Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of the Schenectady patent in the Dutch and English times;"

See other formats

^ o x 



^ C" 

V&" , 

^ ^" 



*** ^ 

* ^ 

^^^Kat * 

«C^ * 

*b >* 








Cfre ^cljenectati|> patent . 









J. W. MAC MURRAY, A. M., U. S. A. 



Edition,— square octavo, 300 copies, 
and 50 quartos. 

><5 2_ 


Joel Munsell's Sons, 



1 Table of Values 1V 

2 Illustrations v 

3 Preface, (the Editor) i x 

4 Sketch of Prof. Pearson, (Rev. George Alexander) - - xv 

5 Introduction, (Prof. Pearson) 1 

6 Division of Lands, (Prof. Pearson) 58 

7 Adult Freeholders, (Prof. Pearson) ----- 82 

8 Indian Wars on the Border, (Prof. Pearson) ... 231 

9 Burning of Schenectady, (Prof. Pearson) .-- - 244 

10 Indian Wars on the Border, (Prof. Pearson) - - - 271 

11 Old French War, (Prof. Pearson) 290 

12 Fortifications and Garrisons, (Protf. Pearson and the Editor) 304 

13 The Reformed Nether Dutch Church, (Prof. Pearson, and 

the Editor) 334 

14 The English Church, (the Editor) 389 

15 The Presbyterian Church, (Rev. T. G. Darling) - - 399 

16 Indian Trade, (Prof. Pearson and the Editor) - - - 409 

17 The Borough, (Prof. Pearson) 426 

18 The Schenectady Academy and Union College - - 433 

19 "Schenectady" (the Editor) 436 

20 Houses in Ancient Albany County, (the Editor) - - 441 

21 Appendices, (the Editor) - - - - ... 451 

22 Index 455 


Amsterdam — Foot = 11.144 inches. 

Rhineland — Foot— 12.357 inches. 

Netherland — Mijle = 1093.62 yards = 3280.9 feet. 

English — Mile = 1760 yards = 5280 feet. 

U. S. — Acre = 4840 square yards. 

U. S. — Acre = a square of 208.7 feet. 

Amsterdam — Morgen = 9722 square yards. 

Amsterdam — Morgen = or 2.0076 Eng. ac. 

U. S. — Gallon = 231 cubic inches. 

TJ. S. — Bushel = 2150 cubic inches. 

Amsterdam — Schepel (or skipple or sgepel) = bushel of grain i. e. a. 
" struck bushel "or | of heaped English bushel. 

Amsterdam — Mudde = 6786 cu. inches = 3.15725 English bushel dry 
measure = 4 Skipples dry measure. 

Netherlands — Last = 108 skipples (wheat) = 14 barrels (Fish) = 2 
Tons (Ships tonnage). 

Netherlands — Anker = 2331 cu. in. = 9 gallons. 

Netherlands — Guilder = 37| to 40 cents U. S. money. 

Netherlands — Stuiver = English penny = 2 cents U. S. 

Netherlands — Rix dollar = 50 stivers. 

New Netherlands— Pound = $2.50. 

New Netherlands — Shilling = 12| cents. 

New Netherlands — Penny = 1 cent. 

English — Pound sterling = $4.84. 

Time — Old Style year in vogue among the Dutch, ended noon March 25th. 
From Jan'y 1st to March 25th both old and new styles are noted. Thus : 
Schenectady was destroyed during the night of February 8th, 16f£. That 
is to say in 1689 old style, but 1690 new style. 

Properly an event occurring in the morning of March 25th, 1705, was 
noted as of 1705 O. S. and 1706 N. S., or 170|, while an event of the after- 
noon would be March 25th, 1706, under both styles. 


1 Portrait of Prof. Pearson, Frontispiece 

With signature. (Heliotype.) 

2 Indian signatures. 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 


3 Map of the Bouwlands 1664. 59 

Constructed from ac tual survey and old deeds and descriptions. The four town 
blocks are also shown. 

4 Bratt house, Woestyne. 98 

This old house is brick on front and sides, wood in rear. Bricks are set in colored 
pattern. (Heliotype.) 

5 Portrait Rev. Barnardus Freerman. 112 

And fac-simile signature. (Cut.) 

6 Glen house, Scotia. 119 


7 Mebee house. 132 

(3d Flat, cut.) 

8 Abraham Yates' house. 229 


9 Destruction of Schenectady. 246 

Engraved from a painting partly by Giles P. Yates. (Cut.) 

10 Signatures of Albany Officials. 256 


11 Map of Albany and vicinity. 290 

From Sauthier's map published in London in 1779, from data in colonial offices. 
The map was prepared for military purposes and shows minute details as to 
hofstedes, indicating with remarkable detail, buildings and enclosures. It may be con- 
sidered as accurate enough for the period from 1780 to 1780. (Photo-engraving.) 

12 Chorographical map of the northern part of North America. 296 

This map is added as showing routes to Canada and the names of places cited in 
the text. The representation of all western New York to near thepresent Utica, 
as part of Pennsylvania is curious. There are other features of interest in it. (Steel 

vi History of the Schenectady Patent. 

13 De Geaaf house and Beukendaal. 299 

The vale on the right is Beukendaal or Beech vale. Along its sides occurred the 
skirmishing fight, exactly where, no one knows, or can know. The whites made 
a stand in the old red house and held their own against the Indians until relief 
arrived. (Heliotype.) 

14 Indian Castle. 305 

From Champlain's account. (Photo-engraving.) 

15 Miller's map. 311 

Quite fully described on its face and in the text. (Photo-engraving.) 

16 Mary Ann Rocque's Map. 316 

Copied from map in a curious little volume in the New York State Library, con- 
taining plans of royal forts in North America. This was doubtless engraved from 
a sketch by an officer of the British army stationed here or in the vicinity, and 
probably dates from the close of the " Old French War," or the beginning of the 
" 2d French War," say from 1748 to 1763. (Photo-engraving.) 

17 Vrooman's Map 1768. 328 

Is copied from a small rough manuscript map now in possession of Union College 
Library. (Photo-engraving.) 

18 Deed to Dutch Church Lot. 350 

Copied from ancient document in the deacon's chest in the Dutch church at Schen- 
ectady. (Photo-engraving.) 

19 Dutch Church of 173|. 352 

Constructed from descriptions, plans and the aid of elderly persons now living who 
were familiar with its appearance, from which a sketch was made by Mr. Franklin 
H. Janes, architect, of Albany, whose courtesy, skill and taste have been of much ser- 
vice to the editor. (Photo-engraving.) 

20 Interior of the Church. 356 

Was constructed in same manner as preceding cut. There are two errors in the 
drawing, the figures 1733, in Dutch style should have been on the wall over the 
pulpit, Genl. Fuller tells me, and the women in the congregation should have been 
bonnetless, as they rarely at that date wore bonnets or hats in or out doors. 
Probably also there are insufficient of the congregation asleep, but the sermon has not 
yet commenced, as indicated by the sexton stirring up the fires. Photo-engraving 
from drawiug of Mr. Franklin H. Janes, of Albany. 

21 Plan of Church of 1734. 357 


22 Church. 362 

From Giles F. Yates' painting. (Photo-engraving.) 

23 Oldest grave-stone in Mohawk Valley. 372 

Copied from the stone in Union College Library. The inscription is dim and almost 
undecipherable. The cut is purposely made to show this, but the laid paper has 
made it worse. (Photo-engraving.) 

Illustrations. vii 

24 Batteau on Mohawk River. 423 


25 Durham Boat. 420 


26 Map op the Country of the VI Nations. 433 

By Guy Johnson, 1771, (Lithograph from a Steel engraving). 

27 Schenectady Academy. 434 

(Cut.) From Scribner's Magazine. 

28 Old Union College. 435 

(Cut.) From Scribner's Magazine. 


Professor Pearson, of Union College, enjoys a well earned reputation as 
student, translator and writer on the colonial history of Northern New York. 
During the past forty or more years, he has been a constant worker at the 
records of the ancient county of Albany and has accumulated a vast store 
of information, which has fortunately been put in writing and embraces 
many thousand pages of legal cap manuscript. This herculean task was a 
labor of love without hope of pecuniaiy profit; as Professor Alexander aptly 
expresses it — the recreation of a busy life. His friend, the late Joel Munsell, 
of antiquarian fame, induced him to print much of this matter and " Early 
Records of the county of Albany," translated from the original Dutch, 
" Contributions toward the Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenec- 
tady," " Genealogies of the First Settlers of Albany," " History of the 
Reformed Protestant Dutch Church in Schenectady " besides very many 
magazine and newspaper articles have been given to the public from Mun- 
sell's Press. There remain more than four thousand pages of unpublished 
manuscript and notes, much of which was written many years ago. 

Profe'ssor Pearson's unique collection of facts has been at the service of 
all who sought to write on the subject and much has appeared from time to 
time from others, which was strictly his work. 

In the study of the subject he is unquestionably the best guide and it is 
doubtful if any facts essential to a history of the ancient Schenectady 
Patent have been overlooked by him. 

He gave the writer free use of most of his manuscript and notes, and 
they are in the main printed here that due credit may be given to the author 
and. that the data may be at the service of the general historian. 

In the preparation of these contributions toward a history of the early 
settlements along the Mohawk river, Professor Pearson translated all known 
official records pertaining to the subject ; he made a careful and thorough 
search for all names of settlers in the " Doop " and " Trouw " books (bap- 
tismal and marriage records), in the early churches of Albany and Schenectady, 

x History of the Schenectady Patent. 

translated the " City Records" — the "Mortgage " and "Notarial " books of 
Albany county; searched and transcribed all pertinent matter from records 
of secretary of State and of the clerk of the Court of Appeals of the State 
of New York, which he was able to find, as well as collated similar extracts 
from records of the office of secretary of State of Massachusetts, where there 
is much pertaining to this subject. He has also gone over the old landmarks 
with the aid of copies of ancient deeds, wills, and surveys in the public 
offices, and the assistance of very old men whose distinct memory included 
the colonial times, when few changes had taken place. There are few 
Mohawk Dutch family chests whose old letters have not furnished a quota 
of data and every known tombstone has contributed its facts. There may 
be much he did not reach, but it is marvelous that he gleaned so much from 
obscure and scattered sources of information and is only understood when 
one knows of his knowledge of the Dutch language and its local dialects, his 
special fitness for the work and the long years of patient labor he has 
given it. 

During several years the writer has carefully searched out his authorities 
and compared the manuscript notes with original records. In the years 
since they were written, many new facts have come to light and additions 
have been made in many places but they amount to so little compared with 
the original work of the author, that they are seldom separated. Indeed, 
details have been so frequently discussed, that it would be difficult to sepa- 
rate his changes from the writer's. 

There are some matters of conclusion which have been changed and 
many additions, mainly however, in form of notes. Most of these occur in 
the condensation of more extended accounts. There are also additions by 
the writer and others, of separate chapters. 

In the early period of settlement of the Schenectady Patent, land was 
plenty and the value small, the methods of survey very crude and the de- 
scriptions vague. Land was stepped off, or measured with a pole, a rope, 
or pair of harness reins, which represented an approximate scale of measure- 
ment. Courses were run " northerly " " north-by-west," etc., or from some 
evanescent tree to an equally indefinite pool, or dove gat. So incorrect were 
the descriptions of the bounderies of lands granted or conveyed, that almost 
as much land lay in the gores where descriptions overlapped or under- 
lapped, as in the undisputed portions. The labor involved in retracing these 

Preface. xi 

old lines and defining " how the lands were divided" was almost incalcula- 
ble and required many years of patient toil. 

One of the sources of complication which the author had to contend 
against was the variation in form of names of the inhabitants. As a rule 
a man in those days had but one name, modified by that of his father, his 
birthplace or residence, his occupation or some personal characteristic and 
he was usually so spoken or written of whatever Ins name might properly be. 

Harme Janse Knickerbacker, i. e., Harme son of John the Knicker- 
baker, maker of knickers (or childrens' marbles,) or small china ware in 

de Steenbacker, i. e., brick maker. 

Storm van der Zee was Storm Bratt, who was born during a storm 
at sea, on the voyage to America. 

Kleyn Isaack meant little Isaac Swits, even when he was a man of 
mature years. 

Sander Leendertse Glen, probably was Alexander, (or Sandy for short) 
Lindsay of the Glen near Inverness, Scotland. 

Van Ness, derived probably from Inverness,* Scotland. 

It is not until late in English colonial times, that it became customary to 
use the full name even in official and church records. It is very fortunate 
for history that Prof. Pearson has made so full an analysis of these early 
names and fixed the connection between names now scarcely known and 
those of their descendants. 

Pearson's history of the Dutch Church of Schenectady, which was prepared 
as part of this series, has been published quite fully in the memorial of the 
200th anniversary (1881) of the church. Such parts as are of general interest 

* The word ness meaning promontory or head land occurs all along the east coast of 
Great Britain, especially in Scotland ; is Dungenness, Foulness, Sheerness, in southern 
England; and Fifeness, Buchanness, Clytheness, OJinness and numberless others in 
Scotland ,where also whole counties take the name, as Caithness, Inverness. 

Holland traded extensively through the seaport town, Inverness with the highlands and 
the Glen country along: Loch Ness. Scotchmen escaping from the strife and sterility of 
their own country to Holland, readily found ships there to convey them away to the 
Dutch colonies and they were known as from the Ness or "Van Ness" or of the "Glen," 

" 't Ness," indicated the point in the river Y, at Amsterdam. The Van Ness, Van 
Nes, Van Est, Van Nest families, seems to have been of different origin. 

xii History of the Schenectady Patent. 

appear here. The church organization was so interwoven with the town, that 
no history can be of value which does not include it. This church was the great 
land owner, loaner of money on mortgage and the church mill, which was the 
best; it dealt in dry goods, groceries, clothing and utensils, and was almoner 
of all the village poor. There are many details relating to the customs of 
the Dutch as a people prior to the Revolutionary war, at about which time 
most of their primitive peculiarities commenced to disappear. The war had 
taken the simple Dutchman from his bouwery on the flats and had brought 
him in contact with men from all the other colonies. Then again, the 
Mohawk river had become the highway along which a steady stream of 
immigrants has ever since been pouring, on its way to the westward. 

All accessions to the settlement were from other than Dutch sources. 
There were congregations of Episcopalians at the English church, and of 
Scotch settlers from the higher lands at the Presbyterian church. 

All these contributed gradually to the substitution of " American " 
customs in place of Dutch customs, which grew into disuse with the death 
of the older men. 

It will be seen that the chapter on the first settlers does not go beyond 
the first half century. If read in connection with " Pearsons' First Settlers 
of Albany," and " of Schenectady " it will be found to contain all important 
facts, not tradition merely, known of these people. 

The chapters pertaining to the military history of the ancient dorp have 
naturally been of special interest to me, and I have illustrated them by 
maps, photographs and photo-engravings and have added copious additions. 

The short article on the English church (St. George's Episcopal), is an 
abridgement by the editor, of a sermon delivered by the present rector, the 
Rev. Wm, Payne, D.D., — with some notes, and copies from the records of 
the " Society for the Propagation of the Gospel," at Lambeth Palace, 
England, the country hereabouts having been while under British govern- 
ment included in the See of the Bishop of London. 

The Rev. Timothy G. Darling contributes the article on the Presbyterian 
church, of which he is the pastor. 

To Professor George Alexander, of Union College, I am indebted for 
preparing the article on Professor Pearson. 

Preface. xiii 

It is nearly two centuries and a quarter since Schenectady was settled. 
It lies in a beautiful intervale on the margin of the Mohawk river. The 
great highway to the west led through it and along the only low valley 
pass through the Appalachian range; all other routes from the Atlantic led 
over mountain passes. Increase in traffic brought into existence the Erie 
canal, which served its purpose until the demands of commerce were met 
by the great four tracked New York Central railroad. Along the hillsides 
overlooking the valley, another great trunk railway will be in operation in 
a few months, and still another is working its way to the westward. 

A railroad to the south-west goes essentially over the trail toward the 
Susquehanna and Delaware valleys. 

To the northward another lays almost on the very trail past the Aal 
Plaas, Sarachtoge, Champlain Lake and Caughnawaga to Montreal, which 
was traversed by the destroying French and their allies, the Caughnawaga 
Mohawks, in 1690. 

The river flats were tilled for generations before 1661 by the Indians, and 
they still yield rich harvests in many cases to the descendants of the original 
white settlers — indeed to some whose ancestors antedated the Dutch 

Out of the Dutch church schools grew the Schenectady Academy. It 
was incorporated by the State and became Union College, which with its 
five thousand Alumni has ever been a power for good in every state in the 

Hanse Janse Eenkluys' Kil still flows through Union's grounds (in wet 
seasons), and his " poor pasture " is in much the same condition as when he 
left it to the poor, though immense works for building locomotive engines 
lie on one side and the Erie canal skirts along the upper edge. 

The beauty of the site has been commended by travelers, at intervals, for 
centuries since Van Curler pronouced it " the most beautiful the eyes of 
man ever beheld." The quaintness of the ancient Dutch architecture was 
always noted until 1819, when the major part of the old town was destroyed 
by fire and the landmarks of the Dutch period were swept away, leaving 
few specimens of its peculiar constructions. 

In two hundred and twenty-five years the village has grown to be a city 
in name. Thanks to its locomotive and stove works, a factory producing 

xiv History of the Schenectady Patent. 

plastic ware, shawl and knitting mills, it has a large commerce. Its popu- 
lation is but fifteen thousand in the city wards, but there is scarcely a 
directory of a city between Maine and Florida and Alaska, which does not 
contain names of Schenectady's colonists. 

This history deals with ante-newspaper times, when even the practice of 
writing was not very common. The period since the Revolution is full of 
records of facts, and larger volumes could be written portraying its history. 
Professor Pearson's labor represents the hard part of the task. It is to be 
hoped that workers as patient, skillful and conscientious as he, may carry 
the work to a later date. Much data is at hand for the purpose and may 
be published at a future time. 

Sketch of Professor Pearson. xv 


Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. 

The subject of this sketch is by lineage an alien to the Dutch community 
whose annals he has so diligently explored. His descent can be traced 
through seven generations from the Puritan fathers of New England. 

At some time previous to 1G43, John Pearson, an English carpenter, settled 
in the town of Rowley, county of Essex, Massachusetts. There he erected 
a fulling mill and became the first manufacturer of cloth in the infant 
colony. He was evidently a substantial and leading citizen. For many 
years he served his generation as deacon in the church, moderator of the 
town and deputy in the General Court. Having provided well for his 
family of ten children he died, full of years and honors, near the close of 
the century. 

The family record fov two hundred years, with its quaint scriptural names, 
reads like a genealogical chapter in the Old Testament. The meager story 
of their simple lives is sufficient to indicate that the Pearsons were a sturdy 
race of the genuine New England type, characterized by piety, industry 
and thrift. 

Caleb Pearsou, the grandfather of Professor Pearson, entered the Revo- 
lutionary army as a fifer at the age of fourteen and served through the 
whole war. Shortly after the close of the struggle he settled in Chichester 
N. H., when he erected mills, which his son Caleb owned and operated after 
him. There the subject of our sketch was born Feb. 23, 1813. 

Caleb Pearson apparently became dissatisfied with the fruits which his 
labor could wring from a stubborn soil, for in 1831 he joined the caravan 
that was then moving slowly westward to populate the plains of the interior. 
As he journeyed by the great thoroughfare of that day, the Erie canal, his 
eye was charmed by the rich valley about Schenectady, and especially by 
the sight of Union College, which seemed to promise him what he had 

xvi History of the Schenectady Patent. 

coveted, the opportunity to educate his children. He accordingly changed 
his plans, made his home in the ancient Dutch city, and resided there till 
the day of his death. 

His son Jonathan, then a youth of eighteen, had previously secured a pre- 
paratory education at Dover, Pembroke and New Hampton academies, 
in the vicinity of his former home. In January, 1832, he entered Union 
College and graduated with honor in 1835. 

The following year he was appointed tutor and in 1839, assistant pro- 
fessor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy. In 1849, he was elected pro- 
fessor of Natural History, and in 1873, was transferred to the department 
of Agriculture and Botany where he still serves. Thus for more than half 
a century his life has been incorporated with the life of his Alma Mater. 

In addition to the work of his department of instruction, other onerous 
and responsible duties have devolved upon him. Since 1854, he has been 
treasurer of the college, having in charge its varied and intricate financial 
interests. For years he has also held the office of librarian and has devoted a 
vast amount of time and labor to the puzzling and petty details of that try- 
ing vocation. The preparation of the general catalogue of the college has 
always devolved upon him, and he has repaid the affectionate esteem of 
thousands of Alumni by maintaining a constant interest in their individual 
fortunes. His mind is an encyclopcedia of facts concerning the Sons of 
Old Union. 

The mere fact that Professor Pearson his been called to engage in ser- 
vices so numerous and diverse, and that he has performed them satisfactorily 
through so long a period, is sufficient proof of his versatility and tireless in- 
dustry. Summer and winter, term time and vacation, have found him at 
his post, meeting with unruffled brow the numberless and exacting demands 
upon his time and patience. 

His antiquarian researches have been merely the recreations of a busy life. 
The interest awakened by the investigation of his own family tree, led him 
to think of exploring the scattered and puzzling records of the Dutch fami- 
lies who founded the settlements at Albany and along the valley of the 
Mohawk. The task was one of unusual difficulty. The colonists isolated 
from their own countrymen, and brought in contact with various races, 
civilized and savage, had developed a peculiar dialect in which English, 
Canadian, French and Indian words were freely incorporated with their 

Sketch of Professor Pearson. xvii 

mother tongue. To decipher the fragmentary relics of this vanishing 
speech, especially when still further obscured by the picturesque penman- 
ship and heterogeneous spelling of the early scribes, was an undertaking 
which would have appalled an ordinary investigator. With Professor 
Pearson, however, the difficulties of the pursuit served only to give it addi- 
tional zest. 

He continued his labors in this field through many years, without the 
hope of any reward except the pleasure of telling his neighbours the short 
and simple annals of their sires. He first transcribed, translated and collated 
the records of the Dutch church in Schenectady. Having mastered the pro- 
vincial dialect he afterwards performed a similar work upon the records of 
the Dutch church in Albany and also of the county clerk's office. The 
results of these studies and others of a like character, are embodied in his 
histories of the old families of Schenectady and Albany, published years 
ago, and in the volume which this sketch accompanies. He has thus rescued 
from oblivion, and made accessible to all students of history, facts, the value 
and interest of which will increase as time advances, and the region which 
these Hollanders redeemed from the wilderness becomes the home of a still 
larger and more prosperous population. 

It would be indelicate in a sketch published during the life time of Pro- 
fessor Pearson to refer to those incidents which belong more especially to 
his private and domestic life, or to those qualities which have endeared him 
to his more intimate personal friends. He has been for many years a faithful 
and active member of the Baptist church, trusted and revered by all. As 
a son, a husband and a father, his relations have been too tender and sacred 
to permit of comment here. Those who may survive him and have shared 
and prized his friendship will wonder that they did not prize it more, when 
the genial and unobtrusive presence lives only in memory or immortal hope. 


Early in the seventeenth century, North America east of the Mississippi 
was claimed by right of discovery by four European nations : France, 
England, Spain and Holland. Although for fifty years there were but few 
colonists sent over, the whole continent was too small to hold them in 
peace. Jealousies and bickerings were rife ; the French crowded the 
English, and the English crowded the Dutch, until finally the latter disap- 
peared altogether and the rivalry between the former continued one hun- 
dred years longer. It was as plain then as it is now, that rival nations 
could not exist in the Mississippi Valley. 

The last great struggle for supremacy commenced on the Ohio in 1754, 
and ended on the plains of Abraham, in 1759. Henceforward there was 
but one nation between the Atlantic and the Mississippi. 

The French commenced the settlement of Canada in 1603. Their object 
was two-fold : the conversion of the natives, to the Christian faith, and 
trade. The missionary and the trader, therefore, went forth together 
visiting every tribe in the valleys of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, 
and rendering to each other mutual aid and assistance. 

No nation was ever more successful in winning the esteem and respect of 
the natives. The flexibility of the French character and the indomitable 
patience of their missionaries, were the secrets of their success. One nation 
alone resisted their influence ; all their efforts to coax or to drive the 
Iroquois or Five Nations into an alliance or even to remain long neutral, 
were unavailing. They were not unwilling to receive the French religion 
but they preferred English strouds and gun powder.* Their friendship 

[* Champlain, with a few of his men accompanied by a large number of Aigouquins, 
met and defeated a body of Mohawks near Crown Point on Lake Champlain. The 
Algonquins were an inferior and subject race, but the discharge of Freuch muskets with 
the accompanying flash, report and death by invisible bullets, carried terror to the Mo- 
hawks and they were nearly destroyed by an enemy for whom they had hitherto only 
felt contempt. When the Dutch, the declared enemy of the French, came into the 
Mohawk countiy from the south, offering fire arms and vengeance against the French 
and Algonquins, they secured the firm and abiding friendship of the Six Nations.— Jesuit 
Relations ; Champlain'' 's Acct. ; Parkman, ete. M'M. ] 

2 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

was the salvation of the Province of New York. They claimed all the 
territory lying between the Hudson and the Maumee rivers, so that the 
French of Canada could never aim a blow at Albany or Schenectady with- 
out striking over the heads of the Five Nations. This celebrated confed- 
eracy, the terror of all surrounding tribes, was made up of the Mohawks, 
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, five allied tribes, who acted as 
one nation ; herein lay their influence. 

During the long contest for dominion on this continent, between the 
French and English, they held the balance of power, and were assiduously 
courted by both parties. 

But after 1760, when the French influence ceased, their importance 
declined ; rum and gun powder had diminished their numbers and the once 
powerful Mohawks had almost ceased to exist as a separate tribe. 

During the Revolutionary war, large portions of the Oneidas and Tusca- 
roras favored the colonies and for safety were transferred to Scheuectady,* 
whilst most of the Onondagas, Cayugas and the Senecas, the most numerous 
and westerly tribes, adhered to Great Britain and became an awful scourge 
to the frontier settlements in the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys. 

At no time between 1660 and 1760 could not the English colonies by 
combined action have crushed the French power in Canada and driven it 
from the country. During that long period the English population was 
from fifteen to twenty times that of the French. Thus in 1690, when Schen- 
ectady was burned, the white population of Canada was but 12,000, that of 
the English colonies more than 200,000 or nearly eighteen to one. In 1754 

* Mr. Nicholas Veeder has seen " 2,000 or 3,000 Indians in the Poor Pasture when 
Schuyler made a treaty with them. 

The Mohawks went to Canada and half of the Oneidas, in the Revolutionary war, the 
other half fought for us. They camped in the Pines on " Albany Hill," near McChes- 
neys. After the war was over the rest of the Oneidas came back from Canada to claim 
their lands. 

The Indian houses at Schenectady were made of bark, they were here about three 

The Mohawks before the Revolution were plenty ; could be seen in the roads in parties 
of fifteen or twenty ; made splint brooms and baskets. The town was full of them on 
New Years day — Nic: Veeder. " 

Has seen the Onondaga tribe, 000 in number, marching thro' Niskayuna street to 
Albany as prisoners of war, they having been in the King's service. — N. V. 

Introduction. 3 

the population of Canada was 80,000, and about 1,500,000 in the colonies, the 
ratio being neai'ly the same as in the other case. Yet, in spite of this disparity 
of numbers, the French were usually the aggressive party; they seldom waited 
to be attacked but boldly carried the torch and tomahawk into the enemy's 
country. There is hardly a valley between the Penobscot and the Mohawk 
that has not echoed the cries of murdered victims, the midnight work of 
the French and their allied savages. In 1731 they boldly advanced a hun- 
dred miles into the province of New York and at the head of Lake Cham- 
plain built a fort on Crown Point, which they held twenty-eight years in 
spite of protest and menace. 

The apathy exhibited on the part of the colonies in view of such a danger- 
ous encroachment as this, was amazing, and in the end cost some of the best 
blood and treasure of the country. It is true several attempts were made 
to humble the French power, but divided councils, incompetent leaders and 
failure of the mother country to afford promised aid, rendered these expensive 
expeditions disgraceful failures. The chief cause of this ill success, however, 
was the want of union and cooperation among the colonies. Those immedi- 
ately threatened were ready to contribute more than their proportion of 
men and money to meet the danger, the others would do little or nothing. 
The New England states had early formed a confederacy for mutual 
support and assistance, but this association was neither long maintained nor 
extended beyond their borders. Each colony was an independent state, 
jealous of its rights and privileges ; it would yield little or nothing for the 
common good, but sat isolated and apart from its neighbors, cherishing the 
selfish doctrine of colonial sovereignty and provincial rights. This spirit was 
favored by the mother country from fear of the formidable strength which 
a united people might exhibit. At the beginning of the last French war in 
1754, Franklin with his accustomed forethoiight and practical wisdom, prof- 
fered to the colonial delegates assembled at Albany, a plan of union. It was 
discussed and favorably received, yet it bore no fruit until twenty years later. 

The north-west passage to India was the fascinating day dream of the ad- 
venturers of the seventeenth century, and to this we owe the discovery by 
Hudson of the river which bears his name. This, his third voyage to America, 
was made in 1609 under the patronage of the Dutch East India Company. 
After coasting as far south as Chesapeake Bay, he returned and spent nearly 
a month in exploring the river to the head of navigation. This fortunate voy- 


4 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

age gave him immortality and a new empire in the West to the Dutch nation. 
By priority of discovery they claimed the coast from Cape Cod to Dela- 
ware Bay and inland north to the lake and river of Canada (St Lawrence), 
and west as far as the hitherto unexplored wilderness could be opened up 
by the trader and trapper. Trading adventures were at once fitted out f rom 
Holland for the new country, and the coast and rivers were carefully searched 
for peltries. Manhattan was made the chief port and headq'uarters of these ' 
enterprising traders and to prevent competition they procured from the States 
General in 1614, exclusive privileges under the name of the "United Nether- 
land Company "and afterwards in 1621 as the "Privileged West India Com- 
pany." The latter was a gigantic armed trading association, endowed with 
all the powers and sovereignty of an independent state. Its directors 
resided in Amsterdam, its authority was wielded in New Netherland by a 
director, who was at the same time the fountain of laws, the executive head 
and the chief of the judiciary. In a word he was supreme autocrat ; it is 
true he had a council but it was a mere cipher. 

The sole object of this company was trade, of which it had a complete 
monopoly. It is true indeed, by the second section of their charter the 
company was bound to " advance the peopling of these fruitful and un- 
settled parts," and to encourage colonization, but in this they utterly failed of 
their duty. The greed for gain swallowed up all other interests. At length 
the evil became so apparent and was so forcibly presented to the notice of 
the directors in Amsterdam, that they were obliged to seek a remedy. 

On the 7th day of June 1629, under the title of "Freedoms and Exemp- 
tions," concession was made to Patroons to plant colonies in New Nether- 
land. Thus it was attempted to trausfer to the new world, the objectionable 
features of the feudal system of the old. It burthened trade and agricul- 
ture with unnecessary restrictions and introduced at the same time aristoc- 
racy and slavery ; it prohibited manufactures and discouraged the settlement 
of the country by private persons. From the haste with which the directors 
in Holland proceeded to avail themselves of the privilege thus granted, one 
might almost suspect this charter was granted for their special profit and grat- 
ification. From the head waters of the Hudson around to the Delaware, 
immense tracts of the best lands were at once taken up, and instead of confin- 
ing themselves to the colonizing and cultivation of these lands, the Patroons 
engaged in trade contrary to the terms of their charter, as the directors 

Introduction. 5 

claimed and to the ruin of the Company's interests. Hence arose quarrels 
between the officers and servants of the two opposing parties, and in the 
end the company was forced to remove the evil by purchasing back 
the great manors already granted, Rensselaerswyck alone excepted. The 
failure of the West Indian Company and Patroons to fulfill the re- 
quisitions of their charters relating to the colonization of the New Province 
and the encouragement of agriculture, became so apparent in 1638, as to call 
for the interference of the States General, and after the agitation and rejec- 
tion of many projects, the directors were induced to proclaim free trade and 
free lands to private persons under what they conceived necessary restrictions. 
This measure had a happy effect in increasing immigration not only from 
the mother country, but also from New England and Virginia, where reli- 
gious toleration was not so fully recognized in practice as in New Nether- 
land. The population of New Netherland at the beginning of Stuyvesant's 
administration in 16 17, is variously estimated at 1,000 to 3,000 ; at its 
close in 1664, it was about 10,000. The Dutch had held the Province 
fifty years and this was the result of their attempts to colonize it. Its natu- 
ral advantages both for trade and agriculture, were unequalled by any like 
portion of the continent. The nation which had redeemed its own country 
from the ocean, that had conquered its freedom from the Spanish yoke and 
lead all the European nations in foreign trade, was just the people to found 
a new empire on these shores. The Dutch character was not wanting in the 
requisite energy, perseverance and pluck, but it was the system of govern- 
ment that was chiefly in fault, persevered in against protests and petitions. 


In 1614 Albany was occupied as a post for the fur trade, of which Man- 
hattan became the headquarters. Until 1630 the population of both j:>laces 
consisted of few more than the officers and servants of the West India 
Company, in which was vested the monopoly of trade. This year the 
Patroon of Rensselaerswyck sent over the first little company of settlers to 
his manor, a vast tract extending from the mouth of the Mohawk river 
twenty-four miles down the Hudson and twenty-four miles on each side of 
it, and comprising more than 700,000 acres. The lands along the river and 
upon the islands, were gradually leased with the usual reservations of rents, 

6 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

service, fowls and quarter sales. Few conveyances were made in fee. Both 
the foreign and domestic trade was claimed by the Patroon. Under such 
heavy disabilities the population increased slowly. But the proclamation 
of free trade and cultivation of the soil, in 1638, gave an impulse to the 
prosperity of the Colonic Every man who could purchase a piece of 
duffels and strouds and an anker of brandy, became an Indian tracer ; 
indeed, there were almost as many traders in Beverwyck as there were men. 
So keen did competition run in beaver skins, that bosloojws* or runners, were 
employed to penetrate the wilderness west of the village and meet the 
natives on their way down wich peltries. The population of Beverwyck 
at this early period cannot be exactly known ; that it was small may be 
justly inferred from several facts. First : The church built in 1643 was 
thirty-four feet by nineteen feet in size, and contained but nine bancken 
(benches) for the worshippers, yet this house served the little community until 
1656. Secondly : The number of colonists shown by the Van Rensselaer 
papers, as having been sent over to the Colonies up to 1646 is only 210f. 
It is not to be supposed that all those persons who were attracted to 
Beverwyck by its happy location for Indian traffic, were either tenants or 
servants of the Patroon, or were even under his manorial jurisdiction. 

Fort Orange and the little hamlet which clustered around its walls for 
safety, were always claimed by the West India Company as under their 
exclusive authority. This claim, however, was strenuously resisted by the 
Patroon. Hence originated that memorable and almost bloody contest for 
power between those obstinate, hardheaded officials, Governor Stuyvesant 
and Commissioner Schlectenhorst. 

The Dongan charter of 1686 however, quieted all further questions of 
jurisdiction ; Albany became a city one mile wide on the river and thirteen 
and one-half (130 miles long. The land outside these limits belonged to 
the Colonic 

The early population of Beverwyck was changeable. After a few years 
spent in traffic with the Indians, some returned to Latvia, some retired to 
New Amsterdam, whilst others passed beyond the limits of the Colonie and 
purchased lands at Kinderhook, Claverac, Cattskill, Niskayuna, Halvemaan 
and Schenectady. 

* [ Woods runners. Couriers du bois in Canada. — M'M.] f O'Callaghan's History N. N. 



The ancient township of Schenectady embraced a territory of 128 square 
miles, a portion of the Mohawk valley sixteen miles long and eight miles 
wide. The western half is an irregular plateau elevated 400 or 500 feet 
above the Mohawk, a spur of the Helderberg, passing north into Saratoga 
county, the eastern half is a sandy plain, whose general level is 300 or 400 
feet lower. The river running through the middle of this tract in a south- 
easterly direction, forms the most beautiful and striking natural object in 
its landscape. At the westerly boundary where it enters the town, it flows 
through a narrow valley, whose sides though covered with foliage, are too 
steep for cultivation. From the hill Towereune, the valley widens gradually 
to Poversen and Maalwyck where the hills sink down into the great sand 
plain. Until the river reaches the city of Schenectady, it is a constant 
succession of rapids, and its general course is south-east, here it makes a 
great bend and flows with a deep, sluggish current north-eastward to the Aal 
Plaats, the eastern boundary of the town. The tributaries of the Mohawk 
within the town are small and unimportant streams ; those at the west end 
flowing from the slates, are nearly or quite dry in summer, whilst those at 
the opposite end, fed from the sand, are constant spring brooks. On the 
north side of the river are the folio wing brooks : Chucktenunda* at Tower- 
eune, and_ coming east in succession are Van Eps Kil, Droyberg, Verf, or 
color ( paint ) creek, called by the natives Tequatsera, Jan Mebie's Kil 
Creek of the lake in Scotia, Cromme Kil and Aal Plaats Kil. On the 
south side are Zanclige Kil, the sloot, Rigel brugse Kil, Platte Kil, Poenties 
Kil, Willem Tellers Killetje, Zand Kil, Coehorn Kil and Symon Groots 
Kil. But of these streams, few are of sufficient size and constancy now to 
serve as motive power. 

With the exception of a little limestone in the extreme western limits of 
the town, all the rocks found in place belong to Hudson shales and consist 
of alternate layers of blue slate and sandstones, some of which are used 
for building purposes. 

In the west half this geological formation is most abundant, and the soil 
there is a clayey loam, underlaid with clay or hard pan. The immediate 

* This Mohawk word signifies Stone homes, overhanging rocks affording shelter. 
Several streams and localities have this name. 

8 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

valley of the river where it breaks through the range of hills, is narrow and 
composed chiefly of drift of at least two elevations. The highest called 
the "stone flats," raised twenty to thirty feet above the water, consists of 
coarse gravel and bowlders and is chiefly found on the north side of the 
river. The opposite bank is a lower plain of sand and gravel. 

The eastern half of the town has no hills worthy of the name ; its general 
level is perhaps 100 feet above the Mohawk, and the prevailing soil is a 
fine sand, underlaid with clay except in the extreme easterly limits where 
the clay loam again prevails. 

Besides this there is found in the bends and eddys of the river and upon 
the low islands, an alluvial deposit which is constantly enriched by the 
annual floods. This constitutes the widely known "Mohawk Flats," which 
though cultivated by the white man for more than 200 years, have lost little 
of their unsurpassed fertility. 

In the early period of the settlement no other land was tilled, hence they 
were called the land, arable land, or bowolandt, all else being denominated 
woodland and little valued. In addition to their fertility, These flats pre- 
sented another advantage to the first settler, they were mainly free from 
wood and ready for the plough and seed. For ages they had been the 
native's corn land, whilst the adjacent forests and river furnished him with 
flesh and fish. 

The great sand belt which passes across the town from south to north, 
was once covered with a heavy growth of pines, whilst the high lands lying 
north and west of it produced the usual varieties of hard woods. Nothing 
could have been more charming to the eye of the first white men travel- 
ing up the Mohawk to Tiononderoga (Fort Hunter ), than the flats skirt- 
ing the river banks, clothed in bright green of the Indian corn and other 
summer crops of the red man. In 1642, the kind hearted Arent Van Curler 
visited the Indian castles on an errand of mercy, to rescue some captive 
Frenchmen from the hands of the cruel Mohawks. On his return he 
wrote to the Patroon (Kilian Van Rensselaer) in Amsterdam, that a half 
day's journey from the Colonie, on the Mohawk river, there lies the 
most beautiful land that the eye of man ever beheld.* Who that has 

* Daer leyt q ualyck een hahen daegh Van den Colonie op de Maqvaas Kit, dot Schoonste 
landt dat men met oogen bezien mach. — O'Callaghan's Hist., N. N., i., 335, 456. 

Introduction. 9 

stood upon Niskayuna berg or Schuylerberg and looked west and north 
over the bouwlandt and the adjacent islands can wonder at the rapture of 
the enthusiastic Dutchman, or can fail to discern in his admiration, the 
budding of that idea which twenty years after blossomed into the settle- 
ment of which he was the leader. 

The site of the village of Schenectady was admirably chosen. No 
other spot in the neighborhood of the bouwland offered such facilities for a 
village. From the eastern end of the " Great Flat" there makes out 
from the sandy bluff which surrounds it a low narrow spit, having upon the 
east, north and west sides the Mohawk river and Sand Kil. The extreme 
point only about 1,200 feet wide, was chosen for the site of the future city, 
a warm dry spot, easily fortified against an enemy and sufficiently elevated 
to be safe from the annual overflow of the Mohawk river. This little flat 
contains but 175 acres and it was the site of an earlier Indian village * whose 
numerous dead have been from time to time found buried along the Binne 


If we may believe tradition, Schenectady had already been occupied by 
the white man many years when Van Curler first visited it in 1642, in fact 
it has been claimed to be little if any junior to Albany. 

That a few fur traders and bosloopers early roved among the Mohawks, 
married and raised families of half breeds cannot be denied ; indeed there 
are respectable families in the valley to this day, whose pedigree may be 
traced back to these marriages. But that the white man made any perma- 
nent settlement on the Mohawk west of Albany before 1662, there is no 
good reason for believing, and in view of the opposition of Albany and the 
Colonie, improbable. 

In the summer of 1661 Arent Van Curler the leader of the first settlement, 
made formal application to Governor Stuyvesant for permission to settle 
upon the " Great Flat " lying west of Schenectady. 

The following is a translation of his letter : 
"Right Honorable Sir, 

My Lord 

When last at Manhatans I informed your honor that there were some 
friends and well wishers, who were well inclined with your Honor's knowl- 

* A tradition that it was a former seat or capital of the Mohawks. 


10 History of tlie Schenectady Patent. 

edge and approbation to take possession of and till the Groote Vlachte (Great 
Flats) well known to your worship ; whereto six or eight families are 
already inclined, and for which your Honor promised me a warrant author- 
ising us to purchase said lands, but by reason of your Honor's daily occupa- 
tions nothing came of it. So then your Honor promised to send it later but 
I am persuaded the daily cares of your Honor's government have driven it 
from your Honor's remembrance. 

Truly the way is now open, the savages being inclined to abandon the 
land for a moderate price, the more so as trade is so slack and meagre. 
Hence it is the wish of our friends to dispatch the bearer of this, Philip Hen- 
drickse Brouwer, to refresh your Honor's remembrance, for us much as it is 
high time, (if your Honor please) that the people provide themselves with 
hay and fodder for their beasts and like to lay out the road thither. 

Please not, your Honor, distrust the people as is generally done here, by 
the common folks, nor doubt that one loaf will last till another be gained. 

So then it will be better to provide betimes, to seize good fortune, for 
afterwards it may be too late. Doubtless as your Honor is likewise a lover 
of agriculture, your Honor will yield to the just request of the people ; the 
money for the purchase of the aforesaid land they themselves will furnish 
temporarily and until it shall be otherwise ordered by your Honor. 

Finally I pray your Honor to be pleased to favor the people's wood in- 
tention so far as possible, and conclude by commending your Honor to 
God's grace with the wish for a long and happy administration, and further 
I remain ever 


Your Honor's 

most humble 
Rensselaerswyck ) Servant 

The 18th June, 1661. [ A. Van Curler. 

P. S. If your Honor falls short three or four Muds of oats as feed for 
your Honor's horses, please command me to supply your Honor with the 
same from my small store. 

Your Honor's servant 

A. V. Curler. * 

June 23, 1661. 
"The letter of Arent Van Curler being presented and read on the 18th 
June, containing in substance a request by him and a few other persons for 
the large plain situated to the back of Fort Orange toward the interior, for 
the purpose of cultivation, and consent to purchase the same from the 
original proprietors and make a settlement there, etc. ; which being maturely 
considered, the Director General and Council resolved to consent to it ; pro- 
vided that the said lands on being purchased from the native proprietors be 

Albany Records, xix. 179. 

Introduction. 11 

as usual transferred to the Director General and Council aforesaid as repre- 
sentatives of the Lords Directory of the Privileged West India Company; 
and that whatever the petitioners shall pay for the aforesaid lands to the 
original propi'ietors, shall in due time be returned to them, or be discounted 
to them against the tenths."* 

Before the Governor's authority was received at Beverwyck a freshet 
laid the country for miles around under water. This was followed a few 
days after (June 26), by an inundation much greater than the first, which 
forced the inhabitants to quit their dwellings and fly with their cattle for 
safety to the woods on the adjoining hills. Incalculable damage was caused 
by these irruptions. The wheat and other grain were all prostrated, and 
had to be cut mostly for fodder, affording scarcely seed sufficient for the 
next spring. 

This visitation necessarily caused the postponement of the purchase of 
the " Great Flat " until the ensuing month when the following deed was 
obtained from the Indian owners."! 

" Compareerde voor mij Johannes La Montagne ten dienste vande Groet 
Wesendische Compagnie door de G 1 en Racden Van Nieu Ned erlant gead- 
mitteert, Viers Direct 1 en Commies op de fort ss Orangie en Dorp Beverwy, 
eenige Oversten vant Maquaes Lant genaempt Cantuquo, Sanareetse, Aiadane 
Sodackdi'asse eigenaers van een seeckere stuck Landts genaempt Op duyts 
de Groote Vlackten Liggende achter de fort Orangie tusschen de selve en 
het Maquaes Landt de welcke Verklaeren gecedeert en getransporteert te 
hebben gelyck sij seedeeren en transporteeren by deesen in reele en Actuelle 
possessie en sijgondom ten behoeve Van S r Arent Van Corlaer Ret gemelde 
stuck Landts of groote Vlackten op Wildts genaemdt Schonowe (is) in syn 
begrip en circonferentie met syn geboomte en killen voor een seecker getal 
of Cargosoenen voor welck de transportanton bekennen sattisfactie van 
gehadt te hebben renonceerende voor nu en altyt op alle eygendom en pre- 
tensie die sij op het gemelde stuck Landts tot nutoe gehadt hebben, be- 
loovende het te bevryden voor all pretensie die andere Wilden soude hebben 
konnen. Actum in de fort 88 Orangie den 27 e July A, 1661, in presentie Van 
Marten Mouris en Willem Montagne daertee versocht. 

dit ist merck a a a 7 van Cantuquo 

The Bear 

dit ist merck van 

Albany Records, xix. 180. f O'Callaghan'3 Hist., N. N., 11. 438. 

12 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

dit ist jv/>^ ^-/xx merck van 


In Keunisse van mij "] 
La Montague I 

V. D r en Commies f M. Mou(kis) 

opt fort ss Orangie J Willum de La Montagnb.*" 

Appeared before me, Johannes La Montagne in the service of the Privi- 
leged West India Company by the Director General and Council of New 
Netherland admitted vice-director and clerk {commies) at Fort Orange and 
village of Beverwyck, certain sachems of the Mohawk's land named Can- 
tuquo, Sonareetse, Aiadane, Sodachdrasse, owners of a certain piece of land 
named in Dutch the Groote Vlachte, and lying behind Fort Orange, between 
the same and the Mohawk's lands, who declare that they have granted, 
transferred, as by these presents they do grant and transfer in real and 
actual possession and ownership to the behoof of M r Arent Van Corlaer, the 
said piece of land or Great Flat by the Indians named Schonowe, in its 
compass of circumference, with its woods and kils for a certain number of 
cargoes, for which the grantors acknowledge they have had satisfaction ; 
renouncing henceforth and forever all ownership and pretensions, which 
they to said pieces of land heretofore have had and promising to free it 
from all pretensions which other Indians may have. Done in Fort Orange 
the 27 th July, anno 1661, in presence of Marten Mouris and Willem Mon- 
tagne hereto invited. 

This is the mark X of Cantuquo, 

This is the mark X of Sonareetsie, 

This is the mark X of Aidane. 

M. Mou(ris) 
Acknowledged before me, William de La Moxtagxe, 

La Montagne V. D., and 

Clerk at Fort Orange. 

* Deeds, n 542. 

f [" The ancient Mohawk village which stood at this place, was called Connocharu- 
guharie or as Benson writes it Oronowaragouhre, in allusion to the vast piles of flood 
wood which were left every spring on the flats. The term origoniwoutt, appears to have 
been applied, at a later period, to the village at the same place ; perhaps the site was 
a litle varied in its particular location, and perhaps both names were applied at the same 
time to the place, being different modes of describing the position of the village. When 
the"Dutch obtained a patent embracing the site in 1661, from Gov. Stuyvesant, the 
Indian name of the Vlachte or flats was mentioned therein, and it does not appear from 

Introduction. 13 

On the sixth day of April, 1662, Arent Van Curler again addressed the 
Director General and Council stating that in accordance with their resolu- 
tion of the 23d June last, he and his associates had purchased and taken 
possession of the Great Flat behind Fort Orange and were now " engaged 
in constructing houses, mills and other buildings upon this plain," and that 
inasmuch as it was necessary to sow and cultivate these lands this season, 
which cannot be well done before they have been surveyed and allotted ; 
therefore he solicits the Director General " to authorize the surveyor 
Jacques Cortelyou, to measure and divide the same," and for this purpose 
tnat he return with the petitioner. 

On this petition the following apostil was given. 

"Before the requested settlement can be formed and surveyed, the persons 
who are inclined to establish themselves there ought to number at least 
twenty families and communicate their names at the office of the secretary 
of the Director General and Council and furthermore to engage and promise 
not to trade with the savages." * 

Another year passed and nothing was done towards the allotment of the 
lands among Van Curler's company. The inhabitants of Beverwyck and 
Colonie Rensselaerswyck " were most anxious to retain the fur monopoly 
and bad sufficient influence with the Director and Council to induce them to 
order that the settlers of Schenectady should confine themselves exclusively 
to agriculture and abstain from all trade with the Indians. f " 

On the 9th May, 1663, Governor Stuyvesant wrote to Commies La Mon- 
tagne and the court of Beverwyck, that by request he had sent up the sworn 
surveyor Jacques Cortelyou to lay out and survey the Great Flat, b«t as he 
" was indirectly informed that some of the new settlers there had dared 
against his express orders dated April 6, 1662, to sell strong liquors to the 

any author, that Schenectady — the original Mohawk name for Albany — was applied 
to it till after the first surrender of the colony to England, four years after the date of the 
patent." — Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois. 

Van Curler in 1643, designated it as " dat Schoonste landt " that the eyes of man ever 

" This Schoonechtendeel is 24 miles west from Albany." — Banker & Sluyter's Journal, 

Query. — Did D & S., derive their name from Schoon = beautiful, achten = esteemed, 
valued, deel = portion of land (or del = a valley)"! or was it only a coincidence ? J/'i/".] 

* Albany Records, xxi. 137. f O'Callaghan's History, N. N., u. 441. 

14 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

savages, he commanded the aforesaid Cortelyou to measure no lands for any 
individual there except he has previously signed the enclosed indenture in 
the presence of the commies and commissaries." * 


Wee landholders on the Plain called promise hereby that we will 

not on the aforesaid Plain nor in its vicinity undertake to trade in any 
manner under any pretext whatsoever, with the savages either directly or 
indirectly under the penalty, if we or any of us violate this our solemn 
promise, without any opposition for the first offence of fifty beavers, for 
the second offence, one hundred, and for the third, forfeiture of our solicited 
and acquired lands on the aforesaid Plain. 

In witness whereof this was signed by us in Fort 1663."f 

Van Curler laid the above communication of the governor and Council, 
before the "settlers of Schanechstede" on the 18th May, and proposed that 
they should subscribe to the annexed agreement as commended to him 
by Commies La Montague and the magistrates of Beverwyck. 

To this the settlers unanimously answered, declaring their willingness 
"to obey the Noble West India Company and the supreme magistrates in 
New Netherland, with other subjects to pay all their taxes, and neither to 
do nor attempt anything contrary to published orders and placards, fully 
trusting that their Honors will not treat us less kindly nor impose duties 
upon us other, than upon the other subjects of this Province and being 
fully assured that your Honors will Seriously consider, that in consequence 
of your resolution of date 23d June 1661 these lands were purchased out of 
our own pockets for the Noble Company, settled at great expence, build- 
ings erected and the land stocked with cattle and horses ; and that if these 
6ettlers be treated otherwise and worse than other subjects, then all their 
labor would be in vain and they actually ruined, which God avert." 

" We petition therefore that it may please your Honors to permit us the 
continued cultivation of these lands, as by letters patent you granted 
[ Marten's island ] to Jan Barentse Wemp and Jacques Cornelise [ Van 
Slyck ] without any restrictions. J 

"Finally as the surveyor is in this vicinity and has no orders to survey 
the land save the aforesaid agreement is subscribed, we renew our request 
to prevent future differences and disputes that he may be authorised to 
survey and allot the land among us, otherwise we shall be compelled to 
help ourselves as best we can." 

A. Van Curler, 

Philip Hendrickse [Brouwer], 

Sander Leendertse Glen, 

Albany Records, xx. 350. f Albany Records, xx. 351. % Patent of date Nov. 12, 1662. 

Introduction. 15 

The mark X of Simon Volckertse [VeederJ, 


alias Sogemacklic, 
The mark X of Tuenis Coenelisse [Swart], 
The mark X of Marten Coenelisse [Van Isselsteyn], - 
Willem Teller, 
Geerit Bancker, 

Bastiaen De Winter, as attorney in the 
name of Catalyn [De Vos], widow of Arent Andriesse [Bratt], 
Pieter Jacobse Bosboom [De Steenbakker], 


The mark X of Jan Barentse Wemp [Wemple], 
The mark X of Jacques Cornelisse [Van Sltck]." * 

This petition was taken into consideration by the Director General and 
Council on the 18th June, 1663. In their answer the petitioners are again 
referred to their past action, especially to that of April 6, 1662, in regard to 
the necessity of settlers at Schenectady confining themselves to agriculture, 
"because of the dangers which unavoidably must follow any trade with 
the Barbarians at such a distant place," reminding them that " it is not and 
never can be our intention to raise and foster one place and to expose 
another, yea, even the whole country to imminent danger." f 

Renewed complaints both verbally and in writing, having been made to 
the Director General and Council by the inhabitants of the village of Bever- 
wyck, with regard to the injuries and losses which might be apprehended 
not only to Beverwyck and Colonie Rensselaerswyck, but also to Schenectady 
itself, if trade with the Indians be permitted at the latter settlement, par- 
ticularly at this dangerous period, — the Director and Council, on the same 
day, took into serious consideration these complaints, and the danger of 
carrying merchandize six or seven [Dutch] miles into the country, on horses 
and wagons, for purposes of trade with the savages, by whom it ought to be 
expected that such goods would be attacked and plundered upon the road, 
as indeed had already been the case, and " even attempts made to violate the 
women, who went thither, as well as other insolences committed by the 
Barbarians not only in the road but in the settlement itself." 

" To prevent all which and many other mishaps, the Director General and 
Council order that no goods for the savages on any pretext whatsoever shall 
be carried thither, much less directly or indirectly bartered away, under 

* Albany Records, xx. 376. f Albany Records, xxi. 139. 

16 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

penalty of the forfeiture of these goods and merchandize, to be applied one- 
half for the informer and the other for the officer of Fort Orange, or of 
Colonie Rensselaerswyck, by whom the prosecution shall be instituted — ; to 
this end commanding their officers and court of Fort Orange and village of 
Beverwyck not only to have this order vigorously executed, but further- 
more to visit the new settlement of Schenectady and there make an inven- 
tory of all the goods and merchandize already carried thither in violation 
of the act of concession of the Director General nnd Council of date the 6th 
of April, 1662, and see them removed thence within thrice twenty-four 
hours on penalty as before mentioned." 

"Done in Fort amsterdam in New Netherland, 18th June, 1663.* 

The year passed away without any adjustment of these difficulties ; 
neither partition nor patents for the land could be had ; the people felt 
aggrieved that the privileges of trade should be accorded to Beverwyck 
and not to Schenectady, but they preferred to risk their cause to the mollify- 
ing power of time. 

On the 17th of April, 1664, another petition was presented to the Director 
General and Council by Sander Leendertse Glen, Willem Teller, and Harmen 
Vedder for themselves and the other inhabitants of the settlement named 
Schaneghstede, soliciting in substance that to prevent further dispute the 
surveyor might be sent up to lay out and parcel the land and house lots for 
every person interested.! 

The apostil to this petition was, that " the Director General and Council 
deem it proper to prevent disputes that the land and lots mentioned in this 
petition should be laid out, and therefore that the surveyor shall be sent up 
by the first opportunity." 

"20 May, 1664. 

" Resumed the apostil] upon the petition of those interested in the lands 
of Schanechstede made the 17th April; — the surveyor Jacques Cortelyou is 
commanded to proceed from here on the first Sailing Vessel to Fort Orange 
to lay out the aforesaid lands in the best manner possible and for the best 
accommodation of those interested therein, viz.: to each man his Share. 
In case any dispute arise between neighbors, the aforesaid Cortelyou 
together with the commissary La Montagne to reconcile the parties if 
possible and if they cannot succeed, to send their report to the Director 
General and Council in New Netherland." 

"Done in Fort Amsterdam." J 

* Albany Records, xxi. 135. \ Albany Records, xxii. 169. % Albany Records, xxii. 

Introduction. 17 

Thus after a delay of two years, Governor Stuyvesant came to an under- 
standing with the settlers, and the several lots and farms were surveyed 
and conveyed to them by patents. 


The description given in Van Curler's Indian deed of 1661 was quite 
indefinite and restricted the inhabitants to a comparatively small area. 

At this time and even for many years later, nothing was called land 
except the islands and alluvial flats bordering upon the river. Within ten 
years after the settlement commenced, all the tillable land was taken up 
and it became necessary to look for more farther west. Hence originated 
another negotiation with the Mohawks and the following deeds extinguishing 
the Indian title to the lands along the river to the present westerly limits of 
the county. 

'"On this 28th May, 1670, Kennighke and Auroensie, both sakemakers of 
the Maquase, acknowledge to have thankfully received the remainder of 
the sewant, tubs [of beer] and gunpowder, according to the tenor of the 
accompanying contract, and free the aforenamed buyers henceforth from 
all claims, and promise never more from this date to make any new action. 

In witness of the truth of which we have subscribed this with our own 
hands by our accustomed marks at Schanechted on the date as above in 
presence of Robbert Sanders and Jacques Cornelise [Van Slyck] both called 
as interpreters hereto. 

This mark sy/tS**** 1 ^ waa set by Kennighke 
This mark was set by " ^_ ^y C^_ ^Dorowingqese 

This mark was set by _f/ Auroensie. 

Robert Sanders. 

These letters were rf Q |< £ S set by 

Jacques Cornelise. 

In my presence, J. G. V. Marcken 

Schout.* " 

* See original in Dutch in my possession. 

18 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" On this 3d day of July A 1672, appeared before mee John Garretsen 
Van Marken, admitted publ: nota: by tbe worshipful court of Albany and 
the Inhabitants of Schanhectade; together with a sartain Indian called 
Dohorywachqua and Crage, being the representative of y e foure Mohockx 
Castells, who declared and promised to hold firm and stable, and will cause 
to be held in full force and virtue all and whatsoever hee shall act or doe 
in y e sale of y e Lands Lying Neare The Towne of Schanhechtade Within 
Three Dutch Myles * in compasse on boath sides of y e River Westwards, 
which endes at Hinguariones [Towareoune] Where the Last Battell Wass 
between The Mohoakx and the North Indians; Provided That Jaackes 
Cornelisse [Van Slyck] Shall have the first flatts or playne, — Except y e In- 
habitants of Schanhechtade Will Restore unto said Jaaques Cornelisse Two 
Rundlets of Brandy and one hundred hand of Wampum, which being paid 
unto s' 1 Jaaques The B d first Playne to Remaine to the Towne." 

"Whereupon Sander Leenders Gelen being a former magistrate and John 
Van Eps, and Sweer Teunisse [Van Velsen] being y e present magistrates 
of y e s d Towne did acknowledge and declare That They Weare Agreed 
with y c s d Indian uppon y e purchase of y e Land for ye Summe or 
quantity of six hundred hands of good Wheyte Wampum,f Six koates 
of Duffels, thirty barres of Lead and nine bagges of Powder, Whioh 
They doe promis unto y e s d Indians in two Terms, viz : The first as 
soon as The Sachems, or any person by Them authorized shall Comme out 
of y e Country and Produce full Power from Theyre Inhabitants according 
to Theyre usuall Manner, and have Thereupon delivered unto ye s d Indian 
as a present for The old man in the Mohawk Country a Rundlet of brandy, 
— To the end all Misunderstanding and Complaints May be Washt of and 

"To The trew performance of The premises The s d parties have hereunto 
Set theire handes, and Wass Interpreted by Cornells Viele in The Absence 
of Jaques Cornelisse,— In Schanhechtade, the date above written." (Signed) 
" With the Markes of f olloweth 

The Marke jT^ of Dohoriwachqua. 

The Marke 2^ o£ Crage. 

Sander Leenders Gelen. 
John Van Eps, 
Sweer Teunisse. 

"Attested by me, 

J. G. V. Marken, Notar : publ : " 

* [ A Dutch myl was 3.6394 (commonly called 4) English miles. 1 
\ A hand of wampum was valued at 4 guilders, Albany Annals, n, 8. 

Introduction. 19 

" (Coppy) This day the 13 th of July is pay d unto the Indians above men- 
tioned in parte of ye purchaze foure hundred hands of Wampum, 30 barres 
of Lead 3 bagges of pouder. More for a present, 3 ankers good beere, one 
koatt of duff ells, together with the above mentioned Rundler of Brandy." 

" (Coppy Transl:) A°° 1672 The 13' !l day of July, Did the underwritten 
Indians appeare before us and do declare that They did confirm all and 
whatsoever the Above written Indians by Name Tohoriowaghque and Crage 
in the Annexed Instrument have acted, and doo by These presents prommise, 
with the Last payment to give all further Assurances of the s' 1 Land, and 
That They and Theyre heires Shall desist from all further Claymes and pre- 
tences whatsoever. 

" In Witness whereof They have hereunto set Theyre handes, In Schan- 
hechtade at the house of Gerritt Bancker and in the presence of Severall 
particular Indians The Day and Yeare Above written. 

" Signed with ye following markes. 

The Marke of "^^k Canachqtto. 
The Marke of JLs f Ocquarry. 

The Marke JLy~~ °f Tohoeiowachque. 

Attested by mee, 

(Signed) J. G. V. Marcke, Nota. pub. 

Compared and found to agree with the prinsip: by mee. 

Lttdovicus Cobes, secret."* 

By virtue of the foregoing conveyance from the Indian proprietors, appli- 
cation was then made to the Governor and Council for a patent and with 
what result will be seen by the following proceeding in Council. 

" At a Councell Oct. 15, 1675. 

Present — The Governor, The Secretary, Capt. Dyre, Mr. Philips. 

Sander Leeuderts Glen and Ludovicus Cobes, Schout of Schanechtade, pro- 
duce (with a request from their Village) severall papers relating to an Indyan 
purchase &c, made Anno, 1672, somewhat before the surrender of this 
place to ye Dutch, and desire a Patent for ye lands three miles of each side 
of the River. 

They desire twelve miles farther, which they pretend to have purchased 
and make severall other Proposalls. 

* Land Papers, i. 47. 

20 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In answer whereunto, It is resolved as followeth viz 1 . 

To ye first Proposall, That they have a Patent for ye land about, and 
above Schanechtade, but there appearing no leave from ye Governor to buy 
ye same, nor a full information of the Premises, It is to be suspended for 
ye present, but no one else shall have a graunt for that land before them, 
In meantime it may Continue in Common as formerly. 

The Bouweryes or farmes of Schanechtade are to pay for each of them 
conteyning 20 morgan and so proporconably four Bushels of Winter Wheat 
pr annum as a quitt Rent. 

To ye second concerning their Priviledge of Trade or handling w th ye In- 

The Governor's Ord rs made above to bee observed. 

To ye 3 1 , That they may be excused ye paym 1 of their Burger's Packt or 
Excise att Albany and may bee ad." 

" It is ordered that ye Magistrates of Schanechtade shall at this time 
have liberty to impose and levy upon ye Inhabitants there the 300 11 ' penny 
for to pay present debts and defray publique Charges. 

To ye last request that may have a peculiar seal for their own particular 
affaires relating to their town, 

It is likewise graunted, and that a seal shall be made and sent them by the 
first convenience."* 

Thus the reasonable petition of the inhabitants was denied for informality 
and indefiniteness; first because, "leave from ye Governor to buy ye same," 
had not first been obtained and secondly, because " full information of the 
Premises" was riot given. And to add to the difficulties of the case, the 
Mohawks were inclined to repudiate the sale of their lands or at least de- 
mand a double compensation, as shown in the following minute of a council 
held by the Mohawks, before the Governor. 

" The Sachem spake for himself, That one Arent Van Corlaer bought all 
Schannectade and paid for it, but now there be some who have bought only 
Grasse, and pretend to the land allso; they say allso that they have bought 
the first flatt, but that is not so, for it belongs to Acques Cornelisse [Van 
Slyck], who is to have it, and none else, for he is of their [Mohawk] people 
and it is his inheritance; — that there are writings made of a sale of land, but 
it was never sold, but only the grasse, tho' it may be some drunken fellows 
may have made some writing without their knowledge, — That they have 
only bought the Grasse and now are going to live upon it, but they ought 
to pay for the land as well as the Grasse, and that they had given some to 

* Council Minutes, in. 2nd part, p. 59. 

Introduction. 21 

that woman Hillah and another Leah,* who have the property of it ; — the 
others have only the Grasse ; — That now he has declared this matter and 
desires notice may be taken of it ; — and says that shame shall never come 
upon him, or to be found in a lye."f 


" That it is the custom of the Government and amongst Christians when 
they sell the Grass to sell the land allso; and if they be not paid for the 
land they shall be, and that the people of Schaunectade say that they sent 
Acques to purchase the land in the name of their Town, and that Acques 
bought in his own name; and they sent allso one Kernel to purchase it for 
the Towne, the Indyans told him that Acques had bought and paid some 
part of the payment, and they desired them to pay Acques the money back 
and the Towne should have it, which the Towne did and Acques was 
satisfied; it is the custom of this place to do justice among ourselves and if 
Acques have a better title than they for it, he shall have it."J 

Whatever may have been the arguments used on this occasion, whether 
in the shape of " ankers of good beere," or a " rundler of brandy," — jjotent 
reasons ever with the Indian, — opposition ceased from this time and the 
Governor and Council were brought to grant the inhabitants the following 
much needed Patent for the ancient township, afterwards city of 

"Thomas Dongan, Leiutenant and Governour and Vice-Admirall under 
his Royall Highnesse, James, Duke of Yorke, &c, of New Yorke and its 
Dependeucyes in Amerca &c. 

To all to whom these presents shall come, Sendeth Greeting, Whereas 
Tohorywachqua and Crage, Representatives of the four Mohake Castles, 
have for themselves, and Canachquo, Ocquary, and Tohoriowachque, true 
and Lawfull Owners of the Land within meneoned, have by their certaine 
Writeing, or Deed of Sale, dated the third day of July Anno Dni 1672, 
Given and Granted unto Sander Lend rs Glenn, John Van Epps, Sweere 
Teunesse, as being impowered by the Inhabitants of the Towne or Village 
of Schenectady and Places adjacent, a Certaine Tract or Parcell of Lands, 
beginning at the Maques River, by the Towne of Schenectade, and from 

* Hillelie a half breed, sister of Acques Cornelise Van Slyck, married Peter 
Danielse Van Olinda the First Settler ; the land given her by the Mohawks was the 
*' Willow Flat " below Port Jackson and the Great Island at Niskayuna. Leah, probably 
her sister, married first Claes Willemse Van Coppernol and secondly Jonathan Stevens. 
She owned a portion of the " Willow Flat " with her sister Hilletie. 

f Council Minutes v. 11. % Council Minutes, v. 12. 

22 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

thence Runnes Westerly on both sides up the River to a Certaine Place 
called by the Indians Canaquarioeny, being Reputed three Dutch Miles or 
twelve English Miles; and from the said Towne of Schenectade downe the 
River one Dutch or four English miles to a kill or creeke called the Ael 
Place, and from the said Maques River into the woods South Towards 
Albany to the Sandkill one Dutch Mile and as much on the other side of the 
River North, being one Dutch mile more, there being Excepted in the said 
Bounds all Corne and Sawmills, that now are or hereafter shall be erected 
Within the Bounds of the said Towne, that they be lyable to pay a pellicular 
Quitt Rent for their Priviledges, besides what is herein sett forth, as shall 
hereafter be agreed for by the Inhabitants of the said Places, or owners of 
such Mills, with such Governour, or Governours as shall be Appointed by 
his Royall Highnesse; and likewise that noe Timber or Wood be Cutt but 
within the Bounds aforesaid, the said Excepeon being agreed upon by 
Myselfe as by a Certaine Writeing bearing date the 7th day of August last 
Past, doth more perticulerly Appeare: 

Now know Yee that by virtue of the Comicon and Authority to me 
Given, by his Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke and Albany, Lord 
Propi'ietor of this Province, I have hereby Given, Granted, Ratifyed and 
Coufirmed and by these Presents doe Give, Grant, Ratifye and confirme, 
unto William Teller, Ryert Schermerhorn, Sweer Teunessen, Jan Van 
Epps and Myndert Wemp on the Behalfe of the Inhabitants of the Towne 
of Schenectade and Places Adjacent aforesaid, Dependencyes thereon, there 
Associates, Heires, Successors and Assigns, all and Singular the before 
recited Tract and Tracts, Parcell and Parcells of Laud, Meadow, Ground 
and Premises with their and every of their Appurtenancyes, together with 
all and Singular the Houses, Buildings, Messuages, Tenements, Heridita- 
ments, Dams, Rivers, Runnes, Streames, Ponds, Woods, Quarryes, Fishing, 
Hawking and Fowling, with all Priviledges, Libertyes, and Improvements 
whatsoever, to the said Lands and Premisses belonging, or in any wise apper- 
taining, or accepted, reputed, taken or known as Part, Parcell, or Member 
thereof, with their ;md every of their Appurtenances ; Provided Alwayes 
that this shall not anywayes make null, or void a former Grant or Pattent, 
bearing date the 30th of October last past made to Jacques Cornelisse of a 
Piece of Land lyeing within the Bounds heretofore meneoned of the Towne 
of Schenectade, (that is to say ) the Land Lyeing and being betweene two 
Creekes, the one called the Stone Creeke to the Eastward, and the other 
the Platte Creeke to the westward thereof, the Low Land lyeing along the 
River side on the South of the Maques River, and then to the north of the 
Land belonging to the Inhabitants of Schenectade, the same Containing 
Forty Morgan or Eighty acres of Land, as alsoe Forty Morgan, or Eighty 
Acres of Woodland or upland more, on the West side of the Platte Creeke, 
adjoining to the arrable Land along the River side, which was wholly 
exempt by the Indian Proprietors, in the sale of this Land, as belonging to 

Introduction. 23 

Jacques Cornelise : To have and to hold the aforesaid Tract and 

Tracts, Parcell and Parcells, of Land and Premisses with their and every of 
their Appurtenances, unto the said William Teller, Ryert Schermerhorne, 
Sweer Teunessen, Jan Van Epps and Myndart Wemp on the behalfe of the 
Inhabitants of the Towne of Schenectade and their Associates, their Heires, 
Successors and Assignes, unto the propper use and behoofe of the said 
William Teller, Ryert Schermerhorne, Sweer Teunessen, Jan Van Eps and 
Myndart Wemp, their Heires, Successors, and Assignes forever, to be 
holden of his Royall Highnesse, his Heires and Assignes in ffree and CoEon 
Soccage, According to the tenure of East Greenwich, in the County of 
Kent, in his Ma lies Kingdome of England, Yielding and Paying therefor, 
Yeai'ly and every Yeare, as a Quitt rent, for his Royall Highnesse use, unto 
such officer or Officers as shall be appointed to receive the same att 
Albany forty Bushels of Good Winter Wheat, on or before the twenty-fifth 
day of March. 

Given under my Hand and Sealed with the Seale of the Province, at ffort 
James in New York, the first day of November Anno Dni 1684, and in the 
thirty-sixth Yeare of his ma lies Raigne. 

Tho. Dongan." 

The importance of this grant will appear from the fact that it is the 
source of all legal titles to lands embraced within 128 square miles of 
territory given subsequently to the first day of November, 1684. 

The five trustees therein named, or their survivors and successors lawfully 
appointed, thereafter became the granters of all the public or common lands 
of the town. Previous to this date all lawful conveyances were in the first 
instance made by the Governor and Council. 

Of the five original trustees, Myndert Wemp, Jan Van Eps, and Sweer 
Teunise Van Velsen were killed Feb. 9, 169f leaving only Reyer Schermer- 
horn and Willem Teller survivors. The latter, then an aged man residing 
in Albany, took but little active interest in the management of the Patent. 
In 1692 he removed to New York, where he died in 1700, from which time 
until the confirmatory Patent of 1714, Reyer Schermerhorn was sole trustee. 

By the destruction of the village in 1690 and subsequent wars with the 
French and their Indian allies, the inhabitants of Schenectady had lost all 
but their lands ; in consequence of which Schermerhorn petitioned the 
Governor in 1698 for an abatement of the quit rent due,— 40 bushels of wheat 
yearly, — according to the Patent of 1684, but his request was not granted.* 

Land Papers, n, 271. 

24 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Making due allowance for water, there were about 80,000 acres of land in 
the Patent of Schenectady, — all under the charge and management of one 
trustee, save the few farms which had been heretofore granted. This one 
man power was distasteful to the people and it was urged against Scher- 
merhorn that he disposed of the lands belonging to the village, without 
rendering any account of the same ; they therefore petitioned for an en- 
largement of their privileges by a new charter which should give them 
power of choosing five trustees to hold office three years, who should account 
to their successors for the management of their trust. To this end the 
following petition of date Oct. 10, 1702, was sent to the Governor and Council. 

"To His Excellency Edward Lord Viscount Cornbury, her Maj ies Capt. 
General and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of New York and all the 
tracts and Territories of land depending thereon in America, and Vice 
Admirall of the same, &c, and to the Honorable Councell, 

The Humble address of the Inhabitants of the Village of Schenectady in 
the County of Albany 


How that sometime in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred, 
eighty-four the late Govern 1 Thomas Dongan, being at Schenectady afore- 
said, ordered ye payment of all ye quit rents then due to be made. The in- 
habitants Addressed themselves to ye said late Govern' to agree for the 
said quit Rents and to obtain a Generall Patent for the Lands Belonging to 
the said Village ; — the said late governour bidd them appoint some Persons 
to agree to y e Same, Whereupon some few Persons Desyned William Teller, 
Ryer Schermerboorn, Sweer Teunisse, Jan Van Eps and Myndert Wemp, 
who agreed for said quitt Rent, and in Pursuants thereof the said Ryer 
Schermerhoorn without any qualification hath obtained a generall Patent 
dated ye first of November, 1684, to the aforementioned few Pei'sones, 
their heirs and assigns forever. The said William Teller being at Schin- 
nectady sometime in June, 1700, when many Inhabitants complained of y e 
GrievaMce they suffered by ye administration of said Ryer Schermerhorn 
and John Wemp, whereby virtue of said Patent [they] dispose and sell the 
lands belonging to said Village and buy other as they then will, without 
Rendering any account of the same ; Whereupon ye said William Teller 
Declared that he never knew that the Intent of the Patent was upon * * * 
therein mentioned and their heirs and their * * * * to hear * * * 
in * * * and * * * said Patent should [be] altered to the end that 
ye said Inhabitants may yearly have a * * * of five (?) trustees for ye 
said village, and since ye said Sweer Teunisen is deceased without leaving 
an heir and John Van Eps, Myndert Wemp and William Teller also 
deceased and John Barentse [Baptist] Van Eps Sonn and heir of said John 

Introduction. 25 

Van Eps refews to Administer ye said Patent, the heirs of said Teller living 
at New York so that the whole administration of said Patent is so managed 
by the said Ryer Schermerhorn and John Wemp his sonn-in law in manner 
as aforesaid. 

Wee the Inhabitants aforesaid doo therefore most humbly pray your 
Lordship and hon ble Council to take our Case into your serious consideration 
and that yee Power of said Ryer Schermerhorn and the heirs of said Three 
deceased may be annuld and made Void and to present a new patent Con- 
firming the Land [and] other Priviledges as in the Present Patent is con- 
tained for ye Behoofe of the Inhabitants of said Village, — Together with an 
addition that yearly and every year five Persons by the Major votes of the 
said Inhabitants be chosen Trustees over ye said Village and be accountable 
of there Proceedings at the Determination of Three years, humbly Sub- 
mitting to your Lordship to appoint such Persons for Trustees as aforesaid 
for ye first year and your humble Petitioners as in duty bounde shall ever 
pray, etc. 

Albany the 10 ;l1 of October, 1702. 

Tjerck Fransen [vande Bogart]. barent (?) * * 

bent Robberse [Benj. Roberts]. Johannes Glen (?) 

Cornelis Van Sleyck. Jan Meebie. 

Jan luyse [Wyngaard]. Seyas Swart. 

Isles Van de Vorst. Arent Vedder. 

Symen Groot. Samuel braedt. 

Johannes Mynderse. Johannis Teller. 

Marte Van Slyck. Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel]. 

Geysebert Marselis. tfmerck HB van Hendr: brouwer. 

Barent Vrooman. [Jacobus] Van Dyck (?) 

Van benthuis. John Sanderse Glen. 

Albert Vedder. Adam Vrooman. 

Jan Vrooman. * * * / 

barent Wemp. Jacobus peeck. 

harmeu Van Slyck. Isaac (?) Danielse (?) 

phillip philipse. Isack Switts. 

daniet Van O Linda. Daniel Janse [Van Antwerp]. 

Claes Van * * * Johannes Jacobsen Glen. 

* * * * 

Pieter Van Olinda.*" 

As it had been charged that the first Patent granted the lands to the 
patentees therein named and to their heirs, successors and assigns, the 
second Patent given on the 17th Feb., 170§, in response to the foregoing 

* The skin of parchment on which this petition was written is badly worn and de- 
faced. It is deposited in the New York State Library at Albany. 

26 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

petition, after reciting the Dongan Patent, conveyed the lands therein 
mentioned to Col. Pieter Schuyler, John Sanderse Glenn, Adam Vrooman 
and John Wemp, jointly or severally to be trustees for managing the trust 
and estate aforesaid, together with the said Ryer Schermerhorn or by them- 
selves. Schermerhorn paid no regard to the new charter, nor to his fellow 
trustees but still continued to act as sole " trustee for the town in receiving 
the rents, issues and profits thereof, and in prosecuting suits of law in his 
own name only, without giving any account thereof." 

All this too in spite of suspension from his office by the Governor. The 
secret of this stubborn persistance in the duties of his trusteeship was 
doubtless the fact that the first Patent of 1684, was still binding, notwith- 
standing the granting of a second, and also to the further fact 3 that in 
Schermerhorn as the sole survivor of the trustees therein mentioned was 
vested all the authority and power originally granted to said five trustees. 

The fee of the land was in him, his " heirs, successors and assigns," and 
could only be alienated by death or release in due form. In consequence 
thereof, Col. Peter Schuyler and Johannes Glen, two of the new trustees 
petitioned the Governor for an amended charter and were followed by the 
citizens asking for a yearly election of trustees and a more strict account- 
ability to the people; whereupon the Governor granted their request in the 
charter of April 16, 1705, from which after reciting both the former 
charters of 1684 and 1*703*, Schermerhorn's name as trustee is omitted. 

The following petitions set forth the grievances which agitated the 
people and led to the granting of the third charter above mentioned, and 
to the suspension of Schermerhorn from his office. 

" To his Excellency, Edward Viscount Cornbury, Captaine Generall and 
Governour in Cheife of the Province of New York and New Jersey and all 
the tracts of land thereon Depending in America, and Vice-Admirall of the 

"The Humble Memoriall of the Inhabitants of theTowneof Schenectady. 
May it Please your Lordship 

That upon y e complaint of us the said Inhabitants made to your Ex- 
cellency in Councill the twenty-first day of Aprill last [1704], of diverse 
abuses and unjust proceedings committed in the said towne by Ryer 
Schermerhorne, your Excellency was pleased to order the said Schermerhorne 
and one John Wemp and Thomas Williams to attend your Excellency in 
Councell, who accordingly appeared the twenty-fifth day of May then next 

* See charter of April 16, 1705. 

Introduction . 2 7 

following [1704], upon which day after a full hearing of all matters against 
the said Mr. Schermerhorne, your Lordship in Councell did think fitt to 
suspend the said Mr. Schermerhorne from acting further as Trustee of the 
said Towne and that Likewise an order should Issue to her Majesties late 
Attorney Generall to Draw a new Patent for the said Towne and therein 
to appoint Coll. Schuyler, Johannes Sanderse Glenn, Adam Vrooman, 
Daniel Janze [Van Antwerpen] and John Baptist Van Eps, Trustees for 
the said Towne for one year with power to the Inhabitants Yearly to 
Choose five Trustees who should be accountable to the Sucseeding Trustees 
of their doings in That Trust. 

Notwithstanding tlie said Schermerhorne in Contempt of your Lordship's 
suspension as aforesaid and not regarding any of the Orders so made by 
your Excellency in Councell as aforesaid touching the same, doth still con- 
tinue to act as Trustee for the said Towne in Receiving the rents, Issues 
and Profits thereof and in Prosecuting suites of Law in his own name only, 
without giving any account thereof to the Trustees lately so appointed by 
your Excellency; And Particulai'ly the said Mr, Glenn and Mr. Vrooman 
having for the necessary Defence of the said Towne employed persons, who 
have been at expence in fortifying the same, Yett by the said Mr. Schermer- 
horne receiving the rents and Prnfitts of the said Towne (which ought to be 
applyed toward the defraying that necessary charge), the said Mr. Glenn 
and Mr. Vrooman are rendered uncapable to pay the same or to pay her 
Majesties Quit rents [1704]. 

All which is humbly Submitted to your Lordships great Wisdome.* 

P. Schuyler, 
Johannes Glen." 

" The humble memorial of the Inhabitants of Schenectaday. 
May it please your Lordship. 

The said Inhabitants of Schonectady by Virtue of Purchase from the 
Natives with the consent of the Goverment being seized of divers parcells 
of Land about the year 1684, had the same confirmed to them under a 
certaine quit rent by y e then Gov r . 

This Confirmation was made in the name of Willem Teller, Ryer 
Schermerhorn, Sweer Teunise, Jan Van Eps and Myndert Wemp in trust 
for the said Inhabitants according to their respective Interests. 

The rest of y u Trustees being dead the onely Survivor, Ryer Schermer- 
horn has taken upon him to dispose of severall parcells of the same Lands 
and the Rents, Issues and profits of the same as if the same were his owne 
property and not a Trust as indeed it was, refuseing to be accountable to the 
Parties Interested. 

To remedy this the Inhabitants aforesaid having made their applycacon 
to your LordP By Letters Patents under the Great Seal [of date 17 Feb. 

Colonial Mss. , i, 52. 

28 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

170§], appointed Peter Schuyler, Johannis Sanderse Glenn, Adam Vrooman, 
John Wemp and Ryer Schermerhorn as Trustees on the behalf of the said 
Inhabitants with severall powers and Authoritys, but this hath hitherto 
proved ineffectual. 

It is their humble Request and they offer it as a means for their relief 
that your LordP will please to Nominate and appoint five proper persons as 
Trustees for the said Inhabitants for the management of their Comon 
affairs with Liberty of an Annual Choice by the major vote of the said In- 
habitants of five persons as Trustees in succession, who respectively may be 
accountable to the successive Trustees for such monies, Issues and profits 
as may in Generall belong to the said Inhabitants, Which is humbly sub- 
mitted to your LorcF' 8 Great Wisdome, By your Lord ps ' most humble and 
most obedient Servants. 

J. Abeel, 
On behalf of the said ) Evert Bancker.*" 

Inhabitants. J 

Accompanying the above petition was a list of lands sold and leases 
taken by Ryer Schermerhorn, for which he is said to have given no account 
to the Inhabitants. 

" A list of y e Lands and Income of the towneship of Schonhectady, viz: 

Jacobus Peek, agreedt for his land. 

Esias Swart, his land. 

Jan Brouwer, his lands. 

Phillip Groot, his land of y e Sixt plains [sixth flat], Phillip Groot has also 

y fyft plains [fifth flat] in hiere. 
Cornelis Slingerland, hows lott boght. 
Johannes Myndertse, hows loot boght. 
Claese Franse [van de Bogart], oplandt boght.. 
Symon Groot, oplandt bought. 
Jonathan Stevens, oplandt bought and some cattle, 
hendrik brower, opland bought. 
Jellis Yonda, oplandt bought. 

Jacobus peek, landt upon Earequiet of Erfpaght [quit rent]. 
Jan Landertse, Earequiet [quit-rent]. 

Lewies Viele, his Landt fore y e fourth shalf of 4th Garf [the fourth sheaf]. 
Lewis Viele the Groet of his former Landt and some cattell and hoggs. 
Arent Vedder, Earequiet [quit-rent]. 

* Read in Council 21st April, 1704 : Warrant to the Attorney General, 23d May, 1704. 
Land Papers in. 186. 

Introduction. 29 

Claes franse [van de Bogart], Earequiet. 
Carel Hanse [Toll], Earequiet. 
Ryer Schermerhorn, Earequiet. 
Tarn Smith, Earequiet. 
Martje Mastkraft, Earequiet. 

These lands are given out. If any more wee cannott tell, nor what day 

These folliug man [men] had last Jeare transports [deeds] for Great 
Rewards [of great value ?] pretending for the town Juse. 

Barent Wemp, Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel], Isack Swits, Jan Luycasse, 
Jan Vrooman, Jan batist [Van Eps], and others. 

What y e above 'mentioned persons pays Jearely wee cannot tell by 
reason wee nifer had none of y" peapers, nor conditions."* 

Opinion of Sampson Shelton Broughton, Esqr., in regard to Ryer Sche- 
merhorn's "mismanagement and breach of trust." 

" May it please your Excellency. 

In Obedience to an Order of your Excellency in Councill of the Eleventh 
instant to me made to consider of Ryer Schermerhorn's breach of the trust 
Committed to him in the Patent Granted by Coll: Dongan in the year 1684 
to the towne of Schenectady, and to Report to this board what is proper to 
be done in the premises. I do hereby most humbly signifie to your Excel- 
lency and this board, that I have weighed and considered the said matter to 
me referred and do find the said Schermerhorn guilty of very great misman- 
agements and breach of trust upon the Patent aforesaid and of Great dis- 
regard and Contempt of your Excellency and this board and the Acts thereof 
and am humbly of opinion that the said Ryer Schermerhorn ought not to 
continue longer in the said trust but to be Discharged from the same. 

And I do not upon the whole matter find that the Misdemeanor aforesaid 
Does render the said Ryer Schermerhorn so Criminal in Law as to subject 
him to a higher punishment. 

Wh: is most humbly submitted to your Excellency's better Judgment by 
My Lord 

Your ExcelH' 5 Most obedient 

humble servant 

18 May 1704 Sa: Sh: Broughton" f 

On the 25 of May, 1714, Schermerhorn appeared before the Governor and 
Council " and after a full hearing of all matters" against him, was suspended 
from " acting further as Trustee of the said Towne." But as he continued 

* Land papers, in. 186. f Land Papers, in. 186. 

30 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

obstinate, disregarding the demand of the new Trustees for an accounting 
to them of his official acts, they commenced a suit against him in the court 
of chancery. 

The following is the substance of their complaint: 

" 1705 July 5 ) Complaint of Peter Schuyler, John Sanderse 

'Will Sharpas \ Glen, Adam Vrooman, Daniel Johnson [Daniel 

Janse Van Antwerpen] and John Baptist 
Van Eps, trustees of the town of Schenectady. 
Ryer Schermerhorn. 

Whereas Col. Dongan, Governor &c, being at Schenectady, the inhabi- 
tants petitioned for a General Grant or Patent in behalf and name of the 
freeholders and for the settlement of the quit-rents, which they were to pay. 
Col. Dongan directed the Inhabitants to appoint some persons from their 
number to agree with him for said rents & Patent : said inhabitants ap- 
pointed W m . Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, Sweer Tunisse. John Van Eps, and 
Myndert Wemp for that purpose. 

W m . Teller, Sweer Teunisse, Jno. Van Eps, & myndert Wemp deputed 
Ryer Schermerhorn to solicit & obtain the Patent for the freeholders. — The 
inhabitants advanced money to pay fees & charges, which was delivered into 
the hands of R. Schermerhorn who employed said monies in obtaining a 
Patent for R. Schermerhorn, W" 1 . Teller, Sweer Teunissen, Jno Baptist Van 
Eps & Myndert Wemp & their heirs and assigns for ever, — and hath detained 
said patent in his custody with out acquainting the other corporators with 
the purport of the same. About five years since Sweer Teunissen, Myndert 
Wemp & John Van Eps being dead, — W m . Teller declared that he never 
knew that said Patent was to the Corporators & their heirs & that it was 
contrary to the intent of the inhabitants. 

Teller is since deceased and Ryer Schermerhorn the only surviving Trus- 
tee has combined with John Wemp, Barent Wemp, John Glen, Godeit 
[Gerrit] Symonse [Veeder], John ffroman, Claas Van Patten & others & 
does sell and give away the lands of said Patent, and cut down & carry 
away the timber from said lands & refuses to give the inhabitants any 
account of his doiugs. 

The complainants therefore petition the Court to call Ryer Schermerhorn 
to account.* 

(Signed) B. Cosens." 

The year following the trustees commenced another suit in the same 
court, to wit, on the 13th of June, 170tJ, of which the following is the notice 
in the clerk's office. 

* See Complaint in the office of the Court of Appeals. 

Introduction. 31 

" Petition of Peter Schuyler, John Sanderse 
Glen, Adam Vrooman, Daniel Johnson [Dan- 
iel Janse Van Antwerpen,] and John Bap- 
tist Van Eps, Trustees of Schenectady, 
Stmon Groot, Jr., Stas Swart and Jonathan 

Charges that the defendants have taken possession of lands belonging to 
the freeholders of the town of Schenectady pretending to deeds of convey- 
ance, or releases for the same, but refuse to show any evidence of their title. 
Prays that said defendants may be cited before the Court of Chancery to 
show their titles to said lands if they have any. 

(Signed) B. Cosens.*" 

Filed June 13, 1706. 

The complaint of Col. Schuyler and others against Schermerhorn as above 
given, was dated July 5, 1705 ; for the purpose of commencing a counter 
suit in the same court, he and his friends executed a power of attorney, July 
28, to Jacob Reynier and Abraham Gouverneur of New York, to file a bill 
"against such persons and according to such instructions as you or either 
of you shall have from us." 

The following copy of said power is chiefly interesting now, as showing 
the respectable and numerous following which Schermerhorn had in his 
contest with the new trustees. 

" To Jacob Reynier. Esq., and Abraham Gouverneur, Gent : of the Citty 
of New York. 

New York, ss : 

Wee the subscribers Inhabitants and freeholders of The Town of Schonegh- 
tade in the County of Albany do for and on behalf of ourselves and the 
Rest of our Township hereby make, ordain, Constitute and appoint you the 
said Jacob Reynier, Esqr, and Abraham Gouverneur, Gent : our Lawful, 
Attorneys and Sollicitors for us and In our Names at our Suits and To the 
use of the said Township to file a bill In the Chancery Court of This Province 
against Such persons and according To such Instructions as You or Either 
of You Shall have from us or Some of us, and To Prosecute the Same with 
all Vigour and Effect and to Retain Councell and in all other things to Act 
and Do what shall seem Necessary to you or Either of You for the Carrying 
on of the said Suit and for your, or Either of Your so doing this Shall be 
To You or Either of You a Sufficient Warrant. 

* In office of Court of Appeals, 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

this 28th day of July in the year of our 
of the Reign of Queen Anna over Eng- 



Given under our hands and Seals 

Lord 1705, and in the fourth Year 

land, etc. 
r Jan Rinckhout 

Symen Groot, Juny r 

Willem brouer 

Manisse Sicksberrie 

thomas Davie 

ionatn Stevens 
.teunis Swart 
• luwis Viele 

Cornells Viele 

Johannis Glen 

Simon Vrooman 

William Bowin 

Andris Bratt 

Arent Van Petten 

John Lench 

Phylip Groot 

Johauuis teller 

Isack Swits 

Jan Luyckassen [Wyngaard] 

thomas Nobel 

Jan Schermerhoorn 

Ephraim Wimp 

Jan Wemp Jr. 

Simon Swits 

Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel] 

Jan Brouwer 

Volkert Symonse [Veeder] 

Aaron Bratt 

Tjrck francen [V. d. Bogart] " 

Gosen Van Oort " 

Gerret Symonse [Veeder] " 

Jelles Fonda " 

Schermerhorn's suit against the new trustees, probably commenced soon 
after the date of the above power, for the " joint plea and Demurrer of 
John Sanderse Glen, Adam Vrooman, Daniel Johnson [Daniel Janse Van 
Antwerp] and John Baptist Van Eps, [trustees], defendants to the bill of 
complaint of Ryer Schermerhorn, John Wemp, Barent Wemp, John Glen, 
Gen-it Simonse, John Vrooman and Claas Van Petten," was entered in the 
court of chancery Nov. 13, 1705. 

Reyer Schermei'horn 

Jan Wemp 

Barent Wemp 

Claes francen [V. de Bogart] 

Claes Lawrence [V. D. Volgen] 

Gerret * * * 

Hendrick Brouwer 

Jonathan Deyer 

Benjmin Lannyn 

Dou Ouke 

Arent Pootman 

Phylip Bosie 

Andries Van Petten 

Claes Van Petten 

Jan Mankentyer 

Abrm Swyts 

Symen Groot Jr. 

Jan gysberse 

Jacop Cromwell (?) 

Symon Wemp 

Pieter Symonse [Veeder] 

Cornells Swits 

Willem Appel 

Sealed and Delivered in the Pre- 
sence of 

Hend: Hansen, Justus. 
Johannes Roseboom, Justus. 

Introduction. 33 

Of the several suits at law heretofore or subsequently commenced by the 
contending parties down to the death in 1795, of the second Ryer Scher- 
merhorn, grandson of the first, a period of nearly one hundred years, no 
one was ever determined. 

Tired and despairing of relief from litigation, the contestants resorted to 
negotiation and compromise, and failing of this as they always did, they 
reverted to the colonial legislature for redress but all in vain. The first 
serious effort at compromise was probably made in 1708, when a futile 
attempt was made to induce Schermerhorn to transfer his title to the town- 
ship to the then trustees elected under the charter of 1705. 

An imperfect contract dated 14 Aug., 1708, between Johannes Sanderse 
Glen, Gysbert Marselis, harmen Van Slyck and Carel Hanse [Toll], trustees 
for Schenectady, and Hendrick Hanse of Albany, attorney for Ryer 
Schermerhorn ; — states that said trustees had been " appointed to office in ac- 
cordance with a charter dated 15th April, 1703 [1705], but that notwith- 
standing said Ryer Schermerhorn under the Dongan Patent of 1684, 
continued to act as sole surviving patentee, which had occasioned the 
trustees to enter a suit in chancery against him, which hath hitherto been 
depending therein. Now therefore Hendrick Hanse as attorney for Ryer 
Schermerhorn agrees to convey to said trustees of Schenectady before the 
1st day of May next " * [the rest wanting]. 

Failing in this attempt at compromise, the same trustees on June 3 1709 
" in behalf of themselves and other the trustees and inhabitants of Schen- 
ectady " presented a petition to the colonial assembly to " bring in a bill 
confirming unto said inhabitants the Powers, etc., mentioned in Letters 
Patent granted to said town." On June 4th, said bill was presented on 
the 7th it was read a second time, referred to a committee with power to 
send for persons and papers and never more heard of.f 

The next step in this controversy was a power of attorney executed by 
the opponents of Schermerhorn and his party, to the then trustees elected 
under the charter of 1705, to demand of Ryer Schermerhorn, Barent Wemp 
Johannes Teller, Johannes Wemp and arent Bratt the books, deeds, bonds 
etc., belonging to the town. This paper is instructive, as showing who and 
how numerous were the opponents of Schermerhorn. 

* Dutch church papers, f Assembly Journal, i. 251-2. 


History of the /Schenectady Patent. 

" 9th June, 1713, Much the majority of the freeholders and Inhabitants 
of Schenectady constitute Carel Hansen Toll, Sweer Marselis, Gerrit 
Gysbertse Van Brakel, arent Van Petten and Caleb Beck or any three of 
them our lawful attorney to take possession of the lands of, &c. &c, to 
demand of Ryer Schermerhorn, Barent Wemp, Johannes Teller, Johannes 
Wemp and Arent Bratt the books, deeds, bonds, &c, of said town — said 
attorneys having been chosen on the 1st Tuesday of april last by said 


town as trustees thereof. 

Cornells Van Slyck 

Areut Bratt, Jr. 

Dirk Bratt 

Peter Clement 

Barent Vrooman 

Nico. D. Van Petten 

Daniel Danielse [V. Antwerpen] 

Samuel Bratt 

Julas Voo* 

Hendrick Hagedorn 

Victor Pootman 

Robert Jets [Yates] 

Pieter Vrooman 

Jan Luykassen 

Jacob Van Olinda 

Richard Hill* 

Jere: Thickstone 

Isa: Van Valkenburgh 

Harrae Philips 

Gysbert Marcelis 

Arent Vedder 

Daniel Toll 

Jan Danielse [Van Antwerpen] 

Arent Danielse [ do 

Symon Danielse [ do ] 

Philip Philipse 

Pieter Danielse [V. Antwerpen] 

Jacobus Peek 

Johannes Peek 

Marten Van Slyck 

Andries De Graaf 

Symon Groot 

Sander Philipse 

Dirk Miller* 

Andrew Mackans* 

Joseph Clement 

Wouter Vrooman 

Teuuis Van der Volgen 

Johannes Mynderse 

Wm. Bown 

Henry Hoof* 

Evert Van Eps 

Albert Vedder 

Wm. Brouwer 

Marten Van Benthuysen 

Cornelis Pootman 

Tennis Swart 

Benj : Lenine 

David Lewis 

Charles Burn 

John Bumpstead* 

Andries Van Petten 

Joh: Sanderse Glen 

Adam Vrooman 

Hendrick Vrooman 

Jacob Glen 

Harme Van Slyck 

Claas Fred: Van Petten 

Lawrens Claese [V. d. Volgen] 

Manus Vedder 

Jan. Baptiste Van Eps 

Jesse De Graaf 

Arnout De Graaf 

Willem Marinus 

Joh : Marinus 

Hendrick Philipse 

Abraham De Graaf 

Isaac De Graaf 

Thomas Davee.* 

* Names rarely met with in records relating to Schenectady. 

Introduction. 35 

May 15, 1716, carel Hanse renounces in favor of Arent Danielse Van 
Antwerpen. * 

The strife and contention in respect to the management of the " common 
lands " of the township, were put to rest for a time by Schermerhorn, in 
1714. By lease and release dated respectively Oct. 22d and 23d he con- 
veyed all his right and title to these lands to Willem Appel, innkeeper, of 
the city of New York. In this conveyance, after reciting the Dongan 
Patent of 1684, the fact that all the trustees therein named were deceased 
save Reyer Schermerhorn, " only survivor whereby all the estate, right and 
title of, in or to all said lands * * not otherwise legally disposed are 
became solely vested in the said Ryert Schermerhorn in fee simple by right 
of survivorship, and that said Schermerhorn growing antient is desirous 
that said * * lands and premises should be conveyed to others to- 
gether with himself and their heirs that the intent of the said Letters Patent 
may be duly observed," said Schermerhorn released and confirmed to 
"Willem Appel and his heirs, all the aforesaid lands in " Special trust and 
confidence that he the said Willem Appel or his heirs will upon request to 
him made by the said Ryert Schermerhorn his heirs or assigns shall * * 
execute such conveyance and assurance in the law for the vesting of all the 
hereinbefore mentioned * * lands * * and all the right, title 
and interest thereunto hereby conveyed or mentioned or intended to be 
conveyed to the said Willem Appel, unto the said Ryert Schermerhorn, 
Jan Wemp, Johannes Teller, Arent Bratt and Barent Wemp * * their 
heirs and assigns forever, to the intent the same may be held and enjoyed 
according to the true intent and meaning of the said letters Patent by the 
said Thomas Dongan " 

On the 25th and 26th of October, said Appel by lease and release recon- 
veyed said land to Ryer Schermerhorn and his said four associates for the 
purposes above mentioned.! 

And to confii'm the above conveyance, the fourth and last Patent was 
granted by Governor Hunter on the 14th November, 1714. J 

The patents of 1684 and 1714, are substantially the same, the grant of 
the township in both cases being made to Ryer Schermerhorn and his asso- 
ciates, their heirs, successors and assigns, " on behalf of the Inhabitants of 
the Towne of Schenectada." In neither case was any provision made to fill 
vacancies caused by death or otherwise ; hence the same difficulties were 

* Deeds v. 351. \ Deeds vi. 281, 282, 286, 288. \ Patents, Sec. State's office. Land 
papers vi. 94, 97. 

36 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

sure to arise again. As Reyer Scheruierhorn managed the common lands 
from 1700 to 1714 as the sole surviving patentee under the Patent of 1684, 
so did Arent Bratt from 1749 to 1765, under the Patent of 1714. With the 
exception however, of a feeble move made in 1715, by the trustees elected 
under the charter of 1705, to prosecute Schermerhorn and his associates, 
" for not yielding up all bonds, deeds, writings, books, etc., belonging to 
said town and especially to prosecute them for cancelling a conveyance 
that belonged, one-half to said town and the other half to the Dutch 
Church " * it is believed that the patentees were not disturbed in their 
management of the common lands for thirty years. 

But as early as 1744, Jan Wemp and Arent Bratt then being the only 
surviving patentees, many of the inhabitants became dissatisfied with their 
management of the common lands, and proposed that they should render an 
account thereof to the freeholders, as set forth in the following paper. 

"Articles of agreement to be proposed to Mr. Jan Wimp and Arent Bratt 
as trustees of Schenectady, to set the same before a part of the community 
for their approbation, the same having been approved of by those, who have 
been asked, that some persons out of the commonalty may be appointed to 
negociate with the trustees about the following articles. Be it known there- 
fore by these presents that we underwritten inhabitants of the Village of 
Schenectady in the County of Albany have made, constituted and appointed 
as we do hereby make, constitute and appoint as our attorneys Wouter 
Vrooman, Nicholaas Groot, Sander Lansin, Abraham Gelen and Isaack 
trueck, to act for us in our names and for our use to negociate in respect to 
the following articles with the trustees of the Village of Schenectady, Jan 
Wemp and Arent Bratt and as they therein agree and concur, whether to 
lighten some articles which are found to heavy and impracticable, or to 
establish others, which are found good and needful, we hereby pledge 
and bind ourselves to abide thereby. 

In witness whereof we have hereunder written our names this third of 
April in the year 1744. 

In the first place it is desired that you Mr. Arent Bratt shall give a clear 
statement of all the lands granted out of the property of the village, which 
your honor, your married children or other heirs [kindred] now possess, 
and how and at what price they were at first granted, and that your honor, 
said children and heirs shall be obligated to give therefor to the church a 
proper actual quit-rent in wheat or money, and that therefor new and dupli- 
cate indentures be made, and which indentures to whomesover given, to 

* Dutch Church Papers. 

Introduction. 37 

have the form first given by the trustees and be signed over by you, your 
heirs and assigns to the church. 

In the second place, that under or as under oath a neat and full list be 
given by you, Jan Werap and Arent bratt, of all the lands hitherto conveyed 
away and of the rents sex, thereupon at first, also you shall give up what 
money you as trustees have in till. 

Thirdly, that all the indentures made prior to 1716 and assigned to the 
church in 1716 but not yet delivered over, so far as they be in your power 
and hands be immediately and truly delivered up. 

Fourthly, that you shall bind yourselves, your heirs and assigns, to make 
over to the church all indentures made subsequent to 1716 until now and in 
the future to be made and all the rents imposed or to be imposed thereon. 

Fifth, our desire is that all single indentures be changed to double ones. 

Sixth, that you Jan Wemp and Arent Brat shall bind yourselves, your 
heirs and assigns always to act and deliver in the future with the ruling 
Consistory in respect to the conveyance of lands, so that the greatest profit 
be made, that they be made known by advertisement on the church door 
and offered to the highest bidder or others, that you may be wholly relieved 
of all further trouble and disquietude in future, and that you make the 
church wholly and altogether your assigns and sign over as trustees to the 
corporation [church] all your right, — but if this last clause of the article 
does not please you, then that the first part stand, and that you will please 
to bind yourselves, your heirs and assigns, in future to appoint a proper 
bookkeeper by whom the books shall be kept of all lands conveyed and to 
be conveyed, the bounds, lines, courses, length of lines of the same, con- 
tents in morgens or acres so that in time a map may be made thereof, like- 
wise of the quit-rents standing thereon and its commencement, that it 
always may appear ; also a careful account of what cash you now have and 
what in future from time to time shall be received and Disbursed by you, 
whereof you, your heirs and assigns shall make and give a yearly statement 
to the ruling consistory; — also shall all outstanding debts be collected in, if 
need be, — money or lands, that a careful statement thereof be given ; like- 
wise if we come to an agreement shall the writings thereof to be made be 
recorded so that they shall always stand. 

Cornelis Veder Takereus Van den bogart 

Albert Vedder Willem haal 

Cornelis Viele Johannis Vrooman 

Danel tol Johannis knoet 

Captyn helmes Veder Corneles brouwer 

Simon tol Vredryck Vn Petten 

Abram groot Adam'Condese 

hendericus brouwer Abram D Graaf 

Gerrit V: Antwerpen benimen Van Vleeck 

klaas de graaf Isaac Quackenbos 

38 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Yacobus Peeck Jno. B. V. Eps Jun r 

Ephraem Brat Albert A. Vedder 

Joseph R. Yatts Jr Jeroon Barhuyt 

Elias Post Johannis Vedder 

Sander Van Eps Toby us Ryckman, Junyer 

Takel Maerselis Johannis haal 

harmen Vedder Jan babtist Van Eps 

Jacobus Van Vorst Andries Mynderse 

Dirok Groot Adam Emraig [Empie] 

Andris Van Petten Gerrit Symonse Veder 

pieter Brouwer Jacobus Van Eps" 

Of the five patentees named in the deed and Patent of 1714, only two 
remained at the date of the above proposal, to wit, Arent Bratt and Jan 

Reyer Schermerhorn died Feb. 19, 1719 ; Barent Wemp son of Myndert 
Wemp, one of the patentees named in the Dongan Patent of 1684, probably 
died next. Johannes Teller, son of Willem Teller, also one of the Dongan 
patentees, died May 28, 1725, and Jan Wemp, grandson of Myndert and 
son-in-law of Reyer Schermerhorn, died Oct. 14, 1749, leaving Arent Bratt 
sole surviving patentee. He was nephew of Schermerhorn's wife and lived 
until April, 17(35. 

What answer Bratt and Wemp made to this proposition of the freeholders, 
is not known, though it was probably substantially complied with, save the 
entire transfer of the common lands to the church. In 1750 complaints 
were made however, both by citizens and the church, of Bratt's acting alone 
as patentee and giving no account of his trusteeship, to which he answered 
April 6, 1750, that "the church had had the income of all lands leased down 
to 1744, and he was willing to convey and guarantee to said church, and 
that he was likewise willing yearly to give an account of his stewardship to 
the freeholders of the town if they would appoint a place and persons to 
make such investigations."* 

Hitherto a portion of the freeholders had chiefly complained of one man's 
acting alone as trustee, first in the case of Ryer Schermerhorn from 1700 to 
1714, and now again in the case of Arent Bratt after 1749. In 1750, how- 
ever, began a new contest and upon entirely new grounds. 

* Dutch church papers. 

Introduction. 39 

Jan, son and heir of Reyer Schermerhorn, " set up the pretense that all 
those who were inhabitants and freeholders of Schenectady at the date of 
Dongan's Patent were equally entitled to all the common lands included 
therein as tenants in common fee." This claim, of course led to questions of 
law, and a judicial interpretation of the Dongan and Hunter's Patents. As 
the English law of primogeniture was in force in the colony, if Schermer- 
horn's claim could be substantiated, those only who descended from the 
first settlers in the line of the eldest son, would be eligible to receive shares 
of these common lands, which at this time amounted probably to 50,000 to 
60,000 acres. It was claimed that only twenty-seven persons at most, were 
then living who were legal heirs of the first free holders, and entitled to take 
the common lands. Jan Schermerhorn died in 1752, before he had fairly 
warmed up to the contest and before any legal proceedings were had in the 

His eldest son and heh', Reyer, inherited both his estate, his claim and 
all the energy of character, business tact and stubborn perseverance of his 

From the year 1754 to the year of his death in 1795, more than forty 
years, he applied all his energies in courts, before legislatures and governors, 
to obtain a favorable decision of this question and finally died without any 
determination whatever, bequeathing the continuance and maintenance of 
the suit to his children, upon the penalty of disinheritance. 

All further litigation however was buried in his grave upon the Schuy- 

In 1755 Reyer Schermerhorn the second, commenced his suit in chancery 
against Arent Bratt, patentee, and others, for his share in the common 
lands in right of his grandfather Reyer. His attorney and councilor was 
William Smith of New York, a prominent lawyer of the province, with 
whom was associated subsequently his son Thomas Smith. 

On the 21st of July 1758, the joint and several answers of Bratt and his 
associates to Schermerhorn's complaint, were filed in the office of the court 
of chancery. 

The suit made but little progress however, up to the time of Bratt's death 
which occurred in April, 1765. 

With his decease passed away the last of the five patentees named in the 
Patent of 1714, after a long service of fifty-one years. To provide for his 

40 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

successors in the management of the common lands, he made and executed 
a will on the 11th of March, preceding his death, in which he named twenty- 
three persons to whom he made over these lands, " in trust to and for the 
only use benefit and behoof of themselves and the other freeholders and 
inhabitance of the said township of Schenectady their heirs and assigns for- 
ever, also I give, devise and bequeath unto the said Harmanus Brat, 
Jacobus Van Slyck, John Sanders, Nicholas Van Petten, Isaac Vrooman, 
Jacob Swits, Isaac Swits, Jacob Vrooman, Frederick Van Petten, Nicholas 
Groot, Reyer Wernple, Tobyas Ten Eyck, Samuel A. Brat, Nicolas Van 
Der Volge, Abraham Wimple, Abraham Mabie, Jacobus Mynderse, John 
Babtist Van Eps, Gerrit A. Lansing, Harme Van Slyck, Peter Mabie, Isaac 
S. Swits and Abraham Fonda, the patent of the above recited tract of land, 
or of the said township of Schenectady and all other papers writings, books 
and proceedings relating to the same, and all bills, bounds [bond] notes and 
all sums of money due or which shall became due forever hereafter for rents 
on lands conveyed by me or any other patentees in trust for said township; 
and also all my right, title interest, claim and demand which I have as survi- 
ving patentee in trust for the said township, and it is my will and express 
order that the said Harmanus Brat, Jacobus Van Slyck * * * and Abra- 
ham Fonda or the survivor or survivors of them pay or cause to be paid out 
of the towns money now due to me or which shall hereafter be due by rents 
of land which I have herein above given to them, or by sale of any part of 
the above recited tract of land all cost and charges which may arise in and 
by defending the cause which has been and still is depending in the court 
of Chancery * at the suit or complaint of Reyer Schermerhorn against me 
* * and several others."* 

Soon after Bratt's death Schermerhorn presented the following petition to 
the Lieut. Governor. 

" To his excellency Cadwallader Colden Esq. His Majesty's Lieutenant 
Governor of the Province of New York, &ca &ca &ca. 

The Petition of the Subscribers Humbly Sheweth. 

That your Excellency's Petitioners are more than one half Proper Owners 
and Propriters in a Patent Granted by Thomas Duncan [Dongan] Esq r 

Dated the first Day of November one thousand six hundred and Eighty- 
four, and Whereas Ryer Schermerhorn Esq. one of the Petitioners has 
Commenced a suit againts Mr. Arent Bratt and others Since the year one 
Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty five and is Still Depending in Chancery 
to the Great Hurt and Determent of the Petitioners, we now therefore beg 
your Honour Sincerly to take this into your Serious Consideration and Pray 

* Will recorded in Surrogate's office of Albany County, Jan. 20, 1795. 

Introduction. 41 

that a Division of the said Patent may be made that Each of us may have 
his Just and Equal Chare and your Excellency's Petitioners will Ever Pray. 

his his 

Abraham X Truex ABram A S Schermerhorn 

mark mark 

his his 

Myndert X Van Guysling Peter P K Kelement 

mark mark 

his Arent Veeder 

Teunis X Potman his 

mark Peter P |VJ Mabie 

Teunis Van Vleck mark 

his John Babtist van eps, juner 

Helmus X Veader his 

mark Harma H Vedder 

Freeman Schermerhorn mark 

Saymon Schermerhorn his 

John: S: Vroman John | T Teller 

William Teller T _ mar k _ 

John Cuyler Ju r (A 00 ^ 8 V %s 

Henry Glen John Sconmker 

Jno Glen Jim' Jacobus Teller 

Jacob bchermei'horn 
Peter Van Benthusen 
Cornelius Browir " 

This petition producing no effect, in 1767 more than half of all the pro- 
prietors joined him in carrying on a new suit in chancery against the twenty- 
three new trustees mentioned in Arent Bratt's will ; and four years after, 
to wit, in 1771, it being still pending, Schermerhorn and his party first gave 
notice of their intention to apply to the legislature for relief, of which the 
following paper is a copy. — 

"Feb. 5, 1771. 
" The following notification of the intention of the Parties therein named 
to apply to the Legislature of this Province for leave to Bring in a Bill for 
the purposes therein mentioned and the affidavit presented therewith and 
now Sworn to before his Excellency in Council being read, were ordered to 
be Entered in the Minutes. 

" Publick Notice is hereby given to all whom it may concern that the 
Subscribers being Freeholders and Inhabitants in and having Rights 
respectively to Shares in the Common Lands of the Township of Schenec- 
tady do intend to apply to the Legislature of the Colony of New York for 
a Bill. 

" First to authorize Commissioners to hear and determine in a Summary 
way without process of Law whether the said Common Lands shall be 
divided or not. 

42 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Secondly, In case such Partition shall by such Commissioners be deter- 
mined to be made, then to Authorize and empower them to make, execute 
and complete the same among such Persons, in such manner and with such 
Powers, appointments, directions, provisoes, Savings, exceptions restrictions 
and Limitations, as shall be directed, appointed and enacted by the Legis- 
lature of this Colony in and by the said Act. 

Thirdly, That in case the said Partition shall take effect all Rents and 
Service, that have been reserved by any Grant or Grants made by the former 
Trustees of the said Township, or either of them to any person or persons 
for any of the said Common Lands shall thenceforth and forever thereafter 
cease and be extinguished. 

John B. V. Epps Jr. Balmus [Helmus] Vadder [Veeder] 

Harmin Vadder Freman Schermerhorn 

Henry Glen John S. Vrooman 

John Taller Daniel De Graft 

Jacobus Van Epps William Taller 

John Shomaker Jacobus Taller 

Abraham Truax Jacob Schermerhorn 

Mindert Van Gysling Reyer Shermerhorn 

Tunis Putman John Glen 

P. V. B. Benthuysen John Schermerhorn 

in behalf of themselves and Abraham Schermerhorn 

Tunis Van Vleck Peter Calment [Clement] 

Clous DeGraft Arent Vadder 

Philip Van Patten Peter Mabee." 

