, that by virtue of y e com- 
mission and authority unto mee given, by his Royall High- 
nesse, I have ratified, confirmed and graunted, and by 
these p r nts doe hereby confirme and graunt unto Jonas 
Wood, William Leveredge, Robert Seely, John Ketchum, 
Thomas Scudamore, Isaach Piatt, Thomas Joans, and 
Thomas Weekes, in the behalfe of themselves and their 
associates, the freeholders and inhabitants of the said 
towne, their heires, successo rs and assignees, all y e lands 
that already have been or hereafter shall bee purchased 
for and on y e Behalfe of the Towne of Huntington, 
whether from y e native proprieto rs or others, within the 
limitts and bounds herein exprest (viz.) that is to say, 
from a certaine river or creeke on the west, commonly 
called by the Indyans by y e name of Nachaquatuck, and by 
the English the Cold Spring, to stretch eastward to 
Nasaqnache River, on the north to bee bounded by the 
Sound, running betwixt Long Island and the Maine, and 
on y e south by y e sea, including y e nine severall necks of 
meadow ground, all which tract of land together with 
the said necks thereunto belonging, so th in y e bounds and 
limitts aforesaid, and or any plantacon thereupon, are to 
belong to y e s d towne of Huntington, as also all havens, 
creeks, &c. To have and to hold, &c. — to the s d patentees 
and their associates, &c, they the s d patentees, &c, render- 
ing and paying such dutyes and acknowledgem ts as now are 
or hereafter shall be constituted and establist by the 
lawes of this colony, under y e obedience of his Royall 
Highnesse, his heirs, &c. New Yorke, 30th Nov. 1666." 

" Richard Nicoll." [l. s.] 



About this period the following persons appear to have 
been freeholders and inhabitants of the town: 

Content Titus 
Samuel Wood 
Richard Brush 
Thomas Brush 
John Green 
Thomas Wickes 
John Jones 
Jonas Rogers 
John Todd 
Robert Cranfield 
John Mathews 
Henry Soper 
John French 
Abial Titus 
Nathaniel Foster 
Epenetus Piatt 
Isaac Piatt 
Stephen Jarvis 
Thomas Powell 

Jonathan Scudder 
Thomas Skidmore 
James Chichester 
Samuel Titus 
Jonas Wood 
Thomas Whitson 
Joseph Bayly 
Thomas Scudamore 

(or Scudder) 
Mark Meggs 
Joseph Cory 
William Leverich 
Eleazer Leverich 
Caleb Leverich 
Richard Williams 
Robert Williams 
John Westcote 
Benjamin Jones 
Jonas Wood, jun. 

Gabriel Lynch 
Richard Darling 
George Baldwin 
Caleb Wood 
Edward Harnett 
William Ludlum 
John Adams 
William Smith 
Jonas Houldsworth 
Thomas Benedict 
Timothy Conkling 
John Strickling 
Edward Tredwell 
John Titus 
John Conkling 
Jonathan Porter 
Samuel Wheeler 
Robert Seely 
John Ketcham 

Thomas Powell and Thomas Whitson removed, some 
years after, to a part of Queens County, which they called 
Bethpage, for which they obtained a conveyance from the 
Indian proprietors in 1695, as hereinafter mentioned. 
William Ludlum went to Jamaica, and Content Titus to 
Newtown with the Rev. William Leverich and his sons, 
Eleazer and Caleb. Nathaniel Foster removed to 
Easthampton; Mark Meggs to Stratford, Conn.; and 
George Baldwin and John Stricking to Hempstead. 

In 1 65 1 the general court at Hartford appointed Lieu- 
tenant Robert Seely chief military officer in this town, to 
exercise the trained bands. He had been an officer as 
early as 1637, and was finally killed in the war with the 
Indians in 1675. 

Epenetus Piatt was the son of Richard who went 
from New Haven to Milford in 1640, and who in his 
will of August 4, 1683, mentions his sons, John, Isaac, 


and Epenetus, the last named being the first person 
baptized at Milford, on July 2, 1640. In the will of 
Thos. Wickes, June 13, 1670, he named his children 
John, Thomas, Rebecca, Martha, Elizabeth, Mary, and 

In 1685 Governor Dongan gave a patent for lands, 
which had been previously adjudged by the court of 
assize, in 1675, to be within the original patent, but about 
which some doubts had been entertained. In 1686 he re- 
quired the inhabitants to procure a conveyance from the 
Indians, for the remaining lands within the town, prob- 
ably for no other purpose than making it necessary to 
apply for and take out a new patent. 

The original patent was, as will be seen, made subject 
to such duties as might be afterwards imposed, and this 
particular condition caused in the end no inconsiderable 
difficulty between the governor and the people. In order 
to enforce his wishes in regard to the amount of quit-rent 
to be paid, he, in the year last mentioned, seized their 
patent and obliged the inhabitants to raise by tax £29, 
4s. 7d., in satisfaction of rent in arrears, and for defray- 
ing the expenses of a new patent, which passed the coun- 
cil August 2, 1688, and was one of the last acts of that 

The patentees named in it were Thomas Fleet, sen., * 
Epenetus Piatt, Jonas Wood, sen., James Chichester, 
sen., Joseph Baley, Thomas Powell, Jr., Isaac Piatt, 
and Thomas Weekes, for themselves and the freeholders 
and inhabitants of the town, saving to his majesty, his 
heirs and successors, all the necks of land lying to the 

♦Thomas Fleet was probably the father of Thomas, jun., who had 
Luke; the latter had Thomas, David, Philitus, Melancthon, Nancy (mar- 
ried Charles Cornwell), Rebecca (married John Buskind), and Simon, 
who had Sarah (married Rev. Z. Greene), Augustine, and John. 


south, within the limits and bounds of the said town, and 
the land northward of the same, that remained unpur- 
chased from the Indians. This patent contained very 
ample powers, and constituted the said freeholders and 
inhabitants a body corporate, by the name and style of 
the freeholders and commonalty of the town of Hunting- 
ton forever, reserving an annual payment of one lamb or 
five shillings in money, on the 25th day of March. 
Another patent was issued by Governor Fletcher October 
5, 1694, by which the eastern boundary of the town was 
enlarged, all former purchases confirmed, and the right 
of pre-emption to other lands within the town not then 
purchased, if any, secured to it. To show the extraor- 
dinary charges made for these patents, it need only be 
stated, that the expense of the last mentioned patent was 
£56, 1 8s. 3d., of which exorbitant sum, £50 was paid to 
the governor and those about him. 

The names inserted in it as patentees were Thomas 
Wickes, Joseph Bayley, Jonas Wood, John Wood, John 
Wickes, Thomas Brush, and John Adams, who were 
styled the trustees of the freeholders and commonalty of 
the town of Huntington, with the usual powers of a civil 
corporation, under which the municipal concerns of the 
town have been ever since conducted. 

The patent of Winnecomack is supposed to have been 
obtained from Lord Cornbury as late as 1703, but 
whether it was an original or confirmation patent only, 
is uncertain. For many years after the first settlement 
of the town, which was the case pretty universally in 
other towns, business was carried on by means of ex- 
change. Contracts were made to be satisfied in produce, 
and even the judgments of the courts were made payable 
in grain, at fixed prices, or in merchantable pay at the 


current price. These prices were established by the gov- 
ernor and the court of assize; and in 1665 tne assessors 
were ordered to fix an estimate also for stock. Accord- 
ingly, a horse or mare four years old and upward, was 
to be taken in pay at twelve pounds; a cow four years 
old and upward, at five pounds; an ox or bull of the 
same age, at six, and other articles, as pork, wheat, corn, 
&c, at proportionate prices. 

In the draft of a contract between the town and a 
schoolmaster in 1657, tne salary was to be paid in cur- 
rent pay; and in 1686, the town contracted with a car- 
penter to make an addition to the meeting house, to be 
paid also in produce. Even executions issued by the 
magistrates were to be satisfied in the same way. 

" At a town meeting, held April 4, 1661, it was agreed 
that a firkin of butter should be paid in, at Steven 
Jarvis's house, by the middle of June, for the satisfac- 
tion of a debt due from ye town to Ensigne Briant." 

The more effectually to preserve the purity of public 
morals, the people excluded from society those whom 
they thought likely to corrupt them. In 1662 they ap- 
pointed, by a vote at town meeting, a committee, consist- 
ing of the minister and six of the most respectable citi- 
zens, to examine the character of those offering to settle 
amongst them; with full power to admit or reject, as they 
judged them likely to benefit or injure society, with a 
proviso, that they should not exclude any " that were 
honest, and well approved by honest and judicious men; " 
and they forbade any inhabitant to sell or let his house or 
land to any person, not duly approved by the committee, 
under the penalty of ten pounds, to be paid to the town. 

In 1653 the town forbade the inhabitants to entertain 
a certain objectionable individual longer than a week, 


either gratuitously or for pay, under the penalty of forty 

" At a town meeting, held May 14, 1658, it was agreed 
by a major vote, that tow men beeing chose to goe to 
Newhaven about joining in government with them; and 
also to a tend the bisnis of the ships that was caste away 
on the south side ; and that they that belonge to the ships 
bisnis, shall bear tow-third of the charges in sendin of 
the tow men, and one-third the towne in generall shall 
paye." Dec. 27th, 1658, it was " ordered that the Indians 
have ten shillings for as many wolves as they kill within 
our bounds, that is, ten shillings a year, if they make it 
evident they were so killed." March 5, 1665, the town 
court gave judgment in a certain cause and ordered the 
defendant to pay the debt in wheat or peas, at merchant- 
able prices. 

May 17, 1660, the town having resolved to put itself 
under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the same was as- 
sented to by that province, and subsequently received 
the entire sanction of the commissioners of the United 
Colonies. The town accordingly elected two deputies to 
attend the general court at Hartford on their behalf, in 
May, 1663. 

The town allowed a house of entertainment to be kept, 
upon a special condition that the keeper thereof should 
conduct his business in a manner consistent with the 
preservation of morality and good order. 

In order to secure a strict and impartial administra- 
tion of justice in the town, and to prevent and punish 
crimes, a court was early established by the people, com- 
posed of three magistrates, a clerk, and constable, who 
were chosen annually at town meeting. The parties were 
in all cases entitled to a jury of seven men, a majority 


of whom were competent to render a verdict. In cases 
of slander and defamation (which were by far the most 
common) the judgment frequently contained the alter- 
native either that defendant should make confession in 
open court, or pay a certain sum of money in satisfaction. 
In one instance of gross slander, the defendant was 
adjudged to be placed in the stocks, and this appears to 
have been the only instance on record of corporal punish- 
ment in the town. Nor does it appear that any criminal 
prosecution whatever took place in the town previous to 
the year 1664, slander and trespass being the most ag- 
gravated cases on record. 

" Town court, Oct. 23, 1662. — Stephen Jervice, an 
attorney in behalfe of James Chichester, plf. vs. Tho. 
Scudder, deft., acsion of the case and of batery. Def* 
says that he did his indevcr to save y e pigg from y e wolff, 
but knows no hurt his dog did it; and as for y e sow, he 
denys the charg; touching the batery, striking the boye, 
says he did strike the boye but it was for his abusing his 
daughter. The verdict of the jury is, that def ts dog is 
not fitt to be cept, but the acsion fails for want of testi- 
mony; but touching the batery, the jury's verdict pass for 
pl ff , that def* pay him 10 shillings for striking the boy, 
and the pl ff to pay def* 5 shillings for his boye's insevility." 
Same court. — " Rachell Turner sayth, that being husking 
at Tho. Powell's, James Chichester found a red ear, and 
then said he must kiss Bette Scudder; Bette sayd she would 
whip his brick, and they too scufeling fell by her side ; that 
this deponent and Tho. Scudder being tracing, and having 
ended his trace, rose up and took howld of James Chiches- 
ter, and gave him a box on the ear. Robard Crumfield 
says, that being husking at Tho. Powell's, James Chiches- 
ter found a red eare, and then said he must kiss Bette 
Scudder, and they too scufling, Goody Scudder bid him be 


quite, and puld him from her, and gave him a slap on the 
side of the heade; the vardict of the jury is, that James 
shall paye y e pl f 12 shillings and the cost of y e cort." 

Jan. 2, 1682, the town court ordered the estate of an 
intemperate person to be attached, that it might be 
11 secured, preserved and improved, for his livelihood and 
maintenance, and that the town might not be damnified." 

" July 29, 1682, they order a person to pay a fine of 
20 shillings or make such acknowledgment as the court 
would accept, for having brought a bag of meal from 
Oyster Bay on the sabbath; and June 3, 1683, they re- 
quired a written confession of shame and repentence, from 
three men who had travelled on Sunday, from this town 
to Hempstead." 

In 1684 this town chose Thomas Powell and Abial 
Titus, and Oyster Bay Thomas Townsend, Nathaniel 
Coles, and John Wicks, to ascertain and settle the line 
between these towns, which affair was concluded August 
9, 1684, to mutual satisfaction. In town meeting Novem- 
ber 10, 1686, it was agreed, that two men be sent to New 
York, in pursuance of a letter from the governor (which 
was probably in relation to the patent), and the town 
chose for the purpose Thomas Powell and Isaac Piatt. 

The settlement of the town, it is believed, was com- 
menced upon the east side of the present village of 
Huntington. From its contiguousness to the Sound, and 
having so excellent a harbor, it is somewhat extraor- 
dinary that its population and business should continue so 
limited, after a lapse of nearly 200 years. 

It is a curious feature in the geography of this town, 
that all its harbors (four in number) should have com- 
munication with the Sound by one common inlet, or 
rather that the waters of Centre Port, North Port, and 
Lloyd's Harbor, should find their way only into Hunting- 


ton Bay, which latter is formed by the projection of 
Lloyd's Neck on the west and Gardiner's (or Eaton's 
Neck) on the east; and it is equally remarkable that all 
these picturesque sheets of water are visible from one or 
more elevated points in the neighborhood.* 

West Neck, on the west side of the town, adjoining the 
Sound and Cold Spring Harbor, is a large and fertile 
tract of land, to which the peninsula of Lloyd's Neck is 
attached by a flat sandy beach or strand. In addition to 
its fine soil and other local advantages, it contains exten- 
sive beds of clay, from which millions of bricks have been 
made, and large quantities transported to other places, 
to be used in the manufacture of various kinds of pot- 

* Dr. Gilbert Potter was born in this town January 8, 1725. His 
father, Nathaniel, came from Rhode Island in 1713, but returned there 
in 1734, where he died. He left sons, Gilbert and Zebediah. The latter 
became a sailor and settled finally on the eastern shore of Maryland, 
where he died. His grandson Nathaniel, an eminent physician of Balti- 
more, and professor in the Maryland University, died January 2, 1843. 

Gilbert studied medicine with Dr. Jared Eliot of Guilford, Conn, 
(grandson of the apostle Eliot), and in 1745 engaged as surgeon on 
board a privateer in the French war. On his return here, he married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Nathaniel Williams. In 1756 he was made cap- 
tain of one of the companies from Suffolk County, and proceeded to 
Ticonderoga. In July, 1758, when the detachment of Colonel Bradstreet 
was on its way to Frontenac, the troops became sickly, and a hospital 
being established at Schenectady, the medical department was assigned 
to Dr. Potter. 

He returned home at the end of the second campaign and renewed his 
practice, which he continued till 1776, when he was appointed colonel of 
the western regiment of Suffolk militia, by the provincial congress, and 
was associated with General Woodhull in protecting Long Island. After 
its capture, he retired within the American lines, and was employed in 
confidential, rather than active service. In 1783 he returned with his 
family and pursued his professional business with high successs till his 
death February 14, 1786. 

His wife, born March 9, 1728, died November 17, 1811. His daughter 
Sarah, born January 8, 1756, married Captain William Rogers, after- 
wards lost at sea. His son Nathaniel, born December 23, 1761, was 
several times a representative in the assembly, and many years a judge 
of the county. He died in the eightieth year of his age, unmarried, 
November 24, 1841. 


tery. It was purchased of the Marsapeague Indians in 
1697 by John Ketcham, James Chichester, and Timothy 
Conkling. In a very picturesque situation near the water 
is the residence of the Hon. Churchill C. Cambreleng. 

On the opposite side of the harbor is East Neck, which, 
although not so large or fertile as the other, is yet a 
valuable tract of land, and from its elevated surface af- 
fords some of the most extensive, charming, and pic- 
turesque scenery in this part of the country; on which 
account, as well as for the purity of the air and the 
excellence of the water, several elegant private resi- 
dences have been erected. The noble mansion of Pro- 
fessor Rhinelander, with its beautiful gardens, &c, is 
seen with singular advantage from the surrounding 

Centre Port (formerly Little Cow Harbor) is situated 
between East Neck and North Port, at the head of a 
small bay of the same name, the settlement containing 
only a few dwellings, and a small factory. The project- 
ing point between this and North Port, called Little 
Neck, contains 300 acres of indifferent land, which is in 
part covered with forest, and on which are some beds of 
fine clay and ochre of different colors. 

North Port (late Great Cow Harbor) has become, in 
a short time, a place of considerable business, having 
about thirty dwellings, besides stores, wharves, &c, and 
has a constant intercourse, by sloops and steamboats, with 
the city of New York. The village of Red Hook, one 
mile south, has a store, with a few dwellings, and a Pres- 
byterian church, erected in 1829. Between this village 
and the village of Commack is Middleville, formerly dis- 
tinguished by the singular cognomen of Bread and Cheese 





f — J 



r - 1 

[651 ^ 



Eaton's, or Gardiner's Neck, is a peninsula upon the 
north-east part of the town, projecting into the Sound, 
containing about 1,500 acres of middling quality land, 
divided into two or three farms. 124.8 3 ,V9 

This neck, says Mr. Mather, the geologist, was for- 
merly a cluster of four islands, now connected by beaches 
and salt marshes. The principal of these islands and the 
only part of the neck cultivated is about two and one-half 
miles long and one and one-half broad. The beach con- 
necting it with the main land is longer than the island 

A light-house was erected on the extreme point in 
1798, at an expense of $9,500. It was granted by the 
Indians to Governor Eaton in 1646. His son Theophilus, 
residing in England, empowered William Jones and 
Hannah his wife (a sister of Eaton) to sell his part, 
with their own, which they did November 13, 1684, to 
Mr. Richard Bryan, merchant of Milford, Conn., and 
son of Alexander Bryan deceased. Three sons of 
Richard Bryan, Alexander,* John, and Ebenezer came 

♦Alexander Bryan, a wealthy merchant, and one of the first planters 
of Milford, Conn., died there in 1679. He is called in the records Ensign 
Bryan, and is supposed to have been bred a lawyer. In his will of 
April in that year he mentions his son Richard, and grandsons Alex- 
ander and Samuel, and granddaughters Hannah Harriman and Sarah, 
wife of Samuel Fitch. He gives £8 to the town of Milford to purchase 
a bell. The said Richard was, as well as his father, an extensive and 
opulent merchant, had a large house erected in Milford, and owned 
vessels trading with the West Indies, in stocks, grain, &c, for which he 
brought back rum, sugar, molasses, and European goods. The children 
of Richard and Mary Bryan, born between 1650 and 1670, were Alex- 
ander, Mary, Hannah, Samuel, John, Abigail, Richard, Frances, and 
Sarah. By his second wife, Elizabeth, widow of Richard Hollingsworth, 
he had Elizabeth and Joseph. The last-named Alexander married 
Sybella, daughter of the Rev. John Whiting of Hartford, and lived on 
Long Island, but died at Milford, 1701. His son Alexander died here 
November 6, 1761, aged seventy-nine. Alexander, son of the latter, died 
before his father, February 24, 1758, aged forty-eight. 


here to reside, whose posterity are inhabitants of the 
town, and sometimes called Bryant. 

September 18, 171 1, the neck was purchased by John 
Sloss of Fairfield, Conn., for £1,650; from him it de- 
scended to his daughter Ellen, wife of the Rev. Noah 
Hobart, and thence to her son, John Sloss Hobart,* who 

• Hon. John Sloss Hobart, son of Rev. Noah (grandson of Rev. Nehe- 
miah, and great-grandson of Rev. Peter Hobart of Hingham, Mass.), 
was born at Fairfield, Conn., where his father was pastor in 1735; he 
graduated at Yale College in 1757, and although not bred a lawyer, was 
a man of sound education and excellent understanding. His deportment 
was grave, and his countenance austere; yet he was a warm-hearted 
man, and universally respected for his good sense, his integrity, his pure 
moral character, and patriotic devotion to the best interests of his coun- 
try. He possessed the entire confidence of the public councils of the 
state, and on all fitting occasions this confidence was largely and freely 
manifested. He was appointed to the bench of the supreme court of this 
state in 1777, and continued in the office for about twenty years, and 
had for his associates in judicial life, Chief Justice Richard Morris and 
Robert Yates, men highly distinguished for legal acumen and solid, as 
well as various, learning. We have the high authority of Chancellor 
Kent for saying that he was a faithful, diligent, and discerning judge 
during the time he remained upon the bench. He was selected as a 
member, from this state, of a partial and preliminary convention that 
met at Annapolis in September, 1786, and was afterwards elected by 
the citizens of New York a member of the state convention in 1788, which 
ratified the present Constitution of the United States. When he retired 
from the supreme court in 1798, he was chosen by the legislature of this 
state a senator in Congress. In 1793 he received the honorary degree of 
LL.D. at the anniversary commencement of Yale College, New Haven. 
His friend, the late Hon. Egbert Benson, caused a plain marble slab 
to be affixed in the wall of the chamber of the supreme court in the 
City Hall of the city of New York, to the memory of Judge Hobart, 
with the following inscription upon it, which, though bordering on 
that quaint and sententious style so peculiar to Judge Benson, contains 
a just and high eulogy on the distinguished virtues of the deceased: 

" John Sloss Hobart was born at Fairfield, Connecticut. His father 
was a minister of that place. He was appointed a judge of the supreme 
court in 1777, and left it in 1798, having attained sixty years of age. The 
same year he was appointed a judge of the United States district court 
for New York, and held it till his death at the house of James Watson 
on Throggs' Neck, Westchester Co., in 1805. As a man, firm — as a 
citizen, zealous — as a judge, distinguished — as a Christian, sincere. This 
tablet is erected to his memory by one to whom he was as a friend — 
close as a brother." 


at the close of the Revolutionary War sold it to John 
Watts, of New York. By him, in 1787, it was sold to 
Isaac Ketcham for $10,000, who transferred it to John 
Gardiner, ancestor of the present owners, in 1792, for 

Commack, Dix Hills, West Hills, Long Swamp, 1 
Sweet Hollow, 2 and the Half JVay Hollow Hills, are 
well known localities near the middle of the island, thinly 
settled and having nothing remarkable requiring a more 
particular description. A large proportion of the sur- 
rounding country is covered with forest and the soil is 
generally of a moderate quality. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Commack was 
built in 1789, probably the first of that denomination in 
the county, and was rebuilt in 1838. Another Metho- 
dist church was erected there in 1831, and another at 
West Hills, dedicated February 5, 1845. The Presby- 
terian Church at Sweet Hollow, 2 was begun in the spring 
of 1829 and dedicated July 26 of that year. 

Rev. Joseph Nimmo commenced his labors here in 
December 1829, and left May 1, 1836. After which he 
resided for some time at Owensville, Westchester County, 
N. Y., but returned to this town in 1848 as a teacher. 
The Rev. Chester Long, who was born in Washington 
County and resided awhile in Oneida County, came here 
at the departure of Mr. Nimmo, and still remains. 

Babylon, 3 one of the most compact, populous, and 
thriving villages in the town, is situated upon Sunquams 
Neck, in the immediate vicinity of the South Bay, having 
a never failing and abundant stream of water upon each 

1 Now South Huntington. — Editor. 

2 Now Melville. — Editor. 

3 Now included in Babylon Town. — Editor. 


side of it, upon which valuable mills and factories have 
been erected. 

It is distant forty miles from New York City, and is a 
place much resorted to by travellers and sportsmen, on 
account of its pure air, and the plenty as well as variety 
of game found in the waters of the bay. 

This pleasant village owes its commencement and rapid 
advancement to the enterprise and public spirit of the 
late Nathaniel Conklin, who half a century ago owned 
most of the ground upon which it is built, besides much 
other property in this and the adjoining towns. He died 
March 18, 1844, aged seventy-five, leaving one son 

The first Presbyterian church here was erected in 
1730, and was torn down by the British soldiers in 
1778, as was the case in other instances, and its mate- 
terials transported to Hempstead, to serve for the con- 
struction of barracks, &c. The war having ended, the 
church was rebuilt in 1784, but being found too small it 
was, in 1838, sold and converted by the purchaser into 
a dwelling, the same site being occupied by a more con- 
venient and elegant edifice, furnished also with a bell by 
the liberality of David Thompson, Esq., of New York. 
As this church has almost always been connected in its 
ecclesiastical relations with that at Smithtown, it has 
rarely enjoyed an independent ministry, till within a few 
years past. The Rev. Alfred Ketcham has been em- 
ployed here since January 1, 1839. He married Maria, 
daughter of Zophar M. Mills, May 4, 1842. In the 
year 18 17, Rev. Samuel Weed was engaged and ordained 
May 12, 1 8 19, but was not installed, probably owing 
to his death which occurred in Philadelphia, June 26, 
1820. After him the Rev. Alexander Cummins, Rev. 


Nehemiah B. Cook, and the Rev. Ebenezer Piatt 
preached in succession till near the time of Mr. Ketcham's 

" Mr. Ketcham preached untili847; since which time 
the following pastors have officiated: 

Rev. Edward I. Vail 1848 to 1851 

" Gaylord L. More 1852 to 1856 

" Charles W. Cooper 1857 to 1869 

" James McDougall, Ph.D 1871101873 

" James C. Nightingale 1875 to 1880 

" Walter B. Floyd (supply only) 1880 to 1883 

" James C. Hume 1883 to 1888 

" John D. Long 1889 to 1905 

" Robert D. Merrill 1 190510 " 

— Editor. 

A Methodist Episcopal church was erected here in 
1840; one has existed at West Neck, a few miles west, 
for several years, and another was completed near the 
same place in 1846. 

In reference to the geological character of this town, 
it may suffice generally to say, that along the Sound and 
for two or three miles therefrom, the surface is rough 
and hilly, and in some places stony, but a few miles to 
the south, the land changes its appearance, becomes more 
level, and so continues from two to four miles in dif- 
ferent places, when there occur three separate ridges 
or groups of hills, the West Hills, the Hills around the 
Long Swamp, and Dix Hills. These are irregular, and 
extend two or three miles each way. Southwesterly of 
Dix Hills, after a small interval of level land, is another 
group, called the Half Way Hollow Hills. From which 
the descent to the South Bay is an inclined plane, and 
so gradual as to be imperceptible. 

1 List of pastors since 1848 kindly supplied by Rev. Mr. Merrill. — 


The South Bay has on its northern shore a continuous 
strip of salt meadow, nearly a mile wide. The soil near 
the Sound, and particularly upon the necks, is of the best 
quality, the high grounds being the most valuable and 
productive. The plain in the middle of the island is a 
mass of sand, with occasional spots, having a thin cover- 
ing of loam. The whole soil of the town is evidently 
alluvial, for in no part can the earth be excavated to any 
considerable depth without meeting with sand and gravel, 
bearing marks of long attrition by water. On a slope, at 
the west end of the Half Way Hollow Hills, coarse sand- 
stones, of a dark yellow color, are found intermixed with 
mineral substances. Sulphuret of iron is also found; and 
at the depth of eighteen feet, limbs of trees and the outer 
bark of the pitch-pine have been discovered, having their 
interstices filled with a mineral substance. 

At the first settlement of the town, wolves, wild cats, 
wild turkeys, swans, and pelicans were found in great 
abundance; and the wolves at that time were so mis- 
chievous, that bounties were freely given for their de- 

The academy in the village of Huntington was founded 
in 1794, being the fourth institution of the kind on the 
island, and has been a highly useful institution. A print- 
ing press has been established here for more than twenty 
years, and a newspaper called the American Eagle 
was commenced in 1821 by Samuel A. Seabury, who in 
May, 1825, transferred the same to Samuel Fleet, who 
about the same time began the publication of a monthly 
periodical, entitled the Long Island Journal of Phi- 
losophy and Cabinet of Variety, a magazine of a mis- 
cellaneous character, which was sustained with consider- 
able ability for one year, when, for want of adequate 


patronage, it was suspended. A weekly newspaper 
called the Long Islander was established June 5, 
1838, by Walter Whitman, jun., who the ensuing year 
disposed of it to Edward O. Crowell, who sold it 
February 12, 1847, when it came under the editorial 
management of Bradford R. Piatt, a native of the town. 
About the same time another paper, entitled the Suf- 
folk Democrat, was commenced by Edward Strahan, a 
native of the city of Dublin. The first number was issued 
February 19, 1847, an d on the 24th of December fol- 
lowing it was transferred to Daniel Austin. The name 
was later changed to Suffolk Bulletin. 

The first Presbyterian church in the village of Hunting- 
ton was erected in 1665, enlarged and repaired in 1686, 
and rebuilt on the site of the present church in 17 15. 
This last edifice remained till the American Revolution. 
In 1777 the British troops stationed here took possession 
of it, tore up the seats, and converted it into a depot for 
military stores. The bell, which was carried on board a 
British ship, was afterwards restored, but so much in- 
jured, that it was necessary to have it recast. In 1782, 
the building was pulled down, by order of Colonel Ben- 
jamin Thompson,* against the solemn remonstrances of 
the people, and its materials used in constructing a fort 

* Sir Benjamin Thompson, better known as Count Rumford, was the 
son of Benjamin, and was born at Woburn, Mass., March 26, 1753. His 
father dying in 1754, he was put a clerk to a Salem merchant, whom he 
soon left, and through the kindness of a friend attended lectures at 
Cambridge University in 1769. He afterwards taught a school at Rum- 
ford (now Concord, N. H.), where in 1774 he married Sarah, daughter 
of Timothy Walker, and widow of Colonel Rolfe, by whom he had Sarah, 
born in 1775. 

Such was his industry, that in whatever he engaged he devoted his 
whole energies to it. He is believed to have sought preferment in the 
American army, but being disappointed, repaired to England in 1776, 
where he was patronized by Lord Sackville, Under Secretary of State, 
and in 1782, having received a commission of colonel, he returned and 


and barracks upon the burying-ground hill, the graves 
levelled and the tombstones used in the construction of 
ovens and fireplaces for the better accommodation of the 
garrison. In fine, no regard was paid to decency or 

The present large and commodious edifice was erected 
in 1784, and is one of the largest in the county. Nor has 
it been materially altered since its completion except the 
pulpit. The only Episcopal church in the limits of the 
town is St. John's, situated upon an eminence in the north- 
eastern part of the village, and finished in 1764. It 
is small in dimensions, but having by age and neglect be- 
come much dilapidated, it underwent a thorough repair 
in 1838, and the congregation having been organized 
anew, religious services have been regularly performed 
therein ever since; first by the Rev. Isaac Sherwood, 

took command of a regiment of dragoons stationed here, where he com- 
mitted the outrage above mentioned. 

He received the enormous sum of £30,000 sterling for his military 
services, and was also knighted by the king. He was subsequently 
created chamberlain of Bavaria, and in 1786 the king of Poland con- 
ferred upon him the order of St. Stanislaus. In 1788 he made him major 
general of cavalry and councillor of state. In 1791 he was raised by 
the Duke of Bavaria to a high military rank, and created Count Rum- 
ford. His wife died at Charlestown, N. H., February, 1792. In 1800 
he aided in establishing the Royal Institution of Great Britain, devoting 
himself to science and philosophy. In 1802 he married the widow of 
the lamented Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, one of the first experimental 
chemists of the age, who fell a victim to the atrocious crusade against 
liberty and humanity (in which Louis XVI. and his amiable queen were 
also sacrificed), May 8, 1794. 

He afterwards separated from his wife, and died at Autreuil, in 
France, August 20, 1814, aged sixty-one. His philosophical disquisitions 
and scientific discoveries gave him a high reputation among the savants 
of Europe. It ought to be mentioned, as some mitigation of the injuries 
heaped upon his country, that he made large pecuniary bequests to 
Harvard College, to the American Academy of Arts, and to other institu- 
tions of his native land. He also gave £1,000 to the Royal Society of 
London, the interest of which was to be given in premiums for future 
discoveries on light and heat. 


rector of St. Thomas' Church, Cold Spring, then by the 
Rev. Moses Marcus, now rector of the church of St. 
George the Martyr in New York, and then by the Rev. 
Charles H. Hall, who was succeeded in 1847 by the Rev. 
C. Donald McLeod, and he by the Rev. Fred W. Shelton 
in 1848. 

"Mr. Shelton remained until 1850. From 1852 to 
1856, Rev. W. A. W. Maybin officiated. From this date 
on the list of pastors is as follows : 

Rev. William G. Farrington 1856101858 

" J. H. Williams 1858101859 

" William J. Lynd 1859 to i860 

" Caleb B. Ellsworth i860 to 1870 

" A. J. Barrow 1871 to 1877 

" Thaddeus H. Snively 1877101878 

" N. Barrows 1878101885 

" Theodore M. Peck 1885 to 1891 

" Chas. W. Turner 1891 to 1897 

" James F. Aitkins 1897101909 

" Charles Edwin Cragg 1 191010 " 


But the first clergyman stationed here after the build- 
ing of the original church was the Rev. James Greaton, 
born July 10, 1730. He graduated at Yale, 1754* settled 
in Christ Church, Boston, in 1759, came here in 1767, 
and remained till his death in 1773. He had been 
for some time engaged %s a missionary, under the direc- 
tion of the society for propagating the gospel in foreign 
parts, and while in Boston married Mary, daughter of 
John, and granddaughter of the celebrated Rev. John 
Wheelwright, founder and first minister of Exeter, 
Mass., who arrived in Boston, 1636, and with his sister- 
in-law, Ann Hutchinson, was banished from that colony 
for alleged religious heresy, and died at Salisbury, N. H., 
November 15, 1697. Mr. Greaton had sons, John and 

1 List of rectors kindly furnished by Rev. Mr. Cragg. — Editor. 


James. His widow afterwards became the wife of Dr. 
Prime, and died at the extreme age of ninety years, 7th 
March, 1835. 

From the end of Mr. Greaton's term in 1773 until the 
accession of Mr. Sherwood in 1838, there was no settled 
rector here, but the following gentlemen officiated in the 
capacities named: 

Rev. Andrew Fowler, missionary 1789 

" John C. Rudd, missionary 1805 

" Charles Seabury of Caroline Church, Se- 

tauket; in charge 1814101823 

" Edward K. Fowler, deacon and mission- 
ary 1823 to l82 6 

" Samuel Seabury, deacon and missionary. . .1826 to 1828 

Dr. Benjamin Youngs Prime, son of the Rev. Ebenezer 
Prime, was born here 1733, graduated at Princeton 175 1, 
and in 1756 and 1757 was employed as tutor in the col- 
lege. He subsequently entered upon a course of medical 
studies with Dr. Jacob Ogden, of Jamaica, L. I. 
After finishing his preparatory studies, and spending sev- 
eral years in the practice of physic, he relinquished an 
extensive business and, with a view of qualifying himself 
still more, sailed for Europe. In the course of the 
voyage, the vessel was attacked by a French privateer, 
and the Doctor was slightly wounded in the encounter. 

He attended some of the most celebrated schools in 
London, Edinburgh, Leyden, and Paris, making also an 
excursion to Moscow. He was honored with a degree 
at most of the institutions which he visited, and was much 
noticed for his many accomplishments. 

On his return to America, he established himself in the 
city of New York, where he acquired a high reputation; 
but on the entry of the British troops, in September, 
1776, he was compelled to abandon his business and pros- 


pects, taking refugee with his family in Connecticut, and 
opened a drug store in New Haven. He was a diligent 
student, and made himself master of several languages, 
in all which he could converse or write with equal ease. 
Although driven from his home, he indulged his pen with 
caustic severity upon the enemies of his country, and did 
much to raise the hopes and stimulate the exertions of his 
fellow-citizens. Soon after his return from Europe, he 
married Mary, widow of the Rev. Mr. Greaton, a woman 
of superior mind and acquirements, and peace being re- 
stored he settled as a physician in his native place, where 
he enjoyed a lucrative practice, and the highest esteem 
of all who knew him, until his death, October 31, 1791, 
at the age of fifty-eight. Mrs. Prime died March 7, 1835, 
aged ninety. Her daughter Ann died September 18, 
1 8 13, aged thirty-three. Her daughter Mary, wife of 
Abel Ketcham, died February 25, 1835, aged fifty-two. 
Dr. Prime's son Ebenezer was born in 1782 and died 
February 20, 1842, and his son Nathaniel Scudder, born 
in 1785, is a clergyman of the Presbyterian Church and 
has devoted much of his time to the business of instruc- 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 1825, 
and the Society of Universalists have also a handsome 
church, built in 1836, and being located on the burying 
ground hill it makes altogether a fine appearance. It was 
dedicated October 11, 1837. 

The population of the village has much increased 
within a few years, and great improvement has taken 
place, particularly on the northern side of it, where many 
new and handsome buildings for various purposes have 
been erected. 

Rev. William Leveridge (or Leverich) was the first 


settled minister of this town; the period of his birth is 
not known, but he graduated at Cambridge in 1625, and 
arived in the ship " James," at Salem, with Captain 
Wiggin and company, October 10, 1633. Cotton Mather 
places him in his first classes, but gives no particulars 
of his life or character. A Congregational Society was 
organized at Dover, N. H., in 1633, in which he officiated 
till 1635, and was probably the first ordained minister 
that preached the gospel in that province. His support 
being quite insufficient, he came to Boston in 1635, was 
admitted a member of the church there, and afterwards 
assisted Mr. Partridge, at Duxbury, for a short time. 

In 1638 he became the first pastor of the church at 
Sandwich, on Cape Cod, and devoted much of his time 
to instructing the Indians in that quarter. 

In 1647 ne was employed by the commissioners of the 
United Colonies as a missionary, and resided most of his 
time at Plymouth. He is particularly mentioned by 
Morton, as among the ablest ministers in the colony of 
Massachusetts in 1642. In April, 1653, he visited Long 
Island, in company with some of his former parishioners 
at Sandwich, and made a purchase with others at Oyster 

It has generally been supposed that he devoted a part 
of his time, after his removal to Oyster Bay, to instruct- 
ing the natives on Long Island and elsewhere. By the 
accounts of the commissioners presented to the society 
for propagating the gospel in New England, it appears 
that they allowed Mr. Leveridge small sums, from time 
to time, between 1653 and 1658, for his services among 
the Indians. In 1657 tne Y desired him to instruct the 
Corchaug and Montauk tribes, at the east end of Long 
Island, provided his situation would admit of it. 


In 1658 he was established as minister of this town, 
and on the 10th of February, 1662, the people, by a 
vote at town meeting, appointed two persons to purchase 
a house and land for a parsonage; and by a similar vote 
the 7th of June following, they granted to Mr. Leveridge 
the use of all the meadow about Cow Harbor, 1 on both 
sides of the creek, as long as he should continue their 
minister. For reasons which do not appear, he seems to 
have become dissatisfied with his settlement here, and on 
the 20th of April, 1669, sold out his possessions and re- 
moved to Newtown, where he continued to minister till 
his death in 1677, having been the first settled minister 
of four distinct parishes, to wit, Dover, Sandwich, 
Huntington, and Newtown. 

Rev. Eliphalet Jones was the immediate successor of 
Mr. Leveridge. He was the son of the Rev. John Jones, 
who arrived with the Rev. Thomas Shepard, at Charles- 
town, October 2, 1635, and settled at Concord, Mass., in 
connection with the Rev. Peter Bulkley, in 1637; but he 
did not continue there very long, as a considerabble por- 
tion of the church and people, finding the place insuffi- 
cient for the subsistence of so many persons, sold their 
possessions, and, with Mr. Jones, removed to and set- 
tled the town of Fairfield, Conn. 

This probably took place in 1644. He was the first 
minister of that place, and continued there till his death 
in 1666. His son Eliphalet, born at Concord January 
9, 1640, entered Harvard in 1662, but did not graduate. 

In 1669 he was stationed at Greenwich, Conn., as a 

missionary and during that year the people of Jamaica 

voted to invite him to visit them, which it is supposed he 

declined. In April, 1673, the inhabitants authorized the 

1 Now Northport. — Editor. 


magistrates, with others whom they named, to use their 
best endeavors to procure a minister; and in January, 
1676, by a like vote, Mr. Jones was desired to settle with 
them (he having spent some time here) and promised 
that he should have twenty acres of land, wherever he 
chose to take it up. He, however, declined a settlement, 
until he should be perfectly assured of the general ap- 
probation of the people, which at a subsequent town 
meeting, was decided in his favor, with only one dissent- 
ing voice. He was therefore ordained and remained till 
his decease, June 5, 1731, at the age of ninety. 

He left no issue surviving him, but gave his property 
to Eliphalet Hill, his sister's son. On account of the ex- 
treme age and infirmities of Mr. Jones, the town, on the 
2 1 st of June, 1 7 19, engaged the Rev. Ebenezer Prime, 
as his assistant, who, June 5, 1723, was ordained as his 
colleague, on which occasion Mr. Jones delivered the pas- 
toral charge. He seems to have been a man of great 
purity and simplicity of life and manners, and was a 
faithful and successful preacher of the gospel. 

His gravestone having been destroyed in the Revolu- 
tion, a plain monument has within a few years been 
erected to his memory by some of the congregation, a 
thing worthy of all praise and well deserving of inmita- 

Rev. Ebenezer Prime was born at Milford, Conn., 
July 21, 1700, graduated at Yale, 17 18, and com- 
menced his labors here as assistant to Mr. Jones, June 
21, 17 19, in which relation he continued till he was or- 
dained colleague pastor, June 5, 1723, and remained till 
his death, September 25, 1779. The Rev. John Close, a 
graduate of the College of New Jersey in 1763, was or- 
dained as colleague to Mr. Prime, October 30, 1766, but 


was dismissed April 4, 1773, removed to New Windsor, 
and thence to Waterford, where he died. 

After the removal of Mr. Close, Mr. Prime had no 
assistance to the close of his life. It is stated by one of 
his descendants that he wrote more than 3,000 sermons, 
and tradition testifies that he was a man of sterling char- 
acter, of powerful intellect, and possessed the reputation 
of an able and faithful divine. His library was uni- 
versally large and valuable for the times. In short, few 
ministers possessed a greater influence in general, and 
few, it may be said, more truly deserved it. 

His first wife was a daughter of Nathaniel Sylvester 
of Shelter Island, by whom he had one son, who died 
while a student of Yale College, and two daughters, one 
of whom married the Rev. James Brown of Bridge- 
hampton, and the other Israel Wood of this town. His 
second wife was Experience, daughter of Benjamin 
Youngs, Esq., and granddaughter of the Rev. John 
Youngs, first minister of Southold. She was the mother 
of Dr. Benjamin Y. Prime, before mentioned, and died 
in July, 1733. His third wife was Mary Carle of this 
town, who survived her husband several years. 

Rev. Nathan Woodhull, fifth regularly installed pas- 
tor of this church (of whom a more particular account 
will be given under the history of Newtown) was born 
in Setauket, June 28, 1756, graduated at Yale in 1775, 
and was ordained here December 22, 1785. He was dis- 
missed April 21, 1789, and removed to Newtown, where 
he died March 13, 18 10, aged fifty-three. 

Rev. William Schenck, sixth pastor, was born in New 
Jersey, 1737, and graduated at Princeton in 1767. He 
settled at Cape May, N. J., then at Ballston, N. Y., from 
whence he removed here and was installed December 27, 


1793. In consequence of age and infirmity he was dis- 
missed in 1 8 17, and removed with his family to the resi- 
dence of his son, General William Schenck, Franklin, 
Ohio, where he died in his eighty-fifth year, September 1, 
1822. His wife was Ann, daughter of Robert Cumming 
of Freehold, N. J., by whom he had issue Robert, Will- 
iam, John, Katharine, Mary, Garret, Nancy, and Peter. 
Although not a great or popular preacher, he possessed a 
good deal of personal dignity and sustained a character 
which commanded respect from all that knew him. His 
son Peter died May 11, 18 13. Mary, the sister of Mrs. 
Schenck married the Rev. Alexander MacWhorter of 
Newark, N. J. She died July 20, 1807. 

The great grandfather of Mr. Schenck was Roelof 
Martinse Schenck, who emigrated from Holland to Long 
Island in 1660, and was one of the delegates from the 
five Dutch towns that convened at Flatbush in 1664. He 
had three sons and seven daughters, of whom Garret, the 
youngest son, married Neeltje Courten Voorhees and 
settled in Monmouth County, N. J. He had five sons 
and six daughters, of whom Kortenus, the second 
son, married Marike Kouwenhoven, and was the father 
of the Rev. William Schenck, also of Garret, Peter, 
Kortenus, Neeltje, Maria, and Patience. Mrs. Schenck 
was the daughter of Robert Cumming, a native of Scot- 
land, who came to America in his youth, and settled in 
Freehold, N. J., where he died April 13, 1769, aged 
sixty-eight. Her mother was Mary, daughter of John 
Noble, a Bristol merchant, and after his death she mar- 
ried the Rev. William Tennent. She died at the age of 

Rev. Samuel Robinson was ordained as colleague to 
Mr. Schenck, November 26, 18 16, and labored part of 


the time at Hempstead, till the dismission of the latter, 
when he confined himself to this church till November 
26, 1823, when he was dismissed and soon after left the 

Rev. Nehemiah Brown was the next clergyman. He 
was born in 1794, graduated at Yale in 18 17, and was 
installed here October 18, 1824. His pastoral relation 
being dissolved June 25, 1832, he was succeeded by the 
Rev. Solomon F. Holliday, April 17, 1833. His installa- 
tion took place the 2d of July of that year and he ob- 
tained his dismission April 19, 1836. 

Rev. James McDougall, a native of Newark, N. J., 
graduated at Princeton, 1830; was ordained by the pres- 
bytery of Red Stone, June 18, 1835, and installed as 
tenth pastor of this parish November 2, 1836. 

" He continued for over nineteen years when failing 
health occasioned his resignation. In 1855 Rev. Thomas 
McCauley was installed and remained until 1863. During 
the last year of Mr. McCauley's pastorate, about one- 
third of the church members seceded and founded a 
separate congregation which became known as the Cen- 
tral Presbyterian Church. On December 29, 1863, Rev. 
Robert Davidson was installed, and remained until 1868, 
when advancing years prompted his resignation. 

11 The thirteenth pastor was Rev. Samuel T. Carter, 
D.D., who was installed on September 9, 1868. His 
ministry covered a period of thirty-three years and the 
congregation accepted his resignation with sincere regret 
in September, 1901. Dr. Carter's son, Dr. G. Herbert 
Carter, is an elder of the church and a well-known phy- 
sician in the town. 

" Rev. George T. Eddy was installed on April 15, 
1902, and officiated until 1910. 

11 The present pastor, Rev. J. Jeffries Johnstone, D.D., 


commenced his ministry here during February, 191 1. 
His three previous pastorates were at St. Leonard's-on- 
Sea, England; at London, England; and at Stove, Eng- 
land. Dr. Johnstone is held in high esteem by his parish- 
ioners, and his labors here are greatly appreciated by the 
congregation. He has kindly supplied the list of pastors 
since 1855." Editor. 

The parish of Fresh Ponds, in the north-eastern part 
of the town, erected a meeting-house soon after the Rev- 
olution, in which the Rev. Joshua Hart officiated for 
many years before his decease. In 1829 it was taken 
down and rebuilt at Red Hook, near North Port. It had 
been in 18 16 united with the church of Smithtown, under 
the pastoral charge of the Rev. Henry Fuller, till his 
dismission in 18 19. The Rev. Ebenezer Piatt labored 
here for two years from July 1822, when the Rev. 
Nehemiah B. Cook was ordained over the church in con- 
nection with that at Babylon, January" 19, 1826, till his 
dismission in 1832. After which several ministers were 
employed in succession till 1837, when the Rev. William 
Townley was engaged and remained till April, 1843. He 
is the son of Stephen Townley of Springfield, N. J., and 
was born February 24, 1806, graduated at Princeton in 
1 83 1, and ordained September 14, 1834. September 23, 
1835, he was installed at Centreville, Orange County, 
N. Y., and was dismissed in 1837. 

Rev. Ebenezer Piatt, after about twenty years absence, 
returned here in 1844, and was installed June 3, 1846. 
Mr. Piatt was born in Danbury, Conn., October 23, 
1794, graduated at Middlebury College 18 19, and came 
here in 1822, was. ordained at Darien, Conn., September 
15, 1824, and remained there nine years. In 1833, he 



supplied the church at Old Man's or Mount Sinai and 
continued till his return to this parish as before stated. 

Cold Spring, called by the Indians Nachaquatuck, in 
the north-west part of the town, adjoining the harbor, 
is a considerable village, and enjoys a good deal of 
commerce, besides having several ships owned by the 
Cold Spring Whaling Company engaged in whaling. A 
small portion of the village lies upon the opposite side 
of the water, in the town of Oyster Bay, and will be 
noticed under that head. 

Beds of the purest white clay abound here and have 
furnished great quantities for the manufacture of brick, 
pottery, and earthen ware. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church here was built in 
1842, and the corner stone of the Union Baptist Church 
was laid December 4, 1844. It has since been completed 
and has for its pastor the Rev. Samuel H. Earle, son of 
the Rev. Marmaduke Earle, of Oyster Bay. 

The Hon. Silas Wood, a native and resident of this 
town, was born September 14, 1769. His father was 
Joshua, son of Joseph, son of Samuel, the son of 
Jonas, who came from Halifax, England, to America, 
and was one of those named in Kieft's patent to 
Hempstead, 16th November, 1644. In 1649 he re- 
moved to Southampton, and from thence to this town 
in 1655. He was drowned in attempting to ford the 
Peconic River, near Riverhead, in 1660. While at 
Southampton he was empowered by the town to procure 
from Captain Mason at Saybrook fort, arms and am- 
munition for defence against an expected assault from 
the Dutch and Indians, and in 1658 he was a delegate 
from this town to procure an act of union between it and 
the colony of New Haven, having the year before made 


an extensive purchase from the natives for himself, as 
well as for the town. Having left respectable connec- 
tions in England, all his sons but Samuel went over and 
settled there. The sons of Samuel went there also (ex- 
cept Joseph), in consequence of which most of the prop- 
erty of the family devolved upon him, even the very 
premises in the village upon which said Silas Wood now 
resides. The said Joseph had four sons, all of whom 
lived as respectable farmers in the town, one of whom, 
Joshua, had three sons, Samuel, Selah, and Silas. The 
last named graduated at Princeton in 1789, and was en- 
gaged as tutor there several years. He was elected to 
the assembly in 1796, 1797, 1798, and 1800. In 1802 
he married Catherine Huick, of Johnstown, N. Y. She 
died the ensuing year, leaving a son, who died soon after. 
In 1804 he was offered the position of principal in the 
Academy at Esopus, and the next year chosen professor 
at Union College, both of which honors he declined, and 
entered upon the study of law with Daniel Cady, Esq., of 
Johnstown, Montgomery County, and after his admission 
to the bar, remained in connection with him till the spring 
of 1 8 13. He then returned to the island where he con- 
tinued his practice, and in June, 18 18, was appointed dis- 
trict attorney for Suffolk County, which office he held for 
three years. In 18 19 he was elected to Congress, in which 
he continued from December of that year to the 4th of 
March, 1829. In December of the latter year, he mar- 
ried Elizabeth, daughter of Josiah Smith, deceased, by 
whom he has no issue surviving. In 1830 he relinquished 
public life as well as his profession and has since devoted 
his attention to his books, and the cares of domestic life, 
the true otium cum dignitate. 

While in Congress, Mr. Wood was a highly in- 


dustrious and useful member. His political feelings were 
of a liberal cast, and he was in the habit of viewing every 
subject in connection with its influence upon the best in- 
terests of the whole country. Indeed, so satisfactorily 
were his public duties performed, that mere party motives 
had little to do in his election, for he appeared to be 
equally the candidate of all parties then existing. That 
he was a gentleman of fine culture, extensive learning, 
and exemplary character was universally admitted, 
and it is much to be regretted that he should have with- 
drawn himself from active life at a time when his mental 
powers were in full vigor, and his large experience 
of the world would have enabled him to render signal 
service to the public. 

He died March 2, 1847, m tne seventy-eighth year of 
his age. 

DIED, May, 1846 

"At Whitehall, on the 29th ult, Hon. Melancthon 
Wheeler, aged 76 years. 

" Judge Wheeler was for many years a very eminent 
public man. He was born at Huntington, L. I., in 1770, 
and was for above half a century a resident of the town 
in which he died. He was distinguished for his ability 
and activity in all matters of public benevolence, and was 
also for some years a Judge in the Courts of Washing- 
ton county. He was a member of the Convention of 
1 82 1 which formed the present State Constitution, and 
has since been a member of both the Senate and Assembly. 
He was a man of good abilities, high integrity and univer- 
sally esteemed for his good qualities both as a public and 
private man." 

By the Editor 

For some years previous to 1872, there existed a 
strong sentiment among the residents of the southern 
part of Huntington, that the town should be divided and 
a separate town erected from the southern portion. 

The reasons for this opinion were for the most part 
geographical. That part of the town bordering on the 
Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay had increased to a 
considerable degree, both in population and importance 
during the first seventy years of the nineteenth century. 
The settlement of Babylon was now a large and busy vil- 
lage and other localities had grown in proportion. The 
interests of the two parts — north and south side, were 
not identical and the respective settlements were sepa- 
rated by a considerable amount of sparsely settled ter- 
ritory. There was no direct railroad connection between 
the two and trolleys and automobiles were of course un- 
heard of. In other words, to transact business with the 
town offices at Huntington meant a drive of thirteen 
miles across the island. 

In view of these facts, 130 representative citizens of 
the vicinity of Babylon addressed a memorial to the 
State Legislature on January 27, 1872, petitioning for 
the division of the town and the erection of a separate 
town from the southern part. 

The petition was favorably received, and on March 



13, 1872, an act was passed erecting the Town of 

The town is bounded on the north by Huntington, on 
the east by Islip, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and 
Great South Bay, and on the west by Oyster Bay in 
Nassau County. The territory included, comprises about 
25,000 acres and most of the population is located along 
the shore as has been stated before. 

The main line of the Long Island Railroad runs 
through the northern part and the Montauk division runs 
along the south shore. On the line of the former are 
the stations of Pinelawn, Wyandanch, and Deer Park, 
with small villages about them. 

Along the south shore, beginning at the western ex- 
tremity of the town and working eastward, we first come 
to the village of Amityville near the western boundary. 
Population in 19 10, 2,517. The older part of the vil- 
lage lies on the south country road and was formerly 
known as Huntington South. It dates back to about 
1780, and had its origin in a grist mill and sawmill erected 
in that locality. George Washington, on a tour of the 
island after the Revolutionary War, stopped at Zebulon 
Ketcham's Inn at the settlement and begged his host to 
take no trouble about the fare. 

Proceeding eastward about two or three miles we come 
to the village of Lyndenhurst, formerly the German set- 
tlement of Breslau, founded in 1870 by Thomas Wel- 
wood. The village is an eloquent tribute to the thrift and 
enterprise of the German race. The population is 1,890. 

Three miles further on is Babylon, principal village 
of the town. Particulars of its early history will be 
found under the heading of Huntington. The Babylon 
of today is in great favor as a summer resort and many 


fine estates line its roads. In former times the village 
was a connecting point between the rail and water route 
to Fire Island, long a popular seaside resort. Much of 
this travel now goes via Bayshore in the adjoining town 
of Islip. Babylon was a principal stopping point in stage- 
coach days and it is related that Prince Joseph Bona- 
parte, ex-King of Spain and brother of Napoleon, rested 
here for several days on a tour of the island made in 
1816. The prince travelled in sumptuous style and his 
advent at the " American House " was no doubt a for- 
tunate occurrence for the landlord. Daniel Webster 
also stopped here. The old hostelry is still in existence 
and doing business. Babylon is now an incorporated vil- 
lage with a population of 3,100 in 19 15. 

The Great South Bay begins at the western boundary 
of the town. Crossing the bay we come to Oak Island 
Beach, which is the extreme southern boundary and is 
washed by the waves of the Atlantic. Gilgo Life Saving 
Station is on the beach. 


Embraces the eastern part of Queens County, 1 ex- 
tends across the island, and in regard to territory, is the 
largest town in the said county, being bounded north by 
the Sound, east by Suffolk County, south by the ocean, and 
west by Hempstead and North Hempstead, together 
with Lloyd's Neck, lying within the general bounds of 
the town of Huntington. 2 The town derives its name 
from that of the beautiful bay on its northern limits, 
which is still distinguished for its fine oysters, and other 
marine productions. 

In 1640 some English adventurers, direct from New 
England, under the direction of Lieutenant Daniel Howe, 
attempted a settlement at Cow Bay, 3 and were expelled by 
persons sent for that purpose by Governor Kieft. In 
1642 some others advanced as far as this place, and ac- 
tually purchased the soil from the Indians, but the di- 
rector general of New Netherlands again interferred, 
and broke up the settlement. 

The Dutch continued many years to claim a jurisdic- 
tion over this portion of the island, but were in the end 
compelled to abandon it. The aforesaid settlers would 
have remained undisturbed had they consented to ac- 
knowledge their subjection to the authorities of New 
Amsterdam, but it so happened that this place, on ac- 

1 Now Nassau County. — Editor. 

2 Ceded to Huntington in 1886. — Editor. 
8 Now Manhasset Bay. — Editor. 



count of its particular local advantages and its adapta- 
tion to commercial purposes, remained for some time a 
disputed territory, and the boundary between the Eng- 
lish and Dutch was the source of great and protracted 
difficulty, as was the case likewise to some extent, upon 
the opposite shores of Connecticut. 

Mutual endeavors were, it is believed, honestly made 
by both the contending parties to terminate the contro- 
versy on this vexatious subject, by fixing upon a perma- 
nent boundary between the two jurisdictions. 

This desirable result was finally accomplished by com- 
missioners duly appointed for the purpose. By their 
decision, the English were to possess and enjoy the 
whole of Long Island, eastward from the western side of 
the harbor of Oyster Bay, the territorial line including 
the Townsend mill property, on the side of the English. 

The Dutch, to whom was alotted all the lands west of 
said line, in order to secure their possessions, and pre- 
vent intrusions thereon, immediately planted a small 
colony on their eastern border, and to this project the vil- 
lage of Wolver Hollow l is indebted for its origin. The 
colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, 
and New Haven, had, as early as 1643, formed a po- 
litical union for their mutual safety, and having taken 
that part of Long Island not subject to the Dutch, under 
their protection, deputies were annually chosen to man- 
age the affairs of the different plantations, styled " Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies of New England." 
These formed a board of control over the aspiring tem- 
per of the Dutch, ever anxious, as they were, to extend 
their dominion over Long Island. The settlement of the 
question of jurisdiction between the two powers, was 

1 Now Brookville. — Editor. 


made by Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Prince, on the 
part of the commissioners of the United Colonies, and 
by Thomas Willet and George Baxter (both English- 
men) on the part of the Dutch. In this arrangement, 
the phrase " westernmost part of Oyster Bay," used to 
designate the eastern limit of the Dutch jurisdiction, gave 
rise to doubts as to where the precise line should be 
fixed; which circumstance, coupled with the unreasonable 
delay of the States General to ratify the arrangement thus 
made, furnished Stuyvesant with a specious pretext for 
declining to carry into effect the determination of the 
deputies made in 1650. The waters of Hempstead Har- 
bor formed so natural a line of boundary, that the Eng- 
lish were strongly disposed to claim the territory adjoin- 
ing the Sound to that place. 

The first plantation in this town was commenced on 
the site of the present village of Oyster Bay, in 1653, al- 
though it is probable that individuals had located in other 
parts of the town some years before, but without any 
permanent organization as a community. 

The first conveyance for land appears to be a deed 
from the Matinecock sachem, as follows: 

" Anno Domini, 1653. — This writing witnesseth that I, 
Assiapum, alias Moheness, have sold unto Peter Wright, 
Samuel Mayo, and William Leveridge, their heyres, ex ets , 
admini str , and assigns, all the land lying and scituate upon 
Oyster-Bay, and bounded by Oyster-Bay River to the east 
side, and Papequtunck on the west side, with all ye woods, 
rivers, marshes, uplands, ponds, and all other the apper- 
tainances lying between ye bounds afore-named, with all 
islands to the seaward, excepting one island, commonly 
called Hogg-Island, and bounded near southerly by a point 
of trees called Cantiaque; in consideration of which bar- 


gain and sale he is to receive as full satisfaction, six Indian 
coats, six kettles, six fathom of wampum, six hoes, six 
hatchets, three pair of stockings, thirty awl-blades, or 
muxes, twenty knives, three shirts, and as much Peague 
as will amount to four pounds sterling. In witness 
whereof he hath set his mark, in the presence of 
11 William Washborne, 
Anthony Wright, 
Robert Williams." 


" Assiapum or Moheness, /mark." 

Upon the above instrument is an endorsement as fol- 

" The within-named Peter Wright and William Lever- 
idge, do accept of, as joynt purchasers with ourselves, 
William Washborne, Thomas Armitage, Daniel White- 
head, Anthony Wright, Robert Williams, John Wash- 
borne, and Richard Holdbrook, to the like right as we 
have ourselves in ye land purchased of Assiapum, and 
particularly mentioned in ye writing made and subscribed 
by himself, with the consent of other Indians respectively 
interested, and in ye names of such as were absent, acted 
by him and them. As witness our hands. 

" Peter Wright, Samuel Mayo, William Leverich." * 

* For further information of Mr. Leverich, the reader is referred to 
the articles Huntington and Newtown. Samuel Mayo died in 1670. 
Robert Williams, who was a near relative of the celebrated Roger 
Williams, was a Welshman, and like his kinsman, a man of intelligence 
and great moral worth. His brother, Richard, was one of the early 
settlers of Huntington. Anthony and Peter Wright were at Lynn in 
1637, from whence they went to Sandwich, and finally accompanied the 
Rev. Mr. Leverich to this town. Caleb and John Wright were sons of 
Peter. John Washborne was the son of William, who, with his brother 
Daniel, came here with Mr. Leverich. Daniel Whitehead became a 
large land proprietor and finally removed to Jamaica. Indeed, very many 
of the first inhabitants were of the Sandwich colony, who were collected 
there from different places in 1638. 


It is stated by Hazard and other authorities, that the 
vessel called the " Desire of Barnstable," which brought 
the goods of Mr. Leverich to Oyster Bay, belonged to 
the said Samuel Mayo, and was commanded by John 
Dickerson, probably a brother of Philemon, of Southold. 
She was seized in Hempstead Harbor, by one Thomas 
Baxter, under pretence of authority from Rhode Island, 
while cruising against the Dutch, that province having 
taken part with England in the war against Holland, and 
the vessel being, as was alleged, within the Dutch 

The commissioners of the United Colonies interfered, 
to procure a restoration, and sent a deputation to Gov- 
ernor Easton of Rhode Island for that purpose. He de- 
nied the right of Baxter to make the capture, but the 
owner engaging to prosecute the offender in the courts 
of law, the matter was dropped.* 

The Dutch authorities protested against what they 
called an invasion of this territory, and an infraction of 
the treaty of Hartford, which the English denied, and 
the matter being considered of little importance, the set- 
tlers were left unmolested. 

Among the early grants made by the town, is one to 
Henry Townsend, September 16, 1661, for land on the 
west side of the settlement, for the purpose of having a 

*This Baxter was, beyond all question, a turbulent and unprincipled 
fellow, and the general court at Hartford, in April, 1645, were compelled 
to notice his vile conduct, and to censure him for his reproachful 
speeches against that jurisdiction. They likewise imposed a fine upon 
him of £50, requiring him to execute a bond in £200 for his good be- 
havior for one year, and to be further responsible " to New Haven and 
Rhode Island for his bad actions within their limits." Upon the com- 
plaint of Mayo, for seizing his vessel under false pretences, the court 
adjudged him to pay the owner £150, but that the sails, ropes, two guns, 
&c, if returned with the vessel, should be accounted as £18 toward that 


mill erected on the stream called Mill River. Mr. 
Townsend was an experienced mechanic, and the mill was 
soon after built, and has ever since been improved by his 
descendants for grinding the town's grain. Mr. Town- 
send had but recently removed here from Jamaica, and 
was soon after chosen recorder or town clerk. 

On the 25th May, 1660, the inhabitants made a pub- 
lic declaration of allegiance to Charles II., and of their 
willingness to obey the laws of England, but at the same 
time published their determination to resist every en- 
croachment from their neighbors of New Netherlands. 
This declaration was repeated in equivalent terms the 
next year, yet they continued to be annoyed by the con- 
flicting claims of the English and Dutch to the adjacent 
territory, even so late as June, 1656, when the commis- 
sioners of the United Colonies, in reply to Governor 
Stuyvesant, reproached him for continuing to assert a 
claim to Oyster Bay, in the very face of the treaty so 
solemnly made at Hartford in 1650. 

This course of things caused much perplexity; for, in 
order to avoid giving offence to either power, the people 
here were under the necessity of observing a sort of 
neutrality between the contending parties; and on the 
13th of December, 1660, the inhabitants in town meeting 
resolved that no person should intermeddle, to put the 
town either under the Dutch or English, until the dif- 
ference between them should be ended, under the penalty 
of fifty pounds sterling. 

In 1659 the directors of the West India Company or- 
dered the Dutch governor to erect a fort, or to build a 
block house, on their East Bay (meaning Hempstead 
Harbor), in order more effectually to resist the encroach- 
ments of the English. Although the treaty of Hartford 


was ratified by the States General the 226. of February, 
1656, the Dutch governor was reluctant to give up his 
claim of jurisdiction over that part of the town adjoin- 
ing Hempstead Harbor; but on the 8th of January, 
1662, as has been mentioned, the people took a more 
decided stand, avowing not only their firm attachment 
and true allegiance to the British government, but their 
full resolution to afford all possible protection to those 
who should be molested by the Dutch for exercising au- 
thority among them, at their joint expense. 

It was at this important, and for them, critical period, 
that they formed a more close alliance with the neigh- 
boring province of Connecticut, submitting in a limited 
degree to its authority and relying to a certain extent 
upon its protection. The boundary line between them 
and the town of Huntington was likewise for a consid- 
erable time a source of irritation and mutual complaint, 
which on the 5th of July, 1669, gave rise to the follow- 
ing communication in writing: 

" Friends and neighbors of the town of Huntington. 
We once more desire you in a loving, friendly way, to 
forbear mowing our neck of meadow, which you have 
presumptiously mowed these several years; and if, after 
so many friendly warnings, you will not forbear, you will 
force us, friends and neighbors, to seek our remedy in 
law, not else ; but resting your friends and neighbors. By 
me, in behalf of the town of Oyster Bay, 

" Mathias Harvey, Town Clerk." 

On the 29th of September, 1677, a patent of confirma- 
tion for the lands already purchased from the natives 
was obtained of Governor Andros, in which the bound- 
aries are thus described: 


" Beginning on the east, at the head of Cold Spring 
Harbor, and running a southward course across the 
Island to a certain river called by the Indians Warras- 
ketuck; then along the sea-coast westerly to another cer- 
tain river called Arrasquaung; then northerly to the east- 
ernmost extent of the Great Plains, where the line divides 
Hempstead and Robert Williams' bounds; from thence 
westerly along the middle of said plains till it bears south 
from the said Robert Williams' marked tree, at the point 
of trees called Cantiaque; then on a north line, somewhat 
westerly, to the head of Hempstead Harbor on the east 
side of the Sound; and from thence easterly along the 
Sound to the afore-mentioned north and south line, which 
runs across the island by the Cold-Spring aforesaid; to 
Henry Townsend, sen., Nicholas Wright, Gideon 
Wright, Richard Harrison, Joseph Carpenter, and Josias 
Latting, for themselves, their associates, the freeholders 
and inhabitants of the said town, their heyres, successors, 
and assigns, for ever." 

On the 26th of May, 1663, the Indians sold a part of 
Matinecock to Captain John Underhill, John Frost, and 
William Frost; another part on the 20th of April, 1669, 
to Richard Latting; another on the 1st of December, 
1683, to Thomas Townsend; and upon the 9th of Janu- 
ary, 1685, the chiefs, namely, Sucanemen alias Runasuck, 
Chechagen alias Quaropin, Samose (son of Tacka- 
pansha,) being empowered thereto by the rest of the In- 
dians, conveyed the residue of Matinecock, with some 
other lands, for the price of sixty pounds current mer- 
chantable pay, to James Cock, Joseph Dickerson, Robert 
Townsend, Samuel Dickerson, Stephen Birdsall, James 
Townsend, Daniel Weeks, Isaac Doughty, John Wood, 
Edmund Wright, Caleb Wright, John Wright, William 
Frost, and John Newman; and thereupon the grantees 



agreed to accept, as joint purchasers with them, the fol- 
lowing named persons, who were then among the ac- 
knowledged inhabitants and freeholders of the town. 
This is the most complete list of names which the records 
present at that period, viz.: 

John Townsend, sen. 
Daniel Townsend 
John Dewsbury 
William Crooker 
John Applegate 
Thomas Youngs 
John Rogers 
Hannah fforman, for 

her son Moses 
John Robbins 
Thomas Townsend 
Samuel Birdsall 
Josias Carpenter 
Sampson Hauxhurst 
Adam Wright 
Thomas Weeks 
Nathan Birdsall 
Mathew Prior 
Joseph Carpenter 

John Pratt 

Thomas Willets 

Samuel Weeks 

Joseph Weeks 

Peter Wright 

George Downing 

Richard Harcutt 

Nathaniel Coles, jun. 

John Cock 

John Weeks 

Henry Franklin 

John Townsend, jun., 
of Lusum 

Henry Bell 

Richard Willetts 

Meriam Harker 

John Williams, of Lu- 

Nicholas Simkins 

Hope Williams, of 

Lawrence Mott 
William Buckler 
Josias Latting 
Thomas Cock 
William Hauxhurst 
Elizabeth Dickson 
James Bleven 
Daniel Whitehead 
Samuel Tiller 
Robert Coles 
Richard Kirby 
William Thorncraft 
Robert Godfrey 
Ephraim Carpenter 
Joseph Sutton 
Nathaniel Coles 
Thomas Armitage 

Daniel Whitehead, having removed to Jamaica, be- 
came a very large landholder there, and afterwards 
purchased Dosoris, which he gave to his daughter, 
the wife of John Taylor. Nathaniel Coles was the 
son of Robert, who was at Salem, 1630, one of the 
first settlers of Ipswich, with Governor Winthrop in 
1633, and in 1653 came with Robert Williams to 
Long Island. Samuel Coles, one of the signers against 
the banishment of Wheelright in 1637, was the brother 
of Robert. Nathaniel married Martha, daughter of 
Robert, and sister of Colonel John Jackson. John 
Townsend, jun., married Phoebe, daughter of Robert 
Williams, her brothers were Hope and John. Her sister 
Mary married a Willets, and received from her father 


the land on which Jericho now stands. George Downing 
was probably a relative of Emanuel Downing of Salem, 
1638. The name of Thorncraft, or Thornycraft, has 
been extinguished by its division into two names, Thorn 
and Craft, both of which are now common here. The 
name of Tiller is now written Tilley. Dewsbury, Apple- 
gate, Harcutt, Harker, Bleven, Godfrey, Bell, Simkins, 
and Newman, are names not now known in this town. 
Robert Williams was probably a relative of Roger 
Williams, and of the family of Oliver Cromwell, whose 
original name was Williams, but changed for reasons not 
now known. 

A confirmatory patent was obtained for Musketo 
Cove 1 from Governor Andros, September 29, 1677, in 
behalf of Joseph Carpenter, Nathaniel Coles, Robert 
Coles, and Nicholas Simkins, in which the premises are 
described as a certain tract of land lying by the side of 
Hempstead Harbor, in the North Riding of Yorkshire 
upon Long Island. 

11 Beginning at a certaine markt tree, formerly marked 
for Colonel Lewis Morris, ranging thence due east by 
the land of the said Colonel Morris (now Dosoris) 
eighty chains, ranging the same course from Colonel 
Morris' eastern bounds, to markt trees upon the com- 
mon, forty chains, thence south 164 chains, to certain 
markt trees, thence ninety chains due west, to the rear 
of the lots of Richard Kirby, Jacob Brooken, George 
Downing and Robert Godfrey; thence due north by 
the said lots, sixty chains, and thence due west, to the 
water side, ranging thence by the water side, to the runn 
of Colonel Lewis Morris, and thence nearest south, to 
the first markt tree, including the swamp and mill-runn, 
containing 1,700 acres, to the said patentees, their heirs 
1 Now Glen Cove. — Editor. 


and assigns forever, they making improvements thereon 
according to law, and giving to his Royal Highness' use 
one bushel of good winter wheat yearly." The said 
Carpenter, it appears, in consequence of having built a 
grist mill upon the stream running through said tract, 
agreed by a writing under hand and seal, January 14, 
1677, to grind for his co-proprietor's families toll free 

The whole number of owners of land within this 
patent in 1786, was forty-six. 

The records of the town up to 1700 contain many con- 
veyances for land executed by the natives, both to the 
town and to individuals, divisions, and allotments among 
the proprietors, wills and contracts of different descrip- 

" At a town meeting held March 21, 1689, Richard 
Harcut and John Townshend were deputed to go to 
Jamaica to appoint two men from the country to be at 
York on the tenth of April next, to consult of the affairs 
of the country." On the 19th of February, 1693, the 
town met to consider the late act of assembly for settling 
two ministers in the county, and decided that it was 
against their judgment, and thereupon reported to the 
governor that they could do nothing about it. In 1693 
a purchase was made from the Massapeague Indians for 
a tract at Fort Neck on the south side of the island, by 
Thomas Townsend, for the sum of fifteen pounds, cur- 
rent silver money, which lands on the 29th of June, 1695, 
he gave to his son-in-law Thomas Jones and daughter 

By the act of 1691, Horse Neck (now Lloyd's Neck), 
which had till then been an independent plantation, and 
the only manorial estate in the country, was annexed to 
the town of Oyster Bay. 


Lloyd's Neck, called by the Indians Caumsett, contains 
about 3,000 acres of land, projecting into the Sound be- 
tween Cold Spring* and Huntington Harbor. The soil 
is of an excellent quality, one half of which is appropri- 
ated to cultivation, and the other to the growing of 
timber. It was erected into a manor called Queen's Vil- 
lage in 1685, during the administration of Governor 
Dongan; and an application for a renewal of the like 
privileges was made by the owners to the legislature the 
27th of March, 1790, which was refused. The British 
troops took possession of it during the Revolution, 
erected a fort, the remains of which are still visible, and 
committed depredations to a great extent; having, dur- 
ing the course of the war, cut down and disposed of 
between 50,000 and 100,000 cords of wood. The re- 
production was so rapid, that for the last fifty years 
more than 1,000 cords have been annually sold. Inde- 
pendent of its fine soil and many local advantages, there 
is an inexhaustible mine of fine white clay, suitable 
for pottery, and a bed of yellow ochre, of unknown ex- 
tent, which may be employed as a substitute for paint. 
The purchase of this Neck was made the 20th of Septem- 
ber, 1654, from Ratiocan Sagamore, of Cow Harbor, 1 
by Samuel Mayo, Daniel Whitehead, and Peter Wright, 
three of the first settlers of Oyster Bay, for the price 
of three coats, three shirts, two cuttoes, three hatchets, 
three hoes, two fathom of wampum, six knives, two pair 
of stockings, and two pair of shoes. They sold out to 
Samuel Andrews, on the 6th of May, 1658, for £100, 
and the sale was confirmed by JVyandanch, the Long 
Island sachem, on the 14th of the same month. On the 
death of Andrews, the Neck was conveyed to John Rich- 

1 Now Northport. — Editor. 


bill, the 5th of September, 1660, who obtained a con- 
firmation patent from Governor Nicoll December 18, 
1665. Richbill sold to Nathaniel Sylvester, Thomas 
Hart, and Latimer Sampson October 18, 1666, for £450. 
Sylvester released to his co-tenants October 17, 1668, 
having first procured an additional patent from Governor 
Nicoll November 20, 1667. James Lloyd, of Boston, 
having become entitled to a part of the Neck, in right 
of his wife Grizzle Sylvester (by a devise from said 
Sampson) obtained a patent of confirmation from Gov- 
ernor Andros September 29, 1677, and on the 17th 
October, 1679, he purchased of the executors of Hart 
his part of the Neck for £200, in consequence of which 
he became sole owner. From that time the premises have 
been called Lloyd's Neck. 

Mr. Lloyd died August 16, 1698, aged forty-seven, 
leaving issue Henry, Joseph, and Grizzle. His will is 
dated September 22, 1693, by which the Neck was de- 
vised to his children in equal portions. Henry having 
purchased the interests of his brother and sister, became 
sole proprietor and settled here in 1711.* 

* Henry Lloyd was born November 28, 1685, and died March 10, 1763; 
he married, November 23, 1708, Rebecca, daughter of John Nelson, of 
Boston, one of the council of safety on the seizure and imprisonment of 
Andros in 1689. They had issue Henry, John, Margaret, James, Joseph, 
Rebecca, Elizabeth, William, Nathaniel, and James 2d, all of whom, 
except the two first, were born upon Lloyd's Neck. The first named 
James died in infancy. Margaret married William Henry Smith, of 
St. George's Manor, whose daughter Anna became the wife of the late 
Judge Selah Strong, of Setauket Henry was born August 6, 1709; 
John, February 19, 1711; Joseph, December 19, 1716, and died at Hart- 
ford June 20, 1780; Nathaniel, November 11, 1725, and was drowned in 
Boston Harbor November 16, 1752; William, October 7, 1723, and died 
in the island of Jamaica November 27, 1754; James, March 24, 1728, 
and was for nearly sixty years a distinguished physician of Boston, 
where he died in March, 1810. He was a remarkable man in his man- 
ners and deportment, and was acknowledged as one of the most skilful 
physicians of the age. He left a son James and a daughter Sarah, who 


A difficulty at one time occurred between Mr. Lloyd 
and the town of Huntington, which arose in consequence 
of the Neck being virtually included within the general 
bounds of that town, but on appeal to the court of assize, 
Mr. Lloyd obtained a verdict in his favor, and to pre- 
vent a revival of the claim at a future day, he procured 
from most, if not all the freeholders of the town, a re- 
lease of their interest, whatever it might be, to the whole 
Neck. The division line was afterwards ascertained and 
established by David Jones, Richard Woodhull, and 
William Willis, persons mutually selected by the parties 
in 1734. Joseph Lloyd, brother of said Henry, died in 
London, and his sister Grizzle, who married Johnjiast- 
wicke, resided in the island of Jamaica. Henry Lloyd 
devised the estate of Lloyd's Neck to his surviving sons, 
Henry, John, James, and Joseph; the first of whom, by 
espousing the royal cause in the Revolution, lost his por- 
tion by confiscation, which was purchased from the com- 
missioners of forfeitures, by his nephew John Lloyd. 

This gentleman married Sarah, daughter of the Rev. 
Benjamin Woolsey, by whom he had issue Henry, John, 
Rebecca, Abigail, and Sarah. Of these, Henry died a 
bachelor, January 14, 1825, and his part of the estate 
was afterwards purchased by his nephew, the late John 
N. Lloyd.* 

married Leonard Vassal Borland, now deceased. Rebecca, second daugh- 
ter of Henry Lloyd, was born October 31, 1718, and married Melancthon 
Taylor Woolsey, of Dosoris, one of whose daughters was the wife of 
the Hon. James Hillhouse, a distinguished senator in Congress from 
Connecticut, by whom he had no issue. 

* James Lloyd, son of the above named Dr. Lloyd, was born at Boston 
in 1769 and graduated at Harvard 1787. He was placed with an 
eminent merchant of Boston, and a few years after went to Europe, 
where he acquired a knowledge of trade and commerce, which he after- 
wards turned to good account. At the age of thirty-five he was chosen 


Rebecca Lloyd married John Broome, afterwards 
Lieutenant-Governor of New York. Abigail married Dr. 
James Coggswell, of New York, a man no less distin- 
guished for his professional acquirements than for his 
noble philanthropy and generous public spirit. He had 
sons John and James, and daughters Sarah and Harriet 
Broome. His widow died April 24, 1831, aged eighty- 
two. James died January 15, 1832; John, April 13, 
1 83 1, and Harriet B. who married Robert W. Mott, died 
September 6, 1843, leaving only a daughter. Sarah 
Lloyd died April 24, 1848.* 

The said John Lloyd, born 1745, was about thirty 
years old when the Revolution began, and having, in 

to the legislature of his native state, and passed from the house to the 
senate. In 1808 he succeeded John Quincy Adams in the senate of the 
United States, and remained several years, proving an able defender of 
the honor of the nation, and eminently useful on subjects of commerce, 
navigation, and finance. Few men were his superiors in debate, and 
none possessed a wider and more enduring influence on those around 
him. In his domestic relations, and in the circle of his friends, he was 
fitted to receive and communicate happiness. He married Anna, daughter 
of Samuel Breck of Philadelphia, a lady who united gentleness with 
intelligence, and had a proper appreciation of his worth. He was, in 
short, too wise to be a leveler, too zealous for liberty to be a radical, 
and possessed too much dignity of character to flatter others for the sake 
of popularity. He suffered from ill health for a considerable period, 
and died at New York in April, 1831. He left no child, and his princely 
fortune was given to the children and grandchildren of his sister, Mrs. 
Borland. His widow died at Bristol, Pa., July 24, 1846, aged seventy- 

* The said John Broome was born on Staten Island in 1738. His father 
Samuel came from England in early life and married Miss Lataurette, 
of a Huguenot family, who were among the ancient nobility of their 
native country. Mr. Broome first studied law, but afterwards became a 
merchant in New York. In 1775 he was one of the committee of safety, 
was several years an alderman, and in 1804 was elected lieutenant- 
governor, which office he filled till his death, August 8, 1810, at. the 
age of seventy-two. His wife died in 1800, by whom he had two sons 
and six daughters, of whom Sarah married the late James Boggs; 
Caroline married the late Major Darby Noon; and Julia married Colonel 
John W. Livingston, and died October 7, 1844. 


1780, become entitled to a part of the Neck by devise 
from his uncle Joseph, he suffered much in his property 
by the enemy, who kept possession of the Neck during 
the war. He received an appointment in the commis- 
sariat, the responsible duties of which office he discharged 
with a fidelity which met the approbation of the com- 
mander-in-chief. On his return to his farm in 1783 he 
married Amelia, daughter of the Rev. Ebenezer White, 
Of Danbury, Conn. The office of judge of Queens 
County was tendered to him by Governor Jay, which, 
from his love of retirement, he declined. His death, 
which was sincerely regretted by those who knew him, 
took place at the age of forty-seven, in the year 1792. 
His widow died August 1, 1818, aged fifty-eight. 

His children were John Nelson Lloyd, born December 
30, 1783; Angelina, September 12, 1785; and Mary, 
February 9, 1791. The last named daughter died young 
and unmarried; the elder married George W. Strong, 
Esq., in 1809, and died leaving issue, September 20, 
1 8 14. John N. Lloyd graduated at Yale 1802, and was 
several years engaged in mercantile business. In 18 16 
he removed to Lloyd's Neck, having in 18 15 married 
Phoebe, daughter of the late General Nathaniel Coles. 
She died in 1822. Mr. Lloyd survived till May 31, 1841, 
when he died at the age of fifty-eight. Although he was 
remarkable for his love of retirement, and very domestic 
in his habits, yet he possessed, in an eminent degree, 
those social qualities which made him an interesting, and 
at times a pleasing, companion. His mind was of an 
original cast, and well cultivated, both by reading and 
observation. He devoted himself assiduously to the im- 
provement of his lands, consisting of 1,239 acres, became 
familiar with the best methods of farming, and carried 


out in detail that systematic management upon which 
success so much depends, and which was a particular 
feature of his character. His children are John Nelson, 
Henry, Angelina, and Phoebe. The eldest daughter mar- 
ried Joseph M. Higbie, now deceased, and the youngest 
is the wife of Alexander H. Stephens, M.D., of the city 
of New York. The said Henry Lloyd married Caroline, 
daughter of Jacob Brandegee, May 8, 1848. 

The annual produce of this valuable peninsula con- 
taining 2,849 acres, may be stated in round numbers at 
2,000 bushels of wheat; 4,000 of Indian corn; 4,000 of 
oats; 150 tons of English hay; and 100 of salt grass. 
The stock, 1,500 sheep, yielding annually 3,000 pounds 
of wool; and 100 head of cattle. The growth of wood 
since 1783 is computed at 1,000 cords per annum. 

The remains of the fort, erected upon the western side 
of the Neck near the Sound, are still visible. An attempt 
was made to capture this garrison in July, 178 1, by a 
force under the command of the Baron de Angely, which 
proved unsuccessful, partly from the want of cannon, and 
partly from mistaking the true point of approach to the 
fort. The place was visited during the war by Prince 
William Henry, since William IV. of England. The 
mansion of Mr. Lloyd is on the south of the Neck, a 
beautifully romantic situation, the charms of which are 
portrayed by the late Governor Livingston, in his de- 
lightful poem entitled " Philosophic Solitude." 

" By chapter 667, laws of 1886, passed on June 15, 
1886, and taking effect immediately, Lloyd's Neck be- 
came part of the town of Huntington and county of Suf- 
folk." Editor. 

Dosoris, situated on the Sound, two miles north of 


Glen Cove, has been for about a century the residence of 
the Coles family.* The quantity of land in the original 
tract is nearly 1,000 acres, and was purchased by Robert 
Williams from Agulon, Areming, Gohan, Nothan, Ya- 
malamok, and Ghogloman, chiefs of the Matinecock 
Indians, November 24, 1668, and for it a patent of 
confirmation was issued by Governor Nicoll the same 
year, in which " East Island " is called Matinecock 
Island, the extreme point of which, though improperly, 
is yet sometimes called Matinecock Point. Williams, 
September 24, 1670, sold the premises to Lewis Morris, 
of Barbadoes, brother of Richard Morris, first pro- 
prietor of Morrisania. | 

May 16, 1686, Governor Dongan gave a patent to 
Morris, reserving a quit-rent of one bushel of wheat 
yearly. Morris conveyed the premises, August 10, 1693, 
to Daniel Whitehead for £390, who for the same con- 
sideration conveyed them to his son-in-law, John Taylor. 
Upon his death intestate they descended to his daughter 
Abigail, afterwards the wife of the Rev. Benjamin 
Woolsey. This gentleman resided upon the property 
from 1736 to August 16, 1756, when he died. 

The name of Dosoris is supposed to be an abbrevia- 

* The western mill belonging to John B. Coles was burned January 25, 
1825, with 7.000 bushels of wheat and 300 barrels of flour. 

t Lewis Morris of Barbadoes, and once the owner of Dosoris, a 
brother of Richard Morris, first proprietor of Morrisania, arrived here 
after the death of his brother in 1673. The son of Richard was Lewis, 
afterwards one of the council of New Jersey, chief justice of the same, 
and of New York also. He was governor of New Jersey the last eight 
years of his life. 

He had four sons and eight daughters, one of whom, Lewis, resided at 
Morrisania, and his brother, Robert Hunter Morris, was for more than 
twenty years one of the council and chief justice of New Jersey, and 
was also deputy governor of Pennsylvania two years. The last named 
Lewis Morris had four sons and four daughters, of whom the late 
Gouverneur Morris was one. 


tion of the words dos and uxoris, the property having 
come to him by his wife. By the common forms of lease 
and release, the title was vested in the husband, who de- 
vised three-fifths to his son Melancthon Taylor Woolsey, 
and the remaining two-fifths to his son Benjamin 

In 1760 the executors of the former conveyed his part 
of about 416 acres, together with " East Island," since 
known as Mutelear Island, Presque Isle, and Butler's 
Island, for £4,000, to John Butler. Nathaniel Coles 
(son-in-law of Butler), who came here to reside, after- 
wards purchased of the representatives of Benjamin 
Woolsey his part of the premises, of about 300 acres, 
for £3,600. He also bought " West Island," called 
Cavalier's Island, and other lands adjacent, originally 
included in the purchase made by Robert Williams. The 
West Island, of fifty acres, was purchased some years 
since by the late Hamilton H. Jackson, for $2,500; and 
the East Island, of seventy-five acres, belongs to Henry 
M. Western, Esq., of the city of New York. 

The scenery of this neighborhood is charmingly beau- 
tiful and picturesque, but the prospect from the mansion 
of Oliver Coles, Esq., is the most extensive and varie- 
gated, the position being more elevated, and overlooking 
the surrounding landscape. 

This part of the island was at a remote period thickly 
peopled by Indians, and in all farming operations where 
the soil is required to be moved skeletons and domestic 
utensils are still discovered. The soil is exuberant and 
the air salubrious in a high degree; in short it may be 
considered in all respects one of the most desirable places 
of residence in this part of Long Island. 

In 1763 a society was organized in the colony for the 


advancement of agriculture, composed of some of the 
most distinguished citizens of that time, which proved 
highly useful in promoting the important objects for 
which it was established. At its meeting held December 
21, 1767, the society awarded to Thomas Youngs of this 
town a premium of £10, for a nursery of 27,123 apple 
trees. It was known at the same time that Joshua Clark 
and Francis Furnier of Suffolk County, had, from 1762 
to 1767, set out 4,751 grape vines, which it is probable 
were of the kinds indigenous to the colony. 

Oyster Bay village, fronting its beautiful bay, is a 
highly pleasant and convenient location. Here the first 
emigrants it is supposed fixed their early residence, from 
whence they soon spread over the adjacent territory. 
This settlement including the Cove (so called) contains 
about 60 dwellings and 350 inhabitants. 

