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Full text of "History of Westchester County, New York, from its earliest settlement to the year 1900"

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H I S T () H Y 

OF 

Wkstchesteu County 



^K^V YOKK 



From Its Earliest Settlement to iiik Year 1900 



BY 



FREDERIC SHONNARD 



WW. SPOONEH 



<s^ 







ARMS OF .JONAS niiONCK 



THE NEW YOKK HISTORY COMPANY 

11; FIFTH AVENUE 

NEW YORK 

1900 



8U;3;U 

Two tufiEs Receivfo 

NOV 26 1900 

tojiyngM Hrtf) 
No.CL'.A.'..fc.» 



SECOND COPY 

Oellirmd to 

ORDER DIVISION 
NOV 27 1900 



CopyriRlit 

The New York History Cniiipany 

T.Hin 



THE WINTHUOP PltESS 
NEW YORK 






EDITOR'S PHEFA(^E 




HE pre] )arii lory work for this History was l)('j>uu liy llic 
editor several years ai;ti aloiii;- tlie lines of i-eseaicii and 
of tlie collection and systematizing; of nialerials. Tlie 
identification of .Mr. Sjiooner with the enterprise dates 
from a later period, hnt in its relative imjiortance is not to be esti- 
mati'd by its dnration. To him the credit of the antlioi'ship of the 
History is uudividedly dne. The editor's personal shai-e in the joint 
iindertakinji' — apart from the selection of the ])lan of the work and 
the procnrement and arrangement of materials — has been mostly 
that of sn])ervision; or, more ]iro](erly expressed, of such co-oiieration 
with ^Ir. Spooner as personal knowledge of the snbject and zealous 
interest in the project have enabled him to render in the ])arlicnlars 
specially of recommendation, contribution, and criticism. This His- 
tory is therefore not a work of collaboration, e.vcept in the s(^nse 
here ]irecisely indicated. As a literary work it is the exclusive pi'o- 
ihictidii (if .Ml-. Sjiooner; and whatever satisfaction the editor may 
icasonably — without an excess of comjilacency — take io himself in 
view of his own association in the entei'pi-ise, rests in a peculiar 
mannei- u])on his appreciation i>{ the conscieutious deNotinn and ai-- 
cnm]dished ability with which .Mr. Sjiooner has biouyht it lo its jirac- 
lical issue. 

Althouiih the ])revioiis histories of W'eslidiester Counlw liolton's 
and Scharfs, ai-e works (d' i;reat \dlume and information, they are 
\\orks of riderence strictly, and as sue h b(doiii; rather to I lie dejtart- 
nieiit i>\' histoiical miscellany than to that of bo(dcs adapted foi- i)o]»- 
ular i'ea<lin.n. Holton's History is a collection of local chronicles en- 
tirely; S( harfs is on the same plan, with a number of ucneral artii les 
added. Both represent historical labors of ureat foiniality ami 
seriousness, \\iiich ai-e entitled to res])ect and whose aii^re^ate results 
l)ossess endui-inj; value for in(iuirinii jiersons. Hut mi'i-e collections 
of historical facts — even if com])r(diendin.i; all the (demental facts (d' 
a jiiven snbject — do not afford a satisfyinii view of history itscdf. 
That can be doiu' oidy by the adiMpiate treatment of facts — by Hie 
orderly, disci'eet, and able coiijoiniuii- id' them in a com]irchensive 
narration. The t w cut v-tive town histories of Westidiester ('oiiiiiy. 



IV 



rUKFACE 



li(i\\c\('r >'xliiiiistiv('l_y and cxccllcnl 1 v wiittcn, (]ii not ((Piistitutc a liis- 
tory <if the county; and for a consecutive understandiui; of the 
<ienei-al cimnty liistorv the reader of liolton or Scharf must rcdy upon 
his own constructive iuiicnuity — must indeed be liis own liistorian. 

Lonii before the work now jiiven to tlie ]inlilic was conceived as a 
]iractical project, tlie present editor realized tlie force of tliese consid- 
erations and ( lierished not <iuly a ho])e tliat a genuine narrative his- 
tory of tlie county Tui^ht some day be juddnced, but an ambition to 
become personally instrumental in acliie\ iii;L; so imjiortant a result. 
His attention was especially directed to the matter by his observa- 
tions diirinii his connectioTi with the schools, from whicli he became 
(•(uninced (d' the e.\treni(dy elementary idiaracter of the general 
knowlediic of this county's liistory, even in relation to the Kevolution, 
whereof, indeed, anytliini;' like a well <-o-ordinate(l undei-standin^ is 
most excei)tional aniouii the ]>eo]ile, and (luite incapalde of Ixdni^' 
taujiht to the youn,ii because of tlie unsuitability for tliat jiurpose of 
all books heretofort" imblished that lieai' on the subject. 

In foiniulatinji' the plan for the ])resent work the editor had funda- 
menlaily in view a lucid continuous narrative, thoroujih in its treat- 
ment of the outlines of the subject and reasonably attenti\'e to local 
details without extendini;' to minuteness. These lines have been bd- 
lowed Ihi'ouiihout. All exist inii materials, so far as accessible, have 
In en utilized, ])ro]ier credit beini; ;Lil\-en to the sources from whicli 
borrowinjis have been made. The work conipi-ehends a variety of 
new materials, whiidi have been interwoven in the text. Porticms of 
the manuscript have been reAisi'd or criticised by jiersons jiarticiilaily 
W(dl informed on certain jihases id' the subject; and to all of tjiese 
critics the editor extends his thankful aidvnowlediiinents. 

Special credit is due to Mr. James L. \Vells for his editoi-ia! super- 
vision of the entire work so far as concerns the sections of the oriijinal 
county now constituting the Borough of the Bronx, New York City; 
and thanks must also be expressed to Mr. Wells for the crest of 
Jonas Broiudc (the first settler of Westchester County), intioduced 
by his kind permission in the title-])age. It is probably not generally 
known that from the Broncdc crest have been derived some of the 
essential features of the arms of the State of New York. 

" Shon.vaud IIojii:sT]:.\r)." 
AUCiTTST, 11)00. 



/vfez^J^ 




CONTENTS 

Editor's rrefjuH' iii 

("llAl'TKIt I 

I'liysiciil Description ot I lie ('(niiity 1 

ClIAl'lKK II 
Tlif Aboriyiual luhabitauls 17 

("llAI'TKR III 

DiscoVk-ry and rreliiuinary \'icw .")! 

("iiAi-i'in;. I\' 
The Earliest Settlers — I>rnn(d<, Anne Ilutrldnsim, 'riirockninr.Dn, 
Tornell T."> 

("IIAI'I'KK \' 

Tlie Kedenbtable Caplain dolin rnderliill Dr. Adrian \'an der 
Dimek !>•; 

("iiAi'i'i:i; \'l 
Iteuininniis ot Sei-ious Sel I lenienl \\'est( iiesler Town. Kye in 

("hai'ti:!; \'1I 
"The Portion of the North Kidinti on the Main" — l'n)j>Tess of 
Settlement and Bejiinniniis (d' I lie .Mamii'ial Estates \'.V2 

CiiAriDii \lll 
Tlie riiiliiises and tlie \'an Corthindls l.").") 

CiiArrKi: IX 
Telliani .Manor and New Korlielle Caleb JleatlH-ote and Sears 
dale .Manoi'— -( ieneral ( ?bser\al ions on ; he .Manors \'i-'> 

( 'llAI'TKI; X 

(ieneral Ilistorieal Hex lew lo llie l!et;innin,i:' of the Eii;lile(-ni li 
Cenlnry — ('(inii)letion of ilie Work ef Original Sel 'lenient ... . I'.i-"! 

('iiAi'ri:u XI 
A (I lance a I tlie Hoi-onuh Tow n of Westtdiester 22(> 



Vl ajXTENTS 

Chapter XII 
The Election on the (Jreen ;it Kiistcliester, 17;« 235 

CllAl'TlOIl XIII 
The Aristocratic I'aiiiilies and Their Intlueuces 25r) 

("IIAI'TEH XIV 
From the Stainji Act to I he Last Session of the Colonial Assembly 277 

<'11A1'TEII XV 
Westchester County in i.iiie for Indcjicudence — Events to .Inly 
0, 1 77(1 2;t(i 

ClIAI'TEU X\'I 

The State of New Voik liorn at \Vhite IMains — Events to October 
12, 177(i 335 

ClIAI'TEU XVII 

The Campaign and Battle id' White IMains 357 

Chapter XVIII 
Fort ^^'ashin}^■ton■s I-'nll — The l)(din(iuencv of (leneral Lee 397 

Chai'TER XIX 
The Strategic Situation — TIh' Xentral (Jrouud 412 

ClIAl'TER XX 

Events of 1777 and 177S 425 

ClIAl'TER XXI 
I'roni .lannai-y. 1779, to September, 17S(1 44t) 

Chatter XXII 
The Captnre of Andre 4()4 

ClIAl'TER XXIII 
The West(diester Ojiei-ations of the Allied Armies, 17S1 — End of 
the War 4!l7 

Chapter XXIV 
General Ilislor\ (d t lie Count \('(Hi(lnde<l — I'riuu tlie KeNolulion 
to the Completion of tiie Croton A(|ueduct ( 1S42) 52t) 

Chai'ter XXV 
Cieneral Ilistorv of the Conntv Concluded 573 



HISTORY OF WEST(11ESTER COUNTY 

CHAPTER I 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTY 

HE ("oimty ot Westclit'.ster, as a detiuitely bounded and or- 
gauized political unit, was created on the 1st of November, 
l(iS3, by the provisions of an act of the first Provincial 
Assembly of New York, held under the administration of 
the Royal Governor Dongan, which formally marked off the province 
into the twelve original counties. By the terms of this act, Westchester 
CouutA' was to comprise " East and West Chester, Bronxland, Ford- 
ham, and all as far eastward as the province extends,'' and to run 
northward along the Hudson Tfiver to the Highlands, its southern 
limits being, of course. Long Island Sound and the waters between the 
mainland and Manhattan Island or New York County. Of the bound 
aries thus described, only the western and northern have continued 
unchanged to the present time. The precise location of the eastern 
line, constituting the boundary betAveen New Y'ork and Connecticut, 
was a matter of serious contention througjiout the early histoi-y of the 
county, and, indeed, was not established to the linal satisfaction of 
both parties to the dispute until 1880. This long-standing and curious 
conti-oversy as to the eastern boundary involved, however, notliing 
more than rival claims of colonial jurisdiction, arising from matiiemat- 
ical inaccuracies in original calculations of distance, and from pecu- 
liar conditions of early settlement along the Sound, which jir(>sented 
a mere problem of territorial rectification upon the basis of reciprocal 
concessions by the two provinces and subsequently the two common- 
wealths concerned; and. accordingly, while leaving a jiortion of the 
eastern border line of Westchester County somewhat indeterminable 
for two centuries, the issues at stake never affected the integrity of 
its aggregate area as allotted at the beginning. On the other hand, 
the southern boundary of the old county lias undergone extremely 
radical nuiditicatioiis. which are still in progress. Since 1873, by 
various legislative acts, large sections of it have been cut away and 
transferred to the City of New York, comprising what until r<'cent 
Aears were known as the • annexed districts " of the metropolis, now 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



officially si,\h-(l t\w •• Itoiouiili ol' the Jtroiix "" ot the Greater City. 
Altlionjiii tile ci.uiity still n-tains its two most populous muuicipali- 
ties, Youkois aud .Alouut \'eruou, the New York City liue lias been 
pushed ri.L;ht up to their borders, and there is uo i-easonable doubt that 
within a few more yeai-s they, too, Mill be absorbed. Already forty- 
one and one-half square miles, or 20,500 acres, have been annexed to 
the city. 

In these pages the story of old Westchester County is to be told; 
and whenever the county as a whole is mentioned without specific 
indicatidii of the present limits, the reader will uuderstan<l that the 
original county, including those portions which have actually passed 
under a new political jurisdiction, is meant. 

Wesl Chester County, thus considered in its primal extent, is some- 
thing more than five 
hundred square miles in 
area, and lies centrally 
distant some one htin- 
dred miles from Al- 
bany. From its north- 
western point, Antho- 
ny's Xose, at the en- 
trance to the Highlands 
of the Hudson, to its 
southeastern extremity, 
Byram Point, on the 
i^ound, it is entirely sur- 
rutmded by the waters of 
the Hudson River, Simy- 
ten Dtiyvil Creek, the 
Harlem IJiver, and Long 
Island Sound, forming a 
shore line more than one 
hundred miles in length 
illowance is nuide for the 







m-^-^ 



I'ROSPKCT (IK TIIK lUllSOX FROM SI'CYTKX DCVVII.. 



MIS 



— considerably more, indeed, if scrupulo 
Avindings of the coast ahuig the Sound 

The Hudson Kiver, completing its nan-ow ami lortuous course 
through the Highlands at the northern liouiidarv of Westchester 
County, runs thence to the sea in an almost due south direction. For 
a short distance below Anthony's Nose, however, it continues decid- 
edly narrow, until, at the very termination of this portion of its course, 
a place called ^'erplanc k's Point, its banks ai)iiroach quite close to- 
gether, being only one mile apart. Ileiv was located the famous 
King's Ferry (d' the Pevohition, an extreiiielA important line (d' inter- 



I'UVSICAI, DKSCUIPTION OF THE COINTY 



:j 



roiiiiiiunitadou bet wren tlir iialiiot loix-rs ol' ihe East and the West; 
and on tlir opposite hank stood ilic fortress of Stony Point, the 
scene of Wa.vnc's niidniiilit exploit. Jnst bidow Verplaiud^'s tlie river 
suddenly widens, forniiiii; the ina.niiilicenl liaversliaw \\;i\. This, in 




4. HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

variations of widtli, the baulcs liaviuj; a luean distaui-c apart of a little 
more than a mile. 

From Antliony's Nose, the northernmost point of Westchester 
County on the Hudson, to the Spuvten Duyvil Creek, the southern- 
most, is a distance, as the crow files, of thirty-four miles. The breadth 
of the county varies from twenty-five to eight and one-half miles. 
Throujihout its entire extent along the liudson the Westchester shore 
rises abru])tly from the river edge to elevations seldom less than one 
liuiidrcd feet. Nowhere, however, does the Westchester bank ascend 
precipitously in the manner, or even at all resembling the manner, of 
the Palisade formation on tlie western shore. The acclivity is often 
()uitc sharp, but everywhere admits of gradual approach, for both 
pedestrians and carriages, to the high ridges. Thus the whole western 
border of the county botli affords a splendid view of the entrancing 
panorama of the Fludsou, and is perfectly accessible from the railroad, 
which runs along the bank of the river. Moreover, beyond the ridges in 
the interior the land has a uniform and gentle descent into lovely val- 
leys, Avhich permit convenient and rapid travel from all directions. 
These physical conditions render the western section of the county one 
of the most inviting and favored localities in the world for costly resi- 
dences and grand estates; and from the earliest period of European 
settlement of this portion of America, the Hudson shore of West- 
chester County has been a chosen abode for families of wealth and 
distinction. But every other part of the county — at least every part 
conveniently reached from the railroads — is also highly esteemed for 
select residence purposes; and, indeed, Westchester County through- 
out its extent is jjeciiliarly a residential county. 

Spuyten J)uyvil Creek and the Harlem River, which separate Man- 
hattan Island from the mainland and form a portion of the southern 
boundary of the old County of Westchester, are in reality only an arm 
of the sea; and though to the superficial observer they may appear 
to constitute one of the mouths of the Hudson, they have no such 
function, and, indeed, receive none of its How. The two are strictly 
to be considered not as a river, but as a strait, connecting the tide 
waters of the East River and Sound with those of the North Kiver. 
Their length is about eight miles. The Harlem River at its eastern ex- 
tremity is divided by Randall's Island into tAVo channels — the south- 
ern and principal one comnuinicating with Hellgate, and the northern 
one (unnavigable), called the Bronx Kills, passing between the 
island and the Westchester shore into Long Island Sound. The 
Ilarlem and Spuyten Duyvil waterway presents the remarkable phe- 
nomenon of double tides, which vary decidedly in height, time of 
occurrence, duration of rise and fall, and swiftness of flow. "The 



PHYSICAL DKSt'ltiri'lo.N Ol' TIIK CorNTY 5 

ticles ill Ihc llarknii Kivcr," savs (Ifiinal .Idlm Ncwiiiu, in a i-cpori 
to the War Departiueiit, -arc cliicllv due id ilic in-opajiaicd Ilfll<>ate 
wave. Avliile tlic latter is llic result <\i ilie cuiiracl of tlie Sound and 
Sandy Uook tides. The tides in the Hudson Itiver and Spnylen Duyvil 
are ]»rodiu-ed by the pntpagation of the sea li(h' tiirougli the Upi)er 
and i.ower hays." Tlie mean rise of tlie li(h' in the Harlem is from 
tive and one-half to six feet; in the S])iiyten Duyvil ("i-eek it is iJu'ee 
and eij;'bt-teuths feet. The mean iiiiih water level in the Hudson 
liiver at Spuyteii Duyvil t'reeU is nearly a foot lower and an hour and 
forty minutes earlier than in the Harlem, and the mean duration of 
the rise of tide in the former is thirty-six minutes shorter than in the 
latter. The westei-ly current, from Ilellgarc, is swifter than the east- 
erly, from the Hudson. The jdacc of "divide" between the Harlem 
I\iver and the S] my ten Duyvil ( 'reck is usually located at Kin<;sbridge. 
In early times the Harlem was naviiiable for most (d' its leiiiith. but 
owing to artihcial obstructions (notably that of ^lacomb's Daiui. 
which were begun in the first part of the present cent iiry. i he ( haniiel 
above the present Central Bridge became both shallow ami con- 
tracted. The mean natural depth of Si)nyte]i Dnyvil Creidc lias always 
been com]iaralively slight. Owing to the importance of this water- 
way as a means of short transit for craft plying between the Hudson 
Kiver and ports on the Sound and in New England, the United Stales 
Government has in our own time dredged a channel, whi( h. from the 
Hudson to Hellgate. has a de])th of from twelve to fifteen feet. This 
impro\ement, knov\n as tlie Harlem Shi]) ("anal, was ojuMied to com 
inerce on the 17th of June, lS9o. The Harlem Kiver and S|iiiyien 
Duyvil Creek are crossed at iiresent by thirteen bridges. 

Along the Spuyten Dnyvil and Harlem Kiver [loiiion of its water 
line, as along the Sound, the ddd i (oiinty of Westchester loses the 
comparatively lofty feature whicli ( haraclerizes its Hudson shore, 
anil the land is generally Ioav. sinking into marshy tracts in some 
localities near the S<mnd. The Westchester coast on the Sound, 
stretching from the mouth id' the Harlem River to the mouth of the 
liyrani Kiver ( where the Connecticut State line begins i, is broken by 
numerous necks and iioints, with corresponding inlets and coves. 
Among the more impoi-tant (d' llu' ])rojecting ])oints of laud are Stony 
Point I Tort Morris i, Dak Point, P>arreto Pr)int. Hunt's Point, Coi-nell's 
Neck (Clason's Point). Throgg's Neck (with Fort Schuyler at its ex- 
tremity), Kodman's (I'elham) Xeck, Davenport's Neck, De Lancey 
Point, and Kye Neck. S(une of these localities are famous in the his- 
tory of the county, ihein-ovince, and the State. The coast indentations 
imliide the outlets (d the TSronx Tliver, Westchester Creek, and tlu' 
Hut( hinson liiver; Eastchester l?ay, Pelham Bay, De I.ancey Cove and 



6 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



J.aicliiuuiit lliubur, MaiuaruiU'ck Harbor, aud B^raui Harbor. Mucli 
of the contraband trade of colonial times was supposed to have found 
L-over in the unobserved retreats which the deep inlets of this toast 
afforded; and of some of the earlier settlements along the t^ound it is 
supposed that they were undertaken quite as much to provide secure 
places of rendezvous for commerce ;iiore or less outside the pale of the 
law as to iH'oniote the development of the country. In close prox- 
imitv to the shore are manv islands, of which the more notable are 




THE H.\HI,KM KIVEK I.Ml'KOVK.MK.Nl S (^HVCKMAN S .MLA IX.IWSJ. 

those between Pelham Bay and Xew IJochelle, including' City, Hart's, 
Hunter's, David's, and Glen Islands. 

The New York City limits on the Hudson now reach to the northern 
bounds of the hamlet of Mount Saint Vincent, and on the Sound to a 
]>oinl about ojiixisite, taking in also Hunter's, Hart, and City Islands. 
Of the more than one hundred miles of coast line originally and until 
1873 possessed by Westchester County, about thirty have passed to 
the city — thi*ee miles on the Hudson, eight on Spuyten Duyvil Creek 
and the Harlem Uiver, and the I'emaindtu' on the Sound. 

The eastern boundarv of the couutA' is an entireh* arbitrarA- one. 



PHYSICAL DKSCIMI'TIOX OF THE COUNTY 7 

ill iiu rcsiK'cl lullnwiii-i ualmal liiics df division, (if whicii, indeed, 
tJiere are none of a eoutinuous cliavai-ter at this portion of liie eastern 
confines of New York Stale. To t lie reader iiiifaniiliar witii I lie jiistory 
of the New York and Connecticut honndary dispute, this /.ij^zaj;- line 
will appear to liave been traced (|uiie without reference to any sym- 
metrical division of territory, hut tor the accoininodation of special 
ol)jects ill territ(u-ial adjustment. This is largely true, although the 
line, as finally drawn, was rednced as nearly to a simple construction 
as could he done consistently with the very dillicnlt circumstances of 
the boundary dispnti'. 

On the iKU'th the limit fixed for the couiily at the lime of its erec- 
tion was the ttoint where the Tlighlands of the Hudson begin. Pur- 
suant to this provision the line between \Yestciiester and I'utnam 
Counties starts on the Hudson at Anthony's Nose and follows an east- 
erly course to the Connecticut boundary. 

The surface of the county consists of several ranges of hills, with 
valleys stretching between, in wliicli are numerous streams and an 
abundance of lakes. None of the jihysical features of Westchester 
County (if we except its lovely i)ros|>('ct of the Hudson) are in any 
wise r<Miiarkable from the viewpoint of the tourist in (|uest of natural 
wonders. On the other hand, its entire surface lu'csents sceiiei-y of 
diversified beauty and interest, not the less gratifying to the contem- 
plative eye because umhanucably niodest in its pretensions. 

The princi]ial chain of hills is the (Uie i losely bordering the Hudson, 
already noticed. This is the southern ]ir(dongation of the Highlands. 
Its elevations dis])lay a constant diminishing tendency southward. 

Another range, likewise extending iKirtli and south, is found near 
the Connecticut border. The ^fatteawan .Moiintaiiis enter the noi-th- 
western corner of the county, and thence cross the lludson. A high 
ridge, called the Stone PHll (the watershed <>{' the c(ninty), passes 
from the town of Blount Pleasant on the Hudson eastward tiirougli 
the towns of New Castle, Bedford, Poundridge, and Salem into Con- 
necticut. In spite of this exce])(ioii. however, the general trend of the 
hills is north and south, a fact illustrated by the almost uniformly 
southerly course of the more considerable streams, and by the usually 
level character of the roails running north and south, as contrasted 
with the c(ms]»icuous uneveiiuess of those which extend east and west. 
Famous in our county's history are the North Castle or Chaiijiaciua 
Hills, above White Plains, into which Washington retired with the 
<'ontinental army after the engagement near the latter place (October 
2S, 177(1 1, and. mi account of the .strength of the new position thus 
gained, ciuupelled tieneral Howe, with his greatly su]teri(u- forc<'. to 
return to New 'S'ork. The highest point in Westchester County ( ac- 



8 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COTXTY 




cording to the figures of till- i'liitci] States ('o;ist Survey l is Antiionv's 
Nose, !)no feet above half tide h-vei. 



rilYSICAL DESCKIPTIOX OF TIIK COINIV 9 

Of tlio streams of AVestcliestor County the iiaiiics of two, the Croloii 
and tlio lironx, have become widely familiar. Tlie former riv<'r is ilie 
chief source of tlie water su])ii]y of New Yorlc City; I he latter — wliicii, 
by the way, also furnishes water to New York — has nmny historic 
and romantic associations, tU^ar to New Yorkers as well as West- 
chester people, and its name has been adopted for one of the beautiful 
new ])arks of the city, and also for one of the five grand divisions 
which constitute the Greater New York. 

t^ome half dozen streams of noticeable size find their outlets in the 
Hudson. Peekskill Creek gathers its waters from the hills of the 
northwestern corner of the county, and flows into the Hudson just 
above the village of Peekskill. Furnace ISrook is a small rivulet 
which empties into the river several miles farther south. Then comes 
the Croton, having its outlet in Croton Buy, as the northeastern por- 
tion of the Tappau Sea is called. 

The Croton has its sources in Dutchess County — these sources com- 
prising three " branches " (the East, Middle, and West), which unite 
in the southern \n\vt of Putnam County. In its course through ^Yest- 
ciiester County to its mouth, the Croton receives as tributaries the 
Mnscoot, Titicns, Cross, and Kisco Rivers. The Muscoot is the outlet 
of the celebrated Lake Mahopac in I'utnam County, and the Cross 
(also called the Peppenegheck ) of Lake Waccabuc, one of the largest 
of the Westchester lakes. The Croton watershed lies almost wholly 
in the State of New York, although draining a small ar<'a in Connec- 
ticut. It extends abcmt thirty-three miles north and soiiili and eleven 
miles east and west, and has an area of 339 square miles above the 
present Croton Dam. to Avhich about twenty square miles will be 
a<lded when the great new dam, now in process of construction, is 
com])leted. This watershed embraces thirty-one lakes and jionds in 
Westchester and Putnam Counties, many of which have been utilized 
as natural storage basins in connection with the New Y'ork City 
water supply by cutting down tlieir outlets and building dams across. 
Besides Croton Lake, there are two very large reservoirs in our county 
incidental to the Croton system — the Titicns Reservoir near I'urdy's 
and the Amawalk lleservoir. The Croton i.ake is l)y far the most ex- 
tensive sheet of water in the county. It is formed by a <lam about 
five miles east of the mouth of the Croton, and has an ordinary length 
of some three and one-half miles. When the new dam is finished the 
lengtli of the lake will be in excess of eleven miles. From t he lake t w<. 
aciueducts, the " Old " and tlie "New," leail to the city. Th<> former is 
thirty-eight ami the latter thirty-three miles long, the distance in each 
case beiuii measured to the receiving reservoir. It is the old a(pieduct 



10 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



which crosses the Havh-m River over High Bridge; the uew is carried 
underneath the stream. 




South of tlie ("roton iliver the next Hudson tributary of interest is 
the Sing Sing Kill, which finds its nioutli tlirough a romantic ravine 
crossed by the notable Aqueduct Bridge. Next comes the Pocantico 
River, entering the Hudson at Tarrytown. The last feeder of the 



PHYSICAL DESCUIPTION OF THE CorNTY 11 

Hudson lioiii WestL-lu'stt'i- Cimiity, and the last received by il bcfm-e 
discliargiug- its waters into the sea, is the Sawmill (or Xepperhaiii 
Eiver, at Youlcers. To tliis stream is due the credil for the creation of 
a very considerable i»ortion of the manufacturini; imlustries of the 
county, and consequently, also, to a i^reat extent, thai for ihc building 
up of the City of Yonkers. 

Into the Spuyten Duyvil Creek empties Tibbel's I'.rook, a small 
runlet which rises in the Town of Youlcers and Hows south, passing 
throujih Van Cortlandt Lake (artificial). 

The most noteworthy of the streams emptying into the Sound is the 
Bronx Kiver, whose outlet is between Hunt's I'oint and Cornell's 
Neck. The Bronx lies wholly within Westchester County, having its 
headwaters in the hills of the toAvns of Mount IMeasant and New 
Castle. It traverses and partially drains the middle section of the 
county. This river, with other Avaters which have been artificially 
connected with it, afl'ords to New York City a water sui)ply of its own, 
quite independent of the Croton s3-stem--a fact, perhaps, not generally 
understood. It is dammed at Kensico Station, making a storage 
reservoir of 250 acres. A similar dam has been thrown across the 
Byram River, and another across the outlet of Little Bye Bond. By 
the damming of Little Kye Pond that body of water, witli Bye Bond, 
has been converted into a single lake, having an area of 2S(> acres. 
The three parts of this system — the Bronx, Byram, and Bye Bond 
reservoirs — are, as already stated, connected aiMiticially, ami the 
water is delivered into a receiving reservoir at \\'illiams's Bridge 
through the so-called Bronx Biver pipe line, a conduit of forty-eight- 
iuch cast-iron pipe. The portion of the Bronx watershed draiuerl for 
this jmrpose has an area of thirteen and one-third scpiare miles. 

Bast of the mouth of the Bronx Biver on the Sound are the outlets 
of Westchester and Eastchester Creeks — tidal streams — em])tying, 
respectively, into Westchester and Ea.stchester Bays. The Hutciiinson 
Biver rises in Scarsdale and tloAVs into Eastchester Bay. The Mania- 
roneck Biver has its source near White I'lains aiul Harrison, tinding 
its outlet in Mamaroneck Harbor. The B.yram Biver, which enters 
the Sound above Bortchester, and at its mouth separates our county 
from Connecticut, drains parts of North Castle and Bye. Blind BrooU 
empties at Milton, after draining portions of Harrison and Bye. 
Most of tlie streams flowing into the Sound afford, by the reflux of the 
tidi', an intermitting hydraiilic power. 

The MiaTius Biver, rising in North Castle, and Stamford .Mill Kiver, 
rising in Boundridge, find their way to the Sound through Connecticut. 
Some minor streams in the northern section of the county How into 
Putnam Countv. 