Hendrick Brouwer Jr John Cuyler Jr 

"John Littel of the Township of Schenectady in the County of Albany of 
full age being duly Sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, de- 
poseth and saith that he the Deponent assisted by the within named Ryer 
Schermerhorn did affix notices in Writing, exactly corresponding with each 
other and of which the aforegoing is a true copy, at all the Several Churches 
and Public Places of Worship in the said Township on three Sundays suc- 
cessively that is to say on Sunday the twentieth day of the month of 
January last, and on the two next succeeding Sundays; — that the said notices 
were so fixed upon the said three Sundays in the following manner, that is 
to say, one on the Door of the only place of Entrance of the Episcopal 
Church ; — one other of the said Notices on the Door of the only place of 
entrance of the English Presbyterian Place of Worship ; and one other of 
the said Notices on the Door of the Main Entrance into the Dutch Church, 
each of which Doors opened inwards ; — That the new Presbyterian Church 
being as yet unfinished and therefore not as yet used for Divine Service, 
and having no Door, the said Notice therein affixed was placed against the 
Wall within the said Church ; — that the said Notices so affixed for three 

Introduction. 43 

Sundays successively were so affixed at the said Several places where Divine 
Service was held just before Divine Service began in the.n respectively and 
in some of them continued till after the Commencement of Divine Service, 
and in another of them till the Service was over ; — That Divine Service was 
held on the said three Sundays successively at all the said several places, 
except the unfinished Presbyterian Church aforesaid ; — That at the several 
times when the said Notices were so affixed they were read more or less at 
the different Places where they were so affixed by a Variety of different 
Persons, Inhabitants of the said Town and resorting to the said Places of 
Worship ; — That most of the said Notices were taken down soon after they 
were fixed up, but by whom this Deponent knows not ; — That this was the 
Reason for fixing up new Notices on every of the said three successive 
Sundays ; That this Deponent is neither directly nor indirectly interested in 
the Common Lands of the Township of Schenectady and further saith not. 

John Littel." 

" Sworn this 25 day 
of February, 1771. 

Before his Lordship 
in Council 

Gol: Banyak D: Cou 1 *" 

The next step in the controversy was an attempt to compromise in ac- 
cordance with " the recommendation of the honorable general assembly as 
well as for the love of p'eace and unity," and in the progress of this com- 
promise the following paper was addressed by Schermerhorn and his 
friends to the committee appointed for this purpose by the trustees. 

" Gentlemen, 

" We received your proposals and tho' we can by no means doubt of your 
Intention to settle, yet can not help observing that whenever a Controversy 
is intended to be settled, the partys can neither server themselves, nor can 
their setting forth Title, Trust, Pretentions, and frivelous allegations be any 
means to forward it, because if need be such matters comes more properly 
before the Gentlemen to be appointed who will Judge of the facts as they 

" Whatever advice you may have on these heads you certainly do not 
imagine such can in any wise add to the merit of your Claim, or have any 
weight with us, nor our not answering you thereon, will in any shape 
lessen ours. 

* Council Minutes, xxvi. 210. 

44 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" From the Recommendation of the Honorable Gen'. Assembly, as well 
as for the love of peace and unity we could apprehend no other than that a 
few of you with an equal number of us was to have met and used our 
mutual endeavors to settle the points in dispute, but on the contrary, at 
meeting, find that not the Case, as one of your four men said to be 
Impowered, was not of the number called Trustees; reasons could be given 
for this impropriety; however it being our earnest desire and real intention 
to come to an amicable settlement will avoid every thing that can be 
thought to have the least tendency to the Contrary and come to the point, 

" We agree to Confirm by an Act of the Legislature, or otherwise all 
Grants of Arent Bradt and his predecessors not exceeding one hundred and 
fifty Acres to each person to the time an Injunction from the Court of 
Chancery was served on him, according to the List he then gave in on 
Oath, except such Lands as the Proprietors have in possession, which shall 
be a part of their share ; 

"And further, that no poor person may in any wise suffer by or thro' any 
Act to be done or Committed by us or either of us, agree that every such 
poor person or persons, or let them be poor or rich who may be now in 
possession of Lands without a deed or deeds and not Comprehended in the 
aforesaid Sworn List, that such person or persons shall have their said pos- 
sessions confirmed to them in like manner as the others, who may have im- 
perfect Deeds &c, providing the same of each person do not exceed one 
hundred Acres and will likewise come into and agree to any other matter 
or thing that can possibly be proposed to us for the good of the poor. 

" We also agi'ee that a tract not exceeding ten thousand acres remain in 
Common for the Use of the Inhabitants for ever, in such a part or parcells 
as may be Judged most proper for that purpose; 

"Should our aforesaid proposals be objected, We consent and agree that 
a Law pass mutually to Impower Two, four or Six indifferent persons And 
the s' 1 Two, four or six to nominate a 3 1 , 5 th or 7 lh , and a majority of 
them be authorised finally to determine and end the whole Controversy 
without being Subject to any Regulation, Proviso, or Restriction and to 
have as much of their proceedings framed into a Law as they Judge re- 
quisite to render the same Compleat and Effectual. 

"And lastly if we cannot mutually agree on the nomination the three, five 
or seven persons as above ment d that then the Honble Genl. Assembly be 
requested to nominate them. 

Introduction. 45 

" Gent m , 

Having seen your power and tho' not so perfect as it shou'd, We never- 
theless give these our said proposals, which we will abide by, providing 
your said power be made Compleat. 

Signed Ryer Schermerhorn, ) For themselves 

Peter Van Benthotjsen, > and other Pro- 
John Glen, ) prietors." 

John Duncan. 

Octo r 2d, 1773, 


Abraham Wemple,[ 

Hariri's Bradt, 

AVm Fonda and 

Christo Yattes." 

" To his Excellency William Tryon Esquire, Captain General and Governor 
in Cheif in and over the Province of New York and the territories de- 
pending thereon in America, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral of the same 
in Council. 
"The Petition of Ryer Schermerhorn, John Glen and Peter Van Benthuysen 
in behalf of themselves, and Tunis Van Vleck, Claas De Graff, Philip Van 
Petten, Hendrick Brower Jr., Peter Clement, Peter Mabie, John B. Van 
Eps Junior, Harme Vedder, Henry Glen, John Teller, Cornelius Glen, 
Jacobus Van Eps, Abraham Truax, Myndert Van Gysling, Tunis Potman, 
Helmes Veader, Freeman Schermerhorn, John S. Vrooman, Daniel De 
Graaf, William Teller, Jacobus Teller, Jacob Schermerhorn, Nicholas 
Velin, Simon Vedder, John Schermerhorn, John Cuyler Jr., Abraham C. 
Cuyler, Jacob Cuyler and Barent Ten Eyck, the major part of the Pro- 
prietors of the township of Schenectady. 

"Most humbly Showeth 
That the honorable Thomas Dungan late lieutenant Governor of this 
Province of New York, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred 
and eighty-four, did grant a Patent to William Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, 
Sware Teunise, John Baptist Van Eps and Myndert Wemple for the town- 
ship of Schenectady in trust for themselves and for the rest of the free- 
holders of the inhabitants of Schenectady; — that Sware Teunise, John 
Baptist Van Eps and Myndert Wemple were killed by the Indians in the 
year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and ninety, and that the said 
William Teller died in the year of our Lord one thousand Six hundred 
and ninety-nine; — that in the year of our Lord one thousand and Seven 
hundred and fourteen, the said Ryer Schermerhorn the Patentee took John 
Wemple, Johannis Teller, arent Bradt and Barent Wemple to assistance 
as trustees, and that after the decease of the said Ryer Schermerhorn, the 

46 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

said Johannis Teller, Barent Wemple, Arent Brat and John Wemple have 
disposed of great part of the said township and granted considerable tracts 
thereof to each other and their relations without the advice, consent or ap- 
probation of any of the other Proprietors, or ever accounting for any part 
of the monies, which arose therefrom and at the same time refused to grant 
or give any part of the said lands to the other Proprietors, — 

that Ryer 
Schermerhorn your Petitioner in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and fifty-four did request Arent Brat (then surviving trustee) to 
grant him such part of the said township which he claimed as heir at law 
to his grandfather Ryer Schermerhorn the Patentee and such other part or 
shares as he had purchased from other Proprietors, but that the said Arent 
Bradt refused to give or grant him any Part thereof: Whereupon your 
said Petitioner Ryer Schermerhorn in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-five did commence a suit in Chancery against the 
said Arent Bradt in order to recover his just portion in the said township; — 
and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven 
more than one-half of all the Proprietors of the said township joined the 
said Ryer Schermerhorn in carrying on the said suit in Chancery, which 
has been attended with such great expense (and having no prospect of its 
decision), that many of your Petitioners are already reduced to great Ex- 
tremity for want of means wherewith to sustain themselves and families in 
the said town of Schenectady, Whereas if they could get their just Portions 
ascertained and have the possession thereof, your Petitioners might get an 
honest Livelyhood by clearing and cultivating the same; — and that your 
Petitioners know of no other ways to acquire their shares of the said town- 
ship except an Act of your Excellency the honorable Council and General 
Assembly be passed for that purpose, since the said Arent Bratt has ap- 
pointed twenty-three persons of the best circumstances in the said township 
(tho' half of them are no Proprietors) to act as trustees after his decease, 
to whom the said Arent Bradt has made over the remainder of all the said 
lands, Also all the Bonds, Notes and Money, which had arisen from the 
said township and gave directions to the said trustees to lay it out in de- 
fending the before mentioned Chancery suit, which your Petitioners have 
the misfortune to find the last mentioned trustees are determined to comply 
with and to use every other means in their power to keep your suffering 
petitioners out of their property. — 

" And the honorable House of Representatives at their last session (upon 
the Prayer of your Petitioners that a bill might be passed to appoint Com- 
missioners to settle the controversy) did resolve that the prayer of your 
Petitioners should be postponed till the next sessions and recommended 
both parties to come to an amicable settlement during the recess thereof 
and that on failure of a Settlement, both Parties Should attend within ten 
days after the next meeting of the honorable house after the first day of 

Introduction. 47 

May then next that the house might proceed thereon; — And your Peti- 
tioners during the Recess of the honorable House of Representatives have 
been very anxious on their part to come to an amicable determination with 
the Partys in opposition of this tedious dispute, but all their endeavours 
have proved unsuccessful, tho' your petitioners were resolved to take up 
with any reasonable Proposals to end so expensive a contention. 

"Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray that if in case the honorable 
house of Representatives should bring in any bill relative to the Premises 
that your Excellency will be pleased to assent to the same and your Peti- 
tioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. 
fourth day of 
January, 1*774. 

Rter Schermerhorn, 
P. Benthuysen, 
John Glen." 

" Petition of the trustees of Schenectady in opposition to the foregoing 
petition of Ryer Schernierhora and others. 
To the Hon ble Representatives of the Colony of New York in General 
assembly convened. 

The Petition of the Subscribers, Trustees of the Township of Skinnectady 
in behalf of themselves and the other Inhabitants of the said Township. 

" Humbly Sheweth 

That your Petitioners have been served with a copy of a petition signed 
by Ryer Schermerhorn, Johannes Glen Jr, and Peter Van Benthuysen in 
behalf of them selves and other persons therein named presented to the 
Hon bly House [Jan. 4 1774] setting forth that a grant was obtained by W m 
Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, Sware Teunise, John Baptist Van Eps and 
myndert Wemple, from Gov r Dongan Dated in they year 1684, for the 
Township of Schinectady, in trust for the rest of the freeholders of the In- 
habitants of Schinectady, which fact your petitioners do not deny but do 
say in answer thereto that the said Trustees Nominated in the said Grant 
did dispose of the town lands by their deeds as Trustees at a low rent re- 
served to the use of the said town : — that Ryer Schermerhorne in the said 
grant named was Grandfather to Ryer Schermerhorn the petitioner and that 
he was the only surviving trustee for fourteen or fifteen years, during all 
which time he Granted to the Inhabitants by his deeds such tracts of Lands 
within the said town as they applyed for, — that Ryer Schermerhorne one of 
the subscribing petitioners now holds lands to very considerable value in 
Virtue of such deeds from the Trustees ; — that John Glen Jr another of 
the subscribing Petitioners has lately sold lands held by such Deeds to the 
value of at least one thousand pounds : — that the greatest part of the persons 

48 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

named in the said Petition in Whose behalf the said Petition is Presented 
have not any right Whatever to any of the unappropriated town's lands as 
descendants from the original freeholders or by other ways or means whatso- 
ever : — that the disposal of the town lands has uninterruptedly from the 
date of the Patent from Governor Dongan in 1684 to this day been in the 
Trustees only, which right has been always exercised and acknowledged by 
the town untill the year 1755, when Ryer Schermerhorne one of the said 
Petitioners commenced a suit in Chancery against Arent Bradt at the time 
the only surviving Trustee ; — that the Chancellor at the Instance of the said 
Ryer Schermerhorne Issued an Injunction, prohibiting the said Arent Bradt 
from granting any of the town lands untill the determination of the said 
suit, notwithstanding which the said Ryer Schermerhorne and the said John 
Glen Jr have taken in and inclosed large tracts of the said town lands and 
now have the same in possession ; — that your petitioners are very anxious to 
have the suit now depending in Chancery determined with all possible speed 
and that your Petitioners are informed by their Councill that the delay is 
owing to the said Ryer Schermerhorne and not to them ; — that your Peti- 
tioners Verily believe the application to this House now made by the said 
Ryer Schermerhorne and his adherents proceeds from a consciousness that 
the suit in Chancery will be Determined against them ; — that the great 
Grievance complained of by the said Petitioners that they are prevented 
from cultivating the Common lands is Intirely occasioned by the Injunction 
procured by the said Ryer Schermerhorne and his adherents as aforesaid ; — 
that if the Injunction is taken off your Petitioners will proceed to grant the 
town lands as has always been accustomed and to the contrary of which 
not a single Instance can be produced from the beginning of time to this 

Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray the Hon ble House not to stop 
the ordinary course of the law, but to leave the suit commenced by the said 
Schermerhorne to the determination of the Court where he thought proper to 
commence it and that the Hon llle House will dismiss the Petition of the said 
Ryer Schermerhorne and his adherents, and your Petitioners as in duty 
bound shall ever pray."* 

At or about the time of the foregoing petition in 1774, the following — 
" Case between the Trustees of the town of Schenectady and Ryer 
Schermerhorn " was laid before the Colonial Legislature. 

" The settlement of the town of Schenectady was begun about the year 
1658 [1662], while this province was under the government of the States- 
General. The original settlers intending to frame a regular township, made 
a purchase of lands for that purpose from the native Indians, and laid out 
a town plat,and divided it into lots of about 200 ft. square Amsterdam wood 

* Toll Papers. 

Introduction. 49 

measure, and to each lot in the town plat was annexed one lot or farm of 
about 24 or 25 morgens, each morgen containing about 2 acres, another 
lot for a garden, about 1 acre, and a third lot for pasture of about 5 acres. 

" After this division, they procured patents, or ground briefs for their 
respective lots. 

" Soon after the first settlement of the said town, the inhabitants and free- 
holders, for maintaining good order and advancing their settlement, began 
the election of five Trustees then called Commissaries. These Commis- 
sionaires took cognizance of Small Causes arising within the limits of the 

" They also purchased lands for the use of the freeholders and inhabitants 
of the town, and part of their business and powers was to sell and dispose 
of the common lands belonging to the town, which they did, as well to 
strangers as to the original Settlers, Their acts wei'e deemed by the in- 
habitants to be legal and binding, and their Sales of the Common land 

"Upon the Surrender of this Province to the Crown of England, the in- 
habitants of Schenectady procured from the Duke's Governors confirmations 
for the lands they then held in Severalty; but they still continued the 
custom of annually choosing Commissaries, who exercised the like powers 
as the Commissaries had done in the Dutch time, until the 1st of November, 
1684, when Governor Dongan, by patent under the great seal of this pro- 
vince granted to William Teller, Ryer Schcrmerhorn, Sweer Teunise, Jan 
Van Epps, and Myndert Wemp, a tract of lands including not only all the 
lands the inhabitants of Schenectady held in severalty but also a large ad- 
ditional tract before purchased of the Indians for the use of the town, to 
hold the same to ' the said William Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, Sweer 
Teunise, Jan Van Epps, and Myndert Wemp, on the behalf of the inhabi- 
tants of the town of Schenectady, and their associates, their heirs, suc- 
cessors and assigns, unto the proper use and behoof of the said William 
Teller, Ryer Schermerhorn, Sweer Teunise, Jan Van Epps and Myndert 
Wemp, their heirs, successors and assigns forever.' 

" The Inhabitants of Schenectady, at the date of this Patent consisted of 
upwards of fifty persons, and the patent was procured not only to obtain a 
confirmation of the lands they then held by particular patents, but also a 
continuation of the powers of their Commissaries, as the same had been 
before used. 

" Why the town was not properly incorporated is unknown, but the in- 
habitants antiently conceived that the true intent and design of this patent, 
was to enable the grantees or trustees therein named to sell their Common 
lands in the manner, which had been before used by the Commissaries, 
either to the freeholders and inhabitants of the town, or to such Strangers 
as might be inclined to purchase and Settle among them; and accordingly, 
soon after the Date of the patent, the trustees proceeded to grant parcels 

50 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

of the land included in the said patent to such persons as were willing to 
take the same, reserving a rent for the use of the town, as the Commissaries 
had usually done, and continued to do so till the year 1690, when the town 
was sacked and burned, in a memorable irruption of the French and their 
Indian allies. 

" The destruction of the town and the massacre of many of the inhabitants 
having discouraged any new Settlements in that exposed frontier, no sales 
of the common lands were afterwards made till the peace of Ryswick in 
1697; when such of the trustees as were living again proceeded to grant the 
common lands in the said township, in the manner as they did before. 

" In 1702 Ryer Schermerhorn the Petitioner's grandfather, became the sole 
surviving trustee, and continued so till the year 1714, during which time, 
he as surviving trustee, made conveyances of parcels of the said common 
lands, as well to strangers as to such as were descended from those settled 
in the township at the time Dongan's patent was obtained. 

" Ryer Schermerhorn by indenture of lease and release bearing date the 
22d and 23d of October, 1714, reciting the death of his fellow trustees, and 
that the estate, right, and title of, in and to all the land included in 
Dongan's patent, and not disposed of by the trustees, was solely vested in 
him in fee simple by survivorship; and that he growing antient was 
desirous that the premises should be conveyed to others with himself and 
their heirs and assigns,, that the intent of the patent might be duly ob- 
served, did thereby grant and convey the said premises to William Apple, 
his heirs and assigns, in trust to convey the same to the said Ryer Scher- 
merhorn, Jan Wemp, Johannes Teller, Arent Bradt and Barent Wemp in 
fee, to the intent the same might be held and enjoyed according to the true 
intent and meaning of Dongan's patent. 

"William Apple by indentures of lease and release bearing date the 25th 
and 26th of October 1714, in pursuance of said trust, granted and con- 
veyed the premises aforesaid to the said Ryer Schermerhorn, Jan Wemp, 
Johannes Teller, Arent Bradt and Barent Wemp in fee. 

"King George the First, by his letters patent under the great seal of this 
province, bearing date the 6th day of November in the first year of his 
reign [1714] granted and confirmed the premises aforesaid to the said Ryer 
Schermerhorn, Jan Wemp, Johannes Teller, Arent Bradt and Barent 
Wemp, their heirs and assigns forever to hold to them, ' their heirs and 
assigns forever, in trust, nevertheless, to and for the only use, benefit and 
behoof of themselves and the other inhabitants and freeholders of the said 
town of Schenectady their heirs and assigns forever.' 

" After obtaining the second letters patent the trustees named therein pro- 
ceeded in granting the common lands in the same manner as their prede- 
cessors had done until the year 1755. So that the greatest part of the 
estates in the township of Schenectady now depend upon the conveyances 
from the trustees. 

Introduction. 51 

" None of the inhabitants of Schenectady ever, till lately, pretended to 
have any estate in the common lands belonging to the town, nor are there 
any instances, unless of a very late date, of any of them, except the trustees 
conveying or devising any of the said common lands, or any interest therein. 

" But supposing the trustees held the individual land for the common 
benefit of the town and the inhabitants, as well strangers as the original 
settlers, their descendants have from the first settlement of the town to the 
present day, indiscriminately claimed and enjoyed the privilege of cutting 
their necessary timber and firewood on the said common lands, a privilege 
without which many families in the said town would be reduced to great 

" About the [year] 1750, Jan Schermerhorn, the petitioner's father, first set 
up the pretence that all those who were inhabitants and freeholders of Schen- 
ectady at the date of Dongau's Patent, were equally entitled to all the com- 
mon lands, included therein as tenants in common fee. And in 1754, the 
petitioner after his father's death, upon the same pretence, purchased of 
the heirs of three of the original settlers, their right in the common lands 
belonging to the town ; but from the trifling consideration he paid, there 
is reason to believe the grantors themselves did not suppose they were en- 
titled to the rights they pretended to sell ; for two of them sold for six- 
pounds each of the third for ten, and the lands claimed by the petitioner in 
virtue of each of these conveyances were then worth at least fifteen hundred 

"In 1755, Ryer Schermerhorn, the petitioner, pretending that there were 
but twenty-five freeholders and inhabitants in Schenectady at the date of 
Dongan's Patent ; and that they were equally entitled to the undivided 
lands as tenants in common, and claiming one share as heir to his grand- 
father, the three shares he had purchased as aforesaid, and one-sixth of a 
share by the will of Catalyntie Andriese De Vos, filed a bill in Chancery 
against Arent Bradt, then the surviving trustee, and several others, to com- 
pel an acknowledgment of his claim, and a conveyance from Bradt of the 
lands he claimed, and obtained an injunction, which prevented Bradt from 
making any more sales of the common lands. The defendants answered 
the bill, but no further proceedings were had in that cause. 

" On the 11th of March, 1765, Arent Bradt made his will, and devised the 
premises in question to twenty-three trustees in fee ; to hold to them and 
their heirs and assigns forever in trust to and for the only use, benefit and 
behoof of themselves and the other freeholders and inhabitants of the said 
township of Schenectady, their heirs and assigns forever. 

"In 1767, soon after the death of Arent Bradt, the said Ryer Schermerhorn 
filed a bill in Chancery against all the trustees named in his will and a great 
number of other persons. This bill admits there were twenty-seven free- 
holders and inhabitants in Schenectady at the date of Dongan's patent and 

52 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

prays a partition among those entitled under them. All the trustees except 
three and some of the other defendants hied their answer in April, 1*768. 
Since which no further proceedings have been had in that cause. 

"The trustees are willing and desirous of having the cause determined by 
the court in which the petitioner thought proper to bring it, and they sup- 
pose he now declines that judicature, from a consciousness that equity is 
against him ; for as the courts of justice in this province have always shown 
a great indulgence to the infancy of time, for the preservation of justice 
and private tranquility, the trustees conceive the petitioner cannot expect 
to prevail in opposing a usage begun by all their ancestors and invariably 
continued for nearly a century ; especially as the construction now insisted 
upon by the petitioner is not only repugnant to the constant sense of the 
inhabitants and freeholders of Schenectady, but will be necessarily produc- 
tive of the ruin of the greatest part of the inhabitants and throw the whole 
township into confusion. 

"For the petitioner claims to have the common lands divided into twenty- 
seven shares, of which he himself claims four and one-sixth, and the inhabit- 
ants of said township now consists of about four hundred freeholders and 
a division upon the petitioner's plan must be made only among about twenty 
persons, and none of the rest of the freeholders or inhabitants will have any 
shares, although they always considered themselves as equally entitled with 
the heirs of the original settlers, to the benefit of the common lands in 
virtue of their purchases, and have in consequence of such presumption 
been at great expense in building and other improvements." * 

When New York at the close of the revolution ceased to be a province of 
the British empire, many laws and legal customs of the mother country 
became obsolete ; among which was the law of primogeniture. Up to 
this time Ryer Schermerhorn and his friends acting under said law, had 
claimed that the common lands belonged of right to the eldest sons and 
heirs of the first settlers or to their assigns, only from twenty-five to thirty 
of whom were then living in the township. But with the change of the 
laws, the number of the claimants to the common lands was greatly in- 
creased. It is said that in 1797 there were nearly 500 families in the town- 
ship, descendants from the first settlers, who claimed in right of law that 
these lands belonged to them or their assigns and not to those interlopers, 
who had become citizens long subsequent to their forefathers. 

And as a recognition of rights they claimed that these lands should be 
leased to them on durable leases and at a nominal rent of from 50cts. to 
$7.50 per 100 acres. 

* Schenectady Directory, 1857-8, p. 142. 

Introduction. 53 

These claims and demands of the " descendants " exasperated the other 
and later settlers, and led to protests and petitions, to the appointment of 
committees of conference, to consultations with legal authorities and to 
various reports and plans of compromise. 

One of the most elaborate and well digested plans for the management 
of the common lands was that of 17 93, offered by a committee appointed at 
a town meeting held Oct. 1, 1792, a "respectable number of the inhabitants 
being present." 

This committee consisted of, John Van Petten, John Glen, Andrew Van 
Patten, John Sanders, Albert A. Vedder, and Abraham Oothout, and made 
their report Jan. 28, 1793. Among other things they recommended : 

" 1. That the inhabitants of the township choose seven freeholders to whom 
the present trustees of the common lands shall render an account of their 
acts during their term of office. 

" 2. That the present trustees shall nominate seven freeholders to whom 
said trustees shall resign their trust of the common lands, etc. 

" 3. That the freeholders of the town shall yearly appoint seven other free- 
holders to audit the accounts of the seven trustees last above mentioned. 

" 4. When the trustees last above elected shall be reduced to three, that 
said remaining trustees shall assign their trust to seven other freeholders 
nominated by the inhabitants. 

" 5. That the male inhabitants who have resided in the town before the 
year 1760 and their descendants of full age, shall be the electors of said 
new trustees and so on in succession. 

" 6. That the income of the public property shall be expended as said 
trustees and ten other freeholders appointed yearly may order. 

" 7. That a certain tract of land on the north and south sides of the river 
and in the westerly bounds of the township shall be set apart for commons. 

" 8. That the highest price for land shall be forty shillings, and the lowest 
eight shillings per acre, the highest price for land leases shall be £10, the 
lowest £4, the hundred acres." Then follow a code of rules and by-laws. 

These recommendations were never carried into effect. In 1795, the old 
Board of Trustees appointed under Arent Bratt's will, had been in power 
thirty years, many had passed away, the others had become aged, and it 
seemed proper and desirable that new blood should be infused into this 
body ; therefore, on the 13th January, 1795, the following persons then 
seized in fee of the common lands, " as surviving trustees of the town in 
virtue of the Patent, 1714, and certain mesne conveyances and devises," to 
wit : Abraham Fonda, Harmanus Bratt, Isaac Vrooman, Nicholas Van 
Petten, Nicholaas Van der Volgen, Jacobus Myndertse, Samuel Bradt and 
Abraham Wemple, associated with themselves as trustees, Nicholaas Veeder, 

54 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Garret S. Veeder, Jr., Abraham Oothout, John Sanders and John Glen, by 
conveying said Patent to Michael Tyms, who reconveyed the same to the 
above named persona as trustees. And on the 15th day of March, 1796, 
Certain o( the above said trustees by reason of age resigned their trust and 
ft new board was appointed in their room ; to accomplish which the trustees 
then is power oonveyed the Patent to Joseph Mynderse and he reconveyed 
the same to Abraham Wemple, Nieholas Veeder, Gerrit S. Veeder, Jr., 
John Glen, John Sanders, Abraham Oothout, Abraham SwitS, Andries Van 
Petton, Jellis J. Fonda, Rykert Sohermerhorn and Adam S. Vrooman as 
new trustees, who executed a bond in the penal sum of £5,000 to the retiring 
trustees tor the faithful performance of the duties of their office. These 
last mentioned trustees held and managed the common lands until 1798, 
when their powers oeased, being merged by the first charter of the city of 
Schenectady in the mayor, aldermen and commonalty. 

In furtherance o( a compromise or settlement of the disputes in relation 
to the public lands, the inhabitants appointed a committee in 1795 to take 
legal counsel on the subject. This committee consisted o( Andries Van 

Petten, -idles Fonda and Maus Sohermerhorn, who obtained the following 

opinion : 

"Having considered the Several questions stated to us by the Committee 
appointed By the Inhabitants of the town o\' Schenectady as to the meas- 
ures most advisable to be pursued for the settlement of their present 
controversies and the future regulation and benefit of the concerns of the 
said Town we are o( opinion. 

/•7r.N\', that it will be extremely ditlicult, if not impracticable by any 
Voluntary arrangement to effect the above purpose ; — 

Secondly, That it will be expedient to Solicit the Interposition of the 
Legislature by Petition for the attainment of the objects which the parties 
have mutually in view. 

Thirdly, That the most advisable mode of prosecuting this Petition will 
be for the Persons who were the Inhabitants in 1714 and their Legal 
Representatives to appoint by Power of attorney a committee consisting 
of live or six persons, who shall be authorized to confer with a similar 
committee of the Trustees and jointly with them to form a plan for the 
future government and management of the affairs of the town, for setting 
apart a certain proportion of the Lands as commons and for the disposition 
of the remainder. 

Peter Van Schaick, 
Stephen Lush, 
Abm. Van Vechten. 

Albany, August 0, 1795.'* 

Introduction. 55 

In accordance with the above opinion, the Board of Trustees recom- 
mended to the committee of the inhabitants to obtain a "proper power from 
said Inhabitants to transact the business of the town in a more perfect 
manner," which being done the trustees appointed out of their number, 
Abraham Swits, Jellis J. Fonda, Andries Van Petten, Adam S. Vrooman, 
Rykert Schermerhorn and Maus Schermerhorn, to act in connection with 
the committee of the inhabitants in " bringing the business of the common 
lands to a speedy settlement." And on the 10th of August, ( 1795 ), this 
committee reported to the Trustees that " there was a great prospect of a 
reconciliation of all disputes subsisting between the Inhabitants and 
Trustees," and asking for further time.* 

The acts and minutes of the Board of Trustees from time to time, show 
quite clearly that they considered the common lands to belong to the 
descendants of those who were inhabitants of the township in 1684, the 
date of the Dongan Patent, or at least in 1714, the date of the confirmation 
of the same. 

The Trustees were all of this character, and a yearly meeting of such 
descendants was held to appoint a committee of their number to audit the 
accounts of the Trustees. 

The other inhabitants were incensed that they had no voice in the dispo- 
sal of these lands, and on the 10th April, 1797, sent a petition to the 
Trustees, that a committee from their number might be heard on this 
subject. — This was signed by: 
" Jno. Bpt. Wendell, Jno. Bpt. Van Eps, Alexander Kelly, 

Jacob Beekman, David Tomlinson, Thomas V. Horn, 

Joseph Shurtliff, Jno. B. Vrooman, Charles Martin." f 

On the other hand on the 24th of the same month, a committee of the 
" Descendants " made and published the following reports: 

" The committee of the Descendants or legal Representatives of the 
Persons who were inhabitants of the Township of Schenectady in the year 
1684, being the time when the Patent of said township was granted or the 
year 1714, when the above Patent was confirmed — Report that they have 
examined the state of the Business belonging to the Trustees of Schenectady 
Patent, and find that they have sold 8097 Acres of land, being part of said 
Patent, engaged 941 £ acres of land to different persons, and 600 acres of 
land applied for; — that it appears from the accounts rendered, that there is 

* Minutes of the Board of Trustees. \ Min. Bd. Trustees. 

56 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

the sum of £10,593 for Union College, Market House and other requsites 
expended and a balance consisting of obligations to the amount of £4,680-6-5 
remaining in their hands. The Committee report that in their opinion five 
trustees, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-five years, from among 
the descendants should be elected annually by the male descendants, who 
are arrived at the age of twenty-one years, on the second Tuesday of June 
of every year, whose duty it shall be to render and account yearly and 
every year of their proceedings to their successors in office, or to any of the 
descendants who shall wish to have access and examine the same; and to 
have the deposit, care, trust and management of the Patent, lands, Books, 
Papers, Monies, Accounts, and other things belonging to the Trustees; and 
that the Trustees when elected, or before they enter on the execution of 
their office shall severally take and subscribe an oath before some justice of 
the peace in the town of Schenectady that they will well and faithfully 
perform the trust reposed in them. * * * The committee state, that 
there are nearly five hundred of the descendants' families residing on said 
patent and from a calculation about forty thousand acres of land unap- 

Therefore Resolved as the sense of the Committee * * * that it be 
recommended to the Trustees to lease the lands * * * for a durable 
term to the descendants or their legal Representatives for a sum not ex- 
ceeding three pounds nor less than fifty cents annually per hundred acres, 
regarding to every descendant's family or legal Representative, a proportion 
agreeable to equity, quality and local circumstances." 

" Given under our hands the twenty-fourth day of April, 1797. 

John Yates, 
Peter Mabee, 
Lawrence Schermerhorn, 
Abraham De Graff, 
Henry A. Teller, 
Jelles A. Fonda."* 

On the 9th Sept., 1797, the board of trustees appointed a committee to 
consult Abraham Van Vechten, Peter Yates and Joseph C. Yates, in relation 
to a plan of " settlement with the inhabitants concerning the Common 

Finally on March 26, I798,f an act was passed by the Legislature with the 
assent and desire, not only of the other inhabitants of the township of 
Schenectady, but also of the surviving trustees, by which all their powers 
and duties in relation to the common lands were conferred upon the mayor, 

* Minutes Board Trustees, f See the first city charter. 

Introduction. 57 

aldermen and commonalty of Schenectady. And to adjust all claims 
against said trustees, the Legislature passed an act the same day appointing 
a commission consisting of Zephaniah Piatt, Peter Cantine and Derick 
Lane, who finally determined said claims and closed their accounts on the 
10th Aug., 1798. 

Even after this final transfer of the common lands to the corporation 
there was a party who doubted its legality, contending for the resumption 
and management of them by the old trustees, then surviving. 

Others while reluctantly acquiescing in the transfer of these lands to the 
city authorities, objected to their being sold off as fast as the inhabitants 
demanded, and contended they should be held for the purpose of supplying 
the citizens with fuel and timber.* Finally in 1810 (?) the election of alder- 
men turned on this question; the whole city, then bounded by the ancient 
limits of the Patent was canvassed by active partisans of both parties and 
after a close and heated contest it was decided that the common lands 
should be sold. 

*[ The following facsimile of permit to cut wood, and citizens affidavit, show how 
jealously the citizens held to this privilege. 

hereby permitted 
to cut and carry away, for 
S9SQ from the Common 

3$5S Lands of the city of Schenectadv, 

88*5$ Provided that in all things compl with the Law, 

WSM " To prevent waste of Timber and Fire-Wood on the Com- 

onnn mon Lands of the city of Schenectady, and for other purposes, 

gggfi passed December 25th, 1813."— This permit, however, to be 

2SS2 in force for eight days only. — Dated day of 

6885 ' 181 

SS'(3S Mayor. 

58 History of the Schenectady Patent. 



Four different allotments were made to each of the first settlers ; first, a 
house lot in the village ; second, a farm on the Great Flat or islands ; third, 
a pasture ground east of the village, and fourth, a garden lot in the lowland 
(laeghte) west of Mill creek and near the Binne kill. 

First. — Mouse lots. The village plat originally embracing mainly the 
land lying west of Ferry street, was divided into four blocks, or squares, 
which were again subdivided into ample house lots. For protection this 
plat was early surrounded by stockades. As the population outgrew these 
narrow limits, house lots were assigned on the " Albany path " [now State 
street], so that before 1690 it was sparsely built up as far east as Lange 
gang (Centre street] and until about 1*700, only the north side was occupied 
by houses. Front, Green and Union streets east of Ferry street, used for 


QQQQ do swear in presence of Almighty God that I will in all things during the 
5SS8 continuance of the permit'granted by the Mayor of the city of Schenectady, dated 
Q8QQ day of to cut 

GOGS comply with the law to 

2222 prevent waste of timber and fire-wood on the common lands of the city of Sche- 
«§§§ nectady, and for other purposes, passed the 25th December, 1813, that the ap- 
^kr^ plication which I now make to cut 

n^nn when the same are cut, I intend for my own 

- use, and I will not directly or indirectly suffer the same to be removed without 

QQQQ the bounds of the said city, under any pretence whatsoever. 


From date it appears that the lands were not disposed of in 1810. M'M.] 

Division of Lands. 59 

cow paths to the pastures and woodlands, were not then built upon. The 
little church and graveyard stood at the junction of State, Church and 
Water streets and the Dominie's house upon the site of the present church. 
Many of the original village lots were about 200 feet square — four to a 
block or square, but were early subdivided to meet the demands for resi- 
dences within the stockades. 

Second. The homeland. The great tract of flat or bottom land bounded 
northerly by the river and State street, southerly by the sand bluff, easterly 
by Centre street extended south, and westerly by the hills west of the hills 
west of the first lock on the canal, embracing several hundred acres of 
arable land, was anciently called the Groote Vlaehte. 

It was mainly cleared land when the white man first occupied it in 1662, 
and had been the Mohawks' maize land perhaps for centuries. This and 
other parcels of like soil along the Mohawk, formed the main inducement 
for the Hollanders to settle here ; in them they recognized the JPolders 
of fatherland.* The bouwland was originally divided into twenty-three 

* [ Smith in his history of New York published iu 1756, says, " the lands in the vale of 
Schenectady are so fertile that they are commonly sold at £45 [<$112 60 ] per acre. 
Though the farmers use no kind of manure, they till the fields every year and they 
always produce full crops of wheat or peas." 

" I went with [Robert] Sanders to one Adam [Vrooman] and to examine the flats 
which are exceedingly rich land." " This Schoouechtendeel is situated as we have said 
twenty-four miles west of Fort Albany, toward the country of the Mohawks, upon a 
good flat, high enough to be free from the overflowing of the water of the river, which 
sometimes overflow their cultivated lands, which lie much lower. Their cultivated 
lands are not what they call in that country Valleyen, but large flats between the hills on the 
margin, or along the side of the rivers, brooks or creeks, very flat and level without a 
single tree or bush upon them, of a black sandy soil, which is four and sometimes five 
or six feet deep, but sometimes less, which can hardly be exhausted. They cultivate it 
year after year without mauure for-uaany years. 

It yields large crops of wheat but not so good as that raised in the woodland around 
the city of New York and elsewhere, nor so productively, but it makes white flour. 

The wheat which comes from this place, the Hysopus [Esopus] and some other places 
is a little blue." ********* 

" The village proper of Schenectady is a square set off by palisades. There may be 
about thirty houses, which are situated on the side of Mohawk river." — Bankers & 
Sluytefs Journal, 168,301, 315. See Miller's map, 1695, which shows 28 houses. M'M.] 

60 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

separate parcels and assigned to fifteen individuals, no one, with one ex- 
ception, holding more than fifty acres, — all being served alike, quantity and 
quality [and convenience] considered. 

The farm nearest the village embracing twenty-four acres was Yan 
Velsen's, bounded by State street, Coehorn and Mill creeks as far west as, 
or near to Church street. This, together with the water privilege was 
granted in consideration of his building a grist mill on Mill Lane.* 

The second parcel consisting of about forty acres of bottom land, anciently 
called " Gerrit Symonse's meadow," commenced at or near the Coehorn kil 
at the south bounds of Van Velsen's land and extended southerly to and 
including " Veeder's Mills." This parcel has been preserved nearly entire 
and is mostly in the ownership and occupation of the Veeder family at the 
present time.f 

The third the largest and most valuable farm, embracing 114 acres, was Arent 
Van Curler's, called the first piece of land and after his death, Juff row's 
landt.\ This was bounded northerly by the Binne kil, easterly by Van 
Velsen's farm (excepting a few gardens on the south side of Water street), 
southerly by " Gerrit Symonse's meadow," and by the sand bluff, or hills, 
as far as the Schermerhorn Mills, and westerly by farms Nos. 1 and 4, owned 
by Arent Bradt and Pieter Van Woggelum. The New York Central Rail- 
road runs through the southerly end of this valuable tract, and the canal 
nearly through the middle of it.§ Van Curler fairly earned this distinction 
above his partners in this land grant, by reason of his great exertions and 
influence in procuring the extinguishment of the Indian title in the first 
place, and by his subsequent labors in acquiring patents for these lands from 
the Governor and Council. 

The fourth large parcel of the bouwland called the second or foremost 
piece of land to distinguish it from Van Curler's which was called the first 
piece, lay next west. The east line of this tract ran along the west fence of 
the Schenectady car works yard, and so northerly to and around the east 
side of lot No. 1, belonging to Arent Bratt, following the small brook 
emptying into the Binne kil, a little east of the farm buildings of the late 

* See Van Velsen. f See Gerrit Symouse Veeder. 
% Madam's [Van Curler's] land. § See Van Curler. 

Division of Lands. 61 

John Myers. The westerly line of this parcel was the Poenties Ml and lot 
No. 10 belonging to Teunis Cornelise Swart. This second piece was divided 
into ten farms including De Winter's or Ellas' Plantasie, by north-east and 
south-west lines from the river to the sand bluff, and by easterly and westerly 
lines nearly coinciding with the river road and canal. 

The fifth parcel of bouwlands called the hindermost piece of land, com- 
menced at the Poenties kil and extended west to the hills near the first lock, 
and was divided into ten farms by north-easterly and south-westerly lines 
from the river to the hills, and by easterly and westerly lines nearly coin- 
ciding with the canal and river road. 

According to the measurements of that day the entire Bouwland consisted 
of acres. 

Van Velsen's farm 24 

Gerrit Symonse's meadow 40 

Van Curler's farm or first piece 114 

The second or foremost piece of land, say 245 

The hindermost piece, say 261 

The gardens along the south side of Water street, say 10 


It is quite evident that this measurement was much too small. Probably 
only the good, clear, arable land was taken into account in the above allot- 
ments, creupelbos and dovegats being excluded. Since that early day these 
have been cleared and filled, thereby much enlarging the area of arable land. 

The second and hindmost great lots of the bouwlands including Julias' 
Plantasie were subdivided each into ten parcels of about twenty-five acres, 
numbered from 1 to 10, beginning at the easterly and westerly extrem- 
ities of these two parcels, and proceeding towards the Poenties Kil, * on 
the west side of which lay the two farms numbered 10, united into one. 

* The Poenties Kil is the brook (dry a large part of the year now), forming the west- 
ern boundary of the Van Eps farm on the river road, about a mile west of the city. 
The Kil next east of the Poenties Kil crossed by a stone bridge wa3 anciently called 
Willem Teller's Killetje, because it formed the eastern boundary of hia land. Many years 
since the Poenties Kil was connected with Willem Teller's Killetje by an artificial canal 
dug along the foot of the sand hill beginning near Col. Campbell's residence, and both 
streams now flow to the river in one channel. 

62 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

So that persons to whom were allotted numbers 1, 2, 3, &c., of the second 
near the village, drew also numbers 1, 2, 3, &e., of the hindmost parcel at 
the western extremity of the bouwland, and only one person had all of his 
land in one place, to wit, Teunis Cornelise Swart, the fortunate holder of the 
double farm numbered ten. This ingenious plan of allotment was contrived 
to prevent any one person obtaining an undue advantage over his associates 
by selecting all his land near the village. 

Two other parcels of arable land separated from the Great Flat by the 
river, were also assigned at an early day, viz., Marten's or Van Slyck's, is- 
land comprising about 82 acres, patented to Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck 
and Jan Barentse Wemp : — and the flat lying west and south of the Lake 
in Scotia, granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, estimated at 50 acres.* 

Finally, on the eastern side of the village, between Front street and the 
river, was a strip of land called the Culver Wei/, which was allotted to the 
first settlers in parcels of 2^ morgens, the easternmost lot being that of 
Jellis Fonda. Adjoining Fonda's lot easterly, was Hans Janse Eenkluy's 
bouwery of 18 morgens, which, on his death, became the property of the 
Dutch Church, — a legacy for the benefit of the poor of Schenectady, f 

All lands lying outside of the palisades easterly of Ferry street, save the 
house lots on the north side of State street as far as Centre street, were 
originally allotted to individuals in parcels of a few acres as woodland or 
pasture ground. 

Original ownees of the twenty farms into which that portion of the 
Great Flat lying westerly of Arent Van Curler's Bouwery was 
divided. \ 

Farms No. 1. 

Both farms numbered one were patented to Catelyn De Vos, widow of 
Arent Bratt the norman, June 2, 1668. Patents, 590. 

June 15, 1668, a new patent was granted to Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] 
and Catelyn [De Vos] his wife. -Patents, 593. 

* See Van Slyck, Wemp and Glen, f See Eenkluys. 

\ The west line of Van Curler's farm is marked by the west fence of the Schenectady 
Car Works Yard. 

Divisio?i of Lands. 63 

Feb. 27, 1690, On occasion of her third marriage with Claas Janse Van 
Boekhoven, Catelyn De Vos secured her childrens' share in their father's 
[Bratt's] property by a mortgage upon these two farm. Deeds, iv, 296. 

Oct. J 3, 1713, On her death an appraisal of these two farms was made 
when the foremost farm was valued at £393.15, and the hindmost farm at 
£354.7-6. Schermerhorn Papers. 

Jan. 169f-. The will of Catalyntje De Vos speaks of the first lot as con- 
taining thirty-six acres and the aftermost lot thirty acres. Wills, i, 74. 

15 Aug. 1705. Former deeds being lost in 1690, Ryer Schmerhorn only 
surviving trustee, gave a new deed to Arent Bratt, grandson and heir of 
Arent Andriese Bratt, for the frst lot thirty-six acres and aftermost lot thirty 
acres. Deeds, v, 168. 

In 1707, a contract was made that Margaret, widow of Andries Bratt de- 
ceased and wife of Harmanus Vedder, should have the use of farm No. 1, 
during her life. 

27 Aug. 1713, Beyer Schermerhorn and Dirk Bratt conveyed to Samuel 
Bratt the hindermost farm No. 1, containing fifteen morgens and 467 
rods. Deeds, v, 284-5. 

Farms No. 2. 

They were first owned by Philip Hendrickse Brouwer. 

April, 29, 1664, his administrators sold them to Cornells Van Ness for 
Jan Dirkse Van Eps son of Maritie Damen his wife, for the sum of 1287, 
guilders. Deeds, n, 469. 

April 29, 1667, the above sale was confirmed by the Governor's patent. 

Patents, 392. 

May 1, 1681. Douwe Aukes claimed to have purchased at vendue half 
the hindmost farm which he afterwards sold to Davidt Christoffelse. 

Deeds, iv, s 181. 

Feb. 4, 17 If, Johannes Baptist Van Eps eldest son and heir of Jan Dirkse 
Van Eps deceased, conveyed to Arent Bratt the hindmost farm No. 2, com- 
prising twelve morgens. Deeds, v, 217. 

See also Deeds, v, 310, 311 — will of Reyer Schmerhorn 5 April, 1717, and 
will of Myndert Van Gyseling April 2, 1771, among H. Yates' Papers. 

64 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Farms No. 3. 

These farms were first granted to Sander Leendertse Glen, by Patent of 
date June 16, 1664. 

On 6 April, 1704, Johannes eldest son and heir of Jacob Glen, eldest son 
and heir of Sander Leendertse Glen both deceased, conveyed to Claas 
Van Petten the foremost farm No. 3 containing ten moigens 130 rods 
together with two morgens of hindmost farm No. 3. Deeds, iv, 324. 

Johannes Glen by will devised the remainder of hindmost farm, 26 
Sept. 1706, to his younger brother Sander, comprising about twenty acres. 

Will in Court of Ajypeafs office. 

On the 4th June, 1711, Claas Van Patten conveyed to his son Andries the 
foremost lot. Deeds, v, 340, 353. 

Feb. 24, and Aug. 11, 1714. To rectify a disputed line, R. Schermerhorn 
and Andries Van Petten make a final settlement. Deeds, v, 222, 341. 

Farms No. 4. 

Farms No. 4 were granted to Pieter Adrianse Soegemakelyk, alias Van 
"Woggelum, June 5, 1667, the first containing fourteen morgens, and the 
second twelve morgens. Patents, 478. 

Van Woggelum conveyed both to Helmer Otten, Aug. 13, 1670. 

Deeds, u, 769. 

Ap. 6, 1681, Van Woggelum reconveyed the same to Reyer Schermer- 
horn who had married Otten's widow. Deeds, m, 108. 

June 18, 1695, Jan, eldest son of Pieter Adriaense Van Woggelum, quit 
claimed the same to Schermerhorn. Sohermerhorn Papers. 

Feb. 24 and Aug. 11, 1714, Schermerhorn and Claas Van Petten settle 
the disputed line between foremost farms No. 3 and 4. Deeds, v, 222, 341. 

Feb. 27, 170|. Catharine Otten, wife of Gerrit Symonse Veeder, exchanged 
eight morgens of the hoek [foremost farm, No. 9 ] with R. Schermerhorn 
for eight morgens of hindmost farm No. 4. Deeds, v, 287. 

The patent for R. Schermerhorn's mill privilege on the Schuylenbergh 
Kil [at Schermerhorn's mills], was given and recorded in the Secretary of 
State's office, in Boston, Mass., Sept. 29, 1688. 

Division of Lands. 65 

Farms No. 5. 

June 29, 1667, Governor Nicolls confirmed to Willem Teller the two 
farms, No. 5, which were first patented to him by Governor Stuyvesant, 
June 16, 1664. Patents, 491. 

June 20, 1700, his son Johannes "being much reduced in property, in 1690 
at Schenectady, by the French," received a conveyance of these two farms 
from his father. Deeds, iv, 209. 

9 Ap., 1752, Willem Teller, son of Johannes, devised the foremost farm 
on the Poenties Kil to his son Willem, and the second or hindmost farm to 
his eldest son Johannes. 

Farms No. 6. 

Gerrit Bancker, of Albany, received the patent for these farms June 16, 
1664, which patent was confirmed Ap. 27, 1667, by Governor Nicolls. * 

Patents, 382. 

Evert, son and heir of Gerrit Bancker, sold the foremost lot to Isaac 
Swits, July 7, 1702, for £183 12s ; — it contained 22 acres. Deeds, v, 154. 

Isaac Swits made his will Ap. 1, 1701, — proved Oct. 4, 1707, — and devised 
a portion of the first farm to his eldest son Cornells. 

Will, Court of Appeal's office. 

The hindmost farm belonging to Harmen Vedder; he conveyed the south- 
easterly half to his son Albert, Mar. 12, 170£, for the sum of £91 16s. 
This moiety then contained ten acres. Deeds, v, 107. 

Sept. 19, 1748, Albert Vedder was "now or late" the owner of the west 
half also. Deeds, vn, 212. 

Feb. 8, 175 j, Albert Vedder, " synde out van daghen," made his will 
which was proved Feb. 13, 175|, and devised four and one-half morgens of 
this hindmost farm, No. 6, to his son Harme. Will, Court of Appeal's office. 

Farms No. 7. 

Pieter Jacobse Bosboom de Steenbakker received a patent of these farms 
June 16, 1664, — confirmed May 9, 1668. Patents, 552. 

* Although granted to Gerrit Bancker, Harman Albertse Vedder had a half interest 
in these farms from the beginning. In the final division Bancker took the foremost lot 
and Vedder the hindmost, it being nearly opposite to lot No. 8, which he purchased of 
Hesselingh.— See Oroot, Not. Pap., 1. 


66 History of the Scfienectady Patent. 

17 Sept., 1669, Bosboom conveyed the foremost farm to Jan Labitie, — 

11 morgens, 263 rods. Deeds, n, 759. 

In 1702 this foremost lot belonged to Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakel. 

Deeds, v, 154. 
Jan Labitie sold \\ morgens out of this farm to Johannes Van Eps. 
The hindmost lot was partitioned among Bosboom's four daughters, to 
wit, Maritie, wife of Hendrick Brouwer, Fytie, wife of Marte Van Ben- 
thuysen, Tryntje, wife of John Oliver and Anna, wife of Jan Mebie. 

Deeds, vi, 185. 

Farms No. 8. 

Marten Cornelise Van Isselsteyn received a patent for these farms June 
16, 1664,— confirmed by Governor Nicolls, April 13, 1668. Patents, 527. 

Oct. 23, 1668, he sold both farms to Claas Frederickse Van Petten and 
Cornells Cornelise Viele, comprising 22 acres. Deeds, n, 741. 

The former sold his moiety, — the foremost farm to Jan Dirkse Van Eps, 
for which Jan Baptist Van Eps, his son and heir received a confirmatory 
deed from the trustees of Schenectady, Feb., 170 J. Deeds, iv, 332. 

Viele sold his moiety, — the hindmost farm — to Jurriaen Teunise Tappen 
of Albany, the 25th Aug., 1670, and next day received from Tappen the 
conveyance of a house and lot in Albany, probably in exchange. 

Deeds, n, 777. 

Tappen disposed of this farm to Dirk Hesselingh, who conveyed the same 
Feb. 1, 167 J, to Harmen Vedder. Not. Pap., n; Deeds, vu, 185. 

On the 15th Dec, 1672, Tappen confirmed the above sale by quit-claim 
to Vedder. Deeds, n, 866. 

Farms No. 9. 

These farms were first conveyed to Simon Volckertse Veeder, de bakker, 
by patent of date June 16th, 1664, — confirmed Jan. 15, 1667, by patent 
from Governor Nicolls. Patents, 310. 

Veeder made his will Jan. 8 3 169^, bequeathing the hindmost farm to his 
son Volckert. Wills, Court of Appeal's office. 

Volckert Veeder made his will Aug. 4, 1733, and left the hindmost lot to 
his four sons. M. Yates" 1 Papers. 

Division of Lands. 67 

Nov. 2, 1682, Simon Volckertse Veeder exchanged the foremost farm 
called the hoek with Jacob Casparse Hallenbeck for land on the Normans- 
kill. JVot. Pap., ii. 

And June 8, 1687, Jacob Casparse and wife conveyed the hoek to Jan 
Jansen Bleecker for " two hundred and fifty good merchantable beaver 
skinns." Schermerhorn Papers. 

17 March, 169^, Reyer Schermerhorn agreed to convey to Gerrit Symonse 
Veeder 8 morgens of land out of the hoeck to be cut of with an east and 
west line from the south end. Deeds, iv, 106. 

23d Feb., HOf, Jan Janse Bleecker conveyed the hoek to Reyer Scher- 

5th March, 170-f, Schermerhorn agreed to sell to Gillis Fonda four 
morgens out of the hoeck. Schermerhorn Papers. 

When Gerrit Symonse Veeder made his will 12 March, 174-f, he devised 
eight morgens out of the hoek to his children. H. Yates" 1 Papers. 

Farm No. 10. 

The double bouwery No. 10, was first patented to Teunis Cornelise 
Swart, June 16, 1664, and confirmed Jan. 16, 1667. Patents, 309. 

Elizabeth, widow of Teunis Swart, then wife of Jacob Meese Vrooman, 
of Albany, Feb. 20, 168-|, conveyed to her son Jesaias Swart, eight acres 
of land out of this farm to be taken from the extreme south end. 

Deeds, in, 310. 

26th April, 1692. Wouter Uythoff (third husband of Elizabeth), and said 
Elizabeth his wife, for 540 beavers conveyed the whole bouwery No. 10, to 
Claas Laurense Van Purmerend {alias Van der Volgen). Deeds, iv. 35. 

Jan. 4, 169|. Claas Laurense Van Purmerend sold to Claas Janse Van 
Boekhoven for £147 the half of farm No. 10 lying between the highway 
and the river, — eleven morgens. Deeds, iv, 34. 

And Jan. 5, 169|. Claas Janse conveyed to Dirk Arentse Bratt, his step- 
son for £73|, five and one-half morgens of the above purchase, being the 
easterly half of that portion lying north of the highway. Deeds, iv, 38. 

On the same day, to wit, Jan. 5, 169§, in consideration of a sum of money 
paid him by Catharine Glen, sometime widow of Cornells Barentse Van 
Ditmars, eldest son of Barent Janse Van Ditmars, Claas Janse Van Boek- 
hoven conveyed to said Catharine Glen (and as her dower), now wife of 

68 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Gerrit Lansing, Jr., a piece of land out of farm No. 10, being the westerly- 
half of that portion lying between the highway and the river — consisting of 
five and one-half morgens. Deeds, iv, 3V. 

The land in the immediate vicinity of the village, — the Great Flat and 
island, — were all taken up in 1662, by the fifteen first proprietors. Other 
persons followed the next and succeeding years and finding no lands un- 
occupied, either bought up the rights of the earlier owners or pushed further 
into the wilderness, on both sides of the Mohawk river. 

The south side was considered the safest from Indian attacks and for that 
reason the Governor and Council at first discouraged settlements on the north 
side ; this was but a temporary check however. Before the year 1700 all 
the arable land on both sides of the river to and even beyond the western 
bounds of the town was taken up and sparsely settled.* 

These lands had a rich alluvial soil formed by the annual overflow of the 
river, and were mainly found in the bends and eddj^s ; excepting the Great 
Flat they were generally small, comjjrising but a few acres. 



Going west this is the first arable land lying on the south side of the 
river above the Great Flat. It commenced at the road running west from 
the first lockj and extended up the river to the " stone kil," a dry creek next 
above the second lock. It was first purchased from the natives by Benjamin 
Roberts, who sold the same to Henderick Lambertse Bont. The latter sold 
the easterly portion to Barent Janse Yan Ditmars and the westerly poi'tion 
to Douwe Aukes, who conveyed the same to his [adopted] son Cornelia 
Viele. In 1713 Viel& was then residing on this land between the two locks.§ 

* It should be remembered that no land was considered arable, except the river 
bottoms and islands. There was not enough of this to meet the demand ; hence it was 
parcelled out sparingly and in small allotments, with much larger quantities of upland 
for wood and pasture. 

f This is the ancient name of this farm, the meaning of which is now lost. It is never 
overflowed by the river and can hardly be oalled a flat as the term was commonly used. 

% [Erie Canal.] 

§ See Roberts, Bont, "Van Ditmars, Aukes and C. Viele Patents, 1038 ; Alb. Com. 
Coun. Min., ni, 75 ; Schermerhorn Papers ; Deeds, v, 198. 

Division of Lands. 69 

First Flat. 

This flat or plain consisting of about 80 acres of lowlands is described in 
Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck's patent, granted in 1684, as "situated between 
two creeks, one called Stone creek to the eastward, the other ' Platte creek * 
to the westward, come to him in right of his mother who was a Mohawk 
woman." * 

It has remained in the family to this day, passing from father to son by 

The easterly part of this flat called " Hazlenut flat " was owned by 
Manasseh Sixberry, in 1709 ; he then made his will, leaving his property to 
his four children. f 

Second Flat. 

This farm beginning at a little above " Reghel brugse Ml " \ was first 
taken up by Jacobus Peek and Isaac Du Trieux about 1670, and patented 
to them in 1677. 

It contained twenty-two and one-half morgens or forty-five acres and 
twenty acres of woodland. 

In 1706, Maria widow of Isaac Du Trieux had permission from the trustees 
of Schenectady to sell to Jacobus Peek eight morgens of land on this flat. 

Johannes and Jacobus, sons of Jacobus Peek, became the owners of the 
whole tract. It is now owned by John McCue on the west end, Abraham 
A. Bratt on the east end.§ 

Third Flat. 

This flat lies about eight miles above Schenectady, and consisted anciently 
of about 127 acres of lowland ; in 1864, it was computed at thirty morgens 
or say sixty-three acres and was then occupied, — the upper or westerly part 
by Simon and Nicholas Mebie and Abraham N. Bratt, the lower or easterly 
portion by the Bratts. 

It was taken up by Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen in 1670, and patented 
to him in 1680. 

* Council Min., v, 11, 12 ; Patents, 1,200; Deeds in Sec. State's office, in. 
f Toll papers; Patents, v, B. 10; Job. Van Slyck's will, Court of Appeal's office. 
X Rail bridge creek. 

§ See Van der Baast's survey, Land Papers, n, 59 ; Dutch church and Toll Papers 
Deeds, rv. 

70 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1*706, he sold to Jan Pieterse Mebie, the west half of the same con- 
sisting of sixty-three acres and seventy-nine rods. Mebie at first lived on 
the westerly end of this flat near the river but subsequently moved to the 
lower end of the same, where his house is still standing and in the occupa- 
tion of one of his descendants. The old Van Antwerp house was standing 
to the west of the Mebie house, until a few years ago.* 

Fourth Flat. 

The Fourth Flat lying next west of the third was granted in 1715, by the 
trustees of Schenectady to Pieter Vrooman, who in 1 742, conveyed the same 
or at least the western portion of it, to Jan Wemple and Arent Bratt. 
Johannes Veeder married a daughter of Pieter Vrooman and inherited the 
easterly portion, now in possession of Myndert, grandson of said Johannes 

Jan Wemple's land extended to the Zandig Ml. 

De Willegen, or Willow Flat. 

This flat commmenced at Stone creek below Port Jackson and ran down 
the river thirty-four rods [4188 ft.] and contained thirty-three morgens or 
sixty-six acres, 390 rods, — also 200 acres of woodland. 

It was first granted to Pieter Van Olinda and Claas Willemse Van Cop- 
pernol. Van Olinda holding the easterly half and Van Coppernol the 
westerly half, which he conveyed to Philip Philipse in 1689 in exchange for 
the 6th Flat on the north side of the river.f 


Claas Graven 's Hoek. 

The first land settled upon west of Scotia was the Hoek. This farm was 
taken up by Claas Andriese De Graaf, the first settler. After his death, 
which took place before 1697, his widow, Elizabeth Brouwer, leased it to 
Jonathan Stevens and Daniel Mascraft. \ 

* Deeds v, 79; Land papers n, 59; Albany Records, xx, 333, 334; Deeds vi, 215 
John Mebie's will in Court of Appeal's office, 
f Deeds v, 354, 358, rv, 234, 236. 
% See De Graaf. 

Division of Lands. 71 

In IV 14, Gysbert Marcelis received a patent for six acres of land on the 
Hoek for a hofsiede, he being then the owner of the neighboring island 
called Gyse's island. * 


Next west of tbe Hoek, lies a tract called from the earliest times, Maal- 
wycJc, — a name of obscure origm and signification. 

Benjamin, or Bent Roberts first purchased this farm of the natives, with 
the approbation of the magistral es of Albany, — 36 acres of land, together 
with 40 acres of woodland, which was coufirmed to him July 1, 1669. 

This bouwery lay opposite to Arent [ Bratt], tbe norman's hindmost lot 
of land.f After Roberts' death his land passed *o his two step-sons, Joseph 
and Pieter Clement, who disposed of it, together with Beuten island, to 
Carel Hansen Toll and Cornelis Viele, Nov. 24, 1735, Toll taking the 
easterly half of the land, and westerly half of the island and Viele, the 
remainder. The farm is still in the possession and occupation of a descend- 
ant of Carel Hansen. J 

Secotstd Flat. 

This flat eytends from Rector's easterly, and in 1864 was owned by 

Gerrit Barhydt, 17 acres. 

Frank Potter, 40 " 

D. D. Campbell, 30 u 

Total with upland 87 " 

The Second Flat proper, was originally taken up about 1678, — the eastern 
half by Pieter Cornelise Viele, and the westerly half by Jan Janse Joncker, 
alias Rotterdam. 

Viele died early and his wife, Jacquemina Swart, married Benonny 
Arentse Van Hoeck, who was killed at Schenectady, in 1690. Afterwards 
she married Cornell's Vyohout, of Ulster county, and in 1699 they conveyed 
her share of this flat to her son, Lewis Viele, — 19 morgens, 82 rods. Lewis, 

* Patents 1673 ; Toll papers. 

f Opposite the first lock above the city. 

X See Roberts, Clement, Toll and Viele ; Patent, 981 ; Deeds, v, 108, 140, 141, 143. 

72 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

about 1709, conveyed the same to Ryer Schermerhorn for "ye behoof e of 
said town " of Schenectady, — 18 morgens, and in 1718, the patentees of 
Schenectady conveyed the "easternmost end of said flat to Reyer Schermer- 
horn, bounded south, by the river, west, by heirs of Jan Jans'e Joncker, 
north, by woodland, in all, 17 morgens Rynland measure — together with 
17 morgens woodland on the north side of the Second Flat." 

Reyer Schermerhorn, by will made 171 7, devised this land to his son 
Arent ; and Reyer Schermerhorn, grandson of Reyer Schermerhorn the 
first, in 1773, released said land to Abraham Schermerhorn. 

After Joncker's death his share of this flat, being the westerly half, was 
divided among his five daughters. * 

Fourth Flat. 

This flat extends westerly from Rector's to " Arent Mebie's kil," and was 
owned in 1864 by 

William Rector, 40 acres. 

Smith B. Walton, 3 " 

Adam Swart, 7 " 

Nicholas Swart, 7 " 

John Walton, 5* " 

Total with upland 62± " 

In 1678 Sander Glen petitioned the Governor to grant the fourth flat to 
Lewis Cobes and his son-in-law Johannes Kleyn. 

In 1683 the Mohawk Sakemakers conveyed this flat to Arnout Cornelise 
Viele, — 16 or 17 morgens — for services rendered as interpreter, — lying over 
against the [second] flat occupied by Jacobus Peek, — and by the Mohawks 
called Wachkeerhoha. 

In 1684 the patentees of Schenectady conveyed it to Ludovicus Cobes' 
and Johannes Kleyn with &lapie\ by it, on the other, [north] side of the 
river, containing 17 morgens, 164 rods of land. 

* Gen. Entries, 12 ; Deeds, rv, 215, 216 ; vr, 464 ; Papers in Sec. State's Offl ce, Mass. 
Book 129, p. 197 ; Toll papers ; Reyer Schermerhorn's will. 
Lapie = remnant — a gore. — M'M.] 

Division of Lands. 73 

After Cobes' death, his widow Alida Pieterse married Dirk Ofmulder 
and occupied Cobes' portion. Maria, only daughter and heir of Cobes after 
her husband [Johannes Kleyn's] death in 1687, married Tarn Smit "Van 
Nieu HJnglandt." 

In 1698 Ofmulder and wife leased their share for life to Smith, save that 
on the death of Ofmulder's wife, her granddaughter Clara Kleyn was to 
have three morgens or the value of it. 

By Kleyn's will his widow Maria Cobes had the half of this flat for life, — 
by the above leaseher husband Smith had the use of the other half for life. 

In 1714 Willem Marinus, who had married Baefie, youngest daughter of 
said Kleyn united with his wife and conveyed her third share of three 
morgens to Pieter Clement and Anna his wife, — sister of said Baefie, and 
in 1716 said Pieter Clement conveyed to the trustees of Schenectady six 
morgens of land at the west end of said flat. 

In 1725 Col. Stephanus Groesbeck owned the westerly portion of this 
flat, which "hindmost half" was the portion owned by Kleyn and con- 
tained nine morgens.* 

Fifth oe Wolf Flat. 

This flat extending from " Arent Mebie's kil " west, is now in the pos- 
session and occupation of John Barhydt and consists of about 85 acres of 

In 1678 "the comissaries of Schanechtade made application to y e Go: 
that the fifth Plaine or Flatland on the other [north] side of the Maquaes 
river may be disposed of for a minister, reader, &c. — And also that the rest 
of the Plains or Flatts may be at the disposall of the Cort." It is presumed 
this application was successful, for in 1698, the trustees of Schenectady 
rented the westerly half for seven years to Arent Vedder, Jan Danielse 
[Van Antwerpen] and Dirk Groot for 24 pieces of eight and two quarties.f 

Jasaias Swart succeeded them as lessee, probably for another term of 
seven years and in 1713 his lease was renewed for twenty years at a rent of 
£6-19-6, and the trustees the same day conveyed to him thirty acres of 

* Toll, Sckennerhorn and Dutch Church Papers. Deeds, m, 119, 199 ; v, 196, 355. 
Col. MSB., xxvii. Col. Doc, ix, 251. Deeds, xin, 514. Jan Mebie's "will, 
t Toll Papers. 


74 History of the Schenectady Patent 

woodland, " northward of the Wolf, that is the Fifth Flat, and runs up on 
both sides of a kil commonly called the Fifth Flat kil." * 

In 1716 the trustees of Schenectady sold the easterly half of this flat to 
Jan Mebie for £3.00 and a reserved rent of fifteen skipples of wheat, — 
commencing at the north-west end of the fourth flat by a [Mebie's] creek, — 
containing fifteen morgens Kynland measure. This rent was commuted by 
D. D. Campbell, Nov. 1, 1854. 

In 1*739 Lourens Claase Vander Volgen by will devised to his son Claas 
Lowrense his " lot of arable land, the hindmost [westerly] part of the 
five plains [Fifth flat] containing twelve morgens more or less, situate in 
the Woestyne on the north side of the Mohawk river come to me by the 
trustees of Schonegteday " — valued at £200. 

In 1725, John Mabie by will devised to his eldest son Pieter " my 
lands ... on the north side of the Mohawk between the lands of Lawrence 
Van Der Volgen and lands of Col. Stephanus Groesbeck ;" the latter owned 
the westerly half of the fourth flat at this time. 

In 1750, Claas Van Der Volgen sold to Pieter Mebie his twelve morgens 
and ninety-seven rods of land on the west end of this flat. 

In 1768, Pieter Mebie by will devised his land being the whole of the 
fifth flat, to Jan Mebie his son, who in 1789, devised the same to his widow 
and two sons, Pieter and Simon, and they in 1799, conveyed the same to 
David Lawyer, Jr. 

The latter sold the same to John S. Barhydt from whom it passed by 
inheritance to his son John, the present owner.f 

Sixth Flat. 

This flat begins just east of the seventh flat from which it is separated by 
the Droybergh, Verf or color kil, alias Tequatsera.\ It was owned in 1864, 
by Aaron Swart. 

It was first occupied by Philip Philipse De Moer as a tenant of the trustees 
of Schenectady. In 1689 he exchanged his ownership in the same with 

* Dutch Church Papers. 

f Col. Mss. xxvii^ xjvni, 18 ; Toll and Dutch Church Papers; Council Min., 1678; 
L. C. Van der Volgen's Will and John Mebie's will ; Deeds xvii, 312. 
% Sometimes written Togeutchero, and TogqutcJiero. 

Division of Lands. 75 

Claas Willemse Van Coppernol for a portion of the Willegen Vlachte and 
in 1708, Sander his son, leased it for twelve years at a rent of £2.85. It then 
consisted of five morgens with an additional three morgens of woodland. 

On the 2d Sept., 1714, on a petition of Jacobus Van Dyck in the name of 
the consistory, Reyer Schermerhorn conveyed this flat containing about 
seven morgens or fourteen acres, — also ten morgens, or twenty acres of 
woodland lying behind it, — to the Dutch church. In 1770, Esaias Swart was 
in possession of this plain which then was computed to contain seven mor- 

Seventh Flat. 

This flat lies near Hoffman's ferry between the Droybergh kil on the east 
and Van Eps' kil on the west. 

In 1684 the trustees of Schenectady conveyed the westerly half to Carel 
Hansen Toll reserving a rent of one skipplc of wheat. 

Reyer Schermerhorn owned the easterly half. The whole flat contained 
40 morgens. In 1721, Carel Hanse conveyed his half to his son-in-law 
Johannes Van Eps and Neeltie his wife. 

In 1742, Pieter Cornu, another son-in-law of Carel Hanse, who " sometime 
then past " had had conveyance of the same from Johannes Van Eps, leased 
it to said Van Eps save what he had leased to Claas Van Petten, and imme- 
diately thereafter quit claims it to Johannes Van Eps. 

In 1 705, Reyer Schermerhorn conveyed the easterly half of this plat 
to his son Jan ; and by his will made 1717, devised the same to the children 
of his daughter Catalyntje, wife of John Wemp. In 1719 Jan, eldest son 
of Reyer Schermerhorn, confirmed by deed the bequest made in his father's 
will to Catalyntje's children. 

In 1733 the "Wemps transferred their interest to Johannes Van Eps, 
owner of the other half, f 

Cambefort's Patent. 
In 1694 Gerardus Cambefort contracted to sell his patent to Carel Hansen 
Toll, land he had previously received of the Indians. In 1703 Lord Corn- 

* Toll and Dutch Church papers ; Deeds rv, 234, 236 ; Mort. in, 58. 
f Deeds, v, 69, 70, 494; vi, 145; Toll aud Dutch Church Papers; Wills of Reyer 
Schermerhorn and Volkert Symonse Veeder among H. Yates' Papers. 

76 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

bury granted Cambefort a patent for 20 acres of land, " beginning from a 
place called Kanquaragoone [now Towereune] the westerly bounds of the 
Patent granted to Schenectady, running up westward to limits of land for- 
merly conveyed to Henry Cuyler, deceased." Immediately thereafter Cam- 
befort conveyed the same to Toll. This laud extends along the river west- 
ward from Towereune to Lewis' creek.* 

Claes Graven's Hoek. — Cuyler's Vlachte or Adriucha. 

This Claes Graven's Hoek is not to be confounded with that heretofore 
spoken of, situated near Scotia. f In 1686, " To Philip Wells, surveyor 
general ; — the humble petition of Hendrick Kyler for a certain piece of land 
called Claes Graven hook, — about thirty acres of lowland and fifty of up- 
land, being read was granted, provided the said land be not already appro- 
priated or disposed of. "J 

Governor Dongan issued to Cuyler a patent for this and other lands in 
1687. After his death Ann Cuyler, his widow and John his eldest son sold 
the same in 1699 to Carel Hansen Toll for £180. 

Philip Groot of Schenectady early settled on this land and after his death 
in 1716 was succeeded by his son Ludovicus (Lewis), who gave name to 
the creek forming the easterly bounds of this patent. 

Adriucha is still in possession of the Groot family at what is now called 
Crane's Village.S 


Great Island in Niskatuna. 

This is one of the largest islands in the river, containing about 80 acres. 
It was conveyed to Hilletie Cornelise, sister of Jacques Cornelise Van 
Slyck, by the Mohawks June 1, 1667, and confirmed by Governor Nicolls 
May 8, 1668. On the 4th March, 1669, and again Feb. 6, I70f, Hilletie 

* Patents, 1577; Deeds, v, 71 ; Toll Papers. 

f Perhaps Claes De Grafl first acquired the Indian title to this flat, which he trans- 
ferred to Cuylers. 

\ Coun. Minutes, v, 171. 

§ Patents, 1370 ; Deeds, v, 70, 357, 358 ; Deeds, vi, 9 ; Toll Papers. 

Division of Lands. 77 

and her husband, Pieter Van Olinda, conveyed it to Johannes Clute, * 
which sale was confirmed by the Governor and Council Aug. 2, 1671. f 

On 20 June, 1707, Johannes Clute and Bata his wife, conveyed it to his 
son Jacob, and sons-in-law of mature age, and to Robert Livingston, in 
trust, for his infant children. J 

Again, on June 25, 1707, Clute and his wife transferred the same to 
Robert Livingston for £420, § — and lastly to said Livingston, Aug. 9, 1707, 
for £706, together with 20 acres on the mainland between the two creeks, — 
to free himself from embarrassments. II 

Five Small Islands at Niskayuna. 

At a conference with the Five Nations at Albany, 19 July, 1701, they 
say : 

"Brother Corlaer : — 

Wee have a small right in the Maquase river att Canastagiowne, to 
wit, five small Islands containing about five or six acres between Rosen- 
dael and Cornelis Tymes's, which wee give to Jan Baptist Van Eps and 
Lawrence Claese [ Vander Volgen ], the two Interpreters to be equally 
divided between them, — John Baptist to have the uppermost halfe and 
Lawrence the lowermost, — and that in consideration, because they take 
much pains in interpreting." ** 

Marten's, Van Slyck's or Wemp's Island. 

This large island lying west of the city, and separated therefrom by the 
Binne Kil was early granted by the Mohawks to Marten Cornelise f f Van 
Slyck alias Marten Maurits, a half breed, who dying in 1662, Governor 
Stuyvesant gave a patent for the same, Nov. 12, 1662, to his brother and 
heir Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck and Jan Barentse Wemp.JJ Stuyvesant's 
patent was confirmed by Governor Nicolls Ap. 13, 1667 ; it then contained, 
including another small island separated by a creek, 82 acres.§§ 

Sept. 13, 1694, another confirmatory patent was granted to the heirs of 
Sweer Teunise ( who married Wemp's widow ) for three morgens or six 
acres, more than the half of this island, and the small one to the rear of it, 

* Deeds, 711. f Gen. Entries, iv, 283. % Deeds, v,55. § Deeds, v, 54. || Deeds, v, 192 
** Col. Doc. , iv. 906. \\ Col. MSS. xxxix. 216. %% See original in Union Coll. Library. 
§§ Patents 357, 1469, 1474. 

78 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

separated by a small kil, " containing in the whole of both islands, 22 mor- 
gens, or 44 acres." The entire contents of the island were, therefore, 41 
morgens or 82 acres. 

A portion of the west end of the island was anciently called, " Jan Pappen 
Leghten." * 

Kruysbessen (Gooseberry) Island. 

This island lies northerly of Van Slyck's island from which it is separated 
by a rapid called " Knock 'em stiff." Jan. 2, 169f, the justice of the peace 
(Johannes Sanderse Glen), and gemeen-mannen of Schenectady, conveyed to 
Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel] an island on the north sicle of the river 
called Kruysbessen (Gooseberry) island lying west of Spuyten duyvel [island] 
consideration 32 beavers at six guilders per beaver to be paid within three 

On the 10th April, 1*702, Reyer Schermerhorn by virtue of the Dongan 
Patent conveyed the same to Jellis Fonda, containing one morgen more or 

Again the 22d Sept., 1*706, Gillis Fonda conveyed the same to Hendrick 
Vrooman and Arent Danielse [Van Antwerpen], — two morgens more or 

Hend. Vrooman and Arent Danielse conveyed this island to Barent 
Vrooman, on the 11 March, 170-f. 

June 6, 1750, Isaac Swits and wife Maria, by virtue of Barent Vrooman's 
will made Sept. 6, 1748, conveyed this island to Jacob Glen from whom it 
passed to the Sanders family in whose possession it has since remained. J 

Sputten Duyvel. 

Johannes Sanderse Glen bought this island of the trustees of Schenectady 
together with a parcel of " boslandt " in 17 Of for £16-10. § 

* Deeds, vii. 248. One Jean Poppe lived at Flatbush, in 1679. See Danker and 
Sluyter's Journal, 131. 
f Toll Papers; John Sander's Will. 
% Sander's Papers; Deeds, v, 97. 
§ Orote Schuldt-boek ; Toll Papers. 

Division of Lands. 79 

It lies just opposite the old Glen [now Sanders] House in Scotia and 
formerly contained several acres, but is now reduced to the fraction of an 
acre and quite valueless for tillage. 

Varkens or Hog Island. 

This island lies at the north end of Van Slyck's island and is separated from 
it by an arm of the Mohawk river, which at the ordinary low water is a 
mere sluggish bayou. 

It originally contained about three morgens or six acres. The eastern 
end next the Binne kil is called the platt, a low muddy islet of triangular 
shape and at ordinary times scarcely separated from it. In early times this 
island was claimed by the owners of Van Slyck's island. In 1694 Rode, a 
Mohawk Sachem, declared " that about thirty years ago when Schenectady 
" began to be settled he and other Mohawks granted to Marten Cornelise 
"[Van Slyck] the island known as Varken's island on the north side of 
"Akus' island."* 

On the 9th Nov., 1670, Pieter Jacobse Bosboom received a patent " to 
"confirm to him a small island belonging to him, which hath heretofore been 
" given to him by the Indians, lying in the river there next to the island of 
" Sweer Teunise and Akes Cornelise [Van Slyck] containing about six acres 
or three morgens."f 

Van Eps Island. 

This small island lies north of Varken's island from which it is separated 
by a bayou nearly filled up. 

A portion of this island was devised in 1800 by John Baptist Van Eps to 
his son John, after his wife's decease; another portion — an undivided sixth 
part — was conveyed in 1808 by Tobias H. Ten Eyck to Cornells Vrooman.J 

De La Warde's, Joris Aertse's, or Guise's Island. 
This island lies on the north-westerly side of Van Slyck's island, and con- 
tained originally fifteen or sixteen morgens of land. 

*Col. MSS, xxxix, 216. f See Patents, 651. J Deeds, xx, 25. 

80 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

It was first owned by Jan De La Warde who sold it to Joris Aertse Van 
der Baast.* The latter was killed at the destruction of the village in 1690, 
and on the 27 Feb. 169-f his attorney Pieter Bogardus of Albany with the 
trustees of Schenectady, conveyed it to Gysbert Marselis of Albany.f This 
conveyance was confirmed by patent of date 23d June, 1714. J 

The hofstede of this farm was on the mainland opposite, adjoining the 
land of Claas De Graff and consisted of 6 acres. Nicholas De Graff who 
owned the neighboring mainland purchased this island of Gysbert Mar- 

Fonda's Island. 
The situation of this island is best described in the patent to Simon 
Simonse Groot, of date Aug. 9, 1694, " to confirm to him a small island in 
" the Mohawk river within the town of Schenectady possessed by him for 
" twenty-seven years, to wit, a certain small island in the Mohawk river lying 
"to the north of the Hoek,\ or point of Reyer Jacobsen's [Schermerhorn], 
" and the southward of the island belonging to Joris Aertsen [now Guise's] 
" and to the westward of the island lately belonging to Sweer Teunise 
" deceased, — containing five morgens or ten acres."** 

Philip Livingston of Albany, afterwards became its owner and sold it to 
Jellis Fonda Jby whose will made Sept. 8, 1737, it was divided among his 
three sons, Pieter, Abraham and Jacob. ff 

Sassian's or Claas Viele's Island. 

The next island above Guise's island is Sassian's or Claas Viele's island 
containing between seven and nine morgens. 

It lay opposite the " hindmost lot No. 1," of Arent Bratt, and belonged 
originally, to Hendrick Lambertse Bont alias Sassian, by whom it was sold 
to Douw Aukes and then to his adopted son Cornells Viele. 

The Viele's long possessed and gave their name to it. \ J 

* Deeds, rv, 140. f Deeds, rv, 264. % Patents, 1673. j 

§ Mortgages rx, 89 ; xn, 95. 

| De oakker's Tioek on the south side of the river, being foremost farm numbered 9 
owned by Volckertse Symonse Veeder de bakker. 
** Patents, 1466. 

ft Will of Jellis Fonda among Bratt papers. 
XX Patents m, 64 ; Deeds v, 198 ; see also Douwe Aukes, Bont and Viele. 

Division of Lands. 81 

Benten, or Bent's Island. 
This is the large island next above Sassian's island, lying on the north side 
of the river and originally contained about ten morgens. It was first pos- 
sessed by Bent Roberts, from whom it passed by his will to his two stepsons 
Joseph and Pieter Clement. They sold the upper half to Carel Hansen Toll 
and the lower half to Cornells Viele.* 

* Deeds, rv, 13 ; v, 108, 140,141; QrooteSchult boek; see also Toll, Roberts, Clement; 
Dutch Church papers. 


82 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


Adult freeholders, who settled in Schenectady before 1700, together 
with a description of their house lots and other possessions.* 

Several of the first settlers who cooperated in founding the village in 1662, 
were of mature age, — scarcely any were aged. 

Van Curler, Glen, Bratt, Swits, Sehermerhorn, Vedder, Veeder, Van Eps, 
Vrooman, Wemp, etc., may be mentioned as of this class, whose children 
before 1700 had reached mature years and become heads of families. 

They were nearly all farmers, whatever else they might do ; their farms 
were small, seldom exceeding fifty acres of arable land and their families 
were large, often numbering from ten to fifteen children. 

Their wants were few and simple ; every one labored with his hands and 
the virgin soil yielded abundantly, and fully satisfied their frugal wants. 
There was neither poverty nor riches in the little community, but a sufficient 
competence was within the reach of all. 

Jan and Willem Appel. 

Adriaen Appel, cdias Van Leydeu, was an innkeeper in Beverwyck as 
early as 1654, when he received a patent for a lot on condition that the 
house to be erected thereon be not an ordinary tippling house but an inn 
for travelers. 

In 1656, being an innkeeper and tapster, he was complained of by 
Johannes Dyckman for refusing to permit the farmer of the excise to guage 

* For a list of all citizens of Schenectady as well freeholders as others, see " Schenec- 
tady Families." 

Adult Freeholders. 83 

his liquors ; at this time he resided without the limits of Beverwyck, in 
Colonie Rensselaerswyck, and hence claimed exemption.* 

In 1662 he removed to New Amsterdam, where he remained till 1671, re- 
turning he was appointed one of the four schoolmasters of the village of 
Albany in 1676, and was so employed in 1686. 

His two sons Jan and Willem were residents of Schenectady in 1690, and 
when the village was destroyed, the former " being greviously wounded " 
was on that account granted £6 by the Governor and Council ; and the 
latter who " was wounded in his limbs at the burning of Schenectady " was 
for that reason exempted in 1693 from the payment of 30s. excise. About 
tnis time they removed to New York, whence Willem returned to Schenec- 
tady about 1704 and bought of Ryer Schermerhorn a lot on the north side 
of State street of 105 feet front and rear. This lot extended from the store 
of Mr. Robert Ellis west to the building of Mr. Samuel Myers, including 
the canal and the building called the " Wedge " and the lot in the rear on 
Liberty street now belonging to the estate of the late Peter Rowe. In 1710, 
Appel, then a vintner in New York, sold this lot to Simon Vrooman for 
£48 ($120). He also owned another lot on State street in 1709, comprising 
the lots of Mr. George I. Swortfiguer and estate of the late William Cun- 
ningham, — Numbers 103 to 111 inclusive. He probably disposed of this lot 
to Jonathan Dyer, who owned it in 1716. 

Douwe Aukes [De Freeze]. 

Douwe Aukes came over in 1663 in the ship Stettin from Arnhiem, being 
then a young man of twenty-four years. He early settled in Schenectady 
as an innkeeper or victualler, either as successor or partner of Cornells 
Viele. He married Maria Arnoutse Viele, widow of Matthys Vrooman of 
Albany, in 1685. 

Leisler made him justice of the peace in 1689. When the village was 
destroyed in 1690, his wife, two children and negro woman Francyn were 
killed and his brother-in-law, Arnout Viele was carried away to Canada. 

His inn was on the southerly corner made by State street and Mill lane 
next the church and it was here that the traditional merrymaking was going 

* Marselis Janse, the farmer of the excise this year, was defendant in a suit brought 
by Appel to recover the value of an anker of brandy, which he lost by drawing it with 
violence through the streets. — Albany Co. Records, 10. 

84 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

on, on the fatal night of Feb. 8, 1689-90. In the Groote Schult JBoek 
(among the Common Council records) it is said of the dimensions of his 
house lot, Douwe syn erf by de kercke daer syn huys op staet is breet lang 
de weg [State street], 140 en lang [deep] thirty Voet. The depth of his 
lot is here limited to thirty Amsterdam feet or twenty-eight English feet, 
i. e., from the street to the palisades, which in early times extended from 
Ferry street to Washington street, at this distance from State street. Later 
he had an extension of his lot southerly on the low ground in the rear and 
across mill creek* 

On the 20th July, 1718, the patentees of Schenectady confirmed to Douwe 
Aukes, Victualler, the aforementioned lot, with " two houses thereon on the 
" south side of the street that leads from the east gate to the Dutch church 
"[standing in front of the late G. Q. Carley's store], bounded on the north 
" by said street [Albany road] on the west and south by the commons and on 
"the east by the lot of ground of Robert Wendel," being 140 feet front and 
fifty feet deep, thirty of which and the whole front were formerly granted 
to said Douwe Aukes De Freese by Reyer Schermerhorn, Feb. 15, iVOf.f 

In 1708 Aukes owned a lot on the north side of State street of fifty 
Amsterdam feet front, which he had parted with in 1716 to Abraham 
DeGraaf. This lot now belongs to the estate of William McCamus, deceased, 
and is comprised in numbers 131 to 137. J 

On the 10th of April, 1*704, he conveyed to Arent Danielse Van Ant- 
werpen, " a lot in Schenectady by virtue of transport from Jan Luykasse 
"[Wyngaardt] of date 13 Feb., I70f, bounded west by Giles Fonda, east by 
" Gerrit Gysbertse [Van Brakel], south by the highway [State street], length 
"on the east side 385 feet, on the west side 433 feet, breadth on the south 
" [State street] 78 feet, on the north 90 feet." This lot is now occupied by 
Given's -hotel, save what was taken in opening Wall street in 1803. § 

Aukes also owned a pasture on the east side of Ferry street between Union 
and Green streets described in the Groote Schult boek as " syn erf by het vort 
lang aen wee [west] syde 540 en aen eene sy [end] 211 en aen de andresy 220 
voet." This lot is still well defined, the front upon Union street extends from 

* In 1710 Douwe Aukes petitioned the Governor against Capt. Fletcher Matthews, who 
in company with others at his house in Schenectady, " behaved scandalously and broke 
and defiled his furniture and goods." — Col. MSS., Lrv, 164. 

f Church Papers. % Deeds E, 114. § Deeds, v, 187. 

Adult Freeholders. 85 

Ferry street to the Presbyterian church lot, the west line is Ferry street, 
540 feet Arnst : or 495 feet Eng: the east line is the westerly bounds of the 
Presbyterian church lot and the north line, 220 feet Amst. or 202 feet Eng. 
is 93 Eng. feet south of Green street. This lot comprised the Episcopal 
church and parsonage lots. 

On the 10th Feb., 17 If, Aukes, being then eighty years of age, conveyed 
to Cornells Viele, son of the former owner and keeper of his inn, and uncle 
of his late wife Maria Arnoutse Viele, whom he called his son, all his estate 
in the village, that is to say: 

"1. One house and lot wherein he [Aukes] now lives. 

"2. One other lot of ground and barn behind or on the west side of the 
lot aforesaid near to the grist mill y l belongs to y e Dutch church.* 

"3. One other lot of pasture ground lying on ye south or west side of the 
creek whereon said mill stands. 

"4. One other lot of pasture ground lying on the east side of the street 
that leads directly up to the ffort gate [Ferry street] near to the fort.f" 

His farm was what was then called Poversens lying about the first and 
second locks west of the city. J 

Bent Bagge. 

He was an inhabitant as early as 1669, the owner of a house and land, 
which on the 12 July, he leased to Jan Rinckhout of Albany, for one 
year.§ He was also in Schenectady as late as 1681.|| 

Where his house stood or his land lay, is not now known. (Perhaps 
Bagge was an alias for Roberts) ? 

Gkrrit Bancker. 

Though one of the first proprietors, he never became a permanent resident 
of Schenectady. He probably came from Amsterdam where his brother 
Willem was a merchant as late as 1700. Before 1655 he was in New 
Amsterdam where he owned a house and lot; two years later he settled in 
Beverwyck, which became his residence until his death about February, 

* This grist mill stood upon Mill lane near the brick wool warehouse standing there. 

\ Old deed. J See Jan Hend. Bont and Cornelis Viele. 

§ Notarial Papers, i. || Proceedings Just. Court, Albany, I, 13. 

86 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

169£. His home lot in Albany was on the south side of Yoncker [now 
State] street — the third east from Pearl as it then was; he also owned 
divers other lots in the village. 

Mr. Bancker married Elizabeth, daughter of Dirk Van Eps, and sister of 
Jan Van Eps, one of the first settlers of Schenectady. After her husband's 
death Mrs. Bancker removed to New York and engaged in trade; — she 
died July 3, 1693, aged 70 years, leaving a large property for those times, 
to her only son Evert. According to the inventory of her estate, she had 
three houses in State street, Albany; — a hof Steele, barn and two lots of land 
at Schenectady; — in Katskil two pieces of land; in Colonie, Rensselaerswyck 
a bouwery, two houses, barn, orchard, hofstede, negro slaves, &c, and lastly 
a house and lot in New York, besides considerable personal property.* 

When Arent Van Curler began the settlement of Schenectady in 1662, 
he became one of the fifteen proprietors, receiving the usual allotment of a 
village lot and two bouweries on the Groote Vlachte. 

His house lot was the north quarter of the block bounded by Union, 
Washington, State and Church streets, — 183 ft. on Union, and 184 ft. on 
Washington streets, Rhynland measure. 

In the confirmatory patent granted by Gov. Nicolls 27 April, 1667, it'is 
described as follows: 

" A certain parcel of land at Schenectady to the north of Catelyn [Bratt] 
" Norman's to the South of the hillsf being behind to the East of the way 
" [Washington Street] and before to the West of Pieter Adriaensen's in 
"length 15 rods 4 ft. [184 ft.] and in breadth 15 rods 3 ft. [183 ft.]"J 

His son Evert, who inherited this lot, sold it on the 7th July, 1702, for 
£42 [$105] to Cornells Swits, who also bought one of the Bancker farms 
at the same time, in whose family a portion of it remained until 1760.§ 

Towards the close of the last century this village lot was divided into 
several smaller parcels, which were owned by John Duncan and John and 

* Court of Appeal's office. 

f These hills or more properly hillocks, lay then on the westerly side of the block 
bounded by Front, Church, Union and Washington streets and were long since graded 

% The Rynland rod consisted of 12 feet, of 12.36 Eng. inches each. Patents, 383. 

§ Deeds, rv, 296. 

Adult Freeholders. 87 

Henry Glen, the last occupying the corner lot, which about 1802 he sold to 
James Murdoch. [Occupied by D. L Van Antwerp.] 

Bouweries No. 6. 

The farms allotted to Gerrit Bancker were numbered six, the one on the 
second piece, the other on the hindmost piece, and described in the Patent 
of 27th April, 1667, as, "two parcels of land at Schenectady both marked 
" number six, the one being on the second piece of land to the west of No. 
" 5 and to the east of No. 7 striking on both sides from the creek or kil 
" [Dove gat]* into the woods with a south west line something more 
" southerly ; it is in breadth 36 [Rynland''] rods containing about 22 acres 
" or 11 morgens and 145 rods : — the other, on the hindmost piece of land 
"near the river, to the west of No. 10 to the east of No. 4, striking on both 
" sides from the river to the small creek [Dove gat] with a south west 
" line ; it's in breadth 50 rods containing about 20 acres or 10 morgens and 
"520 rods: in all 44 acres, or 22 morgens 65 rods as granted by Gov. 
"Stuyvesant June 16, 1664."f 

As neither Gerrit Bancker nor his son Evert were ever permanent settlers 
here, both these farms were sold soon after the death of the former, — the 
foremost lot to Isaac Swits in 1702 for £183-12 and the hindmost parcel to 
Harmen Vedder.J 

Gerrit Bancker had a patent also for " a piece of pasture granted [be- 
" tween Front street and the river] at Schenectady lying to the south of 
" the woodside, to the east of Pointers or Cornelis Dirksen's [Teunis Swart's,] 
" and to the west of Simon the Baker's [Symon Veeder], containing the 
" quantity of ground as the land of said Cornelys Dirksen's doth." The 
date of this patent was Oct. 15, 1670.§ The dimensions of Swart's pasture 
was, length ninety-two rods, breadth by the river fifteen rods and by the 
highway [Front street] seventeen rods or about two and a half morgens. || 

In 1715, Evert Bancker sold this lot to Willem Abrahamse Tietsoort of 
Dutchess county. 

This pasture was between Front street and the river, commencing nearly 
opposite John street and extending easterly along the street 210 feet English. 

* [Dove gat -a cove-a pool where water sets back from the river-M'M.] 
f Patents No. 382. 

X Deeds v. 107, 154, vii ; Isaac Swit' s Will and Albert Vedder's will in Court of Appeal's 
§ Patents No. 754. || Patents, No. 761. 

88 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Barheyt, or Barheit, or Barhtdt. 

There were two early settlers of this name in Albany county, viz., 
Andries Kanse Barheit, de Sweedt, dwelling at Kinderhook in 1675, and in 
1693, "on y e great flatt neer Coxhachky, next to Pieter Bronck's farm ;" — 
and Jeronimus Hanse Barheit, probably a brother of the former. Johannes 
Barheit, perhaps the eldest son of the latter, residing in the manor of 
Rensselaerswyck, in 1720, married Catharina Gilbert of Albany, and among 
other children had two sons, — Johannes and Hieronimus, born in 1703 and 
1709, respectively, who settled in Schenectady, and became the progenitors 
of the families bearing this name in this vicinity. 

Jeronimus married Maria, daughter of Jesse De Graaf, in 1737, and in 
1760 purchased of the heirs of Hendrick Hansen, of Albany, a parcel of 
land lying between John, Jefferson, Front and Pine streets, comprising 
one and a half morgens. An account of the early ownership of this parcel 
of land is given in a deed of date 1766 : — "Whereas Ryer Schermerhorn 
" [patentee] late of Schenectady, deceased, by deed dated Jan. 3, 170| did 
" sell to Hendrick Hansen late of Albany deceased, all that certain lot 
"between the roads [Front and Pine Streets], bounded west by a lot hereto- 
" fore granted to Andries Bratt deceased, East, north and South by the 
" commons [Jefferson, Front and Pine Streets], being in breadth east and 
" west twenty rods and in length north and south sixty-five rods Rhynland 
" measure ; — And whereas Hendrick Hansen by will Sept. 2 1723 did devise 
" one half of said lot to his son Nicholas, — and whereas said Nicholas did on 
"the 21st Jan., I74f by deed sell to Hans Hansen his half of said lot ; and 
" whereas said Hans Hansen did by deed sell to Gerrit A. Lansing half a 
"morgen of said ground lying on the northwest part of said lot, and whereas 
" said Hans Hansen by his will the 10th March 1756 did direct that his wife 
" Sara should have the possession and income of his whole estate while she 
" remained a widow, and after to his two sons John and Pieter ; — and whereas 
" said Sara, John and Pieter did by deed the 11th Feb. 1760 sell to Jeroni- 
" mus Barhydt one and a half morgens of ground out of said lot bounded as 
" follows, beginning at the northeast corner of said lot by the street [ West 
" corner of Front and Jefferson streets], that leads from the town to Jellis 
"Fonda's [Front street], — and runs West along said [Front] street four rods 
" [48 feet], then south with a course parallel to the line of Gerrit A. Lansing's 
" ground there, fifteen rods [180 feet ] — then west with a course parallel to 
" said [Front] Street Six rods [ 72 feet] to the ground of Gerrit A. Lansing, 
" then south along the ground of Gerrit A. Lansing to the South East corner 
" of the same, being about seventeen rods [ 204 ft. ], — then west along the 
" same ground of Gerrit A. Lansing ten rods [120 ft.] to the ground formerly 
" belonging to Andries Bratt deceased, then South along the ground of 

Adult Freeholders. 89 

" Andries Bratt thirty-two and one-half rods [ 390 ft.] to the [Pine] 
" street lying on the sotith part of the said lot, then East along the 
" [Pine] street twenty rods [240 ft.], — then north with a straight line to the 
"place of beginning Sixty-five rods [780 ft. ] Rhynland measure, containing 
" one and a half morgens," &c, &c. This lot, therefore, had a front on 
Front street of forty-eight feet at Jefferson, extended along the latter street 
780 feet to Pine street, and westerly along the same 240 feet, and then 
north to the lot of Gerrit A. Lansing and John Glen, Jr., whose lots had a 
front on Front street together of sixteen rods [192 ft]. * 

Caleb Beck. 

Capt. Caleb Beck settled in Schenectady about the year 1700. He was 
an innkeeper licensed " to draw or sell liquor by retaile."f 

His house lot was on the south corner of Union and Church streets, where 
after his death in 1733, his widow continued the business together with 
trade in dry goods and groceries until her death. Beck's son also named 
Caleb, was an attorney-at-law and succeeded his mother in the ownership of 
this lot. The last Caleb, grandson of the first, married Catharina Theresa, 
daughter of Rev. Doctor Romeyn, minister of the Dutch church of 
Schenectady, and died in 1798, leaving five sons, of whom the best known 
was Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, late of Albany. 

In a mortgage for £8-8 given Sept. 9, 1716, to Harmauus Wendel of 
Albany, Beck's house lot is described as " a lot in Schenectady bounded 
" south by lot of Josias Swart 179 ft. 10 in. — East by lot of Isaac Van 
" Valkenburgh, formerly Pieter Van Olinda's 105 ft. 9 in. North by the 
" [Union] street and opposite over against the house and lot belonging to 
"the Dutch Church, 182 feet, West fronting the [Church] street that leads 
" from the now Dutch Church to the north gatej of said town of Schenectady 
" at present just by the dwelling house of Adam Vrooman, 107 ft. 4 in. — 

* Deeds, vn, 468. 

f In 1717 lie was complained of by the Chamberlain of Albany, for being in arrears 
several years for his license fees. — Albany Annals, vn, 61. 

In 1706 his wife Antje refused to pay her license for selling strong liquors. — Albany 
Annals, v, 150. 

In the town records of Portsmouth, N. H., under date May 8, 1674, is the following 
entry, " laid out to C. Beck thirteen acres beginning at his father [Henry] Beck's land ; " 
and under date 15 March, 1679-80, " a rebate is made in the rate of Caleb Beck of 5 shillings." 
Query, was this the Caleb Beck who afterwards settled in Schenectady ? 

% [ See Fortifications, — gates. — M'M.] 


90 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" all English measure, it being a southeast corner lot about in the middle 
" of said town, — by virtue of a conveyance to Caleb Beck by Carel Hanse 
"Toll, Oct. 4, 1714."* 

This lot remained in the family three generations — about 100 years. 

Capt. Beck made his will 8 March, 172$, — proved 29 Sept., 1733, — 
leaving to his only son Caleb " my waering cloaths from head to foot and 
" that he chues the best gun in the house and has it mended and prepared 
" as he thinks fit for himself and my Pocket Pistol and Sword * * with 
" all my Printed books, and the great new Chest." — " To my son-in-law 
" John Fairly two feet and a half of ground frunting the street that leads 
" to the Church [Church street] on the north side of his own lot and at the 
" eastmost end one foot and a halef wide that jenining to the breath of his 
" own lott." — To Anna his wife, his other property and after her death to 
son Caleb, if she thinks fit she may sell a lot behind where the bolting- 
house stands, 50 feet fronting on the [Union] street and so backward to 
Nicholas Schuyler's.f 

Fairly's lot was south of Beck's, now in possession of Mrs. Volney Freeman. 
The bolting-house lot is now owned and occupied by Mr. Hugh Cox. 

Hendkick Lambertse Bont (Bint, Bent) alias Sassian. 

He settled early in Schenectady upon land called Poversens Landeryen 
lying mainly above the first lock west of the city ; he also owned the island 
obliquely below, which was then called Sassian' 's island. He purchased 
these lands from Benjamin Roberts, who owned lands on the north side of 
the river called Maalvoyck. He sold the southerly half of his farm to 
Barent Janse Van Ditmars and the northerly half to Douwe Aukes for his 
(adopted) son Cornells Viele, and removed to Claverack.J 

In the confirmatory patent granted to Viele Sept. 29, 1677, this land is 
described as, " a parcel of land at Schenectady, — said land stretching from 
" the stone kil or creek to the point of the planted land of Barent Johnson 
" [Barent Jansen Van Ditmars] S. S. W., somewhat Easterly, and from the 
"point of the said land to a black oak tree without the fence of the said 
"land, striking S. E. by E. in length together 352 rods, and from the 
" black tree to the hills in breadth 80 rods and from the common planting 
" land to the stone creek along the hills in length 400 rods and by the stone 
"kil from the hills to the river in breadth 8 rods containing in all 16 mor- 
"gens, 240 rods or about 34 acres. §" Notwithstanding the above patent 

* Deeds, v, 343. \ Will in Court of Appeal's office. 

\ Albany Com. Coun. Records, in, 75. § Patents No. 1038. 

Adult Freeholders. 91 

Bont still seems to have been accounted to have some right or title to the 
land, for on the 27 Sept., 1692, he conveyed it 'together with the island 
opposite, to Douwe Aukes for 60 beavers at 8 guilders each; and Aukes on 
the 14 Feb., I7lf transferred the same to Cornells Viele. On the same day- 
Jan Bont, son and heir of Hendrick Lambertse Bont, confirmed the same to 
Aukes, describing the farms as a parcel of land called Poversens above Schen- 
ectady on the south side of the river over against Maalwyck, also an island, 
Sassian's, now in the occupation of Cornells, — the description of said farm 
being substantially that above written in the patent.* 

This land long remained in the Viele family and the ancient house was stand- 
ing between the two locks within the memory of many persons now living. 


Pieter Jacobse Borsboom was at Fort Orange, as early as 1639, and con- 
tinued there until Schenectady was settled in the spring of 1662, when he 
became one of the fifteen first settlers. f 

In his will recorded in New York, Oct. 18, 1686, he mentioned his son 
Cornells and four daughters. An inventory of his property was made May 
30, 1689, by Barent Janse Van Ditmars, Isaac Cornelise Swits and Douwe 
Aukes ; it then amounted to 1630 guilders. His son Cornells probably 
died young ; his daughters who survived him and inherited his property 
were Anna, wife of Jan Pieterse Mebie; Martie, wife of Hendrick Brouwer; 
Fytie, wife of Marten Van Benthuysen; and Tryntie, wife of John Oliver. 

Borsboom's village lot was on the south corner of Washington and Front 

* Deeds, v, 198. 

t Nov. 7, 1657, he bought Mad. De Hulter's horse " old Cato " for 280 gl.— Albany Co. 
Bee., 59. 

June 4, 1657, he was wounded in the head by Marten de Metselaer. — Ibid, 246. 

22 Jan., 1658, he was fined 500 gl., and costs and three years banishment for selling 
liquor to the Indians. — Mortg., i. 

Mar. 11, 1658, he was fined 125 gl., for swindling a Mohawk Indian.— Mbrtg., i, 23. 

July 28, 1661, he sold to Abram Staes [Staats] his brickyard for 350 gl., preparatory 
probably to removing to Schen. F. — Albany Co. Bee., 374. 

Aug. 2, 1661, he sold a lot of ground on the First Kil to Abm. Staes, etc.— Ibid, 380. 

17 Sept., he bought of Jan Labatie a house and lot next south of the court house in 
Albany, and same day sold to Labatie his first lot at Schen., 11 Morg., etc. — Ibid, 460. 

Sept. 30, 1671, he sold said house and lot to Wm. Loveridge. — Ibid, 489. 

92 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

On the 9th Nov., 1670, it was confirmed to him by patent and described 
as " a certain lot of ground at Schenectady belonging to Pieter Jacobse 
" Borsboom and now in his occupation, lying in a Square of 200 feet, wood 
"measure at eleven inches [English] to the foot, abutting on the east side on 
" Benjamin Robberts, on the south side on Willem Teller's, and on the West 
" and north sides on the highway [Washington aud Front streets], — also a 
" certain garden lying on the north side of his lot divided [therefrom] by a 
" common highway [Front street] of forty feet wide being in breadth one hun- 
" dred feet alongst the highway [Front street] and in length one hundred and 
"fifty feet striking [stretching] north near to the river; and likewise a small 
" island * belonging to him, which hath heretofore been given him by the 
" Indians, lying in the river there next the island of Sweer Teunise [Van Vel- 
" sen and Akes Cornelise [Van Slyck] containing about 6 acres or 3 mor- 

These two lots on the south and east corners of Front and Washington 
streets, passed by inheritance to his four daughters, whose descendants con- 
tinued in the occupancy of portions for many years. 

Bouweries No. 7. 

These two farms on the bouwlandt assigned to Borsboom in the original 
allotment were described in his patent of May 9, 1668, as, "two certain par- 
"cels of land at Schenectady both marked No. 7 : — the one lying upon the 
" second piece west of No. 6, — East of No. 8, a line being run between them 
" from the creek or kil [dove gat] J to the woodland southwest somewhat 
"more southerly, containing about 22 acres or 11 morgens 263 rods : — the 
" other lying upon the hindmost part of land in the woods to the east of 
" No. 5, — west of No. 8, a line cutting on each side thereof from the small 
" creek [clove gat] to said woods south-w T est by west, it's in breadth sixty 
"rods and makes about 24 acres or* 12 morgens. — altogether about 40 [48] 
"acres or 23 morgens' 263 rods as granted by Gov. Stuyvesant June 16, 
" 1664 to said Pieter Jacobsen."§ 

On the 17th Sept. 1669, he exchanged hmjlrst lot of land or bouwery with 
Jan Labatie for a house and lot next the court house in Albany, and in 1702 
it was owned by Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakel of Schenectady. || 

* Now called Varkens or Hog Island, lying north-east of Van Slyck's Island. 

f Patents, 651. 

X Dove-gat, a pool, = a dead water hole, — a slough, in contradistinction to running water. 
Usually applied to a bay-like inlet from some river or running stream. Example : 
Coveville, Saratoga Co., on Dove Gat Cove. Probably derived Doof or Doom, = Deaf, 
Faint, Extinguished, Dead ; and Gat, = a port, a cove, a harbor, a gap, a hole, an inlet. 

Kreuplebosch, or Kreuplebos, a bush or thicket. — M'M. 

§ Patents, 552. || Deeds, n, 759 ; vi, 185 ; x, 356. 

Adult Freeholders. 93 

The hindmost bouwery after Borsboom's death, was divided into four 
equal parcels and assigned to his four daughters. Before 1738, Tryntie's 
quarter had been purchased by Maritie, who uniting with her children by 
Hendrick Brouwer, conveyed her half lot to Benjamin Van Vleck, her 
son by another husband, subsequently it became possessed by the Brouwers, 
who held until after 1800. 

Anna's quarter part was purchased by Fytie or her descendants and this 
second half remained in the Benthuysen family more than 100 years. 

Borsboom also owned a pasture on the north side of Front street of about 
two and one-half morgens, which was owned by Jan Labatie in 1670, and 
which subsequently came back to his family. 

This lot commenced 114 ft. Eng. east of North street and extended along 
Front street 15 rods Rynland, or 185 ft. English.* 

Arent Andriese Bratt. 

Two brothers of this name, — Albert Andriese and Arent Andriese, were 
among the early settlers of Albany.f They often were called De JVoorman 
or De Sioeedt. The former remained in Albany and is the ancestor of most 
of the name in that county ; the latter became one of the first proprietors 
of Schenectady in 1662, about which time he died, leaving a widow and six 
children. His wife was Catalyntje, daughter of Andries De Vos, deputy 
director of Rensselaerswyck. After the death of her husband, the grants 
of land allotted to him were confirmed to her. 

In 1664, she married Barent Janse Van Ditmars. Her ante-nuptial con- 
tract with the weesmeestersl for the protection of the interests of her infant 
children, is of date Nov. 12, and binds her to pay to them their patrimonial 
estate of 1,000 guilders at their majority, and mortgages her land at Schen- 

* Patents, 758. 

f Albert Andriese Be Noarman, had a mill on the Norman's kil, to which he gave 
name ; when he died June 7, 1686, he was " een Van de oudste en eerste inwoonders der 
Colonie Rensselaerswyck," having arrived in Albany in 1630.— Hist. N. JV., i 433. 

X [ Weesmeesters — orphan masters, or officers who cared for orphan's estates. M'M]. 

94 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

ectadyl to secure the payment of the same. These children were Jefie, 
aged 15 yrs.,^Ariaantje, 13 yrs., Andries, 11 yrs., Cornelia, 9 yrs., Samuel, 
5 yrs. and Dirk aged 3 yrs. * 

Van Ditmars was killed in the massacre of 1690, and the following year 
she married Claas Janse Van Boekhoven. By their ante-nuptial contract, 
made Feb. 27, 169£, among other things it was agreed by them that on the 
death of both parties thereto, their property should go to her children, f 

Van^ Boekhoven and wife made their wills Jan. 11, 169-f, and Jan. 7, 
1705, they added a codicil by which her youngest son Dirk, was to have 
his farm at Niskayuna, and on the 17th January this codicil was revoked ; 
his will was proved 28 Oct., 1707. J Mrs. Bratt survived her third hus- 
band, and finally died in 1712. 

On the 18th Dec, 1712, the estates of both herself and Van Boekhoven, 
were appraised for the purpose of partition among her children. 

The real estate in Schenectady belonging to her, amounted to the sum of 
£976 12s. 6d., current money of the Province, and that of Van Boekhoven 
in Canistageioone [Niskayuna] and Albany, to the sum of £700 — together, 
£1676 22s. 6d., [equal to $4,191.56.] § 

Mrs. Bratt's home lot was the west quarter of the block bounded by 
Washington, State, Church and Union streets, being about 200 feet square. 
In the confirmatory patent issued to her and her second husband, Van 
Ditmars, June 15, 1668, it was described as: 

" A certain house and lot of ground at Schenectady now in occupation 
" of said Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] and Catelyn being in a square of 200 
" feet. "I And in her will she spoke of "my house and lot lying west of 
" Maritie Damen's [Van Eps] lot and south of Evert Bancker's lot and having 
" the street [State and Washington] to the south and west."** In 1723 her 
grandson Capt. Arent Bratt sold the corner parcel, 45 feet wide on State 
street and 190 feet deep on Washington street, to Hendrick Vrooman, but 
it soon returned to the family and was again sold by Arent J. Bratt in 
1769, to James Shuter. The remainder of this lot remained in the family 
until the beginning of^this century when it was sold to Robert Barker and 
Isaac De Graaf . 

* Albany Co. Deeds, B. 597. 

t Deeds, iv, 296. J Wills, i, 64, 74 ; and Court of Appeal's office. 

§ Schermerliorn Papers. || 'Patents, 593. ** ..Wills, .1, 74 

Adult Freeholders. 95 

The ancient brick house standing on this lot, one of the few specimens 
of Dutch architecture remaining in the city, was probably built by Capt. 
Arent Bratt. 

Mrs. Bratt's allotments on the Great Flat are described in the patent of 
June 2, 1668, as — " two certain parcels of land at Schenectady both marked 
" No. 1 : — the first lying to the west of Arent Van Curler's, being enclosed 
"with the kil and the creek to number two containing 27 acres or 13 morgens 
"487 rods; — the other being upon the hindmost piece of land, to the west of 
" number two, lying in a bottom containing as it is enclosed by the river and 
"the woodland about 22 acres or 11 morgens: — altogether 50 acres or 
"24 morgens, 487 rods, as granted by Governor Stuyvesant June 16, 1664, 
" to said Catelyn Andriese [Bratt] widow aforesaid."* 

In her will she spoke of her foremost farm containing 36 acres and of her 
hindmost lot comprising 30 acres. The former is now embraced mainly in 
the farm formerly owned by the late Judge Tomlinson, purchased in 1855 
by John Meyers, deceased. The easterly boundary was the small creek 
running through the canal culvert and emptying into the Binne kil just east of 
and behind the farmhouse, and it extended west along the Binnl kil and river 
about 1,300 feet to the Dove gat or dead hole lying between the canal and 
the river. Farm No. 4 owned by Van Woggelum and later by Reyer 
Schermerhorn, lay directly south of Mrs. Bratt's foremost lot.f Her eldest 
son, Andries, was killed in 1690; his son Arent succeeded to his inheritance 
and held this bouwery until his death in 1765. In 1732 he added 9| acres 
to the west by the purchase of a portion of No. 2. 

The hindmost farm No. 1 fell to Mrs. Bratt's second son Samuel. J 

Andries Arentse and Capt. Arent Andriese Bratt. 

Andries, was the eldest son and heir of Arent and Catelyn De Vos Bratt 
and at the time of the massacre lived near his mother upon the west quarter 
of the block bounded by State, Washington, Union and Church streets 
where he had a brewery, and where he was slain with one of his children. 
He was thirty-seven years old at the time of his death ; his wife Margarita, 
daughter of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck and his son Arent and daughter 

* Patents, 590; Deeds, iv, 296 ; v, 168; Wills, i, 74. 

f It was inventoried after death in 1712, at £393-15 equal to $984.37, or about $27 
an acre. 

% This farm consisting of 30 acres was inventoried at £354-7-6 equal to $708.93 or 
$23.63 an acre. 