On the 4th of November, 1754, some individuals of 
the church of England, obtained from the assembly a law 
authorizing them to raise £500 by lottery, to finish the 
church and to purchase a bell. This building which was 
called " Christ Church" must have been erected more 
than twenty years sooner, as an Episcopal congregation 
existed here long before, and was connected with the 
parish of Hempstead under Mr. Thomas and his suc- 
cessors, and of course is the oldest church in the village. 
It probably occupied a site near the academy, and the 
proprietorship of the soil still belongs to the church. It 
is doubtful if any aid resulted from the application to the 
assembly, as the church fell into disuse and was finally 
taken down and disposed of about forty years after. But 
owing to the exertions of a few individuals, and a dona- 
tion of $600 from the corporation of Trinity, a new 
edifice was erected on the same site in 1844, and conse- 


crated by Bishop Onderdonk the 23d of July in that 
year, in which the Rev. Edwin Harwood from Pennsyl- 
vania officiated for a time. He then removed to the 
church at Eastchester where he was instituted rector Sep- 
tember 21, 1846, and October 6th of the same year mar- 
ried Marion E., daughter of Dr. James E. Dekay. Rev. 
John Stearns, jun., succeeded Mr. Harwood the same 
year. Mr. Stearns preached until 1849. 

" From this date the list of rectors is as follows : 

Rev. Edmund Richards 1849 to 1851 

" Joseph Ransom 1851 to 1861 

" Richard Graham Hutton 1861 to 1874 

" Charles W. Ward 1874101875 

" James Byron Murray, D.D. 1 1875 to 1876 

" George Roe Van De Water 1876 to 1880 

" Wm. Montague Geer 1880 to 1888 

" Henry Homer Washburn 1888 to 1911 

" George E. Talmage 2 1911 to 

The present church building was erected in 1878." — Editor. 

The academy was built in 1800, and taught by the 
Rev. Mr. Earle between thirty and forty years. The 
original Baptist Church was erected in 1724 and is still 
standing, a curious relic of by-gone days. It is about 
twenty feet square, with a quadrangular pointed roof, 
but is no longer used for " lodging folks disposed to 
sleep" having ceased to be used for religious purposes. 

The present large commodious Baptist Church was 
built in 1805, at an expense of $1,800. 

The Friends have also a small house of worship, which 
is more than a century old, but is rarely used; and 
another is standing at Matinecock of a very ancient date. 

1 Temporary supply. 

2 List of rectors since 1849 kindly supplied by Rev. Mr. Talmage. — 


The Rev. William Rhodes, first minister of the Bap- 
tist Church, was a native of Chichester, England, whither 
he was driven by religious persecution, and sought an 
asylum in Rhode Island, from whence he came to this 
place in 1700, and it was by his influence and co- 
operation, that the first church was finished in 1724, the 
very year of his death. 

His successor was Elder Robert Feeks, son of Edward 
Feeks, a Quaker preacher at Flushing, brother of Tobias, 
and son of Robert, an early settler of that town. 

Of Mr. Feeks little is known, but tradition gives him 
the character of a sensible and prudent man, and liberal 
to those who differed from him in opinion. He con- 
tinued to officiate here till his death, February 16, 1740, 
aged eighty-eight. 

Rev. Thomas Davies, from Pennsylvania, for some 
years the colleague of Mr. Feeks, was settled in 1745, 
but in 1748 he returned to his native state, and was suc- 
ceeded the same year by Elder Peter Underbill, son of 
Jacob, and grandson of the celebrated Captain John 
Underhill. He remained but a short time when he re- 
moved to Westchester, where his descendants are still 
found. He died at the age of sixty-eight, after a ministry 
of thirty years. 

Rev. Caleb Wright, a grandson of Mr. Rhodes, 
preached here for some months and finally accepted an 
invitation to settle, but dying suddenly, his funeral took 
place on the very day appointed for his ordination in No- 
vember, 1752. After which event the congregation had 
no settled pastor for more than thirty years, although 
in October, 1759, David Sutton from New Jersey was 
engaged and preached here for a short time, but divisions 
taking place in the church, it remained in confusion till 


1789, when through the influence of the Rev. Benjamin 
Coles, order was again restored. He was the only son 
of Joseph, eldest son of Samuel, who was the eldest son 
of Daniel, brother of Nathaniel and Robert, children of 
Robert Coles, before mentioned, who resided a while at 
Ipswich and afterwards became one of the founders of 
the Baptist Church in Providence. The said Benjamin 
was born on the paternal estate now owned by his grand- 
son, George D. Coles, Esq., a little south of the village 
of Glen Cove, April 6, 1738. After attending the com- 
mon school in his native village, he was sent to Hemp- 
stead, where he studied the languages under the direc- 
tion of the Rev. Samuel Seabury, the rector of the church 
there. He pursued classical studies afterwards at New 
Haven, and finished at Kings College, New York, al- 
though it is believed he did not graduate. 

After being licensed to preach, he spent some time 
among the different churches on Long Island, and was 
first chosen pastor of the Baptist Church in New Haven, 
where he was several years. From thence he removed 
to New Jersey, and settled in the church at Hopewell, 
but the Revolution breaking out, his patriotic feelings 
led him to accept the place of chaplain in the American 
army. At the dawn of peace, he returned to his estate at 
Oyster Bay, and was soon after called to this church, and 
discharged his pastoral duties with fidelity and usefulness 
till within a few years of his death, devoting a portion of 
his time to the business of classical instruction. 

He married Mary, daughter of Derick Albertson, 
September 16, 1760, who was born February 24, 1741, 
and died February 8, 18 12, having survived her husband 
nearly two years, his death occurring August 6, 18 10, at 
the age of seventy-two years. 


His children were Rachel, James, Charity, and Ben- 
jamin, who lived to maturity; the last of whom is also 
a clergyman of the Baptist Church. 

Rev. Marmaduke Earle was associated with Mr. 
Coles as his assistant in 1810. He was born in 1768 and 
graduated at Columbia College in 1790. In 1792 he 
married Mary, daughter of Isaac and Mary Ferris of 
Stamford, Conn., by whom he had eleven children, all 
but two yet living. He lost his wife June 25, 1832, in 
her sixty-third year. 

Since the decease of Mr. Coles, he has continued sole 
pastor of the church here, and devoted more than forty 
years to the business of instruction, which, although far 
advanced in life, he still pursues. 

11 Mr. Earle died on July 13, 1856, and was succeeded 
by Rev. Aaron Jackson, who preached but did not accept 
the pastorate. On April 26, 1863, Rev. Arthur Day was 
called, but remained only one year. He was followed 
by Rev. Joseph Babbage, Rev. William A. Doolittle, and 
Rev. Eleazer Savage, each of whom remained for a 
short time only. On November 23, 1868, Rev. Charles 
S. Wightman was ordained and has ministered to his flock 
during an unbroken period of forty-eight years. In 1873 
he published an interesting History of The Baptist 
Church of Oyster Bay, and has kindly presented a copy 
to the editor from which these notes from 1856 have been 
taken." Editor. 

The first Presbyterian Church in the town was com- 
pleted and dedicated March 2, 1845, an d is chiefly in- 
debted for its existence to the exertions of the Rev. 
Sylvester Woodbridge, of Hempstead. It is also hand- 
somely located in the village, and the first minister em- 


ployed was the Rev. Hugh Smith Carpenter, son of Dr. 
John Carpenter of New Utrecht, L. I. His wife 
Louisa whom he married June 25, 1845, was the daugh- 
ter of John H. Broadhead. The Rev. H. S. Carpenter 
left in October of that year, being called to, ordained, 
and installed in the Presbyterian Church, Canal Street, 
N. Y., October 23, 1845. ^ e was succeeded by the Rev. 
Winthrop Bailey of Berlin, Mass., in 1847. Mr. Bailey 
married Catherine Letitia, daughter of N. O. Voorhees 
of Rocky Hill, N. Y., April 5, 1848. 

" He left in 1850, and has been succeeded by the fol- 
lowing pastors : 

Church closed 1850 to 1855 

Rev. Andrew B. Morse supplied the pulpit for 

about six months in 1855 

Horace E. Hinsdale, pastor from 1855101858 

Edward A. Hamilton 1858 to 1861 

William Irvin supplied for about six 

months 1861 to 1862 

Eben S. Fairchild 1862 to 1865 

T. De Witt Talmage supplied the pulpit for 

some time in 1865 

Benjamin L. Swan 1866 to 1876 

Alexander G. Russell 1876101911 

Harry S. Dunning 1 191 1 to " 

— Editor. 

Centre Island, formerly called Hog Island, containing 
about 600 acres of the best land, is delightfully situated 
in the bay and adjoining the Sound, and is connected with 
Matinecock by Oak Neck, a low sandy isthmus of com- 
paratively recent formation, which accounts for the 
peninsula being called an island. 

The position of the island, with Lloyd's Neck on the 

1 List of pastors from 1850 was kindly furnished by Rev. Mr. Dunning. 
— Editor. 


east and other lands upon the west, completely protects 
the bay from storms, and makes it a perfectly safe har- 
bor for vessels in all states of the weather. The com- 
merce of this village and harbor was, at a period long 
past, very considerable, and continued so up to the time 
of the Revolution, and probably a greater amount of 
business in ship building and navigation was carried on 
here, than at most other places in the state. The per- 
son principally engaged in this, and who may be said to 
have done the most of it, was Samuel Townsend, as- 
sisted by members of his own family. 

This establishment, consisting of several vessels, with 
the business incident thereto, furnished a ready and 
valuable market to the surrounding country for horses, 
cattle, pork, and breadstuffs, which were exchanged in 
the West Indies for cargoes that could be disposed of in 
New York. The site of the principal ship-yard is still 
called Ship Point. But little or nothing has been done in 
building or equipping vessels for foreign ports since 


On the west side of the village, being a part of the 
ancient domain of the Townsends, is the country seat 
of the Hon. William T. McCoun, vice chancellor of 
the first judicial circuit, to which he was appointed in 
1 83 1 — a gentleman of acknowledged abilities and of high 
juridical acquirements. 

This gentleman is the son of William McCoun of 
this town, whose wife was Sarah, daughter of Joseph 
Townsend. He was the youngest of seven sons of 
Thomas McCoun, whose wife was Abigail Bailey. The 
said Thomas was son of William, who, with his brother 
Samuel, came from Westerly, in Narragansett, to this 
town about the year 1695. They were probably both 


born at Westerly, to which place their father, John 
McCoun, had emigrated from Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, 
prior to 1661. 

Samuel, the eldest of the two brothers, married 
Martha Coles, by whom he had several children, and 
William married Mary, daughter of John Townsend, 
and was great-grandmother of the vice chancellor. 

Mr. McCoun was born October, 1786, and received 
his academic education at the Oyster Bay Academy. He 
studied law with the late Cornelius I. Bogert of Jamaica, 
and married Emma, daughter of Gilbert Jackson, by 
whom he had several children. She died March 24, 
I ^45, aged fifty-four. The surviving sons are William 
Sidney and Joseph. His daughter married Francis F. 
Marbury. His son Gilbert died March 19, 1847, aged 
thirty- two. 

In front of his mansion is the ancient cemetery of the 
Townsends, where are deposited the remains of many of 
the first settlers of the town, and where is a large granite 
rock, upon which, in 1672, stood George Fox, the apostle 
and founder of Quakerism, while addressing, with im- 
passioned and persuasive eloquence, the assembled multi- 
tude which filled the spacious amphitheatre below.* 

* In the Port Folio for 1810 is a communication from the late Dr. 
Samuel L. Mitchell, in which the learned writer observes as follows: 
" Queens county (says he) contains the memorials of Fox and his son. 
Two white oak trees yet live in Flushing, which shaded him, while he 
delivered his testimony to the people in the highway; and the massy 
rock is still to be seen at the village of Oyster Bay, which supported him 
when he uttered the words of persuasion to an audience in the woods. 
I have brought away part of the memorable rock on which the ex- 
positor stood. It is granite, composed of felspar, quartz, and mica, in 
which the former material predominates. In the progress of improve- 
ment, the upper part has been split to pieces by gunpowder, but the basis 
remains solid and unbroken. The spot was then forest, though it is now 
cleared. The mind that delights in similitudes, may find pleasing com- 
parisons between Fox and the rock." 


On the high ground south of the village are the re- 
mains of a fort erected in 1778, by a battalion of Ameri- 
can royalists, called the Queen's Rangers, stationed here 
to protect the harbor and village from privateers, and the 
untiring vigilance of the whale-boat men from the oppo- 
site shores. This corps, consisting of 320 officers and 
men, was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John 
Graves Simcoe who, in 1791, was made governor of one 
of the Canadian provinces, where a beautiful lake still 
bears his name. This well disciplined force finally sur- 
rendered at Yorktown, Va., October 19, 178 1, with 
the army under Lord Cornwallis. Lieutenant Colonel 
Simcoe was the eldest son of Captain John Simcoe, com- 
mander of the " Pembroke," man-of-war, and died in the 
expedition against Quebec in 1759. He married a 
Miss Guillim, and was in 1796 made governor of St. 
Domingo. In 1798 he was promoted to the station of 
Lieutenant Colonel in the British army, and subsequently 
to other stations. He died at Torbay in 1806. The 
private journal which he published in 1787 of his pro- 
ceedings in America and which was reprinted at New 
York in 1843, shows that he was much better qualified for 
a soldier than an author. He was the personal friend of 
Major Andre, and after his arrest expressed his desire to 
Sir Henry Clinton, with his men to attempt his rescue, 
" not doubting to succeed," he says, " in whatever a simi- 
lar force could effect." As a military man he seems to 
have had much professional knowledge, and was a perfect 
gentleman in his manners. It is said that he was about 
to succeed Lord Lake as commander-in-chief of the 
British forces in India, when he was taken away by death 
at the age of fifty-four. Colonel Simcoe was the founder 
of Little York (now Toronto), Upper Canada, in 1794, 


which was burnt by the Americans in 18 13. It has 
been rebuilt and is now one of the handsomest and most 
flourishing towns in the colony. It is the seat of the 
superior judicial courts, and the place in which the par- 
liament of Upper Canada * assembles. 

At the Cove, east of the village, in a romantic spot 
called the Locusts, partially shaded with trees of various 
kinds, and having a beautiful prospect of the surround- 
ing scenery of land and water, is the residence of Dr. 
James E. Dekay, one of the geological commissioners 
of the state, to whom was assigned the zoological depart- 
ment, the duties of which he has ably performed. He is 
equally distinguished for private worth, literary acquire- 
ments, and proficiency in science.* His Sketches of 
Turkey places him far above the majority of travellers, 
and to it the reading world is indebted for a more faith- 
ful delineation of Turkish character and manners, than 
was ever before given. 

Between this place and Cold Spring Harbor, is Cove 
Neck, the northern termination of which is called 
Cooper's Bluff; it contains some hundreds of acres, and 
several fine farms which are well cultivated. The vil- 
lage of Cold Spring is situated near the head and upon 
both sides of the harbor, consequently is partly in this 
town and partly in the town of Huntington. The 
original Indian settlement on the west side, was denomi- 
nated by them Wawepex, and that on the east, as well as 
the creek, Nachaquatuck, and is so called in the Hunting- 
ton patent of 1666. The village collectively contains 
about seventy dwellings, and 500 inhabitants, including 
those employed in the different factories. 

1 Now Ontario. — Editor. 

* The little brown harmless snake so common on Long Island has been 
named from Dr. Dekay, and is known as Dekay's snake. 


Among the other establishments is a flourishing mill 
built in 1792, at an expense of $12,500, and is capable 
of manufacturing into flour more than one thousand 
bushels of grain a week. There are likewise two exten- 
sive woollen factories. The one built in 18 16, by William 
M. Hewlett and John H. Jones, cost $10,000; and the 
one built in 1820, by William H. Jones, John H. Jones, 
and Walter R. Jones, cost $12,500. Both of these are 
now owned by the last named gentlemen, and in them are 
manufactured daily, into flannels and broadcloths, more 
than 120 pounds of wool. This place has likewise on the 
east side, three stores, a lumber-yard, two wharves, four- 
teen coasting sloops, and two schooners; besides several 
ships, of about 350 tons each, belonging to the Cold 
Spring Whaling Company (incorporated in 1836), which 
have thus far been successful. 

St. John's Church, a handsome and well proportioned 
edifice, was erected here in 1836. Its site is remarkably 
well chosen, and from it the spectator may enjoy a wide, 
variegated, and pleasant prospect of the surrounding 

The corporation of Trinity Church, in New York, 
contributed $500 toward its completion; and a bell, to- 
gether with the pulpit ornaments, was furnished by the 
ladies of the congregation. 

Rev. Isaac Sherwood has ministered to this church 
ever since it was erected. He is a native of the city 
of New York, and is indebted solely to his own exertions 
for the promotion he has obtained. He settled as a 
painter at Flushing in 1822, and was employed also as 
organist to the church there. By his industry and appli- 
cation to books, he qualified himself for a teacher, and 
was employed in that capacity; but, turning his attention 


to theology, and under the direction of the Rev. Dr. 
Muhlenberg, he was admitted deacon of the Episcopal 
Church in 1834, and was engaged in the church at 
Huntington, from the 6th of August of that year, till 
April 29, 1835, when he was admitted to the priesthood. 
On the same day also the corner stone of St. John's 
Church was laid by the bishop of the diocese, the church 
being completed and consecrated April 5, 1837. The 
spire was added in 1845. 

Glen Cove, formerly Musketo Cove, is eligibly as 
well as pleasantly situated upon the east side of Hemp- 
stead Harbor, and upon the north side of a stream which 
discharges into the harbor, a mile or more above its con- 
fluence with the Sound. 

The inhabitants have displayed a good deal of energy, 
and business and population have much increased within 
a few years. Its position is favorable to industry, being 
in the centre of a rich agricultural district, which fur- 
nishes many solid advantages toward its prosperity. 

The soil" of this part of the town was purchased from 
the natives by Joseph Carpenter, May 24, 1668, and 
confirmed by patent from Governor Andros, September 
27, 1677, t0 Daniel Coles, Robert Coles, Nathaniel 
Coles, Joseph Carpenter, and Nicholas Simpkins. 

The name by which the settlement had been so long 
distinguished, seemed to the inhabitants so disagreeable 
that on the 4th of February, 1834, it was changed to the 
more inviting and romantic designation which it now 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was erected in the same 
year, of which the Rev. James P. F. Clarke was first 
rector. The Rev. William Alfred Jenks accepted a call 
in August, 1846. It is not only a pretty building, but its 


location is elevated and commands an extensive land- 
scape. There is likewise a respectable academy here, 
besides an excellent and recently established boarding 
school for young ladies. Indeed, few places afford a 
more pleasant retreat for the careworn citizen, or one 
where he may enjoy all the luxuries of rural life in 
greater perfection. The situation far surpasses in beauty 
and loveliness scores of places to which thousands annu- 
ally resort for health and recreation. The following 
production of a native bard is so descriptive of the beau- 
ties of this place, that we cannot omit the insertion of it: 


" There's beauty in the spangled sky, 
When scattered orbs are twinkling there: 
When the pale moon shines pensively, 
And all above is calm and fair; 
When the night wind is sighing through 
The silvery foliage of the trees, 
When insects also, win and woo 
Each other, with their midnight glees; 
And in thy brook which glides along, 
Through blithesome green, and balmy grove, 
Where feathered warblers tune their song, 
To notes of passion and of love. 
Then on thy name, I'd linger yet, 
Though doomed to leave thy joys forever; 
And all my life, ting'd with regret, 
Can I forget Glen Cove, no, never." 

The Glen Cove Mutual Insurance Company located 
here, was incorporated March 27, 1837, and has thus 
far been entirely successful. 

Wolver Hollow, now Brookville, is the name of a set- 
tlement on the eastern border of the town in a central 
part of the island, commenced by several Dutch families 
who removed to it from the western part of the island 
toward the latter end of the seventeenth century. A 


Dutch Reformed Church was soon after constituted, but 
their house of worship was not completed till the spring 
of 1733 and, like other churches of that denomination, it 
was of an octagonal shape and pyramidal roof. It was 
used till 1832, a period of 100 years, when it was taken 
down. The present church was raised September 5, 
1832, and dedicated January 20, 1833, and enlarged in 
1849. It was one of the collegiate churches of the 
county and was connected with the church at Manhasset 
till 1835 when the connection was dissolved. The Rev. 
Robert A. Quin, a native of the city of New York, was 
installed pastor in October of that year, but left in Oc- 
tober, 1 841 and removed to Pennsylvania. In April, 
1842, the Rev. Thomas Gregory, an Englishman, was 
installed and remained till April, 1844, when he was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Peter D. Oakey, who was installed 
in September following. He was born at New Brunswick, 
N. J., and graduated at the college there in 1841. He 
removed in March, 1847, t0 Brooklyn, and was succeeded 
by the Rev. Nicholas E. Smith, who was installed June 
: 3> I ^47- Mr. Smith was the son of Noah Smith, and 
was born at Jamaica, L. I., in 1820, graduated at Rutgers 
College, 1841, and labored at Shrewsbury, N. J., from 
July, 1845, to June, 1847. 

Jericho, the Indian name of which place is Liisum, is 
a pleasant village near the centre of the town upon the 
Jericho turnpike road, twenty-seven miles from the city 
of New York. The soil on which the village is erected 
was a part of the purchase made by Robert Williams in 
1653, and was early settled by a number of substantial 
Quaker families, whose posterity still remain here. 

The dwellings number about forty, and the inhabitants 
250, who are supplied with abundance of the purest 


water from never failing springs, issuing from the base 
of an eminence near the village. An institution called 
the Athenaeum has been established here a few years, and 
has already a library of several hundred volumes. The 
Friends' meeting-house was built in 1689, and rebuilt 
in 1780 by the celebrated Elias Hicks, in which he occa- 
sionally officiated for many years. 

This distinguished individual, the son of John * and 
Phebe Hicks, was born at Rockaway, the 19th of March, 
1748. His education was only ordinary, and at the age 
of seventeen he was apprenticed to a carpenter, which 
trade he pursued for several years, being laborious and 
industrious in a high degree. January 2, 1771, he mar- 
ried Jemima, daughter of Jonathan Seaman of Jericho, 
who was born September 21, 1750, and went to reside 
in the house of his father-in-law, where he spent the 
remainder of his life. They had four sons and six 
daughters, but only five of the latter survived their par- 
ents; of whom Martha married Royal Aldrich; Abigail 
married Valentine Hicks; Phebe married Joshua Willets 
and Sarah married Robert Seaman. Elias Hicks's con- 
nection with the Friends led him, at an early period, to 
embrace sentiments which he advocated and enforced with 
zeal and ability ever after. He began his public labors in 
1790, and travelled over a great portion of the United 
States, from Maine to Ohio, and in the province of Can- 
ada. In 179 1 he visited every town upon Long Island, and 
held one or more meetings in each. In 1793 he went as 
far as Portland, Me.; being absent five months, and pass- 
ing over a distance of 2,000 miles. In 1798 he traversed 

*John Hicks died about 1780, and had, besides Elias, sons John, 
Samuel, Joseph, and Jacob, of whom John was many years a member 
of Assembly from Kings County and father of George, of Brooklyn. 


New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Vir- 
ginia, a distance of 1,600 miles, and held 143 meetings. 
In 1803 he entered the province of Upper Canada, and 
returned through western New York to Saratoga, a dis- 
tance of more than 1,500 miles. In 1806 he again ex- 
plored New England, travelling more than 1,000 miles, 
and held sixty meetings. In 18 10 he went to Ohio, and 
returned through Pennsylvania and New York; perform- 
ing a journey of 2,000 miles. These are only a part of 
the labors of this indefatigable man; and it is reasonable 
to believe that, during his public ministry, he must have 
travelled, at different times, more than 10,000 miles, and 
that he pronounced on these occasions at least 1,000 pub- 
lic discourses. 

He found time to write and publish much upon reli- 
gious subjects, upon war, and the practice of negro 
slavery. He was the friend of civil and religious liberty; 
and through a long life acted up to the sentiment which 
he publicly proclaimed. His wife died March 17, 1829, 
and he February 27, 1830, aged eighty-one. Of his char- 
acter and qualifications as a teacher, as well as the utility 
of his preaching, different opinions have been and will 
probably continue to be entertained. 

He has been charged with being the occasion of the 
controversies and dissensions which have of late so un- 
happily distracted the Society of Friends; while it is 
denied by others, who disclaim altogether the name of 
Hicksite by which their party is designated. No one has 
ever pretended to impugn his moral character, or incul- 
pate the sincerity of his conduct. If he was wrong in 
his opinions, we are compelled to admit the honesty of 
his motives; and if a deluded man, none who knew him 
can believe he was either an imposter or hypocrite. 


Whatever may be thought of his religious creed, it must 
be owned that through a long, laborious, and active life, 
few men bore a more conspicuous part, or wielded a more 
powerful and enduring influence among those accustomed 
to attend upon his public discourses. He was a person 
of rough exterior, but of vigorous intellect; and, making 
no pretensions to elegance of style, he reasoned with 
much force, and addressed himself to the everyday com- 
mon sense, rather than the imagination of his auditors. 

Woodbury, four miles east of Jericho, upon the turn- 
pike road, is only a small hamlet, although its settlement 
was commenced at a pretty remote period in the history 
of the town. It is altogether a good farming district, 
and was anciently called by its present name, but for 
many years past has been better known as East Woods, 1 
an appellation common to this part of the country. 

St. Peter's Episcopal Church was erected here in 1787, 
but was destroyed by fire two years after, and its site 
is now occupied by the hotel of John V. Hewlett. 

Norwich, 2 midway between the villages of Oyster Bay 
and Jericho, is pleasantly situated, and contains a pretty 
collection of houses, the largest of which is occupied as 
an hotel and stage house. Its location is upon the turn- 
pike from Cold Spring leading through Flushing to 
New York. The dwellings are about thirty and the 
inhabitants 200. The place is much indebted for its 
growth and prosperity to the spirit and enterprise of the 
late Andrew C. Hegeman. The Methodist Church at this 
place was erected in 1835. 

Hicksville, two miles south of Jericho, owes its exist- 

1 The settlement has reverted to its original name of Woodbury. — 

2 Now East Norwich. — Editor. 


ence to the contemplated construction of the Long Island 
Railroad, which was opened to this place March I, 1837. 
It was for a considerable time a principal depot of the 
company, where they had a spacious car house, work- 
shops, and other erections, all of which, with one or 
more valuable cars were consumed by fire, as some other 
buildings were soon after, none of them being rebuilt. 
A large hotel and a few scattered dwellings are all that 
now remain of what this part of the town once could 

Bethpage, about seven miles south-east of Hicksville, 
and near the eastern line of the town, was settled at an 
early period, and there the first meeting-house was 
erected by the Friends in or about the year 1770. The 
inhabitants being mostly agriculturalists possess a soil 
of considerable fertility, and the advantages of a ready 

Farmingdale, in the same vicinity, once called Hard- 
scrabble, is now a village of several houses, stores, and 
mechanic shops, originating with the completion of the 
railroad, and is one of the depots of the company. It is 
about thirty-two miles from Brooklyn, surrounded by a 
thriving population of farmers, and destined to be a 
somewhat important place. A Methodist church was 
erected here in 1843. 

The following is the original Indian conveyance for 
the lands in this neighborhood : 

11 To all christian people to whome this p r sent writing 
shall come, or in any wise concerne. Bee itt knowne that 
we, Mawmee, alias Serewanos, William Chepy, with y e 
rest of y e Indian proprietors whose names are hereunto 
subscribed, Indian proprietors of Massapege, upon Long 
Island, for and in consideration of £140, in hand paid, 


and by us y e s d Indians received, in full payment and sat- 
isfaction, have granted, sold, &c, unto Thomas Powell, 
sen'r, a certaine percell or tract of land, beginning att 
y e west corner, att a dirty hole upon y e Brushy plaines, 
near Mannatto Hill, from thence up a Hollow on y e 
south side of Mannatto Hill, and out of that Hollow a 
Cross y e hills, eastward pretty near Huntington, south 
line, to y e Brushy plaine on y e east side y e hills, and so 
along y e east side of y e vallee that goes to y e east branch 
of Massapege Swamp, the head of y e swamp being the 
S. E. corner, and from thence to rang along William 
ffrost line until wee come to west neck, north-east 
bounder, belonging to Oyster Bay, and from y e said N. E. 
bounder of y e west neck, and soe to Run on the west side 
of y e Hollow that comes from y e west branch of Masse- 
pege Swamp, so far as there is any trees, and from thense 
to y e s d Hole of dirt and water near Mannatto Hill, called 
by the Indians Messtoppass, part of above bounded lands 
having been in y e possession of y e s d Thomas Powell above 
seven years before the signing and dellevry hereof. And 
y e aforesamentioned Indians have put y e s d Thomas 
Powell in lawfull and peaceable possession by y e dillevery 
of Turf and Twigg: Only the s d Indians doe reserve y e 
liberty of hunting and gathering hucklebberrys upon y e s d 
land, as they shall see cause. In witness whereof, we, y e 
above named Indians, have set our hands and seals, this 
1 8th day of y e 8th month, 1695. 

" In presence of 
Benjamin Seaman and 
Solomon Townsend. 

" Sassonemen, C his mark, [l. s.] 

Ruumpass, O his mark, [l. s.] 

Serewanos, X his mark, [l. s.] 

William Chepy, X his mark, [l. s.] 
Seurushrung, X his mark, [l. s.] 
Wamussum, X his mark, [l. s.]" 


This Thomas Powell died December 28, 172 1, aged 
eighty. Thomas Whitson the elder died August 20, 
1742, aged eighty-nine. Thomas Powell 2nd died Sep- 
tember 17, 1 73 1, and Thomas Powell 3rd died March 
11, 1757. The original deed on parchment was in pos- 
session of one Merrit at about 1840. It is recorded on 
June 2, 1698, in the Book of Entries for Queens County, 
Vol. I, pp. 112-114 by A. Gibb, clerk. 

On the south side of the town, in the vicinity of the 
bay, is the place where the Massapeage Indians resided; 
the western part of it was called by the English Fort 
Neck, by reason of the existence of two old Indian forts 
upon it, the remains of which, or at least one of them, 
are still visible, being upon the most southerly point of 
land adjoining the salt meadow, nearly of a quad- 
rangular form, and about thirty yards in extent on each 

The breastwork, or parapet, is of earth, and there is 
a ditch or moat on the outside, which appears to have 
been about six feet wide. The other fort was on the 
southernmost point of the salt meadow adjoining the 
bay, and consisted of palisadoes set in the meadow. The 
tide has worn away the meadow where it stood, and the 
place is now part of the bay, covered by water. Between 
the meadow and beach are the two " Squaw Islands" 
and the Indian tradition is, that their ancestors, a long 
while ago, erected the forts for defence against enemies, 
and when they approached, the squaws and papooses 
were sent to these islands, which occasioned the name. 

" This general locality was formerly known as Oyster 
Bay South, but is now known as Massapequa ; named 
after the tribe of Indians inhabiting this part of the 
country." Editor. 


One of the first and most substantial dwellings erected 
here by the white people, was the well known " brick 
house " built by Major Thomas Jones in 1696. It was 
doubtless a more than ordinary fine specimen of archi- 
tecture in that day, and finished in a somewhat superior 

Many improbable traditions have been preserved in 
regard to the owner of this mansion, and some strange, 
not to say marvellous, legends have been cherished and 
circulated in relation to the mansion itself, which credu- 
lity and superstition have not failed to magnify suffi- 
ciently, to fill the mind of the benighted traveller with fear 
and anxiety. A correspondent of the New York Mirror, 
a few years since (now known to be the late ingenious 
William P. Hawes, Esq.), speaking of the brick house, 
says: "This venerable edifice is still standing, though 
much dilapidated, and is an object of awe to all the peo- 
ple in the neighborhood. The traveller cannot fail to be 
struck with its reverend and crumbling ruins as his eye 
first falls upon it from the turnpike; and if he has heard 
the story, he will experience a chilly sensation, and draw 
a hard breath while he looks at the circular sashless win- 
dow in the gable end. That window has been left open 
ever since the old man's death. His sons and grandsons 
used to try all manner of means in their power to close 
it up. They put in sashes, and they boarded it up, and 
they bricked it up, but all would not do ; so soon as night 
came their work would be destroyed, and strange sights 
would be seen and awful voices heard." This curious 
and venerable relic of bygone ages, which stood for a 
period of more than 140 years, unscathed, except by the 
hand of time, was removed in 1837 to make way for the 
extensive improvements of David S. Jones, Esq., near 


which he caused to be erected an expensive and magnifi- 
cent private residence. 

The spacious and substantial dwelling of Thomas F. 
Jones, Esq., was planned and executed by the Hon. 
Thomas Jones, a little previous to the Revolutionary 
War, but his subsequent attainder and banishment from 
the state did not allow him to enjoy it for any great 
length of time. 

The population of this town in the year 1722 was 
1,249, besides 116 slaves; it is now increased to more 
than 6,000. 

The town has been the recipient of a legacy of £300, 
given in 1775 by the Hon. David Jones, the interest 
of which was by him directed to be appropriated to the 
education of poor children, and has ever since been ap- 
plied for that purpose. A more considerable bequest 
was made by the late Samuel Jones, in his will of Feb- 
ruary 2, 1836, amounting to $30,000, to be called the 
" Jones Fund," the interest of which was directed to be 
annually appropriated to the support of the poor of the 
towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead; which will, 
it is presumed, exempt the inhabitants in future from all 
taxes and assessments for that purpose. 

These towns have united in the purchase of a farm, 
and the erection of the necessary buildings, in which the 
poor and unfortunate will hereafter be provided for, in 
a manner which justice and humanity approve. In addi- 
tion to the more important localities before described, 
may be mentioned Lattingtown, Matinecock, Buckram, 1 
Wheatley, and Cedar Swamp, 2 all of which are farming 

1 Now included in the locality known as Locust Valley. — Editor. 

2 This settlement was located a couple of miles east of the modern 
village of Glen Head and north of the settlement of Greenvale. — Editor. 


districts, having a highly respectable population, but 
generally too much dispersed to be considered as com- 
pact villages. 

We cannot in this place omit to record the name and 
qualifications of Mrs. Frances P. Lupton, who died at 
the home of one of her relations in Cedar Swamp in 
1832. She was the daughter of Dr. Piatt Townsend, 
formerly of Cedar Swamp, L. L, and was married 
early to Lancaster Lupton, Esq., a lawyer of re- 
spectable attainments, who died a few years after his 
marriage, leaving to his widow the care of an infant 
daughter, who likewise died ere she completed her 
fifteenth year. Her name was Elizabeth. 

On the decease of her husband, Mrs. Lupton devoted 
herself to the acquisition of knowledge, both as a source 
of rational delight, and for the improvement of her child. 
And having tasted the pleasures of science, she continued 
the pursuit after the object which first urged her forward 
had been taken away by death. 

She acquired a general knowledge of natural history, 
particularly of botany, of which she was very fond 
and in which she made great proficiency. She spoke 
French with facility, and was also well versed in the 
literature of that people. She read Spanish and Italian 
with ease, and had so far mastered Hebrew as to have 
perused the Old Testament in that language. She was 
moreover learned in the polite literature of her own 
country; and her knowledge of ancient history was 
distinguished for its accuracy and extent. Her taste and 
skill in the fine arts excited universal approbation. 

She was an honorary member of the National Academy 
of Design, and executed, during her leisure, many pieces 
in painting and sculpture, which elicited high commenda- 


tion from the most competent judges. Among all her 
various pursuits she neither overlooked or despised the 
ordinary avocations of her sex. 

Her productions in embroidery, needle-work, dress, 
and fancy articles, would of themselves, on account of 
their execution, have justly entitled her to the praise of 
uncommon industry. In short, she attempted nothing in 
which she did not excel, and in an industrious and well 
spent life, there were but few things which she did not 
attempt. She however spent much time in society, and 
mingled in its enjoyments with alacrity and pleasure. In 
a word, she was one of those rare and highly gifted 
females whose endowments are not only an ornament to 
their sex, but to human nature. In all the relations of 
wife, mother, relative, and friend, she was all that duty 
required, or that affection could desire. 

A paper published at Montreal in 1832 contains the 
following obituary notices, which we consider of sufficient 
interest to warrant their insertion here : 

" Died at Clarenceville, Noyan, Lower Canada, April 
23, 1832, aged 5 years, Frances Lupton, only daughter 
of the Rev. Micajah Townsend, Rector of the Parish of 
St. George: 

" So fades the lovely blooming flower 
Frail, smiling solace of an hour! " 

" Also at the same place and on the same day, Micah 
Townsend, Esq., father of the Rev. Micajah Townsend, 
aged eighty-two years, eleven months, and ten days. 

11 Seldom does it fall to our lot to record the death of 
an individual more tenderly beloved by a numerous 


family or more generally respected by a large circle of 
friends. The subject of this notice was born at Oyster 
Bay, L. I., May 13, 1749, O. S. He commenced his 
collegiate studies at Nassau Hall, Princeton, N. J., at the 
age of thirteen and graduated in 1766, and in 1769 re- 
ceived the degree of A.M. Choosing the profession of 
the law, he prosecuted his studies with an eminent bar- 
rister in the city of New York, and in 1770 was ap- 
pointed an attorney by the Hon. Cadwallader Colden, 
Lieutenant Governor of the province. 

" On the approach of the Revolution, which separated 
the American colonies from the parent kingdom, he 
retired from the scene of contest and settled in Brattle- 
borough, Vt, in the practice of his profession. Here his 
talents and legal acquirements were soon put into exten- 
sive requisition in assisting to frame the constitution and 
laws of that infant state, where his character and exer- 
tions at that interesting period of its history are still 
venerated. He was appointed Secretary of State and 
keeper of the state records under the administration of 
Thomas Chittenden, first governor, and at various times 
filled other important and responsible offices. 

" The report of the first Council of Censors, of which 
he was secretary, is still preserved in a recent publication 
of " State Papers," and is valued as one of the most able 
and interesting documents connected with the early his- 
tory of jurisprudence of Vermont. Having been always 
partial to the British Government and institutions, he 
removed in 1802 to this province and retired from all 
public business to the bosom of his family. He how- 
ever subsequently consented to act under his Majesty's 
commissioners as justice of the peace and commissioner 
for small causes, both of which from increasing infirmi- 


ties he resigned. His unbending integrity insured the 
respect, and his amiability the love, of all who knew him. 

" With a mind enriched with various knowledge, a 
heart deeply imbued with pious principles, and a life of 
exemplary virtue, he was eminently a sage — a philosopher 
and a consistent Christian; rich in years, in knowledge, 
and in rational piety, his life was useful to his country 
— his death peaceful and happy, and his memory will 
long be cherished and blessed." 

A fourth Episcopal Church was erected in the town 
at Fort Neck, 1845, an d though of moderate size is a 
neat and convenient building. It was consecrated April 
x 3> I ^47, by Bishop De Lancey, and the first minister was 
the Rev. William Augustus Curtis, former rector of St. 
Luke's Church, Mechanicsville, Saratoga County. He 
married Susan R., daughter of Robert S. Bartow. 

A short distance west of the church and upon a part 
of the same neck is the Massapequa House, a hotel and 
boarding house, erected in 1837 by David S. Jones, Esq., 
for a residence. It was built at great expense and has 
connected with it an extensive pond of fifty acres or more, 
well stocked with trout. 


Is bounded north by North Hempstead, east by Oyster 
Bay, south by the Atlantic Ocean, and west by Jamaica; 
area about ioo square miles, or 64,000 acres, and cen- 
trally distant from the city of New York 23 miles. The 
town originally extended northward to the Sound, but 
the town of North Hempstead was set off from it in 
1784, the dividing line being nearly through the centre 
of the Great Plains. 

The first effectual settlement in the county was made 
in this town in 1644 by emigrants from New England, 
the most of whom had resided a while at Wethersfield 
and Stamford in the jurisdiction of New Haven. A good 
part of the first settlers, it is believed, came originally 
from a place in England called H emel-H.empstead y dis- 
tant about twenty-two miles north-west of London and 
incorporated by Henry VIII. , from which place this 
town received its name (or as O'Callaghan says, Vol. I, 
page 317, it was so named by the Dutch from Heemstede, 
a town in Holland). 

The colony of New Haven in 1640 purchased Rip- 
powams of the Indians and called it Stamford; and the 
church at Wethersfield being unhappily divided, the 
minority concluded to remove to Stamford, and agreed 
to settle twenty families there by the last of November, 
1 64 1. Accordingly from thirty to forty families located 
there during the year, among whom were those of the 
Rev. Richard Denton, Captain John Underhill, Andrew 
Ward, Jonas Wood, Thurston Raynor, William Raynor, 




I— 1 








j— i 
























Edward Raynor, Matthew Mitchill, Robert Coe,. Richard 
Gildersleeve, Robert Fordham, John Ogden, Robert 
Jackson, John Carman, besides others whose names, 
from the imperfect state of the Stamford records, can- 
not be ascertained. 

What urged the removal of these individuals to Long 
Island is not known with certainty, but the year preced- 
ing a committee was sent over who obtained a conveyance 
for about two-thirds of the territory which now consti- 
tutes the town of Hempstead. All the evidence we have 
of the purchase is the following document found upon 
the colonial records at Albany : 

"Dec. 13, 1643. — Be it known unto all men by these 
presents that we the Indyans of Marsapeague, Meri- 
cock, and Rockoway, whose names are here under- 
written, have put over, bargained and sold unto Robert 
ffordham and John Carman of Long-Island, English- 
men, all that half-part or moiety of the Great Plains, 
lying toward the south side of Long Island, to be divided 
or measured by a direct or straight line from our pres- 
ent town plott, northward, and from the North End of 
the line, to run with a right line East and West, to the 
uttermost limits of itt, and from both ends to run down 
with a straight line to the South Sea ; with all the wood- 
lands, meadows, marshes, pastures and appurtenances 
thereunto belonging, contained within that compass of 
the said lynes. To have and to hold to them and their 
heirs and assigns for ever. In witness whereof wee 
have hereunto sett our hands the day and yeare first 
above written." 

To the above are affixed the marks (or signatures) 
of Tackapausha, sachem of Marsapeag, and other In- 
dians, namely: Jorrane, Pamaman, Remos, Wamis, 
Whanege, and Gerasco. It would seem from this ancient 


instrument that a previous purchase had been made for 
the other part of the town, and that the town plot men- 
tioned had already been fixed upon by the purchasers for 
their contemplated settlement. 

In the following year, 1644, the company crossed the 
Sound and began to erect dwellings upon or near the site 
of the present village of Hempstead, but with the excep- 
tion of timber the materials for building were almost 
entirely wanting, and their first habitations were, there- 
fore, of the rudest construction, as was the case of all 
new settlements at that early period. 

The lands thus purchased of the natives being within 
the acknowledged limits of the Dutch Government, the 
settlers took early measures to obtain the sanction of the 
councils of New Netherland. The design was approved, 
and a patent or ground-brief was issued bearing date 
November 16, 1644, of which the following is an 

" Know all men whom these presents in any wise 
concern, that I, William Kieft, Esq., Governor of the 
province called New Netherlands, with the council of 
state there established, by virtue of a commission under 
the hand and seal of the high and mighty lords, the States- 
General of the United Belgick Provinces, and from his 
Highness, Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Orange, and 
the right honorable the Lords Bewint Hibbers of the 
West India Company, have given and granted, and by 
virtue of these we do give and grant, unto Robert Ford- 
ham, John Sticklan, John Ogden, John Karman, John 
Lawrence, and Jonas Wood, with their heirs, executors, 
administrators, successors or associates, or any they shall 
join in association with them, a certain quantity of land, 
with all the havens, harbors, rivers, creeks, woodland, 
marshes, and all other appurtenances thereunto belong- 


ing, lying and being upon and about a certain place called 
the Great Plains, on Long Island, from the East River 
to the South Sea, and from a certain harbor now com- 
monly called and known by the name of Hempstead Bay, 
and westward as far as Matthew Garritson's Bay to be- 
gin at the head of the said two bays, and for lands, with 
the council of state there established, by virtue of a com- 
mission under the hand and seal of the high and mighty 
lords, the States-General of the United Belgick Prov- 
inces, and from his Highness, Frederick Hendrick, 
Prince of Orange, and the right honorable the Lords 
Bewint Hibbers of the West India Company, have given 
and granted, and by virtue of these we do give and 
grant, unto Robert Fordham, John Sticklan, John Ogden, 
John Karman,* John Lawrence, and Jonas Wood, with 
their heirs, executors, administrators, successors or asso- 
ciates, or any they shall join in association with them, 
a certain quantity of land, with all the havens, harbors, 
rivers, creeks, woodland, marshes, and all other appur- 
tenances thereunto belonging, lying and being upon and 
about a certain place called the Great Plains, on Long 
Island, from the East River to the South Sea, and from 
a certain harbor now commonly called and known by the 
name of Hempstead Bay, and westward as far as Mat- 
thew Garritson's Bay, to begin at the head of the said two 
bays, and for to run in direct lines that they may be 
the same latitude in breadth on the south side as on the' 
north, for them, the said patentees, actually, really, and 

*John Carman (or Karman) was among the first settlers of Sand- 
wich, Mass., 1637, having gone there from Lynn, the year before; and 
it is probable that many of those who accompanied him there in 1644, 
had come from thence. He had been a ship-master, and it is supposed 
followed that business a while in this province. His sons were Ben- 
jamin, John and Caleb; the last was the first white child born in this 
town and, though blind from his birth, he became an intelligent and 
useful man. The will of Benjamin bears date January 15, 1694, in 
which he mentions his children, Benjamin, John, Sarah, Mary, and 


perpetually to enjoy in as large and ample manner as 
their own free land of inheritance, and as far eastward, 
in case the said patentees and their associates shall pro- 
cure one hundred families to settle down within the said 
limit of five years after the date hereof: giving and 
granting, and by virtue of these presents we do give and 
grant unto the said patentees and their associates, with 
their heirs and successors, full power and authority upon 
the said land, to build a town or towns, with such forti- 
fications as to them shall seem expedient, with a temple 
or temples to use and exercise the reformed religion, 
which they profess, with the ecclesiastical discipline 
thereunto belonging; likewise giving and granting, and 
by virtue of these presents we do give and grant to the 
patentees, their associates, heirs, and successors, full 
power and authority to erect a body politic or civil com- 
bination among themselves, and to nominate certain mag- 
istrates, one or more under the number of eight, of the 
ablest, discreetest, approved honest men, and him or them 
annually to present to the Governor of this Province, for 
the time being, for the said Governor-general for the 
time being, to elect and establish them for the execution 
of government among them, as well civil as judicial; with 
full power to said magistrates to call a court or courts 
as often as they shall see expedient, and to hold pleas in 
all cases civil and criminal, make an officer to keep their 
records of their proceedings, with power for said mag- 
istrates and the free inhabitants to make civil ordinances 
among themselves, also to make an officer to execute war- 
rants, process of injunction, and likewise to take testi- 
mony of matters pending before them, and give the first 
sentence for the deprivation of life, limb, stigmatizing, 
or burn-marking any malefactor, if they in their con- 
science shall adjudge them worthy; and to cause the exe- 
cution of said sentence, if the party so condemned maketh 
not their appeal to the chiefe court, holden weekly in the 



fort Amsterdam, in which case he shall be conveyed 
thither by order of the magistrates of the town of 
Hempstead, who shall have power to sit in our said court, 
and vote in such causes. And if the said patentees can- 
not within five years, procure 100 families to settle on 
said lands, that they shall enjoy "ratum pro rata," land 
according to the number they shall procure; reserving 
from the expiration of ten years — to begin from the 
day the first general peace with the Indians shall be con- 
cluded — the tenth part of all the revenue that shall arise 
from the ground manured with the plow and hoe, in 
case it be demanded before it be housed (gardens and 
orchards, not exceeding one Holland acre, excepted.) 
Given under my hand and seal of this province, this 16th 
day of Nov., 1644, stilo novo." 

"William Kieft " (l. s.) 
The first division of land among the settlers took 
place in 1647, which shows the following named persons 
to have been freeholders of the town : 

Richard Denton 
Robert Ashman 
Robert Coe 
s John Carman 
Jeremy Wood 
Richard Gildersleevc 
William Raynor 
Benjamin Coe 
John Ogden 
Samuel Strickland 
John Toppin 
Jonas Wood 
John Fordham 
William Lawrence 
Henry Hudson 
Thomas Ireland 
Richard Valentine 
William Thickstone 
Nicholas Tanner 
William Smith 
Edmond Wood 
John Smith, Jr. 

Richard Denton, Jr. 
John Hicks 
Samuel Denton 
Thomas Armitage 
Simon Searing 
Terry Wood 
Thomas Wilson 
Henry Pierson 
Joseph Scott 
Henry Whitson 
Richard Lewis 
Thomas Stephenson 
John Coe 
William Scott 
John Storge 
William Williams 
James Smith 
William Rogers 
Richard Ogden 
Robert Jackson 
John Foucks 
John Lawrence 

Daniel Denton 
William Washburne 
Nathaniel Denton 
Thomas Sherman 
Francis Yates 
John Ellison 
Abraham Smith 
William Shadding 
Thomas ffbster 
Roger Lines 
John Lewis 
Christopher ffoster 
Samuel Clark 
John Hudd 
Thomas Pope 
Daniel Whitehead 
Robert Williams 
Edward Raynor 
John Sewell 
John Smith, Sr. 
Samuel Baccus 
John Strickland 


Several of the first settlers here were persons of con- 
siderable distinction in New England. Thurston Raynor 
had been a delegate from Wethersfield to the first gen- 
eral assembly under Governor Haynes, and was, as well 
as Mr. Gildersleeve, a magistrate for Stamford. Under- 
bill had been greatly distinguished in the military affairs 
of New England; Ward, Coe, and Mitchill were also 
commissioners for Stamford; the former a judge of the 
first court held in New Haven in 1636, and the last 
called, in the history of that period, a " capital man" 
These were among the most influential men; and the his- 
torian of Connecticut, after mentioning Raynor, Mitchill, 
Ward, and others, says: "They were the civil and re- 
ligious fathers of the colony, who assisted in forming its 
free and happy constitution; were among its legislators, 
and some of the chief pillars of the church and common- 
wealth, who, with many others of the same excellent 
character, employed their abilities and their estates for 
the prosperity of the colony." "They were (says the 
Rev. Mr. Alvord) among the earliest inhabitants of New 
England, coming, as we have seen, through Wethersfield 
from Watertown, in Massachusetts, and from that noted 
company who arrived with John Winthrop and Sir 
Richard Saltonstall." 

A religious establishment was a matter that early en- 
grossed the minds of the settlers, and the founding of a 
church, as well as directing attention to the observance 
of the public worship on Sunday and other days, were 
considered of primary importance as the following from 
the town records shows : 

" These Ordres made At A Generall court Held att 
Hemsteede September y e 16. 1650 And consented unto 
by a full Town meeting held October y e 18. 1650. 


" Forasmuch As the Contempt of Gods Word And Sab- 
baths is y e desolating Sinn of Civill States and Planta- 
tions, And that the Publick preaching of the Word by 
those that are Called there unto is the Chiefe and or- 
dinarie meanes ordayned of God, for the Converting 
Edifying and saveing of y e Soules of y e Ellect, through 
the presence and Power of the Holy Ghost thereunto 
promised; It is therefore ordered and Decreede by y e 
Authority of this generall Court; That All persons In- 
habiting in this Towne or y e Limitts thereoff, shall duly 
Resort and repaire to the publique meetings and Assem- 
blies one the Lords dayes And on Publique days of fast- 
ings and thanksgivings appointed by Publique Authority 
bothe on the forenoones And Afternoones; And who 
have Already and shall with out Just and necessary cause 
Approved by the particular court soe offende, hee or they 
shall forfeit for the first offence five Guilders, for y e Sec- 
ond Offence ten Guilders, and for the third offence twenty 
Guilders, And for After time; yf any manner of person 
or persons shall remaine refractorie pervers and obstinate 
hee shall be Lyable to the further Censure of the Court, 
Eyther for the aggravation of the fine or for Corporall 
punishment or Bannishment And for the due Execution of 
y e Aforesaid Orders It is Agreed and Concluded that yf 
any person shall informe the magistrates or the particular 
Court concerning the neglect and contempt of the Afore- 
said Ordre by any person or persons soever informing 
shall have one halfe of the fine Allowed unto him, And the 
other halfe shall be converted to Public Use. 

" By Ordre from the Magistrates 
was Subscribed by mee Daniel Dentonius 

" Clericus." 

This strictly puritanical proceeding, bearing so close an 
analogy to the order adopted at Hartford a few months 
before, leaves little doubt that the one was made a pre- 


cedent for the other; the apparent severity of which is, 
however, somewhat excused, when we consider that it was 
the result of a popular vote, and no objection being 
entered upon the record, it is reasonable to suppose that 
it was unanimous. The opinions and prejudices of the 
people were more favorable to the policy of Connecticut 
than that of New Haven colony; and it is probable that 
the rule which had been adopted in the latter, allowing 
none but free burgesses (or church members) to vote 
in town meetings, occasioned dissatisfaction at Stamford 
and induced the planters to remove to this place, where 
it was considered not only the right, but the duty of every 
man to exercise his electorial privilege on all public 

It may seem strange, if not inconsistent with the strict 
principles and religious discipline of those staid Puritans, 
that it should have been thought necessary or even ex- 
pedient to tolerate the sale of intoxicating liquors by 
issuing licences for the purpose, — yet such was the fact, 
and a penalty was attached for selling otherwise, namely: 
that one-half of the money received on the sale of beer, 
wine, or strong liquors without such authority, should 
go toward defraying the public expenses, and the other 
half for the education of the poor. 

The people were in a few years dissatisfied with their 
subjection to the government of New Netherland, and 
were anxious to obtain the countenance and support of 
their brethren of New England, as the plantations on the 
eastern part of the island had done. And accordingly in 
.1653 the inhabitants of the town addressed the follow- 
ing propositions to the commissioners of the united 
colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
New Haven: 


" 1. Whether by Commission from England, subjec- 
tion be demanded, wee can acte any longer by the Duch 
Lawes, without blame, yea or nay? 

" 2. If we cannot, what then wee must doe, till another 
government bee settled? 

" 3. If there bee noe agreement betweene Duch and 
English, how shall wee doe, for safety, having soe many 
enemies round about us? 

" 4. If wee must now fall off from the Duch, wee de- 
sire protection from New England, under the parliament 
upon reasonable termes upon both sides. 

" 5. This to your considerations, whether free pardon 
may not be obtained of former offences (murther ex- 
cepted) to keep us on one side if Mr. Dier gett a partie; 
and that will be dangerous for us on one side, some will 
think to bee freed, and wee feare doe much hurt. 

" 6. Whether wee might obtaine the favor of twenty 
or ten men with a commander to assist us; if noe men, 
yett a commander to trayne the people and goe out with 
them if need be, and bear sway in towne affairs, to pre- 
vent division and indeed confusion? 

" 7. Whether if Mr. Dier require assistance, wee may 
deny him, for wee feare hee will plunder, having resolute 
fellowes with him, and fall on the Duch farmers? 

" 8. Whether you can afford us powder and shott att 

" 9. Wee being willing to cleave to New England they 
having commission thence, whether you can give power 
to some amongst ourselves to beare rule till further 
order bee taken; if you cannot, then to tender our con- 
dition, to afford us the benefit of your power, and that 
by Post, our lives and estates lye att stake, if the Lord 
by some meanes, help us not. 

" 10. That we might have cover and victailes from the 
Maine, giving securitie that itt shall bee for the Eng- 
lish only. 


" These are the desires of the Messengers of Hemp- 
stead. Middleborough desires the same. 

" Robert Coe. Richard Gildersleeve. 

Edward Jessop. Alexander Knowles." 

These propositions were probably declined as nothing 
more is heard of the matter. 

On the 4th of July, 1647, the following was agreed to 
and signed by the Indians at Hempstead: 

" Know all men by these presents, that we the Indians 
of Massapege, Merioke, and Rockaway, whose names 
be hereunder written, for ourselves and all y e rest of y e 
Indians that claime any righte or interest in the purchase 
y* Hempsteede bought in y e yeare 1643, an d w th in the 
bounds and limmits of y e whole tracht of land concluded 
upon w th y e Governor of Manhattans, as it is in this 
paper specified, doe by these presents, ratify and confirme 
to them and thiere heires and successors forever, to 
enjoy w th out any molestation or trouble from us, or any 
that shall pretend any claime or tytle unto itt, the Men- 
toake sachem, being present att the confirmation. In wit- 
nesse whereof wee whose names bee here underwritten 
have hereunto subscribed." 

" The mark (<vrr) of Takapasha, the Sachem of Messapeage. 

The mark (Ceu) of Wantagh, the Mantaoke Sachem. 

The mark (D) of Chegonoe. 

The mark (Crr) of Romege. 

The mark (Ew' c ) of Mangwanh. 

The mark (Q) of Waakeatis. 

The mark (N e ) of Rumasuekaman. 

The mark (4) of Ocraking. 

The mark (M) of Worotum. 
" In the presence of Richard Gil- ") 
dersleeve, John Seaman, John > Scripsit per me, 

Hicks. ) John James, Clerk." 

Although in general the most pacific relations prevailed 
between the planters and their Indian neighbors, yet it 


was not always so for collisions would sometimes happen, 
and it was considered necessary to concert measures for 
preventing their recurrence, as they seemed only to exas- 
perate both parties and lead to serious consequences. 
For this purpose the governor convened some of the 
sachems and head men of several tribes at Hempstead on 
the 1 2th of March, 1656, when the following articles 
were propounded and ratified: 

11 Articles of agreement, Betwixt y e Governor of y e 
New Netherlands and Tackpausha, March y e 12 th , 1656, 
as followeth: 

" I. That all injuries formerly passed in the time of 
the Governor's predecessors, shall bee forgiven and for- 
gotten, since y e yeare '45, and never to be remembered. 

11 II. That Tackpausha being chosen y e chiefe sachem 
by all the Indian sachems from Massapege, Maskahoung, 
Secatoug, Meracock, Rockaway and Canarisie, w th y e 
names of y e rest, both Sachems and natives, doth take 
y e Governor of y e New Netherlands, to his and his peo- 
ple's protection, and in consideration of that, to put 
under y e s d protection, all thiere lands and territoryes 
upon Long Island, soe far as y e Dutch line doth runn, ac- 
cording to y e agreement made att Hartforde. 

11 III. The governor of New Netherlands doth prom- 
ise to make noe peace with the Indians that did the spoile 
at y e Manhattans the 15 th of September last, but like- 
wise to include the sachem in it. 

" IV. That Tackpausha shall make noe peace w th y e 
Indians, w th out y e consent and knowledge of the gov- 

" V. The sachem doth provide for himselfe and his 
people to give noe dwelling place, entertainment or lodg- 
ing to any of y e Governor's or thiere owne enemyes. 

" VI. The Governor doth provide betwixt this date 
and six months to build a house or a forte upon such place 


as they shall show upon y e north side, and the forte or 
house shall be furnished with Indian trade or commodi- 
tyes. And the sachem doth promise that all such people 
as shall live thereon, placed by the Governor, shall live 
in safety from him or any of his Indians. 

" VII. That the inhabitants of Hemsteede according 
to the lines expressed in the patent, and what they have 
purchased, shall enjoy it without molestations from y e 
sachem or his people, either of person or estate. 

" VIII. That the sachem shall live in peace with all y e 
English and Dutch within this jurisdiction of y e New 

" IX. The Governor doth promise for himselfe and all 
his people within the jurisdiction to live in peace with y e 
s d Sachem and all his people; and the s d Sachem and all 
his people shall keep peace according to the aforesaid ar- 
ticles with the Governor and his people. 

" X. That in case an Indian doe wrong to a christian 
in person or estate and if complaint be made to the 
Sachem, hee shall make full sattisf action; likewise yt a 
Dutchman or an Englishman shall wrong an Indian, upon 
complaint made to the Governor, the wrongdoer shall 
make sattisfaction according to equity." 

To the above are affixed the marks of Waghtummoore, 
Vugquatis, Cuppahanuum, Tackapausha, Aadam, and 
Rumege, Indians; — John Stickelan, John Hicks, George 
Woolsey, and Robert Jackson, Englishmen; and Cornelis 
Van Houten, Govert Lockermans, and Gilbert Van 
Dicke, Dutchmen. 

On receiving satisfaction for the lands formerly pur- 
chased from the Indians, which was made payable by in- 
stalments, the following release and confirmation of pur- 
chase was executed by the sachems, and sanctioned by the 
Grand Sachem of Long Island. 


11 We, the Indians under written, do hereby acknowl- 
edge to have received of the magistrates and inhabitants 
of Hemsteede, our pay in full satisfaction, for the tract 
of land sould unto them, according to agreement, and ac- 
cording to patent and purchase. The general boundes is 
as followeth : — beginning at a place called Mattagarretfs 
Bay, and soe running upon a direct line north and south, 
from sea to sea; the boundes running from Hemsteede 
Harbour, due east, to a pointe of treese, adjoining to the 
lande of Robert Williams, where wee left markt treese, 
the same line running from sea to sea; the other line 
beginning at a markt tree standing at the east end of 
the greate plaine, and running a due south line, at the 
south sea, by a markt tree, in a neck called Maskachoung. 
And wee doe, further engage ourselves to uphold this 
our present act, and all our former agreements, to bee 
just and lawful. And wee doe binde ourselves to save 
and defend them harmlesse from any manner of claime 
or pretence, that shall bee made to disturb thiere right. 
Whereunto we have subscribed, this eleventh day of May, 
Anno 1658, stilo novo. 

11 Waantanch, Tackapausha, 
Cheknow, Martom, 

Sayasstock, Pees-Roma." 

" Subscribed by Wacombound, Montauk Sachem, after 
the death of his father, this 14th of Feb. 1660, being a 
general town meeting at Hemsteed. 

" John James, Clark" 

From the terms of this instrument it is probable that 
the original contract and purchase in 1643 contained the 
same general boundaries as are set forth in the patent of 
Governor Kieft. 

On the records of the town is a copy of a letter, which 
for its loyal tone is quite remarkable. It is as follows : 


" Hemsteede, ffeb. 27, 1658. 
11 To the Right Hon 1 . Peter Stuyvesant, Governor, &c. 

"After the remembrance of our submissive and hum- 
ble respects, it hath pleased God, after a sickly and sad 
Sommer, to give us a seasonable and comfortable au- 
tumne, wherewith wee have beene (throw mercy) re- 
freshed ourselves and have gained strength of God, soe 
that wee necessarily have been employed in getting 
winter foode for our cattell, and thereby have something 
prolonged our wonted tyme of chosing magestrates, for 
y e w ch wee hope yo r honour will hold us excused: and 
vow according to our accustomed manner, wee have 
voted and put upon denomination our former magestrate 
Mr. Gildersleeve, and with him William Shadden, Rob- 
ert Forman and Henry Persall — all of them knowing 
men, of honest life, and good integrity; therefore wee 
desire yo r honour too appoynt twoe of them, and always 
according to our duty, shall pray the most highe God to 
bless and preserve yo r honour, w th much health and pros- 
perity, in all yo r noble designe — wee humbly take or 

" Ever honoured s r , your Loyall, true and obedient 
servants, the Inhabitants of Hemsteede. 

" John Jeames, Clk." 

The following extracts from the records of proceed- 
ings of the town meetings or general court are well 
worthy of being preserved: 

March 28, 1658, stilo novo. — " This day ordered that 
Mr. Gildersleeve, John Hicks, John Seaman, Robert 
Jackson, and William Foster, are to go w th Cheknow, 
sent and authorized by y e Montake Sachem, to marck 
and lay out y e generall bounds of y e lands, belonging to 
y e towne of Hemsteede, according to y e extent of y e 
limits and jurisdiction of y e s d towne, to be known by her 


markt trees and other places of note, to continue for ever. 
And in case Tackapausha, Sagamore of Marsapeague, 
w th his Indians, doth come according to their agreement, 
then to lay out the said bounds." 

April 12, 1658. — " Ordered by the townsmen of 
Hemsteede, that all y e fences of y e frontiere lotts that 
shall runn into y e field, shall be substantially made by y e 
25th of this monthe of Aprill, and any person found 
negligent, shall forfeit 5 shillings to the towne. And 
whoever shall open the towne gates, and neglect to shut 
them, or to put up the barrs, shall pay the like sum, one 
half to the towne, and the other half to the informer." — 
"Also, William Jacoks and Edward Raynor to be cow- 
keeps for the year; the people to be ready, at the sound- 
ing of the horn, to send out their cows, and the keeper 
to be ready to take charge of them sun half an hour 
high; and to bring them home half an hour before sun- 
set, to water them at reasonable hours, and to be driven 
beyond East Meadows, to prevent damage in the corn- 
fields. To be allowed 12 shillings sterling a w r eek, from 
nth of May to 10th of Aug., and then 15 shillings a 
week till the 23d of Oct. The first payment to be made 
in butter, that is, for each cow one pound of butter, at 
6d a pound, and the remainder in wampum." 

"At A Court Holden at Hemsteede y e 13th of April 
1658 Present 

" Mr. Richard Gildersleeve Magistrate, Mr. John 
Hicks, Robert Forman, Richard Willets, Assistants. 

" Whereas we judge by wofull Experience that of Late 
there is A Sect that hath Taken such ill effect Amongst 
us to y e Seducing of certaine of y e Inhabitants, Whoe by 
giving heede to Seducing Spirits under the notion of 
being Inspired bye y e Holy Spirit of God, have drawne 
Away w th their Eror and Misguided lighte those w ch to- 
gether w th us did worship God in Spiritt and in truth, And 
now unto our griefe doe separate from us, And unto the 


great dishonner of God and y e violacion of y e Lawes 
Established and the christian ordre, w th love peace & con- 
cord that ought to be observed, have broke the Sabbath, 
And neglected to Joine w th us in the true worship and 
Service of God as fformerly they have doun; Bee itt 
therefor ordered that noe manner of person of persons 
whatsoever shall henseforthe give any Entertaynment or 
have Any Convers w th those people whoe are called by 
us quakers, or shall lodge them in theire houses, (except 
they are permittede for one nights lodgeing in the parish, 
and soe to depart quietly w th out dispute or debate the 
next morning, and this is to bee observed in this town, 
and to the Uttermoste boundes thereof." 

" Teste, John James, Clerk." 

" Hemsteede y e 18 of April A 1658. 

"At A court Holden this presente day, stilo novo; 
Present Mr Richard Gildersleeve magistrate, Mr John 
Hicks, Mr Robert Forman, Mr Richard Willets. Foras- 
much as Mary Scott the wife of Joseph Scott, together 
with the wife of Francis Weeks, have contrary to the 
law of God and the Lawes Established in this place not 
onely absentede themselves from the publick worship of 
God, But have prophaned the Lords day by goeing to 
a conventicle or meeting in the woods where there were 
2 Quakers; the one of them as namely the wife of 
Francis Weeks being there, And the other being met w th 
all near the place, whoe upon Examination have Justi- 
fyed they Act, saying they did know no transgression they 
had doun For they wente to meete the people of God; 
bee it therefor ordered that each party shall paye for 
this offence twenty Guilders and All cost and charges that 
shall Arise herefrom. 

" Teste, John James." 

July 10, 1658, — " The town deputed Mr. Richard Gil- 


dersleeve to go down to the Manhattans to agree with 
the governor concerning the tythes, which are not to ex- 
ceed 100 sheeples of wheat, and to be delivered, if re- 
quired, at the town harbor; and the charge of his journey 
to be defrayed by the town. Town agreed to pay the 
herdsman that attended their cattle, 12 shillings sterling 
a week in butter, corn and oats, at fixed prices. Six 
bushels of corn allowed by the town for killing a wolf; 
the price of corn 2s. 6d. a bushel, wheat 4.S., pork ^d. a 
pound, butter 6d. a pound, lodging 2d. a night, beer id. 
a mug, board 55. a week, victuals 6d. a meal, and labor 
2s. 6d. a day." 

Nov, 27, 1658. — " John James is chosen upon this day 
town clerke for y e ensuing yeare, being his second yeare 
of service, by the permission of God Almighty." 

Jan. 14, i6$g. — " Whereas there hath formerly an 
ordre been made ag st the Sinn of drunkennesse, and that 
wee finde by daylie Experience, that itt is practised in 
this place to y e dishonor of God, and therefor wee doe 
Againe reniue y e same, and doe ordre that Any that have 
formerly or shall hereafter transgress shall pay for y e first 
fault 10 guilders, for the second 20 guilders and for the 
third to stand to the determinacion of y e court according 
to y e first ordre." " Test. John James." 

11 At a town meeting, March 14, 1659, there was 
granted unto John Roads of Rusdorp, one great hollow, 
containing about two acres, the which he is to secure in 
a sufficient fence, and possess it for seven years, paying 
yearly eighteen pence the acre, with the tythe, the which 
he is to pay at Hempsteed." 

" At the aforesaid town meeting it was granted unto 
Thomas Jacobs, one hollow, containing one and a half 
acre lying by the Island of Trees. And there is granted 
unto Robert Williams, by general vote of town meeting, 
six acres of meadow land, formerly in possession of 


Roger Lines, that, paying all rates and duties belonging 
thereunto, he shall enjoy the said meadow for him, his 
heirs and assigns for ever. Also, the same day was let 
to Robert Williams the town barn for this ensuing year, 
for the sum of fifty-three shillings, to be paid in corn at 
the usual prices, and the yard is to be common both to 
the house and barn." In 1659 the town licensed John 
Smith to keep an ordinary, and to sell therein meat and 
drink, and to lodge strangers in such a manner as not to 
be offensive to the laws of God or man. " It was voted 
and agreed at the same town meeting, that any person 
absenting himself or herself from public worship on the 
Lord's day, or other public days, should, for the first 
offence pay five shillings, for the second ten, for the third 
twenty, and after that be subjected to corporal punish- 
ment, or banishment. }> " At a town meeting, held No- 
vember 26, 1684, it was concluded by a major vote, that 
Left. John Jackson, Justice Searing and Jonathan Smith, 
sen., should go to New York to meet the Indians, and 
there to agitate concerning their lands, and also to en- 
deavor at the purchasing of a patent for the town; and 
also the ending the difference concerning the bounds be- 
tween our neighboring town, Jamaica, and us, with full 
power to make a final end. There is also granted unto 
Robert Williams three acres of the town land, lying in 
the bevil, for the sum of three pounds, to be paid in such 
corn, as, by the blessing of God, the land shall produce." 

The town records contain the following curious paper, 
bearing date May 26, 1659, signed by Thomas Armitage, 
who was of Lynn in 1635, from whence he went to 
Sandwich, and thence he came to Long Island in 1647 
and was one of the first settlers in Oyster Bay. In the 
document referred to, he states that his son Manassah, 
then a student at Cambridge, had fraudulently obtained 
his deeds and other valuable writings and that he had 


forged a deed of gift of his lands; he therefore desires 
that the facts should be made known and recorded in all 
the New England colonies in order to guard the public 
against the impositions of his son. Several affidavits on 
the contrary are recorded, showing that the father had 
been heard to say that having married a young wife, and 
intending to deprive her of his estate, he had conveyed 
all his lands to his son Manassah. The son graduated 
at Harvard in 1660, and Farmers' Register states that 
he died before 1698. 

"March 6, 165Q. — Ordered and agreed by the towns- 
men, that if either of them shall be absent, having had 
due notice to meete, the party or parties absenting them- 
selves w th out a lawful cause allowed off by those pres- 
ent, shall forfeit for such offence one pinte of liquors, to 
be paid, y e first that is to be gotten here at Hempsteede." 

Town meeting June 3, 165Q. — " Upon supplication of 
Henry Lenington, it was this day granted that all for- 
mer proceedings ag st him, concerning his banishment, 
should be remitted, and he was then received again, upon 
promise of reformacon, unto the libertyes of an in- 

November 18, 1659, it was resolved by the town that 
if any one should suffer by the Indians, and the sachem 
did not cause satisfaction to be made according to the 
agreement of 1656, the town should prosecute them, until 
compensation be made, first acquainting the governor with 
their grievance. The town at the same time agreed to 
pay Thomas Langdon six bushels of corn, for killing ten 
wolves, and ordered that no reward should be paid for 
any number less than ten. 

Feb. 25, 1661. — " It is ordered thatt noe person ore 


persones, shall give ore selle, ore lend of any kinde of 
dooges to the Indians, upon the forfiture of fifty guilders 
naither Beeches, nore Whellpes, after the datte above 

July 4, 1661. — " Town agreed to allow Thomas Terry 
and Samuel Deering to settle upon the east side of Hemp- 
sted Harbour, provided they nor any of them shall 
not bring with them any to trespass on the town lands; 
bring in no quakers or any such like opinionists, to be 
inhabitants among them; and all who settle under them 
are to have letters of commendation and approba- 
tion from the magistrates, elders, or selected townsmen 
of the place whence they come, that they are, have been, 
and are likely to be good members." 

About this time Cow Neck * was required to be en- 
closed by a post and rail fence, extending across the head 
of it, and those who assisted therein were by an order of 
the town entitled to pasture a number of cattle propor- 
tioned to the panels of fence, or standing gates (as they 
were called) made by the respective individuals; and 
afterwards in the division of the land upon the Neck, the 
same rule of apportionment was observed. The lands at 
Rockaway were also enclosed by a fence extending from 
Near Rockaway 2 landing to the borders of Jamaica Bay, 
and used for pasturing of horses, cattle, and sheep by 
those who aided therein. 

Feb. 15, 1664. — " Town voted that Capt. John Scott 
should be agent or attorney to state and plead their case 
or cases about their bounds. And March 23, 1664, 
11 the said John Scott in consideration of £12 a year, lets 
his messuage in the possession of Hope Wasburn (called 
the Manor of Hope) at Herricks, to William Cramer 

1 Now Manhasset Neck. — Editor. 

2 Now East Rockaway. — Editor. 


of Setauket, till March 25, 1669, to be paid in grain or 
cattle alive, or beef or pork at merchants' prices in the 
town of Hempstead." "June 6, 1665, Jonah Fordham 
sells to said Scott 100 acres at Madnan's Neck; also 
226 acres at Matinecock, which Scott assigns the same 
day to Richard Moore, Surgeon." 

Copy of a letter from the town of Hempstead to that 
of Jamaica: 

" May 1, 1665. 
" Loving ffriends. 

" The inhabitants of Jamaica — We kindly salute you — 
" Whereas there was a request made by your represen- 
tatives, Mr. Coe and Samuel Smith, of the Little Plains 
and so down to the Swamp that goes into the great bay — 
that is to say, — all the meadow that lyes on the west 
side of the great swamp, which you have formerly pos- 
sessed. We, the inhabitants of Hempstead, do con- 
descend that you shall have all the Little Plains, which 
our line doth comprehend, and all the meadow that lyes 
below the Little Plains ; that is to say, the meadow which 
lyes on the west side of the great river, which comes out 
of the great swamp. 

" By order of the constable and overseers. 

" Thomas Hicks, Clk." 

Feb. 6, i66g. — " Ordered by the constable and over- 
seers that every inhabitant shall have a sufficient ladder 
to stand by his chimney, upon the penalty of five shillings, 
for every one that hath not a sufficient ladder within 
three weeks." 

Dec. 6, 1682. — " The constable and overseers agreed 
with Richard Gildersleeve Sen r . to beat the drum for the 
town for all occasions, except trainings, and is to have 
20 shillings for the yeare." 

The expense of obtaining patents was no inconsider- 
able grievance to the people, but as the fees due thereon 


were claimed as a perquisite of the Executive, Governor 
Dongan in 1683 required the town to take out a new 
patent, and thereupon the following proceedings took 
place : 

Town meeting, fleb. 16, 1683. — " Mr. Seaman, Mr. 
Jackson, and Mr. Tredwell are chosen by the major vote 
of the towne, to go downe to Yorke, in order to y e get- 
ting a pattain for y e whole bounds of y e towne, and ac- 
cording to y e first purchase and y e draaft drawne." The 
object not being effected, it was voted March 31, 1684, 
11 that those who go down to Yorke in respect of getting 
a pattent, that they get it as reasonable as they can, for 
the good of themselves and the rest of the inhabitants, 
and also upon as good terms." Again, "April 4, 1684, 
Mr. John Jackson, Mr. Symon Searing, and Mr. John 
Tredwell, are chosen to goe downe to Yorke by y e Gov- 
ernor's order, and to see to y e getting of a pattaine for 
the towne, giving these our deputies full power to acht 
for us and in our behalfes as fully and amply as if we 
were personally present, provided that our lands shall 
be assured to uss, our heyres and successors for ever, to 
be our free land of inheritance, we rendering and pay- 
ing such acknowledgement as shall be agreed unto be- 
tween the Governor and our deputyes." Again, Dec. 12, 
1684, " Justice Searing and Nathaniel Percall to goe and 
to request y e Governor ffor a pattent for the towne, and 
to gitt it on as reasonable termes as they can, and what 
these oure deputyes do, shall be as authentick as if wee 
was personally preasent ourselves." 

Being still unsuccessful in agreeing upon the terms of 
the patent, it was again voted, April 3, 1685, that John 
Jackson, John Tredwell, and Jonathan Smith go to York 
for the procuring of a patent, in which they attained the 
object of so much anxiety. 


Of this patent we subjoin a copy as a sample of many 
others issued by the same governor, who was at the time 
a freeholder in the town, as was also John Spragg, his 
secretary : 

11 Thomas Dongan, lieutenant-governor and vice-ad- 
miral under his Royal Highness, James, Duke of 
York, of New York and its dependencies in Amer- 
ica, to all whom these presents shall come, sendeth 
greeting: whereas there is a certain town in Queens 
county, called and known by the name of Hempstead, 
upon Long Island, situate, lying and being on the 
south side of the Great Plains, having a certain tract 
of land thereunto belonging, the bounds whereof be- 
gin at a marked tree, standing at the head of Mat- 
thew Garrison's Bay, and so running from thence upon 
a direct south line due south to the main sea, and from 
the said tree a direct north line to the Sound or East 
River, and so round the points of the Necks till it comes 
to Hempstead Harbor, and so up the harbor to a cer- 
tain barren sand-beach, and from thence up a direct line 
till it comes to a marked tree on the east side of Cantiagge 
Point, and from thence a south line to the middle of the 
plains, and from thence a due east line to the utmost 
extent of the Great Plains, and from thence upon a 
straight line to a certain tree marked in a neck, called 
Maskachoung, and so from thence up a due south line 
to the south sea, and the said south sea is to be the south 
bounds from the east line to the west line, and the Sound 
or East River to be the northerly bounds, as according to 
several deeds or purchases from the Indian owners, and 
the patent from the Dutch governor, William Kieft, re- 
lation thereto being had doth more fully and at large 

" Now, Know Ye, that by virtue of the commission 
and authority unto me given by his Royal Highness, 


James, Duke of York and Albany, lord proprietor of 
this province, in consideration of the premises and the 
quit-rents hereinafter reserved, I have given, granted, 
ratified and confirmed, and by these presents do give, 
grant, ratify and confirm unto Captain John Seaman, 
Simon Searing, John Jackson, James Pine, senior, Richard 
Gildersleeve, senior, and Nathaniel Pearsall, as patentees 
for and on the behalf of themselves and their associates, 
the freeholders and inhabitants of the said town of 
Hempstead, their heirs, successors, and assigns for ever, 
all the before recited tract and tracts, parcel and parcels 
of land and islands within the said bounds and limits, 
together with all and singular the woods, underwoods, 
plains, meadows, pastures, quarries, marshes, waters, 
lakes, causeways, rivers, beaches, fishing, hawking, hunt- 
ing and fowling, with all liberties, privileges, heredita- 
ments and appurtenances, to the said tract of land and 
premises belonging or in any wise appertaining, to have 
and to hold the said tract of land and premises, with all 
and singular the appurtenances before mentioned and in- 
tended to be given, granted, ratified and confirmed unto 
the said Captain John Seaman, Simon Searing, John 
Jackson, James Pine, senior, Richard Gildersleeve, senior, 
and Nathaniel Pearsall, the said patentees and their as- 
sociates, their heirs, successors and assigns, to the proper 
use, benefit and behoof of them, the said patentees and 
their associates, their heirs, successors and assigns for 
ever, to be holden of his said Royal Highness, his heirs 
and assigns, in free and common soccage, according to 
the tenor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in 
his Majesty's kingdom of England. Provided always, 
that neither this patent, nor any thing herein contained 
shall be construed or intended to the prejudice or in- 
fringement of any right, claim or pretence, which his 
Royal Highness, James, Duke of York, his heirs and suc- 
cessors, now hath or hereafter may have, to a certain 


tract of land within the bounds of this said patent, com- 
monly called or known by the name of Hempstead Little 
Plains, and all the woodland and plains between the said 
Little Plains and the bay, which lies betwixt Rockaway 
Meadows and the said Meadows, bounded on the east 
with Foster's Meadow River, and on the west with 
Hempstead west line, and likewise one entire piece of 
land containing seven hundred acres, lying and being on 
Cow Neck. And I do hereby likewise confirm and grant 
unto the said patentees and their associates, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, all the privileges and immunities 
belonging to a town within this government. Yielding, 
rendering and paying yearly and every year at the city 
of New York, unto his Royal Highness, or to such office 
or offices as by him shall be appointed, to receive the 
same, twenty bushels of good winter wheat, or four 
pounds in good current money of New York, on or be- 
fore the twenty-fifth day of March. In testimony 
whereof, I have caused these presents to be entered upon 
record in the secretary's office of the said province, and 
the public seal thereof have hereunto affixed and signed 
with my hand, this seventeenth day of April, in the thirty- 
seventh year of his Majesty's reign, and in the year of our 
Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty-five. 

" Thomas Dongan.* 
11 J. Spragg, Secretary" 

* The tenure prescribed in most, if not all the colonial charters, was 
by "free and common soccage," (meaning by any certain and determinate 
service) according to the custom of free tenure in East Greenwich in 
the county of Kent, England; and not "in capite" or by Knights' serv- 
ice. See the great patent of New England issued by King James in 
1620, — of Massachusetts in 1629, — the prior charter of Virginia in 1606, — 
that of Maine in 1639, — of Rhode Island in 1663, — of Connecticut in 1662, 
— of Maryland in 1632, — Act of the General Assembly of New York, May 
13, 1691, — Charter of Pennsylvania in 1681, — Patent of Carolina in 1662, 
and that of Georgia in 1732. All these are substantially the same, and 
may be found in the early colonial documentary collections, agreeing in 
character with the patents issued in this colony subsequent to the con- 
quest in 1664. 


This ample patent gave much satisfaction, the town 
having previously done much to conciliate the governor, 
for on the 7th of December, 1683, they had presented 
him a grant for 200 acres of land on the west end of the 
plains, and on the 24th of April, 1684, 200 more on 
the north side of the plains extending to Success Pond. 
The town likewise gave Mr. Secretary Spragg 100 
acres and a further quantity of 150, November 23, 1684, 
on the south side of the plains, beyond Foster's Meadow.* 

In order to liquidate the expenses of the patent, an 
assessment of two and a half pence per acre was levied in 
1685 upon the lands possessed by each individual in the 

The number of taxable inhabitants at that period was 
160, the number of acres assessed 16,563, and the 
amount raised thereon £177, equal to $442.50. 

The following list, copied from the records, the spell- 
ing of which has been preserved, exhibits the number of 
freeholders in the town in 1685, and the quantity of land 
owned by each : 

Names. Acres. Names. Acres. 

Robert Dinge 22 Hanah Hudson 22 

Edmund Titus 150 William Gripman 25 

Sam Titus 50 John Brick 27 

♦October 6, 1685, Paman, sagamore of Rockaway, Tackpousha and 
others sold Rockaway Neck, extending from the west bounds of Hemp- 
stead to Rockaway inlet, to one John Palmer, a merchant of New York 
for the consideration of £30, which he again sold, August 23, 1687, to 
Richard Cornwell of Cornbury (Bayside), and thus occasioned no incon- 
siderable trouble to the town, the said lands being considered as within 
the general limits of the purchase made by the town in 1643, but which 
the Indians asserted was not so intended by them in the sale and con- 
veyance aforesaid. 

July 11, 1691, John Stuard requests a grant of land from the town, to 
settle with them to follow the trade of a Cooper, and also to practise the 
art of Surgery. It is almost needless to say that his request was promptly 



Names. Acres. 

Sam Raynor 43 

John Serion 100 

Simon Serion 171 

James Pine, Sr 500 

Nathaniel Pine 9 

Solomon Simmons 163 

William Smith 100 

Richard Denton 50 

Joseph Langdon no 

William Jecoks 80 

Thomas Seaman 108 

John Smith, Jr., Rock 230 

Daniel Bedel 130 

John Williams 240 

James Pine 249 

Elias Dorlon 100 

Aron Underdunk * 100 

Widow Valentine 40 

Benj. Simmons 154 

John Morrell 137 

Richard Elison 60 

Edward Heare 70 

Christopher Dene 100 

William Jones 66 

Samuel Embre 100 

Timothy Halsted, Jr 78 

Cap. Jackson 430 

Samuel Denton 240 

Isaac Smith 22 

John Cornwell 50 

Edward Cornwell 50 

Joseph Baldin 50 

Jona. Smith, Sr 220 

John Smith, Nan 260 

Joseph Smith 156 

Joseph Wood 10 

Jerimiah Wood, Sr 300 

Josias Starr 14 

Richard Stites 152 

John Tounsand 46 

John Dozenboro 100 

Names. Acres. 

John Burland 25 

William Eager 55 

John Hawkins 64 

Sam Alin 41 

William Ware 83 

John Hubs 56 

Christopher Yeumans 150 

Elias Burland 25 

William Wetherbe 30 

John Pine 101 

Joshua Jecocks 88 

Jonathan Semans 65 

George Baldin 37 

Richard Minthorn 100 

Thomas Gildersleve 100 

Jonathan Smith 180 

Thomas Southard, Sr 214 

Thomas Rushmore 277 

John Champain 187 

Goodm. Smith, Sr. f 200 

John Carl 208 

John Mot 70 

Thos. Elison, Sr 270 

John Elison, Sr 60 

Richard Gilderslieve 100 

Rich. Gilderslieve, Jr 280 

Richard Toton 65 

Arthur Albertus 52 

John Johnson 25 

James Beats 59 

William Lee 40 

Thomas Ireland 70 

Peter Johnson 50 

Heniry Mandiford 75 

Henery Lininton 352 

Richard Osborn 183 

Obediah Velantine 44 

Widow Willis 172 

Hope Willis 120 

Harman Johnson 25 

Barnes Egberson 53 

* Adrian Onderdonk, who lived at Foster's Meadow as late as 
1718.— H. O. 

t Goodman (Goody, for a woman) is a title of honor next below 
Mister; Esquire, a still higher title, was then applied mostly to justices 
of the peace. — H. O. 



Names. Acres. 

Jacob Peterson 25 

John Bedell 46 

Thomas Cheesman 22 

John Smith, Rock * 50 

Abraham Smith 150 

Edward Sprag 92 

Jeremiah Smith 108 

John Smith, blu 368 

John Carman 180 

Calib Carman 180 

Ben. Carman 70 

Moses Embree 70 

Henry Johnson 25 

Abraham Frost 50 

Thomas Willis 30 

Robard Miller 36 

William Johnson 25 

Ephraim Valentine 40 

Robard Bedell 3 

Jer. Wood, Jr 68 

William Valentine 40 

Robard Bedel s J A 

Sam. Pine 60 

Thomas Oakle 70 

Jonathan Burg 20 

Joseph Ginins 80 

Joseph Williams 100 

Richard Valentine 71 

John Bates 5 

John Bates, Jr 53 

John Elison 125 

Mr. Beachman 130 

Col. Thos. Dongan 200 

Mr. Sprag 288 

Edward Avery 70 

Richard Combs 26 

Elias Bayly 54 

Names. Acres. 

John Woley 139 

Thos. Daniels 24 

William Thorn 150 

Robard Hobs 24 

Robard Hobs, Jr 25 

Thomas Huching 18 

Nathaniel Peasal 236 

Thomas Peasal 190 

Henry Moles 75 

Cornelias Barns 100 

John Foster 55 

Cap. Seman 400 

Sam. Seman 3 

John Coe 1 50 

Peter Toton 21 

John Seman, Jr 58 

William Thickston 83 

Daniel Peasal 190 

George Peasal 190 

Heniry Willis 140 

Ben. Budsal 50 

William Davis 50 

Joseph Mott 66 

John Tredwel 350 

Tim. Halsted, Sr 300 

James Rile 50 

Adam Mot 64 

Harman Flower 59 

Joseph Petet 34 

Sam. Smith 11 

Peter Smith 11 

Thomas Southard, Jr 69 

John Southard 3 

John Robinson 100 

Whole number of acres,. .16,563 

It is curious to find that many names formerly known 
in the town have disappeared therefrom for at least half 
a century. Among them are : 

* John Smiths were so numerous even in 1685 as to need affixes to dis- 
tinguish them. Thus, we have John Smith, Rock, Nan, Blue, Flag, 
etc.,— H. O. 



















































Van Dyck 




Van Hoosen 














High am 






Stites * 



Many of these probably failed for the want of male 
issue, but a greater part emigrated to New Jersey 
and the river counties of this state, where may be 
found Long Island names and families in abundance. In 
short the counties of Dutchess, Westchester, and Orange, 
as well as the whole territory of New Jersey, are filled 
with Long Island families, and the descendants of those 
once included among its inhabitants. Jonas Starr, who 
was town clerk in 1684 an d 1685, removed to Danbury, 
Conn., and left six sons. He was the first clerk there and 
one of the patentees of the town in 1702, also a Justice of 
the Peace and died January 4, 17 15, aged fifty-seven. 

The Rev. Richard Denton was a leading man among the 
first English settlers of the town, and it is probable that sev- 
eral who accompanied him had been attendants upon his 
ministry in the mother country. Some of these emigrated 
with him to Watertown, Mass.; thence to Wethersfield, 
Conn. ; thence to Stamford, and finally to this place in 1 644. 

* Frozen in boat shed. 