12 



HISTOUV OF WESTCHESTKK COUNTY 



The lakes of AYestclioster, like the hills and streams, boast no fea- 
tures of exceptional interest, but are strictly in keeping with the 
quiet beauty of the general landscape. The largest, as already men- 
tioned, is Crolon Lake, entirely artiticial; and we hav(^ also seen that 




several of the natural lakes have been utilized for purposes of water 
supph'. Lake Waccabuc, in the Town of Lewisboro, has, since 1S70, 
been connected with the Croton system. It covers over two hundred 
acres, and is very deep and ])ure. In the Town of Poundridge several 



PHYSICAL DKSCKll-llOX VF TlIK CUCNTY 13 

poii»ls< have beeu artiliciallv joined tu vnv unullier, loriiiiiii; a hand- 
some body of water, called Trinity Lake, a mile aud a (luarter long, 
which supplies the City of Staiiifofd, Conn. A dam twenty feet high 
has been erected across its outlet. Other lakes of local importance 
and intei'est are Peach Lake, on the Putnam County border; Mohegan 
and ^lohansic lakes, in Yorktown; Valhalla Lake (through which the 
Bron.\ Ikiver flows j, between Mount Pk-asant and North Caslle; Kye 
Lake, near the Connecticut line; Byram Lake, in Bedford and North 
Castle, the feeder of the Byram River, and Cross Pond (100 acres i in 
I'oundridge. 

The rocks of Westchester County consist mainly of gneiss aud mica- 
schist of many dissimilar varieties, and white crystalline limestone 
with thin interlying beds of serpentine, all of ancient origin and 
entirely devoid of fossils. Professor Ealph S. Tarr, of Cornell Univer- 
sity, in a recent sei'i<^s of jiajiers' on the geology of New York State, 
embodying the latest investigations aud conclusions on the subject, 
assigns to the southern angle of the State, including Westchester 
County, the name of the " (Jneissic PTighbind Pi-ovince." This ]»rov- 
ince, he says, is of complex structure, and one in which, in its main 
and most typical part, the rocks are very much folded and disturbed 
metamorphic strata of ancient date. " These rocks," he continues, 
" are reallj' an extension of the highlands of New Jersey, which reach 
across the southern angle of New Y'ork, extend northeastward, and 
enter Connecticut. Besides thes(^ Archean gneisses theT'c is some 
sandstone and a black diabese or trap, which form the Palisades, 
besides extensive la.vers of limestone, gneiss, and schist, which extend 
across the region occupied by th<* City of New Yoi-k. This whole 
series of strata is intricately associated. Except at the very seashore 
line, the province is a moderate highland, with rather rough topog- 
raphy and with hills rising in some ])laces to an elevation of 1.000 or 
1,200 feet above the sea level. Wliei'e there is limestone or sand- 
stone in this area, there is usually a lowland, while highlan<ls occnr 
where the hard gneiss comes to the surface not immediately at the 
seashore. This is extremely well illustrated in Kockland County, 
where the gneissic Ramapo Mountains are faced at their southeastern 
base by a lowland, a somewhat rolling ]ilain, which, however, is 
bounded on its eastern margin by another highland where the trap 
of the Palisades rises close by the Hudson River." 

In the opinion of I'i'of<»ssor Tarr, this region, with the large Adiron- 
dack area, at the beginning of the Paleozoic were mountainous hinds 
facing the sea. which stretche<l away to the westwaid. and beneath 
which all the rest of the site of New York State was submerged. The 

Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, vol. xxviii. 



14 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

southwestern lliiilihind mountains extended northward into Now 
Eniihmd, and toward the east thev prohahly reached seaward alonji 
the present coast line. This mountain ranfje extended southwestward 
alonj;' tlie eastern i)art of the sea(i;ast States, and west of it Avas a 
i;reat sea in tiie ])resent Mississijipi N'alley. Whether the Adiron- 
daclcs and this Ilisilihind mountain range were ever connected, and 
wliat was tlie actual extension of tiie two areas, can not be told in the 
present state of ucolo.nical knowledge, the record of much of the 
early history havinii been hidden beneath the strata of later ages. 
However, in very early Paleozoic times the waves of the sea beat at 
the western base of the southern Highlands, and these were then at 
least separated from the Adirondacdc area, which was at that time an 
island in the Paleozoic sea. 

Professor James I). Dana, in an inquiry concerning the relations 
of the limestone belts of Westchester County, arrives at the conclu- 
sinji tliat, \\ith those of New York Island, tliey are ](r(>bably of l.o\\-cr 
Silurian age, assigning also to the same age the coniformably asso- 
ciated metamorphic rocks. He holds to the view that Westchester 
County belongs to the same geologic period as the Green Mountain 
region, resembling in its order that portion of the latter which is now 
western Connecticut. Other geologists find reason for believing that 
the Westchester rocks are older than those of the Green Mountain 
area, and belong to an even earlier age than the Lower Silurian. It 
is pointed out that the marbles of Vermont and the marbles of West- 
chester Countj-, with their associated rocks, are essentially different 
from one another, and can hardly, therefore, belong to a common 
formation; the Vermont marbles being found in a single belt and 
being almost pure carbonates of lime, and of mottled and banded 
api)earance, fine grained, with gray siliceous limestones, quartzites, 
and slates identified with them; whereas the Westchester marbles 
constitute a series of parallel belts and are " coarsely crystalline dolo- 
mites (double carbonates of lime and magnesia), generally of uniform 
white or whitish color, and have no rocks associated with them that 
can re]U'esent the quartzites and argillites of Vermont." 

Still another opinion regarding the origin of the rocks of the West- 
chester County I'egions is that of Prof. I. S. Newberry, who believes 
that they date from the Laurentian age. 

The limestone beds are distributed through every geographical sec- 
tion of the county. At Sing Sing occur marble deposits — very heavy 
beds which have been extensively <|uarried. It was, in fact, largely 
for the purpose of employing convict laboi- for the quarrying of the 
marble that this ])lace was chosen as the location for the New York 



PHYSICAL DlOSCltlP'i'ION OF THE COUNTY 



15 



State Penitentiary. Tlie Sing Siug marble, however, altliougli au 
admirable building stone for many purposes, is of comparatively 
coarse and inferior (luality, beconuug stained iu the course of time 
by the action of the sea air on account of the presence of grains of iron 
[lyritt'S. ^larblc is also qiiarried at Tuckahoe. 

Abundant indications are afforded of extensive and radical glacial 
action. " Crotou Point, on the Hudson, and other places in the couuty, 
show evidences of glacial moraines. Deep striit and lighter scrati'hes 
still remain upon manj' exposed rock surfaces, and others have been 
smoothly polished." A prominent feature is the presence iu great 
profusion of large granite bowlders, undoubtedly transported by 
glaciers from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with an inter- 



X 




EARLY NAVIGATION IX THK HIGHLANDS 



mingling of bowlders of conglomerate from the western side of tlu' 
Hudson, the latter containing numerous shell fossils. The so-called 
•• Cobbling Stone," in the Town of North Salem, is a well-known speci- 
men of the glacial bowlders of Westchester. It is a prodigious rock of 
red granite, said to be the solitary one of its kind in the county. 

The minerals fouinl iu the county, in greater or lesser (juautities, 
embrace magnetic iron ore, iron and copper i)yrites, green malachite, 
sulphuret of zinc, galena and other lead ores, native silvi-r. serpen- 
tine, garnet, beryl, ajiatite, trcmolile, wliile ])yr()xeni', chlorite, black 
tourmaline, Silliiuanite, monazite, I'.ruciic cpidoie. and sphene. Rut 
Westchester has never been in any sense a seat nf the mining industry 
l)roper, as distinguished from the (|uarrying. In early times a silver 



16 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTEK COUNTY 

luiiic was Ulcerated at Sliij; Siiiji, very uear where the prisun uow 
stauds, aud uot tar from the same h)cality an attempt was iiuuh' some 
seventy years ago to mine for e-opper. Both of these mining ventures 
are of mere curious historical interest, representing ut) actual success- 
ful production of a definite cliaracter. In tlie ridges along thi' north- 
ern borders of the county considerable deposits of iron ore are found. 
It is stated by Mr. Charles E. Culver, in his History of Somers, that 
the iron ores of that town hav(% upon assay, " yielded as high as (Jl 
per cent." Peat swamps, affording a fuel of good quality, exist in 
several parts of the county, notably the Town of Bedford. 

There are various mineral springs, as well as other s])riiigs, yielding 
water of singularly- pure (piality, the latter being utilized in some 
cases with commercial pi-ofit. A well-known mineral spring, for 
whose waters medicinal virtues are tdaimed, is the Chappaqua Spring, 
three miles east of Sing Sing. 

The prevailing soil of Westchester County is the product of disinte- 
grations of the primitive rocks, and is of a light and sandy character, 
for the most part not uncommonly fertile naturally, although the 
methods of scientific farming, which have been pursued from very 
early times, have rendere<l it highly productive. It is not generally 
adapted to wheat, summer crops succeeding best. Drift deposits and 
alluvium occur along the Sound and in some localities elsewhere, with 
a consequently richer soil. Agriculture has always been the repre- 
sentative occupation, although during the last half century extensive 
manufacturing industries have been develo])ed in several localities. 



CnAPTET^ TI 



TlIK Ar.(H:li;iNAI, IMIAI'.I-I'A.NTS 




T Wiis nut uiilil Kid'.t, one liiinilrcd jiikI sc\ciilccii vcai's after 
till' discovery nl' ilie New \\()rl(l, that I']uin|ieaii enter- 
prise, destined lo lead lo delinile colonization and develop- 
ment, was directed fo lliat ])ortion of the Xortli American 
continent wliere the nietrtt]Milis of ilie Western hemisphere and the 
Empire State of the American Inion have since been erected. The 
entire North American mainland, in fact, from Florida to Flndson's 
Bay, althongh explored by voyagers of different nationalities within 
com]paratively brief periods after the advent of Colnmbus, had been 
practically neglected throughout the sixteenth century as a field for 
serious purposes of civilized occupation and exploitation. The early 
French attempts at settlement in < "anada, in the first half of that cen- 
tury, and the colonizing exjjeditions sent by Sir Walt<'r Kaleigh to the 
shores of North Carolina, in the second half, were dismal failures, and 
in the circumstances could not have resulted diflerently. Vov these 
undertakings were largely without reference to intelligent and \)ro- 
liressive cultivati(ni of such resources as the country might aft'ord, 

being incidental, or, at 
least, secondary, to the 
absoibing conviction 
of tlie tinu's that the 
riches of India lay 
somewhere beyond the 
.\merican coast bar- 
rier, and would still 
y i e 1 d themselves to 
bold search. Naturally, 
few mi'u of substantial 
FROM AN OLD I KiNi. character and decent 

antecedents could be jiersuaded to embark as volunteers in such 
doubtful entei'prises. The tiist settlers on the Saint I.aurc iicc were 
a band of lobbers, swindlers, mnidcrers, and iir(uniscuous rutlians, 
released from the prisons of I'rance by the government as a heroic 
means of ju'ovidiug colonists for an exiiedilion which could noi be 
r.M-ruilcd ri-.:m ilie i.eoid<- at large. TIk' seiilers sent by Sir Walter 







18 IIISTOKY OF WESTCIIESTKI! COLNTV 

I\aleijj;h under his pateut from Elizabeth iu 1585 for establishiuji eoh)- 
nies nortli of the Spanish dominions in Florida Avere. according to 
IJanci'oft. a body of " br(>lven-(loA\ ii yciitlemen and libertines, more 
fitted to corrujit a reitnblii than to loniid one," with very few mechan- 
ics, farmers, or laborers among 1 hem — mere buccaneering adven- 
turers, Mho carried hi-e and sword into the land and bad no higher 
object before them than to ]ilunder and enslave the natives. It is 
true that very early iu the sixteenth century the fishermen of Nor- 
mandy and liritanny began to seek the waters of Newfoundland for 
the legitimate ends of their vocation, and soon built up a gainful t rade, 
which, steadily expanding aiul attracting other votaries, eiii|>loyed 
in 1583 more than four liundi-ed European fishing ci-aft. I'.ut this 
business was conducted almost exclusively for tiie ])i-ofits of the 
fisheries, and althougli the vess(ds devot<'(l to it ranged all along the 
Ne\\' England coast, theic was no consecutiM' occuitation of the 
cotmtry with a view to its earnest settlement until after the dawn of 
the seventeenth century. 

Throughout the era of original Anu'rican discoAcry and coast ex- 
ploration, the returning mariners bad agreed in describing the re- 
gion to the north of the (Julf of Mc^xico and the ('aribbe;ni Sea as 
utterly lacking in indications of aecumidated ri(dies, inhabited only by 
savage races wlio ])ossessed no gold and sihcr oi- otjiei' \alnable ja-o]'- 
erty, enjoyed no civilization, offered no commodities to commerce ex- 
cept the ordinary products of the soil and the (diase, and could com- 
municate nothing definite respecting more substantial wealth farther 
to the west. The ancient civilizations of Mexico, Central America, and 
Peru liaving been subverted by the Spaiusli comiuistadores, and their 
stores of jtrecious metals largcdy absorbed, it was fondly h.ojied thai 
the un]ienetrated wilds of the north might contain new realms with 
siuiilar abundant treasures. Narvaez, in 1528, and De Soto, in 15.'>!l, led 
finely appointed expeditions from the l^lorida coast into tin' interior 
in (|uest of the imagined eldorados — em])i'ises which ])roved absolutely 
barren of encouraging results and from A\bich only a few nnserable 
surviMirs returned to tell tbe disillusionizing tale (d' dreadful \\ilder- 
ness marcdies, ap])alling sufferings, and fruitless victories over 
wretched tribes owiung no goods worth carrying aAvay. The iuipress- 
ive record of these disastrous failures, iu connection with the uni 
foi'uily unfialtering accounts of the lands farther north, deterred all 
Enrojiean nations friun like pouipous adveiiturings. The i)overty of 
the native inhabitants of North America saved them fnun the swift 
fate whi(di overtook tin- rich peo])les of the south, and for a century 
pi-eserved them even from intrusion, except of the most fugitive kind. 

This fact of their complete poverty is by far the most conspicuotis 



ABORIGINAL IXHAblTANTS 



19 



awprct of the origiual L-uiiiparativc t(iii(liii<)ii, iu botli ocoiioniiL' and 
social iviiards, of the Xortb American Indians, as well as of the his- 
tory of their gradual expulsion ami extirpation. Possessing nothing 
l)iit laud and the simplest concomitants of primitive existence, they 
<lid not present to the European invaders au established and meas- 
urably advanced and ailluent orgainzation of society, inviting s])eedy 
and comprehensive overthrow and the immediate substitution on a 
general scale of the suprenuicy and institutions of the subjugators. 
Uisi)ersed through the primeval forests in small conimtmilies, they 
did not confront the stranger foe with formidable masses of |(o])ula- 
tiou requiring to be dealt with by the summary methods of foi'mal 
comiuest; ami skilled in but few industries and arts, which they ju-ac- 
ticed lutt acquisitively but only to serve the most necessary ends of 
daily life, and maititaining themselves in a decidedly struggling and 
adventitious fashion by a rude agriculture and the pursuits of hunt- 
ing and tishing, their numbers in the aggregate, following well-known 
laws of pojtulation. were, indeed, cimiparatively 
few. Vet the same conditions ma<le tiiem the 
ruggedest, bravest, and nu>st imlepemlcnt of 
races, and utterly unassimilable. Thus, as found 
by the Europeans, while because of their poverty 
jjrovoking no programme of systematic conquest 
and dispossession, they were foredoomed to in- 
evitable in-ogressive dislodgement and ultimate 
extermination or segregation. Thi' cultivated 
and numerous races of Mexico and I'eru, on the 
other hand, exciting the cupidity of theS])aniards 
by their wealth, were reduced to subjection at a 
blow. But though ruthlessly slaughtered by the 
most bloody atid cruel conquerors known to the 
crimimil annals of history, these more refined 
pe(q)le of the south had reserved for them a less 
niehmcholy destiny than that of the untutored 
children of the wilderness. Their survivors read- 
ily gave themselves to the processes of absor])- 
tiou, and their descendants to-day are colieirs, in 
all degrees of consanguinity, witli tlie |)rogeny of 
the despoih'i". 

The origin of the native races of America is. in the i>resent stat<' ot 
know Icilge. a problem of peculiar dilliculty. Nothing is contributed 
toward its solution by any Avritten records now known to exist. None 
of the aboriginal inhabitants of either of the Americas left any writ- 
ten annals. The ouiuion is held bv some scholars, who favor the the- 




BOWS ANI> .\RROW£, 



20 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

oi-v ol A^^iatic■ oi-igiii, that when the as yet unpublished treasxires of 
aucieut Chinese literature come to be spread before the world detiuite 
lifjht may be cast upon the subject. There is a strong- probability that 
the civilization of the Aztecs was either of direct Mongolian derivation 
or partially a de\elo])nient from early Alonjicdian transplantations. 
This view is sustained, lirst, by certain superticial resemblances, and, 
second, by various details in old Chinese manuscripts suyyestive of 
former intercourse with the shores of Mexico and South America. The 
belief that man's initial appearance on this hemisphere was as a wan- 
derer from Asia finds plausible supitort in the fact of the very near 
apiJroach of the American land mass to Asia at the north, the two be- 
ing separated by a narrow strait, while a continuous chain of stepping- 
stone islands reaches from coast to coast not far below. Accepting 
the Darwinian theory of man's evolution from the lower orders, the 
idea of his indigenous growth in America seems to be precluded; for 
no traces have been found of the existence at any time of his proximate 
ancestors — the higher species of apes, from which alone he could have 
come, having no representatives here in the remains of bygone times. 

The question of man's relative anticjuity on tlie Western hemisphere 
is also a matter of pure speculation. Here again the absence of all 
written records prevents any assured historical reckonings backward. 
Ancient remains, including those of the Aztecs and their associated 
races, the cliff-dwellers of Arizona and the mound-builders of the 
Ohio and Mississi})pi valleys, are abundant and highly interesting, 
but their time connections are lacking. Yet while the aspects of the 
purely historical ]U'ogress of man in the New World are most unsatis- 
factory, anthropological stvnlies proper are attended by much more 
favorable conditions in the Americas than in Europe. In the Old 
^^'orld, occcupied and thickly settled for many historic ages by man 
in the various stages of civilized development, most of the vestiges of 
prehistoric man have been destroyed by the people; whereas these 
still have widespread existence in the New. 

In the immediate section of the country to which the County of 
Westchester belongs such traces of the ancient inhabitants as have 
been found are in no manner reducible to system. There are no ven- 
erable monumental ruins, nor are there any of the curious " mounds " 
of th(> west. Various sites of villages occupied by the Indians at the 
time of the arrival of the Europeans are known, as also of some of their 
forts ami burial grounds. Great heaps of oyster and clam shells here 
and there on the coast remain as landmarks of their abiding places. 
Aside from such features, which belong to ordinary historical associa- 
tion rather than to the department of archaeological knowledge, few 
noteworthv " finds " liave been made. Several veai"s ago much was 




VASK Korxri at 

IN\V()ol>. 



ABORKJI.XAI. IMIAI'.ITANTS 21 

iiuuli' ill the New York Cilv iiewspMiici- jncss ut ccrtMiii cxcavatidiis 
by Mr. Alexander C ("lieiiowetb, at liiwoud, on Manliattau Island, a 
short distance below 8puyten Dn^vii. .Mr. Chenoweth unearthed a 
variety of interesting objects, inclndinn Indian skele- 
tons, bearthstones blackened by tire, implements, and 
utensils. There can be no doubt that these remains 
were from a period untedatini;- (he European discov- 
ery. l>ut they possessed no importance licyoml Mint 
fact. With all the other traces of the more aiicifiil in- 
habitants which have been found in this t;('neral re- 
gion, they show that hereabouts Indian ((mdiiions 
as known to history did not differ sharply, in tin- way 
either of improvement or of degeneration, from those which preceded 
the beginning of authentic records. 

Verrazano, the French navigator, wlio sailed along the coast of 
North America in 1524, entering tlie harbor of New York and ])ossibly 
ascemling the riAer a short distance, speaks of the natives whom he 
met there as " not differing much " from those with whom he had held 
intercourse elsewhere, ■" being dressed out with the feathei's of birds 
of various colors." " They came forward toward us," he adds, " with 
evident delight, raising loud shouts of admiration and showing us 
where we could most securely land witb our boat." In similar words 
Henry Hudson describes the savages whom he first took on board his 
vessel in the lower Xew York Bay. They came, he says, *' dressed in 
maiilh's ut feathers and robes of fui-. I lie women clothed in heiii|i. red 
copper tobacco pipes, and other tilings t>\ cojiper did they wear about 
their necks." Their attitude was entirely amicable, for they brought 
no arms with them. On his voyage up the river to the head of naviga- 
tion, Hudson was everywhere received by the Indian chief's of both 
banks with friendliness, and he found the various tribes along whose 
borders lie passed to iiossess the same general characteristics of ap- 
pearance, customs, and disposition. 

Kuttenber. the historian of the Hudson Uiver Indians, in his general 
classitication of the different tribes distributcMl along the banks, sum- 
marizes the situation as follows : At the time of discovery the entire 
eastern bank, from an indefinable point north of Albany to the sea, in- 
cluding Lcmg Island, was held, under numerous sub-tribal divisions, 
by the Mohicans (also written Mahicans and Mohegaiisi. Tlie do- 
minion of the Mohicans extended eastward to tlie t'onnecticiil, wIhm-c 
they were joined by kindred tribes, and on liic west bank ran as far 
down as Catskill, reaching westward to Schenectady. Adjoining 
them on the west was the territory of the ^b. hawks, and on the south 
their neiuhbors were chieftaincies of the ^Miusis, a toteniic tribe of the 



22 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COINTY 



J.ciiiii l>('iiaii('s. The latter cxcicist'd ciintrdl thence to the sea and 
westward to tlie 1 >elaware Kiver. Under the early Duteh tiovernnient. 
continues Kuttenher, the M(diicans sold a cousMerable i)ortion of their 
land on the west side to Van IJensselaer, and admitted the Mohawks 
to territorial sovereignty north of the ^lohawk IJiver. The Mohawks 
were one of the live tribes of the iireat lro(iuois confederacy, ^\hose 
other meuibers were the Oneidas, < )non(la_u'as, Cayiigas, and Senecas. 
Thus as early as KloO there were three priiiciiial divisions or nations 
of Indians represented on. the Iltulson; the lro(]Uois, Mohicans, and 
Lenni Lenapes (or Delawares ) . 

This is Tiuttenber's classification. On the other liand, it has been 
consi<lered by some writers on the Indians that the Mohicans were 
really only a sttbdivision of the Lenni Lenapes, whose dominions, ac- 
cordinii to IltHdcewelder, extended from the niontli of tlie Potomac 
northeastwardly to the shores of ]\Lissachusetts Bay and the motm 
tains of New Hampshire and Vermont, and westwardly to the Alle- 
ghenies and Catskills. But whether the ^fcdiicans are to be regarded 




TOTEMS OF NEW YORK TRIHKS. 

as a separate grand division or as a minor body, the geograpliical 
limits of the territory over which they were sprea<l are well defined. 

They were called by the Dutch .^laikaus, and by the Freni h mis- 
sionaries the " nine nations of ^[ahingans, gathered between Manliat- 
tan and the (nn'irons of (Quebec." The tradition which they gave of 
their origin has been stated as follows: 

Tlif t'cniiitry formerly owned liy tlie Muhheakunniik (Moliican) nation was situated jiartly 
in Massachusetts and jiartly in the States of Vermont and New York. The inlialiitants dwelt 
chieHy in little towns and villages. Their chief seat was on the Hudson Kiver, now it is 
called Albany, which was called Peinpotowwiithut-Muhheeannenw, or the fireplace of the 
Muhheakiinuuk nation, where their allies u.sed to come on any business, whether relating- to 
the covenant of their friendship or other matters. The etymology of the word Miihheakun- 
mik, according- to its original signification, is great water.s or sea, which are constantly in 
motion, either ebbing or flowing. Our forefathers assert that they were emigrants from 
another country ; that they passed over great waters, where this and the other country was 
nearly connected, called Ukhokpeek ; it signifies snake water or water where snakes are 
abundant ; and tliat they lived by the side of a great water or sea, whence they derived the 
name of the Muhheakiinnuk nation. Mnhheakannenw signifies a man of the Mahheakiuinuk 
tribe. Miihlieakuiineyuk is a plural number. As they were coming from the west they found 
many great waters, but none of a How and ebb like Muhheakannnk until they came to Hud- 
son's River. Then thej' said to one another, this is like Muhheakaiinuk, our nativity. And 



ABORIGINAL I.MIA I'.riA. NTS 



23 



when they foiinil yiain was very plenty in tluit eonntry, they agreed to kiniUe ii tire there 
ami liiiny a kettle whereof they and thiNr eliildren after them might di)i unt their daily 
refreshment.' 

Tlic ii;!iiie iiiven by tlie .Moliiciins iind ilir Lciiaiics to I lie lliidsoii 
Ilivcr was tlu' ^rohicanitiik, or KiviT of the Moliicans, siiiiiifviiiji " tli(? 
coustaiitlj' liuwiui; waters." I>y the Iroquois it was called the Oolui- 
tatea. 

The ^roliicaiis behniiL;ed to tlie liiM'at .MiidiKniin race stock, which 
iiiav be said to have embraced all the Indian uatioiis from the Atlantic 




TOTKMIC SICN.MTRKS. 



to the Mississippi. Its different br.-inclies had a ficiieral similarity of 
lan!iiiai;e, and whih^ the separate modihcations were numerous and 
extreuie, all the liidians within these boumls understood one another. 

The ^lohican power is reii'ai'ded by llultenber as hardly less formid- 
able than that of the Iroquois, and lie points out that not withstandiniu; 
the boasted stipreuiac^' of the Iro(|unis in war I here is no historical 
evidence that the Midiirans wei-e ever hrouylit under subjection to 
them or despoiled of any portion of theii- lerrit(H-y. Vet it is uiKpies- 
tionable that the Iroquois exactecl and received tribute fmm tiir Lon<; 
Island Indians; and this could hardly have hapjiened wiiiiout jtre- 
viously (d)tainin!.i thuninion over the Mohicans. On the oilier hand, it 
is certain that the ^lohicans never tamely submitted to tlic northern 
conquerors. " When the Dutch first nu^t the >r(diicans," says l{ut- 
tenber, " they were in conflict with the Mohawks (an Iroquois nation), 
and that conflict was nuiinlainrij for nearly three-(|mirters nf a c(»n- 



■ Massaehusetts Hist. Soe. Coll., ii.. H'l. 

The editor submlttert tile above ti) Mr. Will- 
iam Wallace Tiioker for his eritical opiiiinii. 
The following is Mr. Tooker's repl.v: 

■• This ct.vnioloc.v of Miiliheakunnuk. or Miih- 



(,'ive.s the true derivation In hia ' Names lu 
Conneetleiit.' p. :U. viz.: 'The Mohegans, or 
Miililiel<aiinc'nks. took their trihe name from 
Ilie Ai^'onkin maiiiKan. "a wolf."' The mapa 
anil reconis prove Oils conelnslvely." 



heoanneiiw. is (leeldedly wrijny 



Trnmbull 



24 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

tury, and until the English, wlio were in aliiaiu'e witli both, were able 
to effect a permanent settlement." 

Although the Mohican name was generic for all the tribes on the 
eastern side of the Hudson, it never occurs, at least in the southern 
part of Xew York State, in the numerous local land deeds and other 
documentary agreements drawn by the settlers with the Indians. The 
tribal or chieftaincy name prevailing in the district in question is uni- 
formly employed. This finds a good illustration in the affidavit of 
King Xiniham, executed October 18, 1780, in which the deponent says 
that he is " a Eiver Indian of the Tribe of the \Yappinoes ( Wappin- 
gers), which tribe was the ancient inhabitants of the east shores of 
Hudson's liiver, from the City (»f New York to about the middle of 
Beekman's patent (in the northern part of the ])resent County of 
Dutchess ) ; that another tribe of river Indians called the Mayhiccon- 
das (Mohicans) were the ancient inhabitants of the remaining east 
shore of said river; that these two tribes constitute one nation." There 
was, however, an intimate understanding among all the associated 
tribes and minor divisions of the Mohicans, which in emergencies was 
given very practical manifestation. The Dutch, in their early wars 
against the Indians of Westchester County, were perplexed to find 
that the Highland tribes, with A^■hom, as they supposed, they were 
upon terms of amity, were rendering assistance to their enemies. 

The ]\Iohicans of the Hudson should not be confused with the Mo- 
hegans under Uncas, the I'equot chief, whose territory, called Molie- 
ganick, lay in eastern Connecticut. The latter was a strictly local 
New England tribe, and though probably of the same original stock 
as the Hudson Kiver Mohican nation, was never identified with it. 

The entire country south ol tiie Highlands, that is, Westchester 
County and Manhattan Island, was occupied by chieftaincies of the 
Wappinger division of the Mohicans. The Wappingers also held do- 
minion over a large section of the Highlands, through their sub- 
tribes, the Nochpeems. At the east their lands extended Ix^vond the 
Connecticut line, being met by those of the Sequins. The latter, hav- 
ing jurisdiction thence to the Connecticut Eiver, were, it is believed, 
an enlarged family of Wappingers, '' perhajts the original head of the 
tribe, from whence its conquests were pushed over the southern part 
of the peninsula." The north and south extent of the territory of the 
Sequins is said to have been some sixty miles. They first sold their 
lands, June 8, 1()38, to the Dutch West India Company, and upon them 
was erected the Dutch trading post of " Good Hope: " but ten years 
later they executed a deed to the English, embracing "the whole 
country to the Moha^^•k country." On Long Island were the Canarsies. 
Eockaways, Merricks, Massapeags, Matinecocks, Corchaegs, Man- 



ABOKK ; 1 \A 1. I M I A P.ITAXTS 




PALISADED VILLAGK. 