96 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Bathseba were spared. His rights of primogeniture in his father's estate 
passed to his surviving son, who after his mother's death came into full 
possession of the village lot above mentioned and also of the foremost 
bouwery numbered one on the bouwland. The ancient house No. 7 State 
street, was built and occupied by Capt. Bratt until his death in 1765. By 
trade he was a brewer. 

To the original lot he added another parcel Feb. 4, l7lf, by purchasing 
of Jan Baptist Van Eps his house and lot, barn and orchard, — 100 feet in 
breadth on State street, and 225 feet deep, — and bounded east by lots of 
Harmanus Vedder and Jacobus Van Dyck and north and west by lots of 
said Bratt * He thus became possessed of a lot having a front on State 
street of 300 feet and over 200 feet deep. 

Feb. 7, 170f, Reyer Schermerhorn, conveyed to him a lot of 100 feet by 
200 feet wood measure, bounded north and east by the highway [Union and 
Ferry streets], south by Symon Volkertse [Veeder] and west by Pieter Van 

Subsequently, to wit on the 26 Mar., 1714, Arent Bratt, brewer, for the 
sum of £35 [$87.50] sold one-half of the above lot to bis brother-in-law Carl 
or Charles BurnsJ — bounded east and north by the highway [Ferry and 
Union streets], west by the lot of Isaac Van Vaikenburgh [now the court 
house lot], and south by the lot of Harmanus Vedder [Bratt's step-father]. 
This lot 100 feet square now belongs to the estate of the late A. A. Vedder.§ 

On 2d May, 1764, Francis Burns of Pounwell, N. H. [perhaps a son of 
Charles Bums above mentioned] conveyed said lot to Daniel Campbell for 
£165 [$412.50]. || 

On the 15th May, 1705, Reyer Schermerhorn, only surviving trustee, con- 
veyed to Arent Bratt, grandson of Arent Andriese Bratt, a piece of pasture 
ground lying east of the town — about 5 acres — bounded south by the 
common highway [Front street], north by the river, east by the pasture 
ground of Claes Franse [Van de Bogart] and west by Jan Mebie, the first 
deed being lost or destroyed. This pasture lot beginning at a point on the 

* Deeds, v, 168, 217. f Bratt Papers. 

X Burns married Batseba, only sister of Captain Bratt. This west corner of Union 
and Feny streets was long known as Batseba's hoekje. 
§ Deeds, v, 264. || Deeds, vn, 483 ; v, 199. 

Adult Freeholders. 97 

north side of Front street 100 feet east of Washington street, extended 
easterly along Front street to the easterly line of the lot of the estate of the 
late Nicholas Cain — about 325 feet Amsterdam measure. 

Andries Bratt, fathei of Capt. Arent Bratt, owned the parcel of ground 
hounded by John street on the east, the burying ground on the west, Front 
street on the north, and Green street on the south, comprising about four 
morgens. After his death it was sold to Thomas Williams of Albany, and 
by him to Arent Van Petten.* 

On the 7 Feb. 170-fReyer Schermerhorn only surviving trustee, conveyed 
to Capt. Arent Andriese Bratt, eldest son and heir of Andries Arentse Bratt, 
" a lot on the west end of the town bounded south by Mill creek, on ye 
" west by ye river \binne kit], on the north by the house and lott of Isaac 
" Swits and on ye East by ye commons [Washington street], equal with the 
" corner of said Swits lot."f This lot extending from Mill creek north 
nearly to State street, subsequently belonged to Willem Pieters. 

In 1705, he owned a wood lot on the south side of Front street, ex- 
tending east from Jefferson street to the Fonda lot or to a point nearly oppo- 
site Mohawk street and in the rear to Jan Vrooman's lot or the line of the 
canal. \ 

On the 4th Feb. I7lf Jan Baptist Van Eps conveyed to Arent Bratt the 
hindmost lot No. 2, it was represented as containing twelve morgens and 
bounded, " east by lot No. 3, running south-west by west from the river to 
" the standing pool of water [dove gat now covered by the canal] west by 
" No. 1, now in the occupancy of heirs of Samuel Bratt, South by the afore- 
" said pool, and north by Maquaas river. "§ 

Capt- Bratt was made trustee of the common lands in 1714, and continued 
in office until 1765; for the last fifteen years of his life, he was sole trus- 
tee. By his will made 11 March 1765, he devised those common lands to 
twenty-three persons in trust for the use of the inhabitants of the town.|| 
In 1745, he represented the county of Albany in the Provincial Assembly, 
He left his real estate to his three sons Capt. Andries, Johannes and Har- 
manus, all of whom had houses upon the ample lot owned by their father 
on the north side of State and continued the business of brewing. 

Harmanus was also an Indian trader and tradition says was the wealthiest 
man of the town. 

* Deeds, vn, 468. f Bratt papers. \ See Jan Vrooman's deed. 

§ Deeds, v, 217 ; Bratt papers. || Wills, n, 63. 


98 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Samuel Arentse Beatt. 

Samuel, second son of Arent An dries Bratt the first settler, and of 
Catelyn De Vos, was born in 1659 and married Susanna daughter of Jacques 
Cornelise Van Slyck. He died in the year 1713 or 1714, leaving five sons. 
His possessions were a lot in the village and the hindmost lot number one 
on the bouwland. The village lot was on the north side of Front street, 
and beginning on the west line of the lot of the late Gen. Jacob Swits ex- 
tended westerly along the street about 160 feet including the lot of the late 
Nicholas Cain, Governor's lane and part of the lot of Charles Mathews. 

He inherited the hindmost farm No. 1, on the bouwland, which in a con- 
firmatory deed from Reyer Schermerhoru [trustee], and his brother Dirk 
given in 1713, is described as, "a lot on the south side of the Mohawk above 
" Schenectady now occupied by Samuel Bratt called the hindmost lot No. 1, 
" containing fifteen morgens or thirty acres 467 rods Rynland measure, 
" bounded east by land of Arent Bratt and land of Johannes Teller, north 
" by the river, South by the commons and west by woodland of said Arent 
" Bratt and woodland of Samuel Bratt."* 

This farm passed to Samuel's son Arent, who built the brick housef still 
standing a short distance west of the first lock on the canal, and continued 
in the family until the death of Eva Bratt, widow of Takerius Vedder, 
in 1839. 

Dirk Ar^ntse Bratt. 

He was the third son of Arent Bratt and Catelyn De Vos, the first set- 
tlers. He was born in 1661, and married Maritje, daughter of Jan Baptist 
Van Eps, in 1684. 

In the division of his mother's and step-father's estate, he received Van 
Boekhoven's farm in Niskayuna, on the north side of the river, which by 
patent of date, 22d Ap. 1708, was extended north into the woods one mile.J 

He purchased several parcels of land in Schenectady, among which, by 
deed from the trustees, of date 10th Mar., 170-f, were, 1st "a parcel of wood- 
land in Schenectady one part of the same adjoining to the north of [ on ] 
" y e lot of ground belonging to y e said Dirk Bratt and to y e west of 
" Symon Groot Jr. . . . is broad on ye south end 150 feet and in length 

* Deeds, v, 284-5. 

\ On the front of this'house, sciatched on a brick, may be seen, "A. Bratt, 1736." 

% Patents, 1610 ; Albany An., rv. 163. 

Adult Freeholders. 99 

" north 400 feet wood measure." This lot on the north side of State street, 
extended from the Carley house lot to the east line of the American hotel 

2d. "The other part is situated to ye north of said lot and of said Symon 
" Groot, and ye lott of said Dirk Bratt and to ye east of y e common high- 
" way that leads in between the lott of Barent Wemp and y e lot of Barent 
" Vroom an [ Centre Street] and to ye west from another lott of ye said 
" Dirk Bratt and contains y e breath (sic) of y e said lott of y e said Symon 
" Grott, the first above mentioned part and the first above mentioned lot of 
" ye said Dirk Bratt northward between the said highway and y e last men- 
" tioned lott of ye said Dirk Bratt to y e highway [ Union Street ] that leads 
"to Canastagione [Niskayuna] so that y e said woodland doth contain two 
" morgens." * 

The two lots of land above mentioned, extended along the south side of 
Union street from Centre street to a point 245 feet east of Barret street, or 
to the lot of the German Methodist church, and southward to the i-ear, 
about 445 feet. 

In 1719, the westerly portion of this lot 231 ft. by 444 ft. on the south 
corner of Union and Centre streets was owned by Hendrick Vrooman. 
The remainder of Dirk Bratt's land on Union street, was devised to his 
sons-in-law, Rickert Van Vranken and Willem Berrit. 

Dirk Bratt made his will 16th Jan., 1727, — proved June 1, 1759, — and 
was buried June 9, 1735. 

His eldest son Johannes inherited the farm at Niskayuna. 

Philip Hendkickse Brouwer. 

He settled in Beverwyck as early as 1655, and the year following pui-chased 
of Hendrick And. Van Doesburgh, second husband of Maritie Damens, a 
house, lot, garden and brewery for 4000 guilders, giving a mortgage on 
said property for 3144 gl. of the purchase money. In 1662 he became one 
of the original proprietors of Schenectady and it was on or near his foremost 
lot No. 2 that he shot Claes Cornelise Swits the following year.f 

His death occurred about the beginning of the year 1664, and on the 29 
April, his administrators offered for sale his house, brewery and mill house 
in Beverwyck, and a house lot, garden and 25 morgens of land at Schen- 
ectady, — the lot 200 feet square, — also a barn 30 ft. by 24, two bergen, two 
horses, mare, two milch cows, heifer, calves, five sows, a waggon, &c.J 

* Church papers. f See Claes Swits. J Deeds, n, 469, 472, 475. 


100 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The real estate at Schenectady was purchased Tby Cornells Van Nes, third 
husband of Maritie Damens, for 1,287 gl. for Jan Dirkse Van Eps, her son 
by her first husband, Dirk Van Eps. Brouwer's wife was Elsie Tjerck; 
the records make no mention of any children. 

Philip Hendrickse's house lot in Schenectady was on the north corner of 
State and Church streets — about 200 ft. square — * being a quarter of the 
block bounded by State, Washington, Union and Church streets. 

A patent was issued to Cornells Van Ness for this lot and bouweries No. 
2, June 16, 1664, and confirmed to Jan Van Eps, April 29, 1667. f 

Hendrick Willemse Brouwer. 

One Willem Brouwer came to Beverwyck at or about the time that 
Philip Hend. Brouwer settled there and was probably a connection. In 
1655 he owned property in New Amsterdam. His death occurred about 
the 3d of Aug., 166R; the following entry is found in the Deacon's book of the 
church at Albany. " Tot die begraevenisse van Willem brouwer 40 guilders, 
15 [stuivers]." He left two sons Hendrick and Willem, both of whom 
settled in Schenectady. The former the progenitor of those bearing this 
name in Schenectady married Maria Pieterse, daughter of Pieter Jacobse 
Borsboom and widow of Teunis Carstense of Albany. Brouwer died about 
the beginning of the year 1707, having made his will Dec. 12, 1706, — 

proved Feb. 16, 170f. Later his wife married Van Vleck, by whom 

she had a son Benjamin. 

Hendrick Brouwer owned a lot on the east side of Church street, beginning 
at a point 108 feet north from the church lot and extending probably to 
Front street, and through his wife came into possession of one quarter of 
hindmost lot No 8, which she inherited from her father. J He left six 
sons and two daughters, one of whom, — Jacob — born 1700, — an Indian 
trader, was barbarously murdered at the falls on the Oswego river in the 
spring of 1730, by an Onondaga Indian.§ 

In 1724 Mrs. Brouwer was also called an Indian trader. || 

* As measured by Adam Vrooman in 1713, the north and south sides of this lot were 
200 ft. long, and the east and west sides were 225 ft. , Amsterdam measure, 
f Patents, 392 ; see also Van Eps. 
% See Borsboom. § Note, Col. Doc, ix, 1019. || Albany Annals, vrn, 293. 

Adult Freeholders. 101 

Geraldus Cambeeort, or Comfort. 

He was in Schenectady as early as 1690; his first wife was Antje Raal, 
his second, Arientje Uldrick, widow of Gerrit Claase Van Vranken of Nis- 
kayuna, married Oct. 16, 1692. The natives sold him a parcel of land 
" boven Kaquarrioone " [now Touereoune], which he contracted to sell to 
Carel Hansen Toll in 1694. 

The patent for this land was given April 22, 1703, and is described as 
" twenty acres of land on the north side of the Mohawk beginning at JTaquar- 
" rioone the west bounds of the patent of Schenectady, running west up the 
" river to the limits of land of Carel Hansen [Toll] formerly belonging to 
"Hendrick Cuyler."* On the 18th May, 1707, Cambefort being then a 
resident of Niskayuna, conveyed the above described land to Toll,f who 
conveyed the same to his son-in-law Johannes Van Eps. Lewis Groot about 
1798, in his testimony before the commissioners appointed to settle the 
dispute between the proprietors of the Schenectady and Kayaderasseras 
Patents, said that Comfort's Patent extended west to the creek on which 
Groot's mill stood [Lewis' creek] and that Cuyler's Patent extended west 
from said creek. \ Not long after his second marriage, Comfort removed to 
Niskayuna, where he was living as late as 1720. 

Teunis Car'stense. 

In 1679 Carsten Carstense De Noorman died in Albany, leaving two 
children, viz. Teunis, aged 19 years, and Elizabeth, aged 14 years. 

The former settled in Schenectady, where he married Maritie, daughter of 
Pieter Jacobse Borsboom, and died in 1691, at which time his widow took 
out letters of administration on his estate ; subsequently — on 26 Mar., 1692, 
she married Hendrick Brouwer and after his deatli in 1706 became an Indian 

Christiaan Christiaanse. 

In 1669 Paulus Janse received a patent for a morgen and a-half of land at 
Schenectady, " lying to the west about halfway the land of Arent Van 
Curler."§ This parcel of land lying on the Binue kil about halfway from 
Mill creek to the farmhouse of the late John Myers, was purchased from 
Paulus Janse by Christiaan Christiaanse in 167 1.| His village lot was on the 
north side of Union street' adjoining the Dutch church lot and included the 

* Patents, 1577. \ Deeds, v, 71. % Toll Papers. 

§ Patents, 971. || Deeds, n, 811. 

102 History of the Schenectady Patent, 

lot owned by the late Isaac Riggs (now included in the church grounds) 
and the lot occupied by Mr. Aaron Barringer, being 100 feet broad front and 
rear and 200 feet deep, Amsterdam measure. The deed for this lot having 
been lost in the destruction of Joris Aertse Van der Baast's house in 1690, 
Johannes Sanderse Glen, magistrate of the village, reconveyed the same Dec. 
1, 1694, and on the same day Christiaanse conveyed it to Neeltie Claase, 
widow of Hendrick Gardenier.* April 7, 1695, an inventory of the estate 
of the late Hendrick Gardenier of Scotac, Albany county, was taken and 
this lot was then valued at 15 beaver skins sewant.f Feb. 22, 170£ Johannes 
Ouderkerk and Neeltie Claase, then his wife, conveyed it to Jellis Van Vorst.J 

Davidt Christoffelsf. 

His father, Christoffel Davidts § or Kit Davidts, a native of England |[ 
came to Beverwyck as early as 1650, and lived for a time on a farm at 
" Dominie's Hoek " now called "Van Wie's Point." He married Cornelia, 
daughter of Andries De Vos of Albany, and had two sons, David and Joris, 
and perhaps other children. His wife was not living in 1657, when an in- 
ventory of his and his wife's estate was made and his trustees agree to pay 
for a lot purchased by him 26 Feb., 1657. As early as 1658 he was a 
skipper on the North river. 

His son Davidt became an early resident of the village, occupying a lot 
of 100 feet front on the oast side of Church street, 100 feet southerly from 
Union street. Bastiaan De Winter sold this lot Nov. 21, 1670, to Jan 
Labatie, by whom it was probably sold to Christoffelse. In the massacre of 
Feb. 9, 1690, the latter was slain with his wife and four children. His heirs 

* Toll Papers. 

f "Het erff op Shinnectady gelegen tuschen het erff Van D Domini Salgr. Van Shinnectady 
en het erff Van Pottman zynde gewaerdeert opfifthien Bevers sewant." 

X Deeds, v, 111 ; see also Van Vorst ; Wills, i. 

§ 3 Dec., 1654, he was ordered not to molest Mons. De Hulter in possession of his 
land, at Esopus probably, nor to incite the savages against him. — Albany Co. Eecords. 

25 Sept., 1656, he received a patent for 36 morgens of land at Esopus about a [Dutch] 
mile inland^from the North river, &c— Dutch MSS., H. H, 68. 

In 1657 he sold this land to Jacob Janse Stoll for 1400 gl.— Albany Co. Eecords, 24, 377. 

1663 he asked permission to reenter upon" land from which he had been driven by 
Indians at Esopus. — Dutch MSS. , x, 127. 

|] He was born'in 1616 at Bisscohopicyck, Eng. B. & M. I., — Dutch MSS., xvi, 246; 
Deeds, i, 64. 

Adult Freeholders. 103 

still owned it in 1699; soon after it passed into the possession of Caleb 
Beck. Christoffelse also owned the west half of foremost lot No. 2, on the 
bouwland bought of Maritie Damens by Douwe Aukes in 1681. 

Pieter and Joseph Clement. 

Pieter Clement jonge man geboren in N. Utrecht en wonende tot Schan- 
nechtady, married in Albany, Anna Ruyting geboren en wonende tot 
Schannechtady, Nov. 26, 1707. July 28, 1721, he married Anna Vedder, 
" beide Van de Woestyne." 

Joseph, brother of Pieter, married Anna, daughter of Jacobus Peek of 
the Second flat on the south side of the river. In 1755 he was living in 
' ' Maquaasland." 

These brothers were stepsons of Benjamin Roberts, who by will made 
June 28, 1706, devised his farm at Maalwyck to his wife Maria, and in case 
of her remarriage, to his stepsons, Pieter and Joseph Clement. 

In 1710 Pieter sold his half to Cornelis Viele, together with half of 
Benten island for £445, and in 1712 Joseph sold the other half to Carel 
Hansen Toll for £400.* 


He was born in Herentals, in Brabant, and from 1656 to 1677, was court 
messenger of Fort Orange and Beverwyck, notary public of Albany, and in 
1677, became schout and secretary of Schenectady until his death. 

With his son-in-law, Johannes Klein, who married his only daughter, 
Maria, he purchased and occupied the Fourth flat on the north side of the 
river. This land was conveyed Sept. 26, 1683, by the Mohawk Sakemakers, 
to Arnout Cornelise Viele, of Albany, in consideration of his many labors 
undertaken for the Indians, and is described as lying over against the Second 
flat, occupied by Jacobus Peek, and containing 16 or 17 morgens of land, f 
It was called by the natives, wachkeerhoha. Dec. 11, 1684, the patentees 
of Schenectady conveyed it, together with a lapie by it, to Ludovicus Cobes 
and Johannes Klein, reserving a yearly rent of one skipple of wheat per 
morgen. \ On his death it passed to his widow and daughter Maria Klein. § 

Cobes also had a house lot in the village, on the north corner of Union 
and Church streets, which he mortgaged in 1684 to Johannes Wendel, of 
Albany, for 580 gl. The house was described as a "corner house — opposite 

* See Toll, Roberts and Viele. 

f Deeds, m, 199, % Deeds v, 196. § See Klein, also Fourth flat. 

104 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" to Reyer Schermerhom's [ on the west corner ], bounded west, by Symon 
" Groot, north, by the house and lot formerly occupied by Maria, wife of 
"Johannes Peek, and south and east, by the highway [Union and Church 
" streets], as enclosed."* 

Soon after, and before 1690, Reyer Schermerhorn bought Cobes' house 
and lot in the village, for his step-daughter, Tryntje Otten, prior to her 
marriage with Gerrit Symonse Veeder, and it remained in her family until 
after 1812, when it was occupied by Maj. Jelles Fonda, whose wife was a 


There were three individuals of this name who early became residents of 
Albany or Niskayuna, — Capt. Jan, his nephew Johannes and Frederick 

Captain Jan Clute came to Beverwyck about 1656, from Neurenburg 
and became a trader and considerable land holder in Beverwyck, Loonen- 
burgh [opposite Hudson], Niskayuna, etc.f He was held in great esteem 

* Deef>s, in. 324. 

f Not. Papers, n ; Deeds, i, 187. 

The following are some of his real estate transactions as appears by the records. 

1657, he bought a garden behind Fort Orange of Theunis Metselaer. 

1662, he contracted to buy 22 morgens of land at Catskil of Jan Andriese. 

1663, he bought of Sander L. Glen a house and lot on the Hill, Beverwyck. 

1664, he bought of Adriaen Gerritse a house and lot for 630 gl. 

1665, with Jan Hendr. Bruyn bought a tract of land opposite Claverac landing [now 
Hudson], of the Indians. 

1665, he bought of Wm. Fred. Bont a house and lot for 390 gl. 

1667, he bought a garden behind Fort Albany of the Estate of Rutger Jacobsen. 

1667, he bought a house and lot of Jan C. Van Aecken. 

1667, he bought lot No. 4 of Ludovicus Cobes, for which he conveyed to L. Cobes the 
lot bought of Wm. Bont in 1665. 

1668, he bought of the commissaries of Albany, lot No. 11 on the Hill. 

1669, 4 March, he bought " Great Island " at Niskayuna. of Pieter D. Van Olinda. 

1670, he sold a house and lot, to J. J. Bleecker. 

1670, he and others sold their land at Coxsackie to Marten G. Van Bergen. 
1670, he sold a lot to Gabriel Thomase. 

1676, he owned a house and lot in Yonkers (State) street. 

1677, he bought of Claas J. Van Boekhoven a parcel of land at Niskayuna. 

1677, he bought a part of Van Schelluyne's land at Niskayuna. 

1678, he sells his land at Catskil to Jan Conell and Gerrit J. Van Vechten. 

Adult Freeholders. 105 

"by the Indians from whom he obtained extensive grants of land. His 
chief purchases in Niskayuna, were: 

1st. The " Great Island," in the Mohawk river which he purchased 4 
March, 1669, of Pieter Danielse Van Olinda and his Indian wife Hilletie 
[Coraelise Van Slyck], and the same was confirmed to him by patent of 
Gov. Lovelace, Aug. 2, 1671, together with six morgens of land bought of 
Maritie Damens on the mainland and a small island lying west of the 
" Great island."* 

2d. " A certain piece of land lying at Canastagioenef on this [South] side 
of the river," which he bought of Claas Janse Van Boekhoven, Oct. 21, 

3d. The lands of Dirk Van Schelluyne at Canastagioene.§ 

On the 3d April, 1678, Capt. Clute sold to Sweer Teunise[Van Velsen] of 
Schenectady, a certain neegher, named Jacob, about 24 years of age, for 
whom he promises to pay 100 good whole beaver skins @ eight guilders a 
piece [$320]. || 

It is not known that he had any other relative here than Johannes Clute, 
his nephew, who on his death in 1683 became his heir. 

Johannes Clute alias de boslooper.** 

Johannes Clute, nephew of the last, settled in Niskayuna upon land in- 
herited from his uncle Capt. Jan Clute. 

Through embarrassments caused either by his own or his uncle's debts, 
lie was obliged to part with a portion of his land soon after the death of 
the latter. Thus in 1704, he sold to Frederick Clute of Kingston, 150 
acresff and in 1707 he conveyed the "Great Island" in the Mohawk and 
other lands at Niskayuna to Robert Livingston of Albany, for £706 " to 
free himself from embarrassment.JJ" 

* Gen. Entries, iv, and Albany Co. Records, 436. 

f [Canastagioene was properly applied to the flats on the north side of the river opposite 
the present Niskayuna. — M'M.] 
X Albany Co. Records, 167. 

§ Albany Co. Records, 168. || Notarial Papers, ii; Albany Annals, n, 118. 
** [Bush-runner, — a trader among the Indians. M'M.] 
ft Deeds rv, 308. # See Great Island. 


106 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

To add to his other troubles he was taken prisoner in 1692, by the In- 
dians and carried captive to Canada. Whilst absent his affairs were 
managed by his wife Baata Van Slichtenhorst. On the 28th of June, she 
cited Sander Glen and Barent Wemp, administrators of Sweer Teunise 
Van Velsen's estate, before the court of Albany, demanding of them " nine 
"pounds six shillings and six pence for y e remaining pay 1 of a negro 
" named Jacob sold by old John Cloet to Sweer Teunise, and produces y e 
" book of s d John Cloet senior, kept by her husband, John Cloet Junior." 
The defendants asked time.* By his wife Baata, daughter of Gerrit Van 
Slichtenhorst, he had eight children. He was buried in Niskayuna, Nov. 
26, 1725. 

Frederic Clute. 

He came from Kingston to Niskayuna in 1703, and bought 150 acres of 
land from Johannes Clute. f What relationship if any, existed between 
them is not known. He married Francyntje DuMond or Duniont, probably 
in Kingston and before removing to Niskayuna had six children and four 

All the Clutes in this region are believed to be descended from either 
Johannes or Frederic. 

Jacobus Cromwell. 

He was an innkeeper and in 1711 bought a house and lot in Front street 
of Wouter Vrooman for £130. This lot which he occupied as a tavern, is 
described as bounded north by the river, south by the street, east by lot of 
Adam Vrooman and west by lot of Claas Fransen [Van de Bogart], length 
542 feet, breadth on the street 95 h feet and on the river 33 feet, one inch, 
Dutch measure. It is now divided into two parcels and occupied by Messrs. 
Joseph Harmon and Nicholas Yates. J 

Cromwell married Maria Philipse, 26 September, 1703; after his death she 
married David Lewis, innkeeper, who received a conveyance of the aboye 
property from Willem Marinus to whom Cromwell had devised it by will of 
date 19 August, 1711. 

* Albany Annals, n, 118. 
f Deeds rv, 308. 
X Deeds, v, 496. 

Adult Freeholders. 107 

De Graaf. 

Andries De Graaf was a citizen of New Amsterdam in 1661. His son Jan 
Andriese, brickmaker, was a resident of Albany in 1655; in 1658 he with 
two others, was fined 500 guilders for selling liquor to the Indians. In 1660 
he went to New Amsterdam with one Roseboom and commenced the making 
of bricks.* 

Claas Andriese De Graaf, another son of Andries De Graaf, was born about 
the year 1628,f and became one of the first settlers of Schenectady, taking 
up land at the Hoek\ in Scotia, where for several generations the family 

He probably died about 1697, in which year his wife leased her farm to 
Jonathan Stevens and Daniel Mascraft. 

De Graaf married Elizabeth, daughter of Willem Brouwer of Albany; 
she survived her husband many years, dying in 1723. 

Jan De la Wakde. 

He came over from Antwerp in 1662, in the ship De Vbs, Jacob Janse 
Huys, skipper, and settled in Albany. He bought land at Niskayuna and 
an island in the Mohawk, which he sold to Joris Aertse Van der Baast, from 
whom he acknowledged in 1698 to have received satisfaction several years 
before. § ^ 

He died in Albany, Jan. 28, 1702. 

His island called anciently La Warde's island and afterwards Joris 
Aertse's island, lies just north of Van Slyck's island. Van der Baast having 
been slain in 1690, his attorney, Pieter Bogardus of Albany, with the 
trustees of Schenectady conveyed it to Gysbert Marcelisof Albany in 1699; 
it then contained 15 morgens of land and was then called Joris' Great 
island; this conveyance was confirmed by patent dated June 23, 1714.11 
From the time of Marcelis' purchase to this time, it has been called " Gyse's 

* Valentine's Man., 1861, p. 521; Albany Co. Rec, 59, 221. 

f Deeds, n, 88 ; Albany Co. Rec, 224. 

% Called Claas Graven's Twek ; another Claas Graven' a hoek is mentioned in the old 
records,— a portion of what subsequently became Cuyler's Patent at Crane's Village 
below Amsterdam. 

§ Deeds, iv, 140. | Patent, 1673 ; Deeds, iv, 140; see also Van der Baast. 

108 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Bastiaen De Winter. 

He was a native of Middleburgh, Holland and came to Albany 1654 and 
to Schenectady in 1C62. 

Falling sick, in 1670, lie sold his house in the village and farm on the 
bouwland to Joris Aertse Vander Baast, Jan Labatie and Elias Van Gyse- 
ling, with the intention of returning to Holland but died before doing so, 
about August, 1678. Leaving no heirs in this country, the Dutch church of 
Albany claimed and probably received his property, for the use of the poor. 

De Winter's village lot 200 ft. square, was on the south corner of Church 
and Union streets. His patent was granted by Governor Lovelace, Oct. 21, 

On 22 Nov., 1670, he sold his house, barn and northerly half of this lot to 
Joris Arissen Van Der Baast, the surveyor, and on the next day the southerly 
half to Jan Labatie of Albany.* Van der Baast occupied his parcel until 
Feb. 9, 1690, when he was slain by the French and Indians, and his house 
burned. Sometime previous to 1690, Jan Labatie conveyed the southerly 
half to David Christoffelse, who was also slain at the same time. In 1699, 
Peter Bogardus, attorney for the heirs of Van der Baast, conveyed his lot 
to Gysbert Marcelis of Albany, and in 1716, Caleb Beck by virtue of a con- 
veyance from Carel Hansen Toll, of date Oct. 4, 1714, became owner of 
both lots.f 

De Winter's bouwland was conveyed to him by patent of Gov. Lovelace 
21 Oct. 1670 and is described therein as : 

" a piece of ground at Schenectady to the south of [bouwery] No. 2, being 
" encompassed with a creek and containing 7 acres or 3 morgens 200 rods as 
" granted by Gov. Stuyvesant June 15, 1664, to said Bastiaen : — also the 
" plantation of then belonging to said Bastiaen having been lately measured, 
"containing in breadth on the west 350 rods abutting on Willem Teller's 
" first lot, on the north side by Jan Van Eps [late Maritie Damens his 
'• mother] in length 60 rods ; on the east side on Sander Leendertse Glen's 
" going with a sloping point south East 236 rods and so it is bounded with 
" a creek and hath on the south side the high woods."J 

By deed of date 22 Nov., 1670, De Winter conveyed this farm to Elias 
Van Gyseling and Pieter Cornelise Viele.§ Soon after Van Gyseling became 
owner of the whole parcel. || 

* Deeds n, 788 to 791. f Deeds, v, 343. % Patents, 759 

§ Deeds, n, 789. || See Van Gyseling. 

Adult Freeholders. 109 

Johannes Dyckman. 

He was probably a son of Jan Dyckman, Commies of Fort Orange and 
Beverwyck and was born in 1662.* Marrying Jannetie, daughter of Cor- 
nells Viele, his father-in-law conveyed to him a farm below the Aal JPlaats, 
which he abandoned by reason of the Indian alarms after the year 1690.f 

Jonathan Dyer. 

He came from Wales, and was a bricklayer by trade. In 1695 he married 
Maria Dirkse Hessling,J and between that date and 1708, had six children 
baptized in the church at Schenectady. 

In 1714, being then a resident of New York, he quit claimed the Sixth 
flat, on the north side of the river, to Reyer Schermerhorn.§ 

In 1716 he owned a lot on the north side of State street, purchased 
probably, of Willeni Appel, of 75 feet front, Amsterdam measure, com- 
prising the lots of Mr. George Swortfiguer and estate of the late William 
Cunningham, — numbers 103-111. 

Hans Janse Eenkluts. 

He is first mentioned in the records as a servant or soldier in the Dutch 
West India Company's service, in 1632, and as such was one of those who 
erected the arms of the States General at Kievits Hoek [ Saybrook], at the 
mouth of the Connecticut river. || 

In 1648, on the occasion of Governor Stuyvesant's visit to Fort Orange, 
he was there, and was employed to clean the Heer Patroon's cannons and 
fire the salute.** 

After a long service he retired to Schenectady soon after it was settled, 
and in his old age was cared for by the church, to whom he left his 
property for the poor of the village. He died in 1683, leaving no heirs. 

* His mother Maria, 10 April, 1676, bound him to Maj. Abram Staas, he then being 
about fourteen years of age. — Not. Papers, I, 556. 

fLand Papers, vn, 78. 

\ Jonathan Dyer jonge man van Weels in Englandt en Maria Dirkse weduwe van 
Harmanus Hagedorn, married Nov. 21, 1695. — Albany Church Records. 

§ Deeds, vi, 192. 

| Col. Hist., i, 287.— O'Callaghan's Hist.,N. N., i, 149. ** O'Callaghan's Hist. N . N., 
ii, 71. 

110 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

His farm consisted of 18 morgens of river flats lying in the third ward, 
bounded by the Mohawk on the north, Front street on the south, the 
Hansen, or Simon Groofs kil [College brook] on the east, and the Fonda 
place on the west. After holding this land 180 years, it was sold by the 
church in 1863, for about $10,000. It was generally used as a cow pasture, 
and as it was given for the maintenance of the poor, was called the arme 
wey, or " poor pasture " * 

Jillis Fonda. 

The first settler of this name, — Jillis Douwese Fonda, was in Beverwyck 
as early as 1654, with his wife Hester.f In 1666 she was the widow of 
Barent Gerritse. 

Douwe Jillise, son of Jillis Douwese Fonda, married Rebecca . He 

owned land at Lubberde's landt [Troy], in 1676; and died Nov. 24 (27), 
1700. Besides other children he had a son Jillis, who married Rachel, 
daughter of Pieter Winne of Albany, Dec. 11, 1695, and about 1700, re- 
moved to Schenectady. He was by trade a gunstocker. At the date 
of his will made Sept. 8, 1737, his wife and eight of his eleven children 
were living. 

Of his sons, Douw removed to Canghnawaga where he was slain by Sir 
John Johnson's Indians in 1780; Pieter was a shoemaker and tanner and 
lived upon the south corner of State street and Mill lane (now the site of 
the Young Men's Christian Association building), and had his tan vats in 
the rear; Abraham was a carpenter and in 1752, built and occupied the 
house No. 27 Front, now owned by his great-grandson Mr. Nicholas 

Jillis Fonda's farm was next west of the " poor pasture " and his house at 
the easterly end of Front street was within the memory of many persons 
marked by two huge elms, which throw their arms across the whole breadth 

* Church Papers. 

f Oct. 21, 1656, a suit was brought against her for removing Lewis Cobussen's wife's 
petticoat from the fence ; — defendant said plaintiff pawned the article for beaver ; — put 
over.— Dutch MSS., xvi, 2, 14, 15. 

29 April, 1664, Hester Douwese assisted by her son Douwe Gillise and her daughter 
Geertien Gillise, sold to Jan Costerse Van Aeken two distiller's kettles for 400 guilders 
sewant. — Albany Co. Records, 347. It would seem by this transaction that the husband 
Jillis Douwese Fonda was deceased. 

Adult Freeholders. Ill 

of the street. This lot commenced at the centre line of Mohawk street and 
extended easterly along the street 480 feet to the Armewey and north to 
the Mohawk river, comprising latterly 6.43 acres; the land opposite this lot 
on the south side of the street extending easterly as far as the canal culvert 
and southerly across the canal and Fonda street, likewise belonged to this 

He also owned a farm of Jcreupelbos land on the north side of the river 
about a mile north of Freeman's bridge, now in possession of Mr. Charles 
Ellis.* Besides this he owned the island called " Fonda's island," next west 
of Van Slyck's island, containing seven morgens, which he bought about 
1736 of Philip Livingston, and devised in his will of date Sept. 8, 173V, to 
his three sons, — to Pieter two morgens, — to Abraham four morgens, — and 
to Jacob one morgen. This island originally belonged to Symon Symonse 
Groot, and was patented to him in 1694. f For a hofstecZe to this island 
farm he had two morgens of land on the mainland near Claas Gravens' 
hoek, which in his will was devised to his son Douwe. 

In addition to this, Reyer Schermerhorn [trustee] conveyed to him 10th 
April 1702, Kruis bessen (gooseberry) island, containing one morgen, more or 
less, by virtue of the Dongan Patent of 1684, which island he sold to 
Hendrick Vrooman and Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen, 22d Sept., 1706, — 
two morgens, more or less. J 

Jillis Fonda also owned a village lot on the north side of State street, 
extending from the canal to the centre of Wall street, at present owned by 
Messrs. Robert Ellis and Vandebogart brothers. 

On the 6th April, 1709, he sold this lot to Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen 
for £48 [ $120 ]; it was "then bounded on the east by the house and lot of 
" said Arent Danielse [ now Given's hotel lot ], west, by the lot of Willem 
" Appel [what was not taken by the canal now belonging to the estate of 
" the late Peter Rowe], north, by the lot of Gysbert Gerritse [ Van Brakel } 
" and south, by the [State] street ; — length on the east side, 393 feet, — and 
" on the west side, 348 feet, — breadth on the south, 80 feet, behind on the 
" north, 83 feet, wood measure." § 

* See his will, f Patents, 1466. 
% Sanders Papers. § Deeds, v, 188. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

VJ ^fj^e^^^^^y 

Dominie Baenhaedus Feee*man. * 

Dominie Freerraan, the second minister of the church, was born at 
Gilhuis, Holland, and came over with Dominie Lydius in 1700. After 
remaining here five years, he removed to Flatbush, where he died in 1741. 

He married Margarita Van Schaaick, of New York, in 1705, and left one 
daughter, who married a son of Secretary Clarkson, whose descendants are 
still found in Flatbush and vicinity. 

Dominie Freerman was accounted a good Indian linguist, and with the help 
of Laurens Claase Van der Volgen, translated a part of the prayer book and 
portions of the Scriptures, into the Mohawk language ; he baptized many 
of the natives during his ministry at Schenectady. As missionary of the 
Mohawks he received a salary from the Provincial Government, of £60, 
and £15 for expenses, f 

* Commonly written Freeman ; all his autograph signatures that have come under 
the compiler's notice, are spelled as above. [In the facsimile signature appended to 
the cut, it will be seen that he signs without the r.— M'M]. 

f Col. MSS., xlv, 179. 

Adult Freeholders. 113 

Hendkick Gardenier, alias Flodder. 

The Garden iers settled mainly in that part of the ancient county of 
Albany now comprehended in Columbia county. 

But little is known of Hendrick, beyond the fact that at the time of his 
death in 1694, he was a resident of Scotac and owned a lot on Union St., 
next east of the Dutch church lot, and that in the settlement of his estate 
for the benefit of his widow and children, it was sold to Jillis Van Vorst. 

The following year, 1695, his widow Neeltie Claase married Johannes 
Ouderkerk of Albany. 

To show the change made by time in the value of house lots in Schenec- 
tady, it may be mentioned that Gardenier's lot, 100 ft. front by 200 ft. deep, 
was appraised in 1695 at fifteen beaver skins seewant or $16.* 

Frederick Gerritse. 

Frederick Gerritse, yeoman, and Elizabeth Carstense his wife, were resi- 
dents of Schenectady in 1687. 

On 13th Sept., 1689, he conveyed to Myndert Wemp eight or ten acres of 
land at Maalwyck and Benten island, formerly belonging to Benjamin 
Roberts and by him conveyed to said Gerritse in 1687. f 


Alexander Leendertse [or Lindsay] Glen came from Scotland by way of 
Holland about 1633, in the service of the West India company at Fort 
Nassau on the Delaware. 

His wife was Catalyn Doncassen,J they both died within about a year of 
each other, — she Aug. 12, 1684, he Nov. 13, 1685, — leaving three sons 
Jacob, Sander and Johannes. 

He was a trader in Beverwyck and elsewhere for more than twenty years 
before removing to Schenectady, and his transactions seem to have been 
large both in real estate and merchandise^ 

* Toll Papers ; see also Van Vorst. 

f Deeds, iv, 13. 

\ She was sister of Margaret, first wife of Willem Teller, and perhaps sister of Pieter 
Loockerman's wife. — Deeds, n, 466. 

§ In 1648 he gave his note to Willem [who ?] for 10,078 guilders wampum, to be reim- 
bursed iu beaver. — Dutch M8S., in, 11. 

114 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1646 he received a patent for a lot in "Smits Valey " [Pearl street], 
New Amsterdam,* which he sold Aug. 23, 1660, " huysing ende erve gelegen 
" in de Smits valey opt eyland Manhatans daer tegemoordig lauris Cornelise 
Van Welin woont, voor . . . . de somme van twee duysent guV\ 

In 1651 he received a grant of land at Fort Nassau and was preparing to 
build there, but was prevented by the Sweeds.J 

He also owned land at Fort Casimer in 1657. § 

When the company was formed in 1662 to take up lands at Schenectady 
Sander Leendertse became one of the first proprietors.! 

* Patents G. G., 152. f Not. Papers, I, 9. 

\ Col. Doc, i, 595. § Hist. N. N, n. 590. 

|| The following are some of his real estate transactions in Schenectady, Beverwyck 
and elsewhere, as shown by the records : 

1646, July 2, he received patent for lot in " Smils valey," New Amsterdam. — Patents 
Q. G., 152. 

1652, April 28, received patent for garden by the river in Albany, owned by Evert 
Pels, 1661.— Albany Co. Bee, 293. 

1653, took oath of allegiance to Heer Van Rensselaer. — Albany Annals, n, 185. 

1655, had a lot south of the lot of Willem Fred. Bont near the river. — Albany Co. 
Bee, 21T. 

1660, Aug. 13, mortgaged his house and lot where Jan Vinhagel lives for 576 gl. — 

Ibid, 277. 

1660, 22 Dec, had a lot 30Uth and east of Annatie Bogardus.— Ibid, 289. 

1661, had a garden south of Evert Pels' house and lot on the river — Ibid, 293. 
1661, May 7, gave bond to Jan Sebast : Van Gutsenhoven for 975 gl. 12 st. — Ibid, 369. 
1661, bought the house and lot of Marten Gerritse Van Bergen, sold under execution. — 

Ibid, 390-2. 

April 17, 1662, sold part of a lot adjoining the hill to Jan Tomase Witbeck, for which 
he had a patent, 23 April, 1652.— Ibid, 300. 

Oct. 25, 1662, sold the house where he now lives, lot and two gardens to Jan Bastiaense 
Gudsenhoven. — Ibid, 314. 

Oct. 26, 1662, sold his house next to Dominie Schaet's, to Thomas Powell, this lot was 
obtained by patent, 23 April, 1652.— Ibid, 314. 

Oct. 17, 1663, sold to Jan Clute his house and lot on the hill. — Ibid, 336. 

Dec. 28, 1663, sold his two gardens behind Heer Van Rensselaer's house to Juriaen 
Theunise Tappen.— Ibid, 341. 

Dec. 29, 1663, sold a garden in or near Fort Orange to Caspar Jacobse [Halenbeck]. — 
Ibid, 341. 

July 8, 1664, mortgaged his lands— upland and meadow, housing and cattle in Gravesend 
to Sarah Bridges of New York.— Deeds Sec. State's Office. 

Adult Freeholders. 115 

Sander Glen's village lot was on the west side of Washington street, 
beginning at the north line of the lot belonging to the estate of the late 
Judge Paige and extending 200 (*r) feet northerly along said street. 

This lot passed by descent to his eldest son Jacob Sanderse and from the 
latter to his son Johannes Jacobse, who sold the southerly half in 1704 to 
Claas Van Petten. 

In 1707, Johannes son of Johannes Jacobse Glen, by will bequeathed the 
northerly half to his brother Sander, who in 1750 bequeathed the same to 
his son Isaac. 

On the death of the latter he left this lot with other property to Jillis 
and Jacob Fonda, sons of his sister Susanna and Abraham Fonda.* 

The farm of Sander Leendertse lying on the north side of the river was 
called N~ova Scotia or more common^ Scotia. The patent of date 3 Nov., 
1665, describes this bouwery as "a parcel of land between the lake and the 
" river over against the town of Schenectady, — 100 acres or 50 inorgens — 
" in confirmation of a purchase of the grantee from the Indians."f The 
Glen property extended along the river from "Claas Graven's hoek" 
easterly to " Luysig hoek," just above Freeman's bridge, comprising with 
the additions several hundred acres. By marriage this estate passed to the 
Sanders family by whom a large portion of it is still held. 

Besides the above land, Sander Leendertse also owned two bouwery s 
numbered three on the Great Flat which his grandson Johannes, son of 
Jacob Glen, sold to Claas Van Petten in 1704. J 

Aug. 18, 1664, sells a house and lot on the hill, lately Marten Gerritse Van Bergen's, to 
Jan Hendiickse Van Baal. — Albany Co. Bee, 358. 

Nov. 3, 1665, received patent for land at Scotia. — Patents. 

Sept., 1665, he owned a lot south and east of David Pieterse Schuyler. — Albany Co. 
Bee, 392. 

May 11-21, 1667, he gave his bouwery at Scotia to his three sons. — Albany Co. Bee, 423. 

9 Mar., 1669, he again conveys his bouwery at Schenectady to hia three sons, which 
bouwery he had received by patent 3 Nov., 1665. — Ibid, 436. 

Aug. 12, 1670, mortgaged his house and bouwery at Schenectady to Abram Staes for 
288 gl.— Ibid, 504. 

10 Jan., 1672, sold his lot opposite the court house, Albany, to Juriaen Theunise 
Tappen. — Albany Co. Bee, 492. 

* Dr. Alex. Fonda's Papers. f Patents, 21. 

X See Van Petten. 

116 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The foremost lot No. 3 which lies next west of the Schermerhorn farm 
No. 4 is described as " bounded on the east by lot No. 4, with a slaint line 
"between both lots south east by south and to the west [south-west] the 
" woods, — 10 morgens, 130 rods. — also two morgens of land being part of 
" the hind lot, being also lot No. 3, which Van Petten must take along the 
" swamp or kil that runs beneath the hill by the highway."* This latter 
parcel was taken from the south end of the lot next the highway [river 
road]; the remaining ten morgens were retained and held by the Glen 
family, and in 1707 passed by will of Johannes Glen to his younger brother 

The Van Petten bouwery, — the foremost lot No. 3, passed latterly into 
the Schermerhorn family and made part of their farm. 

Sander Leendertse likewise owned a pasture, next east of the Borsboom 
pasture on the north side of Front street, containing about 2 £ morgens. 
This lot commenced 299 feet east of North street and had a front of 17 
Rhynland rods or 210 feet English, and extended north to the river. About 
1670 he sold it to Jan Labatie of Albany.f 

The ^j May, 1667, and again 9th March, 1669, Sander Leendertse con- 
veyed his Scotia lands to his three sons, and on the 23 Aug., 1686, Gov. 
Dongan renewed the patent to Sander and Johannes (their brother Jacob 
being deceased), for the above lands together with an addition of three 
[morgens] of woodland adjoining.^ 

In Jacob's will dated Aug. 14, 1685, he directed that his " lands at 
" Nova Scotia near Schanegtade, at present used by my brothers to wit, 
" Sander and Johannes shall remain in their hands, provided they pay due 
" rent for the same," — said land to be kept in the f amily.§ 

Jan. 30 168f, "Capt. Sander Glen, Johannes Glen his brother, of Nova 
" Scotia, in the county of Albany, yeoman, and Antje wife of Capt. 
" Sander Glen, and Antje wife of Johannes Glen, for sixty-eight good 
"beavers, sold to Claas Van Petten of the manor of Rensselaerswyck, a 
"parcel of land between the river and the lake over against Schenectady, 
" comprising twelve morgens of land, bounded east by land of Capt. Sander 
" Glen, south by the river, west by land of Johannes Glen and north by 
" the lake."|| 

* Deeds, N., 324. 

f Patents, 758. % Col. MSS., xxn, 97 ; Deeds, n, 671, 712. 

§ Will, Court of Appeal's office. 

|| Deeds, rv, 330. 

Adult Freeholders. 117 

The above twelve morgens of land, doubtless Jacob Glen's share 
— remained in the possession of Claas Van Petten until purchased back 
by exchange, by Johannes, Jacob's eldest son and heir, April 6, 1704. In 
this transaction Claas Van Patten reconveyed not only said twelve morgens, 
but also " another piece on the north side of the river as by said Johannes 
Jacobse Glen's transport appears," and in exchange for the same, Johannes 
Jacobse Glen conveyed to him a piece of land now in Van Pettens' occupa- 
tion, adjoining the lot of Reyer Schermerhorn, being lot No. 3, on the 
bouwland, bounded on the east by lot No. 4 "with a slaint line between 
both lots south-east by south, and to the west [south-west] the woods,"— ten 
morgens 130 rods ; — also "two morgens of land being part of the hind- 
most lot being also No. 3 which Van Petten must take along the swamp 
or kil that runs beneath the hill by the highway; " — " also the half lot in 
the said town of Schenectady bounded to ye north the other half of ye lot 
now in occupation of Johannes Jacobse Glen, to ye east the highway 
[Washington street], to the west the river [Binnk kil] and to the south the 
lot of Evert Van Eps, which he Glen doth convey to said Van Petten by 
virtue of a patent granted by Governor Stuyvesant to Sander Leendertse 
Glen grandfather of said Johannes Jacobse Glen June 16, 1664.*" 

Capt. Sander Glen died about 1695, without issue, leaving his estate to 
the children of his two brothers, Johannes and Jacob. 

Jacob Glen of Albany, son and heir of Jacob Sanderse Glen, deceased, of 
said city, on the 30th Aug. 1 707, conveyed to his uncle Johannes Sanderse 
Glen of Schenectady, his lauds at Scotia opposite Schenectady ; " lot in the 
town lying between lots of Arent Van Petten and Johannes Wemp ; — and 
lot to the South of said town between lots of Reyer Schermerhorn on the 
east and west sides as bequeathed to said Jacob by his father Jacob San- 
derse Glen by will dated 14th Aug., 1685, and by last will of his uncle 
Sander Glen deceased dated July 19 1690, and made over to him [Jacob 
Glen] by Harmanus Wendel and Anna his wife and by Helena Glen, co- 
heirs of said Jacob Glen, by conveyance of even date of these presents." 
Consideration £205 [$512 50 ].f 

By inheritance and pui'chase, Johannes Sanderse Glen thus became pos- 
sessor of the larger portion of his father's estate at Scotia, which after his 
death in 1731, passed to his two sons, Col. Jacob and Abraham Glen; — 
the former dwelt in the brick house built by his father in 1713, and still 

* Deeds, iv, 324 ; See also Van Petten. 
f Deeds, v, 59. 

118 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

standing;— the latter occupied the wooden house standing easterly there- 
from and now occupied by Mrs. Connor. It is understood that Jacob 
purchased his brother's right in the estate, which he left to his only 
daughter and heir Debora, who married Johannes Sanders of Albany. 

And finally on the 27th of April, 1765, John Glen, Esq., of Albany, and 
John Glen, Jr., of Schenectady (and Catharine his wife), eldest son and 
heir of Jacob Glen of Albany, deceased, who was eldest son and heir of 
Johannes Jacobse Glen of Schenectady, deceased, who was eldest son and 
heir of Jacob Sanderse Glen, deceased, who was eldest son and heir of 
Sander Leendertse Glen of Schenectady, deceased, who died intestate; — 
conveyed to John Sanders of Schenectady, for £4,000 [$10,000]— "All 
" that tract of land called Scotia between the lake and the river over against 
"the town of Schenectady — 100 acres — Also those two dwelling houses on 
" Scotia's upland [above mentioned] and land thereunto belonging, herein- 
" after more fully described; — Also the lake and an island in the lake and 
" the cripplebush and Swamp or lowland lying between the lake and the 
"river; — Also a certain piece of land running from Nova ScQtia westerly 
" upwards along the Mohawk river 100 rods, thence with a north line into 
" the woods 100 rods all Rynland measure, thence with a straight line to 
" the northernmost end or part of a certain lake, which is lying a little 
" behind the land of Nova Scotia, and from thence along said lake and the 
" lake's kil or creek as the same runs including the same to the Mohawk 
" river, from thence westwardly, upwards and along said river to the place 
" of beginning, containing about 60 acres more or less; — Also another 
" parcel on the west bounds of Nova Scotia of 40 acres; — Also a tract 
" called Achter-Wey and cripplebush lying between the lake and the river 
u and the lake's kil, which said last tract contains part of the first mentioned 
" tract."* 

The two small islands in the Mohawk just west of the Glen house, also 
belonged to the Glen estate, — the one called Spuyten Duyvd now almost 
removed by the floods and Kruisbessen [gooseberry] island, which was 
purchased in 1750 by Col. Jacob Glen of Isaac Swits.f 

Spuyten Duyvel together with a parcel of boslandt was purchased of the 
trustees of Schenectady by Johannes Sanderse Glen in ]705 for £16-10 
[$41. 25].} 

* Deeds, vni, 270. f Sanders Papers; Jno. Sanders' will. 

% A parcel of " boslandt gelegen achter U. E. lant op Schotia " for £36 ; also " aen parcell 
boslandt Rondt Scotia en Spieten Duyvel' s island " for £16-10. — Oroote Schull boek. 

Adult Freeholders. 119 

In 1*706 Johannes Sanderse Glen owned a brew house; the lot on which 
this stood was on the east side of Washington street, 150 feet north of 
Front street, on the bank of the river. 

In 1734 this lot was the property of Jan Baptist Van Eps, to which he 
added in the rear a parcel by exchange with Myndert Van Gyseling.* 

The following were the children of Sander Leendertse Glen, the first 

Jacob the eldest son, settled in Albany as a trader, where he married 
Catharina, daughter of Jan Tomase Witbeck ; after his death in 1685, f she 
married Jonas Volkertse Douw. His children were Johannes born 1675, 
Anna born 1677, wife of Harmanus Wendel, of Albany, Jacob born 1679, 
Helena born 1683, and Sander born 1685. J 

Capt. Sander Glen, the second son of Sander Leendertse, was born in 1647 
and died in 1695. His wife was Antje, daughter of Jan Barentse Wemp ; 
after his death she married Abraham Groot in 1696. He left no children. 
By his will made July f 9, 1690, half of his property was devised to the 
children of his brothers Jacob and Johannes. 

Through his wife he came into possession of a portion of the estate of 
his wife's father and stepfather, Sweer Teunise Van Velsen [Westbrook.]§ 
His residence was in Scotia, near the site of the ancient Glen House. 

Johannes the youngest son of Sander Leendertse Glen was born in 1648. 
He settled in Schenectady and married first Annatie, daughter of Jan Peek, 
and secondly Diwer, daughter of Evert Wendel of Albany and widow of 
Myndert Wemp, in 1691. The ancient house standing in Scotia, the resi- 
dence of Charles P. Sanders, was built by him in 1713 and occupied until 
his death in 1731.J 

* Deeds, in, 99. 

f In Albanie anno 1685, Oct. 2 is myn broeder Jacob Sanderse dieiaken in den Here ont- 
slapen s'naghs ontrenteen winnigh naer 2 Vren tussen widay en saterdagh. — Albany Annals, 
xi, 47. 

% See " Albany Families " and will of Sander Glen among Bratt Papers. 

§ See Wemp and Ven Velsen 

I [The Sanders (old Glen) house, is situated on a pretty bluff overlooking the river and 
its islands, and the town, less than a mile distant, nestling amid the trees under the hills. 
The view is charming, as it doubtless ever has been. The building as seen in the photo- 
graph of it is large and dignified in appearance. 

120 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Besides the property before mentioned inherited from his father and 
brother, he obtained through his wife a portion of the Wemp and Van 
Velsen estates. He had eight children all by his first wife.* 

Symon Symonse Groot. 

He came to New Netherland about the year 1645, a's boatswain of the 
ship Prince Maurits*, and purchased a house of Jacob Roy in New Ams- 
terdam. About ten years later he became a resident of Beverwyck where 
he purchased a house lot and remained until 1663, when he hired a bouwery 
of 25 or 30 morgens at Schenectady of Gerrit Bancker and Harmen Vedder.J 

He married Rebecca, daughter of Philip Du Trieux of New Amsterdam, 
and had six sons and four daughters ; of whom Symon, Abraham, Philip, 
Dirk and Claas were captured by the French and Indians and carried away 
to Canada in 1690. The year following they were redeemed. 

Symon Groot's home lot in the village, was on the northerly side of Union 
street 100 feet westerly from Church street ; fifty feet front and extending 
through to Front street more than 400 feet. It remained in the family 
several generations.§ 

A large Dutch cleft door opens into a hallway of very ample dimensions in the centre 
of the house ; the rooms on either side, though low ceiled, are large. 

The exterior is stuccoed. The roof is surmounted by a railed-in platform, giving a 
view down upon the very large farm (900 acres about), which pertains to the place. 

The house is English in style, though the wing or L in rear, has the characteristic 
sharp Dutch gable. (It probably ante-dates the main building.) — M'M] 

* See " Schenectady Families " Wemp and Van Velsen. 

f In 1654, he had a claim against the Dutch West India company lor services rendered 
of 684 guilders.— Deeds, n, 43 ; Albany Co. Bee, 207. 

1659, he owned a lot in Beverwyck next south of Uldrick Kleyn's. — Albany Co. Bee, 

1659, offered the same for sale — size 4 rods x 1)4. rods, house 20 ft. sq. — Ibid, 274. 

1660, had a lot south of Pieter Vrooman's on the Third Ml, Albany. — Ibid, 283. 

1662, proposing to remove to Esopus he empowered Jan Withart to sell his house and 
lot in Beverwyck. — Not. Papers, i, 79, 271. 

1667, 2 May, he had patent for a lot without the town of Albany, which passed into the 
possession of Jan Withart. — Albany Co. Bee, 145. 

IThis lease ran for 6 years at a rent of 500 guilders and included with the land, a 
dwelling house, barn, ricks, six draft horses including a mare, six milch cows, two sows, 
etc. Not. Papers, i. 

§ Deeds, m, 324. 

Adult Freeholders. 121 

He also owned a small island which came into his possession in 1667, de- 
scribed in the confirmatory patent, Aug. 9, 1694, as " a small island in the 
" Mohawk river within the town of Schenectady possessed for twenty-seven 
"years, to wit, a certain small island lying in the Mohawk river to the north 
" of the Hbek*, or point of Reyer Jacobsen's [Schermerhorn] and to the 
" southward of the island belonging to Joris Aertsen [Van der Baast] and 
" to the westward of the island lately belonging to Sweer Teunissen deceased 
" [Van Slyck's,] containing five morgens or ten acres."f 

This was subsequently owned by Jillis Fonda. 

Symon Symonse Groot, Jr. 

He was the eldest son of the first settler. After his return from captivity 
he married in 1692, Geertruy, daughter of Jan Rinckhout of Albany. 

His village lot was on the north side of State street and extended from 
Jan Baptist Van Eps' lane [Jay Street] westerly to the American Hotel, 
155 feet Amsterdam measure. 

He also had a parcel of wood or pasture ground on the north side of 
Union street, extending from the west line of the Presbyterian church 
lot to the east line of the Harmanus Peek lot — 23 rods, and extending in the 
rear 47 rods to Green street, containing one morgen and 481 rods, Rynland 
measure. In 1726 this was called Dirk Groot's pasture, — brother of Symon. 

In 1709 he leased of the town 36 acres of the Third flat on the north side 
of the river. 

Philip Groot. 

He settled on the north side of the river at or near Crane's Village, then 
called Claas Graven's hoek, or by the natives Adriucka. His land — a 
portion of the original Cuyler's patent extended down the river, to Lewis' 
creek. He married Sarah, daughter of Jacobus Peek of the Second flat ; 
and was drowned in the river in 1717.J 

Abraham Groot. 

Son of the first settler, married Antje Wemp, widow of Sander Glen in 
1696, and secondly Hesterje, daughter of Harmen Visscher of Albany, in 
1699, by whom he had several children. 

* Be Bakker's Hoek. f Patents, 1466. 

\ See Sim's Hist Scho. Co. 


122 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

On the 10th March, l70f, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to "him 
" and his brother Dirk, — to each one-half — fourteen morgens of woodland, 
" bounded west by the woodland of Barent Vrooman, south by the Niskayuna 
" Path [Union street], east by the hill called Niskayuna Bergh [College Hill], 
"to be measured north from the highway." 

This parcel extended along the north side of Union street 96 rods Ryn- 
land measure or 1152 feet, — from a point 152 feet easterly from Fonda 
street to a point 192 feet easterly from lot 187 Union street, — or about half 
way up College hill* and 87£ rods in the rear. This parcel was divided 
into two equal portions by an easterly and westerly line, Dirk taking the 
northerly half and Abraham the southerly half lying along the street. 
Subsequently Dirk sold his half to Philip Livingston of Albany, who 24 
March, 173-f, exchanged it for a parcel of 12 morgens on the Kallebergh, 
called the Varken's Kraal, owned by the town.f 

Hendrick Hagedorn. 

He settled at the Aal-plaats\ near Jonathan Stevens, whose daughter 
Anna he married in 1716. He was probably a son of Harmanus Hagedorn 
whose widow Maria Dirkse married Jonathan Dyer in 1695. 

15 Sept., 1733, Johannes and Hendrick, two Indians, conveyed to Hendrick 
Hagedorn an Aal-plaats lying near the " Aal-plaats kil, beginning at a 
"point 100 rods above the riff on the north side of the Mohawk river and 
" running thence 200 rods down the river, thence across the river to the south 
"bank, thence 200 rods up the river, thence across the river to the place 
" of beginning, all the water within these four bounds — for the purpose of 
" fishing and hunting." 

Signed by Johannes with the mark of the turtle, and by Hendrick with 
the mark of the deer.§ 

William Halt,. 

He was a citizen of Schenectady as early as 1695, when he married 
Tryntje Claese, widow of Elias Van Gyseling. 

He had three sons and one daughter. 

* [To a point now in premises of Judge J. S. Landon, S. Ct. S. K Y.— M'M.] 
f Dutch Church Papers. % {Eel-place — eel fishery in river — M'M]. 

§ This is the only mention of fishing rights -which the compiler has met with among 
documents relating to Schenectady. 

Adult Freeholders. 123 

Dirk Hesseling. 

In 1666, he was a resident of Albany where he owned a house ; subse- 
quently he removed to Schenectady where he bought a bouwery of Juriaen 
Teunise Tappen in 1671. The year following, — Feb. 1, 167£, he sold to 
Harmen Vedder " de Bouwery (daer de Voorz : Dirk Hessenlingh op woont 
"op Schanechtede), soo het landt,als thuys, Schuer, ende twee berghen, <#c, 
" so als het de Vborn de Hesselingh Van Juriaen Teunissen gecocht heeft 
".gehadt" &c, to be delivered May 1 to Vedder together with the seed in 
the ground, the grantee promising to pay 20 whole beavers to Juriaen 

In 1670 he bought Dirk Van Schelluyne's land at Lubberde's landt [Troy] 
sold under an execution ; this was still in his possession in 1675. f 

In 1667 he married Eytje Hendrickse, one of three sisters who were taken 
prisoners by the Indians at Yonkers in 1655 ; Albrechtje was in captivity 
twelve years and was only rescued in 166 7, being brought into New Haven ; 
Eytje, probably a widow, was living in Schenectady in 1697. J 

Paulus Janse alias Poweltn. 

But little is known of him beyond the fact that he received a patent in 
1669 for a small parcel of ground on the Binne kil which three years later 
he sold to Christiaau Christiaanse.§ 

In the massacre of 1690 his son Arnout was carried away to Canada by 
the French. 

Jan Janse Joncker alias Van Rotterdam. 

He was an early resident of Schenectady and before 1678 a landholder. 

His village lot was on the east side of Church street, adjoining the Dutch 
church lot now owned by Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Benjamin. Before 
1690 it had passed into the possession of Jan Mebie, and in a deed to him 

* This was the hindmost farm No. 8, of the bouwland, originally patented to Marten 
Cornelise Van Isselsteyn, now comprising the homestead of Mr. John D. Campbell. — 
Deeds, n, 796. Albany Co. Rec, 478. 

f Albany Co. Rec, 502, 118. 

% A Robert (Dirk?) Hesselingh was killed in the massacre of 1690. — Albany Annals, 
ix, 89. 

§ Deeds, n, 811 j see also Christiaanse. 

124 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

given in 1708 to supply the loss of the one burned in the destruction of the 
town in 1690, it is described as " lying on the street called the ' Cross street,' 
" having to the north the heirs of Hendrick Brouwer, deceased, on y e south 
" y e town [church] lot, on the east the lot of heirs of Jan Pootmau, deceased, 
" containing in breadth at y e [Church] street 108 feet and behind 107 feet, 
" in length on y e north and south sides 206 feet, wood measure."* 

In 1678 Jan Janse Yoncker alias Rotterdam and Pieter Cornelise Viele 
petitioned the Governor for permission to settle on the Second flat on the 
north side of the river and were answered that " they have liberty to Im- 
" prove their land provided they do not goe to live upon it but at Schanec- 
" tade or [among] the Inhabitants of Maalwyck." This flat then consisted 
of about 70 acres and was divided into equal portions, — Van Rotterdam 
taking the westerly half and Viele the easterly portion. Shortly before 
1690 the latter died, leaving a widow and two sons; and in 1699 she con- 
veyed her rights in this farm to her son Lewis Viele, who probably about 
1708 released the same to the trustees of Schenectady by whom it was 
leased for a term of years to Symon Groot, Jr. In 1718 they conveyed this 
parcel of land to Reyer Schermerhorn, and his descendants have held it 
until this day.f 

Letters of administration on Van Rotterdam's estate were issued 23 Feb., 
170| to his sons-in-law Benjamin Lenyn, Willern Boin and Manasseh 

Rotterdam had five (?) daughters who probabiy inherited his portion of 
this flat. In 1717 Caleb Beck was empowered to sell two-fifths of it 
for two of them. 

Johannes Kleyn. 

He came to Schenectady about 1678; his wife Maria, only daughter and 
heir of Ludovicus Cobes, secretary of the village, on the death of Kleyn, 
married Thomas Smith, and Feb. 4, 170£, petitioned the Court of Common 
Pleas of Albany county, to admit her late husband's will to probate, saying 
that he died the 2d Oct., 1686, at his house above Schenectady; — that he 
made a will leaving half of the Fourth flat to the use of his wife, said 

* Deeds, v, 80. 

f Gen. entries, 32, p. 12 ; Col. MSS., xxvni, 18 ; Deeds, iv, 215 ; Deeds, vi, 464 ; Toll 
Papers ; Map of Ph. Ver Planck, 1718. See Second Flat. 

Adult Freeholders. 125 

Mary, during her lifetime and after her decease to her children; that said 
will was written hy her father Ludovicus Cobes, and that said will was lost 
in the destruction of Schenectady.* 

Kleyn had five daughters, — Weyntje; Baata or Baafie who married 
Willeni Marinus; Clara; Anna, wife of Pieter Clement; and Catrina, wife 
of Thomas Davie. 

On the 22 Aug., 1678, Sander Glen petitioned the Governor and Council 
for a grant of the Fourth flat for Ludovicus Cobes and Johannes Kleyn, 
his son-in-law, and on the 11th Dec, 1684, the patentees of Schenectady 
conveyed the same, — the easterly half to Cobes and the westerly half lying 
on Arent Mebie's kil to his son-in-law. f 

Jan Labatie (Labadie). 

Jan Labatie, a native of France, came to New Netherlands prior to 1634; 
subsequently he was Commissaris to the Patroon of Rensselaerswyck and 
afterwards held a like office at Fort Orange under the Dutch West India 
Company. J He married Jillesje Claese Swits [or Schouw], sister of Cornelis 
Claese Swits of New Amsterdam, and widow of Surgeon Harmen Myndertse 
Van de Bogart, who died in 1647 or 1648.§ Besides divers lots in New 
Amsterdam and Beverwyck he purchased lands at Schenectady. [| 

* Dutch Church Papers, Schenectady. 

f Col. MSS., xxviii, 18 ; Deeds, v. 196; see also Cobes, Tarn Smit ; Dutch Church and 
Toll Papers. 

% O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N., i, 434. 

§ Surgeon Van der Bogart made his will in September, 1638, " as he intends to go on 
a long and perilous West India voyage." He gave all his property to Jillisje Claese 
[Schow], maiden, of Zierickzee, " to keep in her own possession for herself and her 
heirs," " provided she give to his relatives " six carolus guilders with which they must 
be satisfied." — Albany Records, i, 44. 

|| Aug. 19, 1654, he empowered Paulus Schrick to sell his house and lot standing in the 
fort at Manathans. — Albany Co. Rec, 188. 

11 Nov., 1654, lie conveyed the last mentioned house and lot to Adrian Janse Van 
Leyden.— Ibid, 212. 

April 23, 1655, the last mentioned sale was cancelled. — Ibid, 213. 

Lots bought and sold at Beverwyck. 

1661, Feb. 4, he owned a house and lot in Fort Orange, patented to him April 12 
1650, which he sold to Evert Pels.— Ibid. 291. 

126 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

His village lot in the last place was on the north side of State street, 
beginning 170 feet easterly from Church street and having a breadth in 
front upon the street of 50 ft. Subsequently it came into possession of 
Reyer Schermerhorn.* 

In 1669 Pieter Jacobse Borsboom conveyed to him, in exchange for a 
house and lot on Broadway, Albany, next south of the court house, his 
bouwery No. 7 on the second piece of land at Schenectady, comprising 11 
morgens and 263 rods, which land Labatie afterwards sold to Johannes 
Van Eps.f He likewise received conveyance from Bastiaen De Winter, 
Nov. 21, 1670, of a lot on the east side of Church street, "broad 100 feet 
" more or less, bounded east by Pieter Van Olinda, south by Teunis 
" Cornelise Swart, north by Joris Avissen Van der Baast and west by the 
" highway [Church street]," according to the patent of date 21 October, 


This lot, 100 feet wide on Church street and 200 feet deep, commenced 
100 feet south of the south corner of Union and Church streets. 

He also obtained a patent of date, Sept. 10, 1670, to confirm to him a 
certain lot of ground at Schenectady, being the first lot in the pasture or 
weylcmd, and another lot there adjoining, containing together in breadth 
by the woodside, 32 rods, and in length, 89 rods, having to the north the 
swamp or creiqiel-bosch, and to the south [east], Barent Janse, the former 
lotas purchase* of Sander Leendertse Glen, — the latter as purchased of 

1662, he bought of S. L. Glen a lot 18 ft. 4 in. wide frout and rear, and 22£ ft. deep on 
the east side of Broadway a little north of Hudson street.— Not. Pap, i, 204. 

1662 20 Aug., he conveyed to Surgeon Jacob D'Hinsse a house and lot on the Butten 
Ml patented to him 25 Oct., 1653.— Albany Co. Bee, 308. 

1664, Sept. 15, he had a house and lot opposite Thomas Powell's. — Ibid, 360. 

1668-9, Jan. 7, he bought of Ackes Cornelise Vau Slyck a house and lot in the Oolonie. — 

Ibid, 453. 

1668-9, Jan. 12, he sold the last mentioned lot to Barent Pieterse [Coeymans].— Ibid, 


1669, Sept. 17, he sold a lot next south of the court house to P. J. Borsboom.— Ibid, 459. 
Lands bought and sold at Schenectady. 

1669 Sept. 17, he bought of P. J. Borsboom his first lot at Schenectady.— Ibid, 460. 

1670 Nov. 21, he bought a lot in Schenectady of Bastiaen De Winter. — Ibid, 474. 
* Deeds, rv, 34, 298. t Deeds, n, 759. % Deeds, n, 788. 

Adult Freeholders. 127 

Pieter Jacobse Borsboora by said Labatie.* This lot commenced on the 
north side of Front street 114 feet Eng., east from North street, and 
extended easterly therefrom 395.6 feet Eng., comprising about five morgens 
or ten acres. Subsequently it became the property of Maritie Damens, 
mother of Jan Van Eps.f 

Benjamin Lenyn (Linne, La Noy). 

He was from Picardy, and settled first in the Woestyne,\ on the south 
side of the Mohawk river, but subsequently removed farther west into the 
Maquaas country, where he was living as late as 1736.§ 

On the 20th April, 1708, the patentees of Schenectady granted to him u a 
" certain parcel of land about three miles down the Schenectady river, and 
" on the south side thereof, — one part thereof joins on the north-east side of 
" the creek, that which parts this and y e woodland of Claas and Tjerk Fran- 
" sen [Vande Bogart], and lays between said river and the hill called Calle- 
"bergh\ containing ten morgens or twenty acres ; as also three morgens of 
"woodland, situate on the said hill, called y e Callebergh, together with five 
" morgens more situate about 50 yds. north from y e said three morgens, — 
" altogether 18 morgens or 36 acres."** This parcel is now included in the 
farm of Mr. George G. Maxon. 

Jan Lens ( Lensh ). 

He was in Schenectady as early as 1684, and a resident here as late as 

In 1684, the patentees of Schenectady conveyed to him a parcel of land 
in the Woestyne behind the flat of Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen ; after 
holding this farm 20 years, he reconveyed it to the patentees of the town, 
Feb. 1, 17 Of, and soon after probably left the township. The patentees 
sold this land Dec. 31, 1705, to Jan Danielse Van Antwerpen. ff 

* Patents, 758, see also, Glen and Borsboorn. 

t O'Callaghan Hist. N. N., i. 

% [ Woestyne = Wilderness. — M'M.] 

§ Dutch Church records ; John Dunbar's -will. 

|| [Calleburgh = a bare hill.— M'M.] 

** Dutch Church Papers. 

ft Deeds, rv, 293 ; Groote Sclmlt boek. 

128 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


He was probably a son of Jan Mangelse of Albany; his wife was Jannetie 
Du Scheen. They had two children baptized in the church at Schenectady 
in 1700 and 1702, but were not afterwards mentioned in the records.* 

David Marinus. 

He married Rachel Hanse and had several children baptized in the 

On the 4th Nov., 1676, the magistrates of Schenectady ; — Sander Glen, 
Sweer Teunise Van Velsen, Jan Van Eps, Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen 
and Teunis Cornelise Swart — conveyed to him a piece of woodland at the 
end of the valley by the " Stone flats," in Glenville.f 

In 1740 David Marinus (peihaps son of the above) bought of the town 
36 morgens of land at Poopendaal \Beukendaal\\ 

Marten Maurits. 

He was owner of one-half of "VanSlyck's island" lying immediately 
west of Schenectady. He died in the fall of 1662, and his brother Jacques 
Cornelise Van Slyck inherited his property. 

The island was at first called " Marten's island " and was owned by 
Marten Maurits and Jan Barentse Wemp in common. § 

Gerrit Marselis. 

He was a son of Marselis Janse of Albany and early settled here ; — in the 
massacre of ] 690 he was slain with his wife and one child. His village lot 
was on the north side of State street, having a front of 55 feet Amsterdam 
measure. This lot comprising numbers 139 to 143 now belongs to the 
estate of the late William McCamus. 

* Church Records. 

f Deeds, v, 75. In 1664 one David Maries [perhaps Marinus] was in Beverwyck. — 
Albany Co. Bee, 64. 

% Oroote Schult boek. 

§ Notarial Papers, i, 48, 74 ; see also Van Slyck and J B. Wemp ; patent of this 
island of date Nov. 12, 1662, in Union College Library. 

Adult Freeholders. 129 

On the 6th April, 1708, the trustees of Schenectady, — Johannes Sanderse 
Glen, Adam Vrooman, Jan Mebie and Arent Vedder conveyed the above 
mentioned lot to Gysbert Marselis brother of Gerrit; — in the deed they say, 
" whereas to our knowledge Gerrit Marselis late of Schenectady deceased, 
" when Schenectady was destroyed by the French, was in quiet possession 
" of a lot in said town on the north side of the street called Martelaers' 
" straat, of rack* having to the east the lot of Purmerent [Van der Volgen], 
'* on the west the lot of Douwe Aukes, to the north the pasture of Gysbert 
" Gerritse [Van Brakel], and as the writing is lost, or destroyed," etc., his 
brother Gysbert Marselis of Albany, asked for a conveyance which said 
trustees granted. And on the first day of April, 1709, Gysbert Marselis 
shoemaker of Albany, quit claimed this same lot to Myndert, son of Gerrit 
Marselis, deceased, late of Schenectady. f 

In 1716 it was owned by Daniel Danielse Van Autwerpen. 

Ahasuerus Marselis. 

He was a son of Marselis Janse, from Boimnel, in Guilderland, Holland, 
who early settled in Albany. Ahasuerus removed to Schenectady about 

By trade he was a shoemaker and had his shop on the south corner of 
Mill lane and State street. On the 20th April, 1708, Johannes Sanderse 
Glen, Adam Vrooman, Gysbert Marselis, Jan Mebie and Arent Vedder, 
trustees of Schenectady, for £5 [$12 50 ] conveyed to Ahasuerus Marselis two 
lots on the south side of said town under the hill ; — "one lying opposite the 
" house of Gysbert Van Brakel [Col. Robert Furman's corner], 28 feet square, 
"the other on the north east side of the mill dam adjoining thereto, near the 
" south side of the mill path [Mill Lane] — in length on the west and east 
"sides 64 ft., — in breadth on the north and south sides 34 ft."§ 

The first above described lot subsequently became the property of Pieter 
Fonda ; and the second lot in the rear, near Mill creek, was used jointly by 
Marselis Fonda and Robert Yates, all shoemakers, for their tan vats. 

On the 4th May, 1753, Ahasuerus Marselis, cordwainer, quit claimed his 
interest in the tanyard above described, to Abraham Yates, merchant, to 
wit, one sixth of the tan pits and land as described below — : 

* [ Martelaers 1 straat, of rack = Martyr's street (State street) or to the highway.— M'M.] 

t Deeds, v, 114. 

X Annals of Albany, vn, 57 ; in, 43-5 ; vi, 292. § Dutch Church Papers. 


130 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Whereas Johannes Sanderse Glen, Folkert Symonse [Veeder] and Symon 
" Swits trustees for sundry parcels of land belonging to the Nether Dutch 
" Reformed Church of Schenectady, together with Jacobus Van Dyck and 
" Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] elders, Arnout De Graaf, Harmen Van Slyck 
"Gysbert Van Brakel, deacons of said church did * * * 8th Dec. 1725 
" quit claim to said Ahasuerus Marselis and Robert Yates a certain piece 
" of ground with the tan pits * * lying to the eastward of said Church's 
" mill and to the south of the house and lot of John Myndertse [now 
"Abraham Doty's], and on the west of a road that is to be left to the west 
"of the fence of Capt. Johannes Bleecker 16 feet wide, for a passage [now 
"Ferry street extended] to the pasture ground of said Church mill, con- 
" taining in length along the said road 90 feet to a small run of water, thence 
" along said run of water to the said road 65 feet, all Amsterdam wood 
" measure " etc. In 1747, Robert Yates by his will, left his interest in this 
tan yard to his sons Joseph and Abraham and in 1768 Abraham Yates of 
the " Mohawk country " quit claimed the same to Joseph R. Yates for ten 

In 1723-7, Marselis had a house and lot on the south side of State street, 
60 feet front, next east of the present Dunlap store and lot now occu- 
pied by the canal. It was subsequently divided into two lots of 30 feet 
each and occupied by the Van Sices.f 

Daniel Masceaft (Matheeceaft). 

He and Jonathan Stevens leased Lysbet Brouwer's farm at the Hoek in 
1697 • — he soon disappeared and was not again mentioned in the records. 

Jan Pieteese Mebie. 

Jan Pieterse, of the woestyne, married Anna, daughter of Pieter Jacobse 
Borsboom. His home lot in the village was on the east side of Church 
street, to the north of the Dutch church, and had a breadth in front and 
rear of 108 feet, and depth of 206 feet. 

He was in possession of this lot before 1690, having purchased it, prob- 
ably, from the administrators of Jan Janse Jonckers.J His son Abraham 
inherited it after him. On the 6th April, 1708, the trustees of Schenectady, 
to wit, Johannes Sanderse Glen, Adam Vrooman, Gysbert Marselis and 

* Henry Yates Papers, 
f Toll Papers. 
X Deeds, v, 80. 

Adult Freeholders. 131 

Arent Vedder, gave a new conveyance to Jan Mebie, in the following 
words : — "Whereas Jan Mebie to our knowledge was in quiet possession of 
" a lot in Schenectady at the destruction of the town in February 16-|-§- 
" lying on ^ e street called Cross street [Church], having to the north the 
" heirs of Hendrick Brouwer deceased, on ye south y e town lott [Dutch 
" Church lot], on the east the lot of the heirs of Jan Pootman deceased 
"containing in breadth at ye street 108 feet and behind 107 feet, in length 
" on ye north and south sides 206 feet wood measure," ..." and since 
"the writings are lost or consumed in the destruction of said town, said 
" trustees confirm said lot to said Mebie." 

This lot is now divided into two lots and owned by Mrs. Washington 
and Mrs. Benjamin. 

His farm was on the Third flat on the south side of the river about eight 
miles above the village. The whole flat, consisting of 127 acres of lowland, 
was patented in 1680, to Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen by Governor Andros, 
and in 1706 Daniel Janse sold the westerly half, comprising 63 acres, 79 
rods, to Jan Pieterse,* who, by his will made in 1725, bequeathed it to his 
son Jacob. It was then described as lying between lands of Jacobus Peek 
on the east, and of Pieter Vrooman on the west.f The descendants of Jan 
Pieterse still occupy this farm.J 

* Deeds, v, 79; vi, 215 ; Will in Court of Appeal's office. 

f Subsequently he removed and settled to the eastward of Daniel Janse. 

± [The Mebee house is doubtless the oldest house in the Mohawk valley, if not in the 
State of New York. 

It was in existence in 1706, the year that Jau Mebee purchased a portion of the Third 
flat from Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen. Its walls are of heavy stones, drawn from the 
neighboring mountain side, laid up without mortar but with joints pointed on outside 
and plastered inside. The roof is in the pointed gable style so easy to build and so com- 
mon in the early settlements in New Netherlands. The principal door is at the east end. 
It is ancient as the heavy iron hinges and latch and its construction indicate. It is in 
two parts common to old Dutch doors which were said to let the light in while the pigs 
were kept out. 

The window frames are heavy timbers and the sashes are of the strong hand-made kind 
with very heavy sash bars holding quite small glass. 

The interior consists of a first and second floor and attic space in the peak of the 
roof, being floored on the " hammer beams." This attic having doubtless been in fre- 
quent use as a spy loft during the Indian wars which the old house has seen. 

The ceiling of the lower story is formed by the planed under side of the second floor — 
this and the heavy joints are discolored by age but are polished by careful rubbing for 
nearly two centuries. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1697, Rode, a Mohawk sachem, called by the christians, Dirk, with 
consent of all the other Indians, granted a parcel of land on both sides of 
Tionnondorogoes [Schoharie] creek, commonly known by the name of 
Kadaroda, to Jan Pieterse in consideration that his wife " is something 
related to the christian castle."* 

His wife likewise inherited from her father (Borsboom) a quarter part of 
bouwery No. 7 of the hindmost allotment on the Bouwland, and a portion 
of Borsboom's lots on the southerly and easterly corners of Front and 
Washington streets, f 

The house is situated on a bluff at the edge of the Mohawk and at the concave side of 
a bend commanding a view of the river for a considerable distance in Neither direction. 

Itjis the writer's belief that this house, at least its stone walls, date from 1670-80 when 
Daniel Janse Van Antwerp occupied and receive 1 a patent for the land in the^centre of 
which it stands. 

Other buildings have been added near to it (within a few yards) to suit present needs 
and there have been rumors that the old house is to give place to a more modern and 
convenient structure. In view of the fact that a brick or stone wing across the end 
would connect the detached brick building and afford increased space with all modern 
conveniences and yet preserve unaltered this old hofstede to the Mebee family, and a time 
honored land mark in the Mohawk valley— its destruction would be regretted. — M'M.] 

*,'Patents, 1579 ; Deeds, vi, 215. f See Borsboom. 

Adult Freeholders. 133 

Mebie also owned the easterly half of the Fifth or Wolf flat, lying opposite 
to his farm on the north side of the river, which by his will made April 3, 
1725, he devised to his eldest son Pieter. This flat, separated from the 
Fourth flat by Jan Mebie's or Fifth flat kil, consisted of 25 to 30 (acres ?) 
morgens of land. It was conveyed to Jan Mebie, 23 May, 1716, by the 
patentees of Schenectady for £300, and a reserved rent of 15 skipples of 
wheat, which was paid by all successive owners until 185-4, when it was 

On the 3d Feb., I7l£, Cornells Teunise, eldest son and heir of Teunis 
Swart, conveyed to Jan Mebie " a pasture bounded west [east] by land of 
" late belonging to Gerrit Bancker deceased, now unto Willem Abrahamse 
" [Tietsoort] of Dutchess county, east [west] by lands lately belonging to 
" Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] deceased now unto Harmanus Vedder, length 
"92 rods, — breadth by the river 15 rods and by the highway 17 rods by 
" virtue of a patent granted by Governor Lovelace to said Teunis Cornelise 
" [Swart] dated Sept. 10, 1670. "f Jan Mebie also received conveyance of 
another parcel of pasture ground on the north side of Front street, Feb. 
12, 17ly, " having to the west the lot of Johannes Teller, east the lot of Har- 
" manus Vedder, south the highway [Front street], north the Mohawk river, ,; 
by virtue of a conveyance from Jan Van Eps and Evert Bancker, 15th 
Aug., 1698. This conveyance was from Marten Cregier and Jannetie his 
wife, heirs of Maritie Damens. This lot commenced 114 feet Eng., east of 
North street and had a front on Front street of 395 feet. In 1714, the west 
half of this pasture was in occupation of Marten Van Beuthuysen brother- 
in-law of Jan Mebie, who sold the easterly half to Willem Claase Van Cop- 

Besides the bequests above mentioned to his sons Jacob and Pieter, he 
left to his youngest son Abraham, his house and lot on Church street, one 
of his pasture lots on Front street and his quarter of bouwery No. 7, — to his 
daughter the half of his land at Kacloritha for life, afterwards to his sons 
Pieter and Jacob ; — the three sons to pay to their seven sisters, £650. § 

* Col. MSS., xxviii ; Toll Papers ; Will, Court of Appeals ; Deeds, xvn, 312. 

t Toll Papers. 

X Deeds, v, 232. 

§ Will of Jan Pieterse Mebie. 

134 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Johannes Myndeetse. 

He was son of Myndert Frederickse,* of Beverwyck and came to Schenec- 
tady about 1700; by trade, a smith, he was armorer of the Fort and like 
most other inhabitants of the village an Indian trader. 

By the ordinances of the common council of Albany, the inhabitants of 
Schenectady were forbidden to trade with the natives under heavy penal- 
ties; and frequent searches and seizures were made of Indian goods by the 
sheriff. In 1723, Myndertse was arrested by the sheriff for having, contrary 
to the ordinances, received into and harbored in his house, Indians with 
beavers and other peltry. He was brought before the council at Albany 
and fined £10, and in default of payment the sheriff was ordered to keep 
him safe in the common jail. Shortly thereafter he escaped, and to punish 
the sheriff for his negligence or connivance, the common council resolved 
that he should pay the culprit's fine. 

Myndertse appealed to the Supreme Court of the Province sitting in 
New York, and gained his cause ; — the common council was mulcted in 
damages, fees and costs in the sum of £41-9-3. f 

It is believed this decision effectually established the right of citizens of 
Schenectady to the same privileges of trade as citizens of Albany. 

He owned two lots on State street — one on the north side where he 
had his smiths shop and a bolting house — now the site of Barney & Co.'s 
store, and another on the west corner of Mill lane and State street, on which 
his dwelling house stood. The latter was conveyed to him April 6, 1708, 
by the trustees of Schenectady and described " as a lot on the south side of 
"a street called the Martelaer 's Straat [State Street], on the east of a lot 
" belonging to said Myndertse, — in breadth upon the street 64 feet and 
" behind the same ; — in length [depth] on both sides east and west 35 
" feet : — also another lot on the south side of his house and lot 54 feet in 
"breadth and in length [depth] 17 feet all wood measure. "J The lot on 
which his house stood next west of the above described lot, had a front on 
State street of 54 feet ; both together had a frontage of 118 feet. Mr. 
Abraham Doty now owns a portion of those lots. 

Myndertse made his will May 4, 1754, — proved Sept. 7, 1757, — and left 
his real estate to his three sons, Myndert, Reinier and Jacobus.§ 

* See " Albany Families." t Albany Annals, viii, 286-9, 293-8 ; ix, 16. 

\ Dutch Church Papers. § Wills, Court of Appeal's office. 

Adult Freeholders, 135 

Thomas Nobel. 

He married Catarina, daughter of David Marinus in 1701, and had several 
children baptized in the church here, — the last in 1708. He removed about 
this time to New York, where he had a child baptized in 1720. 

In 1706, he occupied lot No. 36 Washington street and the lot next north 
of it and was probably an innkeeper as he refused to pay for a license " to 
sell strong liquors."* 

Dikk Ofmulder. 

But little is known of him, save that he married Alida Pieterse, widow 
of Ludovicus Cobes, and in 1698, lived on the easterly half of the Fourth 
flat, on the north side of the river, on a farm formerly owned by Cobes. 
They gave Thomas Smith, Cobes' son-in-law, a life lease of the same in 

Helmer Otten. 

He was from Isens [Essen, Rhenish Prussia (?) ] ; by trade a baker, and 
owned the north corner of North Pearl and State streets, Albany. The 
year before his death, which took place in 16 76, J he sold his Albany lot to 
Dominie Nicholaas Van Rensselaer.§ 

His wife was Ariaantje, daughter of Arent Bratt, by whom he had a 
daughter, Tryntje, who married Gerrit Symonse Veeder. 

After Otten's death his widow married Reyer Schermerhorn. 

His house lot in Schenectady was on the west corner of Church and 
Union streets, and comprised one quarter of the block bounded by Wash- 
ington, State, Church and Union streets, being about 200 feet square. 

This lot passed to Tryntje, his daughter, and her descendants, the 

His bouwery (No. 4), was that owned by the Schermerhorns at the mills, 
to whom it came through Reyer's wife. 

* Johannes Glen's will, Court of Appeal's office ; Albany Annals, v, 150. 
f Toll Papers ; see also Cobes and Kleyn . 

% Proceedings of Magistrates 1675-80, fol. 19, Albany city clerk's office. 
§ Deeds, i, 282 ; Albany Co. Records, 122. 

136 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Both village lot and bouwery, Otten purchased 13th Aug., 16 70, of 
Pieter Adriaense Soegemakelyk, alias Van Woggelum.* 

Jacobus Peeck. 

He was a son of Jan Peeck,f innkeeper, and Maria Du Truy [Truax], of 
New Amsterdam, where he was baptized Jan. 16, 1656. With his kins- 
man, Isaac De Trieux, he early took up land on the Second flat, on the 
south side of the Mohawk, about five miles above the village. He married 
Elizabeth Teunise and had two sons, Jacobus and Johannes, who succeeded 
him in the possession of his farm. His mother lived upon the lot on the 
west corner of Front and Church streets, now belonging to the heirs of the 
late Jeremiah Fuller ; she died befoi'e the year 1684. 

The patent conferring title to the Second flat upon Peeck and Du Trieux, 
was granted by Governor Andros on the 29th Oct., 1677. The survey 
made by Joris Arissen Vander Baast, describes this parcel of land as being 
240 rods long on the woodside, and 150 rods broad, comprising 22 rnorgens 
and 230 rods, to which is added another parcel on the woodside behind 
said flat 200 rods long and 30 rods broad, making altogether about 32 rnor- 
gens and 230 rods of land. 

Du Trieux died about 1705, when his widow sold her half interest in 
this flat, probably to the Peecks.J 

The Second flat is now owned by Mr. John McGue and Mr. Abraham 
A. Bratt. 

* Albany Co. Records, 465 ; see also Van Woggelum, Schermerhom and Veeder. 

t Jan Peeck was probably a resident of Fort Orange before the year 1655, when he 
sold two houses there to Johannes Dykeman for 1627 gl. — Albany Co. Records, 226. 

He and his wife were frequently complained of in New Amsterdam, for selling liquor 
to the Indians and without license, and finally, in 1664, she was fined 500 gl., and 
banished from Manhattan island ; it is presumed that she retired to Schenectady, where 
she was found living not long after. — Butch MSS., v, 455 ; vr, 4, 308 ; vin, 80 ; x, 23, 
24 ; x 2 , 452 ; x3, 1, 2 ; Council Minutes ; Deeds, m, 324. 

Mrs. Peeck at the time of her banishment, was said to be " one of the oldest inhabi- 
tants of the city of New Amsterdam." 

The town of Peekskill-on-the-Hudson, received its name from Jan Peeck, who ran his 
vessel into the creek and wintered there. 

\ Land papers, n, 59; Toll and Dutch Church Papers; Albany Co. Records in Deeds, 
rv; Col. MSS., 129th vol., p. 197 ; Col. Doc, iv, 802. 

Adult Freeholders. 137 


Philip Philipse (de Moer). 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Harmen Ganzevoort of Albany, about 
1685, and soon after took up his residence in the township of Schenectady. 
He owned or leased a portion of the Sixth flat on the north side of the 
Mohawk river, which in 1689 he exchanged with Claas Willemse Van Cop- 
pernol for the Willege/i Vlachte, lying on the south side of the river about 
one mile above Crane's village.* 

The descendants of Philipse still reside on or near the Willow flat. 

Jan Philipse. 

He was probably a brother of Philip and is first mentioned as a member 
of the church in 1701. 

On the 10th March, 170-f-, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to "Jan 
" Philipse, bachelor, a lot of ground in Schenectady, on the south side of the 
"street that leads by the church [State street], having to the east six feet 
" of ground adjoining to the lot of Cornells Slingerland, south the town 
" stockades, west y L vacant ground belonging to the town, — breadth on the 
" street three rods and four feet [40 feet],— behind the same, depth on east 
"and west sides two rods and four feet [28 feet], Rynland measure. "f This 
lot was on the south-west corner of State street and Water street alley, — 
in 1713, this lot then having a depth of fifty feet, was conveyed by Arent 
Bratt, brewer, who lived opposite, to Hendrick Vrooman, Jr., weaver, who, 
in 1721 mortgaged it to Philip Livingston, merchant of Albany. J 

Bartholomew Pikkert. 

He married Eva Claese and had four children baptized in the church 
here between 1700 and 1706. He lived at the Yerrebergh between Albany 
and Schenectady, having received a grant of land there in 1717.§ 

Jan Pootman (Putman). 

In 1661 being then a resident of Beverwyck, he was apprenticed by Jan 
Hendrickse Van Bael for three years to Philip Hendrickse Brouwer. He 

* Deeds, iv, 234, 236 ; Dutch Church Papers ; see also Van Coppernol. 
f Old deed. \ Deeds, vi, 30. 

§ Albany Annals, vn, 61. 

138 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

was then sixteen years of age.* On Brouwer' s removal to Schenectady in 
1662, Pootman became a resident here and shortly after married Cornelia, 
daughter of Arent Andriese Bratt. His house lot was on the north corner 
of Union and Ferry streets, having a front of 100 feet on the former street; 
later he purchased the 100 feet next west, of Jan Roeloffse, son of the well 
known Anneke Janse.f On the fatal night of Feb. 8, 16f£, both Pootman 
and his neighbor Roeloffse with their wives were slain. Three of his sons, — 
Arent, Victoor and Cornells arrived at maturity and had families. 

On the 6th April, 1709, Arent Pootman, the eldest son, conveyed to his 
brother Victoor, " a certain lot of ground being part of the lot now in my 
" possession and occupation, bounded on the east and south by the common 
"highway [Ferry and Union streets] and on the north and west by the 
"other part of the lot of said Arent Pootman; — in length on the east and 
"west sides 21V feet and in breadth on the north and south 69 feet 4 in., — 
" wood measure. "J 


He was a member of the church in 1700, but his name does not again 
appear in the records. 


His father Jan Rinckhout was a baker in Albany.§ Jurrian was a free- 
holder here at an early date. In his will made Feb. 2, 1703, he spoke of his 
wife Maria Idessen, to whom letters of administration were issued March 
30, 1704; — of his father, Jan, and several children. || He gave to his wife 
"the use of his real and personal estate here and in New York during her 
"lifetime, — his father to be maintained out of the estate; — son Teunis to 

* 14 Sept., 1661, " £k>o heeft Jan Hendr. Van Baei besteet ende Philip Hendr. Brouwer 
aen genome n Johannes Pootman, jong gesel out jegenwordich omtrent sestien jaeren," — to 
serve said Brouwer, " van drye achtereen wlgendejaaren." Jau Pootman signed his name 
to the indentures in a clear and beautiful hand. Brouwer engaged to pay him 80 gl. a 
year in lieu of outfit, for his services. — Not. Papers, i, 19. 

f Toll Papers ; see also Roeloffse. 

% Old deed. 

§ In 1669 he hired of Bent Bagge, a house and land in Schenectady for one year. — 
Not. Papers, II. 

|| Wilis, i, 104. 

Adult Freeholders. 139 

" have the farm at Schenectady at a fair price; Ida when he comes of age 
" to have the fann, near New York as made over by his father-in-law Teunis 
" Idesse." 

AfteT Jurrian's death his widow married John Mclntyre, June 17, 1704, 
and the family was not afterwards mentioned in the records. 
Where Rinckhout's farm lay is not now known. 

Benjamin Roberts. 

" Bent " Roberts was a householder in the village as early as 1669. His 
house lot was on the north side of Union street, 150 feet westerly from 
Church street, — 51 feet front and rear and 404 feet deep, extending through 
the block to Front street. Roberts purchased this lot of Arent Van Curler 
or of his estate and subsequently sold it to Reynier, son of Dominie Gideon 
Schaets of Albany.* 

His patent for this lot dated March 17, 1669, described it as " a certain 
" lot of ground at Schenectady now in his occupation, which was granted to 
' l him by A. Van Curler deceased, containing in length 400-feet — in breadth 
" 50 feet, abutting on the West [east] side with Symon Groot, ou the north 
" [west] with the bouwery [house lot] of Willem Teller and Pieter Jacobse 
" Borsboom."f 

His bouwery, called Maalwyck was just west of the village of Scotia and 
in the confirmatory patent granted to him July 1, 1669, was described as " a 
" piece of land near Schenectady on the north side of the river over against 
" the hindmost piece of land heretofore belonging to Arent [Bratt] the 
"Noornian, running in breadth on the east side along by the high woods 17 
" rods and on the west side along said woods 56 rods, in length on the 
"south side along the river 278 rods, — all cleared land, together with the 
"several corners or hoeks of land, containing about 36 acres or 18 morgens ; 
" as also a parcel of woodland beginning at the east end and running with 
" a deep half moon to the west of the aforesaid cleared land, being divided 
"by the highwoods, containing about 40 acres or 20 morgens ; — in all 38 
" morgens, as conveyed by the Indians to said Roberts with the approbation 
" of the commissioners at Albany. "J 

He made his will June 28, 1706, and gave his property to his wife Maria, 
and in case of her death or remarriage, to his" stepsons Pieter and Joseph 

* Roberts also owned a house and lot in Albany, which he sold in 1684. — Deqds, in, 
266 ; v, 106 ; Not. Papers, n. 
f Patents, 647. . \ Patents, 981. 

140 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1711, Pieter Clement sold his half of the farm to Cornells Viele to- 
gether with Benten island, for £445 ;* and on March 17, 1712, his brother 
Joseph sold the other half to Carel Hansen Toll for £400. 

Roberts was also the original owner of Poversens lying opposite to Maal- 
wyck on the south side of the river.f 

Jan Roeloffse. 

He was the eldest son of -the famous Anneke Janse, by her first husband 
Roeloffe Jansen. Until about the year 1670 he was a resident of Bever- 
wyck, where he acted as the surveyor of lots. This year he accidently 
killed Gerrit Verbeeck at Albany, for which he was pardoned by the 
Governor. \ His house lot here was on the north side of Union street 100 
Amsterdam feet west of Ferry street — the lot now owned and occupied by 
Messrs. Joseph Y. and Giles Van de Bogart. This lot he sold to Jan Poot- 
man, his neighbor on the east, reserving a life interest in the same for him- 
self and wife. The consideration to be paid by Pootman was 50 beavers 
at 8 guilders each, in merchantable grain at market price, within eight years 
from date — 12 Sept., 1687, whereof, it is stated, a cow had already been 
paid and delivered at nine beavers.§ 

On the fatal night of Feb. 8, 1690, both Pootman and Roeloffse with 
their wives were slain. The latter left no children. 

Reynier Schaets. 

Reynier Schaets " chyrurgion," eldest son of Dominie Gideon Schaets, 
was an early settler of Schenectady, where he was appointed justice of the 
peace by Leisler in 1689.| His house lot was on the north side of Union 
street, 100 Amsterdam feet west of Church street and extended through to 
Front, — 404 feet, having a front on both streets of 51 feet.** A portion of 
this lot fronting upon Union street was owned by the late Dr. Alexander 
G. Fonda, now by the county. Schaets and one of his sons were killed in 
1690, when the village was burned by the French and Indians. His widow 
Catrina Bensing, afterwards married Jonathan Broadhurst of Albany, April, 

* Deeds, v, 108, 141. f See Douwe Aukes, Toll, and Viele. 

% Albany Annals, rv, 14 ; Court of Assizes, u, 524. § Toll Papers. 
|| Doc. Hist., ii, 198 ; Col. MSB., xxxm, 12. ** Deeds, v, 106. 

Adult Freeholders. 141 

23, 1696. Two of Schaets' children, — a son named Gideon, who sold the 
above mentioned lot in 1700 to Albert Vedder, — and a daughter Agnietje 
who married Matthys Nak of Albany. 


Jacob Janse Schermerhorn, the first settler, is said to have been born in 
Waterland, Holland, in 1622.* He came to Beverwyck quite early, where 
he prospered as a brewer and trader. In 1648 he was arrested at Fort 
Orange, by order of Governor Stuyvesant on a charge of selling arms and 
ammunition to the Indians. His books and papers were seized and himself 
removed, a prisoner, to Fort Amsterdam, — where he was sentenced to 
banishment for five years, with the confiscation of all his property. By 
the interference of some leading citizens, the first part of the sentence was 
struck out, but his property was never recovered. These severe proceed- 
ings against Schermerhorn formed subsequently a ground of complaint 
against Stuyvesant, to the States General. f Nothing daunted by his 
misfortunes, he began anew, and before his death in 1689, acquired a large 
property for the times. He made his will May 20, 1688, and the year 
following died at Schenectady, where he had resided for some years. 

By his will he gave " to my eldest son Reyer before partition of my 
" estate my lot at the river side in Albany, where Kleyn De Goyer J lived, — 
'.' my wife to have during her widowhood the rents and profits of all my 
" real estate, viz., my farm at Shotac [Schodac], — pasture over against 
" Marten Gerritse's island, two houses and lots in Albany, the one over 
"against Isaac Verplanck, the other where my son Symon lives; — my house 
" and lot at Schenectady where I now dwell, — to my wife all my movable 
" property." His son Jacob lived on his farm at Schotak. After his and 
his wife's death, his property was to be divided equally among his nine 
children. § At the final settlement of his estate, it was inventoried at 
56,882 guilders. 

* O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N., rr, 63 note, 587; i, 436, 441 ; Deeds, n. In 1648 he was 
at South [Delaware] river. — O'Callaghan's Hist. jV. iV., n, 81. 
t Col. Doc, i, 312, 337, 345, 428; ir, 459 ; in, 179. 
X [De Goyer = the thrower — caster — pitcher.— M'M.] 
§ Wills, i, 26. 

142 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Reyer Scherm^rhorn. 

Reyer was the only son of Jacob Janse, who settled permanently at 
Schenectady. He was gebortigh alhier in Alba?iie, — his wife, Ariaantje 
Bratt, in Esopus.* She was the widow of Helmer Otten and was married 
in July, 1676, at which time, in anticipation of this marriage, she made a 
contract with the guardians of her daughter Catharina, by which she mort- 
gaged her farm, No. 4, at Schenectady, for the payment of 225 beaver skins 
to said daughter when she arrived at mature age, or married; also to give 
her one-half of her late husband's property in Holland. Tryntje f married 
Gei-rit Symonse Veeder, in 1690, and in 1697, Gerrit and his wife made the 
following settlement with Schermerhorn and his wife, in relation to the 
patrimonial property of Veeder's wife : 

Schermerhorn agreed to make over 

1st. Eight morgens of land at Schenectady, out of Symon Volckertse's 

2d. To convey to Gerrit Symonse, four morgens of land from the south 
end of bouwery No. 4, hindmost land. 

3d. To make satisfaction for money of Helmer Otten obtained from 

And Gerrit Symonse agreed to make satisfaction to Schermerhorn for 
the house the latter bought of Lewis Cobes for Catharina Otten before her 
marriage. J 

He was one of the five patentees mentioned in the patent of Schenectady 
1684, and for nearly 15 years (1700 to 1714), was the only survivor, for 
which reason he was complained of as exercising arbitrary power over town 
affairs and rendering no account of his proceedings. In 1690 he was 
member of the Provincial Assembly from Albany county and justice of the 
peace. In 1700 he was appointed assistant to the Judge of Common Pleas. 
The mills on the Schuylenberg Jcil, together with the bouwery No. 4, re- 
mained in the family nearly 200 years and have but lately passed into other 

* Will made by them 7th Sept., 1678.— Not. Papers, n. He was baptized in New 
Amsterdam, June 23, 1652. — Valentine's Manual. 
f [Tryntje = dutch for Catherine. — M'M.] 
t Deeds, rv, 106, 287, 298. 

Adult Freeholders. 143 

hands. Schermerhorn made his last will April 5, 1717, — proved April 8, 
1719, and died Feb. 19, 1719,* leaving two daughters and three sons, all of 
whom had families. 

Meal estate owned by Meyer Schermerhorn. 

First. In addition to bouwery No. 4, acquired through his wife, he owned 
the easterly half of the Seventh flat on the north side of the river. In 1705 
he conveyed this farm to his eldest son Jan, but in 1717 devised the same 
in his will to the children of his daughter Cataleyntje, wife of Johannes 
Wemp, which bequest her brother Jan confirmed after his father's death in 
1719, by a deed in which the whole flat is said to contain 40 morgens, and 
to be bounded east by the creek called Tequatsero [Droybergh, Verf or 
Color kil], west by another small kil, north by the hills and south by the 
river. In 1733 the Wemps conveyed their half of this flat to Johannes 
Van Eps who owned the other half.f 

Second. He owned the lot on the east corner of State and Church streets, 
purchased probably of Claas Laurense Van der Volgen, having a front of 
170 feet on State street and 160 feet on Church street. Of this lot by his 
will the corner lot, 50 feet by 160 (lately the property of Gen. Jay Cady), 
was devised to his daughter, Ariaantje, wife of Jan Wemp, and the next 
seventy feet, now belonging to the Schenectady bank and estate of the late 
S. C. Groot, to his son Jacob, who then lived upon it; this lot afterwards 
passed to Jacob's son Willem, who sold one-half of it to Cornelius Groot in 

Third. On the 23d February, I70f, Johannes J. Bleecker of Albany, 
guardian of Catharina Otten, sold to Reyer Schermerhorn a lot on the north 
side of State street, next west of the present lot and building of Isaac I. 

* Wills, i, 163. The following is a copy of the sexton's bill for his funeral expenses : 

Ano. 1719. Voor het aen sprecken van de overledene Reyer Gulden. 

Schermerhorn en Voor het begraaven. 54 

en voor het aen sprecken op Nystakayoene, 12 

en voor het doot Kleet, 6 

en bekenne vol daen toe zyn tato dese den 27 April. Gulden, 72 

Jan Vrooman. 

f Deeds, v, 69, 70, 494 ; vi, 145 ; Toll Papers. 
% Deeds, xm, 513 ; Deeds, rv, 298. 

144 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Truax, having a front of 73 feet. This included the lot of the late Nicholas 
Van Vranken, now occupied as a public house, and probably at the death 
of Schermerhorn or before, passed into the possession of Volkert Symonse 
Veeder, who married his daughter Jannetie, and who also owned the lot 
of 120 feet front, next east on the north corner of State and Ferry streets. 

Fourth. He also owned a lot on the west side of the lot of Douwe Aukes 
De Freeze, of 50 feet front on State street and 200 feet deep, which he be- 
queathed to his son Arent. This is the lot on which stands the house and 
store of the late G. Q. Carley. 

Fifth. He also owned a parcel of land on the south side of State street, 
extending from the lot of Edward Ellis to the Coehorne kill — 256 feet English, 
which in 1717, he devised to his son Jan. In Jan's will made 1752, this lot 
is said to comprise four morgens, it must therefore have extended in the 
rear from 1,000 to 1,500 feet. 

Sixth. In 1684, he owned the lot on the west corner of Union and Church 
streets, — about 190 feet square, which he acquired through his wife.* This 
lot subsequently became the property of Helmus Veeder, grandson of Mrs. 
Schermerhorn, to whom he devised the " lot of pasture ground lying on the 
" south of Schenectady next to the lot of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] and now 
" in occupation of said Gerrit Symonse." 

This pasture was between Mill creek and the Canal, east of Ferry street 
extended south: 

Reyer Schermerhorn in his will bequeathed to his children the following 
parcels of real estate : 

" To his son Jan, all his real estate, provided he shall convey to his de- 
" ceased sister Catalina's three children, Myndert, Reyer and Ariaantje 
" Wemp, one-half of the house, farm and land where my son John now 
" lives on the north side of the Maquaas river, [Seventh Flat] and the other 
" half to my daughter Jannetie wife of Volkert Symonse [Veeder] : — to his 
" eldest son Jan, that lot of ground lying in Schenectady adjoining to the lots 
" of Ground of Hendrick Vrooman and Barent Wemp, [east end and south 
" side of State street] : — to. son Jacob, eight morgens of the hindmost bou- 
"wery No. 2, bounded east by land of Arent Bratt and west by lands of 
" Samuel Bratt, with 5* morgens of woodland bounded by the lands of 
" heirs of Samuel Bratt and the woods : — also part of the lot of ground in 
"the town of Schenectady where he now lives which part shall be broad on 

* Deeds, hi, 324. 

Adult Freeholders. 145 

" on the front 70 feet, to be taken in the middle of the whole together with 
" a passage of four feet broad from the north end of said lot going Westerly 
" to the street [Church] by the house now in possession of Josias Swart : — 
" to son Arent the farm called the Second Flat, Avhere Symou Groot Jr., 
" formerly lived with the wood lands thereunto belonging; also one lot of 
" ground in the town lying on the west side of the lot of ground belonging 
" to Douwe Aukes De Ffreeze being broad in Front 50 feet and long 200 
"feet [the late G. Q. Carley'slot] : — to Ariaantje daughter of Jan Wemp a 
" lot of ground in Schenectady lying on the west side of the lot of ground 
"hereinbefore devised to my son Jacob, being broad in front 50 feet and 
"long 160 feet, [lot of the late Gen. Jay Cady] : — to daughter Jannetie 
" wife of Volkert Symonse [Veeder] half of my lands on the Raritan in East 
" Jersey, and the other half to my three grandchildren, Myndert, Reyer and 
" Ariaantje Wemp : — to Hannah Symonse [Veeder] my lands in the Jerseys 
"called Ganse gat:* — to Wilhelmus Symonse, son of Gerrit Symonse 
" [Veeder] the lot of pasture lying in the south part of the town of Schenec- 
" tady next to the lot of said Gerrit Symonse, now in his occupation.! 


When Jacob Janse made his will in 1688, he spoke of his son Syrnon 
residing in Albany ; in 1690, when Schenectady was destroyed he was a 
resident of the village, and though wounded in the leg rode to Albany on 
the night of February 8 to carry the news. His son Johannes and three 
negroes were killed. Subsequently he removed to New York where he died 
about 1696, leaving his widow Willempie, daughter of Arnout Viele and 
one son Arnout; from whom have descended the Schermerhorns of New 
York city. 

In 1693 Symon Schermerhorn was a skipper on the Hudson river. J 

Manasseh. Sixbery. 

He was a young Englishman from London ; coming to Schenectady he 
married in 1699 Pietertje, daughter of Jan Janse Joncker and settled upon 
the easterly portion of the First Jiat, called Hazlenut flat. Ten years later, 
in 1709, being a soldier at Fort Nicholson [Fort Edward] and sick, he made 
a will giving his property to his wife and four children, Johannes, Wilhel- 
mus, Cornells and Mary. 

His son Wilhelmus settled in Maquaasland about 1720.§ 

* [Query, Goose pond.— M'M.] f Wills, i, 163. 

% Col. MSS., xxxix, 71. § Toll Papers. 


146 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


He was the eldest son of Teunis Cornelise Slingerland of Albany. In 

1699 he married Eva Mebie of Schenectady, where he settled, and between 

1700 and 1723 had eight of his ten children baptized in the church here. It 
is supposed the family removed to Niskatha [New Scotland] where a Cor- 
nelis Slingerland was buried 3d Sept., 1753. His house lot in the village, 
1706-22, was on the south side of State street, forty feet east of Water 
street alley and extended easterly probably to Church street.* He also had 
a lot on the east side of Washington street, now owned by Mrs. Buchanan. 

Thomas Smith. 

Tam Smit was from New England ; — in 1696 he married Maria, only 
daughter and heir of Ludovicus Cobes, and widow of Johannes Kleyn; 
his wife inherited one-fourth of the Fourth Flat on the north side of the 
river from her father, and Smith held a life lease of the other half from the 
widow of Cobes.f 

Jan. 19, I70f, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to him " a certain 
" small swamp on the north side of the Fourth Flat about 8 miles above 
" the town about the bignes of two morgens, also one other morgen of land 
" on the hill behind the swamp," reserving a rent "one-half bushel of good 
" winter wheat yearly."]; 

Caspauus Springsteen. 

He was a miller ; married Jannetie, sister of Reyer Schermerhorn, 28th 
July, 1695, in New York, and had three children baptized here between 
1703 and 1707.§ 

Jonathan Stevens. 

Jonathan Stevens, a young man from New England, probably came to 
Schenectady about 1690, with Thomas Smith. 

In 1693, he married a Mohawk woman named Lea, widow of Claas 
Willemse Van Coppernol.fl 

* Deeds, vi, 30, 31 ; Deeds, iv ; Old Deed ; Albany Annals, ix, 89. 
f See Cobes and Kleyn ; Deeds, v, 355. % Dutch Church papers. 

§ Valentine's Manual for 1862 ; Albany Annals, v, 169. 
| Dutch Church records ; Deeds, iv. 

Adult Freeholders. 147 

In 1698, he hired Mrs. De Graaf's farm at the Hbek, and the Fourth Flat 
of Tarn Smith for five years.* 

His home lot in the village was on the north side of State Street, having 
a front of 75 ft. 6 in., Amst. measure (now reduced to 65 ft. Eng.), and 
extending in the rear beyond Liberty street, and behind the lots lying on 
either side of it, comprising more than an acre of ground. 

Numbers 107 and 10 ( J, owned by Mr. G. I. Swortfiguer, and 111 and 113 
belonging to the estate of the late William Cunningham, were parts of 
Stevens' lot. 

His farm was in Glenville, bounded east by the Aal plaats Ml, and south 
by the Mohawk river, and comprised several hundred acres of flat and 

His son Arent, had great influence with the Mohawks, and for more than 
20 years acted as interpreter and agent for Sir William Johnson in his 
negotiations with the different tribes. He owned lands, and for some time 
resided at Canajoharie.f 

Isaac Cornelish: Swits. 

Two sons of Cornells Claese SwitsJ of New Amsterdam, settled in 
Schenectady in 1663, to wit, Claas and Isaac.§ 

Claas Cornelise Swits was hired Jan. 13, 1663, by Willem Teller to work 
on his farm No. 5 as bouwknecht.\\ Adjoining to this bouwery on the north- 
east side, was bouwery No. 2, owned by Philip Hendrickse Brouwer. In 
September, 1663, Claas was plowing his master's land, when Brouwer came 
along with his gun loaded with shot to shoot ducks, and forbade his 
ploughing there, ordering him off as he had repeatedly done before. 