Mr. Denton was born of a good family at Yorkshire, 
England, 1586, educated at Brasenose College, Ox- 
ford, where he graduated 1623, and was settled as 
minister of Coley Chapel, Halifax, for seven years. The 
same spirit of intolerance which produced the act of uni- 
formity caused his removal, and he is supposed to have 
arrived in America with Governor Winthrop in 1630. 
He was engaged a while at Watertown, but in 1635 he 
with some of his church began the settlement of Wethers- 
field; from whence, for some reason now unknown, they 
removed to Stamford within the jurisdiction of New 
Haven, where he was installed in 1641. Probably the 
causes of his leaving Wethersfield operated here, and 
having sold his property to his successor, the Rev. John 
Bishop, he and most of his church laid the foundations 
of the village of Hempstead. His salary here was £70 
a year, paid in articles of necessity, at the customary 
prices. Yet he seems, with all his worth and excellence 
of character, to have been a migratory being, for in 1659 
he returned to England and spent the remainder of his 
life at Essex, where he died, aged seventy-six, in 1662. 
On the tomb erected to his memory in that place is a Latin 
inscription, of which the following is a free translation: 

"Here sleeps the dust of Richard Denton; 

O'er his low peaceful grave bends 

The perennial cypress, fit emblem 

Of his unfading fame. 
On Earth 

His bright example, religious light! 

Shone forth o'er multitudes. 
In Heaven 

His pure rob'd spirit shines 

Like an effulgent star." 


Four of Mr. Denton's sons remained here, Richard, 
Samuel, Nathaniel, and Daniel, all of whom except the 
last left families, whose posterity comprise many hun- 
dreds upon Long Island, in the city of New York, and 
Orange County. Daniel was appointed clerk at Hemp- 
stead at the first town meeting, and held the office till his 
removal to Jamaica in 1658, where he was a magistrate 
and afterwards was one of those who made the purchase 
of Elizabethtown, N. J., October 28, 1664. He visited 
London in 1670, where he published a concise and inter- 
esting history of the colony of New York; a new edition 
of which has been lately printed at Philadelphia and 
another at New York. 

"Among those clouds," says Cotton Mather (mean- 
ing the ministers who came early to New England) , " was 
our pious and learned Mr. Richard Denton, a Yorkshire 
man, who, having watered Halifax, in England, with his 
fruitful ministry, was by a tempest there hurried into 
New England, where, first at Wethersfield, and then at 
Stamford, his doctrine dropped as the rain, his speech 
distilled as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender 
herb, and as the showers upon the grass. Though he 
were a little man, yet he had a great soul; his well ac- 
complished mind, in his lesser body, was an Iliad in a nut 
shell. I think he was blind of an eye, yet he was not the 
least among the seers of Israel; he saw a very consider- 
able portion of those things which eye hath not seen. He 
was far from cloudy in his conceptions and principles of 
divinity, whereof he wrote a system, entitled Soliliquia 
Sacra, so accurately, considering the four-fold state of 
man, in his created purity, contracted deformity, restored 
beauty and celestial glory, that judicious persons, who 
have seen it, very much lament the churches being so much 


deprived of it. At length he got into heaven beyond 
clouds, and so beyond storms; waiting the return of the 
Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven, when he will 
have his reward among the saints." 

The first church or meeting house of the Presbyterian, 
or of the Independent order, was commenced in 1645, 
and finished in 1648. It was a log house twenty-four 
feet square, and stood a short distance north-east of the 
Burley Pond, 1 so-called, in the village of Hempstead. 
The expense was paid by a public tax or assessment, and 
the structure was used for town meetings as well as those 
of a religious character. It stood till 1770, though 
repaired and probably enlarged within that time, for 
November 10, 1660, the townsmen were ordered to 
repair it and make it comfortable to meet in.* Yet 
such was the increase of inhabitants, and all being of the 
same denomination, that the meeting-house was found too 
small for their accommodation, and therefore : 

" At A Jenerall townd meeting held in Hempsted the 
7th day of Janeuary in the yere of our Lord 1677 ^ 
was agreed on by the major vote that they should bild 
a meting house." This was confirmed at a town meeting 
held " the first day of Eaperell in the yere of our Lord 
1678 and mr semans and John Smith (bleu) was chosen 
to go to agree with Joseph Carpenter to bild a meting 
hous, the dementions of the house is as followeth, that 

1 This locality is now the junction of Fulton and Franklin streets. 
— Editor. 

* Even so late as December 27, 1742, it was voted by the town that 
Jeremiah Bedell, John Hall, and John Dorland, should take the care and 
charge of the old church or town house; and being informed that sev- 
eral persons had pulled and carried away a great part of it without 
any authority therefor, the above named persons were to make inquiry 
of those who committed the injury and to prosecute them in behalf of 
the town. 


is, 30 feet long and 24 wide and 12 feet stud with a 
lentwo on Ech side." 

This edifice, erected as the the others had been, by the 
whole of the taxable inhabitants of the town, was com- 
pleted in 1679, and stood where the highway now is, a 
few rods south-west of the present Episcopal Church. 
Later on, it was found too small and an addition was 
made thereto in 1700. 

The Rev. Mr. Jenney, speaking in regard to this 
church in a letter of June 27, 1728, says, " it is an or- 
dinary wooden building, forty feet long and twenty-six 
wide — the roof covered with cedar shingles and the sides 
clapboarded with oak; within it is not ceiled overhead, 
but the sides are boarded with pine. There is no pulpit, 
but a raised desk only, having a cloth and cushion of silk; 
a large table stands before the desk, where the justices 
and leading men sit, when they come to church. There 
are no pews, except one for the secretary clerk; the rest 
of the church is filled with open benches. There is no 
fence around it and the burial place is at some distance 
from it." The Episcopal cemetery did not then exist. 
" It stands in the open road, near a small brook, which 
runs between it and the parsonage house." 

In 1659, the year of Mr. Denton's departure, appli- 
cation was made by the town to the Rev. Mr. Wake- 
man of New Haven to become their minister, but whether 
he accepted the invitation is uncertain, as his name does 
not appear on the records; and in 1660 the Rev. Jonah 
Fordham, son of the Rev. Robert Fordham of South- 
ampton, who had accompanied the Rev. Mr. Denton to 
Hempstead in 1644, was settled here, where he remained 
highly respected and useful for many years. He was 
so much esteemed by the people that in 1663 the town 


voted he should have allotments with the other inhabi- 
tants and also a £200 estate if he pleased, which accord- 
ing to the rule of valuation then adopted, amounted to 
300 acres with woodland in proportion. 

Mr. Fordham continued here nearly twenty years, and 
returned to Southampton after the death of his father 
and labored in the ministry there, probably till the ar- 
rival of the Rev. Mr. Taylor in 1680. 

The Rev. Josiah Fordham, who preached a while at 
Setauket after the death of Mr. Brewster, was his son, 
and his sister Temperance was then married to the 
second Richard Woodhull. The said Josiah Fordham 
was the great-grandfather of the compiler of this work. 

In relation to the parsonage house, the town records 
furnish the following authentic information: 

" At a town meeting Jan. 4, 1682, Robert Marvin and 
Richard Valitin was chosen by mager vote of the town 
forthwith to hyer carpinters to build a parsonage hous 
according to the dementions all redy agreed and recorded 
in the town boock, and they are to agre with carpinters to 
compleat all the carpinters work. It is understood that 
the hous above mentioned is to be a town hous! } 

On the 6th of May, 1682, the town voted to call 
as their minister the Rev. Jeremiah Hobart, with a salary 
of £70 and his firewood. To this call eighty-two per- 
sons subscribed their names, and the town afterwards 
gave him a three acre (home) lot, where it should be 
most convenient, and fifty acres of woodland, to be taken 
up where he thought proper; his cattle to have liberty 
of commons and he to have the use of all the parsonage 
land and meadows as long as he should continue their 


Mr. Hobart was son of the Rev. Peter Hobart of 
Hingham, Mass., and grandson of Edmund Hobart, who 
came from Hingham, Norfolkshire, England, in 1633; 
was one of the founders of Hingham, Plymouth County, 
aforesaid, and had Edmund, Peter, Thomas, Joshua, 
Rebecca, and Sarah. His second son Peter was educated 
at the University of Cambridge, England, ordained by 
the Bishop of Norwich in 1627, came to New England 
with his wife and four children, June 8, 1635, and had, 
in all, fourteen children; eight were sons, six of whom 
graduated at Harvard. He died January 20, 1670. 
Joshua, above named, settled, as has been seen, at 
Southold; his son John removed in 1681 to Pennsylvania, 
married into a Swedish family, and settled on the spot 
now called Kensington, a part of Philadelphia. His son 
Nehemiah, born November 21, 1648, graduated at Har- 
vard 1667, settled in Newton, Mass., as successor of the 
Rev. John Eliot (son of the Apostle Eliot) December 
23, 1674, and died August 25, 17 12, aged sixty-three. 
He was succeeded by the Rev. John Cotton. His son 
Enoch, father of the late Right Rev. John Henry Ho- 
bart, died October 27, 1776. 

The Rev. Jeremiah Hobart was born at Hingham, 
England, and came to Boston with his father in June, 
1635, graduated with his brother Joshua at Harvard 
1650; his brothers Gershom and Japheth graduated 
1667. The first, born 1645, preached at Groton, Mass., 
and died 1707, and the latter going out as surgeon of a 
ship was lost at sea. Mr. Hobart officiated several 
years without orders, but was ordained as successor of 
the Rev. Thomas Gilbert at Topsfield, Mass., October 
2, 1672, and was dismissed on account of immoral con- 
duct of some kind. His wife Dorothy was a daughter 


of the Rev. Samuel Whiting of Lynn, Mass., and sister 
of the Rev. Joseph Whiting of Southampton, L. I. 
He was settled here subsequent to his call October 17, 
1683, and so satisfactory were his labors that the town 
made him a further donation of 100 acres of land: but 
the difficulty of collecting his salary was such that com- 
plaint was made to the governor, and December 18, 
1686, Captain Seaman and Mr. Searing were appointed 
to answer the petition against the town. Again in 1690 
the court of sessions was applied to for assistance, which 
ended in the laying of a tax for the support of the min- 
ister. Hempstead paid him £70 per year. He removed 
in 1696 because many of his people had turned Quakers, 
and others were become so indifferent that they would 
do nothing for his support but by compulsion. He offi- 
ciated a while at Jamaica, when he removed to East 
Haddam, Conn., where he was re-installed November 14, 
1700, and died aged eighty-nine on Sunday, March 17, 
17 17, having preached in the forenoon. His daughter 
Dorothy married Hezekiah Brainard and was mother of 
the celebrated Rev. David Brainard, who was born at 
Haddam in April, 17 18, and died at the house of the 
Rev. Jonathan Edwards, Northampton, October 10, i747> 
Elizabeth, another daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Ho- 
bart, married Hezekiah Wyllys (1704), who was secre- 
tary of the colony of Connecticut from 17 12 to his death 
in 1734, so that his father Samuel, himself, and his son 
George held said office successfully for ninety-eight 
years. But the name of Wyllys, strange to say, is 
extinct in that state. Joshua Hobart, brother of Jere- 
miah, was the father of the Rev. Noah Hobart of Fair- 
field, father of the Hon. John Sloss Hobart, a former 
distinguished judge of the supreme court of New York. 



The parsonage above mentioned was ordered to be 
built on the town lot, to be thirty-six feet long, eighteen 
wide, and ten feet between the joints, to be a comfortable 
house to dwell in, and when the said Jeremiah Hobart 
should see cause to leave it, then it should return to the 

To show how the salary was raised, we subjoin the 
following from the town books : 

" May the 24, 1682. — We under Righten dwo Ingeage 
Ech and Every of us to give these under Righten sumes 
to Jeremy Hubard yearly during the time we liue under 
ministry and to Pay it in Corn or Cattel at Prise as it 
Pasis Currant amongst us. 

Robert Jackson 
John Sirring 
Henry Johnson 
James Ryle 
Richard Minthorne 
William Jecocks 
Robert Bedell, Sr. 
Abraham Frost 
Harman Flower 
Thomas Higain 
Richard Tottun 
John Spreag 
John Ellison, Sr. 
George Hix 
John Smith, R. Jr. 
Joseph Willits 
James Pine, Jr. 
Thomas Southard, Sr. 
Daniell Pearsall 
Abraham Smith 
Joshua Jecocks 
Cornelius Mott 
John Mott 
Robert Bedell 
Caleb Carman- 
Joseph Sutton 
John Jackson 

Jeames Pine, s. 
Samuel Pine 
John Waskeate 
Harman Johnson 
John Carman, Sr. 
John Bedell 
Daniell Bedell 
Richard Ellison, Sr. 
Robert Williams 
Jeames Beat 
William Valentine 
Richard Osborne 
Peter Mason 
Charles Abrahams 
Richard Gildersleeve, Jr. 
Richard Gildersleeve, Sr. 
Robert Maruin 
Joseph Smith 
Jeremy Smith 
Timothy Hallsted 
Thomas Rushmore 
Edward Reyner 
Jeremy Wood 
Mathew Bedell 
Samuel Rayner 
Simon Sirring 
Joseph Jennings 

John Pine 
John Tredwell 
William Wetherbe 
William Smith 
John Smith, (b) 
John Carman, Jr. 
Jeremy Wood, Jr. 
Richard Valentine, Sr. 
John Karle 
Joseph Pettit 
Francis Champin 
Henry Linington 
Thomas Ireland 
Peter Johnson 
Joseph Langdon 
William Hicks 
John Maruin 
Samuell Denton 
Moses Emory 
Richard Vallantine, Jr. 
Adam Mott, Jr. 
Josias Star 
Jonas Wood 
Samuel Emery 
Rock Smith 
George Hulit 
John Smith " 


August i, 1683, town voted that Jeremy Wood should 
have ten shillings a year " for looking after y e opening 
and shutting of the window shutters belonging to y e meet- 
ing house, and to look carefully after the hour-glass" 

October 30, 1702, the assembly of the colony, ordered 
Major Jackson to acquaint the town of Hempstead, " that 
a public school was designed to be erected among them, 
and to enquire what encouragement they would give the 

For several years after the departure of Mr. Hobart, 
the church had no regular preaching and consequently 
fell into a state of great indifference. An important and 
radical change was about to take place, destined to pro- 
duce a revolution in the church, namely, the introduction 
of Episcopacy. The people were without a pastor, and 
the way was clear for the contemplated movement in 
which a few prominent individuals only, probably, were 

During the administration of Governor Fletcher, a law 
had been passed in 1693 f° r settling a ministry in the 
counties of Richmond, Westchester, and Queens, which 
was intended by the governor and his party to facilitate 
the establishment of a branch of the English Church in 
this province. By the same law, Hempstead and Oyster 
Bay were made one precinct or parish for settling and 
maintaining a minister. 

The church edifice, parsonage house, and glebe were 
town property, being at all times regulated and con- 
trolled by the people in town meeting, and therefore by 
management and cunning they might be made to subserve 
the views of those, however few in number, who could, 
without exciting suspicion, introduce an Episcopal min- 
ister into the parish. 


The society for propagating the gospel (or rather 
Episcopacy) in foreign parts, had been incorporated by 
a charter from King William, June 16, 1701, and it ap- 
pears that no time was lost by those interested to pro- 
cure aid from that society for Hempstead. 

The Rev. Dr. Humphreys, who was secretary of the 
society from its formation in 1701 to 1728, in a history 
of its proceedings published by him, among other things, 
says, " that applications were made by the inhabitants of 
Westchester, and earnest memorials were sent from the 
inhabitants of Jamaica and Hempstead in Long Island 
for ministers to be sent to them. Their wishes were 
complied with and missionaries sent to those places." 
That these earnest memorials emanated from the town 
meetings or from any considerable number of the inhabi- 
tants can hardly be pretended, the records being silent 
on the subject. They probably proceeded from a few in 
the confidence of Lord Cornbury, and were made for the 
express purpose of bringing in a form of religion to 
which the people were strangers, and to which it seems 
by the letters of the missionaries themselves, they were 
almost unanimously opposed. 

In answer to memorials sent to England (by whom 
does not appear) the society for propagating the gos- 
pel sent out the Rev. John Thomas to Hempstead, ap- 
pointed Thomas Gilder sleeve schoolmaster (which in- 
cluded the office of catechist) , and transmitted also a 
large number of common prayer books and catechisms 
for distribution, the better to reconcile the people to the 
services of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Thomas arrived 
in 1704, having previously been engaged as a missionary 
in Pennsylvania, but from his own account he was treated 
with little attention or kindness by any portion of the 


inhabitants, and of course relied principally if not en- 
tirely upon the countenance and support of Lord Corn- 
bury, whom he represents on all occasions as a paragon 
of the Christian virtues. 

The people could not fail to perceive the consequence 
intended and likely to be produced by this measure, and 
lost no opportunity of expressing their dissatisfaction. 
That the governor was actuated by great zeal for the 
success of the church is satisfactorily proved by his acts, 
but it is equally evident that he was zealous no further 
than he could make it the instrument of his own selfish 
purposes, and not as a means of increasing social kind- 
ness and Christian charity. In truth the character of his 
excellency for hypocrisy was quite equal to his bigotry. 
The instructions of his royal mistress made it in a meas- 
ure his duty to promote Episcopacy at the sacrifice of 
every other form of religion. 

In what temper Mr. Thomas was received will best 
appear from his own declarations made in confidence to 
the parent society. March i, 1705, he says: 

" After much toil and fatigue I am, through God's 
assistance, safely arrived, and have been two months set- 
tled at Hempstead, where I met with civil reception 
from the people. They are generally independents and 
presbyterians, and have hitherto been supplied, ever 
since the settlement of the town, with a dissenting min- 
istry. The prejudice and bias of education is the great- 
est difficulty I labor under. Among them, Oyster Bay is 
likewise in my parish. They have been generally canting 
Quakers, but now their society is much broke and scat- 
tered. Deplorable ignorance is their great misery. The 
country in general is extremely wedded to a dissenting 
ministry, and were it not for his excellency my Lord 
Cornbury's most favorable countenance to us, we might 


expect the severest entertainment here, that dissenting 
malice and the rigor of prejudice could afflict us with. 
All we of the clergy want the influence of his lordship's 
most favorable aspect. His lordship's extraordinary 
respect to his clergy has set them above the snarling of 
the vulgar and secured them a respect and deference 
from the best of the people. Government is our great 
asylum and bulwark, which my lord exerts to the utmost 
when the necessities and interest of the church call for it. 
The people of Hempstead are better disposed to peace 
and civility than they are at Jamaica, yet my lord's coun- 
tenance (next to the providence of heaven) is my chief est 
safety. I have scarce a man in the parish truly steady 
and real, to the interest and promotion of the church, any 
farther than they aim at the favor or dread the displeas- 
ure of his lordship. This is the face of affairs here, ac- 
cording to the best observation I could make, in the short 
time I have lived here." 

In his letter of May 26, 1705, he says: 

" My path here is very thorny — all my steps narrowly 
watched. I am obliged to walk very singuly. I have 
brought some few of the honestest, best inclined to re- 
ligion, and soberest among them, to the holy communion, 
and hope in time (if God enable me) to have a plentiful 
harvest among them." Again, June 27, 1705, " The peo- 
ple (he says) are all stiff dissenters — not above three 
church people in the whole parish, all of them the re- 
bellious offspring of forty-two (1642). Brother Urqu- 
hart and myself belong to one county, and the only Eng- 
lish ministers upon the island. We are the first that broke 
the ice among this sturdy obstinate people, who endeavor, 
what in them lies, to crush us in embryo; but (blessed be 
God) by the propitious smiles of heaven, and the favor- 
able countenance of my lordship's government, we keep 


above water, and (we thank God) have added to our 

" The gall of bitterness (he says) of this independent 
kidney, is inconceivable, not unlike that of Demetrius and 
his associates, at the conceived downfall of the great 
Diana of the Ephesians. We have a great work to go 
through, unruly beasts (with Daniel) to encountre, but 
we trust that the great God, whose cause we stand for, 
will enable us to go on. 

" The fathers of these people came from New Eng- 
land, and I need not tell you how averse they of that 
country are to our church discipline. The people being 
generally very poor, and utterly averse to the service of 
the church of England. 

" The inhabitants transported themselves here from 
New England and have been, ever since their first settle- 
ment, supplied by a ministry from thence. I have neither 
pulpit, nor any one necessary, for the administration of 
the holy eucharist, and only the beat of a drum, to call 
the people together. 

" Common prayer books (he observes) are very 
wanting to be given away, for though they cannot be pre- 
vailed upon to buy, (were they to be sold) yet being 
given away, they might in time be brought to make use 
of them. My Lord Cornbury is very countenancing and 
assisting to me, and it is by an order from him, that this 
building (a gallery in the church) gets forward; he is 
truly one very good friend; we want nothing that the 
countenance of government can make us happy in. 

" The inhabitants of this country are generally inde- 
pendents, and what are not so, are either quakers or of 
no professed religion at all; the generality averse to the 
discipline of our holy mother, the church of England, 
and enraged to see her ministers established among them. 
Their prejudice of education is our misfortune, our 
church their bugbear, and to remove the averseness im- 


bibed with their first principles, must be next to a 

" His Excellency, Lord Cornbury (he continues) is a 
true nursing father to our infancy here ; his countenance 
and protection is never wanting to us, who being by in- 
clination a true son of the church, moves him zealously 
to support that wholly. 

" If it had not been for the countenance and support 
of Lord Cornbury and his government, it would have 
been impossible to have settled a church on the island." 
In 1717 he says, "I have been a considerable time in 
these parts, rowing against wind and tide; first in Penn- 
sylvania, against the quakers, and here about twelve 
years against rigid independents. I have always observed 
that the pious fraud of a caressing well modelled hos- 
pitality, has captivated and inclined their affections, more 
powerfully, than the best digested discourses out of the 

In one of Mr. Thomas's letters, written in 1722, he 
says: "my last summer's sickness has produced a small 
dissenting meeting-house in one part of my parish, but I 
thank God, it is only the scum that is concerned in it; the 
people of figure and substance, being entirely of the 
church's side. The cat in the fable, transformed to a 
woman, could not, at the sight of a mouse, forget her 
ancient nature, so it is with some of these people." 

Had the people known in what language they were rep- 
resented by their good pastor, it is hardly to be supposed, 
that even the countenance of the pious and saint-like 
Cornbury could have shielded him from the severest re- 
sentment of this " sturdy obstinate peopled 

The small meeting-house referred to, was erected near 
where the first one stood in the year 1721, which was 
used by the Presbyterians till the Revolution when it was 


destroyed by the British, who exhibited on all occasions 
a marked hostility to dissenting churches everywhere. 

Little is known of Mr. Thomas beyond what is dis- 
closed in his correspondence with the society, but that he 
was better than his creed and a most worthy man there 
is every reason to believe. Yet he seemed neither to sus- 
pect or fear that he, like others, was influenced by the 
prejudice of education. 

Mr. Thomas speaks in one of his letters of having 
married his wife at Brookhaven; her name, however, is 
not mentioned and she was probably a second wife. His 
last words are, " my heart is warm and sound, though 
lodged, God knows, in a crazy, broken carcase. Pray 
tell the society (says he), that, like Epaminondas, I shall 
fight upon the stumps for that purest and best of churches, 
as long as God indulges me with the least ability to do 
it." Where he died is uncertain, though probably here 
in 1724, as his will is dated the 17th of March in that 
year, in which he mentions his son John and daughters 
Margaret and Gloriana. It is stated in the society re- 
port of February 16, 1727, that a gratuity of £50 was 
voted to his widow. 

John, son of Rev. John Thomas, was born here 1705, 
and settled in Westchester. He married February 19, 
1729 Abigail, daughter of John Sands, who removed in 
17 1 6 from Block Island to Sands Point. He was first 
judge of that county and a member of the colonial as- 
sembly. Being a warm whig and taking an active part 
in the scenes which preceded the Revolutionary War, he 
became an object of resentment, and being taken pris- 
oner by a British party from Long Island in 1777, was 
confined in New York, where he died the 2d of May in 
that year, leaving John, Thomas, Sybill, Charity, Mar- 


garet, and Gloriana. He was buried in the yard of 
Trinity Church, which had been destroyed by fire the year 
before. His widow died August 14, 1782. John mar- 
ried Phebe Palmer and had six children. Thomas mar- 
ried Katherine, daughter of Nicoll Floyd of Long Island, 
and Margaret married Charles Floyd, brother of Kath- 
erine, June 3, 1 76 1. Sybill married Abraham Field; 
Gloriana, born September, 1740, married James Frank- 
lin. Charity married James Ferris and had Charles 
G. Ferris, late member of congress from New York, 
who died July 4, 1848, aged fifty-five, and Dr. Floyd T. 
Ferris, practitioner of medicine in the city of New York. 
Mrs. Ferris died July 24, 1809, aged seventy-five. The 
said Thomas was born June 17, 1745, became a major- 
general and distinguished officer of the Continental 
Army. He died May 29, 1824, leaving issue Charles 
Floyd, Gloriana, Nancy, and Catherine. 

The Rev. Robert Jenny succeeded Mr. Thomas, and 
with him the records of the Episcopal Church commence. 
He was born in 1676 and was a chaplain in the British 
navy from 1710 to 171 4, from thence to 17 17 he was 
in the service of the propagation society as assistant to 
the Rev. Mr. Evans of Philadelphia, and also in 17 15 
to the Rev. Mr. Vesey of New York at a salary of 
£50 sterling. From 1717 to 1722 he was chaplain to 
the fort and forces at New York, and was then appointed 
missionary at Rye where he succeeded the Rev. George 
Muirson and remained till his removal here in 1725, 
being succeeded there by the Rev. James Wetmore. His 
induction here took place May 25, 1727. But it is clear 
from his letters to the society that at his arrival the 
parish had not improved in their disposition toward his 
church; yet he conducted with commendable prudence and 


exerted himself what he could to reconcile the people to 
doctrines and ceremonies to which, by education and 
practice, they were opposed. 
June 27, 1728, he says: 

11 The Church's right to all this, (the parsonage, &c.,) 
it hotly disputed, and I am often threatened with an 
ejectment; first, by the heirs of one Ogden, from whom 
the purchase was made; secondly, by the presbyterians, 
who plead, from the purchase having been made by 
them, before any church was settled here, and from their 
minister having been long in possession of it, that it be- 
longs to them; thirdly, by the makers, who are a great 
body of people, and argue that it belongs to them, and 
ought to be hired out, from time to time, as the major 
part of the freeholders can agree. The body of the 
presbyterians live here, in the town spot, but they are 
so poor and few, that it is with difficulty they can main- 
tain their minister, and we daily expect he will leave 

It should be known that at this time rates were made 
for the support of the ministers, and persons of all de- 
nominations including Quakers were compelled to pay 
taxes for the purpose, after contributing to maintain their 
own ministers and teachers. 

The Presbyterians, who constituted a very great ma- 
jority of the people in the parish, being virtually ex- 
cluded from the edifice they had aided to create, held 
occasional meetings in the old house; relying upon stated 
preaching alone, not being in a situation to maintain a 
minister. In this way they kept themselves from being 
scattered or swallowed up by the new church party. 

Dr. Jenny (as he was called) continued here till 1742 
when he resigned, removed to Philadelphia and became 


the rector of Christ Church, where he died at the age 
of sixty-nine, October 17, 1745, having lost his wife in 
this place December 25, 1738, aged sixty- four. 

He speaks in one of his letters of having been informed 
that the town had been settled some time before it had 
any minister. This is a strange mistake, as the Rev. 
Mr. Denton was well known to have arrived with the 
first settlers and was followed very soon after his re- 
moval by the Rev. Mr. Fordham. He mentions also a 
great controversy that arose between the independents 
and Presbyterians after the building of the second church 
of which, however, there is no evidence aside from the 
mere report circulated nearly fifty years after the period 
mentioned. And still less correct is the assertion of their 
" covenanting with one Denton to be their minister," 
more than twenty years after his departure from Amer- 
ica, and when he had been in his grave many years. 

In describing the church built in 1734, Mr. Jenny says: 

14 It is 50 feet long and 36 wide, with a steeple 
14 feet square; that the Rev. Mr. Vesey and his people 
had contributed about £50; that Gov. Cosby and lady 
had named it St. George's, and appointed St. George's 
day, 1735, for the opening it, when his Excellency and 
Lady and his son in law and Lady attended; also Mr. 
Secretary Clark, Ch. Justice De Lancey, the Rev. Mr. 
Vesey, some of the clergy and a large company of Gen- 
tlemen and Ladies from the city, and other parts of the 
province. At which time a collection was made, in which 
the Governor and others were remarkably generous. 
The Governor also presented the church the King's arms, 
painted and gilded; the Secretary gave a crimson damask 
set of furniture for the communion, pulpit and desk, and 
Mr. John Marsh, of the island of Jamaica, gave a silver 
bason for baptism, and to crown all the Governor pre- 


sented his Majesty's Royal Charter of Incorporation, by 
the name of the "Rector and Inhabitants of the Parish 
of Hempstead in Queens county on Long Island, in com- 
munion of the church of England as by Law established." 

Mr. Jenny preached the consecration sermon from 
Psalm 84, — verses 11 and 21. 

The new church was built upon ground given by the 
town for the purpose and also for a burial place, April 
2, 1734. It was consecrated April 23, 1735, and stood 
about 100 feet south of the present church. Its charter 
of 1735 was intended to transfer the parsonage and all 
other church lands in perpetuity to the English Church, 
which it has held and enjoyed exclusively ever since. 

Rev. Samuel Seabury, who succeeded to the rectorship 
in 1743, was son of John, who died here aged eighty- 
six, December 17, 1759, and grandson of Samuel, a noted 
physician and surgeon of Duxbury, Mass., in 1680. Mr. 
Seabury was born in 1706 and graduated at Harvard 
1724. Mr. Seabury was first minister of North Yar- 
mouth, Me., from 1725 to 1727. He was settled as a 
Congregational minister at Groton, Conn., but turning 
Episcopalian, was settled as the first minister of St. 
James' Church, New London, in 1728, where he remained 
thirteen years, but removed to this town in 1742, where 
he died of an abscess in the side, June 15, 1764, aged 
fifty-eight, having returned from England only nine 
days before. His first wife was Abigail, daughter of 
Thomas Mumford, who died in 1731, and his second, 
Elizabeth, daughter of Adam Powell, whom he married 
May 27, 1733. She survived him more than thirty 
years, and died February 6, 1799, aged eighty-seven. 
His brother David, distinguished for bodily strength and 
humorous temper, died here November n, 1750, aged 


fifty-two. The children of the Rev. Mr. Seabury were 
Samuel, Adam, Nathaniel, David, Abigail, May, Jane, 
and Elizabeth. 

Of the children of Mr. Seabury, Jane died February 
26, 1774, aged fifteen. Mary married Jonathan Star of 
New London; Abigail married Gilbert Van Wycke of 
Hempstead, and Elizabeth became the wife of the late 
Dr. Benjamin Tredwell, and died April 7, 18 18, aged 
seventy-five. Adam, born 1741, became a physician, mar- 
ried Marian, daughter of Valentine H. Peters, and died 
March 23, 1800, aged fifty-nine, leaving Samuel, Adam, 
Nancy, Elizabeth, Marian, Mary, and Jane. Nathaniel 
settled in New Jersey, where he died. Daniel died at an 
advanced age in the city of New York a few years since. 
Samuel, the eldest son, was born at Groton in 1728, 
graduated at Yale, 1748, went to Scotland for the pur- 
pose of studying medicine but, turning his attention to 
divinity, took orders in London, 1753, and on his return 
settled in the church at New Brunswick, N. J. In 1756 
he removed to Jamaica, L. I., and from thence to West- 
chester in December, 1766, where he was rector of the 
church and teacher of a classical school till the British 
entered New York in 1776,* when he took refuge with 
other royalists and remained till 1783. In 1784 he was 
consecrated bishop in Scotland, being the first American 
citizen who attained the title. He settled on his return 
in his father's parish at New London, and presided over 
the diocese of Connecticut and Rhode Island till his 
death, February 25, 1796. He married a daughter of 
Edward Hicks in New York, October 12, 1756. His 
children were Violetta, who was born in 1756, and married 

* See a curious account of his abduction November, 1775, to New 
Haven by King Sears, in Hinraan's history of the Services of Connecti- 
cut in the Revolution, page 548. — H. O. 


Charles Nicoll Taylor; Abigail, born in 1760, married 
Colin Campbell, an attorney; Mary, born in July, 1761, 
died unmarried; Samuel, born October, 1765, married 
Frances Tabor of New London; Edward, born in 1767, 
married Miss Otis of New York; Charles, born at West- 
chester in May, 1770, became an Episcopal clergyman, 
and settled, as has been seen, in Caroline Church, Setauket, 
L. L, where he died. 

Rev. Leonard Cutting, who succeeded Mr. Seabury, 
was a native of a small town near London in 173 1, and 
graduated at Pembroke College, Oxford, 1754. In him 
it has been said were happily blended the polished habits 
of a gentleman with much classical knowledge and deep 
erudition. He came to America in 1750, for some years 
was rector at New Brunswick, N. J., and in 1756 was 
appointed tutor and professor of classical literature in 
Kings College, New York. 

He settled here in August, 1766, and taught a classical 
school of distinguished reputation for nearly twenty 
years. Many of his students rose to much celebrity, 
among whom may be mentioned the late Dr. Samuel L. 
Mitchill, Edward Griswold, Esq., and Dr. Richard S. 
Kissam of New York. Being a Loyalist he tendered his 
resignation in 1784, and went to the southern parts of the 
United States, where he died. His widow died in 1803. 
His children were Leonard M., James, William, and 

Rev. Thomas Lambert Moore, son of Thomas and 
grandson of the Hon. John Moore, one of his Majesty's 
privy council in the colony of New York, was born in 
the city of New York, February 22, 1758, was educated 
at Columbia (then Kings) College, but did not gradu- 
ate, the institution being in April, 1776, converted, by 


order of the committee of safety, into a military hospital. 
He taught during the war an English, Latin, and Greek 
school, and had a large number of students. In 178 1 he 
married Judith, daughter of Samuel Moore of that town, 
sister of the late Right Rev. Benjamin Moore : thus unit- 
ing two families of the same name not related to each 
other. He went to Europe in 178 1 and was ordained 
deacon in September by the Bishop of London, and in 
February, 1782, priest, by Bishop Porteus. In July fol- 
lowing he was engaged at Setauket and Islip as a mis- 
sionary. He preached for the first time in this parish 
November 7, 1784, became rector March 6, 1785, con- 
tinued till his death, February 20, 1799, and was interred 
under the altar of the old church. The Right Rev. 
Richard Channing Moore of Virginia, who died Novem- 
ber 11, 1 841, and the late John Moore, Esq., of this 
town were his brothers. His widow survived him thirty- 
three years, and died October 18, 1834. His sister 
Mary Anne married Stephen Hewlett, and his sister 
Elizabeth married Israel Bedell and was the mother of 
the late Rev. Dr. Gregory T. Bedell of Philadelphia, 
who died August 30, 1834. 

Rev. John Henry Hobart, the next in succession, was 
a descendant of the Rev. Peter Hobart of Hingham, 
Mass., father of the Rev. Jeremiah Hobart of the Pres- 
byterian Church in this place in 1683. He was a son of 
Enoch Hobart, was born at Philadelphia, September 14, 
1775, and educated at Princeton where he graduated in 
1793. He commenced life as a merchant, but soon after 
relinquished it and became a student of theology, under 
the late Bishop White. In 1795 he was employed as a 
tutor in his alma mater and received ordination in 1798. 
The next year, 1799, he became rector of Christ Church, 


New Brunswick, from whence he removed to this place, 
June i, 1800. Here, according to the account given by 
himself, he passed some of his happiest days. He mar- 
ried in 1800 Mary Goodwin, daughter of the Rev. Brad- 
bury Chandler of Elizabethtown, N. J., then deceased, a 
man of considerable eminence and distinguished for his 
ably conducted controversy with the Rev. Dr. Chauncy, 
and an eloquent memoir of Dr. Samuel Johnson, first 
president of Kings College. In December following his 
settlement here, he was called to be assistant minister of 
Trinity Church, New York, which call he accepted. This 
situation furnished a more extended sphere of usefulness, 
and one better suited for the display of his extraordinary 
eloquence. May 20, 181 1, he was consecrated Bishop 
of New York, as successor of Bishop Moore. In 1823 
he visited Europe, travelling in England, Scotland, Swit- 
zerland, Rome, Venice, and Geneva, returning again to 
New York in 1824. 

While on a journey through the state he was taken ill 
and died at Auburn, September 12, 1830. His body was 
brought to the city of New York and interred under the 
chancel of Trinity Church. His daughter, Elizabeth C, 
married the Rev. George E. Hare of Philadelphia, June, 

Rev. Seth Hart, son of Matthew, was born at Berlin, 
Conn., June 21, 1763, graduated at Yale, 1784, and mar- 
ried Ruth, daughter of Benjamin Hall of Cheshire, where 
she was born April 8, 1770, her mother being a daugh- 
ter of the Rev. Mr. Burnham, first minister of Berlin. 
He preached first at Woodbury, Conn., after which he 
was six years settled at Wallingford, from whence he 
removed to Hempstead as the successor of Mr. Hobart 
in January, 1801. He was a man of engaging manners 


and possessed a mild, sociable disposition. He was an 
excellent classical scholar, and devoted many of the first 
years of his settlement to the business of instruction, in 
which he acquired a high reputation. He exerted him- 
self with great zeal for the prosperity of the church, 
which greatly prospered under his ministry. A very 
severe attack of paralysis in 1828 disabled him from 
discharging the more active duties of his profession and 
occasioned his resignation the following year. His death 
took place March 16, 1832, at the age of sixty-eight, and 
that of his widow November 3, 1841, at the age of 

It has been doubted whether the first church here was 
Presbyterian or Independent; but whether one or the 
other makes no difference as to the lands set apart by 
the town for the church and ministry, seeing those lands 
continued in the possession of a dissenting clergy from 
1644 to 1702, nor was it known or suspected during 
more than half a century that there was a single church 
of England then in the town. Mr. Denton, the first pas- 
tor, was a Presbyterian preacher at Halifax, England, as 
stated by Mr. Heywood, his successor, who could not 
be mistaken. Some here had been members of his church 
there, and their descendants are stigmatized by the Rev. 
Mr. Thomas as stiff dissenters, who said that on his arrival 
here in 1704 there were not three church people in the 
whole place. The Dutch patent secured to the people 
here and their posterity the privilege of erecting churches 
in which to exercise the reformed religion as professed 
by them, with the ecclesiastical discipline thereunto be- 
longing. This patent was confirmed by that of Dongan 
in 1685. The church was rebuilt by the same denomina- 
tion in 1679 and enlarged by them in 1700. And yet in 


four years thereafter, without any evidence of denomina- 
tional change, an Episcopal missionary is sent here, and 
in spite of a cold reception from every one, he receives 
support from the governor, and pay from a foreign so- 
ciety. Nay, he is not only smuggled into the church, but 
into the parsonage and glebe. To crown this iniquity 
another governor in 1735 gives the usurpers a charter 
not only for the church erected by the inhabitants upon 
land given them by the town, but including also the par- 
sonage house and other lands to which they could have 
no possible right. And all this thus unjustly acquired 
has been held by them ever since, with what color of title 
in equity or good conscience every intelligent person can 
easily determine. 

Mr. Hart left issue William H., late rector of Trinity 
Church, Richmond, Va., and now of St. Andrew's 
Church, Walden, N. Y., Benjamin H., Elizabeth, and 
Edmund. Of these William married first Lydia, daugh- 
ter of John Moore, and second Maria, daughter of 
John G. Graham; Benjamin married Elizabeth, daugh- 
ter of Gideon Nichols; Elizabeth married William J. 
Clowes, September 3, 1834, and died December 24, 
1840, aged thirty-two, and Edmund died unmarried 
August 22, 1838, aged twenty-five. 

The rebuilding of St. George's Church took place dur- 
ing the rectorship of Mr. Hart and was completed in 
1823, at an expense of $5,000, the voluntary contribu- 
tion of individuals. It was consecrated by Bishop Ho- 
bart, September 9, 1823. It is a large and handsome 
building, having a lecture room attached to it, erected 
in 1840. 

Rev. Richard Drason Hall, successor of Mr. Hart, is 
the son of Parry Hall, Esq. of Philadelphia, where he 


was born May 1, 1789, and after the completion of his 
education and qualifying himself for the ministry, he 
officiated several years in different places of his own 
state and settled in this parish in 1829, but removed in 
1834 to Pennsylvania and officiated for some years as 
rector of St. Mary's Church, Hamiltonville, West 
Philadelphia. He married Mary Douglass in April, 
1 815, who died in 18 17, and March 2, 1824, he married 
Sarah Lucas of New Jersey, who died in 1828; October 
12, 1 83 1, he again married in Philadelphia a lady of 
the same name as that of his first wife. 

Rev. William M. Carmichael, D.D., succeeded Mr. 
Hall in 1834. He was the son of the late James Car- 
michael of Albany, and was born there June 28, 1804; 
graduated at Hamilton College, 1826, and married Har- 
riet, daughter of Dr. Plunket Glentworth of Phila- 
delphia. He studied divinity in the Theological Seminary 
at Princeton, N. J., and was ordained and installed 
in 1830 in the Dutch Church at Waterford; N. Y., but 
turning Episcopalian, he became rector of St. Thomas 
Church, Mamaroneck, February 11, 1832, and of Christ 
Church, Rye, Westchester County, April, 1832, where 
he remained till his removal here, November 1, 1843. 
He resigned; and in conjunction with Gerardus B. 
Docharty, Esq., took charge of St. Thomas Hall, Flush- 
ing, which he relinquished in September, 1844. After 
this he became rector of Trinity Church at Watertown, 
N. Y. In 1846 he removed to and became rector of 
Christ Church, Meadville, Pa. 1 

Rev. Orlando Harriman, Jr., son of Orlando Har- 
riman of New York, was born 18 14, graduated at Co- 
lumbia College in 1835, and entered the Theological 

1 He published a History of the Church in 1841. — Editor. 


Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church at New 
Brunswick the same year, and was ordained a minister 
of that denomination and installed at Hurley, Ulster 
County, N. Y. ; but soon after, turning Episcopalian, he 
was ordained deacon in 1841, and was for a short time 
assistant minister of Christ Church, Tarrytown, N. Y., 
from whence he removed to this church and was insti- 
tuted April 7, 1844. He married Cornelia, daughter 
of Dr. John Neilson of New York. He resigned the 
rectorship June, 1849, an d was succeeded by the Rev. 
William H. Moore. 1 

Contributed by the Editor 

" Mr. Moore officiated until his death in 1892. During 
his ministry the congregation prospered greatly and his 
term of forty-three years was looked upon as a blessing by 
his parishioners. In 1881 he published a History of the 
Church, which contains a great deal of interesting in- 
formation concerning the growth of the parish. The 
next rector was the Rev. Creighton Spencer. He was 
followed by Rev. Jere K. Cooke, whose connection with 
this church and with the ministry of God was terminated 
by an act of his which cannot be enlarged upon in these 
pages. Mr. Cooke was followed by the Rev. C. H. 
Snedeker 2 who is the present rector." 

Nothwithstanding the difficulties and embarrassments 
felt by the Presbyterians of this town for more than 
three score years, as well from the influence of an arbi- 
trary government as from those who, espousing the doc- 
trines and ceremonies of the Church of England, had 
monopolized the edifice erected by the people in 1679 
with the parsonage and glebe ; they were enabled to sus- 

1 This sentence supplied by Henry Onderdonk, Jr., after the death 
of the author in March, 1849. — Editor. 
* Information kindly supplied by Rev. Mr. Snedeker. — Editor. 


tain themselves, and in 1762 completed another church 
in which they occasionally enjoyed religious services till 
1772, when the Rev. Joshua Hart was permanently en- 
gaged and officiated till the possession of the island by 
the enemy in 1776, when their church fared like most 
other dissenting meeting-houses, being used for military 
purposes during the war. The building was not only 
greatly injured but the monuments in the adjoining 
cemetery were mostly destroyed. 

The town records show that on the establishment of 
Episcopacy here, sustained as it was by the patronage 
of the government, affairs both civil and religious fell 
into the same hands, and the church exercised very ex- 
tensive influence not only in this town, but in Oyster 
Bay, which together constituted one parish. The justices 
and vestry harmonized perfectly with the church, as by 
law established. 

At the annual parish meetings, as they were called, 
vestrymen, church-wardens, and all other civil officers 
were chosen, and assessments were made for the support 
of the rector, the maintenance of the poor, and for all 
other town purposes. The vestrymen were ex officio over- 
seers of the poor, had the distribution of all the public 
moneys, and were aided by " a power and an arm which 
the people dare not resist" so that it cannot surprise any 
one that in the course of half a century a sufficient number 
should be found willing to surrender the parsonage 
lands into the hands of the Episcopal Church. 

A small dissenting meeting-house erected some years 
before, near Foster's Meadows, was taken down by the 
enemy and removed hither to aid in the construction of 
barracks for the soldiers in 1778. 

These misfortunes could not but be felt most severely 


by those who had so long struggled against such fearful 
odds, and experienced such wanton injustice from their 
own citizens; yet at the return of peace the society again 
rallied, repaired their meeting-house, and were supplied 
by a succession of ministers, among whom are noticed 
Mr. Hart, Mr. Keteltas, Mr. Sturges, Mr. Hotchkiss, 
Mr. Jones, Mr. Andrews, and Mr. Davenport. But 
the end of affliction was not yet, for on the 13th of April, 
1803, a fire happened in the village, by which the Presby- 
terian Church was destroyed. A new building was, how- 
ever, erected upon the same foundation in 1805, and 
the Rev. William Provost Kuypers was installed June 5, 
1805. He was the son of the Rev. Warmuldus Kuypers, 
who had been called from Amsterdam in Holland to 
the associate Dutch Churches of Red Hook and Rhine- 
beck Flats, Dutchess County, N. Y., from whence he 
went to Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, N. J., where 
he died, 1797, leaving five sons and a daughter: Elias, 
Gerardus, Zacharias, William P., Peter, and Aletta. 
Of these Elias became an Episcopal minister and settled 
at Yonkers, Westchester County. Peter was a farmer 
in Kings County and the other three brothers became 
clergymen of the Dutch Church. 

Mr. Kuypers was born at Hackensack in 1773, mar- 
ried a daughter of Minne Suydam of Oyster Bay, L. I., 
by whom he had issue Warmuldus, Suydam, John, 
Minne, Catherine, and Aletta. He resigned his situa- 
tion here in July, 18 12, by reason of ill health. 

Rev. Charles Webster, son of the late Charles R. 
Webster of Albany, was born there, April 4, 1793, 
graduated at Union College, 18 13, and the Theological 
Seminary, Princeton, 18 17. His installation here took 
place March 17, 18 18, where he remained till dismissed 


at his own request in 1837. His wife, Jane Wilson, 
whom he married June 4, 18 18, was a daughter of 
Captain William Brant of Connecticut Farms, N. J., by 
whom he has six children now living. His son Charles 
R. graduated at Princeton, 1840, and adopted the pro- 
fession of the law and was a quarter-master in the Mexi- 
can war. Mr. Webster preached a while at Bloomsbury, 
N. J., and November 7, 1838, was settled over the Pres- 
byterian Church at Middletown Point, N. J. During 
his stay here the church edifice was considerably en- 
larged and its interior modernized and improved. 

Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge, Jr., son of the Rev. 
Sylvester Woodbridge of Westhampton, L. I., was born 
at Sharon, Conn., June 15, 18 13, graduated at Union 
College, New York, 1830, was licensed by the presbytery 
of New Jersey, October, 1834, was installed at West- 
hampton, L. I., April 18, 1836, and married Mary, 
daughter of Cephas Foster, Esq. of that place, May 8, 

1837. His children are William Henry, Elizabeth, 
Theodore, Anna Townsend, and Jane Wilson. In Octo- 
ber he accepted a call to this church, being dismissed 
October 31, 1837, and was installed here January 16, 

1838, and dismissed again November 27, 1848, being 
appointed a missionary to California. He was descended 
from a long line of ministers both in England and Amer- 
ica. Few families have been so distinguished as this for 
ministers, many of whom have also been highly literary 
and have done much for the cause of education in New 

The family of Woodbridge is of Saxon origin, and the 
name during the fifth century was written Wodenbrig, 
then Woodebridg, and IVoodebridge, to its present form. 
Of the first four John Woodbridges, ministers, little is 


known, but the fifth Rev. John Woodbridge was born 
1570, settled at Stanton In Wiltshire, and married a daugh- 
ter of the Rev. Robert Parker, and sister of the Rev. 
Thomas Parker of Newbury, Mass. He died 1646, 
leaving sons John and Benjamin, both of whom came 
to America in 1634. The latter graduated at Harvard, 
1642, returned and preached at Salisbury upon the 
Avon, and afterwards succeeded the Rev. Dr. Twiss at 
Newbury; but was silenced with 2,000 other dissenting 
clergymen by the Act of Uniformity in 1662. He re- 
sumed his labors in 1671 and died November 1, 1684. 
Dr. Calamy says of him that he was an universally ac- 
complished person of clear and strong reason and of an 
exact and profound judgment. His elder brother John, 
born 1 6 13, was educated at Oxford, came to New Eng- 
land as aforesaid, settled at Newbury, but was ordained 
at Andover, September 16, 1644; he married Mercy, 
daughter of Governor Dudley in 1639, resigned his 
charge 1647, returned to England and settled at Bur- 
ford, St. Martins. He was ejected in 1662, his estate 
confiscated and a reward offered for his apprehension, 
but he arrived in America July, 1663, and was engaged 
at Newbury as assistant to his uncle Parker. He relin- 
quished the ministry in 1670, was an assistant to the gen- 
eral court and in the magistracy till his death, March 17, 
1695. His children were twelve in number, viz: Sarah, 
Lucie, Mary, Thomas, Joseph, John, Benjamin, Dorothy, 
Anne, Timothy, Joseph, and Martha. Of these John, 
born 1642, graduated at Harvard 1664, settled at Kill- 
ingworth 1666, at Wethersfield 1697, an d died 1690. 
Timothy, born 1656, graduated at Harvard 1675, was or- 
dained at Hartford November 18, 1685, married Abigail, 
widow of Richard Lord, 1692, and died April 30, 1732. 


She presented the first bell to Yale College in 1723. 
Benjamin returned to England, settled as minister at 
Bristol 1688, but came back and preached at Bristol, 
R. I., and Kittery 1688. He married Mary, daughter 
of the Rev. John Ward, and removed to Medford, Mass., 
in 1698, where he died January 15, 17 10. John, son of 
the last named John Woodbridge, born at Killingworth 
1678, graduated at Harvard 1694, was ordained at West 
Springfield, Mass., June, 1698, married Jemima, daugh- 
ter of the Rev. Joseph Eliot of Roxbury, November 14, 
1696 and was killed by the falling of a tree June 10, 
17 1 8, leaving eight children, of whom were John and 
Benjamin. The former, born December 25, 1702, 
graduated at Yale 1726, was ordained at Windsor, Conn. 
1729, removed to South Hadley 1742, and died Septem- 
ber 10, 1783. His brother Benjamin graduated at Har- 
vard 1 73 1, settled at Amity, now Woodbridge, Conn. 
1733, and died 1797. Sylvester, son of the last named 
John, born 1753, commenced the practice of medicine at 
Southampton, Mass., 1776, married Mindwell Lyman, 
and died 1824, leaving John, Mindwell, and Sylvester. 
Of these John became minister of Hadley, Mass., 18 10, 
and obtained the degree of D.D. His sister Mindwell 
married the Rev. Vinson Gould, who graduated at Yale 
1800, and died 1840. Sylvester, born November 9, 
1790, and father of the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge of 
Hempstead, has been noticed in our first volume. 1 

Contributed by the Editor 

" Mr. Woodbridge was succeeded by Rev. Charles 
Shields in 1849, who, remaining only one year, accepted 
a call to the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia 

1 The long account of the Woodbridge family is explained by the 
fact that Thompson was an intimate friend of Mr. Woodbridge. — Editor. 


and was later a professor at Princeton College. Rev. 
Nathaniel C. Locke, D.D., who came from Brooklyn, was 
installed here December 4, 1850, and officiated until 
i860. He was succeeded by the following pastors, the 
list of which has been kindly furnished by Rev. Dr. Kerr, 
the present pastor. 

Rev. J. J. A. Morgan i860 to 1867 

" J. B. Finch 1867 to 1875 

" Franklin Noble, D.D 1875 to 1880 

" F. E. Hopkins 1880 to 1884. 

" C. E. Dunn, D.D 1884 to 1888 

" J. A. Davis 1888 to 1893 

" Frank M. Kerr, D.D 1894 to 

" Rev. Dr. Kerr has now ministered to the parish for 
twenty-two years and his work has been of exceptional 
benefit to the church and community. He has officiated 
longer than any other pastor, which is evidence that his 
labors have been appreciated." 

Hempstead Village, the oldest settlement in the town, 
is among the most populous in the county, containing 
about 200 dwellings located upon several fine streets 
crossing each other at right angles, and having probably 
1,400 inhabitants. Being only twenty-one miles east of 
New York City, and connected with it by stages and rail- 
road cars, it is one of the most convenient and desirable 
residences on the island. The soil is dry, the water ex- 
cellent, and the air as pure and salubrious as the ocean 
breeze, making it an unrivalled location for such as desire 
a strong and clear atmosphere. The private residences 
are convenient, some of them elegant, and the buildings 
of every kind, being painted, give to the whole village 
the appearance of neatness and respectability. The stores 
and mechanic shops are considerable in number, of large 
dimensions and of various kinds. The hotels are large, 


highly convenient, and well kept, in which boarders and 
travellers can be satisfactorily accommodated at all sea- 
sons of the year. 

The public buildings are the Hempstead Seminary, 
erected in 1836, incorporated the 2d of May in that 
year, and placed under the regents of the university 
January 29, 1839. The situation is well chosen and the 
building, sixty by forty feet, is a good specimen of scho- 
lastic architecture. It cost, including the land and other 
improvements, more than $10,000, but has thus far proved 
a dead loss to the stockholders, the course of instruction 
being little above the level of our common schools. The 
public free school was opened in the fall of 1850. It 
cost about $2,000. 

Besides the seminary are the Episcopal Church al- 
ready mentioned, the Methodist Episcopal Church, built 
in 1822, and since enlarged and improved, and the new 
Presbyterian, or Christ First Church, which is a hand- 
some edifice, assimilated in its form to the more modern 
Gothic structures. 

The old church, having stood about forty-one years, was 
removed July 27, 1846, and has since been converted into 
a commodious parsonage house. The corner stone of the 
present building was laid August 20, 1846, the frame 
raised on the 27th, and the church finished and dedicated 
May 26, 1847. ^ is fifty-six by sixty-six feet, with an ap- 
propriate tower and its interior is substantial and elegant. 

The streets were first named in 1834, and guide boards 
put up at the intersections of them in accordance with a 
vote of the villagers. 

A printing press was introduced May 8, 1830, by 
William Hutchinson and Clement F. Le Fevre, who is- 
sued a newspaper entitled The Long Island Telegraph 


and General Advertiser, the title of which was changed 
February 1 1, 1831, to The Inquirer. In April, 1833, it 
was transferred to James G. Watts,* who, on the 9th 
of May following, altered the title again to Hempstead 
Inquirer, which name it has retained ever since. On the 
death of Mr. Watts the next year the business devolved 
upon his son James C. Watts, who in May, 1838, sold 
out the establishment to John W. Smith, by whom 
August 1, 1 841, it was transferred to Charles Willets, 
who sold out his interest therein on January 10, 1849, 
to Seaman N. Snedeker. 

In this village is the grave of the late Henry Eckford, 
over which a chaste and beautiful monument has been 
erected. He was born at Irvine in Scotland, March 12, 
1775, and was sent in 179 1 to the care of his maternal 
uncle, John Black, a naval constructor at Quebec. When 
of age, he commenced business in the city of New York, 
where the superior style in which his ships were built ex- 
cited general attention; and the models devised by him 

* James G. Watts was born at Alstead, N. H., May 22, 1792, and for 
seven years succeeding 1821 was the editor and proprietor of the United 
States Gazette at Philadelphia, a newspaper established about the year 
1780 and always ably conducted. The delicate state of his health com- 
pelled him to leave that city in 1828, and he returned to New Hamp- 
shire where he pursued a more active business for some time; but not 
recovering entirely he came to Hempstead in the hope of receiving bene- 
fit, and not being in circumstances to live without employment took the 
management of the Hempstead Inquirer. His expectations, and those of 
his family, were disappointed, and after struggling for more than a year 
against the approaches of pulmonary disease, he sank into the grave June 
23, 1834, ln tne forty-third year of his age, leaving a widow, two sons, 
and three daughters. Mr. Watts was a highly intelligent and industrious 
man, and was always distinguished for his activity and enterprise. His 
eldest daughter, Mary Ann, became the wife of Dr. William K. Northall, 
September 16, 1835; Emma Matilda, his second, married Elijah K. 
Bangs, August 4, 1839, and died June 11, 1843, aged twenty-three; Han- 
nah married William Griswold; James C. married Drucilla, sister of 
William K. Northall, and George C. died in his twenty-second year, 
August 22, 1845. 


established the character of New York-built ships, over 
those of any other part of the Union. During the war of 
1 8 12 he was employed by the government to build a navy 
on Lake Erie, and carried on his operations with more 
despatch than was ever before known in this country. In 
1 8 15 he was made naval architect at the Brooklyn navy 
yard, where he built the " Ohio 74," one of the finest ships 
ever seen. On the accession of Andrew Jackson, Mr. Eck- 
ford was invited to furnish a plan for a new organization 
of the navy, which he executed to the satisfaction of those 
capable of estimating its value. In 1831 he built a ship 
of war for the Sultan Mahmoud, and was invited to 
Turkey. Having experienced heavy losses and consider- 
able hard treatment here he set out for Constantinople, 
where he arrived and was appointed naval constructor for 
the empire. Having laid the foundation of a ship of the 
line, he was attacked by an acute disease which ended 
fatally November 12, 1832, in his fifty-eighth year. His 
remains were brought here and interred February 22, 
1833. His widow Marian, daughter of Joseph Bedell 
of this place, died August 28, 1840. Issue: Janet, wife 
of Dr. James E. DeKay; Sarah, wife of Dr. Joseph R. 
Drake, 1 Eliza, wife of Gabriel F. Irving; Henry, and 
Joseph. Dr. Drake died 1820, leaving Janet Halleck, 
who married George C. DeKay. He died January, 
1849. Gabriel F. Irving died at Paris, May 18, 1845, 
and was interred at Hempstead July 15, 1845. 

The Long Island Farmer's Fire Insurance Company, 
incorporated April 29, 1833, with a capital of $50,000, 
was located in this village and commenced its opera- 
Joseph Rodman Drake, author of "The Culprit Fay" and "The 
American Flag." He was also a physician. His father-in-law, wife, 
and child are buried in the Episcopal churchyard at Hempstead. The 
poet's own grave is at Hunt's Point, New York City. — Editor. 


tions in a short time thereafter; of which Nathaniel 
Seaman was chosen president, and Benjamin F. Thomp- 
son secretary. It continued to do business about ten 
years, when in consequence of the establishment of 
another insurance company in the county curtailing its 
best business, it was deemed expedient to wind up its 
concerns, and this was done without much loss. 

A considerable conflagration, supposed to be the work 
of an incendiary, occurred in the lower part of the vil- 
lage on the morning of April 25, 1837, which occasioned 
a loss of about $20,000. The premises were soon after 
rebuilt and make an improved appearance. Another 
fire happened December 21, 1845, Dut a heavy rain oc- 
curred at the time, and by great exertion of the firemen 
and citizens its ravages were confined to the hotel of 
Samuel C. Sammis, which was wholly consumed, but 
was rebuilt and opened in April, 1847.* 

Jerusalem is a collection of houses on the eastern limits 

* The following inscription is taken from a gravestone in the town of 
Newport, R. I., the subject of which was a native of this village, a de- 
scendant of James Searing, who settled here about the year 1665. 

" Here lies a Christian minister, sacred to whose memory the congre- 
gation, late his pastoral charge, erected this monument, a testimonial to 
posterity, of their respect for the amiable character of the Rev. James 
Searing, their late venerable pastor. He was born at Hempstead, on 
Long Island, September 23, 1704, received a liberal education at Yale 
College, where he graduated in 1725, ordained to the pastoral charge of 
the Christian Church and society, meeting in Clarke Street, Newport, 
April 21, 1731, where he served in the Christian ministry twenty-four 
years, and died January 6, 1755, aged fifty. He always entertained a 
rational and solemn veneration of the Most High, whom he regarded as 
the father of the universe, the wise governor and benevolent friend of 
the creation. He was a steady advocate for the Redeemer and his re- 
ligion, by recommending virtue and piety, upon Christian principles, in 
his publick instructions, and in his own excellent example. His contempt 
of bigotry, his extensive charity and benevolence, and exemplary good- 
ness of life, justly endeared him to his flock, and not only entitled him 
to, but gained him, that very general acceptance and esteem, which per- 
petuates his memory with deserved reputation and honour." 


of the town at the head of Jerusalem River, the soil of 
which was purchased from the Indians by Captain John 
Seaman and sons in 1666, for which they procured a 
patent of confirmation from the governor. The deed 
was executed by the chiefs of the Meroke and Massa- 
peague tribes. 

The situation of the village is pleasant and it contains 
about 100 inhabitants, the majority of whom are 
farmers. A Friends' meeting-house was built here in 
1827, a large proportion of the people being of that de- 
nomination. There are besides several mills and manu- 
factories in the immediate neighborhood. 

Merrick (Moroke, or Merikoke), so called from the 
tribe of Indians that once inhabited it and who were a 
numerous people, is a small settlement, five miles south- 
east of the village of Hempstead in full view of the bay 
and ocean, rendering it extremely pleasant. It possesses, 
moreover, from its local position, many considerable 
natural advantages. The Methodists have at this place 
a meeting-house, erected in 1830, another a little further 
east, erected in 1840, and one at the settlement called 
Newbridge, built in 1839. 

Raynor's South, 1 or as it is sometimes called, Raynor- 
town, two or three miles west of Merrick, was first settled 
by Edward Raynor,* an original proprietor of the town, 

1 Now Freeport. — Editor. 

* The above named Edward Raynor, it will be seen, was among those 
who accompanied the Rev. Mr. Denton to this town in 1644, and died in 
1686. Samuel, his son had a son Benjamin, whose son Menzies was 
born November 23, 1770, and was ordained a Methodist preacher in 1793. 
In 1795 he was invited to settle in the Episcopal Church at Elizabeth- 
town, N. J., which call he accepted, and was accordingly re-ordained by 
the Right Rev. Bishop Provost of New York. He remained there about 
six years, when he removed to Hartford, Conn., where he was pastor of 
the Episcopal Church about ten years, during which time he assisted in 
organizing societies at East Windsor and Glastonbury. After this he 


or his children, in 1659. It is a highly privileged place 
on account of its fine landing, its proximity to the bay, 
with its extensive fishery, &c, and is exceeded by few 
other places as the resort of sportsmen at every season. 

East Meadow Brook, a very fine stream, here dis- 
charges its contents into the bay, and has upon it some 
of the finest grist and paper mills in the county. The 
Presbyterian Church was erected here in 1840, and was 
dedicated the 29th of November of that year. 

Milburn and Hicks Neck, on the west of Raynor's 
South, contain a large population, a proportion of which 
is generally employed in the commerce of the bay. The 
spot called Lott's Landing is the principal depot for 
manure, and for lumber and other building materials for 
the surrounding country. A Methodist Episcopal meet- 
ing-house, called the Bethel Church, was erected here and 
dedicated May 4, 1844. 

became rector of the united parishes of Huntington and New Stratford 
(now Monroe), in the county of Fairfield, where he continued with a 
good reputation for piety and eloquence, sixteen years. About the close 
of this period, having embraced the doctrines of Universal Salvation, he 
became pastor of the Universalist Church at Hartford, in which city he 
resumed his pastoral labors, after an absence of sixteen years, Novem- 
ber 1, 1828. At the expiration of four years he removed, on a pressing 
invitation, to Portland, Me., where he stayed about four years, when 
he was called to Troy, N. Y., where he also continued four years. In 
August, 1840, he removed to the city of New York, and became pastor 
of the Universalist Church in Bleecker Street. Mr. Raynor married Re- 
becca, daughter of Dr. Daniel Bontecou of New Haven, July 5, 1795, 
by whom he had issue twelve children, of whom nine are now living. 
His son, Benjamin Lester, is the author of a life of Mr. Jefferson, a 
work of considerable merit. Mr. Raynor has written much, and with 
acknowledged ability, upon religious subjects. Of some of his works, 
large editions have been sold. During his last residence at Hartford, 
he edited and published a weekly paper, entitled The Religious Inquirer, 
which was continued several years, and was conducted with distinguished 
candor and ability. At Portland he also aided in the publication of a 
periodical called The Christian Pilot. A few of his numerous works have 
been stereotyped, and all bear intrinsic evidence of sincerity, moderation, 
intelligence, and industry. 


Near Rockaway, 1 about five miles south-west of Hemp- 
stead village, at the head of Rockaway Bay, has also an 
excellent and convenient landing, which can be approached 
at high water by vessels of sixty tons or more, many of 
which have been built and are owned here. It is an active 
place and very pleasantly situated. The Methodist 
Church in the vicinity was erected in 1790, being the first 
of that denomination built within the limits of the town. 
Near to this church is an immense grave, at the head 
of which stands a marble monument, erected to the 
memory of more than 100 unfortunate emigrants, chiefly 
Irish, who miserably perished from on board of the 
ships "Bristol" and "Mexico," in the years 1837 and 
1838, the particulars of which are detailed in another part 
of this work. 

Among the more remarkable features in the geog- 
raphy of this town is Far Rockaway, 2 long celebrated as 
a fashionable watering place, and annually visited by 
thousands in pursuit of pure air and the luxury of sea 
bathing. Here the ceaseless waves of the ocean break 
directly upon the shore which unites at this place with the 
main land. The house most frequently resorted to in 
former times has been removed from its foundation, and 
its place supplied by a more extensive establishment and 
one better adapted to the character of the place, its 
eligible location as the resort of strangers, and the un- 
rivalled sublimity and beauty of the unbounded prospect. 
The corner stone of the Marine Pavilion was laid June 1, 
1833, with public and appropriate ceremonies, and the 
structure was finished soon after. It is in all respects a con- 
venient and magnificent edifice, standing upon the margin 

1 Now East Rockaway. — Editor. 

a Now included within Borough of Queens, City of New York. — Editor. 


of the Atlantic; and has generally been kept in a style 
not exceeded by any hotel in the United States. The 
main building is two hundred and thirty feet front, with 
wings on each side, one of which is seventy-five, and the 
other forty-five feet in length. The peristyles are of the 
Ionic order, the piazza being two hundred and thirty-five 
feet long by twenty wide. The sleeping apartments num- 
ber one hundred and sixty; the dining-room is eighty feet 
long, and the drawing-room fifty. It was erected origi- 
nally by an association of gentlemen of the city of New 
York and the cost, including the land and standing fur- 
niture, exceeded $43,000. It was sold by the proprietors 
in May, 1836, for $30,000, to Charles A. Davis and 
Stephen Whitney, Esqs., of New York and the latter 
gentleman is now its sole owner. The atmosphere here, 
even in the hottest weather, is fresh, cool, and delightful; 
and visitors experience new inspiration and increased 
vigor by repeated plunges in the ocean. 

There are several excellent private boarding houses in 
the neighborhood of the Pavilion, the best and most com- 
modious of which is "Rock Hall," erected as a family 
residence by Colonel Josiah Martin, an opulent planter 
from the Island of Antigua, in 1767. Here he resided 
at his death, November 20, 1778, at the age of seventy- 
nine, leaving it to his son, Dr. Samuel Martin, who died 
here unmarried in 1800. Upon the wall over one of 
the fire-places is an original painting of a child and dog, 
executed by the celebrated John Singleton Copley, father 
of the no less celebrated Lord Lyndhurst, late Chancel- 
lor of England. Colonel Martin had a daughter Eliza- 
beth, who married her cousin, Hon. Josiah Martin, 
former governor of North Carolina, and whose daughter 
Mary was the child depicted by Mr. Copley. Another 


daughter of the Colonel, Rachel, married Thomas Ban- 
nister of Rhode Island. Colonel Martin and his son, Dr. 
Samuel Martin, were interred beneath the altar of the 
old Episcopal Church in the village of Hempstead. 

The following beautiful song, written (for his friend, 
Henry Russell) by Henry John Sharpe, Esq., is so faith- 
fully descriptive of this delightful spot, that no apology 
for its insertion need be offered: 


" On auld Long Island's sea-girt shore, 

Many an hour I've whil'd away, 
In list'ning to the breakers roar 

That wash the beach at ' Rockaway.' 
Transfix'd I've stood while nature's lyre 

In one harmonious concert broke, 
And, catching its Promethean fire, 

My inmost soul to rapture woke. 

O! how delightful 't is to stroll 

Where murmuring winds and waters meet, 
Marking the billows as they roll 

And break, resistless, at your feet; 
To watch young Iris as she dips 

Her mantle in the sparkling dew, 
And chased by Sol, away she trips 

O'er the horizon's quiv'ring blue. 

To hear the startling night winds sigh 

When weary nature's lulled to sleep, 
While the pale moon reflects on high 

Her image in the mighty deep; 
Majestic scene! where nature dwells 

Profound in everlasting love, 
While her unmeasur'd music swells 

The vaulted firmament above." 

Mr. Joseph Tyler, a celebrated English comedian, for- 
merly kept a boarding house at this place many years, 
and here he died in January, 1823, at the age of seventy- 
two. At his house died, August 24, 18 17, Joseph Hol- 
man, also a celebrated actor, aged fifty-two. His widow, 


whose maiden name was Latimer, a beautiful woman as 
well as a talented actress, married Major-General Charles 
W. Sandford, a member of the New York bar. Char- 
lotte, the daughter of Mr. Holman by a former wife, 
married Mr. Charles Gilbert, a highly gifted musical 

In Dunlap's History of the American Theatre it is said 
of Mr. Tyler, " that he was in early life a barber, and 
consequently was an uneducated man." It is there- 
fore more to his honor, " that he could represent the pere 
noble on the stage and play the noblest work of God, an 
honest man in society." 

Of Mr. Holman, Mr. Dunlap says, " that through all 
vicissitudes he sustained the character of a scholar, the 
man of honor and the gentleman. He was the son of 
Sir John Holman, Baronet; was educated at the Univer- 
sity of Oxford; and by the urbanity of his manners and 
the force of his talents greatly contributed to exalt the 
character of his profession." 

Trinity Church, formerly a chapel attached to St. 
George's Church, Hempstead, was erected in 1838, in 
which the Rev. Mr. Carmichael officiated occasionally, 
till his removal from the town. The Rev. John Car- 
penter Smith was the first rector. He was born at Beth- 
page, L. I., October 25, 18 16, the son of John and 
Martha G. Smith. He entered Kenyon College, Ohio, in 
1835, and in 1839 became a student of the Protestant 
Episcopal Seminary in New York. Admitted deacon in 
July, 1842, and presbyter in 1844, in the spring of that 
year took charge of this church, but left for St. George's 
Church, Flushing, October, 1847, an d was succeeded by 
the Rev. Vandevoort Bruce, November 1, 1847. Mr- 
Bruce was born in New York City, graduated at Trinity 


College, Hartford, in 1840, and was ordained priest June 
13, 1846. The ground upon which the church stands was 
a gift from the late Cornelius Van Wyck and his sister 
Elizabeth. Trinity Church, New York, contributed the 
sum of $500 in money and the bell was the liberal dona- 
tion of Joseph Hewlett, Esq., a native of the town. 

Trinity Church parish may date its origin from 18 17, 
when it was presented with a building erected for and 
used as a block house during the war of 18 12, in which 
the Rev. Seth Hart officiated occasionally in connection 
with St. George's Church, Hempstead, in 1835. 

We have seen that the Presbyterian Church, erected 
in this vicinity in 1770, was torn down by the British in 
1778. Since which it has never been rebuilt. 

The Methodists, however, completed a meeting-house 
here in 1836. 

On the 6th of April, 1784, an act was passed, entitled 
" an act. to divide the township of Hempstead into two 
towns," by which it was enacted that all that part of the 
said township, south of the country road that leads from 
Jamaica, nearly through the middle of Hempstead Plains, 
to the east part thereof should be included in one town- 
ship, and be thereafter called and known by the name of 
South Hempstead; and all the residue of the said town- 
ship of Hempstead should be included in one township, 
and be thereafter called and known by the name of North 
Hempstead. That the inhabitants of either town should 
continue to enjoy the right of oystering, fishing, and clam- 
ming in the waters of both. The name of South Hemp- 
stead was changed to Hempstead by a subsequent act, 
passed the 7th of April, 1801. 

The following brief statement of the expensive and 
protracted controversies, which have existed in relation to 


the common lands, marshes, etc., in this town, compris- 
ing probably more than 25,000 acres, cannot fail to be 
interesting, and is thought material to a full and impar- 
tial history of the town. 

The first proceeding in this matter was a bill filed in the 
court of chancery, April 5, 1808, by Samuel Denton and 
six other persons, on behalf of themselves and those 
similarly circumstanced (who should contribute to the 
expenses of the suit) , to have their rights declared and 
established, and to be let into the enjoyment of the undi- 
vided plains, marshes, and beach, according to their re- 
spective interests, to the exclusion of all others; so that 
they should be enabled to make partition thereof among 
themselves, according to the statute in such case made and 

The principal ground contended for by the complain- 
ants was that the inhabitants of the town of Hempstead, 
previous to its division into two towns, whether heirs of, 
or purchasers from, the original patentees, were tenants 
in common, of all the common and undivided land, 
marshes, &c, within the limits of the town. 

On the other side it was alleged that the said lands, 
marshes, &c, were the property of the town of Hemp- 
stead as a corporation, who had at all former times con- 
trolled and governed the same by rules and regulations 
of town meeting, and had made frequent grants and divi- 
sions thereof from time to time from the period of the 
original purchase to the time of the filing of the said bill 
of the complainants. After a long and learned argument 
by counsel on both sides, the chancellor dismissed the 
bill for want of proper parties, and upon appeal to the 
court of errors the decision of the chancellor was affirmed. 

Another bill was subsequently filed to recover the 


same premises by persons claiming to be the heirs and 
legal representatives of those who, in 1687, had con- 
tributed to the expenses of obtaining the patent of 1685 
from Governor Dongan at the rate of two and a half 
pence per acre for all the lands then held by said per- 
sons in severalty, being in number 160, according to the 
list hereinbefore inserted. This claim was founded upon 
the pretence that the premises mentioned in said patent 
were thereby confirmed in fee to the individuals named 
therein in joint tenancy; that John Jackson, the survivor 
of said patentees, took the whole of said lands, and so 
being lawfully seized thereof, he, by a declaration or 
deed in writing, bearing date April 17, 1722, conveyed 
the same to those and to their heirs and descendants who 
had paid and contributed as aforesaid in the year 1687 
to the expenses of the said patent; and the complainants 
for themselves as well as for others in whose behalf the 
said suit was brought, being such heirs and descendants, 
were entitled to said common and undivided lands, 
marshes, &c, in fee simple as tenants in common thereof. 
To this claim the town of Hempstead made answer, 
and such was the opinion of Chancellor Kent, that the 
persons named in the Dongan patent like those men- 
tioned in former patents, acted in obtaining the same, 
not on their own behalf, but as agents, for and on behalf 
of themselves and their associates, the freeholders and 
inhabitants of the town as a body corporate and politic, 
and that the said complainants had no other or greater 
right or claim to said premises than what arose from 
their being inhabitants of the town; and his honor 
therefore decreed that the complainant's bill be dismissed 
with costs, which decree was affirmed on appeal to the 
court of errors, April 2, 18 18. 


January 10, 1821, another bill was filed by the town 
of North Hempstead, in the names of John B. Kissam, 
Supervisor, and John I. Schenck, Clerk, against the town 
of Hempstead, to recover a part of the common lands, 
marshes, &c, in the latter town, notwithstanding the di- 
vision of the original town into two towns in 1784, and 
upon the principle that said lands, marshes, &c, were 
the common property of the freeholders and inhabitants 
of the original town, as cestui qui trusts, or otherwise, 
consequently that the division of the territory into two 
towns did not affect the vested and beneficial rights and 
interests of the freeholders and inhabitants of North 
Hempstead to a fair proportion of said common prop- 
erty belonging as aforesaid to the freeholders and in- 
habitants of the original town, and that the rights of the 
complainants had not been lost or divested by adverse 
possession or otherwise. 

To which allegations, the town of Hempstead an- 
swered by John D. Hicks, Supervisor, and Edward A. 
Clowes, Clerk, as follows : 

11 1. That the plains, marshes, meadows, and beach, 
mentioned in the pleadings in this cause, together with 
other parts of the said plains, and other meadows and 
marshes now lying in North Hempstead, belonged to the 
town of Hempstead before the division of that town, and 
the freeholders and inhabitants thereof, as town com- 
mons of the said town; and that the freeholders and in- 
habitants of the said town, in town meeting assembled, 
in their corporate or political capacity, were exclusively 
entitled to the same, as common or town property, and 
had the sole and absolute right of regulating and dispos- 
ing of the same. 

" 2. That upon the division of the said town, all the 
said common lands, &c, which fell within the bounds of 


South Hempstead, became, and have ever since been, and 
now are, town commons of the said town of South 
Hempstead (now Hempstead) and of the freeholders 
and inhabitants of the said town in town meeting assem- 
bled, who have the sole right of using and regulating the 
same; and that the part of the common lands, &c. which 
fell within the bounds of North Hempstead, became, and 
ever since have been, and now are, town commons of the 
said town of North Hempstead, and of the freeholders 
and inhabitants of that town, in town meeting assembled, 
who have the sole and exclusive right of using and regu- 
lating the same; and that such has always been admitted, 
treated, and acted upon by the said towns respectively, 
as being their respective rights and titles to the same. 

"3. That the town of South Hempstead (now Hemp- 
stead) since the division of the original town of Hemp- 
stead, having been in the exclusive possession of the com- 
mon lands, &c. which fell within the bounds of South 
Hempstead, claiming and exercising the exclusive right 
of regulating and controlling the same, such possession 
has been adverse to any right or claim of the town of 
North Hempstead, and has continued, for a sufficient 
length of time, to bar any such right or claim. 

11 4. That the complainant's bill contains no equity on 
which a decree can be made against the defendants." 

The Hon. Nathan Sanford, Chancellor, decided after 
a most able and elaborate argument, that by the Dutch 
patent of 1644, and the English patent of 1685, the town 
of Hempstead was invested with power to hold lands, 
and that they constituted the inhabitants thereof a body 
corporate, capable of receiving and holding the lands 
conveyed. Both patents proceeded, says he, from the 
sovereign, who had full power to grant the title, and to 
create corporations; the construction of which patents 
was supported by the constant practice of the town, from 



the time they were granted. That when the original 
town was divided, two new corporations were estab- 
lished, in the place of one, each capable of holding 
lands within its own limits. That such division was in 
itself an assignment to each corporation, of the lands in- 
cluded in each respectively. The division not only dis- 
united the ancient title, but it severed the lands them- 
selves; it was a partition of all the lands into new and 
distinct portions. Upon the whole case, says his honor, 
11 1 am of opinion, that the town of North Hempstead 
has no title to the lands in the town of Hempstead, and 
that the suit must be dismissed with costs." This decision 
was likewise affirmed by the court of errors in December 
term, 1828. 

The increase of population may be gathered from the 
fact that the number of inhabitants in the town in 1722 
(including North Hempstead) was 1,951, besides 319 
colored slaves. Now the number in Hempstead alone is 
over 8,000. 

The following is as accurate a list of the town clerks 
as can be ascertained by the records : 

1644 to 1658. .Daniel Denton 
1658 to 1662. .John James 
1662 to 1665. .Jonas Houldsworth 
1665 to 1667. .Thomas Hicks 
1667 to 1671 . .Joseph Sutton 

1671 to 1672. .Richard Charlton 

1672 to 1676. .Nathaniel Pearsall 
1676 to 1680. .Thomas Rushmore 

1680 to 1681. .Edward French 

1681 to 1683. .Richard Gildersleeve 
1683 to 1684. .Francis Chappel 
1684 to 1685. .Josias Star 

1685 to 1686. .Nathaniel Pearsall 

1686 to 1695. .Joseph Pettit 

1695 to 1709. .Thomas Gildersleeve 
1709 to 1712. .William Willis 

1712 to 1719. .James Jackson 
1719 to 1736. .William Willis 
1736 to 1746. .Micah Smith 
1746 to 1783. .Valentine H. Peters 

1783 to 1784. John Schenck 

1784 to 1787. .Nathaniel Seaman 
1787 to 1795. .Samuel Clowes 

1795 to 1796. .Richard Bedell 

1796 to 1817. .Abraham Bedell 

1817 to 1818.. Piatt Willets 

1818 to 1827. .Edward A. Clowes 
1827 to 1834. .Albert Hentz 

1834 to 1841. .Benjamin Rushmore 

1841 to 1842. .Thomas Welch 

1842 to . .Harry H. Marvin 


"On January 1, 1898, that part of the town of 
Hempstead extending westward from the eastern limits 
of the village of Far Rockaway to the Rockaway Beach 
Inlet became part of the Borough of Queens, City of 
New York." — Editor. 

Among the inhabitants of this town in 1660 were 
Thomas Southard and his sons Thomas, John, Abra- 
ham, and Isaac. Thomas, the second, had issue Abra- 
ham, Caleb, Isaac, John, and Thomas. Caleb died in 
1827, aged ninety-seven, and was the father of Abel and 
David; the first, born 1752, died unmarried November 
26, 1833. David, born 1768, died May 17, 1844; his 
wife was Ruth, daughter of Seth Moser, by whom he 
had four sons and three daughters. The last named, 
Abraham, married Miss Barnes, and removed to Ber- 
nardstown, N. J., in 175 1, with eight children, one of 
whom, Henry, was born here in October, 1747. Five 
other children were born subsequently. Henry married 
Sarah Lewis, of a Welsh family, and resided at Basking 
Ridge. He was the father of thirteen children also, and 
died at the age of ninety-five, June 2, 1842. He was 
among the earliest members of the state legislature after 
the formation of the federal constitution, served in that 
body nine years, when he was elected as representative 
in congress, and continued by successive re-elections for 
twenty-one years, when, being over seventy years of 
age, he voluntarily retired. The late Hon. Samuel L. 
Southard, one of his sons, was born June 9, 1787, gradu- 
ated at Nassau Hall 1804, was elected a senator in con- 
gress in 1 82 1, made Secretary of the Navy in 1823, — 
afterwards Attorney-General and Governor of New 
Jersey. In 1833 and 1836 he was again sent to the senate 
and on the death of President Harrison, was chosen presi- 


dent of that august body. This station he resigned a short 
time before his death, which took place June 26, 1842, 
only twenty-four days after that of his father. He may be 
justly ranked among the greatest men of the nineteenth 
century. His son of the same name was made rector of 
Calvary Church, New York, September 15, 1844, and 
one of his daughters married Ogden Hoffman, Esq., a 
distinguished lawyer. 

Died in this town in 1830, in the ninetieth year of his 
age, Peter Thomas, son of Moses, and elder brother of 
Isaiah Thomas, LL.D., who was for many years one 
of the most extensive printers and publishers of books 
in New England, if not in America. Isaiah Thomas was 
the author of some valuable works, besides the History of 
Printing, in two volumes, 8vo; and was the liberal founder 
and first president of the American Antiquarian Society, 
at Worcester, Mass., where he spent the greater part of 
his life. He was born 1749, and died April 4, 1831, 
aged eighty-two, leaving a character distinguished for 
patriotism, integrity, and philanthropy. Among other 
acts of generosity, he gave $300 to the New York 
Historical Society as evidence of his ardent desire 
for its prosperity. Peter Thomas was a man of good 
sense, and preserved through life a character of strict 

On the 10th of August, 1835, there also died here, 
in the seventy-sixth year of his age, George Taylor, a 
native of Ireland, where he was born May 13, 1760, and 
whence he came when a youth with his parents to New 
York. In 1778 he was a clerk and afterwards deputy 
quartermaster under Colonel Udny Hay. In 178 1, 1782, 
and 1783, he was employed as clerk in the office of Colonel 
Richard Varick, then confidential secretary to Washing- 


ton, and was subsequently chief clerk of Mr. Jefferson 
while Secretary of State of the United States. Some 
time after he held the office of Sheriff of Philadelphia, 
and other places of trust. Although possessed of con- 
siderable property, he was deprived of it in a great meas- 
ure by his disposition to befriend others, and notwith- 
standing he lived respected by those who knew him, he 
died in comparative indigence. 

Among the original settlers of this town were Robert 
Jackson and Agnes, his wife. His will bears date May 
25, 1683, and it is probable that he died soon after. He 
mentions his sons John and Samuel, and daughter Sarah, 
wife of Nathaniel Moore, and Martha, wife of Na- 
thaniel Coles. Colonel John Jackson, the eldest son, was 
the owner, it appears, of 430 acres of land in the town 
in 1685, and a leading man in all public matters. His 
first wife was Elizabeth Hallett, and his second Eliza- 
beth, the eldest daughter of Captain John Seaman, a 
man of consideration likewise. The last marriage took 
place in 1671. He was high sheriff of the county of 
Queens in 1691, a member of assembly in 1693, and so 
continued with little interruption till 17 14. It is prob- 
able he died in 1725, as his will is dated just before. 
His sons were John, Samuel, and James. The first set- 
tled at or near Jerusalem, and died in 1744; issue Oba- 
diah, John, Parmenas, Martha (married Peter Titus), 
Elizabeth (married Colonel John Sands), Nancy (mar- 
ried John Hewlett), Mary (married Benjamin Sands), 
Jernsha (married Morris Place), Rosanna (married 
Richard Jackson) , and Abigail (married Jacob Robbins) . 
Obadiah was father of the late General Jacob F. Jack- 
son, John was father of Thomas, John, Tredwell, Sam- 
uel, Noah, Obadiah, Charity (married John Seaman), 


and Mary (married Daniel Underhill). Parmenas, who 
was killed as heretofore mentioned, was father of Par- 
menas and John. The first of whom had Benjamin 
Coles, Thomas Birdsall, Noah, Obadiah, James, Mary, 
and Elbert. Samuel, son of Colonel John Jackson, had 
Richard, Townsend, Thomas, Ruth, Jemima, who 
married James Hewlett, Letitia, who married Solo- 
mon Pool, Mary, who married John Pratt, and Mar- 
tha, who married Samuel Birdsall. Richard, son of 
John and grandson of the colonel, married Jane, 
daughter of Jacob Seaman, and had Richard, Micah, 
Jacob, Phebe, who married Gilbert Wright, Mary, who 
married John Tredwell, and Jane, who married Zebulon 
Seaman. Thomas, son of Samuel, had Jacob S. and 
Samuel T. Obadiah, son of John of Jericho, had John 
and William. His brother John had Hamilton, Chris- 
tiana, Maria, and Cornelia. Samuel, the other brother, 
died without issue, and his large estate descended in 
equal portions to his nephews and nieces. 

Thomas Jackson, son of Samuel and Mary, was born 
December 24, 1754, died November 25, 1842, aged 
eighty-eight, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Obadiah 
Jackson, and sister of the general. She was born May 
6, 1762, and died September 18, 1828. Ruth, born Sep- 
tember 27, 1786, married Thomas Jones, and died Janu- 
ary 11, 1837. Obadiah, born March 7, 1789, married 
Sarah, daughter of John Boerum. She died in May, 
1848. Jacob, born April 23, 1791, married Phebe, 
daughter of George Duryea. Samuel T., born October 
29, 1795, married Martha W., daughter of Lewis Hew- 
lett, January 10, 1820. She was born November 21, 
1802; issue, Elizabeth Hewlett, born October 28, 1821, 
Marian Woolsey, born September 16, 1825. Phebe, 


born September 1, 1827, Thomas, born March 25, 
1 83 1, Henry Hewlett, born November 27, 1836. 

Robert had John (1), he a son John (2), he a son 
John (3), and he Obadiah (4), father of General John 
S. Jackson (5). The second John had Phebe, who mar- 
ried William Jones, and was mother of Comptroller 
Jackson. General John S. Jackson, born May 20, 1765, 
and died January 18, 1829. His daughter Eliza, born 
February 1, 1796, married Thomas Jones as third wife. 


Was as we have seen originally a part of the town 
of Hempstead, but was organized as a separate town by 
the act of April 6, 1784, entitled " An Act for Dividing 
the Town of Hempstead into Two Towns" by which all 
that part of the town lying north of the road running 
east and west nearly through the middle of the Great 
Plains was constituted a separate town by the name of 
North Hempstead. As the clerk of the former town, 
John Schenck, was a resident of the new town, the ancient 
records of Hempstead, so far as they have been pre- 
served, have always remained in it, although the most of 
them have been copied in several volumes for the use of 
the town.* 

The first town meeting in this town after its separation 
was held at the house of Samuel Searing in the village of 
Searing Town, April 14, 1784, when John Schenck, Esq. 
was re-elected clerk, and so continued for many years. 
It follows necessarily that as this town had no corporate 
existence previous to the act aforesaid, whatever relates 
to the ancient history of it must be sought for in the 
records of the original town, and consequently is contained 
in the preceding account of the town of Hempstead, al- 
though many facts and circumstances purely local in 
their character and application have been reserved for 
this portion of our history. 

In the spring of 1640 a company of emigrants from 

* One of the oldest records, entitled the " mouse-eaten book," is lost. 