Iiaiisclls, Sccjitomips, UiiUccliaugs, Sliimic.Dcks, iiiid .\I<.iil;niks. The 
prin.ip:il tril)cs on the oilier side of New Vi.rk Bay aud the west bank 
of the lliidsoti ( all beloii-inji to the Lena])e or Delaware nation ) were 
the Navesinks, Karitans, Ilackinsacks. Aiinackanonks. Tappans, and 
Haverstraws. 

The Wappinger sub-tribes or chieftaincies of Westdiester Tonnlv. 
thanks chietiy to the careful researches of Bolton, are capable of 

tol(>rably exact jieoj-raiihical lo.a- 
tion and of detailed individual de- 
scription. Bolton is followed in the 
main by lJutt<'iiber, who, givinj;- due 
credit to the former while addinji' tlie 
results of his own iuvesti^arions. is 
the final authority on the wlnde sub- 
ject at the present time. No a])oio- 
S'ies need be made for transferrin";- to 
these pases, even quite literally. 
Kuttenber's classificatiiui of the In- 
dians of the county, willi iIh- inci- 
dental descriptive particulars. 

1. The Keckgawaw.ancs, better known by the jjcneric name nf Manhattans and so desiirnated 
by Brodliead and other New York historians. Holt(Ui jjives to this ehieftaini-v the name of 
Nappeekamaks, a title whieb, however, docs not a]>pear in the records exeept as tlio name of 
their jirineipal villa-je on the site of Yonkers. This village of Xapjieekamak (a name si^niifv- 
ing the ■• rapid water .settlement"') was, says Bolton, sitnated at the month of the Xei)perlian iir 
Sawmill Uiver. The ea.stle or fort of the Manhattans or Heekgawawanes was on the north- 
ern shore of .Spnyten Dnyvil Creek, and was called Xipiniehsen. It was carefnllv protected 
by a strong- stockade and comnninded the romantic .scenery of the Papirinemen or Spnvten 
Dnyvil and the Mobicanitnk, the jnnetion of whieb two streams was calleil .Shorackappock. 
It was opposite this castle that the fight occnrred between Hndson and the Indians as he was 
returning down the river. They held Manhattan Island and had thereon tbiee vilhu'cs, 
which, however, it is claimed, were occnpied only while they were on hunting and tishiu" ex- 
cursions. In Breeden Haedt their name is given as the Heckewackes, and it is said that in 
the treaty of 1(543 Oritany, sachem of the Ilackinsacks, declared he was delegated l)v and 
for those of Tappaeu, Keckgawawanc. Kicktawanc, and Sintsinc. The tract occnpied hv the 
Keckgawawancs on the mainland was called Keekesick, and is described as " lying over against 
the Hats of the Island of Manbates." In its northern extent it included the site of the 
present City of Yonkers. and on the ejvst it reached to the Bron.v River. Their chiefs were 
Kechgawac, for whom they apjiear to have been called, Fecquesmeck and Peckannieiis. 
Their first sachem known to the Dutch was Tackerew(l(!;}!)). In KiS'J the namesof (ioharis, 
Teattanipieer and Wcaracpuieghier ai)]>ear as the grantors of larnls to Frederick I'bilipse. 

2. The Weck(;naesgecks. This chieftaincy is known to have liad, as early as Ki-tl, three 
intrenched castles, one of which remained iis late as l()(i.'5, and was tlien garrisoned by eighty 
warriors. Their pnnci|)al village w,as where Dobbs Ferry now stands. It is said that the 
outlines of it can still be traced by numerous .shell beds. It was called \Veck(piaesgeck, and 
its location was at the month of Wicker's Creek (called by the Indians the \Vys(|na<pi.i 
or \Veghi|uegbe). Another of their villages was .\Iipconck, the ■' place of the elms," now 
Tarrytown. Their territory appears to have extended from Xorwalk on the .Somnl to the 
Hudson, and embraced consideral)le portions of the towns of Mount Pleasant, (ireenburgh, 

" Note by William Wallace Tooker: This is au incorrect derivation. The uame really signiflee " Trap flshing place." 



2G 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



White Plains, and Rye, being- ultimately very largely included in the Manor of Philipsbor- 
ough. Their sachem in 1G49 was Ponuiialiowhelbshelen ; in KiCO Ackhough ; in 1663 
Souwenaro ; in 1680 Weskora or Weskomcu, and (Joharius, his brother; in 1681 Wessicken- 
aiaw, and Conarhanded, liis brother. Tliese chiefs are largely represented in the list of 
grantors of lands to the wliites. 

3. The .Sint-.Sincs. These Indians were not very numerous. Tlieir most important vil- 
lage was Ossing-Sing, the present Sing Sing. They had anotlier village, called Kestaubninck, 
between the Sing Sing Creek aud the Kitchawonck or Croton River. Tlieir lands are de- 
scribed in tlu^ deed of sale to Philipse, August 2-1, 1685, and were included in his manor 

4. The Kitchawangs or Kicktawancs. Tlieir territory ai)parently extended from the Cro- 
ton River north to Anthony's Xose. Ketclitawonck was their leadhig village, at the mouth of 
the Croton (Kitchtawonck) River. They occupied another, Sackhoes, on the site of Peekskill. 
Their castle or fort, wliicli stood at the month of the Croton, is represented as one of the 
most formidable and ancient of Indian fortresses south of the Highlands. Its precise location 
was at the entrance or neck of Teller's Point (called Senasqua), and west of the cemetery of 
the Van Cortlandt family. The traditional sachem was Croton. There was apparently a 
division of chieftaincies at one time, Kitchawong figuring as sachem of the village and castle 
on the Croton and Sachus of the village of Sackhoes or Peekskill. The lauds of the chief- 
taincy were principally included in tlie Manor of Cortlandt, and from them the towns of 
Cortlandt, Yorktowii, Somers, North Salem, and Lewisboro have been erected. 

5. The Tankitekes. They occupied the country now comprising the towns of Poundridge, 
Bedford, and New Castle, in Westchester County, and those of Darien, Stamford, and New 

Canaan in Connecticut, 
all purchased by Na- 
thaniel Turner in 1640 
on behalf of the people 
of New Haven, and de- 
scribed in the deeds as 
tracts called Toquams 
and Shiphani. Ponus 
was sachem of the form- 
er and Wasenssue of the 
latter. Ponus reserved 
portions of Toquams for 
the use of himself and 
his associates, but with 
this exception the entire 
possessions of the Tan- 
kitekes a])pear to have 
passed under a deed to 
the whites without metes 
or bounds. The chief- 
taincy occupies a prom- 
inent place in Dutch his- 
tory through the action 
of Pacham, " a crafty 
man," who not only per- 
for Director Kieft, but also was very largely instrumental in 
O'Callaghan locates the Tankitekes on the eastern side of 




.MOUTAK AND PESTLK. 



formed discreditable services 

bringing on the war of 1645 

Tap]ian Bay, and Bolton in the eastern jiortion of Westchester County, from deeds to their 

lands. They had villages lieside Wampus Lake in the town of Nortli Castle, near Pleasant- 

ville, in the town of Mount Pleasant, and near the present villages of Bedford and Katonali. 

6. The Siwanoys, also known as "one of the tribes of the seacoast." This was one of the 
largest of the Wappinger subdivisions. They occupied the northern shore of the Sound from 
Norwalk twenty-fonr miles to the neighborhood of Ilellgate. How far inland their territory 
extended is uncertain, but their deeds of sale covered the manor lands of Morrisania, Scarsdale, 
and Pelham, from which New Roehelle, Eastchester, Westchester, New Castle, Mamaro- 



ABORIGIXAr> IXll Al'.rr A.N'IS 27 

neck, Mini Sfarsilale, ami iiiiitidiis of White Plains and West Farms liavr ln-cii caivcd. Tlicv 
]Hi.sscssc(l, besides, |i()rti(ins of the towns of Rye and Hai-rison, and of Stanifoi'd (Conn.), anil 
tlu-ie are f;ninn<ls for supposing- that the tract known as 'I'oipiains, assigned to the Taidvitekes, 
was jiart of their doniinions. They had a very large villagi' on llu' lianks of Rye Tond 
in the to%yn of Hye, and in the southern angle of that town, on tlie lieantifnl hill now known 
as Mount Misery, stood one of their eastles. Another of their villages was on Davenixirt's 
Xeek. Near the entrance to Pelhain Ncek was one of their hnrying grounds. Two large 
nn)unds are [lointed out as the sepulehers of their chiefs, Ann-lloock and Nindiani. In the 
town of Westchester they had a castle on what is still called Castle Hill Neck, and a village 
near Bear Swamp, of which latter they remained in jiosscssion until KiSit. One of their 
Sachems whose nana' has been permanently preserved in Westchester County was Katonah 
(1680). Their chief Aun-Hooek, alias Wampage, was prohahly the murderer (if Ann Hutchin- 
son. One of their warriors was Mayane (l(i44), "a tierce Indian, who, alone, dared to attack, 
with bow and arrow, three Christians armed with guns, one of whom he shot <lead, and whilst 
engaged with the other was killed by the third and his head conveyed to Kort Amsterdam. " 

In tlu'ir intercourse witli the whites Ifoni I lie hci^inning the ladiijns 
disphiyed a bold independence and perfect indifference to the evidences 
of snperior and mysterious power and wisdom which every as])ect of 
tlieir stran_i;e visitors disclosed. Though greatly astonished at the ad- 
vent of the " Half Moon," and perplexed by the white skin, remark- 
able dress, and terrible weapons of its crew, they discovered no fear, 
and at the first offer of physical violence or duress were prompt and 
intrepid in resentment. On his way up the river, at a point i)robably 
below Sjiuyten Duyvil, Hudson attempted to detain two of the natives, 
but tliey jumped overltoard, and, swimming to shore, called back to 
him " in scorn." 1"'(M' this unfriendly demonstration he was attacked 
on his return triji, ;i month later, off Spuyten Duyvil. " Whereu])on," 
he says in his journal. " two canoes full of men, with their bows and 
arrows, shot at us after our sterne, in recompense wliereof we dis- 
charged six muski'ts, and killed two or three of them. Tlien altnve a 
hundred of them (■.•inie to a point of land to shoot at us. 'fheic 1 slmi 
a falcon ;it them and killed two of them; whereui)on the rest fled into 
the woods. Vet tliey manned off another canoe with nine or ten men, 
who came to meet us. So I shot a falcon and shot it througli, ami 
killed one of tliem. So they went their way." Thus in utter contempt 
of the white man's formidable vessel and deadly gun Ihey dared assail 
him at the first opiiortunity in revenge lor his olfense against ilieir 
rights, r"liiiiiiiig to the attack a second tind third liiiic despite the 
havoc thev had suffered. 

The entire conduct of the Indians in their sidise(pieiil relaticuis with 
the Euroi)eans who settled in the land and griidually absorbed it was 
in strict keei)ing with the grim and fearless altitude shown upon this 
first occasion. To manifestations of force they opixised all the re- 
sistance they could summon, and \\ith the fiercest determination and 
most relentless severity administered such reprisals, both general and 
individual, as thev were able to inllicl. Their characteristics in these 



28 



HISTORY OF WESTCIIESTKU COUNTY 



resiH'cts, iiiiil I heir disposition of coiiiidctc uiiteachableness as to 
iiiodcratioii and Cliiistian precept, are desrrihed in quaint terms in a 
lette]' written in KililS by Doniiue Jonas iiicliaelins, the first pastor in 
New Amsterdam. " As to the natives of this country," writes the 
fjood domine, " I find tlieni entiridy savage and wild, slrani^ers to all 
decency; yea, uncivil and stupid as imsts. jiroticient in all wickedness 
and i;i(dlessness; devilish men, who serve nobody but the devil, that 







TIIK ri'UCilASK OF MANHATTAN" ISLAM) 



is, tlie spirit which, in their laniiuage, they call Manetto, under which 
title they com]u-eliend everythin*;' that is subtle and crafty and beyond 
human power. They have so much witchcraft, divination, sorcery, and 
Avick(Ml tricks thai they can not be held in by any locks or bounds. 
They are as thievish and treacherous as they are tall, and in cruelty 
they are more inhuman than the i)eople of Barbary and far exceed the 
^Vfricans. I have written somethinii' concerninji tliese thinjis to sev- 
eral persons elsewhere, not donblinii' that Brother Crol will have 
written sufficient to your Ri.nht Bm-ei-end, or to the Lords; as also of 



ABORKJIXAL INHABITANTS 29 

i!ic base treachei'v and tlic imiidcrs which the Mohicans, at tin* upper 
part of tliis liver, against. I'ort ( )ran,i;e, had t-oniiiiifted. . . . I have 
as yet been abh^ to discover liardlv a nood jioint, except tliat they do not 
speak so jeeringly and so scoffingly of I lie ( lodlike and i;lorions majesty 
of tlieir Creator as tlie Africans dare to do; but it is because tliey have 
no certain kno\\ledj;e of llim or scarcely any. If we spealv to theni of 
God it api)ears to them like a dream, and we are compelled to speak 
of Him not under the name of .Manelto, whom they know and serve — 
for that would be blasphemous — but under that of some ;.;reat person, 
yea of the chiefs Sackienia, by wJiicli name they — living without a 
king — call those who have command of nuuiy hundreds among them, 
and who, by our people, are called Sackeniakers." In striking con- 
trast Willi this stern but undoubtedly just view of the Indian, as a so- 
cial iii(li\ idual, is the lofty and magnanimous tribute paid to his char- 
acter in its broader aspect by ('adwallader Colden after more than a 
century of European occupation of the country and intercourse with 
him. In his " History of the Five Indian Nations," published in 1727, 
( "oldi'u says : " A poor, barbarous people, under the darkest igno- 
rance, and yet a bright and noble genius shines through these dark 
(douds. None of the great Ikoinan heroes have discovered as great love 
of country, or a greater contempt of death, than these barbarians 
have done when life and liberty came in competition. Indeed, I think 
our Indians have outdone the Komaiis. . . . They are the fiercest 
and most formidable people in North America, and at the same time 
as ])olitic and judicious as can well be conceived." 

Although exterminating wars were waged between the nutcli and 
the Westchester Indians, in which both sides were perfectly rapacious, 
it was the general policy of the Dutch to deal with the natives ami- 
cably and to attain their great object, the acquirement of the land, by 
the forms of purchase, with such incidental concessions of the sub- 
stance as might be required by circumstances. The goods given in ex- 
change for the lands comprised a variety of useful articles, such as 
to(ds, hatchets, kettles, chtth, tirearms, and ammunition, with trin- 
kets for ornament and the always indispensable rum. The simplicity 
of the natives in their dealings with the whites is the subject of many 
entertaining narratives. " The man with the red clothes now distrib- 
uted presents of beads, axes, hoes, stockings, and other articles, and 
made them understand that he would r<'turn home and come again to 
see them, bring them more ])resents, and stay with them awhile, but 
should want a little land to sow some seeds, in order to raise herbs to 
]iut in their broth. . . . They rejoiced much at seeing each other 
again, but the whites laughed at them, seeing that they knew not the 
use of the axes, hoes, and the like they had given them, they having 



30 HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COI-NIY 

had lliosc liaiiiiin^ to llicir breasts as oriiaiiu'iits, and the stoi-kings 
I hey liad made use of as tobacco pouches. 'I'lie wliites now put liandles 
or h(dA('s in tlie I'ornier, and cut trees down before their eyes, and dug 
the ground, and sliowcd I hem t lie use of the stoclciugs. Here a gen- 
eral iaugliter ensued among the Indians, tliat they iiad remained fur 
so hing a time ignorant of tjje use of so valuable imjilements, and had 
boine with the weight of such heavy metal hanging to their necks for 
sucli a length of time. . . . Familiarity daily increasing between 
them and the whites, the latter now proposed to stay with them, ask- 
ing for only so much land as the liide of a bullock would cover or en- 
i-oinjiass, which liide was brought forward and spread on the ground 
before tlH'm. 'i'liat they readily granted this re(|uest; wheretipon the 
whites took a knife and beginning at one place on this hide cut it up 
into a ro])e not thicker than the finger of a little child, so that by the 
time the hide was cut up there was a great lieaj); that this rope was 
drawn out to a great distance and llien brought round again, so that 
tlie ends might meet; that they cai'efully avoided its breaking, and 
that upon the whole it encompassed a large ])iece of land; that they 
wei'c surprised at the su])erior wit of the whiles, but did not wish to 
(•(Uitend with lliem about a little land, as tliey had enough; that they 
and the A\hites li\ed for a long time contente(lly together, although 
the whites asked from time to time more land of them, and jiroceeding 
higher uj) the ^Mohicanitnk the\' believed they would soon want the 
whole country." 

The tirsi ]iui(liase of Indian lands in what is now New York State 
was that of ^Manhattan Island, which was announced in a letter dated 
November 5, KiiMi, from I'. Schaglien, the nu'mbtM' of the States-txcn- 
era! of Ibdiand attending the " Assembly of the XIX." of the West 
India ("omjiany, to his colleagues in The Ilagtu*. This letter con- 
veyed the information that a sliij) had arrived the day before bringing 
news from Ihe new settlement, and that "They have bought the 
island ^lanliatles from the wild men f(U' the value of sixty guilders " 
— $24 of our money. The ac(|uisition of title to the site of what has 
liecome the second coinmei-cial entrei>ot of the world for so ridiculous 
a sum which, moreovei-, was paid not in money l)ut in goods — is a 
familial' theme for m iralizing and didactic writers. Y<'t ther*^ can be 
no 1 1 nest ion that the value given the savages reasonably corresponded 
to honorable standards of equivalent recompense. The jiarticular land 
with which they ]iarted had to them no more worth than an equal area 
of the water of the river or the bay, except in the elementary regard 
that it was land, where man can abide, and not water, where he can 
not al)ide; ^\hile to the Dutch (he sole worth lay in the cliance of its 
ultimate de\-elopnient. On Ihe ollici' hand, the value received by the 



<>-^^:^ .^ ^^ /^^^ 







•^^^ ^ iyf^^ -^''Sc^ /w^< 2^<:?^,/??«.^?^p;).3^^ 

^fv^JV>^ <;^«e^^^,:^ :§^-/r^c^- yvj^^^, Ji.X> g'^'^ 
■j-i.^^^ S-H^J^ 'sa^iH^ 








FACSIMILE OF SCHAGEn'S LETTER. 



32 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTEU COUNTY 

SL'Itli'i-s was au eiuiiu'iillv suhstautial (iiie, e-oiisistiu<; uf possessions 
having a in-actioal eeouomic utility beyond auytliing- known to tlieir 
pi'ovious existence. " A metal kettle, a spear, a knife, a hatehet, traus- 
fiirined tlie whole life of a saA'age. A blanket was to him a whole 
wardrobe." M(irc()\t-r, the uioi-al phases of such a bargain ran not 
fairly be scrutinized by any fixed conception of the relative values in- 
volved. It was i)urely a liargain of friendly exchange for mutual con- 
venience and welfare. The Indians did not understand, and coidd 
not have been expected to understand, that it meant a formal and 
everlasting alienation of their lands; on the other hand, they deemed 
that they were covenanting merely to admit the whites peaceably to 
rights of joint occupancy. The amount of consideration paid by the 
latter has no relevancy to the merits of the transaction, which was 
honorable to both jiarties, resting, so far as the Dutch were con- 
cerned, upon tile principle of purchase and recompense instead of 
seizure and spoliation, and, on the part of the Indians, upon the basis 
of amicable instead of hostile disposition. 

The ])rincii)le of reciprocal exchange established in the purchase of 
^lanliattan Island was adhered to in all the jtrogressive advances 
made by tlie whites northward. Westchester County was never a 
s(|uatti'r"s paradise. Its lands were not grabbed by inrushing adven- 
turers u]ion the Oklahoma plan. De facto occtiijancy did not consti- 
tute a sutficient title to ownership on the jiart of the white settlers. 
Landed iiroi)rietorshij) was uniformly founded upon deeds of pur- 
chase from the original Indian owners. The rivalries between the 
Dutcli and English, cidminating in the overthrow of the former by 
conquest, were largely occasioned by antagonistic claims to identical 
strips of land — claims supjMirted on both sides by Indian deeds of sale. 

But the right to buy laud from the Indians was not a. necessary 
natural right inhering in any white settler. The government, tipon 
the well-known ]»rinciple of the supreme right of discovery, assumed 
a fundamental authority in the disposal of lands, and hence arose the 
numerous land grants and land patents to specified persons, which 
were based, however, under both Dutch and English law, upon pr(^- 
vious extinguishment of the Indian title by deeds of sale. It is well 
here to more clearly understand the ]irinciples undeT'lying this govern- 
mental assumption. They have been thus stated : 

Upon the discovery of this continent the great nations of Europe, eager to appropriate as 
nmeh of it as possible, and conceiving that tlie character and religion of its inhabitants 
att'orded an apology for considering tlieni as a people over wlioni tlic superior genins of 
Europe might claim an ascendancy, adopted, as by common consent, this i)rinciple : 

That discovery gave title to the government by whose sidijccts, or under whose authority, it 
was made, against all other European governments, wliich title might be consummated by 
possession. Hence if the country be discovered and possessed by emigrants of an existing 



ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS 33 

and ac'kiiiiwlcflged governnient, tlie possession is deemed taken for the nation, and title must 
be derived from the sovereign in whom the power to dispose of vacant territory is vested by 
law. 

Resulting from this principle was that of the sole right of the discoverer to acquire the 
soil from the natives and establish settlements, either by purchase or by conquest. Hence 
also the exclusive right can not exist in government and at the same time in private individu- 
als ; and hence also 

The natives were recognized as rightfnl occupants, but their power to dispose of the soil 
at their own will to whomsoever they pleased was denied by the original fundamental prin- 
cipb' that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it. 

The ultimate dominion was asserted, and, as a consequence, a power to grant the soil while 
yet in the possession of the natives. Hence such dominion was incompatible with an ab.solute 
and complete title in the Indians. Conseipiently they had no right to sell to any other than 
the governnient of the first discoverer, nor to private citizens without the sanction of that 
government. Hence the Indians were to be considered mere occupants to be protected indeed 
while in peaceable possession of their lands, but with an incapacity of transferring the abso- 
lute title to others.' 

In many of the old Indian title deeds various conditional clauses ap- 
pear, the savages reserving to themselves certain special rights. For 
example, it was at times specified that they should retain the white- 
wood trees, from Avhich they constructed their " dugout " canoes. 
They always remained on the lands after sale, continuing their former 
habits of life until forced by the steady extension of white settlement 
to fall back farther into the wilderness. Having no conception of the 
priuciph's of civilized law, and no idea of the binding effect of con- 
tracts, they seldom realized that the mere act of signing over their 
lands to the whites was a iiecessarily permanent release of them. They 
were incapable of comjireheudiug any other idea of ownership than ac- 
tual ])hysical possession, and in cases where lands were not occupied 
promi)tly after sale they assumed tliat no change had transpired, and 
thus frequently the same territory would be formally sold two or 
three times ((\cr. besides, they considered that it was their natural 
right at all times to forcibly seize lands that had been sold, expel the 
settlers, and tiien resell them. The boundaries of sub-tribal jurisdic- 
tion were necessarily indefinite, and consequently deeds of sale by the 
Indians of one locality would frequently cover portions of lands con- 
veyed by those of another, which led to much confusion. 

The military power of the Indians of Westchester County was de- 
stroyed forever as a result of the war of lt)t:J-t.j with the Dutch. But 
it was not until after the close of the seventeenth century that the last 
vestiges of tlx'ir legal ownershi]) of lan<ls in the county disajipeared. 
In succeeding chapters of this History their relation to the progress of 
events and to the gradual development of the county during the period 
of their organiz<Ml continuance in it will receive due notice, and it is 
not necessary in the present connection to anticipate that portion of 



'MoiUton'8 Hist, of New York, 301. 



34 HISTORY OF \\RSTCHKSTER COUNTY 

our iianative. What is kimwii of their ultimate fate as a peojjle may, 
howc\cr. a]i)iroiiriately be rehited hen-. 

Diiriuy the Dutili wars man}' hundreds of them were slain and some 
of their j^rincipal villages were given to the flames. It is estimated 
that in a single Indian ronnnuinty (m-ar the present village of Bed- 
ford), which was surrounded, attacked, and burned at midnight, more 
than five hundred of them perished before the merciless onslaught of 
the whites. After the peace of IGio their remaining villages, being 
absorbed one hj one in the extensive land purchases and grants, were 
by degrees abandoned. The continuance of the Indian on the soil was 
entirely incompatible with it.s occupancj- by the white man. The 
country, by being converted to the uses of agriculture, became un- 
adapted to the pursuits of the natives, as it was (luickly deserted by 
the game. The wild animals fled to the forest solitudes, an<l the wild 
men followed them, until only small groups, and finally isolated fami- 
lies and individuals, remained. The locality called Indian Hill, in the 
Town of Yorktown, is still pointed out as the spot where the last lin- 
gering band of Indians in WestcJiester County had its abiding place. 

The historian of the Town of Eye, the late Rev. Charles W. Baird, 
gives the following particulars (typical for the whole county) of tlic 
gradual fading awa.A' of the Indians of that locality: 

The fullest account of tlie con(litii)n of tlic Indians of Rye is that of Rev. Mr. Mnii-son. 
" As to tlie Indians, tlie natives of the conntry," he says, in a letter to the Gospel 
Propagation Society in .lannary, 170.S, " they are a decaying ])co])le. We have now in all 
this parish twenty families, whereas not many years ago there were several hundred. 
I have taken some pains to teach some of them, lint to no purpose, for they seem regardless 
of instruction." Long after the settlement of the town there were Indians living within its 
hounds, some of tliem quite near tlie village, hut the greater nuraher hack in the wilderness 
that still overspread the northern ]iart of Rye. This was the ease in most of the Connecticut 
towns, the law ohliging the inhahitaiits to reserve to the natives a sufficient (piantity of plant- 
ing ground, and protecting the latter from insult, fraud, and violence. The twenty families 
of whom Mr. Muirson speaks were reduced by the year 1720 to four or five families of 
Indians, writes Mr. Bridges, " that often abide in this parish, but are frequently removing, 
almost every numth or six weeks." After this date we liear little more of Indians at Rye, 
except as slaves. Tradition states that in old times a l)and of Indians used to visit Rye once 
a year, resorting to the heach, where they had a frolic wliich lasted several days. Another 
place which they frequented as late, certainly, as tlie middle of the last century, was a spot on 
Grace Church Street, at the corner of the road now called Kirby Avenue. Here a troop of 
Indians would come every year and spend the niglit in a " ])ow-wow," during which tlicir 
cries and yells would keep the whole neighborhood awake. 

Removing, for the most part, northward, the remnants of the West- 
chester Indians became merged in the kindred tribes of the Mohican 
nation, Avhich stretched to the limits of the Moha^^k country al)o\c 
Albany, and followed their destinies. The Jlohicans, though vastly 
reduced in numbers and territorial possessions, still retained an or- 
ganized e.xistence and some degree of substantial ]»ower until after 
the Revolution. Ilavinucoustantl v sustained fi-icndl\- relations with 



ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS 



35 




POLISHED FLESHER. 




HORNBLENDE AXE. 




IIAND-MADK VESSEL. 





SEMI-LUNAK KNIFE. 




A GORGET. 




ORXAMK.N 1 ,\I. I'liTTI KV IcllND IN 
INDIAN GR.4VE. 



CEREMONIAL STONE OF GREEN SLATE. 



INDIAN SPECIMENS FROM THE COLLECTION OF MB. .lAMES WOOD. 



36 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUXTY 

the settlers, it was uaturallv \\ iih tliL* colonists that rlicir sympathies 
were enlisted when the strugyle with Great IJritain began. As early 
as April, 1774, a message was dispatched by the provincial congress 
of Massachusetts to the Mohicans and Wappiugers at their principal 
village, Westenhuch, on the western side of the llndson jnst below Co- 
hoes Falls, with a letter requesting their cooperation in the impending 
conflict. The letter was addressed '' To Captain Solomon Ahkannu-au- 
waumnt, chief sachem of the Moheackonuck Indians." Captain Solo- 
mon thereupon journeyed to Boston, where, in reply to the communi- 
cation from the congress, he delivered the following impressive ad- 
dress : 

Brothers : Wi' Imvc lu'ard yoii speak liy your letter ; we thank you for it ; we now make 
answer. 

Brothers ; You remember when you first eaine over the great waters, I was jjreat and you 
were very little, very small. I then took you in for a friend, and kept you under my arms, 
so that no one might injure you ; since that time we have ever been true friends ; there has 
never been any quarrel between us. But now our conditions are changed. You have become 
great and tall. Y'ou reach the clouds. Y'on are seen all around the world, and I am become 
small, very little. I am not so high as yoni- heel. Now you take care of me, and I look to 
you for protection. 

Brothers : I am sorry to hear of this great quarrel between you and old England. It ap- 
pears that blood must soon be shed to end this quarrel. We never till this day luulerstood 
the foundation of this quarrel between you and the ccmntry you came from. 

Brothers : Whenever I see your blood running, you will soon find me about to revenge my 
brothers' blood. Although I am low and very small, I will grijie hold of your enemy's heel, 
that he cannot run so fast and so light as if he had nothing at his heels. 