Thereupon they had some words and finally Brouwer threatened if he did 
not leave the land, he would shoot him; which he did, and Swits receiving 
the shot, died about three or four hours later. It was claimed by Brouwer 
that the injury was greater than he intended, and Swits himself before he 
died and later all his near relatives, absolved him from the legal conse- 

* Toll Papers. 

t Col. Doc, vi, 292, 512, 783, 787, 796, 975 ; vn, 70. 

X Dutch MSS., X3, 37 ; Patents G. G., 129 ; H. H., 23 ; Gen. Ent., xxiii, 73. 

§ See " Schenectady Families." — Albany Records, i, 72. 

| [BouwkneclU = farm laborer. — M'M.] 

148 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

quences of his rash act, as appears by a formal release over their hands and 
seals executed March 1, IQQ^, and afterwards confirmed by Governor 

It would seem that the cause of this sad accident was a disputed line be- 
tween the two farms. 

Isaac Cornelise Swits alias Kleyn Isaack, was born in New Amsterdam in 
1642, and came to Schenectady in 1663 with his brother Claas. The year 
following, in company with Claas Frederickse Van Petten, he hired of 
Willem Teller a " bouwerye gelegen op schauechtede bestaende in uoonhugs, 
" schner, bergh en bouwlandt in twee parcelles genomeneert van den lantmeter, 
" No. 5, &c."f 

He married Susanna, daughter of Symon Groot and had nine children, 
eight of whom were living in 1*701 when he made his will. J 

His home lot in the village was on the west side of Washington street 
opposite the west end of State street, extending to the Binrie kil and south- 
westerly towards Mill creek. 

In 1690 when the village was burned, he and his eldest son Cornells were 
carried captive to Canada, but returned the following summer.§ During 
his absence the Governor ordered his home lot in the village to be taken 
for the site of a new fort. [Probably one angle of stockade.] 

He repeatedly petitioned | the Governor and Council for remuneration in 
money (£30) or land, and finally on the 16 April, 1707, was allowed the 
privilege of receiving from the Indian proprietors a deed for 1,000 acres of 
land lying along the south side of the Mohawk river, extending from the 
Aal plaats to Rosendaal, for which a patent was granted Oct. 2, 1708, 
under the following description, " a tract of woodland on the south side 
" of Canastegione [Mohawk] river, bounded west by the bounds of the 
" woodland of the town of Schenectady, east by the bounds of Canastegione 
" aforesaid, containing 1000 acres from said river southward between the 
"" bounds aforesaid/'** 

Isaac Swits also had a parcel of woodland south-east of the vill age, 
bounded south-west by State street from the Coehorne creek to the easterly 

* Notarial Papers, i, 1, 410. 

t Not. Papers, i, 439. 

% Will, Court of Appeal's office; date of Will April 1, 1701 ; proved Oct. 4, 1707. 

§ Doc. Hist., ii, 153, 200. 

| Once Nov. 2, 1704, and again Oct. 21, 1706. 

** Coun. Min., x, 62 ; Land Papers, rv, 28, 120;; Patents, 1638. 

Adult Freeholders. 149 

side of Nott Terrace, northerly and easterly by the Coehorn kil nearly, 
and south-easterly by the south-easterly side of Nott Terrace nearly. 
Portions of this large parcel of land remained in the family until the present 
generation, when it was divided into house lots and sold. 

When Juffrouid's land came into market, after the death of the widow 
of Ai-ent Van Curler, Isaac Swits purchased a portion thereof, commencing 
on the Binne kil a little to the south-east of the late John Myer's farm 
house on the flats, and extending thence southerly. 

In 1702 he purchased of Evert Bancker of Albany, the foremost bouwery 
No. 6 on the Great Flat, for £183-12; a portion of this farm remained in 
the family nearly 100 years.* 

Cornelis Swits. 

He was the eldest son of Isaac Cornelise Swits. At the destruction of 
the village in 1690, he was carried away to Canada but returned the follow- 
ing summer. 

He married Hester Visscher of Albany and took up his residence there, 
about 1702. 

On the 7th July, 1702, he purchased of Evert Bancker for £42 [$105] 
current money of the province, " a certain lott of ground lyeing at Sheu- 
"nechtady aforesaid to ye North of Cattelyn Noorman's [Bratt] and to y e 
" south of ye hills, being behynde to the east of the way and before to the 
"west of Pieter Adriaensen's, in length fifteen rodd and four foote 
" [184 ft], and in breath (sic) fifteen rodd and three foote [183 ft.], 
"all which ye said Evert Banker doth convey unto ye said Cornells Swits, 
"by virtue of a patent granted by y e late Governor Richard Nicolls unto 
"ye aforesaid Gerrit Banker bearing date y e 7" 1 of Aprill, 1667. "f 

This lot was on the south corner of Washington and Union streets. It 
is not probable that Swits ever resided here ; long afterwards, it came into 
possession of John Duncan and John and Henry Glen. 

Teunis Cornelise Swart. 

Two brothers of the name of Swart were among the early settlers of 
Schenectady; — Frederic Cornelise, who was proposed by Secretary Ludovicus 

* See Bancker ; Patents, 382-3 ; Deeds, v, 107, 154 ; and Isaac Swits' Will in Court of 
Appeal's office, 
f Deeds, it, 296 ; see also Bancker. 

150 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Cobes in 1676 as one of the magistrates of the village, and Teunis Cornelise 
from whom all the families of this name in this vicinity are descended. 

After the death of the latter about 1680, his wife Elizabeth Lendt or Van 
der Linde* married Jacob Meese Vrooman of Albany; he died about 1690, 
and Oct. 14, 1691 she again married Wouter Uythoff of Albany. 

Teunis Swart occupied the lot on the east corner of State and Church 
sti'eets, 170 feet front on the former and 200 feet on the latter street, until 
his death ; and was succeeded in possession of it by his widow and son Cor- 
nells, who early removing to Ulster county conveyed it in 1692 to his 
brother-in-law Claes Laurense Van der Volgen, reserving for his brother 
Esaias Swart a lot of forty feet front on Church street from the north end. 

The deed is dated Jan. 4, 1692, conveying the lot of Teunis Cornelise 
Swart, granted to and in the name of Jacob Meese Vrooman [second 
husband of Elizabeth, widow of said Swart] by the magistrates of Schenec- 
tady, according to deed of date Feb. 7, 168§, by Wouter Uythoff [third 
husband of said Elizabeth] and said Elizabeth to Claas Laurense Van Pur- 
merent [alias Vander Volgen], — " being a corner lot over against the church 
" (te weten de kerk),\ two hundred feet long [on Church street] and one 
" hundred and seventy feet broad [on State] street having des heeren 
" Straeten\ [State and Church streets] on the south and west and to the east 
" Jan Labatie according to deed of date Feb. 7, 168f-; — exceptinga piece 
"conveyed to Esaias Swart by deed of July 30, 1681. "§ 

His farm on the bouwland granted to him by patent Jan. 15, 1667, con- 
firmatory of that given by Gov. Stuyvesant, June 16, 1664, describes it as 
" a certain parcel of land at Schenectady over the third creek or kil [Poenties 
" kW\ marked with number ten, to the east of number nine and number six, 
"to the west of number nine and number eight, to the south the hills and 
"to the north the river south-west and by west, — in breath 64 rods and 
"containing 48 acres or 24 morgens, 576 rods."| 

This being the middle allotment of the bouwland was a double farm, ex- 
tending from the river to the sand bluff or hill and was divided nearly into 

* Deeds, in, 88, 310 ; rv, 35, 

f The church which then stood at the juuction of Church and State streets was from 
the beginning used as a watchhouse and continued to be so used nearly one hundred 
years. ['te blok huys (te weten de kerc?ie) = ihe block house that is to say the church. — 

X [Heeren Straeten = public streets. — M'M.] 

§ Deeds, rv, 34, 35. 

i Patents, 309. 

Adult Freelwlders. 151 

two equal parts by the river road. It was sold by the Swart family about 
1692 (except the southernmost eight acres which Jesaias Swart held),* to 
Claas Lourense Van Purmerend alias Van der Volgen, Teunis Swart's son- 
in-law, who conveyed the northerly half lying between the road and the 
river, to Claas Janse Van Boekhoven.f The latter dividing this portion 
comprising eleven morgens, into equal parcels by a line running from the 
road to the river, in 1693, conveyed the westerly half to Catharine Glen, wife 
of Gerrit Lansing ; J and the easterly half to Dirk Arentse Bratt, his step- 
son.§ Bratt's portion passed to Wouter Vrooman in 1741 ;|| and in 1757, 
Adam, son of Wouter Vrooman conveyed the same to Isaac Vrooman.** 

Teunis Swart also had a pasture on the north side of Front street, consist- 
ing of two and a half morgens of land, which was confirmed to him by 
patent Sept. 10, 1670, — " now in the occupation of Teunis Cornelys jonge 
"pointee, lying in the pasture or Weyland, having on the south [East] Ger- 
" rit Banckers on the north [west] Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] — in length 
"92 rods, breadth by the river side 15 rods and by the high way [Front 
"street] 17 rods."ff This lot commencing at or about the New York 
Central railroad, extended along the street easterly 210 feet Eng., and was 
conveyed in 1715 to Jan Mebie by Cornells eldest son of Teunis Swart.J| 

Esaias, or Jesaias Swaet. 

Teunis Cornelise Swart had three sons who lived to maturity and had 
families, — Cornells the eldest, who removed to Ulster county,§§ — Adam who 

* Deeds, in, 310. 

f Deeds, rv, 34, 35. 

X Deeds, iv, 37. Catharina Glen before her marriage with Lansing, was the widow of 
Cornelis, son of Barent Janse Van Ditmars, former husband ofVau Boekhoven's present 
wife (Mrs. Bratt). This parcel of land probably came to Catharina Glen as part of her 
inheritance from her first husband. 

§ Deeds, iv, 38. 

|| Wills Court of Appeal's office. 

** Deeds, vn, 261 ; wills of Cornelis Vander Volgen, 1735 ; of Lourense Claase Vander 
Volgen 1739 ; and of Wouter Vrooman 1748, in Court of Appeal's office. 

ft Patents, 754. 

Xt Toll Papers. 

§S Cornelis Swart was 70 years old 22 May, 1722, and was born therefore about 1652. 
Wills, i, Deeds, iv, 35 ; Albany Annals, vi, 48, 

152 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

settled in Kinderhook,* and Esaias or Jesaias, who remained in Schenectady 
and became the progenitor of those who bear this name in this vicinity. 

Esaias, born in 1653, married Eva, daughter of Teunis Van Woert of 
Albany, and had three sons, Teunis who settled in Schoharie; Wouter who 
settled on the south side of the Mohawk river on the Thickstone place,f 
whose daughter he married, and Jesaias who settled on the north side of 
the Mohawk at the Sixth Jlat, of which he received a conveyance Aug. 5, 
IV 13, from the trustees of Schenectady for £6-19-6 yearly rent, together 
with 60 acres of woodland lying northward of the same.J 

His village lot, of 40 feet front and 163 feet deep, was on the east side of 
Church street, 163 feet north from State street, the same having been re- 
served out of his father's lot when it was sold to his brother-in-law Van der 

He had also had eight acres of bouwery No. 10, which his step-father 
Jacob Meese Vrooman and his mother Elizabeth, widow of Teunis Cornelise 
Swart, conveyed to him Feb. 20, 168|-, — "bounded south by the hills, west 
" by Symon Volckertse [Veeder], north by Claas Laurense Van der Volgen 
" and east by a low place formerly a swamp, adjoining the pasture of Claas 
" Laurense Purmerend [Van der Volgen], being a part of farm or bouwery 
" No. 10 granted to said Teunis Cornelise [Swart] by patent Jan. 15, 
" 1667."|| 

Willem Teller. 

Willem Teller was for nearly 50 years a trader in Albany. In a deposi- 
tion made by him in 1698, being then about 78 years of age, he said that he 
arrived in this province in the year 1639, — was sent to Fort Orange by 
Gov. Kieft, served there as corporal and was then advanced to be Wacht- 
meester of the Fort; that he had continued his residence at Albany from 
1639 to 1692, with some small intermissions upon voyages to New York, 
Delaware and one short voyage to Holland. 

* Adam Swart Van Schenegtade married Metie Willemse Van Slyck Van Nieuw 
AHanie, Jan. 15, 1690 ; — in 1706 he resided in Kinderhook. — Albany Dutch Church 

f Above. Hoffman's Ferry. 

X Church and Toll Papers. 

§ Deeds, rv, 35. 

| Deeds, m, 310. 

Adult Freeholders. 153 

From Albany he removed in 1692 to New York, with his sons save 
Johannes, who settled in Schenectady. He was one of the first proprietors 
of Schenectady [though never a resident here] and one of the five patentees 
named in the first patent of the town in 1684. 

He died in 1701 in his 81st year.* 

His house lot was the west quarter of the block bounded by Washington, 
Front, Church and Union streets, and in his patent dated June 2, 1667, was 
described as " a certain house lot in Schenectady on the north-east side of 
" Gerrit Bancker's, on the south-west of Pieter [Jacobse Borsboom] de 
" Steenbakker, being in length and breadth on both sides 200 feet."f 

In 1700, he conveyed this lot to his son Johannes, who by will gave the 
same to his sons Willem and Jacobus, the latter taking the westerly half 
and Willem the remainder, which he left to his son Jacobus in 1752. At 
this time Gerrit A. Lansing owned the northerly half and Cornells Cuyler 
the southerly half of Willem's portion. | 

In 1801, the original lot was owned by Abraham Oothout, John Porteous 
and Jacobus Teller. About this time the corner lot came into possession of 
James Murdock who had a storehouse upon it ; after his death in 1812, it 
was sold by his administrators to Dr. Archibald Craig.§ 

Willem Teller's bouweries on the Great flat are described in the confirma- 
tory patent dated June 29, 1667, as "two pieces of land at Schenectady 
' both marked No. 5, the first lying to the west of the first creek [ Willem 
' Teller's Killet)e\\ to the east of No. 6, a line cutting between south west 
1 somewhat southerly and so going forward on the other side of the creek 
' into the woods, in bigness with the hoek about 26 acres or 13 morgens 95 
' rods." ..." The other lying on the hindmost piece of land by the wood- 
' side, to the west of No. 7 to the east of No. 1, a line cutting again from 
'the small creek [dove gat\ to the woodland South west and by west, — its 
' breadth 72 rods and contains about 20 acres or 10 morgens 165 rods ; — 
' in all 46 acres or 23 morgens and 260 rods, as granted by Governor Stuy- 
' vesant June 16, 1664, to Willem Teller."** 

* N. Y. Wills, ii, 150-162; Albany Annals, vn, 87; Deeds, rv, 466. 

t Patents, 491. 

X Deeds, iv, 209 ; vi, 359. 

§ Schenectady Deeds, i, 467 ; Albany Deeds, xvn, 464. 

| Now sometimes called the Poenties kil. 

** Patents, 491. 


154 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

June 20, 1700, Willeni Teller conveyed the above mentioned two bou- 
weries to his son Johannes, " in consideration that he was much reduced in 
"property in 1690, at the burning of Schenectady by the French."* 

These two parcels of land remained long in the Teller family, but have 
now passed out of the name either by sale or marriage. 

Willeni Teller also had a pasture on the north side of Front street, com- 
prising two and a half morgens lying between the pastures of Adam 
Vrooman and Pieter Jacobse Borsboom, which in 1*700 he also conveyed to 
his son Johannes. This lot commenced 194 feet Eng., west of North street 
and extended easterly along Front street to a point 114 feet, Eng., east of 
North street, f 

Johannes Teller, by his will made May 15, 1V25, devised to his son Johan- 
nes " a parcel of land at Schenectady No. 5, being the hindmost part by the 
" woodside to the west of No. 7 to the east of No. 1 containing about 20 acres 
" or 10 morgens and 260 rods with all the pasture ground and upland thereun- 
to belonging, also my third part in the saw miil : " — to sons Willem and 
Jacobus "a certain lot of land in Schenectady being the foremost lot No. 
" 5 over the first creek, to the east of No. 6; it is in bigness with the hoek 
" about 26 acres and 95 rods, together with my housing and lot of ground 
" in the town of Schenectady now in my possession being in length and 
" breadth 200 feet." J 

Johannes Teller, son of Willem, was born in 1659, and married Susanna, 
daughter of Capt. Johannes Wendel, of Albany, August 18, 1686. By the 
destruction of the village in 1690, he was not only greatly impoverished, 
but was carried away to Canada by the French. He had six children, — 
three sons and three daughters — living at the date of his will. He died 
May 28, 1725. 

Domini .'•: Petrus Thesschenmaecker. 

He was the first settled minister in Schenectady. Having officiated in 
1676, in Kingston, to the acceptance of the people, they petitioned for his 
continuance ; — in 1679, he was ordained in New York, by a council com- 
prising the ministers then settled in the Province, as of the church at 
Newcastle on the Delaware, where he continued until about 1684, when he 

* Deeds, rv, 209 ;• vn, 359 ; xix, 56 ; — Willem Teller's will. 

f Deeds, rv, 209. 

% Johannes Teller's will. 

Adult Freeholders. 155 

came to Schenectady. In the destruction of the village in 1690, the par- 
sonage the site of which is unknown, was burned, and the Dominie was 

Jeremi Thickstong. 

He was brother-in-law of Carel Hansen Toll and with him settled in the 
westerly bounds of Schenectady near Hoffman's ferry. His farm was first 
patented to Johannes Luykase [ Wyngaard] and lay on the south side of the 
river; afterwards it came into possession of Wouter Swart, who married 
Thickstone's daughter. 

Luykase's patent dated April 4, 1687, comprised "all that certain small 
" tract of land above Schenectady on the south side of the river beginning 
" at a marked tree above the steep rack strand\ and stretching along the 
" river to another tree and so back into the woods as far as the trees are 
"marked, containing eleven acres."f On the 24 Feb., 170f, Jan and Catie 
Luykase sold the above parcel of land to Carel Hansen Toll, and on the 9th 
March, 17 If, Toll sold the same and a small island in the river to his 
brother-in-law Thickstone for £100. § 


He was in Schenectady as early as 1681, but soon after removed to 
Dutchess county.** 

His lot in the village was on the north side of State street, late the prop- 
erty of John Vrooman, deceased, now belonging to the estate of the late 
Pieter Rowe. Tietsoort was in quiet possession of this lot in 1690, when 
the village was burned and afterwards sold it to Willem Appel, innkeeper 
of New York; — his writings having been burned, Tietsoort, on the 14 April, 
1704, requested Reyer Schermerhorn, the sole surviving trustee, to give a 
new deed to Appel, which he did. This lot was then 55 feet wide front and 

* Doc. Hist., in, 8vo., 865; Gen. Ent., 65; Col. Doc. iv, 468 note; in, 458; County 
Records, i, 28. 
t Toll Papers. 

\ [Touching shore or rocky riff. Stoney landing place — for canoes.— M'M.l 
§ Deeds, v, 72, 300. 

| [Claes Willemse in " Schenectady Families."— M'M.] 
** Proceeding Justices' Court, Albany, i, 13. 

156 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

rear, 348 feet long on the east side and 292 feet deep on the west side, 
Amsterdam measure. Nearly the whole front of this lot was taken by the 

He also in 1715, purchased a pasture of Evert Bancker on the north side 
of Front street, consisting of about 2| morgens of land. This pasture lies 
opposite John street.f 

Willem Tietsoort of Dutchess county made his will Dec. 11, 1716, — proved 
May 26, 1726, in which he spoke of his wife Neeltie, daughter of Teunis 
Swart and of ten children, four sons and six daughters.! 

Carel Hansen Toll. 

Carel Hansen first settled on land at or near Hoffman's Ferry, which he 
bought of Hendrick Cuyler and Geraldus Cambefort on the north side of 
the river and of Johannes Luykase [Wyngaart] on the south side, which 
latter parcel he conveyed to his brother-in-law Jeremi Thickston who 
married his sister Rachel. His lands on the north side extended from 
Taquaatsera, or Droybergh kil, the boundary between the Sixth and Seventh 
flats, westwardly to the lands of the heirs of Philip Groot, *. e., to about 
Swart's Ferry. In 1712 he purchased a parcel of land at Maalwyck from 
Joseph Clement, to which he removed and where he died in March, 173-f-. 

About the time of his removal to Maalwyck he owned the present court 
house lot on Union street, 100 feet front and 210 feet deep, which he sold 
in 1712 to Isaac Van Valkenburgh for £53 ($132.50).§ Oct. 4, 1714, 
he conveyed to Caleb Beck the lot on the southerly corner of Union and 
Church streets, bounded easterly by Van Valkenburgh's lot and southerly 
by Jesaias Swart's lot.|| 

Carel Hansen married Lysbet, daughter of Daniel Rinckhout of Albany, 
and had eight children, — three sons and five daughters. 

He was member of the Provincial Assembly for Albany county 1714- 

* Schermerhorn Papers, 
f See Banker. 
X Schermerhorn Papers. 
§ Deeds, v, 153. 
I Deeds, v, 343. 

** The Indians gave him the nome of Kingego which signifies a fish, because of his 
swimming for his life to escape imprisonment. — Dr. ToWs Narrative. 

Adult Freeholders. 157 

The following is a description of the lands owned by Carel Hansen. 

First. Cuyler's flat. This parcel of land was granted to Hendrick 
Cuyler of Albany, in confirmation of a purchase made of the Mohawks Dec. 
13, 1686, by license of Governor Dongan, Sept. 2, 1686, and is described as 
a " piece of land situate mostly on the north side of the Mohawk river, 
" called Adriutha, above Schenectady, opposite Pieter Van de Linde's and 
'* a little above the farm of Claes Willemse Van Coppernol, beginning on 
" the north side of the river from a white oak tree that is marked with a 
" wolf, standing on the other [west] side of a small kil or creek [Lewis' 
" creek] on this [east] side of a certain piece of land called Claes GraeverCs 
11 hoek, with a small island that lies almost over against it, and running up 
"in length above the rift of the river which lies a little above said Claes 
" and that as far as a great water beuken* or beach which is also marked 
" with the wolf standing just on this side of a small kil or creek [Eva's 
" kil (?)] and from thence over the river on the south side from a great black 
" oak tree which is also marked with the wolf, together with all the small 
" islands or banks that lie within said limits, and so down the river to a 
" young black oak tree growing on the site of an old tree which is marked 
" with the wolf, bear and turtle, the arms of three races of the Maquaas, being 
"on the water side and nigh the limits of Claes Willemse aforesaid, which 
" said land contains three small flats or plains on the north side of the river, 
" whereof the piece called Claes Graeven's Hoek is one, and one small flat 
" or plain on the south side of the river; the low land being about 40 acres 
" and the woodland and upland thereunto adjoining fifty aci*es."f 

After Cuyler's death, Anna his widow and Johannes his eldest son aud 
heir, sold this land on May 1, 1699 to Carel Hansen for £180 ($450). 

It was then described as a " piece of land mostly on the north side of the 
"river called Adriucha, opposite Pieter Van Olinda's and a little above the 
" farm of heirs of Claes Willemse Van Coppernol now in tenure and occupa- 
tion of Philip Philipse de more" etc., as in the above mentioned patent. J 
Carel Hansen held this land until the 1st March. 17l£ when he sold that 
portion lying on the south side of the river to Harme and Sander Philipse 
for £100 (&250).§ 

That part of Cuyler's patent lying on the north side of the river and west 
of Lewis' creek came into possession of the Groots, perhaps by purchase of 
Toll and is still partly owned by that family. 

* [Beuke = a beach tree. — M'M.] 
f Council Min., v, 171 ; Patents, 1370. 
X Deeds, v, 70 ; Toll Papers. 
§ Deeds, v, 357, 358; vi, 9. 

158 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Second. Cambeforts' flat. This parcel of land was purchased of the 
Indians by Cambefort probably before Cuyler obtained his patent ; it ex- 
tends from Kanquarreyonne [Towereune] up the river to Lewis' creek, the 
easterly bounds of Cuyler's patent. March 8, 1694, Cambefort contracted to 
sell this land to Carel Hanse. The patent to Cambefort was not granted 
until 22 April, 1703 ; the farm is therein described as "20 acres of land 
" near Schenectady on the north side of the river, beginning from a place 
" called by the Indians Kaquarayoone, and the westerly bounds of the 
" patent granted to Schenectady, — running thence up westward along the 
" river to the limits [Lewis' creek] of land of Carel Hanse formerly belong- 
ing to Henry Cuyler deceased." On the 18th May, 1717, Cambefort gave 
a formal conveyance of said land to Toll.* 

Third. The Seventh flat. The westerly half of the Seventh flat, and 
adjacent uplands, were conveyed to Carel Hanse, Oct. 13, 1684, by the 
trustees of Schenectady, whilst the easterly half was taken up by Reyer 
Schermerhorn, who, on the 8th of June, 1705, conveyed his moiety to his 
son Jan. Toll, by deed dated 18th Sept., 1720, conveyed his half to his 
son-in-law, Johannes Van Eps, for the sum of £150 ($375), describing it as 
" a piece of land on the north side of the Mohawk, bounded west by the 
" widow of Philip Groot [Lewis' creek] called Towarjoenny, south by said 
"river east by land of heirs of Reyer Schermerhorn and north by the com- 
"mons," — in all about 50 acres, f 

Carel Hanse, therefore, at one time owned all the land along the north 
bank of the Mohawk from Verf kil on the east, to Eva's kil at Crane's 
village on the west. 

Fourth. Maalwyck. On the 17th March, 171 £, Joseph Clement, step- 
son of Benjamin Roberts, sold to Carel Hanse, the easterly half of his farm 
at Maalwyck, together with the uppermost half of Bent's island. In 1735, 
the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to Toll an additional parcel of land of 
170 acres.J This farm is still owned by descendants of Carel Hanse.§ 

Du Tseux or Truax. 

Philippe Du Treux, a Walloon, came to New Amsterdam during the 
administration of Governor Minuit, 1624-29; — was appointed court messenger 

* Patents, 1577 ; Deeds, v, 71 ; Toll Papers. 
f Deeds, v/69, 70, 494 ; vi, 145 ; Toll Papers 
J Ghroote ichult boek ; Church Papers. 
§ Deeds, v, 142 ; see Roberts. 

Adult Freeholders. 159 

or rnarshall, 1638, aud in 1640 received a patent for a lot in "Smit's valey" 
[Pearl street], New Amsterdam. He was born in 1585, married Susanna 
De Scheene and had seven children, three sons and four daughters, of whom 
Rebecca married Simon Simonse Groot, afterwards of Schenectady, and 
Susanna was the wife of Evert Janse Wendel of Beverwyck. 

About the year 1670, his son Isaac, then about twenty-eight years of age, 
came to Schenectady and settled upon the Second flat on the south side of 
the river. This flat consisting of 221 morgens with lOmorgens of woodland 
adjoining, was granted to him and his cousin Jacobus Peek in 1677 by 
patent of Gov. Andros. 

He married Maria daughter of Willem Brouwer and had four sons and 
three daughters. His death probably occurred about 1705; the following 
year his widow sold eight morgens of her land to Jacobus Peek.* 

Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen. 

He was born in 1635 ; in 1656 he was a deputy schout fiscal at Fort 
Orange; in September, 1661 he agreed with Adrian Appel (who was an inn- 
keeper in New Amsterdam and trader in Albany, and doubtless traded sub 
rosa among the Indians on the Mohawk river), to serve him " in all matters 
and affairs that are just and right " for one year for 35 beavers [280 guilders] 
and all expenses ; in 1662 he was at Altoona (on the Delaware river) as 
deputy schotit fiscal. 

He went to Schenectady very early in its settlement, probably about 1665. 
He had much to do with the Indians, probably as a trader and settled 
eight miles beyond the village with impunity, though it is believed he 
took the precaution to build a stone walled house on the bank of the Mohawk 
in the centre of his bouwery, where he and friends were protected against 
hostile Indians and yet were well out into the narrow channel of trade, along 
the Mohawk valley. The house being close to the bank the river furnished 
a route for communicating with the village of Schenectady. 

This house now exists essentially as it was, or possibly as rebuilt by Jan 
Pieterse Mabee,f in early part of the last century, with little change since. 

* See Peek; Col. MSS., xxvi, 139; Albany Rec., i, 160, 234; Albany Annals, vin, 
299; Dutch MSS., i, 48 ; Patents G. G., 34; Valentine's Man., 1861 and 1863; O'Calla- 
ghan's Hist, N. N., i, 181, 344 ; n, 581, 640, 642; Toll Papers. 

f See Ants, page 132, Mabee. 

160 Hi8tm"y of the Schenectady Patent. 

The English surveys (Sauthier's map) mark the house as late as the French 
and Indian war as Jan Danielse [Van Antwerpen's], and itineraries of the 
Mohawk Navigation Company show the adjacent shallow in the river as 
" Van Antwerp's Reef " where boatmen expected a struggle with the current. 
His village lot was on the east corner of Union and Church streets which 
was occupied by him prior to 1671, when a confirmatory grant was made to 
him by Governor Francis Lovelace. Daniel Janse Van Antwerp owned 
this lot until 1715 when, at eighty years of age he released it to the consistory 
of the Nether Dutch church " good causes and consideration him thereunto 
moving " for the sole and perpetual use of the church. 

In his deed it is described as " That Certain Lot of Ground Situate, 
" Lying and being in the Town of Schenectady and house thereon Erected 
" Containing In Lenth on the East Side Where It butts to the Lott of 
" Ground now belonging to Julius [Jillis] Van Vorst two hundred foot and 
" on the South Side by the Highway one hundred foot and on the west Side 
" Likewise by the High[way] and on the North Side abutting the Lott now 
" In Possession of John Peterson Mabee, that formerly belonged to Jan 
" Jans Yoncker where it is in breadth and lenth as before And so men- 
" tioned In the Confirmation above mentioned It being a Corner Lott," etc. 

Prior to 1670 he settled on the "Third flat" on the south side of the 
Mohawk river about eight milen above the village of Schenectady. 

On the 22 Oct., 1677 (having probably secured a deed from the Indians 
for it at that time),* he solicited letters of administration from the board 
of magistrates to the Governor and Council for " the third plain situated on 
this [south] side of the Mohawk river." The magistrates granted his request 
" acknowledging that he had done many services in their favor." A week 
later, to wit, on the 29 Oct., this letter was laid before the Governor in 
New York and he was granted the preference, " when it shall be deemed 

* [It is to be observed that in taking up lands, the Indian title was first purchased. This 
required time, besides duffels, strouds and brandy. The next step was to procure the 
approval of the magistrates and [their "letters of administration" to the Governor and 
Council soliciting them to confirm the Indian deed and issue a patent. Indian deeds 
were often given, but being valueless without the Governor's patent were not heard of 
again, the land in question being otherwise disposed of. Probably the Indians sold the 
same body of land repeatedly — they certainly demanded repeated pay for land in some 
instances. The policy of the magistrates of Albany was against extension of the white 
settlements into the Indian country as dangerous to their trade. — M'M.] 

Adult Freeholders. 161 

proper to take possession of these lands."* In furtherance of this grant of 
the Governor and Council the following survey of this flat was made 
soon after by surveyor Van der Baast. 

" De derde Vlachte aen dese zyde Van de Maquaase rimer versoecht by 
" Daniel Jansen is lanch by de boskant in het geheele van de ptmt tot de an- 
" dere 356 Rooden ende buy ten de punten 193 rooden ende op zyn breetste 
" dwars ouer van de boskant tot de rivier 83 rooden maeckende te samen 31 
" morgen en 379 rooden. 

"Aldus gemeten door. 

" Joris Arissen Van der Baast."f 

The patent for this land was granted 21 Aug., 1680, by Gov. Dongan, 
and on the 22 Jan., 1V0| Van Antwerp sold the westerly half of said farm 
to Jan Pieterse Mebie. The whole parcel was then described as being 356 
rods long along the woodland and in breadth 193 rods and from the wood 
to the river 83 rods, containing altogether 31 morgens, 379 rods or 63 acres 
and 79 rods, in accordance with Van der Baast's measurement.]; A portion 
of this flat is still owned by descendants of Jan Pieterse Mebie. 

In 1676 he was one of five members of the court of justices of Schen- 
ectady and in 1701 was supervisor of the township. 

Van Antwerpen married Maria, daughter of Symon Symonse Groot, and 
had five sons and three daughters, all of whom arrived at maturity and left 
families. Jan the eldest son married Agnieta, daughter of Harmen Vedder 
and had eleven children; Symon married Maria, daughter of Jacobus Peek 
and had ten children; he bought land and settled in Schaghticoke, made his 
Avill in 1744 and devised the westerly sixty feet of the lot of the late S. C. 
Groot in Union street to his son Jacobus.§ Daniel married Ariaantje, 

* Albany Records, xx, 333, 334 ; Col. MSS., xxvr, 139. 

f Land Papers, n, 59. % Deeds, v, 79. 

§ He gave to his ouiote soon Daniel Seymonse Van Antwerpen myn grooten Byble en 
consider 'atie van syneerste geboorten reclit; to his wife Maria, deurende haer naturelyck leven 
en wedueicschacp alle myn vasten staat roerende and onroerende, neegers, negerine, etc.; to 
his three sons Daniel, Johannes and Lewis, myn erfgront leggende, in het Dorp in 
Schonegtade ten westen de gront van Abraham Groot in de straadt die de wegh na Canis- 
tageione gaet [Union street] ; als meede de tioee hondert en Viftigh ackers boslandt leggende 
aen de suyde syden van de Mackquasse rivier ten westen boven Rosendaal. Children men- 
tioned as living 1744, Daniel, Jacobus, Johannes, Lewis, Maria wife of Gysbert Van 
Brakelen, Rebecca wife of Abraham De Foreest, Sara, wife of Philip Winne, and 
Margaret . — SchermerJwn Papers. 

162 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

daughter of Gerrit Symonse Veeder and had a family of eleven children, 
and Pieter married Engeltie, daughter of Jan Mebie and had twelve 
children, Arent married Sara Van Eps and had nine children. 

Of the Van Antwerps living in eastern New York it is believed the major 
portion are descendants of Symon who founded the Schaghticoke branch of 
the family. From these they have spread throughout the country. 

Jan Danielse Van Antweepen. 

Jan Danielse — Daniel's oldest son, was born about 1670, in Schenectady; 
he married Angiiieta Vedder in 1 700; he died 20th Jan., 1 756. He probably 
never lived in the village except during Indian invasion, though as an active 
soldier in the militia it might have been necessary for him to put his family 
with friends for safety while the men did yeoman's service as scouts. The 
writer has been unable to locate his village lot, if he had any. 

In 169-| he was one of Lt. Bickford's party of volunteers* who chased and 
captured a squad of deserters from the garrison. 

Akent Danielse Van Antweepen. 

Arent, son of Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen, married Sara, daughter of 
Johannes Van Eps and had nine children. His village lot was on the north 
side of State street, the same as now occupied by Given's hotel and part of 
Wall street. This lot he purchased of Douw Aukes in 1704. Its dimensions 
were 80 feet front, 90 feet in the rear, 385 feet deep on the east side, and 
433 feet on the west side. The laying out of Wall and Liberty streets in 
later times has reduced the width and length of this lot.f 

On the 10th March, 170f, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to him 
" a piece of woodland in Schenectady on the north side of a small spring of 
" water [Jack's spring between Albany street and East avenue], that runs 
" into the [Coehorn] creek by the lot of Jan Baptist Van Eps, bounded 
" west by the woodland of Isaac Swits in length from said spring north along 
" by the woodland of said Swits 50 rods [600 Rynland feet] and in breadth 
"east 24 rods [288 Rynland feet] Rynland measure, containing two 

* See Fortifications. 
t Deeds, v, 187. 

Adult Freeholders. 163 

morgens."* This parcel of land was bounded west by Nott Terrace, north 
by Cemetery avenue, south by Albany street and east by the division lane 
between the property of the late Jno. G. McChesney and the late B. J. 

He also owned 80 acres of land on the " Nestigeyone Hill at the Coehorn 
" mill, for which he and his partners were to deliver yearly 30 boards to the 
"grantors, — the trustees of Schenectady, beginning March 25, 1742. "J This 
mill was probably on or near the site of Van Vorst's mill. Seventeen acres 
of the above parcel subsequently belonged to Arent S. Vedder and Nicolaas 

Marten Van Benthuysen. 

He was son of Paulus Martense Van Benthuysen of Albany; marrying 
Feitje, daughter of Pieter Jacobse Borsboom, he settled in Schenectady and 
on the death of his father-in-law became possessed through his wife of one- 
fourth of the estate. Borsboom owned the farms on the bouwland numbered 
seven, the first of which he sold in 1669 to Jan Labatie, but retained the 
hindmost parcel consisting of 12 morgens, till his death, after which it was 
divided into four equal parts, one for each of his daughters. He also owned 
an ample village lot, — the north quarter of the block bounded by Washington, 
Union, Church and Front streets, — about 200 feet square, — also a garden on 
the east corner of Washington and Front streets, extending north 150 feet, 
nearly to the river, and a pasture of 2 J morgens, beginning 182 feet, easterly 
from North street and extending from Front street to the river and having 
a front upon said street of 180 feet Amstei'dam measure. Van Benthuysen 
through his wife Feitje had a fourth interest in all these parcels of land.§ 

Claas Janse Van Boekhoven alias de Brabander. 

Claas Janse an early settler of Beverwyck, in 1662, owned a lot on the 
Vossen kil.\ 

* Dutch Church Papers, 
f Col. MSS., xlix, 21. 
% Groote Sehull boek. 
§ See Borsboom. 
|| Not. Papers, i, 200. 

164 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

After his marriage with Catalyntje De Vos, widow of Arent Bratt, in 
1691 he took up his residence in Schenectady. 

In 1672 in company with Ryck Claase Van Vranken he bought land over 
the river in Niskayuna, a part of which he sold in 16*78 to Theunis Willemse 
Van Woutbergh,* and the remainder came into possession of his step-son 
Dirk Bratt. He made his will Jan. 11, 169-| leaving all his property to his 
wife. He probably died about 1707 in which year his will was proved. f 

Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakelen. 

Before coming to Schenectady he was a resident of Albany ; his first wife 
was Reyntje Stephens ; on the 23d July, 1693, he married Elizabeth, widow 
of Jan Van Eps, who outlived him and made her will in 17344 Van 
Brakel made his will Dec. 10, 1709.§ 

His lands are particularly described and bounded in a new conveyance to 
him made Feb. 11, 170-f by the trustees of Schenectady, to replace "his 
writings which were lost when Schenectady was burned." 

First. A lot " on the north [east] of said town between Jan Vrooman to 
" the east and Jan Luykase to the west; — in length on the west side 29 rods 
" 4 feet [352 feet], on the east 28 rods 11 feet [374 feet], breadth on the south 
"50 feet, on the north 59 feet." This lot lies next east of Given's hotel lot 
and is now owned by the New York Central Railroad Company. 

Second. "A pasture containing five morgens [10 acres] lying behind the 
" lots [on State street] of several people, now improved, — to the west, north 
"and south the commons or vacant land." 

* Not. Papers; Col. MSS., v, 37; Deeds, i, 393; Albany Co. Rec., 166. 

f Wills, i, 64, Court of Appeal's office ; Deeds, in, 141. 

1 This will made Sept. 13, 1734, was proved 22 May, 1735 ; by it she bequeathed to 
" my eldest son Jan Baptist Van Eps six shillings for his primogeniture ; " " to my son 
Gysbert Van Brakel 2% morgens of land of lot No. 7, of hindmost land, beginning by 
the wood lot of heirs of Evert Van Eps, from thence running in my lot untill he shall 
include or take in 2% morgens ; " — " to my daughter Maria Brat widow of Dirk Bratt 1% 
morgens adjoining the lands of my daughter Elizabeth above mentioned ; " — " to my 
daughter Elizabeth Van Vorst the wife of Gillis Van Vorst \% morgens of land adjoin- 
ing Gysbert's above mentioned ; " — " to my daughter Sarah Van Autwerpen 3 morgens 
adjoining the land of my daughter Maria Brat for which sheis to pay £50 to my daughter 
Anna Ten Eyck, widow of Conraet Ten Eyck, viz. £8, 6*. 8d., yearly after my decease 
untill all is paid." Will in hands of Abm. Van Antwerp, of Swagertoicn. 

§ Wills, i, 129. 

Adult Freeholders. 165 

This pasture so obscurely described, was bounded by Ferry, Union, Centre 
and very nearly Liberty streets, which latter was not then in existence. 

Third. " A lot bounded east by Goosen Van Oort, south by the highway 
" [State street] north and west by said Gysbert's pasture [last above des- 
" cribed and by Ferry street], — in length on the north 18 rods 7| feet 
"[223 J feet], west 14 rods 9 feet [HI feet], and south [on State street] 9 
"rods 11 feet [119 feet]."* 

This lot was on the east corner of State and Ferry streets, and here Van 
Brakel lived, just without the south gate, on the fatal night of Feb. 8, 1690, 
when his son Sander was killed and Stephen was carried away to Canada 
and probably never returned. It had a front of 119 feet Amsterdam 
measure, or, say 107 feet English, measured from the palisades which stood 
in Ferry street, and is now comprised in the property of Messrs. Furman, 
Steinfuhrer and P. Levi, — Nos. 77 to No. 91, having a front altogether of 
98 feet English, the remaining 9 feet being taken by Ferry street. 

Van Brakel left two sons living, — Gerrit the eldest and Gysbert; the 
former by right of primogeniture inheriting the estate, conveyed on Sept. 
24, 1716, "to my loving brother-in-law [*. e., half-brother] Gysbert Gysbertse" 
two of the above lots of ground described as follows: 

First. " A lot fronting the street [State] southward that leads from the 
" eastern f gate of said town to Albany, 9 rods 11 feet, — to the west the 
" street [Ferry], to the east the lot now in possession of Robert Yates, to 
"the north the pasture ground; — together with the half of said pasture 
" ground behind said lot containing about 2\ morgens or 5 acres, butting 
" the street [Union] northly that leads by Adam Vrooman's brewhouse J 
" toward Niskayuna, easterly butts the land of the aforementioned Gerrit 
" Van Brakel's half — to the southward by the lots of Lawrence Van der 
" Volgen, Claas Van der Volgen [now lots of Meyer's Stores and Van 
" Home Hall], Abraham De Graaf, Daniel Danielse [Van Antwerpen], 
" Cornelis Pootman, Jonathan Dyer and the lot above mentioned [hereby 
" conveyed] to said Gysbert Gysbertse Van Brakel. "§ Gerrit Van Brakel 
retained for his share of his father's estate, the lot on State street next east 
of the Given's hotel lot, and the easterly half of the before mentioned 

* Deeds, vi, 191. 

f [Southern Gate.— M'M.] 

X This brewhouse stood about where the New York Central Railroad and the Erie 
Canal cross each other. 

§ These lots extend from the east Hue of Samuel Meyer's lot to Ferry street ; — Deeds, 
vi, 191, 192. 

166 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

pasture lot, extending from Centre street to a point a little west of Canal 
street. These parcels of land Gerrit was entitled to by virtue of his father's 
will, made 10 Dec., 1709, in which he devised to his son Gerrit, " his lot where 
" Gerrit's house now stands, lying next the lots of Jan Vrooman [on the east] 
"and Arent Danielse [Van Antwerpen] on the west; — also his piece of land 
" named Juffrouwsland and half of the pasture [on Union street]."* 

This parcel on Juffrouvisland containing two morgens, lay north-east of the 
car works upon the lane and was sold by Gerrit 17 April, 1741, to Robert 
Yates, merchant. 

Gysbert Gerritse also received a conveyance Jan. 2, 169f from the 
justice of the peace, Johannes Sanderse Glen and the gemeemnannen of 
Schenectady, of an island on the north side of the river, called Kruysbessen 
[Gooseberry] island lying west of Spuyten Duyvel [island], consideration 
32 beavers at 6 guilders each", to be paid within three years; bondsmen his 
son Gerrit Gysbertse [Van Brakel] and Volckert Symonse [Veeder].f 

He probably did not long retain possession of this island, for on the 10th 
April, 1702, Reyer Schermerhorn by virtue of the Dongan patent, conveyed 
it to Jillis Fonda, who transferred it Sept. 22, 1706, to Heudrick Vrooman 
and Arent Danielse Antwerpen, comprising two morgens more or less of 
land, and they sold it to Barent Vrooman Mar. 11, 170|- for £21 [$52.50].| 
On the 6th June, 1750, Isaac Swits, mariner, and Maria his wife, by virtue 
of the will of Barent Vrooman, made 6 Sept., 1748, sold this island to Jacob 
Glen, since which time it has remained in the Sanders family.§ 

In 1702 Gysbert Gerritse also owned bouwery No. 7 on the second piece 
of land on the Great flat. 

On the 10th Mar., I70f the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to Gerrit, 
son of Gysbert Gerritse Van Brakel, " a piece of woodland on both sides of 
"■Hansen kil [College brook], beginning 15 rods [180 feet] west of Symon 
" Groot's bridge, and runs up said creek the breadth of 24 rods [288 feet], 
" 75 rods [900 feet] making 3 morgens."|| 

Simon Groot's bridge over the College brook, or as it was then called 
Hansen kil, from Hendrick Hansen of Albany, was on the west side of 

* Wills, i, 129. 

f Toll Papers. 

% Deeds, v, 97 ; Sanders Papers. ■ 

§ Barent Vrooman's will in Court of Appeal's office and Sanders Papers. 

1 Dutch Church Papers. 

Adult Freeholders. 167 

Rorneyn street, just within the fence of the Schenectady locomotive works; 
about one-fifth of/ the above parcel was within the locomotive works' yard 
and the adjacent lands north of it and four-fifths was south-east of Romeyn 
street reaching within the college grounds. 

Claas Willemse Van Coppernol. 

He married Lea, a Mohawk woman, who after his death, about 1692, 
married Jonathan Stevens. In 1678 Coppernol and wife contracted to serve 
Jan Conell on his bouwery at Catskil for one year for 42 beavers.* In 1679 
he hired a bouwery at Schenectady of Willem Teller and subsequently pur- 
chased and settled upon land at de willegen [the Willows] below Port 
Jackson on the south side of the river. 

The Willow flat was granted to Pieter Van Olinda and Claas Willemse 
Van Coppernol by Governor Dongan, on 9th Nov., 1685, and is described as 
"bounded westerly by the woods 315 rods along the highest land to the 
V creek, east by the river 34 rods, the broadest part from the woods to the 
" river 66 rods, the point before [easterly end] runs to nothing, the after 
" [or westerly] end by Stone creek, containing 33 morgens or 66 acres and 
" 390 rods; — also 200 acres of woodland adjoining." This fiat was divided 
into two equal parcels, the hithermost or easterly portion to Van Olinda, the 
furthermost or westerly half to Van Coppernol. f In 1689 the latter sold 
his "half of the Willow flat to Philip Philipse de More in exchange for his 
" land received from Jan Mebie, house, barn and ricks together with the 
" Sixth flat on the over side [north side] of the Mohawk river just as he now 
possesses it. "J 

On the 5th June, 1714, Reyer Schermerhorn and Jan Pieterse Mebie sold 
to Coppernol for £4-16 [$12], '' a lot at Schenectady having to the west 
" /mother lot of said Mebie now occupied by Marte Van Benthuysen, to the 
" east a lot of Albert Vedder, to the south the highway [Front street], to 
" the north the Mohawk river, containing 21 morgens or 5 acres."§ This 
lot originally patented to Sander Leendertse Glen, commenced at a point 

* Albany Co. Rec, 182. 
t Deeds, iv, 236. 
t Deeds, rv, 234, 236. 
§ Deeds v, 232. 

168 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

299 feet English easterly from North street and extended along Front street 
210 feet English. In IV 18 this lot was in possession of Pieter Quackenbos.* 
In 1727 Willem, son of Claas Willemse Van Coppernol lived in Green 

Arent Van Curler. 

The acknowledged leader of the little colony at Schenectady in 1662, was 
Arent Van Curler. He came over in 1630 as superintendent of Colonic 
Rensselaerswyck, and continued in office until ] 646, besides acting as colonial 
secretary. In 1643 he married Antonia Slaaghboom, widow of Jonas 
Bronck,f and soon after settled on the " Flatts," above Fort Orange. Here 
he remained until the spring of 1662, when he took up his residence 
Schenectady and where he remained directing and furthering the inten 
of the settlers until his unfortunate death. 

Having accepted an invitation from De Tracy, the Governor of Can 
to visit Quebec, on his journey he embarked in a canoe on Lake Champ] 
and being overtaken by a storm was drowned in July, 1669.J No mai 
his time had so fully won the confidence and esteem of the red men as ^ 
Curler, and to honor his memory they ever after addressed the Governoi 
the Province by his name. His character for kindness and humanity 
known even to the French in Canada, many of whom he had rescued ft 
the hands of the cruel Mohawks ;§ to perpetuate his memory they gave 
name of Corlaer to Schenectady. 

Juffrouw Van Curler continued to reside in Schenectady until her do 
about the beginning of the year of 1676. On the 27th Jan., 167f, in c 
sideration of the loss of her husband in public service, and of her ho 
barns and corn by fire, Governor Lovelace licensed her to trade with 
Indians, it being thought also that her license would stop the quarrel 
the other two tapsters, Cornells Cornelise Viele and Acques Cornt 
Gautsh [Van Slyck], the Indian. || 

* Deeds, v, 417. 

f Jonas Bronck in 1639 became proprietor of 500 acres of land in what is 
Morrisania, Westchester Co.— Bolton's Westchester Co., n, 395. 
% O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N. 
§ Col. MSS., in, 395. 
|[ Orders in Council, p. 127 ; Eng. MSS., xxin, 149 ; Col. Doc, n, 652. 

Adult Freeholders. 169 

The Governor's order on her application is as follows: 

'• Upon ye Request of Antonio Van Curler of Schanechtide presented to 
" His Honor y e Governor, that having not long since received a very great 
"Losse by ffire, there may for her Reliefe bee so farr indulged as to have 
" licence to sell some Ruram to y e Indyans, as also some quantity of Powder 
" and Lead ; the Premises being taken into serious consideration, It is 
" ordered that in regard to the very great Losse and Damage sustayned by 
" the said Antonia Van Curler in having her House, Barnes and Corne 
" destroyed as by her is set forth, as also the Losse of her Husband, Arent 
" Van Curler while hee was employed in his Maj ties Publick Service, Shee, 
"the said Antonia his widdow shall have free Lyberty and Licence for y e 
" space and term of one whole yeare and two Months after the date hereof, 
" That is to say, from the first day of Aprill next untill the 29th day of 
" May wh. shall bee in the yeare of O r Lord 1674, to sell and dispose of to 
" the Indyans or others in and about Schanechtide in Rumme one hundred 
" Anckers and in Lead to the value of two hundred Beavers or 1,000 weight; 
" But for Powder in this conjuncture of time during the Warr, Its thought 
"inconvenient any Extraordinary Liberty should be granted therein." 

By order, &c. 

" The matter of difference between ye two Tappers [C. C. Viele, and A. 
" C. Van Slyck] at Schanechtide, not thought fitt any order shall be made 
" therein further, this Liberty to the Widdow probably being a mean to 
" defeat both their Expectations." 

Her will -was admitted to probate in New York city and letters of admin- 
istration were issued to Willem Beeckman, Jan. 15, 1676.* On the 5th of 
April, 1681, he reported the proceeds of her estate to be fl. 10,805-17 in 
beavers [$4,322.34] ;— debts, fl. 21,171-7 [$8,468.54] ;— preferred debts, fl. 
4,600-6 [$1,840.12], leaving fl. 6,205-11 [$2,482.22] fur other creditors. 

The curateurs of Arent Van Curler's estate, were Dr. Cornells Van 
Dyck and Johannes Provoost of Albany. f 

Van Curler's home lot in the village was a portion (probably the whole 
of the easterly half) of the block bounded by 'Union, Church, Front 
and Washington streets. After the death of himself and his widow, with- 
out issue, this lot was divided into four smaller portions and sold ; the 
occupants of these parcels were as follows : 

The lot on the corner of Union and Church streets, 100 by 264 ft., was 
occupied by Ludovicus Cobes, in 1684 ; from him it passed to Catrina 

* Bolton's Westchester Co., n, 283. 

f Proceedings of Justices Court Albany, i, 20, 51 ; Deeds, in, 104. 

170 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Otten, wife of Gerrit Syraonse Veeder, and remained in his family or 
connections until after the beginning of this century. 

Before the year 1684 Maria, widow of Jan Peeck, lived on the lot 
immediately north of this, being the west corner of Front and Church 
streets. Adam Vrooman early came into possession of this parcel. It was 
here that he so bravely defended his house against the attack of the French 
and Indians in 1690. In 1718, he conveyed it to Pieter Quackenbos. 

The lot next west of the Veeder lot, 50 feet front on Union street and 
extending through the block 400 feet to Front street was owned by Symon 
Groot, the first settler, in 1669, and was still in the family in 1790. 

The lot next west of Groot's and of the same dimensions, was owned by 
Benjamin Roberts as early as 1669; from him it passed to Reinier Schaets, 
who was killed here in 1690; in 1701 Gideon, the son of Reinier, sold it to 
Albert Vedder, son of Harmen Albertse, the first settler.* 

Owing to Van Curler's great services in extinguishing the Indian title 
and in procuring a survey and the patents for the lands, he received more 
than a double share of the choicest land on the Great flat [and village]. 

The confirmatory patent for this farm was issued to his widow on the 
4th of May, 1668, the description being as follows: 

"A certain parcel of land at Schenectady lying to the south-east of the 
" Great creek or kil [Binne kil] to the north of the woodlands, to the South 
"west of a certain small creek [Sand kil, now Mill creek], containing 114 
"acres or 57 morgeus and thirty rods, as granted Aug. 19, 1664, by Governor 
" Stuyvesant to said Arent in his lifetime."! This land was bounded ac- 
cording to this description, north-east and south by the Great creek, now 
the Binne kil, by " a certain small creek," subsequently called the " Sand 
kil," now Mill creek and by the woods on the sandy bluff; on the west side 
it was bounded by Pieter Andriaense Van Woggelum's and Catalyntje De 
Vos' [Bratt's] farms numbered respectively four and one. The Schenectady 
car works stand on the extreme western boundary of Van Curler's farm, the 
west fence of the yard being a portion of the dividing line. 

After Van Curler's death in 1667, this farm passed to his widow, who 
continued to reside here until her death in 1677. 

The estate being insolvent was sold by the administrators, Cornells Van 
Dyck and Johannes Provoost, in 1681, to pay the debts. It was divided 

* Patents, 647 ; see also Roberts, Schaets and Vedder. 
\ Patents, 535. 

Adult Freeholders. 171 

into at least five parcels. The westernmost parcel, on a part of which stand 
the Schenectady car works, was sold to Sweer Teunise Van Velsen, the 
town miller. After his death in 1690 it fell to his stepson Barent Wemp. 
The second parcel next east of the lane leading past the car works, was 
bought by Gerrit Gysbertse Van Brakel, and later in 1741 was divided by 
east and west lines into three lesser parcels owned by Johannes Abrahamse 
Truax, Robert Yates and Jacobus Vedder. The third parcel was owned 
wholly or in part by Isaac Cornelise Swits; the fourth by Barent Wemp 
and later by his son Jan; and the fifth and largest parcel comprising 20 
morgens was purchased by Adam Vrooman and his brother Jan, the former 
the easterly half next the village and the latter the westerly half. 

Joris Aertse Van der Baast. 

He called himself " an Amsterdam boy;"* by trade he was a surveyor and 
in 1689 clerk or secretary of the town. In 1670 he bought of Bastiaen De 
Winter a lot 100 by 200 feet on the south corner of Church and Union 
streets, where in 1690 he was slain by the French and Indians. f He also 
owned Jan De La Ward's great island in the Mohawk. Pieter Bogardus 
attorney for his heirs, sold all his real estate in 1699 to Gysbert Marcelis of 
Albany. The description in the deed mentions Joris' great island in the 
Mohawk between Claas Graven's Hoek and Scotia and the adjacent small 
islands except Kruisbessen and Spuyten Dicyvel islands; which said island 
consisting of 15 morgens was bought of Jan De La Warde, also three mor- 
gens of land on the north side of the river for a hofstede\ adjoining the 
land of the widow of Claas Graven. § On the 23d of June. 1714, Mar- 
celis obtained a patent confirmatory of this purchase, in which the property 
is described as — " a great island called Joris Aertse's island in the Mohawk 
' river above Schenectady between Scotia and the land called Graverts hoek 
1 containing 30 acres with a house lot in the town of Schenectady, having 
' to the north and west the high street [Union and Church], to the east 
' Pieter Van Olinda's lot and to the south the lot of the heirs of David 
' Christophelse, being a corner lot [south corner of Union and Church 
' streets];— as also all those small islands about the said great island called 
' Joris Aertse's island in the boght or bay between the land aforesaid called 

* Doc. Hist., in, 115. t Deeds, n, 790. 

\ Hofstede = country house, a Farm House and its accompanying garden orchards 
etc. ; a country homestead. — M'M.] 
§ Deeds, rv, 140, 264. 

172 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Glaas Graveri's hoek and the said Scotia, excepting only two islands 
" within the said bounds, one whereof, is called JKruisbesse island and the 
" other Spiten divel; — as also six acres of land upon the main on the other 
" side of the river, abutting on the east side of the land called Claes Graven's 
" Hoek in possession of his [Graven's] widow, for a hofstede, or place to 
" build a house and barn and for an orchard and garden."* As Gysbert 
Marcelis did not become a resident of Schenectady, it is probable that he 
sold the home lot on the south corner of Church and Union streets about 
1714 to Caleb Beck. 

The Great island was sold to Nicholas De Graaf who dying about 1796 
left it to his sous Jesse and John,f Van der Baast also owned a pasture lot 
on the north side of Front opposite Jefferson street, which he purchased of 
Symon Volkertse Veeder, 27 Feb., 1670, " in length 75 rods bounded on the 
" west by Gerrit Bancker, north by the river — breadth 15 rods, — east by the 
" common pasture and on the south by the common boswegh " [Front street]. J 

Frans Van de Bogart. 

He was a son of Harmen Myndertse Van de Bogart, who came over to 
New Netherland in 1631, as surgeon iu the ship Hendracht.§ 

Frans was born in New Amsterdam in 1640, came to Schenectady among 
the early settlers and was killed in the massacre of 1690. His son Claas 
(and probably the father also) owned a lot in the village on the north side 
of Front street (near the north gate), having a front of 131 Amsterdam feet 
on the street and 51 feet on the river. This parcel of ground comprises the 
lots of the late Gen. Jacob Swits, Henry Rosa, and John McMichael.fl 

His farm lay on the south side of the river at and below the Saratoga 
railroad bridge, and a portion of it still belongs to his descendants.** 

* Patents, 1673. 

f Mortgages, xn, 95. 

\ Deeds, n, 795-7, [Boswegh = wood road, road into the woods — M'M.] 

§ For notices of Surgeon Van de Bogart, see O'Callaghaus Hist. N. N., i, 434, 441 ; 
II,' 585; Dutch MSS., i, 44; n, 24; vn, 120-1; Albany Rec, i, 41; Valentine's Man. , 
1863. Doc. Hist., n, 74, 115, 200; rv, 135; Deeds, iv, 313. 

I Toll Papers ; Deeds, v, 199. 

** Toll Papers. 

Adult Freeholders. 173 

Claas Laurense Van dee Volgen, alias Van Purmeeend. 

Claas Laurense, one of the first settlers in 1662, married Maritie, daughter 
of Teunis Cornelise Swart, and had nine children, the most of whom 
attained maturity and left families. 

His village lot comprised the lots now occupied by Van Home Hall and 
Myers' stores, having a front on State street of 105 feet. 

In 1692, he bought the lot on the east corner of State and Church streets, 
— 170 feet on the former and 160 feet on the latter street. This lot was 
originally granted to Teunis Cornelise Swart, by patent of date Jan. 15, 
1667; on his death, his wife Elizabeth married Jacob Meese Vrooman, of 
Albany, to whom the magistrates of Schenectady gave a deed of the same, 
of date Feb. 7, 168|. Vrooman dying, his widow again married Wouter 
Uythoff, with whom she united Jan. 4, 1692, in a conveyance of said lot to 
Claas Laurense Van Purmerend [alias Van der Volgen], — it " being a 
" corner lot over against the Blockhouse (te xoeteri de Jcerk)*, 200 feet long 
" [on Church street] — 170 ft. long [on State street], having south and west 
" des heeren straet\ [State and Church streets], and to the east Jan Labatie," 
according to deed of Feb. 7, 168|; excepting a piece conveyed to Esaias 
Swart, by deed of July 30, 1681. This latter parcel was taken from the 
rear of the whole lot, 40 ft. front on Church street and is now number 31 
and owned by Mr. Marten De Forest. 

His farm on the bouwland was No. 10, which was conveyed to him 25th 
April, 1692, by Wouter Uythoff (third husband of Elizabeth Van der 
Linde), and said Elizabeth for 540 beavers, — "the bouwery, lot [in the 
"Village], house, barn and rick of the late Teunis Cornelise Swart, — the 
" bouwery being No. 10 over the third [Poenties~\ kil, to the east of Nos. 9 
" and 6, to the west of Nos. 9 and 8 from the hill to the river Southwest by 
"west, 64 rods wide; comprising 24 morgens 576 rods as granted by pat- 
"ent 16 June 1664 and confirmed Jan. 15 1667." 

The half of this bouwery north of the road, comprising 11 morgens, Van 
Purmerend alias Van der Volgen, sold to Claas Janse Van Boekhoven, 
Jan. 4, 169|; for £147, current money of the Province. 

The next day, Jan. 5, the latter sold the easterly half of said 1 1 morgens 
to Dirk Arentse Bratt, for £1o\.\ 

* [To wit the church.— M'M.] 

f [Des heeren straaien — the public streets. — M'M.] 

% Deeds, iv, 34, 35. § Deeds, iv, 38. 

174 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Laubens Claese Van deb Volgen. 

He was son of Claes Laurense Van der Volgen; at the destruction of the 
village in 1690, he was carried away captive to Canada by the Indians, with 
whom he remained several years, acquiring a perfect knowledge of their 
language and customs. 

He was thirteen years of age when adopted by the Indians. Having 
obtained permission to visit Schenectady, with the promise of returning, 
his relatives remonstrated with him, but he was firmly determined to go 
back until his sister cut off his scalp-lock in his sleep. When he awoke 
and found his lock gone, he asked who had done it. " I," said his sister. 
" I am disgraced," said he, " and must remain till it is grown." Before 
that time he became reconciled to the white man's mode of life, and never 
again resumed his Indian habits.* 

He became an expert and trusted interpreter for the Province, which 
office he held until his death in 1742. In 1701, Abraham Governeur, 
speaker of the Provincial Assembly, prayed Gov. Nanfan to use no inter- 
preter for the Indians but Lawrence Claessen, the sworn interpreter.! His 
salary was £30 until 1734, when it was raised to £60. He married first 
Geertruy, daughter of Claas Van Patten, and secondly Susanna Welleven 
Sept. 18, 1722. His will was made Aug. 30, 1739, — proved October, 
1742,J and he died Jan. 10, 1742, leaving ten children living. 

His village lot was the eastern half of his father's lot ; now the site of 
the Myers' block, he also owned " the hindmost [west] part of the five plains 
"[Fifth flat] containing 12 rnorgens more or less situate in the Woestytie on 
" the north side of the Mohawk river come to me by the ti'ustees of Schonegte- 
" day," — valued at £200, which farm he bequeathed to his eldest son Claas. 

The natives also gave him the half of " five small islands in the Maquase 
" river att Canastagiowne containing about five or six acres between Rosen- 
" daal & Cornells Tymesen's," the lower half, — " in consideration because 
" he takes much pains in interpreting. "§ 

* Tradition in the family. 

f Legislative Coun., 161, 385, 516 ; Col. MSB., xlvii, 166, 168. 

% To his eldest son Claas he left " my good [gold] seal ring; " to Neeltie " the silver 
cup marked L. V. V."; to Maritie " one silver spoon come from the deceased Jannitie 
Kroon," etc. Will, Court of Appeal's office. 

§ Col. Doc. rv, 906, 574. [See Five Small Islands ; Van Eps.] 

Adult Freeholders. 175 

Laurens Claese was employed by Domine Freerman in translating pas- 
sages from the Holy Scriptures and from the liturgy of the Dutch church 
for the use of the Mohawks.* 

Barent Janse Van Ditmars. 

He came to Schenectady as early as 1664, when he married Catalyntje 
De Vos, widow of Arent Andriese Bratt.f His village lot was that of his 
wife, — Mrs. Bratt,— and his farm lay next west of hindmost farm No. 1, 
belonging to the Bratt's. The first lock on the canal west of the city, stands 
upon the southernmost line of his farm, which was the south-westerly half 
of Poversen originally granted to Benjamin Roberts. J 

He also had a parcel of pasture ground on the north side of Front street, 
which was patented to him Sept. 10, 1670, — " a lot of ground at Schenectady 
" now in his tenure lying in the pasture or Wet/land, having on the east the 
" lot of Theunis Cornelissen's [Swart], and on the west that of John 
" Labatie, — in length 92 rods, in breadth by the river side 15 rods and by 
"the highway [Front street] 17 rods."§ This lot commenced 509 feet 
English easterly from North street and extended along said street 210 
feet English. Its easterly line reached the New York Central Railroad. 
In 1701 this lot belonged to Harmen Albertse Vedder. 

By a former marriage Van Ditmars had a son Cornells, who married 
Catharina Glen; after his death she married Gerrit Lansing, Jr., of Albany. 
As her dower (?) Claas Janse Van Boekhoven, who married her stepmother 
Catalyntje De Vos Bratt, conveyed to her one quarter part of bouwery No. 
10, consisting of 5? morgens of laudj 

In the massacre of 1690 both Van Ditmars and his son were killed. 

Jacobus Van Dyck. 

He was son of Cornells Van Dyck, " Cbirurgeon " of Albany, and grand- 
son of Hendrick Van Dyck, sellout fiscaal at New Amsterdam under 
Stuyvesant's administration. Having studied medicine with his father, he 

* A copy of this work is in possession of one of his descendants now living in Indiana. 
f The marriage contract was made Nov. 12, 1664; see Braat. 
% See Roberts, Viele, Douwe Aukes. 
§ Patents, 755. 
|) Deeds, iv, 37. 

176 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

settled in Schenectady where he practiced his profession until his death. 
He married Jacomyntje, daughter of Johannes Sanderse Glen, Oct. 25, 
1694, and had two children, — Elizabeth and a son Cornells who followed 
his father's profession, and inherited his possessions. 

Dr. Van Dyck was surgeon of the fort at Schenectady at one shilling a 

His house lot, 153 feet front and 105 feet deep, was on the west side of 
Church street, 106 feet north from State street. This lot was sold to him 
July 7, 1713, by Jan Baptist Van Eps for £10 [825], and is described in 
the deed as "bounded east by the street [Church] 153 feet, south by the 
"lot of the heirs of Andries Bratt, now in possession of Harmanus Vedder, 
" 101 feet, — west by lot of heirs of Andries Bratt, now in possession of 
" Arent Bratt 145 feet, and north by the lot of Reyer Schermerhorn, now 

"in possession of Helmus Veeder, 109 feet eleven inches to the foot, — 

" of which said Van Dyke has had possession since 1698."* 

Van Eps. 

Dirk Van Eps married Maritie Damens and had two children, Johannes 
and Lysbet, who became the wife of Gen - it Bancker, of Albany. After 
Van Eps' death his widow married Hendrick Andriese Van Doesburgh, and 
had a daughter Jannetie, born in 1653, who married Marten, son of Capt. 
Marten Cregier, and settled in Niskayuna. And in 1664 Maritie Damens 
married her third husband, Cornells Van Ness, of Albany. She had lands 
in Albany, Niskayuna and Schenectady, — which after her death were dis- 
tributed among her three children. 

Johannes Dirkse Van Eps, the eldest son of Maritie Damen and Dirk 
Van Eps, married Elizabeth Jansef and had three sons and four daughters, 
all of whom left families save one, who with his father was killed in the 
massacre of 1690. 

He was one of the five magistrates of the village in 1676 and 1678, and 
named one of the five patentees in the Dongan patent of 1684. 

His nome lot in the village was on the north corner of State and Church 
streets, comprising one quarter of the block, — 200 by 225 feet. This lot 
together with bouweries No. 2 on the bouwland, were purchased for him 

* H. Yates' Papers ; Deeds, v, 217. 

f After her husband's dealh she married Gysbert Gerrilse Van Brakel ; for her will 
see Van Brakel. 

Adult Freeholders. 177 

April 29, 1664, by his step-father, Van Ness, at the sale of Philip Hendrickse 
Brouwer's property in 1664.* The conveyance to him is dated April ^f, 
1667, and the patent April 29, 1667, — " to Jan Van Epps, son of Maritie 
"Damens, to confirm a conveyance to him made April 15, 1667, by Cornells 
" Van Nesse, of a certain bouwery or farm at Schenectady on two several 
"parcels of land containing about 42 acres or 21 morgens 570 rods, as set 
" forth in the grondbriefe June 16, 1664, together with a house and lot and 
" another lot of ground and garden lying near the place where he inhabits 
" at Schenectady, being in breadth and length according as is Exprest in 
" the General's grant to him said Cornells Van Nesse dated April 10, 1665."f 
His eldest son Jan Baptist, inherited the above mentioned parcels of land. 

Jan Baptist Van Eps. 

He was the eldest son of Jan Dirkse Van Eps ; was born in 1673, and 
married Helena, daughter of Johannes Sanderse Glen, in 1699, and had 
eleven children, five sons and six daughters, all of whom save one, reached 
mature age and had families. 

When Schenectady was destroyed in 1690, he was carried away to 
Canada, where he remained three years but finally escaped in the following 
manner : 

"169§ Feb. 8, Wed. about 2 o'clock afternoon we had the alarm from 
" Schenectady that the French and their Indians had taken the Maqas 
" castles ; soon after we had the news that a young man named Jan Bap- 
" tist Van Eps (taken at Schenectady 3 years ago), was run over from the 
" French, as they were to attack the first castle of the Mohogs, and came 
" to Schenectady, who related that the French were 350 Christian and 200 
" Indians."^ 

During his captivity with the Indians he had acquired a knowledge of 
the Indian language and was subsequently often employed as interpreter 
and embassador to the Five nations. § 

"In 1701, the Mohawk sachems granted five small islands at Canasta- 
"giowne to Jan Baptist Van Eps and Laurens Claes [Van der Volgen], to 
" be equally divided between them."|| 

* See Ph. Hendr. Brouwer ; Deeds, n, 469. 
f Patents, 392. 

% Col. Doc. iv, 16, 370, 497, 499, 559, etc. ; Col. Mss., xxxix, 73. 
§Col. MSS.,xlii,167. 

U Col. Doc, iv, 906. [See ante, p. 77, Five small islands.— M'M.] 

178 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1706 he was living on the east corner of State and Jay streets, the 
latter being his private lane leading to his land in the rear and along Coe- 
horne creek upon which he had a corn mill, situated a few rods above La- 
fayette street. His ample lot on the north corner of State and Church 
streets and hindmost bouwery No. 2, he subsequently sold to Arent Bratt 
and Jacobus Van Dyck.* 

In Feb., 1*70 \ the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to Jan Baptist Van 
Eps, his deed being lost, " a lot at the east end of Schenectady bounded 
" south by the high street [State] in breadth 9 rods, west by Symon 
" Groot Jr., and the commons as far as Niskayuna high road [Union Street], 
" and so upward eastwardly to a great pine, and from thence south east to 
" ye hill [Prospect] to another marked tree, and from thence south to a kil 
" [Coehorne], which is his east [west] boundary, containing seven mor- 

The portion of this parcel fronting upon State street, extended from the 
west side of Jay street to Coehorne kil, nine rods or 108 feet ; on Union 
Street it extended from the lot of Mrs. Jackson No. 152, along the old 
Niskayuna road to the foot of Prospect Hill. That portion of this land 
fronting upon Union street came into possession of Isaac Quackenbos from 
whom it descended to his late son, Johannes and through his daughter to 
Abraham O. Clute. 

There was also conveyed to him another " lot on the south side and west 
"end of the town over the town bridge [in Water street], in length on the 
" south side 126 ft. bounded with the highroad [Water street], on the west 
" also the highroad, to y e north a small creek, to ye east Claas Van Boek- 
" hoven."J This lot was on the east corner of Water and Washington streets; 
in 1729, it belonged to Annatie, daughter of Jan Baptist Van Eps, wife of 
Ahasuerus Wendel.§ 

At the same time the trustees conveyed to him a third lot of ground near 
the last, " having to y e north the highroad [Water street] being 133 feet, — 
" the west side also ye high road 153 ft. — south Symon Groot being 133 
" ft., — east Claas Van Boekhoven 153 ft.'"|| This lot was probably on the 

* See Bratt and Van Dyck ; Deeds v, 217. 

f Deeds, iv, 332 ; v, 217. 

% Deeds iv, 332. 

§ Old deed. 

1 Deeds, rv, 332. 

Adult Freeholders. 179 

south corner of Water street and the old river road, which at that time 
occupied the place now covered by the Binnl Ml* 

On the 14 Oct., 1762, Edward Collins, innkeeper, gave to John Baptist 
Van Eps (perhaps son of the above Jan Baptist), " a house and lot on the 
" south end of Schenectady on the north-eastei*ly side of a street leading 
" from where the Old Church stood to Albany [State street], on the northerly 
" side of a road that leads from said road to the grist-mill of said John 
" Baptist Van Eps [Jay street], — in bi*eadth in front 55 feet, — in rear one 
"chain 60 links, — in length on both sides 6 chains. "f The front portion 
of this lot is now covered by Union Hall. 

In addition to the above parcels of ground in the village, Jan Baptist 
also owned the foremost farm No. 8, on the bouwland. This was originally 
patented to Marten Cornelise Van Isselsteyn by whom it was sold Oct. 23, 
1668, to Claas Frederickse Van Pet ten and Cornells Cornelise Viele; the 
former immediately sold his moiety, being the foremost bouwery, to Jan 
Dirkse Van Eps, and in Feb., 170£, the trustees of Schenectady gave a con- 
firmatory deed of the same to his son and heir Jan Baptist,! his deed being 
lost, in which it is described as " a lot containing 12 morgens, bounded 
" north by y path, or highway [river road], south by y e hills, or woods, 
" east by Pieter Jacobsen's [Borsboom] lot now in occupation of Gysbert 
" Gerritse [Van Brakel], and west by a small kil or creek [Poenties kil], 
" all wood measure." 

This farm has remained in the family till this day. 

He had also another village lot at the north end and on the east side of 
Washington street, bought of Myndert Van Guyseling July 5, 1728, ex- 
tending from Pieter Mebie's lot to the river. § 

* [Rotterdam street (Frog Alley), did not then exist. The road up the river left the 
gate at south end Church street, followed Water street to the present line of the Binne 
kil — thence to the westward along the former bank of the stream. The wearing of the 
east bank of the Binne kil by floods, gradually pushed the road back, and finally Rotter- 
dam street — an extension of Handalaers (now Washington) street, was carried across 
Mill creek and a new line of road was carried back a distance from the river. It was 
afterwards made to conform to the line ot the Erie canal, as at present. — M'M.]j 

f Deeds, vn. 

% Patents, 527 ; Deeds, n, 741 ; Deeds, iv, 332. 

§ Deeds, m, 99 ; xix, 193. 

180 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Evert Van Eps. 

He was son of Jan Dirkse Van Eps. His first wife was Eva, daughter 
of Carel Hansen Toll, his second, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Truax. He 
had 13 children. 

His village lot on the west side of Washington street is now divided into 
two parcels, on which stand the houses of the late Judge A. C. Paige and 
Mrs. Peck.* 

On the 3d of April, 1707, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to him 
four morgens of land on " both sides of the Hansen kil [College brook], 
" beginning from the east side of woodland belonging to Gerrit Gysbertse 
" [Van Brakel], where its 30 rods [360 feet] wide and holds that breadth 
" up along both sides of the said creek till it takes in four morgens."f 

This parcel of ground commenced at a point on College brook 720 feet 
easterly of the west side of Romeyn street or Symon Groot's bridge, and 
ran up the creek from that point 960 feet, having a breadth of 180 feet on 
each side of said creek, and was partly within the present [1883] College lands. 

Marten Cornelise Van Esselsteyn (Ysselsteyn). 

He was born in the city of Ysselteyn in Holland; his wife Mayke Cor- 
nelise was a native of Barnevelt; on the 12th Jan., 167y they made a joint 
will, both then living in Claverac.J He died before 1705, leaving one son 
Cornells Martense. 

Cornells was one of the first settlers of Schenectady; after residing here 
about six years he sold his farms and removed to Claverac. His residence 
was upon his hindmost farm near the site of Mr. John D. Campbell's house 
in Rotterdam. 

His farms are thus described in the patent of date April 13, 1668 : 

"Two parcels of land at Schenectady both marked No. 8; — one lying on 
" the second piece of land to the west of No. 7, — to the east of the creek 
" [Poenties kil],§ a line cutting between No. 7 [and No. 8] from the creek 

* Deeds, iv, 324. t Church Papers ; also H. Yates' Papers. 

% Not. Papers, n. 

§ [The Poenties kil crosses the river road on the west side of the old Van Eps place and 
is usually dry now at that point, the water having been diverted into Willem Teller's killetje, 
which also crosses the river road about a quarter of a mile east of the Poenties kil. All 
these streams have failed of water of late years, though this kil comes from the sand. — 

Adult Freeholders. 181 

" or kil to the woods south-west somewhat more southerly; — in breadth 36 
" rods containing about 22 acres or 11 morgens ; — the other being upon the 
" hindmost piece of land on the woodside, to the west of No. 9, to the east 
" of No. 7, a line being run as before from the creek [Dove gat]* to the woods 
"south-west by west, — breadth 56 rods, containing about 24 acres or 12 
"morgens and 130 rods, as granted June 16, 1664 by Governor Stuyvesant 
"to said Cornelise."f On the 23d of October following, Van Esselstyn sold 
the hindmost lot to Claas Frederikse Van Petten and Cornells Cornelise 
Viele, " together with the house, barn, 3 ricks, 4 horses, 5 cows, 8 hogs, 
wagon, plough and harrow." On the 25 Aug., 1670, Viele exchanged the 
same with Jurriaen Teunise Tappen for a house and lot in Albany. 
Tappen conveyed the same to Dirk Hesselingh, who again transferred it 
to Harmen Albertse Vedder on the 1st day of February, 167|.J 

The foremost lot No. 8 early passed into the possession of Jan Baptist 
Van Eps.§ 

On the 23 Jan., 170^ " Cornelis Martense, eldest son and heir of Marten 
Cornelise Van Isselstyn, deceased, of Claverac," confirmed the sale of 
farms No. 8, to Claas Van Petten. | 

Elias Van Gyseling. 

He came to New Netherland in 1659, from Zeeland, in the ship Bont« 
Koe and settled first at Beverwyck. " Sprehende goet Frans " he was 
sometimes employed as an interpreter. His wife, Tryntje Claase, after hig 
death married Willem Hall in 1695. 

In 1670, he came to Schenectady and with Pieter Cornelise Viele pur- 
chased Bastiaen De Winter's farm, described as " a parcel of land at Schenec- 
" tady, wide on the west side 350 rods, long on the north side 60 rods, lying 
"by the first land of Willem Teller and Maritie Damens [Van Eps], accord- 
ing to patent of 21st October, 1670 from Governor Lovelace."** 

* [The Erie caual in its passage across the bouwlanJ was made over a series of dove gats 
or dead holes containing dead water, once doubtless the ancient bed of an arm of the 
river. One ol these dove gats (called '• Maritjes Gat") near the junction ot the Prince- 
town and river roads of great breadth and depth, was enclosed by the two banks of the 
canal and called " Navarino Bay." — M'M.] 

f Patents, 527. 

% Deeds, n, 741, 777, 866 ; vn, 185 ; Not. Papers, n ; Wills, i, 285 ; Will of Johannes 
Vedder, in Court of Appeal's office. 

§ Deeds, iv, 332. || Deeds, iv. ** Deeds, n, 789 ; see also De Winter. 

182 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

This farm usually called " Ellas' plantasie " remained in the Van Gyse- 
ling family until the death of the late Mr. Cornelius Van Gyseling, in 1865, 
when it passed into the possession of his stepson Mr. John C. Perry, the 
present occupant. One of the oldest dwellings in this region (possibly 
built by Elias Van Gyseliug but mo*re probably by his son Myndert),* is 
still standing on this farm. 

On his death, about 1694, his eldest son, Myndert, succeeded him. 

His second son Jacob resided in the village upon a lot conveyed to him 
by Reyer Schermerhorn [trustee] March 17 If, and described as " a lot on 
" the north side of the town with house, barn and orchard, bounded easterly 
" by the lot of heirs of Samuel Bratt, length from the river to the street 550 
"feet, south by the [Front] street in breadth 155 feet, bounded [westerly] 
"on the house and lot of the heirs of Philip Philipse deceased 162 feet, 
" south by said heirs of Philip Philipse deceased 75 ft., west by the old 
" brewhouse [of the Glens], 294 feet and north by the river 255 feet." This 
lot containing about 2£ acres was probably purchased of Arent Bratt the 
former owner, but conveyed by Reyer Schermerhorn as being the sole sur- 
viving patentee of the town by the patent of 1684. It commenced at a 
point on the north side of Front street 100 feet easterly from Wash- 
ington street and extended easterly to the west line of the lot of the late 
Nicholas Cain excepting the lot of heirs of Philip Philipse 75 X 162 feet. 
In 1725-32, it belonged to Myndert Van Gyseling.f 

Bennony Arentse Van Hoek. 

He was son of Arent Isaacse Van Hoek of Beverwyck ; marrying 
Jacquemina Swart, widow bf Pieter Cornelise Viele, he settled in Schenec- 
tady. He is not known to have possessed any real estate save what he 
acquired by his marriage. J 

* | Myndert was married in 1721, — died in 1771, between which dates he probably 
built this house. — M'M.] 

f Deeds, v, 199, 220 

JB. Van Hoek, Sept. 17, 1686, was cited to appear before the court at Albany on a 
complaint made by Cornells Viele and others, 

" y l Bennony Arentse doth most crewelly r and barbarously Beat y e Daughter of P r 
•' Viele deceased of w h he is the step-father, w h child being stood before ye justices of 
" Peace is found all blak and blew, and y e "said Bennony being sent for by a Warrant 
" and appearing before ye justices doth excuse himself Because she is a whole night and 
" somethings half a night out a seeking cows." 

Adult Freeholders. 183 

Jan Geeritse Van Marcken. 

He and his wife Geertie Huybertse came over in the ship St. Jacob in 
1654. For a time he was at New Amstel* on the Delaware, but came 
from thence to Beverwyck about 1659, where he served two years 1661-2, 
as farmer of the excise of wine and beer. He was appointed schout of 
Schenectady in 1673, but remained here only a short time.f 

Pieter Daniels e Van Olinda. 

He was a tailor in Beverwyck in 1663, about which time he came to 
Schenectady and married Hilletie Cornelise Van Slyck, — sister of Jacques 
Cornelise, — a half-breed of the Mohawk tribe, through whom he received 
valuable grants of land at De Willegen (the Willows), below Port Jackson, 
at the Boght in Watervliet, and the Great Islands in the river atNiskayuna. 
Van Olinda made his will Aug. 1, 1715, — proved Dec. 27, 1716, — and died 
at Watervliet in 1715, at an advanced age. 

For many years Hilletie his wife, was employed at a salary of £20 as 
Provincial interpreter. Her death occurred Feb. 10, 1705. 

Van Olinda in his willj speaks of only three children, — Daniel, Jacob and 
Matthys. The first inherited his land at the " Boght of the Kahoos " and 
married Lysbet, daughter of Martinus Cregier, Jr. To Jacob who married 
Eva, daughter of Claas De Graaf, he gave his land at De Willege?i, and 
Matthys being non compos mentis, was to be maintained till his death. 

Hilletie though born and brought up in her early years among the 

"Whereupon ordered y t y e s d Girle shal be delivered in ye hands of ye Trustees 
" Jacob Meese [ Vrooman] & Arnout Cornelise [Viele], who is to dispose of her as they shal 
" see meet, and if y e said Bennony Arentse shal for ye future abuse any of ye said 
" children of P r Viele upon complaint they shall be delivered to ye Trustees who shall 
" have Power to dispose of y e same accordingly and y e Bond of good behaviour given 
"y e tenth of y B instant to Remain in force." — Minutes of Common Goun.. Albany : rv. 

* [Amsterdam is a later spelling for Amsteldam, or the dam on the river Amstel 
(Holland). The city is now Amsterdam, but the river retains the spelling 'Amstel. — 

t Dutch MSS., xiv, 116 ; Col. MSB., xxiv, 140 ; xxv, 135, 148 to 153. 

% Wills, i, 148 

184 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Mohawks, was soon separated from them and received the rudiments of a 
Christian education in Albany and Schenectady. She made excellent use 
of her advantages and is spoken of as an estimable woman. f 

f " While we were there [at Schenectady], a certain Indian woman or half-breed, 
'* that is, from an European and an Indian woman, came with a little boy, her child, 
" who was dumb, or whose tongue had grown fast. It was about four years old ; she 
" had heard we were there, and came to ask whether we knew of any advice for her 
" child, or whether we could net do a little something to cure it. Sanders [Glen] told 
" me aside that she was a Christian, that is had left the Indians and had been taught by 
" the Christians and baptized. I was surprised to rind so far in the woods and among 
" Indians, a person who should address me with such affection and love of God. She 
" then related to me from the beginning her case, that is how she had embraced christ- 
" ianity. She was born of a Christian father and an Indian mother of the Mohawk 
" tribes. Her mother remained in the country and lived among the Mohawks, and she 
" lived with her the same as Indians live together. Her mother would never listen to any 
" thing about the Christians, as it was against her heart, from an inward unfounded 
" hate. She lived there with her mother and brothers and sisters ; but sometimes she 
"went with her mother among' the Christians to trade and make purchases, or the 
" Christians came araons; them, and thus it was that some Christians took a fancy to the 
" girl, discovering in her more resemblance to the Christians than the Indians. They 
" therefore wished to take the girl and bring her up, which the mother would not hear 
" to. The little daughter herself had no disposition at lirst to go. This happened several 
" times when the daughter began to mistrust the Christians were not such as the mother 
" told her. She therefore began to hearken to them, but particularly she felt a great in- 
" clination and love in her heart towards those Christians who spoke to her about God 
" and of Christ Jesus and the Christian religion. Her mother observed it and began to 
" hate her, her brothers and sisters despised and cursed her, threw stones at her and did 
" all the wrong they could. They compelled her to leave them, as she did and went to 
" those who had so long solicited her. They gave her the name of Eltie or Illetie. She 
" lived a long time with a woman with whom we conversed alterwards, who taught her 
" to read and write and do various handiwork. She felt such a desire and eagerness to 
" learn that she could not be withheld, particularly when she began to understand the 
" Dutch language and what was expressed in the New Testament where her whole heart 
" was. Finally she made her profession and was baptized. 

" She has some children ; her husband is not as good as she is, though he is not one 
" of the worst; she sets a good example before him, and knows how to direct him." 

" She had a brother [Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck], who was also a half-breed, who 
" had made profession of Christianity and had been baptized and who was not by far as 
" good as she but on the contrary, very wicked ; though I believe he has been better and 
" has been corrupted by the conversation of impious Hollanders ; for this place is a god- 
" less one being without a minister and having only a homily (postyl) read on Sundays." — 
Banker'' » and Sluyter's Journal, 1680, p. 301-5. 

Adult Freeholders. 185 

Great Island* at Niskayuna was conveyed to Hilletie Van Olinda, by the 
Mohawks, Jnne 11, 1667 and confirmed by Governor Nicolls, May 8, 1668. 
On the 4th March, 1669, and again 6 Feb., 170£, she and her husband con- 
veyed the same to Johannes Clute, which sale was ratified by the Governor 
and Council on the 2d Aug., 1671. f 

His house lot in Schenectady was on the south side of Union street, 100 
feet westerly from Ferry street and had a front of 100 feet and a depth of 
210 feet Amsterdam measure. He held it until 1712, when it was conveyed 
to Isaac Van Valkenburgh for £53 [$132.50]; it remained in Van Valken- 
burgh's possession until 1764 and perhaps later; from 1793 to 1821 or later 
it was owned and occupied by Hendrick Dellamot and is now the site of 
the Court House.J 

The " Willow Flat " (Ue u-illegeii) was granted to Pieter Van Olinda and 
Claas Willemse Van Coppernol, by Governor Dongan on the 9th Nov., 1685. 
It commenced at Stone creek and ran down the river 349 rods and contained 
33 morgens or 66 acres and 390 rods of land, together with 200 acres of 
woodland adjoining. Van Coppernol owned the westerly half and Van 
Olinda the easterly half § 

Goosen Van Ooet. 

Nothing is known of him save that he early owned, down to 1702, the 
lot on the north side of State street, now occupied by the stores of H. S. 
Barney & Co., and of the estate of the late Barent J. Myndertse, Nos. 93 
to 101, having a front of 84 feet. 

Ci.aas Frederickse Van Petten. 

He was born in 1641. His wife was Aeffie daughter of Arent Bratt and 
Catalyntje De Vos. They had eight children all of whom, reached mature 
age and had families save one. 

They both died in 1728, she at the age of 78 years, and he aged 87 years 
and five months. 

* [Great Island is now known as Shaker's Island. — M'M.] 
f Deeds, v, 55 ; n, 711 ; Gen. Entries, iv, 283 ; Albany Co. Rec, 436. 
\ Deeds, n, 788 ; iv, 236,; v, 153, 264, 343, 354, 358 ; Schen. Deeds B., 293. etc. 
§ Deeds, iv, 236. 

186 Histwy of the Schenectady Patent. 

At his first coming to Schenectady in 1664, in company with Isaac Cor- 
nelise Swits, he hired Willem Teller's bouwerye gelegen op Schanechtede be- 
staende in woonhuys, Schuerberg en bouwlant in twee parcelles genome- 
neert .... Van de landmeter No. 5, &c* 

Oct. 23, 1668, Van Petten and Cornells Cornelise Viele bought the two 
bouweries numbered 8, of Marten Cornelise Van Esselsteyn and mortgaged 
the same the same day to Van Esselsteyn for 220 beavers. Viele's moiety, — 
the hindmost farm, — he sold to Jurriaen Teunise Tappen, and Van Petten 
conveyed the foremost farm to Jan Baptist Van Eps.f 

On the 30th Jan., 168f-, the Glens sold to Claas Van Petten a piece of 
land between the river and the lake in Scotia, comprising 12 morgens of 
land. J And on the 6 April, 1*704, John Jacobse Glen, eldest son and heir of 
Jacob Sanderse Glen, eldest son and heir of Sander Leendertse Glen, both 
deceased, bought back the above mentioned 12 morgens of land, giving Van 
Petten in exchange therefor, "a piece of land now in his possession adjoining 
" the lot of Reyer Schermerhorn, — being the foremost lot No. 3 and two 
"morgens of land§ out of the hindmost lot No. 3."|| The above mentioned 
foremost lot No. 3 remained in the Van Petten family more than 100 years, 
and until it was purchased by the Schermerhorns who owned the adjoining 

Van Petten built his dwelling house upon the south end of this farm at 
the foot of the sand bluff.** 

In the above exchange with Glen, Van Petten also received a house lot 
in the village, a part of the Glen lot. This lot extended from the lot of 
Mrs. Benjamin Willard No. 36 Washington street, to that of the late Judge 
A. C. Paige No. 42. 

For many years after Van Petten obtained possession of farm No. 3, the 
boundary line between him and his brother-in-law Schermerhorn, was in 
dispute; finally a compromise was effected in 1714-16, according to a survey 

* Not. Papers, i, 439. 
f Deeds, n, 741 ; iv, 325. 
% Deeds, iv, 330. 

§ Conveyed by Claas Van Petten to his son Claas, March 6, 1713-14 ; Deeds, v, 353. 
|| Deeds, rv, 324, [Ante, page 116, Glen.— M'M.J 

** He had egress from his house by a lane running northerly across the flats to the 
river road along the boundary line between farms Nos. 3 and 4. 

Adult Freeholders. 187 

made by Philip Verplanck and mutual releases were executed, Scherrnerhora 
reserving to his use the right of way over the lane or road along the west 
side of the division fence from Van Patten's house to the river road. This 
lane as well as the division fence are now removed.* 

Andries Van Petten. 
Andries, the eldest son of Claas Van Petten, born in September, 1684, 

married Maieke, daughter of Jacob Coenratse Ten Eyck of Albany, Dec. 

26, 1712. They had seven children, only two of whom arrived at maturity 

and had families. He died in 1748, aged 62 years, — she died Jan. 31, 1779, 

at the age of 91 years, 9 months and 27 days. 

On the 4th June, 1711, his father conveyed the foremost farm No. 3 to 
him together with horses, cows, etc.; and on the 6th March, I71f, he likewise 
conveyed to his son Claas " the two morgens which he owned in the hind- 
" most lot No. 3, as it had been conveyed to him by Johannes Glen."f 

On the 28 Oct., 1717, he received from the patentees of Schenectady a 
lease of " a certain piece of lowland about one mile from Schenectady on 
''the south side of the Mohawk, bounded west by the land of Jacob Van 
" Guyseling, north by the standing water [clove gat], South by the Commons, 
"beginning by a small creek by the foot of the hill and runs from thence 
" along the bounds of the said Jacob Van Guyseling, north 19° E. 49 rods 
" to the aforesaid standing water, thence S. 58° E. 29 rods, thence 
" South 34° E. 55 rods, thence S. 35° W. to the foot of said hill, thence 
" along said hill to the place of Beginning, containing three morgens and 
"411 rods Dutch Rynland measure; — rent one skipple of wheat yearly, — 
" said to have been previously granted by patent to Bastiaen De Winter 
"47 years before. "J This triangular parcel of land lay at the foot of the 
sand bluff between the Van Petten and the Van Guyseling farms. 

Arent Van Petten. 

Arent, son of Claas Van Petten the first settler, married Jannetje, daughter 
of Philip Conyn of Albany, 10th April, 1703. They had ten children. By 
trade he was a carpenter. 

On the 8th October, 1703, Reyer Schermerhorn [only surviving trustee] 
sold to Thomas Williams, of Albany " a parcel of woodland on the north 

* Deeds, v, 222. [See Ante, page 117, Glen.— M'M. 

t Deeds, v, 222, 340. 341, 353. 

X Dutch Church Papers ; see also Annals of Albany, vi, 79 ; Doc. Hist., ii, 200. 

188 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" side of the town of Schenectady, over against the north-west corner 
" of woodland of Adam Vrooman, running between the highway that 
"leads to Niskayuna [Green street]* and the highway that leads to the 
'* Aal-plaas [Front street] and westward to the church yard or burial 
" place, being butted and bounded on the west the burial place or church- 
" yard, on the east the woodland of Hendrick Hansen, on the south and 
" north the said two roads or highways [Green and Front streets], containing 
"four morgens more or less." Said Williams by deed dated 7 April, 1709, 
conveyed the above land to Arent Van Petten of Schenectady, who by deed 
dated Jan. 20, 174§ conveyed the same to his son Frederic of Normanskill, 
for the sum of £60 [$150]. f The above parcel of land lying between Front 
and Green streets extended from the then burying ground of the Dutch 
church easterly nearly to John street and was from time to time divided 
into building lots and sold by Frederic Van Petten. 

Arent Van Petten, Myndert Schuyler and Jan Dellamont received a patent 
for 500 acres of land on the Normanskil Nov. 3, 1714, on which his son 
Frederic probably settled. J 

Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyck. 

Cornells Antonissen Van Slyck alias Broer Cornelis is said to have 
married a Mohawk woman by whom he had several children, three sons, 
Jacques, Marten and Cornelis, and two daughters Hilletie and Lea (?) 

Broer Cornelis by reason of his eminent services in bringing about peace 
and ransoming prisoners in the hands of the Indians, " which well known 
services should of right be duly acknowledged," — received a grant of lands 
at Katskill in 1646.§ 

In 1640 he lived near Cohoes falls; he died in 1676. || 

Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. 

Of the three sons of Broer Cornelis, Marten died in 1662, and Cornelis is 
only once mentioned in the records, — in 1659. 

* [Union street was not opened out at this time beyond Ferry. The north gate (at 
Church and Front), opened out to the ferry, and to the Aal Plaats (River Road), and 
Niskayuna (Green st.) roads which lead through the pasture and wood lots. — M'M.] 

f Dutch Church Papers. 

J Patents, 1678. 

$ O'Callaghan's Hist. N. N , i, 382. 

I) Brodhead, Hist. X. N. i, 306. 

Adult freeholders. 189 

Jacques was born in 1640, at Canajoharie ; his Indian name was Itsy- 
chosaquachka ; he was also sometimes called Jacques Cornelise Gautsh.* 
He married Grietje, daughter of Harmeu Janse Ryckman of Albany and 
had nine children living in 1697. He died probably about 1690, as his 
widow made an antenuptial contract 21 Feb., 169 J, being then about to 
marry Adam Vroomau. His will was made 8th May, 1690. f In 1671, he 
was one of the two licensed tapsters in the village. 

He seems to have had the regard both of the natives and the Dutch and 
to have had considerable influence with both peoples between whom he 
acted as interpreter.]; 

At one time he had a house lot in the village probably on the west corner 
of Washington street and Cucumber Alley, having a front on the former 
street of about 166 feet and extending back to the Binne kil. The alley on 
the north side — 16 feet wide wood measure, — was the passage to the Binne 
kil which was crossed by a scow to his farm on the Great island. 

This lot passed to his son Capt. Harmen Van Slyck ; in 1778, it was 
owned by Harmanus and Samuel sons of the latter, and still later by James 
Van Slyck Ryley their nephew, his mother being a daughter of Col. Jacobus 
Van Slyck. 

The first patent for land at Schenectady was made Nov. 12, 1662, by 
Governor Stuyvesant and confirmed by Governor Nicolls April 13, 1667, — 
to Sweer Theunissen [Van Velsen] and .Jacques Cornelyssen [Van Slyck] 
to each of them severally the moiety of " a certain Island, — Marten's 
"island — near Schenectady over against the town, etc., containing [82] acres 
" first taking out six acres or three morgens on said island the title to which 
" was vested in said Theunissen, who married the widow of Jan Barentse 
" Wemp to whom and to the said Jacque3 Cornelise said island was granted 
"Nov. 12, 1662."§ 

* [ Gautsh, pronounced Hotcb (nearly) ; can it be an abbreviation of Ots-tocb, bis rnotber's 
name? " A squaw was queen of tbe island wbicb lies back of Wasbingtou street. Sbe 
is buried on the island, under an old willow tree at tbe point towards tbe bridge. She 
had two children by a Frenchman — Mr. Harttell. Otstoch was like her mother, savage 
and wild. She married Cornelius Van Slyck. Kenutje, the second child, was small and 
handsome, like her father Mr. Harttell ; she was very white. She married a Bratt. " — 
Statement of tradition in his family, by Laurence R. Vrooman, of Cortland county. — M'M.] 

fWills, i, 11. 

J Col. Doc. in, 823,431, etc. 

§ Patents, 357; also the original patent belonging to Union College. 

190 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

After Van Slyck's death, Grietje Vrooman his widow, received a confir- 
matory patent April 2, 1695 for his moiety of said island in trust for the use 
of their four sons, — Harmen, Cornells, Marten and Acus.* This island orig- 
inally belonged to Marten Maurits,f Van Slyck's brother, who dying in 
1662, it fell to Jacqties by inheritance ; hence at first it was called Marten's 
island, afterwards Van Slyck's and sometimes Sweer Theunise's and Wemp's 
island, all of whom had an interest in the same. 

Besides the half island above mentioned, VanSlyck also received a grant 
of land on the First flat on the south side of the Mohawk river to the west 
of the village, described in the confirmatory patent of Oct. 30, 1684, as 
" situate between two creeks, one called Stone creek to the eastward, the 
"other the Platte creek to the westward ; — the low land lying along the 
" river side to the south of the Mohawk river and on the north of the land 
"belonging to the inhabitants of Schenectady of which said Jacques is to 
"have forty morgens or eighty acres of the best clearest land lying be- 
" tween said creeks, and also forty morgens or eighty acres of woodland on 
" the west side of the Platte creek adjoining to his arable land along the 
" river side."J 

The land confirmed by this grant to Jacques Cornelise, is stated to have 
come to him in right of his mother who was a Mohawk woman. His sons 
Marten and Cornelis inherited and lived upon this farm which is still in 
possession and occupancy of the family.§ 

Capt. Harmanus Van Slyck. 

Harmanus, eldest son of Jacques Cornelise, married Jannetie, daughter 
of Adam Vrooman, in 1704 ; they had twehye children. lie died in 1733, 
His military title was given because of his commanding the company of 
foot in the village. 

By his father's will, fourteen morgens of land on the First flat was devised 
to him, and the Mohawks gave him 2,000 acres at Canajoharie. This 
conveyance was made Jan. 12, I7lf, "in consideration of y e love, goodwill 
" and affection which we have and do bear towards our loving cozen and 

* Patents, 1474. 
■f-Col. MSS.,xxxrx, 216. 
% Coun. Min., v, 11, 12. Patents, 1200. 

§ "Will of Jacques Cornelise in Court of Appeal's office, and Deeds, Sec, State's office, 
vii, [See Ante, page 69, First Flat, page 77, Martens, Van Slycks, Wemp's Island]. 

Adult Freeholders. 191 

Cl friend Capt. Harmon Van Slyck of Schenectady aforesaid, whose grand- 
" mother was a right Mohaugs squaw and his father born with us in the 
" above said Kanajoree, ... it being his the said Harmon Van Slyke's by 
" Right of inheritance from his father." This deed was signed by Roddah, 
Kahekoe, Schenaktadee* and others of the principal Indians, and witnessed 
by " Lea Stevens interpreter to ye above deed."f 

In a deed of partition, dated 15th March, ] 771, of Capt. Van Slyck's 
land, it is recited that Capt. Harme Van Slyck, deceased, obtained a patent 
for 2,000 acres of land at "Anthony's Nose" ; — Nicholas Schuyler, deceased, 
surveyed the same 27th Sept., 1723, and divided it into sixteen lots ; Nov. 
1, 1731, said Harme Van Slyck made his will and bequeathed to his three 
sons. Jacobus and Adam Van Slyck, both now [1771] of Schenectady, and 
Harmanus Van Slyck, now of Canajoharie, the half of the above mentioned 
tract of land, save lots No. 8 of lowland, and No. 9 of woodland, and five 
morgens of lowland out of the west end of No. 6 of lowland, which he 
bequeathed to his son Harmanus. Isaac Vrooman made a new map of this 
property and a new sub-division, and the same was alloted to said Jacobus, 
Adam and, Harmanus by lot ; and the above mentioned deed was given to 
confirm this allotment.^ 

Capt. Van Slyck probably inherited the half of Van Slyck's island 
belonging to his father ; in 1748 it belonged to his son, Capt. Jacobus Van 

Isaac Van Valkenburgh. 

Isaac, son of Jochem Van Valkenburgh, of Albany, married Lydia, 
daughter of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, in 1705, and settled in Schenec- 

His house lot, on the south side of Union street, was the lot now occupied 
by the Court House, and was bought of Carel Hansen Toll, for £53 [$132 60 ]. 
The conveyance made Sept. 6, 1712, he being then in possession, 

* [Is this only a coincidence ? — M'M.] 

f H. Yates' Papers. 

X H. Yates' Papers. 

§ See Jan Wemple's will ; Wills, n, 4. 

192 History of the Schenectady Patent 

describes it as * bounded north by the street [Union] near where the streets 
" cross [Union and Ferry], being in breadth on the street 100 feet, — east by 
"the lot now in possession of Arent Bratt 210 feet, — on the west by Caleb 
" Beck's house and lot 210 feet and on the south by lot of Symon Volckertse 
" [Veeder]."* 

He was still in possession of this lot as late as 1764. It is probable that 
his father was for a time a resident here. 

Sweer Teunise Van Velsen alias Van Westbeook. 

Sweer Teunisen, first settled in Beverwyck where and at the Esopus 
[Kingston], he remained for some years. In 1664 he married Maritie 
Myndertse, widow of Jan Barentse Wemp. In 1669 he received a convey- 
ance from Madam Johanna [De Laet] Ebbingh of land at Litbberde's landt 
[Troy], according to contract with Jan Barentse Wemp, and in 1675 he 
sold to Jan Cornelise Vyselaer and Lucas Pieterse Coeymans, a saw mill 
and two morgens of land on the Poesten kil.f He received a patent in 
1667 for a lot on the west corner of Broadway and Van Tromp street, 
Albany, 9 rods square [108 feet English], which he sold in 1678, to Wouter 
Aertse, having previously removed the house to Schenectady. 

About the year 1666 he removed to Schenectady and built the first grist 
mill in the settlement, on Mill lane; this was carried away by a flood and 
rebuilt in 1673. In consideration of his loss he was allowed to take an 
eighth instead of a tenth as toll. 

The following is his petition to the Governor for redress of grievances: 

" Petition of Sweer Teunise to the Governor wherein he states that he 
" did build at Schenectady a corn mill and made a contract with the 
" comonalty 28th Jan. 1669, by which it was agreed that he should enjoy 
" all the privileges of any Miller in this countrey, being obliged to grind 
" every week i. e., on Tuesdays, all the corn that was to be ground and if 
"he could not grind it all that day he was to grind the day after, for which 
"he was to receive the 10th or 8 stuivers sewant per skipple, or 4 stuyvers 
" sewant for malt; No other mill was to be erected as long as he did ac- 
" commodate the people with good meal. After about two years an 
"extraordinary high flood carried off his mill; he engaged to rebuild the 
" mill and completed it before July, 1673, at which time a new covenant 
" was made whereby in consideration of his great damage it was agreed he 

* Deeds, v, 153, 264. 

f Deeds, i, 271 ; Deeds, n, 751. 

Adult Freeholders. 193 

" should have the 9th, or 10 stuyvers sewant the skipple and enjoy all the 
" rights of the first contract; and whereas certain persons possessed of envy 
" and malice did send him certain new regulations ordering him to take the 
" 10th, or 8 stuyvers sewant, notwithstanding your humbleservant triumph- 
" ing and winning the Process with Lewis Cobes, your schout, the Court 
"releasing me of the same." 

Now said Teunise petitions to have his rights confirmed and ratified by 
the Governor and Council.* 

In 1676 Van Velsen was made one of the magistrates of the village. In 
the massacre of 1690 he was slain, with his wife and four negro slaves, 
leaving no heirs here, though there were many of his name in Ulster 

Besides the half of Van Slyck's island acquired through his wife, he 
owned the land on the south side of State street from Church street nearly 
to Coehorn ci'eek easterly, and extending southerly and westerly upon the 
lowland to and beyond Mill creek so as to comprehend 24 acres. Before 
his death it was understood that he had in his will devised a half or a third 
of his property to the church and the remainder to his wife's children by 
her first husband, Jan Barentse Wemp; but as his will, if ever made was 
burned in the destruction of the village, the church had no legal claim upon 
his estate. A compromise was however effected in 1694, the church taking 
that portion of his estate lying on the south side of State street between 
Church and Dock streets, together with his grist mill, and his wife's heirs 
the remainder.f 

This settlement of the estate having been concluded by the claimants, J the 
following property was assured to them by a confirmatory patent dated 
Sept. 13th, 1694, to wit : "to Capt. Sander Glenn and Johannes Glenn,§ 

* Col. MSB., 45. 

f Col. MSS., xxxvii, 216 ; Dutch Church Papers ; Deeds, iv, 82 ; Not. Pap., n. 

% "Feb. 26, 1689-90, Diewer Weadel, widow of the late Myndert Wemp, Capt. Sender 
Glen, man en vooghi of his wife Antje Janse [Wemp], daughter of Maritie Myndertse, 
late wile of Sweer Teunise. Barent Janse, son of Maritie Myndertse and Arnout 
Cornelise Viele, chosen guardian of all parties, — agree that the property of Sweer 
Teunise Van Velsen shall be divided into three parts, — one part for Maritie, widow of 
Myndert Wemp; one for Capt. Glen, husband of Antje Janse, and one for Barent Janse, 
son of Maritie Myndertse." — Not. Papers, n. 

§ After the massacre he married the widow of Myndert Wemp, in 1691. 


194 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" and Barent Wemp, sundry parcels of land in Schenectady i. e. to each of 
" them one equal third part of said land, — the said Johannes Sanderse Glenn 
" to hold in trust one-third part for the benefit of the children of Myndert 
" Wemp lately deceased and of Dinah his wife, now wife of said Johannes, 
"said parcel of land being described as follows: — all that home lot of 
"ground in said town of Schenectady whereon are the messuage and barn 
" lately in occupation of Sweer Teunise Van Velson deceased, lying east- 
" ward and westward on both sides of the kil or stream of water [Coehorn 
" and Mill creeks], which the common highway from Albany to Schenec- 
" tady [State street] crosseth, running with a small arch or bow to the side 
" of the woods southward, to a marked white oak tree, which stands on the 
"brink of a hollow, and running west to the land, fly or marsh lately 
" belonging to Gerrit Bancker deceased, — the whole of the orchard, pas- 
" ture and part of the marsh, containing 12 morgens or 24 acres more or 
" less ; — and also one grist-mill or corn-mill standing upon the kil or creek 
" [on Mill Lane] within the said town of Schenectady ; and also three 
" morgens, or six acres more than the one-half part of a certain island 
" [Marten's or Van Slyck's island] lying over against said town on the other 
" side of the [Binn£] kil ; and also one equal half part of another island 
"lying to the rear [West] of said island, separated by a small kil, both 
"lying to the west of said town and the southernmost parts of said islands; 
"containing the whole of both islands 22 morgens, or 44 acres; and also 
" another small tract of land lying without said town upon the land com- 
"monly called Juffrouw Corlaer's land bounding to the West of Gysbert 
" Gerritse [Van Brakel's] land, and to the south of Isaac Cornelise Swits 
" land, containing four and a half morgens or 9 acres more or less."* 

The exact position of Van Velsen's house in the village cannot be fixed 
with certainty, but was probably situated between the house of Mrs. Abel 
Smith and the south corner of Mill Lane and State street. 

From his house easterly to Coehorn kil, State street at this time was only 
settled upon the north side, and the ancient burghers had a clear view from 
their front stoops, of Juffiroiiirfs lanclt and the wooded heights lying south 
and west of the village. That portion of the above described land, includ- 
ing the mill, lying between Church and Dock streets, was conveyed to the 
church ; the remainder was held by Wemp's heirs. As the demand for 
house lots increased, the church divided up and sold its portion fronting 
upon State street, reserving the lowland in the rear, and the corn mill on 
Mill lane. This was called the " church pasture," and was not finally sold 
until some time after 1800. 

* Patents, 1469 ; Coun. Mm., vi, 62; Dutch Church Papers ; see also Van Slyck. 

Adult Freeholders. 195 

Jellis Van Vorst. 

He was son of Jacobus Gerritse Van Vorst of Beverwyck, and was born 
in 1670.* At the age of eleven years his father apprenticed him to Jeroni- 
mus Wendel for six years, to learn the shoemaker's trade. f 

Having in 1699, married Elizabeth, daughter of Jan Baptist Van Eps and 
widow of Tennis Viele, he removed to Schenectady the next vear, and pur- 
chased of Johannes Ouderkirk and Neeltie Claes his wife, the lot on Union 
street next east of the Dutch church lot, 100 feet front and rear and 20T) 
feet deep Amsterdam measure. 

Sander Glen de oude and Jan Gerritse Van Marcken, magistrate and sec- 
retary of the village, conveyed this lot originally to Christiaan Christiaanse ; 
the deed was burned in Joris Aertse Van der Baast's house at the sacking 
of the town by the French and Indians Feb. 9, 1690 ; therefore Johannes 
Sanderse Glen, renewed the same Dec. 1, 1694, and the same day Chris- 
tiaanse conveyed said lot to Neeltie Claase, widow of Hendrick Gardenier. 
It would seem however from the inventory of Gardenier's property that he 
had owned this lot long before the above conveyance. 

Neeltie Claase married Johannes Ouderkirk and with him conveyed said 
lot to Jellis Van Vorst 21st Feb., 170i for the sum of £21 [52 50 ] current 
money of the Province. Johannes son of Gillis, inherited it and gave the 
east half to his son Johannes 20 Aug., 1767, his other son Jan Baptist, at 
that time being owner of the west half.| 

The west half, 50 by 200 feet now forms part of church yard, the east 
half of the same dimensions Amsterdam measure, is owned and occupied by 
Mr. Aaron Barringer. 

Pietkr Adriaense Soegemakelyk § alias Van Woggelttm. 

Pieter and Jacob Adriaense (brothers), were innkeepers in Beverwyck 
or Colonie Rensselaerswyck. Although the former was one of the early 
proprietors of Schenectady, it is not known that he ever resided here. 

His village lot was the easterly quarter of the block bounded by Union, 
Washington, State and Church streets; he received a patent for this lot in 
1664, and sold it to Helmer Otten, baker, of Albany in 1670,|| who dying 
soon after, it passed into the possession of Reyer Schermerhorn; the latter 

* Annals of Albany, n, 98, 163; Deeds, n, 690. fNot. Paper, n. 

X Toll Papers ; Wills, i, 3. § [Soegemakelyk = Oh so easy.— M'M.] | Deeds, n, 769. 

196 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

having married Otten's widow. The descendants of Catharina Otten, who 
married Gerrit Symonse Veeder, long afterwards occupied this corner. 

Van Woggeluin's bouweries No. 4, confirmed to him by patent dated 
June 5, 1667, were described as "two parcels of land at Schenectady both 
" marked No. 4, — one lying west of Arent Van Curlers from which a line 
" being drawn between No. 3 [between which and No. 3 a line being drawn] 
'' south-east by south stretches along [north] till it conies to a killetje 
" bounding No. 1, containing by estimate with the vleylandt thereunto be- 
" longing, 14 morgens or 28 acres 164 rods;-r-the other lying on the hind- 
" most parcel of land near the river, to the east of No. 3, — to the west of 
" No. 6, a line being run on both sides from the river to the small creek 
" [dove-gat], south-west and by west, it is in breadth 56 rods and contains 
" 12 morgens, — as granted by Governor Stuyvesant June 16, 1664."* 

On the 13th Aug., 1670, Pieter Adriaense sold the above parcels of land 
to Helmer Otten together with " a barn and rick lying in Schaenhechtede 
and a garden in the valley {leeghte)" for thirty-five beaver skins [$112]. f 
After the death of the latter about 1685, these lands passed to his daughter 
and only heir, Catharina, wife of Gerrit Symonse Veeder, and to his widow 
Ariaentje Arentse Bratt, who subsequently married Reyer Schermerhorn. 
In the final partition of Otten's estate, Schermerhorn obtained the foremost 
lot No. 4, and 8 morgens of the hindmost lot; and Gerrit Symonse 4 
morgens of the latter lot and a conveyance from Schermerhorn of 8 morgens 
of lot No. 9. 

Foremost lot No. 4 remained in possession of the Schermerhorn family 
until 1872. The mill right on this farm was confirmed to Schermerhorn in 
1688 by patent from Governor Dongan,J and the farms No. 4, by quit-claim 
from Jan, eldest son of Pieter Van Woglum in 1695.§ 

Harmen Albertse Vedder. 

He was an early settler in New Netherland, residing mainly at Bever- 
wyck, even after he had purchased a bouwery at Schenectady. 

As agent of Dirk De Wolfe, merchant of Amsterdam, in 1661, he erected 
a salt kettle on Coney Island, which was claimed by the inhabitants of 

* Patents, 478. t Deeds, n, 769 ; in. 108. 