^ I 




Lynn, Mass., under the direction of Captain Daniel 
Howe, and in a small vessel owned and navigated by 
him, landed upon the west side of Cow Neck, then called 
by the Indians Sint Sink, and now Manhasset, and under 
some sort of license or authority from James Farret (the 
well known agent or deputy of William Alexander, Earl 
of Stirling) , residing at that time in Boston, took formal 
possession of the land at the head of Cow Bay, and pro- 
ceeded to erect such necessary habitations as their con- 
dition and circumstances would permit. They also 
entered upon some preliminary arrangements with the 
Indians in the vicinity for all the lands from Hempstead 
Harbor to the west side of Cow Neck, and extend- 
ing from the Sound to the middle of the Island. All 
this was done without consulting the Dutch, and in 
open defiance to their well known claims to the whole 

The government of New Netherlands were, however, 
immediately informed of the proceeding, and thereupon 
sent Mr. Secretary Tienhoven, the under-sheriff, a ser- 
geant, and twenty soldiers, fully armed, to break up the 
settlement, arrest those engaged in this contemptuous in- 
trusion and convey them with all convenient speed to the 
city of New Amsterdam. On their arrival they found 
only eight men and one woman, the rest with their 
leader, Captain Howe, having retired from the danger 
which threatened them. Six of these, Job Sayre, George 
Wells, John Farrington, Phillip Kirtland, Nathaniel 
Kirtland, and William Harker were conveyed to, and 
imprisoned in Fort Amsterdam. 

On their examination the next day, Governor Kieft was 
so well satisfied of their having been deceived or mislead 
by Howe, Tomlins, and Knowles, the principal men in 


the expedition, that he dismissed them upon their sign- 
ing an agreement to quit the place forever. 

These same persons afterwards associated with those 
who the same year commenced, as we have seen, the set- 
tlement of Southampton. The Dutch Government having 
forwarded a statement of these proceedings to Boston, 
and at the same time complaining of the invasion thus 
made upon its territory, Mr. Farret at once denied that 
any authority was derived from him for what had 
taken place, and to make his disapprobation more ap- 
parent, forthwith drew up the following protest which he 
caused not only to be recorded, but published also : 

" Know all men by these presents, that whereas Edward 
Tomlyns and Timothy Tomlyns, together with one 
Hansard Knowles and others, have lately entered and 
taken possession of some part of the Long Island, in 
New England, which was formerly granted by Letters 
Patent of our Sovereign Lord, King Charles, to the Right 
Hon. William Earl of Stirling and his heirs: I, James 
Farret, by virtue of a commission under the hand and 
seal of the said Earl to me made for the disposing and 
ordering of the said Island, do hereby protest and inti- 
mate, as well to the said Edward Tomlyns and others, 
the said intruders, as to all others whom it may concern, 
that neither they, nor any of them, nor any other per- 
son or persons, (not claiming by or from the said Earl,) 
have or shall have, or enjoy any lawful right, title, or 
possession of, in, or to the said island, or any part 
thereof; but that the said Earl, his heirs and assigns, 
may and will at all times, when they please, implead or 
eject, either by course of law or lawful force, if need be, 
all the said intruders, their servants, tenants, or assigns; 
and may and will recover against them and every of 
them, all damages and costs in this behalf sustained, or 


any color of title, or pretence of right, by grant from 
the governor of New England, or any other notwith- 
standing. In testimony whereof I have made and pub- 
lished this protest and intimation before John Winthrop, 
one of the magistrates and council of the Massachusetts, 
in New England aforesaid, and have desired that the 
same be recorded there, and in other jurisdictions in 
these parts, and have published and showed the same to 
the said Edward Tomlyns in presence of the witnesses. 
Dated at Boston the 28th of 7th month, An. Dom. 1641, 
in anno Regis Domini Nostri Caroli Angliae, decimo 
septimo. "James Farret." 

"The above named James Farret, gentleman, did make 
this protestation the 28th of the said month in the year 
aforesaid at Boston, in the Massachusetts aforesaid: 

" Before me — John Winthrop/' 

Most of the lands in this town, and particularly the 
necks adjoining the Sound, were at first reserved as a 
common pasturage for cattle. Grants and allotments of 
portions of the soil began afterwards to be made upon 
Madnans (now Great) Neck. The land about what is 
now called Westbury was next settled by the Seaman, 
Titus, and Willis families, whose descendants are at this 
time numerous, both on Long Island, in the city of New 
York, and other places. That part of Cow Neck lying 
on the head of Cow Bay, and next to Great Neck, was 
called Little Cow Neck, and in the devise from Matthias 
Nicoll to his son William is called Little Neck, or Cow 
Neck, which, with the settlement on the east side of Great 
Neck, is now known as Manhasset. 

All the rest of Cow Neck, extending as far east as 
Hempstead Harbor was, up to the year 1676, enclosed 
by a fence across the head of it, and the individuals who 


contributed to its erection were by a resolution of the 
original town, entitled to pasturage upon it, proportioned 
to the number of panels of fence ma'de by them respec- 
tively, called (in the language of that day) standing 
gates, consequently in many subsequent conveyances of 
the soil the phrase gate rights often occurs. 

A division or allotment of lands upon this Neck was 
agreed upon March 8, 1674, with the exception of 200 
acres given to Captain Matthias Nicoll, on condition that 
he would assist the town (he being a lawyer) in defend- 
ing their common rights " against the pretended claims 
of individuals, or other intruders whomsoever." 

The number of those who had contributed to the en- 
closure in 1658 was sixty, and the panels of fence 526. 
In 1659 the town " ordered that noe calves shall be car- 
ried downe unto the necke, but such as shall have cowes 
drove with them to sucke, and if any shall drive downe 
calves without cowes to sucke, shall fforfeit one-half to 
him that gives the notis." The number of cattle put in 
the Neck in 1659 was 306, in which year George Hew- 
lett was appointed cowkeeper. 

After 1670 a part of the Neck was allotted to the same 
individuals or their heirs in the like ratio, except a cer- 
tain tract on Pipe-stave creek, adjoining the land of Mr. 
Nicoll, which the town, it seems, had in 1674 presented 
to him. 

The records show that September 16, 1676, John Sea- 
man, Jonah Fordham, and Thomas Rushmore were 
chosen by the town to lay out and divide the Neck in 
severalty, among those entitled to shares therein, as 
aforesaid. A large tract on the lower part of the Neck 
became afterwards the property of the Cornell family, 
who, in 1695 or 1696, sold the northern portion of it to 


Captain John Sands, and his brothers James and Samuel, 
who removed from New Shoreham, or Block Island, and 
entered into possession of said lands, from which period 
the northern part of the Neck has been known by the ap- 
pellation of "Sands Point." James subsequently re- 
sided at Matinecock in the adjoining town, for it was dur- 
ing his continuance there that on the 14th of March, 1710, 
he released his interest at Block Island to his brother 
John, who it appears continued his maritime pursuits, 
making frequent and profitable voyages between New 
York and Virginia. And it was on one of these occasions, 
it has been alleged, that he brought to Cow Neck a num- 
ber of young locust trees, which he caused to be planted 
on both sides of the cove near which his brothers resided, 
from which trees thus set out, it is believed, we are in- 
debted for most, if not all the trees of this valuable tim- 
ber now growing upon the north side of the island. It 
is extensively cultivated between Flushing and Smith- 
town, being literally a mine of wealth to its respective 
owners. Fences are here mostly constructed of it, and 
almost every farmer has now his forest of locust, of 
from 10 to 100 acres in extent. 

Cow Neck, or Manhasset, contains about 6,000 acres 
of excellent land, with a competent proportion of timber, 
besides possessing many local advantages from its con- 
tiguity to navigable waters on both sides. 

Five acres at its northern extremity was in 1806 ceded 
to the United States, upon which a noble lighthouse was 
erected in 1809 at an expense of $8,500. It is built of 
hewn stone, is of an octagon form, and rises to the 
height of eighty feet.* 

* This structure was erected by Noah Mason, who was thereafter ap- 
pointed keeper, in which situation he remained till his death, February 


Near this point, and a short distance south-east of it, 
is " Mason's Island," which, although not strictly an 
island, except at high tides, contains about sixty acres 
of good quality land, upon which are a dwelling house 
and other buildings. It was formerly known as " Kidd's 
Island," for on the south side of it are the remains of an 
immense rock, known anciently as " Kidd's Rock," from 
a tradition that the great freebooter buried valuable 
treasures near it, which have been at times anxiously 
sought for by ignorant and creduluous " money diggers" 
It takes its name of Mason's Island from having been 
the property of the late Noah Mason, mentioned in the 
note. There are a number of grist-mills upon the Neck, 
mostly dependent on tide water, and of great convenience 
to the inhabitants. 

The western part of it, extending into the waters of 
Cow Bay, 1 was anciently denominated "Little Cow Neck" 
and was included in the purchase of Matthias Nicoll, first 
English secretary of the colony, for a part of which 
he obtained a patent from Governor Lovelace in 1670, 
and of the remainder from Governor Andros, August 
29, 1677, in which the premises are bounded "north by 
a river called Little Neck, Gut, or Pipe Stone Creek; west 
by Howe's Harbor; east by a swamp that leads into said 
creek; and south by a fence that encloses the whole neck." 
To the lands included in this patent the town gave Mr. 
Nicoll 200 acres more, by which his estate upon Cow 

27, 1841. He was born at Uxbridge, Mass., 1757, and at the age of 
nineteen years entered the Revolutionary array as a volunteer, in which 
he served during three campaigns. He was present at the battle of 
Rhode Island, and with General Gates at the capture of Burgoyne, at 
which time he was severely wounded. He was always esteemed a per- 
son of strict integrity, and practised industry and economy through a 
long life of eighty-four years. 
1 Now Manhasset Bay. — Editor. 


Neck, including previous purchases, was increased to 
1,200 acres; Little Cow Neck alone containing 700. 
Matthias Nicoll died in 1690 and the estate was sold in 
17 1 8 by his son William to Joseph Latham for £2,350. 
A portion of the lands included in the purchase and 
known as Plandome (Place Vendome) came by marriage 
into the Mitchill family, and is now owned by the Hon. 
Singleton Mitchill, great-grandson of the said Joseph 

The southern portion of Cow Neck, in the vicinity 
of the churches hereafter mentioned, has received the ap- 
pellation of Manhasset (since extended to the whole 
Neck), a name wholly inapplicable to the location, it 
being the ancient designation of a famous Indian tribe 
inhabiting Shelter Island. But it seems that to expect 
the exercise of reason in matters of this sort would in 
general be deemed entirely unreasonable by the public. 

A patent for land owned by Captain Thomas Hicks, 
upon the north-east part of Cow Neck, was granted to 
him by Governor Dongan, November 25, 1686, and 
another patent the same year to John Cornwell, Decem- 
ber 13, for 100 acres, the same probably since owned 
by Cornwell Willis. 

Mr. Cornwell was the son of Richard Cornwell, or 
Cornhill, an Englishman who, at an early period and 
during the Dutch Government, made large purchases 
about Rockaway. The said John gave half an acre of 
his land for a burial ground, which has hitherto been 
used for that purpose by the Cornwell and Sands fami- 
lies. This gentleman, with his sons Richard and Joshua, 
purchased another tract of land in this district from 
Thomas Willet in 1702 for the sum of £600. 

During the Revolutionary War, bands of marauders 


were accustomed to land in whaleboats upon these 
shores during the night and attack detached farm houses, 
rifling the inhabitants of their money and other valuables, 
which they were obliged to surrender at the peril of their 
lives; then availing themselves of the speed of their 
boats, they reached their lurking places among the small 
islands in the Sound or on the main shore before an 
alarm could well be given. Indeed, so great were the 
apprehensions of these sudden attacks that many inhabi- 
tants had their windows and doors secured by bars of 
iron to prevent surprise; and it was not unusual for 
people to pass the night in the woods and other secret 
places to avoid personal violence, which in various in- 
stances was wantonly and cruelly inflicted. In some 
cases life was taken without any provocation, or in re- 
venge, or disappointment in not finding money as was 
expected. In one instance worthy of record, Mr. Jarvis, 
residing on Cow Neck, aided by an old lady living in the 
house, succeeded in beating off one of these gangs, with 
the loss of several killed and wounded on the part of the 
assailants. The night not being very dark, the villains 
were seen and fired upon by Mr. Jarvis from the windows, 
who was furnished with loaded muskets by the brave 
old lady as fast as he could effectually discharge them. 

Three miles easterly of Manhasset is the village of 
Roslyn, formerly called Hempstead Harbor, very pleas- 
antly as well as advantageously situated at the head of 
a beautiful bay. Its present fanciful name (from Roslin 
in Scotland, and recommended by Mr. Cairns) was 
adopted September 7, 1844, and is also the name of the 
post office. It possesses naturally an abundant water 
power, which has doubtless mainly contributed to make 
it a place of considerable manufacturing importance. 


The dwellings are probably about forty, and the popula- 
tion a little over 250. 

The grist mill erected in 1758, the first one in this 
part of the island, was bought from J. Pine by Hendrick 
Onderdonk who with his son Andrew built a mill here 
also for the manufacture of paper, the first establishment 
of the kind in the state. Hugh Gaine, a well known 
printer and bookseller of New York, and Henry Rem- 
sen were connected with these gentlemen in the business. 
Since when paper making has been pretty extensively 
carried on at this place. 

Contributed by the Editor 

" In connection with the change of name from Hemp- 
stead Harbor to Roslyn, the following letter written to 
Thompson by one of the chief movers in the affair can- 
not fail to be of interest. The epistle is self-explanatory 
and exhibits the process by which the new name of the 
village was arrived at. 

U i 

Hempstead Harbour, Sept. 2, 1844. 
" ' To B. F. Thompson, Esq., 
"'Dear Sir: 

" ' I received soon after its date your polite note con- 
taining a list of names which you suggest as suitable for 
the village of Hempstead Harbour. This letter, together 
with a list of all the Indian names which I had gleaned 
from a careful perusal of " Thompson's History of Long 
Island," I submitted to Mr. Bryant 1 and Mr. Leggett; 
and on Saturday Evening Mr. Leggett invited such gen- 
tlemen as had taken most interest in this affair to meet 
at his house to determine what name to submit to the 

1 William Cullen Bryant. — Editor. 


inhabitants for their approval. By a Rule which we had 
adopted but few of the names could be admitted at all. 
We wanted a short name of soft pleasant sound; one that 
would not do away with the word " Harbour," and one 
that had not been appropriated as the name of any Post 
Office in the United States. The first part of our Rule 
shut out nearly all the Indian names; the second, all 
those ending in "port" or "haven"; — and the third 
nearly all the rest. In looking into the " Table of Post 
Offices in the United States," we found that we have al- 
ready 5 Post-Offices named " Thompson," Thompson's 
X Roads, Thompson's store, Thompson Town, and 
3 Thompsonville, in all, eleven. Now although none of 
these are on Long Island or intended to do honor to the 
writer of its " History," yet one of them is in our own 
state; and the gentlemen present thought it best not to 
violate the Rule we had laid down, but to confine our 
choice to such names as had no duplicates. Ten names 
of that description were submitted to be balloted for; 
when the name " Roslyn " was found to have the great- 
est number of votes, and was afterwards unanimously 
approved by all who were present. We signed our names 
to a paper expressing that approbation, which will now 
be submitted to the inhabitants generally for signature. 
I hope they will be pleased with it for we have taken 
much pains to get all the most suitable names that could 
be found from which to make a selection. And now 
whether we have made the best possible selection or not 
I cannot say; but it will at any rate remedy the difficulty 
in the Post-Office, and that was the principal thing we 
wanted. We had about half a dozen very good Indian 
names, and I was almost sorry that one of them was not 
adopted. But all so far seem greatly pleased with the 
name " Roslyn," a few, however, who seldom write let- 
ters, or receive them or papers from a distance, will, of 
course, be opposed to any change. Such do not deserve 


to be consulted. As soon as we get our paper ready it 
will be published in the County Papers. 

" ' I am sorry to hear that you do not find so extensive 
a sale for your History of Long Island as might have 
been reasonably expected. But you know there may be 
various reasons for not purchasing a Book entirely inde- 
pendent of its merits or a desire to become acquainted 
with its contents. One contents himself with thinking 
that he can borrow Thompson's History of Long Island 
from one of his neighbors, as he has often borrowed 
other books, and thus save two or three dollars for some 
other purpose, he hardly knows what; — another owns a 
share in some Library where he can obtain the reading 
of it at any time ; — another perhaps is taken up with the 
shilling publications of the light reading of the day, 
which he prefers to history, indeed to any useful read- 
ing, as he is enabled to get through with vast quantities 
with very little mental effort; whereas history and science 
require study to make them either interesting or useful; 
and some read neither history nor anything else. The 
substantial merit of Thompson's History of Long Island 
I have never heard called in question by anybody; and 
I know enough about history composition myself fully to 
appreciate the labor bestowed upon that work and what 
few trouble themselves to think about, when you had got 
your materials together, and was ready to set down to 
write, you had the very least part of your work to do. 
I am sorry you do not feel yourself sufficiently rewarded. 

" ' Excuse this long scrawl of a letter; — accept our 
thanks for the readiness with which you responded to my 
letter, and believe me to be with great respect, 
" ' Sincerely and truly yours, 

" ' Ebenezer Close.' " 

Ebenezer Close was a prominent personage of North 
Hempstead town and a local antiquarian. He was a 


vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church at Manhasset, and 
in charge of the Academy connected with it for most of 
the time from 1824 until 1853. 

Montrose, 1 a little below the head of the harbor, is 
a highly pleasant and convenient place, and is equally 
well calculated for a country residence or for manufac- 
turing and commercial purposes. At this spot is the 
late mansion of Joseph W. Moulton (who by great 
learning and research has contributed much information 
relative to the early history of the state) ; and the 
more romantic and pleasant residence of William Cairns, 
Jr. The former is now owned and occupied by William 
Cullen Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post, 
and a poet of exalted reputation. The son of Dr. 
Peter Bryant, he was born at Cummington, Mass., No- 
vember 3, 1794. In 1 8 10 he entered Williams College, 
two years after commenced the study of the law and 
was admitted to the bar in 1815. In 1820 he assisted 
in conducting a review, in which some of his finest com- 
positions appeared. In 1821 he published " The Ages," 
" Thanatopsis," and other pieces, and in 1828 became 
joint proprietor of the Evening Post, of which he soon 
after became sole owner. He married Miss Francis Fair- 
child of Massachusetts. In 1834 he sailed with his family 
to Europe and returned the next year, but revisited it 
again in 1 845 and 1 849. It is to be regretted that he should 
from choice or necessity prostitute his fine talents and 
improved taste to the humiliating pursuit of party poli- 
tics, and spend so much valuable time in the advocacy of 

1 This locality is now a part of Roslyn, and the old appellation has 
been dropped. — Editor. 


doctrines and measures worthless in themselves and in- 
jurious in their operation and tendency to the best inter- 
ests of the country. 

Along the shores are numerous and never failing 
springs of water, gushing out from the bottom of the 
hills, affording a power for almost any amount of ma- 
chinery that may be required. The scenery from the 
high grounds in this vicinity is sublime and highly inter- 
esting. The minute grouping of landscape and water, 
hill and dale, foliage and flower, with an infinitude of 
light and shade, present altogether to the lovers of na- 
ture a panorama which is truly delightful. 

Harbor Hill in the immediate neighborhood is, except 
one other, the highest eminence upon Long Island, being 
319 feet above the water of the Sound, and from its 
summit the prospect is grand, extensive, and beautiful. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church in Roslyn was 
erected in 1785. The Friends' Meeting-house at Man- 
hasset is the oldest religious edifice in the place, having 
been originally built in 1720 upon land given for that 
purpose by Joseph Latham, and rebuilt in 1812 of some- 
what larger dimensions. 

Christ Episcopal Church at Manhasset was completed 
in 1803, principally through the influence and exertion of 
the Rev. Seth Hart of Hempstead, and in it he officiated 
several years while rector of St. George's Church. The 
corporation of Trinity Church, New York, contributed 
toward it the sum of $2,000. Mr. Hart was followed by 
the Rev. Eli Wheeler, who was settled in Zion Church, 
Little Neck; after whom the Rev. James P. F. Clarke, 
son of the late James B. Clarke of Brooklyn, has been 
rector, except that during his temporary absence in 1839 
the Rev. Ralph Williston officiated. He died in this 


parish the 29th of December of that year, aged sixty- 
five years. It should be remarked that the desk, pulpit, 
and chancel rails of this church were a gift from the 
corporation of Trinity Church, New York. They had 
been put up in St. George's Chapel on the building of 
that church in 1752, and were originally made from the 
masts of a vessel which had been wrecked on a coast 
where no other wood than mahogany could be had for 
the purpose, and were presented to St. George's Chapel 
by the captain on his arrival in New York and where 
other timber more suitable for his vessel could be had. 
It is much to be regretted that the captain's name has 
not been preserved for the admiration of posterity. 

Contributed by the Editor 

"Mr. Clarke resigned in 1849 and was followed by 
Rev. Samuel Cox in the same year, who officiated until 
1857. Since then the following clergymen have served: 

Rev. Dr. George W. Porter 1857 to 1864 

" G. F. Bugby 1865101869 

" James E. Homans 1869 to 1882 

" Charles L. Newbold 1882 to 

" Mr. Newbold has been Rector for thirty-four years, 
and in 1903 published an Historical Sketch of his 
church. He has kindly presented a copy to the Editor 
from which the above facts have been taken." 

The Dutch Reformed Church in this town was erected 
at Manhasset in 18 16 by a portion of the congregation 
worshipping at Success, of which the Rev. David S. Bogart 
was pastor, in connection with the church at Wolver Hol- 
low, where he commenced his labors in 18 13. He re- 
moved to New York in 1826 and was succeeded by the 


Rev. Henry Heermance, who married Catherine E., only 
daughter of Edgar Laing, Esq., of Kinderhook, N. Y., 
May 9, 1832. He died, aged forty-five, December 2, 
1846, leaving a widow and six children. Rev. James 
Otterson was installed here July 18, 1828, and continued 
till 1833, when he removed to Freehold, N. J., and was 
followed by the Rev. John Robb from Scotland, who 
left at the end of two years, when the vacancy was 
supplied by the Rev. William R. Gordon. 

This gentleman was the son of Robert Gordon of the 
city of New York, where he was born March 19, 181 1, 
his father dying when he was quite young. He gradu- 
ated at the New York University in the first class, July 
x 7> x ^34) an d at the divinity school of the Reformed 
Dutch Church, New Brunswick, in 1837. In the fall of 
the same year he accepted a call to this church, and was 
settled in November. Next year he married Matilda, 
daughter of the late Minne Onderdonk of Flower Hill. 
His dismission took place in the spring of 1842, after 
which he aided in organizing a new reformed Dutch 
church in the village of Flushing. 

The Rev. John H. Sheffield was engaged in 1843 and 
remained till 1847, an d was succeeded in October of that 
year by the Rev. Richard L. Schoonmaker. This gen- 
tleman, son of the Rev. Jacob Schoonmaker of Jamaica, 
L. I., was born there, graduated at Rutgers College, and 
settled at Waterford, N. Y., in 1832, where he continued 
till he became pastor of the Dutch Church at Harlem, 
from whence he was dismissed in September, 1847. He 
married, in 1837, Margaret, daughter of the late William 
Seaman of Jamaica. His installation here took place 
November 7, 1847. 

In the settlement originally made by the Searing family 


and therefor called Searingtown, a Methodist meeting- 
house has existed for more than half a century; a new 
one being built in 1843, which was formally dedicated 
February 6, 1844. 

One of the most interesting natural curiosities in this 
town is the beautiful collection of water at Lakeville, 
formerly known as Success Pond. It was called by the 
Indians Sacut, which by a simple deflection in sound 
might have been and probably was changed to Success. 
The water is contained in a deep basin, situated upon a 
high ridge, the summit of which may be discerned at a 
great distance from the ocean. The water is very cold, 
at the same time perfectly clear and of great depth. It 
is about 500 rods in circumference, being surrounded by 
a high bank, and is altogether a romantic and beautiful 
object. It was stocked with the yellow perch by the late 
Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill, who in the third volume of the 
Medical Repository says: "In 1790 my uncle Uriah 
Mitchill, sheriff of Queens County, and myself, went to 
Ronkonkoma Pond in Suffolk County, a distance of forty 
miles, in a wagon, for the purpose of transporting alive 
some of the yellow perch from thence to Success Pond. 
We took about three dozen of those least injured by the 
hook, ? and put all but two into Success Pond in good 
condition; and in two years thereafter they had so mul- 
tiplied as to be caught by the hook in every part of the 

It covers a surface of about 75 acres, is probably 
70 feet deep in the centre of it, and more than 150 
feet above the level of tide water. If it derives its 
contents from springs as active as those in many other 
places, it might at a comparatively small expense be 
made to supply the city of Brooklyn with water. On 







this subject no satisfactory experiment has been made, 
and an unfavorable opinion seems to have been formed 
without any adequate examination. 

A Dutch Reformed Church was located here in 1731 
or 1732 and the land sold for 25s. by Martin Wiltsie to 
Adrian Onderdonk and C. Reyerson for the use and 
benefit of the Reformed Netherland Dutch Congrega- 
tion of Hempstead to worship the Almighty God 
in. It was repaired in 1786 and finally taken down in 
1832, about ten years afterward the new church was built 
at Manhasset, the congregation having mostly joined 
the churches at Jamaica and Manhasset. It was one 
of the collegiate churches of the county and was supplied 
with pastors in like manner as the other churches of that 
denomination. It had been occupied by the enemy in 
1782. The county courts were held therein, while the 
present court house was finishing in 1784. 

Great Neck, formerly Madnan's, extends from Lake- 
ville to the Sound, between Cow Bay, anciently How's 
Bay, and the peninsula of Little Neck, containing about 
4,000 acres of superior quality land for agricultural pur- 
poses. A patent for it was given by Governor Nicoll to 
Thomas Hicks in 1666, who sold a portion of it the same 
year to Richard Cornwell. Here are many commanding 
sites for private residences, and upon some of them 
handsome buildings have been erected. The dwelling 
house and grounds of the late Robert W. Mott, Esq., 
which he named Grove Point, possesses peculiar charms; 
its beautiful forest scenery and extensive water pros- 
pect render it a sort of rural paradise. 

This excellent man, a high-minded, noble-hearted, and 
highly useful citizen, died November 19, 1846, aged 
fifty years. Those who knew him most intimately can 


best appreciate his worth, while to his family and rela- 
tives his loss is irreparable. His whole conduct through 
life bespoke the gentleman, and was ever governed by 
the dictates of conscience and integrity. His character 
was altogether above the reach of calumny or individual 
malice, however his sensitive mind might be injured by 
it; and he was most remarkable for his industry and 
correct business habits. Modest and retiring in his man- 
ners, his value could be only best known to his more 
intimate friends. His health had always been delicate, 
and since the loss of his wife two years before, disease 
had attained such an ascendancy as to prostrate in some 
degree his mental faculties and he fell a prey to de- 
spondency which terminated in his death. 

Hyde Park, so called, in the south-west part of the 
town, was formerly, it is supposed, the country residence 
of Governor Dongan, who owned some hundred acres 
of land in the vicinity, presented to him by the towns of 
Hempstead and Flushing. It was afterwards occupied 
by Colonel Josiah Martin, who probably conveyed it to 
the Hon. George Duncan Ludlow, and his brother 
Colonel Gabriel G. Ludlow. The whole was forfeited 
by the act of attainder passed October 22, 1779, and 
was sold in November, 1784, to different individuals. 
The dwelling of Judge Ludlow was, as has been before 
mentioned, destroyed by fire December 30, 1773, by 
which fire he lost his furniture, plate, and a library valued 
at $3,000. It was immediately rebuilt by him and was 
again burned to the ground, May 26, 18 17, during its 
occupancy by the celebrated William Cobbett. 

The Hon. George D. Ludlow was a gentleman of for- 
tune, of a highly respectable family, and extensive legal 
attainments. He, as well as his brother, was active in 


promoting the cause of the enemy during the Revolution; 
and having thereby lost their estates both were afterwards 
provided for by the British Government. He was made 
chief justice of New Brunswick, and as senior councillor 
administered the government. He resided at Frederic- 
ton, where he died February 12, 1808; and Frances, 
his widow, in 1825, aged eighty-seven. His daughter 
Elizabeth was the wife of John Robinson, son of Colonel 
Beverly Robinson, who was mayor of St. John, and died 
in 1828. Colonel Gabriel G. Ludlow was a colonel in 
the Revolution and commanded De Lancey's third bat- 
talion. He retired to New Brunswick in 1783, was 
mayor of St. John in 1785; in 1792 held the office of 
judge of vice-admiralty, and was a member of the 
council, and colonel in the militia. He was also governor 
in 1803, and died, aged seventy-two, in 1808. Ann, his 
widow, died, aged eighty, in 1822. His son Francis died 
at New York, aged seventy-four, in 1840, and his daugh- 
ter Elizabeth married Francis, son of the Hon. Francis 
Lewis of the Revolution, and was the mother of Gabriel 
L. Lewis, Esq. of New York. 

The open grounds south of Hyde Park were anciently 
called Salisbury Plains, where a race course was estab- 
lished by Governor Nicoll in 1665, and was supported 
by the public authorities many years, for the purpose, 
as declared by his excellency, " of improving the breed 
of horses," an argument yet made use of to justify the 
practice of horse racing. His successor, Governor 
Lovelace, also appointed by proclamation " that trials of 
speed should take place in the month of May of each 
year, and that subscriptions be taken up of all such as 
were disposed to run for a crown of silver, or the value 
thereof in wheat." 


This course was called New Market, and continued to 
be patronized for the sports of the turf more than one 
hundred years; when the place was abandoned for 
another, east of the court house, considered more con- 

In the vicinity of Hyde Park is the former residence 
of Edward Griswold, Esq. He was born on the nth 
of August, 1766, being the son of Joseph Griswold, a 
wealthy distiller in the city of New York. His classical 
education was acquired under the instruction of the Rev. 
Leonard Cutting of Hempstead. At the age of seven- 
teen he commenced the study of law, and was admitted 
to the bar before the age of twenty years. His uncom- 
mon industry and assiduous attention to business secured 
him in a short time a profitable practice, and his office 
was filled with students desirous of deriving advantage 
from his uncommon stores of legal knowledge. One of 
these was the late John Wells, son of Robert, who was 
born in 1769, and whose death took place at Brooklyn, on 
the 6th of September, 1823. As a commercial lawyer, Mr. 
Wells was acknowledged to stand unrivalled at our bar. 
He was an orator of the first order. He had (says his 
biographer) a masterly manner of clothing a long chain 
of connected ideas in the choicest language; and perhaps 
no individual in this country ever reached the same ele- 
vation, and occupied so large a share in the public eye 
upon the mere footing of professional eminence and 
worth. Mr. Griswold was distinguished for his good 
sense, his great analytical powers, a clear discrimination 
of legal principles, and their application to facts in any 
particular case. His retirement from the active duties 
of his profession took place many years since, yet his 
advice and assistance continued to be anxiously sought 


after, even by the most eminent of the profession; and 
such was the deference shown to his opinions that his 
authority was generally considered quite satisfactory. 
More than forty years ago he visited Paris, where he 
married a lady of fortune, by whom he had an only child, 
Claire Felicite Caroline, married to Pierre Augustin 
Berthemy, holding an important military station in the 
kingdom of France. Mr. Griswold again visited Paris 
in 1 8 10, where he found the late Colonel Burr, to 
whom he loaned the sum of 2,000 francs at one time, 
to relieve him from penury and distress. It was Mr. 
Griswold's intention to remain in France, and he nego- 
tiated for a country seat about twenty miles from Paris, 
but the transaction was for some cause broken off, and 
he returned to his farm in North Hempstead, where 
he spent the remainder of his life, and where he died 
suddenly by an attack of apoplexy, February 26, 1836. 
Colonel Burr entertained the most profound respect for 
the talents and legal acquirements of Mr. Griswold, and 
said that he was the only person he ever saw who loved 
the black-letter lore of the common law for its own 
sake. Mr. Wells, too, in the full zenith of his reputa- 
tion, spoke of the professional habits and acquirements 
of his early tutor and friend in terms of the highest 
respect. The example alone of such a man must have 
been of very great advantage to his pupil, and in one 
respect at least there was a remarkable similarity be- 
tween them. This was a most powerful and singular 
habit of mental abstraction, which enabled them to sit 
down in the midst of their families or a crowd of com- 
pany, separate themselves from the sports, the business, 
or the noise around them, and, insulated and deaf to 
everything that was passing, pursue their studies, equally 


unconscious of anything like interruption, as if in the 
deepest retirement of the closet. 

North Hempstead is the shire town and seat of jus- 
tice for the county, the court house having been erected 
on its southern border, a part of the Great Plains, in 
1788, four years after the division of the town, and five 
years subsequent to the Revolution. 

An act was procured on the 25th of March, 1830, to 
enable the town to sell and convey its common lands, and 
the whole is now under cultivation. 

Westbury, called by the Indians Wallage, extends from 
the neighborhood of the court house to the east line of 
the town; the population of which is essentially agricul- 
tural, and many of the inhabitants are members of the 
Society of Friends, who, as they are divided in sentiment, 
have also two houses for religious worship. The edifice 
occupied by the Hicksite party, so called, is of consid- 
erable antiquity, the land where it stands having been 
purchased September 25, 1702, and comprising three and 
a quarter acres. The other has only been erected about 
twenty years. 

There is considerable variety in the appearance of 
this part of the island. A ridge of hills, being a portion 
of the spine of Long Island, passes directly through it 
from west to east, dividing it into sections entirely dif- 
ferent in many respects. On the south side of the high 
grounds the surface is almost level, having only a slight 
declination southward toward the ocean; while the north 
side declines more abruptly toward the Sound, the gen- 
eral surface being not only undulating, but inclining to 
the distinction of rough and hilly. 

Indeed, all that portion of the island situated between 
the village of Flushing on the west and Huntington on 


the east, and between the hills and the Sound, deserves 
particular notice for the peculiarity of its general 

This tract is indented for half its width between the 
ridge and Sound by seven large bays or harbors, called 
by the several names of Flushing Bay, Little Neck Bay, 
Manhasset Bay (formerly Cow Bay), Hempstead Har- 
bor, Oyster Bay, Cold Spring Harbor, and Huntington 
Bay. These sheets of water occur in regular succession, 
being from four to six miles in length and having in their 
general form a wedge-like shape with mouths or en- 
trances from one to three miles wide; and are, in almost 
every case, defended by a sand-beach, a sort of natural 
break-water, formed by the continual action of the tidal 
currents, and leaving, in some instances, only a passage- 
way or channel for vessels. The distance from the west 
side of Flushing Bay to the east side of Huntington 
-Bay in a direct line is about twenty-eight miles; while 
the indentations of the coast produced by these bays 
would make the distance upwards of eighty miles. This 
extensive water-front presents a great variety of surface, 
abounding in fine scenery, in which the cultivated field, 
the forests, the waters of the bays, the broad expanse of 
the Sound, whitened with the sails of commerce, the mill, 
the farm house, and the country residence, alternately 
attract the attention and delight the eye of the admirer 
of the beautiful and picturesque. 

The territory, therefore, bordering on the Sound in 
this town and Oyster Bay, may be said to consist of a 
succession of promontories, formed by the bays before 
mentioned, containing from two to forty square miles 
each. The villages and settlements at the heads of the 
bays are connected by a turnpike road which ranges 


across the head of the necks, and from which the head- 
lands formed by these promontories upon the Sound vary- 
in distance from two to six miles. 

Over this surface are to be found residences of a supe- 
rior order, inhabited by a class of men who may be fairly 
reckoned among our most valuable citizens; independ- 
ent farmers, living upon their own estates and de- 
voting a close attention to their improvement, as well as 
the encouragement of arts and industry in those around 

So long as this description of men are prosperous and 
exercise the influence that justly belongs to them, all that 
is valuable in our public institutions will be preserved, 
our liberties will be secured, sound morals more generally 
prevail, and just conceptions of our political and social 
duties and obligations will be engendered and thus the 
character of all classes of our people will be saved from 

The larger portion of the population in this part of the 
island, being engaged in the cultivation and improvement 
of the soil, and the advantages of their situation being 
somewhat remarkable, there must be of course a large 
surplus of produce beyond the home consumption. This 
is consequently susceptible of a cheap and expeditious 
conveyance to the markets of Brooklyn and New York, 
where the best prices, the legitimate reward of industry, 
are immediately realized. 

The average size of farms in this district is from 
70 to 300 acres, and exceedingly fine crops of Indian 
corn, wheat, rye, oats, and grass are annually produced. 
The system in general pursued by the farmers here, as in 
other places, is a rotation of different crops, while the 
increased facilities for conveying manure from the city 


of New York have multiplied to a great extent the free 
use of ashes, bone, lime, &c. 

Horticulture might and doubtless will be hereafter ex- 
tensively practised in this portion of Long Island, to sup- 
ply in some degree the immense necessities of two great 
cities. The time must come when this mode of using the 
soil will be found more profitable than that heretofore 
used, inasmuch as the labor and expense are less, com- 
pared with the income to be derived. With the excel- 
lence of her soil and her local position, in regard to the 
commercial metropolis of the Union, Long Island ought 
to furnish nearly all the vegetables and fruits required 
by the half million of souls which that city and Brook- 
lyn must soon contain. 

In 1846 a printing press was established at Manhasset 
by William H. Onderdonk, Esq., who as editor and pro- 
prietor issued the first newspaper, entitled The North 
Hempstead Gazette, on the 3d of December, 1846. In 
the spring of 1848 it was removed to Roslyn, where it is 
now printed by John T. Cogswell. 

Having mentioned above that Mr. Cobbett, a cele- 
brated political writer, and probably one of the most able 
and prolific of his day, resided for a time in this town, 
and in order to gratify the readers of this work, we 
have collected the following particulars respecting him, 
which we presume will satisfy all, that he was one of the 
most extraordinary men of the age in which he lived: 

William Cobbett was the son of a farmer at Farnham 
in Surrey, England, where he was born March 9, 1762. 
The incidents of his early life are detailed by himself in 
the Life and Adventures of Peter Porcupine, published 
in 1796. It contains a very interesting account of his 
self-education, carried on under circumstances which 


would have discouraged almost any other individual, and 
with an ardor and perseverance never surpassed by any 
one. In 1782, while on a visit to Portsmouth, he first 
beheld the sea, and longed to be a sailor. In the May 
following he obtained a situation as copying-clerk to a 
gentleman of Gray's Inn; after which he went to Chatham 
and enlisted in a regiment of foot, destined for Nova 
Scotia. He came to New Brunswick and was soon raised 
to the rank of sergeant major; and here he formed ac- 
quaintance with his first w r ife. The account given by 
himself of his courtship and marriage is one of the most 
beautiful moral pictures ever drawn. While at Chatham 
he had read many books and applied his attention as- 
siduously to English grammar, having, he says, copied 
Lowth's Grammar several times, the better to impress 
it upon his recollection. He finally committed it to 
memory, and used to repeat it over every time he was 
posted as sentinel. 

In 1792 he went to France, w T here he completed his 
acquaintance w T ith the French language. He sailed from 
thence to New York where he arrived the same year. 
He soon after opened a bookstore in Philadelphia, and 
in 1794 made his first appearance as a public writer by 
an attack upon Dr. Priestley. He established a paper 
under the assumed appellation of u Peter Porcupine" in 
which he espoused the conduct of England in opposition 
to that of France, and was also the author of many abu- 
sive attacks upon individuals, as well as upon the repub- 
lican institutions of the United States. These papers 
were afterwards collected in twelve volumes and pub- 
lished. Being convicted of a gross libel upon the pro- 
fessional character of Dr. Rush, he was fined $5,000, 
which among other things, drove him from the country 


in 1800, after having fought a duel with Matthew Cary 
of Philadelphia. He next established the Register in 
England, which was continued during his subsequent life, 
and so great was his popularity as a writer at one time 
that Mr. Windham declared, in his place in the House of 
Commons, that Cobbett deserved a statue of gold to be 
erected to his memory. With the profits of his numer- 
ous publications Cobbett purchased an estate at Botley, in 
Hampshire, where he introduced and encouraged several 
improvements in husbandry, and even met with some suc- 
cess in cultivating Indian corn. In 1805 he became a 
radical, and proved no small annoyance to the ministry 
in power. In 18 10 he was convicted of a libel and sen- 
tenced to imprisonment in Newgate for two years, and 
to pay a fine of £1,000 sterling; the whole of which is 
said to have been raised by a penny subscription among 
his political friends. In 18 16 he changed the form of 
his Register to a two-penny pamphlet, and sold the amaz- 
ing number of 100,000 copies weekly. 

The suspension of the habeas corpus act again drove 
Cobbett from the country, and he arrived in America in 
1 8 17, taking up his residence at Hyde Park in the town of 
North Hempstead, L. I., where he remained till the 
house in which he resided was consumed by fire, the fol- 
lowing year. It was here that he composed some of the 
best and most popular of his many publications — among 
which is his English Grammar, one of the best practi- 
cal works of the kind. He mixed but little in society 
while here, and was generally distant and reserved in his 
manners ; he consequently made few acquaintances and no 
friends. His deportment toward his immediate neigh- 
borhood was aristocratic and unsociable, although he pro- 
fessed great liberality and benevolence. He found but 


little countenance among American democrats, and re- 
turned to England in 1819, when he took a warm and 
decided part in favor of the persecuted Queen Caroline, 
wife of King George IV. In 1832 he was elected to 
the House of Commons for the borough of Oldham, and 
was a member at the time of his decease, June 18, 
1835 ; but it cannot be said that his parliamentary career 
added anything to his reputation; and it is quite evident 
that his great popularity was upon the wane. In one re- 
markable feature he resembled that great apostle of lib- 
erty, Thomas Paine (whose bones he carried to Eng- 
land), that of addressing himself in his writings to the 
common sense of the people. In this way he made a 
strong lodgment in their minds, as an able and efficient 
champion of the rights of the common class of citizens 
against the encroachments of prerogative and the exer- 
tions of arbitrary power. 

Among the freeholders of Hempstead in 1656 was 
Adam Mott, the ancestor of many families upon Long 
Island and in other places. He was born in England 1 606, 
and sailed for Boston 1636, with his wife Sarah and chil- 
dren John, Adam, Joseph, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, and 
JMary. He was admitted freeman at Hingham, Mass., 
1637, and came to New Amsterdam some years after. 
He is next found at Newtown, from whence he came to 
this town in 1656, and died in 1686, aged eighty. His 
second wife was Jane, by whom he had James and Cor- 
nelius. His son Adam, born 1629, married Phebe, and 
had Adam, James, Charles, John, Joseph, Gershom, 
Elizabeth, Henry, and Grace : — by his second wife Eliza- 
beth, daughter of John Richbill, he had Richbill, Mary, 


Ann, and William, and died, aged fifty-two, in 168 1. 
Richbill married Elizabeth Thomas, October 14, 1696. 
William, born January 20, 1674, married Hannah, 
daughter of John Seaman, and died June 31, 1740. She 
died June 24, 1759; issue Elizabeth, William, Hannah, 
and Martha. Of these William, born August 6, 1709, 
married Elizabeth Valentine, had ten sons and two 
daughters, of whom none left issue but William, Henry, 
Samuel, Joseph, and Benjamin. He died March 25, 
1786, and his wife November 17, 1780. His son John, 
born February 17, 1749, died November 11, 1823; 
Samuel, born December 16, 1759, died April 1, 1791, 
having married Sarah Franklin and had William F., born 
January n, 1785; Walter F., born December 4, 1786; 
Samuel F., born February 7, 1789; and Sarah F., born 
September 25, 1791. William, son of William, born 
January 8, 1742, married Mary, daughter of William 
Willis, December 2, 1789, and died August 5, 1832; 
issue: William W., born February 28, 1791, married 
Susan, daughter of Henry Franklin, and died without 
issue 1 83 1 ; James W., born June 18, 1793, married Abi- 
gail, daughter of Walter Jones, who died October 12, 
1836, aged forty-two, and second, Lydia, daughter of 
Obadiah Townsend, November 28, 1838; Robert W., 
born October 10, 1796, married Harriet Broome, daugh- 
ter of Dr. James Coggswell and had Harriet, who mar- 
ried William H. Onderdonk. He died November 19, 
1846, and his wife previously September 6, 1843. Henry, 
son of William, born May 31, 1757, married Jane, 
daughter of Samuel Way, 1784, and died 1840, leav- 
ing issue, of whom Dr. Valentine Mott is one, who will 
receive a more extended notice. 

Henry Willis, the common ancestor of all the families 


of the name upon this island, was born in Wiltshire, 
England, September 14, 1628, and married Mary Peace 
in 1654. He was in sentiment a Quaker, arrived here 
about 1672, and purchased land in a part of the town, 
which he named Westbury from the place of his nativity. 
He was the only son of Henry, and had issue Mary, 
Elizabeth, William, Henry, John, Sarah, Rachel, and 
Esther, most of whom married and had families. He 
died, aged eighty-five, July 11, 17 14. William, eldest 
son, born October 16, 1663, married Mary, daughter 
of Edmund Titus, and had William, Henry, John, Jacob, 
Silas, Samuel, and Mary, and died, aged seventy-two, 
March 7, 1736. Henry, second son, married Phebe, 
daughter of Henry Powell, and had Mary, Silas, Phebe, 
and died November 15, 175 1, aged fifty-eight. John, 
the youngest son, married Abigail, daughter of Richard 
Willets, and had Phebe, Richard, Elizabeth, William, 
John, and Stephen, and died May 9, 1777, aged eighty- 
four. Samuel, son of William and Mary (Titus), born 
June 30, 1704, married Mary, daughter of John Fry, and 
had Mary, John, Sarah, Amy, Jane, Fry, Kesia, Henry, 
Edmund, and Phebe, and died December 28, 1782, aged 


V 1 ' 


r ■*-,. 

From an old print in the possession of the Long Island Historical Society. 


Which occupies the south-western part of Queens 
County, is centrally distant from the city of New York 
about twelve miles, being bounded east by Hempstead, 
south by the bay and creek, west by Kings County, and 
north by Newtown and Flushing. It is quite certain that 
the lands were anciently possessed by a tribe or community 
known as the Gemeco Indians, a name which with small 
change has been preserved. The population was prob- 
ably confined to the territory lying between the Beaver 
Pond and the creek below, and neither sufficient in num- 
bers or power to have been considered an independent 
tribe, but subject to the control of their more powerful 
neighbors, the Canarsies, a few miles distant. The 
original name with some variation continued to designate 
the place until a new one was imposed by the Dutch, 
according to the prevailing custom of the day. 

The first reference of much importance to this part of 
the island found in writing, is contained in an applica- 
tion made to the governor and council of New Nether- 
land in 1656 by Robert Jackson and other inhabitants 
of Hempstead, for liberty to begin a plantation " half- 
way," from their place of residence to Carnarresse, or 
Carnarise, which they had agreed to purchase from the 
native proprietor and concluded to call the place 
Canarise, a name which does not seem to have been 
much favored, as it soon gave place to the more beautiful 
appropriate one of Rusdorp, meaning a country-village. 



A favorable response was given in a short time to the 
aforesaid application as follows: 

" Having seen the request or desire of the inhabitants 
of the town of Hempstead, and subjects of the province, 
the governor-general and council have consented and 
granted unto the aforesaid inhabitants, free leave to 
erect or build a town according unto their place limited, 
named Canarise, about the midway from Hempstead, 
upon such privileges and particular ground-briefs, such 
as the inhabitants of the New Netherlande generally do 
possess in their lands; and likewise in the choice of their 
magistrates, as in the other villages or towns, as Middle- 
borough, Breuklin, Midwout, and Amersfort. 

"Done at the fort in New Netherland, this 21st of 
March, 1656. Peter Stuyvesant. 

11 By order of the governor-general and council of the 
New Netherlands, 

" Cornelius Van Ruyven, Secretary." 

In the confirmatory deed, which it was thought advi- 
sable subsequently to obtain from the Rockaway Indians, 
the following singular phrase occurs: " One thing to be 
remembered, that noe person is to cut downe any tall 
trees wherein Eagles doe build their nests," and it is 
found that words of similar import are contained in 
many early Indian deeds, from which it has been inferred 
that those birds were held sacred by the natives. 

One of the most intelligent and leading men in the 
new settlement was Daniel Denton, who at the first town 
meeting, February 18, 1656, was appointed 

11 To write and enter all acts and orders off publick 
concernment to y e towne, and to have a dais work of 
a man ffor y e sayd employment " ; and at the same meet- 


ing there was granted to each inhabitant of the place a 
house lot, upon the north quarter of the town. Among 
the inhabitants are particularly named Andrew Messen- 
ger, Samuel Mathews, Thomas Wiggins, Richard Chas- 
more, Richard Harcut, Richard Everet, Henry Town- 
send, John Townsend, Richard Townsend and John 

The certificate of purchase is in these words: 

" Nov. y e 25 th , 1656 — stylo novo. 
11 These presents declareth y* wee whose names are 
under written, being true owners by vertue off purchase 
ffrom y e indians, and graunt ffrom y e Govenor and Coun- 
cell, given and graunted y e 21st of March, 1656; I say 
wee are the true owners by vertue off purchase and our 
associates, our names being under written, living at y e 
new plantacon neare unto y e bever pond, commonly called 
Jemaica, I say wee, in consideracon off our charge and 
trouble in getting and settling off the plase, have reserved 
ffor ourselves y e ffull and just som of 10 akers off planting 
land a man, besides y e home Lottes in y e nearest and most 
convenient plase y* that can bee found, and soe likewise 
20 akers off meadowing a man, in the convenientist plase 
they can finde, and y* shall remaine as theires forever, 
every man taking his Lott according to thiere ffirst right 
to y e Land. Witness our hands, 

Robert Coe, Benjamin Coe John Townsend 

Nicholas Tanner Roger Lynes Richard Townsend 

Nathaniel Denton, Samuel Matthews George Mills 

Andrew Messenger John Laren Robert Rhoades 

Daniel Denton Richard Everit Henry Messenger 

Abraham Smith Henry Townsend Thomas Wiggins 

Richard Chasmore Richard Sweet 

Like as in all new settlements, it appears that some 
difficulties arose with its neighbors of Hempstead, almost 


coeval with the commencement of the village, as the fol- 
lowing petition or complaint exhibits : 

11 To the Govenour: 

" Honor d S r : Wee your subjects y e Inhabitants off 
Rusdorp, having a company of catle to y e number off 
sixty or thereabouts, which have bin with in y e bounds 
and commons off Hemsted, are by them taken up and 
pounded. Wee upon intelligence sent two men to fetch 
y m and demand y m in a loving and neighborly way. The 
magistrates refused to deliver our catle, unless wee would 
pay damage which our catle have done, in their unffenced 
ffield, which wee refused to doe, and our catle are there 
still kept and retained in their pound. S r wee humbly 
crave your worship's assistance in this case, y 1 you would 
bee pleased to grant us a Reprievement ffor our catle, 
which they retain, and also a warrant to summons some 
off thiere towne to answer the cause of yo r high cort. 
And whereas great damage may happen and accrew to 
us iff the cause bee suspended, wee numbly crave your 
worship, would answer our Request by the bearer. 

" Soe with appreciation off all happiness to you r Lord- 
ship wee humbly take our leave, who remaine, you r Loyall 
subjects y e Inhabitants of Rusdorp. By order of the 
town, scripsit. 

" Superscribed. Daniel Denton, Clericus. 

14 To the Right Worshipful Peeter Steevesant, Esqr., 
Gov r Gen 11 . Off New Netherlands." 

" 1658. Feb. 30th. It is y s day voted, ordered and 
agreed upon by this town of Rustdorp that no person 
or persons whatsoever within this town shall sell or give, 
directly or indirectly, to any Indian or Indians whatso- 
ever, within or about y e said town, any strong licker or 
strong drinks whatsoever, or of what sort soever, either 



much or little, more or less, upon the forfeiture of fifty 
guilders for every offence." 

In the division or allotment of lands in 1660, the fol- 
lowing named persons, in addition to the above, are 
found to be freeholders of the town : 

John Baylis 
George Woolsey, sen. 
Joseph Smith 
John Everit 
John Carpenter 
Samuel Dean, sen. 
John Oldfield 
Thomas Smith, sen. 
John Rhodes, sen. 
Thomas Ward 
Samuel Mills 
John Ludlum 
John Wood 

Nathaniel Denton, jun. 
Thomas Oakley 
Waite Smith 
Nehemiah Smith 
Samuel Davis 
Fulke Davis 
Abel Gale 
Nathaniel Mills 
Alexander Smith 
Caleb Carman 
Henry Foster 
Jonas Hosstead 
William Ruscoe 

Samuel Barker 
John Speagler 
Samuel Messenger 
Nicholas Everit 
Samuel Smith 
Joseph Thurston 
Edward Higbie 
Bryant Newton 
John Rowlinson 
Thomas Wellin 
Robert Ashman 
John Lynas 
Morris Smith 

January 21, 1659, one Benjamin Herbard, who had 
bought a house lot without the approbation or knowledge 
of the town, was required to bind himself " to behave 
so in the town, y* he no waies prejudice his neighbors 
by any unlawful or bad courses; and y e said Benjamin 
doth engage himself if he shall fulfill not all and every 
particular in y c premises to surrender of his lot again 
to the town." 

In 1660 a more ample patent was obtained from Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant, incorporating the place by the name 
of Rusdorp. 

Being characteristically jealous of any powers not 
derived immediately from himself, his excellency exerted 
himself on every occasion to concentrate all power in his 
own person, or in his associates, the council, who were, 
of course, well enough disposed to minister to his love 
of authority; being entirely indebted to him for what 


importance they possessed. In April, 1660, the gov- 
ernor peremptorily ordered the magistrates of this place 
to refer a cause then pending before them, to the council, 
although, by their charter or patent, the justices were 
invested with power to hear, try, and determine all cases 
of the nature then in question. 

In August, 1660, it was voted at a town meeting, that 
the inhabitants should mow the common meadows by 
squadrons, as follows, to wit: John Townsend and his 
squadron at the East Neck; Robert Coe and his squadron 
at the Long Neck; and Nathaniel Denton and his 
squadron at the Haw Trees. It was ordered also, that 
Daniel Denton should make a rate for paying the Bull's 
hire by the town for the last year. The town also agreed 
to cast lots for the south meadows, for which purpose 
the meadows were divided into four parts, and the inhabi- 
tants, as above, into four squadrons. 

"Feb. 23, 166 1, voted to hire Richard Chasmore's 
Bull for 20 guilders the year." Jan. 75, 1661, " ordered 
y* a rate be made ffor y e wolves, one wolve off Abraham's 
killing, 2 off them y l John Townsend's pit catcht, and one 
bull hired 205. and 305. ffor y e dark — y e whole is £4 155." 
April 14, 1 66 1, " ordered by y e towne y t noe inhabitant 
off Rusdorp shall ingrosse into his hands, 2 home lots, 
and if any doe contrary, they shall sell one of y m to such 
person, as the towne shall approve." 

April 30, 1661, " voted to hire a person to keep the 
towne's cowes and calves for the year, and also to pay 
Mr. Coe £11. 175. in good passable wampum out of 
money lent to the towne by Nicholas Tanner." May 12, 
1661, " whereas the towne are informed off one y* milkt 
other ffolke cowes, being catcht by some off the town, 
they have chosen William ffoster to prosecute y e cause to 
y e uttermost, either here or at the Manhattans, and the 



towne will satisfie him ffor what charge he shall be at 
about y e business." 

Jan. 30, 1662. " The town doe promis to give Abra- 
ham Smith 30s. ffor beating y e drum a year." 

March JJ, 1662. " It is ordered and agreed by the 
town y* John Baylie shall keep an ordinary in y e towne 
of Rusdorp, for y e entertaining of strangers, and also to 
sell drinks, and that no man shall have liberty to sell 
drinks, whether beer or liquors, or any sort of wine, 
within y e towne, only the ordinary keeper aforesaid, and 
y* he shall forthwith set upon y e work to provide for 
strangers, and to give entertainment to such strangers as 
shall come." 

April 6, 1662. " It is ordered y* those w ch doe not ap- 
peare at y e beating of y e drum and goe to burn y e woods, 
shall pay as. 6d. to those w c goe." The town voted a 
trooper's coat and a kettle to the Indians, in full of their 
claim for lands heretofore purchased, if they would give 
a discharge to the town — this was accepted and the fol- 
lowing release executed: — " We whose names are under- 
written doe by these presents confess ourselves satisfyed 
ffor the 8 bottles of licker y* was promissd by the town, 
and alsoe ffor all rights and claymes ffor any land y* wee 
have fformerly sould y e towne." 

" Witness our hands this ffiveteenth of Aprill 1662 ; 

" Rockause; Lumasowie; JVaumitampac." 

April y e 11, 1662. " The deposition off Samuel Mills 
testifyeth y* Sarah Smith did say (they being talking off 
y e townsmen making y e rates) y* now y e towne was ruled 
by three roges." " The same day, ordered by y e town 
that a minister's house shall bee built 26 ffeet long and 
17 foot wide, according as itt is agreed by covenant be- 
twixt y e towne and Andrew Messenger and his son 
Richard Darling and the towne are to pay £23 in bever 
pay, y* is to pay, wheat at 6s. and Indian corn at 3s. 6d, y e 
bushel, to bee payd after y e work is done." 


The articles of agreement mentioned are as follows: 

" The towne have hired Andrew Messenger and his 
son in law Richard Darling, to build a house ffor y e min- 
ister off 26 foot by 17, and to bee 10 foot high in y e stood, 
betwixt joint and joint; y e house to bee well clap-boarded, 
y e sides and ends — the roof to bee well and sufficiently 
shingled w th 3 foot shingles, 2 chimneys to bee made in 
the house, one below ffor a lower room, and another ffor 
y e chamber; 2 floores off joice and boards, to bee layd 
above in y e chamber and under foot. — to be well jointed 
above and below — above a payre of steares, well and 
stronglie made to goe into y e chamber — Chimneys to bee 
well plastered — 3 windows, large and handsome, 2 below 
and 1 above — the house to bee well braced and be done 
by y e middle of August next. The towne to provide nails, 
hinges, clap boards, and shingles — and alsoe sawn boards 
ffor the inward work — the towne to cart all y e timber 
and other stuff needful ffor the sayd house." 

The town also engaged Goodman Baylie and Samuel 
Smith to get stone for the back of the chimney, hearths, 
and oven, as good say they, as the place will afford, and 
to have 40s. therefor. 

January 29, 1663, the town voted Abraham Smith 30s. 
a year for beating the drum on Sabbath days and other 
public meeting days, to be paid in tobacco payment, or 
wheat at 6s. 8d. and Indian corn at 4s. a bushel. 

The following relating to a minister bears date March 
2, 1663: 

11 We whose names are under written doe give unto 
Mr. Walker his heirs and assigns y e house and home lot 
that he lives in w th y e accommodation belonging to it, upon 
y e proviso y 4 iff hee goe away w th out just grounds or 


cause given by y e towne y 1 y n y e towne shall have y e 
reffusal off it, paying ffor such labor as he shall expend 
upon it, but iff y e towne shall act soe y* they be y e cause 
off his going away, then y e towne to bring it ffor w* it 
shall bee worth. And iff it soe happen y* Mr. Walker 
die, his wife shall let y e town have y e reffusal, iff shee 
shall sell it." 

This was signed by Robert Coe and twenty-two other 

" At a town meeting Aug. 30, 1663, it was voted and 
agreed by the towne y* a meeting house shall bee built 
26 foot square and y* Mr. Coe and Ralph Keeler, shall 
agree w th George Norton ffor y e building off it." 

This house was finished in the same year, the Rev. Mr. 
Walker having already been with them one year, upon 

At a town meeting February 14, 1663, Goodman 
Benedic and Nathaniel Denton were authorized to supply 
Mr. Walker's wants, what he should stand in need of. 

The Rev. Zachariah Walker was the son of Robert, 
who was made freeman at Boston 1634, where the 
former was born in 1637. He was educated at Har- 
vard, but for some reasons did not graduate, and com 
menced his ministry here in 1662 at a salary of £60, 
payable in wheat and Indian corn, at current prices, 
besides the use of a house and home lot. His son Robert 
was afterwards a judge of the superior court of Con- 
necticut, and died at Stratford in 1772: one of whose 
daughters was married to the Rev. Mr. Wetmore, and 
another to John M. Breed, Esq., who was at one time 
the mayor of Norwich. His son General Joseph Walker, 


was a brave and patriotic officer of the Revolution, and 
died at Saratoga August 1 1, 1810. 

Mr. Walker removed to Stratford in 1668, where he 
organized a new Congregational Society in 1670, of which 
he was ordained the pastor, but removed therefrom, 
with a portion of his people, to Woodbury in 1678, where 
he died January, 1699, aged sixty-two. He had not 
been ordained during his stay here, and this may have, 
in part, occasioned his removal; for, on the 12th of 
March, 1666, as appears from the records, the town 
agreed to give Mr. Walker an additional sum of £5, 
" provided he should continue with them from year to 
year, and should likewise procure an ordination, answer- 
able to the law, thereby to capacitate him not only for 
the preaching of the word, but for the baptizing of 
infants." But he having resolved to remove, the town, 
August 7, 1668, appointed a committee to settle with him 
for the improvements upon the parsonage, &c. 

"Sept. 14, 1668. — At a tound meeting, the townd 
voted and concluded to take the best and prudentest corse 
as may be, for the procuring of a minister, as soon as 
convenient time will admit." "March 29, 1669, voted 
and agreed that Mr. Waters shall goe to Greenwiche, to 
give Mr. Jones an invitation to visit us, that the towne 
may have an opportunity to make an agreement with him, 
concerning the work of the ministry." 

Mr. Jones, however, declined the invitation, and was 
afterwards settled at Huntington, where he died at a 
very advanced age in 1731. 

Rev. John Prudden succeeded Mr. Walker. He was 
the second son of the Rev. Peter Prudden from Edger- 
ton in Yorkshire (who was probably accompanied to 


Milford by some who had been of his church in Eng- 
land), arrived with the Rev. John Davenport at New 
Haven in 1637, and was ordained at Milford April 18, 
1640. His death took place in his fifty-sixth year, July, 
1656, and he left an estate in his native country which it is 
said his posterity enjoyed the benefits of many years after 
his death. His children were Joanna, Mary, Elizabeth, 
Samuel, John, Abigail, Sarah, Peter, and Mildred, born 
between 1639 and 1654. His son John was born at 
Milford, November 9, 1645, and graduated at Harvard, 
1668, being a classmate of the Rev. Abraham Pierson, 
first rector of Yale College. 

He settled here in 1670, and (with the exception of 
the time between January, 1674, and August, 1676) 
remained till 1692, when he accepted a pressing invita- 
tion from the church at Newark, N. J., where he went 
as the successor of Mr. Pierson, and continued there 
till June 9, 1699, when he relinquished his charge and 
died December 11, 1725, aged eighty. Dr. McWhorter 
says he sustained a worthy character as a man of sense 
and religion, though he does not appear to have been a 
popular preacher. Many of his descendants are still 
found in New Jersey. 

"Town meeting, March 9, 1692, Mr. Joseph Smith 
was chosen to go with Nehemiah Smith to y e main, in 
order to y e procurement of a minister; " and in October 
following, the town invited the Rev. Jeremiah Hobart 
of Hempstead to settle with them, and offered him many 
inducements, but he then declined. The next year they 
obtained the services of the Rev. George Phillips, of 
Rowley, Mass., who continued with them till his re- 
moval to Setauket in 1697. This year the town resolved 
to erect a new and larger house for public religious 


worship, for which purpose the inhabitants were " di- 
vided into five squadrons, to procure and bring to the 
spot, timber, stone, lime, and whatever materials were 
wanted." The next year another effort was made, but, 
as yet, without success. In 1698 the Rev. Jeremiah 
Hobart of Hempstead became minister of the town, yet 
it is not supposed he was installed, and probably re- 
mained only a year or two, but gave so much aid that 
measures were put in such train for the purpose that a 
large stone church was commenced during the year 
1699 and completed shortly before 1700. In 1663 the 
people of this town, in conjunction with those of Hemp- 
stead and Middleburgh, sought the protection of Con- 
necticut. The petition for this purpose will be found in 
a subsequent part of this work. 

A petition was presented September 26, 1664, to Gov- 
ernor Nicoll, by certain inhabitants of the town, for lib- 
erty to purchase and settle a parcel of land on the New 
Jersey side of Staten Island Bay, now known as Eliza- 
bethtown. The names subscribed to the said petition 
were John Bailey, Daniel Denton, Thomas Benydick, 
Nathaniel Denton, John Foster, and Luke Watson. The 
parties to the deed from the Indians of the 28th October, 
1664, are: Mattano, Manomowanne, and Counescomen 
of Staten Island, and John Bailey, Daniel Denton, and 
Luke Watson : — the tract conveyed is described as " one 
parcel of land, bounded on the south by a river, com- 
monly called the Raritan, and on the east by the river 
which parts Staten Island and the main, and to run 
northward up Arthur Cull Bay, till we come to the first 
river, which sets westward out of the river aforesaid; 
and to run westward, into the country, twice the length 
that it is broad, from the north to the south of the afore- 


mentioned bounds." The consideration given for this 
broad tract, was twenty fathoms of trading cloth, two 
made coats, two guns, two kettles, ten bars of lead, 
twenty handfuls of powder, and 400 fathoms of white, 
or 200 of black, wampum, payable in one year from 
the day of entry by the grantees upon the land. The 
whole valued at thirty-six pounds and fourteen shillings 
sterling. One of the grantors attests the conveyance, 
perhaps the first Indian grant made with technical form, 
by a mark opposite to his name. This, subsequently, 
became the common mode of signature ; and the illiterate 
sons of the American forest, like the unlettered noble 
of the European feudal states, adopted as a sign manual, 
occasionally, the picture of a bird, or other object that 
captivated his fancy. Mattano was the only grantor who 
signed, and his mark was —~— or waved line; and, 
unfortunately for his business character, he had executed 
a deed for the same lands to Augustus Herman, therein 
mentioned. The grant, however, was duly confirmed 
(probably in entire ignorance of preceding events) by 
Governor Nicoll, as follows: 

" Upon perusal of this Petition I do consent unto the 
Proposals and shall give the undertakers all due encour- 
agement in so good a Work. Given under my Hand in 
Fort James this 30th of September 1664. 

" Richard Nicoll." 

The parties to this purchase on the part of the Indians 
were Mattano, Manomowanne, and Counescomen. The 
boundaries of it include Piscataway, Amboy, Wood- 
bridge, Rahway, Elizabethtown, Union, Springfield, and 
Westfield, containing 500,000 acres, known afterwards as 


the Elizabethtown grant. Governor Nicoll gave it the 
name of Albania, but it was called Elizabeth in honor of 
the wife of Sir George Carteret, proprietor of the 

It will be seen that the town was careful to provide 
for the support of their minister, for in June, 1676, it 
was resolved that forty acres of meadow should be set 
apart as a parsonage lot in the East Neck for the use 
of any minister that might have occasion to use it. Other 
lands were at the same time appropriated to the Rev. 
Mr. Prudden to be his in fee, should he remain with 
them for ten years. 

This liberality may probably have induced him again 
to return and resume his labors here, he having it seems 
ceased to preach from 1674 to 1676, the interval being 
supplied by the Rev. William JVoodroffe, one of the 
ejected ministers, whom Mather calls Woodrop, and 
who came to New England in 1670. He afterwards 
removed from this place to Pennsylvania, where he prob- 
ably died. August 23, 1692, Mr. Prudden accepted a 
call to Newark, where he continued till June 9, 1699. 

It should be mentioned that on the 5th of February, 
1665, a patent of confirmation, for such lands as had 
been purchased at different times, was granted by Gov- 
ernor Nicoll to Daniel Denton, Robert Coe, Bryan 
Newton, William Hallet, Andrew Messenger, Anthony 
Waters, and Nathaniel Denton for and on behalf of 
themselves and their associates, the freeholders and 
inhabitants of the said town, their heirs, successors, and 
assigns, in which the premises are described as follows: 

11 All that certain tract of land, which already hath 
been, or hereafter shall be purchased for and on behalf 


of ye said towne of Jamaca, whether from ye native pro- 
prietors or others, within the limits and bounds hereafter 
exprest; that is to say, ye eastern bounds beginning on 
the east side of ye Little-Plains, to extende south-east to 
Rockaway Swampe; then north-east from Hempstead 
bounds, to runne west as ye trees are mark't, on or about 
ye middle of ye Hills, until it reach to flushing creeke 
(which are their north bounds, and divides them from 
the towne of flushing) according unto an order made at 
the Generall meeting at the towne of Hempstead in the 
month of March, 1665; then to meet Newtown bounds 
at ye south west edge of the Hills, ye north-west corner 
beginning at certain mark't trees at ye edge of ye said 
Hills, from whence to runne in a south line to a certaine 
river, that is, to ye east of Plunder's-Neck, and bounded 
south by the sea." 

The term sea here used, means what is now known as 
Jamaica Bay, and the river referred to, is that now called 
Spring Creek, which discharges into said bay, being the 
eastern boundary of Plunder's Neck, a part of New 
Lots, in Flatbush Town. 

On the 5th of November, 1668, the town agreed 
with John Waget to fence the burying-place, ten rods 
square, for the sum of £4 in current pay; and on the 6th 
of March, 1670, they voted to give Mr. Prudden £40 
as their minister, with the house and lot formerly in pos- 
session of Mr. Walker; and also that a convenient pew 
should be built for him to preach in. The price ordered 
by the town, November 7, 1674, to be paid to the Indians 
for their west purchase, consisted of one trooper's coat, 
five guns, three blankets, sixteen coats, nine kettles, ten 
pounds of powder, ten bars of lead, one coat in liquors, 
thirty fathoms of wampum, and a quart more of liquor. 

On the 17th of May, 1686, Governor Dongan issued 


a new patent to the town, in which the following persons 
were named as patentees on behalf of themselves and 
their associates: 

Nicholas Everit Jonas Wood Richard Rhodes 

Nathaniel Denton William ffoster Thomas Lamberson 

Nehemiah Smith John Everit Joseph Smith 

Daniel Denton Edward Higbie George Woolsey 

John Oldfields Daniel Whitehead John Baylis 

William Creed John Carpenter Thomas Smith 

Bryant Newton John ffurman Wait Smith 

Benjamin Coe Samuel Smith Samuel Mills 

The said last-mentioned patent sets forth that an 
agreement had been entered into the id of December, 
1684, by which it was concluded and determined: 

" That the town of Jamaica should make no claim to 
Rockaway Neck; and that by Rockaway river should 
be understood the river that runs out of Rockaway 
Swamp, and to be Jamaica's east bounds; and that the 
meadows on the west thereof should belong to Jamaica." 

" The town being called together in arms on the 8th 
of October, 1689, John Baylis, Jr., was chosen captain, 
Jonas Wood, lieutenant, and Hope Carpenter, ensign." 

The stone church aforesaid was of a quadrangular 
form, and forty feet square, with a pyramidal roof and 
balcony in the centre, surmounted by a weather-cock of 
sheet copper. It stood nearly in the centre of the pres- 
ent Fulton Street opposite Union Hall Street, and was 
built, as we have seen, 1699, by Presbyterians or Inde- 
pendents, there being, at the time of its erection, no other 
in the town and very few in the colony; their first 
church, called Kings Chapel, in New York, having been 
built only in 1696. Of course there was no apparent 
occasion for limiting the use of dissenting churches exclu- 
sively to that particular sect. 


A very short time, however, after the building of the 
church, difficulties arose which kept the parish in a con- 
tinued ferment for a quarter of a century. A fatal sick- 
ness having broken out in the city, the governor, Lord 
Cornbury, with his council and other civil officers, took 
refuge in this village; and out of respect and deference 
to his excellency, the pastor of the church, the Rev, John 
Hubbard, gave him possession of the parsonage house, 
it being one of the best at that time in the place. Shortly 
after which, it happened that Mr. Hubbard, on coming 
to his church, on Sunday afternoon, found the Rev. Bar- 
tow, an Episcopal minister, in possession of the pulpit, 
and the body of the house filled with the governor's 
friends and some others from the city. With true Chris- 
tian forbearance, and with a proper regard for the day, 
he invited his people to an adjoining orchard, under 
whose shade he preached to them as if nothing at all had 
occurred. When the governor was about to return to 
the city, he not only neglected to surrender his residence 
to its original occupant, but meanly delivered it to the 
Episcopalians, who, it seems, had no misgivings as to 
the propriety or honesty of that act. They were also 
encouraged to take possession of the church and par- 
sonage lands, a proceeding which produced, as might be 
expected, very great disorder and contention among those 
who had previously lived in the utmost harmony with 
each other. 

The Presbyterians, having subsequently obtained the 
key, locked up the house, but early next Sunday, some 
heroic spirits of the opposition broke open the doors and 
kept possession of the building till the minister had fin- 
ished his discourse and then fastened it up. Being 
encouraged and countenanced by the civil authority with 


the governor at their head, the Presbyterians were de- 
prived of the church which they had built till 1728, when 
after a most protracted and expensive litigation they 
were restored to their rights. Chief Justice Lewis 
Morris, afterwards governor of New Jersey, presided 
at the trial of the cause which resulted in favor of the 

His Honor did not, however, escape the malevolence 
of the defeated party, who freely vented the severest 
aspersions upon his official conduct; and out of regard 
to his own character and the opinion of the world, he 
thought it necessary to repel the odious charge of judicial 
partiality by publishing a true statement of the case and 
the grounds of his decision. 

Cardwell, the sheriff, under the protection and prob- 
ably at the instigation of the governor, was an active 
agent in this nefarious transaction. He seized upon the 
church land, divided it into lots, and leased them out, 
for the benefit of his own party. * 

This man, it seems, sustained a despicable character, 
and being afterwards apprehended for some offence and 
thrown into prison, hanged himself in despair. 

This very unpleasant and vexatious controversy, so 
unworthy the catholic spirit which at this day charac- 
terizes the Christian community, may be ascribed in good 
degree to the peculiar temper of the times, fostered, if 
not originally excited, by the well known bigotry of Lord 
Cornbury, who did more to bring disgrace upon the 
administration of the colony than all his predecessors 
together. For certainly no governor was ever more uni- 
versally detested or so richly deserved it. 

His behavior was trifling, mean, and extravagant, 
while his despotism, bigotry, injustice, and insatiable 


avarice at length aroused the indignation of the people, 
and at the termination of his administration he was even 
thrown into jail by his cheated and exasperated creditors, 
where he remained till he made a partial satisfaction for 
the injuries he had done them. 

In the Episcopal burying-ground is the grave of Samuel 
Clowes, the first lawyer settled upon the island, 1702, 
who died August 27, 1760; of Catherine, his wife, whom 
he married July 18, 1698, and who died August 7, 1740, 
and also of his son Samuel, also a lawyer, who died May 
x 9> 1759. He was born at Derbyshire, England, March 
16, 1674, and was instructed in mathematics by Flam- 
stead, for whom Greenwich observatory was erected and 
who was appointed Astronomer Royal, August 10, 1675. 
He came to New York, 1697, accompanied Lord Corn- 
bury to Jamaica in 1702, and was forthwith appointed 
clerk of the county, which office he held till 17 10, when 
the increase of his professional business compelled him to 
resign. He was reputed an able advocate and was occu- 
pied in many important causes. His children were 
Gerardus, Samuel, John, Peter, Joseph, Alletta, Mary, 
Catherine, and Millicent. Gerardus, born 1699, married 
Sarah, daughter of Major Thomas Jones, and had 
Catherine, Samuel, Timothy, Bagley, and John. Samuel, 
born 1 70 1, married a daughter of Lieutenant Governor 
Clark, and died as aforesaid. John was a physician and 
settled in Delaware. Alletta married Edward Willet, 
and was the mother of the late Colonel Marinus Willet. 
Mary, born November 9, 1720, married Rev. Daniel 
Thane of New Jersey, April 8, 1749, who died on Staten 
Island in 1763. The name of Clowes seems to be com- 
mon in many parts of England. William was surveyor 
to Queen Elizabeth, and first surgeon of St. Bartholo- 


mew's and Christ's Hospitals. Rev. John was many 
years rector of St. John's Church, Manchester, and the 
greatest printing establishment in Europe is owned and 
conducted by William Clowes of London. 

The Rev. John Hubbard was born at Ipswich, Mass., 
in 1677, an d was the son or near relative of the Rev. 
William Hubbard, the able historian of New England. 
He graduated at Harvard in 1695, and was-settled here 
in February, 1702, where he died at the premature age 
of twenty-eight years and nine months, October 5, 1705, 
being doubtless the first minister buried in the town. A 
particular account of his death may be seen in the Bos- 
ton News Letter of October 22, 1705. He was one of 
the most excellent and amiable youths which New Eng- 
land produced, and his death was extensively and deeply 

The parish in January, 1702, for the first time chose 
church wardens and vestrymen under the act of 1693, 
for the settling of a ministry, and they being Presbyte- 
rian, called Mr. Hubbard as their pastor. This prob- 
ably gave offence to the friends of Episcopacy, and may 
have been one cause of the executive outrage related on 
a previous page. 

The Rev. Francis Goodhue was the next pastor, who 
was also born at Ipswich, October 4, 1678, graduated at 
Harvard in 1699, and was settled here the same year 
as that of Mr. Hubbard's death. He continued here till 
the latter part of the summer of 1707, when he made a 
visit to New England, and died at Rehoboth, Septem- 
ber 15, 1707, at the age of twenty-eight years and eleven 
months, about the same as his predecessor. He was a 
grandson of William Goodhue, of Ipswich, who took the 
oath of freeman December 7, 1636. His son William, 


father of the Rev. Francis Goodhue, was deacon of the 
church at Chebacco (now Essex) and died there October 
12, 1712. 

The said William Goodhue the elder died about the 
year 1700, at the age of eighty-five. He was one of the 
most intelligent and respectable men of his day, and a 
leading man in the colony of Massachusetts for many 
years. He sustained the chief trusts of the town of Ips- 
wich, was representative to the general court in 1666, '67, 
'73, '76, '77, '80, '81, and '83. He was imprisoned and 
fined under the administration of Andros for his resist- 
ance to illegal taxation and other unjust measures of that 
tyrannical governor. His first wife was Margery Wat- 
son, by whom he had children, Joseph, William, and 
Mary. September 7, 1664, he married Mary Webb, by 
whom he had no issue. He lived long and his many 
virtues conferred honor upon his name and family. The 
gravestones of himself and grandson, the Rev. Francis 
Goodhue, are still standing in the ancient burial ground 
at Seekonk, once a part of the town of Ipswich. 

Rev. George McNish was the successor of Mr. 
Goodhue. He was from Scotland, arrived in Maryland 
with the Rev. John Hampton in 1704, and settled in the 
congregation of Monokin and Wicomico in 1705, from 
whence he came to this church in 171 1, and was one of 
the ministers who composed the first presbytery of Long 
Island in 17 17, which, with those of Philadelphia and 
New Castle, were the only presbyteries at that time upon 
the American continent. He married the widow Mary 
Smith, as second wife, August 12, 17 13. Having become 
entitled, by some means, to a grant of land in the county 
of Orange, he has been supposed to have removed there, 
but it is now known that he died here March 10, 1723, 


being the second clergyman of this denomination buried 
in the town. He had, however, ceased to labor con- 
stantly in the ministry for some years before his death, 
being infirm and somewhat advanced in life. His son 
George married a daughter of Joseph Smith of this town, 
and settled at Hanover, N. J. 

Rev. Robert Cross, born near Bally Kelly, in Ireland, 
in 1689, was the successor of Mr. McNish. He was 
ordained by the presbytery of New Castle, March 17, 
17 19, settled there for a short time, but came here in 
October, 1723, and remained till 1737, when he removed 
to Philadelphia, where he died in August 1766, aged 
seventy-seven years. 

He was greatly esteemed for his learning, as well as 
extensive knowledge of the scriptures; in short, he was 
accounted, at the time when he lived, one of the most 
respectable ministers in the country. 

Rev. Walter Wilmot was the successor of Mr. Cross. 
He was born at Southampton, L. I., in 1709, gradu- 
ated at Yale in 1735, and was ordained here April 12, 
1738. He married December 28, 1742, Freelove, 
daughter of Jotham Townsend of Oyster Bay, L. I., 
and their daughter Freelove Townsend Wilmot married 
her cousin James Townsend of that place. 

Mr. Wilmot was possessed of a delicate and sickly 
constitution, which brought him to the grave, August 6, 
1744, at the age of thirty-five years. He was, however, 
one of the most amiable of men, and his death, as may 
be supposed, was greatly and sincerely regretted. His 
wife died before him at the age of twenty-three. 

Rev. David Bostwick was of Scotch descent, born at 
New Milford, Conn., in 1721, and became a student of 
Yale College in 1736; he did not graduate, but soon after 


engaged as instructor of an academy at Newark, N. J., 
under the supervision of the Rev. Aaron Burr, and upon 
his settlement here, October 9, 1745, the ordination ser- 
mon was preached by Mr. Burr, at that time president 
of Nassau Hall. 1 Mr. Bostwick is said to have pos- 
sessed a mild catholic disposition, and confined himself 
with laudable zeal to the duties of his station. 

In 1756 he removed to the city of New York, and be- 
came pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Wall Street, 
the Rev. Joseph Treat being settled as his colleague in 
1762. He died November 12, 1763, aged forty-three, 
and Mary, his widow, September 22, 1778, aged fifty- 
seven. Mr. Bostwick was both a good writer and an 
accurate scholar, being, as the historian Smith says, " one 
of the most distinguished clergymen in these parts." 
He wrote and published a memoir of President Davis, 
which was prefixed to his sermon on the death of George 
II., in 1 76 1. He possessed, says his biographer, an 
impressive, commanding eloquence, to which few attain; 
and the ardor of his piety, with the purity of his life, and 
the solidity of his judgment, gave him a strong hold on 
public opinion. 

Rev. Dr. Elihu Spencer was the next pastor of this 
church. His great-grandfather, Gerard Spencer, was 
born in 16 10, and is found at Lynn as early as 1638; 
after which he removed to, and was one of the first set- 
tlers of East Haddam, Conn., in the year 1660. His 
son Samuel was father of Isaac, who was the father of 
Joseph and Elihu Spencer. The former, better known as 
General Spencer of the Revolution, died in 1789. His 
brother Elihu, the fourth son, was born (says the Rev. 
Dr. Miller, who married his granddaughter), at East 

1 Princeton College. — Editor. 


Haddam, February 12, 1721, graduated at Yale 1746, 
was ordained in Boston, September, 1748, and was settled 
over the churches of Elizabethtown and Shrewsbury, Feb- 
ruary 7, 1750, as the successor of President Dickinson. 
On the death of this gentleman in October, 1747, Dr. 
Spencer presided at the annual commencement of the col- 
lege in conferring degrees, &c. In October, 1750, he 
married Miss Johanna Eaton of Shrewsbury, and in 1756 
removed to Trenton. 

He labored here from May, 1758, to May, 1760, when 
he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Rogens at St. George's, 
Del. In 1770 he removed to Trenton again, where he 
died December 27, 1784, aged sixty-three. His widow 
died at the same age, November 1, 1791. One of his 
daughters married Mr. Biddle of Carlyle, Penn. He 
was the author of a View of the State of Religious Lib- 
erty in the Colony of New York, and of a letter ad- 
dressed to President Stiles, November 3, 1759, on the 
dissenting interests in the middle states. 

Dr. Spencer possessed a fine genius, great vivacity, and 
eminent and active piety. In short, his merits as a 
minister and a man are above the reach of flattery. 

Rev. Benoni Bradner was the son of the Rev. John 
Bradner of Scotland, pastor of the church at Cape May, 
and first minister of the church at Goshen, N. Y., where 
he settled in 1721 and died in 1732, and where his son 
was born a few months after his death. He graduated 
at Princeton, 1755, and came here in 1760, but removed 
in 1761. He settled at Blooming Grove in June, 1786, 
where he died January 29, 1804, aged seventy, having 
ceased to preach for two years before. His wife was 
Rebecca Briget of this town. 

Rev. William Mills, son of Isaac, was born at Smith- 


town, March 13, 1739, graduated at Princeton 1756, was 
licensed in 1760, and installed here in 1762, where he 
continued till his death at the age of thirty-five years, 
March 18, 1774. He was in all respects a very estimable 
man, and as much devoted to his pastoral duties as a natu- 
rally feeble constitution would allow. He left a widow 
and six children. His sister Joanna married Nathan 
Woodhull of Setauket, and was the mother of the Rev. 
Nathan Woodhull, who died at Newtown. Rev. Will- 
iam Mills married Hannah, daughter of Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor Reading of New Jersey, and had John, William, 
Isaac, Thaddeus, Mary, and Hannah. John and Thad- 
deus married Halsteads. Mary married Dr. Caleb Hal- 
stead, and Hannah died May 29, 1798, aged thirty-one. 
Isaac went to Ohio, where he settled Elizabethtown. 

Rev. Matthias Burnet was born at Bottle Hill, now 
Madison, N. J., January 24, 1779, graduated at Prince- 
ton in 1769, and was settled here in April 1775, where 
he continued respected and useful till May, 1785, when 
he removed to Norwalk, Conn., and took charge of the 
Congregational Church there, November 2d of that year, 
and died there January 30, 1806, aged fifty-nine. 

Mr. Onderdonk, in his interesting volume of Revolu- 
tionary incidents, says that " Mr. Burnet (who had 
married an Episcopalian, Miss Ann Combs of Jamaica) 
was the only Presbyterian minister in the country reputed 
to be a friend to government, and was therefore allowed 
to preach here during the whole war. Although he 
saved the church from desecration, yet after the peace, 
party spirit ran so high that he was forced to leave." 
" The Highlanders attended his church, and sat by them- 
selves in the galleries. Some had their wives with them, 
and several children were baptized. Once when the sex- 


ton had neglected to provide water and was about to 
go for it, the thoughtful mother called him back and 
drew a bottle of it from her pocket." 

The second wife of Mr. Burnet was a daughter of 
the Rev. Dr. Azel Roe, a native of Brookhaven, L. L, 
and minister of Woodbridge, N. J., who married Re- 
becca, widow of Rev. Caleb Smith, who died October 22, 
1762, pastor of the church at Orange, N. J., and a 
native of Brookhaven also. 

Both before and after the Revolution, the Rev. Abra- 
ham Keteltas officiated ocasionally in this and the other 
churches in this part of the country, but had no perma- 
nent parochial charge. 

Mr. Keteltas was the son of Abraham Keteltas, a mer- 
chant of New York, who came from Holland in 1720. 
He was born in the city, December 26, 1733, graduated 
at Yale, 1752; was installed in the borough of Eliza- 
beth, N. J., September 14, 1757, as successor of Dr. 
Spencer, and continued till his removal here in 1759, 
where he spent the residue of his life, except during the 
Revolutionary War, when he devoted himself to the 
churches on the island and in Connecticut. In 1776 he 
was one of the convention that framed the state consti- 
tution, and was at all times a zealous supporter of inde- 
pendence, which attitude drove him from his home in 
1776, when more than 150 acres of valuable timber were 
destroyed, his slaves set at liberty or enlisted in the serv- 
ice of the enemy, and his dwelling occupied and injured 
by British officers. The commander-in-chief, knowing his 
ability to advise, frequently consulted him. He possessed 
an uncommonly large and valuable library which occupied 
much of his leisure. He published some excellent dis- 
courses, and wrote an eulogy upon Mr. Whitefield, the 


original of which is in the New York Historical Li- 

He married November 3, 1755, Sarah, daughter of 
the Hon. William Smith, and sister of the historian, 
who died Chief Justice of Canada at Quebec in 1793. 
She was born 1732 and died October 12, 18 15, leaving 
issue Abraham, William (who died November 20, 1812, 
aged forty-seven), John, Dr. Phillip Doddridge, who 
married Levina Gerry, May 7, 1795, Mary, Jane, Eliza- 
beth, Ann, Clarissa, and Sarah. 

Mr. Keteltas was a member of the provincial conven- 
tion, July 9, 1776, when Mr. Jay moved " that whereas 
Rev. Abraham Keteltas has been solemnly devoted to the 
service of God and the cure of souls, has good right to 
expect and claim exemption from all such employments 
as would divert his attention from the affairs of that 
kingdom which is not of this world; Resolved that he be 
at liberty to attend at such times only as he may think 
proper, and that his absence be not considered as a neg- 
lect of his duty," which passed twenty-two to eighteen. 

It has been said that Mr. Keteltas was so much dis- 
satisfied with that part of the constitution excluding 
ministers of religion from holding civil offices, that he 
soon after ceased to attend the convention, and it was 
moved " that he have perpetual leave of absence." 

Altje, his sister, born in Holland, October, 1696, mar- 
ried Anthony Duane, May 24, 1730, and was the mother 
of the Hon. James Duane, who was born February 
6, 1733, and died 1797. She died in March, 1736. His 
daughter Elizabeth Keteltas married Melancthon Fleet, 
and died September 2, 1828, aged sixty, leaving a son, 
Abraham Keteltas Fleet. 

The following is copied from his tomb in Jamaica : 


" Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Abraham Ketel- 
tas,* obiit 30 Sept., 1798, aged 65." 

He possessed unusual talents, which were improved 
by profound erudition, and a heart firmly attached to 
the interests of his country. It may not, perhaps, be 
unworthy of record, that he had frequently officiated in 
three different languages, having preached in the Dutch 
and French languages in his native city of New York. 