Brothers : You know that I am not so wise as you are, therefore I ask your adWce in what 
I am now going to say. I have been thinking, before you come to action, to take a run to the 
v/estward, and feel tlie mind of my Indian brethren, the Six Nations, and know how they stand; 
whether they are on your side or for your enemies. If 1 find they are against you, I will try 
to turn their minds. I think they will listen to me, for they have always looked this way for 
advice concerning all important news that comes from the rising of the sun. If they hearken 
to me yon will not be afraid of any danger behind you. However their minds are attected 
you shall soon know by me. Now I think I can do yon more service in this way than by 
marching off immediately to Boston and staying there ; it may be a great while before blood 
runs. Now, as I said, you are wiser than I ; I leave this for your consideration, whether I 
come down immediately or wait till I hear some blood is spilled. 

Brothers : I would not have you think by this that we are falling back from our engage- 
ments. We are ready to do anything for your relief and shall be guided by your counsels. 

Brothers : One thing I ask of you, if you send for me to fight, that you let me tight in my 
own Indian way. I am not used to fight English fashion, therefore you must not expect I 
can train like your men. Only point out to me where your enemies keep and that is all that 
I shall want to know. 

After the battle of Lexington, a year later, the Mohican braves 
marched to the theater of war in Massachusetts, arriving in time to 
participate in the battle of Bunker Hill. Subsequently, addressing a 
council which met at German Flats in this State and held adjourned 
sessions at Albany, Captain Solomon pledged anew the support of the 
Mohicans to the American cause. 

" Depend upon it," he said, " we are true to you and mean to join you. \^Tierever you go 
we shall be by your sides. Our bones shall lie with yours. We are determined never to be 



ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS 37 

at peace with the redcoats while they are at variance witli you. We have one favov to beg. 
We shouUl be glad if yon would help us to establish a niiuister amongst us, that when our 
ineu are gone to war our women and ehiWren may have tlie advantage of being instructed by 
liini. If we are conquered, our lands go witli yoiii's ; but if you are victorious, \\v hojie yo>i 
will help us recover our just rights." 

For about five years the Mohicans contiinied to serve as volunteers 
in the patriot army, " being generally attached," says Washington, in 
one of his letters, " to the light corps," and, he adds, conducting them- 
selves " with great propriety and lidelity." They were present, and 
fought with conspicuous valor, in a number of sanguinary encounters 
with the enemy in Westchester County. " At White Plains, in Oc- 
tober, 177G," says Ruttenber, " their united war cry, Woach, Woach, 
Ha, Ha, Hach, Woach! rang out as when of old they had disputed the 
supremacy of the Dutch, and their blood mingled with that of their 
chosen allies." 

In the spring of 1778, as a portion of the forces detached under 
i-afayette to check the depredations of the British ou their retreat 
fi-om Philadelphia, they assisted in the routing of the enemy in the 
cngagemeut at Barren Hill. In July and August of the same year, 
being stationed in Westchester County, they performed highly valu- 
al)le services, culminating in their memorable fight, August 81. 1778, 
at Cortlandfs Kidge, in the Town of Yonkers. where, according to the 
I'.ritish commander, they lost "near forty killed or desperately 
wounded," about half their number. In this fight they first attacked 
the British from behind the fences, and then fell back among the 
recUs, where for some time they defied all efforts made to dislodge 
t liem. They were charged by an overwhelming force of cavalry, but 
as the horses rode them down " the Indians seized the legs of their 
foes and dragged them from their saddles." Their chief, Nimham, 
king of the Wappingers, finally counseled his followers to save them- 
selves, ailding, however, " As for myself, I am an aged tree; I will die 
here." When ridden down by Simcoe he wounded that officer and 
was about to pull him from his saddle when shot dead by an orderly. 

In 1780 the surviving remnant of the Mohican warriors, some 
twenty men, were honorably discharged from the army, and returned 
to their homes. It was upon this occasion that Washington wrote 
tlie letter above alluded to, which was a communication to congress, 
re(|uesting that suitable measures be taken to provide them with 
necessary clothing. 

With the close of tlie Revolution the history of the IMohicans as a 

1 |ih- ends completely, and even their name vanishes. From that 

time they are known no longer as Alohicans, but as " Stockbridge In- 
dians," from the name of a town in central Xew York, to which they 
removed. Leaving their ancient seats at the headwaters of the Hud- 



38 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTEK COUNTY 

son, they settled in 1783-SS near the Oiieidas. They received a tract 
of land six miles S(iuare in Aniiusta (Oneida ( "onnty I and Stockbridge 
(Madison County ). This tract they subse<]uently ceded to white pur- 
chasers by twelve dil'ierent treaties, executed in the years 1S18. 1822, 
1823, 1825, 1820, 1827, 182!», and 1830. Some of them removed in 1818 
to the banks of the White lUver, in Indiana, and a lar^e nund)er, in 
1821, to lands on the ^Yisc<)nsin and I'ox Txivers, in Wiscdusin. which, 
with other New York Indians, they had boui;lit from the Menominees 
and Winnebagoes. The Stockbridge tribe numbered 420 souls in 
1785 and 138 in 1818. 

riiysically the Indians of Westchester County, as of this entire por- 
tion (if the country, Avere remarkable specimens of manhood, capable 
of marv(dous feats of endurance and free from most of the diseases in- 
cident to civilized society. The early European writers testify with- 
out exception that there were none among them afflicted with bodily 
defornnties. The woukmi delivei-ed tlu'ir young with singular ease, 
and immediately after labor were able to i-esume the ordinary duties 
of life. The appearance and general physical characteristics of the 
Indians are thus descrilx^d by ^'an der Donck : 

Tlu'v arc well shaped and stroni;', liavinj; piteh-ldaek and lank hair, as coarse as a horse's 
tail, broad shoulders, small waist, Ijrown eyes, and snow-white teeth ; they are of a sallow 
eolor, abstemious in food and drink. Water satisfies their thirst; Hesh meat and fish are 
prepared alike. They observe no set time for meals. Whenever hunger demands the time 
for eating arrives. Whilst hunting they live some days on roasted corn carried about the 
person in a bag. . . . Their clothing is most sumptuous. The women ornament them- 
selves more than the men. And although the winters are very severe, they go naked until 
their thirteenth year ; the lower parts of the girls' bodies alone are covered. All wear 
around the waist a girdle made of seawant (shells). They bedeck themselves with hair tied 
with small bands. The hair is of a scarlet color and surpassing brilliancy, which is perma- 
nent and inetfaceable by rain. The women wear <a petticoat down midway the legs, very 
richly ornamented with seawant. They also wrap the naked body in a deerskin, the tips of 
which swing with their points. . . . Both go for the most part bareheaded. 
Around the neck and arms they wear bracelets of seawant, and some aroimd the waist. 
Moccasins are made of elk hides. . . . The men paint their faces of many colors. The 
women lay on a black spot only here and there. . . Both are unconnnonly faithful. 

Although their society was u))()n the monogamous plan, and none 
of the common i((M)]»le took more than one wife, it was not forbidden 
the chiefs to follow their inclinations in this respect. " Great and 
jiowerful (diiefs," says Van <ler Donck, " frequently have two, three, or 
foni- wives, of the neatest and jiandsomest of women, who live tog<'ther 
witluiut variance." As the life of th(> Indian was spent in constant 
struggle against most severe ((nidilious of existence, sensuality was 
(juite foi-eign to his naturi'. This is jiowerfully illustrati'd by th<' al- 
most uniformly respectful trealment accorded female jirisoners of 
war. As a victor the North American Indian was entirely merciless 
and cruel. His adult male ca])ti\es \\-ere nearly always doomed to 



AKOUICINAL JXIIABITAXTS 39 

(lealli, and if imi slain inminlialely after the battle were reserved fur 
slow terture. Hut the women who fell iuto his hands were seldom 
violated. Sucii forbearance was of course dictated in no way by sen- 
liuieiit. The women, in common with the young children, were re- 
garded by the conciuerors merely as accessions to their numbers. Un- 
chastitA' was an exceptionally rare thing among the married females; 
and in no other jiarticular do the different accounts of the natives 
given by the earliest observers agree more markedly than in the state- 
ment that both the women and the girls were peculiarly modest in 
their demeanor. The Dutch farmers occasionally took Indian women 
for their wives, refusing to abaiidnu them for females of their own 
country-. 

One of the most curious domestic iusiinitions of the Indians of this 
region was the sweating bath, "made," says Van der Douck, "of 
earth and lined with clay." '• A small door serves as an entrance. 
The patient creeps in, seats liimself down, and places heated stones 
around the sides. ^Vhenever he hath SAveated a certain time, he 
immerses himself suddenly in cold water; from which he derives great 
security from all sorts of sickness." Of medical science thej^ knew 
nothing, except how to cure Avounds and hurts. They used for many 
purposes an oil extracted from the beaver, which also was consid- 
ered by the Dutch to possess great virtues. Upon the " medicine 
man,'' Avho Avas supposed to effect cures by supernatural poAvers, their 
reliance in the more serious cases of sickness Avas mainly placed. 

Inured to abstemiousness by the rigors of his lot and but little dis- 
posed to sexual gratification, the Indian yet fell an easy victim, and 
speedily l>ecame an abject slave, to strong drink. It was not the taste 
but tile stimulating properties of the white man's rum Avliich en- 
thralled him. Hudson relates that Avhen he first offered the intoxicat- 
ing cup to his Indian visitors Avhile at anciKU* in NeAV York Bay, they 
one and all refused it after smelling the liquor and touching their 
Hl)s to it. But finally one of their number, fearing that offense might 
be taken at their rejection of it, made bold to swalloAV it, and ex- 
perienced great exhilaration of si)irits in consequence, which led his 
comi)anions to folloAV his example, Avith like pleasing effects. Robert 
Juet, th(» mate of the " Half ^loon,"' gravely says in his journal : " Our 
master and his mate determined to try some of the cheefe men of the 
c(uniti-y, Avhetlier they had any treachery in them. So they took them 
doAvn into the cabin, and gaA'e them so much Avine and aqua- A'ita' that 
they Avere all A'ery merie."' Rum. (ir rather distillcMl licpior of . every 



' The namp of Manhattan Island is pcipularly aliaihtanirnk. wliirli. in tlic Delaware lan- 
snpposed to eoninieniorate these joyons inebrie- guage. means ' the island where we all became 
ties. Heekewelder says: " They ealled it Man- intoxicated.' " Most popular writers have 



40 HISTOUV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

kind, sudii uaiiic to be valued \>y the savages above every other article 
that thej- obtained from tiie whites, and it played a very important part 
both in proinotinj; intercourse and in ilastenin^ llieir destruction. A 
chief ol' the Six Naliims, in a speech delivered before the connuission- 
ers <>{ I lie I'nited States at Fort Stanwix, in 1788, said: " Tlu' avidity 
of the while people for land and 1 lie thirst of the Indians for spirituous 
liquors were equally insatiable; that the white men had seen and 
fixed their eyes upon the Indian's good land, and the Indians had seen 
and fixed their eyes on the wiiite man's kei;- of rum. And nothing 
could divert either of them from their desired object; and therefore 
there was no remedy but that the white men must have the land and 
the Indians the keg of rum.'' 

The Indian cliaracter has always been a matter of the most varied 
accounts and estimates. While there is no room for disagreement or 
misunderstanding about its more prominent separate traits, views 
of it in its general aspect are extremely divergent, and extensive as 
is the literattire bearing upon this subject there exists no single i)res- 
entation of the Indian character in its jjroportions, at least from a 
familiar pen, that entirely tills and satisfies the mind. Longfellow's 
•' Hiawatha " and Cooper's Indian fictions bring out the romantic and 
heroic ]iliases; but no powerful conce])tion of the Indian type, except 
in the department of song and story, has yet been given to literattire. 

There is one safe starting point, and only one, for a correctly bal- 
anced estimate of the Indian. lie was essentially a ]ihysical being. 
Believing both in a supreme good deity and an evil spirit, and also in 
an existence after death, religion was not, imwever, a predominating 
factor and influence in his life and institutions. In tiiis respect he 
differed from most aboriginal and peculiar types. Of a stolid, stoical, 
and phlegmatic nature, possessing little imagination, he was neither 
capable of s])iritual exaltation nor ciiaracteristically subject to sujter- 
stitious awe and fear. Idolatrous practices he had none. Among all 
the objects of Indian handiwork that have come down to us — at least 
su(di as belong to this section of tlie country, — in(duding the remains of 
pre-Etiropean peoples, tliere are none that are suggestive of worship. 
He appears to have had no fanatic ceremonials except those of the 
" medicine man," wliich were extemporized functions for iininediate 



ao(.-t'pted this derivation. Tlie subject of tlie Maii.Tliatin, whose oorreot translation is " the 

origin of the name Manhattan is dlseusserl at island of the hills." In a private note to the 

length, and with profuse citations of autliori- editor of tiiis History he says: " If the deri- 

tlea for different derivations— which are ex- ^'ation Heekeweider gives is accurate, Van der 

ceedinsly varied — by Mr. William Wallace Donck would not have written: 'In the In- 

Tooker. in the " Brooklyn Eaj;le Almanac " for dian languages, which are rich and expressive, 

1897. pp. 270-281. Mr. Tooker arrives at the tlicy have no word to express drunkenness, 

conclusion that the earliest form of the word I'nmkeii men they call fools.' " 
Manhattan, so far as has been discovered, was 



AKOKICINAI, IMIAIUTANTS 41 

plivsiral ciul.s latlicr lliaii i-i'i;ulajl.\ onlaiiit'd itjrmularicis cxpix'ssive 
of a real system of abstractions. Jle was a pure physical barbarian. 
I lis coiu'cittions of ](rinci]i]('s of v\ix\\\ and A\roiijj;', of social obi ij^al ions, 
and of yood and bad conduct, were limited to experience and customs 
having no other relations than to physical well being. Thus there was 
neilher sensibility nor grossness in his character, and thus he stood 
solitary and aloof fi-om the rest of mankind. .Vll sensitive and imagi- 
native races, like those of Mexico, South America, the West Indies, 
and the Orient, easily commingle with European conquerors; and the 
same is true of strictly gross jtcoidcs, like the heathenish native tribes 
of .\ IVica. Sensibility and grossness, like genius and insanity, are, in- 
deed, closely allied; where eitlu'r (|ualify is present it affords the fun- 
damentals of social communion for cultivated man, but where both are 
lacking no possible basis for association exists. In these and like re- 
flections may perhaps be found the true key to the character of the 
Indian. 

As we have indicated, the religion of the Westchester and kindred 
Indians did not rise to the dignity of a defined institution. Ry the 
term, the Indian religion, we understand only a set of elementary be- 
liefs, unaccompanied by an establishment of any kind. The Great 
Spirit of the Indians of this locality was called rantantowit, who was 
good, all-wise, and all-powerful, and to \vliose ha])py hunting grounds 
they hoped to go after death, although t lieii' beliefs also comprehended 
llie idea of exclusion from those realms of such Indians as were re- 
garded l»y him with displeasure. The Spirit of Evil they calle<l Ilob- 
bamocko. The home of Cantantowit tliey located in the southwest. 
\\iience came the fair winds; and they accordingly interred their dead 
in a sitting position with their faces looking in that direction and their 
valuable possessions, including food for the soul's journey, beside 
them. The customs and ceremonials attending decease and sepulture 
are thus described by Ruttenber : 

When death occurred the next of Icin closed the eyes of the deceased. The men made no 
noise over the dead, but tlie women made frantic demonstrations of grief, striking tlieir 
breasts, tearing their faces, and calling loudly the name of the deceased day and night. 
Their loudest lamentations were on the death of their sons and husbands. On such occasions 
they cut otf their hair and bound it on the grave in the jiresciu'e of all their relatives, jiainted 
their faces pitch black, and in a deerskin jerkin mourned the dead a full year In burying 
their dead the body was placed in a sitting posture, and beside it were placed a pot, kettle, 
jilattcr, s])oou, and money and provisions for use in the other world. Wood was then placed 
around the body, and the whole covered with earth and .stones, outside of which palisades 
were erected, fastened in such a niamu'r that the tond) resendded a little liouse. To these 
tond)s great respect was paid, and to violate them was deemed an unpardonable ])rovocation. 

To review the separate aspects of their social life and economy, in- 
cluding their domestic arrangements, their arts and mannfaclnres, 
their agriculture, their trade relations with one another, and the like 



42 HISTOUV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

incideutal details, woulil iviiuii-c nnich iiidi-i' si)ace than can be j^iven 
iu these pages. Fi»r siuh more minute partiniiars the reader is re- 
ferred to the various fdi'uial works im the North American Indian. Ir 
will snttice to present some of tlie more prominent outlines. 

'i'heir lunises, savs IJuttenber, were, for the most part, built after 
one i)lan, differing only in length. They Avere formed by long, slender 
hickory saplings set in the ground, in a straight line of two rows, as far 
asunder as they intended the width to be, and the rows continuing as 
far as they intended the length to be. The poles were then bent to- 
ward each other in tlie form of an arch and secured together, giving 
the api»earance of a garden arbor. Split poles were then lathed up 
the sides and the roof, and over this was bark, lappeil (ui t he ends and 
edges, wliich was kept in its place by withes to the lathings. A hole 
was left in the roof for smoke to escape, and a single door of entrance 
was provided. I'arely exceeding twenty feet in widtli, these houses 
were sometimes a hundred and eighty yards long. " In those jihices," 
says Y:\n der Donck, " they crowd a surprising number of persons, 
an<l it is surprising to see them out in open day." From sixteen to 
eighteen families occupied one house, according to its size. 

Of the manufacture of metals they had no knowledge. All their 
weapons, implements, and utensils were fashioned from stone, wood, 
shells, bone, and other animal substances, and clay. Their most note- 
worthy manufactured relics are probably their specimens of pottery. 
.Mr. Alexander C. Chenoweth draws some interesting deductions as 
to the processes of ]iott(n"y manufacture prevalent in early times from 
his examinations of specimens that lie has unearthed. lie says : 

Tliey could fasliion eartlieu jars with tasteful decorations, manufacture cloth, and twist 
fibers into cords. They had several methods of moldinfj tlieir pottery. One was to make 
a mold of hasket work and press the clay inside. In baking, tlie basket work was burned 
off, leavintr its imprint to be plainly seen on the outside of the jar. Other forms show that a 
coarse cloth or a net was used for the .same purpose. Another method of molding, some- 
times emjiloyed, was to twist clay in long rolls and lay it spirally to form a vessel or jar, the 
folds being pressed togetlier. Tliis kind of vessel breaks easily along the spiral folds, as the 
method does not insure a good union between the layers. Tlie vessels range in size from a 
few inches in circuiufereuce to four feet, the depth being iu proportion to the diameter. 
The study of the decoration and method emiiloyed reveal tlie iniplemeuts used f-jr that pur- 
pose. Tlie imprint of a linger nail is clearly defined on some of the rudest as a decoration. 
Others show the imprint of a coarse netting or cloth, while the edge of an escallop shell or 
clam shell was often used. Pointed sticks, wedge-shaped sticks, and straws were also com- 
mon implements for decorating with. These people twisted libers, from which they made 
cloth. 

Their numerous weapons, implements, and utensils of stone — in- 
cluding mortars and ]K'stles, axes, hatchets, adzes, gouges, chisels, 
cutting to(ds, skinning tools, perforators, arrow and spear heads, 
scrapers, mauls, hammer-stones, sinkers, pendants, i)ierced tablets, 
jiolishers, liipes, and ceremonial stones — of all of which s|»eci!nens 



ABOKICIXAL JMIABITANTS 



43 



have bed) fouud iu Weslclicsler County, were very well \vi-(m.ulil, and, 
considering' the extreme difficulties attendiujjj their fabrication on ac- 
count of the entire absence of metal tools, bear high testinn)ny to the 
perseverance and ingenuity of the Indians as artihcers. Tiiey liad 
great art in dressing skius, using smooth, wedge-shaped stones to i-ub 
and woi-lc the pelts into a jiliable shape. They produced tii-e liy raji- 
idly turning a wooden stick, htted in a small cavity of anotiier ])iece 
of wood, between theii- hands mil 11 ignition was effected. When they 
wislied to make one of their more dur- 
able canoes they had hist to lell a suit- 
able iree, a task which, on account of the 
iusuthciency of their tools, I'lMpiired much 
labor ami time. Being unable to cut 
down a tree with their stone axes, they 
resorted to Hre, btirning th(» tree around 
its truid< and removing the charred por- 
tion with their stone implements. This 
was continued until the tree f(dl. Then 
they marked the length to be given to 
the canoe, and resumed at the proper 
jdace the ]»rocess of burning and re- 
nio\ing. 

Their agriculture was exceedingly 
primitive. They raised only one princi- 
pal crop — maize, or Indian corn. Quite 
extensive fields of this were grown. In 
addition, they planted the sieva beau, 
the ]iumpkin, and tobacco. For culti- 
vating their fields they used only a hoe 

made of a clam shell or the shoulder blade of a deer. They 
domestic animals to assist them in their agricultural labors and 
provide them with manure for the refreshment of their exhausted 
lands and with food ])rodncts — no horses, sheep, swine, oxen, or 
poultry; and even their dogs Avere mere miserable mongrels, it is 
said that they used fish for fertilizing the soil, but this use must 
liave been on an extremely limited scale. 

The extent and character of the trade relations between the Indians 
of the same tribe and those of different tribes can only be inferred 
from known facts which render it un(|uestionable that su(di relations 
existed. For instance, tobacco, which was in universal use ann)ng 
the aborigines of North America, had to be obtained by exchange in 
all localities nnadapted by climate and soil to its growth. The cop- 
]ier ornaments remai-ked by Hudson on the iiersons (d' the Indians 




BELT OF WAMPUM. 



Kid no 



M HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

whiiiii Ik- met in ^s'ew York Bay must have been wrought out of metal 
obtained by barter or capture from distant parts of the country, since 
no deposits of native copper exist in this region. Am] Indian relics 
of various kinds are constantly found wliicii bear no cDnncction to the 
prevailing remains of the locality where discovered, liul on the other 
hand are perfectly characteristic of other localities. 

For purposes of exchange, as well as for ornament, the Indians 
used wampum, a name given to a certain class of cylindrical beads, 
usually one-fdurtli of an inch long and drilled lengthwise, which were 
chieHy nuinufactured from the shells of the common hard-shell clam 
(Venus merceuariaj. The blue or violet portions of the shells furnished 
the material for the dark wampum, which was held in much higher 
estimation than that made of the white portions, or of the spines of 
certain univalves. According to Roger Williams, one of the earliest 
New England writers on the Indians, six of the wliiti' beads and 
three of the blue were equivalent to an English penny. The author 
of an instructive treatise on " Ancient and Aboriginal Trade in Xorth 
America"'^ (from which some of the details in the ]u-eceding pages 
are taken) says of the Avampum belts, so often mentioned In connec- 
tion with the history of the eastern tribes: 

They consisted of broad straps of leather, upon which white and bhie wampum-beads were 
sewed in rows, being so arranged that by the contrast of the light and dark colors certain 
figures were produced. The Indians, it is well known, exchanged these belts at the conclu- 
sion of peace, and on other solemn occasions, in order to ratif}' tlie transaction, and to per- 
petuate the remembrance of the event. When sharp admonitions or threatening demonstra- 
tions were deemed necessary, the wampum belts likewise played a part, and they were even 
sent as challenges of war. In these various cases the arrangement of the colors and the 
figures of the belts corresjjonded to the object in view : on peaceable occasions the white 
color predominated ; if the complications were of a serious character, the dark prevailed ; 
and in case of a declaration of war, it is .stated, the belt was entirely of a somber hue, and, 
moreover, covered with red paint, while there appeared in the middle the figure of a hatchet 
executed in white. The old accounts, however, are not (piite accordant concerning these 
details, probably because the different Atlantic tribes followed in this particular their own 
taste rather than a general rule. At any rate, however, the wampum belts were considered 
as objects of importance, being, as has been stated, the t<jkens by which the memory of 
remaikable events was transmitted to posterity. They were employed somewhat in the 
manner of the Peruvian guijiu, which tliey also resembled in that particular, that their mean- 
ing could not be conveyed without oral comment. At certain times the belts were exhibited, 
and their relations to former occurrences explained. This was done by the aged and experi- 
enced of the tribe, in the presence of the young men, who made themselves thoroughly 
acipiainted with the shajjc, size, and mnrks of the belts, as well as with the events they were 
destined to commemorate, in order to be able to transmit these details to others at a future 
time. Thus the wani])um l)elts represented the archives of polished nations. Among the 
Irocpu>is tribes, who formed the celebrated " league," there was a special keeper of the wam- 
pum, whose duty it was to preserve the belts and to interpret their meaning, when required. 

The civil institutions of the Mohican Indians were democratic, 
showing but slight modifications of the ])urely democratic principle. 



* Cliarles Rau, Government Printing Office, 1873. 



ABORIGINAL IXIIAHITAXTS 45 

" Though this people,'' says ^'all (h-r Dmuk, •• ih) uot make such a ilis- 
tinetion between man and man as other nations, yet they have high 
and low families, inferior and superior chiefs.'' Their rulers were 
called sachems, the title usually remaining hereditarily in the family, 
although the people claimed the right of election. It does not appear 
that the sachems ever assumed oppressive powers, or, on the other 
hand, that rebellions or intrigues against their authority were ever 
undertaken to any noticeable extent. The sachem remained with the 
tribe at all times, and was assisted in the government by certain coun- 
selors or chiefs, elected by the people. There was a chief called a 
" hero," Avho was chosen for established courage and prudence in war; 
another called an " owl," who was reipiired to have a good memory 
and be a fluent speaker, and who sat beside the sachem in council and 
proclaimed his orders; and a third called a " runner," who carried mes- 
sages and convened councils. The Indian sachems and chiefs of the 
Hudson have left no names familiar to the general reader — certainly 
none comparable with those of Massasoit, Miantouomoh, Uncas, and 
Phili]), of New England, or Powhattan, of Virginia. Even to the local 
histurian, indeetl, their names have little importance beyond that at- 
taching to them from their connection with notable transfers of land 
and witii rivers, lakes, and localities to which they have been applied. 

In the geographical nomenclature of Westchester County, as well 
as of the whole country from the Athmtic to the Pacific, are preserved 
numerous permanent memorials of the vanished aboriginal race. The 
fiilluwiug article on the pure or derived Indian names of our county 
has been compiled specially for this work. It is not, however, pre- 
sented with any claim to minute completeness. 

AMERIXDIAXi XAMK.S IX WKSTCHESTER COUNTY. 

BV WILLIAM WALLACK TOOKF.R. 

The .\iiieiiiuUaii names of localities in Westchester County represent several dialectical 
variations of the jjreat Algouquian langnajfe. While some are of the Jloliegan dialect and 
akin to those of Connecticut, others partake more of the Delaware or Lenap^ characteristics 
as sjiokeu in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Where either of these have been retained uneliaii>,'ed 
in their plionetie elements, and without the loss of a syllable or initial letter, the task of 
identification and translation of their components lias been comi)aratively easy. Many, 
hinvever, that have been handed down collocpiiall)- witliout havini;' been recorded in deed or 
record, liave become so altered that even tlie Amerind himself, should lie reapjiear from the 
" happy huntini; ground," would be utterly unable to recognize the present sounds of the 
terms as part of his native speech. Those of the ])ersonal names bestowed on places are 
especially difticiilt to analyze, owing to their construction and the changes alrea<ly noted. 
Many of the ])lace names were translated many years ago by .Schoolcraft, Trumbull, and 
others, some correctly, and others more often incorrectly. Some of the latter were so erro- 
neous that they liave been passed by the writer without notice. The ])reseiit attempts are 
based upon the comparative rules of .\lgouipiian nomenclature, and are therefore not the 
hasty generalization of misapplied Chippeway root terms so often used by Schoolcraft and 

' Ret-enlly adopted by the Bureau of Etlmolog>'. 



46 _ HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COT XTY 

folldwcd 1>3' (itlifis. Tlif names mostly are descriptive appellations of the localities where 
originally bestowed, and as such do not diftcr from those retained in other parts of the coun- 
try where the same language was spoken. 

Aci/uehotinck. — Var., A<iuea)ii>unci:, Achi/iieelif^eunm. Hutchinson's Creek, Eastchester 
Creek, and a locality iu West Farms. The variations of this term are quite numerous. 
Delaware, Achwowdnge.u, "high bank." See AijuehniKj, another variant. 

AUpkonck. — "A ])lace of elms." This iuteriuetation, given by .Schoolcraft in 1844, is 
probably correct. Allowing for the interchange or ])ermutation of / and w, as well as h and 
/), occurring iu many dialects, we find its ])arallel in the Otchipwe Anip, Abnaki, anihi, " elm 
tree," which with the locative completes the analysis. 

Apawqunmmis. — Vav., Apawavuneis, Apairamii, E//awames. Budd's Xeek, in Rye. The 
main stem of this name, Appoqua, signifies " to cover; " mis, " the stock or trunk of a tree," 
a generic, hence " the covering tree," ])o.ssihly a descri])tive term for the birch tree, and used 
as a personal name. 

Appama<ilipogh . — \'ar., Apparaghpoyh. Lands near Verplanck's Point, also a locality east 
of Coitlandt. The main stem of this term is the same as that in the previous name, with the 
sufHx /)oi((/, "a water-|)lace " or "pond." "The (lodge) covering water-])lace," i.e., a place 
where the cat-tail Hag {Ti/plia Uitifolia) was cut. The Hags were used for mats and covering 
wigwams. 

Aqiiehung. — A locality on the Bronx River. The name of Staten Island is the same, 
Acipiehonga, " A \ughh;m]i itv Mutt';" also Hockqueunk, "on high." 

Apironnnli. — Rye. It means " an oyster," or " the roasted shell-fish." 

Armimck. — See Cohamnng. 