% Patent in the Secretary of State's office of Massachusetts at Boston ; also Deeds, v, 
§ Schermerhorn Papers. 

Adult Freeholders. 197 

Vedcler and one Pieterse laid claim to the island, but in a suit brought 
before the Governor and Council, were beaten and probably abandoned their 
enterprise.* After the Province passed into the possession of the English, 
De Wolfe returned to Holland ; and in 1667 his house and lot in Albany, 
then occupied by Vedder, was ordered to be confiscated by Governor 
Nicolls.f He was a trader, at least so long as he remained in Albany, and 
made several voyages to Patriot, — one in 1660, and another in 1668, on 
which occasion, being in Holland, he, with other traders, having purchased 
goods and chartered the ship King Charles, petitioned the King of England 
for permission to send the same to New York, which was granted.^ 

Vedder's bouwery in Schenectady was rented in 1663 to Symon Groot, 
for six years at a yearly rent of 500 guilders.§ 

In the spring of 1672, it is probable he gave up business in Albany, and 
retired to Schenectady, for in February of that year he purchased bouweries 
No. 8 of Dirk Hesselingh, to be delivered to him May 1, 1672, and the year 
following he was appointed one of the three commissaries or magistrates of 
the village.|| 

In 1674, the magistrates of Schenectady were reprimanded for not show- 
ing due respect for those of Willemstadt [Albany], and for pretending to 
the privilege of the Indian trade, and Harmen Vedder, schout, in particular, 
was complained of because of his conduct towards Capt. Schuyler, and was 
warned "to regulate himself accordingly."** 

His children were probably born in Albany; but the records of the church 
there prior to 1684 being lost, neither the dates of their baptisms nor the 
name of his wife, are known. It is only known that in 1668 he was brother- 
in-law of Johannes Provoost, secretary of Albany. ff 

At the date of his death, which happened before June 18, 1714, JJ five sons 
and one daughter were living and had families of their own.§§ 

Although Harmen Albertse was among the earliest proprietors of Schen- 
ectady, his name does not appear as grantee or patentee in the records until 
1672, Gen-it Bancker received the patent for bouweries No. 6, in 1664 and 
1667 ;||| although in fact he had but a half interest in the same as appears by 

* Val. Man., 1863 ; O'Callaghan's Hist.N. N., n, 542. f Col. MSS., xxn, 18. 

t Col. Doc, in, 179; Deeds, n, 170. § Not Papers, i. 

( Col. Doc, ir, 609. ** Col. Doc. it, 675. ff Deeds, n, 736. 

It Deeds, vu, 185. §§ Albany Annals, vn, 35. ||| Patents, 382. 

198 History of the Schenectady Patent, 

the lease given in 1663, by Bancker and Vedder to Symon Groot for these 
bouweries,* aud from the fact that in 1701, Vedder sold the easterly half of 
hindmost lot No. 6, which seems to have been his share in the above men- 
tioned patent, to his son Albert for £91-16.f That he was an early pro- 
prietor also appears from the fact that he with Sander Lcendertse, Willem 
Teller and others, petitioned the Governor in 1664, to have their lands sur- 
veyed. Hindmost farm No. 6, lying between the river road and the river 
was unfit for a hofstede by reason of the annual floods, but the purchase of 
the adjacent bouwery No. 8, gave him a convenient and pleasant site for 
his house aud farm buildings beyond the reach of the highest floods. J 

This farm was originally allotted to Marten Cornelise Van Ysselsteyn 
who sold it to Cornelis Corn. Viele, from whom it passed successively to 
Jurriaen Teunise Tappen, to Dirk Hesselingh and finally Feb. I, 167£ to 
Harmen Vedder, who purchased with " de bouwery (daer den Vboz: Dirk 
" Hesselingh op woont op Schaenechtede), soo het landt als huys, schuer ende 
" twee berghen &e. soo als het de voorn &c. Hesselingh van Jurriaen Teu- 
" nissen gecocht heeft gehadt " * * * to be delivered to Herman Vedder the 
coming 1st May, 1672, together with the seed in the ground. Vedder 
promised to pay 20 whole beavers to Jurriaen Teunissen for the same.§ 

In 1701, Harmen Albertse owned a pasture of two and a half morgens 
lying between Front street and the river, beginning 509 feet Eng. east of 
north street and extending easterly along Front street 210 feet Eng. to the 
New York Central Railroad; in 1714-18 this lot belonged to his son 

Outside of the limits of Schenectady he owned several parcels of land be- 
sides several houses and lots in Albany. 

Jan. 31, 1657, he bought of Rutger Jacobsen, "syne hugs en erff gelegen 
" in de doorpe beverwyck, breet voor en achter ses dertich voet, lanch vier en 
" sestich voet en met a en ganch van vifte voet en breet lanch tot aen Jcil 
" welcke ganch is Gelegen tusschen goossen gerritsen [van Schaick] en den 
" Vercooper " &c, consideration 2325 guilders. 

This lot was on the south side of State street, Albany, between Green and 
Pearl streets, and extended back only to the Rutten kil now arched over and 
used as a sewer; there was included in this sale Jacobsen's brewery which 
was to be delivered to Vedder the following November.** 

* Not. Papers, i. f Deeds, v, 107. 

% This site is now occupied by the house of Mr. Jno. D. Campbell. 

§ Not. Paper. | Deeds, v, 232. ** Albany Co. Rec, 20. 

Adult Freeholders. 199 

In 1665 he owned a house and lot on the hill in Albany next to Cornells 

He contracted in 1662 to buy a house and lot next to Philip Pieterse 
Schuyler's, for 1600 guilders.f 

Aug. 21, 1670, he sold to Robert Sanders a parcel of land at Stone Ara- 
bia. [Lansingburgh ? ]J 

And on Oct. 31, 1677, he and Barent Reyndertse sold "to Claes Janse Van 
Boekhoven [cle Brabander] and Ryck Claase [Van Vranken] a farm in Canas- 
tagioene on the north side of the Mohawk river, consideration 550 skiples 
of wheat. "§ 

After his death, his children on the 3 May, 1715, petitioned the common 
council of Albany for the renewal of a release (burnt at Schenectady when 
it was cut off) of a lot owned by their father Harme Vedder deceased, and 
lying on the south side of Albany, which petition was granted. || 

Albert Vedder. 

Pie was probably the eldest son of Harmen Albertse, and was born in 
1671. At the destruction of the village in 1690, he was carried away to 
Canada. On his return he married in 1699, Maria, daughter of Johannes 
Sandcrse Glen, and had at least five sons and two daughters, a part of 
whom were living 8th February, 175|, when his will was made. He died 
August 1, 1753, aged 82 yrs., 2 mos.' and 21 days. 

His village lot, on the north side of Union street, is thus described in a 
deed given June 3, 1701, by Reyer Schermerhorn and others, trustees. 
" Whereas Reynier Schaets was in peaceable possession of a certain lot in 
"Schenectady, the patent to which is thought to have been destroyed in 1690 
"by the French, and as said lot was sold by Gideon Schaets, eldest son of 
"said Reynier Schaets to Albeit Vedder, and as said Vedder now desires a 
" conveyance, therefore, said trustees of Schenectady conveyed to said Vedder 
" said lot, having to the east the lot of Symon Groot, to the west the lot of 
" Johannes Teller, north and south, the common highway [Front and Union 
"streets], in breadth before and behind 51 feet, and in length 404 feet, wood 
" measure."** 

This same lot was in possession of Arent Van Curler in 1662, and after 
his death in 1667, it passed into possession of Benjamin Roberts, by whom 
it was sold to Reynier Schaets. 

* A lbany Co. Roc. , 83. f Albany Co. Rcc. , 306. 

% Ibid, 408 ; or Deeds, n, 775. § Albany Co., Rec, 166, also Not. Papers. 

| Albany Aunals, vn, 35. ** Deeds, v, 100. 

200 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

He owned and occupied a farm on the north bank of the Mohawk river 
at what was called Lusigh hoek, a short distance above the lower Glenville 
bridge, late the property of Thomas Walmsley. At this point was the 
•' Lower Ferry," until 1808, when it was removed to Van Vorst's the next 
farm below, and without the limits (one mile), prescribed by the Mohawk 
Bridge charter. 

He also inherited his father's pasture on Front street ; in 1759 this lot 
belonged to Albert Johannese Vedder.* 

Harm an us Vedder. 

Harmanus, son of Harmen Albertse, was an Indian trader. He first 
married in 1691, Grietje, daughter of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck and 
widow of Andries Arentse Bratt, through whom he probably obtained pos- 
session of the village lot on the north corner of State and Church streets, 
and the use of most of Bratt's property during the life of his wife, who 
died about I730.f In 1 733 he married Ariaantje, daughter of Claas Laurense 
Van der Volgen and widow of Aarnold De Graaf. He had eleven children 
all born before 1711. 

On the 27th Sept., 1733, the Dutch church conveyed to him and his son 
Harmen, Jr., for £13 [$32.50], " a lot on the south side of Schenectady and 
" on the south side of Mill creek, beginning at the mill dam, — thence along 
'• said creek [easterly] with a straight line 283 feet to land of Gerrit Symonse 
" Veeder to a post, thence along land of said Gerrit Symonse Veeder [south] 
" westerly 180 feet to land of Cornells Viele, thence along land of Cornelis 
" Viele north [westerly] 215 feet and thence 70 feet to said Mill dam, Am- 
" sterdam measure."}; 

On the 21st July, 1757, Harmen Vedder, Jr., conveyed this lot to Alex- 
ander Vedder then in possession of the mill. Ferry street (extended south) 
from State street passes through this lot. In 1747 he was also the reputed 
owner of at least a part of his father's farm No. 9, — on the bouwland.§ 

* Deeds, v, 417. 

f Bratt Papers. 

X Dutch Church Papers. 

§ Gerrit Symonse Veeder's -will. 

Adult Freeholders. 201 

Arent Vedder. 

Arent, son of Harmen Albertse, married Sara, daughter of Symon Groot, 
and had eleven children, all of whom save one were living and had families 
10 Aug., 1746, when he made his will. 

His village lot on the west side of Washington street, extended from the 
lot of Charles Thompson to that of Mrs. Peck, about 100 feet Amsterdam 
measure. This lot is now owned and occupied by D. Cady Smith. 

By his will which was proved March 1, 1755, he devised to his youngest 
son Albert, " my house and lot in Schenectady where I now dwell, bounded 
" south by the lot of Myndert Veeder, north by the house and lot of 
" Hendrick Brouwer, east by the street [Washington], and west by my son 
" Harmanus Vedder,"* 

He had a farm at Hoffman's [late Vedder's] ferry, which was confirmed 
to him by patent of date March 21, 168-f- ; — " a certain parcel of land lying 
" above Schenectady on the south side of the river, beginning at the end 
" of the limits of said town and so along the river side to the steep strand 
" just over a little stoney kil, stretching itself into the woods as far as the 
"trees are marked, containing 16 acres, according to the Indian deed thereof 
" dated July 20, 1686, and the warrant of Governor Dongan, dated 26 May, 

By his will he gave to his eldest son Harmen £3; — to son Symon " the 
" east part of my land on the south side of the Mohawk river in the 
" Woestyne [opposite Hoffman's ferry], where I now live, with house, barn 
" and hofstede, beginning at the division between me and Jan Wemple and 
" running up the river to Ifromme kil, and a morgen on the hight over or 
" on the west side of the Kromme kil between the ditch (slooi) and the river 
"and then with a right line where the uppermost or most western line of 
" that morgen comes over the kromme kil from the river or to the Kings 
" highway, with bosland behind my house; — to my son Harmen my westerly 
"part of my bo uwland on the south side of the Mohawk in the Woestyne 
" where he has built a house and barn,— beginning on the west side of the 
" Kromme kil, &c, — to youngest son Albert Vedder, my house and lot in 
" Schenectady where he now dwells, &c — Also three morgens of lowland 
" at Schenectady [part of farm No. 8] bounded north by the King's high- 
" way, east by the land of Harmanus Vedder, south by land of Corset 
"Vedder, west by land of Abraham Mebie, — and my hay pasture ( Weytje) 
" \ of a morgen lying in the lowland on the south of Schenectady bounded 
" south, west and north by the pasture of heirs of Lourens V. D. Volgen 
" and east by the road."J 

* Wills, I, 285. f Patents, 1364 ; Toll Papers. % Wills, i, 285 


202 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Johannes Vedder. 

Johannes, fourth son of Harmen Albertse, was carried away to Canada in 
1690 with his brother Albert. After his return he married Maria, daughter 
of Johannes Fort of Watervliet, in 1705, and secondly Engeltie, daughter 
of Gerrit Symonse Veeder in 1732. He had 13 children and died Aug. 
14, 1748. 

He inherited perhaps a portion of the hindmost farm No. 8 from his father, 
to which was added 120 acres of upland in the rear, by patent dated June 
12, 1714 ; this land was situated about 600 yards south of the Poenties kil.* 

Corset Vedder. 

Corset the fifth son of Harmen Albertse, settled in " Schaghkook " about 
1708, where he remained until 1720. His first wife was Margarita Darrith 
in 1709; she died before the baptism of her first child; his second wife 
was Neeltje, daughter of Christiaan Christiaanse of Albany. He had twelve 

In 1721, he sold his farm in " Schaghkook " and moved to Niskayuna.f 
He owned four morgens of his father's farm No. 8. J His will was dated 
Oct. 25, 1745 and he was not living Sept. 20, 1748. 

Symon VolckErtse Veeder alias de Bakker. 

He was born in 1624; in 1644 he belonged to the ship Prince Willem 
plying between Holland and New Amsterdam. § 

In 1652 he was in New Amsterdam where he purchased a house and lot,[| 
which he sold in 1654 to Albert Gerritse for 30 beavers and removed to 
Beverwyck.** In 1665 he owned a house lot in Albany and the year follow- 
ing purchased another house and lot by the river of the heirs of Cornelia 
Theunise Bos.ff 

* Patents, 1672. f Albany Annals, v, 184, 186 ; vn, 17 ; vin, 231, 264, 308. 

% Deeds, vn. § Albany Rec. , n, 278 ; Albany Annals, rv, 44. 

| Patents, H. H., 3. ** Deeds, n, 36. ft Albany Co. Rec, 76, 408. 

Adult Freeholders. 203 

His home lot in this village was on the north corner of State and Ferry- 
streets; — 120 feet front on the former and 268 feet on the latter street. On 
his death about 1700, this lot became the property of his son Volkert who 
bequeathed it to his thi*ee sons. 

Of the allotments made in 1662 of the bouwland, Veeder received the two 
parcels numbered 9, which by the confirmatory patent of Jan. 15, 1667, are 
described as — "two parcels of land at Schenectady, both marked No. 9: — 
one lying by the river to the east of No. 10 alongst the low ground, a line 
running between No. 9 and No. 10 then going forward, its encompassed 
by the river and the creek [Poenties kil], containing 24 acres or 12 mor- 
gens; — the other parcel lying upon the hindmost piece of land next to the 
woods, to the west of No. 10, to the east of No. 8, a line running on each 
side from the creek [dove gat] to the woodland south-west and by west, 
in breadth 50 rods, in bigness 24 acres or 12 morgens in all '24 morgens."* 
These two farms remained in the family wholly or in part for several 

He also had a pasture lot in the Kalver-viey between Front street and the 
river which he conveyed to Joris Arissen Van Baast 27 Feb., 167y, — "in 
" length 75 [95 ?] rods, bounded on the west by Gerrit Bancker, on the north 
"by the river, breadth 15 rods on the river, on the east by the common 
"pasture, on the south by the common boswegh [Front street] 17 rods."| 
This pasture containing nearly 2 \ morgens was opposite the pi'esent 
Jefferson street. 

Nov. 2, 1682, he bought a farm with house, barn, &c, on the Normanskil, 
of Jacob Casparse Hallenbeck of Albany, giving in exchange his foremost 
lot No. 9, commonly called De Bakkers hoek,§ and on the 16th June, the 
following year he purchased of Hallenbeck the same farm, probably, which 
passed to his sons Pieter and Johannes. || 

In his will Veeder speaks of his wife Engeltie, and five sons and three 
daughters all of whom married and left families. 

* Patents, 310. 

f See Wills of Symon Volckertse and sons Volkert and Gerrit; Deeds, iv, 106; Not. 
Pap., ii. 
% Deeds, n, 795. 
§ Not. Pap., ii. 
j Deeds, m, 183 ; Will. 

204 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Gkrrit Symonse. Veedek. 

Gerrit, son of Symon Volckertse, married in 1690 Tryntje, daughter of 
Helmer Otten. 

They had eight children — four sons and four daughters, all of whom lived 
to maturity. 

Through this marriage in addition to other property, he obtained possession 
of lots in the village on the north and west corners of Union and Church 
streets, which remained in the family several generations.* The lot on the 
west corner came to him by Otten's purchase from Van Woggelum; that 
on the north corner was purchased by Reyer Schermerhorn, of Ludovicus 
Cobes; — 100 feet on Union street and 223 feet on Church street. By his will 
he divided this lot into four smaller ones and gave to his sons Hendrikus 
and Symon the lot on the corner, 50 by 180 feet, to his daughter Catriena, 
the lot of the same size next west having a front on Union street of 50 feet; — 
to Cornells a lot on Church street 40 by 100 feet 180 feet north of Union 
street and another 51 X 100 feet north of Cornells' lot to Hendrikus and 
Symon. A large portion of these lots fronting on Church street belonged 
to the estate of the late Col. Stephen Yates. 

December 9, 1718, the Dutch Church conveyed to him a lot on the south 
side of State street, " bounded north by the street, 52 feet, east by the lot 
" Folkert Symonse [Veeder, his brother] 142 feet, west by the lot of Adam 
" Smit 140 feet, and south by land belonging to the afore mentioned 
" church 44| feet wood measure."! Subsequently this lot came into the 
possession of Thomas Brouwer Bancker, who built upon it the house now 
occupied by Mr. John Lake and a blacksmith shop next east, which portion 
now belongs to the estate of James Walker deceased. 

Besides the above lots within the village, Gerrit Symonse owned several 
parcels of land on the bouwland among which were the two farms numbered 

* By the contract between Helmer Otten's widow and Jan Janse Bleecker and Hans 
Hendrickse, guardians for her daughter Catryna, made July 1, 1676, said widow agreed 
to pay her daughter as soon as she was of age or married, " y e somme of 225 whole 
beaver skins for the payment of which said Ariaantje dotli bind the farm [No. 4] at 
Schenectady," &c. The money in Holland was to be equally divided between mother 
and daughter, — a very comfortable estate for a young woman in those times — Veeder 

f Church and Veeder Ptpis. 

Adult Freeholders. 205 

nine, patented to his father, four small gardens on the lowland between Mill 
creek and the canal and the mill privilege at u Veeder's mill " and the land 

He built a mill at this locality quite early. On the 19th Feb. 171-f-, he 
received title to the lands on both sides of the creek, (then called Sand kil) 
from Vrooman's mill-right (at the Brandywine mill) to and north of the 
gasworks on Centre street ; this conveyance gave him 100 yards on each 
side of the creek, and that portion lying between the mill and the city along 
Centre street was called " Symon's meadow."* 

In 1762 the Veeders obtained from Isaac Vrooman (the owner of the 
Brandywine mill lot) a conveyance of 603 yards of land and stream above 
" Veeders mill" and this remained in the family until 1812, when Judge 
Gerrit S. Veeder conveyed the mill right and land at the "cotton factory" 
so called, to the "Schenectady Manufacturing Company." 

He made his will in which he was joined by his wife, Mar. 12, 174^, 
proved July 8, I755,f — making the following disposition of his estate: "To 
" his eldest son Helmer the hindmost lot of lowland [No. 9], which he now 
"has in possession, — 12 morgens more or less, — lying between the land of 
" Harmanus Vedder and Sander Glen, except a morgen that lies on the 
" Kings' highway [River road], — item two gardens lying next Cornelis 
" Vielen's pasture, that, part next Ephraim Smith's; — item those two gardens 
" which lie next above the foregoing gardens, which came from his grand- 
" mother" [OttenJJ to Henderikus his "corn mill and half part of the saw 
" mill, with the house, barn, stables and all belonging thereto lying on the 
" Zant Ml, — the whole pasture as it lies in fence called the vley belonging 
u to the right of the above written house and mills excepting six morgens 
" of the above written vley beginning at the village and next the pasture 
" of Jan Barentse Wempel;" — to his son Symon "the six morgens of the 
" vley above mentioned, "§ — to sons Hendrikes and Seymon " four morgens 
" of lowland lying in the Hoeck on the bouwland [part of foremost farm 
" No. 9] next the path or Kings highway; also my house and part of the lot 
" in the village of Schenectady next the new Dutch church, on the corner 

* Dutch Church and Veeder Papers. 

t Will in Court of Appeal's office. 

X These four gardens lay between Mill creek and the canal. 

§ These six morgens of land commencing at or near the " Coehorn kil " on Centre 
street and extending southward, on the death of Symon without issue were the occasion 
of much doubt as to the interpretation of his father's will ; they were in the end sold to 
James Willson, merchant. 

206 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

of the street [north corner of Union and Church streets],* being in breadth 
on the south side [on Union street] fifty feet and in length along the 
[Church] street on the east one hundred and thirty feet to the lot which I 
below give to our son Cornells, and a lot on which my barn stands, being 
fifty feet broad along the [Church] street on the east side and one hundred 
feet long to the lot of Nicolas Groot, all Amsterdam measure; — to my four 
daughters Engeltie, Ariaantje, Annatie and Magdalena, all the rest and 
remainder of my land in the Hoeck which I have not above devised, being 
four morgens to each one equal morgen; — to son Cornells, a lot lying in 
the aforesaid village near the new Church, lying to the south of the lot 
and barn that I gave above to my son Symon and Hendrikes, in breadth 
on the east side along the [Church] street forty feet and length from the 
street to the lot of Nicolas Groot one hundred feet; — to our sons Hen- 
drikes and Seymon and Gerrit, son of our son Helmer I give all our land 
in the Jersey at a place called the Ganse Gat; — to Catharina Vedder, 
daughter of my daughter Engeltie, wife of Johannes Albertse Vedder a 
lot of ground lying between the houseand lot of Nicolas Groot and the 
house and lot which I have herein above devised to our sons Hendrikes 
and Seymon being in breadth on the south side [on Union street] fifty 
feet and in length on both sides one hundred and thirty feet to the lot 
above devised to my son Cornells, — a little pasture remaining from the 
pastures which we herein above have devised to our son Helmer as it lies 
in fence next to Cornells Vielen's pasture and the church pasture and Jan 
Vrooman's in the corner where they go into the pley y also a morgen of 
woodland lying on the hill next the mill-right to the south of Jan 
Barentse [Wemps] woodland, which sometime ago was cleared, also a 
morgen of lowland lying on the road on the hindmost lot of lowland [No 
9] hereinabove devised to my son Helmer on condition that my son Helmer 
shall have a waggon way over this morgen of land from his bouwland; 
and our sons Hendrikes and Symon shall have the right to drive their 
waggons to the saw and corn mills through the little pasture as the path 
now runs through it; — to Gerrit Van Antwerpen, four feet in breadth of 
ground lying by his house and lot on the south side thereof and one 
hundred feet long."f 

Gerrit Symonse Feb. 9, 173|, conveyed half of his sawmill to his son 
Wilhelmus [Helmers ?], who lived just south of the mill near the Veeder 
burying ground. \ 

* This house and lot on the death of Symon without issue came to Hendricus, who by 
will made 3 Mar., 1790, devised it to his daughter Catharina, wife of Jellis J. Fonda. — 
Veeder Papers. 

f Gerrit Symonse's will. 

\ Deeds, vn. 

Adult Freeholders. 207 


Pieter, son of Symon Volkertse, married Neeltje, daughter of Claas 
Lawrense Van der VolgeD, in 1704. He settled on the Normans kil, prob- 
ably on land given him by his father. At the date of his last child's 
baptism in 1709, he was not living. 

Johannes Symonse Veeder. 

Johannes, son of Symon Volkertse, married, first, Susanna, daughter of 
Myndert Wemp, in 1697, and secondly, Susanna Wendel, of Albany, in 
1718. He had seven children, all, save one, living at the time of his will, 
July 15, 1746,* children of his first wife. 

He resided on the Normans kil, where he had a portion of his father's 
land, to which he added a part of Jan Hendrickse Van Bael's patent, by 

Volkert Symonse Veeder. 

Volkert, son of Symon Volkertse, married Jannetje, daughter of Reyer 
Schermerhorn, in 1698. They had twelve children, seven of whom are 
mentioned in his will made August 4, 1733, and proved February 21, 1760. 
He died 12th August, 1733. He lived on the north corner of Ferry and 
State streets, on a lot received from his father, 120 ft. front, to which his 
father-in-law added about 60 ft. more on (he west, as a bequest to his wife 

This lot was divided into three equal shares and devised to his three sons, 
Symon, Hendricus and Johannes — to each a lot of about 60 ft. front. He 
also owned a lot on the south side of State street, east of the lot of the 
Young Men's Christian Association Building, which he devised to his wife. 

In 1729, he had an interest in the mill-right, for which he paid a quit rent 
to the town of 30 boards. f 

Pieter Cornelise Viele. 

Two brothers of this name were among the early settlers of Schenectady. 
Pieter Cornelise and Cornells Cornelise Viele. 

* Will, Court of Appeal's office, 
f Groote schult boek. 

208 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Pieter came to Schenectady with his brother Cornelis, senior, and in com- 
pany with Elias Van Gyseling purchased De Winter's bouwery in 1670.* 
His wife was Jacomyntje, daughter of Tennis Swart the first settler, by whom 
he had two sons and one or more daughters. He died sometime before 
1690, after which his widow married Bennony Arentse Van Hoek, who was 
killed in the massacre of 1G90. She subsequently married Cornelis Vinhout 
and removed to Ulster county, where she was living as late as 1700. 

Viele's village lot was confirmed to him by patent of date Oct. 21, 1670, 
" containing as it lies along the highway 200 feet, having to the west Bent 
"Bagge and on the east the woodland; as also another small piece of land 
" for a plantation, of two morgens or four acres bounded west by the fence 
" of Claas Van Petten and on the lot aforementioned, * * behind on the 
" line of Pieter the Brasihaen's lot."f 

On the 12th Dec, 1684, Pieter Viele and Jan Janse Jonckers obtained a 
conveyance from the trustees of Schenectady of the Second flat, next above 
Maalwyck on the north side of the river, the former taking the easterly 17 
morgens and the latter, the westerly 17 morgens. After his widow's removal 
to Ulster county, she conveyed her bouwery on the Second flat in 1699 to 
her only surviving son, Lewis Viele, who about 1708 being about to remove 
to Schaghticoke, reconveyed the same to the patentees of Schenectady; and 
they on the 25th March, 1718, conveyed it to Reyer Schermerhorn.J 

Cornelis Viele. 

Cornelise Viele in company with Claas Frederickse Van Petten, in 1668 
purchased the two bouweries No. 8, of Marten Cornelise Van Ysselsteyn, in- 
cluding his house, barn, three ricks, four horses, five cows, eight hogs, 
wagon, plough and harrow. Viele sold his moiety, the hindmost farm to 
Jurriaen Teunise of Albany.§ 

He was one of the two licensed tapsters of the village, his inn being on the 
south corner of State street and Mill lane near Church street. He was suc- 

* Deeds, n, 789. 

f Patents, 752. The locality of these lots is unknown to the compiler. 

X Deeds, iv, 215, 216 ; vi, 464 ; Gen. Entr., xxxn, 12. 

§ Deeds, ii, 740, 741, 777. 

Adult Freeholders. 209 

ceeded here by Douw Aukes, who married Maria Vielef his grand-daughter. 
It was at his house that the traditional merry making was going on when 
the village was destroyed on the night of the*8th Feb., 16ff ; Aukes' wife, 
two children and a negro servant were slain, and his brother-in-law, Arnout 
Viele was carried away to Canada. 

The following action was taken Jan. 9, 16*71, by the Governor in refer- 
ence to a " Lycence for Cornelyse Cornelyssen Vielen of Schanechtide to tapp 
" strong Beer & Liquors there" &c. " Whereas Cornelys Cornelyssen Vielen 
" of Schanechtide haveing made this Address to ye commissarya att Albany, 
" desiring hee may have Liberty to tapp strong Beer & Liquors and to keep 
" an Ordinary, in recompence for several services done by him between us 
" & ye Maques, the wh : they have Recommended to mee for my approba- 
" tion. But in regard there is a Person already there by name Aques Cor- 
" nelyssen Gautsh [Van Slyck] an indyan, that doeth y- same by Lycence 
" and Appointm'- of my Predecessor, Coll: Richard Nicolls, would give noe 
" Determinacon therein : 

" And it being likewise represented that ye said Acques hath not sufficient 
" Aceotnmadagon for Strangers wh. y e said Cornely's Cornelyssen Vielen 
" doth promise to bee well provided off y e relief e of Strangers & Travellers, 
" Upon considerayon had thereupon I have Thought fitt to graunt ye Request 
" of y e said Coruelys Cornelyssen Vielen & by these Presents doe give him 
" free Lycence and Liberty to tap or sell by Retayle strong Beere & 
"Liquors to Strangers & Travellers at Schanechtide, wth this Proviso, 
"That this Lycence now granted shall not take away ye priviledge of ye 
"former Lycence given by my Predecessor to Aques: And that ye said 
" Cornelys Cornelyssen doe keep fitting Accommadacon for men and horses, 
" but doe not presume to sell any strong Liquors to ye Indyans to cause 
" any disturbance that way under ye penalty of forfeiting this Lycence 
" & paying such ffine as ye Law shall Require. 

" Given under my Hand at Fort James in New York this 9 th day of 
January 167l."f 

* [The Viele chart compiled by Gen]. E. L. Viele of N. Y., records : Maria married 
Matthys Vrooman, Mary married Douwe Aukes. 

The text agrees with Trouw boek and other Dutch church records. There were but two 
daughters mentioned. Willempie who married S. J. Schermerhorn, and Maria who mar- 
ried first M. Vrooman ; second Douwe Aukes. 

Sewell's Dictionary Amsterdam 1708, compares names: Maria, Mariken, Mary, Mar- 
ritje, Marytje Maartje, Maaike = Mary in the English. Was not this Maria of one mar- 
riage the Mary of the other ? — M'M.] 

t Gen. Entries, 83. 

210 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

A dispute having arisen between the two above mentioned tapsters, 
Governor Lovelace on the 6th of May, 1672, "ordered that both have Lycence 
to tap without molesting each other."* 

On the 15th of Aug., 1671, Cornells Viele received a patent to confirm to 
him a parcel of land at Schenectady on the north side of the Mohawk river, 
" beo-innino- at a certain oaken tree markt on the east and west sides thereof and 
" so goes alongst the river S. S., east to y e Point containing in breadth 130 
" rods and from ye Point goes again north-west 106 rods, lyeing south [North] 
" west from y p hindmost lot of bouwland belonging to Gerrit Bancker and 
"running along ye bush or woodside north-west, its in length 132 rods; — 
*' all ye said land as it lyes having been markt out by ye Indians at the 
"uttmost limits thereof ; — as also a certain island [Sassians] bounded on ye 
" south side by ye Maqaaees river over against ye north end of Jacques 
" Cornelissen's [Van Slyck's] island, on the north-east side with a creek or 
'• kil that lies by the aforementioned Hoeke of bouwland, containing in 
" bigness fourteen acres, or seven morgens of land."f 

Benjamin Roberts owned a farm at Maalwyck west of Viele's, also the 
land opposite on the south side of the river, called Poversen, which he sold 
to Hend. Lamb Bont, and Bont to Viele, to whom said lands were con- 
firmed by a patent of date Sept. 29, 1677, and by Bout's son to Douwe 
Aukes who conveyed the same to his adopted son Cornells Viele, Jr., son 
of the first settler. J 

After Robert's death his farm at Maalwyck came into possession of his 
two step-sons, Pieter and Joseph Clement; the former sold his share to 
Cornelis Viele, Jr., in 1710, being the westerly moiety. The deed recites 
that " whereas Benjamin Roberts late of Schenectady, obtained a patent 
" July 1, 1669, from Governor Lovelace for a piece of land on the north 
" side of the Mohawk river over against ye hindmost land heretofore belong- 
"- ino- to Arent [Bratt] the Norman, &c, and whereas said Roberts by his 
" will June 28 in y ' 5 lh year of Anne gave said land to his wife Mary for 
" her support while living and a widow, and if she married then to [his step- 
" sons] Pieter and Joseph Clement to be divided between them giving to 
" the former the house, barn, &c ," — therefore Pieter Clement aforesaid con- 
veyed the westerly half of said farm together with the easterly half of 
Benten island to Cornelis Viele [Jr.,] for the sum of £445. § 

* Gen. Ent., 133 ; Orders in Coun., 127. 

+ Patents, in, 64. This land lay in Maalwyck and the island was subsequently called 
Viele's island. 
% Patents, 1038 ; see also Bont, 
§ Deeds, v, 108, 140, 141. 

Adult Freeholders. 211 

Comelis Viele, senior, also had a gift of land from the natives at the Aal 
Plaas on the north side of the river. This ti'act extended two miles down 
the river and five miles into the woods. The certificate is dated 12 Feb., 
17 If-, and states that Viele had possession thereof eighteen years and then 
sold it to his daughter, Jannetie, wife of Johannes Dyckman, who left it at 
the time of the massacre (in 1690) after occupying it two years.* 

His wife was Suster [sister ?] possibly of Mohawk blood. 

Children: Arnout Cornells, Pieter, Volkert, bp. Dec. 1, 1689, [died without 
issue], Jannetie [wife of Johannes Dyckman], Debora [wife of Daniel 

Arnout Cornelise Viele. 

Arnout, son of Comelis Viele, the first settler, married Geeritje Gerritse 
of Amsterdam; the records mention but three children, — Arnout, Willempie, 
who married Symon Jacobse Schermerhorn, and Maria,} who married first 
Matthys Vrooman, and secondly Douwe Aukes of Schenectady. He usually 
resided in Albany and was for many years provincial interpreter at all the 
important negotiations with the Indians, and at their yearly gatherino-s at 
Albany. On account of their high esteem for him and as a recognition of 
his services, the Mohawks in 1683 gave him a parcel of land above Schen- 
ectady on the north side of the river called Wachkeerhoha. 

In 1687 while on his way to Ottawa to trade with the natives, he was 
taken prisoner by the French. § 

Espousing the cause of Leisler in opposition to Col. Ingoldsby he was 
dismissed from his office of interpreter, after which he retired to Long 
Island,! but being held in "great esteeme with the Indians " and "being a 

* Land Papers, vn, 78. 

f [The Viele family chart gives him eleven children : Arnout Cornelisson, 1677 ; Willem- 
pie, ; Maria, 1684; Mary, 1685; Cornellise, 1687; Debora, 1695; Pieter Cornellise, 

1700; Susannah, 1707; Ludovickus, 1709; Teunis, ; Volkert, . It also makes 

Maria Cornellise instead of Maria Arnoutse, the wife of Mathys Vrooman and Mary 
Cornellise, the wife of Dowe Aukes. This does not accord with the Schenectady and 
Albany Dutch Church Records but Gen. Viele may have family bible of that date as 
authority.— M'M.] 

% [See Ants, Cornells Cornelise Viele, note.] 

§ Col. Doc, in, 431. 

|| Col. Doc, iv, 198. 

212 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

good and faithful interpreter," he was recalled and reinstated in his office.* 
At the burning of Schenectady in 1690, his son Arnout was carried away to 
Canada and remained with the Indians three years, but on the occasion of 
the attack made upon the Mohawk castles by the French in 1693, he 
escape d.f 

The above mentioned grant from the Mohawks was that parcel of flat land 
afterwards called the Fourth flat. It is not probable that Viele settled upon 
it, or that his title was regarded as good, for it was about this time occupied 
by Ludovicus Cobes and his son-in-law Johannes Kleyn, \ under title re- 
ceived from the trustees of the township in 1684. 

Hendrick Meese Vrooman. 

Of the three brothers of this name who came to New Netherland, two, 
Pieter and Jacob, settled in Albany, and left no male descendants ; Hen- 
drick, after living at Kinderhook and Steene Raby [Lansingburgh] removed 
in 1677, to Schenectady, and on the sale of the Van Curler bouwery, pur- 
chased 20 morgens of the same. This parcel was a strip of laud, commenc- 
ing a little south of Water street, and extending south-westerly to or near 
the sand bluff, embracing the land covered by the canal and railroad tracks, 
being bounded on the east by the land belonging to the Veeders. As there 
were then no public roads across the flats in this direction, Vrooman's land 
was reached by a lane still in existence, called Vrooman's alley, or lane, 
leading from Water street south-westerly, nearly parallel to Rotterdam 

His village lot on the north side of State street, extended from Lange 
gang (Centre street), to within 49 feet of Given's Hotel, and extending 
back northerly about 500 feet. 

Here Hendrick Meese was slain in 1690, with a son and two negroes. 
His two sons, Adam and Jan, inherited his estate.§ 

* Col. Doc, iv, 214, 329, 347. 

\ Col. Doc, iv, 17. 

X [He may have transferred his claim under Indian title to Ludovicus Cobes schout 
and secretary. It would require no record, as no patent had been issued to him by the 
Governor. — M'M.] 

§ Albany Annals, v, 79 ; Deeds, n, 848 ; Not. Papers, n. 

Adult Freeholders. 213 

Adam Vrooman. 

Adam, son of Hendrick Meese, was born in Holland, in 1649; in 1670, 
with consent of bis fatber, he bound himself for two years to Cornells Van- 
den Bergh, of Albany county to learn the millwright's trade, for 80 guilders 
in silver and a pair of new shoes the first year, and 120 guilders in silver 
the second year; and in 1683 he built a mill on the Sand-kil where the 
Brandywine mill now stands. In 1690, when Schenectady was destroyed, 
he saved his life by his bravery in defending his house, which stood near 
the north gate on the west corner of Front and Church streets.* On this 
occasion his first wife, Engeltje, with her infant child, was killed, and his 
two sons, Wouter and Barent, were carried away to Canada. In 1697, he 
went to Canada with an embassy to obtain the release of his sons (one of 
whom had become a Catholic), his brother (Jan ?) and cousin (Matthys, 
son of Pieter Meese, of Albany), all held as prisoners. He made his will 
Sept. 12, 1729, — proved June 13, 1730, and died on his farm in Schoharie, 
Feb. 25, 1730, and was buried in his own private burying ground on lot No. 
35 Front street. 

Vrooman married three times, first, Engeltie , secondly, Grietje 

Ryckman, widow of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, in 1691, and thirdly, 
Grietje Takelse Heemstraat, Jan. 13, 1697, in Albany. He had thirteen 
children, — nine sons and four daughters, all living at the date of his will 
save two daughters. 

Besides his village lot above mentioned he owned divers other parcels of 

On the 22 April, 1703, he received a patent for his mill right on the Sand 
kil, described as "all that creek called Sand creek near Schenectady and the 
mill thereon erected and all profits &c. to the said creek belonging." He 
is said to have " enjoyed the same" about 20 years. f 

In 1707, he petitioned to have his patent confirmed and explained because 
some people insinuate that tw r o small springs or sprouts of water which run 
into said creek and all meet at a place called Symonse's [Veeder's] meadow 
were not included in his patent ; he therefore desired a new patent, which 

* Henry Yates and Dulcli Church Papers, 
f Patents, 1578. 

214 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

should include the same and the whole Sand kil to the Mohawk river.* The 
result of this petition was a new patent dated Sept. 17, 1708, for " all that 
" creek, called the Sand Creek and the mill thereon erected with two small 
" springs or sprouts of water which run into the same creek and all meet at 
" a place called Symon's meadow and so continue under the name of the 
" Sand creek till it empties itself into the Mohawk river." This mill prop- 
erty and land adjoining were conveyed to his son Wouter.f 

Jan. 2, 170^ Vrooman bought additional land of the trustees of Schenec- 
tady for the purpose of erecting another saw-mill there.! 

All that remains to show the occupation of this spot for milling purposes 
by the Voomans, is the ancient brick house built probably by Adam's son 
Wouter, still standing and used as a dwelling. 

Vrooman's patent for lands in Schoharie is dated Aug. 26, 1714 ; this 
tract comprised " 600 acres of lowland and upland," and was occupied by 
his son Pieter and his descendants.! 

March 30, 1726, he obtained a new Indian title to the flats known as 
"Vrooman s Land" about 1400 acres of the best land in the Schoharie 
Valley. 1 

He likewise with his brother Jan, inherited about 20 morgens of land 
from his father Hendrick, who bought the same of the administrators of 
Mrs. Antonia Van Curler. 

Adam's portion, consisting of 10 morgens, lay directly south of the village 
and is now largely occupied by the canal and railroads; he conveyed his 
portion to his son Jan, in 1726.** 

June 5, 1688, " Adam Vrooman doth petition ye Common Council [of 
" Albany] y l whereas Rode ye Maquaase sachem, for divers considerations 
"hath about three years agoe granted him two flatts or plains upon both 
" sides of ye Maquaase river above Hendrick Cuyler's land [at Crane village] 
"containing about eleven morgens wh: said land he doth presume is in- 
" eluded -in y e grant given to this citty and inserted in their charter and 
" therefore prays y 1 ye Mayor, Aldermen and commonalty would be pleased 
" to grant him a conveyance for ye said two parcels of land lying near ye 

*Land papers, iv, 106. t Patentp > 1624 - Deeds, vi, 259. 
\ Groote sclndt boeJc. § Patents, 1680. 
)| Simm's Hist. Schoharie. ** Old deed. 

Adult Freeholders. 215 

" stone house [Juchteminda] so called by y e Indians, as ye goe to y 8 
" Maquaase Country, and forty acres of Woodland adjoining them, which 
" would be a convenient settlement for ye s' 1 Adam Vrooman, and is willing 
" to pay a small acknowledgement for ye same yearly."* 

These lands were granted and consisted of sixty acres, for a yearly rent 
of two bushels of winter wheat, conditioned that he should build a small 
house on it and plow a part of the land next spring. This grant is described 
as " being on both sides of the Mohawk river west of Hendrick Cuyler's 
" land; — on the south side ten morgeus opposite a place called by the Indians 
" jucJetanunda that is ye stone hoiises, being a hollow rock on ye river side 
" where ye Indians generally lie under when they travill to and from there 
" country. The other pieces on the north side of the river, one a little 
" higher than ye said hollow rock or stone houses att a place called by ye 
" natives Si/ejode)tawadde and so eastward down the river so as to compre- 

" hend twelve morgens The other just above the marked tree of 

"Hendrick Cuyler, .... one morgen and three or four little islands."! 

The patentees of Schenectady, on May 4, 1718, conveyed to him " a piece 
" of woodland containing three morgens 527 rods, butting the street south- 
*' ward [Union street] that leads from the town 49 rods, and on the north- 
" most end [on Green street] 49 rods, and butting westward the land of 
"Symon Groot 47 rods, and butting the woodland of his son Barent 48 rods 
" all Rynland measure."]; This wood lot commenced on the north line of 
Union street at the westerly line of the lot of John B. Clute, and extended 
along Union street to the original easterly line of the grounds of Union 
school, now occupied by the New York Central railroad track, and was 
bounded northerly by Green street. This lot he gave to his son Jan, January 
17, 172-f, "being four morgens of bushland with one-half of the brewhouse 
" thereon erected, and likewise one-half of the furnaces, coppers, vats, 
" vessels and all other utensils in said brewhouse, being at present in the 
" use aud occupation of said Adam Vrooman and Barent his son." This 
brewhouse stood on the easterly end of the aforesaid lot where the canal and 
railroad cross Union street, which was often called Brewer's street. § 

On the 4th May, 1718, being about to dispose of his house and lot on the 
west corner of Front and Church streets, the patentees of Schenectady gave 
him a new deed describing it as a lot " in Schenectady fronting the street 
" eastward [northward] that leads from the Fort to the river [Front street] 

* Albany Aunals, n, 101. 

f Deeds, iv, 2. 

% H. Yates' and Dutch Church Papers. 

§ Old Deed. 

216 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" 97 feet, and butting the lot of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] southward 97 
" feet, and butting the lot of Symon Groot [westward] 144 feet, all Dutch 
" wood measure, together with the houses, brewhouses, &c." 

On the 6th of May he conveyed the above lot to Pieter Quackenbos.* 

The patentees likewise conveyed to Adam Vrooman on the 4th May, 
1718, "a piece of pasture land butting the road [Front street] south that 
" leads from the north gate towards Jan Luykasse'sf forty rods and four 
"feet, northward by the Mohawk river 29 rods, butting eastward the 
" pasture ground of Johannes Teller 46 rods, and westward the land in pos- 
session of David Lewis 42 ruds, allRynland measure, containing 2 morgens 
" 346 rods. "| This lot commenced on the north line of Front street at the 
east line of the lot of Nicholas Yates' and extended easterly along said 
street 498.5 feet English, to a point 194 feet westerly from the west side of 
North street,§ including that part of Ferry street between Front street|| and 
the river. 

In 1727 he conveyed all that portion of this pasture lot lying between the 
west line of No. 35 Front street and the easterly line of said lot, — 335 feet 
Amsterdam measure, — to his son Jan, reserving however a parcel 35 feet 
long and 18 feet broad, for a burying place for himself, his heirs and assigns 

This burying place now forms a part of lot No. 35.** 

Jan Vrooman. 

He was son of Hendrick Meese, and married Geesie, daughter of Symon 
Volkertse Veeder, July 4, 1680, and had fifteen children, nine sons and 
six daughters, the most of whom attained maturity and left families. He 
made his will April 24, 1732. 

His village lot, inherited of his father, had a front on the north side of 
State street of 172 feet, extending from a point 49 ft. east of Given's Hotel 
lot to the Stanford block. 

* Deeds v, 417, 514. 

f The north gate through the palisades was at the north end of Church street, and 
Jan Luykasse's lot was on the west comer of Jefferson and Front streets. 
\ H. Yates' Papers. 

§ To the lot of the late Isaac Ledyard. 
| This part of Ferry street was not then opened. 
** Deeds, vi, 209. 

Adult Freeholders. 217 

His house and the westerly half of this lot, by his will were devised to 
his son Cornelis, who died the next year, leaving his property to his mother, 
by whom it was devised to her son Bartholomew, in 1734. The easterly 
half Jan Vrooman devised to his son Jacob, who had already built a house 
upon it. 

In 1686 he bought half of Jan Hendrickse Van Bael's patent, on the 

On March 10, 170£, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to Jan Vroo- 
man, " a piece of land near Schenectady, to the west the highway [Jefferson 
" St.] that's laid out on the east side of the woodland of Philip Schuyler, 
" to the north and north east ye woodland of Arent Bratt, to the east and 
" south the highway [Pine street] that leads to Symon Groot's bridge, 
" containing two morgens."f This parcel extended the whole length of 
Jefferson street, from Front to Pine streets, and of a sufficient breadth to 
comprise four acres. 

Jan Vrooman's portion of his father's bouwland was conveyed to him 
June 8, 1714, by his elder brother, Adam, to wit, "one half of a certain 
" piece of land called Juffrouw Corlaer's Weyland, which half contains ten 
" morgens or thereabouts, Bounded north by the other half belonging to 
" said Adam, east by the meadow of Gerrit Symonse [Veeder], south and 
" west by the land of Jan Wemp; together with free ingress and regress of 
" the waggon road [ Vrooman's lane] to the said piece of land and half the 
" benefit of the grass growing on said road. "J By his will, made April 24, 
1732, this parcel was divided among his sons. 

Capt. Hendbick Vrooman. 

He was the fourth son of Adam Vrooman and until 1705 was resident of 

Albany. He married first Geertruy , and secondly Maria, daughter 

of Barent Wemp, and had eleven children. When the church was built in 
1732 he was baes of the carpenters. 

Among other parcels of land owned by him, was one conveyed by the 
trustees of Schenectady 10 Mar., 170f, and described as "one morgen of 
" woodland on ye south side of the highway [State street], on the side of 
" the [Coehorn] creek that runs by Johannes Baptist Van Eps dwelling,§ 

* Deeds, in, 309, 322. f Dutch Church Papers. % Old Deed. 
§ J. B. Van Eps lived on the east corner of Jay and State streets. 

218 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" breadth in front on the [State] street twenty rods [240 ft.] and runs back 
" south along said creek and land of Barent Wemp [which was on the west 
" side of the creek] thirty rods [360 ft.] untill it takes in one morgen."* 
The front of this lot extended from Coehorn kil south-easterly along State 
street to a point about 62 feet beyond Clinton street and to the rear towards 
Smith street 330 feet English. 

The patentees of Schenectady, Jan. 3, 17 If, likewise conveyed to him 
another parcel of land on the south corner of Union and Centre streets 
described as " a piece of woodland in the east part of the town, beginning 
"at the north west corner of the lot of Jan Barentse Wemp by the street 
" [Centre] and runs from thence along said street north 35° E. 37 rods [444] 
"to the crossway [Union and Centre streets], thence south 78° E. 19 rods 
" [228 ft.] along the road that leads to Niskayuna [Union street], thence 
" south 34° W. 40 rods [480 ft.] — thence to the place of beginning, con- 
" taining one morgen 105 rods, Rynland measure."f 

This lot extended south from Union street nearly to Liberty street and 
there joined upon his brother-in-law Wemp's lot which fronted upon State 
street, and easterly to No. 120 Union street. In 1755, Tobias Ryckman of 
Hackensack, N. J., conveyed the northerly half of this lot to Ryckert Ryck- 
ertse Van Vranken for £86 [$215]; it was then described as "a house and 
" lot bounded north by the road to Niskayuna, 19 rods 3 feet [231 ft.], East 
" by lands of Dirk Bratt 18 rods 8 ft. [224 ft.], south by land of Wouter 
u Vrooman 19 rods 3 ft. [231 ft.] and west by the road [Centre St.], leading 
"to Jellis Fonda's, 12 rods and 8 ft. [152 ft.]."J Wouter, who in 1755 
owned the southerly half of Hendrick Vrooman's lot was his brother. 

Barent Vrooman. 

Barent, son of Adam Vrooman, maried Tryntje, daughter of Takel Heem- 
straat of Albany, June 18, 1699. He died and was buried in Albany, Aug. 
14, 1746. (?) 

His village lot on the north corner of State and Centre streets had a front 
on the former street of 86 feet and extended in the rear to Liberty street. 
It was afterwards owned by Maj. Abraham Swits, now by Mr. Charles 

Jan. 2, 17 Of- the trustees of the town conveyed to him " a piece of wood 
land at Schenectady adjoining on the east side of the woodland of Adam 
" Vrooman, on the north side of the cross way [Union street], on the south. 

Dutch Church Papers. f Dutch Church Papers. t Ibid. 

Adult Freeholders. 219 

" side of the waggon way that leads to the bridge called Symon Groot's 
"bridge* [Green & Pine streets], on the west of the highway that comes 
" out from the lot of the said Barent Vrooman & the lot of Barent Wempf 
" [Centre street], containing in length on the west side along y- fence of 
" ye said Adam Vrooman's woodland 48 rods, and on the east side the like 
" breadth, on ye north end 37 rods 10 ft. and on the south end at the said 
"Crossway [Union street] 20 rods 3 ft. Rynland measure;" — consideration 
£9 [$22 50 ]"J This parcel of woodland bounded by Union, Centre and Green 
streets and the New York Central railroad nearly, and containing about 
4.64 acres was sold for $22.50 or about $4.84 per acre. 

In Feb. 170-f- the trustees of the town sold to him another parcel of land 
described as "a piece woodland on ye east side of ye common highway that 
" leads betwixt the lot of Barent Vrooman and lot of Barent Wemp towards 
" Symond Groots bridge [Centre and Pine Streets], which piece lies opposite 
" to. ye pasture land of ye said Barent Vrooman and contains ye same 
" breadth of ye pasture, being 48 rods and holding that same breadth east- 
" ward along the north side of the highway that leads from Schenectady to 
"Niskayuna [Union street], till it takes in the quantity of four morgens, or 
" 8 acres."§ The consideration for these eight acres was £15 or $37 50 being 
$4.68 per acre. This parcel extended from Centre street to a point 152 feet 
easterly from Fonda street having a front on Union Street of about 618 
feet, and in the rear to Pine street. 

In 1744 he bought of the town seven morgens 545 rods of land lying on 
the hill along the Nestigeyone road; — rent three shillings and three pence 
yearly. || 

He also owned Kruisbessen island containing about two morgens of land, 
which he purchased of Hendrick Vrooman and Arent Danielse Van 
Antwerpen, March 11, 170-f, and by his will made Sept. 6, 1748, devised to 
Isaac Swits and his wife Maria.** 

* Pine street at tbis time extended easterly through the lot of the Schenectady loco- 
motive works, crossing the college brook, then called Symon Groot's kil, within the yard, 
by a bridge called as above and so on through college grounds to Nott street. 

f As stated above Barent Vrooman's village lot was on the north corner of Centre and 
State streets ; Barent Wemp's lot was on the opposite or east corner, now occupied by 
the Carley house. 

\ Deeds, v, 95^; Groote schult boek. 

§ Deeds, v, 96. | Groote schult boek. ** Sanders Papers. 

220 History of tJie Schenectady Patent. 

Barent Vrooraan was by trade a carpenter, Indian trader and brewer, 
owning the brewhouse on Union street* with his father Adam, and after- 
wards with his brother Jan. 


Wouter, son of Adam Vrooman, married Marytje, daughter of Isaac 
Casparse Hallenbeck of Albany. They had sixteen children. His wife 
died Jan. 19, 1748; he made his will May 7, 1748, — proved April 18, 1757, — 
and died Oct. 26, 1756. 

He owned the following parcels of real estate in or adjacent to the 

1st. The south half of his brother Hendrick's large lot on the south 
corner of Union and Centre streets. This lot fronted on Centre street com- 
mencing on the east side thereof — at a point 152 feet south-westerly from 
the south corner of Union and Centre streets and had a front of 292 feet 
and a depth of 231 feet Rynland measure, f 

2d. A pasture lot on the north side of Front street next west of his father 
Adam's lot, which on the 21st April, 1711, he sold to Jacob Cromwell inn- 
keeper for £130 [$325], — " a house and lot bounded north by the river, 
" south by the street [Front], east by the lot of Adam Vrooman and west 
"by the lot of Claas Fransen Van de Bogart, — length 542 feet; — breadth 
" on south end 95| feet and on north end 33 feet one inch, Dutch measure.''^ 
This lot is now owned by Joseph Harmon and Nicholas Yates. 

3d. His father also conveyed to him Oct. 13,1710, — consideration £292-10 
the mills and land at the " Brandywine mills," which passed to Adam and 
Isaac, sons of said Wouter.§ 

The mill property and lands were confirmed to him in 1716 by a new 
lease for which he paid £15 and 600 boards, with a yearly rent reserved of 
one board. I 

4th. He owned 5| morgens of bouwland, — a portion of farm No. 10, 
which he purchased of Dirk Bratt of Niskayuna, April 3, 1741, for £207, 
" just over the third bridge [on the " Poenties kil], between the lot late 
" belonging to Reyer Schermerhorn and the lot late belonging to Catrina 
"Glen, late widow of Cornelis Barentse Van Ditmarse and late wife of 

* At the crossing of the N. Y. Central railroad and the canal. 

f Deeds, vti ; Dutch Church Papers. 

X Deeds v, 496. § Deeds vi, 259. J Dutch Church Papers. 

Adult Freeholders. 221 

" Gerrit Lansingh, Jr., dec d , having the waggon way [river road] to the 
" south and Maquas river to the north, in breadth to the waggon way 32 
" rods, and the same breadth towards the river, formerly belonging to 
"Cornells Teunise Swart deceased."* 

5th. His father Adam, by deed of gift of date 15 Feb., 172f, conveyed to 
him " a certain lot in Schenectady bounded south by the road [Front street] 
" over against the house and lot of the widow of Capt. Philip Schuyler 
" deceased, 75 feet, and west butting the lot of his sister Christiana 
"deceased, wife of Teunis Swart 215 feet from the roadway or street, on 
" the north end butting the land of his father Adam deceased (?) 65 feet 
"and on the land and orchard of his father Adam east 210 feet up to the 
"street; — Amsterdam measure."! The westerly line of this lot is now the 
westerly line of the lot of Daniel Vedder who owns a portion of said lot. 
In 1748 Wouter Vrooman devised this lot and the house "in which I now 
" dwell as the same was conveyed to me by my father," to his youngest son 
Nicholas also "that parcel of land, — 1i morgens, — purchased by me of 
" Philip Livingston near the fort. "J This latter lot, on the north side of 
Front street, was originally patented to Sander Leendertse Glen in 1664, and 
commenced at a point 299 feet English, east of North street and extended 
along the street easterly 210 feet English. 

Jan Vrooman. 

Jan, son of Adam Vrooman, was by trade a brewer. lie probably did 
not marry, — if so there is no record of it in the Dutch churches of Albany 
and Schenectady. 

On the 17 Jan., 172f, his father conveyed to him the following parcels 
of land : 

1st. " A lot of Ground in Schenectady on the north side of said town and 
•' on the north side of the street that leads to the pastures [Front street] 
" near and partly over against his Majes4y\s_Fort, with barn, 2 dwelling 
" houses and kitchen thereon, the easternmost house, kitchen and barn being 
" now in possession of said Adam Vrooman, and the westernmost house, 
" now in possession of Takel Dirkse [Heemstraat], — beginning from the east 
" corner of Douwe Fonda's lot [No. 33 Front street] and running easterly 
" along the front to the lot of the heirs Johannes Teller [to a point 1 94 ft. 
"west of North street] 335 Amsterdam feet, then northerly along the lot of 
" heirs of said Johannes Teller to Schenectady river, then westerly up said 

* Deeds vi, 259. t Deeds vi, 259. J Will Court of Appeals. 

222 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" river to the lot belonging to the heirs of Jacob Cromwell, deceased, then 
" southerly up the said lot till it comes to the bottom of the lot belonging 
'■ to Teunis Swart, then easterly along the bottom of the lots of the said 
"Teunis Swart, Wouter Vrooman and Douwe Fonda aforesaid as the fences 
" now stand, then southerly up the east side of the lot of the said Douwe 
"Fonda till it comes to the street or front where it first began (excepting 
" only one small piece of ground lying on the east side and adjoining to the 
"fence of the lot of ground of the said Douwe Fonda, which the said Adam 
"Vrooman reserves for a burying place for himself, his heirs and assigns 
" forever, by the fence of the said Douwe Fonda, being 35 feet long and 18 
" feet broad)."* 

" Also four morgens of bushland with one half of the brewhouse thereon 
" erected and likewise one-half of the furnaces, coppers, vats, vessels and 
" all other utensils in said brewhouse, the said brewhouse being at present 
" in the use and occupation of said Adam Vrooman and Barent his son, 
" bounded on the south by the Cross street [Union street], on the east 
" by the land of the said Barent Vrooman, on the north by the highway 
" that leads from the Fort by the house of Willem Coppernol into the 
"woods [Green and Pine streets] and on the west by the lot of Dirk 
" Groot."f 

" Also a lot of arable land on the sOuth west side of the town of Schen- 
" ectady on the first part of the land called Mrs. Corlaer's land, bounded 
" north west by land of Jan Wemp, south west by land of Jan Vrooman, 
"brother of said Adam Vrooman, where a large white oak tree stands, 
" & south east by land of his [Adam's] said brother Jan Vrooman and 
" further on the south east side, by the land of Hendrick Vrooman son of 
" said Adam Vrooman, and on the north east side by the lands of Gerrit 
" Symonse [Veeder] and the garden of Dirk Groot, as it now lyes in fence, — 
" about 8 morgens and 200 rods, all Rynland measure."]; This parcel 
lying west of the city is now mainly covered by the canal and railroad. 

Pibter Vrooman, 

Pieter, son of Adam Vrooman, married Grietje, daughter of Isaac Van 
Alstyne of Albany, Feb. 2, 1*706. They had twelve children. He settled 
early upon Vroomari's land in Schoharie, purchased by his father for him. 
He made his will Oct. 10, 1768, proved Dec. 20, 1771, — in which he speaks of 
most of his children and grandchildren. § 

* This burial lot is now included in lot No. 35 Front street. 

f This lot had a front on Union Street from the west line of John B. Clute to the N. Y. 
Central railroad. 
X Deeds, vi, 209. § Wills, Court of Appeal's office. 

Adult Freeholders. 223 

Simon Vrooman. 

Simon, son of Jan Vrooman and Geesie Veeder, married Eytje, daughter 
of Jacob Delamont. 

In 1710 he bought of Willem Appel for £48 [$120], the lot lying on the 
west side of the canal extending from State to Liberty streets, now the pro- 
perty of the estate of Peter Rowe. This lot originally had a front on State 
street extending from the lot of Samuel Myers to that of Robert Ellis, the 
larger portion of which is now occupied by the canal. 

From his father he inherited a parcel of land bounded by Jefferson and 
Pine streets now in the occupation of the Schenectady elevator company, 
and Messrs. Vedder and Van Voast. 

By his will made in 1752, his son Jacob inherited his house and lot above 
mentioned, and his son Johannes the "tan pits" near the Church mill on 
Mill lane. 

Jan Barentse Wbmp, alias Poest. 

He arrived in Beverwyck in 1643 or 1645, where he became a resident 
owning from time to time several house lots in the village of Beverwyck, and 
parcels of land in Rensselaerswyck. His wife Maritie Myndertse, after his 
death about 1662, again married in 1663, Sweer Teunisse Van Velsen alias 
Van Westbrook.* Wemp had six children, three of whom were sons. 

He purchased of Mad. Johanna De Laet, a bouwery in Lubberde's Landt 
[Troy], which after his death his legal representatives sold for 250 beavers 
to Pieterse Van Woggelum, whom Wemp's son, Myndert sued in 1675 for 
the fourth payment of 40 beavers, f 

This bouwery was on the Poesten Ml which probably received its name 
from his alias, Poest. 

Nov. 12, 1662, Governor Stuyvesant granted the first patent for land at 
Schenectady to Jan Barentse Wemp and Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. This 
grant was for the great island in the Mohawk, lying west of the village, 
called later Van Slyck's and sometimes Wemp's island, containing about 82 
acres of the best land in the valley.J The description given in the patent 

* See Ante-nuptial contract, Not. Paps., i, 435, 438. 

f Albany Co. Rec, 456, 492 ; Proceed, of Magis., 1675-80, folio 7, Albany City Clerks 

X Bee Patent in Union College Library. 

224 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

is as follows, to wit: "the island till now named Marten's island, lying 
" near Schenectady over against the town on the west side of the creek 
•' \_Bi7inb kil]* in its entirety, notwithstanding there is a little creek running 
" through it f comprising about [41] morgens." 

In the confirmatory patent given April 13, 1667, by Governor Nicoll to 
Sweer Teunise Van Velsen.J and Jaques Cornelise Van Slyck " in quality 
of brother and heir of Marten Mourits;" it is described as " a certain island, 
" called ' Marten's island near Schenectady, over against the town containing 
" [82] acres, first taking out six acres, or 3 morgens, on said island the title 
" to which was vested in said Theunissen, who married the widow of Jan 
" Barentse Wemp to whom and the said Jacques Cornelise said island was 
"granted Nov. 12, 1662, by Governor Stuyvesant."§ 

Wemp's village lot was on the west side of Washington, commencing on 
the north side of the lot of Charles Thompson and extending southward 
166 feet more or less, and westward to the river. This lot was inherited by 
his son Myndert, who was killed in the massacre of 1690. 

Myndert Wemp. 

Myndert, eldest son of Jan Barentse Wemp, was born in 1649 ; he mar- 
ried Diower, daughter of Evert Janse Wendel of Albany. There is no 
record of more than two children. In 1689 Leisler appointed him justice of 
the peace and the following year he was slain when the village was de- 
stroyed by the French, and his only son Johannes with two negroes was 
carried to Canada. 

* [Binne kil (inner creek), is the modern name given to this branch of the Mohawk 
river. — M'M.J 

f The land thus separated from the greater island by this " little creek " was called later 
Varken's island. In 1693 Rode, a Mohawk Indian, declared that about 30 years ago 
when Schenectady began to be settled, he and other Mohawk Indians granted to Marte 
Cornelise Van Slyck the island known as Varken's on the north side of Akus' island. — 
Col. MSS., xxxix, 216. 

X Van Velsen married Wemp's widow in 1663, and therefore took his place in the 
land graut. 

§ Patents, 357. This island was evidently at first owned by Jan Barentse Wemp and 
Marten Mourisse, brother of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck, for Sept. 16, 1662, they hired 
Hendrick Arentse to labor on their bouwery at Schenectady, and Mourise must have 
died between that date and Nov. 12, 1662, the date of the patent in which Wemp and 
Jacques Van Slyck are joint owners, the latter in character as heir of his brother Marten. — 
Not. Pap., i, 74. 

Adult Freeholders. 225 

Myndert Werap inherited his father's village lot on Washington street. 
After his death it was divided into two parcels, — the northerly part embrac- 
ing the lots of Messrs. Thompson and Swortfiguer falling to his daughter 
Susanna, wife of Johannes Symonse Veeder, and the southerly portion hav- 
ing a front of 66 feet, to his son Johannes. In 1748 the latter bequeathed 
his lot to his two grandsons Johannes and Myndert ; the latter became the 
sole owner and in 1784, conveyed it to William Scott, who in 1816 sold it 
to Nathaniel Burdick. The northerly portion comprising about 100 feet on 
the street was divided into two lesser lots of 50 feet each, and after their 
mother's death allotted to her two sons Simon and Myndert Johannese 
Veeder, the northerly half to the latter and the southerly half to the former. 
In 1802, Myndert disposed his lot to Samuel McWilliams ; and in 1761, 
Symon conveyed his parcel to his son-in-law Col. John Glen, who in 1802, 
disposed of it to James Murdock, finally in 1803, Murdock sold it to Mrs. 
Ann Constable. The ancient house now standing on this lot and occupied 
by George Swortfiguer was built by " Quarter Master " John Glen. 

Johannes the son of Myndert, married first Catalina, daughter of Reyer 
Schermerhorn, June 15, 1700, and secondly, Ariaantje, daughter of Isaac 
Swits, Oct. 6, 1709, and had twelve children, — six sons and six daughters. 

He early moved up the river into Montgomery county. In 1711, he 
lived in " the Mohawk's country on the Mohawk river.'' He owned land in 
the present town of Rotterdam, bounded on the north by the river extend- 
ing from the Zandig kil to the burying ground of the Reformed church.* 

On the 16th Dec, 1737, he obtained a patent for 450 acres of land in the 
town of Florida.f Besides the house lot in Washington street, he also 
inherited from his father a portion of Van Slyck's island, which came into 
the family through his grandfather, Jan Barentse Wemp. He was one of 
the five patentees appointed by the new charter of 17L5, and continued to 
hold that office until his death, Oct. 14, 174'.). 

He made his will March 5, 1 74f,— proved Dec. 27, 1749, and disposed of 
his estate as follows, to wit : — " to Myndert ray oldest son one acre of 
" land in Schenectady in the Mohawk river on the south side of the fore- 
" most island [Van Slyck's]— also my eighth part of a sawmill <fcc. inSchen- 

* This was purchaser! in 1742, of Pieter Vrooman. 

f Wills, Court of Appeal's office ; Deeds, vn, 451 ; xi, 1 ; xvni.114; Wills, Albany 
Co. Clerk's office, i, 285 ; Schen. Deeds B., 152 ; Patents, 1889. 


226 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" ectady on the east side of tbe Mohawk river about four miles north east 
" from the village on a certain creek called Mill creek [Jan Wemp's creek] ; 
" — to Reyer my messuage or tenements on the south side of the Mohawk 
" within the limits of the township of Schenectady where said Reyer lived 
" so as it now belongs to me (commonly called Dans Kamer and War- 
" moes gat at a place called Woesty?ie) ; — to Isaac and Ephraim the westerly 
" part of the flats on the south side of the Mohawk river, where I now live 
"in the Mohawks Country; to John Jr. the easterly part of my flats &c. ; 
"to children of my deceased daughter Ariaantje, — viz.: Arent Bratt and 
" Catalyntje Bratt children of Capt. Andries Bratt, two morgens on the 
" [Van Slyck's] island near Schenectady west of the said town on the 
" southerly half of said island, bounded west by the two morgens I con- 
" veyed to Widow Van Driessen, north the half belonging to Capt. Jacobus 
"Van Slyck, south by the creek and so running along said creek and parti- 
" tion fence of Capt. Jacobus Van Slyck easterly till it takes in two mor- 
"gens; . . . to my daughter Maria Butler wife of Lt. Walter Butler Jr. 
" two morgens of land on the aforesaid island &c. ; ... to my daughter 
" Rebecca wife of Pieter Conyn two morgens of land on the aforesaid 
" island &c, ... to the two sons of my deceased son Myndert, — John and 
" Myndert, — all the rest of the said Island also my house and lot in Schen- 
" ectady bounded east by the [Washington] street south by Daniel De 
" Graaf, north by the lot of Symon Johannese Veeder and west by the creek 
" [Binne kil] :* 

Capt. Barent Wemp. 

Barent, son of Jan'Barentse Wemp, was born in 1656, and married Folkje, 
daughter of Symcn Volckertse Veeder. They had ten children. He was 
appointed captain of the company of foot by Leisler in 1690. 

His village lot was on the east corner of State and Centre streets, which 
was conveyed to him in 1703, by the trustees; this lot he made over to his 
son Jan Barentse, who by deed dated Feb. 7, 172-^, conveyed the same to 
his brother Barent, described as " a lot in Schenectady, bounded east by the 
" lot of Dirk Bratt, south and west by the common highway [State and 
" Centre] and north by a lot of Wouter Vrooman's in length by the lane 
" [Centre street] 675 feet, and on the other [east] side 725 feet, in breadth 
"in front [on State street] and rear 100 feet wood or Dutch measure; — by 
"virtue of a transport to him given by his father Barent Wemp, 9 Mar, 
"170f, which is confirmed by a transport made over to his said father 
" Barent Wemp by Reyer Schermerhorn, J. B. Van Eps and Jan Wemp as 
"trustees of Schenectady, 11 Feb., I70|."f 

* Wills, ii, 4. f Deeds, vn, 275. 

Adult Freeholders. 227 

The front of this lot is now occupied by the Carley House. 

Barent Wemp also owned the land on the south side of State street from 
Dock street, nearly to Coehorn kil and extending in the rear to the meadow 
of Gerrit Symonse Veeder, which land was inherited by his son Jan Barentse 

Jan Luykase Wyngaard. 

He was probably son of Luykas Gerritse Wyngaard of Albany. 

His village lot was on the north side of State street and included the 
present lot of Given's hotel and the larger portion of Wall street, having a 
front of 78 feet, 433 feet deep on the west side, 385 feet on the east side 
and 90 feet in the rear, Amsterdam measure. In 1703 he sold it to Douwe 
Aukes, who again sold it, next year, to Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen.* 

He also had a lot on the south side of Front at or near the corner of 
Jefferson street. 

His earlier residence was on a farm on the south side of the Mohawk river 
a little above Hoffman's ferry, from which he fled in 1690, when Schenectady 
was destroyed by the French and Indians and never returned. 

In 1757 his son Luykas owned a lot on the south side of State street, of 
51 feet front, 118 feet west of Mill Lane or Ferry street. 

Jan Luykase obtained a license to purchase his farm on the south side of 
the Mohawk on the 26th of May, 1686, and on the 31 March, 1687, obtained 
a patent, for " that small piece above [the limits of] Schenectady on the 
" south side of the Mohawk river, beginning at a marked tree above the 
" steep rocky strand and stretching along the river side to another marked 
" tree and so back into the woods as far as the trees are marked, containing 
" eleven acres as purchased by said John of the Indians under a license of 
" Governor Uongan, May 26, 1686."f 

On the 24 Feb., 170^, Luykase conveyed this farm to Carel Hansen Toll, 
and he sold the same to his brother-in-law Jeremie Thickstone, together with 
an island opposite Thickstone's house, of about three acres, for £100.J 

Subsequently this farm came into the possession of the Swarts'. 

* Deeds, v, 187. 

f Toll Papers; Patents, 1371. Deeds, v, 72, 300. 

228 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Yates (Yets, Yetz, Yattes). 

The first of this name in this vicinity was Joseph Yates, an Englishman, 
who settled in Albany about 1664, when the colony was occupied by the 

In early documents the name is very commonly spelled Yets or Yetz, 
which would be pronounced as at present — Yates. 

He died in Albany and was buried May 22d, 1730. 

He either learned the trade of cordwainer or shoemaker, or worked with 
Marcelis Janse Van Bommel, in Albany. He married Hubert je Van 
Bommel, and had seven children. 

His sou Robert settled in Schenectady, at the age of 23, (probably soon 
after acquiring his father's trade,) and married Grietje Claase De Graaf of 
the Hoek in Scotia. 

His village lot was on the Albany road near the present Ferry street. 

His tan vats and tannery buildings were situated on the bank of the Mill 
pond on Mill lane (near Ferry street extended), where the considerable 
quantity of water required in tanning leather was at hand, as appears by 
the following: Whereas, the trustees of the Dutch church did "8th 
"December, 1725, quit claim to said Ahasuerus Marselis and Robert Yates 
" a certain piece of ground with the tan pits * * * * lying to the east- 
" ward of said Church's mill and to the south of the house and lot of John 
" Myndertse [now Abraham Doty's], and on the west of a road that is to 
" be left to the west of the fence of Captain Johannes Bleeker 16 feet wide 
" for a passage [now Ferry street extended] to the pasture ground of said 
" church mill," &c. 

Robert Yates in 1741 bought a parcel of two morgensbouwland lying on 
east side of the car works lane, being a part of the original Van Curler's or 
Juffrouio's Landt. 

In 1747 Robert Yates by his will left his interest in tan yards to his sons 
Joseph and Abraham, and in 1768 Abraham Yates of the "Mohawk 
Country " quit claimed the same to Joseph Robertse Yates (his brother) 
for 10 shillings.* 

* H. Yates Papers. 

Adult Freeholders. 


Robert son of Joseph, settled in Schenectady before 1712, and his nephew 
Joseph Christoffelse, also a cordwainer, married and settled there in 1734. 

Abraham the son of the latter, owned a house* and lot on Union street 
opposite the court house. 

[1710 to 1730.] 


Christoffel (son of Joseph Christoffelse and Eva Fonda), was a land sur- 
veyor and a man of intelligence and energy. He was colonel of a regiment 
of (fatigue men, engineers who cut approaches to fords, constructed bridges, 
cut roads through the forest, built fortifications, etc.), during the revolution. 
He was a gallant soldier and was wounded at " Bloody Pond." He was at 
the battle of Saratoga where he picked up a book on fortification, bearing 
the crest and signature of Col. Frazer, 24th British Infantry, which is now 
in possession of the Hon. A. A. Yates, of Schenectady. 

During the construction of his house (in Front street) he died, leaving a 
family in somewhat straitened circumstances. It is said that his brother 
Jellis had " practical " views and as executor urged that his nephews, should 
be taken from school and put to trade to earn their living, but their mother 

* [The house now standing on this lot was doubtless built by Abraham Yates about 
1730 as indicated by its style of architecture. 

The pointed Dutch gable going out of fashion and higher buildings with gambrel roofs 
(as seen in cut of the church of 1734), coining into fashion — M'M.] 

230 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

with greater foresight, insisted on their education, for which she made great 
personal sacrifices and she was rewarded by the result; Joseph became 
governor of the State, Henry was a member of Congress, John engineer of 
of the Welland canal and a millionaire, Andrew a minister and professor in 
Union College. 

Other members of the family have occupied a high position in the civil, 
military or political histoiy of the State and nation. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 231 


In 1614 a handful of Dutch traders ascended the Hudson river and erected 
their trading post on what is now the site of the city of Albany. The five 
nations then possessed all the territory north and west of this point to the 
St. Lawrence and the lakes. This powerful confederacy was the terror and 
scourge of their neighbors; they annihilated or absorbed the Hurons, the 
Neuters, Dinondaties and other lesser "tribes, and from the year 1615 when 
Champlain uniting his forces with the Algonquins and Hurons attacked the 
Mohawks, (Five Nations,) hoping to force them to a peace with his Indian 
allies, down to the close of the French war in 1763, the Iroquois carried on 
an intermittent warfare with the French of Canada. On the contrary, with 
the Dutch, and after them the English, they always maintained peace and 
good fellowship, "keeping bright the chain of friendship" by annual con- 
ferences, trade, gifts and other good offices. Why then the necessity of 
fortifying all important points along the frontier and the constant and pain- 
ful apprehension of the border settlers ? Firstly, the peaceful conduct and 
intentions of the Iroquois towards the Dutch and English could never be 
fully trusted. The Indian character was fickle and untrustworthy. So long 
as he was dependent on the white man for powder, rum and duffels, he 
maintained an interested friendship. From the French he received his 
religion, — from the English his supplies. Secondly, whenever England and 
France were at war, their colonies in America were at war also, and it be- 
came necessary to fortify and garrison the frontier towns. 

All settlements in the valley of the upper Hudson were made on this river 
and the Mohawk. Here was the gate to the Province on the side of Canada. 
This once carried, New York city must succumb and New England become 
isolated. The danger line was along the banks of the Mohawk and the 
shores of the Hudson above Haalve-Maan [Waterford]. 

Hence it was proposed by Governor Clinton in 1746, to build a line of 
block houses west from Fort Massachusetts to the Mohawk castle at Fort 

232 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The chief settlements and fortifications along this line were at Halve- 
Maan, Canastagioone [Niskayuna], Saratoga [Schuylerville], Schenectady, 
Claas Graven's Hook [Crane's village] and later Amsterdam, Caughnawaga 
[Fonda], Canajoharie, Palatine and German fiats. The period of greatest 
danger and alarm were the ten years prior to the peace of Ryswick in 
1697;— " the war of the Spanish succession," 1701-1713, which was followed 
by the peace of Utrecht and more than twenty-five years of comparative 
qniet; — "the war of the Austrian succession," 1743-8, commonly called the 
"Old French war," and the "Second French war," 1753-60, when the 
French power forever ceased on this continent to create any serious alarm. 

During a period therefore of more than seventy years, — 1688 to 1760, — the 
English provinces were more than half the time in a state of war or painful 

No formidable body of Frenchmen, it is true, ever crossed the Mohawk 
but once, — in 1690, — but parties of their Indian allies, in squads of five to 
twenty, were constantly sent out to skulk along the border and pick off 
unwary husbandmen. Every dwelling along this danger line was con- 
structed for defence as well as for habitation. Moveable blockhouses were 
placed in the field for temporary shelter, and the farmer labored with his 
musket by his side; yet, in spite of every precaution suggested by experi- 
ence, scarcely a year passed in which some households were not bereft of 
one or more of their members. 

Less than four years after Schenectady was settled, occurred the first 
alarm to the inhabitants. 

M. De Courcelles, Governor of Canada, on the 29th Dec, 1665, began 
a march from Montreal, with six hundred volunteers, "to seeke out their 
" inveterate ennemyes called the Mohanke Indians, to take revenge upon 
" them for the severall murthers and spoyles, which the Barbarians had for 
*' many yeares exercised in Canada." The snow was four feet deep; the sol- 
diers marched on snow shoes, whilst their provisions were drawn on "slight 
sledges" by mastiff dogs. On the 9th of February, they encamped within 
two miles of Schenectady, having been misled by their guide. That even- 
ing "60 of their best Fusileers being let into an ambuscade by the Mohaks 
lost 11 men besides divers others" who were wounded. Governor Cour- 
celles applied to the inhabitants for provisions which were supplied 
according to the " best accommodations ye poore village afforded," but 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 233 

refused shelter for his men, fearing if " hee had brought his weary and halfe 
starved people within the smell of a chimney corner," he could not keep 
them from straggling or running away. 

Seven of his wounded were sent to Albany. " The Dutch bores carryed 
to the camp such provisions as they had, especially peaz and bread of which 
a good quantity was bought." On the 12th February, the French began 
their return to Canada.* 

Three years later, to wit, in 1669, another Indian battle was fought on 
the western borders of the town. 

In August, Caughnawaga [Fonda], a stockaded village of the Mohawks, 
was attacked by the river Indians or Mahikanders. After an obstinate re- 
sistance the latter were repulsed and retired. The Mohawks descended the 
river in their canoes and attacked the retreating foe at a place called 
JS'inaquariones and put them to flight. f 

In the Indian deed of 1673 for the township of Schenectady, the westerly 
bounds were " at ITmaqiiariones, where the last Battell wass between the 
" Mohoakx and the North [river] Indians. "J 

Although England and France were at peace with each other for nearly 
twenty years from this time, their provinces in America were unquiet and 

The intermittent warfare carried on by the French and the Iroquois was 
a constant source of apprehension to the English provinces. The latter 
claimed the Five Nations as subjects of the English crown, and their ter- 
ritory as part of the province of New York, and as such that they should 
not be attacked without information thereof being first given to the Governor 
of New York. 

The French denied the authority of the English King over either the 
people or lands of the Iroquois, at the same time claiming for the French 
crown the valleys of the St. Lawrence, of the great lakes and of the Mis- 
sissippi, and the innumerable tribes of natives inhabiting this vast region. 
The French, moreover, charged the English not only with furnishing the 
Indians with muskets and powder but with inciting them to war upon the 

*Col. Doc, in, 118. 

f Kinaqnariones is the steep rocky hill on the north side of the river just above 
Hoffman's ferry and now called Towereoune. 
X Land Papers, i, 47. 


234 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

French and their allies in Canada. Such being the feeling of the two 
peoples, there remained nothing but suspicion, want of confidence and re- 
criminations between them. 

In 1666 Governor Nicolls, writing to the commissaries at Albany, highly 
commended them for their care in the preservation of His Majesty's interest, 
" in these times of Difficulty with the ambitious French," promising to have 
all the " souldiers at the Sopes ready upon an houres warning."* So in 
writing to Arent Van Curler of Schenectady, in the winter of 1666, after 
commending him for his " conduct in these troubles," hopes the French will 
be discouraged from attempting "to disturbe yow and the Maquaes."f 

Governor Winthrop also in writing to Secretary Arlington in 1667, says, 
" Wee know the pretence of those French forces uppon the lake behind us 
"against a nation of the Indians called the Mohaukes with whom they are 
" at war; but wee have good cause to be jealous of there great designes."J 

In 1670, Governor Lovelace in a letter to Secretary Williamson writes, 
" but that which comes near to us is the incroachment of the French in 
" Canada, * * they pretcnt it is no more but to advance the kingdom 
" of Christ when it is to be suspected it is rather the kingdome of his most 
"Christian Maj» e ." § 

In 1678 the country was " much allarmed with news of a French war," 
though nothing came of it.|| In 16 85 Governor Dongan wrote that " the 
"French are more quiet. Wee have a very good trade this year and shall 
"have much better if wee take but the same care as the ffrench."** 

In this long peace, Schenectady slowly gained in population and agricul- 
tural wealth and comforts. Some trade too, was had surreptitiously with 
the Indians. But now in 1687, came the news of an attack by the French 
upon the Senecas, which caused great uneasiuess to the people of the pro- 
vince. The Senecas were furnished with arms and ammunition by the 
Provincial authorities, but with no active aid. 

As early as 1684 and subsequently, Governor Dongan and M. M. De La 
Barre and Denonville had an exasperating correspondence in relation to the 
Senecas, the former claiming sovereignty over the Five Nations, the latter 
denying it. 

* Col. Doc, in, 144; [Sopes = Esopus or Kingston. — M'M.] 

\ Col. Doc, in, 145. t Col. Doc, in. 155. 

§ Col. Doc. in, 190. U Col. Doc, in, 272. ** Col. Doc. m, 363. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 235 

The winter of 168|-, was looked forward to with apprehension. When 
the Hudson was closed by ice all communication with New York was cut 
off. It was then that the French taking advantage of the helplessness of 
the border settlements sent out their maurading expeditions. Governor 
Dongan writing at New York, Sept. 12, 1687, says, "some messages have 
" come to my hands from Albany of their apprehensions of the French, 
" which obliges me to carry up thither 200 men besides the garrison and go 
" and stay there this winter and to get together five or six hundred of the 
" Five Nations about Albany and Schenectady."* 

The gathering of these savages about Schenectady was always a source 
of annoyance to the inhabitants. They were given to drink and were then 
reckless and quarrelsome, many complaints were from time to time made of 
these disorders to the Governor. 

In Sept., 1687, Maj. Peter Schuyler says, " we find that the selling of 
" strong Liquor to the Indians is a great hindrance to all designs they take 
"in hand; they stay a drinking continually at Schenectady. "f 

On the same day Robert Livingston wrote to the Governor from Albany 

that '"Reman came here last night and his brought the six 

" prisoners allong with him al women, which has occasioned, his so long 
" stay, the seventh being a boy, is at Cayouge, and will he here in a few 
" days; the prisoners att his house at Shinnectady, being wearied could not 
" reach this place. "J 

On the 5th Sept., Livingston wrote again that " there are 70 Maquase 
" lying at Schenectady, who are thought to be disinclined to go out until 
" they heard what the Governor would do with one Janitie."§ 

Not long before this Arnout Cornelise Viele, the interpreter, traveling 
to Otawawa on a trading expedition was taken prisoner by the French. 
He was held in great esteem by the Indians because he "hath don good 
" service for us in travelling up and down in our Country, and wee having 
" a French prisoner according to our custome doe deliver him to the family 
" of Arnout in his stead and Room to wash of the tears of his wife and 
" children. "|| This gift was made by the Mohawk sachems to the mayor 
and aldermen of Albany. At this time — Sept. 9, 1687, — they had "at 
" Schennectady a company of one hundered and thirty men that goe out to- 
" morrow toward the Lake of Canada [Lake Champlain], to do all the 

* Col. Doc, in, 477. f Col. Doc, in, 479. 

% Keman was an interpreter and perhaps an Indian ; no white man of this name is 
known. — Col. Doc, in, 480. 
§ Col. Doc, in, 481. I Col. Doc, ni, 483. 

236 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" mischeife they can against the French."* On the 14th and 15th Sept., 
the Onondagas held a council with the mayor and aldermen at Albany, by 
whom they were advised on account of the threatening aspect of affairs the 
coming winter, to send their wives and children to Cattskil and other places 
on the Hudson, " and let none stay in the Castles butt such as are fit for 
warr" They were also advised that the Governor "desired a 100 men 
"from the Sinnekes, 50 from the Cayouges, 60 from the Onondages, 50 
" from the Oneydes and 40 from the Maquasse, to be at Schannectada this 
"winter to joyne with the forces of his Excel >'."f 

The year 1688 was generally quiet and barren of exciting events. Dongan 
kept up a paper war with Denonville until relieved in the spring by Gov. 
Andros. So long as James the Second occupied the throne peace between 
France and England was reasonably assured. Both Louis and James were 
bent upon converting England to the Romish faith. 

In December, 1688, the latter abdicated the throne and fled to France; 
whereupon Louis espoused his cause and furnished material aid in his efforts 
at reconquering his kingdom. In the spring of 1689 " rumours of War with 
France " alarmed the inhabitants of the Provinces, and incited them to pre- 
parations for defence. On the receipt of the news of the revolution in 
England and of the accession of William and Mary to the throne, a miniature 
revolution was attempted on this side. Governor Andros was imprisoned, 
his Lieutenant, Nicholson, departed and in New York city the train bands 
took possession of the fort under the lead of Leisler, dispossessing the 
Governor's Council and setting up a more popular government. 

All this done avowedly in the interest of William and Mary and the 
Protestant succession, was bitterly opposed by the more wealthy and intelli- 
gent portion of the community. 

In Albany the Anti-Leislerians held their opponents in check, but the 
parties here in Schenectady were so nearly balanced in influence, if not in 
numbers, that neither had the power to act energetically in fortifying the 
village and preparing to repel the anticipated irruption of the French. The 
Leislerians " blessed the Great God of heaven and earth for deliverance from 
Tyranny, Popery and Slavery " through the happy accession of William 
and Mary to the throne; — the Anti-Leislerians complained that " Fort James 

* Col. Doc. , in, 484. f Col. Doc, in, 485-6. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 237 

was seized by the Rable," whose ill and rash proceedings " hardly one person 
of sense and Estate within the City [of New York] do countenance." During 
these unhappy divisions rumors were rife that the Indians of the Five 
Nations " were very jealous which if not prevented would cause great mis- 
chiefe " and " that the French from Cadaragua [Kingston, Canada] were 
comeing over with 1000 men and a great number of Indians." 

In August, 1689, the Five Nations made a destructive raid upon Montreal, 
killing several hundi-ed persons and holding the place until October. Re- 
taliation was naturally to be expected. The border settlements, as winter 
approached when relief from New Yo:-k would be cut off, cast about for 

The general apprehension of an attack by the French led to a kind of 
committee of safety called "the Convention," which convened in Albany 
from time to time to watch the progress of events and prepare for de- 
fence. This Convention was composed of the mayor and aldermen of 
the city, and the magistrates and chief military officers of the country. 
They were unanimously opposed to Leisler and would obey none of his 
orders. Many persons during the summer of 1689 meditated and prepared 
to flee to a place of greater safety, which led to the following proclamation 
published by the justices of the peace, forbidding all persons to depart from 
the country. 

A Proclamation. 

"Whereas we are credibly informed yt diverse persones upon ye late news 
of ye approach of ye french and there Indians are making Preparations 
to Transport themselfes out of this County by which means and bad 
Example of such Timeorous and Cowardly People others will be Dis- 
couraged to stay and Defend there maj ,s Interest in this Frontier part of 
ye Province, and Foreasmuch there is no setled government for ye p'sent in 
this Province, and that thereby it is a duty Incumbent upon us to Prevent 
any Danger and Inconvenience yt might happen ye Inhabitants of our 
County w h may arise by Suffering 1 men to Depart yt are able to do there 
maj ls service if any attempt should be made wee Therefore doe hereby De- 
clare That no Person or Persones (except masters of sloops & Boats) being 
fit & able to bear arms who have been setled or liveing in this county for 
these six monthes last past shall in ye space of three monthes Presume to 
Depart or absent themselfs out of this County of Albany whither they are 
under ye Roll or List of ye Respective Capt' 18 or not without a Passe from 

238 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

one Justice of ye Peace of this County upon ye Penalty to be Esteemed, 
Pursued & followed after as fugitives Cowards, Runnaways & Vagabonds, 
<fc as such to be Prosecuted by ye utmost severity of ye Law, & yt all 
People take notice thereof accordingly, given at ye Cetty Hall of Albany 
ye V lh day of August 1G89 in ye first year of there Maj eIS Reign." — Doc. 
Hist., ii, *&. £ if. 

The following proceedings of the convention during the month of Sep- 
tember, 1699, show very clearly the agitation of the public mind, and that 
the attack of the French on Schenectady which took place the following 
February was not unexpected. 

"Att a Convention &c, att y e Citty Hall (Albany) y e 4th day of September, 

* * * 1689. 


"Resolved, since there is such' Eminent Danger Threatened by y e French 
of Canida and there Praying Indians* to come into this County to kill 
and Destroy there Maj ss Subjects that there be Immediately An Express sent 
doune to Capt. Leysler and y e Rest of y e Militia Officers of y e Citty and 
County of New Yorke for assistance of one hundred men or more for y e 
secureing of there Maj 8S Fort and y e out Plantations of this County as also 
a Recruite of six hundred weight of Ponder and foure hundred Ball Vist 
200 Two Pounders and 200 four Pounders with some match and one 
hundred hand grenadoes out of there Maj 8S Stores and Two hundred 
Pounds out of there Maj e? Revenue, which we understand is dayly collected 
by them for to employ y- Maquase & oy r Indians in there Maj es service for 
y e Securing y t- frontier Parts of this County from any Incursions of s d 

Indians or French. 

* * * * * * % 

"Upon y e news y' three People should be kild at Bartel Vrooman's at 
Sarachtoge by y e Indians. 

" Resolved by y* Convention y 1 Rob 1 Sanders & Eghbert Tuenise forth- 
with goe to Sarachtoge to lye there till further order, whither any mischeefe 
be done there or nott & yt they goe themselfs with s d Indians to Sarachtoge 
where Leift Jochim Staets will stay there Comeing & if Eghbert be not 

at y e farm y l he take any oy r whom he shall think Convenient. 


"Resolved that there be a fort made about y e house of Bartel Vrooman at 
Sarachtoge & Twelve men Raised out of y e Two Companies of y e Citty 

* [Praying Indians. — The Caughnawaga band of Mohawks who had moved to the 
St. Lawrence River near Montreal, having been converted to Catholicism by the 
French priests. Their descendants still occupy the village of Caughnawaga on the 
Lachine Rapids. The Indian pilots so familiar to summer tourists are of this 
band.— M'M.] 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 239 

and 2 Companies of y e County to Lye there upon pay, who are to have 12 d 
a day besides Provisions and some Indians of Skackkook to be there with 
them to goe out as Skouts in y 1 Part of y c County. 


"Understanding by y e Commission officers of Schennectady that there is 
no settlement there how or what way they are to Behave themselfs if y e 
enemy should come, since they can not agree amongst themselves in y l 

"Resolved that M r Dirk Wesseles and Cap 1 Johannes Wendel Justice of y c 
Peace goe thither & Conveen y e Company together and consult what 
measures they are to take upon occasion if an enemy should come, to y e end 
there may be unity in such extremityes & y e Inhabitants there are ordered 
to submitt to what y e s d gent" and y e head officers of there Toune shall 
Conclude upon, upon there oun Perill. 

" Resolved since we have Rec d Certain Information of Some Praying Canida 
Indians lately taken by our Maquase that y e french Design to send out there 
Indians and french to kill and Destroy there Maj ls Subjects of this County 
that Dirk Tuenise Esqr. * * * g 0e ^ ye County of Ulster for y e as- 
sistance of 25 or 30 men to be Ready upon occasion if any attaque or In- 
cursion should be made on y e frontiers of this County. * * * 

"By ye mayor aldermen and Commonality ye Citty of Albany and ye Jus- 
tice of ye Peace of ye County aforesaid. 

" Whereas the selling and giving of Strong Drink to ye Indians at this 
present juncture is founde by Experience Extreame Dangerous insomuch yt 
divers Inhabitants of Schenectady and Elsewhere have mad there Complaint 
that there is no living if ye Indians be not kept from Drinke, Wee doe 
therefore hereby strikly Prohibite & forbid in the name of King William 
and queen Mary yt no Inhabitants of the Citty and County of Albany doe 
sell or give any Rum, Brandy, Strong Liquor, or Beer to any Indian or In- 
dians upon any pretence whatsoever upon ye Penalty of Two monthes Im- 
prisonment without Baile or main prise & more over a fine of five Pounds 
toties quoties, ye Proofe here of to be made as is Iucerted in ye Proclama- 
tion Prohibiting ye Selling of Strong Drink dated ye 21 l!l day of May 1689 
which is by Proof or Purgation by oath, always Provided yt it shall and 
may be in ye Power of ye Mayor aldermen & Commonality of ye said Citty 
if they see cause to give any Smal quality of Rum to any Sachim who 
come here about Publick Businesse, any Prohibition above d in any manner 
notwithstanding, given att ye Citty hall of Albany ye 12"' day of Septem- 
ber, 1689. 
"Att a Convention &c Sept. 17 th , 1689. 

"The messenger Johannes Bleeker, who was sent Express to N: Yorke with 
a letter to Capt. Leysler * * * being Returned * * (Reports that 
Leisler would have nothing) " to doe w th ye Civill Power, he was a Souldier 
and would write to a Soulder." 

240 History of the /Schenectady Patent. 

" Leisler wrote to Captains Wendell & Bleeker, and the Convention were 
forced to send to Sopus for Indians to act as Schouts, & proposed to send for 
men from New England. Gov. Treat of Connecticut, agreed to, & did, 
send them eighty men under the Command of Capt. Bull, but requested the 
County and City to pay the officers wages. 

" Upon which this following was Resolved Cap' Sander Glen Leifts Jan 
Van Eps Ens: Johannes Sanders Glen, and Sweer Teunise doe vote in ye 
Behalf of ye Toune of Schennectady yt ye men may be sent for from Conet- 
ticut and that they will bear there Proportiones of ye Cherge of y e Officers 
there wages and maintain them accordingly, Provided they be under Com- 
mand and obey such orders and Instructions as they shall Receive from 
time to time from ye Convention of this City and County and in ye time of 
there not sitting to ye may r & aldermen of this Citty. 

" It is the opinion of ye Convention yt ye 8 men still att Sarachtoge doe 
Remain there til further order." — Mortgage Hook B. 

Schenectady equally with Albany was rent by party spirit, the in- 
habitants being divided into Leislerians and Anti-Leislerians. Leisler prom- 
ised the people the same privileges as Albany, to wit : those of trading 
with the Indians hitherto forbidden them and the right of bolting flour.* 

This was a strong bid for public favor, but Adam Vrooman, who was 
addressed as Leisler's agent very modestly and prudently declined the 

" Memorandum that on ye 10 ,!l Day of November [1689] being Sunday, 
" The following letter was Sent by Adam Vrooman of Shinnectady to ye 
May r which Milborne had sent to him to warne all ye People there forthwith 
to come to Albany and Receive there Rights Priviledges and Liberties in 
such manner as if the governm* of King James ye 2" (1 never had been, 
or any of his arbitrary Commissions or what is Illegally done by his gov- 
ernours never had been done or Past, which Letter followz in Terminis : — 


" Whereas I am authorized by the Hon blt Delegates or members elected at 
a Free and Publick Election of the Freemen and Respective counties of the 
Province of N. York and Military Council thereof, to arrange and settle the 
affairs of the City and County of Albany according to the Constitution of 
the other Counties of the Province aforesaid pursuant to the interest of His 
Majesty our Sovereign Lord & King and the Welfare of the Inhabitants of 
said Counties. 

* [Grinding meal at Schenectady was at this time claimed by Sweer Teunise Van V el- 
sen as a monopoly, — but bolting could only be done in Albany and New York. — M'M.] 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 241 

" These are to advise & require all the Inhabitants of Schinnectady and ad- 
joining places to repair forthwith to the aforesaid City of Albany to receive 
their Rights and Priviledges & Liberties in such manner as if the Govern- 
ment of King James the 2 1 " 1 had never existed or any of his arbitrary Com- 
missions or any of his Governors illegal acts had never been executed or 
done. signed. 

Jacob Milbokne," 

Upon which Adam Vrooman sent him this answer. 


" Mr. Jacob Milborne, — Worthy Friend — I have just now received your 
letter. Firstly I am not a person of quality; Secondly, the Indians lie in 
divers squads in and around this place and should we all repair to Albany 
great disquiet would arise among the Savages to the general ruin of this 
Country; therefore please excuse me as I am a person of no power nor au- 

Your affectionate friend, 

Adam Vrooman." 
" By which letter it is Plainly Evident y e s l1 Milborne Designs y e Subver- 
sion of y ,: Governm 1 Confirmed by there Maj ts Proclamation of y e 14 
feb. last, and thereby to Disturb ye Peace and Tranquility of there Maj e * 
Leige People Especially in this Juncture when the Indians are Round about 
us, who much Depend on the Present Magistracy that have with So much 
trouble, Pains and Cost Secured them to this governm' which if they should 
see y 1 y e authority here should be troden under foot would undoubtedly 
undertake Some Dangerous Design. 

" And that it may be apparent to y 1 -' world y l y e Design was Laid at N. 
Yorke, y e following Letter writt by Hend. Cuyler one of there Councill of 
warr as they Term themselfs, to y People of Schinnectady Desyreing there 
assistance, and that they would come to Albany, Telling them itt was Re- 
solved upon that they should have no lesser Priviledges then they of Albany 
both in Tradeing and boalting which Jacob Milborne would Disclose unto 
them and Such like false notions doth Sufficiently Demonstrate." 


N. Yorke, 2 Nov., 1689. 
" Copiavera of a Letter from London. 

"All Lands, Plantations, houses and Lots which were escheated (prys 
gemaekt) since the year 1660, are again restored by Act of Parliament. It 
was communicated to his Majesty who approved of it. It will be passed in 
a few days. Parliament is resolved to a public example of Sr Edmund 
Andros to the next Generation on account of his Arbitrary illegal proceed- 


242 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

ings. I break off herewith as it is too long to enlarge upon. Hearty 
respects to all Noble friends of Shinnectady. This goes by Mr. Vedder's 

I remain your friend and Servant, 

Hend. Cuyler." 

"P. S. We earnestly request the aid and diligence of the Noble gentlemen 
there for the promotion of the Public Good in assisting those whom we 
Send up at Albany's request being to the number of 50 men, of whom 
Jochim Staets is Commander; not doubting but the gentlemen of Schen- 
nechtady will be preferred to those of Albany in tlie approaching New 
Government as we pledge ourselves to speak in favor of your Diligence. I 
promise to send up to you the first Order which we expect from England. 

" We expect a short answer from You by the next opportunity. 

"Sir, we have this day resolved that you shall have no less Privileges than 
those of Albany in Trading and Bolting which Mr. Milborne will explain to 
you. We therefore request that you will exhibit all diligence in repairing 
together to Albany to welcome said Milborn." — Doc. Hist., n. 

Early in November, 1689, news reached Albany " that Leysler is about 
to send up an armed force to take possession of the place and overthrow the 
government." Capt. Sander Glen, Jan Van Eps and Sweer Teunise Van 
Velsen of Schenectady, were opponents of Leisler and sustained the Conven- 
tion to the last, Capt. Glen being one of the eight men appointed by the 
Convention to sign articles with Milbourne, Leisler's agent. 

On the 25 Nov., Capt. Jonathan Bull arrived with 87 men from Con- 
necticut, and on the 29th Lieut. Enos Talmage of Capt. Bull's company, 
" inarched with 24 men to Shinnectady to keep y* Post as it was agreed 
upon by y e five gentlemen appoint* 1 by y e Convention and ye Capt. Bull and 
Jochim Staats." Dec. 9th, was ordered as a day of fasting and prayer. All 
was confusion at Albany; Mr. Staats who commanded Leysler's soldiers 
would not submit to the Convention, and send ten of his men to Schenectady 
as they wished, but went thither himself with some of his faction to stir up 
the people so that the Convention thought it necessary to send some one 
after him.* 

Jan. 12, 16-0I-. "While the convention were debating whether to submit 
to Joachim Staats as deputy of Leysler a letter comes from Capt. Sander 
Glen there Maj ies Justice of the Peace at Shinnectady Informing them how 
that there are five commissions come to Shinnectady from Captain Leysler 

Mortgage Book B. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 243 

for five justices of ye Peace, brought thither by Jeronimus Wendel & 
Gerrit Luycasse [Wyngaard] ; — Y e Persons are Dowe Aukus, Ryer Jacobse 
[Schermerhorn], David Christoffelse, Myndert Wemp and Johannes Poot- 
man; — and a commission to call the people together, to choose new Capt., 
Lieut., and Ensigne and Town Court, and y' y e s d five justices come here 
to-morrow to assist M r Jochim Staats and to enter upon there office." 

" The said Capt. Sanders [Glen] together with y e Lieut, and Ensigne and 
Sweer Teunisse, — members of y e Convention doe write to the gent" that 
there vote is not to obey Capt. Leysler's orders, But to protest against his 
Illegal proceedings." — Col. MSS., xxxvi. 

" Albany y e 20th of January, 16|£. 

" The Mayor and Aldermen haveing consulted to day how to Procure some 
Christians and Indians to goe towards ye Great Lake to Lye as skouts for 
ye space of three weeks to give notice if ye ffrench, should come with an 
army to Invade there maj' e< Territory, but could fynde none yt would goe 
under 2 shil 6d to 3 shil. per day, for Capt. Bull would suffer none of his 
men to goe alledging it Contrare to his Instructions, and while they were 
bussy to discouse s a affare ye following Indians came and s 1 as follows 

-y* y\ • ^ 2p !|S $fi 

"Brethren — We have (been) sent by ye 40 Maquase Souldiers now at 
Shenechtady to acquaint y w that tlrey are come to goe out as Skouts toward 
ye Lake and Otter creek to wath ye Designe of ye Deceiver ye gov r of 
Canida to see if he will come and Invade our Country again & if we Dis- 
cern any Progresse of his we have 4 Indians y' wee send forth Post to give 
y u & our people advertisem* * * * * 

" The s d Indians were very thankful and s d they would withal speed goe to 
Shinnechtady & forward ye Comp e & hasten them upon there march." — 
Doc. Hist., ii, 86. 

These preparations to " wath the Designe of y e Gov r of Canida," miscar- 
ried; and before the Indian Scouts reached "ye Lake and Otter creek," the 
invading force had passed those points and the fatal blow was struck, 
destroying'the village and scattering such of its inhabitants as were spared. 

244 History of tJw Schenectady Patent. 


The story of the massacre of 1690 has often been told. The essential 
facts are few and well established, both by the English and French ac- 
counts. The causes of this attack were first, the war between England and 
France occasioned by the English revolution of 1688, and secondly, the 
desire of the French in Canada to intimidate and detach the Iroquois from 
the English, by delivering a stunning blow and capturing both Albany and 
Schenectady. The destruction of these places would perhaps have decided 
the fate of the Province, for they then would have held the key to the navi- 
gation of the Hudson. 

A march from Montreal to Schenectady — a distance of 200 miles, was one 
of extreme labor, requiring great pluck and endurance. 

Between the St. Lawrence and the Mohawk rivers there was then an un- 
broken wilderness, without a single habitation. 

In mid-winter the snow lay in the forest from three to six feet deep and 
could be traveled only on snow-shoes. 

In addition to their heavy muskets and ammunition, the French were 
forced to carry provisions for the march of 22 days. Such were the condi- 
tions of an attack upon Schenectady, — only possible in winter without a 
flotilla of canoes, to pass the lakes. 

The attacking party consisted of 114 Frenchmen, 80 savages from the 
Sault and 16 Algonquins,— in all 210 men. 

The commander was Lemoine de Sainte Helene, assisted by Lieutenant 
D'Aillebout de Mantet. They started from Montreal on the 17th of 
January, and after suffering incredible hardships on the way, arrived in 
sio-ht of the town about 11 o'clock at night on the 8th February. It was 
their intention to make the attack later, but the intense cold forced them to 
enter the town at once. 

The village at this time lay mainly west of Ferry street, and was stockaded 
with palisades of pine logs ten feet high. It had at least two gates;* one 

* [The French account in Paris Documents states precisely, the town of Corlaer forms 
a sort of oblong with only two gates.— M'M.] 

Burning of Schenectady. 245 

at north end of Church street opening out to the highway [Front street], 
which led to the eastward to Niskayuna. Another at south end of Church 
at State, opening out to Mill lane and the Flats and the Albany road [State 

The only dwellings outside the stockade were built on the northerly side 
of State street, extending as far south-east as Lange gang (Centre Street). 
It is said there were 80 good houses* in the village and a population of 400 
souls, both numbers doubtless greatly exaggerated. 

In the northerly angle of the village on the Binnl Ml [near corner 
Washington and Front Streets] was a double stockaded fortf garrisoned by 
a detachment of 24 men of Capt. Jonathan Bull's Connecticut company 
under the command of Lieut. Talmadge. 

Thus fortified and garrisoned the inhabitants should have repelled any 
ordinary attack, or at least held the enemy at bay until succor could reach 
them from Albany. 

The destruction of the place was occasioned by divided counsels and a 
fatal apathy. The whole Province was then divided into two factions, — 
the Leislerians and the Anti-Leislerians — the short hairs and swallow-tails. 
Divided feelings and counsels ran so high in Albany and Schenectady as to 
counteract the sense of self preservation. Both parties were determined 
to rule, neither was strong enough to take the lead. 

On the fatal night of Feb. 8th, the Noche triste of the ill fated village, the 
inhabitants went to rest with their gates open and no guard set. They 
trusted that the Indians who had been sent out as scouts to Lake George 
would forewarn them of the enemy's approach. The French marched upon 
the village from the north, crossed the river on the ice and divided their 
men into two companies with the intention of entering the town, one by 
the north or Church street gate, the other by the south or State 
street gate. The latter entrance being in a measure covered by the 
dwellings on that street could not be found; both companies therefore 
entered by the north gate and separating, spread themselves through- 
out the village, five or six before each house. At the signal agreed upon 
a simultaneous onslaught was made upon each dwelling and before the 

* [This probably included barns and out buildings as " good houses." — M'M.] 
f [Block-house properly speaking. — M'M.] 


History of the Schenectady Patent, 

terror stricken inhabitants could seize their arms the savages, were upon 
them. Resistance was vain. Within two hours 60 of the people were 
slaughtered without distinction of age or sex. After selecting such booty 
as they could carry away, the French fired the houses and burnt all but five 
or six. 

Capt. Sander Glen's family and relatives with their habitations and other 
property, on account of former kindness shown to captive Frenchmen, were 


* [From painting by Gilos F. Yates now in possession of his niece Mrs. A. A. Yates 
of Schenectady. The painter has doubtless taken the traditional poet's license in his 
drawing. It is very improbable that a single brick or clear two story house stood in 
Schenectady in 1690 — or until the middle of the next century when large bodies of 
British troops in the town or passing through, gave quiet and prosperity to the people. , 
In 1690 they were poor farmers and Indian traders, with little wealth in money, carrying 
on their trade in produce, skins or sewant. — M'M.] 

Burning of Schenectady. 247 

spared by express order of the Governor of Canada. The utter helplessness 
of the inhabitants to offer resistance, is shown by the fact that only two of 
the enemy were killed and one severely wounded. 

The plucky fight made by Adam Vrooman and his family comes down to 
us by tradition. His house stood on the west corner of Front and Church 
6treets opj)osite the north gate. 

By keeping up a brisk fire from his dwelling he kept the enemy at bay 
and extorted a promise from the French commander to spare his life. 

After taking a few hours of much needed rest, the French began their 
retreat at 11 o'clock of the 9th, with 27 prisoners, men and boys, and fifty 
horses laden with plunder. 

Nineteen of their men perished in the retreat and the remainder were only 
saved from starvation by killing the horses. 

Of the many accounts of this transaction written at the time, the follow- 
ing are the most trustworthy. 

The first is the French report, and may be found among the " Paris docu- 
ments " Vol. iv, in the secretary of State's office. 

" An account of the burning of Schenectady by Mons. De Monsifnat 
comptroller General of the marine in Canada to Madam de Maintenon, the 
morganatic wife of Louis XIV. 

" The orders received by M. Le Comte [De Frontenac] to commence hos- 
tilities against New England and New York, which had declared for the 
Prince of Orange, afforded him considerable pleasure and were very neces- 
sary for the country. He allowed no more time to elapse before carryino- 
them into execution than was required to send off some dispatches to France 
immediately after which, he determined to organise three different detach- 
ments, to attack those rebels at all points at the same moment, and to 
punish them at various places for having afforded protection to our enemies 
the Mohawks. 

"The first party was to rendezvous at Montreal, and proceed towards 
Orange ; the second at Three Rivers, and to make a descent on New York, 
at some place between Boston and Orange ; and the third was to depart 
from Quebec, and gain the seaboard between Boston and Pentagouet, verg- 
ing towards Acadia. They all succeeded perfectly well, and I shall com- 
municate to you the details. * * * * 

"The detachment which formed at Montreal, may have been composed of 
about two hundred and ten men, namely : eighty savages from the Sault 
and from La Montague y sixteen Algonquins ; and the remainder French- 
men — all under the command of the Sieur Le Moyne de Sainte Helene, 
and Lieutenant Daillebout de Mantet, both of whom Canadians. 

248 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

"The Sieurs le Moyne d'Iberville and Repentigny de Montesson com- 
manded under these. 

"The best qualified Frenchmen were the Sieurs de Bonrepos and de La 
Brosse, Calvinist officers, the Sieur la Moyne cle Blainville, Le Bert du 
Chene and la Marque de Montigny who all served as volunteers. 

" They took their departure from Montreal at the commencement of Feb- 
ruary. (?) 

"After having marched for the course of five or six days, they called a 
council to determine the route they should follow, and the point they should 

" The Indians demanded of the French what was their intention. Mes- 
sieurs de Sainte Helene and Mantet replied that they had left in thehope 
of attacking Orange, if possible, as it is the Capital of New York and a 
place of considerable importance, though they had no orders to that effect, 
but generally to act according as they should judge on the spot of their 
chances of success, without running too much risk. This appeared to the 
savages somewhat rash. They represented the difficulties and the weak- 
ness of the party for so bold an undertaking. 

" There was even one among them, who, his mind filled with recollections 
of the disasters which he had witnessed last year, enquired of our French- 
men, — " since when had they become so desperate ? " 

" In reply to their raillery, 'twas answered that it was our intention, now, 
to regain the honor of which our misfortunes had deprived us, and the sole 
means to accomplish that was to carry Orange, or to perish in so glorious an 

" As the Indians, who had an intimate acquaintance with the localities, and 
more experience than the French, could not be brought to agree with the 
latter, it was determined to postpone coming to a conclusion until the party 
should arrive at the spot where the two routes separate — the one leading to 
Orange and the other to Corlaer [Schenectady]. In the course of the 
journey which occupied eight days, the Frenchmen judged proper to diverge 
towards Corlaer, according to the advice of the Indians; and this road was 
taken without calling a "council. Nine days more elapsed before they 
arrived, having experienced inconceivable difficulties, and having been 
obliged to march up to their knees in water, and to break the ice with their 
feet in order to find a solid footing. 

" They arrived within two leagues of Corlaer about four o'clock in the 
evening, and were harangued by the great Mohawk chief of the Iroquois 
from the Sault. He urged on "all to perforin their duty, and to lose all 
recollections of their fatigue, in the hope of taking ample revenge for the 
injuries they had received from the Iroquois at the solicitation of the 
English, and of washing them out in the blood of the traitors. 

" This savage was without contradiction the most considerable of his 
tribe, — an honest man, — as full of spirit, prudence and generosity as it is 
possible, and capable at the same time of the grandest undertakings. 

Burning of Schenectady. 249 

Shortly after, four squaws were discovered in a wigwam, who gave every 
information necessary for the attack on the town. The fire found in their 
hut served to warm those who were benumbed, and they continued their 
route, having previously detached Giguieres, a Canadian, with nine Indians, 
on the lookout. 

" They discovered no one, and returned to join the main body within one 
league of Corlaer. 

" At eleven of the clock at night, they came within sight of the town (but) 
resolved to defer the assault until two o'clock of the morning. But the ex- 
cessive cold admitted of no further delay. 

" The town of Corlaer forms a sort of oblong with only two gates — one 
opposite the road we had taken ; — the other leading to Orange, which is 
only six leagues distant. Messieurs de Sainte Helene and de Mantet were 
to enter at the first which the Squaws pointed out, and which in fact was 
found wide open. Messieurs dTberville and de Montesson took the left 
with another detachment, in order to make themselves masters of that lead- 
ing to Orange. But they could not discover it, and returned to join the 
remainder of the party. A profound silence was every where observed 
until the two commanders, who separated, at their entrance into the town for 
the purpose of encircling it, had met at the other extremity. 

" The signal of attack was given Indian fashion, and the whole force rushed 
on simultaneously. M. de Mantet placed himself at the head of a detach- 
ment, and reached a small fort where the garrison was under arms. The 
gate was burst in after a good deal of difficulty, the whole set on fire, and 
all Avho defended the place slaughtered. 

"The sack of the town began a moment before the attack on the fort. 
Few houses made any resistance, M. de Montigny discovered some, which 
he attempted to carry sword in hand, having tried the musket in vain. He 
received two thrusts of a spear — one in the body and the other in the arm. 
But M. de Sainte Helene having come to his aid, effected an entrance, and 
put every one who defended the place to the sword. The massacre lasted 
two hours. The remainder of the night was spent in placing sentinels, and 
in taking some repose. 