Rev. James Glassbrook, from Scotland, began to 
preach here March, 11, 1786, but whether installed or 

* James Henry Hackett, Esq., the popular American actor, whose char- 
acter as a man and genius as an artist have shed a lustre upon the stage, 
is a grandson of the Rev. Mr. Keteltas. His father, Thomas Gerardus 
Hackett, came from Holland to New York in 1794, the younger son of 
an English nobleman, of a family respectable for rank and talents. He 
married Ann Keteltas in 1799, who died January 23, 1846, aged seventy- 
one, having been born March 19, 1774. Her son, the subject of this 
notice, was born March 15, 1800, and was a member of Union Hall, 
under the tuition of the late Mr. Eigenbrodt. At fifteen years of age 
he entered Columbia College, which he left at the end of a year, on 
account of his health, and afterwards entered the office of the late 
Robert Bogardus, as a law student, but finding few charms in the pages 
of Bracton and Coke, he gave his attention to mercantile pursuits. 
Failing in this, he turned to the stage, where he met the most decided 
success, and has long sustained a high rank, both in Europe and 
America, as a tragic and comic performer. His great success (says Mr. 
Dunlap) has been proportionate to the enterprise and observation he 
has evinced. He has been from his debut a star without regular training 
or the trial of working up in a company of comedians; he has seized the 
crown at a leap, and may say with Richard, "/ am myself alone." He 
married early Miss Catherine D. Lee-Sugg, a popular English actress, 
whom he at once took from the stage. He has not only acquired a 
fortune by his profession, but has sustained in all respects a character 
above reproach. None of the vices or frailties which have been thought 
almost inseparable from the character of players have ever attached to 
him; few persons are more respected in private life, and still fewer 
have contributed so much to the stock of harmless pleasure or given 
greater vigor to the morality of the stage. He has of late years, by 
his splendid performance of Hamlet and others of Shakespeare's tragedies, 
shown more fully the vast range of his talents. He lost his wife De- 
cember 9, 1845, in the forty-seventh year of her age. 


not, does not appear. His stay was only till Novem- 
ber, 1787, and he was succeeded by the Rev. George 
Faitoute, who was born of a Huguenot family in the 
city of New York in 1750, graduated at Princeton in 
1774, and was settled in Greenwich, N. J., April, 1782, 
from whence he came to this town in July, 1789, and 
was installed the 15th of December following. He mar- 
ried November 4, 1779, Euphemia Titus of Amboy, 
N. J., who died September 30, 1828. Having preached 
here about twenty-six years, he died, aged sixty-five, on 
Sunday, August 21, 18 15, having preached in the fore- 
noon of that day. In 1797 he was employed as the 
principal of Union Hall. As a gentleman and divine, he 
was greatly esteemed, and all that knew him admitted him 
to possess first-rate abilities. He had two sons and four 
daughters; James went to the West Indies, Elizabeth 
married Nicholas C. Everit. Euphemia and Mary Ann 
are deceased, while George and Lydia are still living. 

Rev. Henry R. Weed was born at Ballston, N. Y., 
1790, graduated at Union College, 18 12; settled here 
January 4, 18 16, and on the 19th February married 
Phebe Biggs of Princeton, N. J. He removed to Al- 
bany in 1822, from thence to Wheeling, Va., and is 
now living. 

Rev. Seymour Potter Funck graduated at Columbia 
College, 1 8 17, and was ordained over this church March 
6, 1823, but his want of health among other reasons 
occasioned his removal May 9, 1825, and he died at 
Flatlands, L. I., April 3, 1828, aged thirty-two, leaving 
a widow, Alice Carberry (whom he married May 8, 
1823) and one child. 

Rev. Elias W . Crane, son of Noah Crane, Esq. of 
Elizabethtown, N. J., was born March 18, 1796, being 


the eldest of eight children who lived to grow up, and 
was descended from one of the original settlers of that 
place in 1664. He graduated at Princeton, N. J., in 
1 8 14, and was subsequently employed a few years as 
instructor of the Morristown Academy. 

He was ordained and first installed over the Dutch 
church at Springfield, N. J., January 5, 1820, and con- 
tinued till about the time of his installment here, which 
took place October 31, 1826. He was for several years 
a director of the theological seminary at Princeton, and 
like his predecessor, Mr. Faitoute, died suddenly, hav- 
ing preached a few miles from his dwelling at John Car- 
penter's on the same evening, November 10, 1840. His 
life was a bright example of active usefulness, and his 
death cast a general gloom over the community in which 
he lived. He married Hannah Margaretta, daughter of 
John Johnson, Esq.. of Newton, N. J., July 7, 18 19, by 
whom he had issue. She died October 18, 1827, aged 
thirty-one, and June 30, 1829, he married Sarah R. 
Wickham of this place who survived him. His daugh- 
ter Martha W. Crane married Henry N. Beach, Oc- 
tober 6, 1847. 

Rev. James M. Macdonald is the son of Major Gen- 
eral John Macdonald; born at Limerick, Me., May 22, 
18 12, graduated at Union College, 1832; ordained at 
New London, Conn., December 13, 1837; dismissed 
January 8, 1840, and installed here May 5, 1841. He 
married Lucy Esther, daughter of John Hyde, Esq. of 
Mystic, September, 1834. 

" Since Mr. Macdonald's ministry, the list of pastors 
is as follows : x 

1 List of pastors since 1850 has been kindly furnished by Amos 
Denton, Esq., Clerk of Session. — Editor. 


Rev. Peter D. Oakey, who was installed pastor of this 
church May 25, 1850, resigned in consequence of ill- 
health September 6, 1870. 

The Rev. Lewis Lampman (now D.D.) was installed 
November 10, 1870, and resigned to take the pastorate 
of the High Street Presbyterian Church, Newark, N. J., 
November 15, 1888. 

The Rev. J. Howard Hobbs (now D.D.) was in- 
stalled January 24, 1890, and resigned to take the pas- 
torate of the Westminister Presbyterian Church, Utica, 
N. Y., November 15, 1908. 

The. Rev. Benjamin E. Dickhaut was installed Sep- 
tember 30, 1909, and died December 27, 191 1. 

The present pastor, Rev. Andrew Magill, was in- 
stalled September 27, 19 12." Editor. 

The stone church, having stood 114 years, was taken 
down in the year 18 13, and its materials were used in 
laying the foundation of the present church edifice, which 
was begun in that year and finished the year following. 
It was dedicated January 18, 18 14, and is of large 
dimensions, and well accommodated to the convenience 
and wants of the congregation, but is a plain and sub- 
stantial building. 

An accurate pencil drawing of this edifice, made by the 
late David Lamberson, is in the possession of his family 
and gives a good idea of its appearance while standing. 
This gentleman, once surrogate and judge of the county, 
died suddenly May 2, 1842. He married Ann Furman 
of Dutchess County, who was born there October 1 1, 
1784, and was drowned by the sinking of the steamboat 
" Swallow " in the Hudson River, on the night of April 2, 
1845. ^ is worthy of note that she was one of ten chil- 
dren, and was herself the mother of ten also. 


The Reformed Dutch Church in this town was the first 
of that denomination in the county; it was organized in 
1702 by settlers who had removed from the adjoining 
county of Kings and the city of New York, but the 
church edifice was not completed till 17 15, at an expense 
of £360. It was of a hexagon shape, thirty-four feet in 
diameter, and stood upon the south side of Fulton Street, 
in front of the present Dutch church. It was similar in 
form to most of the early Dutch churches, being most 
agreeable to their notions of architectural elegance, and 
calculated also to accommodate conveniently the greatest 
number of auditors in the least space. 

The subscription for building the church was headed 
by the following declaration, which exhibits the harmony 
and good feeling which then prevailed: 

" We, the consistory of New Jamaica, in Queens 
county, on the island Nassau, consisting of the elders and 
deacons of the reformed Low Dutch church throughout 
the whole of Queens county, are unanimously resolved to 
build a church unto the glory of God and our Lord Jesus 
Christ. God hath blessed us, and enabled us to build 
houses for our families; but we are also bound to show 
our gratitude to God, by building a house for the Lord 
and for the family of God — for all we have or possess, 
is given us by a good God; and that we may induce him 
to grant us greater blessings, we ought, from motives of 
piety, to build a house unto the honor and glory of His 
name. For thus saith the Lord : ' In all places where 
I record my name, I will come unto thee, and bless thee.' 
We are therefore assured, that whosoever giveth unto 
the Lord for the building of his house, the Lord will 
bless him with rich returns. In endeavoring, therefore, 
to build an house of God for the Dutch congregation, 
and to prove the love of God's children, not only in word, 


but in very deed, we propose to the charitable brethren 
and sisters, the following conditions, &c." 

The church wardens chosen after the completion of 
the house, were Jan Snedeker, Joris Remsen, Peter 
Monfort, and Rem Remsen. 

During the war of the Revolution, the building was 
desecrated to military purposes, the floor being ripped 
up, the pews torn out, and the body of the church used 
as a storehouse, the congregation being compelled to 
worship elsewhere, as opportunity might offer. 

The first settled minister was the Rev. Johannes 
Henricus Goetschius, who, when a boy, came with his 
father from Zurich, in Switzerland, to Philadelphia, hav- 
ing received a call to the first Reformed German Church 
in that city. Young Goetschius had previously com- 
menced his education at the university of Zurich, which 
he completed with his father on his arrival in America. 
After his ordination by the German church in Pennsyl- 
vania, he preached awhile in the Reformed Dutch 
churches of North and Southampton in that province, 
from whence he removed in 1741, and became pastor of 
the Dutch churches of Jamaica, Newtown, Success, and 
Wolver Hollow, 1 all of which were associate or collegi- 
ate churches, and so continued for nearly a century, con- 
stituting in fact one parish. 

At this period, an unhappy division existed in the 
churches of this denomination, relative to their subordi- 
nation to the church of Holland. The one party, called 
the coetus party, were in favor of declaring themselves 
independent of the mother church, and managing their 
ecclesiastical concerns without its interference and juris- 

1 Now Brookville. — Editor. 


diction; while the other, called the conferentie party, 
were of opinion that no ministerial ordination would be 
sufficient or valid unless obtained from the mother 
church in Holland, or by its express permission and 

The fatherland had heretofore supplied most of the 
ministers of this church, and those who were not natives 
of that country went there for ordination; it was, there- 
fore, natural that prejudices should exist in favor of a 
precedent which had been so long and constantly ob- 
served. The church of Holland was extremely tenacious 
of its authority in this matter, which had been acquiesced 
in too long to be tamely relinquished. But the require- 
ment was found to be vexatious, expensive, and dilatory, 
and the necessity of declaring the American church to 
have an independent existence, became too apparent to 
be any longer disregarded. 

The parties, when first formed, were about equal, 
although the weight of learning was doubtless on the side 
of the conferentie party; but practical preaching, zeal, 
and industry particularly distinguished their opponents. 
The popular opinion was likewise in their favor, and 
their numbers and influence gradually increased. But 
the peace of the churches was destroyed, and sometimes 
members of the same congregation, taking different sides, 
produced the most deplorable consequences. Houses of 
worship were locked up by one party against the other, 
and tumults were not infrequent upon the Lord's Day; 
preachers were sometimes assaulted in the pulpit, and 
public worship broken up in disorder. The coetus party, 
in order to supply the want of ministers in their churches, 
obtained from the governor of New Jersey, in 1770, the 
charter of Queens College, and from that time no fur- 


ther measures were adopted by them for a reconciliation 
with the classis of Amsterdam. 

But to such an independent establishment, there was a 
strong and decided opposition, probably fomented and 
encouraged by the mother church. Towards the middle 
of the eighteenth century, the English language had made 
great progress among the Dutch inhabitants, and it 
therefore became desirable to very many that the lan- 
guage of the country should be more generally adopted 
in the pulpit, while men educated in the American col- 
leges should be more frequently employed in the 

All these circumstances, allied to the humiliating idea 
of being as heretofore dependent upon a distant republic 
for a large proportion of their ministers, made a deep 
and abiding impression on the public mind, and came to 
be regarded by many members of the Dutch Church as 
no longer tolerable. 

In 1753 it was advised by the coetus to amend the plan 
before recommended, and to change it into a regular 
classis. Such a measure was actually adopted in the fol- 
lowing year, and occasioned a scene of animosity, divi- 
sion, and violence that continued a number of years, and 
sometimes even threatened the very existence of the 
Dutch Church in this country. 

Those ministers most zealous in their opposition, and 
composing the confer entie party, addressed a letter to 
the classis of Amsterdam, complaining of the attempts 
making to be rid of its authority, and constituting a body 
here with co-ordinate powers. They likewise sent similar 
letters in 1756, 1760, and 1761. 

On the 27th of April, 1738, a meeting of ministers 
took place in the city of New York, at which such 


reports were received from the churches to which the 
plan of a coetus had been communicated, as induced those 
present to ratify and confirm it. The plan adopted was 
sent to the classis of Amsterdam for their approbation, 
but it does not appear that any answer was returned for 
nearly ten years, but their concurrence was given in 1747 
by the hand of Mr. Van Sinderin, who, it is supposed, 
came then to America for the first time. At the meet- 
ing in that year, little was done except to appoint that 
the first meeting of the coetus should be held in the month 
of September of that year. 

The principle of independence finally prevailed, and in 
October, 177 1, at a convention of nearly all the ministers 
of the Dutch Church in America, an union was formed, 
and harmony once more happily restored. 

Mr. Goetschius, who had been settled here as above 
mentioned, remained till 1748, devoting himself a part 
of the time to the education of young ministers, when he 
was called to take charge of the Reformed Dutch 
churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, where he 
died in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He was esteemed 
a very learned man, an eloquent divine, and was emi- 
nently successful in his ministry. His name is still greatly 
cherished by the aged members of the church in this coun- 
try. He was one of the first trustees of Queens College 
under its royal charter. 

Rev. Thomas Romeyn, brother of the Rev. Dr. Dirck 
Romeyn, former minister of Schenectady, and uncle of 
the late Rev. Dr. John B. Romeyn of the city of New 
York, was the second pastor of the associate churches in 
this county. He was born at Hackensack, N. J., in 1730, 
graduated at Princeton in 1750, and settled here as suc- 
cessor to Mr. Goetschius in 1752, where he remained 


about twelve years, when he removed, and after laboring 
in several places he accepted a call to Schenectady in 
1784, where he died in April 1804. His son, James 
V. C. Romeyn, was the minister of Hackensack, N. J., 
and his grandson James preached at Catskill, N. Y. 

Rev. Hermanns L. Boelen, the next minister, was a 
native of Holland, from whence he came here in 1766, 
and after officiating several years, returned again to the 
country of his birth for reasons not now known. 

Rev. Dr. Solomon Froeligh succeeded as pastor in 
1775, and remained till the capture of Long Island by 
the enemy in August, 1776, when, being an ardent whig, 
he left this place and afterwards settled in the churches 
of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh as successor of Mr. 
Goetschius, and was appointed professor of divinity by 
the General Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church, after 
which he trained many young men for the ministry. He 
died October 8, 1827, in the seventy-eighth year of his 
age and the fifty-third of his ministry. The church edi- 
fice in Jamaica was taken possession of by the British 
during the war, and converted into a storehouse for 
goods and provisions. 

Rev. Rynier Van Neste, fifth pastor, was settled at 
Shawangunk, Ulster County, from 1778 to 1784, and 
came here in 1785, previously to which the church edifice 
had been thoroughly repaired. His stay here was about 
eight years, when he removed and was subsequently set- 
tled at Schoharie, N. Y., but died near Somerville, N. J. 

Rev. Zacharias H. Kuypers, son of the Rev. War- 
muldus Kuypers, formerly minister at Hackensack and 
Schraalenburgh, N. J., was ordained as pastor of the 
four churches in Queens County, in the summer of 1794. 
The sermon was preached at Success, by Rev. Dr. Living- 


ston, from Matt, ix: 37. He continued to labor in the 
county till the year 1825, when he was called to preach 
in the three churches of Preakness, Ponds, and Wykoff, 
N. J. He was living in New York in 1849, one of the 
oldest ministers in the communion of the Dutch Church. 

In 1802 the churches of Jamaica and Newtown sepa- 
rated from those of Success and Wolver Hollow, 1 and 
settled in February, 1802, as their joint pastor, the Rev. 
(later Dr.) Jacob Schoonmaker. He is the youngest son 
of the Rev. Henry Schoonmaker, who, for more than 
forty years, was pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church 
at Aquacanock, N. J., where his son was born in 1777. 
He graduated at Columbia College in 1799, and in 1832 
he was made doctor of divinity in the Dutch Church, 
and became the senior pastor of this denomination on 
Long Island and in the city of New York. He mar- 
ried Katharine, daughter of Richard Ludlow. It is a 
curious fact that this gentleman was the grandson in 
the maternal line of the Rev. Mr. Goetschius, minister of 
this church more than a century ago. He completed the 
fortieth anniversary of his ministry February 22, 1842, 
on which occasion an appropriate discourse was deliv- 
ered by his junior associate in the churches of Jamaica 
and Newtown, the Rev. Garret I. Garretson, which has 
been published. His son, Richard L., was pastor of the 
Dutch Church at Manhasset. His daughter, Susan L., 
married William H. Conover July 26, 1842. John Henry 
married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Willets, who died 
July 5, 1847; Anna B. married on the same day Jona- 
than D. Hull, and Elizabeth married Peter Hendrickson 
in 1837. 

The old hexagonal church was taken down in 1833, 

1 Now Brookville. — Editor. 


the last sermon therein being delivered by the Rev. 
Mr. Schoonmaker, in the Dutch language as the first had 
been. The present church, a larger and handsome edi- 
fice, was completed and dedicated on the 4th of July of 
that year. 

11 Rev. Dr. Schoonmaker resigned his charge in Au- 
gust, 1850, and was succeeded by Rev. John B. Alliger of 
Shawangunk, January 7, 1851. Mr. Alliger preached 
until 1870. Since then the following pastors have 

Rev. John G. Van Slyke 1870 to 1876 

■ William H. De Hart 1877 to 1886 

" Oliver H. Walser 1888 to 1890 

" Edgar Felton, Jr 1891 to 1898 

" Robert K. Wick 1 189910 " 

— Editor. 

Our history of the Episcopal Church here is quite in- 
complete and unsatisfactory from the want of materials, 
and we are under particular obligations to the present 
rector of the church for much information otherwise 
unattainable to us. 

The Society in England for Propagating the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, almost upon its formation in 1701, sent 
the Rev. George Keith, an apostate Quaker (once a 
resident of Pennsylvania), as a missionary to America, 
and for the special purpose, as it would seem, the better 
to ascertain from personal experience and observation 
the most ready mode of answering the objects of the 
society. It must appear strange that one who had suffered 
no small measure of persecution for being a Quaker 
should become the willing persecutor of his former 
friends and should moreover be selected as, above all 

1 List of pastors since 1877 has kindly been furnished by Mr. Wick. — 


others, a fit instrument to assist in preparing the way 
for the introduction and establishment of Episcopacy in 
this colony. 

He was accompanied by the Rev. Patrick Gordon, who 
being intended as missionary for Long Island arrived 
and died at Jamaica on the night before the Sunday on 
which he was to have commenced his labors here in 1702, 
as rector of Queens County, during the administration 
of Lord Cornbury, who had been instructed by his royal 
mistress, Queen Anne, " to give all countenance and en- 
couragement to the exercise of the ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion of the Bishop of London, as conveniently might be," 
and " that no school master from England be allowed 
in the province without the license of the said bishop." 

But such was the governor's inordinate selfishness, his 
imprudence, and bigotry as a sectarian and above all his 
anti-Christian and unfeeling severity toward other de- 
moninations, that in the end he proved himself an enemy 
to the best interests of an establishment which he 
seemed, on all occasions, anxious to encourage. 

The commission and instruction of his Lordship bear 
date December 5, 1702, and he was required to take spe- 
cial care to have the Book of Common Prayer read on 
Sunday and holy days, and the sacrament administered 
according to the Church of England. No minister was 
to be preferred by him to any ecclesiastical benefice, with- 
out a certificate from the Bishop of London, the minister 
of each parish to be one of the vestry, and no vestry 
meeting to be held without him, except in case of sickness. 
He was moreover required to give an account to the said 
bishop of any minister within the government that should 
preach or administer the sacrament in any orthodox 
church or chapel without being in due orders. And he 


was to give all countenance and encouragement to the 
jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, except the collat- 
ing to benefices, granting licenses of marriage, and pro- 
bate of wills, which were reserved for the personal exer- 
cise of the governor and commander-in-chief for the time 
being; and no person from England or other parts was 
to be admitted to keep school without a license first 

According to the missionary's report of 1704, there 
was at Jamaica a tolerably good church built of stone, a 
parsonage house, an orchard and 200 acres of land be- 
longing to it, and £60 per annum, settled by act of 
assembly. In the church were a prayer book and cushion, 
no vestments nor communion vessels. There were twenty 
communicants, mostly brought over by Rev. Mr. Mott, 
who with Mr. Vesey occasionally officiated here till the 
induction of the Rev. William Urquhart in August, 1704, 
by authority of Lord Cornbury. The church wardens 
and vestry were chosen by a majority of the parish who 
were dissenters, and refused to qualify themselves or to 
provide bread and wine for the sacrament. 

Mr. J. A. Honeyman, the first missionary here, says, 
" we have a church but neither Bible nor Prayer Book, 
no clothes neither for pulpit nor altar." 

In a summary account of the state of the Episcopal 
Church in this province by the Rev. William Vesey, Oc- 
tober 5, 1704, is the following: "In Jamaica, there is 
a stone church built by a tax levied on the inhabitants — 
has a spire and bell, but no pews or utensils — the church 
built in the street, and there is a house and some land 
for a parsonage, formerly (says he) in possession of 
the Independents, but now in possession of the Rev. Mr. 
Urquhart, by his excellency, Lord Cornbury's favor, 


who has been the great promotor of the church in this 
province, and especially in this place." 

In the report of the British society of February 16, 
1705, it is remarked among other things, that "there 
is a provision in Queens County for two ministers, 
of £60. In Queens and Suffolk counties, are two church 
of England congregations, many Independents, and some 
Quakers and Libertines." 

In their report of 1706, it is stated that, " her 
majesty Queen Anne was pleased to allow the churches 
of Hempstead, and Jamaica, Westchester, Rye, and 
Staten Island, each, a large church bible, common- 
prayer book, book of homilies, a cloth for the pulpit, a 
communion table, a silver chalice and paten." 

The death of Mr. Urquhart occurred in about five 
years after his settlement. His will bears date August 
29, 1709, in which he gives to his wife Mary all his 
estate in America, and says, " I desire her that there 
may be no great pomp or formality used at my funeral, 
that none except my wife be put in mourning, that no 
rings, gloves, or scarfs be given, but that persons fit to 
be taken notice of for their service, be otherwise 

In a letter from Mr. Thomas of Hempstead, to the 
society in England, of March 1, 1705, he says, " the 
people of Hempstead are better disposed to peace and 
civility than they are at Jamaica. Mr. Urquhart, who 
is well esteemed of among the people, and myself, are 
now very easy, owing to the good governor's (Lord 
Cornbury's) vigorous espousing our cause." 

This want of peace and civility refers probably to the 
resentment shown by the Presbyterians toward the 
Episcopalians and their pastor, who had, through the 


officious and wicked interference of his lordship, deprived 
them of their church and its appendages, as has been 
above stated. 

In addition to the representation given of Lord Corn- 
bury by Smith and other historians, Grahame says, " his 
character seems to have formed a composition no less 
odious than despicable, of rapacity, prodigality, volup- 
tuousness, and cruelty; the loftiest arrogance and the 
meanest chicane. He robbed even Andros of his evil 
eminence, and rendered himself more universally de- 
tested than any % other officer to whom the government of 
this province was ever entrusted. In every quarter of 
the province the governor offered his assistance to the 
Episcopalians to put them in possession of the ecclesi- 
astical edifices, that other sects had built; and to the dis- 
grace of some of the zealots of Episcopacy, this offer was 
in various instances accepted and produced the most 
disgusting scenes of riot, injustice, and confusion." 
" Finally," says Chief Justice Smith, " his perpetual de- 
mands for money, his extortions in the way of fees, and 
his haughty and tyrannical conduct in other respects, con- 
tinued to increase, until, moved by the complaints of 
New York and New Jersey, the Queen consented to 
recall him." 

Rev. Thomas Poyer arrived from England, and was 
inducted in the rectorship, July 18, 17 10. He was ship- 
wrecked on Long Island, 100 miles from Jamaica, July 
7th of the same year, and saved with great difficulty 
from a watery grave. Mr. Poyer was a grandson of 
Colonel Poyer, who died in the gallant defence of Pem- 
broke Castle in the time of Cromwell. Finding, on com- 
ing here, the troubles which existed in relation to the 
church and glebe, he drew up, and forwarded to the 


queen, a statement of it, in consequence of which, and, 
as supposed, by the influence of Governor Hunter (who 
had put Mr. Poyer into possession of the church and its 
appendages), her Majesty ordered: 

" That in all cases where the church is immediately 
concerned, as in the case of Jamaica, liberty be given to 
the clergy to appeal from the inferior courts to the gov- 
ernor and council only, without limitation of any sum; 
and that as well in this, as in other like cases, liberty be 
given to the clergy to appeal from the governor and 
council to her Majesty and the privy council, without 
limitation as aforesaid." 

The motive which dictated this extraordinary measure, 
and the object intended to be subserved by it, are too 
apparent to require explanation; and the natural conse- 
quence was to protract the dissensions above mentioned, 
and to render the minds of the people more obstinate. 
The rector kept possession of the property until a deci- 
sion was made by the supreme court in 1727, in favor of 
the Presbyterians. 

Mr. Poyer, having failed in several ejectment suits, 
the town voted, January 2, 1725, that the parsonage land 
should be delivered into the possession of the Rev. Mr. 
Cross, the dissenting minister, against which Mr. Poyer, 
Justice Oldfield, and Richard Combs entered their pro- 
test; and February 26, 1727, the town assigned the stone 
church to three of the surviving trustees who built it, to 
take possession of it for the town. 

He was a married man on his arrival, but married 
as second wife the widow of the Rev. Mr. Foxcroft of 
Boston. His third wife was Sarah, daughter of Joseph 
Oldfield of this town. He had sons Thomas and John, 


and a daughter Sarah, who married Aaron Van Nos- 
trand in 1772, and had John and Catherine, who died 
January 15, 1849, aged seventy-four. 

Mr. Poyer's residence was every way unpleasant, con- 
stantly troubled with the most violent controveries about 
the parsonage property, which (says Dr. Spencer) " pro- 
ceeded to such length, that many of the principal in- 
habitants were harassed with severe persecutions, heavy 
fines and long imprisonments, for assuming their just 
rights, and others fled out of the province to avoid the 
rage of episcopal cruelty." 

In 1730 Mr. Poyer requested permission, on account 
of advanced age and great infirmity, to return to Eng- 
land, but he died here January 15, 173 1. The church 
and parsonage land having been confirmed by the deci- 
sion of the supreme court, to the Presbyterians in 1727, 
the Episcopalians now held their meetings in the court 
house, until their first church was built in 1734. Mr. 
Poyer preached two years in the court house. Mr. Col- 
gan preached here two years. 

A letter of thanks was sent to Governor Hunter for 
his support of Mr. Poyer " in all legal methods of 
relief," and an order granted for all the expenses that 
the minister should be at, in recovering his salary by due 
course of law, in the shortest and speediest manner pos- 

Rev. Thomas Colgan was from England, and had 
been employed as catechist to the negroes in New York. 
He became rector here in 1732, where he continued till 
the close of his life, December 15, 1755, and was buried 
under the pulpit of the church. He married Mary 
Reade of New York, and had sons Reade, Thomas, 
Fleming; daughters Sarah, who married a Hammersley; 


Mary, who married Christopher Smith; and Jane, who 
married Wynant Van Zandt of New York. 

The church now finished was incorporated by the title 
of Grace Church, June 17, 1761. At its dedication, 
April 3, 1734, Governor Cosby, his lady and family, the 
council, with many ladies and gentlemen from the city, 
honored the occasion with their presence, when a splen- 
did entertainment was given by Samuel Clowes, an emi- 
nent lawyer, residing in the village. The militia were 
under arms to attend his excellency and the concourse 
of citizens was great. 

On this then novel and interesting event, his excel- 
lency's wife presented the congregation with a large 
Bible, common prayer book, and a surplice for the rec- 
tor. Mr. Colgan, in a letter to the society, says of the 
church, " It is thought to be one of the handsomest in 

But in relation to a religious excitement then existing 
in the country, caused by Whitefield and other zealots, 
he says, " The late predominant enthusiasm is very much 
declined, several of the teachers, as well as hearers, hav- 
ing been found guilty of the foulest immoralities, and 
others having wrought themselves into downright 

A lottery of 1,300 tickets at one dollar each, was 
drawn October 10, 1747, at the County Hall, by Jacob 
Ogden and Samuel Clowes, the deduction upon each 
being one shilling, for the purpose of purchasing a bell 
for the church. 

Even at this time, says the Rev. Mr. Barclay, a ma- 
jority of the vestry were dissenters, and they presented 
the Rev. Simon Horton to Sir Charles Hardy for induc- 
tion into the parish; he of course refused as he had not 


the necessary certificate from the Bishop of London as 
before mentioned, and the Rev. Mr. Seabury was col- 
lated to the cure in due course. 

On the death of Mr. Colgan, the governor, Sir 
Charles Hardy, introduced the Rev. Samuel Seabury , who 
was born at New London, where his father of the same 
name was rector, in 1728, graduated at , Yale in 1748, 
took orders in London in 1753, settled on his return at 
New Brunswick, and removed hither in 1756, as hereto- 
fore mentioned. John Troup, Esq., a wealthy citizen, con- 
tributed liberally to the church, presenting also a silver 
collection plate, a large prayer book, and a table for the 
communion. Mr. Seabury, in a letter to the society in 
England, complains of the influence of infidelity and 
Quakerism upon his people, which he says, " have spread 
their corrupt principles to a surprising degree." Of 
Whitefield, he says, " that he with other strolling 
preachers, represent the Church of England as popish, 
and teach people to expect salvation by good works." 
In 1766 Mr. Seabury removed to Westchester, but 
during the Revolution was in the city of New York. 
After the peace he settled in New London; and in the 
year 1784 was consecrated (in Scotland) the first bishop 
in the United States, and presided for the remainder of 
his life over the diocese of Connecticut and Rhode 
Island. He died February 25, 1796. The Rev. Joshua 
Bloomer had been in 1759 a captain in the provincial 
service from Westchester County, and afterwards a mer- 
chant in the city of New York. He was educated at 
Kings College, where he graduated in 1758; went to 
England for ordination in 1765, settled in this town in 
1769, where he died June 23, 1790, aged fifty-five, and 
was succeeded by the Rev. William Hammel. Of his 


salary Jamaica paid £40, Newtown £40, and Flushing 
£35. This gentleman having become blind, and unable 
to discharge his pastoral duties acceptably, resigned in 
August, 1795. The foregoing ministers also officiated in 
the churches at Newtown and Flushing, which were asso- 
ciated with Grace Church; but in consequence of some 
dissatisfaction, Newtown withdrew from the union in 
1796; and May 10, 1797, the Rev. Elijah D. Rattoone 
(former professor of the Latin and Greek languages in 
Columbia College) who married Sarah, daughter of 
Rev. Dr. Beach, was settled here in connection with 
the church at Flushing. This gentleman graduated at 
Princeton in 1787, and in 1802 he removed from this 
place to St. Paul's Church, Baltimore. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. Calvin White, who graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1786, and settled in 1803; but he removed August 
17, 1804, and was succeeded by the Rev. George 
Strebeek, May 1, 1805. He remained only a short time, 
as was the case with the Rev. Andrew Fowler, Rev. 
John Ireland, Rev. Edmund D. Barry, and the Rev. 
Timothy Clowes; who were successively ministers of this 
church from 1805 to 18 10, for short periods. 

Mr. Clowes was the son of Joseph, son of Timothy, 
son of Gerardus, who was the son of Samuel Clowes be- 
fore mentioned. He was born at Hempstead, March 18, 
1787, graduated at Columbia College, 1808, and though 
a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, devoted most of 
his life to academical instruction. He was ordained No- 
vember 30, 1808, and preached the two following years 
at Jersey City and Jamaica. In April, 18 10, he was made 
rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany, and after seven 
years opened a classical seminary in his native village, 
which continued three years with much success, but in 


1 82 1 he became principal of Erasmus Hall, Flatbush, 
where he remained for three years, when he was chosen 
president of Washington College, Maryland, and rector 
of the church in Chestertown. On the destruction of 
the college by fire in 1829, Mr. Clowes (now LL.D.) 
again opened a school at Hempstead, but in 1838 he was 
invited to preside over the Clinton Liberal Institute at 
Oneida, where he remained till 1842, when he removed 
to Philadelphia and took charge of one of the high 
schools of that city, but came back to his native place 
again in 1846, and died June 19, 1847, aged sixty. He 
was confessedly one of the best linguists and mathemati- 
cians of the day. Indeed, his discoveries and improve- 
ments in the latter science were most extraordinary. 

Rev. Gilbert H. Sayres is the son of Isaac and Abigail 
Sayres of Rahway, N. J. His father, a soldier and 
patriot of the Revolution, died January 22, 1842, aged 
eighty. His mother was a sincere and consistent mem- 
ber of the Society of Friends, and brought up her son 
in that way. He was born at Rahway, 1787, graduated 
at Columbia College, 1808, and was called to this church 
May 1, 1 8 10, where he continued to discharge his pas- 
toral duties with energy and zeal, till want of health, 
which had been a long time delicate, compelled him to 
resign his rectorship in 1830. He married Eliza Brown 
of New York in 18 10, by whom he has sons George 
and Gilbert; the former was made rector of St. John's 
Church, Kingston, N. Y., and the latter is a lawyer. The 
other children are Jane, Eliza, Samuel, Lydia, and 
William J. 

Rev. William L. Johnson, D.D. (son of the Rev. John 
B. Johnson, formerly minister of the Dutch Reformed 
Church at Albany, afterwards of Brooklyn, who died 


at Newtown, August 29, 1803, and grandson of Barent 
Johnson, a soldier of the Revolution, who was severely 
wounded at the battle of Flatbush in August, 1776), 
was born at Albany, September 15, 1800. His first 
instructor in the languages was Joseph Nelson, well 
known at the time as the blind teacher, and afterwards 
as the learned and classical professor in Rutgers 
College, N. J. Mr. Johnson graduated at Columbia 
College, 1 8 19, was admitted to the order of deacon in 
1822, when he took charge of St. Michael's parish at 
Trenton, N. J. In 1825 he was admitted to the priest- 
hood and removed to this parish in May, 1830, as the 
successor of Mr. Sayres. He married Mary Elizabeth, 
daughter of the Rev. Henry Whitlock of New Haven, 
1 82 1. She was born in January 1804, and died May 
19, 1848, aged forty-four. Mr. Johnson received the 
degree of D.D. at Allegheny College, 1846. His 
brother, the Rev. Samuel R. Johnson, formerly of Flush- 
ing, and Newtown, L. L, and of La Fayette, Indiana, is 
now rector of St. John's Church, Brooklyn. 

"Dr. Johnson died in 1870 and therefore had been 
rector of this church for forty years. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. George Williamson Smith, D.D., on Feb- 
ruary 6, 1872, who remained until 1881. Rev. Mr. 
Smith has been succeeded by the following rectors: 

Rev. Edwin B. Rice 1882 to 1892 

" William M. Bottome 1893 to 1896 

" Horatio Oliver Ladd, S.T.D 1896101909 

" Rockland Tyng Homans * i9ioto " 

— Editor. 

The present edifice of Grace Church was built in 1820, 

1 List from 1882 has been kindly furnished by Rev. Mr. Homans, the 
present rector. — Editor. 


consecrated July 18, 1822, and is in all respects a hand- 
some and convenient structure, with an organ of the 
finest tone. It may be noticed as a singular, yet melan- 
choly, fact that of the seven persons who composed the 
building committee of this church, not one has been liv- 
ing for many years past. 

The first Methodist Episcopal Church in this village 
was erected in 18 10, and incorporated the year follow- 
ing. The corner stone of a new one was laid Septem- 
ber 17, 1846, and the church was dedicated March 9, 
1847. It is a neat and well proportioned building. 

Union Hall was the third academical building upon 
Long Island, after those of Easthampton and Flatbush, 
and was established by voluntary contributors in sums 
of from one to thirty pounds, among which are the 
venerable names of George Clinton and John Jay, both 
of whom were, at different times, governors of the state. 
The charter was signed by Governor Clinton, as the 
chancellor of the university, March 9,. 1792, on request 
of fifty individuals, two only of whom, Daniel Kissam 
and Eliphalet Wickes, now survive. The first trustees 
were : 

James De Peyster Abraham Skinner Joseph Robinson 

Abraham Ditmars Abraham Ditmars, jun. Jacob Ogden 

Dr. Daniel Minema John Smith Rev. William Hammel 

Rev. George Faitoute Eliphalet Wickes Daniel Kissam 

John Williamson Isaac Lefferts, jun. Jost Van Brunt 

The institution was opened May 1, 1792, when an 
oration was delivered by Abraham Skinner, Esq., and an 
ode composed by the Rev. George Faitoute was sung.* 

* Mr. Skinner was at this time clerk of the county, which office he 
held from 1788 to 1796. He was likewise a lawyer, much distinguished 
for his talents and professional eloquence. He was born at New York 
in 1750, and soon after his admission to the bar the revolutionary 


The principal instructors in this seminary of learning 
have been as follows : 

Rev. Maltby Gelston Henry Crosswell Michael Trade 

Samuel Crosset Rev. George Faitoute William Ernenpeutch 

John W. Cox Albert Oblenas Rev. John Mulligan 

Wm. Martin Johnson Lewis E. A. Eigenbrodt, Henry Onderdonk, jun., 
Henry Liverpool from 1797 to 1828 from 1833 

The Rev. Maltby Gelston is now living at an advanced 
age, and is the minister of the Congregational Church 
of Sherman, Conn. 

A new and larger academic building was completed, 
on another and more eligible site, in the year 1820; it 
is eighty feet by forty, two stories high, and replete 
with every convenience for the accommodation of male 
pupils. The former edifice continued to be used, under 
the direction of the trustees of Union Hall, as a female 
seminary. On the 12th of February, 1841, the building 
was consumed by fire; the school having been taught 
many years previous by Miss Eliza H. Hanna, a native 
of Ireland, who, June 5, 1832, became the wife of the 

troubles began. He was a warm and active whig, and was honored 
with the confidence of the commander-in-chief, by whom he was ap- 
pointed deputy commissary general of prisoners. In Sparks' life and 
writings of Washington is the copy of a letter addressed by him to 
Mr. Skinner, acquainting him of an arrangement made with Sir Henry 
Clinton, for the British commissary to meet Mr. Skinner at Elizabeth- 
town September 19, 1780, to agree upon an exchange of officers, prisoners 
of war, upon a footing of equal rank, and to include the whole on 
parole at New York or in Europe. " An exchange," says the general, 
"of all the officers, prisoners of war in our hands, is earnestly wished; 
but if you cannot make it so as to comprehend the whole, make it as 
extensive as you can." Mr. Skinner met the British commissary at the 
time and place appointed, but failed to accomplish a plan of mutual 
exchange within the range of his instructions. In 1785 he was chosen 
a member of the state legislature. A few years after he moved to the 
city of New York, where he enjoyed a lucrative practice for many 
years; from whence he removed to Babylon in Suffolk County, where 
he died in 1825, and was interred in this village. 


Rev. William M. Thompson, an American missionary, 
and accompanied him to the Holy Land, but her death 
took place at the city of Jerusalem soon after their 

October 5, 1842, was celebrated here the fiftieth anni- 
versary of Union Hall, on which occasion an eloquent and 
appropriate address was pronounced by James De Peyster 
Ogden, Esq., whose grandfather, James De Peyster, 
Esq., was one of the original trustees of the academy 
at its foundation. 

Lewis E. A. Eigenbrodt, LL.D., late principal of 
Union Hall and so long known as an able and efficient 
instructor, was descended from one of the most respect- 
able families of Hesse-Darmstadt upon the Upper 
Rhine, and came to the United States in the year 1796. 
He was destined, by his previous education, for the 
ministry; but hearing, after his arrival, that a teacher 
was wanted in the grammar school at Jamaica, he visited 
the place, and producing satisfactory credentials of his 
character and qualifications, was immediately engaged as 
instructor in the classical department of the academy. 
His reputation as a scholar, and his capacity for impart- 
ing instruction, as well as enforcing a correct discipline, 
increased with his age, and was never more exalted than 
at the time of his decease. He was united, a short time 
after his establishment here, with Sarah, daughter of 
Mr. David Lamberson, a respected and opulent mer- 
chant of the village, by whom he had several children. 
He was an enthusiast in his profession, than which, there 
is none, upon the able and conscientious discharge of 
which, more important results to society depend, and 
whose moral influence upon the future character of a 
people is more important and valuable. It is, in truth, 


one of the most responsible situations in which an indi- 
vidual can be placed, and by him was felt to be so; for 
he made the station of a teacher, what all reflecting men 
desire to make it, an honorable one. He was aware of 
its dignity, as well as the obligations it imposed; and 
aimed to secure the one by an exact and skilful discharge 
of the other. He was not impelled forward by the mere 
feeling that so much time and labor were to be bestowed 
for a certain amount of money, but with the solemn 
conviction that responsibilities rested upon him, and of 
his moral accountability for the gradual improvement 
of those committed to his charge. By his talents, learn- 
ing, great method, and untiring industry, he raised 
Union Hall Academy from the condition of an ordinary 
grammar school, to a high rank among the incorporated 
seminaries of the state; and hundreds were educated here, 
who now hold distinguished stations in every department 
of society, and who must always entertain a sincere and 
profound respect for the memory of their instructor and 

Mr. Eigenbrodt perished in the ripeness of manhood, 
and in the midst of usefulness in 1828, at the age of 
fifty-four; having presided over the institution more than 
thirty years, and with a character for learning and vir- 
tue among his fellow-citizens which only time can 
diminish. He was eminent as a linguist, and for his 
attainments in literature ; and had been honored with the 
title of Doctor of Laws, the highest known in the 
American colleges. In his manners, Dr. Eigenbrodt was 
modest and unpretending; in his habits, temperate, and 
retiring; and in all the endearing relations of husband, 
father, citizen, and friend, kind, affectionate, generous, 
and exemplary. There are those who have enjoyed a 


more brilliant reputation, and filled a larger space in the 
public eye ; but none in whom the mild and gentle virtues 
have shone more clearly, or by whom they have been 
more steadily and effectively inculcated. The influence 
and glare of exalted station, the splendor of particular 
feats in arms, the triumph of an hour, are apt to capti- 
vate the attention, and even obscure or pervert the judg- 
ments of men, so that they may have little sympathy with, 
or admiration for, the ever enduring, unostentatious exer- 
tions which mark the life of such a man as Dr. Eigen- 
brodt; yet, if measured by their importance, by the self- 
denial they evince, the fortitude they require by the daily, 
hourly abnegation of self which they imply; how vast 
is the difference between such services, and the public 
estimate of them — between common fame and real merit? 
Such men, beyond all question, deserve more respect and 
consideration from their contemporaries than they re- 
ceive; few are ready to confer honor where none is de- 
manded; experience shows that those most deserving of 
praise are the least obtrusive, and are often thrown in the 
shade by others, who, in reality, have little or no solid 
claim to public respect and gratitude. The subject of this 
notice was remarkable for economy and prudence, at the 
same time he gave liberally for purposes of charity and 
benevolence. By his prudence in pecuniary matters, he 
left an ample fortune to his children, with the more 
inestimable inheritance of an unblemished character, 
and the animating example of a life spent in doing 
good in the practice of virtue and the diffusion of knowl- 

His son, the Rev. William Eigenbrodt, formerly of 
Rochester, is rector of All Saint's Church, New York. 
His son David is a physician in the West Indies, and his 


son Lewis died June 2, 1844. The other children were 
George, Catharine, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Charles. 

March 11, 1843, tne corner stone of the Female De- 
partment of Union Hall was laid on the Main Street, 
when an appropriate address was pronounced by Abra- 
ham B. Hasbrouk, LL.D., president of Rutgers Col- 
lege, New Jersey, and the building being completed in 
May following, it was opened under the auspices of Miss 
Margaret Adrain, daughter of the late Robert Adrain, 
professor of mathematics in Columbia College, who died 
August 10, 1843, at tne a g e °f sixty-seven. 

A weekly literary sheet, entitled Union Hall Gazette, 
edited by the students, was commenced on the 12th 
of February, 1831, and continued for some months with 
considerable ability, but was finally abandoned for want 
of patronage. 

By referring to the names of the early settlers of this 
town, it will be seen that Richard Chasmore was among 
them; and the records show that by his last will, made 
in 1660, he gave most of his estate to the wife and chil- 
dren of his former friend, Henry Townsend of Oyster 
Bay, once a resident here, and who had also experienced 
much illiberality as well as ill treatment, both from a 
portion of the inhabitants and from the government; 
solely, it appears, on account of his Quaker principles. 
Notwithstanding which, such was his benevolent feeling 
and temper, and so great his regard for his fellow-crea- 
tures, the victims of disease, poverty, and distress, in the 
place which he had once inhabited, that he gave several 
pieces of valuable land and meadow, with £176 in 
money, to the town as a perpetual fund, the income of 
which was to be ever after applied for the " relief of 
poor widows and children, persons blind, lamed, or aged, 









and such as should be unable to get a living, or any that 
should suffer by fire, and whose necessities might call 
for relief." 

This property, presented to the town March 25, 1663, 
has been enjoyed more than 184 years, yet the generous 
donor has been well-nigh forgotten, while the people 
have been thus far materially relieved in the matter of 

Since the fire of February 12, 1841, which consumed 
the old academy buildings and others in the centre of 
the village, James Herriman, Esq., the owner, to whom 
the place is much indebted for its growth and pros- 
perity, has erected substantial brick edifices on the same 
spot, which are highly creditable to him and an orna- 
ment to the village. 

A press was introduced here in 18 19, and a weekly 
newspaper commenced by Henry C. Sleight, entitled the 
Long Island Farmer, which was successively conducted 
by Thomas Bradlee and Isaac F. Jones, the last of 
whom, in 1840, transferred the establishment to Charles 
S. Watrous, who sold out to B. H. Willis in 1849. 

The weekly paper called the Long Island Democrat 
was begun by James J. Brenton in May, 1835, and has 
been continued under his management ever since. 

This village was, as has been seen, the seat of justice 
for the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1665 ; and so con- 
tinued to be until the division of the island into counties 
in 1683, and from thence till the finishing of the present 
court house in 1788. It is also the site of the county 
clerk's office, and that of county judge, for whose accom- 
modation a building has been erected. 

Since the incorportion of the village, April 15, 18 14, 
it has increased in population and now probably con- 


tains more than 200 dwellings and 1,500 inhabitants. 
Here is the depot of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Rail- 
road Company, with their commodious car house, engine 
house, and machine shops. The company was incorpo- 
rated April 25, 1832, for fifty years, capital $300,000. 
The ceremony of breaking ground took place April 17, 
1836, and the road was leased for a term of years to 
the Long Island Railroad Company, who ran their first 
car to Hicksville, March 1, 1837. 

Beaver Pond in the vicinity around which once existed 
a famous race course, has nearly disappeared by the 
process of draining. This sport was anciently patronized 
by the colonial authorities and other gentry, and here 
immense sums have been staked upon a single trial. 

October 16, 1779, a race for twenty guineas was run 
around this pond. October 19, 1782, a purse of £50 
was to be run for, free for any horse except Mercury, 
Slow and Easy, and Goldfinder. June 28, 1783, 100 
guineas were run for by the noted mare Calf-Skin, and 
the noted horse Lestley of Boston. And October 12, 
1794, £100 was run for by six horses, the best of which 
were the noted sorrel horse Red Bird and Polydore, the 
last of which took the prize and another of £50 at a 
second heat. Next day £50 was won by Young Mes- 
senger from New Jersey. 

Union Course, where thousands congregate at stated 
periods to witness the sports of the turf, is located upon 
the western limits of the town, and near the line of 
Kings County; it was established immediately after the 
passage of the act in 1821, allowing of trials of speed 
for a term of years, during the months of May and 
October in the county of Queens. In 1834 the term 
was extended for fifteen years more, and trials of speed 


may now be made between the 1st of April and the 15th 
of June, and from the 1st of September to the 15th of 
November in every year during the said term. This 
beautiful course is a few feet over a mile in length on 
a perfectly level surface, with a good track; and is uni- 
versally considered one of the best in the United States. 
Better time has been made upon it, and more frequently, 
than on any other course in the country. Connected 
with it is a Jockey Club of above 250 members, who 
contribute annually twenty dollars each toward the 
Jockey. Club purses. There was run over this course, 
the 27th of May, 1823, one of the most remarkable and 
best-contested races that ever took place in America, 
being a match race of four-mile heats, for $20,000 
a side, between the North and the South, upon their 
respective champions, Eclipse, carrying 126 pounds, 
owned by Charles W. Van Ranst, and Henry, carrying 
108 pounds, owned by Colonel William R. Johnson. The 
race was won in three heats by Eclipse. The time 
was as follows : first heat, 7' 37 — second heat, 7' 49 — 
and the third heat, 8' 24; whole time, twenty-three 
minutes and fifty seconds. Eclipse was bred by General 
Nathaniel Coles of Dosoris, and was nine years old 
when the race was run. Henry was bred by Samuel 
Long, Esq., near Halifax, N. C, and was nearly four 
years old. It is supposed by those present that from 
forty to sixty thousand persons were on the ground, 
and that probably more than $200,000 were lost and 
won on the occasion. During the five days that the races 
continued, the Fulton Ferry Company took over $5,000 
for toll at Brooklyn, and doubtless an equal amount was 
received at the other avenues to the city. This famous 
horse Eclipse lived to the age of thirty-three years and 


forty-six days, and died in Kentucky, July 10, 1847, nav " 
ing been foaled May 25, 18 14. 

But a still more extraordinary match was run May 
10, 1842, between the Virginia horse, Boston, and the 
New Jersey mare, Fashion, for $20,000 a side, and 
won in two heats by the latter. The concourse of spec- 
tators (taking advantage of the railroad) was immense. 
The first heat was run by Fashion in 7' 32^, and the 
second in 7' 45. Boston was bred by John Wickham, 
Esq., of Richmond, and owned by Colonel Johnson and 
James Long, of Washington; was nine years old, and 
carried 126 pounds. Fashion was bred and owned by 
William Gibbons, Esq., of Morris County, N. J.; was 
five years old and carried 11 1 pounds; proving herself 
on this occasion unequalled in America for speed, and 
in regard to time, at the head of the turf in the 

Another race for $20,000 was run over this course 
May 13, 1845, between the southern mare, Peytona and 
the New Jersey mare Fashion, which was won by the 
former in two heats: first heat 7' 39%, and the sec- 
ond 7' 45^. 

A remarkable foot race was run over this course, April 
24, 1835, by Henry Stannard of Killingworth, Conn., 
who went ten miles in fifty-nine minutes and forty-eight 
seconds, beating eight competitors, who started in the 
race, but gave up before the end of the ten miles. 

John Gildersleeve, a native of Huntington, L. I., was 
one of those concerned who won $500 at New Orleans, 
March 30, 1845, g°i n g ten miles in fifty-nine minutes 
and fifty seconds. He had done the same distance in 
one hour over the Beacon course, New Jersey, October 
16, 1844, winning $600. On December 17, 1844, 


Thomas Greenhalgh won $1,000, running twelve miles 
over the same course in sixty-eight minutes and forty- 
eight seconds, going the last mile in five minutes and 
eighteen seconds. 

The following extract from the records is of interest: 

"May 1, 1665. — Loving ffriends, the inhabitants of 
Jamaica, wee kindly salute you : 

11 Whereas there was a request made by your Repre- 
sentatives Mr. Coe and Samuel Smith of the Little 
Plaines, and soe downe to the Swamp that goes into the 
Great Bay — that is to say — All the meadow that lyes on 
the west side of the great swamp, which you have 
formerly possessed. We the inhabitants of Hempstead 
doe condescend that you shall have all the Little Plaines, 
which our line doth comprehend, and all the meadow that 
lyes below the Little Plaines, that is to say, the meadow 
which lyes, on the west side of the Great River, which 
comes out of the Great Swamp." 

" Tho s Hicks, Clerke." 

The following notices of persons connected with the 
history of this town are interesting: 

Edmund Charles Genet, a gentleman of some distinc- 
tion in the annals of diplomacy, once resided here. He 
was a native of France, of a respectable family, a man of 
finished education, and possessing some shrewdness as a 
politician, but at the same time inconsiderate, overbear- 
ing, and rash. He was the first minister from the French 
republic, and was sent here by the Directory in 1793. The 
friendship existing between this country and his own, 
during our struggle for independence, led him to-believe 
that America would aid them in carrying on the war with 


England and Spain; and he not only proposed to build 
and commission privateers in our ports, but also to raise 
a sufficient volunteer force to conquer the possessions of 
those powers, on this side the ocean. The attempt of 
his nation to establish a free government on the ruins 
of monarchy, was popular here, and taking advantage 
of this feeling, Mr. Genet acted as if he were independ- 
ent of our government. 

He was received at Charleston as the representative of 
a magnanimous people, and his journey thence to Phila- 
delphia was more like the march of a victorious chief, 
than of a mere accredited agent to a friendly power. But 
Washington was too wise to allow himself to be deluded 
by the tide of popular sympathy. Attachment to France 
and detestation of England, had long been the common 
sentiment of the country. Now that the former had be- 
come a republic, the duty and interest of siding with 
France, were too apparent to admit of reasoning. The 
greater, then, is the estimation in which Washington 
should be held, since he saw through, and far beyond this 
excitement; and honorable to him was that steadfastness 
which opposed itself to the popular clamor. 

Genet was astonished to find that he could not carry 
on the war from here, as he had expected, as our govern- 
ment was determined to adhere to the strictest neutrality; 
to this, Genet had no objection, provided he could carry 
on the war himself, as he insisted on doing; and when 
told that he would be resisted by force, he even threatened 
to appeal from the President to the people. The contro- 
versy with Mr. Genet was exceedingly embarrassing to 
the President and his conduct became so offensive, that 
his recall was demanded. He refused to return to France, 
but chose to resign his commission, and remain here as a 


private citizen. In 1795 he purchased a farm in this 
town, upon which he resided several years, when he dis- 
posed of it, and removed to this village. His first wife 
was Cornelia Tappen, daughter of Governor George 
Clinton, who was born June 29, 1774, and died March 
23, 1 8 10; and his second, Martha B., daughter of Sam- 
uel Osgood, Esq. of New York. He subsequently resided 
at Schodack, near Albany, where he died July 14, 1834, 
aged seventy-two. 

William Martin Johnson. In the year 1790 (says 
John Howard Payne), there was found at the head 
of a little school in Bridgehampton, L. I., a young 
gentleman of extraordinary genius, calling himself by the 
above name, appearing to be about nineteen years of age, 
a stranger in these parts; of unknown parentage and all 
that he thought proper to communicate of himself was, 
that he came from Boston. He was proficient upon 
several instruments, particularly the violin, which he 
played with wonderful accuracy and taste ; and had, more- 
over, a genius for sketching and drawing. He was also 
a poet of no mean pretensions. Having a preference for 
the medical profession, he removed to Easthampton, and 
placed himself under the instruction of Dr. Sage, an in- 
telligent man and excellent physician. His pecuniary re- 
sources being soon exhausted, his worthy preceptor as- 
sisted him in procuring employment in a school at Smith- 
town ; and when his funds were as he thought sufficiently 
recruited, he again returned to the doctor. When his 
small stock of means was again expended, he made ar- 
rangements with a cabinet-maker in the place, to labor 
for him two days in the week, as a compensation for his 
board, for the remainder of the time. Here he exhibited 
fickleness of disposition, pursuing his studies in a very 


desultory manner; spending a good part of his time 
visiting about the neighborhood, playing upon his violin, 
and sometimes upon the hearts of the ladies. Dr. Sage, 
who felt a deep interest in the stranger, says, he was well 
versed in the most common theories of physic; was a 
most ready mathematician and natural philosopher, and 
master of the principles of music. He possessed a critical 
knowledge of his own language, understood French, 
had some knowledge of Italian, and translated with ease 
any Latin author. He also appeared to have much 
taste and skill in architecture, could use almost all kinds 
of tools, and even excelled in many of the mechanical 
arts. It was surprising to think, that at the age of twenty 
years, and with such unstable habits, he should possess 
such variety and degree of knowledge. How and where 
he could have acquired it all, unless by intuition, could 
never be imagined. He was a runaway boy, and had 
been traversing the country, without friends, poor, de- 
pendent, and wretched. In the Revolution he taught 
school at Stamford, Conn. In the year 1795, we find 
him engaged as a teacher in Union Hall Academy, and 
highly esteemed for his ability and good conduct. In 
February, 1796, he sailed with Captain Gabriel Havens 
to the South and arrived in Savannah, where he spent a 
year, and returned to New York in August, 1797. He 
came shortly after to the village of Jamaica, where he 
fell sick, expired the 21st of September, 1797, and was 
buried at the expense of his friends in the Episcopal 

Joseph Robinson. Few of the old inhabitants are 
more kindly remembered than Colonel Joseph Robinson. 
He was born at St. Croix, in the Danish West Indies, 
1742. His father and grandfather bore the same Chris- 


tian name, and were of Scotch descent. The latter came 
to New York when a young man, and there married a 
Miss Lispenard, of a wealthy family, by whom he had 
a son, Joseph, born in 17 17. He went to the West 
Indies, where he married Margaret Barnes, and had 
issue Barnes and Joseph. The latter, who is the subject 
of this notice, came to New York in 1760, and married 
a daughter of James Cebra, an inhabitant of this town, 
by whom he had five daughters, Margaret, Mary, Ann, 
Sarah, and Elizabeth, but no son. The last married 
William Bleeker, and died May 4, 1845, aged seventy. 
Mary married Nathaniel Hassard, by whom she had a 
daughter Maria; and after the death of her husband 
married David Gelston, Esq., 181 1, who left her a 
widow again, August 21, 1828. She died October 11, 
1848, aged eighty-four. 

Colonel Robinson was a gentleman of good education 
and popular manners. He was made a colonel of the 
provincial militia at the commencement of the revolu- 
tionary war, and was in the regiment commanded by 
General Woodhull, whom he left but a few minutes be- 
fore his capture at the house of Increase Carpenter, 
August 28, 1776. The island being taken possession of 
by the enemy, Colonel Robinson managed to get his 
family within the American lines, and lived with them at 
Woodbury, Conn., till peace was restored. He returned 
to Jamaica in 1783, and was made surrogate of the 
county in 1787, which office he retained thirty years, till 
his decease on September 17, 18 15; enjoying the confi- 
dence of all that knew him as a man of the purest 
patriotism and integrity. 

Dr. John Jones was born here in 1729, of Welsh 
descent. His grandfather, Edward, was a physcian of 


eminence in his own country, and his son, Evan, father 
of the subject of this notice, a physician also. He came 
here in 1728, and married Mary, daughter of Thomas 
Stephenson, by whom he had sons, John, Thomas, Evan, 
and James, and one daughter, who married Richard 
Harrison, a late eminent counsellor of New York. The 
eldest, John, having finished his classical education, 
studied medicine with Dr. Cadwallader of Philadelphia, 
and after visiting the schools in London, settled in New 
York. He was the first in that city who performed the 
operation of lithotomy, and was, upon the institution of 
a medical school in the college, appointed professor of 
surgery, where he gave several courses of lectures, and 
made known the improved modes of practice adopted in 
Europe. Viewing the science in its use and tendency to 
relieve human misery, he taught his pupils to despise the 
idea of making it the means of pecuniary gain only. In 
1772 he again visited England, and obtained subscrip- 
tions for the establishment of the New York Hospital. 
In 1780 he was chosen to fill the place of Dr. Redman 
as physician to the Pennsylvania Hospital, and attended 
Dr. Franklin in his last illness. He died in June, 1791. 
His brother, Thomas, who married Margaret, daughter 
of Philip Livingston, was an eminent physician of New 
York, where he died. His three daughters married 
respectively, David S. Jones, Maltby Gelston, and De 
Witt Clinton. 

Cornelius I. Bogert was an eminent lawyer of the city 
of New York, and though not born on Long Island, his 
memory has become in some measure identified with its 
history, particularly with Queens County, where he was 
extensively and favorably known, both from his profes- 
sional business and practice in the courts of the county, 


and his residence there in after life. He was born in 
the city of New York, on the 13th of October, 1754. 
His great-grandfather was Jan Lowse Bogert, who came 
from Holland, and was one of the original settlers at 
Harlem on New York Island. He graduated at Kings 
(now Columbia) College, and studied law with the elder 
Kissam, a lawyer of considerable note in his day, origi- 
nally from Queens County, and was admitted to the bar 
about the time the Revolutionary War commenced. He 
was twice married. His first wife was Ann Murray, by 
whom he had two children, the late John G. Bogert, and 
a daughter, Abbey, who married Robert I. Thurston. 
His second wife was Mrs. Bartlett, a widow lady, to 
whom he was married in 1795, and who has survived 
him. About the year 18 10 he purchased an estate at 
Jamaica, a part of the property of the then late Rev. 
Mr. Keteltas, where he built a country residence, to which 
he retired a few years afterwards and where he spent 
the remainder of his life. He died on the 16th of 
February, 1832, and was buried in the Episcopal church- 
yard in that village. 

Mr. Bogert was a sound practical lawyer, distin- 
guished for his knowledge of mercantile law, in which 
he had few, if any, superiors at the bar. He possessed 
a clear and discriminating mind, was an acute reasoner, 
and his arguments never failed to command the respect 
and attentive consideration of the bench, being remark- 
able for good sense, and always well timed and to the 
purpose. Beyond this, he made no pretensions to 
oratory, and could not be said to be eloquent, yet his 
manner was earnest, impressive, and dignified. In all 
the relations of life he sustained an irreproachable 


" On January i, 1898, the town of Jamaica became a 
part of the Borough of Queens, city of New York, and 
the form of town government was abolished." 








H=3 £ 



Is bounded north by the Sound, east by North Hemp- 
stead, south by Jamaica, and west by Newtown, is cen- 
trally distant from the City Hall, New York, about 
twelve miles, and contains an area of twenty-five square 
miles or 16,000 acres. 

The older records of the town are entirely wanting, 
having been destroyed by fire in 1789, 1 which circum- 
stance is not only greatly to be lamented, but has sub- 
jected the compiler of its history to serious difficulty in 
obtaining the most material facts and circumstances in 
relation to its early settlement and subsequent progress. 

It seems that long before much effort was made to 
settle upon any part of the territory within the limits 
of the town, a conveyance had been obtained from the 
Indians by the West India Company, evidenced by the 
following instrument translated out of the Dutch rec- 
ords in the office of the secretary of state. 

11 We the Directors and Council of New Netherlands, 
residing in the Fort Amsterdam, under the dominion of 
the High and Mighty States General of the United Neth- 
erlands, and the chartered West India Company, at the 
Chamber of Amsterdam, do witness and declare by these 
presents, that upon the day underwritten, appeared before 
us in their own persons, Mechowod, Chief Sachem of 
Massapeague, Sintsinck, alias Schouts Bay, and the de- 

1 At the house of J. Vanderbilt, town clerk, on October 31 , 1789. 

— Editor. 



pendences thereof, and did freely and premeditatedly 
declare, with consent of Piscamoe his cousin, Wortte- 
woockhow, Kackpohor, Ketachquawars, likewise owners 
of the aforesaid lands, for and in consideration of a cer- 
tain parcel of merchandise, which they acknowledge, 
before this present act, to have received into their hands 
and custody, to have transported, delivered up, and made 
over in a true, just and free possession, as they do trans- 
port, deliver up, and make over to and for the use of the 
Directors of the General Chartered West India Company 
at the Chamber of Amsterdam, all the appearants patri- 
monial lands, and the jurisdiction thereof, lying upon 
Long Island, in the Indian tongue called Sewanhacky, be- 
ginning, in length along the south side of said island; in 
breadth to Martin Gerritson's Bay, and from thence west 
along the East River to the Vlacks-Kill or Plaene Creek, 
with all the right and title of him Mechowod or any of 
his heirs, belonging and reserved or kept by them in 
quality as aforesaid, constituting the said Lords in his 
stead, real and actual possession thereof, and thereby 
giving to them, by these presents, full and irrevocable 
power, authority and special command, that they or those 
that shall hereafter receive their right, may accept, freely 
possess, keep, enjoy and use the said lands and dependen- 
ces — and further to deal therewith and dispose of them, 
as with their own well obtained lands, without any reser- 
vation or power of the transporters in the premises, but 
all to the benefit before expressed, with condition that he 
the said Mechowod, with his adjacent people and friends 
may remain to dwell, to plant Indian corn, to fish, and 
to hunt in the said lands, and so to live with his people, 
under the protection of the said Lords, who shall give 
him likewise all possible help and favor by their substi- 
tutes in these parts. In witness whereof, and in testimony 
of the truth by witnesses hereunto required, who have 
been present at the time of the bargains. Done in the 


Fort Amsterdam, in New Netherland this 15th day of 
January, 1639." 

" David Pieters de Vries, Mourits Janse, as witnesses. 

" In knowledge of me 
" Cornelius Van Tienhoven, Secty." 

It is clear that this grant included also the lands in 
Jamaica, and extended from Martin Garrison's Bay on 
the east to Flushing Creek on the west, the present 
boundaries of the town in those places. There is no 
reason to believe that any settlement was attempted 
here by the Dutch, and it is moreover satisfactorily 
ascertained- that the first planters were a set of intelli- 
gent Englishmen, who, having resided for a time in Hol- 
land, had been induced to emigrate to this region as 
well from their uncomfortable condition there, as the 
encouragement held out to them by the agents of the 
province of New Netherlands, that they would here 
enjoy to the fullest extent all the civil privileges and 
religious immunities of their native country, or as if it 
were a British province. 

It would be highly gratifying to be able to give the 
names of those brave pioneers of Flushing who, honestly 
confiding in the assurances aforesaid, and the integrity 
of the Dutch, chose this part of the island for their 
future residence. 

How well they enjoyed the advantages which had been 
promised, and to what extent they were allowed to in- 
dulge their religious freedom, will be fully disclosed in 
a subsequent part of this article; for however much lib- 
erty of conscience and freedom of opinion were talked 
about at that period, it will be abundantly evident, that 
its nature was very imperfectly understood, and its exer- 
cise circumscribed within very narrow limits. In short, 


they were subjects of which few, if any, possessed very 
correct notions, and in which scarcely any were suffi- 
ciently enlightened to appreciate them to their full 

The name of Vlishing, or Vlissingen, was probably 
adopted at the suggestion of their Dutch neighbors, it 
being that of a seaport in the province of Zealand, and 
in grateful remembrance of much kindness experienced 
by the settlers of the town from the inhabitants of Hol- 
land, from whence some of them probably took their 
departure for America. 

They arrived at New Amsterdam in the spring of 
1645, an d having in the same year located themselves on 
the site of the present village of Flushing, obtained a 
patent or ground brief from the director general of New 
Netherlands, the Hon. William Kieft, bearing date Octo- 
ber 19, 1645, in which Thomas ffarington, John Law- 
rence, John Townsend, Thomas Stiles, John Hicks, Rob- 
ert ffield, Thomas Saul, John Marston, Thomas Apple- 
gate, Lawrence Dutch, William Lawrence, Henry Saw- 
tell, William Thorne, Michael Millard, Robert Airman, 
and William Pidgeon were named as patentees for them- 
selves, their successors, associates, and assigns, who 
were to improve and manure the land included in said 
patent, and settle thereon, within a short time there- 
after, a competent number of families. The conditions 
mentioned in the patent were fulfilled by the settlers, and 
the place soon rose into comparative importance, al- 
though the want of any direct conveyance from thence 
to the city, except by water, must have very much 
retarded that rapid increase of inhabitants, which, under 
other and more favorable circumstances, might have been 


The natural exuberance of the soil was most extraor- 
dinary, and it is therefore very remarkable that the 
Dutch had not commenced a settlement here long 
before, as they had done in Kings County. 

There is a tradition among the people that a few 
years after the commencement of the settlement, another 
person of the name of Thorne, whether a relation of 
William is uncertain, with his wife and children, left Eng- 
land with the intention of settling in this province, and 
it so happened that the vessel in which he took passage, 
coming through the Sound, and being either wind bound 
or met by the tide, cast anchor near Throg's Point. The 
passengers, desirous of inspecting the country and to be 
once more on shore, landed upon the island, where they 
met and conversed with some of the white inhabitants. 
Finding them Englishmen also, and the land presenting 
appearances of great fertility, Mr. Thorne resolved to 
seek no further for a place of residence, and immedi- 
ately agreed for the neck or point in the eastern part of 
the town adjoining the East River, which was long after 
known as Thome's Point. 

This valuable estate continued in the family, till about 
the close of the eighteenth century, when it was sold to 
a man named Wilkins, from which time it has generally 
been distinguished by the name of Wilkins' Point, and 
is one of the most valuable and handsome farms in the 
country. Some of the posterity of Mr. Thorne formerly 
owned the beautiful farm of the late John Titus (since 
the property of Robert Carter, deceased), and were in 
possession of it long subsequent to the Revolutionary 

It is matter of tradition that for many years after 
the settlement of the town, no safe and convenient high- 


way existed by which the city could be reached except 
by a circuitous route by the way of Jamaica, owing doubt- 
less to the existence of swamps, streams, and dense 
forest, which obstructed a more direct route of com- 

Hell Gate was then considered dangerous to naviga- 
tion, except for small vessels keeping near the shore, yet 
an individual who kept a store near the head of the bay, 
had purchased a canoe from the Indians, capable of 
conveying a hogshead of molasses and a few passengers, 
whom he was in the habit of transporting to and from 
the city in good weather.* 

Quite anciently there stood near the site of the late 
town pond a building called the Block House, in which 
most of the public business was transacted, the town 
records preserved, and arms and ammunition deposited. 

In a comparatively short period after the organization 
of the settlement, the people began to experience strong 
evidence of the illiberality of those who conducted the 
government of New Netherlands; indeed, the earliest 
entries upon the council minutes demonstrate that a hos- 
tile feeling existed between the administration and a 
portion of its subjects, which led eventually, as might 
have been expected, to frequent acts of insubordination, 
and no little violence and bad temper on both sides. 

* To exhibit clearly the scarcity of silver money in this quarter of 
the world at that distant period (1647), and in the now wealthy village 
of Flushing, it needs only be related, as a well authenticated tradition, 
that an old English shilling having been accidentally picked up in the 
highway was considered a matter of so much curiosity that the public 
attention was attracted to it, and an inquiry set on foot to ascertain, if 
possible, the ownership of an article so rare in that era of shell-money. 
It was finally ascertained that the man above spoken of, who kept a 
store near the bay, had at some time been seen in possession of a similar 
piece of money, and was able to exhibit satisfactory evidence that the 
coin found belonged to him. 



On the public records of April 8, 1648, is the follow- 
ing extraordinary information : 

" Thomas Hall, an inhabitant of fflishingen, in New 
Netherlands, being accused that he prevented the sheriff 
of fflishengen to doe his duty, and execute his office, in 
apprehending Thomas Heyes, which Thomas Hall con- 
fesseth, that he kept the door shut, so that noe one might 
assist the sheriff, demands mercy, and promises he will do 
it never again, and regrets very much that he did so. The 
director and council doing justice condemn the said 
Thomas in a fine of 25 guilders, to be applied at the dis- 
cretion of the council." 

The Rev. Francis Doughty, who, it seems, was in 
Taunton, Mass., at the time of its settlement, came to 
Long Island in 1644, and was the first minister of Flush- 
ing, probably a Baptist, but afterwards turned Quaker; 
and it is believed that all the families of that name in 
this part of the state are the descendants of this gentle- 
man. His salary was at first 600 guilders, and in 1647 
an order was issued by the council of New Amsterdam 
to assess the inhabitants of Flushing for his salary, they 
having refused to pay it voluntarily. It farther appears 
that after his decease, an action was brought by his son, 
Elias Doughty (named in Nicoll's and Dongan's 
patents), in the year 1666, to recover the arrears of 
salary due to his father; but on its being shown that 
Governor Stuyvesant had forced the town to sign the 
articles for the maintenance of the minister, " he, taking 
the people into a room one after another, and threaten- 
ing them if they did not sign," the court ordered a part 
only of the amount claimed to be paid.* 

* This was the same Francis Doughty who was at Cohannet, now 
Taunton, in 1640, and one of the first purchasers there. He is mentioned 


At a meeting of the supreme council of New Amster- 
dam, April 22, 1655, Thomas Saul, William Lawrence, 
and Edward Farrington were appointed magistrates out 
of the list of persons nominated by the town. 

Tobias Feeke was also appointed schout or sheriff. 
This individual was the son of Robert Feeke, who was 
at Watertown, Mass., in 1630, and who is said to have 
married the daughter-in-law of Governor Winthrop. 
He was also one of the representatives of the general 
court at Boston, and came here in 1650, where he died 
in 1668 at an advanced age. The records in the surro- 
gate's office in the city of New York show that admin- 
istration was granted on his estate to Sarah, his widow, 
then of Flushing, June 19, 1669.* 

A number of individuals entertaining the opinions of 
the Quakers, who had now become inhabitants of Flush- 
ing, were victims of that odious intolerance so disgrace- 
ful to any government, and which, beyond all question, 
had a principal agency in bringing about the overthrow 
of the Dutch power in 1664. 

These revolting scenes, in which it was basely at- 
tempted to circumscribe and prevent the exercise of 
religious liberty by public authority, took place in this 
town, and in some other places within the Dutch juris- 

by Leechford, in his Newes from New England, as being dragged out 
of a public assembly for asserting that Abraham's children should have 
been baptized, which harsh treatment may well account for his leaving 
that colony soon after, as he did with his wife and children. 

He was the first minister in Newtown to whom and others it will 
be seen a patent was granted for lands in that town in 1642, the next 
year after his expulsion from Massachusetts. His posterity are numerous 
and are allied by marriages with many of the old Long Island families. 

* Feeke, or Feaks (as the name is sometimes spelled) was one of the 
persons appointed by the colony of New Haven in 1640 to purchase from 
the Indians the land now comprised in the town of Greenwich, Conn., 
but he, it is said, violated his engagement, and with a few settlers 
placed himself under the Dutch Government. 


diction, between the years 1650 and 1664, when that 
arbitrary disposition could no longer be indulged. The 
odious circumstances which transpired during this critical 
period in the history of the province, it is now imprac- 
ticable to relate, as little reliance can be placed in the 
sources whence our information must be derived. 

In December, 1657, the governor and council issued an 
order to the people of the town, requiring them to cease 
from giving any countenance to or entertaining Quakers, 
and directing them to apprehend and send to the city 
such as should profess or preach the doctrines of that 
heretical sect. The strong and spirited remonstrance 
which was returned on the occasion, will be found in our 
article entitled " Quaker Persecutions," and is a noble 
exhibition of ability and independence. It is signed by 
Edward Hart, clerk, and thirty other principal inhabi- 
tants of the town. 

Tobias Feeke, who was now schout or sheriff, at the 
request of his fellow-citizens, presented the remonstrance 
to the governor, and was immediately arrested, and with 
Edward Farrington and William Noble, two of the 
magistrates who had signed the same, was summoned to 
appear and answer for their disregard of the orders 
which had been issued and the placards of the governor. 

" It was ascertained (says the record) that the magis- 
trates had been inveigled and seduced by the sheriff, but 
considering their verbal and written confession, and their 
promise to conduct themselves in a more prudent manner 
thereafter, their fault was graciously pardoned, and for- 
given, provided they paid the costs of the examination, 

The following is the apology made by the magistrates 
on the occasion referred to: 


" To the honorable the governor and his council, the 
humble petition of William Noble and Edward Farring- 

Sheweth : — That, whereas your petitioners having sub- 
scribed a writing offensive to your honors, presented by 
Tobias Feeke, we acknowledge our offence for acting so 
inconsiderately, and humbly crave your pardon, promis- 
ing, for the time to come, that we shall offend no more 
in that kind. And your petitioners shall ever pray for 
your health and happiness. 

Edward Farrington. 
" William X Noble, 
"Amsterdam, January 10, 1658." 


The clerk, it seems, was also persuaded by apprehen- 
sions of danger to himself, and from the temper shown 
by the authorities of New Amsterdam, to apologize for 
the part he had acted in relation to said remonstrance, 
and therefore sent them a paper of which the following 
is a copy: 

" Right honorable governor and council : — Forasmuch 
as I have written a writing whereat you take offence, my 
humble desire is, that your honors would be favorable 
and gracious to me, for it was not written in disobedience 
unto any of your laws; therefore, my humble request is 
for your mercy, not your judgment, and that you would 
be pleased to consider my poor estate and condition, and 
relieve me from my bonds and imprisonment, and I shall 
endeavor hereafter, to walk inoffensively unto your lord- 
ships, and shall ever remain your humble servant to 
command. Edward Hart." 

"Jan. 23d, 1658." 


The decision of the governor and council upon the sub- 
ject of this petition, was made in the form following: 

11 1658, 23d January: — Being presented, and read, the 
petition of Edward Hart, clerk of Vlissengen, and con- 
sidered his promises that he would conduct himself more 
prudently, and the intercessions of several of the inhabi- 
tants of said village, that he always was willing to serve 
his neighbors, and that, as one of the oldest inhabitants, 
he was thoroughly acquainted with their affairs; and fur- 
ther, that the sheriff, Tobias Feeke, advised him to draw 
the aforesaid remonstrance of the first of January, and 
then presented: and further, that he has a large family 
to maintain; so is it, that the director-general and coun- 
cil pardoned his fault for this time, provided that he 
pays the expenses and mises of justice." 

As an example of what was done in other cases, may 
be cited the instance of Robert Hodgson, who arrived 
from England at New Amsterdam August 1, 1657, but 
finding that his preaching would endanger his safety, if 
not his life, in that city, came to this town where he was 
well received; but on going to Hempstead he found no 
quarter, but was apprehended and transported to the city, 
where he was imprisoned and subjected to the most 
odious and disgusting inflictions. The inhabitants were 
at length so moved by his sufferings, that they offered 
to pay his fine of 600 guilders to obtain his release. 

The vessel in which he arrived left for Rhode Island 
on the 3rd of August, 1657, with Humphrey Norton, 
Mary Clark, John Copeland, and Christopher Holden, 
Quakers, some of whom, on going to Boston, fared little 
better than Hodgson, and were finally banished from 
that colony. 


Governor Stuyvesant continued to show his implacable 
hatred of this sect during the remainder of his official 
life. Henry Townsend who (in 1657) resided at Rus- 
dorp (Jamaica) had interested himself in getting up a 
meeting for one of the persons who came in the vessel 
with Hodgson, for which, on the 15th of September, he 
was sentenced to pay a fine of £8 ; and a law was also 
promulgated by placard, fixing a fine of £50 for enter- 
taining a Quaker a single night, one half of which was 
to be paid to the informer, whose name was to be kept 
secret; and the vessel which should bring any Quaker 
into the province was to be confiscated. 

The character of the government and those concerned 
in its administration, from the highest dignitary to the 
lowest ministerial officer, was getting generally unpopu- 
lar. It was in fact an union of church and state in its 
worst form; perhaps the former most prevailed, produc- 
ing a sort of religious ostracism, which left the person 
accused no course but stern resistance, followed by 
almost certain suffering, or submission of the most de- 
grading kind and yielding up the liberty of speaking and 
writing freely upon matters deemed of the highest im- 
portance relating to this world and the next: a mental 
slavery most degrading. Notwithstanding the want of 
firmness and moral courage in some, to meet the crisis 
with manly resolution, there were others, neither few in 
number, nor insignificant in influence, who breasted the 
flood of bigotry and intolerance like men conscious of 
their rights, and resolved to defend them at every 

The spirit of disapprobation progressed pari passu 
with the unjust measures of the governor and council; 
and the ordinances passed to restrain the freedom of 



religious worship, met with an opposition unsubdued and 
unsubduable, particularly in this town, where even those 
who were not Quakers made common cause with those 
who were, and by their union, in the end, proved an 
overmatch for their opponents. Among the most sub- 
stantial, and not the least respectable of this class, was 
John Bowne, who, with his father, Thomas Bowne, 
came early to this town ; the latter being born at Matlock 
in Derbyshire, England, May, 1595, and being conse- 
quently now near seventy years old. His will was exe- 
cuted October 20, 1675, and he died the next year dur- 
ing the absence of his son John in Europe. His daugh- 
ter Truth remained in England, but his daughter Eliza- 
beth, wife of Edward Farrington, accompanied him. 

His son John was born at the same place, March 29, 
1627. In 1 66 1 he erected part of the old Bowne man- 
sion, still standing, and the remainder in 1680, as a 
meeting-house for Friends. This venerable monument of 
antiquity is still in good preservation, and is now in- 
habited by some of his name of the seventh generation. 

Most of the materials of this house which had a gal- 
lery in one end, were originally of oak, being covered 
with oak clap-boards, and the floors composed of the 
same, pinned down, instead of being fastened with nails. 
The windows were of small dimensions, set with minute 
panes in leaden sash. An oak table, with other ancient 
furniture, is still shown, as well as the staff used by the 
aged Thomas Bowne, while laboring under the infirmi- 
ties of age. And as for ancient documents, autograph let- 
ters from George Fox and other persons of his day, we 
venture to say that no private residence upon the island 
can exhibit as much to please and gratify the lovers of 
olden times as are contained in this. In this house, 


George Fox was entertained on his visit to Flushing in 
1672; but as it was not large enough to accommodate all 
who attended upon his preaching, they assembled under 
the widely extended shade of two majestic oaks, nearby, 
now supposed to be more than 400 years old, and 
measuring in circumference at two feet from the ground, 
about sixteen feet. One of these is yet alive and 
vigorous, while the other was broken off several feet 
above the soil, by a violent gale September 25, 1841, in 
consequence of which the following poetical effusion 
appeared in many newspapers of the day: 


The ancient Oak lies prostrate now, 

Its limbs embrace the sod, 
Where, in the Spirit's strength and might 

Our pious fathers trod; 
Where underneath its spreading arms, 

And by its shadows broad, 
Clad in simplicity and truth, 

They met to worship God. 

No stately pillars round them rose, 

No dome was reared on high — 
The Oaks, their only columns were, 

Their roof, the arching sky. 
No organ's deep-toned notes arose, 

Or vocal songs were heard — 
Their music was the passing wind, 

Or song of forest bird. 

And as His Spirit reached their hearts, 

By man's lips speaking now, 
A holy fire was in their eye, 

Pure thought upon their brow: 
And while in silence deep and still, 

Their souls all glowing were 
With heartfelt peace and joy and love, 

They felt that God was there. 

Those free and simple-minded men 

Have now all pass'd away, 
And of the scenes in which they moved, 

These only relics lay; 



And soon the last surviving oak, 

In its majestic pride, 
Will gather up its failing limbs, 

And wither at its side. 

Then guard with care its last remains, 

Now that its race is run; 
No sacrilegious hand should touch 

The forest's noblest son; 
And when the question may be asked, 

Why that old trunk is there — 
" 'Tis but the place in olden time, 

God's holiest altars were." 

In addition to the above poetical tribute, the follow- 
ing account was given in another publication about the 
same time, and is from the pen of that close observer 
of all that is valuable or curious in history, the late 
Colonel William L. Stone, editor of the New York 
Commercial Advertiser: 

" A Veteran Gone. — The oldest inhabitant of Flush- 
ing is no more ! During the windy afternoon of the 25th 
inst. one of the venerable oaks, which for so many years 
have been a prominent object in Bowne Avenue, near the 
village of Flushing, was prostrated to the ground. To a 
stranger this conveys no higher occasion for regret than 
the removal of a noble tree by the operation of the in- 
evitable laws of nature; but to those who have passed 
many a happy hour of childhood in gathering the acorns 
which fell from it, and have made it the scene of 
their youthful sports, it seems like the removal of a vener- 
ated relative — as if one of the few visible links, which 
in this utilitarian land connect us with the past, was 

" To the members of the society of Friends these trees 
possessed an historical interest, from the circumstance 
that beneath them, about the year 1672, the dauntless 


founder of their sect, with that power and eloquence of 
truth which drew to his standard Penn and Barclay, and 
a host of men like them, preached the gospel of redemp- 
tion to a mixed assemblage, among which might be seen 
many a son of that swarthy family whose wrongs and suf- 
ferings elicit to this day the active efforts of his followers 
on their behalf. Some seventy years since, these honored 
trees were threatened with demolition by the owner of the 
adjacent property, but for the sake of the venerable past 
were purchased by John Bowne, a lineal descendant of the 
old worthy of the same name, who listened to the preach- 
ing of Fox and embraced his doctrines, for which he was 
afterward sent to Holland in irons, where he was honor- 
ably liberated by the Dutch Government, and a severe 
reprimand administered to Stuyvesant. The time honored 
mansion in which he entertained Fox, and accommodated 
the regular meetings of the society for many years, is still 
standing near, and in good repair." 

11 Osgood Field of New York, a friend of Thompson, 
composed the following poem on the Fox Oaks in 1847, 
and transmitted it to the historian for publication in the 
present edition of this work, which he was then compiling. 
After a lapse of sixty-nine years the well-chosen words 
are before the reader, and turn his thoughts to old Flush- 
ing, and her stately memorial of bygone days." 


written under george fox's oak at flushing 

Long Island, on thy sea-girt shore is many a cherished spot, 
When I could fly from care and trial and envy no one's lot, 
But Flushing most of all I love, that land of fruits and flowers, 
Where Pan roams free, if yet he roams, and Flora builds her bowers; 
For my forefathers, when they reached these shores, did here abide, 
Here pitched their tents, here reared their homes, and called the place 

Bay- side. 
No voice amid the forest gloom, no footstep echoed here, 
Save when the tawny Indian passed, and chased the flying deer; 


Till then, no woodman's axe had made these lofty woods resound, 
Nor patient ox with guided plough upturned the fruitful ground ; 
Now gardens blooming all around with perfume filled the air, 
The reddest rose at Flushing grows, the fairest lily there. 

Beneath this oak where I now lie, George Fox the Quaker stood, 

And preached, as John the Baptist preached, beneath the spreading wood. 

For persecution sought to drive his followers from the land, 

And here around him, came by stealth a little Christian band; 

And one of these, for conscience sake, whose blood flows in my veins, 

To Holland, prisoner was sent, weighed down by heavy chains. 

Imagination sways me now, dim fancies crowd my mind, 

As underneath the old oak's shade I lie at length reclined; 

I hear George Fox with earnest voice pour forth the words of peace, 

And pray the Lord that war and strife, throughout the world may cease. 

Beneath the spreading canopy his followers draw near, 

With holy zeal they forward press, the man of God to hear, 

And save the breeze amid the trees, no other sound is heard, 

Unless perchance the melody of some wild forest bird, — 

The savage Indian stops anear, against a tree he stands, 

He hears the messenger of peace, the bow drops from his hand, — 

'Tis past — George Fox — his followers, — the Indian — all are gone, 

And I, beneath the old oak's shade, am lying all alone. 

I've seen Old England's oak, where once the Royal Martyr lay, 

And heard the Covenanter's words, while passing 'neath its shade, 

And dearer still the Hartford oak, in our own native land, 

Where once the Charter lay concealed, safe from a King's command; 

But this old tree which o'er me spreads, and throws its shade around 

Is sanctified, and I now lie on consecrated ground. 

A church it stands, whose sacrament is the turf on which I tread, 

Its trunk an altar, and for arch, the branches overhead, 

No splendid dome, though blessed by priest, where thousands bend their 

To worship God, is fitter place or holier than this tree. 

A thousand years mayst thou, old oak, still flourish in the land, 
Thy bough still wave above, below thy trunk still firmly stand, 
Long ere the woodman's axe shall sing upon thy timbers staunch, 
Long ere the robin cease to sing upon thy topmost branch, 
Long ere the scathing lightning strike and send thy limbs apart; 
Long ere the gnawing worm shall come and penetrate thy heart; 
Long may the birds build nests in thee with oak twigs interlaid, 
Long may the young lovers breathe their vows beneath thy grateful 

Long may the cherished name be carved upon thy rough-hewed bark; 
Long may'st thou hear above thee poised, at early dawn, the lark, 


Long ere the mellow earth refuse the sap unto thy roots; 

Long may the ripened acorns fall, and rise again in shoots, 

Which watered by the showers above, and moistened by the ground, 

Shall grow till they become large oaks, and hemming thee around, 

Protect their parent from rude blasts, with more than filial love; 

Until thou find'st thyself at last the patriarch of a grove, — 

But if thou too, like other trees, must share the fate of all, 

And should in future years arrive the day when thou must fall, 

No mansion may thy timbers form, nor yet upon the seas, 

In wandering ships be tossed about, at mercy of the breeze, 

But carried in many a quaint device, as long as oak can last, 

Be treasured up, and handed down, as relics of the past. 

The celebrated George Fox, a man equally distin- 
guished for his moral character, intelligence, and cour- 
age, visited America in 1672, and, as has been above 
remarked, paid a visit to this town. For the gratifica- 
tion of the general reader, and as well as being a mat- 
ter of curiosity, we here present a few extracts from the 
private journal of this extraordinary individual. 

After spending a few days in the city of Philadelphia, 
and passing from thence through the province of New 

" At length we came to Middletown, an English planta- 
tion in East Jersey, where there were some Friends; but 
we could not stay to have a meeting, being earnestly pos- 
sessed in our spirits to get to the half yearly meeting of 
Friends at Oyster Bay in Long Island, which was near at 
hand. We got to Gravesend, where we tarried all night. 
Next day got to Flushing. The day following we reached 
Oyster Bay. Several from Flushing and Gravesend accom- 
panied us. Thence to Shelter Island and Fisher's Island; 
but could not stay, for the mosquitoes, which abound 
there, and are very troublesome. We returned to Oyster 
Bay, where we had a very large meeting. From Oyster 
Bay we went about thirty miles, to Flushing, where we 


had a meeting of many hundred people. Meantime Chris- 
topher Holden and some other Friends went to a town 
in Long Island, called Jamaica, and had a meeting there. 
We passed from Flushing to Gravesend, about twenty 
miles, and had three precious meetings there. While we 
were at Shrewsbury, John Jay, a Friend of Barbadoes, 
who came with us from Rhode Island, fell from his horse 
and broke his neck, as the people said. Those near him 
took him up for dead, carried him a good way, and laid 
him on a tree. I got to him as soon as I could, and con- 
cluded he was dead. Whereupon I took his head in both 
my hands, and setting my knees against the tree, raised his 
head two or three times with all my might, and brought it 
in. He soon began to rattle in his throat, and quickly 
after, to breathe. The people were amazed, but I told 
them to be of good faith, and carry him into the house. 
He began to speak, but did not know where he had been. 
The next day we passed away, and he with us, about six- 
teen miles, to a meeting at Middletown, through woods 
and bogs, and over a river, where we swam our horses. 
Many hundred miles did he travel with us after this." 