Armenperal. — Var., Armenperai. Sprain River. I'robably greatly corrupted. Its mean- 
ing has not been ascertained. A district on the Schuylkill River, was called Armeiweruis 
(Col. Hist. N. Y., Vol. I., p. o93j, probably the same name, for the )• should be p. 

Axkemaen. — A personal name, meaning not ascertained. 

Anpelong. — A bold eminence in Bedford. The main stem or root of this term signifies 
" to raise up," aspe: Kliot uses it in the form ^sA/JoA^ay, " a height," which applies well to 
the locality. 

Asitmsowis. — A locality in Pelham ; a personal name probably. 

Bis.iiglitick. — Var., Bisightick, a " creek." This jjrobably means " a muddy creek," 
phsigh-luck : Delaware, Assisk-tik. 

Be-tHck-qua-pock. — Var., petuqiiapaen (Van der I)onck"s map). This was the " Dumpling 
pond," at (ireenwich. Conn. PUuhjua-paug, " a round pond, or water-place." (See Trimi- 
bull's Names in Connecticut.) 

Canopus. — Name of a chieftain. 

Cantetoe. — In this form not a place name, but seemingly from Caniecoy, " to sing and to 
dance." Variations, Kante Kante, Cante Cante, etc. It may have been derived, however, 
from Focantico, which see. 

Ciilonah. — Var., Katimah, Ket-aUmah, " great nu)imtain." .Said to lie the name of a eliief. 
Canleloe, by some is said to be a variant of Calimah. 

Ci.iqua. — See Ki.ico. It does not mean beaver-dam in its present form. 

Coliomong. — Var., Armonck, Comonck, Coh-a-mong (?) Hills, also Byram River, the bound- 
ary bi'tween Connecticut and New Y^ork. The termination denotes a fishing-place — amang. 
As it was a boundary it may represent a survival of Chauhun-kangamaug, "the boundary 
fishing-place." Byram River may have l)een an earlier boundary, and, as such, retained to the 
present day. 

Cowangotigh. — A locality in West Farms ; a "boundary-place." 

, . \ Schoolcraft suggests Kenotin. " the wind." 

Croton. — A personal name - , t i\ 1^1 i-i i,- .,1 i 1 " 

' I I prefer the Delaware hloUin, "he contends. 

Eiiketaupiicuson. — Var., Ekuckefau/iacusoii. "A high ridge in Rye," also applied to Rye 
Woods. This name denotes a " place where a stream opens out or widens on both sides," 
i.e., overflows, generally where the stream Mows through low lands. 

Gotrahasuasing. — A locality in West Fai-ms. A Delaware form signifying "a place of 
briars," or " a place where there is a hedge," comes from the same elements. 

Haseco. — See Miossehassaky. 



AEOUKilXAI, IXIIABITANTS 47 

Honge. — Blind brook. Probably taken from Ac'/uehiinfj. 

A'lA-co. — See Ke!:kistkonck. 

Kitrhawong. — ^'ar., Kicktawiinr, Kechtawong, Kichtawan (Kus.ti-tchuan). Crotoii River, 
denotes "a wild, dashing stream." First suggested by Soliooleraft. 

Kek-e.<hirlc. — A locality Ln Yonkers. Ketch-auke, "the ]irinii]ial, or greatest ]ilaee," ])rob- 
alily a i>alisaded inclosure. 

Kilrhtawan. — Var., Kightowank. A locality in Sing Sing and in Cortlandt. Probably a 
variation of Kitckan'ong. 

Keski.itkimck. — Var., Kisco, Keskisco, Cisijiia. Originally an Indian village situated on the 
hank of a creek. Massachusetts, Kishketiik-ock, " land on the edge of a creek." 

Keslaubnuck. — Var., Kastoniuck {Keche-tanppen-auke). " The great encampment." A vil- 
lage of the Indians (Van der Donck's map). Schoolcraft was mistaken in deriving Nyack 
from this term. Nyack signifies " a point of land," and is the equivalent of the Long Island 
Nyack (Kings County) Noyac (Suffolk County). 

Kiicigtignock. — Var., Keicightegnack, He-ioeghtiquack. An elbow of the Croton River. 
Whipiae-tigii-ack, " land at head of the cove." Compare Wiifuelaquock, the cove at Stoning- 
ton. Conn. 

Laaphawachking. — Pelham. None of the ccnnponents warrant a translation "as a place of 
stringing beads." We would suggest rather "a plowed field or plantation." Lapechwa- 
hacking, " land again broken up " for cultivation. 

Maminketsuck. — A stream in Pelham. "A strong flowing brook," Manuhketsuck. Karlier 
forms might suggest another interpretation. 

Mamaroneck. — A river, so named after Mamaronock, a chief who lived at Wh/uaeskeck in 
11)14. \'ariations, Moworronnke, Momoronah, etc. {Mohmo' -anock) " he assembles the people." 

Manurxiiig. — Aii island. This form denotes a " little island." Minnewits, Miunefords, 
etc., was so called after Peter Minuit. 

Alyanas. — Var., Meanau, Meanagh, Meahagh, Mehanos, etc., all seem to be simply varia- 
tions of the same name — a personal one, " he who gathers together." Mayanne was killed 
by Ca])tain Patrick in 1(543. 

Meghkeekassin. — Var., Amackassin, Mekhkakhsm, Makakassin. A large rock, noted as a 
landniiu-k west of Xeperah. Delaware, Meechek-achxiiiik, "at the big rock." 

Mn/iegan. — The late Dr. D. O. Brinton follows Captain Hendrick, a native Mohegan, in 
translating the name as "a people of the great w'aters which are constantly ebbing and 
Howing." The tribe would naturally reject a term which was fir.st applied by others. I 
agree with Schoolcraft and Trmnbnll that it denotes the " wolf nation." All the early mai>s 
corroborate it. See Creuxi\is's map of ItJOO, for " Xatio Luporii." 

Mentipathe. — A small stream in West Farms. Probably a personal name. 

Afio.i.te ?ia.t>:aky. — Var., Haseco. " A great fresh meadow or marshy land. " The sanu' 
name occurs in ]iarts of Xew Kugland ; ^[l>xhhasl!uck River, near Providence, R. I. 

Mo/iux. — A brook in X'orth Salem. A variant of Cnnoptis (?). 

Muck'/unm.t. — A brook in Rye. A variant from Apatvquammis ('?), or perhaps a personal 
name from the possessive in s. 

^fo.■!hotu. — A brook in Yonkers. This looks like a made-up nanu', or else a greatly cor- 
rupted one. 

Muscoota. — "A meadow," or a place of rushes, sometimes applied to grassy flats bcudering 
rivers. 

Miitighticoos. — Var., Maltegticos, Tilicus. A personal name, probably the same as the 
.\bnaki MaltegiiessS, "the hare." 

Nanlchiestawack. — (Van der Donck's ma]).) Delaware, Natialschitaw-ack, "a place of 
safety, i.e., a place to take care of," probably a palisaded inclosure erecte<l for defense. 

Nnpjieckamack. — Var., Neperhan, Neppizan, etc. This name has been generally translated 
as the " rapid water settlement," which is evidently an error. The same name occurs on 
Long Island as liapnhamuck. Both the n and r are intrusive. The suffix, amack or amuck, 
di'uotes " a fishing-place " ; the prefix appeh " a trap " ; hence we have appeh-amack, " the trap 
fishing-place." Neperhan {npehhan) "a trap, snare, gin," etc. At the locality where the name 
was originally bestowed, the Indians probably had a weir for catching fish, and this fact gave 
rise to the name of the settlement. On Long Island liapahamuck \ia^ at the mouth of a 



48 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

creek called Suf/gamurl.' {m'.iugge-amuctj " the bass flshing-place." Wood's X.E. Prospect, 
1034, says: " When they used to tide it in and out to the rivers and creekes with long seanes 
or basse nets, which stop in the fish, and the water ebbing from them, they are left on the 
dry ground, sometimes two or three thousand at a set." (See Brooklyn Eagle Almanac on 
"Some In<lian Kishiiig Stations Upon Long Island," 1895, pp. o4-57.) 

Noch Peem. — (Van der Donck.) Var., Noapain, Ochpeen (Map 1688). This name de- 
notes " a dwelling place," " an abode," " where we are," etc. Delaware, Achpeen, " a 
lodge," " dwelling." 

J^ipnichsen. — Indian village and castle near Spuyten Duyvil. The name denotes " a small 
pond or water-place." 

Unox. — Eldest son of Ponus. Onux {KOnnux) "the stranger." 

Ponus. — A chief ; he jjlaces (.something). 

Patthunck. — A personal name ; " pounding-mortar." 

Pachamill. — (Van der Donck's map.) Name of a tribe taken from the place where they 
lived, "at the turning-aside ])lace." Ue Laet says : " Visher's Rack, that is the fisherman's 
bend, and here the eastern bank is inhabited by the Pachami, a little beyond where projects a 
sandy )ioint." Pachanu, a sachem, takes liis name also from tribe and jdace. 

Pami.ikiipkam. — A locality in C'ortlandt. Probably this on exhaustive search will be found 
a personal name. 

Pasipiaskerk. — (Van der Donck.) Pasiptiashecl; Pashquaahir (Pasqnexh-auke). "Land at 
the bursting forth," i. «., "at the outlet of a stream ;" an Indian village at the mouth of a 
stream. 

Papirinemen. — Spuyten Duyvil Creek ; also place at north end of Manhattan Island. This 
name has a verbal termination denoting the act of doing something, a suftix not allowable in 
place names. Hence it was probably a personal name denoting " to parcel out," to divide, 
to divert, variation, Pewinenieii. 

Pechiininakonck. — (Van der Donck.) .\ locality in North .Salem ; probably originally an 
Indian village situated on high land. Pachi/uin-ak-onk, " at the land raised or lifted np." 

Pepemig/iting. — A river in Bedford. Pepe-mightug, " the chosen-tree," probably a bound- 
ary mark originally. 

Peppenegkek. — Var., Peppeneghak, a river and pond in Bedford. Probably a boundary 
mark like the previous name ; " the chosen stake." 

Pockerhfie. — See Tuckahoe (?|. 

Piiningoe. — Var., Peningoe. Locality in Rye. Looks like a personal name, meaning not 
.ascertained. 

Pocantico. — Var., Pokanteco, Puegkanteko, Peckanlico. Tarrytown. Pohki-tuck-ut, "at 
the clear creek." 

Politicus. — A trail. An abbreviation of Mutightiroos {>). 

Pockcotessewake. — A brook in Rye ; also another name for Mamaroneck River. Var., 
PockiiUxseu-ake. Probably the name of some Indian. The chief called Meyhlexewakes seems 
to have had a name with a similar termination but different prefix. Pokessake, a grantor on 
the Norwalk deed of Ki.'il. 

Qiiaroppas. — White Plains, including Scarsdale. Seemingly a personal name. 

Qninnnhnny. — Hunt's Point, West Farms, "a long, high place." 

Itanachipie. — Bronck's land. iranat7/(/»<', "end, point, or stop." The name has probably 
lost a locative. .See Seiiaxqiie. 

Nalionanes.i. — A plain east of Rye. Probably so called from an Indian. 

RipjMwams. — Var., A'^i/)/iO«'once (Captain John Mason, Hi4.'i). "The plautatio of Rippo- 
wams is named Stamforde " (\. H. Rec, Vol. I, p. ()9). This included the territory on both 
sides of Mill River. The late J. H. Trunibidl was unable to translate this name. It may 
l)e rather presuming to suggest where he failed. We think we can see Nipau-apuchk in the 
Delaware, or Nepau-om/isk in the Massachusetts, "a standing or rising up rock." In eollo- 
qnial use ompsk is frecjuently abbreviated to ams. See Tuiiuaina. 

Sachiis. — Var., Sackhoe.i. Prom the possessive seemingly a ])ersoual name. Colloquial 
use changes names fieipientl}', and it may be a variant of the Delaware Sakmik, "mouth of a 
stream." Compare Saugus, the Indian name of Lynn, Mass., which has the same derivation. 

Sackama Wicker. — " Sachems house," Delaware, Sakama-wik-ing, " at the chief's house." 



ABORIGINAL [XHABITANTS 49 

Sack'wahunff. — A locality at West Farms. An evident variant of Aquehung. 

Shorakapkock. — Sjmyteii Dnyvil Creek, where it joins the Hudson, "as far as the sittinj^- 
down place," i.e., where there was a [Kirtage. 

Shiiif/nhairossinn. — A locality in Pelhani. A])plied to erratic bowlders or rolling stones. 
It probably denotes "a place of flat stones." 

Sliii/i/>eiiiia. — Var., C/iappaqua. "A .separated place," i.e., " a jdace of separation." Men- 
tioned as a boundary in some conveyances. 

Sickhdin. — A locality in Cortlandt. A personal name. 

Shippam. — New Rochelle. A personal name, ])rol)al)ly, although Eliot gives us Keechepam, 
" shore." 

Si(/ghes. — A great bowlder, a landmark mentioned as a boundary. Another name for 
Meyhkaekas.iin. From an original Sior/k-e-ompsk-il, "at the hard rock." 

Sacu)ii/te Napucke. — A locality in Pelliam. Sakunk-Napi-ock, " at the outlet of a pond or 
water-place." Probably used in some conveyance to indicate the line running to this place, 
hence a boundary designaticm 

Sdjienrdfk. — A liook or Ijend in a stream at West Farms. " Land on a river," or " ex- 
tended land ; " the name will bear both interpretations. 

Sepackena. — A creek at Tarrytown. 

Sachkera/i.-—A locality at West Farms. 

Saproiti/hnh. — A creek at West Farms. 

Sepparak. — A locality in Cortlandt. The foregoing names are seemingly variations of the 
same word, denoting " extended or spread-out land." A search for early forms might change 
this opinion. . " ] 

Sena.'Kjua. — Croton Point on Hudson, Wanasque, " a point or ending." This name, as well 
as Rauiichque, has lost its suttix. On Long Island it occurs in Wanasquattan, " a point of 
hills," Wanasquetuck, " the ending creek." 

Sint Sini-k. — Sing Sing. Oism-smy, " stone upon stones," belongs to the Chippeway dia- 
lect and was suggested by Schoolcraft (.see Proc. N. Y. Hist. Soc., 1844, p. 101). He is 
also responsible for a niunber of other interpretations frequently quoted. The Delaware 
form, .isiii-es-ing, " a stony place," is much better. The same name occurs on Long Island 
in tjuecns County. But on the Delaware River is a place called Maetsingsiny (see Col. 
Hist. N. Y., Vol. 1, pp. .j90, 596), which seems to be a fuller form of our name and warrant- 
ing another interpretation : " Place where stones are gathered together," a heap of stones, 
probably. 

Snnkapins. — Cornell's Neck. If not a personal name, as I suspect, it may represent an 
earlier Sngnpin, "a ground-nut." 

Siu-kelionk. — "A black (or dark colored) place," a marsh or meadow. The Hartford 
meadows, Connecticut, were called Suck'iang. 

Sodkaluck. — A locality in Pelhani. "The mouth of a stream." The same as Smtgaluck 
in Connecticut. 

■Siiwaiioen. — -A tribe located from Xorwalk, Conn., to Hellgate. They were the Shawon- 
anoes, " the Southerners," to tribes farther north. 

Tammoesi.^. — Creek near Verplanck's Point. Delaware, Tumvieu-esis, "little wolf," a per- 
sonal name. 

Tiinrncken. — A locality in Cortlandt. Tarackan, " the crane." The name was derived 
from the loud and piercing cry peculiar to the genus, especially to the Grus americana or 
\\ hooping Crane, which, says Xuttall, has been "not unaptly compared to the whoo]) or yell 
of the savages when rushing to battle." (Trumbull.) 

Tfinkilekes. — Xame of tribe living back of Sing Sing. This is probably a term of derision 
applied to them by other tribes : " Those of little worth." 

Tatomiick. — This name has probably lost a syllable or more. The suffix indicates a " fish- 
ing-place." On Long Island j4 rAata-amucA: denotes "a crab fishing-place." Corrupted in 
some records to Kalawamac. 

Toquam.^. — Var,, Toquamske. This was a boundary mark in some conveyance, or else a 
well known landmark ; p'txikipi-ompsk, " at the round-rock." 

Tilicus. — .\ lirook flowing north and west across the State line into the Croton River ; also 
a village and postoffiee in Connecticut. An abbreviation of Mutightiaioa or MaKelico.i. 



50 HISTOKY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Tuckahne. — Hill in Youkfi-s. This appears in Si)utliani])ton, L. I., and elsewhere, and 
seems to have been applied to a species of trnffle or snhterranean funons (Pachyma cocoa — 
Fries) sometimes called Indian loaf. The tnckaho of Virginia {tockichogh, as Captain John 
Smith wrote the name) was the root of the Golden Clnb or Floating Arum (Orantium A(juati- 
cmn). " It groweth like a tlag in low, marshy i)laces. In one day a salvage will gather 
sufficient for a week. These roots are much the bigness and taste of potatoes." (Strachey. ) 

Waumainuck. — Delancj's Neck. Var., Waimanuck, " land round about." Some other 
place undeistood. 

Wiimpiis. — " The Opossum." A |)ersonal name. 

Weckijtiaskefk. — Var., Wecliqiioesipieeck, Wiei/uoeshook, Weec(jnoesguck, etc. Schoolcraft's 
suggestion, " the place of the bark-kettle," and as re|)eated in various histories, is absolutely 
worthless. Tlie name is simply a descriptive ap])ellatiou of the locality where the Indians 
lived at the date of settlement. Delaware, Wiquie-aakeek, Mas.saehnsetts, Wehque-askeet, 
Chii)pewa, Waiekwa-ashkiki, " end of the marsh or bog." 

Weghqueghe. — Var., Wyoquaiiiia. A variant of the foregoing. 

Wenneehees. — A locality in Cortlandt. Probably a personal name from the final s, although 
early forms, if found, might indicate with a locative an original Wmne-jie-es-et, " at the good- 
tasted water-place," i.e., " a spring." 

Wishijua. — " The end." 

Wixxayek. — Dover. " Yellow-place. ' 

Waccnhiick. — A lake or pond in Lewi.sboro. Wequa-haug, " end or head of the pond." 




CHAPTER III 

DISCOVERY AND PKELIMINAKY VIEW 

HE allui'iuj; hypotLifsis of the- discovery aud settlement of 
poi'tious of this continent by the Northmen far back in the 
.Middle Aiics, formerly received with ([uite general consid- 
eration, tinds few snpporters at this day among tlie leading- 
ant liorities on the early history of America. That the Norse colonized 
(ireenland at a very early period is nnhesitatingly admitted, abnndant 
proofs of their occujiancy of that country being affor<led by authentic 
ruins, especially of churches and baptistries, and collateral testimony 
to the fact being furnished by old ecclesiastical annals, Avhi(di seem to 
indicate that as early as the eleventh century Greenland belonged 
to the jurisdiction of the Catholic bishops of Iceland. It is also con- 
ceded to be not impossible that accidental Norse descents from Green- 
land upon the continent were made in the centuries that followed. 
Hut this is merely an amiable concession to academic conjecture. It 
is insisti'd that no reliable Norse remains have ever been found south 
of Davis Straits: aud one by one the various relics thought to be of 
Norse origin that have been brought forward, in- 
cluding certain supposed Runic inscriptions, have 
been pronounced incapable of acceptation as such. 

Several years ago there Mas found at Inwood. 
just below the limits of Westcdiester County, by Mr. inwood stonk. 
Alexander C. Chenoweth (whose Indian excavations in the same lo- 
cality are noticed in the preceding chapter), a stone curiously marked, 
which was the subject of some archjeological discussion at the time. 
The markings were claimed to be rude Kunic characters constituting 
an insci'ii)tion, out of which one writer, by ingeniously interpolating 
missing letters, formed the words Kirkjussynir akta, which translated 
are " Sons of the Church tax (or take a census)." " I suppose it to 
mean," added this writer, " that representatives of the Church of 
Rome had been there to tax, or number the people, and that this stone 
was inscribed to commemorate the event."' Thus it is seen that the 
general region of which our county forms a \k\v\ has been connected 
with the fabled ages of Norse habitation of America — whatever may 
be thought of the specific ground for the connection. The Inwood 

' An Inscribed Stone, by Cornelia Horsford (Privately printed, Cambridge. 1895), p. 14. 




52 HISTOKY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

stone is possiblj- as plausible a specimen of "lliinie" lettei-inn as 
other so-called inscribed stones which have been scrutinized and re- 
pudiated by archfeologists from time to time. The all-sufficient arjiu- 
ment against the Norse theory is that no satisfactory traces of Norse 
residence, aside from the doubtful inscriptions, have ever been dis- 
covered — no ruins of dwellinf>s or works of any kind, no personal rel- 
ics, and no indisputable <;raves, — whereas such a people could not 
conceivably have dwelt here without transmitting to us some more 
visible tokens of their presence than laboriously carved memorials. 

The authentic history of Westchester County begins in the month 
of September, 1G09, when Henry lludson, in his little ship the " Half 
Jloon," entered the harbor of New York and ascended the great river 
which- now bears his name. But there are strong reasons for believing 
that Hudson was not the first navigator to appear on our shores, or at 
least in their immediate vicinity. 

In 1524 Juan Yerrazauo, an Italian in the French service, sailing 
northward along the coast, came to anchor at a place apparently out- 
side the Narrows. In a letter dated July S, 1524, to Francis I., king 
of France, he reports that he " found a very pleasant situation among 
some steep hills, through which a very large river, deep at its mouth, 
forced its way to the sea; to the estuary of the river, any ship heavily 
laden might pass with the help of the tide, which rises eight feet. But 
as we were riding at anchor in a good berth we would not ventiu-e up 
in our vessel, without a knowledge of the mouth; therefore we took 
the boat, and entering the river we found a country on its banks well 
peopled. . . . We passed up this river about half a league, 
when we found it formed a most beautiful lake three leagues in cir- 
cuit. . . . All of a sudden, as is wont to happen to navigators, a 
violent contrary wind blew in from the sea, and forced us to return to 
our ship, greatly regretting to leave this region which seemed so com- 
modious and delightful, and which we supposed must also contain 
great riches, as the hills showed many indications of minerals." This 
description, although perplexing in some of its statemenis. and there- 
fore suggesting caution as to conclusions, reasonably admits of the 
belief (allowing for the inaccuracies in detail which nearly always oc- 
cur in the reports of the early explorers) that Yerrazauo entered and 
inspected the Upper Bay. But it hardly justifies the opinion that he 
passed up the river; the '• lake three leagues in circuit" could have 
been no other body of water than the Tapper Bay, and the " river " up 
which he went " about half a league " to reach it was evidently the 
Narrows. 

In the following year (1525) Estevan Gomez, a Portuguese sailor 
employed by Spain to seek a passage to India, explored the coast, 



DISCOVERY AND PKKLIMINATIY VIKW 



53 



which, he says, " turns southward twenty leagues to Bay St. Chripsta- 
pel in 31)'. I'roni tliat bend made by the hind the coast turns north- 
ward, passing said bay thirty leagues to Kio St. Antonio, in 41^, which 
is north and south with said bay." Gomez's "Bay St. Chripstapel'" 
was uncjiicstionably the Lower New Yorlc Bay, and his "Bio St. Anto- 
nio" (so named in honor of the saint on whose day he beheld it) the 
Hudson Biver. The latter conclusion is clearly established by his de- 
scription of the river as '"north and soutli with said bay," Avhich, taken 
in its connections, can not possibly ajjply to any other stream. To have 
established the north and south direction of the river he must have 
explored it for some distance. It hence becomes an entirely reason- 
able inference that in 1525, eighty- four years before Hudson's appear- 
ance, the Portuguese Gomez, sailing under a commission from Spain, 
entered Westchester County waters. It has even been suggested that 
Anthony's Nose, the peak which guards the entrance to the High- 
lands, owes its name to this first voyager of the river.^ 

Aside from tlie records of those early discoveries of ^'errazano and 
Gomez, there is much historic- 
al evidence indicating that at 
least the general coast con- 
formation in the latitude of 
New York was well under- 
stood by European cartograph- 
ers and navigators long before 

Hudson made his memorable ™i,^ 

voyr.ge in (lie "Half-Moon." -i - ^^^^^^^^S^ ^ ^-*».^ 

This is strikingly illustrated 
liy Hudson's own statement, 
that in se(»king a way to India 
in this region he was partly influenced by a hint received from his 
friend, Captain John Smith, of Virginia, to the effect that somewhere 
almut 40" north there was a strait conducting to the Pacific, similar 
lo Magcdlan's Strait. Indeed, it was in studied violation of the in- 
structions laid down for him by his employers at his setting out that 
he turned his vessel liithei-ward. His instructions were to sail past 
Nova /embla and the north coast of Siberia, through the Bering Strait 
into till' Pacific, and so southward to the Dutch Indies. The famous 




^i^^-ZZZ 



THE '* HALF-MOON.' 



* Bensou, in liis *' Memoirs." says tliat "tlie promon- 
tory in the Hinlilands is called Antonie's Nose, after An- 
tonie De Hoogp, sef-retary of the colony of Rensselaer- 
wyck." He Rives no authority for the opinion. The 
Labadist brothers called it Aiitonis Neus (L. I. Hist. Coll.i 
vol. i.. p. XM^), and say that all the Highlands **bear the 
names that were originally given to them.'" and this be- 



cause it has the form of a man's nose. All the I>iitcli An- 
tlionies appear to have claimed it in turn; but what if it 
should finally api)ear that it was named by the Spaniards, 
who gave the whole river into the charge of Saint Antliony ? 
— SaHiiif/ Directions of Ilninj I/mLwii, tulih-il htj ihf Rev. 
B. F. Ih: Costa {Alhamj, ISCO). 



54 



HISTORY OF WKSTCUESTEK COINTY 



" Sailiug Directions " of Ivar IJardseu tliat he toolv witli liim to guide 
his course related exclusively to far northern latitudes. 

Thus it is likely that neither the honor of the original discovery of 
Ihe iludsou IJiver, nor such merit as attaches to the conception of the 
availability of this latitude for adventurous quest, belongs to Henry 
Hudson. Proper recognition of these historical facts does not, how- 
ever, involve any diunuisliing from the uni<iueness and greatness of 
his achievement. He found a grand harbor and a mighty and beau- 
tiful river, previously uid<nown, or only vaguely known, to the civil- 
ized world. He thoroughly explored both, and, returning to Eurojje, 
gave accounts of them which produced an immediate ajipreciation of 
their importance and sjieedily led to measures for the development of 
the country. Judged by its attendant results, Hudson's exploit stan<ls 
unrivaled in the history of North American exploration. Xo other 
single discovery on the mainland of this continent was so (juickly, 
consecutively, and successfully followed by practical enterprise. 

Henry Hudson was of English birth and training. Apart frmn this, 
and frcuu the facts of his four voyages, which were made in as many 
years, nothing is known of him. His first voyage was undertaken in 
1G07 for the Muscovy Company, having for its object the discovery of 
a northeast route to China along the coast of Spitzbergen. His sec- 
ond, in 1008, to a like end, took him to the region of Nova Zembla. It 
was on his third, in 1609, still looking for a short way to the Orient, 
that he came to these shores. His fourth and last, in ])ursuit of the 
same chimera, was in 1010-11, the expense being borne by three Eng- 
lish gentlemen. He explored the bay and strait to which his name has 
since been given, passed the winter in the southern part of the bay, 

and on the 21st of June, 1011, was, with his 
son and seven companions, set adrift in an 
open boat by his mutinous crew, never to be 
lieai'd of more. 

When Hudson adventured forth on his 
momentous voyage of 1009 he flew from the 
mast of his vessel the flag of the new-born 
Kepublic of the United Netherlands. Just 
at that time the Netherlands were success- 
fully concluding the first period of their 
gigantic struggle with Spain for independence. It was, indeed, in the 
same month that the " Half-^Ioon " sailed from Amsterdam (.\]U'il) 
that the twelve years" truce between the Spanish and Dutch was 
signed. Everywhere in Europe this was a period of transition. In 
England the long reign of Elizabelh had but recently come to its end, 
and already, under James 1., the first of the ill-fat(Ml Stuart dynasty, the 




THE FLAG OF HOLLAND. 



DISCOVERY AND PRELIMINAltY VIKW 55 

r; 

events were shaping Avhicli were to luliuiuate iu the Coiunionwealth. 
In France Henry IV. was still reinnini^ — that Hcnrv of Navarre who 
signed the Edict of Nantes, gave peace to the warring factions of the 
kingdom, and laid the foundations for the diplomacy of Richelieu and 
the power of Louis XIV. In the German Empire the seeds of the ter- 
rible ThirtA- Years' ^^'ar were ripening. In Sweden the young Gus- 
tavus Adolphus was about to come to the throne. In Russia the dawn 
of a new era was being ushered in by the accession of the first sov- 
ereign of the house of Romanoff. In the south of Europe, on the other 
hand, the glories of long ages of commercial, intellectual, and political 
supremacy were fading away : the Italian republics were beginning to 
decline, and the might of Spain was tottering to its fall. To this pe- 
riod belong many of the world's greatest inventive and philosophical 
intellects: Shakespeare, Cervantes, Rubens, Van Dyck, Kepler, Gali- 
leo, llarvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, and Lord 
Bacon, who said of the early attempts to utilize the discoveries of 
Columbus : " Certainly it is with the kingdoms of the earth as it is in 
the kingdom of Heaven : sometimes a grain of mustard seed becomes 
a great tree. Who can tell? " And in this grand epoch of mental ac- 
tivity and political change a more rational spirit respecting the uses 
to be made of America was becoming conspicuously manifest. The 
sixteenth century had been wholly Avasted so far as the legitimate de- 
velopment of the newly discovered lands beyond the sea was con- 
cerned ; but with the first decade of the seventeenth soberly conceived 
plans of orderly colonization began to be set on foot. During that dec- 
ade the French inaugurated their permanent settlements in Canada, 
and the English, under Captain John Smith, at last established an 
enduring colony in Virginia — enduring because founded on the secure 
basis of mutual self-interest, labor, and economy. Even Spain, with 
all her greed for new realms to pillage, had practically abandoned the 
futile hope of forcing a gateway to them at the west. It remained for 
the Dutch, the most j)ractical-minded people in Europe, to make their 
entry into America, in matter-of-fact times and circumstances such as 
these, upon a mere quixotic expedition to the far Cathay — almost the 
last one, happily, of its grotesque kind. 