" The house belonging to the minister was ordered to be saved, so as to 
take him alive to obtain information from him; but as it was not known 
it was not spared any more than the others. He was slain and his papers 
burnt before he could be recognized. 

" At daybreak some men were sent to the dwelling of Mr. Coudre 
[C-ondre (?) Sander], who was major of the place, and who lived at the other 
side of the river. He was not willing to surrender, and began to put him- 
self on the defensive with his servants and some Indians; but as it was re- 
solved not to do him any harm, in consequence of the good treatment that 
the French had formerly experienced at his hands, M. dTberville and the 
Great Mohawk proceeded thither alone, promised him quarter for himself, 

250 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

his people, and his property, whereupon he laid down his arms, on parole, 
entertaining them in his fort, and returned with them to see the command- 
ants of the town. 

"In order to occupy the savages, who would otherwise have taken to drink 
and thus render themselves unahle for defence, the houses had already been 
set on fire. None were spared in the town but one house belonging to 
Condre [Sander Glen], and that of a widow [Bratt], who had six children, 
whither M. de Montigny had been carried when wounded. All the rest 
were consumed. The lives of between fifty and sixty persons, old men, 
women and children were spared, they having escaped the first fury of the 
attack. " Some twenty Mohawks were also spared, in order to show them 
that it was the English and not they against whom the grudge was enter- 

" The loss on this occasion in houses, cattle and grain, amounts to more 
than four hundred thousand livres. There were upwards of eighty well 
built and well furnished houses in the town. 

"The return march commenced with thirty prisoners. The wounded, who 
were to be carried, and the plunder, with which all the Indians and some 
Frenchmen were loaded, caused considerable inconvenience. Fifty good 
horses were brought away. Sixteen of these only reached Montreal. The 
remainder were killed for food on the road. 

"Sixty leagues from Corlaer the Indians began to hunt, and the French not 
being able to wait for them, being short of provisions, continued their route, 
having detached Messieures dTberville and Du Chesne with two savages 
before them to Montreal. On the same day, some Frenchmen, who doubt- 
less were much fatigued, lost their way. Fearful that they should be 
obliged to keep up with the main body, and believing themselves in safety 
having eighty Indians in their rear, they were found missing from the camp. 
They were waited for next day until eleven o'clock, but in vain, and no 
account has since been received of them. 

"Two hours after, forty men more left the main body without acquainting 
the commander, continued their route by themselves, and arrived within 
two leagues of Montreal one day ahead, so that there were not more than 
fifty or lixty men together. The evening on which they should arrive at 
Montreal, being extremely fatigued from fasting and bad roads, the rear 
fell away from M. de Sainte Helene, who was in front with an Indian guide, 
and who could not find a place suitable for camping nearer than three or 
four leagues of the spot where he expected to halt. He was not rejoined 
by M. de Mantet and the others until far advanced in the night. Seven 
have not been found. Next day on parade, about ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon, a soldier arrived who announced that they had been attacked by 
fourteen or fifteen savages, and that six had been killed. The party pro- 
ceeded somewhat afflicted at this accident, and arrived at Montreal at 
3 o'clock p. m. 

Burning of Schenectady. 251 

" Such, Madame, is the account of what passed at the taking of Corlaer. 
The French lost but twenty-one men, namely four Indians and seventeen 
Frenchmen. Only one Indian and one Frenchman were killed at the capture 
of the town. The others were lost on the road." — Doc. Hist. N~. Y., i, 186-. %4~f 

" In a Look entitled " Mortgages B " found in the office of the clerk of 
Albany county, is the following account:* 

"Albany ye 9th day of February 16f£ 
Die Sabbathi. 

"This morning about 5 o'clock ye alarm was brought here by Symon Scher- 
merhoorn who was shott threw his Thigh y* ye french and Indians had 
murthered ye People of Skinnechtady ; haveing got into yeTowne about 11 
or 12 a Clock there being no Watch Kept (ye Inhabitants being so negli- 
gent & Refractory) and yt he had much a doe to Escape they being very 
numerous. They fyred severall times at him at last throw his Thigh and. 
wounded his horse and was come over Canatagione (Niskayuna) to bring ye 
news. * * * * 

"Severall ye People haveing Escaped ye Cruelty of ye french and there In- 
dians came Running here & told us ye Village was a fyre and yt they had 
much a doe to Escape for all ye streets were full of french and Indians & yt 
many People were murthered and yt ye enemy were marching hither which 
news was Continually Confirmed till afternoon. * * * * 

"Some horse men sent out to Discover ye Enemies force and there march 
but were forced to Return ye snow being so Deep yet some were sent out 
again who got thither. Lawrence ye Indian with ye Maquase yt were in 
Towne were sent out also to Skinnechtady to Dispatch posts to ye Maquase 
Castles for all ye Indians to come downe, but unhappily sa d Indians comeing 
to Skinnechtady were so much amazed to see so many People murthered and 
Destroyed that they omitted ye sending up to ye Maquase Castles according 
to there Engagement, While ye Euemy was at N. Scotia a man came to 
Ensign Joh : Sander Glen and said he would goe to ye Maquase Castles and 
warn ye Maquase to come downe who was ordered to goe in all haste but 
comeing to ye Upper Plantations went for fear along with some of ye oy r 
Inhabitants into ye Woods and never went to ye Maquase Castles, this night 

* In an ancient Dutch bible owned by Jacob 6. Sanders of Albany, — a descendant of 
the Glens who settled at Scotia, — is the following account of the massacre : 

1690. " tusschen de 8 & 9 Februarie is de droovige mort gedaan hereop Schenectady 
by de Franse en haar Wildes : — alles verdestreurt en Verbrant * * * op 5 huysen naer 
maer ; maer op Schotieage [Scotia] neen quaet gedaen by akpresse order van haer gover- 
neur, Voor het goet doet myn grootvader [Sander Leendertse Glen], myn vader en Oem 
[Johannes & Sander Glen] aan een gevange paep priest & verscheiden anderen gevangen 
gedaen hadde in de oorlogh tussche onse Wildet & de Franse." 

252 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

we gott a letter from Skinnechtady Informing us yt y e Enemy yt had 
done yt mischieffe there were about one hundred and fifty or 200 men 
but that there were 1400 men in all. One army for Albany & anoy r for 
Sopus which hindered much ye marching of any force out of ye Citty fear- 
ing yt ye enemy might watch such an opportuuity. 

"The 10th day of February. 

"Present. — Pr. Schuyler, May r ; D. Wessels, Rec r ; J. Bleecker, Capt. 
Bull, Capt. Staets, Aid. Schaick, Aid. Ryckman, Joh : Cuyler, Ens. Ben- 

" Resolved yt Capt. Jonathan Bull be sent w' 1, 5 men out of each Compy to 
Skinnechtady to bury ye dead there & if ye Indians be come doune to join 
with them & Pursue ye Enemy. 

" The way how ye Bloody French and Indians committed this tragedy was 

" After they were gott into ye Toune without being discovered (no watch 
or guard being kept, notwithstanding severall gent" of Albany no longer 
than three days before were up there to Perswade y rn to it), The french and 
ye Indians besett each house and after they had murthered ye People they 
burnt all ye houses and barns Cattle &ca Except 5 @ 6 ; which were saved 
by Cap' Sander [Glen] to whom they were kinde as they had particular 
orders so to be by reason of ye many kindnesse shevvne by his wife to ye 
french Prisoners." — Mort. Bk. B. Alb. Co. clerk's office. 

A few days subsequent to the massacre at Schenectady, Pieter Schuyler, 
mayor, and Dirk Wessels Ten Broeck, recorder of Albany, and Kilian 
Van Rensselaer Patroon of Rensselaerswyck, addressed the following ap- 
peal to the Governor Bradstreet and Council of Massachusetts. This letter 
as well as one from Capt. Bull, was answered by the Governor and Council 
on the 27th of February. 

" Albany y« 15' h day of feb r , 16f&. 

"Honrd Gent". 

" To our great greeffe and Sorrow we must acquaint you with our Deplora- 
ble Condition there haveing never y e Like Dreadfull massacre and murther 
been Committed in these Parts of America, as hath been acted by y e french 
and there Indians at Shinnectady 20 miles from Albanie Betwixt Saturday 
and Sunday Last, at 11 a clok at night. A Companie of Two hundred 
french and Indians fell upon said village and murther'd Sixty men women 
and Children most Barbarously, Burning y e Place and Carried 27 along 

Burning of Schenectady. 253 

with them Prisoners, among which the Leif 1 of Cap'. Bull Enos Talmadge 
& 4 more of sd Company were killed <# 5 taken Prisoners y e Rest being In- 
habitants and above 25 Persones there Limbs frozen in y e flight. 

" The Cruelties Committed at s 1 ' Place no Penn can write nor Tongue Ex- 
presse, y e women bigg with Childe Rip'd up and y ( ' Children alive throwne 
into y c flames, and there heads Dash'd in Peices against the Doors and 

" But what shall we say we must Lay our hands upon our mouth and be 
silent. It is Gods will and Pleasure and we must Submitt, it is but what 
our Sinns and Transgressions have Deserv'd. And since Generally humane 
things are Directed by outward means, so we must ascribe this sad mis- 
fortune to j c factions and Divisions which were amongst y c People and 
there great Dissobedience to there officers for they would Obey no Com- 
mands or keep any watch, so y' y e Enemie haveing Discovered there 
Negligence and Security by there Praying maquase Indians (who were in 
s d Place 2 or 3 Days before y r attaque was made) Came in and Broak open 
there verry doors before any Soule knew of it, y e Enemy Divideing them- 
selfs in 3 severall Companies Came in at 3 severall Places no gate being 
shutt, and Seperated themselfs 6 or 7 to a house and in this manner begunn 
to Murther spareing no man till they see all y houses open and masterd, 
and so took what Plunder they would, Loading 30 or 40 of y - Best horses 
and so went away about 11 or 12 a Clock at noon on Sabbath day. 

" It was as if y heavens Combined for y Destruction of y 1 Poor Villadge; 
That Saturday night a Snow fell above knee Deep and Dreadfull cold, and 
y e Poor People y* Escaped and brought us y e news about break of day 
did so much Increase y u numbers of y e Enemy that we all Concluded 
there was a Considerable Army comeing to fall upon our City as was affirmed 
were upon there March hither; we being told not only then but y e day 
that they were 1900 att Least, we sent out some few horse forthwith after 
after we had Rec 1 y° news, but scarcely could get throw y L Deep Snow, 
some whereof gott to y* De Solato [desolate] Place, and there being some 
few maquase here in Towne we got them to goe thither with our men in 
Companie to send messengers in all haste to y e Maquase Castles, and to 
Spye where the Enemy went, who were not very free to goe y e Snow being 
so Deep and afraid of being Discovered by there Tract; but comeing to y 
Village were in such Consternation seing so many People & Catle kill'd and 
Burnt, that it was not Effected till 2 days after, when Ave heard y 1 y e Maquase 
knew nothing of it, upon which messengers were sent, and the Maquase of 
y° first and 2 ' Castle came downe in 24 houres whom we sent out with some 
of our young men in Pursute of y Enemy: afterwards y Maquase of j c 
3 1 Castle came downe who are also gone out, but are afraid will not overtake 
them, & which is worse if they doe fynde tnem fear will doe them no great 
hurt y Indians amongst them being all of y ? kindred of our Indians; for 
y 1 ' Policy of y ' freuch is so great that they Declar'd to some of y Maquase 

254 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

which they founde at Shinnechtady that they would not doe the Maquase 
harm Yea if they should burn and Destroy never so many houses at Canida 
and kill never so many f reach, they would not touch a hayr of there head; 
for there Govern 1 had such an Inclination to that People he would live in 
Peace with them; nay to -gain the hearts of y e Maquase whatever they 
Desyred at Shinnechtady was graunted y e women and Children that were 
left alive upon there Desyre were Released and saved, y e very houses where 
y e Maquase lay at were saved upon there Request, so that they leave no 
stone unturned to bring y Indians to there Devotion. 

"The 40 Maquase that were out as Skouts at y e Lake whom we furnish'd 
with Powder and Lead to lye there a Purpose, we must Conclude have 
knowne nothing of y e Enemies Comeing; for they had Posted themselfs at 
one of y Passages, and before they had sent men to y oy r Passage y e 
Enemy was Past by, which we must Impute to there negligence.. 

"The s ' French had Belts of wampum along with them which they showed 
to a maquase Squae at Shinnechtady which they Design'd to have given to 
our Indians upon Proposealls of Peace if they had met with any upon y e 
way, soe y* we must Conclude they want nothing but a Peace with our 
Indians to Destroy al the s el Parts. 

" Our Maquase have got one of there Indians Prisoner whom they have 
Tortur'd and afterwards have Released him, but Delivered him into our 
Custody; for we feard he would make his Escape and Runn away to y e 
Enemy; y s 1 Indian Confesses that there were 600 men Preparing to come 
out upon this Place or N. England, and one hundred men were gone out 
against Skachkook Indians which Was Besides this 200 men; & that this 
Company had been 22 days from Canida. 

"After y e french had done y Principall mischieffe at Shinnechtady Capt. 
Sander a Justice y' lives cross y- River was sent for by y Cap 1 , of y e 
french, who had Put himself in a Posture of Defence in his fort with the 
men that he could get by him ; when 13 came there and told him they 
should not fear for there orders was not to wrong a Chicken of his, upon 
which Cap' Sander Ordered them to lay downe there arms, and so were let 
in where they Left one man for a hostage & Cap*. Sander went to ther, 
Commander who told him he had Commission to come and Pay a Debte 
which they owed ; Col Dongan our gov r . had stirrd up our Indians to doe 
mischief at Canida, & they had done the same here ; and Pulling his Com- 
mission out of his Bosom told he was strikley Charged not to doe any harm 
to him or his, since he but Especially his wife had been so Charitable to y e 
french Prisoners, so y T Capt Sander saved sundrey houses from being burnt 
and women & Children irom being Carried away ; But y e Snow was so 
Extream Deep y 1 it was Impossible for any woman to march a mile, so y l 
they took none but men and boys that could march. 

Burning of Schenectady. 255 

" As soon as y e Maquase of y e first and 2d Castle came downe and see y c 
Ruines of Shennechtady were Verry much griev'd The 2 Principall Cap ,n « 
said to M r Wessels and some oy r gen', y' were sent from Albany to Dis- 
patch y e Christians and Indians away in Pursute of y e french. Now you 
see your Blood spilt, and this is y bpginning of y e miseries if not suddeuly 
Prevented. Therefore write to all them that are in Covenant with us Viz'. 
New England Virginia and all y e English Plantacons of America to make 
all Readinesse to master Canida early in the Spring with Great Shipps Else 
you cannot live in Peace You Say y e King is a great king, and you are Very 
numerous here in this Country farr above y d french you are so But now is 
the time to show it, else y e more you are y e greater shame it is to suffer y u 
french to be master; and then we and all the 5 nations yea all y e fan- 
nations must acknowlege y m for a great People and master of y e french if 
you now Subdue it. But hitherto we see y e french are the Souldiers they 
have been at y ; northwest and killd y e English there ; They have killd y e 
Indians at y e Sinnekes Country and now they come here and kill y e Dutch 
meaning y K Inhabitants of Shinnechtady who were formerly of y e Dutch 
nation. They are Victorious wherever they goe. Them of N. England 
have told us they would Destroy Canida, we have much Depended upon 
there great Promises since we know they are Potent Enough to doe it, & 
now we know there is open wavr. If we were but assured y* y e English 
would minde theree Interest now and make Ready agaiust y e spring we 
would keep them in alarm, we must goe hand in hand and Destroy the 
french, we hope y* y Govern 1 with men is come which you have often told 
us off. You told us also y* y e king of England was so Potent that he had 
Blokt up the french havens; yet y french gov r is come & we hear nothing 
of yours. In y e mean time we goe out now with Sixty Maquase of y e first & 
2 J Castle 25 River Indians Besides y e Christians and above 100 men of j K 3'' 
Castle are comeing to morrow, we will Pursue y e Enemy and doubt not but 
to overtake them too; and Rescue y c ' Prisoners. 

" Now Gent" The Indians Speak well yet we ai-e Satisfyed by all there 
actions that they will side with y e Strongest and y e Indians y' are among 
y e french are all of our Indian Relations, so y ! it cannot be Imagined that 
they will Destroy or anoy; Therefore if there maj ts subjects doe not Rise 
like one only man against y e french there Maj es Interest in these Parts will 
be Destroyed, and they once being Rooted out all oy r Evills which Spring 
from them as the fountain will be quashed, the Longer we stay the worse 
it will be, for we must doe it at last and then probably after we have lost 
many hundreds of our People which would be fitt to help in such an Expe- 
dition; we have felt y e smart of that nation and Pray God our neighbours 
may not come to y e same Disaster, we are Satisfyed they did not Design to 
Destroy Shinnectady but all our out Plantations but fyndeing them so 
secure sett upon them & left the oy r untoucht thinkeing they could never 
Escape there Cruelties. 

256 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Dear neighbours and friends we must acquaint y u y' never Poor People 
in y l world was in a worse Condition then we are at Present, no governour 
nor Command no money to forward any Expedition and Scarce men enough 
to maintain y e Citty and we must Conclude there only aim is this Place 
which once being attaind y 5 nations are Rent from y e English Crowne & 
in Stead of being a Bulwark to these Dominions as hitherto they have 
Proov'd will help to Ruine and Destroy the Countrey and Lay all waste. 
We have here Plainly Laid y e Case before y" and doubt not but you will 
so much take it to heart and make all Readinesse in y e Spring to Invade 
Canida by water. We Pray God Continually for y e arriveall of our Gov r 
without which we can doe but litle haveing enough to doe to keep y Indians 
to our side with great Expense; for these Distractions and Revolutions at 
N: York e hath brougt us into a miserable Condition, That without y r assist- 
ance and the 50 men from N. Yorke we should not be able to keep y e Place 
if any Enemy came wee begg an answer with al haste y< we may Satisfy y e 
Indians, we write to N: Yorke and oy r Parts of our mean Condition. We 
long much to hear from y r hon rs haveing sent an Indian Expresse y 15 
January last with what papers Related to y Indians at y 1 time, since when 
our messengers are come from onnendage and y e Indians al declare to be 
faithfull to this governm*. We have writt to Col Pyuchon to warn y e 
upper townes to be upon there guarde feareing y* some french <fc Indians 
might be out to Destroy them. We have no more to add in these Trouble- 
some times but y e we are Hon !,le gent. 

^ Your most humble & obed 1 serv ,s 

g y e Convention of Albanie 

£ 'o P r Schuyler, Mayor 

5J S *3«r 

o sf.S =* "* [Mass. Archives, 239-246.] 

<% "3 *! a J 

*%& '<*/><^!£&yU^ 


S (- (Si o 

* [Prof. Pearson makes these signatures Dirk Wessells, Rekw and Kilien Van 
Rensselaer. I think they should be read Derck Wessells, Rekor and P. (Richard ?) 
Van Rensselaer, Justice. — M'M.] 

Burning of Schenectady. 257 

" The Governor & Council of Massachusets to the Mayor, recorder, &c, of 


"Boston, 27' '' February, 16f£. 
" Hon-"" Gent". 

Yo rs of the 15"' instant bringing the sad and Solemn News of the desola- 
tion of Schinectedy, and the barbarous cruelties exercised towards the 
people of that place came to hand on Munday the 24 ,:i of this instant, which 
is a loud Alarm to the whole Country to make all meet preparation to put 
themselves in a posture of defence. The Government here have had before 
them the consideration of an expedition against the French in the Eastern 
parts And have consented to severall propositions for the Encouragement 
of such as shall undertake the charge of carrying on the same, divers con- 
siderable Gentlemen Offering to advance towards it, and hope that some- 
thing will be soon brought to Effect in that matter the people here seeming 
to be greatly Spirited therein. It is very unhappy that the animosities and 
divisions amongst the people in yo r parts and refusing to Subject to any 
Order should make them careless and neglectiveof their duty for their own 
Security and to expose themselves thereby to the incursion of the Enemy. 
It's hoped this sad providence will Awaken them that are yet unattacked to 
unite for the conion Safety and to make provision accordingly, and be very 
diligent in their watches to prevent Surprise. Should the French gain any 
more such advantages it is to be feared that it would farther their Jesuitical 
insinuations with the Indians and draw them to their side, when thev see 
their Success and Observe the security and divisions that are araonir the 
English, yo r care and Endeavours to hold the Indians firme to their promiss 
and Covenant lately renewed may by no meanes be wanting at this time; 
And it will highly concern the English of these Colony'* and those of New 
Yorke and Maryland & V :1 to maintain a good correspondance and intelli- 
gence at this critical time and to unite against a comon Enemy. In which 
wee shall not be wanting on our parts as Occasion shall offer. 

" Wee thanke you for y r care in the Speedy Intelligence and notice given 
of the danger to the upper Towns of this Colony. And desire the farther 
comunication from time to time of what may occur for their Ma lirS Service 
Copending you to the gracious Protection of the Almighty. 

Gent" yo r Friends and Servant the Governo' 
and Councill of their Ma' ies Colony of the 
Massachusetts Bay. Signed by their Order." 
— Mass. Archives, Book xxxv, 277-8. 

258 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Governor Bradstreet & Council of Massachusetts Bay in answer to a 
letter from Capt. Jonathan Bull commander of the Connecticut troops 
stationed at Albany & Schenectady. 

" Boston Feb. 27 16f£. 
" Cap' Bull. 

" Altho' we are excedingly greived for the horrid Tragedy lately acted 
at Schenectady, yet the matter of fact being so, we are glad to be inform' 1 
of it by the Albany Magistrates, and your self. Because tho' it's to late to 
succor that dolefull desolate place; yet the Example of it may be a means 
to prevent the like Ruine to ourselves. And if their Destruction doe 
thoroughly awaken us, that being forewarn* 1 we may become forearm* 1 we 
shall be so far happy. Your sorrowfull account does the more concern us, 
because we therein take notice of five of our Men slain & five Captivated, 
the Leiu' being among the slain. Twas very Commendably done of you 
to endeavour a pursuit of the Enemy; and when that designe Jail* 1 to shew 
the last office of Humanity in providing a Grave for y bodyes of our mur- 
dered Freinds and Neighbours. One would hope that the very looks and 
hideous Complaints of the poor frosen persons who escaped would be an 
Oration powerfull enough to persuade your Cityzens to peace & Unity. 
Tis an universall Truth that a Cyty divided against itself cannot stand 
Albany New York and Boston must finally die the death, if stricken with 
the same Division Plague. The Lord inspire you and the Citizens with 
that Courage, Prudence and Unanimity, as not to think of deserting so im- 
portant and defensible a Post as Albany is • the hinge upon which in a 
great measure the weight of our present New England affairs doth turn. 
Division is your Ruine you say; but where can you so probably expect a 
Cure of it, as in tliat Neighbourhood: And without a Cure that disease 
will prove mortall Whatsoever Town or Climate you betake your selves to. 
Twould be satisfactory to us for you in your next to say how many fight- 
ing men were in Schenectady, how well provided with Great Guns and 
small Amies, of what strength & Circumference the fortification whether 
it be now Tenable or no, so as to give any encouragem 1 to the French to 
place a Garrison there; what Church & Minister was in the place. 

" An Embargoe is laid upon all vessells here this day which is to take 
effect the eight of March next That so we may the more vigorously apply 
our selves to the present Expedition against the French at the Eastward 
and to the defence of our own Frontier Towns, of which by the Blessing 
of God we hope we may in some short time be able to give you a good ac- 
count. We are very sensible of the good Corresponclance Albany Gentle- 
men hold with us in Communicating to us what occurs. In the same storm 
wherein Schenectady was lost, Skippar Dotey of Plimouth, his son, and 
Elkana Watson were Cast away on Barnstable Barr, & all three lost their 

Burning of Schenectady. 259 

Lives, but whether by sea, or by persons, on shoar more inimicall than the 

sea itself, is matter of Doubt & Jealousy. The America a ship of near 

two hundred Tunns is near ready to saill for London, by which Conveyance, 

shall give a full account all Passages to our Agents, if we do not send on 

purpose. Not doubting but all prudent means will be used by your 

Magistrates to fix the five Nations on our side. We pray God to prosper 

you and us, as that our Actions may gain Credit with them, and so take 

leave l'emaining yo r Loveing ffriends. 

The Treasurer has given The Gov r & Councill of the 

y e Bearer Fourty shill- Massachusetts Colony signed 

ings to help bear his by their order. 

charges and even y e score 

in Town as to himselfe 

his Companion and 

Horses." — Mass. Archives, xxxv, 279. 

The survivors of the massacre had become so'discouraged by their late ter- 
rible experience, that it was seriously debated whether the settlement should 
not be abandoned. The frontiers were now so harrassed by straggling par- 
ties of the enemy, that the husbandmen could not safely plant and harvest 
their crops. 

In the midst of these discouragements the Mohawks strove to dissuade 
them from abandoning their plantations, promising them aid, and counsell- 
ing them to fortify their village more substantially. 

At a council held in Albany by the Sachems and the chief inhabitants of 
Albany and Schenectady, the Mohawks made the following speech to their 
white brethren. 

"25 Feb. 1690 

'* Propositions made by the Sachims of ye Maquase Castles to ye Mayor 
&c— of ye Citty of Albany, * * 25 th day of February l6g$. 

" Brethern. — Wee are sory and Extreamly grieved for y e murther 
Lately Committed by y e french upon our Brethren of Shinnectady wee Es- 
teem this evill as if done to ourselfs being all in one Covenant chain, * * 

" Wee Lament and Condole the death of so many of our brethren so 
basely murthered at Shinnectady, we can not accompt it a great victory for 
itt is done by way of Deceit. 

" Bretheren. — Doe not be discouraged this is butt a beginning of ye 
Warr we are strong eneugh the whole house have there Eyes fixed upon 
y 3 and they only stay your motion and will bee ready to doe whatever shall 
be resolved upon by our Brethren. * * * * 

260 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Wee Recommed ye brethren to keep good watch and if any Enemies 
came take care y* mesengers be more speedily sent to us than lately was 
done we would not advise ye brethren quite to deseret Shinnectady but 
to make a fort there. The Enemy would be too glorious to see it quite 
desolate and y r Towne is not well fortifyed ye Stockades are so short ye 
Indians can jump over them like a dogg. * * * " — Doc. Hist. n. 

"Leisler to the Bishop of Salisbury, 31 Mar. 1690. 

* * they murthered 60 persons and bore away with them 27 prisoners, 
wounding some others so that there remain but about one sixth part of them, 
having their cattle, goods and provision destroyed ; and arrested from 
them, the remnant sheltering them selves at Albany, where there is provi- 
sion made for them from New Yorke. 

"Robert Livingston to Sir Edmund Andros, ap. 14, 1690. 

* * * On ye 9 ,h of Feby last a Compy of 250 French and Indians 
came upon y* place when they were all asleep about 11 a'clock at night, and 
killed & destroyed 60 men women and children, carryed 27 men and boys 
prisoners and burnt 3 7 e towne except 6 or 7 houses which are saved by Capt. 
Sander [Glen], whom they did not touch, having Expresse command to med- 
dle with none of his relations for his wifes sake, who had always been kinde 
to ye French prisoners. 

" The people of that Towne were so bygotted to Leysler that they would 
not obey any of ye Magistrates neither would they entertain ye Souldiers 
sent thither by y 4 Convention of Albany, nothing but men sent from Leys- 
ler would do theire turn. 

" Thus had Leysler perperted yt poor people by his seditious letters now 
founde all bloody upon Skinnechtady streets, with the notions of a free 
trade boalting etc., and thus are they destroyed ; they would not watch, 
and where Capt. Sander [Glen] commanded, there they threatened to burn 
him upon ye fire, if he came upon the garde.* * * " — Doc. Hist, i, 193. 

Extract from Leisler's letter to Maryland. 

March 4, 16fg. 

* * 200 men fell upon them (Shenectady) and barbarously murdered sixty- 
two men, women and children and burned the place left but 5 or 6 houses 
unburned, carried away captive 27; the rest escaped, many of which being 
about 25 persons much damnified by the french. * * * 

"By the Com rs for Albany &c. 
" Forasmuch as it is of high Concern to preserve his Maj lies City and 
county of Albany from the rage and mischief of the French and their ad- 
herents, who to o r sad experience have made divers attempts upon the 
skirts of the same; Wee doe therefore Order, and hereby it is ordered that 

Burning of Schenectady. 261 

the Posts of Schanechtede, Connestigieonc and the half Moone be forthwith 
supplyed with proper numbers of men to defend the same, ***** \2^ 
day of May, 1690."— Doc. Hist., n. 

In regard to the number of persons killed and carried away to Canada at 
the destruction of Schenectady, the best accounts agree substantially. The 
names of sixty persons massacred and of twenty-seven captives, have been 
preserved among the historical documents in the office of the secretary of 
State and are given below, accompanied by remarks as to their residences 
in the village. It will be noticed that the largest number of the slain resided 
when living on State Street; hence the survivors called this street Mar- 
telaer's straat, in pious remembrance of their slaughtered relatives and 
neighbors, — a name whose significance and sentiment are in striking con- 
trast with the utter poverty of invention and good taste shown by their 
descendants in borrowing a name from Albany for their chief business 

' List of ye People kild and Destroyed by ye French of Canida and there 
Indians at Skinnechtady twenty miles to ye Westward of Albany, between 
Saturday and Sunday ye 9 lh day of February, 16f£. 

Myndert Wemp kild " 1 

He was the eldest son of Jan Barcntse Wemp (Wemple) who owned half 
the great island west of the town and died in 1663, leaving another son 
Barent and two daughters. 

Myndert's house lot was on the west side of Washington street a little 
north of State street. His son Johannes was carried away to Canada but 
was redeemed and lived many years afterwards. 

" Jan Van Eps and his sonne and 2 of his Children kild." 4 

Jan Van Eps was the only son of Dirk Van Eps and Maritie Damens. 
The father died early and the mother married two husbands afterwards, 
the last of whom was Cornells Van Nes of Albany. With Jan Van 
Eps were also killed three of his children, and a fourth, Jan Baptist, then 
seventeen years of age was carried away by the French. He remained 
with the Indians three years, but finally escaped in one of their excursions 
against the Mohawks. On account of his familiarity with the language of 
the natives, he was often employed by the Governors of the Province as an 

262 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The Van Eps house lot was on the north corner of Church and State 
streets and embraced about two hundred feet on each street. 

The east half, including the corner, was early sold to the Bratts. 

It is probable that Van Eps resided upon the west half at the time of the 

" Serg* Church of Capt. Bull's compy." 1 

"Barent Janse [Van Ditmars] killd and Burnd his sonne kild." 2 

His son's name was Cornells, — a young man of mature age, the husband 
of Catharina Glen, daughter of Sander Leendertse Glen.(?) The elder Van 
Ditmar's in 1664, married Catalyntie De Vos, widow of Arent Andriese 
Bratt, one of the earliest settlers of Schenectady, by whom she had six 
children, all living at the time of her second marriage. 

At the time of the massacre she was living with her family on her village 
lot — on the east corner of Washington and State streets, and it was here 
that Van Ditmars and his son Cornells were slain. 

" Andries Arentse Bratt shott and Burnt and also his Child " [one 
child]. 2 

He was the eldest son of Arent Andriese Bratt and Catalyntie De Vos 
above mentioned, and lived on the same ample lot (200 ft. square), as his 
mother, on the north side of State street. In the massacre his wife, 
Margareta Jacobse Van Slyck, and two other children were sjsared. 

" Maria Viele wife of Dowe Aukes and her two children killd, 3 

and his Negro Woman Francyn, 1 

Maria Alolff Wife of Cornells Viele Jun r Shott." i 

These five persons were killed in one house, standing on the south corner 
of Mill lane and State street next the ancient church. Aukes kept an Inn 
there; Viele was uncle of his wife and subsequently became heir of his 

At the same time Arnout Cornelise Viele, brother of Aukes' wife, was 
carried away to Canada. 

" Sweer Teunise [Van Velsen] Shott and burnt his wife kild & burnt, 2 

Antje Janz daughter of Jan Spoor kild & burnt, l 

Item 4 Negroes of ye said Sweer Teunise ye same death, 4 

Enos Talmidge Leift. of Capt. Bull kild & burnt." l 

All in one house. 

Burning of Schenectady. 263 

Van Velsen's bouse was next east of Douwe Auke's above mentioned, on 
the south side of State street, now numbers 54 and 56. He was the town 
miller and directly in the rear of his house stood his corn mill on Mill lane. 

As he died without heirs, his estate was divided among his wife's child- 
ren, — the Wemps, — a portion being reserved for the church. 

" Hend : Meese Vrooman & Bartholomeus Vrooman kild & burnt, 2 

Item 2 negroes of Hend : Meese ye same death." 2 

He lived on the north side of State street where the New York Central 
railroad crosses. All the Vroomans in this vicinity are his descendants 
through his two sons Adam and Jan. 

" Gerrit Marcellis and his wife and Childe kiled," 3 

He was son of Marselis Janse of Albany. At the time of his death he 
was residing on the lots now occupied by McCamus & Co's stores. 

" Rob* Alexander sould r of Capt Bulls Shott." I 

He was probably quartered in the blockhouse at north angle of the village 
at the corner of Front and Washington streets. 

" Robert Hesseling." Residence unknown. 1 

" Sander ye sonne of gysbert gerritse [Van Brakel] kild & burnt," 1 

He lived on the east corner of Ferry and State streets. 
" Jan Roeloffse de goyer burnt in ye house," 1 

He was son of the famous Annke Janse, and lived upon the lot of Mr. G. 
Y. Van de Bogart opposite the Court House. He left no descendants. 

"Ralph grant a souldier in ye fort shott," 1 

" David Christoffelse & his wife w th 4 children all burnt in there house," 6 
His house lot was on the east side of Church street now occupied by the 
late Mrs. Volney Freeman. 

He was the son of Christoffel Davids of Albany, an Englishman by birth. 

" Joris Aertse [Vander Baast] shott and burnt, W m Pieterse kild," 2 

His house lot was on the south corner of Church & Union streets. 
" Job : Potman kild his wife kild and her scalp taken off," 2 

His house stood on the lot on the north corner of Ferry and Union streets 
where Mr. Barney now lives. 

He was the ancestor of the Putmans of this vicinity. 

264 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Dom e Petrus Tassemaker ye minister kild and burnt in his house" 1 
" Frans Harmense [Van de Bogart] kild." 1 

His house lot was on Front street — and near the north gate. 
His son Claas was carried away, but was afterwards redeemed. 

'• Engel the wife of Adam Vrooman shot and burnt her child the brains 
dashed out against y«= wall." 2 

Her maideu name was Engeltie Blom. Vrooman's house stood on the lot 
on the west corner of Front and Church streets. 

His son Barent and a negro were carried away to Canada. 

"Reynier Schaats and his sonne kild." 2 

He was son of Dom e Gideon Schaets of Albany ; — surgeon and physician 
of the village as well as justice of the peace. His lot was on the north side 
of Union street, now owned by the county of Schenectady. 

" Daniel Andries & George 2 souldiers of Capt. Bull." 2 

" A french girl Prisoner among the Mohogs kild." 1 

"A maquase Indian kild." 1 

" Johannes ye sonne of Symon Skercnerkorn, 1 

3 Negroes of Symon Skermerhorn." 3 
He probably lived on the west corner of Church and Union streets — the 
Tomlinson lot. 

" Lyst of ye Persones which ye French & there Indians have taken 
Prisoners att Skinnechtady and caried to Canida ye 9 !h day of February 
16f o, Johannes Teller & his negroe." 2 

The Teller lot was on the east corner of Union and Washington streets, 
extending 200 feet along each street. 

Teller was redeemed from the Indians. 

" John Wemp sonne of Mynd* Wemp and 2 negroes." 3 

The Weinp's lived on the west side of Washington, a little north of 

State street. 

" Symon, Abraham, Phillip, Dyrck and Claas Groot all 5 sonnes of 
Symon Groot." 5 

His house lot was next west of Reynier Schaet's on the north side of 
Union street, now owned by the county of Schenectady and A. W. Hunter, 
Esq. All these sons were redeemed with perhaps the exception of Claas. 

Burning of Schenectady. 265 

" Jan Baptist sonne of Jan Van Eps." 1 

The Van Eps lot was on the north corner of Church and State streets, 
Jan remained among the Canadian Indians about three years, and in one 
of their expeditions against the Mohawks escaped and returned home. 
"Albert & Johannes Vedder sonnes of harme Vedder." 2 

Harmen Vedder the father, had a hofstede on the bouwland, now owned 
and occupied by Mr. John D. Campbell of Rotterdam, and it is not cer- 
tainly known that he had a village lot. 
Both were redeemed. 

" Isaak Cornelise Switts & his Eldest sonne." 2 

He lived on the west side of Washington street directly opposite State. 
Both were redeemed. 

" A negroe of Barent Janse [Van Ditmars]" • 1 

Van Ditmars married Mrs. Bratt in 1664 and lived upon the lot on the 
east corner of State and Washington streets. 

" Arnout ye Sonne of Arnout Corn: Viele ye Interp 1 ." 1 

Arnout was brother-in-law of Douwe Aukes and was residing at his house 
on the south corner of State street and Mill Lane near the church. 

" Stephen ye sonne of Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel]" 

Van Brakel resided on the East corner of Ferry and State streets. 

" Lawrence Sonne of Claes Lawrence Purmurent [Vander Volgen]." 1 

The Vander Volgen home lot included the lots on which are built the 
Van Home Hall and the Myers' Block. 

Lawrence remained with the Canada Indians about eleven years, becoming 
perfectly familiar with their language and customs. After his return he 
was employed as Provincial interpreter. 

" Arnout Sonne of Paulyn Janse." Residence unknown. 1 

" Barent ye Sonne of Adam Vrooman and ye neger." 2 

" Claes sonne of Frans Harmense [Van de Bogart]." ] 

His father's village lot was on the north side of Front street, now the res- 
idence of Mr. Henry Rosa. 

"Stephen adopted Sonne of Gcertje Bonts." Residence unknown. 1 

" John Webb a souldier belonging to Capt Bull," 1 



History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" David Burt belonging to ye same Comp e ," 
" Joseph Marks of ye same Comp 6 ," 

In all* 



" List of the Goods sent from New York and received from Mons r Jan 
Hendricksen Brujn and Johannes Proofoost to be distributed among the 
Refugees of Schoonechtede, to wit : 

2348| Dutch ells of Osenb: Linen. 

3 ps Serge, 

13 prs. Stockings, 

72 ells pennestont, 

And delivered to the Deacons of Schoonechtede and the Deacons of 
Albany, to wit : 

Barent Wemp, Johannes De Wandelaer, 

Jan Byvanck, Jacob Loockermans. 

first distributed to 
Barent Wemp 
Harmen Vedder, 
Symen Schermerhoorn. 
Symen Groot, 
Arent Vedder, 

Anne widow of Frans [Van de Bogart], 
Willem Appel, 
Goosen Van Oort, 
Samuel Bradt, 
Andries Bradt, 
Johannes Dyckman, 
Geertruy Groot, 

3 ps. sarge distributed of 

List of the Pennestont to 

Aces Cornelise [Van Slyck], 

Dirck Bradt, 

Isack De Teurex [Truax], 

Nieces Volekers, 

Johannes Dyckman, 

Jan [Van] Eps, 

Loowies Coopeele [Cobes], 

Pieter Van Olinda, 

Gerret Jansen, 

William Van Erde, 

6| ells 







79 & | 

7 ells 








* Doc. Hist. I, 191. 

Burning of Schenectady. 267 

Arent Vedcler, 3^ 

Elias Swart, 7 

Jan Buys, 4 

Geertruy Groot, 3 

72 ells 
List of Stockings. 

Man us Veclder, one pair of Stockings, 1 

Symen Groot, one pair, 1 

Jan Buys, 1 

Willem Appel, 1 

Symen Schermerhooren, 1 

Gyspert Gerrets [Van Brakel], 1 

Harmen Vedder, 1 

Hendrick Gardeniers, 1 

Samuel Bradt, 1 

Dirck Hesseliugh, 1 

Adam Froman, v 1 

Teunis Carstensen, 1 

Gerrit Gysbersen [Van Brakel], 1 

The number of Stockings, 13 prs. 

< List of the Osenburg Linen. 

Harmen Vedder, 80 ells 

Jan [Van] Eps, 70 

Catlyn Barensen [Van Ditmars], 70 

Dirck Bradt, 65 

Barent Wemp, 70 

Dirck Hesselinge r , 58 

Willem Appel, 80 

Goosen Van Oort, 50 

Geertruy [Groot (?)], 31 

Susanne Tellers, 50 

Aces Cornelise [Van Slyck], 50 

Dieur Wemp, 55 

Anne Harmensen [Van de Bogart], 65 • 

Tryntje Bosboom, 20 

Symon Volcker [Veeder], 30 

Samel Bradt, 50 

Gyspert Gerrets [Van Brakel], 80 

Nieces Volckertsen [Veeder (?)], 20 

Jacob Van Laer, 20 

Willem Van Eerde, 75 

Cornells Viele, 40 

Manus Haegedoorn, 40 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Jannetie Scherraerhooren, 

Cornells Schermerhooren, 

Citte Bradt. 

Hendrick Gardeniers, 

Cornells Claesen, 

Tryntie Schaets, 

David Christoffelsen's children, 

Johannes Pootman's children, 

Adam Frooman, 

Symen Schermerhooren, 

Purmerent [Van de Volgen], 

Symen Groot, 

Fytie Pietersen Bosboom, 


Distributed in Sehoonechtede, 

1809 ells. 

List of the Linen distributed in the Bush. 

[ Woestine.~\ 

Elias Swart, 

36 ells 

Lauries Coopesen [Ludovicus Cobes], 


Isack Teurx [Trnax], 


Jan Buys, 


Tennis Carstensen, 


Binnonie Arentsen [Van Hueck], 


Davit Marienissen [marinus], 


Elias [Van] Gyseling, 


Arent Vedder, 


Pitter Van Olinda, 


Jan Frooman, 


Manis [Harmanus] Vedder, 


Tuenis Viele, 


Tryntje Verwy, 


Claes '[De] Graef, 


Jan Hilt, 


Cornells Groat, 


Jan Luycessen [ Wyngaardt], 


Johannes Dyckman, 


Ifysbet Cornelissen, 



From the other side, 


By me Johannes De Wandelaeb, 

Deacon of Albany* 


* Doc. Hist. N. Y., ii, in. 

Burning of Schenectady. 


As the people of Albany were connected with those of Schenectady by 
ties of blood and marriage, the latter received much aid from the former. 

Thus in the Deacon's book of the church of Albany, immediately after 
the destruction of Schenectady, are found the following entries for goods 
given away. 

Aen Purmerent [Claas Laurense Van der Volgen], 8 el linne en 7 
el plets (?) ~ 29 guld. 

Aen ditto 2\ el duffels en 7 el linne, 30 guld. 

Aen Jan Spoor 8 ell linne. 

Aen Kornelis groot een kempt, 8 gul. 

Aen purmerent [Claas Laurense Van der Volgen], 2 el duffels, 

16 gul. 

The following ballad, though "without much literary merit, has some 
value for the facts set forth therein. 

Tt was evidently written by a person belonging to the English garrison 
stationed at Albany. 











In which is set forth the horrid cruellties practised by the French and In- 
dians on the Night of the 8th of Last February. The which I did compose 
Last Night in the space of one Hour, and am now writing, the Morning of 
Fryday, June 12, 1690. 

God prosper long our King and Queen 

Our lives & Safeties all 
A sad misfortune once there did 

Schenectady befall. 

From forth the woods of Canada 

The Frenchmen tooke their Way 
The People of Schenectady 

To captivate and slay. 

They march'd for two & twenty dais, 

All thro' the deepest snow ; 
And on a dismal Winter Night 

They strucke the Cruel Blow. 

The lightsome sun that rules the Day, 

Had gone down in the West ; 
And eke the drowsy Villagers 

Had sought and found their reste. 

w. w. 

They thought They were in Safetie all, 

And dreampt not of the Foe ; 
But att Midnight They all awoke, 

In Wonderment & Woe. 

For They were in their pleasant Beddies, 
And soundelie sleeping, when 

Each Door was sudden open broke 
By six or seven Men. 

The Men and Women, Younge & Olde, 

And eke the Girls & Boys, 
All started up in great Affright, 

Att the alarming Noise. 

They then were murther'din their Beddes, 
Without shame or remorse ; [stew'd 

And soon the Floores and Streets were 
With many a bleeding corse. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The Village soon began to Blaze 
Which shew'd the horrid sight : — 

But, O, I scarce can Beare to Tell 
The Mis'ries of that Night. 

They threw the Infants in the Fire, 

The Men they did not spare ; 
But killed All which they could find 

Tho' Aged or tho' Fair. 

Christe"! In the still Midnight air, 
It sounded dismally, [screams, 

The Women's Prayers, and the loud 
Of their great Agony. 

Methinks as if I hear them now 

All ringing in my ear ; 
The Shrieks & Groanes & Woefull Sighs, 

They utter'd in their Fear. 

But some ran off to Albany, 

And told the dolefull Tale : 
Yett tho' We gave our cheerful Aid, 

It did not much avail 

And We were horribly afraid, 
And shook with Terror, when 

They told us that the Frenchmen were 
More than a Thousand Men. 

The News came on the Sabbath morn 

Just att the Break of Day. 
And with a companie of Horse 

I galloped away. 

But soone We found the French were gone 

With all their great Bootye ; 
And then their Trail We did pursue, 

As was our true Dutye. 

The Mohaques joynd our brave Partye, 

And followed in the chase 
Till we came upp with the Frenchmen, 

Att a most likelye Place. 

Our soldiers fell upon their Reare, 

And killed twenty-five, 
Our Young Men were so much enrag'd 

They took scarce One alive. 

D'Aillebout Them did commande, 
Which were but Theevish Rogues, 

Else why did they consent and Goe 
With Bloodye Indian Dogges? 

And Here I End the long Ballad, 

The Which you just have redde ; 
Iwish that it may stay on earth 
Long after I am Dead. 

Albany, 12th of June, 1690." 

Indian Wars on (he Border, 1662-1713. 271 


The destruction of Schenectady and the uncertainty of future safety of 
the border settlers in the vicinity of that village, awakened in their minds 
serious doubts as to the expediency of rebuilding their dwellings and put- 
ting seed into the ground. To reassure the courage of the people, the con- 
vention at Albany passed the following resolution on the 22 Feb., 1690. 

Resolved that for ye p'servation of there maj e8 Intrestin these parts & ye 
Secureiug of there Subjects in this time of war w th ye french, yt all means 
be used to Perswadeall ye maquase to come & live & Plant at Schinnectady 
lately Destroyed by ye french and there Indians w h will be a means yt ye 
winter Corn sowed there may be reaped & ye Indians in Readinesse to joyn 
with our forces upon any occasion if ye enemy should come. — Doc. Hist., 
ii, p. 90. 

The Five Nations too in a council held at Albany, May 3, spoke encourag- 
ing words, — 

" Brother Corlaer be no wise discouraged but make your fort strong (as 
we have our castles) at Schenectady and maintain a garrison there, that 
your Corne may be preserved & reap your harvest, also send for your wifes,* 
and children from New York and encourage them that we shall be safe, and 
fear not, * * * The words of Diadorus are ended."f 

In April an attack was made on the feeble settlement at Canastagione 
where eight or ten people were killed by the French Indians, " which has 
made the whole country in an Alarm and the People leave there planta- 

Of this attack Leisler wrote to Governor Treat of Connecticut, April 19, as 
follows : 

"It hapened y* last Sabeday, at Nistigione, 12 My le from Albany, ye 
people there gathered all in one house & keept watch, the said ffrench and in 

* Mr. Van Cortland writing to Gov. Audros May 19, says, " most of the Albany women 
Are att New Yorke." 

f Col. Doc. in, 714 X Col. Doc. in, 716. 

272 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Indians, finding in the night the houses empty, & perseving their retreat r 
went in a swamp, the people going in ye mourning, each to their houses, 
were surprized, 9 Christians, 2 negers were kild & captivated, which must 
needs encourage the enemie to further attempt if not prevented by a 
vigorous attake in Canada.*" * * * 

To the same effect, he wrote to the magistrates of Albany, April 30, in 
his Dutch English. 

* * "mest riarsf desired som guns with iff your seemeth most be taken 
from sloop or petrares for Schonectede with Wee Desiers ma not be deserted 
doo It shuld kost 50 soldiers to maentain." * * * J 

May 12, 1690, the magistrates of Albany to stay the general alarm and 
provide for the protection of the border, " Ordered that the Posts of Schen- 
echtade, Connestigioone, and halfe-moone be forthwith supplyed with the 
proper number of men to defend the same, — and that none doe presume to 
post any other forces saving at the 3 places aforesaid at their uttmost 

" Whereas it is judged necessary for to defend Schanechtede and to that 
purpose it is likewise found requisite that a Fort shall be built to defend ye 
Inhabitants and oppugn the Enemy if he should attack the same," — Capt. 
Sander Glen and others are ordered to build a " substantiall Fort on that 
lot of grounde called by y name of Cleyn Isaacs."! 

Robert Livingston — a strong and active Anti-Leislerian, in a letter of June 
7 to Lt. Gov. Nicholson, makes serious charges against Leisler's agents at 
Albany of their " drinking and Quaffing while the French Indians comes and 
cutts off the People at Canastagione and above Synechtady and never one of 
them cacht. We have all Leisler's seditious letters secured which was the 
occasion of the destruction of Synechtady, miraculously found in the streets 
all embrued with blood the morning after the massacre was committed."** 

So impoverished had Albany and Schenectady become, that aid was called 
for from Connecticut for " fournishing the souldiers with provisions, Shen- 
nectady being destroyed and most of the out plantations deserted, that your 
hon rs would be pleased to send a supply of an hundred barrels of porks or 
beefe equivalent for maintaining their Maj e9 Forces."ff 

On the 9th June, 1690, four persons of those who had been captured by 
the French and escaped from Canada, arrived in Albany, to wit, Klyn 

* Doc. Hist., ii, 131. f [Ryer Schermerhorn — M'M]. 

X Doc. Hist, ii, 131. § Col. MSS., xxxvi. 

| Isaac Svvits lot at foot of State street. 

** Col. Doc, in, 727. ft Col. Doc, m, 693. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 273 

Isack [Swits] of Schenectady, and his eldest son Symon, — Ryck Claessen 
[Van Vranken] of Niskayuna and one of Capt. Bull's soldiers taken at the 
destruction of Schenectady.* Four more captives taken at the same place 
were brought in March, 1091, by a "party of Christians and maquase."f 

In the beginning of June, 1691, Gov. Sloughter, who succeeded Andros, 
visited Albany and Schenectady to inspect the defences and hold a council 
with the Five Nations. 

In his speech June 1, to the Sachems assembled, he said: 

* * " I must acquaint the Brethren that it was very unpleasant news to 
me, which was told me at Schenectady two dayes ago, by the poor distressed 
Inhabitants of that Village, how that some of the Brethren have burnt and 
destroyed several of their deserted houses and Barns, and have killed their 
horses, Cattle, Hoggs and Poultry in the woods, left by the Enemy, which 
is an uncharitable act, and ought to be enquired into and for the future 
prevented and remedied."]; 

"The maquasse propose for themselves and say: * * * * (4 June, 1691). 

" We were glad to see your Excell cy safe arrived here to the Gent u of 
Albany and as soon as you have visited the Magistrates here, you took 
hoarse and rode to Schenectady where you see the mines to that Towne 
occasioned by the French, and there the poor people made there complaints 
to your Excell cy of the killing of their Cattle and Hoggs; — we must confess 
the thing was done, but could not be avoided for we were ready to pursue 
the Enemy when they had done the mischeife at Schennectady & comeing 
home were almost starved and therefor for mere necessity we were com- 
pelled to do what we did; you expect satisfaction for the same, but pray 
consider how business is now circumstanced that it cannot conveniently be 
done, for if you should draw us from prosecuting the warr to go to hunt to 
make satisfaction for that injury, it would be of badd consequence. 

"Brother Corlaer, we have often told you that you should fortifye your- 
selfe well, but you always tell us, the French were a Christian Enemy and 
they would warn you but you see how they have warned you by Schennec- 
tady, therefore pray you make the Citty as strong as the Forte and when 
our Indians doe goe out a fighting, then pray send seaven or eight Men in 
our Castle to make a noise (which is the manner of their Watching, a 
nights) that so our women and Children may be secure and not taken 
Captive whilst we are abroad." 

*Doct. Hist., ii, 153 ; Col. Doc, m, 781-2. 
f Col. MSS., xxvii. % Col. Doc. , in. 773. 


274 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" We deliver you a prisoner vis* Joseph Marks* which we brought from 
Canada who was taken at Schenectady by the French and their Indians and 
shall endeavor to bring more by all occasions."! — (June 1, 1691.) 

During the summer of 1691, Major Pieter Schuyler raised an expedition 
for Canada, in which he employed the Mohawks. Robert Livingston 
writing to Gov. Sloughter says, " I designe to send provisions to Schenec- 
tady for them to p r vent their sotting & drinking here, that they may march 
from thence directly. "J 

About this time the Indians took prisoner one Cornells Clatie at Canas- 
taguijone. " In the end of June 2 men went over the river att Canastogione 
to make hay upon Claas [Janse Van Boekhoven's] de Brabander's land, — 
the most dangerous place in all the Province; some French Indians sur- 
prises them, kills the one and takes off his skull & what is become of the 
other we know not. The other people that were mowing of hay upon 
Claes de Brabander's Island that now belongs to John Child [Clute], heard 
3 gunns goe off went to the river side 1 , see noc body but the Cannoe; we 
sent a party of horse thither who found one of the men lying in the water 
at the shoare side."§ Such was the alarm that the people durst not stay 
upon their farms, and there was danger the crops would not be harvested. 

On the 11th July, Gov. Sloughter wrote to the Governors of the other 
Provinces, that he had just returned from Albany, where he "found our 
Plantations and Schenectady almost ruined. — I have garrisoned Schenectady 
and Halfe Moon with some of the 100 fusileers raised by our Assembly."! 

Again Aug. 6, he says, "I found Albany full of disorder, the people 
ready to disert it; about 150 farms deserted & destroyed by the French." 

October 5, 1691, " At a council held at Fort William Henry [N. Y]. 

" This Board having the Garrison of Schenectady under consideration, it 
is thought convenient to remove the 4 eruns from there to Albany and that 
Peterardoes be placed in their steade."** 

Late in the year 1691, another of the prisoners taken at Schenectady the 
year before was brought back by an Oneida Indian, who was rewarded in 
" Duffels and Rom " to the amount of £2, 2s. 

In January, 1692, Cornelis Van Slyck, Ilarmen Van Slyck and Hendrick 
Janse went out from Schenectady with the Maquase upon the Brandwach 
towards Canada, Capt. Sander Glen furnishing " Sno Shoes " for them.ff 

* A soldier of Li. Enos Talma^e's detachment posted in the fort at Schenectady. 
\ Col. Doc, in, 778, 779. % Col. Doc, in, 781, 782, 805. 

§ Col. Doc, in, 783-4. || Col. Doc, in, 784, 792, 795. 

** Council Minn., vi, 57; Col. MSS., xxxvin. 
•ft Col. MSS., xxxvin. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 275 

Iu February came an alarm from Albany to Governor Fletcher that "350 
French and 200 Indians had come within 36 miles of Schenectady." 

The Governor proposed to h detach three hundred men out of the City 
regiment and adjacent counties to be transported to Esopus by water," 
from whence they were to be sent on to Albany and Schenectady by 

In May there was a new alarm and Major Ingoldsby visited Albany 
where the officers " represented that they need a force of 400 men on this 
frontier, — 200 at Albany, 50 each at Schenectady, Canastagione, & half 
moon, & 50 to go out with 100 Indians as constant scouts in the woods."f 

Returning from Albany, the commander-in-chief, Maj. Ingoldsby, reported 
to the Council in New York, June 10, that he found the place in great 
disorder from the false alarm occasioned* by some skulking Indians from 
Canada; — that the fortifications were very much out of repair; — that he had 
confirmed the chain of friendship with the Five Nations and River Indians, 
and that he "had detached 30 men from the garrison at Albany to Schen- 
ectady; — 30 to Half-Moon and that 50 more were wanting at least for Can- 
nestgioenna but could not afford to detach any more from Albany."]; 

In October, Governor Fletcher visited Schenectady and put it in some 
posture of defense for the coming winter.§ 

In September, three French prisoners being examined at New York said 
that last summer (1692) the French of Canada " had a design to fall upon 
Albany & Schenectady & the Mohac country, but first, to take Shenec- 
tady where they resolved to build a fort * * but their design failed."! 

The Provincial Council, July 1, for the purpose of obtaining information 
in relation to the late massacre at Deerfield, examined Jan Baptist Van Eps 
(of Schenectady), " aged about 19 years, who had been a prisoner or captive 
amongst the ffrench Indians in Canada, the space of three years, and made 
his Escape from them in february last, when the ffrench and Indians attackt 
the Maquaes Castles, and came to Schenectade being the Uppermost ffrontier 
of this Province where His Excellency Ben]. Fletcher, &c, then was with 
the fforces from New York to repulse the Enemy."** 

In August, 1692, a new expedition was fitted out at Schenectady, consist- 
ing of 350 Indians of the Five Nations under Canachkorie to attack Canada. 
The expense of the outfit was £54, 3s. 5d. Among other things furnished 
was 4 ells of " red & blew " ribbons " to Tye in his Fares." 

* Council Min., vi, 165. f Col. MSS., xxxvni. 

X Coun. Min., vi, 104. § Coun. Min., vi, 134 ; Leg. Min., vi, 50. 

| Col. Doc, iu, 855. ** Col. MSS., xxxix 

276 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

P. Davitse was allowed nine shillings for making two gun-stocks; Jellis 
Funda nineteen shillings and six pence for making four gun stocks, — & Barent 
Mynderse and Christian Smith £7, 6s. 8c?., for repairing arms for the Indians. 

While at Schenectady the " Mayor & the Rest " stayed with Johannes 
Glen; — Hille Van Olinda their interpreter, made two great belts of wampum 
for which she received £2, 8s. 

There was furnished for the expedition 600 lbs. of " Beefe & Pork besides 
the 4 quarters of a small beast," amounting to £1, 16s., — 25 skipples of 
Pease @ § and 24 Loaves of Bread @ Id. 

A large quantity of wampum belts was sent along to draw over the Pray- 
ing Indians of Canada. 

The zewant for two great belts cost £3, 12s. 

The low condition of Schenectady is plainly shown by the following 
petition, »-so impoverished had the poor people become that a paltry tax of 
only £29-7s ($73 -nnr) was considered too great a burthen for the whole 
township to bear. 

11 To his Excell : &c. Ac. 

The Humble Peticon of the Inhabitants of Skenectady in the county of 
Albany, — 

Humbly Sheweth 

That youre Excell 8 Peticon™ have received many great damidges and 
Losses by the ffrench & there adherents, By Murdering of there ma]" 83 
good Subjects and Burning there habitations and Cattle &c, and daly great 
Charges and truble with the Indian Souldg rs and there Wifes & Children as 
lately aboutt 300 of these were here 21 days before they Marched toward 
Canida, Destroying our grain &g. in our plantations, that our Winter Main- 
tenance for our poore ffamilies is much Shortened to our Ruin haveing many 
poore Widows and Children from the out places here to Secure there 
Lyves : — as alsoe the mag trates &c. of Albany have Lotted to us to pay 
towards the Tax of 315 lbs for our part £29-7p. which Seemes to our poore 
Condicon very hard, not Knowing how to Raise it, being Constrained to 
plant together that we can not [lose] that Little What wee have Left, &c. 

Whereupon your Peticon rs humbly Implore Your Excellency .for a Re- 
dress, & that wee may be freed of all Taxes till the Warr is ended and your 
Excellency's further assistance with Souldg rs &c. for a defence against the 
Enemies &c. [no Signatures.] 

Petition granted 'uemine contradicente ' 11 Oct. 1692."* 

*Coll. MSS., xxxviii. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 277 

In February 1693, the French attacked and took the first and second 
Mohawk castles. Major Ingoldsby writing on the 1 1th to Governor Fletcher 
from Albany, informed him that the French and Indians to the number of 
550 had marched to the attack, " which we had by a youth [Jan Baptist 
Van Eps] taken at Schenectady three years agoe and made his escape from 
them just as they were to fall upon the castles an hour before day."* 

On the 14th Governor Fletcher started from New York, arrived on the 
17th by water and the same day set out for Schenectady, ordering the troops 
as they arrived from below to follow. On the ISth by the break of day the 
men who had gathered at Schenectady were ready to be set over the 
Mohawk but were hindered till the afternoon by a violent storm. The next 
day the rest of the forces attempted to cross but were hindered by floating 
ice ; by 10 o'clock the ice packed and the men walked across, within two 
hours after the river was open again. 

On the 20th the Governor sent another company of 42 men with 13 horses 
loaded with provisions and ammunition. 

21st. Horses being carried over the river and men ready to be transported, 
an express came from Maj. Schuyler that he was near at hand on his 

22d. The Governor and Major Schuyler returned to Albany with the 

Major Peter Schuyler who commanded the force first sent out to meet 
the French, received the first news of their attack upon the Mohawk Castles 
on the 8th February, " soon after which " he writes " we had the news that 
a young man named Jan Baptist Van Eps (taken at Schenectady 3 years 
agoe) was runn over from the French, as they were to attack the first 
castle of the Mohogs and come to Schenectady, who related that the French 
were 350 Christians and 200 Indians." That night Lieut. John Schuyler 
and Cornet Abeel with 55 horse marched to Schenectady. 

9th. The Mohawks at Schenectady being exasperated at the delay of the 
Christians to pursue the French, Major Schuyler was sent to Schenectady 
to pacify them. 

10th. Major Schuyler sent Lieut. John Schuyler and Lieut. John Sanderse 
Glen with 6 men to reconnoitre the enemy: — they brought word that the 
French occupied both the first and second castles or forts. 

* Col. Doc. iv, 2, 6. f Col. Doc, iv, 14. 

278 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

11th. A party of 50 men was sent out to watch, a part of whom returned 
on Sunday the 12th, reporting that firing was heard, on the receipt of which 
tidings Major Ingoldsby despatched 200 men from Albany out of the 
several companies of militia, who arrived in Schenectady the same day. 

13th. Major Schuyler receiving no orders to march from the commander- 
in-chief moved his men over the river (Mohawk). 

In the afternoon orders were received to advance, and at the same time 
news came that the French had burned the three Mohawk Castles and were 
on their retreat. Major Schuyler marched 12 miles that evening with a 
force of 273 Christians. 

At 10 o clock he received word by a scout that 600 Indians were coming 
down to his assistance and despatched the same scout to Major Ingoldsby for 
more provisions and ammunition for them. 

About 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning of the 14th they broke camp, receiv- 
ing advice that the French were not above 8 miles from them. Lt. Harmen 
Van Slyck of Schenectady and two Indians being sent out to reconnoitre, 
brought word that the enemy had marched. 

15th. Two hundred and ninety Indians, men and boys, some armed and 
some without arms joined the party. 

16th. Major Schuyler sent word to Major Ingoldsby that the French had 
built a fort and had resolved to fight. In the march this day " Arnout 
[Viele] the interpreter's son came to them, who had been 3 years a prisoner 
among the French." 

In the morning the two parties were within a mile of each other. 

17th. " Decamped and marched toward the enemy. At 8 o'clock in the 
morning came in sight of the enemies fort. The enemy sallied out but were 
beat back; so a 2' 1 & 3' 1 time;" finally the French became quiet and the 
English fortified their camp. A messenger was sent to Maj. Ingoldsby to 
hurry up provisions and ammunition, as many of the men had not had pro- 
visions for two days. 

18th. Cold and stormy. The enemy retreated, but the men being out of 
provisions refused to follow. 

19th. "News came that the provisions were near at hand with Capt. 
Simms and 80 men; 5 biscuits to a man were distributed & the march com- 
menced. Coming within a mile of the enemy, the Indians refused to attack 
for fear the French would kill all their wives & children whom they had 

Indian Wars on (he Border, 1662-1713. 279 

On reaching the river the enemy crossed on " a flake of ice " all being 
open above and below. 

20th. Major Schuyler resolved to march over and pursue the enemy, but 
the men being wearied, " their shoes quite worn out & provisions scarce 
were not able to make any further pursuit." The most discouraging obstacle 
however, was the aversion of their Mohawk allies to attack the enemy for 
fear of the safety of their wives and children. Whereupon a retreat was 

21st. Arrived at Schenectady where he found Governor Fletcher with 280 
men from New York. In this expedition, the English lost four soldiers and 
four Indians, — wounded twelve, — killed of the enemy 33, including their 
captain commandant and 20 other officers and two of their commanding 
Indians, and rescued 40 or 50 prisoners.* 

During the summer of 1693, active warfare ceased, but as winter ap- 
proached, preparations were made to strengthen the fortifications and gar- 
risons on the frontier. 

Governor Fletcher writing to the Board of Trade Oct. 9, says, " the Pro- 
vince of New York is hardly circumstanced at present; we do not now 
muster 3000 militia, formerly 5000; — more families are dayly removing for 
Peusilvania & Connectictt to be eased from the taxes and detachments. The 
Assembly have provided for 300 men to be at Albany this winter, — too 
small a number by half to justify the fronteers."f 

On the 3d and 5th of October, Major Schuyler advised the Governor that 
the French were approaching Albany ; that two men were taken prisoners, 
*' near the Flats'' above Albany and that a party of the enemy on the east 
side of the Hudson river fired upon a canoe coming down. J 

During the winter of 169£ and summer following, there were no important 
movements on either side ; the French using their best endeavor to make 
peace with the Five Nations by which they would be free to attack the En- 
glish ; the latter striving to counteract their projects. 

About the 15th October, 1694, there was a disastrous "fire att Schenec- 
tady which burnt 1000 skippel of wheat."§ 

May 29 1695. " Some small skulking party of French & Indians have 
lately killed an old man near Albany & carried away one or two prison- 

* Col. Doc, iv, 16. f Col. Doc, rv, 55. 

X Col. Doc. rv, 65. § Col. Doc. iv, 118. 

280 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1695 Willem Appel, who had been severely wounded at the destruc- 
tion of the village in 1690, presented the following petition to the Gov- 
ernor and Council ; 

" The humble petition of William Appell, 

Humbly sheweth, 

" That y or poor petitioner was grieviously wounded when Schonechtade 
was cutt off, in so much that he could not gett up in his bed for 2 years 
together ; but through the blessing of God can now just walk about though 
his wounds still open ; and that yo r Excellency's petitioner hath a wife & 
3 small children, and that your Pettitioner is incapacitated to maintain them 
onely by the selling of bier." 

" Prays for the remission of the Excise of £14 per year."* 

During the summer of 1695, there were constant conflicts between the 
Five Nations and the French ; and in July, Capt. Sander Glen of Schen- 
ectady conveyed a report from two Indians to Albany, that the French had 
landed in force at Cadarachqui [Kingston, C. W.]. Whereupon Dirk Wes- 
sels, Richard Ingoldsby, Charles Lodwick, Roger Wright, William Pin- 
horne and others were sent to Schenectady but could learn nothing further. 

April 21 1696, Gov. Fletcher offered by proclamation £3 bounty, and 
four pence per day above provisions for all soldiers, who will voluntarily 
enlist for one year, afterwai'ds raised to £4, 6s. f 

May 14, 1696, Col. Peter Schuyler writes, " Since my last I am obliged to 
give your Excellency an accompt of another man sculpt over against the 
Patroon's island."J 

In July the French attacked and burnt the castle of the Oneidas ; the 
Onondagas finding themselves too weak to cope with them, burnt their 
castles and retreated. There was great alarm at Schenectady lest the 
French should move down and attack the village.§ 

The declining condition of the border is well represented by the follow- 
ing petition : 

" Att a meeting of ye Mayor, Alderman & Assistants of ye Citty and ye 
Justices of ye County of Albany, the 30 ,h of Sept., 1696, who Represen- 
ted as follows: 
" To his Excell. Benj. Fletcher, Capt. Gen 1 & Governor in Cheeffe of his 

Majs Province of New York, &c. 

* Col. MSS., xl. f Col. MSB., xl. 

X Col. Doc. § Col. Doc. iv, 173. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 281 

The bumble addresse of ye Mayor, Alderman & Assistants of ye Citty 
and y e Justices of y e County of Albany, who Representeth ye State and Con- 
dition of ye Citty and County aforesaid, humbly Sheweth : 

Imprimis, That since ye beginning of ye present warr by ye dayly depart- 
ing of ye inhabitants of ye Citty and County, we are weakened about 250 
men, and that ye present garrison being 3 comps. Red Coats doe weaken 
dayly as well by desertion as oyrwise, so yt ye same with all ye Recruits 
from ye Governm 1 , where severall of our Inhabitants have Listed themselfs 
under can hardly make up two hundred men, which is not sufficient for ye 
Defence of this fronteer against ye Enemy. 

2nd. That wee cannot Expect ye assistance from ye five nations as for- 
merly since wee can Reckon that ye Proselites alone have lost about 60 men 
in severall Renconters, besides ye Mohoggs upper nations and River Indians, 
and since the Last Invasion by ye French and there Indians in Onondage 
& oneyde, wee fear y x ye five nations will not be so zealous for ye Crowue 
of England and this Governm* against ye french our enemy as formerly. 

3dly. That our Plantations round about ye towne can not be farther im- 
proved without ye great danger of there Lives, as it doth appear by ye bar- 
barous murder and skalping of severall People this summer in there Labour. 

4thly. That by ye Examination of a french Prisoner from Cauada this 
Summer, who Reports yt there was Prepared 500 pare of Snow Shoes for a 
Design this winter. 

That by reason of ye above articles many families as well from Shinnech- 
tady as Albany are departed and severall more are Preparing to Depart, 
which can not be oyrwise but a fatal consequence. 

Wee do therefore begg your Excell: would be pleased to take this adresse 
in his Serious Consideration and humbly Pray yt wee may have ye favour 
of your Excell Presence here this winter with sufficient strength as your 
Excell shall think fitt, which will without Doubt be an occasion for many 
inhabitants to Continue and will Extreamly oblidge your Excell most humble 
and obed* Pet rs to Pray forever. (Signed by the city & county officers). — 
Albany City Mec, Albany Annals, in, 16. 

On the 10th Jan., 1696, about 12 o'clock at night, the whole guard of the 
garrison at Schenectady consisting of 16 men, deserted. Lieut. Bickford 
the commandant pursued them, — a fight ensued in which several of the 
deserters were killed and wounded. The remainder were brought back, 
tried by court martial and condemned to be shot.* 

17 Sept., 1696. "About ten days ago a skulking party of French Indians 
killed a man & wounded another near Schenectady."f 

* Col. Doc, 160-1. f Col. Doc, rv, 198. 


282 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In the autumn of this year several small parties of French and Indians 
appeared on the frontiers and great apprehension of a more formidable 
attack during the winter was felt, so that " many of the Inhabitants thought 
of removing to New York." To allay their fears the Governor went up to 
Albany with a detachment of his own company.* 

This anticipated raid during the winter of 1696-7, happily did not take 
place, but in the spring of 1697 small parties appeared on the Mohawk doing 
much mischief as opportunity favored. The following letter describes one 
of these raids: 

" Col Schuyler. 

" Just now came hither two Indians & a Indian woman from the Maquas 
Country giving an ace 1 that to day about noon an onondage Indian was 
Killd coming from Albany by 8 French Indians though they found but 3 
clubbs. They fired first upon another party but misst them, Escap'd then 
came this poor Dog, was knockt on the head and scalpt, a little Afterwards 
the French Indians saw a Young Indian man & endeavour'd to take him 
prisoner, but he Defended himself so long that another party of Onondages 
came to his reliefe upon sight of which the French Indians fled & run 
through the River. This happen'd Just on this side the Willigen [just 
below Post Jackson] where peter van olinda formerly lived. 

I break off and rest. 

" Your humble servant 
" Schenectade Johannes Glenn. 

" 6 May 1697." 

" A letter from Cap' Johannes Glen from Schenectade to Coll. Peter 
Schuyler at Albany translated from the Dutch by M. Clarkson."f 

So bold did the enemy become that " some [French] regulars and Indians 
captured at the gate of Schenectady a very influential Onondago Chief." 

" They were not able to make any prisoners, as recommended, having 
been pursued immediately after striking the blow by a number of the enemy 
half again as strong as they. "J 

Earl of Bellomont succeeded Fletcher as Governor in April, 1698; in 
July he made a journey in great state to Albany and Schenectady, staying 
two weeks at the former and two days at the latter place, " My Lady " 
accompanied him. 

* Col. Doc, iv, 234, 243, 245. \ Mass. Sect. State's office vol. xxx, 416. 

% Col. Doc. ix, 666. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 283 

Among the items of expense were the following: 

" To John Anderson who goes to Shennectady for beer 3 shillings ; — 

"To Robert y° Coachman for y e horses at Shinnectady ann grease for y e 
Calesh, £0-8-3. 

" To My Lord's Butler John to give ye Servants at Shinnectady qwhen 
My Lord was there 6 Lyon Dollars, £1-135. 

" To Capt. Sanders [Glen] at Shinnectady for provisions, £8-9-3s. 

"To Willem Gysbertse [Van Brakel] for a man & horse Expresse to fetch 
Capt. Nanfan's men from Shinnectady 12 shillings, 

" To Jacob Teunise for his horse to Shinnectady with my Lord 6 shillings, 

" To Capt. Sander [Glen] his company of Train-bands at Shinnectady each 
man one shilling, — [63 men] — £3-3s. 

" To Harme Janse Knickerbacker for his Waggen & horses to Shinnec- 
tady £l-17s." 

At Albany the Governor and suite embarked on board a vessel with their 
calesh and 6 horses for their return to New York and a pinnace and crew 
were sent along to bring off provisions from the shore during the voyage. 
The whole expense of the journey was £245, of his Excellency's table £34. 

While at Schenectady Governor Bellomont gave orders for repairing the 
" ffloor, Roofe, hearth & beds of the middle Barracks."* During the year 
1697-8 Lt. Daniel Hunt commanded the garrison at Schenectady which 
consisted of a detachment of Capt. Nanfan's company, formerly Capt. 

On the 20 Sept., 1697, articles of peace were signed between France and 
Great Britain called the peace of Ryswick. For nearly ten years the 
Mohawk valley had been the scouting ground of the two hostile parties. 
The husbandman had labored with his musket by his side and made his 
dwelling literally his castle. 

The news of peace did not reach Canada until May, 1698, and then by 
the way of New York in a communication from Governor Bellomont.J 

Although peace had been declared between the two nations, the French 
of Canada still threatened war against the Five Nations, and Gov. Bellomont 
prepared to espouse the cause of his Indian allies by calling upon the train- 
bands of Albany and Schenectady to hold themselves in readiness to march 
with the regulars. The dangers and alarms of these times are clearly stated 
by Gov. Bellomont in a letter to the Lords of trade dated 24th Oct., 1698; 

* Col. MSS., xlii. f Co1 - MSS -. XLI1 - X Col. Doc, rv, 344-5. 

284 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

"If by providence " says he, " the last winter had not been the severest 
that ever was known in the memory of man the French had certainly 
destroyed both Albany and Schenectady. I am well informed they were 
prepared at Mont Reall for it, having in readynesse 1500 pair of rnquetts or 
Snow Shoes, 140 small boats & 250 Canoes; but the snow being deeper 
than the height of a man, they durst not venture to put their designe in 
execution. Albany & Schenectady are equally defenceless, being only forti- 
fied with a single row of Stockades; — no ditch or wall, so that an enemy that 
would be hardy enough may come and with their muskets single out what 
men they please in either place. For I observed the stockades had in many 
places wide spaces between them and they are even with the ground. * * * 
In my next letter * * I shall propose a fund for building the Forts at Albany 
and. Schenectady, which are so necessary for the defence of this and the 
neighboring Provinces. * * * If such were built & well garrisoned the 
French could never make any impression on this Province. * * * They are 
both of them very well seated for frontier places; Albany for covering all 
the Province from attack, on Canada side & Schenectady for doing that 
in part, and for covering the Mohacks, it being very commodiously seated 
on the Mohacks river and much more pleasantly than Albany."* 

After the proclamation of peace, early in 1698, the fortifications and gar- 
risons on the border were greatly neglected. May 25, 1700, Gov. Bello- 
mont wrote to the Lords of trade " that at the very time they [the French] 
are fortifying against us and keeping up the same number of soldiers still, 
which they did all the war; we on our part let our wooden forts fall to the 
ground & reduce our pittance of soldiers and neither mind paying nor re- 
cruiting them."f 

1700. On the 29 August, Gov. Bellomont held a conference with the 
sachems of the Five Nations at Albany, to whom he made the following 
complaint : 

"I have some complaints at this time made to mee of mischief lately done 
by some of your people ih killing their cattle above Schanegtade; I desire 
you will inquire into the matter and take such order that reparation may be 
done the people that have been so wronged." * * * J 

From 1697 to 1701 there was peace between England and France, conse- 
quently^ between Canada and the English Provinces. Nevertheless the 
constaut intrigues and threats of the French towaids the Five Nations made 
it necessary for the Provincial authorities of New York to use persistent 
and vigilant circumspection to counteract these intrigues. 

* Col. Doc, i\,'m. f Col. Doc, rv, 644. J Col. Doc, iv, 735. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 285 

Governor Bellomont died 5th March, 1701. Already rumors were rife 
in New York of a prospective war between France and England, on which 
account Col. William Smith, President of the Council and ex-officio Governor 
of the Province, in writing to the Lords of Trade, " begs leave humbly to 
repeate the state and condition of the forts at Albany and Schenectady 
which are almost totally decayed & unserviceable."* 

In 1709, orders were sent from England to Governor Lovelace to prepare 
for an attack upon Canada and Nova Scotia. It was proposed to send out 
a naval squadron and 5 regiments of regular troops to Boston, there to be 
joined by 1200 men of New England. 

These troops were to attack Quebec, whilst 1500 men marching by way 
Albany were to attack Montreal. f 

The Five Nations and River Indians were to assist. This expedition was 
to be commanded by Col. Francis Nicholson and Col. Samuel Vetch, but like 
the attempt in 1691 proved a miserable failure. The English ministry in- 
stead of sending the promised armament to their American Provinces, sent 
it to Portugal. 

The Five Nations during the war 1701-13, between France and England, 
being neutral became corrupted, and less firmly attached to the latter. 

In 1711 another attempt was made to conquer Canada, as abortive as the 
others, the naval expedition proving a failure. As a consequence the French 
Indians commenced their skulking attacks upon the frontiers, killing two 
families in Schaghtakook.J 

Jan. 1, 1712, Governor Hunter wrote to the Lords of Trade "all is quiet 
at present upon the Frontier."§ 

From this time until the " Old French war " in 1744, there was peace 
between France and England and consequently between Canada and the 

In 1715 the township of Schenectady had two military companies of foot 
consisting of about 60 men each, including officers. The following lists 
show the names of the officers and men enrolled in these two companies at 
that date: 

* Col. Doc, iv, 867. f Col. Doc, v, 73. 

% Col. Doc, v, 281. § Col. Doc, v, 303. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" D Letst van Capt. Joh s Sanderse Glen zyn Compenye.* 

Cap*. J. Sanderse Glen 

Luy* Gerret Symer feed 1 [Veeder] 

Luy* Jan Wemp 

Luy* Arent Brat 

Luy 1 Barent Wemp 

Corp r Evert V. Eps 

Corp r theunis V. d Volge 

Corp r Manus Vedder 

Ab m Glen 

pieter Vrooman Ju r 

ghysbert V. Brakel 

Helmus Veeder 

Joh 8 teller Ju r 

Jacob Swits 

Sander Glen 

Cornells Van Dyck 

Claes franse [V. D. Bogart] 

Jacob Schermerhorn 

Jan Schermerhorn 

Symon tol 

Jan Dellemont 

Andries V. Pette 

Jan Marselus 

Jacob V. Olinda 

Joh s Vedder 

Cornells V. Slyck 

Cornells Viele 

David Marenus 

Joh Peck 

Jellis fonda 


Jacobus Peck Jr 
Abr m D. Graef 

Pieter Danyelse [V. Antwerpen] 
phlip phlipse 

symon folkertse feeder [Veeder] 
• Jacob Vrooman 
pieter quinez ? 
Jelles Van Vorst 
Abr" 1 Groot 
Cornells Slingerlant 
theunis Swart -— 
Dirck Groot 
Sweer Marselus 
Jan baptist V. Eps 
Arent Danyelse [V. AntwerpenJ 
Barent Vrooman 
Hendrick Vrooman Jr 
Myndert Wimp 
Jacob teller 
Willem Marenus 
Claas V. Putte jr 
Jacob flipse [Philipse] 
Welm hael [Hall] 
Rob' Ets [Yates] 
Nicolas Stensel (?) 
Arent Samuel brat 
Symon Groot 
Marte V. Slyck 
Hendrick flipse [Philipse] 
Wilm Daes 30 


In all 60 men 


Joh Sanderse Glen 
Gerrit Symonse [Veeder] 
Jan Wemp. 

* Col. MSS., lx. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 



"D Leyst van Capt Harme van Slyck Compenye Ano. 1715. f 

Cap' Harme V. Slyck 
- Luy* Hendrick Vroomah 
Luy* Jacob Glen 
Sergaut Joh 8 teller 
Sergant Gerret V. Brakel 
Sergant folcket Symonse [Veeder] 
Corp 1 Jacob V. Ghyselinge 
Corp 1 Andries D. Graaf 
Corp 1 Harme Vedder 
Jan Barentse Wemp 
Jan Vrooman Ju r 
Cornelus Van der Volge 
Benyemen V. Vleck 
Marte V. Benthuysen 
Samuel Hagadorn 
Willem teller 
■>Wouter Vrooman 

Jan Danyelse [V. Antwerpen] 
— Esyas Swart - 
Josepb Clement 
Arent Schernierhorn 
Jacob Meebie 
Myndert Van ghyselinge 
Joh 8 Marenus 
ficktoor pootman 
Daniel tol 

Bertolomew picker Jr 
Joh 8 Van Eps 29 

Symon Swits 
Arenout d Graef 
Wilm Brouwer 
Pieter mebie 

Tyerck franse [V. D. Bogart] 
Philip Groot 
ysack a Graaf 
Philip Bosie 
-Johannes Vrooman 
Abraham Meebie 
Harme Vedder Ju r 
Jonetan Stevens 
Arent Van Putte <~ 
Jacobus Vedder 
Wouter Swart - 
Jeremy tickstoon 
Sander flipse [Philipse] 
Wilm Coppernol 
Hendrick hagedorn 
Pieter Vrooman 
Harme flipse [Philipse] 
Rob* Dyyer (?) 
Nicklas Stevens 
Pieter Brouwer 
pieter Clement 
Adam Smith 

John feerly 27 


In all 56 men 


Harme V. Slyck 
hendrick Vrooman 
Jacob Glen. 

Although the peace of Utrecht brought comparative quiet to the border 
settlements of this Province, the Five Nations still distrusted the French and 
their Indians and stood prepared to defend themselves against their 

f Col. MSS., lx. 

288 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The English sympathized with them and furnished them every aid and 
help short of an armed force. They built their forts, supplied them with 
arms and ammunition, — repaired their muskets and tomahawks, clothed 
them with duffels and strouds and in times of scarcity sent them corn. In 
many cases the smiths and carpenters sent there, were citizens of Schen- 

In 1711, Governor Hunter, the better to protect his faithful allies, — the 
Iroquois, — contracted with Gerrit Symonse [Veedcr], Barent Vrooman, 
Hendrick Vrooman, — John Wemp aud Arent Van Petten, carpenters of 
Schenectady, for £1000, to build two forts in the Indian country, — one for 
the Mohawks 150 feet square and 12 feet high of logs one foot square, with 
a blockhouse at each angle two stories high and 24 feet square;* also a 
chapel within the fort 24 feet square; the other for the Onondagas of like 

In 1724, Harmen Vedder was appointed captain of a party of smiths 
stationed among the Senecas, at a salary of £50; and Andries Brat at £15, 
Hendrick Wemp at £25 and Harmen Van Slyck at £25, as smiths among 
the Onondagas.* 

In 1726, Joseph Van Sice of Schenectady, presented a bill to the Governor 
for seven months service as smith in the Seneca's country for which he 
claimed £20. 

At a conference between Governor Burnet and the six Sachims at 

9 Sept., 1726. 
A Seneca Sachim said: 

* * * " It is three years ago that you Offer'd us a Smith, and told us we 
might look for one to our minds, we found one then who pleased us very 
well. It was Myndert Wemp; when his time was expired he told the 
Sachims that he was going home whereon they desired him to come again 
because he was good and charitable to the poor, therefore we desire he may 
be our Smith and go with us when we go home. We desire also an 
Armourer who can mend our Locks and Arms, such a Man lives at Schen- 

* Col. Doc, v, 279. f Col. MSB., lxvi. % Col. Doc, v, 797. 

Indian Wars on the Border, 1662-1713. 289 

"5 Oct., 1728. 
" Brother Corlaer 

" It has been Customary when we came here towards the fall that a 
Smith and an Armourer to be sent to work for you, but then to work in 
our Country we beg you to grant us now that Joseph Van Sise and Hendrick 
Wemp may be Ordered to go up with us who are fit persons for our Oc- 

" His Excellency answered I will order a Smith and an Armourer to be 
sent to work for you but then I Expect that you will not suffer the ffrench 
Smith who is now there nor any other from Canada to reside among you 
for the Future.* 

" A Sinneke Sachim said 
"Brother Corlaer. 

" We desired a Smith & an Armourer but we do not hear further of it. 
You spoke about a ffrench Smith who is with us now, he can Make no work 
for he is an old man And can scarce see So we beg again that Joseph Van 
Size and Hendrick Wemp may go up with us. We would fain have the 
Smith and Armourer go with us Now that we may be sure of them other- 
wise it may be neglected. 

" His Excellency answered 

" Bretheren, 

" I will give Effectual orders to the Commissioners to send a Smith and 
an Armourer with you to work in your Country. + 

"Oct. 4, 1728. 

* Col? Doc, v, 867. f Col. Doc, v, 868. 


290 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

THE OLD FRENCH WAR, 1744-1748. 

The Old French War, so called to distinguish it from that of 1753, waa 
declared by Louis XV. on March 15, 1744, and accepted by England, 
March 29th. It was two months after before the news reached New Eng- 
land although known a month earlier by the French of Canada. To secure 
the friendship and active aid of the Six Nations, the Governor of New York 
called a council of the chiefs of the confederacy, who met at Albany, June 
18, 1744 and "renewed, strengthened and brightened the covenant chain 
that had so long tied them and the subjects of his majesty the great king 
their father, in mutual ties of friendship." 

Although inclining to peace they promised in the strongest terms to stand 
by their friends if attacked. During this war as in the others preceding it, the 
French and their allies were the most actively aggresive, sending out almost 
daily small parties of their Indians to annoy and distress the frontier set- 
tlements and bring back such plunder and captives as they could find. The 
points of attack in this Province were settlements along the Mohawk and 
Hudson, particularly Saratoga, Schenectady and Albany and the outlying 

No family was safe unless protected by blockhouse or palisade; no man 
was exempt from military duty save by age or infirmity. In Schenectady 
and Albany each, able bodied men kept watch and ward every third or 
fourth night. French and English reports alike give sad accounts of shock- 
ing barbarities practiced on both sides by skulking parties of savages and 
white men. The following examples, among many otr ers taken from French 
reports, clearly show the cruelties practiced by these two Christian nations, 
who rewarded their savage allies in proportion to the number of scalps 

" April 20, 1746, a party of fourteen Iroquois belonging to the Sault St. 
Louis commanded by Ontaseago, the son of the grand chief of that village 
who sojourned at Fort St. Frederic [Crown Point] made several scouts to 
Sarasteau [Saratoga]." 

These extracts are taken mainly from Drake's " Particular History" of this war. 


The Old French War, 1744-1748. 291 

" April 26, a party of thirty-five Iroquois, belonging to the Sault set out. 
They have been in the neighborhood of Orange [Albany] and have made 
Borne prisoners and taken some scalps." 

" April 27, 1746, a party of six Iroquois of the Sault St. Louis struck a 
blow in the neighborhood of Orange [Albany]." 

"May 10, 1746, Gatienoudean Iroquois of the Five Nations who has been 
settled at the Lake [Champlain] for two or three years, left with five Indians 
of that village, and Sieur St. Blein to strike a blowe in the neighborhood of 
Orange. This small party brought in one prisoner, Gatienoude the leader 
of the party is killed and scalped by the English on the field of battle." 

" May 24, 1746, a party* of eight Abenakis of Missiskony has been fitted 
out, who have in the directions of Corlard [Schenectady] and have returned 
with some prisoners and scalps." 

"May 27, 1746, equipped a party of eight Iroquois of Sault St. Louis, 
which struck a. blow near Orange and brought back six scalps." 

" A party of Abenekis of Missiskony struck a blow near Orange [Albany] 
and Corlard [Schenectady] and brought some prisoners and scalps." 

"June 2, 1846, equipped a party of twenty-five warriors of the Sault and 
three Flatheads who joined the former in an expedition to the neighbor- 
hood of Orange and who returned with some scalps." 

"June 3, 1846, equipped a party of eighteen Nepissings who struck a 
blow at Orange & Corlard [Schenectady]." 

"June 17, 1846, equipped a party of ten Abenekis who went to make an 
attack at the river Kakecoute and were defeated near a fort ;f their chief 
Cadenaret, a famous warrior, has been killed; — the remainder returned 
with some scalps and left others which they were not able to bring away, 
the dead having remained too near the fort." 

"June 19, 1746, equipped a party of twenty-five Indians of the Sault St. 
Louis, who struck a blow near Orange [Albany]. 

One or two of the Indians were wounded : — they brought away some 

" June 20, 1746, equipped a party of nineteen Iroquois of the Sault St. 
Louis, who went to Orange to strike a blow." 

" June 21, 1746, equipped a party of twenty-seven Iroquois of the same 
village to go to Orange. Sieur Parqueville an officer and Sieu: 1 Blein, a cadet, 
have been of this party, which has brought in a prisoner that was in the 
scout to Sarasteau [Saratoga] and some scalps." 

* It was probably in this raid that John Groot of Schenectady was captured. He died 
in Quebec Nov. 20, 1746. 
f Probably the English Fort at Schaghticoke on the Hoosac river. 

292 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Such is an example of the energetic manner the French and their savages 
made war upon the almost undefended frontier settlers who were taken by- 
surprise and almost wholly unprepared for this war. 

The earliest and most severe attacks were upon the New England Prov- 
inces, which in 1745, raised an expedition and took the strongly fortified town 
of Louisburgh. The greatest annoyance to New York was experienced 
from the frequents parties sent out from Fort St. Frederick [Crown Point] 
which the French held strongly fortified in 1731. 

"Nov. 16, 1745, a large body of three hundred French & two hundred 
Indians came upon the Dutch settlement at Saratoga,* murdering the in- 
habitants without any opposition. The enemy were commanded by one M. 
Marin, accompanied by a mischeivous priest, Francis Piequet. 

" They ravaged a large extent of country, burning all the houses, several 
saw mills with much sawed lumber and a block house which belonged to 
John Henry Lydius ; f also all the cattle. Thirty persons were killed and 
scalped and above sixty taken prisoners. 

" All this was effected without so much as a wound to any of the French. 
A large number of negroes were among the captives. In the course of the 
winter the captives were sent to the prison in Quebec ; where many of 
them died of sickness. 

" The news of this attack reached Albany three days after it happened, 
and Deerfield nine days after, namely on the 25th"J 

Among the prisoners were Jonathan Hagadorn§ t:iken near Fort Ann while 
on a scout. He died on the 3d January, following, a prisoner at Quebec, after 
a long and painful illness, as also Capt. John Fortfl March 21, taken at the 
same time and place. He died of consumption. 

* Sckuylerville aud vicinity. 

•)■ Son of Dominie Lydius of Albany. 

% Col. Doc, x, 38, aud 761 ; vi, 289. 

§ He was a son of Hendrick Hagadorn of the Aal plants, and was baptized Sept. 17, 
1721, and married Lea Hagen Oct. 30, 1742. 

|| Son of Johannes Fort of Niskayuna. He died at Quebec Dec. 7, 1746. 

Martha Quackenbos, a girl taken at Saratoga, Nov. 17, 1745, after a long and tedious 
sickness died Dec. 7, 1746. She was ten years of age. 

Abraham Fort, son of Capt. John Fort, taken Nov. 17, 1745, died at Quebec May 19, 
1747. Also Jacob Quackenbos and Isaac his son; both taken at Saratoga, Nov. 17, 
1745, died May 26, 1747. 

" March, 1747, there came into prison at Quebec a Dutchman from Schenectady and 
a woman from Saratoga. 

April 26, there came into the prison at Quebec three persons taken some time before 
at Saratoga. 

The Old French War, 1744-1748. 293 

'* In the spring of 1746, Edward Cloutman and Robert Dunbar,* broke 
prison at Quebec 23 Oct., 1746, and escaped; Dunbar was taken not long 
before as he was scouting on the ' Carrying Place ' and his loss was greatly 
lamented as he had performed the most important service as a ranger ever 
since the war commenced. He was a New York man probably and the 
' Carrying Place ' was that between the Hudson river and "Wood creek, 

"May 7th, 1746, One Christian Tedder or Tether [Vedder] is taken at 
Schenectady. He died at Quebec after a year and eight days captivity, 
namely May 15, 1747."J 

May 7, 1746, "The inhabitants along the Mohawks river have left 

their settlements so that we are now reduced to great distress. As we 
wrote in our last If a very considerable Force be not Immediately sent to 
our assistance we must remove and look out for New Settlements. We 
have neither Men, Money nor Warlike Stores "§ 

" P. S. Just now is news come that a house and Barn are burnt at Can- 
astagione [Niskayuna], and 4 men carried off or killed." 

"May 8th, seven in the morning."|| 

" May 10, 1746, six persons are killed in sight of the city of Albany, just 
across the river, two of whom were negroes. Pursuit was immediately 
made but before we could cross the river and pursue on the other side the 
enemy got into the woods & escaped." 

"May 13, 1746, as three men belonging to the garrison of Saraghtoga 
were fishing near the Fort, they were surprised by Indians, who killed a 
son of William Norwood, took another, a German who used to live with 
Col. John Schuyler while a third effected his escape to the Fort. Another 
person narrowly escaped being taken in his own garden within a fourth of 
a mile of the city of Albauy. So daring have the enemy become that they 
are daily seen about the settlements, and yet none of them are either killed 
or taken." 

June 11, we had an account from the French that they had taken a number of Indians 
and Dutch who had first done some mischief in Canada. There was about fifty in the 
whole scout, and they had taken about ten or twelve of them in this month." — Brake'* 
Particular History. 

* Son perhaps of John Dunbar of Schenectady, — if so he was born in Albany Nov. 
20, 1709. 

f Drake's Particular History. 

\ He was son of Corset Vedder of Schaghticoke, born Jan. 7, 1720, and married 
Hillegonda Van Vranken, Sept. 27, 1745, both then residing at Niskayuna. 

§ Extract from letter of Commissioner of Indian affairs at Albany to the Governor. 

i Col. MSS., lxxv. 

294 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" About the same time two negroes were takea at Stone Arabia, since 
Palatine, on the Mohawk river, a German settlement commenced in 

" About the same time, Simon Groot and two of his brothers are butchered 
three miles from the village of Schenectady. The enemy burnt their build- 
ings, killed their cattle and destroyed their other effects. They were dis- 
covered while doing this mischeif by the settlers on the opposite side of the 
river, who knew some of the Indians, particularly Tom Wileman who had 
lately removed from the Mohawk country to Albany." 

It was doubtless to this raid that Smith refers in his history of New 
York, he says: 

" One hundred and six men were detached from Schenectady. The track 
of the Indians was discovered by the fires they had made, and they were 
pursued above Schenectady. At the house of one Simon Groot they had 
murdered & scalped a boy, taken o)ie man prisoner, plundered & set fire 
to the house & shot a man in attempting to escape by swimming over the 

During this year Abraham Glen asked permission to raise a company of 
100 volunteers for the defence of the frontiers, which the Governor and 
Council granted. f 

" May, 1746, at Norman's creek about eighteen miles to the westward of 
Albany as fourteen men, all armed went with a waggon to bring corn from 
a deserted farm to a house where several families had removed for safety, 
they were met by a party of Indians, who killed and took all the party 
but two who made their escape to Albany. One of these was wounded in 
the shoulder."| 

" Near the end of this month [of August, 1746], it was reported that three 
Mohawks had killed the officer of the French garrison at Crown Point and 
another person as they were walking in the garden attached to the Fort. 
These they scalped and brought their scalps to Schenectade intending to 
present them to the Governor. Sixteen other Indians of the same tribe 
went towards Montreal with a design to seize some of the French, with a 
view to bring them to Albany but what success they met with is not re- 

"About the middle of August, 1746, six men are killed at Scooduck or 
Schodac, eight miles below Albany. Another is missing supposed to be 
taken captive. Perhaps at the same time or it may be some days earlier, 
two men are wounded at the same place, one in the arm who is likely to 
do well, the other in the neck which 'tis thought will prove mortal." 

* Drake's Particular History. f Smith's Hist, of N. Y. 

X Drake's Particular History. 

The Old French War, 1744-1748 295 

" The Indians killed four men and took four others prisoners at Saratoga. 
Capt. Schuyler in command of the militia post there went out to their assist- 
ance, but came near being cut off and with difficulty retreated to the Fort. 
Had the enemy effected this it was thought they would have taken the 

" To which affair the following refers is not very clear. ' A party of 
Abenekis headed by Ensign Monsigno who had been detached from Sieur 
Piquads [De Vaudreuil's] party after his attack on Fort Massachusetts pro- 
ceeded towards Fort Sarasteau [Saratoga]. They met seventeen soldiers 
belonging to the garrison, took four of them and scalped four others. 
The remainder threw themselves precipitately into the Fort pursued by our 
people who killed some of them.' "* 

" Oct. 12. 1746, at Saratoga sixteen men are killed aud taken about a mile 
from the Fort. They belonged to Langdon's and Hart's companies. The 
men attacked behaved with great cowardice except Lieut. Johnston and 
the Ensign of Hart's company. The latter having killed two Indians, 
returned to Albany with the gun of one of them. The party attacked was 
guarding some waggons." 

" On the 3d Dec, 1 746, news reached Boston that the Mohawk Indians 
had made a successful incursion into Canada. One party struck a blow at 
Caterougui Lake [Lake Ontario] killed eight persons and brought away six 
scalps and took seven or eight Frenchmen prisoners, all of which prisoners 
and scalps they brought to Albany. Another party under the chief Hen- 
drick went to Montreal and after a conference with the governor of Canada 
went to Isle La Motte in Lake Champlain where they fell upon some French- 
men getting out ship timber, killed & scalped one and took another prisoner. 
The Mohawks took their canoes and with their prisoners & scalps proceeded 
to Albany/'f 

" April 3, 1747, a company of Mohawks were sent out from the Mohawk 
Castle towards Crown Point, by Col. Johnson in pursuance of orders from 
Governor Clinton. The party was led by Lt. Walter Butler, Jr."J; 

They went towards Crown Point and dividing into two parties, one of 
thirteen Indians had a smart skirmish with twenty-seven Frenchmen and 
three Indians, several of whom they killed and wounded, bringing away six 
scalps. § This expedition is thus noticed in the French accounts: "We 
learn (May 7) by a carrier just arrived from Montreal that in the last days 
of April a party of Mohawks and English had fallen on twenty-one French 
scouts near Fort St. Frederic [Crown Point] and killed and scalped five of 

* Drake's Particular History. f Drake's Particular History. 

t N. Y. Col. Doc, vi, 343-4. 

§ May 7, " I have paid £60 for the 6 scalps brought from Crown Point." — Col. Doe., 
vi, 361. 

296 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

them. Sieur Laplante an officer had been very badly treated on that occasion 
having received seven gunshot wounds. This unfortunate occurrence was 
the result of too much confidence on the part of the French who have been 

"April 7, 1747, the enemy appeared in large force at Saratoga, where 
they ambushed a party killing eight and wounding several others. Capt. 
Livingston despatched Capt. Bradt with a company who came up on the 
opposite side of the river and soon after the enemy drew off leaving some 
plunder and one wounded Frenchman behind them."f 

April 10, 1747, "The same party of the enemy next appeared at Kinder- 
hook, where they surprised a party of eleven men at work, killed two of 
them and made the other nine captives. They then burnt the house & 
barn of Mr. John Van Alstyne and escaped unmolested." 

April, 1747. " A party of ten French Indians captured a man. Two 
others heard the man halloo for help and ran to his assistance and fired upon 
his captors killing one and wounding another, at which the rest fled leaving 
their dead companion behind them." 

June 1, 1747. " About this date the Indian Chief Kintigo returns to the 
Lower Mohawk Castle, whence he went against the French with six men. 
They brought in seven prisoners and three scalps taken at St. Pierre a little 
below Montreal." 

June 15, 1747. "News came to Boston that the fort at Saraghtoga had 
been attacked by two thousand French and Indians who killed sixty of the 
garrison and the attack was still in progress. The place was relieved soon 
after by the arrival of Col. Schuyler. "J 

June 26, 1747, "The well known chief Hendrick returned from a march 
into the enemies country. He had some thirty Indians under him. They 
were surprised on an island in the St. Lawrence above Montreal by the ene- 
mies Indians in which four of the white men and nine of the Indians are killed 
by the first fire. The names of the whites were Cornells Van Slyck [of 
Schenectady], Johannes Pootman§ Le Roy and Gott. Hen- 
drick and the rest succeeded in escaping." 

July, 1747. "It was reported that a woman & six children were carried 
off from Burnetfield on the Mohawk river, the only out settlement undis- 
turbed hitherto in that region. || 

The distress occasioned by this war is clearly set forth by the following 
petition of the inhabitants of Albany for relief made to the Provincial 
assembly July 27, 1747. 

* Drake's Particular History. f Col. Doc, x, 112, 115. 

X Drake's Particular History. 

§ Son of Cornelis Pootman [now Putman] of Schenectady, born March 18, 1720. 

|| Drake's Particular History. 

A ,'„,/■ 

, t.«tC»>»PL«l /..../.A...,-,, 

,'f^M. -.'U./. ./ NEW HAMPSHIRE 

. /,./t '/I/,/,/, 
n '>■/ /y'/" ■'/'■• /• '/ N E w y o R k 

../../■/■,»: ,„./.■/,,,. M.y ./, 
,„./.,,/,</■ ** "» *■>■■'/'■> 

;,.....''>«< ■■#■>> - ' ~ &** 

,/,.,,,,./.,/.,. ..,'/: '*■ ''/■/■ 

.,../. ,.//.. ¥ : >■ .„■■/'■,;■■■■■'■■<' 

,„ /A, /'. r ./-> ->-'/ " • ■</>' " /'" v 

,/,,/-<•-• /*'■■—-■ '/ WaUi« ttq 

-v ■•■■'■■ ■/"■■■■ ' 

»i D N 

/ Tito* ''■..../—/■- <56«f 

,,„,./.,„/.,./'/■■ ■'//«'■ -/ '/»6hmU 

/,..////„„ /,//. />//' /'//,,/ 

/,.„..//">./ / - /.../.,../>./ «. 

.'////„/ /» <£/'<^ //•'/-/- 

A( , II()R()(;i{A|>m rvi MAT of ^ e .Northern Department of JT OH TH AM KltlCA 

The Old French War, 1744-1748. 297 

The sufferings of Schenenectady were even greater because more ex- 
posed, more impoverished and less secure. 

..." That the inhabitants of the corporation of the city of Albany are 
in great misery and distress by reason of the present war with France and 
with the Indians in their alliance : — That the Inhabitants of the said city 
ever since the Commencement of the war by their frequent watching have 
been very much taken off from themselves and families : — that every man 
of our corporation have been obliged to attend in person or pay a hired 
man in their stead upon Watch & ward every third or fourth night during 
the whole time excepting a small interval of time in the spring the duty 
was demanded only every fourth night, but now and for sometime past for 
the safety of this frontier and the poor inhabitants we are obliged again 
to come upon a fourth night : — that our Corporation by reason of the pre- 
sent war are indebted. . . . for the supplying of fire wood and candles for 
the night watches & for powder <fc ball for the poorest of the inhabi- 
tants : . . . . besides what the inhabitants have done by a voluntary tax- 
ing themselves for providing & setting up new Stockadoes where the old 
ones were gone to decay." 

Whilst the people of [Schenectady were striving to protect their borders 
from the attack of the enemy, they were called on to send men to Oswego. 

The following answer of Col. Jacob Glen discloses a sad state of morals 
at that important fortress. 

" Col. Schuyler 

" It is impossible to procure men for going to Oswego, especially when 
John Vischer remains there. John Baptist [Van Eps, the interpreter], says 
if a hundred pounds was offered him over and above his Wages [he] would 

not remain a year under his command.* 

Jacob Glen." 

" Schenectady, ) 
Sept. y e 8, 1747." \ 

Glen in a previous letter says the officers at Oswego are drunkards. 
During the year 1747, Capt. Tiebout's company of foot was stationed at 

Schenectady. f 

* Col. MSS., lxxv, 158. 
f Stone's life of Sir Wm. Johnson, I, 268. 

298 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


As the war drew to a close, in 1748, Schenectady met with the severest 
loss it had suffered at any one time since the year 1690. This is generally 
called the Poopendal* massacre. It was however in no sense a massacre 
like that of 1690, except perhaps in the killing of the first victim, but a 
stand up and hand to hand fight in Indian fashion, in which the whites 
were the attacking party, and on that account suffered more severely than 
the savages. 

About 20 of the former were killed and some 13 or more made prisoners; 
of the losses of the latter we have no sufficient accounts. 

Beyond tradition the accounts of this skirmish are meagre and uncircum- 

A brief letter to Col. William Johnson written by Albert Van Slyck, 
July 21, 1H8, — three days after the affair, is the only semi-official narrative 
we have by one who was in the fight. 

"From the details preserved in this letter it appears that a party of men 
from Schenectady, the leader of whom was Daniel Toll, had been dispatched 
to some place in the vicinity to bring in a number of horses, which was 
surprised by a party of the enemy whose presence in the neighborhood was 
neither known nor suspected. 

" The firing being heard by Adrian Van Slyck a brother of the writer of 
the account, who seems to have resided at a distance from the town, he 
sent a negro man to the latter place to give the alarm and obtain reinforce- 
ments. Four parties of Armed men successively repaired to the scene of 
Action, the first of which was composed of the ' New England lieutenant 
with some of his men and five or six young lads,' accompanied by Daniel 
Van Slyck, another brother. The second party was led by Ackes Van 
Slyck ' and some men,'— how many of either party is not stated. 

" Adrian Van Slyck followed next at the head of a party of New York 
levies, but on reaching the scene of action, where Ackes with inferior 
numbers was holding the enemy at bay, the levies all fled, in the most 
cowardly manner. 

" The fourth party was composed of Albert Van Slyck (the writer of the 
letter) Jacob Glen ' and several others ' on the approach of whom the 
enemy drew off leaving Adrian among the dead. 

" The letter adds, — It grieves me, 1 not being Commander, that when we 
went, Garret Van Antwerp would suffer no more to accompany the party."f 

* A corruption of Beukendaal, i. e., Beechdale. 
f Stone's life of Johnson, i, 350. 

The Old French War, 1744-1748. 299 

The second account written by Giles F. Yates, Esq., and published in the 
Schenectady Democrat and Reflector, April 22, 1836, was gathered from 
tradition then floating about among the aged people of that day, with whom 
Mr. Yates had an extended acquaintance. 

"In the beginning of the month of July, 1748, Mr. [Daniel] Toll and his 
favorite servant Ryckert, went in search of some stray horses at Beukendal, 
a locality about three miles from this city. They soon heard as they sup- 
posed the trampling of horses; but on a nearer approach, the sound they 
mistook for that made by horses hoofs on the clayey ground, proceeded 
from the quaits with which some Indians were playing. 

" Mr. Toll discovered his danger too late and fell pierced by the bullets 
of the French savages, for such they were. Ryckert more fortunate took 
to his heels and fled. He reached Schenectady in safety and told the dread- 
ful news of the death of his master, and the presence of the enemy. 

" In less than an hour about sixty volunteers were on their march to 
Beukendal. The greater part of these were young men & such was their 
zeal that they would not wait until the proper authorities had called out the 
Militia. * * * 

" Without discipline or experience and even without a leader they hastened 
to the Indian Camp. 

" Those in advance of the main body, before they reached the enemy 
were attracted by a singular sight. They saw a man resembling Mr. Toll 
sitting near a fence in an adjoining field and a crow flying up and down 
before him. 

" On coming nearer they discovered it to be the corpse of Mr. Toll with 
a crow attached to it by a string. 

" This proved to be a stratagem of the Indians to decoy their adversaries. 
The Schenectadians fell alas ! too easily into the snare laid for them and 
were in a few moments surrounded by the Indians who had been lying in 
ambush. Thus taken by surprise they lost many of their number, and some 
were taken prisoners before they could make good their retreat. 

" They however succeeded in reaching the house of Mr. De Graaf* in the 
neighborhood which had been for some time deserted. But while retreating 
they continued to fire upon their enemy. On reaching Mr. De Graaf s house 

* [The view of the scene of the fight at Beukendaal is from a photograph by the editor. 
The view is taken looking north along the Sacandaga road. The hollow to the right is 
Beuken-daal (or Beech Vale) in which at a distance the fight commenced. The whites 
were forced back and they took possession of the De Graaf house shown in picture and 
there defended themselves. It will be observed that this house is on high commanding 
ground which made it a strongly defensive position. Doubtless the whites' losses were 
mainly in the ambuscade along the creek further north. — M'M.] 

300 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

they entered, bolted the doors and ascended to the second floor. Here they 
tore off all the boards near the eaves and thro the opening thus made fired 
with success at the savages and succeeded in keeping them at bay- In the 
meantime Dirck Van Vorst, who had been left in the charge of two young 
Indians effected his escape. 

"The two youngsters were anxious to see the fight and secured their 
prisoner by tying him to a tree and left him alone. He succeeded in getting 
his knife from his pocket and cutting the cord with which he was bound. 
On the approach of the Schenectady militia under Col. Jacob Glen the 
party in Mr. De Graaf's house were relieved from their perilous situation 
and the enemy took up their line of march for Canada. 

"On this occasion there were thirty-two citizens killed [?] : — of these we 
are able to give the names of Jacob Glen (cousin of Col. Glen), Peter 

Vrooman, John Darling, Adam Conde, Van Antwerpen, Cornelius" 

Viele, Nicholaas De Graaf and Adrian Van Slyck : — wounded, Ryer 

Wemp, Robinson and Wilson: — prisoners, Abraham De 

Graaf* and his son William, John Phelps, Harmen Veeder and Lewis 

"The bodies of De Graaf and Glen were found lying in a close contact 
with their savage antagonists with whom they had wrestled in deadly 

" The corpses were brought to Schenectady the evening of the massacre 
and deposited in the large barn of Abraham Mabee, being the identical one 
now standing on the premises of Mrs. Benjamin, in Church street. The 
relatives of the deceased repaired thither to claim their departed kindred 
and remove them for interment." 

The third narrative may be found in Drake's " Particular History" and 
seems to have been gleaned from various sources. It is particularly valua- 
ble as giving more names of the killed and missing than any other account. 

"July 18, 1/48. About three miles from Schenectady, Daniel Toll, 
Dirck Van Vorst and a negro went to a place called Poependal to catch 
their horses ; but not finding the horses as they expected they went into 
the adjacent woods to a place called the Clay pit [A7e_y Jcuil\. They dis- 
covered Indians and attempted to escape from them, but were pursued by 
them and both Toll & Van Vorst where shot down, but the negro escaped. 
Van Vorst, though wounded was not killed but taken prisoner. The firing 
was heard at Maalwyck about two miles distant and the people there know- 

* " Abnn. De Graaf and his son Wilbelmus were taken captives to Canada, Oct. 30, 
1746. He died at Quebec and was buried tbere June 12." June 12, 1747, died at Que- 
bec, Abraham De Grave [Graaf ] of iScbeuectada taken Oct., 1746.— De Graaf Bible, 1747. 

The Old French War, 1744-1748. 301 

ing that Toll & Van Vorst had gone for their horses suspected the occasion 
of the firing. This was about ten o'clock in the morning and a messenger 
was at once dispatched to the town where the alarm was sounded about 
twelve. Some of the inhabitants with a company of new levies posted 
there under Lieut. Darling of Connecticut in all seventy men marched out 
toward Poependal cautiously searching for the enemy, as far as the lands 
of Simon Groot, but made no discovery of the enemy. At this point the 
negro before mentioned came to the party and told them where the body of 
his master was. 

The negro was furnished with a horse and they (about forty in number) 
were piloted to the spot where his master lay dead ; and near Poependal at 
Abraham De Graaf's house. They immediately entered the woods with the 
negro where they at once discovered the enemy in great numbers upon 
whom they discharged a volley with a shout. The enemy shouted in return 
accompanying it with a volley also. This was the commencement of a most 
desperate fight. All but two or three of the English stood to it manfully, 
although they were hemmed in on every side by the great numbers of the 
enemy, and fought over a space of about two acres; yet the battle ground was 
left in possession of the settlers. In this hand to hand encounter twelve of the 
inhabitants of Schenectady were killed outright, five were taken prisoners 
and seven of Lieut. Darlings men including himself were killed and six of 
them missing supposed to be taken prisoners. The news of this battle 
reached Albany in the evening of the same day and by midnight Lieut. 
Chew with one hundred English and two hundred friendly Indians were on 
the march for the scene of action, but to no other purpose than as showing 
their willingness to meet an emergency of this kind. The names of the 
people killed so far as ascertained were Daniel Toll, Frans Van der Bogart 
Jr., Jacob Glen Jr., Daniel Van Antwerpen, J. P. Van Antwerpen, Cornells 
Vielen Jr., Adrian Van Slyck, Peter Viooman, Klaas A. De Graaf, Adam 
Conde, John A. Bradt & John Marinas. 

" There were missing, Isaac Truax, Ryer Wemp, Johannes Seyer Vroomau, 
Albert John Vedder & Frank Conner all belonging to Schenectady. Of 
the soldiers seven were killed & six missing."* 

From these accounts it is certain that the presence of the Indians was not 
suspected until the first shot; — that Capt. Daniel Toll was the first victim; — 
that the alarm was given by his negro Ryckert — that a company of Con- 
necticut levies under Lieut. John Darling accompanied and followed by 
squads of the inhabitants marched to the scene, and that after a hot en- 
gagement the Indians retreated leaving twenty of the whites dead and 
taking away thirteen or fourteen prisoners besides the wounded. 

* Drake's Particular History, 169-70. 

302 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Considering the number of the whites engaged, their loss was very severe, 
amounting probably to one-third of their force. 

The following is the fullest list of killed and missing that can now be 
given : 

John A. Bradt, Adrian Van Slyck, 

Johannes Marinus, Jacob Glen, Jr., 

Peter Vrooman, Adam Conde, 

Daniel Van Antwerpen, J. P. Van Antwerpen, 

Cornells Viele, Jr., Frans Van der Bogart, 

Nicolaas De Graaf,* Capt. Daniel Toll.f 

Lt. John Darling, J and seven of his soldiers, in all twenty men. 

Ryer Wemp, Dirk Van Vorst, 

Robinson, Wilson. 

And probably many others. 

Missing. — Prisoners. 

John Phelps, Harman Veeder, 

Lewis Groot, Isaac Truax, 

Johannes Seyer Vrooman, Albert John Vedder. 