In the council minutes of September 14, 1662, we find 
the following entry: 

" Whereas, John Bowne, now a prisoner residing at 
Vlissengen, on Long Island, has dared, in contempt of 
our orders and placards, those of the director general and 
council in New Netherlands, not only to provide with 
lodgings some of that heretical and abominable sect named 
Quakers, and even permitted that they kept their for- 
bidden meetings in his house, at which he not only, but 
his whole family has been present, by which the aforesaid 
abominable sect, who villify both the magistrates and the 
preachers of God's holy word, and who endeavor to un- 
dermine both the state and religion, are not only encour- 


aged in their errors, but other persons are seduced and 
lured from the right path, all which are transactions of 
the most dangerous consequences, from which nothing 
else is to be expected, as calamities, heresies and schisms, 
directly contrary to the orders of the director general and 
council in New Netherlands; which, therefore, deserves 
to be punished for an example to others; so is it, that 
the director general and council in New Netherlands, hav- 
ing heard the conclusion of the matter, and the confession 
of the prisoner, doing justice, in the name of their high 
mightinesses the states general of the United Netherlands, 
and the lords directors of the privileged West India com- 
pany, department of Amsterdam, condemn the aforesaid 
John Bowne in an amende of £25 Flanders, and to pay 
the costs and mises of justice, with the express warning 
to abstain himself, in future, of all such conventicals and 
meetings, on the penalty that, for the second time, he 
shall pay double amende, and, for the third time, to be 
banished out of this province of New Netherlands. 

" Done and condemned, at a meeting of the director 
general and council in Fort Amsterdam, in New Nether- 
lands, Sept. 14, 1662." 

The accused, however, declining to comply with the 
decision of the tribunal before which he was condemned, 
and the fine not being paid for about three months — 
during which time he remained incarcerated in the fort 
of New Amsterdam — the following additional sentence 
was pronounced: 

" 1662 f 14th December. — Whereas, the prisoner, John 
Bowne, a Quaker, declined very obstinately, now during 
three months, in great contempt of the authority of the 
director general and council, to pay the amende, in which 
he was condemned on the 14th of September, by the di- 
rector general and council, for procuring lodgings for, 


and frequenting the conventicles of the heretical and ob- 
stinate sect of Quakers, so is it, that the director general 
and council, for the welfare of the community, and to 
crush, as far as it is possible, that abominable sect, who 
treat with contempt both the politick magistrates and the 
ministers of God's holy word, and endeavor to undermine 
the police and religion, resolved to transport from this 
province the aforesaid John Bowne, if he continues ob- 
stinate and pervicatious, in the first ship ready to sail, for 
an example to others." 

Accordingly on the 8th of January, 1662, we find a 
further proceeding in the council, the record of which 
is as follows: 

" Whereas, John Bowne obstinately declines to submit 
to the judgment of the Director General and council, so 
is it, in conformity to the resolution of the 14th of Decem- 
ber last, commanded to depart from here in the ship the 
Fox, now ready to sail, while it is once more left to his 
choice either to obey and submit to the judgment, in pay- 
ing the amende imposed upon him, or otherwise at sight 
of this, to depart in the aforesaid ship." 

In a few days from the date of this definitive sen- 
tence, Bowne took passage in the ship " Fox " for Hol- 
land, and the account which has been preserved of this 
extraordinary adventure states that the wind being ad- 
verse for their arrival speedily in Holland, the ship 
put into Ireland, where Bowne was permitted to land, 
and pass through that country and England also, upon 
his personal engagement to make his appearance in due 
time before the authorities of Holland. This promise 
he most honorably fulfilled and arrived in Amsterdam, 
February 29, 1663, and was patiently heard before a 
committee of the West India Company ; who, finding him 


a discreet man and steadfast in his religion, set him at 
liberty — with the following severe reprimand in the form 
of an epistle, directed to Governor Stuyvesant: 

" Amsterdam, April 6, 1663." 
u Sir : — We perceive from your last letter, that you had 
exiled and transported hither a certain Quaker, named 
John Bowne. Although it is our anxious desire that sim- 
ilar and other sectarians may not be found among you, 
yet we doubt extremely the policy of adopting rigorous 
measures against them. In the youth of your existence, 
you ought rather to encourage than check the population 
of the colony. The consciences of men ought to be free 
and unshackled so long as they continue moderate, peace- 
able, inoffensive, and not hostile to the government. Such 
have been the maxims of prudence and toleration by which 
the magistrates of this city (Amsterdam) have been gov- 
erned; and the consequences have been, that the oppressed 
and persecuted from every country have found among us 
an asylum from distress. Follow in the same steps, and 
you will he hlessed. i} 

On his return the colony was in the possession of the 
English, but upon calling on the puissant Stuyvesant, now 
a private citizen, this individual expressed his regret for 
having used so much severity toward him and his fellow 
Quakers, whom he frankly admitted to be among the 
most valuable citizens. 

The case of Bowne is only one among many instances 
in which this bigoted governor presumed to interfere 
with the enjoyment of religious liberty in the province, 
as will be more fully shown in the article entitled 
" Quaker Persecutions," to which the reader is respect- 
fully referred for further particulars of this reign of 


What might have been the future conduct of the 
director general and his pliant council, but for the timely- 
arrival of Colonel Nicoll, which stopped the swelling 
tide of resentment and persecution, is matter for conjec- 
ture only. But an instant and effectual change had taken 
place, and the people had abundant cause for the most 
heartfelt rejoicing. 

By reference to the Dutch patent it will be seen that 
the patentees and their associates, successors, &c, were 
empowered to choose a schout or constable, and the peo- 
ple were assured of the fullest liberty of conscience, ac- 
cording to the manner and custom of Holland; yet it 
turned out that in direct violation of their chartered 
rights and privileges, the director general, on the 20th 
of March, 1658, as a pretended punishment for their 
remonstrance against his very arbitrary measures, abol- 
ished all municipal authority in the town, and substituted, 
without any color of law or precedent, a set of officers 
whom he denominated tribunes; at the same time im- 
posing a tax of twelve styvers per morgan, upon all the 
lands of the inhabitants for the purpose, as he declared, 
of maintaining what he called an orthodox minister 
amongst them; and to make the matter more insulting 
to the freemen of the town, it was provided that such 
as disliked the imposition of the tax might within a given 
time dispose of their property and leave the place. 

It happened as might be supposed that very few, if 
any, embraced the latter alternative, for most of the 
population being either Quakers or the friends of 
Quakers, resolved to brave the little brief authority of 
the Dutch autocrat, by remaining on the spot which 
they had chosen as their permanent home, and to wait 
patiently for some political change which might better 


their condition and relieve them from the tyranny of 
their present rulers. 

For the want of better accommodations, and to avoid 
the penalties announced by the governor's placards 
for holding conventicles in private houses, they con- 
vened in the woods and other secluded places; but even 
this precaution was found insufficient to guard them 
against the vigilance of persecution, for all meetings 
whatever held by Quakers for religious purposes, were 
by another placard strictly forbidden, under penalties 
still more exorbitant. 

The same illiberal and oppressive course of conduct 
in the management of affairs, was pursued during the 
continuance of the Dutch Government, and ended only 
with the conquest of the province in 1664. 

February 16, 1666, a patent of confirmation, drawn 
in the usual form, was obtained from Governor Nicoll, 
and made to the following persons, to wit: 

11 John Lawrence, alderman of the city 7 of New York; 
Richard Cornhill, justice of the peace; — Charles Bridges, 
William Lawrence, Robert Terry, William Noble. John 
fforbush, Elias Doughty, Robert ffield, Edmund ffaring- 
ton, John Maston, Anthony ffield, Phillip L T dall, Thomas 
Stiles, Benjamin ffield, William Pidgeon, John Adams, 
John Hinckman, Nicholas Parcell, Tobias ffeeks, and 
John Bowne, patentees for, and in behalf of themselves 
and their associates, the freeholders, inhabitants of the 
town of Flushing, their heirs, successors, and assigns for- 
ever, all that certain town in the north riding of York- 
shire upon Long Island, called by the name of Flushing, 
situate and lying and being on the north side of the said 
island: which said town hath a certain tract of land 
belonging thereunto, and bounded westward, beginning 
at the mouth of a creek upon the East River, known by 


the name of Flushing Creek, and from thence including 
a certain neck of land called Tews-Neck, to run east- 
ward as far as Mathew Garretson's Bay, from the head 
or middle whereof a line is to be run south-east, in 
length about three miles, and about two miles in 
breadth, as the land hath been surveyed and laid out by 
virtue of an order made at the general meeting held at 
Hempstead in the month of March, 1665 ; and that there 
be the same latitude in breadth on the south side as on 
the north, to run in two direct lines southward to the 
middle of the hills, to the bounds between the said towns 
of Flushing and Jamaica." 

As it had not been customary for the settlers of the 
towns within the Dutch territory to obtain a conveyance 
for the soil directly from the natives, the inhabitants of 
this town, like many others, possessed their lands solely 
by virtue of the patent formerly executed by Governor 
Kieft; but it was afterwards judged most consonant with 
the principles of justice, as well as most prudent, to pro- 
cure, from the original and legitimate proprietors of the 
soil, a deed of confirmation for the premises heretofore 
enjoyed by them, from the time of the organization of 
the settlement. 

The conveyance executed for the purpose was made 
April 14, 1684, by Tackapousha, sachem of Massapeage, 
Quassawasco, Succanemen (alias Runasuck) JVerah, 
Cetharum, Nunham, Shunshewequanum, and Oposum, 
chiefs, styling themselves the true owners and pro- 
prietors of all the lands included within the boundaries 
of Flushing, which they convey thereby, to Elias 
Doughty, Thomas Willet, John Bowne, Matthias Har- 
vey, Thomas Hicks, Richard Cornhill, John Hinchman, 
Jonathan Wright, and Samuel Hoyt, as agents for the 


freeholders of the said town, reserving to themselves 
and their heirs for ever, the right of cutting bulrushes 
in any part of the said territory. 

A second confirmatory patent was issued by Governor 
Dongan, March 24, 1685, which was therein declared to 
be made for the purpose of securing to the inhabitants 
the peaceable enjoyment of the premises before granted, 
and especially for preventing all controversies that 
might otherwise afterwards arise, by reason of any claim 
to the said lands, from Tackapousha, Succanemen, 
Runasuck, or other Indian sachems, and from all per- 
sons whomsoever, who should assert any title to the said 
lands or any part thereof. 

The persons named as patentees therein, were Elias 
Doughty, Thomas Willet, John Bowne, Mathias Har- 
vey, Thomas Hicks, Richard Cornell, John Hinchman, 
Jonathan Wright, and Samuel Hoyt. 

In 1 68 1 and 1682, on the threatened repeal or revo- 
cation of the edict of Nantes (which took place October 
22, 1685), originally enacted in 1598, for the protec- 
tion of the Protestants of France, more than 500,000 
people, it is supposed, left their native country, taking 
refuge in England, Holland, and other parts of Europe, 
where they were in general kindly received and enter- 
tained. Many thousands of these unfortunate indi- 
viduals found their way to America, by some of whom 
the town of New Rochelle was founded, and a few 
families came some years after to this town, where, 
strange to say, few if any of their posterity can now 
be discovered. They, as well as the great majority of 
their fellow emigrants, were the most respectable and 
valuable accession ever made to the population of our 
country. A very great number of their descendants 


have always ranked among the most intelligent and vir- 
tuous of our citizens. Indeed, it is doubtful if a more 
excellent race of men can be found in any part of the 
world than they who claim to be descended from those 
who have been designated by the general denomination 
of Huguenots, although less is known of their origin and 
subsequent history than of almost any other class of 
our inhabitants. Even the name by which they have so 
long been known, is involved in doubt and uncertainty, 
which it is perhaps, at this day, impossible to re- 

Fifty or more years since, the aged inhabitants of 
Flushing could point to the former residences of these 
venerable strangers, who have long since passed away 
like a vision of the night, leaving few or no memorials 
behind, if we except the much esteemed Lady Apple and 
Belle Pear trees. Some of the identical trees of this 
description, planted by them in different places, are still 

* In an old work, of deserved reputation, which we have examined, it 
is said that the name Huguenot is explained in many different ways. 
Some, says the author, derive the word from hue nos venimus, the 
beginning of the first protestation of the apologetical oration, made 
before Cardinal Lotharingius, in the time of Francis II. of France. 

Du Verdier derives it from John Huss, whose opinions they em- 
braced, and guenon, an ape, q. d. John Huss' Apes. Others from Hugh 
Capet, whose right of succession to the crown the Calvinists main- 
tained, against the house of Guise. Again, it has been supposed to 
take its rise from Huguenot, a piece of money, a farthing in the time 
of Hugh Capet; others derive it from Hugon, a gate in the city of 
Tours, where they first assembled. 

In Barclay's Dictionary, Huguenot is said to be a name of contempt 
given to the Protestants of France, and had its rise in 1560; for at 
Tours, the people had a notion that an apparition or hobgoblin, called 
King Hugon, strolled about the streets in the night time; from whence, 
as those of the reformed religion met in the night to pray, &c, they 
called them Huguenots, or disciples of Hugon. 

Whoever wishes for more information may consult Jeurieu's Pas- 
toral Letters, and Smedley's History of the Reformed Religion, Brande's 
Encyclopedia, and the second volume of Littell's Living Age, page 446. 


found in various parts of the town, and, from their pres- 
ent vigorous appearance, they bid fair to flourish for a 
century yet to come. 

The introduction of many choice fruits by these 
respectable people, and by others who were encouraged 
by their example, improved, as they have been, by a 
well adapted soil and climate, with the advantage of a 
convenient and ready market, has given rise to the 
establishment of more extensive nurseries and gardens 
in this town, than can be found in any other part of the 
United States; accordingly, it has long enjoyed a high 
and enviable reputation for the immense variety and 
excellence of its fruit, plants, and ornamental trees. One 
of the most noble, as well as valuable establishments of 
this sort then existing in the country, was that of the 
late William Prince, which was begun by his father 
William in 1750, the adjoining land having been since 
purchased of William Bayard and Herman Le Roy, 
sons-in-law of Samuel Cornwell, who had removed from 
here to South Carolina many years before. The grounds 
occupied previous to 1793 contained about eight acres, 
and were in that year increased to twenty-four, but, by 
gradual additions as became necessary, the quantity was 
in 1840 extended to about sixty acres. 

So long ago as 1776, the soil then used for the purpose 
was filled with the finest well-grown fruit trees, among 
which were at least 30,000 grafted English cherry trees; 
but, as the enemy then took possession of Long Island 
as well as New York, there was, of course, no demand 
for so valuable an article for the purpose of propaga- 
tion, and immense quantities were disposed of for hoop- 
poles, the only use which could then be made of them. 

It is a fact honorable to the memory of General 


Howe, and one which deserves to be mentioned, that 
when the British troops first entered this town, he, of 
his own accord, and from his high sense of propriety, 
on the 29th of August, 1776, stationed a guard for the 
protection of the garden and nurseries, which was con- 
tinued so long as the same was required for safety and 

The green-house alone of this large establishment 
contained, in 1840, more than 20,000 flowering plants, 
and the gardens were filled with an immense variety of 
fruit and ornamental trees, both indigenous and exotic, 
herbaceous, flowering, and medicinal plants, bulbous and 
tuberous roots, &c. 

The gardens and nurseries were at that time owned 
by the said William Prince and his sons, who had con- 
ducted them for several years previous. The senior 
proprietor, one of the best and most amiable men, died 
at the age of seventy-six years, April 6, 1842; William 
Prince, his father, having died in 1802, leaving William, 
Benjamin, John, and Sarah, who married Charles 
McNeil. He was a lineal descendant of the celebrated 
Thomas Prince (or Prence), who arrived at Plymouth 
colony in 1621, and was governor there for a period of 
eighteen years. 

The institution has long been known by the name of 
the " Linnaean Botanic Garden," which name it still 

Great attention has been given by the proprietors to 
the cultivation of the mulberry tree, which will probably 
hereafter become an object of much importance in this 
country, although at present it appears to attract com- 
paratively little attention. 

The first specimen of the Morns multicanlis plant, now 


so well known in the culture of silk, was introduced for 
the first time into the United States, by the Messrs. 
Prince, in the spring of 1827. They imported it from 
Marseilles, where it had been brought the year before, 
from the Philippine Islands, with two other varieties, the 
Morus ovalifolia and Alba lascinata. It was then known 
as the Morus sinensis, and also as the Morus of the 
Philippine Islands; but it was not till some years after, 
when it had become more disseminated in France, that it 
received the name of Morus multicaulis, or many stalked 

The original plant was obtained from Tarascon, near 
Marseilles, and cost five francs, by which its merits may 
be judged of, considering that it came from the very 
land of mulberry nurseries. 

In the fall of 1827, they received several other 
varieties to complete their assortment, and to give the 
public an opportunity of testing by experiment the 
superiority of any one; being led to this importation by 
a resolution of Congress of May, 1826, directing the 
secretary of the treasury to prepare a manual of the best 
practical information on the growth and manufacture of 
silk adapted to different parts of the Union. 

The grounds occupied by this ancient nursery and 
garden were disposed of a few years since, and are now 
owned by Gabriel Winter, Esq., by whose agency the 
business is still carried on extensively, although some 
part of the grounds has been converted into streets and 
building lots; while William R. Prince and his brother 
Alfred Prince have already an extensive garden and 
nursery, a short distance south of the former, in which 
they have an almost infinite variety of valuable and 
choice trees, plants, &c, and which already nearly equals 


the primitive establishment that formerly belonged to 
the family. 

The old Bloodgood nursery, now or lately owned and 
conducted by Willcomb and King, has long been in high 
reputation, and is only inferior in quantity and variety 
to the Linnaean Garden. 

The establishment of Parsons & Company, called 
the " Commercial Garden and Nursery," is also an ex- 
tensive and valuable collection, and deserves like the 
others, the patronage of the public. Wiggin's " Floral 
and Pomological Nursery " covers a considerable extent 
of ground, and is filled with an extensive variety of trees, 
shrubs, and plants of the choicest kinds. 

From this brief account, it will be seen that Flushing 
has not only led the way in this description of cultiva- 
tion, but has obtained a rank in horticulture which is 
unrivalled by any other place on the American continent. 
It is true likewise that this species of commerce has 
added greatly to the wealth and prosperity of the town, 
and will, if continued, insure its pre-eminence for the 

Cadwallader Colden, former lieutenant governor of 
the colony of New York, was for many years a resident 
of Flushing. He was the son of the Rev. Alexander 
Colden of Dunse, in Scotland, where he was born Feb- 
ruary 17, 1688; he graduated in Edinburgh in 1705, and 
devoted himself to medicine and mathematics till the 
year 1708. The fame of Penn's colony allured him to 
America in 17 10, and he practised physic in Phila- 
delphia till 17 1 5, when he returned to England. Here 
he formed an acquaintance with many eminent men, with 
whom he maintained a correspondence ever after. From 
London he went to Scotland, where he married Alice 


Christie, daughter of a clergyman of Kelso. In 171 6 he 
came back to America with his wife, and practised medi- 
cine in Philadelphia for two years. In 17 18 he removed 
to New York, where he relinquished his profession and 
became a public character. He soon distinguished himself 
as a philosopher and statesman. His writings in several 
departments of science attest his extraordinary industry 
and ability. His correspondence with most of the 
learned men of the age in which he lived, is an evidence 
of the estimation in which he was held by them. His 
character as a statesman will be found in his political 
writings, and in his correspondence with the ministry of 
Great Britain at the critical times in which he admin- 
istered the colonial government. He held successively 
the offices of surveyor-general of the colony, master in 
chancery, member of the council under Governor Bur- 
net, and lieutenant governor at several periods. He pur- 
chased a tract of land near Newburgh, which he named 
Coldenham, and to which he removed in 1756. Here 
he occupied himself with botanical and mathematical 
pursuits, carrying on at the same time a correspondence 
with Collinson, Linnaeus, Gronovius, and others, in Eu- 
rope; and with Franklin, Garden, Bartram, Alexander, 
and others in America. He wrote treatises upon Gravi- 
tation, on Matter, on Fluxions, and various other sub- 
jects of science. While holding the office of lieutenant 
governor, he resided most of the time at his farm in 
Flushing, called Spring Hill, where he built a spacious 
and substantial mansion. His death took place here on 
the 20th of September, 1776, at the age of eighty-eight 
years; and he was buried in a private cemetery on the 
farm attached to Spring Hill. He had five sons and five 
daughters, a part of whom only survived him, viz. : 


Alexander, born August 13, 1716; David, born 1719, 
who died an infant; Cadwallader, born May 26, 
1722; John, born May 28, 1729, died unmarried in 
August, 1750; David, born November 23, 1733; Eliza- 
beth, born February 5, 17 19; Jane, born March 27, 
1724, who died without issue March 10, 1766; Alice, 
born September 27, 1725 ; Sarah, born July 6, 1727, who 
died an infant, and Catherine, born February 13, 1731, 
who died unmarried in June, 1762. His daughter Eliza- 
beth married Peter De Lancey, Esq.; Jane married Dr. 
William Farquhar; and Alice married Colonel William 
Willet. Three of Governor Colden's sons, Alexander, 
Cadwallader, and David, were successively surveyor- 
generals and prominent men in the colony. His son 
David, to whom he devised the farm at Spring Hill 
(now the property of Charles J. Henshaw), becoming a 
warm and active loyalist in the Revolution, lost his 
estate by forfeiture and retired to England in 1784, 
where he died the 10th of July of the same year. He 
was bred to the profession of physic, which, however, he 
never practised. He was fond of retirement, was much 
devoted to scientific pursuits; and his correspondence 
with learned men in Europe and America is to be found 
in the publications of the time. His wife was Ann, 
daughter of John Willet, Esq. of Flushing. She was 
married February 27, 1767, and died in August, 178 1, 
at Coldenham, Orange County. Mr. David Colden left 
one son and eight daughters, viz. : Cadwallader D., Alice 
Charity, Mary, Ann, Elizabeth, Catherine, Ann, 2d., 
Harriet, and Caroline. His daughter Mary, born April 
7, 1770, married the late Josiah Ogden Hoffman, and 
was the mother of Ogden Hoffman, Esq. of New York; 
Elizabeth, born February 25, 1774, married Edward W. 


Laight; and Catherine, born November 20, 1775, mar- 
ried the late Thomas Cooper. 

The first building in the town expressly for religious 
purposes, next to the Bowne house before mentioned, 
was the present Friends' meeting-house in the village of 
Flushing, now probably the oldest church of any denom- 
ination upon the island. It was raised in 1690, and com- 
pleted with a gallery upon three sides in 1694. It is 
sixty by forty feet, and was when erected probably the 
largest ecclesiastic edifice in the colony of New York. It 
was required to be of considerable dimensions to accom- 
modate not only the people of the town, but the yearly 
meetings held in the province. It has been kept well 
covered and apparently is as sound now as when first 
raised, containing timber of such size and length as could 
not now, if at all, easily be procured upon this part of the 
island. The first Quaker meeting-house in New York 
was framed at Flushing and transported to the city. 
The Flushing meeting-house, being the best adapted for 
the purpose, was taken possession of by the British in 
1776, and used as a hospital and storehouse during the 
war. A small meeting-house was built by the orthodox 
party of Friends, after the unhappy division among them 
in 1827, and stands in proximity to the old meeting-house. 

The Episcopal Church was formed here in 1704, 
under the sanction of the Society for Propagating the 
Gospel, and meetings were held many years in the old 
town house, otherwise called the guard-house, near the 
site of the town pond, which has disappeared in the 
course of modern improvement. 

In 1745 Captain Ralph Wentworth made a donation 
of half an acre of land on the west side of the said pond 
for the site of an Episcopal Church, and he gave like- 


wise a considerable sum toward its erection, which took 
place a short time thereafter, probably before 1750. In 
1 76 1 a charter of incorporation was executed by Lieu- 
tenant Governor Colden, by the name and style of St. 
George's Church. In the year 1782, a legacy of £200 
was given to the church by the Hon. Samuel Corn- 
well of North Carolina, a native of this place, whose 
father, Samuel Cornwell, occupied the dwelling lately 
owned by William Prince the elder.* 

In 1762 Mr. Kneeland was appointed catechist of the 
church at a salary of £10 a year. It was, of course, a 
collegiate institution, in connection with the other 
churches of the same denomination at Jamaica and New- 
town, the same minister officiating alternately in each. 

In 1770 the congregation raised the sum of £126 for 
repairing the church, and in 1803 united with those of 
Newtown in settling the Rev. Abraham L. Clarke, who 
had been rector of St. John's Church in Providence, R. I., 
from March, 1793, to March 14, 1800, when he resigned. 
He remained in the joint charge of the two churches 

* This gentleman, a descendant of the ancient Cornwells of Flushing, 
went in early life to the South and became a respectable and wealthy 
merchant at Newbern, N. C, previous to the commencement of hostilities 
with the mother country. He espoused the royal cause during the 
contest and forfeited his real estate in that province as a consequence. 
The time of his death is uncertain, but he left several daughters, one 
of whom became the wife of William Bayard and another of Herman 
Le Roy, of the late distinguished house of Le Roy, Bayard & McEvers. 
One of the daughters of Mr. Le Roy married Daniel S. Jones, Esq., 
of New York, and another the Hon. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts. 
A daughter of Mr. Bayard married the late Hon. Stephen Van Rensse- 
laer of Albany. 

"Arrived in N. Y. from Newbern Hon. Sam'l Cornhill Esq. with 
family, & slaves &c." — Game's Mercury, January 5, 1778. 

" Died at Flushing of Small Pox, Susannah, wife of Hon. Sam'l 
Cornell Esq., aged 47. She was buried in the church yard." — Gaine, 
February 16, 1778. 


united till 1809, when he confined his services exclusively 
to that of Newtown. 

In the same year this church obtained as third rector, 
the Rev. Barzillai Buckley, and the corporation of 
Trinity Church in New York gave to the society three 
lots of ground, toward the future support of its min- 
ister. Mr. Buckley continued here till his death, March 
29, 1820. 

The following summary exhibits the rotation of 
ministers who have officiated in this church from 1705 
to 1837, for the most part in connection with the 
churches of Jamaica and Newtown, as above stated: 

Rev. William Urquhart 1705 to 1707 

" Thomas Poyer 1709 to 1731 

" Thomas Colgan 1731 to 1755 

" Samuel Seabury 1756101765 

" Joshua Bloomer 1769 to 1790 

" William Hammell 1790101795 

" Elijah D. Rattoone 1797 to 1802 

" Abraham L. Clarke 1803 to 1809 

u Barzillai Buckley 1809 to 1820 

" John V. E. Thorn 1820 to 1826 

" William Augustus Muhlenberg 1826 to 1828 

" William H. Lewis 1829101833 

" J. Murray Forbes 1833101834 

" Samuel R. Johnson ^34 to 1835 

11 Robert B. Van Kleeck 1835 to 1837 

In 1837 tne R ev - Frederic J. Goodwin was engaged. 
He was a graduate of Bowdoin College, Me., in 1832, 
and was settled here December 8, 1837, where he mar- 
ried Catherine, daughter of James Bloodgood, deceased. 
His resignation took place in January, 1844, when he 
removed to Middletown, Conn., and was succeeded in 
March following by the Rev. George Burcker from 
Flatbush, L. I., whose death occurred June 7, 1847, at 
the age of thirty-two years, and that of Susan, his 


widow, on the 5th of September of the same year. The 
Rev. John Carpenter Smith from Trinity Church, Far 
Rockaway, was settled as his successor in October, 1847. 

11 Rev. Mr. Smith officiated for fifty years, and was 
succeeded by the Rev. Henry D. Waller, the present 
rector in 1898. Mr. Waller is known as a historian, and 
in 1899 his History of Flushing was published." 


The present church edifice was erected in 18 12, con- 
secrated June 25, 1 82 1, enlarged in 1838, and is a hand- 
some building with a bell, clock, and fine-toned organ. 

A congregation of the Reformed Dutch Church was 
organized here in June, 1842, and the corner stone of 
a handsome edifice, built of granite from Blackwell's 
Island, was laid August 16, 1843. The building was 
completed soon after and dedicated September 10, 1844. 
The Rev. William R. Gordon, removed from Manhasset 
in the spring of 1842, is pastor of the church. A Metho- 
dist meeting-house has existed here for a good many 
years, and another of a larger size and more fashion- 
able in appearance* was erected in 1842 upon one of the 
main streets of the village. In the eastern portion of 
the village is a good-sized Roman Catholic Church, 
erected in 1840, and a meeting-house for the colored part 
of the population. 

This town is not only remarkable for its proportion- 
ate number of wealthy citizens, but also for the number 
of highly cultivated farms and magnificent private resi- 
dences. The most expensive of these is that erected by 
the late Chancellor Sanford, upon an elevated site in the 
southern part of the village, which after his death in 
1838 was disposed of at a heavy loss, and purchased by 


Dr. James Macdonald, who for several years past 
has conducted there with eminent success a private hos- 
pital for the insane. 

A large educational establishment was incorporated 
April 1 6, 1827, called the " Flushing Institute," occupy- 
ing a fine and spacious structure in a commanding situa- 
tion and every way adapted to the noble purpose of its 
erection. The school was commenced in 1828, under 
the direction of the Rev. Dr. William Augustus Muhlen- 
berg, of which he continued the superintendence for ten 
years, when he retired to the management of a new insti- 
tution, St. Paul's College. After the departure of 
Dr. Muhlenberg, a female school of great excellence 
was commenced and continued till 1846, by the Rev. Dr. 
John F. Schroeder, who then removed his charge to the 
city of New York, and became rector of the Church of 
the Crucifixion. In May, 1845, M r - Ezra Fairchild 
removed with his school from Morristown, N. J., to the 
Flushing Pavilion, where he continued to teach until the 
removal of Dr. Schroeder, when he took possession of 
the premises vacated by him as principal of the Green- 
brook School. 

St. Paul's College is located at College Point, which is 
the north-west part of Lawrence's Neck, adjoining the 
Sound. It is one of the most beautiful, healthy, and 
commanding situations which could have been selected. 
The corner stone was laid by Bishop Onderdonk, Octo- 
ber 15, 1836; and although the main edifice has been 
abandoned, sufficient erections have been made for the 
accommodation of more than 100 students, which num- 
ber it has long since obtained. This is likewise an 
Episcopal school, and from the high character of Dr. 
Muhlenberg, as an able and learned instructor, there was 

-. .i 

, * 




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every reason to anticipate its continued prosperity and 
usefulness, supplied as it was while under his control, 
with competent professors and teachers in the various 
departments of academical and collegiate education. Mr. 
John Graeff Barton assumed the rectorship of the insti- 
tution in August, 1846, Dr. Muhlenberg having become 
rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, New 
York City. 

St. Thomas' Hall is the title of another literary and 
scientific establishment in the village of Flushing, 
founded by the Rev. Dr. Francis L. Hawks, former 
rector of St. Thomas' Church, New York, one of the 
best scholars and most eloquent divines of the age. The 
buildings — some of which were erected in 1838 — are of 
wood and in their architecture of the Gothic order, and 
sufficient for the accommodation of 120 pupils. Able 
and efficient teachers were engaged in all the depart- 
ments, and the course of studies was most liberal and 
complete. It is a beautiful structure, and it being an 
Episcopal institution, the services of that church were 
observed. Indeed, it seemed with all its appliances and 
the completeness of its arrangements, to be one of the 
most extraordinary foundations for education in the 
state. Yet so much money had been launched upon it, 
that the proprietor found it impossible to proceed, and 
on the 1 2th of April, 1843, abandoned it to his creditors. 
Dr. Hawks removed to Holly Springs, Miss., and the 
next year accepted the rectorship of Christ Church, New 
Orleans, and in 1847 was appointed president of the Uni- 
versity of Louisiana, in addition to his pastoral duties. 
In 1849 Dr. Hawks returned to the city of New York 
and organized a new church. It may be remarked that 
Dr. Hawks was formerly a distinguished member of 


the bar of North Carolina, and published several vol- 
umes of reports of the supreme court of that state, but 
like his illustrious predecessor St. Paul he preferred 
rather to preach than practise. After the failure of 
this gentleman, the institution was purchased at a very 
reduced price by Gerardus B. Docharty, Esq., a veteran 
in the art of teaching, by whom the same course of 
liberal instruction was pursued. St. Thomas' Hall has 
since been purchased by the Rev. W. H. Gilder of Bor- 
dentown, who opened it as the Flushing Female Institute, 
November i, 1848. 

There are besides several minor schools which con- 
tribute to the literary character of this ancient and 
princely settlement, which in regard to healthfulness, 
convenience of situation, and facilities of intercourse with 
the city of New York, is equal, if not superior to any 
other village in the country. A Public Free School that 
cost about $6,000, has been built mainly by the exertions 
of Thomas Legget, Jr. It opened November 27, 1848, 
with seven teachers and 331 scholars. In 1849 ^ nac ^ 
three departments, — the primary, the boys', and the 
girls'; eleven teachers, a library, lyceum, and had enrolled 
559 scholars. 

A mineral spring was discovered here, in the year 1 8 1 6, 
upon land of Walter Roe, which for a time attracted 
some attention from the public. It was examined by 
Dr. Samuel L. Mitchill, and found to be of the class 
of waters called chalybeate, and in its medicinal prop- 
erties nearly resembling that of Schooley's Mountain 
in New Jersey. The day of its excitement however 
soon passed away, and for many years little has been 
heard of this once famous sanative. 

The village was incorporated April 15, 1837, the 


streets first named November 21, 1838, and the charter 
amended March 13, 1838, since when much has been 
done for the appearance and permanent improvement 
of the village, as gratifying as it is creditable to the 

In the autumn of 1841, while some persons were 
employed in excavating the ground in the grading of 
Linnaeus Street, through a part of what was once the 
Linnsean Gardens, a dozen or more human skeletons 
were discovered and exhumed almost entire. From the 
fact of leaden bullets being found among the bones, it 
seems highly probable that the unfortunate individuals 
whose relics they were, had fallen by an enemy in battle 
— and from the circumstance that a very considerable 
British force was stationed here during the Revolutionary 
War, it is no more than reasonable to suppose that these 
bones may have been the remains of some of our coun- 
trymen or their opponents, who had perished in a con- 
test with each other. 

A press was for a time connected with St. Thomas' 
Hall, and a weekly paper was issued by Dr. Hawks, 
called the Church Record, mainly devoted to the history 
and polity of the Episcopal Church. The concern passed 
into the hands of Charles R. Lincoln, who, March 19, 
1842, published the first number of the Flushing Journal, 
a well edited weekly newspaper, which has thus far been 

The surface of this town is either level or moderately 
undulating; the soil superior, and its agriculture, prob- 
ably, far excels that of any other district upon Long 
Island; the farms, which rarely exceed in quantity 100 
acres, being generally protected by a stone wall and 
highly cultivated. There are numerous sites for building, 


of the most enchanting character, and very many have 
their fronts either upon the waters of the Sound, or the 
beautiful bays connected therewith. The residences at 
Whitestone, Bayside, and upon the east side of Flushing 
Bay, are perhaps the most eligible, while the soil at those 
places is equally fertile and well cultivated. The man- 
sion of the late Samuel Legget, Esq., at the former loca- 
tion (who died January 5, 1847, a g e d sixty-five), is 
delightful, enjoying a rich and varied scenery. A place 
of religious worship, called White Stone Chapel, was 
erected mostly by his exertions at Clintonville in his im- 
mediate neighborhood in 1837, which has been free to 
all denominations. 

The venerable Francis Lewis, of whom some account 
will be given in another place, was once the owner of 
a farm at Whitestone, late the property of Epenetus 

Little Neck, upon the easterly side of the beautiful 
bay of the same name, is mostly in this town, and con- 
tains the valuable farm and superb mansion of the late 
Wynant Van Zandt, an eminent New York merchant, 
and many years alderman of the city. Since his death, 
it has been owned by George Douglass, Esq. 

Zion Church, at the head of the Neck was erected by 
Mr. Van Zandt in 1830, of which the Rev. Eli Wheeler 
was rector for several years, who married Miss Clarence 
Underhill, February 14, 18 15. Mr. Wheeler was rec- 
tor of the church in Shrewsbury, N. J., from 1824 to 
1830, when he returned here, but removed in 1841, 
became rector of the Episcopal Church at Waterloo, 
N. Y., and was succeeded by the Rev. Henry M. Bease 
in May, 1842. He married Charlotte E., daughter of 
Payson P. Grosvenor, June 8, 1842, and was called to 


the rectorship of St. Thomas' Church, Brooklyn, in 
June, 1846. He was succeeded in the month of July, 
by the Rev. Marshall Whiting, former rector at As- 
toria, L. I. Mr. Bease was, however, recalled in June, 
1848, and was again made rector. 

Ireland, so called, and formerly owned by the Willet 
family, is a valuable tract of land, having upon its west 
side some thousand acres of salt meadow, and on the 
east a creek, by which it is nearly insulated. Here is 
the former residence of Lieutenant Governor Colden,* 

* Cadwallader D. Colden, the only son of David Colden, was born 
at Spring Hill in Flushing, April 4, 1769; and received the first part 
of his education at a school in the town of Jamaica. In the spring of 
1784. he accompanied his father to England, where he attended a 
classical school near London till the close of 1785, when he returned 
to New York, and entered upon the study of the law in the office of 
the late Richard Harrison, one of the most eminent barristers of New 
York. He completed it with Mr. Van Schaick of Kinderhook, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1791. He practised his profession at Pough- 
keepsie till 1796, when he removed to New York, where he was soon 
after made district attorney, and laid the foundation of his future fame. 
On the 8th of April, 1793, he married Maria, daughter of the Right 
Rev. Samuel Provoost, bishop of the diocese of New York. In 1803 he 
visited France and Switzerland for his health, and returned at the end 
of 1804. For a young man at that time to attain distinction at the bar, 
with such competitors as the elder Jones, Harrison, Hamilton, and Liv- 
ingston, was no easy task. Mr. Colden made the effort, and by dint 
of talent and discipline succeeded. In a few years he stood, as a com- 
mercial lawyer, at the head of his profession; and in the other branches, 
among the first. In 1812 he commanded a regiment of volunteers, and 
was very active in assisting to raise fortifications for the defence of 
the city. In 1818 he was elected to the assembly, and in the same year 
was appointed mayor of New York, at a period when the mayor presided 
in the court of sessions. In 1822 he was chosen a representative in 
Congress, and proved a useful and distinguished member of that body. 
In 1824 he was elected to the senate of this state, which post he held 
for three years. The most untiring industry and patient research were 
peculiar traits in his professional character, and marked his proceedings 
in everything he undertook. He was among the earliest and most 
efficient promoters, in connection with De Witt Clinton, of the system 
of internal improvement, now the pride and boast of our state. At the 
completion of that splendid and herculean project, the Erie Canal, he 


which he called Spring Hill, and where it is supposed 
his body and that of his wife repose. Its late owner, 
the Hon. Benjamin W. Strong, once first judge of the 
county, died here September 12, 1847, aged sixty-six, 
a gentleman of much intelligence and great private 

In the north-western part of the town adjoining the 
bay and extending to the Sound at College Point, is 
another fine tract of land, formerly known as Tew's 
Neck, Lawrence's Neck, and Willet's Neck. It con- 
tains about 700 acres, and is separated from the land 
on the east by 100 acres of salt meadow. 

"On January 1, 1898, the town of Flushing became 

part of the Borough of Queens, city of New York, and 

the form of town government was abolished." 


composed and published the well known memoir upon the subject. He 
wrote also the life of Robert Fulton, the successful promoter of steam 
navigation, and one of the greatest benefactors of mankind. Mr. Colden 
died, universally esteemed and lamented, at his residence in Jersey City, 
on the 7th of February, 1834. He was, in every sense of the word, a 
great man, and one of whose nativity the people of Long Island may 
well be proud. 


Embraces the north-western part of Queens County, 
and is centrally distant from the city of New York 
about seven miles. It is bounded north by the middle 
of the East River, east by Flushing, south by Jamaica, 
and west by Kings County; including the islands in the 
Sound, called the North and South Brothers, Riker's 
(once Hewlett's) Island, and Berrien's Island, Luyster's 
Island, and Yonker's Island. 

The eastern portion of the town was known to the 
natives by the name of JVandowenock, while the western 
was called Mispat, or Maspeth, the latter being probably 
the appellation applied to a family or tribe of Indians 
residing about the head of the creek now called the 
" English Kills." * 

The first white inhabitants were enterprising English 
emigrants, who came here by the way of New England, 
and settled under the Dutch Government, by whom they 
were promised and allowed many of the privileges and 
advantages of an independent political community, the 
enjoyment of religion, and the choice of their own 
magistrates, subject only to the approbation of the 

The first patent for lands in this town is that embrac- 
ing the western part including the territory about Mas- 
peth or Mespath, from Governor Kieft to Francis 

1 Now Newtown Creek. — Editor. 



Doughty and others, translated from the Dutch records 
by Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, author of The History of 
New Netherland, from which we have copied the fol- 
lowing : 

" We, Willem Kieft, Director-general, and council 
of New Netherland, for and in behalf of the High and 
Mighty Lords, the Lords States General of the United 
Netherland Provinces, his Higness the Prince of Orange, 
as well as the Most Noble Lords the Lords Directors of 
the General Privileged West India Company, To all those 
who shall see these Letters, make known, that We have 
given and granted, as by these Presents We do give and 
grant, unto Francis Doughty and associates, their heirs 
and assigns, in real, actual, and perpetual possession, all 
and every that certain parcel of land situate on Long 
Island, in this Province, with the pastures and whatever 
else it includes, containing in superficies six thousand six 
hundred and sixty-six Dutch acres, or thereabouts, com- 
prehended within four right lines, each two thousand 
Dutch perches long, the first whereof extends from the 
east angle of Hans Hansson's meadow, dividing, accord- 
ing to the creek, the marsh into two unequal parts, unto 
the plantation of Richard Britnal, and thence proceeds 
towards the northeast, passing through the middle of the 
fresh marsh to the rivulet surrounding the south part of 
the lands of Henry the Farmer, [Henrici Agricolae,] and 
following the same even to its mouth : the other line, 
taking its origin from thence, bends towards the southeast 
according to the main bank, going along the same unto 
the other creek, [fluviolum,] following the course of 
which from its mouth until it attains the eastern extremity 
of the said marsh, (from whence the aforesaid creek 
arises,) thence turns again towards the southeast, until 
it has gained the length of two thousand Dutch perches; 


the third line taking its rise from the end of the latter, 
tends towards the west, of an equal length with the 
others; finally, the fourth running from the last-men- 
tioned point towards the northwest, terminates at the 
above-mentioned eastern angle of Hans Hansson's 
meadow, at which angle a large stone is erected for the 
greater certainty of the boundaries; 

" With power to establish, in the aforesaid tract, a 
town or towns ; to erect a church or churches ; to exercise 
the Reformed Christian Religion and church discipline, 
which they profess; also, to administer, of right, high, 
low, and middle jurisdiction; to decide civil suits not 
exceeding fifty Dutch florins; to impose definitively and 
without appeal in criminal matters, fines to an equal 
amount; to pronounce the first sentence in other civil 
and criminal actions of greater moment, and to execute 
the same, subject, however, to such execution being de- 
ferred, should an appeal be made to the supreme court 
of New Netherlands: Finally, to exercise all rights be- 
longing to the aforesaid jurisdiction, with power, more- 
over, to nominate some of theirs, and to present them to 
the Director of New Netherland, that a sufficient number 
may be chosen from them for political and juridical gov- 
ernment: together with the right of hunting, fowling, 
fishing, and of trading, according to the immunities 
granted, and to be granted, to the colonists of this prov- 
ince, without any exception : — 

11 Wherefore the aforesaid F. Doughty and his asso- 
ciates, their heirs and assigns, shall be obligated, so long 
as they are in possession of the above-mentioned lands, 
to acknowledge the aforesaid lords for their sovereign 
Lords and Patroons; to pay, after the lapse of ten 
years, the tenth part of the produce of the land, whether 
cultivated with the plough, hoe, or otherwise, orchards 
and kitchen-gardens, not exceeding one Dutch acre, ex- 
cepted. Finally, to use no other standard than that of 


Holland; and so as to avoid confusion, to use Dutch 
weights, the Dutch ell and all other Dutch measures. 

" All which we promise, under the foregoing con- 
ditions inviolably to preserve, and bind our successors 
to the faithful observance of the same, by virtue of the 
commission and supreme authority granted us by the 
Most Mighty Prince of Orange, governor of the United 
Belgic Provinces. In testimony whereof, we have sub- 
scribed these presents with our hand, and caused them 
to be countersigned by the Secretary of New Nether- 
land, and the seal of New Netherland, to be affixed 
thereto. Given at Fort Amsterdam, on the island of 
Manhattans, in New Netherland, in the year 1642, the 
28th of March. By order of the Director and Council. 
" Cornelis Van Tienhoven, Secy. 
William Kieft." 

This Mr. Doughty who was in New England in 1642, 
came to Long Island during the same year and, although 
at first an Episcopalian minister, finally turned Quaker. 
Nothing was probably done by him or his associates 
immediately under the above grant, and there is rea- 
son to believe that for some reason or other, no 
advantage was ever obtained from it. Van der Donck, 
who married his daughter, says the lands were subse- 
quently confiscated, and Doughty, if he settled there, left 
the place in a short time with his associates. He un- 
doubtedly officiated as a minister in the town, as well as 
at the Manhattans, with a salary for some time at the 
rate of 600 guilders a year. He was in straitened cir- 
cumstances, and therefore hindered the process of set- 
tling on the lands for which a charter had been given, 
by exacting from every comer a sum of money down for 
every morgan, and a certain amount annually also, by 


way of quit-rent, thus materially, if not effectually, 
counteracting the interests of those connected with him 
in the grant. He finally took up his residence in Flush- 
ing, but left for Virginia in 1648. 

The first permanent settlement in this town after that of 
Maspeth, was begun in 1652, and was called the " New- 
town," by way of distinction from the grant to Doughty 
and his associates, although the general and legal appel- 
lation was Middleburgh. As was customary within the 
Dutch jurisdiction, the settlement was effected without 
any conveyance from the aborigines. The inhabitants at 
this time adopted the practice, which was usual in some 
of the New England towns, of electing certain officers, 
designated " townsmen" whose prerogative it was to 
superintend the more important interests of the town, 
and to adopt such prudential measures as the common 
good seemed to require, except as to the admission of 
new inhabitants and the division or allotment of lands, 
matters, it seems, which were only transacted in the 
primary assemblies of the people, called, as we have 
seen, the general court. Whether any preliminary title 
to the lands had been acquired by the Dutch Govern- 
ment from the Indians, is uncertain, although the most 
common sentiment of justice would, it should seem, have 
dictated a proceeding so entirely proper in all respects. 

A patent or ground brief was obtained from Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant in 1652, and another with more lib- 
eral provisions in 1655, both of which, with many other 
valuable papers essential to a knowledge of the early 
history of the town, were it is generally believed lost, 
taken away, or destroyed in the Revolution, the com- 
manding officer of a British regiment having established 
his headquarters here, and his soldiers being in full pos- 



session of the town for several years. The names of 
those who were residents, and probably freeholders of 
the town in 1686, are as follows: 

Thomas Stephenson 
Gershom Moore 
Jonathan Hazard 
Daniel Bloomfield 
Caleb Leverich 
Joseph Sackett 
Robert Field 
Thomas Pettit 
John Gray 
Robert Field, jun. 
John Smith 
Josiah Furman 
George Wood 
Nathan Fish 
Edward Hunt 
Jeremiah Burroughs 
Richard Betts 
Thomas Betts 
John Alburtis 
James Way 
Cornelis Jansen 
Jacob Reeder 
John Morrell 
Elias Doughty 
Thomas Lawrence 
William Lawrence 
William Hallett, jun. 

William Hallett 
Samuel Hallett 
Hcndrick Martensen 
Robert Blackwell 
John Pearsall 
Joris Stevensen 
Thomas Skillman 
John Johnson 
Richard Alsop 
John Denman 
Henry Mayle 
John Reed 
Joseph Phillips 
Francis Way 
John Wilson 
Moses Pettit 
John Furman 
Samuel Ketcham 
John Ramsden 
Rynier Willemsen 
John Harrison 
John Coe 
Joseph Burroughs 
William Osborn 
Thomas Robertson 
Benjamin Cornish 
Francis Combs 

Content Titus 
Lambert Woodward 
Joseph Reeder 
Jeremiah Reeder 
Nathaniel Woodward 
John Bull 
John Wood 
Thomas Morrell 
Theophilus Phillips 
Roeloff Petersen 
Benjamin Severens 
Jacob Leonardsen 
Luke Depaw 
Nathaniel Pettit 
James Hayes 
Richard Owen 
Peter Bockhout 
John Allen 
John Rosell 
Engeltie Burger 
Stephen Jorissen 
John Lawrence 
Thomas Wandell 
John Kirtshaw 
Jonathan Strickland 
Gershom Hazard 
Henry Sawtell 

The settlement was begun on the site of the present 
village of Newtown, where the first straw-roof tene- 
ments were erected. In 1656 it was projected by a few 
individuals to lay out a village or town, as it was called, 
nearer to the water, and accordingly a place was selected 
at the head of Mispat Creek, which was distinguished 
by the name of Arnham, and the surveyor-general was 
ordered by the governor " to measure and lay off the 
lots and streets for building upon." 

The design was, however, for some reason, never car- 


ried into full execution, yet a few Englishmen, some of 
whom were Quakers, took up their residence there, by 
reason of which its first name fell into disuse and that 
of the English Kills 1 prevailed, to distinguish it from 
another settlement on the opposite side of the fly or 
creek made by the Dutch, which had obtained the appella- 
tion of the Dutch Kills. The Quakers before mentioned 
remained several years, and built a small meeting-house, 
which was standing not long since, although few persons 
of this denomination are now residents of the town. 

Middleburgh was the name afterwards conferred upon 
the plantation by the Dutch, many of whom settled 
within the limits of the present town about the year 
1654. It was so called probably after a town of that 
name in the Netherlands, adjoining Flushing,, and con- 
tinued to be so named in all the records and convey- 
ances, to the time of the conquest in 1664. The rec- 
ords of the town which now exist, are chiefly occupied 
with details of trials before the town courts, and among 
them actions of slander and defamation hold a con- 
spicuous place. 

The following is a sample of others which might be 
quoted from these ancient chronicles : 

"Middleburgh, Aug. 21, 165Q. At a cort held by 
the magestrates of the place aforesaid, John fforman, 
plaintive, enters an action against francis Doughty, de- 
fen*, an action of slander. John fforman declared that 
ffrancis Doughty charged him, that he had stolen his 
choes, and therefore he was satisfied which way his 
things went. The cort finds for the defen*, too guilders 
for attendance and the charge of the cort, to be payd by 

1 Now Newtown Creek. — Editor. 


John fforman, because he doth not support his charge 
that he layd against the defenV 

Concerning a patent the following particulars are 

"At a general town meeting, held October 6, 1666, 
voted that Thomas Lawrence, Ralph Hunt, and Jo. Bur- 
rows shall be employed to get a draft of the bounds of 
the town, and get a pattin for the same ; also the town 
people to bear the charge according to their several pro- 

Upon this application a patent was issued by Gov- 
ernor Nicoll, March 6, 1667, in which was granted and 
assured unto : 

11 Capt. Richard Betts, Capt. Thomas Lawrence, 
Capt. John Coe, John Burroughs, Ralph Hunt, Daniel 
Whitehead, and Burger Joost, as patentees for and on 
behalf of themselves and their associates, the freehold- 
ers and inhabitants of Newtown, their heirs, successors, 
and assigns, as follows : 

" ' All that the said tract of land herein menconed to 
have been purchased from the Indian natives, bounded 
on the east by Flushing Creek and a line to be drawne 
from the head thereof due south, extending to the south 
side of the hills; on the north by the Sound; on the west 
by the Maspeth Creeke or Kill, and a line to be drawne 
from the head thereof due south, extending to the south 
side of the hills; and on the south by a straight line to 
be drawne from the south points of the said west line, 
alongst the south side of the said hills, it meets with 
the said east line soe menconed, to extend from the head 


of Flushing Creeke as aforesaid; as also all that one 
third part of a certaine neck of meadow called Cellars- 
Neck, scituate, lying, and being within the bounds of 
Jamaica, upon the south side of Long Island; as also 
liberty to cut what timber within the bounds of Jamaica 
aforesaid they should have occasion for, for the fencing 
the said neck, and to make and lay out to themselves 
what highway or highways they should think fit, for 
their free and convenient egresse and regresse to and 
from the aforesaid neck or parcell of meadow. And 
that the said patentees, their associates, heyres, succes- 
sors, and assigns shall enjoy all the privileges belonging 
to any town within this government; and that the place 
of their habitation shall continue and retaine the name 
of Newton, and so be distinguished and known in all 
bargains, sailes, deeds, records, and writings.' " 

This patent evidently includes Hell-Gate Neck, so 
called, Maspeth, Middleburgh, the Poor Bowery and 
out plantations appertaining to what is now called New- 

A difficulty after arose about the division of the lands 
or some of them included in this patent and a petition 
was presented to Lord Cornbury in May, 1703, signed 
by twenty-three of the freeholders for some relief, because 
they said they had not been allowed a voice in the dis- 
posal of the town lands, which from their patent they 
had expected to enjoy, and prayed an investigation. The 
matter was by his excellency referred to three members 
of the council by an order of the 13th of January, 1704, 
who on the 3d of February reported that they had in- 
spected the books and papers of the town, and examined 
a report on the same subject made by Rip Van Dam, 
Gerard Beekman, and Caleb Heathcote, Esqs., members 


of the council, and also the allegations of the petitioners 
and their opponents, and found that previous to the 
patent of Nicoll, a society of people had purchased and 
did occupy a parcel of land called and known as Middle- 
burgh, which was confirmed by said patent, and to which 
was adjoined certain out plantations and made them all 
one township without any distinct reservation of said 
purchase to the purchasers themselves; and that the 
patent of Governor Dongan of November 25, 1686, 
makes the whole one town, but reserved to the original 
purchasers their distinct right to the said lands and to 
their heirs only; since which time the patentees had 
acted according thereto, without complaint until the ex- 
hibition of the said petition. Signed by Broughton, 
Wenham, and Ling. Whereupon the petition aforesaid 
was by the governor and council rejected. 

Dec. 13, 1670. — "At a town meeting, voated that if 
Mr. Leverich shall continue in this town to preach the 
word of God, a rate of £40 shall be made for the build- 
ing of a meeting-house, one-half to be payd in corn and 
the other half in cattle." 

"At a cort, held May 6, 1674, the order of the cort 
is, that Thomas Case shall not entertayne William 
Smith's wife, unknowne to her husband, as he will an- 
swer for the contrary at his peril." 

"Feb. 28, 1683-4, voated that Mr. Morgan Jones 
be schoolmaster of our town, to teach on the Sabbath 
days those that will come, allowing for him exercising 
on that day what any one pleases." 

Of this person we find the following entry made upon 
the records by himself: 


" Whereas I, Morgan Jones, have officiated for some 
time as a minister in Newtown without any agreement 
for a salary, upon the promise of some particular per- 
sons of the town, to allow me some small recompense 
of their own accord, I do hereby acquit and discharge 
the town of all salary, moneys, goods, or wares, which 
I might claim. Aug. 28, 1686, Morgan Jones." 

"At a cort, held April 4th, 1688, Ann Cleven did, 
in presents of the cort, own that she had spoken several 
tymes scandalous and reproachful speaches against Will- 
iam Francis, touching his good name ; she doth now con- 
fess her fault, and says she had done the said William 
wrong, and is sorry she spoke such words against him; 
and hopes, for the time to come, she shall be more 
careful. She owns that she charged the plaintive with 
cheating her of a pound of flax, and told the people to 
take notice he had stole her yarn." 

"On the 29th July, 1688, voated that Edward Ste- 
phenson and Joseph Sacket shall appear at the supream 
cort, held at Flatlands, to defend the town's right; and 
that they have full power to employ an atturney if they 
shall see fit, and what they do, we will ratify and con- 

"June 11, 1689, it was voated and agreed that Capt. 
Richard Betts and Lieut. Samuel Moore go to the county- 
town to meet the deputys of other towns, to vote for 
too men out of the county to go to Yorke to act with 
the rest in the counsil as a committe of safety." 

11 These may certify all whom it may concern, that I, 
ffrancis Combs, being accused for speaking scandalous 
words and speeches, tending to the deffamacon of 
Marget, the wife of John fforman of Newtown; I doe 
publicly declare that I am hertily sorry that the said 
Marget is any wise by me defamed, not knowing any 
thing against her name, fame, or reputacon; but that 
she lives honestly and grately with her neighbors, and 


all other their Magesty's subjects. As witness my hand, 
October 2, 1691, ffrancis Combs." 

11 July 14, 1694, voted at town meeting, that the town 
will make a rate toward repairing the meeting-house 
and the town-house; also, for paying the messenger's 
expense, that is sent for a minister, and for making a 
pair of stocks." 

On the 25th of November, 1686, a new patent was 
granted by Governor Dongan, which, after reciting the 
date of previous patents, and the boundaries of the town 
as before mentioned, states that the freeholders and 
inhabitants had made application to him by William 
Lawrence, Joseph Sackett, John Way, and Content Titus, 
persons deputed by them for a more full and ample con- 
firmation of the tract or parcel of land contained in the 
patent of 1666 from Governor Nicoll; therefore he, the 
said Thomas Dongan, doth ratify, confirm, and grant all 
the said land and premises, with the houses, messuages, 
tenements, fencings, buildings, gardens, orchards, trees, 
woods, underwoods, pastures, feedings, common of pas- 
tures, meadows, marshes, lakes, ponds, creeks, harbors, 
rivers, rivulets, brooks, streams, easements, and high- 
ways, together with the islands, mines, minerals (royal 
mines only excepted), fishing, hawking, hunting, and 
fowling, in free and common soccage, according to 
the tenure of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, 
in his Majesty's kingdom of England (yielding and 
paying on the five and twentieth day of March, yearly 
forever, the chiefe or quit-rent of three pounds four 
shillings), unto the following named persons, then 
being the freeholders and inhabitants of the town, to 



Richard Betts 
Thomas Stephenson 
Gershom Moore 
Jonathan Hazard 
Samuel Moore 
Daniel Bloomfield 
Caleb Leverich 
Edward Stevenson 
Joseph Sackett 
Samuel Scudder 
Robert Field, sen. 
Thomas Wandell 
John Ketcham 
Thomas Pettit 
John Woolstoncrafts 
Johannes Lourensse 
John Rosell 
Joseph Reeder 
Roeloff Peterson 
Jacob Leonardsen Van 

De Grift 
Stoffell Van Laer 
Abraham Rycke 
Francis Combs 
Thomas Etherington 
Jeremiah Reeder 
John Way 
Robert Field, jun. 
Jonathan Strickland 
John Smyth 
Josias Furman, sen. 
George Wood 
Nathan Fish 
Edward Hunt 
Jeremiah Burroughs 
Thomas Betts 

John Scudder, jun. 
Jonathan Stevenson 
Thomas Case 
John Alburtis 
James Way 
John Johnson 
Richard Alsop 
Hendrick Barent Smith 
John Reeder 
Benjamin Severens 
Luke Depaw 
Nathaniel Pettit 
Samuel Ketcham 
Jan Harcksen 
Isaac Gray 
Content Titus 
John Fish 
Cornelis Jansen 
Abraham Joris 
John Coe 
Samuel Fish 
Joseph Burroughs 
Thomas Robinson 
James Hays 
Jacob Reeder 
Joseph Reed 
John Reed 
Wouter Gysbertsen 
John Pettit 
Thomas Morell 
John Roberts 
Isaac Swinton 
Elias Doughty 
Jane Rider 
John Allene 
Hen. Mayle, sen. 

Joseph Phillips 
Gershom Hazard 
Francis Way 
Moses Pettit 
John Ramsden 
Phillip Ketcham 
Josias Furman, jun. 
Lambert Woodward 
John Moore 
Thomas Lawrence 
William Lawrence 
John Lawrence 
William Hallett, sen. 
William Hallett, jun. 
Samuel Hallett 
Hendrick Martensen 
Robert Blackwell 
John Parcell 
William Parcell 
Joris Stevensen 
Thomas Parcell 
Stephen Jorissen 
John Bockhout 
Engeltie Burger 
Thomas Skillman 
Peter Bockhout 
John Denman 
Henry Mayle, jun. 
Theophilus Phillips 
Anthony Gleane 
John Willson 
John Furman 
Rynier Willemsen 
Benjamin Cornish 
Henry Sawtell 
Thomas Morrell, jun. 

The first church edifice of which anything is known, 
was built by the Independents in 1671, nearly upon the 
site of the present village church, but there is good rea- 
son for believing that a place of worship existed in which 
the Rev. Francis Doughty preached, and before the em- 
ployment of the Rev. John Moore, who was here soon 
after the settlement of the town, and continued till his 


death. He preached occasionally at Hempstead. He 
had sons Gershom, Samuel, Joseph, and John, who with 
his brother-in-law, Content Titus, came to an agreement 
concerning the property of their father, June 16, 1688. 
In 1 66 1 the people petitioned the governor and council to 
aid them in procuring another minister in the place of Mr. 
Moore, " fearing that some of the inhabitants may be led 
away by the intrusion of Quakers and other heretics." It 
is, therefore, highly probable that a minister was fur- 
nished from New Amsterdam, who supplied the vacancy 
till the arrival of the Rev. William Leverich in 1670, 
from Huntington, where he was settled in 1658. He 
was the first ordained minister that preached within the 
limits of New Hampshire, having settled at Dover in 
1633, from whence he went to Sandwich, on Cape Cod, 
and continued several years, and was employed after- 
wards in instructing the Indians in various places. He 
remained here till his death in 1677. He was an uncom- 
monly intelligent, learned, and useful man, well versed 
in public business, and remarkable for his energy and 

In the oldest volume of the town records that has 
been preserved, are about 100 pages which purport to be 
a sort of running commentary upon the Old Testament, 
but in an abbreviated form and in the hand-writing of 
Mr. Leverich — a signal proof of his learning, patience, 
and industry. He left two sons, Caleb and Eleazer.f 

Rev. Morgan Jones was the next pastor after Mr. 
Leverich, and served during 1680 and again from Feb- 
ruary, 1684 to April, 1686. He finally removed to 

* It is said that his son was killed in the expedition under General 
Abercrombie, at Sabbath Day Point on Lake George in 1756. 

f Samuel Leverich and several others were frozen to death in 
Jamaica Bay, January, 1754. 


Westchester and settled in the church at East Chester, 
where he probably died. 

Rev. John Morse was a descendant of Edward, who 
was among the first settlers of Windsor, Conn. He was 
born March 31, 1674, came from the neighborhood of 
Braintree, and was a son of Ezra Morse, an early set- 
tler of Dedham. He graduated at Harvard in 1692 
and came here 1695, and remained till his death in 1700. 
Whether he was buried here is not known, most of the 
grave stones having been destroyed in the Revolution 
by the troops of the enemy stationed at this place. That 
he left no issue is probable, for by his will of October 
16, 1700, he gives his estate to his youngest brother, 
Seth Morse of Dedham, who removed hither where he 
died and left issue. 

Rev. Robert Breck served as supply for two or three 
years after Mr. Morse's death and was followed by 
Rev. Samuel Pomeroy, son of Joseph and grandson of 
Medad, who was born at Northampton, Mass., Septem- 
ber 16, 1687, graduated at Yale 1705, settled here in 
1708, where he ended his days June 30, 1744, aged fifty- 
six. He married Lydia Taylor July 20, 1707, who died 
February 3, 1722, and February 10, 1725, he married 
Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Webb of Fair- 
field, Conn., who died November 12, 1768. He was 
an excellent scholar and prepared a number of youths 
for college. Of his children, Catherine, born May 4, 
1708, married Jacob Riker May 25, 1729; Abigail, 
born July 8, 17 10, married Jonathan Hazard Febru- 
ary 13, 1740; Noah, born November 20, 17 12, died 
August 5, 1714; Lemuel, born May 23, 1716, died in the 
West Indies, October 11, 1737; and Elizabeth, born 
November 16, 17 17, married Phillip Edsall, December 


n, 1734. His will bears date July 29, 1740, in which 
he bequeaths £10 to the use of the church. His 
mother's maiden name was Chauncey, and that of his 
grandmother, Lyman. Benjamin, son of his brother 
Ebenezer, born July 8, 1705, graduated at Yale, 1733, 
and was ordained at Hebron, 1735, where he died, 
December 21, 1784. The said Catherine Riker had issue 
Lydia, who married a Sheldon; Catherine, who married 
Dennis Caudy; and Elizabeth, who married George Col- 
lins. During Mr. Pomeroy's term the church became 
Presbyterian and ruling elders were appointed. Rev. 
George MacNish supplied the pulpit for about two years 
immediately following Mr. Pomeroy's death. 

Rev. Simon Horton was born March 30, 171 1, 
graduated at Yale, 1731, settled in East Jersey in 1735, 
and came here in 1746, where he continued as pastor 
for twenty-five years, and finally died at the age of 
seventy-five, May 8, 1786. It is shown by the records 
of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, that 
in 1738, the Presbytery of Long Island was united with 
that of East Jersey, and he probably in that way became 
acquainted with the people here, which led to his re- 
moval. Abigail, his wife, died May 5, 1752, and Janu- 
ary 7, 1762, he married Elizabeth, daughter of John 
Fish of this town, who died January 13, 1767. His chil- 
dren were Abigail, Elizabeth, Mary, Grover, and 
Phebe (who married Benjamin Coe, November 14, 
1762, and had Abigail, wife of the Hon. James Burt of 
Orange County). Mr. Horton was so infirm for many 
years before his decease as to require assistance in the 
church, and the Rev. Andrew Bay, an Irishman, was 
engaged in 1773, who remained till 1776. Mr. Horton 
left issue Andrew, William, John, Sarah, and Elizabeth; 


but the names of Webb, Horton, and Pomeroy are not 
now found in the town. 

During the Revolution the church and town were in 
the hands of the enemy. After the peace, signed Sep- 
tember 3, 1783, Rev. James Lyons began his labors and 
served until the spring of 1785. He was followed in 
May of that year by Rev. Peter Fish, who served as 
supply until November, 1788. For six months of the 
year 1789, Rev. Elihu Palmer preached, but his efforts 
were unsatisfactory and his doctrines unsound. Soon 
after his removal from Newtown, he renounced the 
Presbyterian faith, preached against the divinity of Jesus 
Christ, and finally left the ministry entirely. 

Rev. Nathan Woodhull was the immediate successor 
of Mr. Palmer. Mr. Woodhull was the son of Captain 
Nathan Woodhull of Setauket, where he was born April 
28, 1756. He graduated at Yale 1775, was ordained at 
Huntington December 22, 1785, dismissed April 2, 1789, 
and installed in this church December 1, 1790, where he 
died at the age of fifty-three, March 13, 18 10. He mar- 
ried, March 16, 1775, Hannah, daughter of Stephen 
Jagger of Westhampton, who died aged sixty-one, Oc- 
tober 2, 1 8 19. Issue, Martha, Sophia, Hannah Maria, 
Sarah Strong, Eleanor Wells, Julia Ann, Ezra Conkling, 
all of whom are deceased. 

The character and qualifications of Mr. Woodhull as 
a preacher were of a high order, and perhaps no min- 
ister was ever more deservedly popular in the pulpit or 
among his fellow-citizens. His manners were bland and 
conciliatory, and his conversational powers quite un- 
common. Rev. Peter Fish returned again after Mr. 
Woodhull's death and preached for six months during 
1 8 10, until his death on November 12 of that year. 


Rev. William Boardman, born at Williamstown, 
Mass., October 12, 178 1, educated at the college there, 
ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Duanes- 
burgh, N. Y., 1803, was installed here October 31, 181 1, 
where he continued till his death, March 4, 18 18, at 
the age of thirty-six. His wife was Rachel, daughter 
of Abraham Bloodgood, Esq., of Albany, whom he mar- 
ried in 1804. She died October 17, 1844, without issue, 
aged fifty-eight. 

Rev. John Goldsmith, D.D., son of the Rev. Ben- 
jamin Goldsmith, for forty-six years pastor of the 
united parishes of Aquebogue and Mattituck, L. L, 
was born April 10, 1794, graduated at Princeton, 
1 8 15, and installed over this church November 17, 
1 8 19. He married Eleanor Wells, daughter of the Rev. 
Nathan Woodhull, March 20, 1820, who died on the 
17th of April, 1 82 1. January 20, 1825, he married 
Eliza, daughter of Aaron Furman of this town, who 
died September 2, 1834, aged thirty-six, and October 15, 
1835, he married Eliza Fish, daughter of the late 
Colonel Edward Leverich. 

"Dr. Goldsmith officiated until 1854, and has been 
succeeded by the following pastors: 

Rev. John P. Knox, L.L.D 1855 to 1882 

" Geo. H. Payson, D.D 1882 to 1889 

" Jacob E. Mailman 1890101895 

" Wm. H. Hendrickson 1896101906 

Interim six months. 

" David Yule 1907101910 

Interim six months. 

" George Haws Feltus ' 1911 to " 

— Editor. 

The church which had been erected in 1671, was 

1 List from 1855 kindly furnished by Rev. Mr. Feltus. — Editor. 


taken possession of by the enemy in 1776, converted 
into a prison and guard-house, and finally torn down; 
consequently the people were compelled to attend re- 
ligious services elsewhere, until the present church was 
finished in 1791, during the ministry of Mr. Woodhull, 
the Rev. Dr. Buell of Easthampton preaching the dedi- 
cation sermon. 

The Episcopal Church in this town was probably or- 
ganized soon after the introduction of missionaries of 
that denomination, by the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel. By the report in 1704, it appears there 
was a church or chapel at Newtown and a house for a 
minister, and the people were desirous of having a min- 
ister to themselves settled there, and would contribute 
largely to his maintenance. 

The same game was, however, acted here as at 
Jamaica, the Episcopal party being supported by the 
same power that prompted the outrages there, to the 
great annoyance of Mr. Pomeroy and his people.* 
April 19, 1733, the town gave to the Presbyterians a 

* Lord Cornbury, in his great zeal for the established church of Eng- 
land, took every opportunity to forward the interest of the churches of 
the same denomination here, and there is proof that he interfered with 
the dissenters in this town, as he did at Hempstead and Jamaica, in regard 
to their churches. The Rev. Mr. Vesey, in a letter to the parent society, 
October 5, 1704, says, " the parish of Jamaica consists of three towns, 
Jamaica, Newtown, and Flushing. In Newtown there is a church built, 
and lately repaired by a tax levied on the inhabitants. This church was 
formerly possessed by a dissenting minister, but he being gone, it is in 
possession of the present incumbent, (Mr. Urquhart,) by his Excellency's 
(Ld. Cornbury's) favor." The original proprietors afterwards got pos- 
session, but whether peaceably or by course of law, as at Jamaica, the 
records, which are very imperfect, do not inform us; but it is matter of 
historical notoriety that his Excellency forbade ministers to preach, even 
in the Dutch churches, without his license, and that he actually impris- 
oned the Rev. John Hampton in 1707 for preaching in this church con- 
trary to the ordinance he had established, as he did the Rev. Francis 
McKemie in New York. 


piece of ground for a burial place, and at the same time, 
to the Episcopalians twenty square rods of ground, for 
which a conveyance was executed by ninety freeholders. 
Upon this a church was erected in 1734, and a charter 
granted by Lieutenant Governor Colden, September 9, 
1 76 1, under the name and style of St. James Episcopal 
Church, in which James Hazard and Richard Alsop were 
appointed wardens, and Samuel Moore, Jacob Hallett, 
Richard Alsop, 4th, and William Sackett, 3d, vestrymen. 

The church edifice had been materially improved since 
it was built, and seemed yet good and substantial, but 
gave place to a new one commenced in the fall of 1847 
and consecrated 1848. 

This church, with those at Flushing and Jamaica, 
were associate churches, and considered as one parish, 
the same clergymen officiating alternately in each for a 
long series of years. 

11 These clergymen and the dates of their labors here 
are as follows: 

Rev. William Urquhart (founder of the church) .1704 to 1709 

" Thomas Poyer 1710101731 

" Thomas Colgan 1733 to 1755 

" Samuel Seabury 1757 to 1765 

" Joshua Bloomer 1769 to 1790 

" William Hammel 1790 to 1795 

" Henry Van Dyke 1797101803" 

— Editor. 

The Rev. Henry Van Dyke was, it is believed, the 
first rector whose services were confined exclusively to 
this church. He was settled here in 1797, and removed 
in 1803. 

Rev. Abraham L. Clarke graduated at Yale in 1785; 
and settled here in 1803, where he died December 31, 


1810. The vacancy was supplied by the Rev. (now Dr.) 
William Wyatt. He graduated at Columbia College 
in 1809, and settled in this parish in 18 12, but was 
soon after called to the rectorship of St. Paul's Church, 
Baltimore, and ranks among the ablest divines of the 
monumental city. 

Rev. Evan M. Johnson, a native of Rhode Island, 
and a graduate of Brown University in 1812, settled 
here in 18 14, and remained till 1827, when he removed 
to St. John's Church, Brooklyn, which he caused to be 
erected, and of which he was rector till 1847. His wife 
was a daughter of the Rev. John B. Johnson, who died 
in 1823. 

Rev. George A. She J ton is the son of the Rev. Philo 
Shelton, who died rector of Trinity Church, Fairfield, 
Conn., February 27, 1825, where his son was born in 
1800. He graduated at Yale 1820, settled here in 1827, 
and married Frances L., daughter of Jacob Bartow of 
Astoria, L. I., in November, 1833. 

11 Mr. Shelton officiated until 1863, and has been suc- 
ceeded by the following clergymen : 

Rev. N. W. Taylor Root 1864 to 1868 

" Samuel Cox, D.D 1868 to 1888 

" W. Hudson Burr 1888 to 1889 

" Edward Mansfield McGuffy came in 1890 
and up to date has served for twenty-six 

— Editor. 

A Reformed Dutch church has existed here from a 
remote period, although the records which have been 
preserved do not extend back beyond the year 1731. 
The society was organized in 1704, and for many years 
formed a collegiate church with those of Queens County; 


it was associated with the church at Jamaica, and the 
respective ministers alternated with each other at both 
places till 1849. The first church edifice of which we 
have an account, was erected by voluntary donations 
from the Dutch inhabitants of the colony in 1732, and 
stood ninety-nine years, when the corner stone of the 
present church was laid November 16, 183 1. The church 
was completed and dedicated the year following. 
11 Dominie " Van Basten was the first preacher and he 
officiated during part of 1739 and 1740. He was fol- 
lowed by Rev. Johannes Henricus Goetschius in 1741, 
who left about 1747. For several years after Mr. Goet- 
schius' departure, Rev. Henry Boel occasionally preached. 
Rev. Thomas Romeyn served from 1754 until 1760, when 
he removed to Minisink on the Delaware River. He was 
followed by Rev. Hermanus L. Boelen in 1766, who re- 
mained until 1772. After Mr. Boelen's departure, sev- 
eral pastors officiated occasionally, namely Messrs. 
Rubel, Van Sinderen, De Ronde, and Livingston. In 
1775 the services of Rev. Samuel Froeligh were obtained. 
At the outbreak of the Revolution, Mr. Froeligh was 
forced to flee and during the war services were greatly 
interrupted and various pastors preached where the op- 
portunity offered. After the conflict Rev. Rynier Van 
Nest was called in 1785, and continued to 1797, when 
he removed to Schoharie, N. Y. In 1794 Rev. Zachariah 
H. Kuypers became a co-laborer in the churches of 
Queens County, and after Mr. Van Nest's removal, offi- 
ciated at Newtown until 1802. He was followed in 
1802 by Rev. Dr. Jacob Schoonmaker. On January 1, 
1835, R ev - Garret J. Garretson was obtained as co- 
laborer with Dr. Schoonmaker. He is the son of John 
Garretson of Hillsborough, N. J., where he was born 


June 29, 1808; graduated at Rutgers College, 1829, 
where he studied divinity with Dr. Phillip Milledoller, 
and settled as first pastor of the Dutch Church at 
Stuyvesant, Columbia County, N. Y. in 1830, whence 
he came here in 1835, as colleague pastor with the Rev. 
Dr. Schoonmaker. His first wife was Ellen Van Liew. 
He married in 1839 Catherine, daughter of Daniel 

" He removed in June, 1849. Dr. Schoonmaker re- 
signed in October, 1849. During his pastorate New- 
town and Jamaica became a separate parish as dis- 
tinguished from the other churches in the county and 
finally Newtown alone became a parish, which was the 
occasion of Dr. Schoonmaker's resignation and with- 
drawal to Jamaica. On December 12, 1849, ^ ev * Thomas 
C. Strong was installed, who served until January 23, 
1859. He was succeeded by the following pastors: 

Rev. William Anderson October 2, 1859, to 1866 

" Charles I. Shepard, D.D., 

April 14, 1867, to September, 1891 
" Howard W. Ennis, 

November 10, 1892, to February, 1894 
" Charles Knapp Clearwater, D.D., 1 

November 14, 1894, to date." 

— Editor. 

There are also in the village a Baptist and a Methodist 
meeting-house, the former having been erected several 
years ago and the latter in 1840. 

The late Right Rev. Benjamin Moore, bishop of the 
diocese of New York, was the son of Samuel Moore, 
a respectable citizen of this town. He was born here 
October 5, 1748, and graduated at Kings (now Colum- 
bia) College in 1768. He began, soon after, to read 

1 List of pastors since 1894 has been kindly furnished by Dr. Clear- 
water. — Editor. 


theology, under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Auchmuty, 
rector of Trinity Church, and was engaged a few years 
in teaching Latin and Greek to the sons of several gen- 
tlemen in the city of New York. He went to England 
in May, 1774, was ordained deacon June 24th, and 
priest June 29th of the same year, by the Right Rev. 
Richard Terrick, bishop of London. On his return, he 
officiated in Trinity Church and its chapels, and was ap- 
pointed, with the Rev. Mr. Bowden, an assistant min- 
ister of Trinity Church, of which Dr. Auchmuty was 
rector. The church edifice was consumed by fire in 
1776, and was not rebuilt till 1788. In 1775 he was 
chosen, pro tempore, president of Kings College, in the 
absence of Dr. Cooper, but the institution was closed 
during the Revolutionary War, although Mr. Moore, it 
is believed, during this period remained in the city. In 
1784 he was appointed professor of rhetoric and logic 
in Columbia College, which office he sustained three 
years. In 1789 he was again assistant minister of Trinity 
Church, and the same year was created S.T.D. In 1800 
he became rector and was elected bishop of the diocese 
September 5, 1801, as the successor of the Right Rev. 
Samuel Provoost, and the same year was elected to the 
presidency of the college, which he held till 181 1, when 
he was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel Harris, S.T.D. 
He was unable, from bodily infirmity, to discharge the 
duties of the pastoral office for some years before his 
death, which occurred in February, 18 16, and was as- 
sisted by the Rev. John Henry Hobart, who succeeded to 
the prelacy on his decease. 

Dr. Moore was a man of distinguished ability, and 
rose to public confidence and respect and to general 
esteem, solely by the force of natural talents and great 


private worth. His acquirements in Greek were not so 
extensive as in Latin, which he wrote and spoke with 
great facility, possessing at the same time a keen relish 
for the beauties of the best authors in that language. 
The refined taste which was exhibited in all his writings 
was imbibed at the pure classic fount. 

His wife was Charity, daughter of Clement Clark 
of New York (a man of wealth and respectability), 
whom he married April 20, 1778. His son Clement C. 
Moore, has long been professor of Oriental and Greek 
literature in the seminary of the Episcopal Church, and 
the ground upon which it is built was a gift from him. 

The following tragical occurrence is related in an old 
newspaper of 1708: 

" On the 22d Dec. last, Mr. William Hallett of 
Newtown, L. L, his wife and five children, were all in- 
humanly murdered by an Indian man and Negro woman, 
their own slaves. They were apprehended and con- 
fessing the fact, they were all executed Feb. 10, 1708, 
at Jamaica, and were put to all manner of torment 
possible, for a terror to others. On Saturday following 
two other men were executed at Jamaica, as accessories, 
and several more are now in custody on suspicion." 
The man was hanged and the woman burnt. 

In the winter of 17 18, negro Sam and his wife mur- 
dered the Rapelye family, father, mother, and three 
sons. And so quick did punishment follow the crime, 
that he was hanged and she burned before the family 
were buried. The house of Colonel Hallett, near Hell 
Gate, was burned in March, 1770, loss over £1,600. 
Richard Hallett was killed in felling a tree, May 16, 



Maspeth or Mispat, before mentioned, at the head of 
Newtown Creek or English Kills, is very pleasantly 
located, and from it fine roads extend to Brooklyn, 
Williamsburgh, Jamaica, and Flushing. Here was the 
country seat of his late excellency De Witt Clinton, sub- 
sequently the residence of David S. Jones, Esq., whose 
wife was the only surviving daughter of Mr. Clinton, 
and was born here February 8, 1809. The first Metho- 
dist meeting-house upon the island was probably erected 
a short distance from here in 1765, but has since been 
converted into a dwelling, and a new one built some dis- 
tance from it in 1836. A Quaker meeting-house was 
built here at a very early period, and is still standing, 
though it has scarcely been occupied once in fifty years, 
most of that society having died or removed to other 
places. A monthly meeting of Friends formerly assem- 
bled here, of which one George Bowne was clerk so 
lately as October 5, 1774. 

An Episcopal society was organized here in May, 
1847, D Y the name of St. Saviour's Church, and a small 
edifice erected and consecrated, May 28, 1848, of which 
the Rev. William Walsh is rector. 

Astoria (late Hallett's Cove) is by far the most impor- 
tant village in the town, being situated upon the East 
River, opposite Eighty-sixth Street, New York, and has 
a steam ferryboat connecting it with the city. It is cer- 
tainly to be lamented, that in the unnatural rage for 
changing names, this place should also have come within 
its influence, its former appellation being a respectful 
and deserved memorial of its ancient owner, as the fol- 
lowing document illustrates : 

11 Petrus Stuyvesant doth declare, that on the day of 
the date here underwritten, he hath granted and allowed, 


unto William Hallett, a Plot of ground at Hell-Gate, 
upon Long Island, called Jark's Farm, beginning at a 
great Rock, that lays in the meadow, (or rather valley,) 
goes upward south-east to the end of a very small Crip- 
ple-Bush, two hundred and ten rods ; from thence north- 
east two hundred and thirty rods; on the north it goes 
up to a running water, two hundred and ten rods; con- 
taining, in the whole, 80 Morgan, and 300 rods, (about 
154 acres). This done 1, day of Dec, 1652, at New 
Amsterdam, by order of the Honorable Director-Gen- 
eral, and the Honorable Council of New Netherlands. 

" P. Stuyvesant. [l. s.] 
" Carel Van Brugge, Sec'y." 

The premises were confirmed by the sachem, December 
5, 1664, for the consideration of fifty-eight fathom of 
wampum, seven coats, one blanket, and four kettles. A 
patent of confirmation was also executed by Governor 
Nicoll, April 8, 1668, and a further patent by Colonel 
Dongan, April 1, 1688, for an annual quit-rent of two 

A deed was executed August 1, 1664, to William 
Hallett, by Shawestsout and Erromohar, Indians of 
Shawkopoke (Staten Island), by command of Mattano, 
sagamore — for a tract of land described as follows : 

" Beginning at the first Crick, called Sunwick, west- 
ward below Hellgate upon Long Island, and from the 
mouth of s d Crick, south to a markt tree fast by a great 
Rock, and from the s d markt tree southward 15 score 
rods, to another markt tree, which stands from another 
Rock, a little westward, and from that markt tree, right 
to the Point, upon an Island, which belongs to the Poor's 
Bowery, and soe round by the River, through Hellgate 
to the fores d Crick westward, where it began, and which 
the s d Hallett did formerly live upon, to have and to 


hold, &c. unto the fores d William Hallett, his Heirs, 

Exe trs adm trs - and assigns forever." 

[l. s.] Sealed, &c. Shawestsout N his mark. 

" John Coe." Erromohar X his mark. 

The above conveyance embraced most of what is 
called " Hellgate Neck," other portions of which were 
in 1665 the property of Thomas Lawrence; and an act 
was passed September 23, 1701, " for quieting, settling, 
and confirming the right of his sons Thomas, William, 
and John to the said tract, and vacating all under 
patents, if any, clandestinely obtained." 

The village of Astoria, formerly Hallett's Cove, has 
greatly increased in business and population within a few 
years — indeed its extraordinary local advantages are 
quite sufficient to enhance its growth and importance to 
an almost unlimited extent. For manufacturing pur- 
poses its situation is unequalled, so far as steam power 
can be applied; and its easy access to the city adds greatly 
to its other facilities. 

An instance of longevity occurred in this town in the 
person of Mrs. Deborah Smith, widow of Waters 
Smith, who died November 21, 1838, at the age of 108 
years. He was a brother of Melancthon Smith, so dis- 
tinguished in the convention that adopted the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. Her daughter Elizabeth 
married John B. Scott, Esq., and was the mother of the 
Hon. John B. Scott, late justice of the Marine Court, a 
state senator, and for some years recorder of the city of 
New York, to which office he was appointed in February, 

The Newtown Female Academy was erected in 1821, 
incorporated March 15, 1822, and was a flourishing 
institution for several years under the direction of two 


daughters of the late Dr. Isaac Ledyard, but it finally 
failed, and the building is now a private residence. 

St. George's Episcopal Church, in this village, was 
erected in 1828, and was at first under the pastoral 
charge of the Rev. Samuel Seabury, late editor of a 
weekly religious paper, called The Churchman, and rec- 
tor of the Church of the Annunciation in the city of 
New York. The next rector was the Rev. John W. 
Brown, a graduate of Union College, who was inducted 
into this church October 1, 1837. The Rev. Henry W. 
Sweetser was assistant minister. The corporation of 
Trinity Church, New York, gave this church $1,000 in 


The corner stone of the Dutch Reformed Church was 
laid upon the site of the old one November 16, 183 1, 
and the building finished in 1834, and the Rev. Alex- 
ander Hamilton Bishop was ordained pastor of the church 
November 10, 1840. He is the son of Timothy Bishop of 
New Haven, and married Susan, daughter of Obadiah 
Holmes of New York, who died August 29, 1847, aged 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1843, 
and dedicated on the 21st of September of that year. 
The corner stone of the Presbyterian Church was laid 
November 30, 1846, the church finished in a few months, 
and the Rev. Frederick Gorham Clark, installed pastor, 
May 28, 1847, having the year before been ordained over 
the Central Presbyterian Church, New York City. Mr. 
Clark is the son of Rev. Daniel A. Clark, and was born 
at Waterbury, Conn., December 13, 18 19, and gradu- 
ated at the University, and Union Theological Seminary 
of New York. He married, August 16, 1847, Sarah, 
oldest daughter of Robert M. Blackwell of Astoria. 


The Astoria Institute, a female school, formerly under 
the superintendence of the Rev. John W. Brown, was 
established in 1838, and incorporated February 13, 
1844. Mr. Brown died at Malta, in May, 1849, while 
travelling for his health, and the institute was taken 
over by Mrs. H. R. Owen. 1 It is well conducted, and its 
location excellent, combining the most beautiful scenery 
with an animated water prospect. The institute enjoys, 
moreover, the advantage of retired rural walks and 
pleasant groves in its vicinity. 

Mr. Brown was for some years engaged as editor of 
the religious newspaper entitled the Protestant Church- 
man, published in the city of New York, and was of a 
conservative character. 

The celebrated pass or strait, called by the Dutch 
Helle-gat (or narrow passage), is on the northern bor- 
der of the town, where those who love to witness the 
impetuous strife of angry currents, with cragged and zig- 
zag courses among hidden rocks, may find full gratifica- 
tion. Our estimable countryman, Washington Irving, 
Esq., speaking of this celebrated place, with which the 
idea of danger has in all ages been nearly associated, 
says, " Hell-gate is as pacific at low water as any other 
stream; as the tide rises, it begins to fret; at half tide it 
rages and roars, as if bellowing for more water; but 
when the tide is full, it relapses again into quiet, and for 
a time seems almost to sleep as soundly as an alderman 
after dinner. It may be compared to an inveterate 
drinker, who is a peaceful fellow enough when he has 
no liquor at all, or when he is skinfull; but when half 
seas over, plays the very devil." 

1 This sentence was added to the MS. after the author's death in 
1849, by Henry Onderdonk, Jr. — Editor. 


In the south part of the town, adjoining the Jamaica 
and Williamsburgh turnpike, is one of the most exten- 
sive milk establishments in the country. It is owned and 
managed by Mr. David Mills. In 1834 he purchased 
for $8,000 the farm of the late Dr. Isaac Ledyard, con- 
taining 200 acres, the whole of which has since been 
subdivided into fields of five and ten acres each, by stone 
walls, the materials of which have been obtained from 
the land, thereby clearing it of the surface stone, and 
by a judicious course of husbandry the whole tract has 
been rendered productive in a high degree. The dairy 
edifice is constructed of stone, 150 feet long, forty wide, 
and divided into 100 stalls, of twelve by three feet, with 
a passage through the centre to pass with a loaded 
wagon from one end to the other. The number of cows 
is 100, which consume one ton of English hay and 800 
quarts of Indian meal per day — producing on an average 
throughout the year, 800 quarts of milk daily, which at 
five cents a quart, amount to $40 a day, or $14,600 a 
year, leaving after deducting all expenses, a handsome 
annual profit. 