Hudson's employers in this enterprise were the Dutch East India 
Company, a powerful corporation, which had been chartered in 1602 
to trade with the East Indies, the southern and eastern coasts of Asia, 
and the eastern coast of Africa. The new countries in America, and, 
indeed, the entire waters of the Atlantic, were excluded from the field 
of its o])erations. The company, during the less than seven years of 
its existence, had enjoyed extraordinary success, and its earnings now 
represented seventy-five per cent, of profit. In resolving upon a voy- 



56 HISTOia OF \vi;sr(Ui:sTEit rulNTY 

age for the loug de.siri'd " iioi-lliwcst passage," the coiupaiiy adnpicd 
a decidedly conservative phm. There was to be no visionary explora- 
tion for a possibly existini; rout«* tliroiiuli the coastline of America, but 
a direct enti-ance into Aiclic waters in the region of Nova /(Mnbla. in 
the hope that an open sea, or continuons passage, wonid there be 
found. Hudson, an l^nglislniiaii, was i-hosen for the undcn'taking be- 
cause he was known to be familiar with ilie northern seas — no Dutch 
navigator of like experience being available. On the 4tli of April, 
ir»09, he sailed from Amstei'dam in the '" Half- .Moon." a vessid of some 
eighty tons burden, w itii a crew of twenty Dutch and English sailors. 
Pursuant to ids instructions from the company, he set a direct course 
for the northeast coast of America, which he reached in the latitude of 
Nova 8cotia. Here, however, he abruptly departed from the plans 
laid out for him, ttirned southward, passed along the shores of Maine 
and Cajie ("od, and proceeded as far as Chesapeake Bay. Returning 
northward from that region, he followed the windings of the coastline 
until, on tlie 2d day of September, he sighted the Highlands of Nave- 
sink. Dropping anchor in the Lower Bay on the 3d, he remained there 
ten dajs, meantime exploring with his ship's boat the stirrounding 
waters. Although his intercourse with the Indians was friendly, the 
men whom he sent out in the boat provoked a conflict with them, in 
which one of the exploring party, John Coleman, was killed and two 
men were W'Otiuded. On the 12th of September he steered the " Half- 
Moon " through the Narrows, anchoring that evening somewhere in 
the Upper Bay, probably not far from the lower extremity of Manhat- 
tan Island. The next day he began his voyage up the river, and after 
making a distance of eleven and one-half miles again came to anchor. 
It was at this stage of his journey that he attempted to detain two of 
the natives, who, however, jumped overboard, swam to the shore, and 
cried ba(dv to him " in scorn." Brodhead, in his " History of New 
York," locates the scene of this incident opposite the Indian village of 
Nappeckamack, now the City of Yonkers. But from the details given 
in the Journal of Hudson's mate, Eobei-t Juet, it ajipears ])robable 
that the point of aTuhorage on the loth was not above the conhnes of 
Manhattan Island. It is significant that the formidable attack on 
Hudson's vessel when he was retui-inng down the river, an attack in 
retaliation for his treacherous act upon this occasion, occurred at 
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, and ^^as clearly made by Manhattan Island In- 
dians, the Indian fortress in that locality being on the southern shore 
of the creek. The question, of course, is not important enough to re- 
quire any serious discussion, but upon its determination depends the 
fixing of the date of Hudson's entrance into Westchester waters — 
that is, the date of discovery of our county and of the mainland of 



rUSCOVIUtV AND PKELI.MIXAKY VIEW 



57 



New York v^lalc To our luiud, after a carcrul study of the records of 
the voya!j;e, it scarcely aduiils of doubt that the " Half-Moou's " arrival 
above Spuyteii Diiyvil is to be assigned not to the hrst but to the sec- 
ond day of its progress up i he stream.' 

Leaviug' his auclKuauc below S]niyteu i)uy\il on the inoruing of 
the 14th of September, 
1609, Hudson travei'sed 
on that day the entire 
NA'estchester shore, en- 
tering the Highlands 
befoi^^ nightfall. The 
record of the day's sail- 
ing is thus given in 
Juet's Journal : " In 
the morning we sailed 
up the river twelve 
leagues . . . and came 
to a strait between two 
points, . . . and it (the 
river) trended north 
by one league. . . . The 
I'iver is a mile broad; 
there is very high land 
on both sides. Then 
Ave went up northwest 
a league and a half, 
d e e p w a t e r; then 
northeast five miles; 
1 hen n o r t h w e s t b y 
north two leagues and 
a half. The lau<l grew 
very high and moun- 
tainous."' The "strait 

between two iMiints," wliere they found the stream " a mile broad," 
was manifestly tliat portion of the river between Verplauck's and 
Stony Points. Coutinning his voyage, Hudson sailed until he reached 
the site of Albany-, where, finding the river no longer navigable, he was 
coiisirain(Hl to turn Itack, emerging from the llighliinds into the West- 
chester section about the I'ud of September. Here for the hrst time 
since lea\iug the Lower Bay blood was shed. The ship was becalmed 




■ n.\LF-MOON LFAVIXG .\MSTKRD.\M. 



* Wood, in his account of the Discovery and 
Sottiement of Wi-stchestor Counl.v, in Scharfs 
History, accepts Brodbead's date; but Dr. Coie, 



in bis History of Vonkors in tbc same work 
(ii.. 4). reviewing tbe statements in Juefs Jour- 
nal, decides upon the 14th of September. 



58 HISTOKY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTr 

off Stouy Poiut. ill the " strait "' described by Juet, aud the uatives, 
animated solely by curiosity, came out in their canoes, some of them 
being received on board. The occupant of oue of the cauoes, which 
kept " haujiing under the stern," was detected in pilfering from the 
cabin windows, having secreted " a pillow and two shirts and two 
bandaliers." Whereupon the " mate shot at him, and struck him on 
the breast, ami killed him."' The visitors now tied precipitately, those 
on board the " Half-Moon " jumping into the water. A boat was low- 
ered from the ship to recover the stolen property, and one of the In- 
dians in the water liad the temerity to take hold of it, at which " the 
cook seized a sword aud cut oft" one of his hands, and he was drowned.'' 
It is difti'-ult to characterize the shooting of the Indian thief otherwise 
than as wanton murder, and this whole episode stands to the serious 
discredit of Hudson and his companions. At Spuyten Duyvil the next 
day Avas fought the historic encounter with the Indians of that local- 
ity, who, harboring bitter resentment because of Hudson's attempted 
forcible detention of two of their people on his journey up-stream, now 
met him with a fleet of canoes and most valorously gave him battle. 
The details of this tight have been given in our chapter on the Indians, 
and need not be repeated here. It is noticeable that the only san- 
guinary incidents of Hudson's exploration of the river occurred along 
the Westchester coast. 

Sailing away from the scene of this bloody conflict, the " Half 
Moon " passed out of the Narrows on the ith of October, just oue 
month and a day after its arrival in the Lower Bay, and proceeded 
direct to Europe, reaching the port of Dartmouth, England, on the 
7th of November. The English authorities, reluctant to concede to 
Holland the right to Hudson's important discoveries, detained the 
vessel for several months on the strength of its commander's British 
nativity, and though it was ultimately released to its Dutch owners 
Hudson himself was not permitted to return to the Netherlands. As 
we have seen, he embarked under English patronage the next year 
upon another chimerical adventure after the northwestern passage, 
aud ended his career in 1(>11 as a miserable castaway on the shores 
of Hudson's Bay. The " Half-Moon " was destined for a somewhal 
like melancholy fate, being wrecked five years later in the East Indies. 

By the delimitations of its charter granted in 1002, the Dutch East 
India Company was excluded from all commercial operations in 
America: and accordingly no steps were taken by that corporation to 
develop the promising country found by Henry Hudson. Rut the 
alert and enterprising private traders of Holland were prompt in 
seeking to turn the new discoveries to profitable uses. While Hudson 
and his ship were held at Dartmouth, that is, during the winter of 



DISCOVKriY AND PKKLIMINAUY VIKW 



59 




lt»(>'.)-l(t, an jissiM iatidii (»f Dutch merchants was organized with the 
object of sending "Ut a vessel to tiiese lands, and for a number of 
years voyages were annually made. (Jf the tirst ship thus dispatched 
Hudson's mate was placed in command, having under him a portion 
of the crew >>( the " Half-Moon." These cai-ly jtrivate nndcrtaUings 
were mainly in connection with the fur trade, which otTi-n-d especial 
advantages on the shores of the Hudson, 
wher<' at that period fur-bearing animals, 
notably the beaver and otter, were very nu 
merous. So abundant, indeed, was the 
beaver in this part of the country that for a 
long period of years beaver-skin.s f(jrmed one 
of the principal items in every cargo sent t<j 
Europe. A representation of the lieaver was 
the princii)al feature of the ofticial seal of 
New Netherland. 

T 1,11.1 ,1 1 . SEAL OK >KW .NtlllKl'.I,A.Nr>. 

In lijJJ a memorable voyage was made to 
Hudson's liiver by Henry Christiansen and Adrian Block, two Hol- 
landers, in a vessel which they owned jointly. They returned with a 
goodly cargo of furs, carrying with theiu to the home country two 
sons of Indian chiefs, by one of whom Christiansen, several years sub- 
sequently, was murdered on a Hudson River island. In 1613, with 
two vessels, the " Fortune " and the " Tiger," they came back. Chris- 
tiansen, commanding the " Fortune," decided to i)ass the winter on 
Manhattan Island, and built several houses of branches and bark. 
Upon the spot where his little settlement stood (now 8!l Broadway i 
the .Macomb mansion, occupied by Washington for a time while 
President, was constructed; and the officers of the Netherlands-Ameri- 
can Steamship Fine are now located on the same site. Block's ship, 
the •• Tiger," tO(jk tire and was completely destroyed while at her an- 
chorage in the harbor. This great misfortune operated, liowever, only 
to stimulate the enterj)rise of the resourceful Dutchmen, who forth- 
with, in circumstances as unfavorable for such work as can well be 
conceived, proceeded to buihl another, which was named the " On- 
rust," or '■ Restless." a shallop of sixteen tons" burden, launched in the 
spring of l(i]4. With the " Iicstless " Block now entered upon au ex- 
ploration almost as important as Hudson's own, and certainly far 
more dangerous. Steering it through the East Biver, he came sud- 
denly into the fearful current <d' Hellgate, whose existence was pre- 
viously unknown to Europeans, and which he navigated safely. Pass- 
ing the mouth of the Harlem Biver, he thoroughly exj)lored tlx- West- 
chester coast along the Sound and emerged into that majestic body 
of land-locked water. To Block belongs the undivided honor of the 



60 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



discovery of Loug Island Sound, whicli had never before been entered 
by a European mariner. Indeed, it was assumed up to that time that 
the coastline north of the eastern extremity of Long Island was con- 
tinuous, and the separation of Long Island from New England is not 
indicated on any of the maps of the period. Block sailed through the 
Sound to Cape Cod, discovering the CouTiofticut TJiv(>r and the other 




PART OF BLOCK S MAP 



conspicuous physical features. The name of Block Island, off the 
coast of Khode Island, commemorates this truly distinguished dis- 
coverer, and his momentous voyage. A highly interesting result of 
Block's achievement was a chart of the country, which he ]ire])ared 
and published, here reproduced in part. Although the outlines in 
certain respects, particularly in the case of Manhattan Island, are ex- 
tremely crude, they are surprisingly faithful in the parts representing 
his individual res])onsibility. It will be observed that the general 



DISCOVERY AND PRELIMINARY VIE^Y 61 

trend of tlu' Westchester ooast on the Sound is traced almost exactly. 

Keturning to Holland in the fall of 1614, with the " Fortune," hav- 
ing left the " llestless " with Christiansen, Block at once became a 
beneficiary of an attractive commercial offer which had been pro- 
chiinied some moutlis previously by the ytates-CJeueral, or central 
government, of the Netherlands. He and his companion Christiansen 
were by no means the only seekers of fortune in the splendid realms 
made known by the captain of the " Ualf-Moon." Other tiading ex- 
peditions had gone there, and interest in the resources of this quarter 
was becoming quite active. To further promote such interest, and to 
arouse fresh endeavor, the States-General, in March, IGll, issued a 
decree offering to grant to any person or number of persons who 
should discoYer new lands a charter of exclusive privileges of trade 
therewith. Upon Block's return there was pending before the States- 
General an application for the coveted charter by a strong organiza- 
tion of merchants, which was based upon Hudson's discovery and the 
representation that the hopeful organization was prepared to make 
to the region in question the number of voyages conditionally required 
in the decree. On October 11, 1614, Block submitted to the States- 
General, at The Hague, explicit information of his discoveries, and a 
charter bearing that date was accordingly granted to him and a num- 
ber of individuals associated with him (of Avhom Christiansen was 
one), comprising a business society styled the New Netherland Com- 
pany. This company had for its formally defined aim the commer- 
cial exploitation of the possessions of Holland in the Mew World, to 
which collectively the name of New Netherland was now applied. It 
was in the same year and month that New England was first so called 
by Prince Charles of Wales (afterward Charles 1. 1. 

The grant of the States-General establishing the New Netherland 
Company, after naming the persons associated in it — these ]1(M'S()us 
being the proprietors and skippers of five designated ships, — describes 
the region in which its operations are to be carried on as " certain new 
lands situate in America, between New France and Virginia, the sea- 
coasts whereof lie between forty and forty-five degrees of latitude, and 
now called New Netherland."' The range of territorial limits in lati- 
tude thus claimed for Holland's dominion on the American coast is 
certainly a broad extension of the rights acijuired by the discoveries 
of Hudson and Block, and utterly ignores the sovereignty of England 
north of the Virginian region proper. On the other hand, the entire 
coast to w liicli Holland now set up pretensions had already bei'U not 
only comprehensively claimed by Great Britain, but allotted in terms 
to the cor])orate ownership and jurisdiction of two English companies. 
In KiOd, three vears before tlu' vovasic of Hudson and eiiiht vears be- 



62 HTSTOUV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

fore the tbarteriuij; t)f the Xew Xi-tlu'rlaiul Compauy, the ukl patent 
of Sir Walter Ealeigh havin*,' been voided by liis attainder for treason, 
James I. issued a new I'atent. ])ai-tif ioiiiiiii Rritisli America, tlien 
Icnowu by the sinjile name of N'irjiiuia, into two divisions. The tirst 
division, called the First Colony, was fji-anted to the London Company, 
and extended finm thirty-fuiir dejirees to thirty-eijiht degrees, with 
the right of settlement as far as forty-one degrees in the event that 
this company should be the first to found a colony that far north. The 
second division, or Second Colony, assigned to the Plymouth Company, 
embraced the country from forty-one degrees to forty-hve degrees, 
Avith the privilege of acquiring rights southward to thirty-eight de- 
grees, likewise conditioned u])oii ]>i-i(irity of colonization. Through- 
out the long controversy between England and LLolland touching their 
respective territorial rights in America, it was, indeed, the uniform 
contention of the English tliat the Dutch were interlopers in the in- 
terior, and that the exclusive British title to the coast was beyond 
question. 

Attached to the charter giAen by the States-General to the New 
Netherland Company was Block's " figurative map," already alluded 
to. The grant accorded to the company a trade monopoly, which, how- 
ever, was only " for four voyages, within the term of three yeai-s, com- 
mencing the 1st of Jauuai-y, 1G15, next ensuing, or sooner." During 
this three years' period it was not to be " permitted to any other per- 
soTi from the TTnited Netherhnids to sail to, navigate, or fre(iuent the 
said newly discovered lands, havens, or places," "on pain of confisca- 
tion of the vessel and cargo whereAvith infraction hereof shall be at- 
tempted, and a fine of 50,000 Netherland ducats for the benefit of the 
said discovers or finders." 

No obligation to settle the laud was prescribed for the company, 
and, indeed, this charter was i)urely a concession to private gain-seek- 
ing individuals, involving no projected aims of state policy or colonial 
undertaking Avhatever, although wisely bestowed for but a brief pe- 
I'iod. Under the strictly commercial reginu> of the New Netherland 
Company other voyages were made, all highly successful in material 
results, the fur trade Avith the Indians still being the objective. That 
the scope of operations of these early Dutch traders comiyreheTided the 
entire navigable portion of the Hudson Kiver is sutticiently evidenced 
by the fact that two forts Avere erected near the site of Albany, one 
called Fort Nassau, on an island in the riA-er, and the other Fort 
Orange, on the mainland. It is hence easily conceivable that not in- 
frequent landings Avere made by the bartering Dutchmen at the va- 
rious Indian villages on our Westchester shore in these first days of 
Hudson liiver commerce. 



DISCOVERY AND PRELIMINARY VIEW 



63 



On the 1st of January, 1618, the charter of the New Netherland 
Company expired by time limitation. Application for its renewal was 
refused, and from that date until July, 1621, the whole of New Nethei-- 
hmd was a free field for whomsoever might care to assume the ex- 
pense and hazard of enterprises within its borders. This i»eculiar con- 
dition was not, however, due to any tla,<>f;ing of interest in their Ameri- 
can ])ossessions on the part of the Dutch government, but Avas an in- 
cident of a Avell-considered political proj;ramme which Avas kept in 
abeyance because of the circumstances of the time, to be launched in 
the fullness of events. 

The twelve years' truce between Holland and Spain, signed in 1609, 
was now drawing to its close. The question of the continuance of 
peace or the resumption of war was still a doubtful one, contingent 




upon the ultimate disposition of Spain, for the people of the Nether- 
lands were resolved in no case to accept anything but absolute inde- 
pendence. In the eventuality of war it would become a particularly 
important ])art of Dutch jiolicy not merely to provide for the protec- 
tion of the new provinces in America and their prospective inhabit- 
ants, but to cope with the formidable Spanish maritime poAver in 
Americiin waters, and as far as jiossible prey upon the rich commerce 
of Spain with that quarter of the globe and even wrest territory from 
her there. To tliis end it was more than idle to consider the recharter- 
ing of a weak aggregation of skippers and their financial sponsors as 
the s(de delegate and upholder of the dignity and strength of the re- 
public in the western seas. If hostilities Avere to be reneAved it would 
be indispensable to institute an organization in connection with NeAV 
Nethcrland poAverful enough to encounter the fleets of Spain on at 



64 HISTORY OP WESTCHESTER COTNTY 

leasl au L'qual fuotiiii;. A ijci-rccl palleru fur surh an (ii-ganizatimi al- 
ready existed in the Dutch East India Companv. The creation of a 
West India Company on similar lines to meet the expected need was 
the grand scheme of statecraft which caused the States-General to 
reject the solicitations of the worthy traders of the New Netherland 
Company for a continuatiun of thoir valuable monopoly. 

This was, moreover, no newly devised plan. In 1604, two years after 
the establishment of the East India Company, and long before the 
first appearance of the Dutch flag- on the American coast, the concep- 
tion of a AYest India Company was carefully formulated in a paper 
drawn up by one William T'sselinx and presented,progTessively,to the 
board of burgomasters of Amsterdam, the legislature or " states " of 
Holland province, and the States-General of the nation. In this docu- 
ment Usselinx proposed the formation of ''a strong financial corpora- 
tion, similar to that exploiting the East Indies, for the fitting out of 
armed vessels to attack the fleets of Spain and make conquest of her 
possessions in the American hemisphere."^ But it was deemed inex- 
pedient to samti(m such a venture at the time. 

Upon the termination of the twelve years' truce, in the spring of 
1621, and the revival of the war between the two countries, the Dutch 
statesmen had the details of the unu-h-cherished West Indian Com- 
pany enterprise thoroughly matured, and on the 3d of June of that 
year the charter of the new corporation, comprising a preamble and 
forty-five articles, was duly signed. The subscriptions to its stock, 
which A\as required by laAV to be not less than seven millions of florins 
(12,800,000), were immediately forthcoming. But although the ex- 
istence of the company dated from July 1, 1621, it was some two years 
before its charter took complete effect, various disputed points not be- 
ing immediately adjustable. Twelve additional articles were subse- 
quently incorporated, the whole instrument receiving final approval 
on the 21st of June, 1623. 

The Dutch West India Company, to whose care the conversion of the 
American wilderness into a habitation for civilized man was thus com- 
mitted, anil under whose auspices European institutions were first 
planted and (U-ganized government was erected and for many years 
administered here, was in its basic constitution a most notable body, 
partaking of the character of a civil congress so far as that is practi- 
cable for an association pursuing essential mercantile ends. It had a 
central directorate or exc^cutive board, otficially styled the assiMubly 
of the XIX., which was composed of nineteen delegates, eighteen be- 
ing elected from five local chambers, and the nineteenth being the 



Van Pelt'fl Hist, of the Greater New York. i. 



DISCOVKKY AND PKKLIMINAKY VIEW Gi) 

(iirect represeutative of " their High Mightinesses, the States-Geueral 
ol the Uuited i'lovinces."' The hve local chambers were subordinate 
bodies which met independently, embracing shareholders from Am- 
sterdam, Zeelaud, the Meuse (.including the cities of Dort, Rotterdam, 
and Delft), the >.'orth Quarter (Avhich comprised the cities of North 
Holland outside of Amsterdam), and Frieslaud. The controlling in- 
tluence in the company was that of the City of Amsterdam, which at 
hrst sent eight and later nine delegates to the Assembly of the XIX. 
The spheres of trade marked out for and confirmed to the company, 
■ to the exclusion of all other inhabitants or associations of merchants 
within the botmds of the United Provinces,"' comprehended both the 
Atlantic and the Pacific coasts of the two Americas, from the Straits 
of Magellan to the extreme north, and, in addition, the African coast 
from the Tropic of Cancer to the Cape of Good Hope. 

The rights and powers vested in the corporation fell short of those 
of actual independent sovereignty only in the particulars that the 
more weighty acts of the companj^, as declarations of war and conclu- 
sions of peace, were subject to the approval of the Dutch government, 
and that the officers appointed to rule distant countries, and their un- 
derliug.s, should be acceptable to the States-General and should take 
the oath of fealty to the Netherlands republic. " To protect its com- 
merce and dependencies, the company was empowered to erect forts 
and fortifications; to administer justice and preserve order; maintain 
police and exercise the government generally of its transmarine af- 
fairs; declare war and make peace, with the consent of the States- 
General, and, with their approbation, appoint a governor or director- 
general and all other ofiicers, civil, military, judicial, and executive, 
who were bound to swear allegiance to their High Mightinesses, as 
well as to the company itself. The director-general and his council 
A\ ere invested with all powers, judicial, legislative, and executive, sub- 
ject, some supposed, to appeal to Holland, but the will of the com- 
pany, expressed in their instructions or declared in their marine or 
military ordinances, was to be the law of New Xetherland, excepting 
in cases not especially provided for, when the Roman law, the imperial 
statutes of Charles V.. the edicts, resolutions, and customs of Patria — 
Fatherland — were to be received as the paramount rule of action."' 

One of the primary aims in the construction of this mighty corpora- 
ti(in being to establish an efficient and aggressive Atlantic maritime 
]Hiwer in the struggle with Spain, very precise provisions were made 
for that imiiiose. "The States-General engaged to assist them with 
a million of guilders, equal to nearly half a million of dollars; and in 
case peace should be disturbed, with sixteen vessels of war and foiir- 

' De Lancev's Hist, of tlie Manors of Westchester County (Sclmrf, i.. 42). 



66 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



teen yachts, fully armefl and equipped — the former to be at least of 
three hundred and the latter of eighty tons" burden; but these vessels 
were to be maintained at the expense of the company, which was to 
furnish, unconditionally, sixteen ships and fourteen yachts, of like ton- 
nage, for the defense of trade and purposes of war, which, with all 
merchant vessels, were to be comnmnded by an admiral appointed 
and instructed by their High ilightinesses." 

And this magnificent programme of naval aggression was no mere 
wordy ornamentation woven into the prosaic context of a matter-of- 
fact commercial agreement for Mattering effect. The West India Com- 
pany, with its ships of war and armed merchantmen, under brilliant 
commanders, scoured the Spanish Main, capturing many a richly 
freighted bark of the enemy, and, not content with the prizes of the 

high seas, it dispatched expedi- 
tions to attack the Spanish terri- 
torial possessions in the Antilles 
and South America, which pro- 
ceeded from conquest to conquest. 
By its energy and prowess, in the 
name of the repxiblic of the United 
Netherlands, was begun in the 
first half of the seventeenth cen- 
tury the work of dismemberment 
of the vast Spanish empire in the 
New World which now, at the 
close of the nineteenth century, 
has been so gloriously completed 
by the arms of the i-epublic of the 
United States. On the South 
American mainland Brazil, a 
province of Portugal, at that time 
tributary to Spain, was conquered 
and held for several years as 
Dutch territory, and the country known as Dutch Guiana, where the 
flag of Holland still floats, also yielded itself to these merchanr lu-inces 
of the Netherlands. In addition numerous West India islands were 
talcen. A celebrated episode of the company's naval operations during 
the war was the capture of the Spanish " Silver Fleet "' (1(128), having 
the enormous value of .")f4,(i()0,UU0 in our money. The financial concerns 
of the corporation prospered exceedingly as the result of these and 
otlier successes. In 1B20 a dividend <if fifty per cent, was declared, and 
in 1030 a dividend of twenty-five i)er cent. 

As we have seen; the status of the West India Company's organiza- 




- /i} 



DUTCH WINDMILL. 



DISCOVERY AND PliKLIMIXAUY VIEW 67 

tion was not exactly settled until 1623, and although it nominally en- 
joyed exclusive dominion and trade privileges on the shores of the 
Hudson from the 1st of July, 1021, no steps were taken to colonize the 
land in the as yet unperfected state of its affairs. Before coming to 
the era of formal settlement under its administration it is necessary 
to complete our review of what is known of the history of the ante- 
cedent years. 

It is certain that the separale voyages undertaken hither by various 
adventurous men between 1(510 and 1(523 resulted in no settlement of 
the country worthy of the name. We find no record of any transpor- 
tation of yeomen or families to this locality for the announced object 
of making it their abode and developing its resources. Although there 
is no doubt respecting the utilization of Manhattan Island in more or 
less serious trading connections at an early period, the history of thr 
first years of European occupation is involved in a haze of tradition 
and myth. From the vague reports given by different voyagers, in- 
genious and not ovi-r-s(ru]iu]ous writers constructed fanciful accoiints 
of pretended undertakings and exploits in this quarter, which, how- 
ever, being presented in sober guise, have had to be subjected to 
methodical investigation. All historical scholai's are familiar with 
the fanu)us Plantagenet or Argall myth. In KSIS a pamphlet was pub- 
lished in England, with the title, " A Description of New Albion," by 
one Beauchamp Plantagenet, p]sq., which assunu'd to narrate that in 
the year 1613 the English Captain Samuel Argall, returning from 
Acadia to Virginia, "landed ar ^Manhattan Isle, in Hudson's River, 
where they foun<l four houses built, and a pretended Dutch governor 
under the West India Company of Amsterdam," and that this Dutch 
lMi])ulation and this Dutch ruler were forced to submit to the tre- 
mendous power of Great Britain. The Avhole story is a sheer fabrica- 
tion, and so crude as to be almost vulgar. Yet such is the continuing 
strength of old i)seudo-historical statement that we still find in com- 
pendious historical reference works of generally authentic character 
mention of Argall's apocryphal feat of arms — the '' first conquest of 
New Netherland by the English," — usually accompanied, albeit, by 
the discreet "(?)" conscientiously employed by such faithful com- 
pilers in cases of incertitude. 

In 1019 occurred the first known visit of an English vessel to the 
waters of Westchester (Aiunty and ^lanhattan Island, which merits 
passing notice here for an interesting incident attaching to it. Captain 
Thomas Dermer, sent by Sir Ferdinand Gorges, of the Plymouth Com- 
l>any, to the Island of ]\Ionhegan on the coast of Maine, partly to in-o- 
cure a cargo of fish and partly to return the unfortunate Indian slave 
Squanto to his home, came sailing through Long Island Sound in his 



68 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



ship's pinnace on a trip to Virginia wbieii lie had decided to make 
after dispatching his hulen vessel back to England. Leaving Martha's 
"N'ineyard, he shaped his voyage, he narrates, "as the coast led me till 
I came to the most westerly part where the coast began to fall away 
southerly [the eastern entrance to the Sound]. In my way I discov- 
ered land about thirty leagues in length [Long Island], heretofore 
taken for main where I feared I had been embayed, but by the help 
of an Indian I got to sea again, through many crooked and straight 
passages. I let pass many accidents in this journey occasioned by 
treachery where Ave were twice compelled to go together by the ears; 
once the savages had great advantage of us in a strait, not above a 
bow-shot [wide], and where a great multitude of Indians let fly at us 



[{ ,<j .^,"="^^^5^^^ :. ,.. 