Frank Connor, 

And six soldiers, in all thirteen men. 

After the close of hostilities Governor Clinton sent Lieut. Stoddert to 
Montreal to arrange for an exchange of prisoners. With Capt. Anthony 
Van Schaick he went into the Indian country to recover the captives, but 

* " 1748, July 18, Nicolaas De Graaf and twenty others, were murdered at Poopendal 
by the savage Indians." — De Graaf Bible. 

f At the Poopendal massacre Capt. Daniel Toll was killed ; he was standing by a tree 
when the fatal bullet struck him. His name was to be seen cut in the bark for many 
years after, but is now gone. — Claas Veeder, tJie Centennarian. 

\ Commander of the Connecticut levies. 

It would seem that Capt. Stoddard commanded at Schenectady during a portion of 
the year 1748, but was doubtless absent on this occasion. — Stone's life of Johnson, i. 365 

The Old French War, 1744-1748. 303 

with indifferent success. Among those who returned with Lieut. Stoddert 
were Capt. Anthony Van Schaick, John Vrooman, Peter Vasborough [Vos- 
burgh], Albert Vedder and Francis Connor. Efforts were made to induce 
others to return but without success; of these were Rachel Quackenbos 
Simon Fort and Philip Phillipsen. Rachel Quackenbos abjured the English 
religion and Lieut. Stoddert could not persuade her to return. Fort and 
Phillipse also desired to remain with the Iroquois; the former belonged by- 
adoption to a sister of a chief named Agonareche. She refused to give him 
up at any price. Capt. Van Schaick offered six hundred livres for Fort 
without succeeding in obtaining him. On the contrary, so determined was 
his squaw owner to retain him, that she said she would obey the French 
commandant and deliver him up, but that she and her husband would 
follow him, and he should not reach home alive. Lieut. Stoddert left 
Canada on the 28th June, 1750, with twenty-four prisoners.* 

* Drake's Particular Hist., 178-9; Col. Doc, x, 209, 215. 

304 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


All considerable settlements on the upper Hudson and Mohawk rivers 
were from the first protected by wooden walls. Though never attacked 
nor even seriously threatened by the Iroquois or Mohicans, there were but 
few short periods down to the close of the French war (1763) when they 
were not subject to frequent alarms from the French or their Indian allies 
from Canada. 

The method of fortification was by stockades, which the abundance of 
timber at their very doors made a cheap and ready protection. Guns were 
only used for defense, attacks being always made by the musket. 

The stockade consisted of a series of posts or logs from 15 to 18 feet long 
and 12 inches or more thick, sharpened at one end and hewed flat on 
opposite sides.* 

Pine was usually chosen because most abundant and easily worked. 

The line of stockade being marked out, a trench three feet deep was dug, 
the posts were set therein, the flattened sides together and the earth 
shoveled back and rammed against them.f To strengthen the top two 
adjoining posts were bored and fastened together with oaken trenails. 

* [Doubless after the manner of the Mohawk Castles. The only illustration which 
represents one of these castles is that shown in the cut from Champlain and Jesuit 

This shows after a crude fashion that poles or palisades were planted in the ground 
forming a wall. That the Indians used round poles or light saplings and to reduce the 
chance of missiles passing through the interstices, two or more rows were planted in 
quincunx order. The palisades used by the Dutch were of larger diameter and were 
flattened on two sides so that adjoining palisades were in contact and there was no 
interval through which an arrow could be sent. — M'M.] 

f " 22 May 1716, Albany. This day the Commonalty agreed with Jacob Luykasse 
and Jacob Schermerhorn pow'r to Sett up ye Stockados where they are wanting about 
this City, which they are to square at two sides and shari e at ye top and to sett them 
three feet in ye ground, which they are to perform at or before primo July next, for 
which they shall be paid six pence apiece and give bonds of £15 to perform said 
agreement." — Albany Annals, vn, 56. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 


At the angles, gates and other important points, blockhouses for the shelter 
of the garrison and guards were built, and within the stockade all around 
was a free space called the Rondtceg, of sufficient width for the patrol to 

In addition to this outer circle of fortification, in Albany and Schenec- 
tady* there was a fort in one of the angles of the latterf place, surrounded 
by a double row of high palisades, furnished with barracks for the garri- 


son, platforms, guns, lookouts, &c. And in later times, when Schenectady 
became a depot for men and materials, there were barracks outside the 

* [See note to Miller's map.— M'M.] 

t [Not so certain as to Schenectady prior to 1704, though it was as to Albany.— M'M ] 

306 Hietory of the Schenectady Patent. 

walls ; in 1765, the troops were posted along the east side of Ferry street, 
from Union to the Episcopal church ; in 1762, on the south side of Union 
street from Ferry to Mrs. Colon Clute's house;* in the Revolutionary war, 
on the south side of Union street from Lafayette eastwardly to Quacken- 
bush street. 

For protection and safety Schenectady was admirably placed, being 
surrounded with water and marsh on three sides and open only to the south- 
east, from which side the inhabitants had little to fear. 

The first settlers though their land lay elsewhere, built their habitations 
mainly together for their greater protection. Doubtless as soon after the 
settlement in 1662, as it could conveniently be done, the village was 
stockaded. Starting at State street the line ran along the east side of 
Ferry to about the gate of the Episcopal church — then in a straight line to 
the north side of Front a little beyond Washington street, — then southerly 
and parallel to the same to State and lastly along the same 28 feet south 
thereof to Ferry street or Mill lane. This was the original plat enclosed 
and contained most of the houses of the first settlers. 

The south and west lines remained substantially the same down to the 
time of their extinction soon after the Revolutionary war. The Front and 
"Washington street lines were later moved north and west to the river 
bank, and the Ferry street line sometime after 1765, was carried south- 
easterly to the New York Central railroad depot, and thence northerly 
through the Dutch church burying ground to the river bank. 

Gates. In 1690 it was said in the French account of the village, that 
there were but two gates, — one at the north end of Church street called 
the "north gate ", — the other at State. This was doubtless at the junction 
of State and Church Streets — and opened out to the roads through Mill 
Lane and Water street leading to the bouwlands and to the Mohawk 

In later times there were others — at Front and Union streets. The 
foundations of the gates and guardhouses where Ferry crosses State and 
Union streets were exposed in laying the water pipes in 1871. 

* Mortgages in, 147 ; Deeds, rx, 51. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 307 

Forts. Schenectady was so important a post for the protection of the 
Province against the incursions of the Canadians, that for the first hundred 
years of its existence it was deemed necessary to strengthen it by a fort 
and garrison.* 

The writer is led to believe from references in the records, that the first 
blockhouse was in the north angle of the stockade at or near the junction 
of Front and Washington streets. f This was destroyed in 1690 by the 
French, at which time it was garrisoned by a small detachment under Lt. 
Enos Talmage, from Capt. Jonathan Bull's company, then stationed at 
Albany. These troops were Connecticut men. 

The magazine stood on or near the lot of Mrs. Willard, then belonging to 
Capt. Sander Glen. 

A second was built in 1690 between Washington street and the river 
opposite the west end of State street, covering the lot of Kleine Isaack, 
(that is Isaac Swits,) who with his son Cornells was carried away by the 
French to Canada. On his return from captivity next year, he found his 
homestead occupied by soldiers, — his orchard cut down and his home utterly 
ruined. He repeatedly petitioned for remuneration for his losses, but it 
was not until 1708 that his son received a patent for 1000 acres of land in 
Niskayuna as a recognition of his father's claim. 

The following order was issued by Leisler's commissioners at Albany for 
the rebuilding of the fort at Schenectady. 

" Whereas it is judged necessary for to defend Schanechtede and to that 
purposed it is found requisite that a fort shall be erected to defend ye In- 
habitants and oppugn the Enemy if should attack the same." 

" These are in his Ma ti<!8 name to require your Cap n Sander Glen and all 
Officers & Inhabitants belonging to ye said Schanechtede and adjacent 
Parts, with the Souldiers there in Garrison, to build a substantiall Fort of 
due magnitude and strength upon that part or parcell of ground (called by 
the name of Cleyn Isaacs), and that all are aiding and assisting therein 
according to their abilitye to dispatch and compleat the same, as they will 

* Petition of New York merchants. 

* * * " That a new [fort be built at Schenectida which lyes twenty miles above 
Albany and is the utmost English settlement toward the Indians and French, and that 
fourteen gunns and sixty men be placed there. — Col. Doc, in, 653. 

+ [See note to Miller's map. — M'M.] 

308 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

answer the contrary at their utmost perills. Given under our hand this 
13th day of May in the Second year of his Ma* 169 Reigne Annog : Dom 

The damage to Swits though considerable and most evident, was redressed 
only after many petitions and a delay of eighteen years. The following 
papers show the progress of the negotiation for redress. 
" Petition of Isaac Swits. 

To his Excellency Edward Viscount Cornbury, 
Captain Generall and Governor-in-chief," etc. 
" The humble petition of Isaac Swits an ancient 
Inhabitant of the ff rontier Garrison of Schen- 

" Sheweth 

"That your Excellencies petitioner while yourLordshipp was at Albany in 
July 1*702, preferred his humble petition to your Excellency, setting forth 
that about the beginning of the late happy revolution, the town of Schen- 
ectady being surprised & Destroyed by the ffrench of Canada, your Excel- 
lencies petitioner and his son were taken and carried away prisoners ; — 
That during your petitioners imprisonment the then governor of this pro- 
vince ordered the ground whereon your Excellencies' petitioner's house, 
Barne, orchard, Garden &c. stood to be for his majesties service Inclosed 
and stockadoed as a fort, and garisoned the same during the Warrf to your 
petitioner's very detriment; and your petitioner has not any manner of way 
been relieved therein, and therefore prayed to be redressed for the damages 
he has suffered," etc. 

•' May it please your Excellency To grant unto your petitioner your 
Lordship's warrant for the said sume of thirty pounds, or otherwise to 
favour your petitioner with her majesties Grant for a parcell of Land on 
the Norman's Creek in Lieu thereof. 

" And your Excellencies petitioner shall ever pray. "J [Read in council, 
•2d Nov., 1704]. 

The second fort was a large and spacious enclosure surrounded by " a 
triple stockade, a new blockhouse at every angle and in each blockhouse 
two great guns." 

It contained twenty-eight huts for inhabitants of the village, two wig- 
wams for Indians, a large barn & styes for hogs.§ 

* Col. MSS., xxxvi, 70 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y.. n, 125. 
f The peace of Ryswick was declared in 1697. 
\ Land Papers, iv, 28. 
§ [ See Miller's map. — M'M.] 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 309 

At a court martial held at Schenectady, Aug. 7, 1691, upon a soldier 
named George Castleton, it was proved that he quarreled with a fellow 
soldier named Desvallons, about some beer ; the latter struck the former 
with a stick, whereupon Castleton, drawing his sword, thrust it into his 
side, causing almost instant death. The facts of the case were mainly- 
proved by persons living within the fort,* among whom were the following: 

Daniel Janse Van Antwerp, aged 57 years, deposed that "he waa. 
walking by to go to Douwe Aukes' house " in the fort, and witnessed the 

Josias Swart, aged about 33 years, testified to the facts in the case. 

Douwe Aukes, aged about 47 years, "being in his house in ye fort at 
Schenectady with Cobus Peek looked out and saw George Castleton and 
James Desvallons pass at one another," &c. 

Tryntie Claas,f wife of Elias Van Gyseling, aged about 43 years, " being 
in Schenectady fort at her house neer ye cort of garde * * * went into 
her house and heard ye sword and stick Ratle together, came out of her 
house forthwith & she see ye Prisoner, George Castleton make a thrust 
at James Desvallons," &c. 

Maritye Pieterse wife of Wm. Noble, aged about 40 years "being in 
her house in ye fort at Schenectady heard a noise in ye street and comes 
out of doors and sees George Castleton attack Desvallons." 

The culprit was adjudged guilty of manslaughter, burnt in the hand and 
banished the Province. J 

* [All these people were of prominent families in Schenectady, and they all lived 
inside the town, even though, owning and working farms elsewhere. Their houses 
constituted the town and were surrounded by palisades, which constituted the whole 
fort ; " the fort," or strong place of Schenectady. When the English made a strong place 
they named it a Royal fort in contradistinction to the town or fortress. — M.'M.] 

f [Tryntie Claes Van Gysling being .... at her house near ye "Cort of Garde," 
that is to say, the court of the guard or parade ground in front of the main guard house. 
Miller shows such a space, which corresponds to State street from Ferry to near Church. 
This would be the place where the guard mount took place, and where the garrison 
assembled for drills or parades, as is customary. — M.'M.] 

J Common Council of Albany Minute9, iv. 

310 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

If Miller's drawing of this fort be correct* it must have extended quite 
across the west end of the village from State to Front street, and included 
much of the land between Washington street and the Binne kil. The 
blockhouse in the south angle covered Swit's lot. 

* [" Dependent on this City [Albany] and about twenty miles northward from it, is th« 
Fort of Scanectade, quadrangular with a treble stockado with a new block house at every 
angle and in each block house two great guns." Miller's description of Schen., 1695. 

"This Schoonectheu deel is 24 miles west from Albany. * * The village proper is a 
square set ofl by palisades. There may be 30 houses which are situated on the side of 
the Mohawk river, etc." Danker & Sluyter, 1680. 

Schenectady " being in form of a long square entered by two gates." 

Charlevoix, 1690. 

Miller's map of New York city is fully supported by contemporaneous and later maps. 

His map of Schenectady is doubtless as correct in all essentials. Certainly after nearly 
two centuries have elapsed the sketch of what an intelligent man observed and recorded 
is entitled to acceptance unless some other contemporaneous plan or detailed description 
can be found. Rev. John Miller was chaplain to the British forces stationed at New 
York city. He visited all the up-river posts and returned to England in 1695. His 
manuscript " Description of the Province and City of New York, with Plans of the City 
and several Forts as they existed in the year 1695. By the Rev. John Miller, London. 
Printed and Published for the Enlightenment of such as would desire information Anent 
the New-Found-Land of America," is in the British Museum. 

The stockade therein depicted was probably in the main on the site of the stockade 
destroyed in 1690, and represented the growth of five years. The first fort or strong 
place built after the massacre on Clyn Isaack's laud, was the blockhouse at foot of State 
(Jay Westinghouse lot) where it dominated the bouwland and Great Island— and was 
guarded by the then bluff banks of Mill creek and the Binne kil. It was a purely military 
position — a blockhouse to which the few remaining settlers could rally, and probably 
became the south-west blockhouse of Miller's map. 

The guard house was at State and Ferry streets and was a blockhouse also. The 
writer believes that the small garrison was at this point on the night of the massacre — 
and many of those who escaped from their houses naturally ran to the guard house and 
were there killed — a good enough reason why State street from Centre to Washington 
street' should be called Martyr's street. This blockhouse was at State and .Ferry— its 
"two great guns" commanded the Albany road, the town mill and bouwlands as well 
as the plain east of Ferry street. 

Miller's map shows the " spy loft " or look out station (where perched high up the 
look out could see all that was in sight in the vicinity and give the signal of danger), the 
" centry box " and flag staff, which indicate the main guard and headquarters. It was 
put there because it was the best site in 1691, and the site was the same in 1690, and 

Another blockhouse was at the angle opposite the Episcopal church, to which 
point Front street originally ran ; that is to say when it was the Rondweg inside the 
north wall. 

A fourth blockhouse was about Washington and Front streets, and was larger than 
the others (No. 8, Miller's map); — protected by being near the junction of the river and 
the Binne kil it was probably intended for a store house as well as church. [Query. 
Notwithstanding the description of the land in the deed where the phrase occurs — Notarial 
papers, page 320 — was not this " 't blok huys (te weten de Kerche)," — the blockhouse 

Fortifications aud Garrisons. 


Map of Schenectady in 1695. — Rev. John Miller. 

(Original in British Museum. 

2 "W 


1.1. Block houses. ■ 8. The block house designed for 

22. Rivers running beside y e Fort. a church. 

3.3. Indians Wigwams. 9.9. Those and others like them 

4. Flag staff. houses. 

5. Centry box. 10. A great barn. 

6. Spy loft. 1 1.1 1. The treble stockadoes. 
7 .7.7. Sties for hogs. 12.12. The Fort Gates. 

312 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The renewal of the stockadoes, which being made of pine logs lasted but 
five or six years, became very burthensome to the inhabitants of the village 
after its destruction in 1690. Having built a new fort in 1690 they were 
ordered to renew the palisades in 1695. On this occasion Reyer Scher- 

known as the church ? Only occasional services were held at Schenectady from 1690 to 
1704, and in a place which besides falling to decay was "not a fit and proper place 
dedicated to the service of God, as represented in petition to Governor Nanfan. — See 
chapter on Church History]. 

At the massacre the town was destroyed, but few houses being unburnl — the site was 
practically abandoned and only the strenuous efforts of government and Indians induced 
the return of the major portion of the people. A large number of Mohawks established 
themselves there and the following summer they gathered the crops which had been 
planted — [winter wheat]. Miller's map shows their two large "long houses" inside the 
walls. The triple stockade was probably built by, or with the aid of the Indians, and in 
their fashion, of light poles or saplings — and not the regular hewn stockade of civilized 

Miller's map shows twenty-eight houses within the stockade in 1695. 

In 1698, the population of the township from Niskayuna to Hoffman's Ferry was 50 
men, 41 women and the 133 children. (Alb. Annals, ix.) 

Of these the Glens, Schermerhorns, De Graafs and others lived at a distance from the 
village, so that if the 41 women represented nearly as many families, which is probable, 
twenty-eight houses would suffice for the inhabitants — the soldiers barracking in the 

The "Fort of Schaueethede " doubtless contained all there was of the village, save a 
few houses on the Albany road and on the bouwlands, and was the whole occupied town 
west of Ferry street. 

Miller indicates two gates — one at the south end of State street, where its location 
protected it from sudden attack and where the ancient church covered, or in military 
parlance traversed it. The writer believes, after careful study of the site and the history 
of the town, that this south gate located at twenty-eight feet south of State street, was 
the early outlet of the town. 

On passing out of the gate the road to Albany via Normans kil, (the oldest road,) lay 
across the bouwlands and via Schermerhorn mills over the hills. Later to avoid the 
hill and the sand, the road up Albany hill was traveled. It was for a century a mere trail, 
in common with others equally poor but occasionally used, — this road led from the 
gate along the hill side under the guns of the south-east blockhouse and above the 'mill. 
(In digging cellars and foundations of Vrooman's hardware stor§, stone McAdamizing 
or pavement was found 75 feet south of State street, as also at other houses along the 
same block at other times). 

It was improbable that any man with a military eye would locate a blockhouse back 
from the steep bluff bank of mill creek — it would be placed on the crest so that the guns 
of the blockhouse could fully command the whole slope. Again a road along under 
such a slope would be in proper position for its protection but very wet and muddy in 
spring, or in wet weather — hence it was paved very early but abandoned for the higher 
level where State street now is, probably not long after the Queen's Fort was built in 
1704. When the road was moved, the gate was moved, and the English army topographers 
at the time of the " old French war " locate the road as State street now is, and open a 
gate at its crossing of Ferry street. 

Miller indicates another gate at the west side (on present lot of Jay Westinghouse 
probably), which opened to the Binne kil, which was a canoe harbor, — to the ferry, — to 
the Great Island, and also on the old river road on the Mohawk country. There had been 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 313 

merhorn refused to cut and draw his proportion of the logs, it may be because 
living at the mills he thought himself exempt from this burthensome 
service, or that his quota was too large. Thereupon Justice Johannes 
Sanderse Glen fined him twelve shillings,* and continuing contumacious 
Gov. Fletcher on the 9th of April, 1698, directed the sheriff of Albany- 
county to bring him before the Council in New York to answer for his 
conduct. On the 30th he appeared before the council and " stood upon his 
vindication," whereupon he was " committed to answer at the next Supreme 
Court & Col. Courtlandt was desired to take bond with sureties for his 
appearance and that he be of good behaviour in the mean time."f 

In the winter of 16D5-6 the gar-rison at Schenectady consisted of £ de- 
tachment under command of Lt. Bickford, from the companies of Captains 

a gate at norlh end of the town, but after 1690 it was not rebuilt, as the small garrison 
had enough to do to guard the south end of the town, which contained the mill, guard- 
house and gardens and the roads to the bouwlands and Albany. The whole tendency 
seemed to be to concentrate force at the State street side of the town, and new build- 
ings clustered about the neighborhood. Besides, settlements were neither near nor 
numerous along the Mohawk, and the Indian incursions made roads there very unsafe. 
' As the need for them arose, and their safety was assured, new gates were opened. 
The building of the Queens fort, called for reopening the norlh gate, which it com- 
pletely protected. Likewise, when the original four blocks of four lots each, included in 
the stockade, afforded insufficient area, the walls were moved to include them, notably 
when the west Rondiceg was made into the present Washington Avenue, by moving the 
stockades to the Binne kil, and the north Rondiceg was converted into part of the present 
Front street and partly into an open space or parade ground by moving the pickets 
toward the Mohawk, as in map of 1750, where the line of pickets is decidedly irregular 
and has a number of blockhouses as flankers to protect it from assault from straggling 
small parties of Indians, while the comparatively strong citadel on the highest ground the 
site afforded dominated Ihe whole fortress and the open approaches by land or ice, and 
it3 cannon pointed up Front and Green streets on the direct route to Canada, whence 
attack was a constant probability. — M'JVL] 

* " William by ye grace of God of England, Scotland, france & Irelande Kinge 
defender of ye faith, to John Mebee &Dirack Brat Constables of Scanectedj', yu are in 
his Majestyes name to requier & commande Ryer Jacobse Schermerhorn to pay ye sum 
of twellve shillinges for ye Disobayinge my formur w r arande in not adinge & assistinge 
ye rebuelldinge, of ye forte of Scanectedy, wh. are for his Majesty r es sarvis <fe ye 
Publick good : I do fourder commande yu yt with in fouer dayes from ye dayte of thes 
presants yt yu leed & bringe ye complyment of Stockades as I have given yu formur 
notis as is Aloted yu for yr share & yt yu do mount & fix ye sd Stockades answerabell 
to ye rest of ye inhabitants at yr parill as yu will answer ye neglect, given under my 
hande ye furst day of Novbr in ye seventh yeare of his majestyes reane Anno dom : 1695. 

Johannes Sanderse [Glen], 

f Council Min. vn. 183, 188. 

314 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

James Weems and William Hyde, stationed at Albany. " On the 10th 
Jan., about 12 of the Clock at night deserted the whole guard except one & 
others, to the number of sixteen broak through the north west Block house 
next the water side." [Binne kil]. 

" They drew the guns of both powder & Shott. The Lieutenant about 
two o'clock discovering their desertion, notified by express Col. Richard 
Ingoldsby at Albany, and with ten volunteers of the inhabitants and eleven 
soldiers started in pursuit. The serjeant & seven red coats soon gave 
out and were left behind. At four in the afternoon the lieutenant and his 
14 men came up with the 16 diserters ; ordering them to lay down their 
arms, they answered with a volley and both sides continued to fire until five 
of the deserters were killed and two wounded when the remainder sur- 

These facts were stated by Lieut. Bickford in his account of the affair to 
Governor Fletcher, of March 9th. In closing his dispatch he says, "Here 
is a strong and regular Fort built by the inhabitants with foot works and 
a stone magazine fitt for this garrison." The following were the volun- 
teers from Schenectady who accompanied Lt. Bickford in his hazardous 
enterprise ; " Harmen Van Slyck, ensigne of the trained bands of Schen- 
echtide and Gerryt Simons Veeder, Peter Simons Veeder, Albert Veeder, 
Gerryt Gysbert [Gysbertse Van Brakel], Jan Danielse Van Antwerpen, 
Dirck Groot, Jonas De Roy, John Wemp, Daniel Mutchcraft [Mascraft] & 
Thomas Smith." 

At a court martial held in Schenectady April 21, the survivors of the de- 
serting party were accounted guilty and condemned to be shot.* 

The commander of the garrison who succeeded Lieut. Bickford in the 
spring of 1690 was Lt. Daniel Hunt from the garrison at Albany. 

He reports in relation to the military stores and effectiveness of the mili- 
tary force at Schenectady as follows: 

" In July, 1696, and in ye beginning of April '96 I was commander on ye 
frontieers at Schonactady, when ye French Indians destroyed Onondage & 
Oneide, when all ye news that, arrived to mee concerning the enemy, I did 

* [In the petition of Lieut. Abraham Bickford for reimbursement for bis extraordinary 
expenses in pursuing and re-capturing deserters from time to time " more Particularly 
in January, 169/: -6, when the whole Guard spikt the great Gunns and Deserted from 
his Majesty* fort at Schenectady all with their Arms and in the Dead of night;" he 
6ays " yey were Tryed at a Court Marshall condemned and one of the Chiefe Leaders 
Executed the Eest being Pardoned having obtained his Maj^" Mercy." 

From this it would appear that the hardships they endured were considered as extenua- 
ting their crime. — M'M.] 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 315 

from time to time by express Signifie to Col. Ingoldesby then Comander in 
Chiefe of ye frontieers, who as his letter makes appeare did truly acquaint 
his Excel: Coll: Fletcher, who did after ye euemy was gone come up to 
Albany without any forces : — when I came up to ye garrison at Schonec- 
tady and where ye enemy was marching towards us, I had but part of a 
barrel of powder and but little shott, but I writt to Col. Ingoldsby who sent 
me a one barrel of powder with G cannon balls. 

Daniel Hunt," 

" An account of what stores of Warr was in the frontieer garrison at 
Schonectady when commanded by Lieut. Daniel Hunt, in June, July, Aug. 
1696, being the time when Count Frontenack the French governor of 
Canada destroyed the habitacons and castles of ye Onondgoes and Oneides 
Viz: 4 

8 Pieces of Ordinance, 

4 Pattararoes, whereof one unserviceable, 

28 Shott l lb weight each. 

6 Shott 4 lb weight each, j 

1 Barrel of Cannon powder. 

Part of a barrel of small powder not good, 

I Runlet -| of musquet ball, 
Part of a Schaine of match, 

10 Linstocks,- 2 Priming horns, 

9 Sheets of Cartharidge paper, 8 flints, 
32 Cartharidges for ye ordinance, 

I I baggs of musquett ball, viz*, partedges, 

1 Ax, 1 Flagg,— 1 pr. of Shackles, 

2 Buckets, 4 Iron potts, 4 Canns. 

The forces in ye Garrison was one Lieut, one Serj 1 , one drum and thirty 
of his Ma tyB Soldiers and no more. 

Witness Daniel Hunt."* 

After the second fort had been occupied about 15 years, 1690 to 1705 
the blockhouses wei-e abandonedf and " Queens new Fort " was built at the 
east angle of the stockade. This was the " Old Fort " about which all the 
traditions of the people cluster. 

It was at first simply a double or triple stockade 100 feet square, with 
bastions or blockhouses at the angles. In 1735 it was rebuilt in a more 
substantial manner of timbers on a stone foundation. J The four curtains 

*Col. Doc, iv, 431. 

f [Abandoned as barracks only. — M'M.] 

t Col. Doc, vi, 120 ; Smith's Hist. N. Y. 

316 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

were "about 76 ft. each and the four bastions or blockhouses 24 ft. square." 
In 1754 at the beginning of the French war, it contained one 6 and one 9 
pounder on carriages but no " Port holes in the curtain to fire them." 

The following petition gives an account of the condition of the fortifica- 
tions of the village in 1754. 

" To the Honorable James De Lancey Lieut. Governor and Commander in 
Chief in and over the Province of New York and the Territories depend- 
ing thereon, &c, &c. 

" The Humble petition of the Officers of the four Companies of Militia 
at Scbonechtady and also the Magistrates and Principal Inhabitants thereof. 
" Most Humbly Sheweth that the security of this place as well as the 
preservation of the Lives of our Wives and children greatly depends on the 
strength of Fort Cosby as the only place of refuge in case of an Attack or 
surprize. The Hostilities committed by the Indians on our Neighbours and 
the Daily Expectation of their Attempts upon us also; Induces us most 
humbly to represent to your Honour the state of the said Garrison which 
Consists of 4 Curtains of about 76 feet each and four Bastions or block- 
houses 24 feet square, the superstructure built with timbers on a foundation 
of a stone wall about two feet above the surface of the earth.* 

♦[Description of the country between Oswego and Albany, 1757]. 


"From Fort Hunter to Chenectedi or Corlnr is seven leagues. The public carriage way 
continues along the right bank of the Mohawk river. About 20 or 30 houses are found 
within this distance separated the one from the other from about a quarter to half a 
league. The Inhabitants of this section are Dutch. They form a company with some 
other inhabitants of the left bank of the Mohawk river about 100 men strong. 

Chenectedi or Corlar, situated on the bank of the Mohawk river is a village of about 
300 houses. It is surrounded by upright pickets flanked from distance to distance. 
Entering this village by the gate on the Fort Hunter side, there is a fort to the right which 
forms a species of citadel in the interior of the village itself. It is a square, flanked with 
four bastions or demi-bastions, and is constructed half of masonry and half of timbers 
piled one over the other above the masonry. It is capable of holding 2 or 300 men. 
There are some pieces of cannon as a battery on the rampart. It is not encircled by a 
ditch. The entrance is through a large swing gate raised like a drawbridge. By pene- 
trating the village in attacking it at another point, the fire from the fort can be avoided." — 
Paris Document, xin. 

" After the Earl of Loudon had resigned to Genl. Abercrombie the command of the 
Army which had reduced Oswego, my father, then a young man, was called to Schen- 
ectady by sudden business. 


Fortifications and Garrisons. 317 

" On the Parade stands one Nine Pounder and one six pounder on car- 
riages rotten and unfit for service. Nor is there any Embrasure or rather 
Port-Hole in the Curtains to fire them. 

" Above is a sort of Gallery Loophold but of little or no service. In each 
of the Bastions or Block houses Chambers* stand of three or four pounder, 
mettle, very insignificant, Should the enemy make a lodgement in any part 
of the town; Nor is there Powder or any other Military Stores in the Gar- 
rison; — Garrisoned with only an Officer, a corporal and sixteen Private men. 

" And we further beg leave to represent to your Honour the Ruinous and 
Defenceless condition of this town; — the Block houses in Decay and the 
town open and exposed; and that the number of Indians passing & repass- 
ing is a daily burthen to us, too heavy to be borne to which add the Ex- 
penses of frequent Indian Expresses makes the weight still more grevious 
as there is no Allowance or Publick fund to Reimburse and we still groan 
our Losses, sufferings and fatigue in the Late War as well as heavy Debt 
then contracted. 

" To expatiate on the value of this town as a frontier of the Province 
would be troublesome, your Honour Avell knowing it to be the Key of a 
Large Country and of the greatest Consequence to the Metropolis as well 
as to the province in General you have the Honour to command. 

" Your Petitioners therefore most humbly entreat your Honour will be 
pleased to take the premises into your Serious Consideration and Grant us 
two Nine Pounders for each curtain and a Nine Pounder for each Bastion 
& that you would be pleased to give orders that the Port Holes be made to 
open and shut as in a Man of War, and to grant us a proper supply of 
Military stores, and such other assistance as you in Your great Wisdom 
shall think meet. 

" And your petitioners as in duty bound shall ever Pray. 
" Schenectady, } 
31 Aug., 1754. j 

" Jno. B. V. Eps, Justice. 
" John Visger, Justice. 

" Nicolaas Groot, Jacob Glen, Arent Bratt, and thirty others. "f 

"That place was then fortified. It had the shape of a parallelogram, with two gates, 
one opening to the eastern the other to the northern road and was garrisoned by 50 or 60 
soldiers." — Recollections of a Sexagenary. 

[Manifestly the petitioners refer to the citadel or fort within the walls of the town. 
The description by the French officers shows both existed. The Sexagenarian seems to 
have considered the wall as the strong part of the town's defences. Besides the guns 
were probably on top of the work as they should have been. — M'M.] 

* [Chambered Cannon — such as Mortars or probably Howitzers. — M'M.] 

f Col. MSS.. lxxiv, 20. 

318 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

On the 15 Oct., following, the inhabitants of Schenectady again petitioned 
the Governor to build a fort in the village, signed by Daniel Campbell, 
Arent Bratt, Abm. Glen, and others.* 

The open space on which this fort stood at the junction of Ferry, Front 
and Green streets was about 264 feet by more than 200 feet, — extending 
from the Episcopal church yard to Green street. 

The fort was built nearly in the centre of this plat, the south wall ex- 
tending aoross Ferry street, thi*ee feet south of the north corner of the 
parsonage house. 

The well of the fort was in the middle of the street, three feet south of 
the north corner of Mr. James Sanders' house, f 

Garrison at Schenectady. Whilst the Province remained under the 
Dutch rule a small body of soldiers was stationed in Fort Orange, — after 
the English occupation in 1664, there was seldom less than one full com- 
pany there, — sometimes two; and Schenectady was gai-risoned by a detach- 
ment therefrom of 20 to 40 men under command of a lieutenant. 

In times of alarm and war as in the ten years war between England and 
France — 1688-1698, the regulars were supplemented by the militia of the 
town or from Connecticut. 

Hardly a year passed that the importance of having Schenectady better 
fortified and garrisoned was not recognized either by the Governor and 
Council, the Legislative assembly or the ruling powers in the mother 
country. In 1671, Governor Lovelace wrote as follows to Capt. Delavall 
in command at Albany, "upon rumor that the French were coming to 
invade us »****" It will be necessary that in ye first place a good and 
careful correspondence be maintained between Albany and Schanechtidee 
for I look on that [Schenectady] as a Frontier; and that ye Inhabit*' of that 
place putt themselves into some posture of Defence by keeping out Schouta 

*Col. MSS.,Lxxiv, 60. 

f Mr. Nicholas Veeder, who died in Glenville in 1862, aged 100 years, said that this 
fort was about 20 feet high and built of hewn timber, — that it was taken down in the 
Revolutionary war and the timber used in the frame of soldiers barracks built on land of 
Johannes Quackenbos, at the south corner of Union and Lafayette streets. The village 
then had an armament of iron cannons and swivels, — the largest of which were the 
" Lady Washington "and the " Long nine Pounder," which were placed in the streets so 
as to command the gates. In digging trenches for water pipes in 1871, the south wall 
and well of the fort were discovered. See also Mortgages, 1784, v, 102. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. • 319 

and making some Block house w ch may give some Check to ye Enemy, in 
case hee should p r sume to advance into his Royall Highness Dominions: 
* * * That out of each Squadron [of horse] one be constantly sent to 
schout between you and Schanechtide, to bring dayly Intelligence, and 
they from Schanechtide to doe ye like further into ye Country, & that 
these Schouts be constantly relieved."* 
N". York, July 6, 1671. 

In accordance with the spirit of the above letter Capt. Thomas De Lavall 
chief officer at Albany, on the 15th of July, ordered all the inhabitants of 
Albany and Schenectady over 15 and under 60 years to provide themselves 
with guns, side arms, two pounds of powder and four pounds of lead each 
under a penalty of 100 guilders, — all within 14 days. The year following 
this order was renewed at a meeting of the chief officers of Albany and 
Schenectady, those of the latter place being Ensign Jacob Sanderse Glen 
and Ensign Sweer Teunise Van Yelsen.f 

In 1687 Major Brockholes being in command at Albany reported to the 
Governor and Council assembled at Fort James July 19, the condition of 
things at Albany and Schenectady, — that " he is now come from Albany to 
Schanectade with Instructions ffrom the Government to bring up there with 
all convenient Speed a certain number of men & some Provisions." 

Whereupon it was " ordered that sixty men be reysed in & out of ye 
Citty & county of New York & fifty men out of Queens County." 

" It being now plaine that y e French are Resolved to do all tha Prejudice 
they can to the Kings subjects of this Government it is for ye Prevention 
thereof ordered that ye People of y e Citty and county of Albany Do Cutt 
Pallysade and by ye five & twentieth day of March cart them to ye Cittv, 
and ye town of Schanectade to fortify the place in the spring, — that in the 
meantime they keep a careful Watse and that this order be sent to ye 
Justices of the peace of ye County who are to take care that it be put in 
execution. "J 

The same order was again made by the Council on the 7th Sept., 1637, 
and Maj. Chambers was directed to " march his company of militia on horse- 
back to Albany and Schenectady."§ 

In anticipation of an immediate attack upon the frontiers, the mayor, 
Common Council of Albany, military officers and justices of the peace of the 
county, met in convention at Albany, on the 4th of Sept., 1689, as a com- 

* Court of A.ssize, 11. f Not. Papers, n. 

X Council Minutes, v, 195, 203. § Orders in Council, vi, 7-12. 

320 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

mittee of safety and after deliberation resolved to send an express to Capt. 
Leisler of New York for one hundred or more men, " a Recrute of six 
hundred weight of Powder and foure hundred Ball, viz. 200 Two pounders 
and 200 foure pounders with some match and one hundred hand Grenadoes." 

In November, 1689, there were two companies of militia stationed at 
Albany — one from Connecticut commanded by Capt. Jonathan Bull, — the 
other from New York under Capt. Jochim Staats, an adherent of Leisler. 
The convention before mentioned, being desirous of having the out-posts at 
Schenectady, Canastagioene & Half Moon, garrisoned, appointed a committee 
of five to arrange with two captains for this duty. After much higgling 
it was finally agreed that Capt. Bull should send his Lieutenant, Enos 
Talmadge, with 24 men to hold the post at Schenectady, the magistrates of 
which were Anti-Leislerian. 

The people however were divided and party spirit ran so high that their 
sense of safety was lost in the bitter strife. 

The period from 1688 to 1698, "was the most trying and critical in the 
history of Schenectady. First there were alarms and apprehensions of an 
attack by the French and their Indian allies, the destruction of the village, 
the slaughter and the captivity of a large part of its inhabitants and lastly 
the departure of many of the remainder to Albany, New York and other 
places of safety. The town was in danger of being depopulated in spite 
of stringent ordinances against removal and the encouragement of the 
Mohawks to stay by the post, fortify and maintain a vigorous warfare 
against their enemies. 

For ten years the town gained little or nothing in population and pros- 
perity and until the peace of Ryswick, the chief aim of the government and 
inhabitants was to hold the village, keep in repair its fortifications and 
maintain a sufficient garrison. 

Thus on May 30, 1696, Governor Fletcher writing to the Lords of trade 
says .... "I have always thought 500 men necessary to the defence of 
Albany & Schenectidy ettc, yet I hope with those three companies to 
justify those places against the French & their Indians.*" * * * 

And again writing from Albany to the Council in New York, he says : 
" The 30th [Dec, 1696] I went to Schenectady, directed the paym* of that 
Garrisson equal to * * * which is four months ending the last of August, 

* Col. Doc, iv, 151. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 321 

and I doe earnestly desire y r endeavours to gett in money for the paym* of 
them three months more, which will give great Satisfaction both to the Gar- 
rison and Citty." 

" The 31st in the forenoon I dispatched scouts to the Lake [George], 
gave Instructions under my hand & seal to Ens. Harman Van Slyke with 
power to command them. I walked with them to the [Mohawk] River, 
gave them a bottle of Rum, Saw 'em putt on their Snow-Shoes and begin 
their march. I view that little fortification & saw some defects which can 
not be cured for want of money. 

"The inhabitants of that .place [Schenectady] presented me with an Ad- 
dress,* which being in Dutch I could not read, but accepted it as a mark of 
their esteem, I sent it to the Clerke of Councill, together with those from 
the Magistracy & Millitia of this place [Albany]. After dinner I returned 
to Albany, "f 

In 1698, the Government sent over one Col. Romer, a military engineer 
to examine, report upon and build certain forts needed on the coast and the 
frontiers. In May and August he sent the following letter and report to 
Governor Bellomont: 

* This letter dated Jan. 9, 1696-7, was published in the Hist. Mag., in March, 1865. 

f [The following from records in office of the Secretary of State show somewhat of 
the panic which existed in Albany county. 
To His Excellency Benjamin Fletcher Captain Generall and Governor in Chiefe of His 

Majesties Province of New York and all the Territoryes and Grants of Laud depend- 
ing thereon in America and Vice Admiral of the same, &c. 
May it Please your Excellency 

Wee the Mayor Justices of the Peace & cornm 1 ** of this citty & county of Albany 
haveing formerly Adres your Excellencey for your favourable presence this winter & 
have been very sencible how much it hath been obstructed have Notwithstanding been 
so happy as to have your Excellencey's Presents no hardship Danger or Difficulty haveing 
been the least Preventive to your Excellencey's care of us & the frontiers to direct and de- 
fend us against our enemy, &c. 

Wee being extreamely sencible of your Excell c y s Extraordinary Goodnesse to us do in 
the due sence of highest Gratitude Returne our most gratefull acknowledgments. Wee 
must owne that your Excellency's presence hath Kept many familys here which nothing 
but the sence of your Excellencys conduct could have retained in this place. 

Wee are so well satisfied with your Excellency's management of the affairs of the five 

Indian Nations & all other Administrations both Civill & Military & wee do think our 

selves extreamly happy under the Umbrage of your Excellency's Couradge & conduct, 

Wee do heartly Wish & Pray for your Excellency's long continuance w th us and do 


322 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Albany, 27 May, 1698. 
" My Lord, 

" I consider it my duty to inform your Excellency that I arrived here 
on the 23d instant, and as soon as I had landed in the city of Albany, I 
found an opportunity to proceed to Schenectady in order to inspect that 
important frontier. 

" This I did successfully, running over 40 miles; for I took a general ob- 
servation of said place, and can assure you, My Lord, that the situation of 
Schenectady is admirable and good and deserves attention on account of 
the importance of the frontier. 

" It is a pity and even a shame, to behold a frontier neglected as we now 
perceive this is; and had the public interest been heretofore preferred to 
individual & private profit, which has been scattered among a handful of 
people with diabolical profusion, the enemy had never committed pernicious 
forays on the honest inhabitants generally." 

" As regards Albany I find that as important as the other ***** 
I have since been to observe another frontier, named the Half -Moon [Water- 
ford] concerning which I have been spoken to a great deal; I find it of very 
little consideration; but there is a place seven leagues higher up the 
[Hudson] river called Cheragtoge [Schuylerville], which must be an im- 
portant frontier." * * * 

" I am told your Excellency is to come here in the beginning of the next 
month. That being the case I have considered it my duty to propose to 

Unanimously & faithfully pray for your long life, health & prosperity & wee do cordially 
& truly assure yo r Excels that wee will Assist, Defend & Stand by your Excellency 
with our Lives & fortunes. 

Decemb r 26, 1696. 

Dirck Wessells, Mayor. 

J. Janse, [Bleecker] Recorder. 

Hend van Rensselaer 

Jan Lansingh 

Jan [surname not given] y Aldermen. 

Albert [surname not given] 

Hendrick Hanse 

K. V. Rensselar ) 

hett merik van Gerret >■ Justice*. 

tun esse [surname not given] ) 

Johannes Wandelar 

B. Corlaer 

Johannes Roseboom 

Evert Wandel 

Johannes myngaell 

Eghbert tunesse J 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 323 

you the necessity of a good & faithful interpreter, — which will he difficult 
to find here, — and I would dare say not a faithful one, according as I see 
affairs managed, with extraordinary division & jealousy. And though 
people may flatter your Excellency with the contrary and that a woman * 
may answer you as an interpreter, it will be my Lord, only for the purpose 
of deceiving you, and keeping you in ignorance of important affairs; for 
I find every thing in a state of confusion, through the management of some 
of your predecessors & of those who prefer their own to the publick 

"Wherefore my Lord I take the liberty to propose to you a good & faith- 
ful interpreter, name Ai*nout Oornelissen Vile, living in the Bay [Wallabout] 
on Long Island. Dr. Staats will cause him to come to New York to you 
so that your Excellency may be master both of the man & his time. I 
would advise also your Excellency to send your Calash a head of you with 
four of the smallest sets of harness. Horses are to be had here. The roads 
to Schenectade and Nestegione are good & safe "f 

Report of Col. Romer on the frontiers of New York to Earl Bellomont. 

[New] "York, 26 Aug., 1698. 
" My Lord, 

"In obedience to your Excellency's orders, I proceeded, on the 18' h May 
of the present year 1698, to the frontiers of the New York government, and 
in the first instance toward Albany, Schanegtade, Kanestigioune and the 
Half Moon; and after having observed these places, I fouud the City of 
Albany situate on the Hudson river 144 miles north of New York, an im- 
portant frontier, as well as Sohanegtade 20 miles west of Albany on the 
Great Mohawk River; but these frontiers are neglected, built of wood and 
palisades of poor defence. 

" Saving better judgment, my opinion would be to build stone forts there, 
constructed & proportioned according to the respective situations, and the 
importance of the one & the other of these two places. 

"For I consider if these two places should one day fall into the hands 
of the enemy, the provinces of York, Jarse, Pensilvania and Connecticut 
would be obliged in a short time to submit; and that Maryland, Virginia 
and New England would consequently greatly suffer. Also as York is 
the depot of all the islands for flour, grain and other provisions these would 
experience a Very serious injury.;];" * * * 

Governor Bellomont fully appreciated the importance of Schenectady 
and the necessity of its being properly fortified for the protection of the 
Province on the side towards Canada. Hence he constantly importuned the 
Lords of trade for men and means to complete and garrison the forts. Thus 

* Reference is doubtless here made to Hilletie Van Olinda. 
f Col. Doc, iv, 328. % Col. Doc, rv, 440. 

:224 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

in a letter dated Oct. 24, 1698, he says "if by Providence the last winter 
had not been the severest that ever was known in the memory of man the 
French had certainly destroyed both Albany & Schinnectady." * * * 

They "are equally defenceless being only fortified with a single row of 
stockades, no ditch or wall; so that an enemy that would be hardy enough 
may come & with their musketts single out what men they please in either 
place; for I observed the stockades had in many places wide spaces between 
them, and they are even with the surface of the ground." * * He also 
assures the Lords of trade that a well built and strongly garrisoned fort 
would greatly animate and encourage the Indians of the Five Nations, who 
were well aware of the weakness of the fortifications here; alleging that 
Albany and Schenectady were well seated for frontier places, the former 
for covering attacks on the side of Canada and the latter for the same pur- 
pose in part and " also for covering the Mohacks & the rest of the In- 
dians, it being very commodiously seated on the Mohack's River & much 
more pleasantly than Albany."* 

On May 3, 1699, Gov. Bellomont again speaks of the forts at Albany and 
Schenectady, that they " are so scandalous that I cannot give your Lord- 
ships a low enough idea of them. They look more like pounds to impound 
cattle than Forts. "f 

So likewise, Oct. 1 7, 170(1, he calls attention again to these forts, saying 
" the inhabitants came all about me at my leaving Albany and told me in 
plain terms that if tlie King would not build a fort there to protect 'em, 
they would on the very first news of a war between England and France 
desert that place and fly to New York, rather than they would stay there 
to have their throats cut. 

"Several of the Inhabitants of Schenectady told me the same of their 
Fort. I sent Coll. Romer to view it and he reported to me that the gates of 
that fort were down & that a cart might pass through the palisades or 
rather stakes."! 

From this time on, the letters of the Governors of the Province to the 
Lords of trade, the reports of the military commanders at this post, the 
orders and warrants of the Provincial Council, the acts of the legislature 
from time to time and the petitions of the chief inhabitants, all combine to 
show the culpable neglect of the mother country of the safety of this her 
most important Province. All accounts of the condition of the fortifications 
and garrison at Schenectady after the peace of 1698, show that the stockades 
were neglected and suffered to rot down, rendering the town an open village, 
that the barracks became uninhabitable and that " it was by no foresight or 

* Col. Doc, rv, 409, 410. f Col. Doc, iv, 513. % Col. Doc, iv, 718. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 


energy of the Home government that Schenectady & its neighbors had 
been preserved from a second attack & destruction." 

Lieut. Daniel Hunt still commanding the small detachment* of men posted 
here, in 1698 was ordered by the Governor and Council to make some much 

* The following roll of Capt. Ingoldsby's company of which Lieutenant Hunt's detach- 
ment formed a part, shows not only the regular company of 50 men but the extra men 
from this vicinity who were added during the Indian troubles. 

" Wee underwritten non commissioned officers & PriVate Centinells under ye com- 
mand of Coll : Richard Ingoldsby doe acknowledge to have Received of his Excellency 
Richard Earl of Bellomont our cap* gen 11 by the hands of R e Livingston each of us 
y e summe of five and forty shillings & three pence pr diem for each soldier for six 
months commencing p mo novemb 1697 & ending p mo May 1698 out of y e money raised 
by act of assembly for the making 300 Effective men at y e fronteers at Albany. 

Thomas f Smith's mark 
Samuel 5 Gilbert's mark 
Rob 1 U Doick's mark 
Tho p holms mark 
William X Bryen's mark 
Phill + hams wifes mark 
David Mac creat 
Thomas Q merry 
Richard hill 
John -f- Williams, 
John Aleson atkins 
Thomas B Bombus 
William k Turner 
Tho: Rogers 
John 8 Tippin 
John $ Apleston 
Will : H hilton 
John X Seawell 
Ralph noles 
William 4- Renn 
William X R Rodgers 
John Careter 
william + hatter 
Robert R Farringtons mark 
Ro Barrett 
Symon C Williams 
John -f- Douglas mark 
W m + Shaw 
Edward Clayton 
Tho : X carter 
John Forster 
Rich d x Turner 
John 2 Oliver 
Rich d x Langdale 
henry X Bebe 
luke -|- Thomas 

Benjam + mosely 

John +- Cox 

John -f Jones 

will + makeaway 

Rob* + Giles 

John + woodcok 

John + hams 

Rich d -f- Tudor 

John + cole 

Barthol w + Pickard 

George Ingolclesby 

Lev X Shanke Rec d for Her 

Slytie Patrik magregorys wife 

Ren by Leiut Nicuke 

Charles C R Rodgers mark 

daniel brat voor pieter harmense 

John car for Sam 1 holmes 

Samuel + Doxy 

Dirk + brat for D 1 Fillips 

Gregory + magregory 

W m X Webb 

John X hull 

John Gilbixtt 

william white 

william white for Tho: pond 

francis neall 

John Radcliffe 

R 4 Livingston for Jos: Yetts 

Rt Livingston for W m hall absent 

L l Hunt for Dan Johnson 

Lev X Shanke for John Younker 

Math Shank 

In all 66 men at 45s. 3d., a man, amounts to 


The above men were P d by me 

Rob t Livingston. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

needed repairs to the barracks which were " before all open to the weather 
whereby the souldiers suffered very great hardships," for which repairs he 
received a warrant for £7, 16s. 6c?. ;* and another bill of £9,15s. 6d. was pre- 
sented by Johannes Sanderse Glen for repairs to the fort, and one of 
£16, Is. 6d. for work upon the barracks. f 

In 1701, Capt. Weems' company being still stationed at Albany, he re- 
ports upon the ruinous condition of the fortifications at that place and says 
" that the garrison at Schenectady is in the same condition in which there 
is neither house nor lodging to quarter officer or souldier, but one little 
small hole which can contain only twelve men. "J 

On the -19th Aug., 1701, the legislature directed that £50 be placed in the 
hands of Ryer Schermerhorn and Isaac Swits for repairing the fort Schen- 
ectady ; § — and Lieut. Gov. Nanfan on the 24 Sept., confirms the same 
order. || 

The following March, 1702, Capt. James Weems addressed a letter to 
Col. Peter Schuyler & the Mayor & Common Council of Albany, in behalf 
of the Companies posted there and at Schenectady, in which he asserts that 
" many of ye souldiers are reduced to Bread and water."** 

Lord Cornbury writing to the Lords of trade 24 Sept., 1702, reported that 
Albany and Schenectady were garrisoned then by two companies, Major 
Ingoldsby's and Capt. Weem's, — that Schenectady was then " an open 
village, formerly stockaded round but since the peace they are all down, 
and that the stockaded fort is more like a pound than a Fort. There is 
eight Guns in it not above three fit for service, no garrison in it when I 
came but a serjeant & twelve men, no powder nor shot neither great nor 
small, nor no place to put them into. "ft 

He recommends that a stone fort be built and garrisoned with " a captain 
and one hundred men." 

In the year 1703, Gov. Cornbury laid the foundations for a stone fort at 
Albany and by the " advice of Her Majesty's Council of this province re- 
paired as well as possible the stockaded Fort at Schenectady." * * * 
The two forts of Albany and Schenectady were garrisoned at this time by 
two companies, — that of Major Ingoldsby of 84 men, and that of Capt. 
Weem's of 92 men.JJ 

* Council Minutes, vin, 61, 69, 180. 

t Col. MBS., xliv, 78. 

| Col. Doc, it, 915-6. 

ft Col. Doc, iv, 968-9, 971. 

t Col. MSB., xm, 47. 
§ Albany Annals, rv, 211. 
** Albany Annals, iv, 155. 
%% Col. Doc, iv, 1057, 1035. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 327 

" In 1703, Sept. 1, John Myndertse presented a bill against the Province 
for blacksmith work on the fort of 49 guilders, and again on the 11th 
another bill of 28 guilders and 10 stuyvers, for repamng guns for the gar- 

Jan., 170f, Johannes Sanderse Glen, Adam Vrooman, Isaac Swits and 
Jan Pieterse Mebie, furnished 450 stockades for a new fort at Schenectady, 
for which they charge £35 or nearly 20 cents apiece.f 

March 13, 170f, Johannes Sanderse Glen and Jelles Van Vorst, furnished 
the garrison 218 double loads of wood at 2-6 the load. \ 

March 29, 1704, Arent Danielse Van Antwerpen, carpenter, petitioned 
the Governor and Council for the payment of £14 for repairing the fort 
and for materials supplied.§ 

April 13, 1704, Governor Cornbury in his speech to the legislature re- 
commended an increase of the garrison by 30 men to be raised and sent up 
for the ensuing year.|| 

19 May, Johannes Glen, Adam Vrooman, Isaac Swits and Barent Wemp 
presented a bill against the Province for £35 for stockades.** 

Up to this time the palisades on the west side of the village stood about 
100 feet back from Washington street, but on the 29th July, 1704, Governor 
Cornbury issued the following order for removing them to the bank of the 
JBinnl Ml. 

" You or Either of you are hereby required as early as the weather will 
permit y e next spring to cause the stockades sett upon the West side of the 
town of Schenecktady to be removed from the place where they now stand 
and be set up as near the River as the ground will permitt and hereof you 
are not to faile. 

" Given under my hand at Schenechtady this 29th day of July, 1704 

"Johannes Sanders [Glen],ff 
" Adam Vrooman." 

To understand the significance of this order it should be remembered 
that since the destruction of the first fort in 1690, the ground lying west of 
Washington street had been outside of the west wall of the second fort. By 

* Col. MSB., xlix, 36, 38. f Col. MSB., xlix, 105. 

% Col. MSB., xlix, 22. § Col. MSS., xlix, 17. 

| Leg. Coun., 208. ** Col. MSB., xlix, 114. ft Col. MSB., xlix. 

328 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

the year 1704, the "Queen's New Fort"* had been erected in the east 
corner of the village at the junction of Front, Ferry and Green streets, the 
Governor therefore orders the removal of the west line of second fort by 
setting back the stockades to the bank of the Binne kil, the land along 
Washington street reverting to the original owners, f 

Aug. 8, 1704, "The commonality [of Albany] being desyreous to know 
what instructions Capt. Higley hath received relateing ye posting ye De- 
tachment on y e fronteers of Albany, which Capt. being desyred here doth 
appear, Producing his Instructions it appears that at ye 
Half Moon is to be posted 20 men, 

Shinnechtady 20 " 

Canastagioene 20 " &c.J 

Aug., 1704, Maas Kykse [Van Vranken] presented his bill against the 
Province for £12 for building a fort at Canastagioene [Niskayuna].§ 

Feb., 170|-, Johannes Mynderse for blacksmith work done on the fort at 
Schenectady was paid £12, 8s. 6d.\\ 

July 4, 1706, Jacobus Van Dyke petitions the Governor & Council for 
the payment of his salary as surgeon at the fort.** 

Aug. 12, Capt. Philip Schuyler was paid £6, 10s., for material and work 
on the fort, ff 

27 Sept., 1706, Governor Cornbury announced to the Assembly in session 
at New York " that By accident very Lately the Guard Room in the ffort 

* Queen Anne of England. 

f [Was not this wall moved out to include houses built beyond it toward the Binne kil 
which had rendered it useless as a defence while it cut theinoff from access to the street? 
Eeferring to the Vrooman map of 1768 (page ), it will be seen that the square of four 
blocks was left intact by the Queen's Fort, it having been built beyond the old palisades 
in the triangle bounded by the palisades on the south— nearly Ferry street on the east 
and the River road (now State street) on the north side. The original wall went straight 
from corner Front and Washington to the site of the door of St. George's church. There 
was a gate at Church street at most times. From this gate ran the river road — the 
placing of the fort of 1704 threw the road beyond the north bastion of the fort and 
Green street when laid out conformed to it also. After the abandonment of the old 
fort — the triangle of land was converted into house lots.— M'M.] 

t Albany Annals, iv, 195. § Col. MSS., L, 14. || Col. MSB., Li, 148-9. 

** Col. MSS., li, 152. His salary was one shilling a day. 

ft Col. MSS., li, 178. 

7 fc^U^^- 



Fortifications and Garrisons. 329 

at Schonechtady was Burnt down with a Great quantity of firewood which 
had been provided for this winter now coming on. I should be glad that 
it might be repaired before the cold weather comes, Else it will be impos- 
sible for the men to keep Guard in that place, which lies the most exposed 
of all our ffronteers."* 

25 Nov., 1710, an act was passed by the assembly for repairing "ye 
Blockhouses, Platforms and other the ffortifications of ye City of Albany & 
towne of Schonectady in ye said County."f 

The next year the repairs mentioned in this act were made, as appears by 
the following two communications from Johannes Sanderse Glen to the 

" May it please y r Ex cy . 

" Upon ye receaving y r Ex cys ord r of ye 10th of this Instant I repaired 
imediately to Schonectady accordingly to repair the fort there, but found 
never a good stockado in ye fort; upon which I had it viewed by the Under- 
written persons who found the Stockados all rotten and one Piatt forme in- 
sufficient and the Carriages of the Guns rotten also; upon w h I have rid 
Stockados for the whole and tomorrow I begin to sett y m up and shall pre- 
pair carriages for ye guns and repair ye Piatt forme. — Your Ex cy was so 
kind to promise me a fflag, I beg leave to put your Ex cy in Mind of it who 
am with due regards y r Ex cys ." 

Most faithful and 
Obedient Serv* 
Albany Octob r ) 

23 1711. 

Joha. Sanderse Glen" 

Dow Aucas, De Freest "Bareut Vrooman, 

Caleb Beck, Jacob Van Dyck, 

Claus Permerent vander Volgen, Aerent Daniellse Van Antwerpen, 

John Vrooman, Barent Wemp,J 

Sweer Marcellis, 

" May it please your Ex cy- 

I have made up the charges of the ffort at Schonectady to this day and 
have also made the Carpenters' calculate an ace* w th the Remaining Ex- 
pences of Platforms, carriages for Gunns and Centry boxes together with 
what is already layd out will in the whole amount to — w ch they compute 
at one hundred & eighteen pounds tenn shillings. I am going on as fast 
as possible with the remaineing part of Platforme &c, — there is now pntt 

* Leg. Couu , 242. f Leg. Coun., 309 % Col. MSS., lvi., 137. 


330 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

up five hundred and ninety Stockados w ch all work a ffoot at the top, — If 
your Ex cy pleases any body here should receave & approve my ace* I shall 
be ready to render ace 1 to such persons whom y r Ex cy shall appoint for y l 

I wish y r Ex cy and Lady health and happyness and am your Ex cy '"' 
most dutifull and 
Obedient humble Serv* 

Albany Nov r 13 th ) 

1711 ) Joha. Sanderse Glen."* 

Sometime in the year 1711, a change was made in the commanding 
officer of the garrisons of Albany and Schenectady as will appear by the 
following letter from Capt. Peter Matthews to Governor Hunter. 

" May it please y r Excellency, 

I have received y r Excell cie8 letter of the 29 th Decem br by the post. I am 
much surprised that Capt. Sanders should write to yr Excellency that there 
was but twenty four men at Schonecktady, for three days after y r Excel- 
lency left this town Capt" Schuylerf Marched with forty men to that garri- 
son. Sometime after a Serg* and four men of the Country forces deserted 
and as soon as Coll. [Peter] Schuyler came from York and the palatines 
were come I Ordered a Serg 1 and four men to goe to Schonecktady to corn- 
pleat the num br of fourty men whoe are all there as will appear to Your 
Excellency by the Inclosed Role signed by Capt" Sanders. 

I am sorry these Gentlemen doe not better consider before they write to 
y r Excell: for such storrys as these may be of ill consequence & I hope I 
have not given y r Excellency cause to believe I would be Guilty of soe great 
breach of my Duty as to send but twenty-four men when I have your 
written orders to send fourty. 

The gentlemen here seem much displeased that your Excellency has 
Ordered the Country Detachm ts to doe any duty at Schonechtady or the 
Indian Country. * * * 

Your most obedient humble servant. 

Albany, Jan. 8, 17^. 

Petek Matthews."! 

On the 10th Dec, 1712, the Assembly passed an act "for the better re- 
pairing the Fortifications of * * the Town of Schenectady and providing 
their Millitary watches with Firewood. "§ 

* Col. MSS., lvi, 167. 

f Capt. Philip Schuyler perhaps, who died at Schenectady 23 May, 1725, leaving a 
widow named Catharine. — Am. Hist Mag., i, 762. 
% Col. MSS., lvii, 47. $ Leg. Coun., 353. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 331 

After the peace of Utrecht in 1713, between Great Britain and France 
until the "Old French war" in 1744, the people on the borders enjoyed 
reasonable quiet and safety. 

There were efforts made from time to time however to keep up a show of 
defence by rebuilding the wooden forts and posting small garrisons therein. 

Thus in 1715 and again in 1719, the Assembly passed acts for repairing 
the fort here.* 

In 17^0, it is reported "that the kings fort att the Mohawks Country 
[Fort Hunter] is the one-fourth part of it fallen to the ground — & That the 
fort att Schenectady is in the like condition."! 

In 1721, an act was passed by the Assembly to pay for stockades for the 

In 1726, a bill for labor and materials used on the fort, amounting to 
£41, 4s. 2c?. was presented to the Governor and Council. J 

In 1 734, an act was passed to enable Schenectady to raise £50 to make 
the old church defensible and for other fortifications. § A debt of £32 was 
contracted in this work which was provided for in another act passed in 

Similar acts were also passed in 1735, 1736, 1739, 1743, 1745, and in 1746 
Governor Clinton recommends a line of blockhouses to be built from Fort 
Massachusetts to the Mohawk Castle at Fort Hunter. || 

Before the close of this war, in 1748, and before the news of the peace 
of Aix la Chapelle between Great Britain and France, had reached this 
country, an act was passed in the Assembly to enable Schenectady to build 
two new blockhouses.** 

In 1749, Governor Clinton reported that the forts of "Albany, Schen- 
ectadee, Oswego & in the Mohawk's country were all garrisoned by the 
Independent companys, but are very badly contrived and tumbling 
down."ff * * 

*Leg. Coun., 395, 448. 

f Col. MSB., lxii, 144 ; Col. Doe., v, 631. % Col. MSB., lxviii, 123. 

£ Leg. Coun., 645. The old stone church stood at the junction of Stale, Church and 
Water streets, and after 1736, when the new church was completed, was used for many 
years as a guard and watch house and market. 

|| Col. Doc., vi, 27, 87, 160 ; Leg. Coun., 750, 827, 917, 924. 

** Leg. Coun., 1015. ft Col. Doc, vr, 509, 940, 1196 

332 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Six years later at the beginning of the second "French war " the Assembly 
passed an act for raising £3,000 [$7,500], " to be expended in fortifying " 
the village, but after the close of this contest and the fall of French power 
in Canada in 1763, the defences of the village fell into decay through 
neglect and were in a very ruinous condition until renewed at the outbreak 
of the Revolutionary war. 

Thus Governor Tryon, June 11, 1774, writing in relation to the Province 
of New York, says: — * * * " Albany & Schenectady are defended by forts 
and both places incircled by large Pickets, or Stockades, with Blockhouses 
at Proper distances from each other, but, which since the Peace [of 1763], 
have been suffered to go to Decay and are now totally out of repair."* 

After the close of the Revolutionary war the defences of the village were 
never repaired, or renewed; — the old fort was removed and the land sold; — 
the stockades rotted and fell and Schenectady became an " open village." 

There are aged persons still living [1872], who remember seeing in their 
youth palisades then standing and used along the Binrie Ml for tying posts 
for the batteaux. 

Of the illustrations to this chapter the maps are of special value. 

The Miller map of 1695, is the oldest, and only lacks a scale and street 
lines to be all that we could desire of that date. 

The map of Schenectady was made by British army topographers about 
1750, and was published in a little book giving plans of thirty fortifications 
in North America, by Mary Anne Rocque, topographer, etc., at the beginning 
of the 2d French war. The line of pickets shown there with blockhouses 
at intervals and the Royal Fort built in 1704, in the north-east angle, was 
essentially the defensive work of Schenectady during more than half a 
century. The location of the church, the fort and their relation to the 
streets which were by 1750 practically as now, is of great value. 

The Vrooman map dated 1768, shows the Royal Fort, the market place, 
the two churches and several mills and are doubtless correctly located. 

No map has come to hand after most diligent search which shows the 
change made during the Revolution, when the palisade line was carried out 
as far as Given's Hotel on the south or State street fiide and thence north to 
the old Dutch church burying ground. 

*Col. Doc, viii, 451. 

Fortifications and Garrisons. 333 

It is worthy of note that the old north side Mond weg, Front street ex- 
tended straight from Washington Avenue to the corner of St. George's 
church, — is still to some extent indicated by the shape of the lots on Front 
street from Church to Ferry. They have manifestly been added to the old 
block of four hundred feet square, as their oblique fronts clearly show. 
This is shown in the Vrooman map. General Fuller now in his 91st year 
(1883), states that the line of Front street at Church street (the old Adam 
Vrooman corner where he now resides) was altered by continued encroach- 
ment on it. Its line was made to conform to the needs of the fort and con- 
venience of its garrison. There being necessary a clear space about the 
citadel not only for parade and drill of the garrison, but to give the guns 
clear command of the approaches to the work on all sides. This work com- 
manded the north and east sides of the town. As settlements extended 
along State street and to the south, the need of a strong place there was 
manifest, and in 1734 the old church in the middle of State street at Church 
being abandoned for the new church of 1734 at intersection of Church and 
Union streets, the opportunity was offered to turn the old structure to use 
as a town, watch and market house and a redoubt covering that end of town 
as well, and in that year £50 [$125] were appropriated to render it defen- 
sible. This probably consisted in loopholing the walls, barring and shutter- 
ing the windows and doors. 

334 History of the Schenectady Patent. 


At the first settlement of Schenectady in 1662, there were but five Dutch 
churches and ministers in the Province, viz: those of 

New Amsterdam (New York), whose ministers were Johannes Megapolensis 
and Samuel Drisius. 

Beverwyck (Albany), Gideon Schaets. 

Breuckelyn (Brooklyn), llenricus Selyns. 

Esopus (Kingston), Hermanus Bloom. 

Midwout and Amersfort (Flatbush, L. I.), Johannes T. Polhemus. 

Of these the church at Beverwyck, founded twenty years before, was the 
oldest in the colony except that of New Amsterdam. Her first domine 
(1642 to 1647), was Johannes Megapolensis who now ministered in New 
Amsterdam; the second, Gideon Schaets (1652-1690). The latter probably 
assisted at the organization of the church at Schenectady, to which he oc- 
casionally ministei'ed until his labors ceased in his own church in 1690. 

The date and circumstances of this organization are involved in much 
obscurity, the early records of both churches being lost. But from oc- 
casional mention made in contemporaneous papers and records it is safe to 
say that the church of Schenectady was in existence between the years 
1670 and 1680, and probably earlier. Thus, on the occasion of the death of 
Hans Janse Eenkluys, in 1683, the deacons petition the court at Albany 
for letters of administration on his effects and say * * * " dat eenen 
Hans Janssen op den 7 meert 167^ heeft overgedraegen aende aermen van 
Schaenhechtade zeecke syne plantage" &c. &c, in other words that Hans 
Janse, in 1675, made over to the poor of Schenectady his plantation, on 
condition he should be maintained in his old age and weakness, which they 
say they have done, and paid the expenses of his burial. Now this plantage 
was simply the " Poor Pasture," and was the property of the church from 
Eenkluys' time down to 1862, when it was sold. 

These facts seem to point to the existence of the church as early as 
1674, for it is a well known fact that the Dutch churches were the guardians 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 335 

of the poor, the orphans, and the aged, who were without natural protectors 
and received and dispensed large alms and property for this purpose. 

The next incidental mention of this church is found in the records of the 
city of Albany. In February, 1679, " the court and consistory of Schen- 
ectady request that Domine Schaets may be sent four Sundays in one year 
to administer the Lord's supper to said place and community, which request 
is granted in so far that Domine Schaets is allowed to go four times in one 
year to administer the Holy Sacrament, but not on a Sunday, whereas it 
would be unjust to let the community [of Albany] be without preaching."* 

Thirdly, The prosperous condition of the poor fund of the church from 
1680 to 1690, shows pretty clearly that it had been organized some years 
previous to the former date. At the close of the year 1689 Domine Thes- 
schenmaecker audited the deacons' accounts and found that the unexpended 
alms contributed for the poor amounted to about 4,000 guilders, of which 
about 3,000 guilders had been loaned to individuals on bonds dating back 
in one case to 1681. Though the Dutch were a liberal people in matters 
appertaining to their church, it is not probable that such an accumulation 
of alms was made entirely within the ten years above mentioned, especially 
when their numbers are considered, and that in this time the parsonage 
house was constructed and their first Domine was called and maintained. 
It is fair therefore to conclude that the Dutch church of Schenectady was 
certainly an organized body in 1674, probably much earlier. 

The first twenty years of the village was a struggle with the hardships of 
frontier life; its energies were spent in removing the forest and subduing 
the soil. For religious privileges it was dependent upon Albany; until in 
168|, when the little hamlet having grown sufficiently strong in numbers 
and wealth, called its first minister. The earliest mention of Domine Thess- 
chenmaecker in the church records is found in a book of miscellaneous 
writings, the first leaves of which unfortunately are wanting.f 

* Annals of Albany, 1, 103. 

f The following is a copy and translation of the first page in its present mutilated 
condition : 

(Copy.) (Translation). 

TJytgyeve. [1683?] Expenditures. [1683?] 

aen Myndert Wemp, F. 48 To Myndert Wemp, guilders, F. 48 

aen een kan, 8 To [paid for] a pot, 8 

aen Jan Roelofsen voor 24 To Jan Roelofsen, for 24 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

From these accounts we learn the following facts: 

1. That Domine Thcsschenmaecker came to Schenectady before the death 
of Domine Schaets (1690). 

aen 5 Witte broden, 

aen domine Tassemaker 

aen amanual Oonsaul, 

aen Lubbert gysbertsc voor 2 dagen 

aen spy eke rs van Albanie, 
aen den 1 ., duyzend harde steen 
aen 2 bevera aen LaseyBers tot het 

linys te singelen, 
aen 13 gulden aen .... door stackeu 

en . . . voor verbruyek aen de 

27 aprll voor wyn tot het naglit mad 

aen domine tasschenmaker betalt, 

27 May domine Schats Verstelt, 
Schoonmaken van der Kerehe, 

Voor wyn van hoi Daght inael, 

aen Adam Vroom, 

nogh aen domine taSBChemaker voort 

maken vande heyninge aen bet 

nogh voor 7 maal witte broot tot het 

avout inael @ fl., 1.10 a maal, 
Claas permurent eon dagen rydeu, 

2 :; , dagen aen de heyninge, 
Voor te singelen van 't buys, 
aen 2 Vraysteu posteu gasacht, 
2 ghizz Raamen,* 














To 5 white loaves, 

To domine Tassemaker, 

To Bimanual Cousaul, 

To Lubbertse Gysbcrtse for two days- 

To nails trom Albany, 

To the half thousand hard bricks, 

To two beavers to Laseysers shing- 
ling the house, 

To 12 guilders .... for stakes 

for use on the fence, 

27 April, For wine for the Lord's 
supper paid to Domine tasschen- 
makei - , 

27 May, presented to Domine Scbaets 

• 'leaning the church, 

For wine for the Lord's supper, 
To Adam Vrooman, 
Also to Domine tasschemaker for 
making the fence to the lot, 

Also for white bread 7 times for the 
Lord's supper @ 11. 1.10 a time, 

Claas Purmerent [Van der Volgen] 
one day carting, 

2 ;1 . l . days on the fence, 
for the shingles of the house, 
To two loads of posts sawed, 
2 window glasses, (or sashes) 








, 36 










fl. 516-13f 


a pane of glass ; Kaam 

florins 516-13 
a frame ; Venster 

* [SewelPs Duteh-Kng. Dictionary, 1708, gives Glaze Kaam 
Kaam a wiudow frame.— M'MJ 

t The money of accounts of the Dutch was the guilder or florin and stuyver, 20 of the latter to one of the 
former. There wire the guilder sewant and the guilder beaver ;-thc latter of the value of about 40il*. M 
three times that of the former. The guilder of accounts was commonly valued at one shilling N. Y. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 337 

2. That the first house of worship was then huilt. 

3. That the consistory this year (1683 ?), was building a parsonage house 
and fencing the lot. For although it is not stated that H huys was for the 
Domine's use, we can hardly conceive of his being engaged in building, and 
the church in paying for, a dwelling for any other person. 

Of the five houses of worship built by this church, the one above men- 
tioned was the first. We know little about it except that it was small and 
inconvenient and that it stood at the junction of Church, State and Water 

The house erected for Domine Thessclienraaecker, who was an unmarried 
man, must have been of humble dimensions judging from the number and 
cost of the " glass Ramen " purchased for it in the above account.* It be- 
came the funeral pile of its first occupant when the village was burned in 
1690. Its site is unknown though it has heretofore been assumed to be 
that of tne present church, but an old deed of 1715, shows that lot was in 
possession of Daniel Jansen Van Antwerp from prior to 1672 to 1715, 
when he deeded it to the church. 

1684-1690. Domine Petkus Thekschknmaecker. 

Domine Thesscheninaecker best known for his tragical end, came to 
this country from Guiana whither he had gone from Utrecht, a young theo- 
logical student, \ and is first mentioned in following petition of date 1676: 

[* There is no evidence that this was a dwelling house for the minister, or that a lot 
was assigned to build one on. In so poor a community a parsonage for a bachelor was 
hardly a pressing need. Is it not likely that a minister settled among them, had the 
house of worship repaired and put in order ? A church without a minister is seldom well 
kept, and the arrival of a new one is usually marked by alterations if not improvements 
in the church building. This one never having had a minister, was doubtless much 
dilapidated — yet only two lights of glass — 500 bricks, % 1.50 worth of shingles were used 
on the house — most of the materials and labor being put on the fence, which was pos- 
sibly around the grave lot adjoining the church. 

There is a tradition that the D° was killed in the house of one of his parishoners. 

The Consistory did not own the present church lot. — M'M.] 

f The Amsterdam foot consisted of about 11 in. English. 

% Hist. Mag., ix, 323. 

338 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

To the Rt. Honoral 6 Sr. Edmond Andrus Kt. of Sau^mares : under hia 
Royall Highness Duke of Yorke and Albany and dependances : The humble 
petition of Seuerall of the Inhabittanse of Esopus humbly shewith unto 
yo r Honor, 

Whereas this place is destitute of a minister for the Instruction of the 
people : It is our Ernest desiar and humble request with all Submission 
that yo r Hono r will be pleased to be aiding and assisting in the procuring 
one for us that can preache both Inglish and Duche, weich will be most 
fitting for this place, it being in its minority and having great charges is 
not very able to maintaine two ministares ; nether to be at the charge of 
sending for one out of England or Holland ; and we are Informed Mr. 
Peettar Tasetmakr is at liberty, who is a person well knowne to yo r Hon' 
and officiated in this [place] for sum time; And if to bee procured, is very 
well approved and much desired by moste, bee being a man of Sober life 
and conversacon having Deportted himselfe to satisfaction of ye Inhabi- 
tancy, — 

Wherefor wee Humbly pray that your honor will bee pleased to bee In- 
strumentall in the same and yo r Hono rs humble Pettigeners shall ever pray 

This appears to be a sufficient certificate of his fitness for the sacred office, 
but whether he returned to Esopus on this flattering call is not known. It 
appears that at this time he had not been ordained, for in 1679 on applica- 
tion from New-Castle, on the Delaware, the Governor directed Doraine 
Newenhuysen to examine and induct him into the ministry of the Protes- 
tant Reformed church. Probably he was then a resident of Staten Island. 

After his ordination Domine Thesschenmaecker departed immediately 
for his new field of labors; for November 20th, following, he received a 
patent f for a lot of land at New Castle, 300 by 480 feet, respecting which 
the colonial secretary received a letter J dated January 17th, 1679-80, prom- 
ising his fee of 4 shillings in wheat. 

Here he remained three years until 1682, " when in consequence of some 
disagreement with his congregation he left and accepted a call from 

* Doc. Hist., in., 583. t Patents, iv, 90. 

% " Do. Tesschenrnaecker katk promised to make satisfactory in ye Spring for ye 
pattent and ye otker wrytiDgs, 40 shillings in wheat, as by yorself demanded, wh I think 
is soe reasonable as can be considering ye trouble wh to my knowledge yrself had in yt 
buisnesse." Eph. Herman to Matthias Nicoll. — Albany Records, Jan., 17, 1679-80. 

§ Anthology of New Netherlands, p. 100-1. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 339 

In the latter place he labored six years with reasonable success; and in 
spite of the distant mutterings of war between Britain and France the little 
community grew in numbers and wealth. The virgin soil of the neighbor- 
ing flats and islands yielded abundantly, and the population, gaining con- 
fidence, ventured beyond the palisades of the village and gradually crept 
up the Mohawk river, occupying the fertile lands on either bank. 

It was while resting in fancied security that the place was surprised, on 
the 8th day of February, 1690, and totally destroyed. The work of des- 
truction commenced under such favorable circumstances was soon com- 
pleted; — day dawned upon a ghastly scene, — the labors of thirty years in 
ashes, — sixty of the inhabitants slain, — twenty-eight captives selected for 
the long winter march to Canada, — and the miserable remnant, wounded 
and frost-bitten, painfully seeking relief in flight towards Albany. The 
French commander had ordered his men to spare the life of the clergyman, 
but his savage allies knew no difference between minister and people; — he 
was slain and burned in his house.* 

Doraine Thesschenmaecker left no heirs. A farm of " eighty acres and 
a proportional quantity of meadow ground" granted to him 3 Nov., 1685, 
on the south side of Staten Island, f was claimed by the inhabitants of 
Richmond county as a poor fund. J 

For seven years from this sad event, till the peace of Ryswick in 1697, 
there was no safety north and west of Albany outside of the fortifications. 
Many forsook their plantations and sought places of greater security § and 

* " Dora. Petrus Tesschenmaker the minister at Schenectady has met with misfortune. 
He anfl most of his congregation were surprised at night and massacred by the French 
and Indians in their interest. His head was cloven open and his body burned to the 
shoulder-blades." Domine Selyns to the Classis of Amsterdam. — Antlwlogy of New 
Netherland, p. 116. 

\ Patents, iv, 902. 

\ 1692, 2 Nov. " Upon reading Anoy r Peticon of the s d Representatives [of the county 
of Richmond] setting forth (hat Mr. Tuschemaker having some reall and personall Estate 
in Staten Island was killed by the French and Indians at Schenectady and in his lifetime 
had promise'! the s d Estate to the Poor haveing noe heirs, praying an order for the 

The s d Peticon is likewise referred to the Attorney Generall who is to report what 
may be proper therein to be done." — Leg. Council, 4, 28. 

§ See chapters " Indian Wars on the Uorder." 

340 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

it is a matter of surprise that the hardy pioneers of Schenectady clung to 
the soil in the midst of such discouragements. It argues well for their 
pluck and endurance. 

Until 1*700 the church was without a pastor, and indeed it does not appear 
that the people had any religious privileges, except such as might be had 
by a visit to Albany, until 1694, when Domine Dellius began to minister 
to them occasionally. His first recorded visits this year were on the 11th 
of April and 9th of October, on which occasions new members were added 
to the church and children baptized. In 1695 he came four times, viz: oi 
the 2d Jan., 27th March, 26th June and 9th October. In 1696 five times — 
Jan. 8th, April 15, July 1, Sept. 19th and Dec. 30th. In 1697 three times- 
April 6th, June 30th, and Nov. 10th, and in 1698 four times — 27th April, 
20 July, 19th Oct., and 28th Dec. In all eighteen visits in five years. 

In 1699 Domine Dellius returned to the Fatherland and Domine Johannes 
Petrus Nucella succeeding to his place as minister of Albany, visited 
Schenectady once— on the 31st of August. The following year he came 
twice, viz: on the 9th January and 25th May. 

The number of members added to the church by these two ministers was 
twenty-five ; the number of children baptized seventy-six, seven of whom 
were Indians. 

Taking into consideration, therefore, the fact that at this time all children 
were christened, ?ome idea may be formed of the small number and slow 
increase of the population when only sixty-nine were baptized in six years. 

Durin"- the same period five couples were married by Domine Dellius and 
seven by Johannes Glen, " Justis Van de peace" 

But no sooner was peace proclaimed in 1697 than both village and church 
began a new career of prosperity. Within five years a second minister was 
called, and a new house of worship was erected. 

1700-5. Domine Barnardus Freeman,* Second Minister of thb 
Church and Missionary to the Mohawks. 

When Domine Dellius returned to Holland in 1693, his church gave him 
leave of absence for ten months, but subsequently commissioned William 
Bancker and others of Amsterdam to procure another minister in case he re- 
mained beyond that time. 

* He sometimes wrote his name Freeman, but oftener Freerman. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 341 

Do. Freeman was a man of mature age, a native of Gilhuis in the county 
(Graafschap) of Benthem. In 1698 he was a member of the church of 
Amsterdam, and on the 9th of March of that year was licensed to preach by 
the Classes of Worden and Overrynland. Immediately after the above call 
from the church of Albany, he was ordained by the Classis of Lingen (16th 
March, 1700), and departed for his distant charge accompanied by 
Domine Johannes Lydius. On the 20th of July they arrived in Albany 
where the latter remained, while the former passed on to Schenectady, and 
on the 28th commenced his labors as pastor of the church and missionary 
to the Mohawks. His appointment to the latter office, brought about doubt- 
less after his arrival in New York, furnishes a reason for the change in his 

Domine Dellius had filled the same office many years, and both for political 
as well as religious reasons it was considered important to continue so 
powerful an agency among the native tribes. 

In regard to this matter the Earl of Bellomont, Governor of the Provinces, 
said to the assembled Sachems of the Five Nations on the 26th of August, 
1700. * * * "I have sent to England for ministers to instruct you in the 
true Christian religion. I expect some very soon ; for the present I shall 
settle Mr. Vreeman, an able good minister, at Schanectade, who I intend 
shall be one of those that shall be appointed to instruct you in the true faith. 
He will be near the Mohacks, and in your way as you came from [the] 
several castles to this town, [Albany], and will take pains to teach you. 
He has ju'omised me to apply himself with all diligence to learn your lan- 
guage, and doubts not to be able to preach to you therein in a year's time."* 

In a comnmnication to the Board of Trade the Governor says: "I send 
your Lordships a copy of Mr. Freeman's Letter. He is the Dutch minister 
at Schenectady and a very good sort of a man."f * * * 

The following is a copy of the letter referred to: 

"Schenegtade ihe 6th Jan., 1700-1. 
May it please your Excellency. 

I have received your Excell ci ' letter of the 15th Nov', 1700, whereby I 
understand that your Excell cy was satisfied with what I had done to promote 
the Gospel among the Indians, I shall also use my utmost to intreat them 
to be firm in their allegiance to his Maj ty and for as much as appears to me 
they are good subjects to His Maj ty whereof they desire me to give your 
Excell 07 an account. 

* Col. Doc, iv, 727. f Col. Doc, iv, 833. 

342 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Your Excell cy may remember that there are not above one hundred 
Maquasse in number, thirty-six whereof have embraced the Christian faith, 
ten whereof through the grace of God are brought over through my means, 
for I found but twenty-six. 

I shall do my utmost with the rest. So wishing your Excell 07 a happy 
new year and a continuation of your health, recommending myself to your 

I remain, 
Your Excell ci08 most obedient Servant, 

B. Frkeuman.*" 

As Albany was the headquarters of Indian trade as well as of the yearly 
Council held with the Five Nations, Do. Lydius was also appointed to in- 
struct the natives in the Christian faith, and " ye bettar to enable him to 
serve them in ye work of the Gospell ye Interpretesse [Hillitiejf was 
appointed to be his assistant in that affair as formerly."^ * * * 

In the five years spent at Schenectady, Do. Freeman became well versed 
in the Indian tongue so as not only to preach, but to write in it. In this he 
was assisted by the Provincial interpreter, Lawrens Claese (Van der Volgen), 
a member of his church. And so attached were the natives to him that five 
years after he left Schenectady they petitioned Governor Hunter for his re- 
appointment, " and that he live [with us] at our Castle and not at Schin- 
nectady nor Albany. "§ 

Probably his was the first attempt made to translate the church service, 
or portions of the Holy Scriptures into the language of the Mohawks. In 
addition to the morning and evening prayers, Do. Freeman translated " the 
whole of the Gospel of St. Matthew, the three first chapters of Genesis, 
several chapters of P2xodus, a few of the Psalms, many portions of the 
scriptures relating to the birth, passion, resurrection and ascension of 
our Lord, and several chapters of the first Epistle of the Corinthians, par- 
ticularly the fifteenth chapter, proving the resurrection of the dead. But 
his work was not printed. "|| 

A copy having l>een presented to the "Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in Foreign parts," was given to their missionary, Rev. William 
Andrews, who was sent out in 1712, and by him printed in New York two 
years afterwards. 

* Col. Doc, rv, 835. 

f Hillitic was a half-breed, — sister of Jacques Cornelise Van Slyck. She married 
Pieter Danielse Van Olinda. — See Van Slyck. 
% Lord Cornbury to the Five Nations, 1702 ; Col. Doc, iv, 983. 
§ Col. Doc, v, 227. || Col. Doc, via, 815. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 343 

The salary of the early ministers of this church was one hundred pounds 
of New York currency ($250), house and garden rent free, pasturage for 
two cows and a horse, and sixty cords of wood delivered at the parsonage. 
The salary commenced from the day the Domine sailed from Holland and 
the expenses of the voyage until he arrived in Schenectady were paid by the 
church. The following is Do. Freeman's first bill, rendered August 25, 

"16 mar. 1 700 to 25 aug. the Consistory is indebted to Domine Freeman: 

For current salary from the 16 march to the 25th of august, — is five 

months and nine days and amounts to a sum of fifty pounds and something 

more, — is in sewant, gl. 2.000 

Also expenses incurred on the voyage, in fresh provisions, wine, brandy, 
vegetables and hens, besides about three weeks expenses on the Isle of 
"Wight, — is the sum of gl. 374 

gl. 2.374 
"Schenectady. Babnhardus Freerman."* 

The above bill shows that the expenses. of the voyage were 374 gl. ($46.75), 
and that the whole amount of salary and expenses was 2374 gl. or $296. 75. J 

Trifling as this amount may seem, the little community were unable to 
raise it, and on the 3d of September, 1700, applied to the Common Council 
of Albany for permission to solicit contributions in Albany. In reply the 
Commonality advise " that they first goe and Visite there own Congrega- 
tion, and if they do not obtaine said Sallary by them, then to make their 
application to the Commonality at ye next Court day.-" 

* Ano 1700 den 1G martius tot 25 Augustus is de kerkenraat Debet an Do. freeman 
Voor de Verlopene tractement van den 16 maert tot 25 august is 5 maenden en 9 dagen 

en bedraegt een somrae van fyftig pont en wat meer — is an sewant. 2.000 

Noch ankostinge op Reise gehad so an Versche waren, wyn, Brandewyn, Creuderye 

en hoenden neffens onitrent dry weeke expences op het Eylant wigt is een som tot 374 

gl. 2.374 

, Barnhardus Freekman. 

— See Church Papers. 
\ This sum is exclusive of 800 gl. paid by the Albany church as part of the expenses 
of Do. Freeman's passage. — MunselVs Collections, i, 53, 54. 

344 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

On the 21st of September the application was renewed, " Whereupon ye 
Commonalty have concluded and doe allow and admitt two or more of said 
Church wardens of Shinnechtady to goe once Round for contribution to use 
as aforesaid from ye inhabitants of this Citty and no more, in ye time of 
the Sessions, which will be first and second of October next ensuing."* 

When Do. Freeman was appointed missionary to the Indians by Governor 
Bellomont, he was promised a salary of £60 ; for expenses £15, and for the 
interpreter, Laurens Claese Van der Volgen, who was his assistant £25. 

The Governor expected to obtain this salary from the corporation for the 
propagation of the gospel at Boston, but in case he failed there, promised 
to secure it for him out of the revenue of the Province, f 

It is presumed that said corporation declined to assume this burden, and 
as a consequence, the General Assembly passed an act in his favor. In a 
petition which Do. Freeman addressed to Governor Cornbury, in 1703, he 
affirms that " he has taken great pains in going to their [Mohawks] Castles 
and translating Divine things into their language for ye easier bringing 
ym over, and as he hopes with very good success ; for wh reason a con- 
tinuance of ye said salary was promised him by ye late Lieften't Governour, 
Capt. Nanfan, and confirmed to yr Petitioner by an act of Generall Assem- 
bly of this Province, wh said sallaries (tho' tis now two years since they 
were first settled) are unpaid, and no Warrants have yet passed for any part 
thereof, "t 

On the death of Do. Lupardus of Kings county, in 1 702, the consistory of 
the churches there applied to Governor Cornbury for permission to call Do. 
Freerman,§ who at the same time gave encouragement of his acceptance. 

The Governor answered : 

" I have duly Considered the Within petition and having been well In- 
formed that Mr. Bar. ffreeman has misbehaved himself, by promoting and 

* Albany City Records. 

| Mr. Freerman yck veresoeck dat gyu de voor aeu went om de heydeos tot bet Kristen 
geloof over te brengen en tot gerhoorsaembeyt van bekonning gy suit geensins on 
beetaalt blyve. yck sal nu boston schryve die dispositse bebben van bet corperasi gelt 
en yck Verspreeekne 60 pons in 't year en so die van boston bet wygeren yck Verse- 
kerene het yt de revenue van dese provinci. etc. — Gov. Bellommd's Letter, Col. MSS., 


X Col. MSS., xliv, xlv, 134, 179; liii, 7, 70. 
§ Doc. Hist., in, 89. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 345 

Encouraging the unhappy division among the people of this province, do 
not think it consistent with her Majesties Service that the s d ffreeman should 
be admitted to be called as is prayed by s d petition. And the petitioners 
are hereby required not to call or receive the s d ffreeman."* 

Fearing their minister might be enticed away from them, the Consistory 
of the church in Schenectady the next year presented to Lord Cornbury the 
following petition: 

" The humble Petition of the Church Wardins of the Nether Dutch 
Church of the Town of Schoneghtede, sheweth: 

That the four severall towns to witt : Midwout or Flatbush, the Bay, 
New Utreght and Brockland, by their Certain writing doth Indeavour to 
Draw Mr Barnardus Freeman, Present Minister of Schoneghtende, from 
his Congregation, who are not able of themselves Without your Excellecy's 
assistance to gett another, and since we, your petitioners, have been att a 
great Charge and trouble with assistants thereunto from this County for De- 
fraying the Considerable Charge of Mr. Barnardus Freeman's Passage and 
other Charges that doih amount to the Valiable summe of near upon Eighty 
Pounds, so that if the s d Mr. Barnardus Freeman should be Drawn from us, 
as they Indeavor to Doe, we could not Preted that such a small Congrega- 
tion as we are can be able to Send for another, and they Who are of a 
greater Congregation could had another before this If they had not 
Endeavoured to Deprive us their neighbors ; therefore we, your Lordship's 
and Councill's Petitioners humbly Pray that y r Lordships and Councill be 
Pleased to take this our Great Case In Your Great Wisdom and Serious 
Consideration to give Such Incouragements to the Instructing of the 
Indians, that we may be more Enabeled to the Paying of his Salary and 
your Petitioners as In Duty Bound Shall ever Pray. 

Schoneghtende the 29th of May, 1703. 
Claes Wirbessen [Lawrense. Johannes Glenn, deacon. 

Vander Volgen] Elder. Isack Swits, elder. 

Daniel Jansen [Van. Jan Vrooman, elder. 

An twerpen] deacon. Claes Van Patten, deacon." 

Read in Council 24th June, 1703, and rejected."! 

Notwithstanding the above remonstrance and the fact that many persons 
in the congregation in Kings county were disaffected towards him, he 
visited the island and on the second of August, 1703, accepted the call 
under certain conditions.! It was not, however, until the summer of 1705 

* Doc. Hist., in, 89. f Council Minutes, Doc. Hist., in, 93. 


346 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

that he finally left Schenectady for Flatbush. The license thus to change 
his pastoral relations was granted by Governor Cornbury on the 26th of 
December, of the same year. 

1703-28. Building of the Second Church. Domine Thomas Browkr 

the Third Minister. 

Soon after Do. Freeman came to Schenectady, the house of worship* then 
used was found to be unfit for the accommodation of the inhabitants and 

*[In an ancient deed dated 1692, the phrase occurs " 't blok huys (te weteu dekerche)" 
that is to say '* the block house known as the church." 

This deed is supposed to apply to a lot on corner of Church and State street. Miller in 
1695 indicates a blockhouse at the north-west corner as " the blockhouse designed for a 
church." The Dutch deeds were so blind and crude in their descriptions that they con- 
vey little information without collateral evidence. They usually refer to something 
somewhere near, and are not usually very clear as to what direction or how far. 

There were but five or six houses spared in the town and the last building one might 
suppose would be left by French and Indians led by Jesuit propagandists of their faith 
would be the heretical church, more particularly if that church was capable of being 
used as a military defence. 

To add to the probability that in 1695, (three years after the deed of 1692), and even 
later, the statement in the petition to Governor Nanfan in 1701, for aid in erecting a 
new place of worship " the place where itt is now Exercised in Nott bein Large Euough 
to contain the whole assemply oft ye Inhabitants & Indian Proselytes," &c. " The Town 
of Schonegtade hath been wholly destroyed by ye French in y e late War & Sins the re- 
sattling oft y e same being verry low & oft mean Estates have not bein able to Erect a 

place convenient for y e Public Worohip of God " they want assistance in " ye 

buylding a convenient Place for ye Public Worship of God." 

Any sized church large enough before 1690 was large enough surely for the depleted 
almost depopulated town of 1692 to 1701, when there were not exceeding 250 souls in 
the township. 

Gov. Nanfan grants the petition because "nothing conduces more to the peace and well 
being of this Province than that the public worship of Almighty God be punctually ob- 
served and celebrated especially on the frontiers in a public and acknow- 
ledged place thereto dedicated." He authorizes contributions to be collected '* to be em- 
ployed solely for the erection and building a necessary and becoming place for public wor- 

In view of the phraseology of the petition and permit and the known circumstances, 
may not the church that was too small have been either Blockhouse No. 8 of Miller's 
map or possibly an improvised house of worship on the walls or site of the destroyed 
church ? 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 347 

Indian proselytes, but as the little community had not yet fully recovered 
from the effects of the late incursion of the French and their savage allies, 
the funds necessary for a new house could not be raised without aid from 
abroad. A petition therefore was presented to Governor Nanfan in 1701, 
asking permission to circulate a subscription throughout the Province for 
this purpose.* 

This petition being favorably received by the Governor and Council, on 
the 27 Oct., 1701, he issued his license to the inhabitants of Schenectady* 

If the French and Indians did not destroy the church, they were remarkable lenient 
for their time ; for this was one of the wars Louis XIV. waged against Holland and Eng- 
land mainly on religious grounds. They would certainly have been remiss in their duty as 
soldiers The sack of an heretical town in which it was wholly destroyed by infuriated half 
frozen Canadian French and Indians who were avenging their losses and disgrace at the 
sack of Montreal the previous year, could scarce have been complete without the destruc- 
tion of the heretical church which owned the civil authority and religious faith of Wil- 
liam of Orange. — M'M.] 

* " To the Hon ble John Nanfan, Esq.,Lt. Gouv r and Command' in Cheifoft y e Province 
oft New Yorke in America and y e Hon ble Councell oft y e same. 
" The humble Peticion oft Barnard us Freerman minister oft y e Gospell att Schanegtade 
& Ryer Schermerhoorn, Esq r in ye behalf oft the Inhabitants oft said Town. 
" That whereas The Town oft Schouegtade hath been wholy destroyed by y c french in 
y e late Warr & sins the resattling oft y e same The Inhabitants oft y e same being verry 
low & oft mean Estates have not bein able to Erect a Place convenient for ye Publick 
Worship oft God, the Place where itt is now Exercised in nott being Large Enough to con- 
taine [the] whole Assembly of ye Inhabitants & Indian Proselytes. 

" They Therefore humbly pray yo r houn" Lyceuse for the collecting a free will offering 
oft y e Inhabitants oft this Province for y e buylding a convenient Place for ye Public 
Worship oft God in y e town aforesaid and yo r Petic ra shall ever Pray, &c. 

" Ryer Schermerhooren " 
" B. freerman, Ecll. Skagnagt. " 

— Vol. MS8., xt,y. 

f "' By the Honorable John Nanfan, Esq., Governor and Commander-in-Chief over the 
Province of New York and territories dependent thereon in America, &c. 

"Whereas the Village of Schenectady in the Couuty of Albany, has been wholly 
destroyed through the incursion of the French in the late war, and after the rebuilding 
thereof the inhabitants have been and still are in a poor and low condition, so that they 
have not been able to erect a proper place for the public worship of Ood : — and whereas 

348 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

to receive contributions from the people of the Province for the space of 
six months from that date, and directed all justices of the peace, schouts 
and other officers of his Majesty as well as ministers of the Gospel to use 
their utmost endeavors to aid this laudable object. 

This appeal to the liberality of their neighbors was successful and the 
church was probably finished in the year 1703. The site was that of the 
first house of worship at the junction of Church, Water and State streets, 
and the dimensions, fifty-six feet north and south by forty-six feet east and 
west Amsterdam measure. The burying ground adjoined the church upon 

nothing conduces more to the peace and well being of this Province than that the public 
-worship of Almighty God be punctually observed & celebrated in all parts & places and 
especially on the frontiers, in a public and acknowledgod place thereto dedicated, that the in- 
habitants and sojourners of this province may through their good example of piety and 
religious reverence be brought over & persuaded there to dwell to the great strengthening 
of said frontiers, which thereby become a defence for the other parts of this province if 
a war should again occur between his most Sacred Majesty and the King of France: — 
Therefore I by and with the advice of His majesty's council for this province and in his 
majesty's name hereby give and grant full & free liberty and licence to the Inhabitants 
of said Village of Schenectady in said county of Albany, or to such person or persons as 
by them or the majority of them shall be employed to gather, collect and receive the 
the free and voluntaiy offerings and contributions of all and every of his majesty's faith- 
ful subjects, — inhabitants of this Province at any time after this date and during the 
time of six months; — the said contributions to be employed solely for the erection and 
building a necessary and becoming place for the public worship of God by the Inhabitants 
of said village. And I hereby in his majesty's name require alibis majesty's justices, 
schouts, and all other his majesty's officers within this Province, together with all Pro- 
testant ministers in their sundry & respective Counties, Cities, Colonies, Churches, 
districts & jurisdictions to use tbeir utmost endeavors and diligence to arouse the liberality 
of the inhabitants on this occasion, which conduces to the honor and service of Almighty 
God, the welfare of this province in general & fbr the peace & security of all the inhabi- 
tants thereof. 

" Given under my hand and seal in Fort William Henry in New York, this seven and 
twentieth day of October, A 1701, and in the 13th year of the reign of our Sovereign 
Lord William the third by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, 
King, Defender of the Faith, &c. 

" Was signed, 

John Nanfan." 
" Pr order of the Council, 
B. Cozens, Sec. Coun." * 

* B. Cozzens Secretary of the Council in a letter to Reyer Schermerhorn, of date 30 Jan., 1701, says " The 
Gov and Councill have given £10 towards the church at Schonectady."— Schermerhorn Papers. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 349 

the west side and was fifteen feet wide by fifty-six feet long.* Speaking of 
Schenectady in 1710 the Rev. Thomas Barclay says: "There is a convenient 
and well built church which they freely give me the use of."f 

Probably it was substantially built of stone, for after its abandonment in 
1734, as a place of worship it was used for some years as a fort. J A wooden 
building would hardly have been devoted to such a purpose. By the 
year 1754, it had been either removed or used as a barracks, watch- 
house and market,§ by 1768 the site was clear and designated the Market 
Place. In 1 792 the spot being vacant the consistory proposed to erect there- 
on a house at a cost of £170,|| but it is believed this project was never carried 
out, for in 1794 they resolve to lease it to Arent S. Vedderfor building pur- 
poses upon condition that it should never be dug up, save so far as was neces- 
sary to lay the foundations or to set the fence posts, — that the foundation 
should not be laid farther west than where the old church's west wall stood 
and that the house built thereon should never be used for " Tap-drink-of- 
VrolyJc-huys (so als men deselve gewoonlyk noent."** To account for these 
singular conditions in a deed of conveyance, it is only necessary to remember 
that this was then looked upon as sacred ground and that here for sixty 
years, to 1720, the dead of the village were buried. ff 

The building above mentioned was never erected. The next year, 1795, 
the trustees of the common lands resolved to make an offer of this lot,JJ but 
if made, nothing came of it, for in 1800, the consistory directed that it " be 
properly ascertained and marked out," and in 1805 agreed to lease it to 
Anne McFarlane for $10 per annum but she was not allowed to dig upon it. 

The removal of Do. Freeman was a disheartening event to the church. 
He had gained the confidence of the people and considerable influence over 
the neighboring Indians. To obtain another minister from Holland in their 
present circumstances was impossible. They were not only a small but a 
poor people and without aid not in a condition to support a minister. 

* [Mary Ann Roque's map, 1750, indicates its greatest dimension as east and west. The 
site certainly indicates that. — M'M.] 

f Doc. Hist., in, 540. J Act of the Assembly (1734 ?) 

§ Jno. Myndertse's will in Court of Appeal's office .... and Deeds, xii ; Collins to 
Van Eps. 

II Consistory Minutes. ** Consistory Minutes. 

ft When the public cistern was built here in 1848, the ancient burial ground was en- 
croached upon and many bones were thrown out. 

XX Minutes of the Board. 

350 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

For the following ten years they were destitute of the stated ministry, 
being only occasionally visited by the ministers of Albany and other more 
distant settlements. 

Between the years 1705 and 1715, Domines Johannes Lydius and Petrus 
Van Driessen of Albany, Petrus Vas of Kingston and Gualterus Du Bois 
of New York made 24 visits to Schenectady, baptizing 152 children of whom 
19 were Indians. In all this time the records show but one member added 
to the church. 

Rev. Thomas Barclay, chaplain to the fort in Albany preached occasion- 
ally in Schenectady. In a letter* dated Sept. 26, 1710, he says: "At 
Schenectady I preach once a month, where there is a garrison of forty 
soldiers, besides about sixteen English and about one hundred Dutch fami- 
lies. They are all of them my constant hearers. 

I have this summer got an English school erected amongst them, and in 
a short time, I hope their children will be fit for catechising. Schenectady 
is a village situated upon a pleasant river, twenty English miles above 
Albany, and the first castle of the Indians is twenty-four miles above Schen- 
ectady. In this village there has been no Dutch minister these five years 
and there is no probability of any being settled among them. There is a 
convenient and well built church, which they freely give me the use of. 

" I have taken the pains to show them the agreement of the articles of 
our church, with theirs. I hope in sometime to bring them not only to be 
constant hearers, but communicants." 

As early as 1713, the church applied to Governor Hunter for permission 
to call a new minister and received his license dated July 27 that year. On 
the 17th day of May the following year, the consistory addressed a letter to 
Willem Bancker, merchant of Amsterdam and Rev. Matthias Winterwyck 
of Alphen (Dalphin ?) Holland, authorizing them to procure a minister for 
the church and promising him a salary of £90 to commence on his arrival, 
a dwelling free of rentf, fire wood at the door, a large garden, and free 

* Letter to the secretary of the society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign 
parts ; Doc. Hist, ni, 540. 

f [Shortly after the arrival of Do. Brouvver the larger portion of the present church lot 
was acquired by deed from Daniel Janse Van Antwerp. (See fac simile.) It was for 
" 'te Dominie's huys." The original deed was found by the Ed. in a bundle of ancient 
papers in the Deacons' chest stored in the tower of the present church. This old pack- 
age was wrapped in a piece of leather tied hard with a leathern string and from appear- 
ance may have been unopened for many years — its existence seems to have been for- 
gotten. Early in this century strong efforts were made to remove the church to a 
locality more central for the majority of the church people, but the terms of this deed 
seem to have barred the sale of this lot and the new church [1814] was built on it.— M'M.] 


This fold-out is being digitized, and will be inserted at a 

future date. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 351 

pasture for two cows and a horse. The result of this negotiation was the 
arrival of Dominie Thomas Brouwer in July, 1714. 

He probably came from the province of Overyssell, where he had two 
brothers living in 1728, the one Gerardus, at Zwoll and the other Theo- 
dorus, minister at Dalphin. 

He made his will * on the 24th Nov., 1 727, and died on 15th of Jan., I728.f 
He left £25 — one half to the church and the other for the poor ; his gun, 
pistols, horse, table linen, etc., to various members of the families of Gerrit 
Symonse Yeeder and Johannes Bancker, and his books, best clothing, linen, 
etc., to his two brothers above mentioned. He speaks of neither wife nor 

1728 — 36. Domine Reinhardus Erichzon the Fourth Minister. Thb 

Third Church 

The fourth minister of the church was Do. Reinhardus Erichzon. His 
call or Beroep brief was dated 30th March, 1728, two and a half months 
after the death of his predecessor. 

He was probably a native or at least a resident of Groningen, North Hoi 
land and before his call to Schenectady had ministered three years to the 
churches of Hackensack, Paramus and Schraalenbergh, New Jersey. 

The consistory of Schenectady agreed to give him a salary of £100 ($250), 
a parsonage house in good repair, a garden kept in fence, pasture for a horse 
and two cows and fire wood \ at the door. 

* On file in the office of the clerk of the Court of Appeals. 

f He had been disabled by sickness however, since the month of August, 1723, and 
unable all that time to perform the active duties of his calling. An assistant was em- 
ployed to do his work but the records do not give his name. 

% Sixty or seventy loads of wood was the Domine's annual supply in these early 
times. For this purpose a bee was made, usually in the month of January. 

The congregation then turned out with their teams and in from one to three days his 
yard was filled. 

The consistory made bountiful provision for the entertainment of the bee makers on 
these occasions as appears by the following extracts from the treasurer's books : 
16 Jan. 174% to Johannes De Peyster for five gallons of Rum for the 

Domine's bee @ 3-6 £-17-6 

19 Jan. 174% to Pieter Groenendyk for % Gall, wine 4-0 

23 Jan. 174% to Metie Fairly for the use of the house at the bee 4-0 

352 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

During the eight years of his pastorate here he married seventy-nine 
couples, baptized about three hundred and fifty children and received two 
hundred and six members to the church. 

Domine Erichzon left Schenectady in October, 1736, having received a 
call to the church of Freehold and Middletown, N. J. 

His ministry in Schenectady seems to have been a successful one. Since 
the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the country had been at peace, and wealth 
and population increased rapidly. 

Our village was no exception, and before the church erected in 1703, had 
stood thirty years, the population had outgrown its capacity and it became 
necessary to erect a larger. 

This matter began to be agitated soon after Do Erichzon became pastor, 
and instead of appealing to their neighbors for aid as in the former case, 
the congregation was able not only to build a house which for the times 
was both substantial and spacious, but also to furnish it with a bell and 


As a preliminary step in this new enterprise, a subscription paper was cir- 
culated through the town in 1730, by which £322 was obtained, and ex- 
tending the appeal up the valley into Maquaas Landt* a still further sum 
of £33-15 was subscribed in money and wheat.f 

1748, 28 April to Jacobus Mynderse for rum for the Domine's bee £3-12-2 

1749, Jan. Beer for the bee 1-14-6 
1751, Jan. 1 for rum and sugar 1-7-6 
1751, Jan. 2 for beer 0-12-0 
1751, Ap. 28 to Anna Wendell for house hire twice for a bee 9-0 

to Isaac Abr : Truex for rum and sugar* 1-13,6 
* Maquaas Landt was that part of the valley of the Mohawk river lying west of Amsterdam. 

f The following is that portion of this list made up of Schenectady names : 

July, 1730. 

List of the voluntary gifts which were promised here at Schenectady in the county of 
Albany, for the building of a new church for the behoof of the Dutch Reformed church 
at Schenectady : 

* 16 Jan. 174%, aan Joh : de Peyster Voor 5 gall : Ehum Voor Do. bee a Ssh. $d. £0-17-6 

19 Jan. 174%, aan Pr. Groenendyk Voor y 2 gall : Wyn 4-0 

23 Jan. 174%, aan Metje Fairly Voor 't buys gebruyck op de bee 4-0 

1748, 28 April, an Jacobus Mynderse Voor rum Voor Doras Bee £3-13-2 

1749, Jan. Bier Voor de Bee 1-14-6 

&c. — ( Old church accounts.) 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


This sum did not amount to quite one-third the cost of the church, which 
was £1,167-17-10 [$2,919.73];— the remainder was probably derived from 

We or I the underwritten promise to pay to Arent Bratt, Jacobus Van Dyck, Dirck 
Groot and Cornells Van der Volgen and Robert Yates, Jacob Swits, Wouter Vrooman 
and Jan Barentse Wemp, Elders and Deacons, or to their successors, the sum which we or 
I subscribe with our hands so soon as the foundation of said church is laid ; and failing 
of the same, we or I promise to pay ten pounds current money, if we or I are negligent 
in the payment of the sum of money, which I with my hand subscribe, as witness our 
hands or my hand. 

Jellis Vonda 

drie pont* 

Henderick Vooman 

fyf pont 

Capt. Harme Van Slyck 

Ses pont 

Albert vedder 

drie pont 

Abraham Meebie 

4 pout 

helmis Veder 

Vier pont 

John fairley 

3 pont 

Myndert Wymp 

3 pont 

pieter Cornu 

3 pont 

Daniel tol 

3 pont 

Barcnt Vrooman 

2 pont 

Wyllcm Teller 

4 pont 

Gysbert V. brakel 

5 pont 

John VroomaD 

6 pont 

Johannis Van Vorst 

3 pont 

Johannis Marselis 

2 pont 

Abram groot Vier stuck van achte 

Comelis Van Slyck 

drie pont 

Symon Veder 

drie pont 

Reinhart Erichzon, pred 

5 pont 

Arent brat 

nege pont 

Jacobus Van Dyck 

drie pont 

dirck groot 

vier pont 

Cornelus van der Volge 

Vyf pont 

Robbert yets 

vyf pont 

Yacoep Swits 

2 pont 

Wouter Vrooman 

twaels (12 ?) pont 

Jan Barentse Wemp 

4 pont 

Abram D. Graaf 

3 pout 

Cornelus Van Dyck 

3 pont 

Joha. Sanders Glen 

Jacobus Peeck 

Arenout do Graaf 

Sander Laseng 

Jacob Glen 

barent heudrickse vrooman 

Joseph Van Sice 

Abraham Truax 

Sander Van Eps 

Davet Marinis 

Nicolaas Groodt 

Daniel Danielse [Van Antwerpen] 

Symon Vrooman 

Johannys ouderkerck 

Philip Van Putte 

haerme Vedder 

Reyer Wempel 

Gerret Van Vorst 

Johannis Vedder yu [Jr.] 

Abraham Glen 

Arent braet, yu. [Jr.] 

hendrick Vrooman, iunier, belofte 

William Peters 

Takel Maerseles 

Yacobus Vedder 

adryaeu Van Slyck 

harme M (?) Vedder 

Cornelus Veder 

harm an us Vedder 

3 pont 
drie pont 
Vier pont 

3 pont 

acht pont 

een pont 

3 pont 

4 pont 

2 pont 

1 pont 

3 pont 

4 pont 

2 pont 

1 pont 

2 pont 

3 pont 
2 pont 

2 " 

3 " 

4 " 
2 " 

2 pont 
2 pont 

1 " 

2 " 

2 " 

3 " 



* The pound New Yo:k currency was $3.50. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

the accumulations of former years and from the sale of lands or leases, — 
the gift of the trustees of the common lands. 

Job: Visger 2 pont 

Wilhelmus Ryckmau 2 " 
lourens Van der Volgen, Vrywillig 6 " 

Arent Stevens 1 " 

tieik franse [Van der Bogart] 3 " 
dou'vve ankis, geordcucert voor hem 

of syn erfgenamen 3 " 

Pieter Felinck. 7 stuck 8 of £2—8 

Johannis Mynderse 12 gul. 
Johannis Bleecker 80 guld. 

Sara kiykes 12 sbil. 

pieter Winne 1 pont 

bartholomewis Vrooman 1 pont 
Jan V room an 1—4 

marya Van der Volgen 1 pont 

elysabet van brakel 1 " 

barent wemp, junior 2 " 

geertruy mynders 4 " 

Sancb-rGlen 3 " 

Jacop teller 2 " 

antie beck 2 " 

Jan dellamond 3 

Capt. bencks [Banks] 2 " 

Jellis Van Vorst 2 " 

Jacobus Van Vorst 1 " 

Domve Vonda 3 " 

anna lythall 1 " 
Jannetie Veders 2 pont Voldaen 
elyas post 1 — 10 

Jan baptist Van eps 6 pont 

Anna Wendell 6 sbil. 
Catrina brat 6 " 

Cornelya brat 6 " 

engelie Symonse [Veeder] 1 pont 

gerret Symonse [Veeder] 6 " 

Wilem bancker 2 " 

evert Van eps 2 " 

De lyst Van de val en maquaaes landt De 
bet core tege 4 — 10 pr sch: 

Cornel is pooetman 

pieter Veder 

Jacop Vrooman 

Jacop truex 

Gysbert Marselis junior 

Gerret (?) Danielse [Van Antwer- 

pcn] 6 betaelt pont 

Volkie wemp 2 " 

Jan leenderse 10 shil. 



Jobn Dunbar 2 pont 

gerret gysbertsc [Van Brakel] 2 " 

gysbert van brakel, junior, 2 " 

Swear marselis 2 " 

Joseph Dance 3 " 

Johannis teller 3 " 

akis brat 2 " 

claes de graef 6 shil. 

daniel de graef 6 " 

Jacop Schermerhoorn 1 pont 4s. 

Johannis peeck 2 " 
Jan Danielse [Van Antwerpen] 2 " 
piete danielse [Van Antwerpen] 2 " 

Jacop mebie 3 " 

pieter Vrooman 3 " 

arent vedder 1 " 

Jacobus peeck, junior, 2 " en 

een tonne bier. 

Myndert van gyselingh 4 pont 

Johannis haell 1 — 10 

Samuel brat 1 pout 

Wilyem Berret 2 " 


gelt belofte comt 





The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 355 

After thorough preparation the work was begun in the spring of 1732. 
Hendrick Vrooman was Baas * of the men of whom seventeen were car- 
penters, besides masons, glaziers, &c. His wages were seven shillings a 
day; — the others were paid from five to six shillings. The Preeck-stoel f 
[pulpit] was built by Pieter Cornu for £20; — and Gysbert W. Van den 
Bergh of Albany, contracted to do the mason work for £80. 