Ravenswood is the name of a settlement a little south- 
west of Astoria, in w r hich it has been attempted to build 
up a beautiful villa on the banks of the East River, 
where the site is sufficiently elevated to afford charming 
views of the surrounding landscape, and possesses 
charms almost rivalling the descriptions of romance. 
The scenery upon the Thames at Windsor scarcely com- 
pares with this, in all that can delight the eye or satisfy 
the most extravagant fancy. 

Between this settlement and the Dutch Hills were 
lately located the Poor House Farms, belonging to the 
corporation of New York City, which were disposed of 


in 1846 and the buildings destroyed by a conflagration 
in the summer of 1847. 

The whole north shore of this town from Flushing 
Bay on the east to Kings County on the west, affords 
some of the richest and most varied scenery in the 
world — and upon it may be seen many noble residences, 
some of which have been erected by wealthy retired 
merchants from the neighboring city. Among the most 
magnificent of these is the seat of George M. Woolsey, 
Esq., a former London merchant and now conducting 
an extensive sugar refinery in New York. The mansion 
house and grounds are not exceeded by any in this part 
of the country, and the variety, softness, and beauty of 
the scenery are unsurpassed. 

The general surface of the town is undulating, and in 
some places rough; the soil of a middling quality, but in 
the vicinity of the Sound and Flushing Bay of great fer- 
tility. There are considerable tracts of low, swampy 
ground, not very easily cultivated, yet abounding in turf 
or peat which is occasionally used as fuel. The islands 
called the North and South Brothers are peculiarly 
valuable for their position as may be said also of Ber- 
rien's Island, containing about twelve acres. 

Rikers Island is, however, the largest and most impor- 
tant one appertaining to the town, containing more than 
fifty acres, and lies nearly in the middle of the East 
River opposite Flushing Bay. One Hulet, having early 
lived upon it, caused it formerly to be called Hulefs 
Island. The soil is of a medium quality, but susceptible 
of being made highly productive. A patent for this 
island was granted by Governor Stuyvesant to Abraham 
Riker, August 19, 1664 (this being one of his last official 
acts), and for it a patent of confirmation was obtained 


from Governor Nicoll, December 24, 1667. Since which 
time the property has remained with the Riker family, 
and been known by the name of Rikers Island. 

This section of the town including what has always 
been called the Poor Bowery was purchased at an early 
date by the trustees of the Dutch Church, by whom it 
was for many years leased out for the support of the 
poor, whence it took the name above mentioned. 1 



Previous to 1870 there existed in the western part 
of the town of Newtown, a sentiment towards the uni- 
fication of the several villages in this locality. 

In spite of considerable opposition on the part of 
the incorporated village of Astoria, and certain individ- 
uals, a bill was introduced before the State Legislature 
at Albany, authorizing the organization of a city to be 
composed of the villages of Astoria, Ravenswood, Hun- 
ter's Point, Dutch Kills, Blissville, Middletown, and the 
locality later known as Steinway. The bill was signed 
on May 4, 1870, by Governor John T. Hoffman, and the 
news of the Governor's favorable action was generally 
received with enthusiasm throughout this territory. 

The municipality was bounded on the north and north- 
east by Hell Gate and Bowery Bay, on the east by 
Newtown, on the south by the city of Brooklyn, and on 
the west by the East River. 

The name of Long Island City was applied to the 
newborn municipality. The honor of first suggesting 

1 This sentence was added to the MS. in 1849, after the author's 
death, by James Riker, Jr. — Editor. 


this name belongs to Captain Levy Hayden, superintend- 
ent of a marine railway formerly existing at Hunter's 
Point. As early as 1853, this individual prophesied that 
the locality would some day be a city and insisted that 
" Long Island City," should be the name applied to it. 
The name was perpetuated by Thomas H. Todd, who 
on Friday, October 20, 1865, issued the first number of 
a newspaper which he called the Long Island City Star. 

The city was apportioned into five wards and a mayor 
and other officials elected. 

The city as a separate municipality existed until 
January 1, 1898, when it was merged into the city of 
New York as part of the Borough of Queens. 

On the same date, that part of Newtown not in- 
cluded in Long Island City, also was taken into the city 
of New York as part of the Borough of Queens and the 
form of town government abolished. 

Rev. E. M. McGuffey's Historical Discourse on St. 
James' Church and Older Newtown, and James Riker's 
Annals of Newtown have been consulted in the editing 
of the Chapter on Newtown. 


Occupies the north-eastern part of Kings County ad- 
joining the East River and Newtown Creek, being 
bounded north and east by Newtown and the channel of 
the East River, west by Williamsburgh, and south by 
Brooklyn, and that part of Flatbush called New Lots. 
It is about one mile wide and five miles long. Anterior 
to March 16, 1840, Williamsburgh was included in this 
town, consequently the previous history of the former 
must necessarily be embraced in our account of the lat- 
ter. It is, however, to be regretted that so much un- 
certainty and confusion exists in relation to the precise 
time and manner of its first settlement, the ancient rec- 
ords of which, being by time and accident greatly in- 
jured or entirely destroyed. What remains is mostly in 
Dutch, and so abbreviated or obscurely written as to be 
of little assistance to the historian. 

It is highly probable that individuals had taken pos- 
session of various parts of the town at a very early 
period, without any view to a plantation and without any 
express authority so to do, for the first inhabitants appear 
to have been of a very mixed character : Dutch, English, 
French, &c. The settlement, under the sanction of the 
provincial government, took a more permanent form 
some years after that of Brooklyn, and a few dwellings 
were erected in the immediate neighborhood of the old 
Bushwick Church. 

But it seems that the scattered condition of the 



inhabitants was such as made it difficult, if not imprac- 
ticable, for the authorities to render them efficient pro- 
tection, liable as they were from local circumstances to 
be easily assailed by land or water. On which account 
the Hon. " Director General and Council," ordered the 
outside residents to remove from their places of abode 
in the outskirts of the place and concentrate themselves, 
because, say they, " we have war with the Indians, who 
have slain several of our Netherland people." 

The records of 1660 contain the following entries 
relating to an original plantation here. 

11 Feb. 16. — As fourteen Frenchmen, with a Dutch- 
man named Pieter Janse Wit, their interpreter, have 
arrived here, and as they do not understand the Dutch 
language, they have been with the Director General, and 
requested him to cause a town plot to be laid out at a 
proper place; whereupon his Honor fixed upon the 19th 
instant to visit the place, and fix upon a scite." 

"Feb. 19. — On this day, the Director General, with 
the fiscal Nicasius de Sille, and the Honorable Secretary 
Van Ruyven, with the sworn Surveyor, Jacques Cortel- 
you, came to Mispat, and have fixed upon a place be- 
tween Mispat kill and Norman's kill, to establish a 
village, and have laid out by survey twenty-two village 
lots, on which dwelling-houses are to be built." 

And again: 

" 1 66 1, March 14. — The Director General visited the 
new village, when the inhabitants requested his honor 
to give the place a name, whereupon he named the town 
Boswijck. — The citizens then applied for the following 
privileges : — 

" Firstly. For pasture-land for their cattle, and hay- 


land for their stock, which they requested to have on the 
east side of the village limits, extending southward to 
the hills, and along said hills westward to the heights of 
Merck's plantation, and from said heights northerly by 
Merck's plantation to Bushwick, being a four cornered 
plot of land. 

" Secondly. To have meadows to mow hay for their 
stock, according to the landed rights. 

" Thirdly. To have roads for the purpose of going 
to the river and kills, to wit : one road between the land 
of Hendrick Willemse, Backer, and Jan Cornelissen 
Seeuw, the second upon Dirck Volkerse Norman's land, 
which is named the hout (or wood) point, the third 
over Steendam's land to come to Mispat Kill, the fourth 
over Albert de Norman's land to get hay and other 

" Fourthly. That all the citizens who dwell within 
the limits and jurisdiction of the town of Bushwick, and 
already have village lots, shall remove to the same, 
according to the order of the Director General. 

"This is undersigned by the citizens, namely, by: 

Pieter Janse Wit Jan Cornelissen Seeuw Jan Catiouw 

Evert Hegeman Barent Joosten Jan Mailiaert 

Jan Willemse Yselstyn Franssooys de Puji Hendrick Janse Greven 

Jan Tilie Johannes Casperse Gysbert Thonisse 

Ryck Leydecker Franscisco de neger Joost Kasperse 

Hendrick Willemse Pieter Lamot Willem Traphagen 

Barent Gerretse Siarel Fontyn Dirck Volkerse* 

Jan Hendrickse Herry 

11 Fifthly. That all persons whatsoever, who dwell out- 
side of the village attend to the danger they may be in, 
by remaining where they be. 

* For this correction of the names inserted in our former edition we 
are indebted to the kindness of James Riker, jun., who has in his posses- 
sion an ancient copy of the original record, in the identical handwriting 
of Cornelius Van Ruyven, Secretary of the Province. 


" The Governor General has commanded that six men 
be chosen, from whom he will select three to be com- 
missioners over the town of Bushwick." 

Six men were chosen, from whom the Director Gen- 
eral selected Pieter Janse Wit, Jan Tilie, and Jan 
Cornelissen Seeuw, to whom he committed the provisional 
administration of the justice of the village. 

It is difficult at this day to ascertain the precise spot 
where the said village was intended to be established and 
the greater probability is that the persons named among 
the applicants subsequently abandoned the design, as 
their descendants are not now found here, although there 
are families who can trace their ancestry 200 years back, 
many of them still possessing the same land once occu- 
pied by their progenitors. 

The name by which the town is designated is of 
Dutch origin, and is said to be synonymous with Big 
Woods, the territory being doubtless, at that time, cov- 
ered by a growth of heavy timber; and such was the 
case to a considerable extent down to the period of the 

A patent or ground brief was issued as early as 1648 
for lands within the original town of Bushwick, but was 
confined to that portion of the soil adjacent to the Wal- 
labout Bay. 

The year next succeeding the conquest of New Nether- 
lands by the English, the following precept was directed 
to the principal executive officer of the town: 

" To the Constable of the Town of Bushwick: 

" You are by this required personally to appear before 
His Majesty's Court at Gravesend, on the 20th of July 


next, and you are required also to summon the Officers 
of your town to appear at said Court of Sessions, and 
not to leave the same during the term: And you are 
also required to summon as many of your inhabitants 
as understand the English language to attend the afore- 
said Court, and not to leave the same during the term, 
on pain of fine. Dated the 16th of June, 1665, in the 
1 8th year of his Majesty's reign. 

Jo : Rieder, Clerk of Sessions." 

To prevent fraud and imposition by wicked and 
designing persons upon such of the inhabitants as did 
not understand the English language, it was required by 
the government that all transports or conveyances, and 
also hypothecations of land, should be passed, signed, 
sealed, and registered by the secretary or clerk of the 
town, without which formalities they were to be con- 
sidered invalid. 

A dispute about the meadows between this town and 
Middleburgh, which had existed for some time, was 
eventually decided in the assembly of deputies, which 
convened at Hempstead in March, 1665, in favor of 
Bushwick; which meadows are described as lying on the 
west side of the oldest Dutch fence, standing on the east 
side of the head of Mispat Hill. 

It is worthy of note that one of the first steps taken 
by the new government was to oblige the inhabitants to 
provide for and maintain a minister, as is shown by the 
following order: 

" To the Constable of the Town of Bushwick: 

" By these presents you are, in his Majesty's name, 
commanded, and ordered, to call a meeting of the Offi- 
cers of your Town, who shall within four months after 


the first day of June, make out a correct list of all the 
male persons in the town, of the age of sixteen years 
and upwards; and also, a correct list or estimation of 
the estate of every inhabitant of the town that he holds 
in his own right, or for others, according to its true 
value, designating the same particularly, and to whom 
it belongs in the town, or elsewhere, as the same can 
be discovered, and the tenure under which the property 
is held. And also, an account, or list, of every acre of 
land in the town, and the true value of the same, and 
by whom owned, and further the tax each person has 
to pay, from a pound to a penny, for his land and per- 
sonal property, and also a report of the situation of 
the inhabitants of the town : neatly written in the English 
language. Hereof fail not, as you will answer for the 
same. June 20, 1665. Byrne: 

11 Wilhelm Welsh, Chief Clerk." 

The inhabitants being at this time unable wholly to 
support a minister, the other towns who had no settled 
clergyman were ordered to contribute a certain amount, 
and preachers from other places were directed to offi- 
ciate here occasionally. 

The following is a copy of an epistle addressed by 
the governor to the people of the town: 

11 Beloved Friends: 

" As you have no minister to preach the gospel to the 
congregation of your town, nor are you able wholly to 
maintain a minister, therefore, it seems proper to us, that 
the neighboring towns which have no settled minister, 
should combine with you to maintain the gospel ministry, 
and that you should jointly contribute for that purpose, 
therefore, we deem it proper to order, and firmly and 
orderly to establish, according to the desire of many of 
your people, who have conferred with me, therefore, we 


have ordered that three or four persons, duly author- 
ized, appear, on Thursday or Friday next further to 
confer on that matter, for themselves and the timid, and 
the other inhabitants. 

11 Whereupon, we greet you cordially, as honored and 
respected friends, and as your friend. 

" Richard Nicoll. 

"Fort James, Oct. 17, 1665." 

This order, it will appear, was made the year follow- 
ing the surrender of the province, and notwithstanding 
it was provided by the eighth article of the capitulation 
that the Dutch here should enjoy the liberty of con- 
science in religious matters, the civil authority began 
to interfere in the matter, and to prescribe for what it 
considered to be their religious necessities. Again, De- 
cember 26, 1665, the governor addressed the inhabitants 
as follows: 

''Beloved and Honorable Good Friends: 

" Before this time our order has been made known 
to you, that the Honorable Ministers of this place, in 
turn, will preach to your people until you are able to 
maintain a Minister yourselves. By our order presented 
to you, you were required to raise the sum of 175 
guilders as your proportion of the salary, but in consider- 
ation of the trouble in your town, we have deemed 
proper under present circumstances to reduce the sum 
of 175 guilders to the sum of 100 guilders, which we 
deem reasonable, and against which no well grounded 
complaint can exist, and ought to be satisfactory, which 
last sum we demand for the Ministers' salary; there- 
fore, we expect that measures will be adopted to collect 
the same promptly, pursuant to this order, and to ensure 
the same, we have deemed it proper to appoint Evert 


Hegeman and Peter Janse Wit, giving them full power 
and authority to assess and collect that sum, having re- 
gard to the condition and circumstances of the people 
and to decide what each of them shall pay, which the 
said persons shall collect or cause to be collected, that 
is, ioo guilders, in three instalments, and pay the same 
over to us, the first on the last day of December next, 
the second on the last day of April next, and the third 
on the last of August next ensuing. Whereupon, we 
remain your friend, greeting, Richard Nicoll." 

11 This will be delivered to Evert Hegeman and Peter 
Janse Wit, and read to the congregation. R. N." 

Accordingly on the next day the minister, sent by the 
governor, preached his first sermon at the house of 
Guisbert Tonissen; and the next year Cornelius Van 
Ruyven made a demand of ioo guilders, as the amount 
of salary due the ministers sent to officiate in the town, 
but whose names are not mentioned. This sum, made 
up by a few persons only, was annually contributed till 
the recapture of the colony in 1673. 

The patent heretofore granted by Stuyvesant having, 
it seems, been considered either defective or insufficient, 
the people of Bushwick, in 1666, at a town meeting assem- 
bled for the purpose, appointed a committee to wait upon 
Governor Nicoll, " to solicit him for a new patent, and 
to request that therein the boundaries of their planta- 
tion might be more expressly defined and set forth." 

This patent was obtained the 25th of October, 
1667, wherein the boundaries of the town are set forth 
in the words following: 

" Bounded with the mouth of a certain creeke or kill, 
called Maspeth-Kill, 1 right over against Dominie-Hook, 

1 Now Newtown Creek. — Editor. 


soe their bounds goe to David Jocham's Hook; then 
stretching upon a south-east line along the said Kill, 
they come to Smith's Island, including the same, together 
with all the meadow-ground or valley thereunto belong- 
ing; and continuing the same course, they pass along 
by the ffence at the wood-side, soe to Thomas Wan- 
dall's meadow, from whence, stretching upon a south- 
east by south line, along the woodland to the Kills, taking* 
in the meadow or valley there; then pass along near 
upon a south-east by south line six hundred rod into the 
woods : then running behind the lots as the woodland 
lyes, south-west by south; and out of the said woods 
they goe again north-west, to a certain small swamp; 
from thence they run behind the New Lotts, to John, 
the Sweede's-meadow; then over the Norman's Kill, to 
the west end of his old house, from whence they goe 
alongst the river, till you come to the mouth of Maspeth- 
Kill and David Jocham's Hook, whence they first 

From the organization of the town till the year 1690, 
it was for certain purposes associated with the other 
towns in the county, except Gravesend, constituting a 
separate district under the appellation of the "Five 
Dutch Towns;" for which a secretary or register was 
specially commissioned by the governor, whose duty 
it was to take the proof of wills, of marriage settle- 
ments, also the acknowledgment of " Transcripts" or 
conveyances, and many of the more important contracts 
and agreements; all which were required to be recorded. 
This office was, in 1674, held by Nicasius de Sille, who 
had once held the office of attorney general under the 
administration of Stuyvesant. These five towns likewise 
formed but one ecclesiastical congregation^ and joined in 
the support of their ministers in common. The inhabi- 


tants, with few exceptions, professed the doctrines pro- 
mulgated at the synod of Dort in 1618, most of whose 
resolutions are still adhered to in the Reformed Dutch 
churches. The churches were at that period, and for a 
long time after, governed by the classis of Amsterdam, 
and so continued till about the year 1772, when the 
American churches became independent of the mother 
church, and established classes and synods of their own, 
after the model of the church of Holland. 

In the year 1662, according to one authority, the 
dwellings in this town did not exceed twenty-five in num- 
ber, and were located on the site of the present village 
of Bushwick, which, with the Hexagon Church, built in 
1720, was enclosed by palisades, as most of the other 
settlements were. In the minutes of the court of ses- 
sions is the following entry: 

11 At a Court of Sessions, held at Flatbush for King's 
County, May 10, 1699. Uppon the desire of tho in- 
habitants of Breucklyn, that according to use and order, 
every three yeare the limmits betweene towne and towne 
must be runn, that a warrant or order may be given, that 
upon the 17th day off May, the line and bounds betwixt 
said townes of Breucklyn and Boswyck shall be run ac- 
cording to their pattents or agrements. Ordered, That 
an order should be past according to theire request." 

The inhabitants of this town were comparatively few 
in number, even at the commencement of the Revolu- 
tionary contest, yet they suffered abundantly from depre- 
dations upon their property in various ways. Their 
exposed situation made them liable to invasion from 
every quarter, and they were of course robbed and plun- 
dered, as caprice or malice dictated. 

The nearness of its fine forests of wood to the gar- 


risons and barracks of New York and Brooklyn, led to 
the entire waste of the valuable timber which abounded 
at the commencement of the contest. On the return of 
the owners to their homes at the close of the war, they 
found not only the woods and fences destroyed, but their 
dwellings, in many instances, greatly deteriorated in 

On the 1 2th of May, 1664, the magistrates of this 
town sentenced one John Van Lyden, convicted of pub- 
lishing a libel, to be fastened to a stake, with a bridle 
in his mouth, eight rods under his arm, and a label on 
his breast with the words, " writer of lampoons, false 
accuser, and defamer of magistrates," upon it, and then 
to be banished from the colony. An instance also oc- 
curred, of a clergyman who had improperly married a 
couple, being sentenced to " flogging and banishment," 
which sentence, on account of the advanced age of the 
delinquent, was mitigated by the governor to banishment 
only. Another person, convicted of theft, was compelled 
to stand for the space of three hours under a gallows, 
with a rope around his neck, and an empty scabbard in 
his hands. 

In 1664 permission was given by the town to Abra- 
ham Jansen to erect a mill on Maspeth Kill, 1 which was 
probably the first water-mill built within the town; and 
for grinding of the town's grain he was to receive the 
"customary duties." November 12, 1695, the court of 
sessions of Kings County made an order, " That Mad 
James should be kept at the expense of the county, and 
that the deacons of each towne within the same doe 
forthwith meet together and consider about their proper- 
cons for maintenance of said James." 
1 Now Newtown Creek. — Editor. 


The records of the church, like those of the town, 
are so imperfect as scarcely to afford us any valuable 
information, and do not extend back anterior to 1689. 
The town early formed a part of the collegiate charge 
of the Dutch Church and of course the same ministers 
officiated here, as in the other four towns of the county, 
a more particular account of whom will be found in our 
account of Flatbush and Brooklyn. It is highly prob- 
able that a house for public worship existed here as early 
as 17 10, at which time all the Reformed Dutch churches 
in the county were united, and constituted together one 
collegiate charge, under the care of the different ministers 
resident in the district, whose names, characters, &c, 
will be found more at large in our account of the town 
of Flatbush. 

The church edifice was as usual at that day of an 
hexagon form, with a pyramidal roof and a cupola in the 
middle. Benches and chairs were used instead of pews 
or seats till 1790, when the building received a new 
roof, and in five years thereafter a gallery opposite the 
pulpit. This church was demolished in 1829, when the 
present one was built and dedicated in October of that 

In 1787 the Rev. Peter Lowe, a native of Ulster 
County, N. Y., was installed here as collegiate pastor 
with the Rev. Martinus Schoonmaker, whose residence 
was at Flatbush. Having accepted a call to the asso- 
ciate churches of Flatbush and Flatlands, he closed his 
services in this place in the year 1808, and was succeeded 
in 181 1 by the Rev. John Basset, who was descended of 
a Huguenot family residing in the city of New York, 
where he was born in 1764. His father, Captain John 
Basset, was a mariner, and was lost upon the ocean at 


an early period of life, leaving his son an infant. He 
nevertheless obtained a thorough education and gradu- 
ated at Columbia College, 1786. He first settled in 
Albany, married Miss Ann Hunn, and continued to offi- 
ciate in the Reformed Dutch Church there till 181 1, 
when he was dismissed and was installed here the same 
year. That he was a good scholar, as well as an able 
divine, possessing the confidence of the church, appears 
from his having been, in 1797, appointed Hebrew pro- 
fessor in Queens (now Rutgers) College, which chair he 
held for several years. His familiarity with the Dutch 
language led him to translate Adrian Vanderdonk's His- 
tory of New Netherlands but the manuscript having 
been lost, the task was afterwards ably executed by the 
Hon. Jeremiah Johnson. 

Dr. Basset died in November, 1824, and his body, 
buried in the yard attached to the church, was subse- 
quently removed to the city of Albany. He left sons 
John and Hunn, and three daughters, whose posterity 
reside in the west. 

The Rev. Stephen H. Meeker was ordained here 
February 27, 1826. He is the son of Benjamin Meeker 
and Esther Headly, born at Elizabethtown, N. J., Oc- 
tober 17, 1799, graduated at Columbia College, 1821, 
and licensed to preach 1824. He was dismissed April 
27, 1830, being called to the Dutch Church in Jersey 
City, where he remained about six months and was again 
installed here in November following. The Rev. John 
W . Ward was ordained pastor of this Church, September, 

1849. 1 

There is a considerable settlement in the southerly 

1 This sentence was added to the MS. by Henry Onderdonk, Jr., after 
the author's death in March, 1849. — Editor. 


part of the town, upon the turnpike leading from the 
English Kill * to the Wallabout, while the village called 
Green Point, situated between the ancient settlement and 
the East River, has grown up within a few years. Here 
an Episcopal church was erected in 1846, called the 
Church of the Ascension, of which the Rev. John W. 
Brown of Astoria is pastor, — as successor to the Rev. 
John C. Brown, first appointed. There is a large body 
of meadow on the easterly side of the town, adjoining 
Newtown, which is occasionally covered by water at high 

" On January 1, 1855, the town of Bushwick, together 
with the city of Williamsburgh, was consolidated with 
and became a part of the city of Brooklyn. Provision 
for this had been made in Chapter 577, Laws of 1853, 
and authorization for the consolidation was given in 
Chapter 384, Laws of 1854. When Brooklyn was taken 
into New York, in 1898, the old town of Bushwick, of 
course, became a part of New York City." Editor. 

1 Now Newtown Creek. — Editor. 


Was taken from Bushwick and organized into a sepa- 
rate town by an act of the legislature, passed March 
1 6, 1840, which among other things provides that " all 
that part of the town of Bushwick, in the county of 
Kings, included within the chartered limits of the village 
of Williamsburgh, shall be erected into a separate town, 
by the name of Williamsburgh." The town was divided 
by the said act into three assessment and collection dis- 
tricts, and it was further declared, that all the remaining 
part of the town of Bushwick should be and remain a 
town by the same name. 

The town at that time contained 5,094 inhabitants, 
but five years thereafter the number was 11,550, being 
an increase of more than 125 per cent. It has now 
probably nearly 20,000. 

In the act incorporating the said village, passed April 
4, 1827, which gave a new impulse to business and popu- 
lation, the boundaries are set forth and described as 
follows : 

11 Beginning at the Bay or River opposite the town of 
Brooklyn, and running easterly along the division line 
between the towns of Bushwick and Brooklyn to the land 
of Abraham A. Remsen; thence northerly by the same 
to a road or highway, at a place called Swede's Fly; 
thence by the said highway to the dwelling house, late 
of John Vandervoort, deceased; thence in a straight line 



northerly, to a small ditch or creek, against the meadow 
of John Skillman; thence by said creek to Norman's 
Kill; thence by the centre or middle of Norman's Kill 
to the East River; thence by the same to the place of 

In consequence of an application from the inhabitants, 
at a subsequent day, for an extension of the chartered 
limits of the village, an act was passed April 18, 1835, 
extending its boundaries, and making the territory what 
it now is, co-extensive with the town of Williamsburgh. 
The first trustees appointed by the act of 1827 were 
Noah Waterbury, John Miller, Abraham Meserole, 
Lewis Sandford, and Thomas T. Morrill, of whom the 
first named (a public spirited individual) was chosen 
president, and under whose energy and encouragement 
the board applied themselves immediately to the laying 
out of streets and building lots, which act proved the 
basis of its future growth. Everything else was done, 
which the state of things at that time seemed either to 
authorize or require, yet the expectations of the inhabi- 
tants were not realized, which induced the desire of 
enlarging the boundaries of the village, with powers and 
privileges more adequate to the objects in contemplation. 

An act for the purpose was obtained in 1835, which 
among other things, confided the management of munici- 
pal concerns to a board of trustees, to be annually elected; 
of which Edmund Frost, deceased, was chosen president. 

Within a few years, many improvements have taken 
place and measures devised to ensure the prosperity of 
the village, making it no mean rival of Brooklyn. Much 
is fairly attributable to its increasing avenues of trade 
and the establishment of ferries between it and New York. 


So closely is it identified with those cities, that it may be 
reckoned an integral portion of both. The whole ter- 
ritory of the village, which is co-extensive with the town, 
comprises about 1,050 acres. 

The Grand Street Ferry, 950 yards, was commenced 
in 18 12, which has for several years been conducted by 
steam power. The Peck Slip Ferry was established in 
1836, and that to Houston Street in 1840. 

In consequence of these important accessories to the 
many local advantages here enjoyed, it has happened 
that where a few years ago only hills and naked fields 
were seen, the tide of success has produced numerous 
paved streets, upon which continuous blocks of stores, 
dwellings, and public buildings of great value have been 
erected, many of which are not only handsome but mag- 

This town, having so recently formed a part of Bush- 
wick, the following extracts from ancient records can 
hardly fail of interesting those who love to revel in the 
reminiscences of " olden time." 

"September 8, 1664., N. S. 
" Beloved Friends : 

11 It has happened that the New Netherlands is given 
up to the English, and that Peter Stuyvesant, Governor 
of the West India Company, has marched out of the 
Fort with his men, to Beur^s Paeet, to the Holland ship- 
ping, which lay there at the time : And that Gov. Rich- 
ard Nicolls, in the name of the King of England, ordered 
a Corporal's guard to take possession of the Fort. 
Afterwards the Governor, with two companies of men, 
marched into the fort, accompanied by the Burgomasters 
of the City, who inducted the Governor and gave him a 
welcome reception. Governor Nicolls has altered the 


name of the City of New Amsterdam, and named the 
same New York, and named the fort, Fort James. 
" From your friend, 

11 Cornelius Van Ruyven." 

To which may be added the following orders for the 
administration of justice : 

" By these presents, beloved friends, you are author- 
ised and required, by plurality of votes, to cause to be 
chosen by the freeholders of your town, eight men of 
good name and fame, for the purpose of administering 
Justice for the ensuing year, for which they will be held 
answerable in their individual capacities, together with 
the Constable which is elected, until the first day of April 
next, (old style). You will forward the names of the 
persons chosen, as is usual, to his Excellency Governor 
Nicolls, who sends these presents greeting, in the name 
of God. Dated in Fort James, March 23, 1665, old 
style. By order of the Governor, 

" C. V. Ruyven." 

It seems a little remarkable that public attention was 
not sooner concentrated upon a place possessing, as 
Williamsburgh does, many superior advantages for the 
successful prosecution of almost every species of manu- 
facture and commerce. Situated as it is, opposite the 
heart of the City of New York, it possesses a bold water 
front of a mile and a half in extent, of sufficient depth 
for all ordinary purposes, and the whole shore is under 
the control of its own local authorities. 

There have already been constructed, under the act of 
the 22d of April, 1835, an d other statutes before men- 
tioned, several large and substantial wharves and docks, 
affording thereby a safe and convenient mooring for ves- 


sels of the largest class. The ferry is, by two or three 
miles, the nearest approximation to the upper wards of 
the City of New York from the eastern towns of Long 
Island, and Williamsburgh is connected with the upper 
and lower parts of the city by double lines of steamboats 
of the best construction, and remarkable for speed and 

The ferry to Peck Slip unites the village with the Ful- 
ton and Catherine markets, and the ferry to Houston 
Street leads to the upper parts of the city and Harlem. 
Williamsburgh now contains seventy-five streets, perma- 
nently laid out, of which more than thirty have been 
opened and regulated, including one macadamized, and 
several paved streets. 

The village also contains several extensive manufac- 
turing establishments, a distillery, an iron foundry, a 
spice mill, hatteries, rope walks, and probably the largest 
glue factory in the United States. 

Ship-building has also been introduced and is now pros- 
ecuted to a great and profitable extent. 

The Lyceum was incorporated May 13, 1845, f° r tne 
purpose of establishing and maintaining a library, read- 
ing room, and scientific lectures, and other means of 
promoting moral and intellectual improvement. It has 
about 300 members. There is likewise a Mechanics' 
Association, which will doubtless prove a useful insti- 

A press was introduced in 1835, from which was issued 
the Williamsburgh Gazette, a weekly newspaper, by 
Francis G. Fish, who in 1836 transferred it to his 
brother Adrastus, and it was by him disposed of to Levi 
Darbee in 1838. The first number of the Williams- 
burgh Democrat was issued June 3, 1843, D y Thomas 


A. Devyr; but in October, 1844, it was sold to David 
and Robert McAdam, and the title changed to Demo- 
cratic Advocate. The Long Islander, a daily paper be- 
gun November 5, 1845, by J°hn A. F. Kelly, William 
G. Bishop, and Alpheus P. Ritter, was soon after dis- 
continued. The first number of the Morning Post, a 
daily paper, was published December 18, 1846, by I. 
Anderson Smith, but the paper was discontinued in April, 
1848. The first number of the Williamsburgh Daily 
Times was printed February 28, 1848, by Bennet Smith 
& Company. 

The Williamsburgh Fire Insurance Company was in- 
corporated April 28, 1836, for thirty years, with a capi- 
tal of $150,000. 

The first Methodist Episcopal Church was organized 
in 1807, and the building erected the next year, upon 
North Second Street, which underwent some repairs in 
1 82 1, and was rebuilt of brick on South Second Street, 
near Sixth Street, 1837, and dedicated January 8, 1840. 

The Methodist Protestant Church was organized in 
1833, and its edifice of wood erected the same year on 
Grand, near Fifth Street. 

The corner stone of the new second Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, on the corner of Grand and Ewen streets, 
was laid November 25, 1845, an d the building was dedi- 
cated November 26, 1846. It is a substantial brick build- 
ing with a stone front and towers at the corners. 

The corner stone of the German Methodist Episcopal 
Free Church was laid September 21, 1846, corner of 
Stagg and Lorimer streets, and the building has since 
been completed. Rev. Charles Behre is pastor. 

Besides the above there are the Asbury Methodist 
Episcopal Church, North Seventh Street; the Bethel 


Methodist Episcopal, Frost Street; Free Union Metho- 
dist Episcopal, South Third Street; Zion Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, North Second Street, all for colored peo- 
ple. Two others are organized, one in the first and one 
in the second district. 

The corner stone of the Reformed Dutch Church was 
laid on Fourth and South Second streets, August 28, 
1828, the building dedicated July 26, 1829, and the con- 
gregation fully organized in November following. Its 
first pastor, the Rev. James Demarest, was ordained June 
27, 1830, and dismissed July 2, 1839. The Rev. William 
Howard Van Doren was born at Hopewell, N. Y., 
March 4, 18 10, the son of the Rev. Isaac Van Doren, 
pastor of the church at that place, and graduated at 
Columbia College, 1832. He married February 20, 
1840, Matilda Ann, daughter of Tunis Johnson, Esq. 
of Brooklyn, and was ordained over this church on the 
29th of January preceding. He resigned his charge 

in August, 1849. 1 

The Protestant Episcopal Church (St. Mark's), cor- 
ner of Fourth and South Fifth streets, was erected in 
1840, and consecrated April 27, 1841. It is built of 
hammered stone, and is a neat structure of the Gothic 
style. The interior is remarkably beautiful, presenting 
a fine specimen of fresco painting. The Rev. Samuel 
M. Haskins, rector, was born at Waterford, Me., 
graduated at Union College 1836, at the General 
Theological Seminary, N. Y., in June, 1839, and settled 
in this church in October following. He married 
Adelia, daughter of Isaac Peck of Flushing, who died 
aged thirty-two, January 19, 1848. 

1 This sentence was added to the MS. by Henry Onderdonk, Jr., after 
the author's death in March, 1849. — Editor. 


The corner stone of Christ Church (Episcopal) was 
laid on South Sixth Street, October i, 1846; the build- 
ing was finished the same year, and the Rev. Charles 
Reynolds was made rector in August, 1846. 

St. Paul's Free Episcopal Church, corner of Grand 
Street and Graham Avenue, Rev. G. W. Fash, rector, 
and Calvary Protestant Episcopal Free Church, Rev. 
R. J. Hall, rector, may also be enumerated. 

The First Presbyterian Church, corner of Fourth and 
South Second streets, was organized May 26, 1842, over 
which the Rev. Joseph Rawson Johnson was installed 
pastor, June 13, 1843. tie is the second son of the Rev. 
Gordon Johnson of Killingly, Conn., where he was born 
August 19, 1806, licensed to preach September 19, 1832, 
and married Sophia, daughter of Andrew Penniman 
of Mendon, Mass., November 26, 1832. 

After preaching two years at Newfield, Tompkins 
County, N. Y., and one year to the Second Presbyterian 
Church, Cortlandville, Cortland County, N. Y., he was 
ordained and installed pastor of the Union Congrega- 
tional Society of Cincinnatus and Solon, N. Y., in Feb- 
ruary, 1836. January 22, 1840, he was installed 
over the De Ruyter Religious Society, Madison County, 
N. Y., and was dismissed in May, 1843. He remained 
here till April, 1845, when he was succeeded by the Rev. 
James Woods McLane, a graduate of Yale, 1829, 
whose installation took place on the 2d of September 
following. All this time the congregation were without 
a house of worship and unhappily divided. 

Another Presbyterian church was organized by the 
Presbytery of New York, April 19, 1844, who have 
erected a building of brick, 62 by 75 feet 
on South Third and Fifth streets, the corner stone of 


which was laid August 18, 1845, and the building dedi- 
cated May 10, 1846. The ground was given by Grover 
Coe Furman, Esq., of New York. Of this church the 
Rev. Nathaniel S. Prime was stated supply during 1844; 
but the Rev. Paul E. Stevenson of Staunton, Va., was 
installed pastor February 20, 1845. He is a native of 
Cambridge, N. Y., and married Cornelia, daughter of 
the Rev. Mr. Prime, May 18, 1841. 

The Baptist Church was organized in the spring of 
1839, and the building dedicated June 29, 1843. ^ ls 
located on South Fifth Street. Of this church the Rev. 
Lawson Mussey was the first pastor. He was born at 
Dublin, Cheshire County, N. H., and was educated at 
Hamilton Theological Seminary, where he graduated 
August 11, 1 841, and was ordained the pastor of this 
church on the 16th day of September of the same year. 
His wife is a daughter of Daniel and Hester Reed of 
Brookfield, Madison County, N. Y. He was dismissed 
in the autumn of 1843, and was succeeded in May, 1844, 
by the Rev. Alanson P. Mason. 

St. Mary's Church (Catholic) was erected in 1840, 
at the corner of First and North Eighth streets, of 
which the Rev. James O'Donnell is priest. 

The German Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity, 
Montrose Avenue, was founded in 1841, and consecrated 
the same year. The priest is the Rev. John Raffeiner, 
at whose sole expense the ground was procured and the 
church edifice itself constructed. He was born at Mais, 
Tyrol, a province of Austria, in 1784, and graduated at 
Rome, Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy, May 4, 

The corner stone of St. Peter and St. Paul's Church 
(Catholic) in Second Street, was laid by Bishop Hughes, 


May 30, 1847. It is °f brick, 63 by 104 feet, of the 
simple Gothic style. Rev. Sylvester Malone is priest. 
The edifice was consecrated May 7, 1848. 

The First Congregational Church was organized 
May 28, 1843, m which year they erected a house of 
worship on the corner of South Third and Eleventh 
streets, and the Rev. Simeon S. Jocelyn is their pastor. 

The corner stone of the Free Universalist Church on 
Fourth and South Third streets was laid June 23, 
1847, the society having been incorporated in August, 
1845, an d the Rev. Henry Lyon installed pastor October 
8, 1845. The building was dedicated March 15, 1848. 

Mention may be made also of the German Evangelical 
Church, corner of Wyckoff Street and Graham Avenue, 
Rev. H. Beusset, pastor. 

A society known as the Associate Reformed Church 
has lately been organized, but have as yet no house of 

" The identical town and village of Williamsburgh 
was incorporated as the city of Williamsburgh by an 
act passed April 7, 185 1, which went into effect on 
January 1, 1852. By this act the new city was divided 
into three wards and provision made for public improve- 
ments, etc. 

11 The city had a short existence of three years, for 
on January 1, 1855, together with the town of Bush- 
wick, it was consolidated with and became a part of the 
city of Brooklyn; provision and authorization for this 
having been made by Chapter 577, Laws of 1853, and 
Chapter 384, Laws of 1854, respectively." Editor. 


Is the most southerly town of Kings County and in- 
cludes Coney Island, bordering on the ocean. It is of a 
triangular form, two of its sides being straight lines pro- 
ceeding from a point on the south line of Flatbush toward 
the sea, and being bounded north-west by New Utrecht, 
north-east by Flatlands, and south by the Atlantic. Its 
surface is generally low and flat, except near the sea, 
where a few sand hills are to be seen. A considerable 
portion of the town consists of marsh and salt meadows, 
not more than one-third being returned as improved 

Unlike other parts of the county this town was settled 
mainly by English people from Massachusetts, where they 
had resided for different periods, but were compelled to 
remove in consequence of the intolerant spirit which char- 
acterized the administration of that colony. The precise 
period when the emigrants arrived here cannot be ascer- 
tained, but it is quite certain that a considerable number 
of very respectable individuals commenced the planta- 
tion previous to 1643, Dut wnv it was called by its pres- 
ent name is not so easily determined. Its being an English 
settlement has led some to suppose that the name is 
derived from a market town so called upon the south 
side of the Thames, from which some of the emigrants 
may have bid adieu to their native country, or from the 
circumstance of the settlers finding the shore where they 
landed composed of deep and heavy sand. 



Edmund B. O'Callaghan, M.D., the learned and ac- 
curate historian of New Netherland, whose sugges- 
tions are of great value, speaking of the Lady Moody 
says, that by the express will and consent of the director- 
general and council of New Netherland the settlement 
was called " 's Gravenzande," after the picturesque vil- 
lage (originally a walled city) of that name at the mouth 
of the river Maas, where the ancient counts of Holland 
held their courts previous to their removal to The Hague. 
It was the fashion with all European powers who had 
possessions in the New World to transfer the names of 
towns in the mother country to their new settlements in 
America. The Dutch were as observant of this custom 
as any other nation, of which fact any person can satisfy 
himself by looking over a map of Holland. 

Among the early settlers of this town was that extraor- 
dinary and heroic individual so famous among the people 
of Massachusetts Bay, Lady Deborah Moody, a woman 
of rank, education, and wealth, who, with several of her 
friends residing at Lynn, Sandwich, and other places, 
entertained some religious opinions at variance with the 
leading spirits of that colony, and became objects of dis- 
favor and persecution, and therefore wisely concluded to 
withdraw from that settlement and seek another, present- 
ing a better prospect of enjoying unmolested that religious 
freedom which was denied them. Having examined the 
country in the neighborhood of New Amsterdam, they 
finally located here, where they hoped not only to obtain 
the necessaries of life but to lay a foundation for trans- 
mission to their posterity: the freedom and happiness 
of an independent community. Its proximity to the 
ocean and the advantages which presented themselves 
of making this a place of some commercial impor- 


tance, were among the inducements for locating at this 

A committee appointed to fix upon the plan of a vil- 
lage having made a report which was approved, they 
proceeded to lay off a plot consisting of ten acres, cen- 
trally situated, into squares and streets intersecting each 
other at right angles, and so disposed as to allow of 
thirty-nine lots of competent size for houses, gardens, 
etc., fronting on the outer street, surrounding the whole. 

The number of the lots was equal to that of the first 
settlers, and served as the rule of division in all subse- 
quent allotments of land in the town. The village plot, 
thus designated, was next enclosed by a stockade or pali- 
sade defence, erected by the proprietors of the respective 
lots, composed of " half trees nine feet long and stand- 
ing seven feet above the ground." 

This chosen spot served as the nucleus of a more popu- 
lous settlement, and the outlands were so laid off as to 
make the exterior lines of every plantation converge 
toward the common centre; which, it may be observed, 
is their condition at the present day to a very consider- 
able extent. Although the want of a sufficient depth of 
water in the neighboring cove defeated the original 
project of making this a commercial town, yet the place 
grew into importance and became in a short space the 
capital or shire town of the county, the courts being ap- 
pointed to be held here, and so continuing for more than 
forty years when they were removed to Flatbush. After 
the danger from enemies became less considerable, and 
the inhabitants more generally diffused, the idea of sup- 
porting the central establishment abated, and the larger 
squares were appropriated to other uses than as a place 
of habitation and defence. The court house was built 


upon one of them, the church upon another, and a third 
was appropriated as a common cemetery. Here are a 
number of graves of the early settlers, but those of the 
Quakers have been levelled by the plough. According to 
the custom of these people there were no monuments to 
designate the place of their interment except that of 
Peter Sullivan and his wife, at the head of which is a 
large granite slab containing the names of the deceased 

It is highly probable that the first proprietors procured 
a conveyance from the neighboring Indians as was the 
custom in the English towns, for only a very short patent 
was granted them during the Dutch Government. But a 
ground brief or patent was issued by Governor Kieft to 
Antoine Jansen Van Salee, May 27, 1643, " f° r I0 ° 
morgen * of land lying on the bay of the North River 
on Long Island over against the Conyne Island, stretch- 
ing along the strand 253 rods. North north-west from 
the strand, about north-east by east 236 rods, back again 
along an height 124 rods, about south-east, and south- 
west by west, 24 rods; south, 54 rods farther to the 
strand, south-west by west 174 rods, with some out 
hoecks, lying on the south side, amounting to 87 morgen, 
and 493/2 rods, with yet an hoeck stretching from the 
house, surrounded on three sides with meadow, stretch- 
ing south-west by west 72 rods, 90 rods south-east by 
south, being an oblong, with some out hoecks, bearing 12 
morgen, 550^ rods, amounting together to the aforesaid 
100 morgen." 

This was probably a confirmation patent, as a grant 

*A morgen was a Dutch measure, little less than two English acres, 
and consisting of 600 square Dutch rods; a shepel (or Dutch bushel) 
was nearly three English pecks; a guilder was about the value of forty 
cents, and a stiver about that of two cents. 


was made to him August 1, 1639, afterwards known 
as Antonie Jansen's Bowery (or farm), for which 
another patent of confirmation was issued by Governor 
Nicoll, June 11, 1667, but was made to Francis Bruyne 
(or Brown), specifying the same boundaries as afore- 
said, and concerning which an agreement was made be- 
tween the patentee and the people of Gravesend, April 
29, 1670.* 

A patent was granted Guisbert Op-Dyck, May 24, 

1644, for Coney Island, called by the Dutch Conynen 
Eylandt, probably from an individual of that name who 
first lived upon it. Pine Island, then called Conyne 
Hoeck, was separated from the former by a small creek 
which has since disappeared. 

A general patent for the town, both in Dutch and Eng- 
lish, was obtained from Governor Kieft, December 19, 

1645, in which the patentees named were the Lady 
Deborah Moody, Sir Henry Moody, Bart., Ensign 
George Baxter, and Sergeant James Hubbard, their heirs 
and successors, for " a certain quantity of land being 
upon or about the westermost part of Long Island, be- 
ginning at the mouth of a creek adjacent to Conyne 
Island, and bounded on the west part thereof with the 
lands belonging to Anthony Johnson and Robert Pen- 
noyre; and to run as far as the westermost part of a cer- 

* There is an existing tradition that this Antonie Jansen Van Salee 
was by birth a Moor, and came from a place called Salee on the 
coast of Africa, which caused the addition to his name, to distinguish 
him from another person of the same name. As there is no known 
reason why the Dutch governor should make so extensive a grant to a 
native of Africa, it is more probable that he may have been a Dutchman, 
who, for purposes of commerce had resided at Salee, and thus acquired 
the above addition by way of distinction. He is said to have been a 
man of prodigious strength; and William, a brother of his, is reported 
to have carried ten bushels of wheat from his barn to the house, a dis- 
tance of fifty yards, and then upstairs to the garret. 


tain pond in an old Indian field on the north side of the 
plantation of the said Robert Pennoyre ; and from thence 
to run directly east as far as a valley, being at the head 
of 'a fly or marsh some time belonging to the land of 
Hugh Garretson ; and being bounded on the south with the 
main ocean, with liberty to put what cattle they shall see 
fitting to feed or graze upon the aforesaid Conyne Island, 
and with liberty to build a town, with such necessary 
fortifications as to them shall seem expedient; and to have 
and enjoy the free liberty of conscience according to the 
customs and manners of Holland without molestation, 
and to establish courts and elect magistrates, to try all 
causes not exceeding fifty Holland guilders." 

The fact of a female being included and first named 
also in the patent is, as far as we know, unprecedented 
in the colony, and exhibits the Lady Moody and her 
noble-hearted son in a very interesting position. 

This circumstance very naturally excites a curiosity in 
the reader to be better informed of the character and 
standing of these distinguished strangers. This curiosity 
we shall endeavor to gratify to the fullest extent in our 

In Burke's Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies, we find 
the following: 

" i. Henry Moody, Esquire, of Garesdon, in Wilt- 
shire, created baronet 162 1-2, married Deborah, daugh- 
ter of Walter Dunck, Esquire, of Avebury, in the same 
county, and dying about 1632 was succeeded by his son, 
viz.: 2. Sir Henry Moody, who sold the estate of 
Garesdon, and settled in New England, where he is pre- 
sumed to have died sine prole, in 1662, and the baronetcy 
became extinct." 

11 In 1625 (says another), Lady Moody went to Lon- 


don, where she remained in opposition to a statute di- 
recting that no person should reside beyond a limited 
time from their own homes. April 21, 1635, the court 
of star chamber ordered dame Deborah Mowdie and 
others to return to their hereditaments in 40 days. In 
1640, she arrived at Lynn, Mass., and united with the 
church there, and on the 13th of May, 1640, the court 
granted her 400 acres of land. In 1641, she bought the 
farm called Swamscot, of Deputy Governor Humphrey, 
at the price of £1 100. She after, says Winthrop, became 
imbued with the erroneous doctrine, that infant baptism 
was a sinful ordinance, for which she was excommuni- 
cated, and in 1643 removed to Long Island." Again it 
is recorded, "that in 1643, Lady Moody was in the 
colony of Mass., a wise and anciently religious woman, 
and being taken with the error of denying baptism to in- 
fants, was dealt with by many of the elders, and admon- 
ished by the church of Salem, but persisting still, and to 
avoid further trouble, she removed to the Dutch, against 
the advice of all her friends. Many others, infected 
with anabaptism, removed thither also." We shall see 
that in expecting entire toleration here, they were doomed 
to disappointment. 

It was the religious intolerance which prevailed in the 
Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies toward heretics, 
that drove the Lady Moody, her son, Sir Henry Moody, 
Ensign Baxter, Sergeant Hubbard, William Goulding, 
John Tilton, Thomas Spicer, and their associates to seek 
an asylum in some part of this province where they might 
be allowed to exercise and enjoy freedom of opinion in 
matters of conscience. This, as experience showed, they 
vainly imagined to have been amply assured to them in 
the patent of 1645, which, however, in a little time, proved 
to be in great measure illusory. Even the Lady Moody 


herself, whom Judge Benson designates as the "Dido, 
leading the colony" was arraigned with others before 
the authorities of New Amsterdam for merely asserting 
that "infant baptism was no ordinance of God" 

This gifted heroine, however, sustained herself in the 
conflict, and rendered very essential service to her afflicted 
companions. Her wealth and extraordinary abilities 
commanded universal respect, to which her virtue and 
courage were fully equal. 

The governor and council convened at her hospitable 
mansion on the 23d of November, 1654, for the purpose 
of endeavoring to allay an excitement, principally occa- 
sioned by a refusal on the part of the former to sanction 
the nominations which had been made for magistrates of 
the town, the names of Baxter and Hubbard having been 
sent up for confirmation. In this exigency, his Excellency 
was anxious to secure the influence of her Ladyship in 
his favor, and finally, it is recorded, left the matter of 
the said appointments to her discretion, which statement, 
however, may well be doubted. 

June 18, 1655, the governor and council resolved that 
letters should be written to the sheriff, and to Lady 
Moody, " as eldest and first patentee, to make a nomina- 
tion of magistrates for the town." 

It was during this same year that her house was as- 
saulted several times by a company of Indians from the 
North River, when she was protected by a guard sent for 
that purpose from the city. The invaders had, however, 
previously landed upon Staten Island, where they mur- 
dered sixty-seven persons. 

The time of Lady Moody's death is unknown, but it 
was certainly before 1660, she having owned and occupied 
the farm of the late Van Brunt Magaw, Esq., a part of 


which was lately in possession of his son-in-law, the Rev. 
Isaac P. Labagh. 

In Felt's Annals of Salem, it is said that in 165 1, Sir 
Henry Moody had an action there in regard to the farm 
owned by his mother, the Lady Moody, called Swamscot, 
which he obtained and afterwards sold to one Daniel 

In the council minutes of June 24, 1660, is the follow- 
ing entry: 

" Whereas Sir Henry Moody has informed us that he 
was arrived here as Embassador of the Governor and 
Assembly of Virginia, it is resolved to compliment him 
in his lodgings, by two members of the Council, accom- 
panied by Halbediers, and communicate to him, that the 
Director-General and Council were convened to hear his 

" Sir Henry Moody, being complimented by the com- 
mittee, appeared with them in council, and delivered a 
certain letter as his credentials," which, being read, was 
found to be sent by the governor and council of Virginia, 
soliciting a reciprocal arrangement for the encourage- 
ment of trade between the two provinces; and to say " they 
have sent their well beloved friend, Sir Harry Moody, 
Knight and Baronet, (a person whose honor and integ- 
rity, as you cannot doubt, so we have abundance of con- 
fidence,) as our interested agent, to receive from you a 
confirmation of our former agreement, and to whom our 
desire, is, you would give full credence, we having given 
him full power and authority to resolve any doubt that 
may occur in the articles agreed upon." This was accom- 
panied by a private letter from Governor Berkley, desir- 
ing a loan of 4,000 pounds of tobacco, to be paid in " ex- 
cellent tobacco," in the November following. 

The records of this town, which were uniformly kept 


in the English language, are still preserved nearly entire. 
They commence with the year 1645, and for a series of 
years are chiefly occupied with the records of wills, in- 
ventories, letters of administration, and a variety of pri- 
vate contracts, bargains, sales, &c. 

A few extracts will exhibit the manner of conducting 
the public business at this remote period, particularly in 
the town meetings : 

Sept. 27, 1644, it was voted that those who had 
Boweries (farms) should have fifty morgen of upland, 
with meadow proportionable to their stock; and it was 
further ordered, that any person who did not build a 
habitable house by the last of May (then) next, should 
be defaulted, and forfeit their land to the town. 

In Jan. 1648, the town elected Sergeant James Hub- 
bard, a man as has been seen of great respectability and 
influence, to execute the office of schout or constable, 
which was considered at that period of much importance. 

On the 14th of April, 1649, John Furman agreed with 
the town to keep their calves three months for sixty 
guilders, " to be paid in money, tobacco, or corn, and 
some bitters, if desired." In March, 1650, it was re- 
quired of every owner of a lot of ground, to pay one 
guilder toward the common charges of the town, to be 
collected and paid over by Mr. Stillwell and Jos. Tilton. 
In Dec. of the same year it was ordered that every man 
should fence the head of his lot, adjoining the town 
square, with a sufficiency of palisades, by the middle of 
April following. Within this palisade enclosure, which 
encircled the original town plot of ten acres, the inhab- 
itants secured their cattle during the night, and them- 
selves also, whenever they were apprehensive of danger 
from the natives; in which latter case an armed guard 
was also employed. 


That wolves were both common and mischievous at that 
time appears from the fact that on the 8th of August, 
1650, three guilders were offered for every wolf which 
should be killed in the town, and two guilders for every 
fox. It was ordered also that every man should be pro- 
vided with a gun, a pound of powder, and two pounds of 
lead or bullets. Every owner of a house was likewise 
required to provide himself with a ladder, twenty feet 
or more in length. It was also voted and agreed in town 
meeting that whoever should transgress in word or deed 
in defaming, scandalizing, slandering, or falsely accusing 
any one to the breach of the peace and the reproach of 
the place, should suffer such condign punishment accord- 
ing to his demerit, as should be thought meet by the 
magistrates, either by fine, imprisonment, stocking, or 
standing at a public post. 

In the year 1654 a question having been raised and 
agitated as to the validity of the title to Coney Island and 
Gravesend Neck, a release was obtained from the Indians 
therefor, which, after describing the premises, concludes 
as follows: 

" The above quantity of land, being within the lym- 
mits, graunted by a Pattent to certaine Patentees, Inhabit ts 
of Gravesend, by the late Gouern r Kieft, the said Gut- 
taquoh, acknowledges to have sould all his right and 
clayme to the said land called Narrioch, (the Island,) 
and Mannahaning, (the Neck,) unto the Honorable the 
Lords Bewint Hebbers, of the West India Company of 
the Chamber of Amsterdam, for the use of the said 
Pattentees and Inhabitants of Gravesend, having received 
15 fathom of Sewan, two guns, three pound of powder, 
together with all the meadow land and marsh land there- 


unto appertaining. In confirmation, I have put my hand 
this seaventh day of May, 1654. 


Other conveyances for lands in different parts of the 
town were obtained at various times, from which no 
little confusion sometimes arose by the clashing of 
boundaries, the descriptions being not unfrequently both 
inconsistent and obscure. 

April 10, 1656, the inhabitants of Gravesend having 
secured their village by a palisade defence, petitioned the 
governor and council for three or four big guns to be 
used in time of danger, which request was granted with 
a due allowance of powder and ball. 

Jan. 7, 1656. — " Att a generall assemblie of y e In- 
habitants, ordered, that all who tapp or drawe out 
stronnge beare to sell, shall provide that y e s d beare bee 
as good y t w cb is usually sould att the manhattoes, and 
they are required to sell itt att y e prise of tenn guilders 
the halfe ffatt." 

11 And it is further agreed y t y e younge men shall bee 
grattifyed with soe much as might buye 2 half ffatts of 
beare, out of the moneys recevd from Peter Simpson for 
the lott No. 37, and regard the sayd paye were in 
tobacco, that therefore Charles Morgan should receive 
£100, and the overplush when the beare is payd ffor." 

Dec. 2, 1658. — " Agreed that every inhabitant shall 
bring or cause to bee brought into y e commard yard, for 
ffencing y e buriall place 12 pallisadoes of oak, betwixt 9, 
10 and 11 inches broad, and 7 foot long, on forfeiture 
of 10 shillings a man, to be distraynd." 

Feb. 8, i6$g. — " The town agrees with Henry Brazier 
ffor the building of a mill, within the towne, ffor y e grind- 
ing y e corn of the inhabitants, and y e towne will give him 



500 guilders; and every man has a team, to cart one day, 
and such as have none, to give 2 days apiece, in making 
the dam." 

At a Court held at Gravesend on the first Wednesday 
of October, 1666, it was resolved that tax burthens might 
be collected in grain, beef, and pork, viz., in wheat at 
5 shillings per bushel, rye at 4 shillings, corn at 3 shil- 
lings, and oats at 2 shillings per bushel; in pork at 4 
pence per pound, and in beef at 3 pence. 

The following named persons were inhabitants and 
probably freeholders of the town in 1656: 

William Goulding 
Jacob Swart 
Walter Wall 
Charles Morgan 
Peter Simson 
John Cock 
John Laus 
Lawrence Johnson 
John Broughman 
William Wilkins 
John Tilton 
John Vaughan 
Bar'w Applegate 
George Baxter 
Edward Griffing 
Thomas Greedy 
Samuel Spicer 
John Lake 
Laurens Wessell 
William Barnes 
William Compton 
Charles Bridges 

Jacob Spicer 
John Van Cleef 
Thomas Spicer 
Ralph Cardell 
James Grover 
Carson Johnson 
Thomas Baxter 
William Bowne 
Thomas Whitlock 
Richard Gibson 
Richard Stout 
Nicholas Stillwell 
Pieter Abell 
Richard Gibbins 
James Hubbard 
Joseph Goulding 
Thomas Marshall 
Christian Jacobsen 
Samuel Holmes 
William Smith 
Thomas Delaval 
Joachim Guylock 

William Nicolls 
Edward Brown 
John Thomas 
Lady Deborah Moody 
Elizabeth Applegate 
John Peters 
John Applegate 
Lyman Law 
Thomas Morrell 
James Curlear 
John Bowne 
Thomas Applegate 
William Stoothoff 
John Johnson 
Thomas Tilton 
Richard Stillwell 
John Emans 
Thomas Morgan 
John Pollard 
David Arbuthnot 

It is a singular fact in the religious history of this 
town that from the appearance of the first Quakers in 
America, the most of the inhabitants embraced their 
sentiments, and here were established the first regular 
meetings of that sect. But they were no more permitted 


to enjoy their opinions here than were their friends in 
Massachusetts. Governor Stuyvesant took every oppor- 
tunity to manifest his abhorrence of their doctrines and 
discipline, and after long endurance and a visit from 
their great leader, George Fox, most of the Friends 
removed from the town and settled on the opposite 
shores of New Jersey, where their descendants may 
still be found. So that an almost total change took 
place in the character of the people ; emigrants from New 
Amsterdam and the adjoining plantations supplied the 
vacancies made by removals, and the town which was at 
its first settlement entirely English, finally became the 
most purely Dutch of all in the county, and has with the 
most tenacity preserved the language of the Fatherland. 
A general patent of confirmation was obtained from 
Governor Nicoll, August 13, 1667, in which the bound- 
aries coincide with those of Kieft's patent of 1645 in 
substance. And July 1, 1670, an additional patent was 
executed by Governor Lovelace, which is as follows : 

" Francis Lovelace, Esq'r, one of the Gentlemen of his 
Magesty's Honorable Privy Chamber, and Govenor 
General, under his Royal Highness, James, Duke of 
Yorke and Albany, &c, of all his Territories in America 
— To all to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth 
Greeting. Whereas, there is a certain Town in the West 
Riding of Yorkshire, upon Long Island, commonly called 
and known by the name of Gravesend, situate, lying and 
being on or about the Westermost part of the s d Island, 
containing a certain quantity or parcel of Land, begin- 
ning at the mouth of a creek adjacent to Coney Island, 
and being bounded on the Westward part thereof with 
the land heretofore appertaining to Anthony Johnson 
and Robert Pennoyer, and so to run as far as the Wester- 


most part of a certain Pond in an old Indian Field on the 
north side of the Plantation of the s d Robert Pennoyer, 
and from thence to run direct East as far as a valey, be- 
gining at the Head of a Fly or marsh sometime belonging 
to the Land of Hugh Gerritsen, and being bounded on 
the south side with the main Ocean, for which s d quan- 
tity or parcel of Land, there was heretofore a Pattent 
or Ground-brief granted from the Dutch Govenor, Wil- 
liam Keift, unto several Patentees, thier Associates, and 
Heirs, Executors, Administrators, Successors or Assigns, 
and all other appurtenances, as also to put what cattle 
they thought fitting to grase and feed upon the affore- 
mentioned Coney Island, with Liberty to them the s d 
Patentees to build one or more towns upon the s d Lands, 
with many other particulars and privileges, as in the s d 
Patent or Ground-brief, bearing date the 19th of Dec, 
1645, relation being thereunto had, is at large set forth. 
Now for a Confirmation unto the present freeholders 
and Inhabitants of the s d Town, in thier Possession and 
enjoyment of the Premises. Know ye, that by virtue of 
the commission and authority unto me given me by His 
Royal Highness, I have ratified, confirmed and granted, 
and by these presents do ratify, confirm and grant unto 
Thomas Delavall, Esq'r, Mr. James Hubbard, Ralph 
Carall, William Bowne, John Tilton, William Goulding 
and Samuel Spicer, as Patentees for, and on behalf of 
themselves and their associates, the Freeholders and In- 
habitants of the s d town, their Heirs, Successors and as- 
signs, all the forementioned quantity, tract and parcel 
of Land set forth and bounded as aforesaid, together 
with the Inheritance of all Coney Island, (reserving only 
the privilege of erecting Huts for fishing and drying of 
nets there, upon occasion for all persons who shall under- 
take that design for the public good,) including all the 
Land within a line stretching from the westermost part 
of the s d Island unto the southermost part of the old 


Bowery of Antony Jansen, thier East bounds being the 
Strome Kill which comes to the marsh or Fly of Mathew 
Gerritsen's Land aforementioned: as also the meadow 
ground and upland not specified in thier former Patents, 
concerning which there have been several disputes and 
differences between the Inhabitants of the said town and 
thier neighbor, Francis Brown, which, in part, was issued 
by my Predecessors and myself, but since fully concluded 
and determined between them by articles of agreements, 
the which articles I do hereby confirm and allow, with 
all Havens, Creeks, &c, — and all other profits, commodi- 
ties, emoluments and Hereditaments to the s d town, tract 
of land and premises within the limits and bounds afore- 
mentioned, described, belonging, or in any wise apper- 
taining, and also to have freedom of commonage for 
range and feed of cattle and horses in the woods, as well 
without as within thier bounds and limits with the rest 
of thier neighbors, with liberty to cut timber there upon, 
for thier public or private occasions. To have and to 
hold all and singular, &c, unto the said patentees, 
and their associates, heirs, &c, — and that the place of 
their present Habitation shall continue and retain the 
name of Gravesend, and by that name shall be known, 
&c, rendering and paying all dues and duties, according 
to the good and wholesome laws already made, or that 
hereafter shall be established in these, His Royall High- 
ness, his territories. 

" Given under my hand, and sealed with the seal of the 
Province at Fort James in New York, this first day of 
July, in the 226. year of his Majestie's Reign, Annoque 
Domini, 1670. 

" Matthias Nicoll, Secy. 

" Francis Lovelace." [l. s.] 

In a short period after the conquest of New Nether- 
land, and the foundation of the Ridings, this town became 


the seat of justice for the county, and a court house was 
erected in 1668, in which the sessions and oyer and 
terminer were held till their removal in 1686 to Flatbush. 
On the 26th of March, 1677, an agreement was entered 
into between the towns of Gravesend and New Utrecht 
in relation to their boundaries, which was confirmed in 
the patent granted by Governor Dongan on the 10th of 
September, 1686. The boundaries mentioned in this in- 
strument are as follows : 

" Beginning at the westernmost part of a certain place 
called Coney Island, and from thence to the western- 
most part of Anthony Jansen and Robert Pennoyer's 
land; and so from thence by New Utrecht fence, accord- 
ing to agreement, to the bounds of Flatbush, and from 
thence along John Ditmas his land unto the bounds of 
Flatlands, upon a line agreed upon between Flatlands 
and Gravesend, which, from John Ditmas his land, runs 
to a certain bound stake, and from thence to a white 
oak tree, marked and standing near New Utrecht wagon 
path, and so to the north-west corner of Albert, the 
weaver's field, and so going to a certain marked white 
oak tree that stands by the highway side in the Hollow, 
and from thence running along the Hollow to the head 
of a certain creek commonly called and known by the 
name of the Strome Kill, and along the said creek to the 
main Ocean, and so along the sea-side to the western- 
most part of Coney Island." 

The patentees in this instrument are James Hubbard, 
John Tilton, jun., William Goulder, Nicholas Stillwell, 
and Jocham Guilock; and the quit-rent reserved was six 
bushels of good winter merchantable wheat, to be paid 
on the 20th day of March annually, for his Majesty's use 
at the city of New York forever. 


To exhibit the peculiarity of the times, we present a 
copy of an ancient document, or prohibition of certain 
pastimes on the first day of the week. 

" Whereas thier is a prohibition expresse by an order 
from y e Goveno r of all such exercises upon y e first day of 
y e weeke, as gunning, ball-playing, horse-races, nine-pins, 
excessive drinking, and royetting, with others y e like, 
which greatly tende to y e dishonour of God, y e hindrance 
of many from and in religious duties to y e reproach of 
y e Govern* and shame of the place; for y e prevention 
whereoff, the officers of this toune, according to their 
dutye, have given due notice, that what person soever 
shall in the like trangresse, shall pay ios. and answer it 
before the Govenor. This act proclaimed y e 13th of 8th 
month, 1675." 

" At a court of Sessions held at Gravesend, June 21, 
1676, John Cooke and John Tilton, being Quakers, and 
refusing to take the oath, were ordered to give their en- 
gagement to Justice Hubbard to perform their office as 
overseers, under the penalty of perjury." " At the same 
court, holden Dec. 1679, Mr. Jos. Lee, deputy sheriff, 
presented Ferdinandus Van Strickland for refusing to 
give entertainment to a stranger who came from Hunt- 
ington about business at this court; upon which the court 
do order, that if the said Ferdinandus does not make his 
submission to the sheriff and the justices to-morrow, that 
he be dismissed from tapping." 

Coney Island, whose shores are incessantly lashed by 
the ocean wave, has long been a favorite resort for 
visitors in the sultry season of the year. It is more than 
half encompassed by the sea, and is, of course, almost 
constantly fanned by cool and refreshing sea breezes, and 
affords an illimitable view upon the broad Atlantic. The 


island is separated from the main land by a narrow creek, 
meandering through a body of salt meadow or marsh, 
which is crossed by a bridge erected by the Coney Island 
Turnpike and Bridge Company. On the island are about 
sixty acres of arable land, the remainder being a singular 
looking mass of sand-hills, drifted about in wild confu- 
sion by the action of high winds and severe ocean 
storms. The extent of the island, from east to west, is 
about five miles, including the points of the projecting 
beaches, and in width about one mile. 

This sea-girt isle is probably the first land impressed 
by the feet of the venerable Hudson and his sailor com- 
panions on their approach to the harbor of New York 
in 1609, and their appearance, as well as that of the ship, 
must have produced surprise and consternation in the 
native inhabitants of the country. The accommodations 
here are upon a liberal scale, the Coney Island House 
being well kept by James B. Cropsey, and having been 
thus far duly supported by the public. Its distance from 
New York is eleven miles, and the road is almost un- 
equalled. Regarding the loose materials of which this 
island is composed and its greatly exposed situation, it 
may be assumed that another century will nearly annihi- 
late it. 

We have not been able to find whether any other re- 
ligious edifice ever existed in this town, except the Dutch 
Church, which was first built on one of the original 
squares in 1655. It was rebuilt in 1770, and in 1833 the 
present Reformed Dutch Church was erected. It was 
from the beginning associated with the other churches of 
the same denomination in the county, having the same 
ministers, and so remained until the settlement of Mr. 
Labagh in 1832. From 1763 to 1785 it was associated 


with the church at Harlem under the charge of Rev. 
Martinus Schoonmaker. 

Rev. Isaac P. Labagh was the son of the Rev. Peter 
Labagh, an aged and respected minister of the Reformed 
Dutch Church at Harlington, N. J. Mr. Labagh was 
born at Leeds, Greene County, N. Y., August 14, 1804, 
and graduated at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, in' 
1823. He studied theology at New Brunswick, was or- 
dained December 24, 1826, preached a while at Rhine- 
beck, and was settled at Waterford, N. Y., March 14, 
1827. In 1832 he removed here, where he was installed 
November 4, 1832, and was the first pastor whose services 
were confined exclusively to this church. On July 5, 1833, 
he married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Major Van 
Brunt Magaw, who died at the age of forty-seven in 
March, 1831 (being the son of the brave Colonel Robert 
Magaw of the Revolution, the noble defender of Fort 
Washington in November, 1776, who, while a prisoner 
here, married the daughter of Colonel Rutgert Van Brunt) . 
Mr. Labagh was suspended by the Classis of the church 
in 1842, and subsequently joined the Episcopal Church. 
He was succeeded, January 22, 1843, Dv his cousin, 
the Rev. Abraham I. Labagh from the island of St. 
Thomas, West Indies. 

Contributed by the Editor 

" In 1859 the second Mr. Labagh was forced to re- 
sign on account of poor health and Rev. Maurice G. 
Hansen took his place. Mr. Hansen resigned in 1871 
and was followed by Rev. A. P. Stockwell, installed 1872, 
who resigned in 1887. Rev. Peter V. Van Buskirk, D.D., 
was next called and began his labors during the same 
year that Mr. Stockwell resigned. Dr. Van Buskirk offi- 


ciated until 19 12, when the hand of the Lord took him 
from his labors on the eve of his twenty-fifth anniversary. 
He was followed on February 1, 19 13, by Rev. Philip H. 
Clifford, the present pastor, who has kindly furnished the 
particulars of Dr. Van Buskirk's pastorate." 

A Methodist church was erected at the Cove in 1844, 
and another in the south-west part of the town was incor- 
ported August 14 of the same year. 

Although the population of this town is less than 
1,000, yet a very large proportion of the inhabitants are 
industrious and enterprising farmers, a character well 
deserved when it is considered that more than 40,000 
bushels of grain are annually raised over and above their 
own consumption. Besides this the shad fishery upon its 
shores is a great and never-failing source of gain to those 
who engage in it, occupying as it does, at most, but a few 
weeks in the spring. 

Sergeant James Hubbard, prominent in the early his- 
tory of the town as we have seen, married December 31, 
1664, Elizabeth, daughter of John Bailey of Jamaica, 
probably a second wife. He was a justice of the peace 
in 1665, and as late as 1680. His father was Henry, 
and his mother Margaret of Langham, County of Rut- 
land, England. His brothers were William, John, and 
Henry, and his sister Margaret. This William, or his 
son, may have been the minister of Ipswich and his- 
torian of New England (see Farmer's Register, page 
152) . The children of James Hubbard'were James, born 
December 10, 1665; Rebecca, born April 20, 1667; Eliza- 
beth, born January 3, 1669; John, born March 20, 1670; 
Elias, born April 11, 1673, and Samuel, born May 1, 
1675, all by his second wife. 


This person seems for some reason to have incurred 
the displeasure of the governor, for which he was in the 
spring of 1656 ordered to depart the province, but it 
would appear that he was finally permitted to remain, 
probably in consequence of the interference of his neigh- 
bors and the following petition to the governor : 

" To the Hono bl Govern 1 " and Councell as followeth. 

11 Whereas it hath been the Governour's noble good 
will and pleasure att the request of some Honoured 
ffriends, namely S r Henry Moody and the Magistrates of 
Gravesend to give mee the libertie for a certain tyme 
heare without molestation, for which favour I due ac- 
knowledge his 4ove and tenderness, as for all others past, 
or that may bee. Honoured S rs , when that I were in 
prisson, you may please to understand that I delivered 
in to the honorable Courte a petition or requeste for my 
libertie; the substance thereof were that the honorable 
Courte would bee pleased to pass by what ever weak- 
ness they had seene in me, as being one not seene in state 
affaires, and further it were humblie requested to restore 
mee to my habitation under your goverment in tender- 
nesse and love. And as I then desired, soe my humble 
request is the same now. But in reguard occasionallie 
exceptions may bee taken by men, and that of such 
spiritts as may not bee well quallified with love towards 
mee, which I cannot att present charge any, but onely it is 
made my greate feare, by meanes of which may incon- 
venience. It is therefore my humble request that it may 
bee your good pleasure, and that I maye have your good 
will, to make the best of that small tittle of my Estate 
which is, and soe lovinglie in convenient tyme to depart 
in love; or otherwise it may please the Hon bl Gove r and 
Councell to bee meete that I maye injoy and follow my 
occasione freely in libertie without molestation, myself 
desiring to attend the Rules of love and peace, and 


humblie requesting all former differences may bee buried 
and forgott, and that at your good pleasure herein shall 
bee, a favorable issue and end in this business with your 
Answer hereunto in reguard my tyme is neare expiared, 
and I shall rest. 

11 Yours in all humble respecte and service, 

11 James Hubbard. 
" Gravesend, July the 24th, 1656." 

John Tilton was one of the most worthy men among 
the first settlers, and probably came, as did Thomas 
Spicer also, with Lady Moody. His death took place in 
1688, and that of his wife Mary five years before. He 
had a son Thomas, and daughter Esther, who married 
Samuel Spicer, son of Thomas, and removed to West 
Jersey in 1686, near Philadelphia. Their daughter 
Martha married the well-known Quaker preacher, 
Thomas Chalkley of that city. Their other children 
were Jacob, Mary, Sarah, Abigail, and Thomas. On the 
removal of Spicer and his wife, the quarterly meeting of 
Friends, held at Flushing the 29th of third month, 
1686, gave a certificate of their good character to the 
meeting of Friends in West Jersey, a copy of which is in 
the possession of the compiler, as well as a letter from 
John Tilton to Governor Stuyvesant in a matter relating 
to his grandson Jacob Spicer. 

" On January 1, 1894, the town of Gravesend became 
a part of the City of Brooklyn and was designated as the 
Thirty-first Ward. On January 1, 1898, this territory 
became a part of the City of New York, when Brooklyn 
was absorbed by that city." — Editor. 


Called originally by the Dutch New Amersfort, is 
bounded northerly by Flatbush, easterly partly by that 
portion of Flatbush called New Lots, and partly by Ja- 
maica Bay, southerly by said bay, and westerly by Graves- 
end, including Bergen Island lying in the bay, and Bar- 
ren Island adjoining the ocean, the whole town contain- 
ing about 9,000 acres, a large portion of which is salt 
marsh, producing abundance of grass of rather inferior 
quality, and with the exception of which there is little 
waste or unimproved land, the whole being divided into 
small farms which are well cultivated and highly pro- 

11 Within the bounds of Flatlands the first known set- 
tlement by white men upon Long Island was made. It 
was formerly supposed that a company of Walloons 1 
settled at the Wallabout in Brooklyn as early as 1624, 
but later investigations have shown this to be an error. 
Occasional trading posts or hunting lodges may have 
been temporarily erected at points on Long Island con- 
tiguous to the Fort at New Amsterdam, but for the first 
actual settlement and purchase from the Indians we must 
look to Flatlands. 

" On June 16, 1636, Wolfert Gerretse Van Kouwenho- 
ven and Andries Huddie purchased jointly a tract of land 
containing 3,600 acres from the Indians, and on the same 
day Jacobus Van Corlear bought an adjoining tract. The 

1 From the southern Belgic provinces. 



latter purchase was purely speculative and Van Corlear 
never occupied his land. The same is also true of Huddie, 
who later sold out his interest in the purchase to his 

11 Kouwenhoven, on the other hand, immediately con- 
structed a dwelling and laid out a plantation from which 
the settlement and town of Flatlands sprung. The 
pioneer called his estate 'Achterveldt,' and his dwelling 
stood near the junction of Kouwenhoven Place and Flat- 
bush Avenue, very close to the store conducted some years 
ago by J. B. Hendrickson & Son. 

" It is an interesting fact to note that his descendants 
still occupy parts of the original purchase, handed down 
from father to son and never outside of the family. 

" As has been intimated, the settlement was started the 
year of Kouwenhoven's purchase, and the first dwellings 
were constructed near the pioneer's house, in which local- 
ity the church and school were later erected." — Editor. 

As early as the year 1659, if not before, a list of mag- 
istrates was presented to the governor, out of which the 
requisite number were selected and commissioned by him. 

The soil was found congenial to the raising of tobacco, 
and besides others, ex-Governor Van Twiller had a plan- 
tation here for the cultivation of an article deemed by 
the Dutch settlers almost a necessity of life. This farm 
or bowery of his excellency lay upon Flatlands Neck, 
adjoining to and partly included in Flatbush, and is still 
known as " Twiller' s Flats " 

It has not been satisfactorily ascertained that any gen- 
eral grant or patent was obtained for lands in this town 
till the province passed into the hands of the English, but 
the inhabitants who were not very numerous continued 
to maintain a good understanding with the Canarsie 
Indians, the former lords of the soil of the county, whose 


sachem and head men resided it is supposed upon a part 
of Flatlands Neck, which still bears the name of this once 
powerful tribe. 

By the Duke's Laws, passed in 1665 in relation to pub- 
lic officers, it was declared that the overseers should be 
eight in number, men of good fame and life, chosen by 
the plurality of freeholders in each town, whereof four 
were to remain in their office two years successively, and 
four to be changed for new ones every year; which elec- 
tion should precede the election of constables in point of 
time, and that the constable for the year ensuing should be 
chosen out of the number dismissed from the office of 
overseer. The following is a copy of the oath required 
to be administered to the overseers elect: 

" Whereas you are chosen and appointed an Overseer 
for the town of fflatlands, you doe sweare by the Ever- 
Living-God, that you will ffaithfully and diligently dis- 
charge the trust reposed in you, in relation to the publique 
and towne affaires, accordinge to the present lawes estab- 
lished, without favoure, affection, or partiality to any per- 
son or cause which shall fall under your cognizance; and 
at times, when you shall bee required by your superiors 
to attend the private differences of neighbors, you will 
endeavor to reconcile them: and in all causes conscien- 
tiously, and according to the best of your judgment, de- 
liver your voyce in the towne meetings of constable and 
overseers. So help you God." 

It was the duty of the overseers, assisted by the con- 
stable, to hold Town Courts for the trial of all causes 
under five pounds. They, with the constable, were like- 
wise frequently to admonish the inhabitants "to instruct 
their children and servants in matters of religion and the 


lawes of the country ; also to appoint an officer to record 
every man's particular marke, and see each man's horse 
and colt branded." The constable and two overseers 
were authorized to pay the value of an Indian coat for 
each wolf that should be killed; and to " cause the wolf's 
head to be nayled over the door of the constable, there 
to remaine; also to cut off the ears in token that the head 
had been brought in and payd for." 

Although, as has been previously remarked, no pub- 
lic document yet found affords us any certain evidence 
that a patent or ground brief was ever issued to the peo- 
ple of this town by the Dutch Government, yet judging 
by what took place in other and adjoining towns, it is but 
reasonable to conclude that such an instrument once 

The first English patent was granted by Governor 
Nicoll in October, 1667, and is in the words following: 

" Richard Nicoll, Esq. &c. Whereas there is a certain 
towne w th in this Governm* situate and being in y e west 
Riding of Yorkshire upon Long Island commonly called or 
known by y e name of Amersford als Flattlands which said 
town is now in y e tenure or occupation of severall free- 
hold rs and inhabitants who having heretofore been seated 
there by authority and likewise made lawfull purchase of 
y 6 greatest parte of y e lands there unto belonging have 
also improved a considerable proportion thereof and set- 
tled a competent number of Familyes thereupon. Now 
for a confirmation unto y e said Freehold" and inhabitants 
in their possession and enjoyment of the p r mises. Know 
Yee, that by virtue of y e commission and authority unto 
me given by his Royal Highness, I have given, ratified, 
confirmed and graunted, and by these presents do give, 
ratifye, confirm and graunt unto Elbert Elberts, Govert 
Lockermans, Roeloffe Martens, Pieter Claes, Willem 


Garrits, Tho: Hillebrants, Stephen Coertsen and Coert 
Stephens, as Patentees for and on behalfe of themselves 
and thier associates y e Freeholders and inhabitants of y e 
said towne their heirs, successors and assigns. All that 
tract togeth r w th y e severall parcels of land w ch already 
have or hereaft 1 " shall be purchased or procured for and 
on y e bbehalfe of y e said towne wheth r from y e native In- 
dian proprietors or other s w th in y e bonds and lymits here- 
after set forth and exprest (viz) that is to say, from thier 
western bounds w ch begins at a certain creek or kill com- 
monly called y e stromme kill, they stretch to ffilkins or 
Varkens Hook which is also included w th in their limits 
neare whereunto comes a certain point of land out of y e 
town of New Utrecht and those belonging to this town 
w th this distinction — that Flattlands meadows or valley 
runs about y e end of y e said point as well as on y e one side 
of it, and New Utrecht meadows lye on y e North East 
side only, then from y e limits of Middewout als. Flattbush 
w ch lye about North West from y e said towne of Flatt- 
land, beginning at a certain tree standing upon y e little 
Flatts, markt by y e ord r and determination of severall 
arbitrators appointed by me to veiw and issue y e differ- 
ence between y e two towns concerning y e same which ac- 
cordingly they did upon y* 17th day of October 1666, 
A lyne stretching South East to Canarise, it includes 
w th in its bounds and lymitts severall other parcels of land, 
in particular that parcel or tract of land graunted by pat- 
ent or groundbriefe from y e Dutch Governor Petrus Stuy- 
vesant unto Jacob Steendam and Welkin Jans bearing 
date y e 12th day of Nov. 1652 and upon y e 30th day of 
Nov. 1662, transported and made over to y e town afore- 
mentioned; as also all those lands and Canarise, parte 
of which y e native Indian proprietors did heretofore per- 
mit and give their consent, that y e inhabitants of y e said 
towne of Flattlands should manure and plant, and since 
have for a valuable consideration sould y e same unto them 


w th its appurtenances, as by thier deed bearing date y e 
1 6th day of April 1665, acknowledged by some of them 
before me, doth and may appear, togeth r with all that 
meadow ground or valley, lying and being at Canarise, 
divided between y e said town and the town of Flattbush 
aforemenconed, by an East line, to run half a point 
northerly without variation of y e compass, and so to go 
to y e mouth of y e Creek or Kill; which said meadows 
were upon y e 20th day of April last by common 
consent staked out and by my approbation allowed; of 
all w ch said tract or parcels of land, meadow ground 
and premises within y e bounds and limits aforemenconed 
described, and all or any plantation or plantations there- 
upon, from henceforth are to appertain and belong 
to y e said town of Amersfort als. Flattlands, to- 
gether w th all Havens, Greeks, &c. — to the s d lands 
and premises wi th in y e said bounds and limits set forth, 
or appertaining; and also freedom of commonage for 
range and feed of cattle and horses, into y e woods as 
well without as w th in their bounds, with y e rest of thier 
neighbors. To have and to hold all &c — and that the 
place of thier present habitation shall continue and re- 
tain the name of Amersfort als Flattlands and by which 
name to be distinguished and known in all bargains &c. 
Given under my hand and seal at Fort James in New 
York y e 4th day of October in y e 19th year of his Ma ties 
Raigne, Annoque Domini, 1667. 
" Matthias Nicoll, Secty. 

" Richard Nicoll." [l. s.] 

By desire of some of the inhabitants, expressed in their 
application dated January 19, 1668, alleging a mistake, 
omission, or defect in the former patent, another, in- 
tended as confirmatory of that, was issued by Governor 
Lovelace for the lands purchased at Canarsie (or Ca- 


nausie), the boundaries of which it seems were not suf- 
ficiently definite and explicit in the patent of Nicoll. Of 
this paper the following is a copy: 

" Whereas the inhabitants of the town of Amesfort als. 
Flattlands did w th y e consent and approbation of y e late 
Governor Coll. Richard Nicolls, make purchase of a cer- 
tain parcel of land from y e Indian native proprietors, or 
by y e deed of purchase bearing date y e 23d day of April 
1665, doth and may appear, lying and being in y e West 
Ryding of Yorkshire upon Long Island, at Canarise, w ch 
in gen 11 terms is confirmed unto them in the grand patent 
of their town by y e , by the said Governor, but y e inhab- 
itants of the said town having requested me, that y e 
bounds of y e said purchase may be expressly confirmed, or 
set forth in the deed of purchase for an encouragem* to y e 
inhabitants of the said town in their further manuring and 
improving the said land; I have thought fit to ratify, con- 
firm and grant and by these p r sents do hereby ratify, con- 
firm and graunt unto Elbert Elbertse, Govert Lochermans, 
Roeloffe Martens, Pieter Cloes, William Gerrits, Thomas 
Hillebrants, Steven Coerten, Coert Stevens, as Patentees 
for and on y e behalf of themselves, and other associates, 
y e freeholders and inhabitants of y e said town, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, all that parcel of land lying and 
being at Canarise as aforesaid, neare unto y e town of 
Amesford, beginning from y e west side of y e Muskytehole 
from certain marked trees, and stretching from thence 
over y e end of y e Flattlands to certain other marked trees, 
and from thence to the vale of y e fresh creek, stopping at 
y e path w ch goes to y e great plaines, and y e vale of y e fresh 
creek, and then stretching along y e fflatt ground by y e 
creek, by w ch it is there lockt up and bounded, together 
with all y e meadow ground or valley land, kills or creeks 
therein comprehended, w th all oth r profits, commodities, 
emoluments and hereditaments to y e said parcel of land 


and p r misses belonging or in any way appertaining. To 
have, &c. 

11 Francis Lovelace. 
"Feb r * 5th, 1668." 

Another very ample patent of confirmation was given 
by Governor Dongan, bearing date March 11, 1685, as 
follows : 

" Thomas Dongan, Lieutenant Governor and Vice 
Admiral of New York and its dependencies under his 
Majesty James the Second by the grace of God of Eng- 
land, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, defender of 
the faith &c Supreme Lord and Proprietor of the Colony 
and Province of New York &c To all to whom this shall 
come sendeth greeting Whereas there is a certain town 
in Kings County upon Long Island called and known by 
the name of Amesfort or Flattlands having a certain 
tract of land thereunto belonging whose bounds begin 
from the Beach called the Stormkill to the head of the 
said Creek or kill and from thence along the valley to 
Gravesend Path to a white oak brush and so from thence 
along the fence to Utrecht Path to a white oak tree and 
from thence with a straight line to the fence of Flattbush 
by the marked trees and then along the Flattbush fence 
up to a certain marked tree which was marked toy Arbi- 
trators appointed by the Honorable Collonell Richard 
Nicolls formerly Governor of this Province on the seven- 
teenth day of October Anno. Dom. one thousand six 
hundred sixty and six and from the said marked tree 
Eastward by the North Side of a fresh swamp to a cer- 
tain marked tree called Amusketahole and from thence 
with a straight line over the end of the little Flatts by two 
certain marked trees and so from thence with a straight 
line to a certain marked tree standing upon Hempstead 
Path and so along the lane until it comes to the Hollow 


and so along the Hollow on the fresh creek up to the 
beach and so along the fence or ditch according to the 
patent granted to the inhabitants of Flattbush in this pres- 
ent year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty 
five as by several writings or patents from the former 
Governors Richard Nichols and Francis Lovelace Esqrs. 
and the agreements made by the inhabitants of Flattlands 
with the towns of Flattbush and Gravesend relation to 
them being had doth fully and at large appear and the 
said town being now in the tenure or occupation of several 
freeholders and inhabitants seated there by authority and 
having by Mr. Roeloffe Martensen and Coert Stevensen 
persons deputed by them desired a confirmation from me 
of the aforesaid land. Now for a confirmation unto the 
said freeholders and inhabitants in their quiett possession 
and enjoyment of the premises. Know ye that by virtue 
of the commission and authority to me given for and in 
consideration of the quit rent herein after menconed and 
reserved I have granted ratified and confirmed and by 
these presents do grant ratify and confirm unto Elbert 
Elberts, Roeloffe Martens, Pieter Claessen, William 
Garretsen, Coert Stevensen, Lucas Stevensen and John 
Teunissen as pattentees for and on the behalf of them- 
selves and their associates the present freeholders and 
inhabitants of the said town their heirs and successors and 
assigns all the afore recited tract and parcels of land and 
premises butted and bounded as aforesaid with their and 
every of their appurtenances together with all and all 
manner of edifices, buildings, havens, harbours, rivers, 
rivoletts, runs, streams, feedings, pastures, woods, under- 
woods, trees, waters, watercourses, ponds, pools, pitts, 
swamps, Moores, Marshes, Meadows, Redd land Valleys, 
Easements, profits, emoluments, commodities and here- 
ditaments, fishing, fowling, hawking, hunting and other 
appurtenances whatsoever to the said tract and parcel of 
land within the bounds and limits aforesaid belonging or 


in any wise appertaining. To have and to hold the said 
tract and parcels of land and all and singular other the 
premises with their and every of their appurtenances unto 
the said Elbert Elberts, Roeloffe Martensen, Pieter Claes- 
sen, William Garretsen, Coert Stevenson, Lucas Steven- 
sen and Jan Teunissen as Patentees and their associates 
the present freeholders and inhabitants of the said towne 
their heirs successors and assigns to the sole and only 
proper use benefit and behoof of them the said Patentees 
and their associates their heirs, successors and assigns 
forever to be holden in free and comon soccage accord- 
ing to the tenure of East Greenwich in his Majestyes 
Kingdom of England Yielding rendring and paying there- 
fore yearly and every year for the use of our Sovereign 
Lord James the Second by the grace of God over Eng- 
land, Scotland, France and Ireland King defender of 
the faith &c Supreme Lord and Proprietor of the Colony 
and province of New York &c his heirs successors and 
assigns or to such officer or officers as by him or them 
shall be appointed to receive the same fourteen bushels 
of good winter merchantable wheat yearly on the twenty 
fifth day of March at the City of New York and for the 
better preserving the title of the beforerecited land and 
premises I have caused these presents to be entered in 
the Secretarys office of this province. Given under 
my hand and sealed with the seal of the Province at 
Fortt James in New York this Eleventh day of March 
Anno. Dom. one thousand six hundred eighty and five 
and in the second year of his said Majestys Reign over 
England &c. 