HELL GATK (FROM AN OLD PRINT). 

frimi the bank; but it pleased God to umke us victors. Near unto this 
we found a most dangerous cataract amongst small, rocky islands, oc- 
casioned by two unequal tides, the one ebbing and flowing two hours 
before the other." An excellent Westchester historian, commenting 
upon this description, identifies the place where the Indians '' let fly " 
as Throgg's Point (the " dangerous cataract " being, of course, Hell 
Gate), and adds the following appropriate remarks : " Such was the 
voyage of the first Englislimnn Avho ever sailed through Long Island 
Sound, and the first who ever belield the eastern shores of Westchester 
County. This was five years after the Dutch skipper Block had sailed 
through the same Sound from the Manhattans, and ten years after 
Hudson's discovery of the Great Eiver of the Mountains. Very singu- 
lar it is that fights with the Indians, both on the Hudson and on the 
Sound, and at points nearly ()])posite each other, were the beginning 
of civilization in Westchester County, and that the first was witli the 
Dutch and the second A\'ith the English, the two races of whites which, 
in succession, ruled that county and the Province and State of New 
York."i 



' De Lancey's Hist, of the Manors (Scharf, i., 40). 



DISCOVERY AND PRELIMINARY VIEW 69 

Notwithstanding the failure of the old New Netherland Company 
organized by Block, Christiansen, and their associates, to get its 
charter of monopoly renewed in IGlS, that organization did not pass 
out of existence. To the New Xothcrland Company, moreover, belongs 
the honorable distinction of liaving made the first tangible proposal 
\'nv the actual settlement of the country- — a proposal quite explicit 
and manifestly sincere. On h'ebruary 12, 1G20, its directors addressed 
to Maurice, Prince of Orange, stadtholder or chief executive of the 
Xctherlands, a petition reciting that "there is residing at Leyden a 
certain I^nglish ])rea(li('r, versed in the Dutch language, who is well 
inclined to pi'oceed thither [to New Netherland] to live, assuring the 
jtetitioners that he has the means of inducing over four hundred fami- 
lies to ncc()uii)any him thither, both out of this country and England, 
judv ided they would be guarded and preserved from all violence on 
the part of other potentates, by the authority and under the protec- 
tion of your Princely Excellency and the High and Mighty Lords 
States-General, in the propagation of the true, pure Christian religion, 
in the instruction of the Indians in that country in true doctrine, and 
in converting them to the Christian faith, and thus to the mercy of the 
Lord, to the greater glory of this country's government, to i^lant there 
anew commonwealth. all under tlu^ order and command of your Prince- 
ly Excellency and the High and Mighty Lords States-General." The 
directors, on their part, offered to the intending emigrants free trans- 
portation in the company's vessels and cattle enough to supply each 
family, upon the single condition that the government would furnish 
twn warships for the protection of the expedition from pirates. This 
condition was not complied with, and the scheme fell to the ground. 
It is a coincidence, and very presumably no accidental one, that this 
oiler was volunteered in the same year that the Pilgrims sailed from 
Ibdland in the "Mayflower"' ami landed at Plymouth. Indeed, it is 
well known that the original intenrion of the " Mayflower" company 
was to proceed to New Netherland, and their landing on the New 
laigland coast instead was the result of a change of plan almost at the 
last moment. It will hence be observed that it was by the merest cir- 
cumstance of fortune that our State of NeAV York did not become the 
chosen seat of the Puritan element. Yet Ncav Netherland as originally 
settled was just as distinctly a place of refuge for persecuted religious 
sectarians as New England, the Walloons who came to New York Bay 
being no less pilgrims for reasons of belief llian llie much-sung i)as- 
scngers of the " Mayllower." 

It should be borne in mind that the confines of New Netherland, as 
that territory was understood by the Dutch government, wer(» not 
limited to the shores of the Hudson Itiver, New York Bay and its 



70 



HISTORY OF "WESTCHESTER COL XTY 



estuaries, and Loni; Lslainl Souud. Heuiy lludson, in his voyage of 
discovery northward from Cliesapealce Bay in IGOl), had entered and 
explored Delaware Bay, and in the years which followed that region 
received the occasional attention (tf ships from Holland. It was em- 
braced, as a matter of course, in the grant made to the West India 
Company. The name North Biver, by which the Hudson is still known 
at its mouth, was tirst given to it to distinguish it from the Delaware 
Eiver or South IJiver, as that stream was called by the Dutch. 

We liave shown, in perhaps greater detail than some of our readers 
may think is necessary in the pages of a local history, that the de- 
termining consideration in the creation of the West India Company 
was the desire of the Netherlands statesmen to provide, in view of the 
impending war with Spain, for a strong olfensive and defensive naval 
arm in I he Atlantic (^cean; and that the energies of the company were 
devoted on a great scale and with signal success to the realization of 
this aim. The peaceful colonizing and commercial functions of the 
company, on the other hand, were not outlined with any degree of 

special formality in the char- 



ter, but Avere rather left to the 
natural course of events. Upon 
this point the document speci- 
tied simjily that the company 
" Further may promote the 
]iopulating of fertile and unin- 
luibited regions, and do all that 
the advantages of these prov- 
inces [the United Nether- 
lands], the profit and increase 
of commw'ce shall require." 
" Brief as is this language,'' 
aptly says a recent historian, 
" there was enough of it to ex- 
press the vicious principle un- 
derlying colonization as con- 
ducted in those days. It was 
the advantage of thr.w provinces 
that mu.st be held mainly in 
view — t hat is, the home 
country must receive the main 
Ix'uefit from the settlements 
wherever made, and commerce must be made profitable. The welfare, 
present (U- prospective, of colonies or colonists, was quite a subsidiary 
consideration. This accounts for much of the subsequent injustice, 




THE SHIP "NEW NETHERLAND. 



DISCOVERY AND PRELIMINARY VIEW 71 

oppression, and neglect which made life in New Netherland anything 
but agreeable, and finally made the people hail the conquest by Eng- 
land as a hap])y relief."^ 

Early in the month of May, 1623, the first shipload of permanent 
settlers from Holland came up New York Bay. They were Walloons 
— thirty families of them, — from the southern or Belgic provinces of 
the Lower Countries, which, having a strongly preponderating pro- 
Catholic element, had declined to Join the northern Protestant prov- 
inces in the revolt against Spain. These Walloons, stanch Hugue- 
nots in religious profession, finding life iutoh'rable in tlieir native 
hind, removed, lilvC the sturdy English dissenters, to Holland, and 
there giatlly embraced opportunity to obtain jiermanent shelter from 
jxTsecution, as well as homes for themse]\ es and tlieir families, in the 
new cniintries of America. They were not Hollanders, and ha<l noth- 
ing in common with the Dutch e.\cept similarity of religion; thej' did 
not even speak the Dutch language, but a French dialect. The ship 
which bore them, the " New Net lierland," \^■as a fine vessel for those 
(lays, of 2(>() tons burden. It came by way of the Canaries and the 
^\'est Indies, and Mas under the protecting escort of an armed yacht, 
the "Mackerel." The whole expedition was conimand(^d by Cajitain 
Coi'uelius Jacobsen May, in whose honor ("a]>e May. the norihcni pi-o- 
UKintory at the eutrance to Delaware P>ay, was named. He was con- 
stituted the governor of the colony, with liead(]uarters in Delaware 
]>ay. He at once divided the settlers into a number of small parties. 
Some were left on ^lanhattan Islaml, and others were (lis])atched to 
Long Island (where the familiar local nanu' of the Wallabout still 
lireserves the mennu'v of the Walloons), to Staten Island, to Connecti- 
cni, to the vicinity of Albany, and to the T>elaware or South l»iver — al- 
though the families locating on theDelawaiv returned to the northern 
settlements after a brief sojourn. It does not appear I hat any of these 
fii-st colonists were placed in Westchester County, or eveu Avithiu the 
northern limits of Manhattan Island. Arriving in May, with seeds and 
agricultural implements, they Avere able to raise and garner a year's 
cro]!, and conse(]uently suffered none of the hardshi]is which iiinde the 
lot of the Puritans during their first winter at Plymouth so bitter. Al- 
though distributed into little bauds, which might have been easily ex- 
terminated by organized attacdc, they sustained, moreover, peaceful 
relations with the Indians. Thus from the very start fortune favored 
the enterprise of European colonization in New York. 

Having in this and the preceding chapter, with tolerable regard for 
proportions, as well as attenticm to minuteness in the more important 

' Van Pelt's Hist, of tlie Greater New York. i.. \^. 



72 HlSTOItY OF WESTCHKSTER COUNTY 

matters of detail, outlined the general conditions prevailing pre- 
viously to and at the time of discovery, and traced the broader histor- 
ical facts preliminary to the settlement of Westchester County, we 
shall now, in entering upon the period when that settlement began, 
have mainly to do with the exclusive aspects of our county's gradual 
development, giving proper notice, however, to the general history and 
conditions of the changing times as the narrative progresses. 



CHAPTER IV 

EARLIEST SETTLERS — BRONCK, ANNE HUTCHINSON, THROCKMORTON, 

CORNELL 




URING the first fifteen or so years after the begiimiii;;- of the 
colonization of New Netherland there was no attempt at 
settlement north of the Harlem Ki^er, so far as can be de- 
tcrminrd from the records that have come down to us. The 
earliest recorded occupation of Westchester laud by an actual white 
settler dates from about 1639. At that pei"iod at least one man of 
note and substance, Jonas Bronck, laid out a farm and erected a 
dwelling above the Harlem. That he had predecessors in that sec- 
tion is extremely improbable. The entire Westchester peninsula at 
that time was a wilderness, inaccessible from Manhattan Island, ex- 
cept by boat.^ The colony proper, as inaugurated by the few families 
of Walloons, wlio came over in ir)23, and as subsecnu'utly enlarged by 
gradual additions, was at the far southern end of Manhattan Island, 
whei-e a fort was built for the general security, and wlu-re alone ex- 
isted facilities for trade and social intercourse. To this spot and its 
immediate vicinity settlemoit was necessarily coufined for some 
years; and tlnnigh by degrees certain enterprising persons took up 
lamJs considerably farther north, steadily pushing on to the Harlem, 
it is most uiiliki'ly that that stream was crossed for purposes ot habi- 
tation by any uuremembered adventurer before the time of Bronck. 
Certainly any earlier migration into a region utterly uniidiabited ex- 
cept by Indians, and separated by water from all communication witli 
the established settlements, would have been an event of some im- 
portance, which hardly could have escaped mention. We may there- 
fore witli reasonable safety assume that Bronck, the first white resi- 
dent in Westchester County of whom history leaves any trace, was 



' That is. not conveniently or for practical 
purposes accessible otlierwise. At Kingsliridgc, 
the place of divide between Spu.vten Duyvii 
Creek and the Harlem River— known in the 
earliest times as " the fording place "—ven- 
turesome persons would occasionally ford the 
stream. In the journals of Jasper Dankers and 
Peter Sluyter— a narrative of a visit to New 
York In 1670— it is related (p. 135) that people 
" can go over this creek at dead low water 



upon rocks and reefs at the place called Spyt 
den duyvel " (the original name of Kings- 
bridge). The editor of this History has crossed 
there when Ashing, finding the passage reason- 
ably safe at '" dead low water." .4t other 
times, when the tide was higher but not full, 
it was fnrdablc. although dangerous, the ele- 
ment of risk being enlarged t\v the rapidity of 
tile current. 



74 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



the first in fact, aud that with his coming, about the year 1G39, the 
annals of the civilized occupation of our couuty begin. 

The little colony of Walloons landed on Manhattan Island by the 
ship " New Netherland '' in the spring of 10:23 was, as we have seen, 
only one of several infant colonies planted on the same occasion and 
governed by a director of the Dutch West India Company, who had his 
hcadiiuarters in Delaware Bay. The tirst director, 0)ruelius Jacob- 
sen May, was succeeded at the expiration of a year by William Ver- 
hulst, who in 1026 was replaced by Peter Minuit. Previously to 
Minuit's ai)p()intment little effort had been made to give a formal 
character to the administration of tlie local affairs of New Nether- 
laud, although the interests of I lie selth'uieuts were not ueglect(vl. 
In 1025 wheeled ■\('liic]es were introduced, aud a large imx)ortaliou of 
domestic animals from llolhind w.is made, including horses, cattle, 

s\\iue, aud sheep. More- 
l ,.v - X over, some new families 

' s>«-jr. ■'. s ;^ii,i single people, mostly 

Walloons, Avere brought 
o\-er. 

\Mth the arrival of Peter 
-Miuuit, as director-geu- 
eral, on IMay 4. liiL'O, The 
roucerus of the colony tirst 
came under a carefully 
ordered scheme of manage- 
ment. The settlemeuts in 
New Y(uk Bay were now 
made the .seat of govern- 
lueiit of New Netherland. 
The director-geueral A\"as 
to exercise the functions of 
chief executive, subject to 
the advice of a council of, 
five members, which, be- 
sides acting as a legis- 
lative and general admin- 
istrative body, Avas to. con- 
stitute a tribunal for the 
trial of all cases at law 
arising, both civil and 
criminal. There were two oilier ollicers of importance^' — a secretary 
oft he council and a sthout-tiscaal. The latter performed the com- 
bined duties of public jtrosecutor, treasurer, and sheriff. There was 




KIKtT S MDDE OF FUNISUMKNT. 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 75 

no provision for representative government, although it was custom- 
ary in cases of considerable public moment to call in some of the prin- 
cipal citizens as advisers, who in such circumstances had an equal 
voice w'ith the members of the council. Of this custom the directors 
sometimes took advantage in order to place the responsibility for 
serious and perhaps questionable acts of policy upon the citizens. 
The conduct of Director Kieft in entering upon his course of violent 
aggression against the Imlians, which resulted in great devastation in 
our county, was given th<' color of popular favor in this manner. 

In the early months of Minuit's administration the Island of Man- 
hattan was purchased from the Indians " for the value of sixty 
guilders," or .|2I. The same ship which carried to Holland the news 
of this transaction bore a cargo of valuable peltries (including 7,240 
beaver skins) and oak and hickoiy timber. The first year of Minuit's 
directorship was also signalized by the dispatching of an embassy 
to New England, jiartly with the object of cultivating trade relations 
with the Puritan settlers, but mainly in connection with the rival 
English and Dutch territorial claims. Thus at the very outset of 
systematic government by the Dutch in their new possessions the 
controA-ersy with England, destined to be settled thirty-seven years, 
later by the stern law of the stronger, came forward as a subject 
requiring special attention. 

It should not be supposed that the settlement on Manhattan Island 
at this early period enjoyed any pretensions as a community. Indeed, 
it had scarcely yet risen to true communal dignity. According to 
Wassanaer, the white poi^ulation in 1628 was 270. But this number 
did not I'epresent any particularly solid organization of people com- 
posed of energetic and elfective elements. The settlers up to this 
time were almost exclusively refugees from religious persecution, 
■who came for the emergent reason that they were witliout h(>mes in 
Eui'ope — mostly honest, sturdy people, but poor and unresourceful. 
The inducements so far offered by the West India Company were not 
sufliciently attractive to draw other classes to their transatlantic 
lands, and the natural colonists of the New Xetherland, the yeomen 
and linrghers of the United rrovinces, finding no appearance of ad- 
vantage to offset the plain risks involved in emigi'ation, were very 
reluctant to leave their native country, where conditions of life were 
comfortable and profitable much beyond the average degree. This 
reluctance was alluded to in the following strong language in a re- 
port made to the States-General by the Assembly of the XIX. in 1029: 
" The colonizing such wild and uncultivated countries demands more 
inliabitants than we can well supply; not so much through lack of 
population, in which our provinces abound, as from the fact that all 



V" 



76 HISTOi:V OF WESTCHESTER (.'OIXTV 






/^va.w^\ i„^-^c^ cj,^y^ t7«'-^'^ •-■ ^ n."'^ ■^'"^ "^^ '^-v •'*'-^ 

^y^w^ V .iJoM »/? >«"-^> A .. A ii«. f{t~jrviA A./rfy,', Mc^-ttMyi-'i-" <■•«*" v-A V»4'ffi*^M<»* V^'-^ 









THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 77 




•^u-SJ ?«■ iraiiX'-j Lat^Lf t-t4miU» t'.'WM^ (^C{cnr*-f- W¥in>t^ . i^C, *n'o-<>«m>-> «u>Jv- 



CHARTER OF NEW NETHERLAND. 



Avbo are inclined to do any sort of worlc here procure enough to eat 
without any trouble, and are therefore unwilling to go far from home 
on an uncertainty." 

It accordingly became a matter of serious consideration for the 
company to devise more effective colonizing plans. After careful 
deliberation, an elaborate series of provisions to this end Avas drawn 
up, entitled " Freedoms and Exemptions granted by the Assembly of 
the XIX. of the Privileged West India Company to all such as shall 
plant any C(donies in Xew Xetherland," which in June, 1G29, received 
the ratification of the States-General. As this document «as the 
basis ujion which the celebrated patroonships, including the patroon- 
ship of Youkers, were founded, a brief summary of i1 is in order. 

Any member of the West India Company who should settle a " col- 
onie " (i. e., a plantation or landed proprietorship) in New Netherland 
was entitled to become a beneficiary of the Privileges and Exemptions, 
but tiiat right was witliheld from all other persons. The whole coun- 



78 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



.>n 



try was tlirowu open midn- the offer, exceptiug "the Ishuul of Man- 
hattan," wliich was reserved to the company. A coh^nie, within the 
meaning of the document, was to be a settlement of " fifty souls, up- 
wards of fifteen years old," one-fourth to be sent during the first yeai- 
and the remainder before the expiration of the fourth year. Everyone 
complying with these conditions was to be acknowledged a patroon of 
New Xetherland. The landed limits of the patroonships were exten- 
sible sixteen P^nglish miles " along the shore — that is, on one side of 
a navigable river, or eight miles on each side of a river — and so far 
into the country as the situation of the occupiers will permit"; 
and the company waived all pecuniary considera- 
tion for the land, merelj^ requiring settlement. 
Upon the patroons was conferred the right to 
" forever possess and enjoy all the lands h'ing 
within the aforesaid limits, together with the 
fruits, rights, minerals, rivers, and fountains 
tliereof; as also the chief command and lower 
jurisdiction, fishing^ fowling, and grinding, to the 
exclusion of all others, to be holden from the 
company as a perpetual inheritance." In case 
" anyone should in time prosper so much as to 
found one or more cities," he was to " have power 
and authority to establish officers and magis- 
trates there, and to make use of the title of his 
colonie according to his pleastire and the quality 
of the persons." The patroons were directed to 
furnish their settlers with " proper instructions, in 
order that tlicy may be ruled and governed conformably to the rule of 
government made or to be made by the Assembly of the XIX., as well 
in the political as in the judicial government." i^])ecial privileges of 
traffic along the whole American coast from Fhirida to Xewfound- 
land were bestowed tipon the patroons, with the proviso that their 
returning ships shotild land at Maidiattan Island, and that five per 
cent, of the value of the cargo shotild be paid to the company's ofHcers 
there. It was even permitted to the patroons to traffic in New Neth- 
erland waters, although they were strictly forbidden to receive in ex- 
change any article of peltry, "which trade the company reserve to 
themselves." Xevertheless they Avere free to engage in the coveted 
peltry trade at all places where the Company had no trading station, 
on condition that they should " bring all the peltry they can ])rocure " 
either to Manhattan Island or direct to the Netherlands, and pay to 
the com])any " one guilder for each merchantable beaver and otter 
skin." The (•omi)any engaged to exempt the colonists of the patroons 




DUTCH PATROON. 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 19 

from all " customs, taxes, excise, imports, or any other contributions 
for the space of ten years." In addition to the grants to the patroons, 
it was provided that pri^ ate persons, not enjoying the same privileges 
as the patroons, who should be inclined to settle in New Netherland, 
should be at liberty to take up as much laud as they might be able 
properly to improve, and to " enjoy the same in full property." The 
principle of recompense to the Indians for the lauds, as a necessary 
preliminary to legal ownership, was laid down in the stipulation that 
" whoever shall settle any colouit- outside of Manhattan Island shall 
be obliged to satisfy the Indiaus for the land they shall settle upon." 
The patroous and colonists were ciijoiued "in particular and in the 
speediest manner " to " endeavor to tiud out ways and means wliereby 
they may support a minister and schoolmaster, that thus the service 
of God and zeal for religion may not grow cool and be neglected 
among them." With an eye to possible infringements upon the com- 
mercial monopoly of the company, the colonists were prohibited from 
making any woolen, linen, or cotton cloth, or weaving any other stuffs, 
on pain of banishment. The universal recognition in those times of 
the propriety and expediency of employing negro slaves in new coun- 
tries found expression in Article XXX. of the instrument, as follows: 
" The company will use their endeavors to supply the colonists with 
as many blacks as they conveniently can, on the conditions hereafter 
to be made; in such manner, however, that they shall not be bound 
to do it for a longer time than they shall think proper."" 

So far as this new system of " Freedoms and Exemptions " was in- 
tended to encourage proprietary enterprises in Xew Xetherland. its 
purposes were at once realized. Indeed, even before the tinal ratiti- 
cation of the plau, several of the leading shareholders of the com- 
pany sent agents across the water to select the choicest domains, 
which were duly confirmed to them as patroous soon after the charter 
went into effect. Thus Samuel Godyu and Samuel Blommaert, 
through their representatives, made purchases of land from the 
Indiaus on Delaware Bay, one hundred and twenty-eight miles long 
and eight miles broad, and were created patroons in consequence. 
The first patroonship erected within the borders of the State of Xew 
York was that of Eensselaerswyck, comprising territory on both 
banks of the upper Hudson, of wiiich Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, of Am- 
sterdam, was the founder. This great tract was subsequently changed 
into an English manor, and continued under the proprietorship of a 
single hereditary owner until near the middle of the present century. 
Another of the early patroons, Michael Pauw, acquired lands on the 
west shor(^ of the Xorth River, now occupied by Jersey City and 
Ilobokeu, later adding Staten Islaud to liis possessions, and named 



80 HISTOIiV OF WKSTCHESTEU COUNTY 

the whole district Pavonia. Westchester ( Vuiuty, as au inviting lo- 
cality for a patroonship, did not immediately claim notice; but, as we 
shall see, it received in due time its share of attention in this regard, 
becoming the seat of one of the most noted of all the patroous, Adrian 
Van der Donck. 

Much discontent arose among the general membership of the \Vest 
India Company on account of the land-grabbing operations of the 
wealthy directors, which was intensified as time passed by continuing 
evidences of the self-seeking and general thriftiness of the patroons. 
It was charged that the latter paid little or no heed to the plain spirit 
of the charter of Freedoms and Exenifttions, which in creating the 
patroons had in view essentially the development of the country 
granted to them; and that, instead of settling the land in good faith, 
they sought principally the profits of trade, coming into conflict with 
the interests of the company. One result of the controversy was the 
recall of Minuit, who was supposed to liave shown too mucli partiality 
for the patroons and too little zeal for the protection of the company 
against their jiersonal enterprises. This liappcned in 1633. The 
next director-general was Walter A'an T wilier, A\ho remained in of- 
fice until 1638, being dismissed for promiscuous irregularities of con- 
duct, both official and personal. 

From the pages of De Laet, the historian of the West India Com- 
pany, ^ve obtain an interesting statement of the fiscal affairs of New 
Netherland to the close of Minuit's directorship — that is, to the end of 
the first term of organized government. The total exports of the 
Province of New Netherland from its foundation to the beginning of 
1683 amounted in value to 454,127 florins. The value of the imports 
during the same time was 272,847 florins. Thus for the nine years 
the company realized a profit on trade transactions of 181,280 florins, 
or about f8,000 annually. This was an exceedingly trifling return 
on a capitalization of nearly three millions of dollars, and it is no 
wonder that the practical-minded merchants who controlled the com- 
pany began to look in a decidedly pessimistic spirit at the whole XeAV 
Netherkind undertaking, and as time went by conceived a fix(.'d indif- 
ference to the local welfare of such barren and unprofitable settle- 
ments. On the other hand, the company was earning magnificent 
sums in prize money from its captures of the enemy's merchaiit ships, 
and was di'awing handsome revenues from the newly conquered 
dominions in i^ontli America and the West Indies. Tlie cont.'mpt in 
which New Netherland came to be held bec^ause of its unproductive- 
ness is strikingly illustrated by the selections of men to manage its 
affairs, ^"an TA\iller, who succeeded ^Minuit, was a mere coarse buf- 
foon; and Kieft, who followed \'an Twiller, was a cruel and vulgar 



THE EAKIJEST SETTLERS 81 

despot, win) from the first regarded lii.s pusilioii as that of sovereign 
lord of the country, and proceeded to rule it by his arbitrary- will, dis- 
pensing with a council. It is sufficient to contrast these selections of 
rulers for New Netherlaud with the choice of Prince Maurice of Nas- 
sau for governor of the Province of Brazil, to appreciate the compar- 
atively low and scornful estimation placed tipou the North American 
realms in the inner councils of the West India Company after due 
experience iu their attempted exploitation. According to an explicit 
" Keport on the Condition of New Netherland," presented to the 
States-deneral iu 1038, the company declared that up to that time it 
had suffered a net loss in its New Netherland enterprise; that it was 
utterly unable to people the country; and that " nothing now comes 
from New Netherland but beaver skins, minks, and other furs." 

Closely following the submission of this significant report came a 
new dejiarture in policy as to colonization, which had far-reaching ef- 
fects, and under Miiicli before long a tide of immigration began to roll 
iiiio our section. 

Kealizing at last that the splendid scheme of patroonshi])s, or a 
landed aristocracy, instittited in l(i29, ai)[)ealed only to a limit<'d class 
of ambitious and wealthy men, who could never be relie<l upon to per- 
form the tedious and financially hazardous work of settling the cotiu- 
iry with a purely agricultural iM)])ulatiou, the 8tates-<ieueral on Sep- 
tember 2, l(i3S, at tlie instance of the company, made jcnowu to the 
woiid that henceforth the soil of New Netherland would be ojien to 
all conu'rs, of whatever position in society, whetlu'r natives of the 
home country or inhabitants of other nations not at Avar willi the 
Netlierlands. The specific terms attached to this very radical jiropo- 
sition were the following: 

"All and every the inhabitants of this State, or its allies and 
friends," were invited to take up and ctiltivate lands in New Nether- 
land, and to engage iu traffic with the people of that region. Per-, 
sons taking advantage of the offer of traffic were required to have 
tlieir goods conveyed on tlie ships of the West India Company, ])aying 
an export duty of ten per cent, on merchandise sent out from the 
ports of the Netherlands, and an import duty of fifteen per cent, on 
merchandise brought thither from New Netherland. These certainly 
were not onerous customs exactions. l{esi)ecting individuals, of 
wliaiever nationality, flesiring to acMjuire and cultivate laud, the di- 
iimIui- and council w(>re instructed "to accommodate everyone, ac- 
cording to his condition and means, with as much land as he can prop- 
erly cultivate, either by himself or with his family." The land thus 
conceded was to become absolute prixate ])ro]>erty. and to be free 
from burdens of every kind until after it had been pastured or cuUi- 



82 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



viilcd lour years; but subsequi'utly To thai pcTiod the owuer was to 
pay to the company " the lawful tenths of all fruit, grain, seed, to- 
baroo, cotton, and sucli like, as well as of the increase of all sorts of 
cattle." Those establishinji themselves in New Xetherland umler this 
offer were bound to submit themselves to the regulations and orders 
of the company, and to the local laws and courts; but there was no 
stipuhition for the renunciation of allegiance to foreign potentates. 
Considering the illiberal tendency of international relations prevalent 
in the seventeenth century, and the native self-sufficient character of 
the Dutcli race, this whole measure is remarkable for its broad and 
generous spirit. There Avas no allusion in it to 
the subject of religious conformity, and the per- 
fect toleration thus implied afforded a strong in- 
ducement to persons growing restive under the 
narrow institutions of the English colonies. This 
element, migrating from Xew England, found 
the shores of Westchester County most con- 
venient for settlenu'ut, and became one of the 
most important and aggressive factors of our 
cai-ly ])opiilation. 

'I'lie noteworthy measure of 1G3S, whose pro- 
visions we have just analyzed, Avas supple- 
mented in July, 1(;40, by an act of the States- 
(ieu'M'al effecting a tliorough revision of the 
charter of Freedoms and Exemptions of 1029. 
The i^atroonships wei-c not abrogated, but the 
right to be chosen as patroous was no longer 
confined to mendjers of the company, and the 
in-ivileges and powei-s of the patroons were sub- 
jected to considerable modification. The legal 
limits of their estates Avere reduced to four English miles along the 
shore, although they miglil extend eiglit miles landward in; and the 
planting of their "colonies" Avas reiiuired to be completed within 
three instead of four years. Trade inivileges along the coast outside 
of the Dutch dominions were continued ;is beft)re; but Avithin the ter- 
ritory of New Netherland no one Avas ]iermitte<l to comitete with the 
ships of the company, excepting that fishing f()r cod and tlie like was 
allowed, on condition that the fisherman should sail direct to some 
European country with his catch, putting in at a Xethevlauds ])ort to 
pay a i)rescribed duty to the company. In this act uuudi greater rela- 
tive importance Avas attached to the siibject of free colonists, or colo- 
nizers other than ](atroous, than in the origiiial charter of 1020, the 
object manifestly being to assure the public that New Netherland Avas 




DUTCH t'llCNTUV PEOI'I.K. 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 83 

not a country set apart for lords and o-entlemen, but a Uuul thrown 
open in the most comprehensive' way to the common people. Free 
colonists were detined to be those who should " remove to New 
Netherland with five souls above fifteen years," and all such were, to 
be granted by the director-jieneral " one lumdred moriiens (two hun- 
dred acres) of land, contiguous one to the other, wherever they please 
to select." The colonists were put on precisely the same footing as 
the patroons in matters of trade privilege, and, in fact, enjoyed all the 
material rights granted to the patroons except those of bearing a title 
and administering great landed estates, which, however, were equally 
within their reach in case of their ability to comply with the require- 
ment for the transportation from the old country and introduction! 
into the new of fifty bona fide settlers. The company assumed the 
resjtonsibility of providing and maintaining " good and suitable 
preachei"s, schoolmasters, and comforters of the sick'; and it ex- 
tended to the free colonists, no less than the colonists of the patroons, 
exem]ition from all taxes for a certain period. The former clause 
regarding negroes A\as renewed in about the same language, as fol- 
lows: "The company shall exert itself to provide the patroons and 
colonists, on their order, with as many blacks as possible, witliout, 
however, being further or longer obligated thereto than shall be 
agreeable." 