Among the first articles of hardware purchased were, 
twee vaten spykers £18 — 16 

en een Ockshoft roni 13 — 12 

and before the close of the year the latter article was exhausted and more 
purchased. The same liberal supply was made for the year 1733. J 

This house was dedicated Jan. 13, 173|, on which occasion Do. Erichzon 
preached in the morning. In the afternoon Do. Van Driessen of Albany, 
preached. The following Sabbaths — Jan. 20th and 27th, the pastor con- 
tinued the subject of his first sermon. § 

This third house was situated in Church street at its junction with Union 
street, and was eighty feet in length north and south and fifty-six feet 
wide;|| — the trustees of the town conveyed to the church not only this site 
but also the land around the same ten feet in width, except on the west 
6ide, where by reason of the narrowness of the street, it was limited to five 

* This is a genuine Dutch word signifying master or chief. 

t In 1761 the pulpit was newly adorned at an expense of £1—14— 1 as follows : 
aan casa Betalt voor 't Bekleeden van de Predickstoel £0 — 3—0 

12£ elle Swarte Saloen voor Predickstoel te Bekleeden @2-6 1 — 10—7 

Kleyne spikertjes Gd 6 


— Church accounts. 

\ Church Records. 

§"173%, Jan. 13. — De Eerste predicatie gedaen in de nieuwe Kercke door heer 
Doomeny Erichzon uit den prophet Yesaia het 2 Capittel Vers 3. — Syn inlyding ait Luce 
22 Verse 32 ent'tot besluit gesonge uit psalm 100, Vers. 3. — De twede predicatie gedaen 
door den Heer domeny Van Driessen uit den prophet Yesaia 35 capittel Vers. 1 en 2 en 
tot besluit gesonge uit 118 psalm, Vers 1.— 20 ditto [Jan.] Den predicatie uit jesaia 2, 
Vers. 3 het middel part en tot besluit gesongepsalm 25, Vers. 2.— ; 27 ditto [Jan.] De 
vierde predicatie uit jesaia 2 cap. 3 Vers., laste part, en tot besluit gesonge psalm 110 
\ ers. 2. — From Simon Volkerlse Veeder's Bible now owned by Mrs. H. J. Bratt. 

I Church Charter, Aug. 23, 1734. 

356 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

feet*. The building material was blue sandstone or greywacke from the 
quarries east of the village. It had two entrances, — one on the south end, — 
the other on the east side, over which was built a porch with a staircase 
leading to galleries. The roof was in the gambrel style, a few specimens of 
which still remain in the city. The belfry and clock tower stood on the 
north end. As seen from the east end of Union street it presented a pleas- 
ing and imposing appearance. The tub shaped pulpit fixed upon a narrow 
pedestal and surmounted by a conical sounding board, was built against the 
west wall, in front of which an open space was railed in called the Doop- 
huisje. Here the Domine stood while administering the rite of baptism. 

There was a gallery upon all sides save the west, whether built with the 
church, or at a later day is not known, as no mention is made of it before 
the year 1788, when it began to be occupied by adult males who could not 
obtain seats below. In this as in other Dutch congregations the males and 
females sat apart; — the former upon raised seats called gestoelte, placed 
against the walls of the church, and the latter in slips or bancken upon the 
floor of the house. 


In the first allotments of seats little regard was had to family relations, 
nor was there any exchange of sittings, and so long as the yearly rent was 
paid they were the property of the occupants, but in case of removal or 
death passed to the nearest relative of the same sex. Only in case of non- 

* Patentees Deed, 10 July, 1733. 

f The slips or Bancken were numbered nearly alike in 1734 and 1754, but the numbers 
were quite different in 17^8. 

As before stated, each silting in the church was held by its occupant for life, unless for- 
feited by nonpayment of the seat rent, or by removing from the town; and descended 
to his or her nearest male or female heir. Hence the same sitting was in some cases 
retained in the family for three or four generations. It will be noticed also that the males 
occupied the wall pews (ge$toelte) chiefly, which were slightly raised above the others; 
whilst the females sat upon the benches (bancken) in the body of the house. The slips for 
the two sexes were numbered from one upwards, — those of the males from i to xnr: — 
those of the females from 1 to 62 (see plan). 

Bench No. i was Occupied by magistrates and men of note. 

The Deacons and elders sat in the four benches on either side of the pulpit or doop- 
huiye. and the magistrates and other men of note upon the long bench on the west side 
of the church extending from the pulpit around to the south door. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


payment of the customary rent was a seat forfeited. It was then allotted 
anew at the discretion of the cousistory. Every transfer of a sitting cost 
the new occupant twelve shillings besides the yearly rent of five shillings, 
for males and four shillings for females. 



^ £? % K o: u < 


T&mvSrtmttM fM*nk**) / -**■ 









, '/ 
















*' i 




























■ j * 


r- +* 



JAfen't stah ( CetlaelJiJt.} 1~- 






7 aXf r pff T JiurcJi of J 7)* . 

During the eighty years that this church stood, but few and trifling 
changes were made in the slips or bancken first erected, and these chiefly 
by additions to accommodate the increasing congregation. The number of 
places (plaatsen) occupied by adults at different periods were as follows: 
men's seats men in gallery. Women's seats. total. 

In 1734 86 218 304 

" 1754 104 328 432 

" 1788 125 35 346 506 

From 1788 to 1814 when the old church was removed, newcomers could 
not rent seats without great difficulty except in the gallery, which being 
ohiefly occupied by boys and negroes was not considered quite respectable. 

358 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The people worshipped on the Sabbath almost to the beginning of this 
century even in the coldest winter weather without any other artificial heat 
than that derived from foot stoves. The first stoves used in this church 
were bought in December, 1792 and set up that winter. They were placed 
upon two platforms elevated to the height of the gallery and reached by climb- 
ing over the balustrade. It is said that the klokluyer was accustomed to re- 
plenish them at the beginning of the Domine's sermon and — to notify to the 
congregation of the importance of his vocation, — was particularly noisy in 
opening and shutting the stove doors. By this arrangement it is said that 
" the top of the church was comfortable but the people below had to carry 
foot stoves to keep themselves warm." So unsatisfactory was this first ex- 
periment in warming the church that the matter came up and was discussed 
by the consistory and the result was that the elevated platforms were 
removed and the stoves placed upon the floor of the church.* 

1731-4. The Bell and Clock. 

On the 10th of February, I73y a subscription was opened for a bell. The 
heading of this paper is as follows : 

* The following bill for these stores is translated from the treasurer's book.* 

£. ». d. 
1792, Dec. 23. Paid James Mm dock for 2 stoves 12—15—8 

29 Dec, to cash for riding stone for the stove floor — 13 — 3 

Paid James McWilliams for setting the stoves in the church — 12—0 

to a cart to Albany to haul the gryp (?) ironf for the stoves — 10—0 

to 1403^ lbs. of iron by Swits for the small work about the stoves 3 — 10— \% 

to 1 quart of ruin for the workmen 2 — 5 

119%, Jan. Cash to Maas Schermerhorn paid for set{?) iron, 251bs at 11 pence 

a pound 1 — 2 — 11 

Cash paid Walter Swits & Peter Symens for the iron work on the stoves 8 — 19 — 6 

* 1792, Dec. 23. Aen James Murdock betalt voor 2 kaghels 

" 29. aen cass vour Roye stein voor de Caghel vloer 
aen Jsimes McWilliams betaelt * + de Kagbele in de Kerk to sette 
aen Een wa^c na Albany voor 't gryp Eyser, an de Kauhels te hale 
aen 140v4 lb. Eyser Door Swits voor Clyn werk an de Kagbcls 
aen 1 qart rom'an de wi rk Lnyde 

l'i9%, Jan. Caesa aen Mans Schermerhorn voor set eyser betalt251b. at 11 pence p pont 
Cassa betalt aen Walter Swits cu pieter Symens voor het eyser werk an Cagels 

+ [Is this grip irons = grapple irons or braces to hold the stoves on their elevated platforms.— M'M.] 



-15— 8 


-13— 8 






-10- 1# 

2— 5 


- 2—11 

8-19— 6 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 359 

" Subscriptions of persons for the bell. 

We the underwritten promise what wo with our hands or by our orders 
have here subscribed and promised, to pay for a new bell for the Low 
Dutch church here at Schenectady and we promise to pay the same to the 
Domine and Consistory of the Low Dutch church of Schenectady, viz : — 
to Domine Erichzon, Dirck GroQt, Cornelis Vander Volgen, Harmauus 
Vedder, Abraham Mebie, Jan Barentse Wemp, Wouter Vrooman, Abraham 
De Graaf and Cornelis Van Dyck, or to one of them, on or before the first 
day of May next coming. Done in Schenectady the 10th of February, 173£." 

To this paper are appended 152 names and the amount raised was c€45-6-6 

The bell was procured in Amsterdam and did " good and faithful service 
for more than a century " until it was cracked in 1848. It bore the follow- 
ing inscription: 

" De Klok van de Neder-duidsch gemeente van Scon- 
echiade door Haar self bezorght anno 1732. 
Me fecerunt De Grave et muller Amsterdam*." 

In 1740, the church had a public or town clock purchased probably at the 
same time with the bell. 
The Charter. 

Although the church had owned considerable real estate more than fifty 
years, it had no corporate existence in law and could neither hold nor 
alienate property save through individuals acting as its trustees. Feeling 
the precarious nature of such tenure, when the church edifice was finished, 
the consistory petitioned the Governor and Council for a charter. 
This application was favorably considered and on the third day of August, 
1734, a charter was granted under the great seal of the Province. 

*" The bell of the Low Dutch Church of Schenectady procured by themselves in the 
year 1732." 

" De Grave and Muller Amsterdam made me." 

It was the custom to ring the bell three times before commencing religious services 
down to January, 1810, when the consistory 

" Besolved, that in future the Bell shall be rung twice as usual, previous to the com- 
mencement of public worship and that tolling shall be substituted lor the third ringing." 

It is said the bell was also rung at the close of the service that the servants at home 
might have the dinner ready on their masters' return. 

360 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Do. Erichzon died in January, 1752, and until 1755, the church had no 
regular pastor, being dependent on Do. Frelinghuysen of Albany, Do. 
Vrooman of New Paltz, or some divinity student temporarily filling the 

However the consistory opened a subscription for funds to pay for a 
minister when one should be called. One hundred and sixty-eight sub- 
scribers contributing from one shilling to thirty-six shillings, a fund of £165 
was raised. The seat rents were increased and the income from these 
sources as well as rents of the mill, Eenkluy's " Poor Pasture," etc : , sufficed 
for current expenses. 


The ancient parsonage on the present church site had now stood fifty 
years or more and was falling to decay. It was doubtless the house men- 
tioned in the deed of 1715, to Do. Brouwer and the consistory, (the deed 
is endorsed " H D° kmjs ") and was probably of wood, as were all other 
houses of its date. 

It was therefore removed in 1753, and a new building of brick* erected on 
the same lot. It was one storey and a half high, with the usual pointed 
Dutch gable ends. 

There were two rooms in front on the Union street side. The door was 
in the middle, over which was a gable. 

This house stood about sixty years when it gave place to the church of 

The Church of 1814. 

As early as 1805, the subject of repairing the old church was agitated. 
The church which had stood for so long in mid-street in Albany, had 
gone before the march of improvement and there was a feeling that Schen- 
ectady should follow in its wake. In 1810, the consistory appointed a 
committee to draw a plan and to report as to the possibility of a new church 
building, and still another committee to meet the wishes of those who 
desired to see the old church put in repair. The result of this was a de- 
cision to build anew on the parsonage lot. There was much opposition to 

* The bricks used in it were made by Jacobus Van Vorst at £1 [$2.50] per M —Church 
Treasurer' 8 book. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 361 

this on the part of those whose affections clung to the old church in the 
street, as well as a considerable party who urged that this lot was not 
central enough but that the church should be built further to the east as 
population had extended in that direction. Petitions to this effect numerously 
signed by towns people and those residing on the roads eastward, are in the 
deacons' chest in the church tower. 

The consistory's plan was adopted and in 1812, the two sites of the 
former churches were sold to the city to be thrown open to the streets, and 
the contracts for the new house of worship signed. 

In the autumn of 1814, a new house was so near completion that it could 
be used for worship, and on the 20th November, the last services were held 
in the old building.* 

The increase of this congregation had doubtless been much retarded by 
the want of seat room. This was felt many years before the church of 
1734 was removed. 

In view of this fact, it is singular that the church of 1814 should not have 
been built larger. It could accommodate but few more persons than its 
predecessor. :£ Indeed it may be said that from 1734 to 1862, a period of 
128 years, the church accommodations of this congregation remained sub- 
stantially the same. In the meantime the little hamlet grew into a village 
and the village into a city of respectable dimensions. It had but few com- 
petitors in the field, and though it became the mother church of this region, 
with one exception all her colonies were sent out some years subsequent to 

* The old church was sold to the contractors for 450 dollars, and they were about to 
remove it in the spring of 1813, when on a remonstrance being made to the consistory 
against thus depriving the congregation of a place of worship, whilst the new house was 
building, the contract was annulled and it was left standing until 1814. 

In the remonstrance allusion is made to the desecration of the old_church by lawless 
persons breaking the seats and pews and it was advised to prosecute the marauders. 

— Consistory Min 

In the treasurer's book is the following entry under date 5th July, 1814. " To paid for 
liquor when the old spire was taken down, 37}^ cents. Nov. 30, 1814, Charles Kane 
and Henry Yates bought the old church for $442 50." 

f The dimensions of the church of 1734 were 80 feet by 56 feet, those of the church of 
1814 were 86 feet by 57 feet. 


362 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Before closing this short account of this house it may be proper to 
mention the honored names of Nicholas Van der Volgen and his wife, who 
were considerable benefactors to it. 

Many of the congregation remember the huge brass chandeliers and 
pleasant organ of the old church. These were their gifts, the former in 
1792, the latter in 1797. 

The great chandelier (groote Kroori) had eighteen lights, besides which 
there were seven lesser ones (JKleymdere kroonen) of six lights each, — 
costing altogether £67-10 New York currency. 

The money for the organ was given in 1797, and suffered to accumulate 
until 1826 (?) when an instrument was obtained from Henry Erben, of 
New York, at the cost of 1,000 (?) dollars. This was consumed with the 
church in 1861. 

Voorlezer and Voorzanger. 

The duties of Voorlezer and Vborsanger were usually united in the 
game person and defined by resolution of the consistory : — 

Jan. 8, 1810, <c Hesolved, that in future the clerk of the church shall 
commence the public service in the morning with the reading of the ten 
commandments, a chapter of the Bible* and Psalm or Hymn at discretion, 
and in the afternoons with the reading of the articles of the Creed together 

* 1759 Aen Johannes Vedder Voor een Voorlezer's Bybel £2.0.0. — Church account 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 363 

with a Chapter and Psalm or Hymn." In addition to the above he had "the 
right and emoluments of burying- the dead of the congregation." Next to 
the minister he was the most important officer of the church. 

According to tradition the first Vborlezer of this church was Harmen 
Albeiiise Vedder, and the second his son Albert.* 

To improve the psalmody of the congregation, on the 13th Feb., 1794, the 
consistory took the following action: 

"The consistory taking into consideration the defective condition of the 
Dutch Psalmody in the public worship of this church : Resolved, that 
Cornelis De Graaf the chorister shall use his endeavors, in each family of 
this village and elsewhere, to obtain pupils in singing, on condition that 
each shall pay one shilling and six pence a month, the Consistory also adding 
thereto for each scholar for the term of six months, one shilling and six 
pence a month ; provided a certificate be shown to the consistory signed by 
Mr. De Graaf that each scholar has diligently spent his time as he ought. 

" Also Mr. De Graaf in singing shall try to observe the measure of the 
half notes and soften his voice as much as possible. "f 

If tradition tells the truth respecting Mr. De Graaf's singing, the advice 
last given was by no means inappropriate. It is said that while sitting on 
the " back stoop " of his house, then stauding upon the site of Mrs. Abel 
Smith's house in State street, he beguiled the evening hours in summer by 
psalm singing, and that his voice could be clearly heard two miles up the 
river in a straight line. 


The sexton of the church was called the klokluyer, or bellringer, and his 
duties seem to have been not only to ring the bell but to keep the benches 
and seats in proper order and to dig and fill the graves. The earliest mention 
of this officer by the church records is the following: 

" At a Consistory held this 1st July, 1696, it was resolved that Simon 
Groot, Senior, for ringing the bell and arranging the benches and stools in 

* Philip Ryley was catechisatie meester (and probably Voorsanger and doodgramr) of the 
church of Albany in 1761 ; in 1767, the church of Schenectady complained that he had 
taught unsound doctrine and he was called upon by the church of Albany to recant, 
refusing to do so, they deprived him of his office of Vborlezer, doodgraver etc., and 
ordered him to vacate his house. — Albany Church Minutes. 

f Cornelius De Graaf was voorzanger 1771 to 1800. 

364 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

the church, shall receive annually out of the income of the church, or out 
of the deacons' money, the Bum of 60 guilders seawant [$7.50], to begin on 
this 1st July." 

Simon Groot, senior, mentioned in this resolution was the first of the 
name who settled at Schenectady, and the ancestor of all the Groots found 
in this vicinity. He and his five sons were carried away captive into 
Canada by the French and Indians in 1G90. 

The salary of the sexton down to 1735, was 60 guilders or $7.50. This 
year Hendrick Vrooman filled the office and was succeeded by Joseph Van 
Sice until 1747, at a yearly stipend of £6 or $15. 

Margarita Veeder,* widow of Symon Volkertse Veeder, held the office 
during the years I74f, for £3-10 or $8.25. 

From 1750 to 1758, Sara Marselis was Mokluyer, the duties being per- 
formed for £4, or $10, " bij haar neger Sees." 

In 1759, Isaac Quackenbos' neger rang the bell; — and " Peeter Seesar " 
(Caesar) from 1760 to 1766, for £6 per annum. 

Jacobus Van Sice was sexton from 1771 to 1791, at a salary of £10, and 
was succeeded by his son Gysbert, who was dismissed from office in 1799 
for an unfortunate indiscretion, as appears from the consistory minutes. f 

It would appear from the following resolution of the consistory, that it 
was the duty of the sexton to preserve order in church during public 

" June 8, 1810. Resolved, That the sexton is authorized by this board to 
maintain due order in church during public worship, and that he shall be 
indemnified against any legal process, which may arise in consequence of 
correcting or turning out of church, the unruly and refractory; provided he 
do not essentially injure, or scandalously abuse any person." 

* She lived on the north corner of Union and Church streets. 

f " Oct. 25, 1799. A complaint having been delivered in against Q. Van Bice, the 
sexton, that he had delivered the scull of a corpse to the house of Doctor Anderson; 
being sent for and interrogated, he finally confessed that he had taken a ecull out of the 
burying yard and delivered it to Mr. Haganian, student of medicine with Dr. Anderson." 

" Resolved, that Van Sice without fail return the scull to-morrow morning and deposite 
it in presence of one of the members of this board in the place whence it was taken." 

" Resolved, moreover, that said Van Sice be and is hereby dismissed from his service as 

" 26 Oct., 1799, Mr. James Lighthall was appointed sexton in place of G. Van Sice, 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 365 


The baptismal register (Doep-boeJc) of this church from 1694 to this time 
is entire with the exception of ten years during Domine Vrooman's ministry; 
and as all children wei'e baptized, both colored and Indian as well as white, — 
legitimate and illegitimate, — it is the only authoritive source, if rightly 
interpreted, whence the descendants of most of the old Dutch families of 
this region can derive their pedigrees. In early times baptism was 
always performed in the church, unless unavoidably prevented and within 
a few days after birth; sometimes on the birthday. And it was the duty of 
the Domine to register each child so baptized with parents and witnesses 
(getuygen) names. 

The number of registered baptisms from 1694 to 1852 is 11.396. 


The marriage register or Trouw-boek of this church contains the names of 
2,543 couples married between the years 1694 and 1852. 

Under the Dutch government of New Netherlands, marriage was con- 
sidered a civil contract, and might be confirmed (bevestiyht) either by a 
magistrate or by a minister of the Gospel. Preliminary to such confirma- 
tion however, due notification of intention of marriage was required. Tho 
banns were published three Sundays or market days, by the minister of the 
church where the parties resided or by a magistrate in court, after which 
the marriage could be confirmed by any minister or magistrate on presenta- 
tion of a certificate (attestatie) of such publication. No particular place 
was required for the marriage ceremony; — sometimes it was performed in 
church, at other times in private houses.* 

As it was impossible or inconvenient to comply with the law of publica- 
tion in all cases, a dispensation and license were granted by the Governor, 

* [Little can be learned now of the courtship customs in the early days of the frontier 

" Old maids " were unknown and widows with families of helpful hands were well 
endowed and in such request that they seldom died in widowhood unless at very advanced 
age. After a year or sometimes less, they took another husband, a very necessary pro- 
tection in the sparse settlements of the border lands. 

366 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

on the presentation of a "penal bond of £500 that there was no lawful let 
or impediment " to the marriage. 

The first marriage by license recorded in the " Trouw-Boek " of this 
church was in 1717. (?) 

The practice of issuing licenses ceased with the British rule in this State 
in 1783. 

The girls were needed at home and they were also in great demand as huysvrouws 
(literally house wives) by the bouwers as in all newly settled districts. They needed no 
fortune save health and strength as their marriage portion. 

Until the Revolution the law of primogeniture was generally strictly observed. As a 
rule, inheritance was by the male line, the daughters having provision for support merely, 
or some agreed upon dower if they married. The eldest son was the Erf genaame or heir 
(patrimony named). 

If marriages of convenience were made, the wealth brought the husband was in the 
bride's strength, housewifely skill and the family influence gained by the match. 

According to the Holland custom the Dutch here kept the sexes apart in church, but 
not elsewhere.* 

The settlement was isolated and small. Every one was related to or intimately ac- 
quainted with every one else, the houses were small, bringing people in close contact, 
no newspaper, cheap book or circulating library was in existence and they had hut their 
own local affairs to discuss. This enforced an intimacy and familiarity which would be 
called license now. While it would be intolerable at present, for the small com- 
munity there then, it had advantages. Faults were well known and criticised and 
the wrongdoer was sure of punishment either by public opinion or legal condemna- 
tion.— M'M.] 

* [From Notarial Papers of Albany and other sources, tradition being the most prolific as well as the most 
uncertain, the practice of " bundling " was common in the early days along the whole of both sides of the 
Hudson river and in all the settlements of the back country.-' As civilization advanced the practice grew 
into desuetude and along the great highways of travel it had become uncommon before the close of the last 
century in the cities and towns of this vicinity. 

In searching for information as to such customs the trace is always difficult to follow. They w§re seldom 
matters of record, and very old men consulted rarely locate the practice in their own town. In Albany it 
was eaid to be a enstom along the Mohawk. At Schenectady no one is old enough to remember it as 
nearer than the Catskills.'.Helderbcrgs and Schoharie and German flats. It is difficult to say where the 
people there locate it. It is like malaria, always over in the next valley. 

Records of Albany county show some early cases in this locality. In 1804 the testimony is clear as to 
the practice in Orange county then and previously (Seager v. Slingerland ; Caine, S. C. Reports). 

In Graham v. Smith, 1853, witnesses of the highest respectability testified that that manner of courtship 
was the universal custom of that part of the country. One lady fifty-six years old said that such had been 
the custom since she was a little girl. 

The court stated that some of the early settlers of the country from the continent of Europe had brought 
with them the custom, which had been proved in this case. At the time of the Revolution it was generally 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 367 

When a widow or widower with infant children married again, it was 
customary for the parties to contract with the Orphan's Court guardians, 
to protect and preserve the property of said children until they arrived at 
lawful age. 

These were called Weesmaster's or Orphan Masters. 


At funerals " no woman attended the body to the grave, but after the corpse 
was borne out, remained to eat cakes and drink spiced wine. They retired 
quietly before the men returned, who resumed the feast and regaled them- 

Spiced wine and cakes and pipes were provided, and wine and cakes were 
sent to the friends of the family. The best room in the house was specially 

prevalent in the Dutch settlements on both sides of the Hudson river, insomuch that the idea of anything 
wrong in it did not prevail. The custom still (1853) lingers in the land, back in the woods and mountain* 
not habitually accessible to the moving, advancing world outside. 

Other cases might be referred to. 

Stiles' "Bundling" contains much poetry or rhyme devoted to its defence and some in deprecation of 
the custom as generally practiced in Connecticut. Sermons were preached attacking it and the minister 
soundly rated for them. 

It was doubtless common in most provincial parts of England, Scotland and Wales, and brought to Con- 
necticut by^mmigrauts from those districts. 

Washington Irving refers to the practice and quotes it as imported from Connecticut. It may have been, 
but it was like carrying coals to New Castle, it was already a time honored and highly respectable custom 
in the Dutch and German settlements. 

Sewall's Dutch-English Dictionary (1708) defines the custom as " Queesten, an odd way of wooing usual in 
tome Sea towns or Isles of Holland" &c. 

The derivation of Queesten is not given, but was doubtless analogous to Quest to examine, to discuss, to 
•eek and Queste to question, debate. 

We know from dry court records and from tradition that the practice existed. Tradition says that within 
this century, sermons were preached against it in the Dutch church here and that it was earnestly defended, 
but thus far neither sermon nor rhyme has been found to compare with Stiles' collection of Connecticut 
doggerel verse. 

Doubtless it was the practice at remote times of all peoples — and was maintained by poor communities in 
out of the way places from motives of habit or economy ; later it fell into disus3 save in the fishing 
islands, remote nesses orj>roniontories— out of the way glens or mountain valleys, where the people lived in 
hardship and poverty, their houses far apart, merely of one or two rooms, and even light and fuel deemed 
luxuries. In the thinly settled regions of the new world in early days these conditions existed, but the 
compact settlement of Schenectady was productive of easy social intercourse and the custom was not 
necessary for very long. It was easy for young people to get up their merry makings and other means of 
acquaintance which the isolated settlers could not do, but must go to distances after their day's work wu 
done and do their courting in the dark, returning many miles to their work before daybreak. — M'M,] 

368 History of the Sclienectady Patent. 

appropriated as the ' dead room ' and was rarely opened but to be aired and 

Wealthy citizens in anticipation of a death in their families, were accus- 
tomed to procure a cask of wine during their lifetime and preserved it for 

* July 14 [1758]. Predikant Vrooman and some of ye quality of ye town attended 
Prayers in ye Fort in ye Evening. 

July 15. Three o'clock p.m. attended ye funeral of Mr. Vrooman's Brother-in-law. After 
ye people were collected who kept abroad, except the relatives of the Deceased ; the 
clerk proclaimed from ye Stupe before the door, " If any where disposed to see ye corpse 
they might come in." But few from the many abroad went in ;— the corpse was soon 
brought out and laid upon the Bier. The coffin was made with a regular Taper from 
head to foot ; the top like a pitched roof of a house. The relations to remote cousin* 
follow next ye corpse two and two. 

The mourners all silent at the grave. 

All returned from ye Grave to ye house and drank wine plentifully. — Rev. Danid 
Shute's Journal, Essex Inst. Coll., April, 1874. 

1718-19 De Erfgename van Rijer Schennerhoorn D r 

Voor Aenspreecken iu de Stadt en buijten De ttomme van 14sh. 

Theuuis brat 

Ano 1719 gGlde 

Voor het aen spricken van de over leedene Reijer schermerhooren en voor hot 

beegraaven 54 

en Voor het aen sprecken op nijstakaijoenie 12 

en Voor het Doot kleet 6 

die bekene Voldaen guide 72 

toe zyn tato dese den 27 April 

Jan Vrooman 

I will give you a sketch of the manner of burying the dead among the Dutch nobility. 
When any one was dead the friends would commence to make preparation for the funeral ; 
in the first place after the corpse was laid out they would send for 35 or 50 gallons of 
Chewy wine, and some 15 or 22 gallons of it was taken and a compound of spices was 
put in it and made hot, and the rest was used cold ; also two or three bushels of small 
sugar cake was made which was called Dote Kooken or dead cake, also three to five 
pounds of tobacco and from two to three hundred pipes ; then a table was set through the 
house in every room, on those tables is plates of cake, plates of tobacco and at each side of 
the plates of tobacco is a number of pipesand a roll of paper done up to light the tobacco ; 
also candles lit, also wine put up in bottles and set on the table, and wine glasses ; the 
spice wine was put in silver tankers and sat on the tables. 

After the funeral has taken place and while the corpse is going to the grave then the 
tables was set by the slaves or hired help and after the person is buried then they return 
to the house and to partake of the wine, cake, and smoke ; it was more like a wedding 
than a funeral. 

The coffins was black and a large silver plate weighing from five to seven ounces the 
name age and time of death carved on it and the coffin was carried on a bier with the 
corpse iu it, they had from six to eight pall bearers and each of those pall bearers had 
four yards of liunen given to them for scarfs and also had the minister the same. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 369 

this purpose."* When the coffin was removed from the house, it was placed 
upon a bier at the door and covered with a pall of black cloth. f 

The bier was then borne upon the shoulders of the bearers to the grave 
followed only by invited guests. The chief direction of the funeral cere- 
monies was taken by the Vborlezer assisted by the Mokluye)\ and all their 
charges were regulated by the consistory.! 

If there was spiced wine left after the funeral was over, it was taken in the silver 
tankers and sent to the sick friends and those that were not able to come to the funeral. 

No one would attend a funeral in the old times without they had a invitation to come. 
There was always a list made out by the friends of the deceased who they wished to have 
come to the funeral, and this list was given to the sexton of the church and he would go 
around and invite them to attend. 

The bell of the church would ring three times and toll once, the day the person was 
a going to be hurried — End. 

I give you the tacts just as they are and you will have to dress it up in your own lan- 
guage to make it read well. — L. R. Vrooman, Cortland Co., 1856. 

* Annals of Albany, i, 129. 

f The church owned two palls, which were always used on these occasions ; for the 
use of the great pall a charge was made of three shillings; for the small pall nine pence. 

\ The following is a list of prices established in 1771 : 

"Rules for Cornelis De Graaf, appointed sexton the 18th November, 1771, in regard to 
what he is at liberty to take for inviting [the friends] and burying [the dead]. 
" For a person of 20 years and upwards, 16s. to 20s. 

For a person of 15 to 19 years, 15s. to 19s. 

For a person of 10 to 14 years, 14s. to 18s. 

For a person of 5 to 9 years, 13s. to 17s. 

For a person of 1 to 4 yrs., 8s. to 12s. 

For an unbaptized child [infant] when the bell shall be rung once, 6s. to 10s. 

For ditto when the bell shall not be rung, 3s. to 7s» 

For the Great Pall, 3s. 

For the Little Pall, 9 d 

All thus when he is obliged to invite [the friends] within the village ; but when he 
likewise is obliged to extend the invitations without, he may ask 4 shillings [altered to 6 
shillings] more each; — this is to be understood, as far as Claas Viele's [upper end of 
Maalwyck], or this side ; but when he is obliged to extend invitations further, — to Syme 
Vedder's [Hoffman's Ferry] or this side, — then he may ask yet 3 shillings [altered to 6 
shillings] more. The prices in the above standing rules are increased by reason of the 
hard limes." 

" Regulations for Jacobus Van Sice appointed grave digger and bell ringer for the 
dead on the 18th November 1771, in respect to what he may take for grave digging and 
bell ringing. 

For a person of 7 up to and above 20 for a grave 3s. and for the bell 3s. 
For a child of 1 to 6 years, for the grave 2s. and for the bell 3s. 
For an unbaptized child when the bell shall be rung once for the grave 2s. and for the 

bell 2s. 
For tolling the bell he may likewise ask one shilling more. 

The above mentioned Jacobus Van Sice, shall at his own expense, keep proper tools 
for making and filling graves, likewise proper cords, etc." 


370 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Prior to the year 1800 there had probably been no hearse in the village ; 
in all funeral processions the bier and pall were used ; hence as it was not 
convenient to carry the dead great distances in this manner, the people in 
the country buried upon their own lands. 

At a meeting of the consistory held April 7, 1800, it was "Resolved: 
That a herse be procured as soon as convenient for the use of carrying the 
dead of this congregation to the burying ground, and also for the use of 
the public, under such regulations as this board shall afterwards prescribe." 

And again Dec. 3, 1800, having obtained a hearse if. was "Resolved, 
That the herse and harness be kept by the sexton in some convenient place 
as near the burying ground as possible, to be provided by the consistory ; 
and that whenever any of the citizens may want it, application be made to 
him, and that it be his duty to collect the fees." 

Burial Places. 

The earliest public burying ground* in the village was on the west side 
of the first church at the junction of Church and State streets. After this 
plat of ground had been used for this purpose about 60 years another was 
selected without the palisades, — the grave yard situated between Front and 
Green streets, lately sold by the church for building lots — with exception 
of Yates' lot and vault. 

In 1705, this spot together with all the land lying west of it to the fort, 
then covered with woods, was granted to Philip Schuyler for £18 N. Y. 
currency, or 45 dollars. Two years before, Ryer Schermerhorn, the sole 
living patentee had granted 4 morgens of woodland lying to the eastward 
of the burying ground to Thomas Williams of Albany, who conveyed it 
April 7, 1709, to Arent Van Petten; from whom it passed to his son 

The following are abstracts from the conveyances of the burial ground 
made to the church: 

Aug. 1, 1721. The patentees of Schenectady conveyed to the Dutch church 
a lot, "for a Christian burial place for all the Christians of the town of Schen- 

* It was usual for persons residing without the village to bury their dead upon their 
own lands. Many of these enclosures are still found on the old homesteads along the 
banks of the Mohawk. The only private burying ground known to have been within 
the village was that of Adam Vroouian. This was on his pasture lot on the north side 
of Front street, on lot now numbered 35, its dimensions were 46 feet in depth by 9% 
feet in width. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 371 

ectady and adjacent places ;" " lying Eastward of the ffort of Schen- 
ectady, the south side butting the roadway [Green street] opposite over 
against Dirk Groot's pasture ground 160 feet, — on the west side 240 feet, 
and on the east end 338 feet long, butting the lot of Arent Van Petten; — 
and on the north side [on Front street] is 195 feet long."* 

This conveyance was confirmed by another conveyance to the church 
made March 1, I73f, by Jan Wemp and Arent Bradt, the surviving trustees 
of the common lands. 

On the 7th of August, 1765, Frederic Van Petten for the sum of £125, 
conveyed to the church a parcel of ground for an addition to the east side 
of the burial ground, which parcel is described as follows: 

"All that parcel of land on the East side of the town on the south side 
of a street that comes out of said town and leads by Jacob Fonday's to the 
Ael plaas, \ [Front street], and also on the north side of a street [Green], 
that comes out of said town and leads back of his Majesty's fort by the 
house of Jacobes Van Vorst and Jeroniraus Barheyt, — being putted and 
bounded as followeth: — On the north the Highway leading by Jacob 
Fonday's to the Ael plaas aforesaid; — on the West the church yard or burial 
place; — on the south the Highway that leads back of the Fort by Jacobes 
Van Vorst afs d ; — on the east by a lott of ground [which the said Frederic 
Van Petten reserves for himself] laid out between the lott of Myndert 
Wemple and the hereinabove recited land, which lot is to contain in front 
along said street [Green] fifty feet and in rare [rear] along the lot of 
Zeger Van Santfort 53 feet all wood measure, and the above rented ground 
is also bounded on the east by a lot of ground heretofore sold to Zeger Van 

A great majority of the towns people buried their dead in the common 
burying ground, but for those who coveted the honor or sanctity of a grave 
in the church, this privilege could be bought for about twenty times the 
price of a common grave. 

The following were the rules for burying the dead in the church in 

" For persons of twelve years old and upwards there shall be paid three 

* See old deed among church papers. 
f The Ael plaas was above the state dam at the aqueduct. 

\ It is believed that this lot of Zeger Van Santvoord, fronting on Front street, was 
■ubaequently acquired by the church and added to the burial ground. — See Church Papers. 

372 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" For graves of children of four years to twelve, forty shillings. 
"And for the grave of a young child up to four years of age, four A 
twenty shillings."* 


No headstones are found at the graves of first settlers ; the graver's art 
did not then exist among them and the marble and granite had not then 
been quarried. 

The oldest gravestone found in the city was a few years since taken from 
a cellar wall into which it had been built, having been used evidently as a 
whetstone many years after it had served the purpose of a funeral monu- 
ment. It was a fragment of the blue stone found in the quarries east of the 
city ; its dimensions were fourteen by seven inches and four inches thick, 
and bore the following inscription rudely and slightly cut : 

Anno 1690 









* Regelatie voor Graften in do kerck van Dooden als Volght : 
Van Twalf Jaaren out tot dat sy out syn sullen daar Voor Betalen Drie Pont, 
En voor de Graften van kinderen van vier Jaar out Tot Twalf Jaaren out Veertigh 
Schellinge, — 
En voor Een graft van Een Jonck kint Tot vier Jaaren out vier en Twentigh Schellinge. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 373 

[Translation.] " On the 28th of May in the year 1690 my son, Hendrick 
Jansen Vrooman, rested in the Lord. Jan Vrooman." 

The oldest gravestone in the church burying ground, was set up in 1722 
and is of the same material as the above mentioned stone. 


Probably no church in the State, outside of the city of New York, was 
so munificently endowed as that of Schenectady. In 1740 she owned fully 
twelve square miles of land in this county, which, had it been conveyed by 
long leases and not in fee, would have been worth to her now from 
$300,000 to $500,000. All this magnificent estate has passed away; at this 
time she possesses barely a fine house of worship and the lot upon which 
it stands. 

Several reasons may be assigned for the dissipation of this large 

Inasmuch as the pew rents covered but a small part of the current 
expenses of the church, this deficiency was supplied from time to time by 
the sales of the patent lands, which were held of little account except for 
pasturage and timber, and were sold, therefore, at a low figure. Moreover, 
if tradition be correct, large portions also of this fair domain were frittered 
away in gifts to the relatives and friends of influential members of the 
congregation, under cover of conveyances with a mere nominal considera- 

Only a brief description can be given here of the chief pieces of real 
estate that have been owned by this church. 

Church Sites.- 

The first in order of time, was the old site at the junction of Church and 
State streets. It must have been reserved for this purpose from the first 
laying out of the village, before the year 1664. Its dimensions north and 
couth were 56 feet, — east and west 46 feet, Amsterdam measure, together 
with a strip fifteen feet wide upon the west side for a burying ground. 
Subsequently it was extended south 84 feet towards the creek, — the rear 
line being 44^ feet.* 

* About fifty years after the village was laid out, the church first received a formal 
conveyance of their house of worship and lot from the Patentees of Schenectady. This 

374 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

After having been used for various public purposes, the consistory resolved 
in 1785, to build their new academy upon it; — afterwards to erect a dwelling 
house upon it, — and finally to convey it to Arent S. Vedder, for the same 
purpose. But all these projects failed because it was manifestly unsuitable 
for a building site, and especially that portion which had been used for 
more than fifty years as a village burial ground. 

The present church site was acquired from Daniel Janse Van Antwerp in 
1715 — as seen in deed of which a fac-simile is here inserted. 

A strip along the east side was added by purchase as noted under head 
of Van Vorst. 

De Abme Wey ok Poor Pasture. 

Of all the ample domains of the church, De Arme wey was the longest 
held and the last sold. The title deeds of this property are lost if any ever 
existed; even tradition is at fault and the donor's true name has nearly 
perished from the remembrance of those who have been benefited by it. 

The story has been told that Jan Rinckhout gave this property to the 
church, reserving simply " a small spot on which he erected a hut partly 
under ground," and there lived a hermit's life. 

Rinckhout was a baker in Albany, but about 1670, removed to Schenec- 
tady having leased his house and bakery to Antony Lespinard " with privi- 
lege of baking for Christians and Savages." He was living in Schenectady 
as late as 1704, when his son Jurriaen dying made provision in his will that 
his wife, six children and father, Jan, should be maintained out of his real 
and personal estate here and in New York. It is certain that the church 
owned De Arme Wey seventeen years prior to this date. These facts there- 
fore render it quite improbable that Jan Rinckhout was the donor. 

Discarding tradition and romance, the evidence is clear that the true bene- 
factor of " the poor of Schenectady " was Hans Janse Eenkluys, an ancient 
servant and soldier of the Dutch West India Company. He early came to 

is dated 3d October, 1715, and on the back is this endorsement, made doubtless at an 

earlier date : 

"Wood measure" [11 inches to the foot] 

"The front is 60 [feet] 
"behind 44^ 

"Deph 140." 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 375 

New Netherland and was sent by Governor Van Twiller in 1632 to erect 
the arms of the States General at a spot called Kievits Hoek [Saybrook] at 
the mouth of the Connecticut river. 

On the occasion of Governor Stuyvesant's visit to Rensselaerswyck in 1648, 
he was employed to clean the Heer Patroon's cannons and to fire the salutes. 
As early as 1668 he was an inhabitant of Schenectady, where he continued 
to reside until his death in 1683, after which event the deacons of the 
church, Johannes Pootman and Sweer Teunise Van Velsen, petitioned the 
court of Albany for authority to administer upon his estate, saying that on 
the 7th day of March, 167^, he [Hans Janse Eenkluys] had made over to 
the poor of Schenectady his plantation upon condition that he should be 
maintained in his old age and weakness, and that on the 2d of May, 1680, 
he had made the deacons of the church administrators of his whole estate. 

They aver also that thirteen years ago [1670] he began to be very weak, 
that they had given him support while living and had paid the expenses of 
his funeral. 

This Plantasie is first mentioned in the church books in 1687, when it 
was leased to Symcn Groot, Barent Werap and Gysbert Gerritse Van 
Brakel for 82 guilders ($32.80), per annum. The rent was paid chiefly in 
wheat at five skipples the beaver, or 80 cents a bushel. 

About this time it began to be called De Wei/, Hans Janse's wey, and 
De Arme Wey.* 

In its original condition it consisted of eighteen morgens (about 36 acres) 
of the finest Mohawk flats, and was bounded by the river on the north, — 
the river road (a continuation of Front street) on the south, — the " Fonda 
place," on the west and the " Hansen kil " (now College brook) on the east, 
by which it was separated from the Boght. 

This latter parcel of land consisting of 16 acres was purchased of Har- 
manus Van Slyck in 1806 for $1,750. 

Several attempts were formerly made by the church to dispose of this 
property but without success. 

* A memorandum made by D° Van Santvoord makes mention of the conveyance of 
The Pasture by Gov. Lovelace (Grondbrief van de wei'de by Gov. Lovelace), as among the 
important papers of the church. This was probably the Governor's patent to Eenkluys 
and must have been dated about. 1670. It is no longer among the church papers. 

376 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

In 1795, the consistory " Resolved to sell the Arme wey for not less than 
£800" ($2,000), at which price no purchaser was found; but in 1863, it was 
disposed of, including the Boght, at auction for about $11,000, and the 
avails were mingled with the general funds of the church. 

Thus passed away Eenkluy's gift " to the poor of Schenectady " after 
having been in the possession of the church nearly 190 years. Long ago 
the old soldier's name was forgotten, but the results of his benefaction are 
perpetuated to this day, not indeed in the direction which he had indicated, 
but in that beautiful structure lately dedicated as a house of worship. 

Among the honored names there emblazoned that of Hanse Jansk 
Eenkluys, is entitled to special consideration. 

Church mill and mill pasture. 

This fine property, — the bequest of Sweer Teunise Van Velsen (alias Van 
Westbrook), the town miller, consisted of six acres of land bounded 
northerly by State street, southerly by the Sand kil (laterly called Mill 
creek), easterly by Dock street and westerly by the lot of Douwe Aukes 
Defreeze, which latter lot 140 feet front on State street (Amsterdam 
measure), was on corner of Mill lane and State street. 

Defreeze was an innkeeper and next east of his lot probably stood Van 
Velsen's house, his grist-mill being- in the rear on the creek. Both houses 
were burned in the massacre of 1690 by the French and Indians, at which 
time Sweer Teunise with his wife Maritie Mynderse perished in the flames. 
As he left no heirs here, his property passed to children of his wife by her 
first husband, Jan Barentse Wemp. 

It was understood however before his death that he had made a will de- 
vising the half or third of his estate to the church; but no such instrument 
was ever found. Nevertheless his step-children to carry out his wishes re- 
leased to the church the mill and six acres of land above described. 

The church took possession of this property soon after Van Velsen's 
death and within about thirty years disposed of the entire front upon State 
street for building lots. 

That portion between Ferry and Dock streets was divided into ten parcels 
varying in width from 45 to 53 feet (Amsterdam measure). The lowland 
in the rear called the Church pasture was retained until early in this century. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 377 

The Church mill stood upon, or near the site of the old brick mill now 
standing in Mill lane. It was usually leased for about £50 New York cur- 
rency. After holding it for 120 years, the church sold it in 1800 to David 
Burt and John J. Peck for $2,570. In 1813 it was turned into a cotton 
mill by Dr. Archibald Craig who built the present brick building. 

The Sixth Flat. 

On the 20th May, 1714, Ryer Schermerhorn, the only surviving patentee 
of Schenectady, conveyed to the Dutch church, "A lot of land on the north 
side of the Mohawk river about 7 miles above Schenectady, called the Sixth 
flat, containing about seven morgens or fourteen acres;" — " Also 10 morgens, 
or 20 acres of Woodland behind said Sixth flat and so going up to a creek 
called by the Indians Toggutchero, — in English named ' Color creek, [in 
Dutch Verfkit], at the east end of the ' Seventh flat,' and so on north 
behind the said flat into the woods as far as the bounds of the said town." 

From a petition presented to the trustees of the town, on the 16th Jan., 
1716, by Jacobus Van Dyck, in behalf of the consistory, it appears that 
these parcels of land had been purchased, but on account of pi'essing debts 
and urgent need they are asked to remit the purchase money. How long 
the church retained this farm and how or when they disposed of it is not 

On the 25th Jan., 171^, the trustees of Schenectady conveyed to the 
Dutch church a piece of woodland, " in the East end of the town, bounded 
north by the highway [river road to the Aqueduct] — south by the common 
woods, West by the woodland of heirs of Hendrick Brouwer, and East by 
the land of Claas and Tjerk Fransen " [Van de Bogart]. This land lay 
opposite to and this side of the lower (late Freeman's) bridge on the river 
road and was still in possession of the church in 1734. 

How or when it was disposed of is not known. 

The Burial Lot. 

As has been before stated the earliest burial place used by the founders of 
Schenectady was on the west side of the old church at the junction of State 
and Church streets. 

Some were buried under the church, especially such as could afford to 
pay for this privilege. 

* See Church Papers. 

378 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The first mention made of the burying ground between Front and Green 
streets is in the deed of this plat given by the patentees of the town to the 
church, dated Aug. 1, 1721. 

The Niskayuna Patent. 

This tract lay to the east and south of the Schenectady patent and ex- 
tended from the Ael-plaats south to the north line of the manor of Renssel- 

On the 5th of August, 1738, a patent was obtained for this land by Arent 
Bradt and Jacob Glen in trust for the Reformed Protestant Dutch church 
of Schenectady, it was then estimated to contain 2500 acres, but owing to 
an error in measurement rectified in 1786, fell considerably short of that 

The west line of this church patent was the east line of the Schenectady 
patent, the starting point for which line at the Ael-plaats had been fixed by 
the citizens at the mouth of Jan de Laggers Ml.\ The consistory claimed 
and rightly too, that this point should be at the mouth of the Ael-plaats Ml, 
thus claiming a strip of land from the east bounds of the town, of more than 
1200 acres. This controversy was finally determined in favor of the church 
and Arent Bratt, only surveying patentee of the town on Feb. 5th, 1754, 
gave them a deed of conveyance of the property. 

The whole number of acres conveyed to the church by these conveyances 
was 3621. 


In early times the Dutch churches often acted as guardians of widows 
and orphans ; they provided for the poor and kindly looked after the aged 
and infirm, who had no natural protectors : and it was not unusual for the 
latter to place their property in the hands of the consistory from whom they 
received from time to time such support as their wants required. The con- 
sistory were the almoners of the church ; every Lord's day a collection was 

*Jan De Laggers kil is a small brook or rill emptying into the Mohawk river from tbe 
north side near the Aqueduct and many rods easterly from the Ael-plaats kil; by assuming 
this as the starting point of the south-easterly line of the town patent, the area of the 
town lands was increased at the expense of the church, whose lands adjoined them on 
the south-east. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 379 

taken of the free will offerings of the people for this and certain other pur- 
poses, and this duty was not omitted even though there were no present 
objects upon whom their bounty might be bestowed. 

In the outset, the little community of Schenectady seems to have had few 
or no poor people, with the exception of a " shirt for a captive Frenchman," 
it does not appear from the accounts that the deacons gave a stiver to any 
person during the years 1687-9. As the funds accumulated they were loaned 
on bond at 6% interest to citizens. Thus in the audit of 1689, obligations 
to the amount of nearly 3000 guilders were included in the assets of the 
church. Moreover the consistory traded with another portion of these 
funds, buying and selling brass kettles, nails, linen, thread, baize, coverlets, 
etc. This seeming perversion of the funds given for a more sacred purpose 
was simply a temporary necessity of the times and ceased altogether when 
private enterprise provided for the wants of the people. 

Among the permanent sources of income, were de wet/ or " Poor Pasture," 
originally given by Hans Janse Eenkluys " for the poor of Schenectady;" — 
the church mill and mill pasture given by Sweer Teunise Van Velsen; — 
leases received from the trustees of the town; — seat rents and burial fees. 

Besides the payment of the domine's salary and the Voorlezer's and 
Klokluyer's stipends, out of these funds the bread and wine and sacred 
utensils for the Lord's Supper were purchased; the church was cleaned, 
and incidental repairs to the parsonage were made, such as glass for 
windows, posts, nails, &c, for the fence. The following from the church 
account books are illustrations: 

" 1735, By een predication Boek, £1-4-0." 

1777, Dec, the church paid " Voor een gifte aan afgebrande menschen 
van dese plaats." 

"13 Sept., 1794. Bey cassa voor een groten Engelsen Beybel." 

5 Sept., 1815. The consistory resolve to refund to the deacons enough to 
buy 4 silver mugs and one metal flaggon, which is still used in the church 
at communion service. 

A knowledge of the domestic habits and church customs of a people is 
most difficult to be learned after a lapse of two centuries; — even uncommon 
events were seldom recorded, how much less likely then that social 
manners and every day occurrences should become matters of history. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Particularly unfortunate has it been for Schenectady that the flames of 
1690, spared almost nothing of her early records; — with the exception of a 
few leaves of the deacons' account book, all is blank. 

As something however may be learned, even from such unpromising ma- 
terials as these, both in respect to the customs and finances of the church, 
the following extracts are subjoined. 

During the year 168£, the church accounts were kept by Deacon Johannes 
Sanderse Glen and are quite legible. 

1686 1686 

den 20 oktb. Jan brouwer debet. 20 Oct. Jan Brouwer Dr 

aen 14 el linnen a 7 el. pr bever* gl. 16. — to 14 ells of linnen a 7 ells the beaver 16 gl. 

Maria Clyn 

aen 6 el linnen a 7 el. pr bever, 
aen een kombaers a f. 10 
aen 6 el. bay 
aen 4 lbs spykers 
aen 7 el. linnen a 7 el. pr. bev. 
aen 2 strenge garen 


fl. 6—18 
0. 5 

Maria Klein 



to 6 ells of linnen a 7 ells the beaver 6 — 8 
to a coverlet a 10 guild gl. 10 — 

to 6 ells bfize 8.— 

to 4 lbs. nails 2. 

to 7 ells linnen a 7 ells the beav. ' 8. 
to 2 skeins thread — 5 

Johannes potman Credet 

den 15 Septem. aen de kerck gewerekt 
11 dagen a f . 7 des dagen. 25 

ditto. Isack de Trou [Truax] 

aen 6 lbs spykers 3 — 

15th Septem. Johannes Potman 
11 days work on the church a 7 guilders 
a day 25 


ditto Isaac de Trieux [Truax] 
to 6 lbs nails 


den 20 Novem. Adam Vroman 
aen 9 lb spykers, scwant 14 
aen 2 lb spykers, bever 

ditto Sander Glen 

aen 9 lbs spykers 


den 30 Septe. Johannes Glen, 

aen 42 lbs spykers a 20 lb. pr. bev. 

aen 34 lb. spykers a 20 lb. pr. bev 

aen 2 sgepel taru 


80 oktober 

2 bevers aen silv. gelt 

aen bever 

noch by reckeninge 

* The guilder or florin beaver was worth'about 38 or 40 cts. — the guilder seewant, or wampum, was 
equal to one shilling N. Y. currency or one-third of the former;— the beaver skin being considered the 
specie of the Province. _ 

These accounts are kept in guilders and stivers, partly seewant and partly beaver. 


20 Nov. Adam Vrooman 



to 9 lbs nails sewant 14 



to 2 lbs nails beaver 



ditto Sander Glen 



to 9 lbs nails 



30 Sept. Johannes Glen 


'. 17. 

to 42 lbs nails a 20 lbs pr 



. 13—15 

to 34 lbs nails a 20 lbs pr. 
to skiples of wheat 





30 Oct. 


fl. 16. 

2 beavers in silver money 



one beaver 



also by settlement 



The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


den 8 ockto. domenie tassemaker, 
aen 14 el. linnen a 7 el. pr bever 

Credet Wouter Vrooman 
Voor plaes voor sin vroouw 


Barant Wemp 
aen 14 el. a 7 el. pr bev. 
2 bevers aen zilvr 

debet 8 Oct. Domine Thesscbenmaecker Dr 

16 — to 14 ells of linnen a 7 ells pr beaver 16. — 

Cr. Walter Vrooman for a place [seat] 
36 gul for his wife* 86 — 

debet Barent Wemp Br 

16. — to 14 ells of linnen a 7 ells pr beaver 16. — 

1689, Oct. Cr. 

Credit 2 beavers in silver 16 — 


ditto Sweer tunisse debet, 

aen 14 el. linnen a 7 el. pr bev. fl. 16. 
aen 7 el linnen door syn myt Jannetje 
gehaelt fl. 8. 

den 1 novem. Credit, 

aen sulver tot fl. 26 bevers 26 

ditto. Sweer Teunisse [Van Velsen]f Dr 
to 14 ells linnen a 7 ells pr beav. 16. — 
to 7 ells linnen fetched by his maid 
Jaunetie 8. 

Nov. 1 ' cr. 

to silver fl. 26— beaver 26. 

den 10 Oktob Daniel Janse debet 

aen 26 el. linnen a 7 el. pr. bev. 29 — 15 

1688 den 20 Augus. credet 

aen fl. 89 — 5 sewant 29 — 15 


10 Oktob. Abratn Groot debet 

e en 14 el. linnen a 7 el. pr. bev. 16. 

1688 Credet 
2 bevers door barent Janse op recken- 

inge van domine tassemaker 16. 

10 Oct. Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen Dr. 
to 26 ells linnen a 7 ells Dr beavers 29—15 
1688, 20 Aug. Cr. 

to 89-5 sewant 29 — 15 


10 Oct. Abraham Groot Dr 
io 14 ells linnen a 7 ells pr. beav. 16 — 
1688 Cr. 
two beavers by Barent Janse [Ditmars] 
on a reckoning of Domine Thesscben- 
maecker 16 

ditto. Andries Arentse [Bratt] 

to 17£ ells linnen a 7 ells pr. beav. 20. 



ditto. Andries Arentse debet. 

aen 171 el. linnen a 7 el. pr bev. 20. 

ditto Jan Van Rotterdam, debet, 

aen fl. 12 sewant over een aksic die hey 

met hendrik mese hat 4. — 

den 6 meert.aen fl.12 sewant over questie 

die hey met hendrik lammerse hat 4. 


hendrik lammerse debet 

aen fl. 12 sewant over qestie die hey met 
rotlerdam had 4. 

* It would seem from this that a single seat in the church at this time cost 36 guilders or $4.50.1 
t The town miller, killed in the massacre of 1690. 

X Did ihe Consistory act as a court of justice imposing and collecting fines, or were the fines collectedOjy 
the magistrates handed over to the deacons for the poor? 

ditto. Jan Van Rotterdam 

to 12 guilders sewant in an action 
which he had with Hendrick Meese 
[Vrooman] 4. 

6 Mar. to 12 guilders sewant in the con- 
test which he had with Hendrick 
Lammerse 4 


Hendrick Lammerse 
to 12 guilders sewant in the contest 
which he had with Rotterdam:! 4. 



History of the Schenectady Patent. 

den 10 oktob. 
de Commissariss: 
aen 20 lb. spykers 

Content Verkoght. 
10 lb. spykers 
40 lb. spykers sewant 
li el. linnen 
8 streuge garen 
3 lb. spykers voor de kerk 

Uyt gift. 
den 6 novem. voor bet klyne doot 

kleet 108.- 

voor bet naye 1- 

den 5 desem. voor het nagbtmaels 

wyn 25.- 

voor ryen van een vert spyke von de 

Vuyk, 4 lb. spykers 0- 

voor de ^lasen van de kerck 30- 

1687 den 28 Maret 

aen ryer Jacobse, sewant 600.- 

en 47 sgepel taru a 5 sg. d bever die 

by van Sweer tunesse ontfangen 


nogb door Synien Groot 12£ sgepel 

nog door gysbert gerretse 16 sgepel 

nog door barent Wimp 11 sgepel taru 

dit alles a 5 d bever. 
Den 4 sept. 

nog aen wyn Voort nagt maels 30. 
nog voor linnen 4 ell 7.- 

nog een henit voor een gevangen Vrans- 

meu 8. 

nog 2 sgepels taru gekogt 10. 

nog voor wyn aen't nagtma 15. 

nog f. 27 sew: aen Potman gelyck het 

by syn reckening te sien is 27. 

10 Oct. 



The commissaries* 



to 20 lbs. nails 

Account of sales 



10 lbs. nails 



40 lbs. nails sewant 


5— 3 

1£ ells linnen 

5- 3 


8 skeins thread 



3 lbs nails for the church 


6 Nov. for the little pallf fl.108 

for the sewing [same] 1 — 6 

5 Dec. for the wine for the Lord's 

supper 25. — 

for freight of a tub of nails from the 

Fuyclc\ 4 lbs. nails 6 — 

for glass for the church 30 — 

1687 28 Mar. 

to Ryer Jacobse [Schermerhorn] 600— 
and 47 skiples of wheat a 5 skiples 

pr. beaver, which he has received 

of Sweer Teunisse [Van Velsen] 

also through Simon Groot 12| skiples 

of wheat, 
also through Gysbert Gerritse [Van 

Brakel] 16 skiples of wheat 
also through Barent Wemp 11 skiples 

of wheat, all a 5 skiples per beaver. 
4 Sept. 

also to wine for the Lord's supper 30 — 
also for linnen 4 ells 7 — 6 

also a shirt for a captive Frenchman 

also 2 skiples of wheat bo't 10 — 

also for wine for the Lord's supper 15 — 
also 27 guilders sewant to Potman as 

is to be seen by his settlement 27. 

[Audit of the past year's accounts.] 

A° D* 1687 Den 5 Decemb r in Skach- 

So heeft de kercken-raed so predikant, 

A. D. 1687, 5 Dec. in Schenectady. The 
consistory, minister, elders and dea- 
cons, — have received an account of 

* The magistrates of the village. 

+ The " little pall " owned by the church was used at the funeral of children . 

% A name given to that part of Broadway, Albany, from State street to Steuben street, as also to Albany 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


onderlingen als diackenen de Recker- 
ingh Van de Cas en alles opgenomen 
Van Johannes Sanders en Levert de 
Reckening aen Claes Lowrense pur- 
merent aldus voer Dat hy in zewant 
& silver gelt in Cas heeft g.697- 


en hy nioet ontfangen aen nystaenden 
schulden van linnen 423. 

Purmerent heeft volgens 

Zyn Boek verkoegt 2494 lb. spykers 

noch onbetaelt 128 lb spykers. 

noch heeft Purmerent in zyn 
huys 149 lb. spykers 

the cash and all other things from 
John Sanderse [Glen] and delivered 
the same to Claas Lourentse Purme- 
rent [alias Van der Volgen] as fol- 
lows: — he has in sewant [wampum] 
and silver money g.697 — 2 

and he is to receive in outstanding 
debts for linnen fl.423 

Purmerent has sold according 
to his books 2494 lb. nails 

in his book yet unpaid 128 lb. " 

also Purmerent has in his 
house 149 lbs. " 

[H samen] 

Petrus Thesschenmacker 
Meyndert Weinp. 

528| lbs 


Petrus Thesscheumaker, 
Meyndert Wemp. 


The accounts for 1688 were kept by deacon CU^as Lourentse Purmerent [Van der 

The sales being similar to those of the year preceding but few extracts will be made. 


den 15 april. Symon Groot, bareut 
Wjmp ende Gysbert Gerritse [Van 
Brakel], syn debat voor een jaer huer 
van de plantasie*, — bever f.82 

1688 den 15 april 

Symen Groot, barent Wemp en gys- 
bert gerritse (Van Brake]) nog een 
jaer huer van dite plantasie a 
bever fi.82 



15 ap. Simon Groot, Barent Wemp and 
Gysbert Gerritse (Van Brakel) are in- 
debted lor a year's hire of the plan- 
tation* — guilders 82 

1688 ap. 15. 

Simon Groot, Barent Wemp 
and Gysbert Gerritse [Van Brakel] 
are still indebted for a year's hire of 
this plantation 82 


16^9 15 ap. 

Symen Groot, barent wemp and gys- 
bert gerritse (Van Brakel) deb. een 
jaer Huer van de plantasie f.82 

1687 den 28 meert. 

Symen Groot credet 

aen 134 sgepels taru a 5 sgepel pr 
bever f!20 

1689 15 ap. 

Simon Groot, Barent Wemp and Gys- 
bert Gerritse [Van Brakel] debit for 
a years' hire of the plantation fl82 

1687 28 Mar. Simon Groot, 
to 134 skiples of wheat a 5 skiples pr 
bever fl.20 


* The • plantasie here mentioned for the first time in these accounts, but afterwards called de wey and de 
Arme wey was the 18 morgens of land bequeathed "for the poor of Schenectady by Hans Janse Eenkluys. 
This parcel of ground was known later as the Poor Pasture. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

Gysbert Gerritse , Credet 

aen 16 sgepel taru a 5 sgepel d bever 

barent wemp Credet 

aen 11 sgepel taru a 5 sgepel pr bever 17 — 12 
1688 gysbert gerritse credet 

10 schepel erten a 5 schepel per bever 16 — 
dirck brat Credet 

15 schepel taru 24 

door Jan Roeloflse, credet 6 

109— 4 

Gysbert Gerritse (Van Brakel) Cr. 

to 16 skiples of wheat a 5 skip : pr. 

beaver 25 — 12 

Barent Wemp Cr. 

to 11 skiples of wheat a 5 skiples pr 

beaver 17—12 

1688 Gysbert Gerritse (Van Brakel) Cr 

10 skiples of peas a 5 skiples pr 

beaver 16 

Dirck Bratt Cr. 

15 skiples of wheat 24 

by Jan Roeloffse* (De Goyer) 6 



de diyacony deb. 

66 lb. spykcrs aen de Ileyninge en 39£ lbs 

spykers Aen't buys 

de diyacony Credit 

66 lbs spykers. 
Verkoght 34 strengen garen a 6 sfuy- 

vers pr streng: de strengen Konipt fliO — 4 


The diaconate Dr 

66 lbs nails on the fence and 39i lbs 

nails on the House 

The diaconate Cr. 

66 lbs. nails 
sold 34 skeins of thread at 6 stuyvers 

pr skein, the skeins come to 1110 — 4 


Voort verkoght garen 

fllO — 4 For the selling of thread, 

10— 4 

[Audit for the year 1688.] 

A° D 1 1688 Den INovemb: in Skack- 

So heeft de kerckenraad van Shach- 
nechtadie, so predicant, ouderlingen 
als Diaeekanen De Reckeninge van 
de Cas opgenomen van Claes Lou- 
rentse Purmerent en de selveopdato 
aen Adam Vrooman overgelevert 
in dese naer Volgende posten. 

In casa en Zewant A99.-7 

noch vier Stucken vanachten 48. 

aen Boeck schuld 696. 

Een obligatie op Hendrick meese~ 
van't jaer 1681 den 23 ap 1 g> 350 

Een obligatie op Bennony Adre- I £ 
sse Vau 't jaer 1686 den 2 Augs. ' » 336-1 

Een obligatie op Willem Abramse s 
van t jaer 1687, den 28 Nov r J " 600 

A.D. 1688 Nov. 1 in Schenectady 

The consistory of Schenectady, minis- 
ter, elders and deacons, have received 
from Claas Lourentse Purmerend [alias 
Van der Volgen] an account of the cash, 
and at this date have delivered over the 
same to Adam Vroomau in the follow- 
ing items: 
in cash in Zewant 
four pieces of Eight (spanish) 
by book accounts 
An obligation against Hendrick 

meese [Vrooman] of the year 

1681 Ap. 23, 
An obligation of Bennony Aren- 

tse [Van Hoeck] of the year ► 

1686, Aug. 2, 
An obligation against William 

Abrahamse [Tietsoort] of the 

year 1687, Nov. 28, 





336- 1 


* Son of Anneke Janse by her first husband Roeloff Janee. 

The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


Eeu obligatie op Reyer Jacobse van 
't jaer 1087 den 28 maert 1008 

except de interest 

Verschenen gelt van't weyland van 't 
jaer 1688 den 15 ap 1 verschenen 184 — 

Van Gerrit Banckert Van 't wey- 
land 44 

Vrywillige besloften van Barent Deip- 
mars 24 

% lb garen 

s a A3369- 
't welck wy getuygen 
Petrus Thesschemnaecker, predicant. 
Sweer thooniscben Van Velsen, 
Reynier IScbaets 
Meyndert Werup 
Claes Louresses 
Adam Vroomman 
Dit I C C/3 is 't merck van Isaac Swits 


An obligation against Reyer Jacobse 
[Schermorhorn] of the year 1687, 28 
mar., A1008.— 

except the interest, 

Sundry sums from the pasture land of 
the year 1688 ap. 15, 164— 8 

From Gerrit Bancker for the Pasture 
land, 44 — 

Freewill offerings of Barent Ditmars, 24 — 

% lb thread, 

sum. fl3369— 16 

The which we witness — 
Petrus Thesschenmaecker, preacher 
Sweer Tcunise Van Velsen, 
Reynier Schaets, 
Meyndert Wemp, 
Claes Lourenise [Vander Volgen] 
Adam Vroman, 
This is I C C/3 the mark of Isaac Swits. 

Deacon Adam Vrooman was treasurer of the Diaconate for the year 1689. 
lowing are some of the expenditures. 

The fol 


6 ianwari. betaelt aen Lysbet Van 
Trych voer bans iansen Kluys 57 — 12 


6 Jan. paid 


to Elizabeth Von Trich 
for Hans Janse [Een- 


febwer. acn meyndert wemp betaelt 

7 schep a taru 28. 

maert, betaelt aen wyn voerhet avont- 

mael 17. 

betaelt aen de wesvaders van Pyeter 

kwyns 144. 

1689 den 30 mey 
noch aen lodewyck cobes op renten 

gelandt 132. 

den 23 July 
noch betaelt voer 4 dagen gewerck 

my wey van bans iansen * * * * 16. 

Feb. to Myndert Wemp paid 7 skiples 
of wheat, 28. 

March, paid for wine for the Lord's 
supper, 17. 

paid to the guardians of Peter 
Kwyns 144. 

1689 30 may, 

also to Ludovicus Cobes lent upon in- 
terest, 132. 

23 July. 

Also paid for 4 days work in the pas- 
ture of Hans Janse [Eenkluys], 16. 

* Daughter of Willem Teller and wife of Abraham Van Tricht of Albany. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

den 30 okto. 

noch bctaelt voer wyn Voer het avont- 

mael 17-10 

den 3 septetn. 
noch aen teunis karsten op renten 

gelandt 120. 

30 Oct. 

also paid for wine for the Lord's sup- 
per 17-10 

3. Sept. 

also to Teunis Karstense lent upon in- 
terest, 120 

[Audit for tG89.] 
A D' 1689 Den 26 en Novem r in Skacknechtadie. 

So heeft de kercken raad van Skah- 
nechtadieso Prrdicnnt, Oudcrlingen 
en Diacckcnen De Rcekeningh van 
de Cas en alle Schuld en Obligatien 
en Van de wey op genomen van 
Adam Vroomman, en deselve op 
data aen Isaac Swits overgelevert 
in dcse uaer volgende postein : 

The consistory, minister, Elders and 
Deacons, — have received from Adam 
Vrooman an account ot the cash, 
debts, obligations and [dues] for the 
[Poor] Pasture and delivered the 
same to Isaac Swits at this date in 
the following items : 

In cas in zewant 
De wey is debet 

Aen Obligatien Debet 
Hendrick meese 

Benony Aersse 

Keyer Jacobse Scher- 

Willem Abramse 

Ludovicus Cobes 
Teunis Carstense 
Carel Hansen 

aen Boeck schulder 
Jan Brouwer 
Maria Cobes 
Isaac de Triex 
Sander Glen 
Johannes Glen 
Jacob Van Laer 
Philip Philipse 
Jan Joncker 

Hendrick Lammerse 
Andries Bratt 
Willem Abramse 

A245— 14 In cash sewnnt, gl. 245—14 

The Poor Pasture is in- 
212—11 debted 212—11 


451— 5 
396— 1 






Obligations Debit 
Hendrick meese [Vroo 

A2959— 6 

458— 5 

A451— 5 


Bennoni Arentse 

Hock], 396— 1 

Rycr Jacobse Schermer- 

hooren, 1128 

Willem Abramse [Tiet- 

sooit], 612 

Ludovicus Cobes, 132 

Tennis Carstense, 120 

Carel Hansen [Toll], 120 

A2959— 6 

Book debts. 

John Brouwer, 


Maria Cobes, 



Isaac De Triex [Truax] 



Alexander Glen, 



John Glen, 



Jacob Van Laer, 


Philip Philipse [De Mort 



Jan Joncker [van Rot- 



Hendrick Lammerse, 


Andries Bratt, 


Willem Abrahamse 



The Reformed Nether Dutch Church. 


Douwe A ukes 

31— 1 

Douwe Aukes 


31— 1 

Jan Meby 


Jan Mebie, 


Joris Aerse 


Joris Aersse [van der 



Jesaias Swart 


Jesaias Swart, 


Benony Aersse 


Benoni Aersse 



Qerrit Banckert 

44— 8 

Gerrit IJancker, 

44— 8 

Barent Deipinars 


Barent [Jause] van Dit- 



s 8 



A3944— 11 


[Signed by] 
Petrus Thesschenmaecker, Predicant 
Meyndert Wemp / , ,. 
frans Harmeuse f ouderlingen 

Adam Vrooman 

Dit is 't I C c/3 merck 

Van Isaac Svvts I dese vicr 

Willem Appel j Diaeckenen 

Dit B W is 't merck 

Van Barendt Weinp J 

Petrus Thesschenmaecker, preacher 

Myndert Wemp, ) 

Frans Harmense, \ Elders. 

[Van der Bogart], ) 

Adam Vrooman, 

This is the I C C/3 mark 

of Isaac 8 wits, [These four 

Willem Appel, (Deacons. 

This is the 15 W mark 

of Barendt Wemp [Wemple], 


The foregoing compilation is in the main, from original matter collected 
by Professor Pearson and published imperfectly in the church history 
issued in 1880, on the supposed 200th anniversary of the founding of the 
Dutch church in Schenectady. It contains an abstract of facts of interest 
to the general reader and some additional notes as to peculiar Dutch customs 
as well as some conclusions by the editor. 

In 1715, the church was called "The Reformed Nether Dutch church," 
which title in 1727 was transposed into " Nether Dutch Reformed church" 
(Nederduytse gereformeerde gemynte), or commonly the " Dutch church." 

The authorities for the foregoing are records and papers in the " Deacons' 
Chest," the baptismal and marriage books here and in Albany county, 
records of Albany and Schenectady counties, as well as data in State offices 
and State library. 

The Doop and Trouw books begin in 1694, prior registers having been 
lost in the flames of 1690 There are a few imperfect records kept by the 
treasurer, of somewhat older date. 

388 ffistory of the Schenectady Patent. 

This church with its vast estates and civil interests must have had many 
valuable papers pertaining to the ancestry of the people and defining many 
historical facts which are now but conjectures. A committee " to examine 
the papers in the old box belonging to this Board and to destroy all such 
papers as they may deem useless," was appointed in 1813, and they probably 
destroyed much history. It is said that the old records of Virginia were 
destroyed to cover up sins of the destroyers' ancestors and tradition has it 
that the consistory of this church in its business aspect was a close corpora- 
tion for the benefit of its friends. However this may be, this committee 
swept out of existence the original titles to much of the land and doubtless 
obliterated the ancestral trace of many worthy as well as unworthy Dutch 
settlers whose descendants are numerous throughout the country. 

The most valuable of these records were the Notarial papers of Schenec- 
tady kept by Ludovicns Cobes, schout and secretavy from 1677 to about 
1695, when he died. They contained all deeds, wills, marriage contracts, 
testimony of witnesses prior to trial, and similar miscellaneous official matter. 
On examining the Albany Notarial papers one feels the deepest regret that 
those of Schenectady should have disappeared. Possibly there were un- 
pleasant Tacts but as facts they were worthy of preservation. 

Whether they were destroyed with other unreadable Dutch documents by 
this committee, it is impossible to say now. They were appointed to destroy 
and not to preserve and they left no list of what went to the flames. 

The Dutch quoted in the foregoing was " Mohawk Dutch." In Father 
Jogues time (1643) there were eighteen different languages spoken at New 
York, presumably as many at Albany. A considerable number of the early 
settlers had Indian wives. (Domine Megapolensis says the Dutch are 
constantly running after the Mohawk women.) The children growing up 
with Indian relatives, among the tribes and with men speaking so great a 
variety of tongues built up a patois of their own, the "Mohawk Dutch;" 
many words met with in it defying the dictionary of the schools and yield- 
ing only to the explanation of very old men who had been familiar with this 
kind of Dutch and the Indian languages in their early youth. Many words 
are untranslatable save by the context. 

The English Church. 389 


This church was the natural outgrowth of the English occupation from 
1664, to the Revolution. There were many immigrants from England and 
the New England colonies and many discharged soldiers turned settlers. 
There were always considerable garrisons of British regulars or New Eng- 
land militia more particularly during the French wars. Where they had mar- 
ried Dutch wives their families were usually brought up in the Dutch com- 
munion, this was especially true of those whose business carried them away 
with the troops to Oswego 01 beyond trading, during a large part of the year. 
English chaplains doubtless had many hearers among the inhabitants. 
After the peace in 1754, at the close of the old French war, few troops were 
stationed here, and those of the inhabitants who desired to hear preaching 
in the English language such as the English, Scotch and New Englanders 
were forced to build a church for themselves. Paucity of numbers and of 
means delayed this for years, though the foundation was commenced in 1759. 

The old church still stands — transepts have been added in same style of 
architecture. Unfortunately the old sounding board has been removed from 
over the pulpit but the general quaintness of the interior lias been preserved. 

The following letter in answer to some inquiries addressed to the late 
Archbishop Tait by the Bishop of Albany, quotes some data from records of 
the " Society for Promotion of the Gospel in Foreigu Parts" pertinent to the 
early history of this old church. 

"S. P. G. House, 19 Delahay St., Westminster, 

November 24, 1882. 
Mem. for Major MacMiirray, IT. /$. A. 

We have no " sketch, map, or diagram " of the town of Schenectady — 
the only information here, likely to be useful is contained in the following 
extracts : — 

I. From the Petition of the European Protestant Inhabitants of the town 
of Schenectady and Province of New York." 
"Your Petitioners from Sundry parts of Great Britain and Ireland have 
mostly since the commencement of the late war settled in this remote part 

890 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

of His Majesty's Dominions, where they have had no opportunity of hearing 
the gospel preached there being no established church nearer them than six- 
teen miles. 

"They have from their small ability and great desire to become like other 
Christians, with much perseverance almost finished a small church for pub- 
lick worship, but being unable to support a Clergyman, renders all their 
endeavours abortive. 

" Your petitioners therefore humbly pray the Venerable Society will 
grant them a mission and enable them to compleat the work begun, or other 
assistance out of their great wisdom they please." 

[This petition is dated "Schenectady March 23,1765" and signed by 
55 persons. It will be noted that they speak of having "almost finished" 
a church, Maj. MacMurray (in his letter to the Bishop) states that a church 
was built there in 1759.] 

II. From the Report of the Society, for 1766. 

" Upon the Representation of Sir William Johnson in his letter of Oct. 8, 
and of Dr. Auchmuty in his letter dated Oct. 24, 1766, together with the 
petition of the Protestant Inhabitants in communion with the church of 
England in the town of Schenectady about 17 miles from Albany, the 
Society have engaged to appoint a missionary to that place, it appearing 
that there is but one Clergyman in all the extensive county of Albany, and 
that the church people of Schenectady have purchased a glebe lot and by 
Subscription, chiefly amongst themselves, erected a neat Stone church." 

III. From a letter of Sir William Johnson to the Society, dated : 

"Johnson Hall October 8, 1766. 

" Some members of the church of England settled at the town of Schen- 
ectady purchased a lot there and by subscriptions chiefly amongst them- 
selves, erected a neat stone church and petitioned for a missionary 

In the meantime the Dissentors claimed a principal property thereon because 
some of them had been promised the use of it when it did not interfere with 
the service of the church of England — not content therewith they have 
done all in their power to obstruct the work and draw of the members 
threatening to pull it down. The Governor, at my instance lias promised 
bis protection but unless something is immediately done for these people the 
next generation must become dissentors and all future hope of the increase 
of the church will prove abortive, neither is that town the only one where 
such practices are carried on." 

The English Church. 391 

IV. From a letter of Rev. Dr. S. Auchmuty to the Society, dated : 

" New York, October 24, 1766. 

" The enclosed petition was sent to me a few days ago, with a request to 
forward it to the Society, Schenectady is a growing village about 17 miles 
beyond Albany. The people that have signed the petition are (the most of 
them) respectable in those parts and have exerted themselves in building 
their church. There is not one Church Clergyman in all the extensive county 
of Albany except Mr. Browne, whose usefulness I have informed you is 
little, little indeed. It may not be amiss for the Society to give the peti- 
tioners some encouragement provided they set about purchasing a glebe 
house etc." 

V. From letters from Rev. William Andrews to the Society. 

"Schenectady, March 15, 1771. 

"The first time I preached here was on Sunday the 6th of January last 
and since that I only baptized 5 children, buried 1, and administered the 

Sacrement to 20 communicants I have preached twice every Sunday 

in the evening I catechise the children — several of whom are Dutch. 24 
June 1771, The number of my people I believe may be about 80 grown up 
persons who attend regularly and devoutly, besides some of the other De- 
nominations come at times. My church is particularly more filled in the 
winter time, as several of them are Indian traders or Batteaumen, who, 
when the Mohawk River is open, proceed in those kind of vessels to Fort 
Detroit and even to Mishillimackauac in sloop which is reckoned upward of 
1000 miles from here." 

The Rev. William Payne, D.D., Rector of the church, preached an his- 
torical sermon November 12th, 1882 ; the following extracts give an 
outline of the growth of this church: 

" In tracing out the history of the building, we must go back nearly to 
the beginning of the preceding century. The memories of the old French 
war, in which the inhabitants of this town suffered severely, had hardly 
begun to fade away, and there was not the first thought of that Revolution 
which, seventy years afterwards, resulted in our independence of the mother 
country. The smoke of the Indian wigwam still arose all along this Mohawk 
valley, and the cry of the wolf and the panther could be heard on its hillsides 
and in the forests. Though fears of another savage invasion had mostly 
subsided, yet the Old Fort, near by the spot where we are now assembled, 

392 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

was still standing, stocked with arms and surrounded by the pickets or pali- 
sades, within which the early settlers had been accustomed to find refuge in 
case of alarm. 

" At this early period, the Rev. Thomas Barclay, missionary of the. English 
church at Albany, visited Schenectady, and so far as I can ascertain, was 
the first Episcopal minister who held service in the place. Writing to 
London, to the society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, 
by which he had been sent over, he says, under date of 1710 : 'At Schen- 
ectady I preach once a month, where there is a garrison of forty soldiers, 
besides about sixteen English and about one hundred Dutch families. They 
are all of them my constant hearers. I have this summer got an English 
school erected amongst them, and in a short time I hope their children will 
be fit for catechising.' ' Schenectady,' continues Mr. Barclay, ' is a village 
situated upon a pleasant river, twenty English miles above Albany, and the 
first castle of the Indians is twenty-four miles above Schenectady. In this 
village there has been no Dutch minister these five years, and there is no 
probability of any being settled among them. There is a convenient and 
well-built church, which they freely gave me the use of. I have taken pains 
to show them the agreement of the Articles of our church with theirs. I 
hope in some time to bring them not only to be constant hearers, but com- 
municants. * * From New York to the utmost bounds of my parish there is 
no minister but myself.' 

" Two years after Mr. Barclay left Albany, where he was succeeded by 
the Rev. Mr. Milu, and he by other missionaries, till 1746. These gentle- 
men doubtless often crossed the pine plains to minister to the few church- 
men here, though I do not find on our records any mention of their visits or 
acts. The Dutch pulpit became regularly occupied by its own pastors, and 
the English people who were the feeblest of the two, seem to have been 
brought under its predominating influence, instead of vice versa as Mr. 
Barclay so fondly anticipated. 

"In 1748, the Rev. John Ogilvie came to Albany as rector of St. Peter's. 
And the same year arrived in Schenectady a layman, who, from the love he 
bore to the principles and usages of the English church, and the zeal he 
showed in promoting them, has been called the father of this parish. I refer 
to Mr. John W. Brown, whose memory is appropriately preserved by a 
tablet on these walls. He is said to have come from London, and was only 

The English Church. 393 

twenty-one years old at the time of his arrival here. Through a long life, 
till the day of his death at the age of eighty-seven, he was the steady friend 
and unwavering supporter of this church. From him probably it received 
its name, St. George being the patron saint of bis native country. 

" The earliest baptism, by an Episcopal minister, on our parish register 
is that of a daughter of Mr. Brown, in 1754, by the Rev. Mr. Ogilvie, who 
performed the same office for another child of Mr. Brown in 1759. It also 
records the baptism of three other children of Mr. Brown by Dutch minis- 
ters — the Revs. Thomas Frelinghise and B. Vrooman. 

" That year— 1759— the erection of the church edifice seems to have been 
undertaken; for under date of that year our parish books still preserve, 
among other items of disbursement, to ' Richard Oldrick and Horseford, 
for digging the foundation of the church, £4. 3s. 9cV Amounts for drawing 
timber, and work of the like kind, are mentioned from that date onward. 
The woodwork was done under the superintendence of Mr. Samuel Fuller, 
who also became the builder of Johnson Hall. He was master of the king's 
artificers, and came to this vicinity from Needham, Massachusetts, with 
Abercrombie's army. To obtain the necessary assistance for fulfilling his 
part of the work on the church, he went back, in 1762, to Needham, and 
engaged several carpenters; and besides having their regular wages while 
here, they were to be allowed a specified sum for the seven days it would 
take them to come from Needham, and also for the same number of days 
for their return. It was several years before the building was completed 
for occupancy and use, though as early as 1767 we find sums collected for 
pew rents among the treasurer's papers. These papers also show the names 
of persons who subscribed for the erection of the church, with their respective 

" At that time lived in the Mohawk Valley Sir William Johnson.* He 
was a major-general in the British service, and general superintendent of 
Indian affairs in North America. The English church had in him a warm 
friend. He not only contributed liberally himself to the erection of this 
building, but also obtained subscriptions from his friends in various parts of 
the colonies — at one time £61 10s. from the Governors of Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, and other distinguished gentlemen, while attending a treaty 

* At Fort Johnson, near Tribe's Hill, before he built Johnson Hall, Johnstown, where 
he died in 1774. 


394 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

of peace at Fort Stanwix. Sir William was also of great service to the 
church here, in procuring for it missionaries from the Venerable Society in 
England, which seems to have consulted him in most of its appointments to 
this region of country. Through his co-operation the wardens obtained 
from the Governor of the colony a charter for their church in 1766, and Sir 
William was requested to act as one of the trustees. He was a frequent 
worshipper in these walls, and tradition says that his pew, which was on 
the south side, was distinguished by a canopy. The church, as it then was, 
according to a ground plan of it in one of the old books, had two doors — 
one on the west end, and the other on the south side (the arch of which 
still remains), with a communion table against the east wall in the middle, 
and directly in front of it two desks for reading and preaching; and only 
a part of the church was finished with pews. 

" During those years the building was used more or less by the Presby- 
terians, who had none of their own.* I have before me a curious statement 
on this point, said to have been found among the papers of a Mr. Alexander 
Kelly, a member of that body. He says: ' Betwext 1760 and 1770, the 
Episcopalians and presbyterians agreed & build a Church Betwext them, 
The Former to goe in at the west Door the Later at the South Door when 
the Church was Finesht John Brown Belonig to the English Church went 
to New York & get it Consecrated under the Bishop unknown to the pres- 
byterians, The presbyterians highly ofended at this John Duncan James 
Wilson James Shuter Andrew & Hugh Michel Andrew McFarland & Wm. 
White & Alexander Merser purchest a lot From a Gentelm in New York 
Colected money in varies places To Build a Church. The Dutch Inhabi- 
tants Seing How they were Served advanct very Liberal in money Boards 
plank Nails Hinges & paint The Church was built about the year 1770.' 

" Mr. Kelly's representation of the case must be as faulty as his or- 
thography. To prove this, it is enough to state two facts — one, that there 

* [This church is on part of the site of British barracks which extended along the 
Rondweg (Ferry street) from Union street to the " Queen's New Fort," at Front street. 
It wa3 immediately under the walls of this citadel of the town and close to the palisades 
along Ferry street. 

All British regiments had chaplains ; the English those of their faith, the Scotch, Pres- 
byterians. The regulations of the war dcparlment then as now required very strict 
attendance at divine worship by the troops, thus having services in which citizens and 
army followers were welcome to engage. Is it not probable that this was the origin of the 
joint use of the "English church " by both denominations of English speaking people? 
— M'M.] 

The English Church. 395 

was no bishop in this country till 1784, thirty years after this alleged trans- 
action; and the other, that the church was never ' consecrated ' till nearly 
one hundred years later, by Bishop Potter, in 1859. The long and short of 
the whole story is, that the Presbyterian party was disappointed in not 
getting permanent possession of the building, to which they had no claim 
except that they had kindly contributed to its erection. 

" As connected with this part of the ecclesiastical history of Schenectady, 
I take the liberty of quoting from a note on the subject, received from my 
esteemed friend, the Rev. Dr. Darling: ' One of the oldest members of 
my church (Presbyterian), when I came here, informed me that the south 
door was walled up after the Presbyterian exodus, ' and the Lord put a 
curse on the mortar, so that it would not stick;' though, as she had no 
prophetic credentials, you may prefer to account for it in some other way.' 

"It was to matters of this kind, I suppose, that Dr. Darling's predecessor, 
the venerable Dr. Backus, referred in his historical sermon, preached in 1869, 
when he said: 'Ritualism and evangelicism long contended here for the 
mastery.' One of the champions in that contest was this same Mi*. Kelly — 
Sandy Kelly, generally called — who, when a pitch-pipe was introduced into 
the Presbyterian worship, rushed down the aisle and out of the door, crying, 
« Awa' with your box o' whistles ! ' What would he have said and done, 
had his evangelic ears been shocked by the noble organ which now vies 
with that of St. George's in improving the ritual of God's house ? 

" While the church was being built, the Rev. Thomas Brown, who suc- 
ceeded Mr. Ogilvie at St. Peter's, Albany, and after him the Rev. Harry 
Monroe, seem to have ministered now and then to the church people here, 
baptizing their children and burying their dead, until the arrival of Mr. 
William Andrews. This gentleman had been for some time catechist among 
the Mohawk Indians. He was a native of Great Britain. He returned 
home in 1770, when he was ordained by the bishop of London, and ap- 
pointed missionary at Schenectady. He may be considered the first resident 
minister, or rector, of St. George's. Mr. Andrews opened a grammar school 
here in 1771; but the labor attendant on this and his parish broke down 
his health, and he relinquished the mission in 1773, and went to Virginia.* 

* A glimpse of the state of the parish in Mr. Andrews' time is preserved in a letter 
then written by the wardens to the secretary of the Venerable Society. They complain 
of the difficulty of pledging a fixed salary for their rector, owing, as they say, "to the 
absence of many of the congregation (which must make the contributions casual and 
uncertain), who are Indian traders over the Great Lakes, and do not always return within 
the year. 

396 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

" Mr. Andrews was soon succeeded by the Rev. John Doty, a native of 
Westchester, and an alumnus of King's (now Columbia) College. It was 
now the eve of the Revolution. Not long had the new incumbent been 
proclaiming within these walls the gospel of peace, before the sounds of 
war were echoed from Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. The rupture 
between the colonies and the mother country was to try the souls of all, 
but of none more than the clergy of the English church, who were sustained 
by the bounty of its society at home, and whose ordination vows would not 
allow them to disuse the liturgy, with the prayer for the king and royal 
family. Like many of his brethren, Mr. Doty suffered between a sense of 
duty and the pressure of the times. He was arrested, and kept in ward for 
a while. On being released, he left for Canada; and divine service was 
suspended in the church during the remainder of the war. 

" When the independence of the States was established, and peace de- 
clared in 1782, the few sheep which Mr. Doty had been forced to abandon 
were almost entirely scattered. The church edifice had become dilapidated, 
the windows were broken out, and desolation reigned within and around. 
I have been told by those who remember those times, that it became a 
resort even to the swine, which were then allowed to run in the streets of 
this Dutch city. As soon, however, as the little remnant of church people 
recovered their courage and strength, they took measures to restore their 
house of prayer, and liberal offerings were made for the purpose, especially 
by Mr. Brown and Mr. Charles Martin, for a long time the faithful treasurer 
of the society. Soon after, in 1790, the parish was admitted into union 
with the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal church, which had become 
duly organized. But it was some time before it could enjoy the services of 
a settled clergyman, depending upon those of Albany and other neighboring 

"In 1798, the Rev. Robert G. Wetmore became rector, in connection with 
Christ church, Duanesborough; and from that day its affairs moved on in 
uninterrupted order and with increasing success. At the first election of the 
corporation, Charles Martin and John Kane were chosen wardens. In a 
register book, then begun, there is a rude pen-and-ink sketch, by Mr. Wet- 
more's own hand, of the church as it then was — a little, oblong, stone 
structure, fifty-six feet long (about half its present length) by thirty-six 
feet wide, with three windows on each side (the old south door being walled 

The English Church. 397 

up), and in front a small wooden steeple, crowned by a low bell tower with 
a cross upon it. It contained thirty-six pews (about one-third of its present 
number), and no gallery, except across the west end, which was reached by 
a stairway within the church in the north-west corner. The pulpit, with a 
long flight of stairs, was against the east wall in the centre, with a reading 
desk in front, and a clerk's pew in front of that, and the altar, with rails, 
on the north side — an arrangement similar to that still existing in the old 
church at Duanesborough. 

"Mr. Wetmore resigned in 1801, and some years elapsed before his place 
was regularly supplied. Meanwhile the services of neighboring clergy 
were occasionally obtained, and several improvements made in the chui-ch 
edifice. At a meeting of the vestry in 1804, ' Charles Martin and John W. 
Brown represented to the board the necessity of taking down the steeple, 
on account of its being in a decayed situation; and proposed to obtain by 
subscription a sum adequate to the erecting a new steeple.' Messrs. David 
Tomlinson and Win. Corlett were appointed the committee, and the result 
was the wooden tower (which was taken down twelve years ago) and the 
beautiful belfry and spire which crowned it, and which were deemed worthy 
of preservation. 

" The foundation of that tower was laid by a young man who had then 
just arrived in Schenectady, and who, though born and reared a New Eng- 
land Congregationalist, soon attached himself to this church, and afterwards 
became most intimately identified with all its changes and improvements — 
David Hearsey. 

" The next rector was the Rev. Cyrus Stebbins, who, having been a 
Methodist minister at Albany, was ordained with special reference to this 
parish, by Bishop Moore. He was here from 1806 to 1819, but I do not 
find that any alterations were made in the church edifice during his incum- 

"For a year or two after Dr. Stebbins' resignation, the services were kept 
up, with much acceptance to the congregation, by Mr. Alonzo Potter, as 
lay reader, then tutor of Union College, aud afterwards the Bishop of 
Pennsylvania. A tablet to his memory has been placed by the trustees of 
the college on the walls of St. George's. 

"In 1821, the Rev. Alexis P. Proal was called to the rectorship, and he 
continued in it till 1836. During those fifteen years, several substantial 

398 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

additions were made to the church property. A house with lot, belonging 
to Ahasuerus Wendell, was brought for a rectory by the church's side on 
the north ; and more sittings being found necessary in the church, side gal- 
leries were erected, running from the west to the east wall. 

" Dr. Proal was succeeded by the Rev. Aldert Smedes, during whose 
rectorship of three years a radical change was made in the church edifice. 
Increased accommodations being required, the vestry debated whether to 
pull down the old building and erect a new one, or to enlarge. The latter 
course was adopted, for which we may well be thankful ; for, apart from 
the loss of the charm of age and historical associations, a new structure 
would very likely have proved an abortion. It was a period in the history 
of ecclesiastical architecture in this country, when ignorance and false ideas 
prevailed on the subject. In place of that which, though simple and rude, 
was not unchurchly, there might have been entailed upon the parish some 
monstrosity, perhaps a wooden Gothic building, such as those times often 
gave birth to. From that misfortune we were saved by the wisdom and 
right taste of those who had the direction of matters ; and so, in the spring 
and summer of 1838, two transepts, or wings, were added to the old nave. 
But, alas ! the former chancel arrangement was discarded, and in lieu of it 
arose a huge three-decker — a pulpit large enough for several, and desk of 
corresponding size, with a communion table in front. Under the pulpit was 
a hole, where the clergyman could go and change his surplice for a black 
gown between the service and the sermon. Thirty pews were gained on 
the lower floor, besides many others by continuing the galleries around the 
new transepts ; and the graceful arch over your heads was shut out of sight 
by a floor, making the whole upper ceiling flat. Another important event 
in the history of the parish during Dr. Smede's rectorship, was the purchase 
of the house next south of the church, called the Peek house, where the 
Sunday school met and the sexton lived. The garden was added to the 
burial ground." 

The Presbyterian Church. 399 


By Rev. Timothy G. Darling, the Pastor. 

The early history of the Presbyterian Church in Schenectady is obscure. 
As late as 1756 we learn from Smith's History of the Province of New York 
that there was no Church in the town except the Dutch. Before this date, 
however, settlers from England and Scotland and from New England were 
drawn to this " frontier " town by the facilities afforded for trading with 
the Interior. Missionaries, chiefly for the Indians, had been sent- into these 
parts by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel early in the 18th 

One of these, the Rev. Mr. Barclay, under date of 26 Sept., 1710, reports 
preaching once a month at Schenectady, " where there is a garrison of 40 
soldiers, besides about 16 English and 100 Dutch families * * * the only 
' dissenters ' there are Dutch.' " There was a chapel in the fort at Schenec- 
tady which was built about 1735. 

In July, 1759, the Rev. Dr. Johnson writes to Archbishop Seeker, " They 
are building a church at Schenecty, a fine county town on the west side of 
the river above Albany, and will soon want a minister there," " Chenectedi 
or Corlaer," is said about this date to be a village of some 300 houses. 

Concerning this building, now St. George's Episcopal Church, a tradition 
existed that Presbyterians subscribed to its erection with the understanding 
that it should be used in common by both denominations. 

Unfortunately all the ecclesiastical records which might have thrown light 
on the earliest Presbyterian history here, have been destroyed by fire. 

It is not unlikely that such Presbyterian missionaries as had penetrated 
to Albany had also visited this region, but there was no minister settled 
over the Presbyterian church here before 1770. For some time prior to 
this, however, there had been a congregation worshipping statedly in a hired 

400 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

"meeting-house," as under date of 11 Jan., '69, there is an entry in "An 
account of what Andrew McFarlan has laid out," as follows: "To Balance 
due on the first 2 years of the old house £6 14s. 6c?." 

On the 12th Oct., '69, a lot was purchased from Peter De Bois for £100, 
and work seems to have begun at once in earnest, as almost immediately 
follows: "To 2 Gallons West d Rum when cutting the timber for the church 
lis." — the next item being, " To cash paid to Phinn & Ellice for rum and 
sugar when rideing timber £4 9s. 4c?.* 

The site of the old meeting house cannot now be ascertained, nor can I 
learn concerning it more than that it was furnished with a bell. It was still 
in use 22 March, 1773, as at that date Mr. Fuller was paid £1 16s. 0c?., for 
attending to the windows. 

By the end of '73, the edifice seems to have been completed, and the bell 
in the new steeple with its leaden ball adorned with " 6 bookes of gold leaf " 
no doubt called the congregation to a joyful service of dedication, of which 
we have no notice whatever. 

The church and lot are credited with an expenditure of about $1,800. The 
carpenter's work was done by Sam'l Fuller and John Hall. The church had 
a gallery and, on the ground floor, 21 wall and 22 " Boddy " pews and the 
carpenters agreed " to do the work on the Pulpit In the Same manner as In 
the English Church only it is to Joyn the wall So as to have no piller for a 
Soport & to make the Clark's Seat." 

Of the size and strength of the congregation there is no record until much 
later; but in 1768 they felt able to compete with their brethren in Albany; 
for a letter of Mr. Brown to Sir Wm, Johnson at this time, in urging the 
necessity of securing Mr. Murray for St. George's, says: " We are the more 
Anxiously Solicitous on this Head as the Presbyterians are busee to get Mr. 
Bay among them " — this Mr. Bay being called about this time to the Pres- 
byterian church at Albany. The first minister who is known to have 
preached to the congregation statedly is the Rev. Alexander Miller. 

Mr. Miller was a pupil of Rev. James Findley, a graduate of Princeton 
College in 1764, a student of theology under Dr. Rodgers, of New York, was 

* As illustrating the " better days of our Fathers " may be mentioned also this entry, 3 
Aug., 1771, To tickets bought at New Castle Lottery £4 16s. ; but I cannot learn that 
we enjoyed any such good luck here as did our friends and neighbors of St. George's 

The Presbyterian Church. 401 

licensed 1161, and ordained by the Presbytery of New York, 1770, which 
is the date of his settlement here. He may have preached here, however, 
prior to this date, and may possibly be the person alluded to in a letter of 
25th Feb., '60, from the church wardens to Sir Wm., expressing their dis- 
appointment at not securing Mr. Murray, which " will be attended with the 
consequence of losing some part of our congregation by their joining the 
Dissenters, as they have provided themselves with a Gentleman who is 
much admired." 

. Mr. Kelly states that Mr. Miller left in 1781, during the summer. Mr. 
Miller also preached at Currie's Bush and Remsen's Bush in connection with 
his charge here. The elders in Mr. Miller's time, were James Wilson, James 
Shuler and Andrew McFarlan, with William White as deacon. The gram- 
mar school which was taught by Mr. Miller during the Revolutionary war, 
was, according to Spafford's Gazeteer, a very respectable one, " in which 
Gov. Tichenor of Vermont (and in which the late John Wells received his 
education), and others since celebrated acted as assistants." 

During the war the Church, though not exposed to the outrages which 
were perpetrated upon the neighboring Episcopal church for political reasons, 
seems to have suffered greatly. Mr. Andrews had reported to the S. P. G. 
(year ending Feb., 1773) 43 communicants and 16 catechumens ; but Mr. 
Doty, his successor, reports in 1780 from Montreal, where he had taken refuge, 
that '' his poor little flock has been almost dispersed and the few remain- 
ing were in the most deplorable circumstances" and had been informed by 
a young man, lately from Schenectady, that the congregation consisted of 
only 27 white adults, 20 children and some blacks. It is not likely that the 
Presbyterian Church was much less afflicted. The congregation was in' 
arrears for salary due to Mr. Miller at the time that his successor, Mr. John 
Young, was called. Mr. Young* first came here about the middle of 1787, 
was ordained June 14th, 1788, and gave one-third of his time to Currie's 
Bush or Princetown. In the interval, however, there had been occasional 
supplies,! there is recorded the payment of £6-10-0 to Mr. Ball, whom I 
take to be the Rev. Eliphalet Ball of Bedford, N. Y., who was so much 
pleased with the country that in 1788 he took a portion of his congregation 
to settle in the region which is now called in honor of him, Ballston). 

♦According to Mr. Kelley'a 
■ f I" the absence of Mr. Miller (1771). 


402 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

The congregation at this time, and for years later, was composed of ele- 
ments which did not mix very kindly, Formalism contending stubbornly 
against the growing evangelical spirit in the Church, and Mr. Young was 
dismissed in consequence of the dissensions, 9th Dec, 1790.* Perhaps one 
cause of the disaffection with him may be found in Mr. Kelley's note, "no 
session in his time." 

From 1791 to 1795, among those preaching here occasionally, are Rev. 
Messrs. Baldwin, Chapman, Coe, Cook, Davenport, Dod, Dun, Judd, 
McDonald, Pomeroy, Schenck, Thompson and Williams. 

With the election of the Rev. John B. Smith, to the presidency of the 
College, a brighter day dawned for the Church. Dr. Smith did much to re- 
organize the Church, ordaining 4 elders in 1795 or I796,f viz. Alexander 
Kelly, John Taylor, Alexander Walmsley and John McAtyre. . 

On the 13th Sept., 1796, the Rev. Robt. Smith of Pennsylvania, a 
graduate of Princeton, was installed over the Church, which at this time 
numbered only 37 communicants. There were however about 85 pew 
holders, and the income of the Church from pews and subscriptions was a 
little over $700. 

Mr. Smith remained until July, 1801, when the severity of the climate 
having impaired his health he sought refuge in Savannah, Ga., dying soon 
after his removal. He is said by Dr. Dwight to have been a man of re- 
markable gifts, resembling in many traits President Smith of the College, 
but excelling " him and most other men in amenity and tenderness of dis- 
position and sweetness of deportment." His life was sacrificed to his zeal 
and affection for his people. Under his ministry the Church received 51 
additional members.^ 

During Ihe illness of Mr. Smith the Rev. Mr. Adair and Dr. Jonathan 
Edwards, Jr., second president of the College, frequently supplied the pulpit, 

*Mr. Young requested a dissolution of the pastoral relation, Nov. 10th, 1790, on the 
ground of non payment of salary and ill health. The Church had not yet settled-its in- 
debtedness to Mr. Miller who was still seeking payment, and the Church at Currie's Bush 
applied to Presbytery for two thirds of Mr. Young's time on the ground that the Church 
in Schenectady, was no longer able to support him. 

f Mr. Kelly's paper gives the date as May 1st, 1796. 

1 The township of Schenectady contained in 1796, 3472 inhabitants, 683 being electors 
and 381 slaves. 

TJie Presbyterian Church. 403 

and as the collections for 1801 show an increase over previous records, and 
additions to the Church are also recorded, the impetus given by Mr. 
Smith's pastorate would seem not to have been arrested. 

In March, 1802, three elders and 73 others, petition Presbytery for the 
speedy instalment of the Rev. William Clarkson, 20 petitioners, including two 
elders, however, pray that the installation may not take place. Mr. Clark- 
son's settlement was the signal for war among the discordant elements in 
the congregation, and shortly after such serious charges were preferred against 
him as that he did not " preach," but read sermons " contrary to Luke 
4 : 16-23 where our Lord preached, said preaching being without notes." 
Mr. Clarkson was also charged with saying that " we never had such preach- 
ing here before, we had nothing but like the reading of an almanack," and 
the Presbytery failing to see the heinousness of Mr. Clarkson's homiletic 
shortcomings, a temporary secession of 24 families took place. Although 
considerable accessions to the Church took place in Mr. Clarkson's brief 
pastorate, his opponents claimed that the communicants had diminished one- 
half. During this unhappy contention in which perhaps Mr. Clarkson was 
rather the occasion than the cause of the quarrel, an election for elders had 
occurred and the session now consisted of Alexander Kelly, Alexander 
Walmsley, John McAtyre, Jas. Murdock, Jos. Shurtleff, Rob't Loague, Wm. 
Dunlap, Geo. Leslie and Caleb Lyon (elder John Taylor died 1801). The 
election seems to have intensified the strife, and in September, 1803, Mr. 
Clarkson sought peace in departure. 

In the succeeding December, the Rev. John B. Romeyn, a son of Dr. 
Romeyn of the Reformed Dutch Church and founder of Union College, was 
settled over the Church at a salary of $625. But the Church was at strife, 
and in November, 1804, Mr. Romeyn also left. The number of communi- 
cants at this time could not have been much above 100, the highest rental 
for pews was but $35 and the support of the Church and pastor in the midst 
of such difficulties very doubtful and precarious. At least, Mr. Nathaniel 
Todd, ordained over the Church 11 Dec, 1805, was dismissed by Presbytery 
in the succeeding November, on the ground that the congregation were 
unable to support him. 

For some time the Church depended upon temporary supplies, but, as if 
still further to complicate and confuse matters, the ear of the congregation 
was taken by an Irishman of the Methodist Church, a lay preacher, Mr. 


History of the Schenectady Patent. 

John Joyce. In spite of the pevil of a threatened schism if Mr. Joyce were 
not settled over the Church, Presbytery declined to entrust the Church to 
his care and declared it expedient for the session to resign that new elders 
might in the interest of harmony he elected. The new session consisted of 
Messrs. Kelly, Walmsley, Daniel Chandler and Prof. Henry Davis, after- 
wards president of Middlebury, and still later of Hamilton college. 

Notwithstanding its want of a pastor, and its internal differences, the 
Church does not seem to have lost any confidence in itself, for on the 3d of 
July, 1809, the corner stone of a new edifice wns laid,* the old building on 
the site of the chapel being taken down, and the congregation worshipping 
for a time in the college chapel. 

No doubt a large part of the strength and impulse in this movement came 
from the college. Dr. Nott from his accession to the presidency in 1804 
had been a warm friend, and to his kindness, as well as that of Dr. McAuley 
and other members of the Faculty, it was probably in large measure owing 
that the Church came through its crisis with so little loss of strength. It 
was no doubt in grateful acknowledgment of their sympathy and practical 
help that the galleries of the church which was elliptical in form were so 
constructed as to enable the graduating classes to march down an inclined 
plane into the pulpit for their diplomas, and up again into the opposite 

Meantime, the Rev. Alexander Monteith had been caUed to the pastorate, 
and on Aug. 29th, 1809, he was settled over the Church, remaining its 
pastor until his death, Jan. 29th, 1815. lie must have been a judicious and 
good man, for there seems an absence of all party-strife during his ministry. 
The church must have also prospered generally, as there was an increase in 
its collections, its communion roll was enlarged by 62 additions, and the 
pastor's salary was advanced from $700 to $1000. 

Mr. Monteith's successor was the Rev. Hooper Cummings, whose eloquence 
covered not a few of his own sins and other men's sermons. Eccentric and 

* Concerning the form of the original church building, nothing 
is cenainiy known, but it is believed that the church seal (an 
impression of which is here reproduced) represents it. This seal 
was made under the supervision of the late Dr. Magoffin, and it 
was the understanding of my predecessor and quite in conformity 
with Dr. Magoffin's habit of mind, that the seal was intended to 
represent the original structure. 

Tlie Presbyterian CJmrch. 


unfortunate, to speak mildly, Mr. Cummings' brief pastorate, judged by 
statistics, was most successful. Installed 22d Nov., 1815, and dismissed 
18th Feb., 1817, C5 persons were added to tlie communion roll, and work 
among the colored people prosecuted with vigor and success, Presbytery 
having authorized Messrs. Wisner and Davis, then members of the Church 
in Union College, to catechise and exhort among them. 

During Mr. Cummings' ministry however, old strifes broke out again and 
it was not till the Sih of June, 1820, that another pastor could be secured, 
changes having occurred in the session, and some withdrawing from the 
Church, which in the interval enjoyed the services of Drs. Nott and 
McAuley. In April, 1820, the famous Mr. Nettleton preached, and the 
Church seems to have enjoyed spiritual prosperity, not less than 120 being 
added to the Church during the year. " Tokens"* at the communion were 
etill in use, not being dispensed with till March, 1821, when members of 
other Evangelical Churches were welcomed to the Lord's table. Besides 
these changes, during Mr. (Walter) Monteith's pastorate (1820 to 1826), 
the old psalm book (Rouse) was relinquished, which indicates that a decided 
change was taking place in the sentiment of the Church. In Mr. Monteith's 
time also the old "Session House" was built by subscription, and not 
without much opposition from those who did not favor Sabbath Schools, 
prayer meetings and other "new fangled ideas." The Sunday School had 
been started by Mr. Jonathan Crane, an elder in the church, in the basement 
kitchen of his own house as a Mission Union School in 1817, but in 1824, 
it divided into two church schools, one Dutch, the other Presbyterian, 
which found a home in the session house, though viewed with suspicion if 
not with dislike by many who regarded it as "a school for outcasts." 

Mr. Monteith's successor was the liev. Erskine Mason, a son of the cele- 
brated Dr. John M. Mason, whom in intellectual strength he in no small 
degree resembled. A scholarly and finished preacher, the three years of his 
service here were years of strength and blessing to the Church, which received 
during his brief pastorate an addition of 89 members, 806 being the total 
number of communicants reported to Presbytery in 1830. 

From July, 1830, until December, the church seems to have depended for 
service upon various ministers, when the Kev. Win. James, a brilliant but 
somewhat eccentric preacher, became its " Stated Supply," declining, how- 



* 1809 * 

I I . T I M : 

I I . X I X 

I. COR: XI . 


*The "Token" was intended to prevent any 
unknown person, or member underdiscipline 
from coming to the Lord's table. Tokens 
were distributed by the elders before com- 
munion to all who were in good standing, 
and were taken up by the elders again from 
the communicants at the table. They were 
mide of lead, or pewter, were about an inch 
square having inscripiions on each side. 

406 History of the Schenectady Patent. 

ever, in 1832 the call to become pastor, and ceasing to preach in the spring 
of the same year, for the Rev. James W. Henry appears to have supplied 
the Church in April and May. 

The day of rapid changes in the pastorate and shifting fortunes was soon 
to end, for the pulpit having been supplied by the Rev. Jonathan Trumbull 
Backus, May 2 7th, 1832, a call was extended to him, and on the 6th Dec, 
1832, he was ordained and installed over the Church, remaining its pastor 
until the 18th June, 1873. During all this long pastorate, under the blessing 
of God, the Church steadily grew and strengthened; old differences died 
out; larger ideas of the privilege of Christian benevolence obtained; more 
efficient methods of work were adopted, and the usefulness of the Church 
greatly increased. 

During the ministry of Dr. Backus, over 1,000 persons were added to 
the communion of the Church and a new era of benevolence entered 
upon, the aggregate of the reported benevolence during this period 
being over $160,000. The Church edifice was enlarged in 1834, and again 
in 1859; and the old "Session House" in 1843 gave way to the chapel to 
which was added in 1857 the session room. During this century not less than 
60 of its members have entered the Christian ministry. 

The Pastors and Supplies of the Church, as far as known, are: 

Rev. Alexander Miller, 1770-1781. Rev. John Young, 1787-1791. Rev. 
John Blair Smith, D.D., 1795, etc. Rev. Robt. Smith, 1796-1801. Rev. 
Wm. Clarkson, 1801-1803. Rev. John B. Romeyn, D.D., 180 :-1804. Rev. 
Nathaniel Todd, 1805-1806. Rev. Alexander Monteith, 1809-1815. Rev. 
Hooper Cummings, 1815-1817. Rev. Drs. Nott & McAuley, 1817-1820. 
Rev. Walter Monteith, 1820-1826. Rev. Erskine Mason, D.D., 1827-1830 
Rev. Wm. James, D.D., 1831-1832. Rev. J. Trumbull Backus, D.D., LL.D., 
1832-1873. Rev. Timothv G. Darling, D.D., 1873-. 

Mr. Kelly's Paper, to which reference has been made, contains a list of the ministers 
of the Church down to Dr. Mason's day and could not therefore have been written before 
1827, when Mr. Kelly was nearly 80 years old. In this paper it is stated that between 
1700 and 1770. the Episcopalians and Presbyterians " agreed and built a church betwext 
them, The former to Goe in at the west door, the Later at the South Door. When the 
church was Finesht John Brown belonging to the English Church went to New York 
and got it consecrated under the Bishop unknown to the presbyterians. The Presby- 
terians Highlie offended at this, John Duncan. James Wilson, James Shuter, Andrew 
and Hugh Michel, Andrew McFarland, William White and Alexander Merser, purchest 
a lot from a Gentelmin New York, colected money in varies places to Build a Church. 
The Dutch Inhabitants seing How they were served advanst very Liberal in money, 
Boards, plank, Nails, Hinges & paint, The Church was built about the year 1770," &c. 

The allusion to consecration by the bishop is a manifest anachronism ; Seabury, the 
first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, receiving his consecration as 
bishop in Scotland in 1784, New York beinu under the care of the bishop of London, 
who succeeded in defeating all attempts of the Presbyterians to procure incorporation. 

The Presbyterian Church. 407 

Mr. Kelly is evidently referring to something which gave legal title to the property and 
which was done in New Yoik and not on the spot. Writing in extreme age, his memory 
might tail to disting ish between consecralion and incorporation. 

In a letter from Mr. Brown and others to Sir Wm. Johnson, 20th Dec, 17G5, it is 
stated that " the congregation of the Church of England have come to the conclusion to 
petition H. E., the Governor to grant them a charter to secure their Rights &, Privileges in 
the Church built here," and seek Sir Wm's consent to acting as a Trustee " as we can have 
no doubt if a Gentleman of your known merit and character will Espouse our Cause, it 
will prevent for the future the Presbyterians from making any unjust attempts on our 
privileges in the church."— (Doe. Hist., N. Y, iv, page 229.) On the 4lh Dec, 1766, it 
is stated that the charter had been granted (lb., p. 234). Of this petition and charier I 
can find no trace, though the kindness of Mr. Fernow, of the State Library, has furnished 
me a copy of the petition of 1774, in which it is stated that the title to the church lot 
was vested in Dr. Ogilvie and others, petitioners. 

A letter from Sir Win. to the S. P. G., 8th Oct., 1760, states that the church was built 
chit fly by subscriptions among themselves. " In the meantiuje the Dissenters claimed a 
principal property therein, because some of them had been promised the use ot it when 
it did not interfere with the seivice of the chinch of England," and that they were so 
incensed at the turn of affairs, as to desire to destroy the organization and demolish the 

The Rev. Dr. Payne, of St. George's church has with great courtesy put at my disposal 
his church records of this period, and 1 have diligently searched them, without coining, 
however, to any very positive conclusions. . 

In 1759 both bodies must have been very feeble and in no condition, unaided, to 
support regular services, and the application to the S. P. G., does not seem to have been 
made till some time after. In 1769, Dr. A uchmuly thought that " Albany and Schenectady 
should be but one living," and in 1773, Mr. lnglis join's with Dr. Auchniuty in thinking 
the grant to Schenectady a perversion of the sociely's bounty, which ought to be ex- 
tended to larger bodies of people without worship.— {Due. H ist., JY. Y., iv, pp. 263 and 
311), though Sir Wm. about the same time, writes to the society that although because of 
poverty and small contributions the "Church of England be then in its infancy, it is such 
as affords the most flattering hopes, if properly nourished