" Thomas Dongan." 

" May it Please your Honor. 

" The Attorney General hath perused this Patent and 
finds nothing contained therein prejudicial to his Majestys 

"Ja: Graham." 


An interview of an extraordinary character took 
place at New York on the 2d of April, 1691, between 
Governor Slaughter and a sachem of Long Island, who 
was attended by his two sons and twenty other Indians. 
The sachem on being introduced congratulated Slaugh- 
ter in an eloquent manner upon his arrival, and claimed 
his friendship and protection for himself and his people; 
observing also that he had fancied his Excellency as a 
mighty tall tree, with wide, spreading branches; and 
therefore prayed leave to stoop under the shadow thereof. 
Of old (said he) the Indians were a great and mighty 
people, but now they are reduced to a mere handful. He 
concluded his visit by presenting the governor with thirty 
fathoms of wampum, which he graciously accepted and 
ordered the sachem to attend him again in the afternoon. 

On taking leave, the son of the sachem handed to the 
officer in attendance a bundle of brooms, saying, " that 
as Leisler and his party had left the house very foul, 
he had been advised to bring the brooms with him, for 
the purpose of making it clean again." In the afternoon 
the sachem and his party again attended the governor, 
who made a speech to them, and on receiving a few pres- 
ents they departed. 

In many Dutch patents or briefs, it was required that 
after the expiration of ten years from the issuing thereof, 
the patentees and their heirs should allow to the governor 
as his prerogative, and by way of quit-rent, one-tenth 
parts of all the produce of the lands cultivated by them. 
And as difficulties were sometimes the result of this ex- 
traordinary gubernatorial reservation, it may be re- 
marked that the director general on the 6th of June, 
1656, issued a peremptory order, thereby wholly prohib- 
iting the people of this town, as well as those of Flat- 


bush and Brooklyn, from removing their grain out of 
their fields, until the tithe reserved in their patents was 
taken by the officers or commuted for by the owners. 

This proceeding was of course a right which the gov- 
ernment had the legal power to enforce, if it saw cause 
so to do, but it is easy to conceive that the honest-hearted 
farmers of the country had not expected such a power 
would ever be asserted or put in execution by the noble- 
minded old soldier, the gallant Peter Stuyvesant. 

In 1706 the negroes had so much increased in number, 
and become, by vice and intemperance, so disorderly and 
dangerous to the peace and safety of the inhabitants, 
that it was found necessary to call in the aid of the civil 
power to repress or punish their repeated depredations. 
On a representation of facts to the governor, he forth- 
with issued the following proclamation: 

" Whereas, I am informed that several negroes in 
Kings county have assembled themselves in a riotous man- 
ner, which, if not prevented, may prove of ill consequence; 
You, the justices of the peace in the said county, are here- 
by required and commanded to take all proper methods 
for the seizing and apprehending, all such negroes as shall 
be found to be assembled in such manner, as aforesaid, or 
have run away or absconded from their masters or own- 
ers, whereby there may be reason to suspect them of ill 
practices or designs; and to secure them in safe custody; 
and if any of them refuse to submit, then to fire upon 
them, kill or destroy them, if they cannot otherwise be 
taken; and for so doing, this shall be your sufficient war- 
rant. Given under my hand, at Fort Anne, the 22nd day 
of July, 1706. 


To exhibit the relative value of some kinds of prop- 


erty at that time, the following is extracted from an in- 
ventory of the effects of a deceased person, which was 
taken December 16, 17 19: A negro wench and child, 
valued at £60; while five milch cows, five calves, three 
young bulls, and two heifers, were valued together at 

£20 only. 

From the following publication in Rivington's Gazette 
of November 1, 1780, it will be seen that horse racing 
and other sports were celebrated here during the occu- 
pation of Long Island by his Britannic Majesty's forces, 
and of course, whatever odium may be attached to the 
custom, the people of this town were not responsible 
for it. 

"It is recommended, that by permission, on Monday, 
the 13th inst., will be run for on Flatland Plains, five miles 
from Brooklyn ferry, a purse of £60; other prizes on the 
2d day. There will be fox hunting, also, during the races; 
and on the 2d day, to be run for by women, white or 
black, a Holland smock, and a chintz gown, full trimmed, 
with white ribbons, to be run in three quarter mile heats : 
the first to have the smock and gown; the 2d best to have 
a guinea; and the 3d, half a guinea. God save the King, 
will be played every hour." 

The surface of this town is so uniformly level and in 
other respects so like the adjoining territory, that any gen- 
eral description would be only a repetition, affording no 
valuable information. Barren Island, before mentioned, 
lies upon the most south-easterly part of the town and 
immediately on the ocean, being separated from the west- 
ern termination of Rockaway Beach, by Rockaway Inlet, 
the main entrance from the sea to Jamaica Bay, and hav- 
ing on its western side Plumb Inlet, dividing it from 


Coney Island. At the first arrival of the Dutch it was, 
as before mentioned, not only a great deal larger than 
it is now, but was well timbered. But the timber hav- 
ing long since been cut off, its surface, composed mainly 
of sand, was not only exposed to the violent action of the 
winds, as well as the waves of the adjacent ocean, but 
much of it was carried away. It is owned now by a few 
individuals, and appropriated chiefly for the pasture of 
sheep, for which purpose only, it seems to be any way 

It was upon a part of this island that the notorious 
pirate Gibbs and his associates in crime secreted a portion 
of their ill-gotten plunder, which was mostly in Mexican 
dollars, the rest having been lost while attempting to 
land by the upsetting of their boat. 

A large amount of the money buried by the pirates 
has since been found, in consequence of violent storms 
and a heavy sea having disturbed the sand of which the 
beach is composed, and some which was lost from the 
boats has probably been washed on shore also. 

The names of this abandoned and plundering gang 
were Charles Gibbs, Thomas J. Wansley, Robert Dawes, 
and John Brownrig, who had been engaged as hands on 
board the Brig " Vineyard," and while upon the passage 
from the southern part of the United States contrived to 
murder William Thornby, the captain of the vessel, and 
his mate, William Roberts. The life of Brownrig was 
saved by his volunteering to give evidence against his 
companions in guilt, all of whom were convicted of piracy 
and murder and executed together upon Gibbet Island 
in the harbor of New York, April 22, 1831. 

Bergen Island on the margin of that part of Jamaica 
Bay sometimes called Flatlands Bay, is of itself a fine, 


well-cultivated and productive farm, but in consequence of 
a road constructed of shells and other materials between 
it and the main land, it is rarely surrounded entirely by 
water. It has long been in possession of the family 
whose name it bears, and is a highly valuable property. 

The ancient settlement of Canarsie contains a consid- 
erable population, though probably far less in numbers 
than when its native tribe possessed the soil, as is incon- 
testably evident from the immense shell banks which are 
scattered along the borders of the beautiful bay, fronting 
the town. The present inhabitants of this venerable 
spot are almost exclusively engaged in the adjacent fish- 
ery, a species of domestic commerce which is both exten- 
sive and profitable. There are here a large public house, 
schoolhouse, and Methodist Church, erected in 1844. 
The most eligible and pleasant part of the town is the 
village of Flatlands, in the centre of which a Dutch Re- 
formed Church was built many years after the settlement 
of the town. For we find that on the 12th of September, 
1662, the people applied to the governor for permission 
to raise money for the purpose and for aid from other 
quarters. The necessary authority was obtained and the 
first church erected in the following year. It was rebuilt 
about the year 1730, again in 1804, and remained till 
1848. The last sermon in it was preached in Dutch by 
the Rev. Dr. Schoonmaker. The present handsome edi- 
fice was completed and dedicated in the latter year. 

The ministers of the collegiate churches in the "Five 
Dutch Towns," mentioned in our account of Flatbush 
and Brooklyn, officiated here, the parish contributing its 
proportionate share toward their support. Some years 
since the desire became pretty general that each town 
should employ and maintain its own pastor, and accord- 


ingly the Rev. Peter Lowe, who, from 1787 had been 
one of the associate clergy, was in 1808 induced to 
confine his labors to this church and that of Flatbush, 
which he continued to do till his decease. He was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. Walter Monteith, who was installed 
over the said churches in 18 19, but removed to Schenec- 
tady the next year. The connection between this church 
and that of Flatbush was dissolved on the 1st of May, 
1822 ; and the parish remained without a pastor being set- 
tled among them, till February 6, 1825, when the Rev. 
William Cruikshank was ordained over it. He was a 
native of Washington County, N. Y., and after remain- 
ing here till April 10, 1835, and becoming obnoxious to 
some of his people for advocating the temperance re- 
form, he removed to Newburgh, where he was installed 
on the 23d, but resigned again December 28, 1837. 

The Rev. John Abeel Baldwin, son of the late Jesse 
Baldwin of the City of New York, was born there April 
25, 1 8 10, graduated at Yale in 1829, at the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton in 1834, and was installed over this 
church and that at New Lots by the classis of Long 
Island March 22, 1836, as his immediate predecessor had 
been. He married in September, 1837, Elizabeth E., 
daughter of Lawrence Van Kleek, another of whose 
daughters was the wife of Colonel Truman Cross, killed 
by the Mexicans on the Rio Grande in the spring of 1846. 

Contributed by the Editor 

" Mr. Baldwin resigned in 1852 and at the end of his 
pastorate the connection with the church at New Lots 
was dissolved. Henceforth the church at Flatlands was 
a separate parish and its pastors have devoted their entire 
time to this church. Mr. Baldwin was succeeded by the 


following pastors, the list of which has been kindly fur- 
nished by Rev. Mr. Roeder, the present incumbent: 

"Rev. J. T. M. Davie 1853101862 

" T. Sanford Doolittle 1862 to 1864 

" Cornelius Brett 1865 to 1870 

" Anson Du Bois 1870 to 1882 

" John S. Gardner 1883 to 1913 

" Charles William Roeder 1914 to " 

The very name of this town sufficiently indicates the 
nature of its surface and general appearance without any- 
thing more. The soil is of a texture easily cultivated, 
being entirely free from stone, a light sandy loam, warm 
and fertile, which from the skill and wonderful industry of 
its farming population yields a large surplus beyond the 
consumption of the inhabitants. The people as a whole 
are conspicuous for their economical habits, modern fash- 
ions not having extinguished their love of simplicity and 
substantial comfort. Indeed, the character of this peo- 
ple is not inaptly portrayed by the traveller Stewart, 
when he remarks that " some of the farmers of Long 
Island are wealthy, but are in general contented to live 
comfortably and hospitably, with all the ordinary neces- 
saries and conveniences of life without ostentation or pa- 
rade, and without seeming to care so much as other 
classes of people in this country do, about money." 

In order to show the universal prevalence of good 
order and morality in this as well as in the adjoining 
towns, the following facts may be considered as affording 
pretty satisfactory evidence. Elias Hubbard, Esq., a re- 
spectable magistrate of this town, states that he has held 
the office of justice of the peace for more than twelve 
years, and for that period has transacted most of the judi- 
cial business in Flatlands, Flatbush, New Utrecht, and 
Gravesend; during which time he has had scarcely a 


dozen trials, and only two in which a jury was demanded. 
Another gentleman, who held the office of justice in 
Gravesend for eight years, had, during that period, but 
one jury trial, and even in that instance the difference was 
compromised by the parties before the jury were pre- 
pared to deliver their verdict into court. Such a pacific 
temper is highly honorable to the character of the peo- 
ple and creditable to the government under which they 

The following form of a commission issued by Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant, and another by Leisler, are inserted as 
matters of some curiosity. 

" Fort Amsterdam, April 24, 1660. 
" Loving Friendes. 

" Out of the nomination presented unto us we have 
maade choice, as you may know bee theese presents off 
Tunis Guisbert, the which wee for the yeare followinge 
doe confirme and establish ffor magistraate off the towne 
called New Amersforte, requiringe all and every one 
whome these may concerne to esteeme them as our elected 
and confirmed magestraate ffor the towne, so after mee 
respects, I rest, your lovinge friende and Governor. 

" P. Stuyvesant." 

Form of a Commission from Lieutenant Governor Leisler. 

11 By the Lieut. Gov. and commander in chieffe, &c. By 
virtue off the authoritie unto mee, I do hereby authorise 
and empowwer you Jacobus Van De Water to be Clerk 
and Register ffor Kings County, giving you ffull power 
and authoritie to acte and officiate therein as a Clerk may 
and ought to doe, and this commission to continue till I 
receive further orders from his Majesty King William. 
Given under my hand and seal 20 off Dec. 1669. 

"Jacob Leisler." [l. s.] 


The population of this town in 1702 was 242 ; in 1840, 
802, and in 1845, 93^. 

Contributed by the Editor 

" On January 1, 1896, Flatlands became a part of the 
City of Brooklyn and was designated as the Thirty-second 
Ward. On January I, 1898, Brooklyn was consolidated 
with New York, and this territory of course became a 
part of the Greater City. 

" In spite of these facts, certain parts of the old town 
still retain their rural aspect. The Dutch Church, school, 
and old dwellings at Flatlands village are still there, and 
if one will walk or ride northeasterly along Kouwen- 
hoven Place to Church Avenue he may imagine himself 
many miles from a large city, for farm lands and the old 
houses are met on every side and aged trees lend their 
shade to his path. When the editor last rode along this 
highway a plodding hay wagon brushed the fenders of his 
car and reminded him that ' hay ' is still made in Brook- 
lyn. Further on past residences of the Kouwenhoven 
family, into the locality known as Flatlands Neck, you will 
come to the oldest schoolhouse in Brooklyn, erected in 
1836, and a little way on, to a house formerly a wayside 

"Old manners and customs clung to the town for 
many years. Mr. Cornelius Kouwenhoven, a direct de- 
scendant of the pioneer and an uncle of the editor, states 
that his father, Cornelius B. Kouwenhoven conversed in 
Dutch with members of his family as late as 1865, and 
could speak no English at the time he started in school as 
a small boy. 

" Mr. William H. Kouwenhoven also states that his 
father, grandparents, and other members of his family 
commonly conversed in Dutch at their homes and that a 
few other Dutch families did the same." 


Containing about 5,200 acres, is bounded on the 
north by Brooklyn and Flatbush, on the east by Graves- 
end and on the south and west by Gravesend Bay and 
the Narrows opposite Staten Island. An earlier period 
has been assigned heretofore for the settlement of this 
town than subsequent investigations of ancient records 
will justify, and the compiler acknowledges himself as 
well as the public, to be under peculiar obligations to 
Tunis G. Bergen, Esq., late clerk of the town for aid 
in translating the scanty memorials of the original settle- 
ment from the Dutch language in which they were writ- 
ten by the Hon. Nicasius de Sille, first councillor of 
New Netherland under the administration of Governor 
Stuyvesant, and a person of learning and respectability. 
According to him the first regularly organized occupa- 
tion of the lands in this town took place in 1657, a ^" 
though it is probable that some individuals may have in- 
truded themselves upon detached portions of the territory 
a few years sooner, as has been asserted. As a means of 
defence against the native inhabitants, as well as the 
hordes of other Indians, robbers, and pirates, which at 
that time and for years after infested the country, a block 
house or building of a like kind was early erected. In 
short the protection of government was soon after in- 
voked against these predatory aggressions. And it was 
doubtless in great measure owing to the exposed condi- 
tion of the settlement and the constant apprehensions of 



danger from enemies, that the increase of population was 
comparatively slow and gradual, for at the expiration of 
nearly fifty years the number of persons including slaves 
was less than 300. 

A large part of the present town, if not the whole, 
was, according to de Sille, originally granted to the Heer 
Cornells Van Werekhoven of Utrecht in Holland, who 
undertook to plant a colony here, but returned to Europe 
before he had made much progress, and died there. 
Jaques Cortelliau, his agent, on behalf of the heirs of his 
principal, addressed a petition to the director general for 
liberty to found a town on the bay of the North River. 
A favorable answer was given January 16, 1657, where- 
upon he laid out the land by survey, dividing it into 
twenty lots of twenty morgens each to Jacques Cortelliau, 
Nicasius de Sille, Pieter Buys, Jacob Swart, Jacobus Cor- 
laer, Johan Tomasse, Rutgert J 00s ten, Pieter Roelofse, 
Cornelis Beeckman, Johan Zeelen, Albert Albertson, 
William Williamsen, Humbert Steeck, Pieter Jans en f Jan 
Jacobson, Jacobus Backer, Jacob Pietersen, Claes Claes- 
sen, and Teunis Jooster. 

Immediate measures were taken by the proprietor to 
have houses erected, the most considerable of which was 
that of the Hon. Nicasius de Sille, being forty-two feet 
long and covered with red tiles, doubtless brought from 
Holland, and enclosed about with high palisades set close 
together for safety as most of the others were. Those who 
declined to build found others to supply their places, or 
forfeited their lots. Difficulties, however, were experi- 
enced, and much damage sustained by individuals to their 
crops for want of fences around their fields, and the di- 
rector general on the 12th of May, 1659, ordered the 
owners of lands to build on and cultivate them within 


a given period or forfeit the same, that others who had 
taken up lands in the town should obtain patents there- 
for, and that Anthony Van Salee, who, it appears had 
made purchases from the Indians, should refrain from 
trespassing with his cattle or hogs upon his neighbor's 
lands. So great was the desire of the director general to 
protect the planters from wilful injuries that he issued a 
proclamation in which severe penalties were denounced 
against offenders, who for the first offence were to be 
whipped and branded, and for the second to be hung with 
a cord till death ensued, without favor to any person. 
This, it appears, was a mere repetition of what had been 
originally proclaimed October 9, 1655, in regard to 
other places. 

An order that the inhabitants should draw their por- 
tions of meadow by lot was made August 27, 1657, which 
did not take place till May, 1659, at which the heirs of 
Lord Werekhoven drew two lots, Anthony Jansen Van 
Salee two lots, and twenty-two others drew each one lot. 

In consequence of disagreements among the inhabitants, 
and constant disorders threatening the very existence as 
well as safety of the settlement, the governor, upon ap- 
plication and complaint, appointed a clerk and schout to 
preserve the peace, and also' an assessor with authority 
to allot to individuals as he judged proper, some of the 
unappropriated lands in the town, to cause the same to be 
enclosed and cultivated, to lay out a street or highway 
through the town, to make arrangements for erecting a 
place of defence, which was ordered to be enclosed by a 
palisade, a horse-mill to be built within it, a well near 
by to be dug, and all to be at the common charge of the 
people. He was, moreover, authorized to decide differ- 
ences between individuals, and, in general, to execute the 


duties which the subaltern courts in other villages were 
accustomed to perform. 

In 1662 the governor gave a patent to the town, which 
not only confirmed the several purchases and divisions 
of land already made, but invested its inhabitants with 
the pre-emptive right to all the lands not then purchased, 
and which were not embraced in the boundaries of any 
other town. By this charter the town was not only in- 
corporated, but vested with power to appoint magistrates, 
subject to approval by the governor, also to hold courts 
for the trial of criminal cases not above the degree of 
petit larceny, and of civil causes likewise, not exceeding 
in amount five pounds. 

The first patent for lands in this town was obtained 
by the said de Sille, as follows : 

11 Petrus Stuyvesant on the behalf of the Noble and 
High and Mighty Lords of the States General of the 
United Netherlands, and the Noble Lord and Director 
of the Privileged West India Company of the chamber 
of Amsterdam, Director General of New-Netherlands, 
Curacoa, Bonayro, Aruba, with their appendages, with 
the consent of the Noble Lords of the Council witness 
and declare, that we on the date hereunto underwritten, 
have permitted and allowed to Nicasius de Sille, a parcel 
of land lying on Long Island in the Town of New 
Utrecht, known as number nine, in width 26 rods, 
bounded on the North-east by land of Jacob Backker, on 
the South-west by the village, and stretching South-east 
to the woods, containing 25 morgen (50 acres) ; also a 
piece of meadow land known as number 13 containing 3 
morgen; also a building plot on the plain South-east of 
the shore or strand way, lying North-west of Ruth Joos- 
ten, in breath 12 rods, and in length 25 rods; on the ex- 
press condition and terms that the said Nicasius de Sille, 


or those who hereafter may obtain the same, acknowledge 
for his Lord and Patron, the Noble Lord Director above 
mentioned under the Sovereignty of the Noble, High and 
Mighty Lords of the States General, and in all things as 
a good inhabitant obey the Director General and Council, 
subject at the expiration of ten years after date, when 
required by the Lord Patrons, to the payment of the 
tenth, also to the other charges and services to which all 
the inhabitants of the land are liable when occasions arise 
to require the same; constituting over the same the before- 
named Nicasius De Sille in our place the actual possessor 
of the aforesaid parcel of land, giving him with the same, 
complet might, authority, and special charge of the afore- 
said parcel of land for cultivation, dwelling, and use, the 
same as he might do with his other patrimonial lands and 
effects without our having any further claim thereon : But 
in behoof aforesaid desisting from all such from hence- 
forth and forever, promising to keep firm, valid, and in- 
violable this conveyance, and to perform all its engage- 
ments justly, and to stand to the same without craft or 
subtlety, is this by us subscribed, sealed in red wax, and 
confirmed; At Amsterdam in New-Netherlands this 22d 
day of January 1660, signed 

" Petrus Stuyvesant." 

Other patents of like tenor were granted to de Sille 
and others at different times. The said de Sille, holding 
the appointment of Fiscal, or attorney-general, was vested 
with authority to make rules and regulations for the 
other planters, which were approved by the director 
general, and he furthermore authorized the noble Lord 
Nicasius de Sille, member of the council and Fiscal, to 
appoint a substitute to perform his duties as schout or 
sheriff in the town of New Utrecht, until the director 
general and council see fit to commit the same to some 


other fit person. This was done at Fort Amsterdam, 
February 23, 1660. Stuyvesant about the same time 
visited the place, was well pleased with its apparent 
prosperity, and, having assembled the inhabitants, gave 
them his best advice and admonished them to exert them- 
selves to make their dwellings secure from enemies. The 
flag of the Prince of Orange, presented to the town by 
the Fiscal, was displayed upon a high pole, and the di- 
rector general and his attendants were entertained at a 
public dinner. 

In October, 1660, the Fiscal, being informed of some 
evil doings in the place, and apprehending the effects of 
bad examples among the people, sent an half dozen 
shackels, with an iron rod and a good lock in terrorem 

The practice of slaughtering cattle and hogs belonging 
to the Indians became so notorious, that a proclamation 
was issued to prevent the like in future, and forbid the 
killing of any cattle, calves, hogs, sheep, or goats, by any 
one without a permit for the purpose from a magistrate 
or other person appointed for that purpose. 

Many rules and regulations were in force in this as 
well as in other towns for the preservation of morals, 
the prevention and punishment of crimes, and perpetuat- 
ing good peace and good order. The selling or drink- 
ing of beer, wine, or strong drink on the Sabbath were 
forbidden, or selling the same to servants or to the In- 
dians; yard sticks, measures, and weights were to be sealed 
and made alike according to the custom of Amsterdam in 
Holland; and all persons intending to marry were to wait 
one month after three publications to afford time and 
opportunity for legal objections to be made, and if none 
was made the party refusing to marry without lawful 


reason was to pay ten guilders for the first week and 
twenty for each succeeding week till some lawful reason 
should be given therefor; and no man and woman were 
to live together as man and wife without marriage under 
penalty of one hundred guilders, or as much more or 
less as the quality or ability of the offender would war- 
rant; and they liable to the like penalty for every month 
they continued so to offend. No person was surrepti- 
tiously to hold a meeting for public worship, or sing, read, 
or preach in the same on the penalty of one hundred 
pounds Flemish, and the hearers were each liable to a 
penalty of twenty-five pounds without regard to their 
religion or sect. 

After the conquest of New Netherland, and in the 
year 1668 the following patent was issued to the town by 
Governor Nicoll: 

" Richard Nicoll Esq. Governor Generall under his 
Royall Highnesse James Duke of York and Albany &c. 
Whereas there is a certain towne within this Government, 
scituate in the West Riding of Yorkshire upon Long 
Island commonly called New Utrecht, now in the tenure 
and occupation of several Freeholders and inhabitants, 
who have heretofore been seated there by authority, have 
been at very considerable charge in manuring and plant- 
ing the lands there, and settled a competent number of 
families thereupon: Know ye that by virtue of the com- 
mission and authority unto me given, I have given &c, 
and by these presents do give &c. unto Nicasius De Sille, 
Jacques Cortilleau, Francis Browne, Robert Jacobs on and 
Jacob Swaart, as patentees &c. All that tract of land, 
together with the several parcells of land which already 
have, or hereafter shall be purchased or procured, for 
and on behalfe of the said towne, within the bounds here- 
after set forth; that is to say; Begining from Nayack 


Point, stretching alongst the bay to the land belonging to 
ffrancis Bruyne, and from thence run into the woods along 
the said Francis Bruyne's land to the land heretofore 
belonging to Robert Pennoyer neare upon a N. E. line 
1 200 Dutch Rods from which goe againe in a direct line 
to the North River, running 300 rods to the north of the 
whole Hooke or Neck of land; and then againe alongst 
the said North River to Nayack-Point, comprehending 
within the said bounds or lymitts, 20 lotts as they are now 
layd out, as also a parcell of valley or meadow land to 
the East of Varkens Hooke or Hogg-Necke, including 
both fresh and salt meadow and the reede-land thereunto 
belonging, and containing about 260 acres or 130 morgen 
— Together with all harbors &c. — To have &c. to the said 
patentees and thier associates &c. — and that the place of 
thier present habitation shall continue and retain the name 
of New Utrecht by which name &c. 

" Given under my hand and seal, at Fort James in New 
York on Manhattan's Island the 15 th day of Aug. in the 
2 th yerr of the Reign of our Sovreigne Lord Charles 
2 d of England &c. Anno Domini 1668. 

" Richard Nicoll." [l. s.] 

The following additional patent was granted by Gov- 
ernor Dongan in 1686: 

[l. s.] " Thomas Dongan, Lieut. Governor and Vice 
Admirall of New Yorke and its dependencies under his 
Majesty James the Second, by the Grace of God of Eng- 
land, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of 
the faith, &c. Supreme Lord and proprietor of the Colony 
and Province of New-Yorke and its Dependencies in 
America, &c. To all whome this shall come, sendeth 
Greeting. Whereas there is a certaine Towne in King's 
County on Long-Island, commonly called and knowne by 
the name of New-Utrecht, Beginning at the North-East 


corner of the land appurtaining to Mr. Paulus Vander- 
beeck called Goanus to the Bounds of Flattbush Pattent, 
and soe along the said bounds of the said Pattent, and 
stretching from thence South-East and by South till they 
meete the Limitts of Flattlands, Gravesend, and the said 
Utrecht, and from thence along Gravesend Bounds to 
the Bay of the North River, and soe along the said Bay 
and River till it meets the Land of the said Paulus Van- 
derbeeke as according to severall agreements and write- 
ings and the pattent from Governor Richard Nicoll, dated 
in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred, sixty 
eight, Reference being thereto had may more fully and 
att large appeare. And whereas applicacon hath to mee 
been made by persons deputed from the aforesaid Towne 
of New Utrecht for a Confirmation of the aforerecited 
Tract of Land and premissess: Now for a confirmacon 
unto the present Freeholders and Inhabitants of the said 
Towne, their Heires, Successors and assigns for ever, in 
the quiett and peaceable possession and enjoyment of the 
aforesaid Tract of Land and premissess. KNOW YEE, 
that by virtue of the Commission and authority unto mee 
given, and power in mee residing, I have given Granted, 
Ratified, and Confirmed, and by these presents Doe give 
grant, Ratifie and Confirm unto Jackues Corteljau, 
Rutger Joosten, John Verkerke, Hendrick Mathyse, 
John Kierson, John Vandyck, Giesbert Thyson, Carel 
Van Dyck, Jan Van Cleef, Cryn Jansen, Meyndert 
Coerten, John Hanson, Barent Joosten, Teunis Van Pelt, 
Hendrick Van Pelt, Lowrense Janse, Gerrit Cornelisson, 
Dirk Van Sutphen, Thomas Tierkson, Gerrit Stoffelson, 
Peter Thyson, Anthony Van Pelt, Anthony Duchaine, Jan 
Vandeventer and Cornelis Wynhart, on Behalfe of 
themselves and thiere associates, the present Freeholders 
and Inhabitants of the said Towne of New Utrecht, thier 
Heires, Successors and Assigns. All and singular the be- 
fore recited tract and parcells of Land, meadow ground 


and premissess, butted and bounded as in the pattent and 
agreements aforesaid, with all and singular the 
Messuages, Tenements, Houses, Buildings, Barnes, 
Stables, Orchards, Gardens, Pastures, Mills, Mill dams, 
Runs, Streams, Ponds, Woods, Underwoods, Trees, 
Trenches, Fencing, Fishing, Hawking, Hunting and fowl- 
ing. Libertyes, privilidges, hereditaments and Improve- 
ments whatsoever, to the said Land and premises belong- 
ing or in any wise appertaining, or accepted, reputed, 
taken or knowne or used, occupyed and enjoyed, as parte, 
parcell or member thereof, with thier and every of thier 
appurtences. To Have and to Hold, the said Tract and 
parcell of Land, with thiere and every of thiere appur- 
tences, to them the said Jacques Cortiliau (and others 
above named), as Patentees for and on behalfe of them- 
selves and thiere Present Associates, thiere Heires, Suc- 
cessors and assigns for ever, to the sole and only proper 
use and behoofe of the said Patentees and thier present 
associates, thier Heirs, Successors and Assigns for ever. 
And I doe hereby likewise Confirme and grant unto the 
said Patentees and thiere Associates, thiere heires, suc- 
cessors and assigns, all the Privilidges and Immunities 
belonging to a Towne within this Government, to bee 
holden of his said Majesty, his Heires and Successors in 
free and common Soccage. According to the Tenure of 
East Greenwich in the County 6r Kent, in his Majestyes 
Kingdom of England; Yielding, Rendering and paying 
therefore yearly and every yeare, on every five and 
twentyth day of March forever, in Lieu and Stead of all 
Services and Demands whatsoever, as a quitt Rent or ac- 
knowledgement to his said Majesty his Heirs and Suc- 
cessors or to such Officer or Officers as shall be appointed 
to Receive the same, six bushells of good Winter Mer- 
chantable Wheate att the Citty of New Yorke; and for 
the better preserving the title of the above recited Tract 
and parcells of Land, and Premisses and every of them, I 


have caused these presents to be entered in the Secretaryes 
Office of this Province. 

11 Given under my hand and sealed with the Seale of 
the Province att fortt James in New Yorke the thirteenth 
Day of May 1686, and in the Second Yeare of his 
Majestyes Reigne. 

" Thomas Dongan." 
" May it please your Honor: 

11 The Attorney Generall hath perused this Pattent and 
finds nothing contained therein prejudiciale to his 
Majestyes Interest. Exam May 13th, 1686. 

" James Graham/' 

It does not appear that any separate ecclesiastical or- 
ganization took place in this town till many years after 
its settlement, but its nearness to the church at Flatbush 
made it tolerably convenient for all who desired to 
attend public worship there, or at Flatlands, and accord- 
ingly the people of this place contributed to the main- 
tenance of the Protestant Dutch Church in the county. 
Church officers were also chosen, who, as was the prac- 
tice in other towns, acted ex officio as overseers of the 
poor, and assessors, being from their position in society 
evidently well qualified to execute the important trusts 
thus confided to them. , 

Indeed, the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the town 
seem to have been managed in great measure by the same 
individuals, and the practice was continued to a compara- 
tively recent period. The records, although very defec- 
tive, began to be kept in the English language in the 
year 1763, while in some towns they were continued 
in Dutch down to the American Revolution. About that 
period, church masters (so called), were elected at town 
meetings in the manner of other town officers, and were 
ex officio overseers of the poor. 


In 1686 the deacons of the church were chosen as over- 
seers, being thereby enabled to afford both spiritual and 
temporal assistance as circumstances might require. The 
union of these offices in the same hands was frequently 
repeated, the duties of both having their foundation 
equally in the principles of human kindness. It was also 
common to confer the offices of constable, collector, and 
pound master on the same individual, for the plausible 
reason that neither alone was of much value, and might 
be considered a burden rather than a favor to the incum- 
bent. There was so little inducement for any one to 
hold the place of constable that it was found necessary 
to institute a practice for the married men of the town 
to take the office annually in rotation, beginning with the 
eldest; and in case of the inability of any one to execute the 
office, he was permitted to name a substitute, for whose 
fidelity the person excused was willing to be responsible. 

To induce any to accept the place of collector of taxes, 
the person was allowed for his compensation a sum in 
gross, which was at first £5, but afterwards increased 
to £10. 

In 1799 the elders of the church were chosen com- 
missioners, and the deacons trustees of common schools, 
which regulation continued till 18 12 when the present 
state common school system was adopted. 

It is a fact honorable to the inhabitants of this town, 
and one which speaks volumes in favor of their good 
sense and honesty of purpose, that political or party dis- 
tinctions have rarely, if ever, interposed in the choice of 
their public officers. The same independent conduct has 
in a good degree characterized the proceedings of the 
adjoining towns. 

The towns in this county having for almost a century 


and a half constituted but one ecclesiastical congregation 
or charge, each of course contributed to the common 
fund, which for some years prior to 1795 amounted to 
£300, of which sum Flatbush raised £68, 14s.; Brooklyn, 
£58, 16s.; and each of the other towns £43, 2s., 6d. 

In the year 1663 a minister in this town was accused 
before the sessions of having performed the ceremony of 
his own marriage, and that, too, while he had another wife 
living. The reverend gentleman alleged, by way of ex- 
cuse for so novel a procedure, that his first wife had 
eloped from him without cause ; and being minded to take 
another, he conceived he had the same right to perform 
the ceremony for himself as for any other person. This 
specious reasoning did not, however, satisfy the court, 
which declared the marriage void, and the delinquent was 
fined in two hundred guilders and forty beaver skins ; be- 
sides forty guilders more for his insolence and imper- 
tinence to the court. 

In 1690 a Reformed Dutch Church was built upon the 
site now enclosed in the old burial ground of the village 
of New Utrecht. It was built of stone and of the shape 
then prevalent, an octagon. The British soldiers took 
possession of it in September, 1776, and made of it a 
hospital, storehouse, or prison, as best suited their pur- 
pose. It was repaired in 1783 at an expense of £500, 
which was raised by voluntary subscription in the county. 
In 1828 it was taken down and its materials used in the 
► construction of the present church, built also of stone, and 
dedicated August 26, 1829. 

A few rods easterly of the place where the old church 
stood is an antique stone dwelling covered with tiles, im- 
ported from Holland, which has now stood nearly 150 


years. It was the property and residence of the late 
Rutgert Van Brunt, being the identical house in which the 
lamented General Woodhull lay after he was wounded, 
and where he breathed his last, September 20, 1776. 

In 1787 this church united with the other collegiate 
churches of the county in calling the Rev. Peter Lowe. 
He continued to officiate in the said churches till the year 
1808, when the county organization was dissolved, and the 
settlement of separate pastors over the particular churches 
took place. The Rev. John Beatie became the minister 
here in 1809. He was a native of Salem, N. Y., and a 
graduate of Union College. He continued here till Octo- 
ber 14, 1834, when his pastoral relation was dissolved at 
his own request and he removed to Buffalo. 

Rev. Robert Ormiston Currie, the present esteemed 
pastor, is the son of James Currie, Esq., a native of 
Scotland, and his wife, whose maiden name was Sarah 
Van Hoeson. Mr. Currie was born at Clavarack, New 
York, October 1, 1805, graduated at Rutgers College, 
New Jersey, in 1829, and was engaged as rector of the 
grammar school there for nearly three years. He was 
licensed to preach by the classis of New Brunswick, 
July 23, 1834, and was ordained and installed in this 
parish by the classis of Long Island, February 15, 1835. 
He married Elizabeth T. Voorhees of New Brunswick, 
N. J., January, 1835. 

Contributed by the Editor 

" Mr. Currie officiated until his death in March, 1866, 
having been pastor for thirty-one years. Rev. David 
Sutphen, the next pastor, came in June, 1867, and 
preached until 1880. He was followed in that year by 
Rev. Alfred Hamilton Brush. On June 1, 1905, Mr. 


Brush celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary as pastor 
of this church, and died on Sunday, April 30, 191 1. For 
two years previous to his death Mr. Brush's health had 
been poor, whereupon he was made pastor emeritus, being 
succeeded by the Rev. Orville E. Fisher, the present 
pastor." x 

New Utrecht Bay, or as it is more commonly called, 
the Lower Bay (that above the Narrows being named 
the Upper Bay), is formed by the coast of New Jersey 
on the west and Coney Island beach on the east, and 
covers a surface of about twenty square miles, being 
among the finest as well as the safest harbors in the world. 
On the northern margin of the bay is the celebrated Bath 
House, possessing one of the pleasantest sea-side views in 
this country. It is besides the oldest bathing establish- 
ment on Long Island, and the nearest to the city of New 

The site of this capacious establishment was selected 
by the late Drs. Bailey, Bard, Rogers, Tillary, and 
others, their medical associates, as a place of retreat for 
their invalid patients whose cases required the invigorat- 
ing influence of pure air and sea bathing. Here the phy- 
sicians and those under their care enjoyed the luxury of 
the scene, far removed from the heat and bustle of a 
great city. But the building which had been erected by 
these gentlemen in 1794 was destroyed by fire May 13, 
1802, being then the property of Timothy Titus. It hav- 
ing since been rebuilt on an extensive scale as a hotel and 
boarding house by the Messrs. Brown, they have it in 
their power to accommodate with every regard to com- 
fort more than 150 visitors. 

The Atlantic Ocean and the bay, its fleets of ships, 

1 Mrs. Bleecker Bang's Old New Utrecht has been consulted for 
list of pastors since 1866. — Editor. 


steamboats, and other vessels, the lighthouses of Sandy 
Hook, Neversink, and Prince's Bay, with the distant 
points, altogether form a panorama of natural scenery 
rarely equalled in beauty by any other part of the world. 

Another, and the most interesting locality in the town, 
is Fort Hamilton, situated on the east bank of the Nar- 
rows, which is the name given to the strait connecting the 
upper and lower bays, and through which all vessels must 
pass to and from the city of New York. The strait is 
1,836 yards wide, and of sufficient depth to admit ves- 
sels of any draught. 

The fortifications are so skilfully arranged as to pre- 
vent, or render imminently dangerous, any hostile attempt 
to reach the upper bay from the ocean. 

This place was called by the Indians Nyack, and it was 
while lying on board his ship the " Guernsey," at this 
spot, that Colonel Richard Nicoll, afterwards governor 
of New York, addressed to Governor Stuyvesant his 
first communication of August 20, 1664, demanding the 
surrender of New Netherlands. This historical fact is 
intimately associated in the mind with another of equal 
importance, that a considerable portion of the British 
army landed at the same place on the 2 2d of August, 
1776, for the like purpose of capturing the country, just 
112 years and two days from the landing of Governor 

The state ceded to the general government in 1812 
thirty acres of land covered by water, called Hendrick's 
Reef, for the purpose of defence, and the government 
subsequently purchased from the individual owners, one 
hundred acres more of upland, which is occupied as appur- 
tenant to the military establishment. 

In this vicinity are three extensive works of defence, 


so placed in reference to each other and the position of 
the bay as to appear almost impregnable to any of the 
ordinary forces common to most maritime nations. 

Fort Richmond is upon the west or Staten Island side 
of the Narrows at its entrance into the lower bay. Fort 
La Fayette — sometimes, from its shape, called Fort Dia- 
mond — is situated in the stream, and Fort Hamilton is 
on the Long Island shore, in a line nearly with the 
former. These fortifications were located and planned by 
General Bernard, an eminent French engineer, employed 
by the United States, some years since, to make a recon- 
naissance of our coast, with a view to the selection of 
sites for its defence. Fort Hamilton is of permanent 
granite masonry, quadrangular in form, one face of which 
is for water defence, and the other for the land. The 
part commanding the channel mounts 14 casemate and 
26 barbette, 32 pounders; and 32 casemate guns of large 
calibre; 32 and 26 pounders are distributed along the 
land sides, which also admit of musketry defence. In 
addition to which there are 18 guns of similar calibre 
for the defence of the ditches, which are dry and well 
flanked with musketry. A redoubt 200 yards in ad- 
vance, on the land side, is designed to prevent a landing 
of the enemy on the beach between the fort and Bath, 
and also to oblige him to establish his batteries at a 
greater distance, in case of a siege. It is completely de- 
filed from the neighboring hills, which might otherwise 
be occupied by an enemy to advantage. 

Fort La Fayette is a dependency of Fort Hamilton, 
and is constructed of solid free stone masonry, mount- 
ing 73 guns* i n 3 tiers; the lower, 42; the 2d, 32, and 
the upper, 24 pounders. Several of the newly invented 
and very effective Paixham guns of large calibre have 


lately been added, which must render this one of the 
strongest defences in the country. For some years past 
these works had become much deteriorated by the neglect 
of the government, which remark would equally apply to 
every fort from the coast of Maine to the Gulf of 
Mexico. Since 1841 much has been done to place these 
defences upon a respectable footing. 

Here is also a splendid hotel and boarding establish- 
ment, called the Hamilton House, which, for its magni- 
tude, beauty of location, and elegance of accommoda- 
tions will not suffer by comparison with any other in the 
vicinity. In 1836 a company was incorporated for the 
construction of a railroad from Brooklyn to Fort Hamil- 
ton, Bath, and Coney Island, which, if executed, would 
doubtless add very greatly to the numbers visiting these 

A few years ago some workmen employed in excavat- 
ing the earth at the Narrows, discovered, a few feet be- 
low the surface, a large quantity of Indian stone arrow 
heads lying together, which induces the belief that here 
was either a manufactory of the article or place of de- 
posit. They were of all sizes — from one to six inches 
in length — finished and unfinished, together with blocks 
of the stone of which they were made, in the same state 
as when taken from the quarry. How the savages, with- 
out the use of iron instruments, could make and polish 
axes and other implements of stone of flinty hardness, is 
to us, at this day, a matter of utter admiration and 

St. John's Church, at Fort Hamilton, was erected 
principally by the government in 1835, of which the Rev. 
James Dixon Carder, chaplain to the fort and forces sta- 
tioned there, was for several years rector, his chief 


parochial care consisting of the troops in garrison here, 
the church being considered as a chapel of the fort. Mr. 
Carder is a graduate of Hamilton College of the year 
1827, and being now confined to his duties as chaplain 
to the garrison, the Rev. Sylvester Nash was in 1846 
made rector of St. John's. At Yellow Hook, the extreme 
north-west corner of the town, a Methodist Church was 
built in 1844. 

The soil of this town is in general of an excellent qual- 
ity and is highly cultivated, some farms yielding, besides 
other crops, more than one hundred tons of English hay. 
On the south side of the hills, the surface is smooth and 
level, but in the vicinity of the Narrows, stony and some- 
what hilly. The woody ridge upon the north-west, is the 
western terminus of that singular range of highlands, ex- 
tending throughout the island, having its eastern termina- 
tion near Oyster Ponds Point, 1 a distance of 120 miles, 
and is very appropriately denominated the " Spine of 
Long Island." 

The shad fishery in this town, at the proper season, 
is unequalled in any other part of the country, it being 
not uncommon to take at least 10,000 of these fish at a 
single haul. 

The following Dutch epitaphs are inserted as a curios- 
ity to those unaccustomed to that language, and they will 
be more so when the inscriptions themselves shall have be- 
come obliterated by time and the elements. 

Hier Legt het Ligham Hier legt 't Lighaam 

Van Anne Vorhes de Van Jacobus Emans 

huys vrou, Van Barnardus Soon Van Abraham 

Vorhes is ge Storven Emans, en Sara Schenck 

Nov'r 4 d 1768. Over leeden de 6d Oct'r 

1770 In't 23 ste yaar 
Syn Levins. 
1 Now Orient Point. — Editor. 


Hier Legt 

den Lighhaam Van Femetie Schenck 

huys vrouw van Pieter Stryker 

Gebooren den 29 July 1740, 

Over leeden den 14, December 


Oud Zynde 75, Yaaren, 

4 Maanden en 16 Daagen. 

The custom of putting Dutch Inscriptions upon tomb- 
stones was continued till about the year 1770, and some 
may be seen even of a much later date in the burying 
grounds of this county. But for the last fifty years the 
English language has been generally adopted. There 
are, however, a few Dutch families who still use the lan- 
guage in their intercourse with one another. 

The following, from the pen of David Stephenson, 
Esq., a distinguished engineer of Scotland, who visited 
this country a few years since for professional purposes, 
is sufficiently valuable to be here preserved. 

" The Bay of New York, which extends about nine 
miles in length, and five in breadth, has a communication 
with the Atlantic Ocean through a strait of about two miles 
between Staten Island and Long Island. This is called 
' the Narrows ' ; and on either shore stands a fort for pro- 
tecting the entrance to the harbor. This magnificent bay 
is completely sheltered from the stormy Atlantic by Long 
Island, forms a noble deep water basin, and offers a 
spacious and safe anchorage for shipping to almost any 
extent. The shipping in the harbor of New York, there- 
fore, without the erection of breakwaters or covering 
piers, is, in all states of the wind, protected from the roll 
of the Atlantic. Without the aid of docks, or even dredg- 
ing, vessels of the largest class lie afloat during low water 
of spring-tides, moored to the quays which bound the sea- 
ward sides of the city. 


" The perpendicular rise of tide in the harbor of New 
York is only about five feet. The tidal wave, however, 
increases in its progress northwards along the coast, till 
at length, in the Bay of Fundy, it attains the maximum 
height of ninety feet. Towards the south, on the con- 
trary, its rise is very much decreased; and, in the Gulf of 
Mexico, is reduced to eighteen inches, while, on the shores 
of some of the West India Islands, it is quite'impercept- 
ible. Although a bar extends from Sandy Hook to the 
Long Island shore, across the mouth of the harbor, yet 
there is a depth of twenty-one feet at low water, which 
is sufficient for the largest class of merchant vessels." 

Contributed by the Editor 

11 Governor Levi P. Morton, on May 3, 1894, signed 
the bill making New Utrecht part of the City of Brook- 
lyn. On July 3, 1894, the act went into effect and the 
form of town government was abolished. On January 1, 
1898, Brooklyn became part of the City of New York, 
and this territory of course became part of the Greater 


This ancient settlement of the Dutch was begun by 
them in 1651, and upon it they conferred the name of 
Midwout (or Middle Woods). It is probable that iso- 
lated portions of the soil had been taken up before, but 
without an intention of founding a town or even village. 
It is bounded north by Brooklyn, south by Jamaica and 
the Bay, Flatlands and Gravesend, and west by Graves- 
end, and has an area of about 7,000 acres. From the 
pleasantness of its situation and the excellence of its soil, 
it soon grew into importance, and dwellings were erected 
on the site of the present village, and upon the road or 
path leading to Gravesend, the settlement of which latter 
place preceded this by about ten years. 

In 1652 Governor Stuyvesant gave the inhabitants a 
patent for a portion of the present town, including the 
village. The patentees therein named are, Jan Snedecor, 
Arent Van Hatten, one of the burgomasters of the city, 
Johannes Megapolensis, a minister at New Amsterdam, 
and some few others. By»this instrument, they were not 
only empowered to erect a town or plantation, but were 
invested also with the usual privileges of other Dutch 
corporations within the province. In 1656 another 
patent was granted to the " indwellers and inhabitants 
of Midwout," for the Canarsie Meadows, lying east 
north-east of the Canarsie Indian planting ground. 
Patents of confirmation were in like manner obtained 
by individuals who had made particular purchases 



from the natives beyond the bounds of the original 

October 11, 1667, a general patent was issued by Gov- 
ernor Nicoll, in which the patentees were the Rev. Jo- 
hannes Megapolensis, Cornelius Van Ruyven, justice of 
the peace, Adrien Hegeman, and Jan Snedeger, Jan 
Stryker, Frans .Barents (pastor), Jacob Stryker, and 
Cornelius Janse Bougaert, as patentees for and on behalf 
of themselves and associates, the freeholders, and inhabi- 
tants of the said town, their heirs, successors, and assigns, 
for the premises described therein, as follows : 

"All yt tract wt ye severall parcells of land wh already 
have or hereafter shall be purchased or procured for and 
on ye behalf of ye sd town; whether from ye native Indian 
proprietors or others, wt in the bounds and limits here- 
after set forth and expresst; That is to say, bounded to ye 
south by ye hills, and to the north by ye fence lately sett 
between them and the town of Amsfort, alias Flatlands, 
beginning at a certain tree standing upon ye Little-Flats, 
marked by ye order and determination of severall arbi- 
trators appointed by me, to view and issue ye difference 
between ye two towns concerning the same, wh accord- 
ingly they did upon the 17th of October, 1666, and to ye 
east and west by the common woodlands, including two 
tracts heretofore called by ye names of Curler's and 
Twillers flatts wh lye to ye East of ye town; As also a 
parcell of meadow ground or valley on ye East-north- 
east side of Canaresse planting land, and having to ye 
South ye meadow ground belonging to Amsfort als Flat- 
lands, according to ye division made by an East line run- 
ning half a point northerly between them without varia- 
tion of ye Compass, and so to go to ye mouth of ye creek 
or Kill, which said meadows were on ye 20th of April last 
by common consent staked out and by my approbation 
allowed of." 


On the 12th of November, 1685, a further confirma- 
tory patent was executed by Governor Thomas Dongan, 
to the following persons named therein as patentees : 

Cornelius Vanderwyck John Stryker John Johnson 

John Okie John Remsen Ditmars Lewis Jansen 

Joseph Hegeman Jacob Hendricks Okie Johnson 

Art Jansen Vanderbilt Direck Vandervleet Jan Jansen 

Lafford Peiterson Hendrick Ryck William Jacobs 

William Guilliamson Peter Lott Hendrick Hegeman 

Hendrick Williamse Daniel Polhemus Garret Lubbertse 

Peter Guillamse Cornelius Vanderveere Hans Bogaert 

Arien Ryers Direck Johnson Hoogland 

Peter Stryker Denise Teunis 

■" The premises are in this patent described, as 'A cer- 
tain town in King's County known by the name of Midd- 
wout, alias Flatbush, the bounds whereof begin att the 
mouth of ye fress Kill, and soe along by a certain ditch 
which lyes betwixt Armsford and Flatbush meadows, and 
soe running alongst the ditch and fence to a certain white 
oake markt tree; and from thence upon a straight line to 
the westernmost point of a small island of woodland lying 
before John Striker's bridge; and from thence with a 
straight line to the north-west hooke or corner of the ditch 
of John Okie's meadow; and from thence alongst the said 
ditch and fence to the swamp of the Fresh-Kill, and soe 
alongst the swamp and hollow of the aforesaid Kill to the 
land of Krewier's hooke; then alongst the same to a markt 
white oak tree ; from thence with a straight line to a black- 
oake markt tree standing uppon the north-east side of 
Twiller's Flatts, having a small snip of flatts upon the 
south-east side of the line, and soe from thence to a white- 
oak tree standing to the west side of Mustahole upon a 
small island, leaving a snip of flatts in the Flattlands 
bounds; and from thence to a certain markt tree or stump 
standing by the highway which goes to Flattlands upon 
the Little Flatts, about twenty rod from Flattbush Lotts, 
and soe alongst the fence six hundred Dutch rodd to the 


corner of Flattbush fence, and soe alongst by the rear of 
the Lotts to a sassafras stump standing in Cornelius 
Jansen's Bowery lott of land; and from thence with 
straight line to a certain old marked tree or stump stand- 
ing by the rush-pond under the hills, and so along upon 
the south side of the hill till it comes to the west end of 
the long hill, and soe along upon the south side of the said 
hill till itt comes to the east end of the long hill; and then 
with a straight line from the east end of the said long 
hill to a mark'd white-oak tree standing to the west side 
of the roade near the place called the gale or porte of 
hills, and so from the east side of the porte or gale along 
upon the south side of the maine hills as far as Browklin 
pattent doth extend, and soe along the said hills to the 
bounds of Jamaica pattent; and from thence with a south- 
erly line to the Kill or creeke by the east of the Plunder's 
Neck, and soe alongst the said Kill to the sea (Jamaica 
Bay) , as according to the several deeds or purchases from 
the Indian owners, the patent from Governor Nicolls, 
and the award between Browkline and the town of Flatt- 
bush, as by reference thereto will fully and at large ap- 
pear.' M 

December 17, 1654, Governor Stuyvesant, who was 
equally officious in ecclesiastical, as in civil and military 
affairs, ordered the erection of a church in this planta- 
tion, to be sixty or sixty-five feet long, twenty-eight wide, 
and from twelve to fourteen feet in height under the 
beams, the rear of the building to be for the minister's 
dwelling. And February 9, 1655, he again ordered the 
people of Amersfort and Brooklyn to assist those of 
Midwout in procuring timber for the house. 

Those who had charge of the work reported in Sep- 
tember 1660, that the building had cost 4,637 guilders 
(about $1,800), of which sum, 3,437 guilders had been 


collected in New Amsterdam, Fort Orange, and on Long 
Island; whereupon, the governor gave 400 guilders more 
out of the public funds, leaving the balance of 800 guil- 
ders against the church. 

This edifice, built wholly of wood, was not entirely 
finished till 1665, but was occupied some years sooner, 
and was the first Dutch Church upon Long Island. The 
commissioners appointed to direct the building were the 
Rev. Johannes Megapolensis, Jan Snedeger, and Jan 
Stryker. Lands were at different times set apart by 
the town for the use of the church, amounting in the 
whole to about 200 acres near the village, all of which 
is still possessed by it and is of great value, although 
leased at a comparatively moderate rent. 

In June, 1656, the governor ordered the people of 
Midwout and Flatlands to enclose a place in each of 
them with palisades for their common defence. In 1660 
the Rev. Mr. Polhemus petitioned the governor to have 
a window placed in the church, which request was 
granted; and it being reported that the church was in- 
debted to the amount of 624 guilders, it was ordered to 
be satisfied out of the treasury as soon as funds should 
be received. 

Complaint was made that the minister was inatten- 
tive to his calling, holding service but once a fortnight, 
and then only for a quarter of an hour, giving the people 
a prayer instead of a sermon, upon which the governor 
gave orders u that he should attend more diligently to his 

October 1, 1673, an ordinance of the governor and 
council was published, enjoining it upon the sheriff and 
constables to take special care that the reformed religion 
be maintained to the exclusion of all other sects. 


The first Dutch Church erected in this country was 
doubtless the one built in the city of New Amsterdam in 
1642, although a society had been organized as early as 
1629. And the inhabitants of Kings County attended 
religious worship in the city until the church was built in 
Flatbush, as above mentioned. 

The Rev. Everardus Bogardus * was the first minister, 
and officiated in the city from 1638 to 1647, when he 
obtained permission to return to his Fatherland, which he, 
however, never reached, being with ex-director Kieft, and 
about eighty others persons, lost by ship-wreck on the 
coast of Wales in September, 1647, as before stated. He 
was succeeded by the Rev. Johannes Megapolensis, who 
continued till the conquest in 1664. 

The church at Flatbush was directed to be built in the 
form of a cross; and the rear part of the edifice was 
reserved and fitted up for the accommodation of the min- 
ister and his family. The original subscription list of this 
building is still preserved among the records of the church, 
and exhibits the names of the principal male inhabitants 
of full age in the Dutch towns at that period. 

A church was also ordered to be built at Flatlands in 
1662, which was completed the following year, and 
another was erected in Brooklyn in 1666, all of which 
constituted one general charge under the pastoral care of 
the same minister. 

Rev. Johannes Theodorus Polhemus, who had been in 
the country some years, was engaged as minister soon 
after the completion of the church here, at a salary of 
1,440 guilders, or $416 a year, and the same was raised 

* It was for slandering this worthy minister that in 1638 a woman 
was obliged to appear at the fort in the city. She confessed that she 
knew he was honest and pious, and that she had spoken falsely. 


by an assessment or tax upon the estates of those who 
resided in the towns where he officiated. 

He was required by an order from the governor in 
March, 1656, to preach every Sunday morning at Mid- 
wout, and in the afternoon alternately at Amersfort and 
Brooklyn. He died June 9, 1676. His wife, Catherine, 
arrived here in 1656. From his sons Theodorus and 
Daniel have descended all of the name in this country. 

Rev. Henricus Solinus, Solyns, or Selyns, was installed 
here September 3, 1660, at a salary of 600 guilders, 
one-half of which was to be paid by the inhabitants, 
and the other half by the Fatherland. In 1662 the 
people of Brooklyn requested that he might reside there; 
and the governor agreed to it, and also to pay a part 
of his salary, provided he should preach every Sunday 
evening in the church erected upon his farm or bowery. 
In 1664 he returned to Holland, having sustained a high 
reputation in the ministry. He was a distinguished man, 
possessed of a good education and no inconsiderable 
degree of literary enterprise.* He was moreover very 
respectably connected, having married Margaretta, the 
widow of the Hon. Cornelis Steenwyck of New Amster- 
dam, and July 25, 1662, again married Machtelima 
Specht, of Utrecht in Holland. Some time after his ar- 
rival in America, he addressed to Cotton Mather, on 
the appearance of his great work, the Magnalia, a 

* It has been mentioned that the Rev. Mr. Solinus left the church in 
1664 and returned to Holland. At the earnest solicitation of the people 
of New York, he was induced to revisit America in 1682, and continued 
the pastor of the Dutch Church in that city till his decease in 1701. He 
was, as above mentioned, a man of classical taste and learning, and 
was highly esteemed in his day. He also cultivated a love for poetry, 
of which a few specimens in Latin and Dutch are preserved. He left 
a complete list of the members of his congregation in 1686, which is 
contained in the New York Historical Society's Collections. 


Latin poem, which is still extant in some editions of that 
singular work. This may be called the second period of 
the Dutch Church in America, extending from 1664 to 
the year 1693. At this era the Dutch churches in New 
York, though under the civil government of Great Bri- 
tain, still acknowledged the authority of that classis and 
that synod in Holland to which they had formerly sub- 
mitted, and still received ministers from them as before. 
And that classis and synod also continued to watch over 
these American churches and to cherish them with pa- 
ternal care and affection. During this period the Dutch 
Church in America was somewhat extended. Two or 
three more congregations were organized on Long 
Island, near the city of New York. Another was formed 
in the city of Schenectady; one on Staten Island, or Rich- 
mond County; three or four in different towns on the 
Hudson ; and several, it is believed, in the colony of New 
Jersey. The precise dates, however, of these establish- 
ments, it is now difficult to determine. 

Such was the situation of the Dutch Church from 
1664 to 1693 ; not, indeed, established by law, but greatly 
predominant in numbers and decidedly pre-eminent in 
wealth and respectability. This pre-eminence, however, 
was in a considerable degree surrendered in the year 
last mentioned. In that year Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, 
who had been appointed governor the year before, a man 
of great ardor and boldness, and one who was inordi- 
nately devoted to the Episcopal Church, urged a kind of 
religious establishment in favor of that church. It as- 
sumed the air of bigotry. The Episcopalians were not 
the dominant sect. There were at that time, indeed, but 
few Episcopalians in the colony. These chiefly resided in 
the city of New York, and in the counties immedi- 


ately adjacent. They consisted, for the most part, of 
the officers of government and their dependents, and a 
portion of the military force. To establish the Episcopal 
Church under these circumstances was so evidently unrea- 
sonable and unjust, that scarcely any one would have pro- 
posed it but a person of Governor Fletcher's bigoted 
character. He met, and justly, too, with no small diffi- 
culties in the attainment of his object. The house of 
assembly, when it was first proposed to them, were decid- 
edly hostile to the measure. But, being partly hood- 
winked, and partly threatened and bullied into the meas- 
ure by the governor, they at last reluctantly agreed to 
the plan and passed an act on the 21st of September, 
1693, establishing the Episcopal Church in the city and 
county of New York, and in the counties of Westchester, 
Queens, and Richmond. The act was drawn and the 
whole business conducted in a most artful and cunning 
manner. The inhabitants of each of the counties above 
mentioned were directed by this act to choose annually 
ten vestrymen and two church wardens. These ves- 
trymen and church wardens were empowered to make 
choice of the minister or ministers for each district. And 
for the support of these ministers, a certain sum was 
directed to be assessed on the inhabitants at large of all 
denominations and raised in each county. The act, 
indeed, did not explicitly enjoin that the ministers thus 
chosen should be of the Episcopal Church; and by an 
explanatory act passed several years afterwards, it was 
even declared that dissenting ministers might be chosen. 
But by lodging the right of choice with the vestry- 
men and church wardens alone, it was well known 
that Episcopal ministers would be always, of course, 


It has been seen that the right of soil was early ob- 
tained by the first Dutch settlers from the neighboring 
tribe inhabiting the place called Canarsie (or Canausee), 
and that to confirm the same several patents had been 
issued by the governor; notwithstanding which, in the 
year 1670, a claim was interposed to the said lands by 
Eskemoppas, sachem of Rockaway and his brothers, as 
being the true owners thereof; and the inhabitants, to pre- 
vent the consequences of perpetual hostility with the new 
claimants, preferred, for the preservation of peace, and 
to establish more firmly their title to the lands in dis- 
pute, to agree to the payment of a certain consideration 
which was mutually fixed upon between the parties. The 
deed or release executed by the said Indians on this occa- 
sion is as follows : 

11 To all christian people to whom this present writing 
shall come : Eskemoppas Sachem of Rockaway upon 
Long Island, Kinnarimas and Ahawaham, his brothers, 
send greeting; Whereas they the said Sachem Eske- 
moppas and his two brothers aforementioned do lay claim 
to the land now in the tenure and occupation of the inhab- 
itants of Midwout, alias Flatbush, as well as to other 
lands thereto adjacent as the right born Indian owners 
and proprietors thereof: know ye, that for, and in con- 
sideration of certain sums of seewant, a certain sum of 
wampum and divers other goods, unto the Sachem, and 
his brothers, in hand paid, and received from Adrian 
Hegeman, Jacob Stryker, Hendrick Jorise and Jan Han- 
sen, for and on behalf of themselves and the rest of the in- 
habitants of Midwout, alias Flatbush, the receipt whereof 
they do hereby acknowledge, and themselves to be fully 
satisfied and paid: Have given, granted, contracted and 
sold, and by these presents, freely and absolutely do, give, 
grant, bargain, and sell unto the said Adrian Hegeman, 


Jacob Stryker, Hendrick Jorise and Jan Hansen, for and 
in behalf of themselves and the inhabitants aforesaid, 
their heirs and successors : All that parcel and tract of 
land where the said town of Midwout stands, together 
with all the lands lying therein, stretching on the east side 
to the limits of Newtown and Jamaica, on the south side 
to the meadow ground and limits of Amersfort; on the 
west side to the bounds of Gravesend and New Utrecht, 
and on the north side along the Hills; that is to say, all 
those lands within the limits aforementioned, that have 
not been already purchased by any of the inhabitants of 
the town aforementioned, nor is granted to any in their 
respective Patents. And also excepting such meadow or 
valley in the possession of the said inhabitants and in 
thier patent particularly set forth. To have and to hold, 
all the said parcel and tract of land and premises, to- 
gether with all and singular, every thing thereunto 
belonging, together with the said valley or meadow 
ground, unto the said Adrian Hegeman, Jacob Stryker, 
Hendrick Joris and Jan Hansen, for and on behalf of 
the inhabitants aforesaid, their heirs and successors, 
to the proper use and behalf of the said inhabitants, 
their heirs and successors forever. In witness whereof, 
the parties to these presents have hereunto set their 
hands and seals, this 20 th day of April, in the 22 d 
year of his Majesty's Reign, in the year of our Lord, 

11 Eskemoppas, F, mark. [l. s.] 
Kinnarimas cff, mark. [l. s.] 
Ahawaham C, mark." [l. s.] 
11 In the presence of 

" Thomas Lovelace, 

11 Cornelius Van Ruyven. 
"The consideration 10 fathoms of black seewant — 10 
of white — 5 match coats — 4 blankets — 2 guns — 2 pistols 
— 5 double handfulls of powder — 5 bars of lead — 10 


knives — 2 aprons of Duffels — 1 half fat (or barrel) of 
strong beer — 2 cans of brandy and 6 shirts. 

"Acknowledged before me to have been received. 

" Francis Lovelace." 

That part of the town now called New Lots, was by 
the Dutch called Ostwout, or East Woods, and was situ- 
ated eastward of the old settlement of Midwout or Flat- 
bush (and connected therewith by a tract of land lying on 
the northern part of the town, known by the name of 
Renter's Hoeck,) but whether purchased, if at all, before 
the execution of the deed last recited, has not been fully 
discovered; yet the inhabitants obtained a patent for it 
from Governor Andros, March 25, 1677, in which about 
forty of the principal inhabitants are named as patentees. 

On the 7th of November, 1685, an act was passed by 
the assembly, to remove the court of sessions from 
Gravesend to this town, it being nearer the centre of the 
county and of more easy communication with the city. A 
court house was accordingly erected here in 1686, and 
remained until another was built in 1758, in which the 
court room and jail were contained under the same roof, 
they having previously been separate buildings, one of 
which was burnt down in the winter of 1757-8. The 
British officers during the Revolution ordered the seats 
to be ripped up and converted the hall of justice into a 
ball-room. The original cost of this building was £448 
and having undergone some necessary alterations and re- 
pairs, it remained till 1792, when a new and larger edifice 
was erected in its place. The superintendents of this 
building were John Vanderbilt, Johannes E. Lott, and 
Charles Doughty. Here the county courts continued to 
be held, till the destruction of the court house and jail by 
fire, November 30, 1832, from which time Brooklyn has 


been, and is now, established as the shire town of the 

In the minutes of the court of sessions it appears that 
in 1682, some persons having refused payment to the 
minister, a complaint was made thereof by the constable, 
whereupon the court ordered that the amount due from 
such persons should be taken by distress. In 1685, one 
Theodorus Polhemus, having been elected to the office of 
constable and refusing to serve, was fined £5 to the public. 

In 1677 the churches engaged the Rev. Casparus Van 
Zuren, who, in about ten years, being called to his former 
church in Holland, returned there in 1685. He married 
Louisa Hellenius. 

He was succeeded by the Rev. James Clark, who soon 
left and was followed the same year by the Rev. Ru~ 
dolphus Varick. He continued till 1694, when the Rev. 
Wilhelmus Lupardus was called, and officiated till his 
death in 1701. 

During the ministry of Mr. Varick, and in the year 
1699, a new church was erected. It was of stone, and 
had a pyramidal roof, sixty-five feet by fifty, and occupied 
the site of the first one. In 1702 the churches called 
the Rev. Bernardus Freeman, then pastor of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church of Schenectady, who after some 
delay accepted, but was not installed till November, 1705. 
In the meantime the Rev. Vincentius Antonides had been 
sent out by the classis of Amsterdam, and was installed 
as associate pastor of the Dutch churches the same year. 
The former was a man of fine talents, well educated, and 
possessed a good store of general literature. 

He published, among other things, a volume of ser- 
mons, and a work entitled De Spiegel der Selfkennis, 
(or Mirror of Self Knowledge), being a collection (in 


Dutch) of ancient moral and philosophical maxims. The 
work has been recently translated by the Hon. Jeremiah 
Johnson for publication. 

Mr. Freeman married Margretie Van Schaick in 1705, 
and died in 1741. After which the Rev. Johannes 
Arondens was installed in 1742, and died in 1754, Mr. 
Antonides having deceased in July, 1744. The Rev. 
Anthony Curtenius * was settled in 1745, and continued 
till his death October 19, 1756. The Rev. Ulpianus Van 
Sinderen was called from Holland and entered upon his 
pastoral duties here in 1757. 

At this time existed the great and disturbing contro- 
versy among the Dutch churches, concerning the neces- 
sity of foreign ordination. The coetus party, as we have 
seen, warmly insisting on establishing an independent 
judicatory in America; and the classis of Amsterdam in 
the end assenting to it, Mr. Van Sinderen was made the 
happy messenger of their letter of approbation. Perfect 
harmony was not, however, fully restored to the churches 
till many years after. 

* The following notice of this gentleman is extracted from a news- 
paper published in 1756: — "On Tuesday the 19th ultimo, the Reverend 
Mr. Anthony Curtenius departed this transitory Life at Flat-Bush, Long 
Island, in the fifty-ninth Year of his Age, after an Illness of about 
four Weeks, being Pastor of the five Dutch Reformed Churches in Kings 
County on Long Island: He was a gentleman regularly educated, and 
remarkable for his indefatigable Diligence in the Ministration of his Func- 
tion; his Actions in all the Affairs of Life have ever been accompanied 
with the strictest Rules of Justice, so that none could with more Pro- 
priety claim the Title of Preacher and a sincere Christian, which not 
only his Morals manifested, but his glorious Resolutions to launch into 
endless Eternity, saying with St. Paul, O Death/ inhere is thy Sting? 
O Grave, inhere is thy Victory? His Remains were decently interred 
on Thursday following in the Church of the above-mentioned Place; his 
Death is universally lamented by his Relations, and all those that knew 
him, particularly his Congregation, who are highly sensible of the Loss 
of so inestimable a Shepherd, whose every Action displayed the 


Mr. Van Sinderen was reputed a man of good acquire- 
ments, yet at the same time he was eccentric and often 

The Rev. Johannes Casparus Rubel was established 
here in August, 1759, as the colleague of Mr. Van Sin- 
deren, but was deposed for intemperance in 1784. In the 
same year Mr. Van Sinderen resigned his charge, and 
died July 23, 1796. Mr. Rubel died in 1799. 

In 1785 an invitation was given to the Rev. Martinus 
Schoonmaker, then preaching at Gravesend and Harlem, 
which he accepted, and remained here till the close of his 
life, at the age of eighty-seven, May 20, 1824. With 
this venerable pastor ended the custom of preaching in 
the Dutch language, a practice to which he was so much 
attached that only once (1788) did he attempt to offi- 
ciate in English. 

He was the second son of Joachim and Lydia Schoon- 
maker, and was born at Rochester, Ulster County, N. Y., 
March 1, 1737. He commenced classical studies with 
the Rev. Mr. Goetschius of Schraalenburgh, N. J., 1753, 
and his theological with the Rev. Mr. Marenus of Aqua- 
kanock in 1759, and June 27, 1761, he married Mary, 
daughter of Stephen and Ann Bassett of that place. He 
was licensed to preach in 1763, and first received a call 
from the congregation of Harlem and Gravesend, 
which he accepted. In 178 1 he received a call from the 
particular churches of Gravesend, Success, and Wolver 
Hollow, in which he served till 1784, when he was elected 
to preside over the six collegiate churches of Kings 
County at a salary of £150 a year. He took up his resi- 
dence at this time in Flatbush, where he spent his days. 
His wife died in 18 19, aged eighty. He left issue six 
sons and five daughters; nine of whom arrived to full 


age, and seven survived their father. He had at the 
time of his death, fifty-nine grandchildren and twenty-one 

In his eightieth year he was heard to declare that he 
could not complain of a single bodily infirmity, even his 
sight and hearing being perfect; yet that his age admon- 
ished him he had not long to live. " His labors in the 
ministry (says his successor) for sixty-one years, were 
arduous, yet was he never known to faint in his Master's 
cause, and few men have gone to the grave with a char- 
acter more unblemished, or one more universally re- 
spected and beloved." 

The Rev. Peter Lozve, of Ulster County, was installed 
colleague pastor with Mr. Schoonmaker, October 28, 
1787, and continued to preach in the old church till it 
was taken down in 1794. The new structure commenced 
the year before was not completed till December, 1796. 
It is also of stone, fifty by sixty-five feet, the materials 
of the former church being used in the new structure, 
which has a fine bell presented by John Vanderbilt, Esq., 
who also imported some Dutch bricks from Holland, 
which were inserted around the windows and doors of 
the church. 

Mr. Lowe died greatly beloved, June 10, 1818, aged 
fifty-four, and in the fall of that year the churches of 
Flatbush and Flatlands called the Rev. Walter Monteith, 
who was installed in 18 19, but resigned April 13, 1820, 
and removed to Schenectady, from which time till May, 
1822, the church remained vacant. The Rev. Thomas 
Morris Strong, D.D., son of Joseph Strong, Esq., of 
New York, was born April 18, 1797, graduated at Colum- 
bia College in 18 16, and settled in the associate Reformed 
Dutch churches of Chambersburgh and Shippensborough, 


Penn., in 1819. He was installed here November 17, 
1822, and married Ellen, daughter of William Campbell 
of Baltimore in 1822, who died at the age of thirty-six 
years, August 14, 1832. November 26, 1835, he married 
Elizabeth C, daughter of the Rev. Isaac Grier of Penn- 
sylvania, and maternal granddaughter of the Rev. Dr. 
Robert Cooper, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. 

"Dr. Strong officiated until his death on June 14, 1861. 
During Dr. Strong's last sickness the pulpit was supplied 
by his son, Rev. Robert G. Strong, as assistant. Rev. 
William W. Howard supplied for about two years after 
Dr. Strong's death. Rev. Cornelius L. Wells was called 
in April, 1863, and officiated until his death in 1904. For 
a year the church was vacant, but in the spring of 1906 
Rev. John E. Lloyd began to preach and continued to do 
so until the spring of 19 16, when he resigned. Since then 
the church has had no regular pastor." — Editor. 

In 1833 a Reformed Dutch Church was begun in that 
part of the town called New Lots, and was dedicated in 
July, 1824. It was soon after connected with the church 
at Flatlands under the Rev. William Cruikshank, before 
mentioned, and after his removal became part of the 
charge, as it now is, of the Rev. John A. Baldwin. 

A small Methodist Episcopal Church was erected in 
the eastern part of the village in 1843, which is used 
only occasionally and will probably soon be abandoned 
for lack of zeal as well as members to support it. 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, the only one of that 
denomination in the town, was begun in 1836, the corner 
stone being laid by the bishop of the diocese, August 13, 
1836. It is a beautiful edifice, the cost of which, includ- 
ing the organ, &c, was $8,480, about two-thirds of which 
sum was contributed by Matthew Clarkson, Esq., a resi- 


dent of the village. Trinity Church, New York, gave 
$1,000 in 1842. Of this church, on the 23d of December, 
1836, the Rev. Thomas S. Brittain was chosen rector, and 
the Rev. John F. Messenger assistant. The latter resigned 
September 1, 1837, and the Rev. James Coglan officiated 
in his place. Mr. Brittain resigned the rectorship March 
29, 1838, and Mr. Coglan succeeded as rector on the 
6th of April following, but resigned October 21, 1839, 
and set out for Europe. The Rev. William Barlow was 
inducted March 30, 1840, who resigned in April, 1842, 
on becoming an instructor at St. Thomas' Hall, Flush- 
ing. The Rev. George Burcker was instituted rector in 
1842, but removed to St. George's Church, Flushing, in 
1844, where he died in June, 1847, and was succeeded 
in this church by the Rev. William H. Newman from 
Rhode Island. 

Erasmus Hall, which has always been among the most 
popular institutions of learning, was projected by the Rev. 
John H. Livingston and the Hon. John Vanderbilt, soon 
after the declaration of peace in 1783. In 1786 the sum 
of $2,287 was raised toward the object, of which Mr. 
Vanderbilt gave $250. The building, one hundred feet by 
thirty-six, was erected the same year, the whole expense 
of which was $6,250. The school was incorporated by 
the regents of the university, November 17, 1787, and 
the first trustees were : 

Comfort Sands John Vanderbilt George Martense 

Phillip Nagel Walter Minto Jacob Lefferts 

Peter Cornell Peter Lefferts William B. Gifford 

John H. Livingston Johannes E. Lott Hendrick Suydam 

James Wilson Aquilla Giles John J. Vanderbilt 

Samuel Provost Cornelius Vanderveer Martinus Schoonmaker 

John Mason 

Among the list of contributors to the building are the 


names of George Clinton, John Jay, Robert R. Liv- 
ingston, Aaron Burr, John Sloss Hobart, Richard Piatt, 
Brockholst Livingston, Alexander Hamilton, Edward Liv- 
ingston, and thirty-two others. 

The Rev. John H. Livingston, D.D., was appointed 
principal in 1787, but resigned in 1792. His successors 
were Peter Wilson, LL.D.; Rev. Peter Lowe, Rev. 
Joseph Penny, Rev. Timothy Clowes, LL.D.; Jonathan 
W. Kellogg, Rev. William H. Campbell, Rev. Dr. Penny, 
Mr. James Ferguson, and the present incumbent, the Rev. 
R. D. Van Kleek. 

The edifice is large, spacious, and airy, and is a very 
complete establishment in all respects; having sufficient 
grounds, filled with forest and ornamental trees, shrub- 
bery, and flowering plants. It has also a library of more 
than 1,500 volumes, besides a philosophical apparatus 
and mineralogical cabinet. 

Among the number who have received a classical edu- 
cation at this seminary, may be mentioned the following: 
William A. Duer, late president of Columbia College; 
his brother, John Duer; John McPherson Berrien, late 
Attorney General of the United States; George M. 
Troup, governor of Georgia; Rev. John Blair Linn, late 
minister of the Dutch Church, New York; Rev. John H. 
Meyers, Rev. Jacob Schoonmaker, D.D.; Rev. Peter La- 
bagh, Rev. Peter Van Pelt, Rev. Phillip Duryee, and the 
Hon. John A. Lott. 

In the year 1807, one of the most extensive printing 
establishments in the United States was established here 
by the late Isaac Riley, who married the sister of Richard 
Alsop, Esq. It continued in operation about seven years, 
and was then broken up, not answering the expectations 
of its projector. 


The Rev. Dr. Strong, in his excellent account of this 
town, mentions the establishment of a public brewery, 
besides private ones. The former consisting of fourteen 
shares, subdivided into smaller portions, and belonged to 
the several farms as appurtenant thereto, which were sold 
or devised therewith, as some old deeds and wills testify. 
This public brew-house was standing up at the close of 
the Revolution, when it was disposed of and the pro- 
ceeds divided among the shareholders. The principle 
of total abstinence from all that can intoxicate, observes 
the writer, was not then known, and beer or malt liquor 
was the common beverage of the inhabitants. 

The Poor House of the county of Kings is located at 
a short distance from the village; the farm appertaining 
to which contains sixty acres of excellent land, the cost 
of which was $3,000. The main building, the corner 
stone of which was laid July 9, 1831, is forty- four 
feet square, with wings, each sixty by thirty-five feet. 
The whole is two stories in height. There is also a de- 
tached building which is appropriated to patients labor- 
ing under infectious diseases, and another intended 
for deranged persons, where the unfortunate individ- 
uals are treated with all the attention that humanity 

A part of the same benevolent plan for the relief of 
suffering humanity is the Kings County Lunatic Asylum, 
situated near the poor house, which is ninety feet by 
thirty-six, three stories high, and was finished in the 
spring of 1845. The apartments are eighty in number, 
and warmed with hot water circulating through iron tubes; 
whole cost $16,000. 

East New York, 1 is already a village of some impor- 

1 Later included in the town of New Lots. — Editor. 


tance in the north-east part of the town, and owes its 
existence to the enterprise and untiring exertions of John 
R. Pitkin, Esq., a gentleman not more distinguished for 
his intelligence than for his singular industry and inde- 
fatigable perseverance in whatever he undertakes. With 
him a failure is not considered a defeat; and instead of 
relaxing, adds additional stimulus to exertion. The place 
will doubtless become an important location for manufac- 
tures and mechanical industry, being advantageously situ- 
ated on the line of the Long Island Railroad, and only 
six miles from the ferry. Several streets and avenues are 
partially built up, and a good deal of manufacturing has 
already been accomplished. A Reformed Dutch Church 
was erected in 1838, and dedicated the following spring, 
when the Rev. William H. Campbell was installed pas- 
tor, who removed in the fall of 1841 to the Third Re- 
formed Dutch Church in the city of Albany, and the Rev. 
Martinus V. Schoonmaker was installed September 25, 
1842. He is the son of Jacobus, and grandson of the 
Rev. Martinus Schoonmaker, former pastor of Flat- 
bush. He graduated at Union College 1839, and mar- 
ried Catherine Colwell of Allegheny City, Penn., January 
29, 1846. 

A small German Lutheran Church was also erected 
here in 1847. 

The following persons have held the office of town 
clerk at various periods from 1650: 

Adrien Hegeman Abraham Lott John C. Vanderveer 

Jacob Joosten John Gancell Garret Stryker 

Francays De Bruynne Adrian Hegeman Abraham Vanderveer 

Michael Hainell Jeremiah Vanderbilt Adrian Hegeman 

Jan Gerrit Van Marckje Petrus Van Steenbergh William Ellsworth 

Derick Storm John Lefferts William Hegeman 

Johannes Van Eklen Phillip Nagle John A. Lott 

Johannes Schenck John Vanderbilt James V. B. Wyckoff 


The number of acres of land in this town is about 
10,500, and the number of inhabitants in 1845, was 2 > 22 5> 
being an increase of 136 in five years. 

"The Cypress Hills 1 - has become, it is believed, the 
largest Cemetery in the Country, and artists and work- 
men have been employed to lay out the grounds and em- 
bellish them with taste and beauty. The location of the 
Cypress Hills is on the north side of the Brooklyn and 
Jamaica turnpike — less than two miles beyond the limits 
of the city of Brooklyn. A high range of beautiful hills 
runs through it, commanding the most extensive views of 
the Ocean, Brooklyn, Williamsburgh and New York. A 
more picturesque or beautiful tract of land can hardly be 
found. There are 150 acres of heavy forests, 100 of 
shrubbery, and a large lawn planted with trees and 
flowers. There is a great number of cold Spring Lakes 
on the grounds — there will be about sixty miles of fine 
carriage roads through the Cemetery, and the grounds 
will be richly embellished in the style of a Landscape 
Garden. The Long Island Railroad passes within about 
eighty rods of the Cemetery, and all the trains have their 
regular stopping place there. An extra train can be pro- 
cured to go to Cypress Hills at any hour of any day, 
carrying out and bringing back sixty persons or less, with 
a body for interment, for the low price of ten dollars. 
There is a Sexton on the grounds with a hearse ready to 
meet all processions at the Railway, and carry the body 
to the grave. 
For the use of hearse, opening and closing grave 

and attendance of Sexton $2 50 

(For children, 50 cents less.) 
Same services without hearse 2 00 

1 Cypress Hills was later included in the town of New Lots. — Editor. 


For children i 50 

For ground for a single grave (32 square feet) 
with a warrantee certificate of same, opening 
and closing of grave, use of hearse, and at- 
tendance of Sexton 6 00 

Same for children 4 00 

" On any of the grounds now laid out, all Ecclesiastical, 
Benevolent, Social and Humane Societies and Associa- 
tions, who take not less than Ten lots together (half on 
the avenues and half on the paths), will have them for 
the low price of $30. For four lots $32.50; each and all 
lots contain 400 square feet, large enough for any family. 
For a lot $35, for those on the paths, and $50 for those 
on the roads and avenues. The Cemetery was dedicated 
Nov. 21, 1848, when an address was delivered by C. 
Edward Lester." 

The compiler is indebted for most of the facts con- 
tained in this article to the History of the Town of 
Flatbnsh, published by the Rev. Dr. Strong in 1842, in 
which he has exhibited industry, talent, and antiquarian 
research. Should his example be followed by clergymen 
in other towns, important advantages would be afforded 
to a large class of readers, and to the lovers of history 
in general. 

Died in this village, August 20, 18 15, Richard Alsop, 
Esq., in the fifty-fourth year of his age, leaving a widow, 
who died at Middletown, her native place, in October, 
1829. Mr. Alsop was born at Middletown, Conn., 1761, 
and was bred a merchant, but devoted himself chiefly 
to literature, for which he had an unusual fondness, and 
became familiarly acquainted with the literature not only 
of his own country, but with that of the principal Eu- 


ropean nations. His love of poetry was enthusiastic. 
Numerous pieces issued from his pen, and were received 
by the public as evidence of his genius and industry. All 
his compositions are characterized by great purity of 
expression, and indicate the peculiar delicacy of thought 
which appeared in his private life. As a man, a scholar, 
and a writer, he will be remembered with affection and 
regret by his acquaintance, and by men of letters. His 
pieces met with considerable success, besides several 
translations from the Italian and French. The principal 
one is the Natural and Civil History of Chili, from the 
Italian of Molina, in 2 vols. 8vo. In 1800 he published 
a Monody in heroic verse on the death of Washington. 
He wrote principally for amusement, and made little 
effort at literary distinction; yet his intellectual powers 
were much above the common level. With a luxurious 
fancy, he united a great facility of expression and a 
keenness of wit. In 1791 the Echo was set on foot at 
Hartford, being a series of burlesque pieces, designed to 
ridicule the inflated style adopted by the Boston editors 
in describing common events. The writers were Alsop, 
Hopkins, Dwight, Cogswell, Trumbull, and others, called, 
by way of distinction, the Hartford Wits. From the pen 
of the first is the following burlesque imitation of a piece 
in one of the public papers, giving in prose a bombastic 
account of the burning of a barn by lightning, and is a 
fair sample of others. 

" At Cambridge town, the self same day, 
A barn was burnt, well filPd with hay; 
Some say, the lightning turn'd it red, 
Some, that the thunder struck it dead ; 
Some say, it made the cattle stare, 
Some, that it killed an aged mare, 
But we expect the truth to learn 
From Mr. Rythe, who own'd the barn." 


"An unsuccessful attempt was made in 1873 t0 include 
Flatbush within the City of Brooklyn, together with Flat- 
lands, New Utrecht, and Gravesend. The proposition 
was put before the voters of the respective towns and 
Brooklyn to be decided. Although Brooklyn gave a 
heavy vote for consolidation, it was turned down in the 
towns by a large majority and the project abandoned. 

" In 1894 a more successful attempt was made, and on 
April 28th of that year Governor Levi P. Morton signed 
the bill for the annexation of Flatbush to Brooklyn. The 
territory became the Twenty-ninth Ward of the city. 

11 On January 1, 1898, Brooklyn was consolidated with 
the City of New York, and Flatbush of course became 
part of the Greater City." — Editor. 

By the Editor 

The locality known as New Lots was erected as a town 
on February 12, 1852. Previous to this date it had been 
the eastern part of the town of Flatbush, called the 
11 New Lots," in distinction to the " Old Lots," near the 
village of Flatbush. In area it was the smallest of the 
Kings County towns, but the largest in population, owing 
to the rapid growth of East New York. The town con- 
tained 13,681 people, according to the census of 1880, 
which was the last enumeration before consolidation with 
Brooklyn City. 

The town was bounded on the north by Newtown and 
the City of Brooklyn, on the east by Jamaica, on the south 
and south-west by Jamaica Bay and Flatlands, and on 
the west by Flatbush. 

The town had four villages: New Lots, East New 
York, Brownsville, and Cypress Hills. New Lots village 
was situated on the old road leading from Flatbush and 
familiarly known as the " old New Lots road." Many 
substantial residences were located here, also a Dutch 
Reformed Church and a schoolhouse. Most of the 
original Dutch settlers lived in this locality. 

Particulars of the founding of East New York can be 
found in the chapter on Flatbush. In spite of the panic 
of 1837, the founder, John R. Pitkin, persevered and the 



village weathered the storm and gradually increased. In 
1853 Horace A. Miller and James Butler started devel- 
opments which added greatly to the growth of the vil- 
lage. Their purchase was a tract of about fifty acres 
east of Wyckoff Avenue, which they divided into building 
lots that were eagerly bought and populated. The vil- 
lage also was a junction point of the Long Island Rail- 
road, and the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad — also the 
terminal for four horse-car roads, all of which had their 
part in the growth of the village. Population was 8,000 
in 1880, which tremendously increased after consolidation 
with Brooklyn in 1886. 

Brownsville, in the extreme western part of the town, 
owed its existence to Charles S. Brown, who bought a 
tract of land about 1865, and divided it into business 
and residential lots. In 1883 the village contained about 
350 dwellings and several fine stores with a total popu- 
lation of about 2,000. Of late years this locality has 
become the residence of thousands of Hebrews, and is 
today one of the most densely populated spots in the 
Borough of Brooklyn, if not in the Greater City of New 

The settlement or village of Cypress Hills grew up 
around the cemeteries there located. For details of the 
Cypress Hills Cemetery we would refer the reader to the 
chapter on Flatbush. The erection of the Brooklyn 
Water Works also contributed materially to the advance- 
ment of the village. The population in 1833 was about 

On May 13, 1886, an act which had passed the Legis- 
lature making the town of New Lots part of the City of 
Brooklyn, became a law and the form of town govern- 
ment ceased. After consolidation the population increased 


as if by magic, and in 1900 there were nearly 80,000 in- 
habitants as compared with 13,681 in 1880. When 
Brooklyn became part of the City of New York, New 
Lots was of course included.