Thus from 1629 to KUO three distinct i)lans for promoting the set- 
tlement of New Netherland were formulated and si)read before the 
public. Tlie first plan, after being tested for nine years, was found a 
<om])h'Ie failure, because based upon the theory that colonization 
should naturally and would most effectively proceed from the patron- 
age of the rich, who, acquiring as a free gift the honors of title and 
the dignities of landed proprietorship, would, it was thought, readily 
supi»oi-t those honors and dignities by the substance of an established 
vassalage. It was soon found that such a theory Avas quite incapable 
of apj)lication to a country as yet undeveloped, and that the sole reli- 
able and solid colonization in the conditions which had to be dealt 
with would be that pursued on the democratic princii)le and under- 
taken in their independent capacity by citizens of average means and 
ordinary aims. Tt stands to the credit of the West India Company 
and tlie Dutch government that, having discovered their fundamental 
eri'oi- of judgment in the first plan of settlement, they lost no time in 
framing another, which was made particularly judicious and liberal 
in its scope and details, and was as successlul in its workings as the 
original scheme had been disappointing. 

We have now arrived at the ju-riod indicated at the beginning of 
this chapter as that of the appearance of tlie first known settlers 



84 HISTORY OF WKSTCHESTKR COUNTY 

withiu the original liistoiic borders of our Comity of Wcslcheslfr. 
The attention of the Dutch pioneers on Mauliattan Island had early 
been directed to this pictures(iu<' and jdcasant region, and it is a 
pretty well accei)ted fact that some land purchases were made from 
the Westchester Indians antedating 1G39, although tin- records of 
these assumed transactions have been lost. The most ancient deed 
to Westchester lands which has been ])reserved to the itrescut day 
bears date of August 3, 1031), and by its terms the Indians dispose of 
a tract called Keskeskeck; the West India Com]iany being the pur- 
chasers, through their representative, Ccn-nelius A'au Tienhoven, pro- 
vincial secretary to Director Kielt. 

In the next year Van Tienhoven was dispatclied by Kieft on similar 
important business to this same section; and, Aj^ril 19, bought from 
the Hlwanoy Indians all the lands located in the southeastern portion 
of Westchester County, running as far eastward in Connt'cticut as the 
Xorwalk Kiver. The instructions uuder which he acted directed him 
to ])urchase the archipelago, or grou]) of islands, at the luoulh (»f the 
Norwalk Elver, together with all the adjoining territory on the main- 
land, and "to erect thereon the standard and arms of the High and 
IMighty Lords States-* ieneraj ; to take the savages under our protec- 
tion, and to prevent effectually any other nation encroaching on our 
limits." The ]mrchase of KIIO was in the line of state policy, being 
conceived and consummated as a countercheck to the English, who, 
having by this tiiue appeared in considerable numbers on the banks of 
the Connecticut River, were making active pretensions to the whole 
Avestern territory along the Sound and iu the interior, and were thus 
seriously menacing the integrity of tiie ! »utch colonial empire. 

^^'e may liere a])])ropriately ]iausi' to glance at some ]>ertiiu^nt as- 
pects of l>i-i1ish cohniial ]>rogress in New ICngland — asjiects with 
which, we shall be bound to grant, those of ci>ntein]i(iiaueons Dutch 
deA'elo])iiient in New Xetlicrland do not couqiare o\cr-favorably. 

The Pilgrims of the "Maytiower" landed on I'lyiiioutli IJock late in 
the month of December, 1()2(), a little more than two yeais before the 
original coni]>auy of Walloons came to Xew Yoi-k Day on the shiji 
"New Xetherlaml." The first I'ritisli settlement in New England and 
the lirst Dutch settlement in New Netlierland wei'i' thus inaugurated 
almost simultaneously, the former having a slight ad\an1age as to 
time, and the latter a consideiable one in tlu^ ](ossession ot a more 
genial climate, a less stubborn soil, and a supefior natural location, 
as also in the enjoyment of a more powei-fnl, interested, and liberal 
hoiue ])atronage. Erom the ](arent settlement at lM_Mnoutli, the Eng- 
lish not only rapidly ad\anced into the whole suiidunding country, 
but in the course of a few years sent colonizing ](ai-liesto (piite remote 



THE EAULIEST SETTLEUS 85 

lociililics; and w licrevrr an Eniilisli advance colony i:,aiiicd a foot- 
hold, I here perniaucut and cncryctic settlement was certain very 
speedily to follow. As early as 1()33 a ninnbcr of Knjilislinien from 
Massachusetts, desiring to invcstiiiate tlic Indi;ui stories of a Itcttcr 
soil to the south, came and established themselves in the Connecticut 
^'alley. Shortly after^^ard a jiatcnt for this region was obtained 
from the British crown by Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brocdi, and otiiers. 
In 103() John W'intlirop, son of (iovernor W'inthrop, settled on tiie 
Connecticut with a goodly compiiny; and in 1038 TheoY)hilus Eaton, 
with the noted IJev. John Davenjiort, led a large band of settlers to 
the same locality, planting the New Haven colony. IJliode Island 
^as brought undei' settlement also at tluit ]ieriod by Koger Williams 
and other dissidents from tiie intolerant religious institulions of 
Massachusetts. 

Now, the English, in establishing im])ortant and flourishing settle- 
ments throughout Connecticut and lihode Island, were, technically 
speaking, not in advance of the Dutch. The Dutch were the undis- 
jmted tirst discoverers nf the entire Connecticut and Rhode Island 
coastline, along which the intrei>id navigator Block sailed in ltll4. 
Later, Dutch voyagers returned to those shores and trafticked with 
the natives; and finally, in l(i23, when Director May arrived in New 
York harbor on his mission of colonization from the West India Com- 
pany, he dispatched a number of his Walloon families to the mouth of 
the Connecticut Kiver. At the same place the arms of the States- 
(ieneral of the Netherlands were formally erected in 1032, and in 1G33 
Director-General Van Twiller bought from the Indians a tract of land 
called Connittelsock, situated on the western Connecticut bank, on 
which tract, at a point sixty miles above the mouth of the stream, a 
Dutch fort and trading-house, named (Jood Hope, were built. In- 
deed, the English jdoneers of 1(533, proceeding down the Connecticut, 
found the Dutch already in possession there. 

But the Dutch occupation of the mouth and valley of the Connec- 
ticut Ikiver was never otlierwise than merely nominal, a fact which, in 
view of the easily conceivable future importance of that quarter in 
connection with the maintenance of Dutch territorial claims, is cer- 
tainly striking, and characteristically illusirates Dutch deliberation 
and inefficiency in colonizing development as contrasted with English 
alacrity and llidroughness. Moreover, all the connecting circum- 
stances indicate that the establishment by the Dutcli of a fort and 
trading-pt)st on the T'onnecticut was not ]ironi])ted by serious designs 
of consecutive settlement, bui was a pure extemi>ori/.ation in the in- 
terest of ultimate insistence ujxtn lawful ownershiii of that region. 
Erom K;:.':!, the year in which ^fanhattan Island was icgularly settled. 



86 HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTEU COUNTY 

until 1G39, a period of sixteen years, not a single Dutcli colony had 
been founded, and probably not a single Duteli family had taken up 
its abode, in all the country intervening between the Harlem and the 
Connecticut Elvers — a country splendidly wooded and Avatered, with 
a highly interesting coast and rich alluvial lands, and vastly im- 
portant as an integral and related portion of the dominions of New 
Netherland. It may perhaps be replied that the whirlpool of Hell 
Gate presented a natural obstacle to convenient intercourse with the 
shores of the Sound, and consequently to advantageous settlement in 
the entire traus-Harlfiu counfry. But if the Manhattan Island col- 
ony had been animated by any noticeable spirit of progress, it would 
not have alloAved sixteen years to pass without finding access to this 
region, either from the northern extremity of Manhattan Island or 
from the Long Island side. The truth is, there was no general devel- 
opment by the Dutch even of Manhattan Island during the period in 
question. Only its scuithi-rn end was occupied by any regular aggre- 
gation of settlers, and this aggregation still existed mainly for the 
business of bartering with the Indians and sending to Holland " beav- 
er skins, minks, and other furs," the only products which, as declared 
in the " lieport of 1G3S on the Condition of New Netherland," were 
afforded by the province. 

To review the comi)arative situation in 1640, Avbile the English had 
steadily and systematically advanced as an earnest and practical col- 
onizing people, covering the land from Plymouth Rock to the Sound 
with organized settlements which sought the immediate develo])ment 
of all its available resources, the Dutch had remained stationary, with 
only a single settlement worthj' of consideration. It is true they had 
located and occupied a few trading-posts in and around New York 
Bay, as well as in distant parts of New Netherland — in Delaware Bay, 
on the upper Hudson at Albany, and on the Connecticut Eiver. But 
these enterprises represented in no case creditable colonizing en- 
deavor. 

It has been seen that, in the years 1639 and IGiO, Cornelius \'iiu 
Tienlioven, as the representatiA e of Director-General Kieft, purchased 
from the Indians, first, a large Westchester tract called Keskeskeck, 
and, second, lands covering generally the southeastern section of this 
county and extending to the Norwalk Kiver. This was done to fore- 
stall English claims to priority of possession, at that time conspicu- 
ously in course of preparation. But even in this matter of laud jmr- 
chases the Dutch were scarcely aforetime of the alert English. To 
the latter, also, the Indians executed a deed of sale, embracing exten- 
sive j)ortions of Westchester County, and nearly as ancii'ut as the first 
Dutch land deed. On July 1, 1640, Captain Nathaniel Turner, in be- 



THE EARLIEST SETTI.EUS 87 

half of llif New Haven colony (Quinnipiacke), bought from Pouus, 
sagamore of Toquams, ami Wascussue, sagamore of Shippau, lands 
running eight miles along the Sound and extending sixteen miles into 
the northwestern wilderness. This tract was comprehensively known 
by the name of " The Toquams." Ponus prudently reserved for him- 
self " the liberty of his corn and pasture lands." It included, in Con- 
necticut, the present Town of Stamford, as well as Darien and New 
Canaan, and parts of Bedford and Greenwich; and, in Westchester 
County, the Towns of I'ouudridge, Bedford, and North Castle, either 
in whoh' or in part. On the basis of this purchase, the settlement at 
Stamford, Conn., was laid out in 1641. In 1655 the bargain of 1640 
was reattirmed by a new agreement with the Indians respecting the 
same district. No early settlements in the Westchester sections of 
the tract were attempted by the English; but it is an interesting point 
to bear in mind that the interior sections of this county bordering on 
Connecticut v\ere first bought from the Indians not under Dutch but 
under English auspices, and thus that the English fairly share with 
the Dutch the title to original sovereignty in Westchester County, so 
far as that title can be said to be sustained by the right of mere 
purchase. 

There was a second English purchase from the Indians in 1640, 
which t-onstructively may have included some parts of \Vestchester 
County. Mehackem, Narawake, and Pemeate, Indians of Norwalk, 
agreed to convey to Daniel Patrick, of Greenwich, all their lands on 
the west side of " Norwake IJiver, as far up in the country as an 
Indian can goe in a day, from sun risinge to sun settinge," the consid- 
eration being " ten fathoms wamimni, three liatchets, three bows, six 
glasses, twelve tobacco pipes, three knives, tenn drills, and tenn 
needles." 

It was a year or two previously to 1640 that Jonas Bronck, gener- 
ally regarded as the first white inhabitant of Westchester County, 
came across tiie Harlem Kiver to take up land and build a home. He 
was not a native Hollander, being, it is supposed, of vSwedish extrac- 
tion. But he appears to have made his home in Amsterdam, where 
he was married to one Antonia (or Teuntje) Slagboom. While there 
is no evidence that he was a man of large wealth, it is abundantly 
manifest that he was quite comfortably circumstanced in worldly 
goods. I'nquestionably his sole object in emigrating to New Nether- 
lanil was to acquire and cultivate land, probably under the liberal 
general offer to persons of all nations proclaimed by the States-Gen- 
eral in 1638. He was, therefore, one of the first of the new and more 
substantial class of men who began to remove hither after the substi- 
tution by the West India Company of a broad and democratic plan of 



88 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

coloui/aiiiiii fdi- the old rxchisivc scliciiic of special privileges to the 
patrooiis. Sailiug from Anisierdain in a ship of the coiiipauy's, with 
his wife and family, farmhands and their families, domestic servants, 
cattle, and misc(dlane(His lioods, he landed on Manhattan Island; and, 
not caring to pnrcliase one i>( the compauj' farms there (the whole 
island havinii been expi'essly reserved to the private uses of the West 
India Companyl, proceeded to s(dect a tract in the free lands beyond 
the Harlem. Here, pursuant to the custom peremptorily required by 
Dutch law, he first extinjiuished the Indian title, purchasing;- from 
the native chiefs lvanacli(|ua and Taekamuck five litmdred acres 
" lyiu<; hetweeu the great kill illarlem River) and tin- AlKiuahtmji' " 
(now the ISronx IJiverl. An old "Tracing of I'.ronckslaml " is still 
preserved in the ofiice of the secretary of state at Aloany, upon whicdi 
the house (i\' Jonas liroiudc Is located. Its site as thus indicaled was 
not far from the present dejiot (d' the Harlem Iliver branch of the New 
York, New Haven \- Hartford Railroad, at .Moirisania. This dwelling 
is described as of " stone," covered with tiles, and had connected with 
it a barn, tobacco-house, and two barracks. As the Dutch word for 
stone (xtcriij is always ambiguous unless accompanied by a descrip- 
tive prefix, it is uncertain what kind of building stone, whether brick 
or the native rock of the country, \\as used by Bronck. In view of the 
generally provident character of the man, it is a reasomible stipposi- 
tion that he brought a supply (d' brick with him from Holland; and 
thtis that the first house erected in the county Avas made of that re- 
spectable material. To his estate he gave the Scriptural name of 
Emmiius. From the inventory of the per.sonal property Avhich he 
left at his death, it is (dear that he was a gentleman of cultivation. 
His possessions inclmled pictures, a silver-mounted gun, silver cups, 
spoons, tankards, bowls, fine bedding, satin, grosgrain stiits, linen 
shirts, gloves, nai)kins, tablecloths, and as many as fm-ty books. The 
books were largely godly volumes, among them being Calvin's " Insti- 
tutes," Luther's "Psalter" and "Complete Catechism," the " Praise 
of (Mirist," the " Four Ends of Death," and " Fifty Pictures of Death." 
Bromk died in 1(143. The celebrated Everardus Bogardus, the 
Dut(di doniine on .Manhattan Island and husband of Anneke Jans, 
superintended the inventorying of his estate. His widow married 
Arent \'an Corlaer, sheriff of Bensselaerswyck. Jonas Bronck left a 
son, Peter, who went with his mother to her new* h()nie,and from whoni 
the nunu'i-ous Bronx family of Albany and vicinity is descended. The 
Bronck ]iro])erty on the Harlem was sold on July 10, l(>ol, to Jacob 
Jans Stall. Om- of its subseciuent owners was Samuel Edsall, a 
beaver-maker and man of some note in New York City, Avho had trade 
transactions with the Indians, became versed in their laniiuauc and 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 89 

iictiMl ollicinllv as interpreter. He sold it to Captain Richard .Morris, 
and it subsequently became a jiart of the Manor of Morrisania. 

The Bronx L'iver, first known as lironck's Kiver, or the Bronck 
Kiver, was appropriately so called for this pioneer settler on its 
banks; and from the stream, in our own day, has been derived the 
name given to the whtde great and populous territory which West- 
chester County has resigned to the growing municipal needs of the 
City of New York. Whatever changes in local designations may 
occur in the American metropolis in the progress of time, it is a safe 
prediction that the name of the Borough of the Bronx, so happily 
clHtsen for the annexed districts, will always endure. 

The exami)le of Bronck in boldly venturing over upon the main- 
land would doubtless have found many ready followers among the 
Dutch already on [Manhattan Island, or those who were now arriving 
in constantly increasing numbers from Europe, if the threatening 
aspect of the times had not i)laiuly suggested to everybody the inex- 
pediency of going into an open country exposed to the attacks of the 
Indians. In the summer and fall of 1G41 events occurred which, con- 
sidered in connection with the well-known unrelenting character of 
Director Kieft, foreshadowed serious trouble with the natives; and 
early in the spring of 101:2 a war actually broke forth which, although 
at first conducted without special animosity, developed into a most 
revengeful and sanguinary struggle, with pitiless and undiscriminat- 
ing massacre on botli sides as its distinguishing characteristic. It is 
l)robable that, before the preliminaries of this war had so far de- 
veloped as to fairly warn the people of the impending peril, various 
new Dutch farnis and houses on The Westchester side were added to 
the one already occupied by Bronck. Bi' this at it may, it is certain 
that settlers from the New England colonies had begun to arrive at 
different localities on the Sound. These English settlers, in many re- 
gards the most important and interesting of the Westchester pio- 
neers, now claim a good share of our notice. 

First in point of prominence is to be mentioned the noted Anne 
nutchinson, whose name, like that of Bronck, has become lastingly 
identified with Westchester County by being conferred upon a river. 
Whether she was the first of the immigrants from New England into 
Westchester County, can not be deteruiincd with absolute certainty; 
but there is no (|ii('stion that slie was among tlie very earliest. In the 
summer of lti4li, pei'mission having be<Mi granted her by tlie Dutch 
authorities to make her liome in New Net lici'land, she came to t lie dis- 
trict now known as Pelliani, and on the side of Hutchinson's Kiver 
foundeil a little colony. The coniiiany consisted of her own younger 
chihlren, lier son-in-law, .Mr. Collins, his wife and family, and a few 



90 HISTORY Ol' WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

congenial spirits. In barely a year's time the whole settlement was 
swept to destruction, everybody belonging to it being killed by the 
Indians, with the sole exception of an eight-year-old daughter of Mrs. 
Hutchinson's, who was borne away to captivity. The lady herself 
was burned to death in the flames of her cottage. 

The tragical fate of Anne Uutchinsou is one of the capital historic 
episodes of Westchester annals, because to the personality and career 
of this remarkable woman an abiding interest attaches. It is true 
that interest in Anne Hutchinson, in the form of special sympathy or 
special admiration, may vary according to varying individual capabil- 
ities for appreciation of the polemic type of women; but upon one 
point there can be no disagreement — she was among the foremost 
characters of her times in America, sustaining a conspicuous relation 
to early controversialism in the New England settlements, and must 
always receive attention from the students of that period. 

She was of excellent English birth and connections. Her mother 
was the sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden, and she came collaterally from 
the same stock to which the poet Dryden and (though more distantly) 
the great Jonathan Swift trace their ancestry. Her husband, Mr. 
Hutchinson, is described as " a mild, amiable, and estimable man, 
possessed of a considerable fortune, and in high standing among his 
Puritan contemporaries"; entertaining an unchanging affection for 
his wife, and accompanying her through all her wanderings and 
trials, until removed by death a short time before her fligln to our 
AN'estchester County. Mrs. Hutchinson personally was of spotless 
reputation and high and noble aims; benevolent, self-sacrificing; hold- 
ing the things of the world in positive contempt; an enthusiast in re- 
ligion, independent in her opinions, and fearless in advocacy of them. 
With her husband and their children, she left England and came to 
Massachusetts Bay in 1636. Settling in Boston, she immediately en- 
tered upon a career of religious teaching and proselytizing. " Every 
week she gathered around her in her comfortable dwelling a congre- 
gation of fifty or eighty women, and urged them to repentance and 
good deeds. Soon her meetings were held twice a week; a religious 
revival swept over the colony." But, careful not to offend against the 
decorum of the church, she confined her formal spiritual labors to 
the women, declining to address the men, although many of the latter, 
including some of the principal personages, visited her, and came 
under her personal and intellectual influence. Among her cordial 
friends and supporters were Harry Vane, the young governor of the 
colony; Mr. Colton, the favorite preacher; Coddington, the wealthy 
citizen; and Captain John Underbill, the hero of the Pequod wars, 
who, accepting a commission from the Dutch in their sanguinary 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 91 

struggle with the Indians, was the leader of the celebrated expedi- 
tionary force which, in UUi, the year aftiT the nnirdcr of Mrs. Iliilch- 
inson, marched into the heart of ^^'estchester County and wreaked 
dire vengeance for that and other bloody deeds. To the work of in- 
struction she added a large practical philanthropy, assisting the poor 
and ministering to the sick. 

But it was not long before Mrs. Hutchinson, by the independence of 
her opinions, excited the serious displeasure of the rigid Puritan ele- 
ment. Her precise doctrinal offense against the established stand- 
ards concerned, says a sympathetic writer, " a point so nice and finely 
drawn that the modern intellect passes it by in disdain; a difference 
so faint that one can scarcely represent it in words. Mrs. Hutchinson 
taught that the Holy Spirit was a person and was united with the be- 
liever; the Church, that the Spirit descended upon man not as a per- 
son. Mrs. Hutchinson taught that justification came from faith, and 
not fr(jni works; the Church scarcely ventured to define its own doc- 
trine, but contented itself with vague declamation." Although at 
fli'st the Hutchinsonians were triumphant, especially in Boston, 
where nearly the entire population were on their side, the i^ower of 
the church speedily made itself felt. On August 30, 1G37, the first 
synod held in America assembled at Cambridge, its object being "to 
determine the true doctrines of the church and to discover and de- 
nounce the errors of the Hutchinsonians." Eighty-two heresies were 
defined and condemned, certain individual offenders were punished 
or admonished, and Mrs. Hutchinson's meetings were declared disor- 
derly and forbidden. Meantime Vane bad been deposed as governor, 
and Winthrop, an unrelenting opponent of innovations, elected in his 
stead. In the following November Anne was publicly tried at Cam- 
bridge. "Although in a condition of health that might well have 
awakened manly sympathy, and that even barbarians have been 
known to respect, her enemies slmwed her no compassion. She was 
forced to stand up before the judges until she almost fell to the floor 
from weakness. Xo food was allowed her dui'ing the trial, and even 
the members of the court grew faint from hunger. She was allowed 
no counsel; no friend stood at her side; her accusers were also hei- 
judges." She was condemned by a unanimous vote, and senlenced 
lo be imprisoned during the winter in the house of the iniolerant 
Joseph Welde, and to be banished in the spring from the colony. 
While in duress pending her exile, she was excommunicated by the 
Mrst Church of Boston for " i.-lling a lie." In March, 1G3S. llie 
Hutchinson family left Boston and removed to Rhode Island. There 
riiey r(>mained until after tin- death of ]\rr. Hutchinson, in lfi42. when 
Anne residved to seek another home under tlie Dutch, and came to 
what is now Pelham, at that time a complete wilderness. 



92 HISTORY or WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Thwe is uo record uf land purrhasi' Iroiii llic Indians by Mix. 
Hutehiuson or auj of her party. This is uudoubtediy for the reason 
]M.into(l out by Bolton, that tlie wliole cohmy Avas exterminated before 
[)iU( hase eould be coinpleted. Indeed, it does not appear that even 
the formality of procuriuo; Avritteu license from the Dutch authorities 
to settle in the country had yet been observed. The massacre oc- 
curred in September of 1(>4;). It is said that an Indian came to Mrs. 
Hutchinson's home one moruiuji', professing friendship. Findinji that 
the little colony was utterly defenseless, he returned in the evening 
with a numerous party, wiiich at once proceed(-d to the business of 
slaughter. According to tradition, the leader of the murderous In- 
dians was a chief named Wainpage, who subsequently called himself 
•• Ann-Iloock," following a friMpient custom among the savages, by 
which a warrior or brave assumed the name of his victim. In 1654, 
eleven years later, this Wampage, as one of the i^rincipal Indian pro- 
prietors of the locality, deeded land to Thomas Pell, over tlu- signa- 
ture of •• Anu-Hoock." A portion (d' the peninsula of Pelham Neck 
was h)ng known by the names (d' " Annie's Hoeck " and the " ^lanor 
of Ann Iloeck's Neck." r.olton, referring to various conjeclures as 
to the site of Anne's residence, inclines to tlie opinion that it was 
"located on the jirojierty of George A. Prevoost, Es(|., of Pelham, 
near the road leading to thi' Neck, on the old Indian Path." The 
only one of Mrs. Hutchinson's company spared by the attacking party 
was her youngest daughter, quite a small (diild, who, after being held 
in captivity four years, was rtdeased through the efforts of the Dutch 
governor and restored to her friends; but it is said that she " had 
forgotten her native language, and was unwilling to be taken from 
the Indians." This girl married a 3Ir. ('(de, of Kingston, in the Nar- 
ragansett country, and " lived to a considerable age." One of the 
sons of Anne Tlutchinson, who had remained in lioston when ids par- 
ents and the younger children left there in l(i3S, became the founder 
of an important colonial family, numltering among its members the 
Tory governor Hutihinsun, of the Kev(dution; also a grown-up 
daughter of Mrs. Hutchinson's married and left descendants in New 
England. 

In the autumn of l(i42, a few mouths after Anne ITutcliinson's first 
appearance on the banks of the llutclunson Kiver, the foundations of 
another notable English settlement on the Sound were laid. John 
Throckmorton, in behalf of himself and associates (among whom was 
])robably his friend, Thomas Cornell), obtained from the Dutch gov- 
ernment a license, dated October 2, 1(U2, authorizing settlement 
within three Dutch (tw(dve English) miles "of Amsterdam." In 
this license it was recited that " whereas ^Ir. Throckmorton, with his 



THE EAULIEST SETTLERS 93 

associates, solicits to settle with thirtytive lamilies w iiliin the limits 
of tlie jurisdictiou of their Hi^h Miiihtiiiesses, to reside there iu i)eace 
and <'UJo3- tlie same privileges as our other stilijects, and be favored 
with the free exercise of their reliiiion," and there beiin;- no dansier 
that injnrv to tlie interests of the West India Company would result 
from the proposed settlement, " more so as the Euiilish are to settle 
at a distance of three miles from us,"" '• so it is granted." The locality 
selected by Throckmorton was Throgg's Xeck (so called from his 
name, corrupted into Thro.uinorton), and ap]»arently the colony was 
ItCiiim forthwith. By the ensuinii sjn'iui: various im])rovemenls had 
been made, and on July 6, 1643, a land-brief, signed by IHrector Kieft, 
'• by order of the noble lords, the director and cottncil of New Nether- 
land," was granted to "Jan Throckmorton," coniprising "a jnece of 
land (being a portion of Vredeland), containing as follows: Along the 
East River of New Netherland, extending from the point half a mile, 
which i)iece of land aforesaid is surrounded on one side by a little 
river, and on the other side by a great kill, which river and kill, on 
high water running, meet each other, surrounding the laud." The 
term " \'redeland " mentioned in the brief (meaning Free Land or 
Land of Peace) was the general name given by the Dutch to this and 
ailjaceut territory along the i^ciund, whicli was the chosen i)lace of 
refuge for persons tieeing from New I'^ngland for religious reasons. 

John Throckmorton, the patentee, emigrated from Worcester 
t'ounty, England, to the 3Iassachusetts colony, in 1('(:U. He was iu 
Salem as late as 1(!30; but, embracing the Baptist faith, removed soon 
afterwaril to lihode Island, where he sustained relations of intimacy 
with lloger Williams. It is well known that Williams came to New 
Netherland in the winter of l(iI2-43, in onler to obtain passage for 
Europe on a Dutch vessel, and it is not improbable that Throckmorton 
aci'om]ianied him on his journey to the Dtitch settlements from lihode 
Island. 

One of Throckmorton's c()m]>atiiots was Thomas Coi'nell, who later 
settled and gave his name to ("ornelTs Neck, called by the Indians 
Pnaka])ins. He emigrated to ^lassachusetts from Essex, I'^nghind, 
about l(i;'>(); ke]it an inn in Boston for a time; went to IJliode Island 
in 1(!41; and from there came to the ^'redeland of New Netherland. 
On the 2()th of July, 104(), he was granted by the Dutch a patent to a 
"certain piece of land lying on the East I{i\er, beginning from the 
kill of Broiick's land, east-southeast along the river, extending about 
half a Dutch mile from the river to a little ci-eek over tht^ valley 
(marsh) which runs back around this land." This patent for Cor- 
nell's Neck was issued at about the same lime that the grant to 
Adrian ^'an der Donck of what is now Yonkers was made. The 



94 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Cornell aud Van der Douck patents Avere the first ones of record to 
lands in Westchester County bestowed by Dutch authority subse- 
quently to the Throckmorton grant of 1643. It is claimed for Thomas 
Cornell, of CornelTs Neck, that hv was the earliest settler in West- 
chester County whose descendants have been continuously identified 
with the county to the present day. He was the ancestor of Ezra 
Cornell, founder of Cornell T'uiversity, aud Alonzo B. Cornell, gov- 
ernor of New York. His part in the first settlement of the county 
has been traced iu au interesting aud valuable pamphlet from the pen 
of (ioveruor Cornell.^ Both Throckmorton aud C(U-uell escaped the 
murderous fury of the Indians to which Anne Hutchinson fell a vic- 
tim iu the fall of 1(U:>. It is supposed that they were in New Amster- 
dam at tlie time \\ilh llicir families, or at all events with some of their 
children. Certain it is that tlic inlaiir seitlcment on Throgg's Neck 
was not S])ared. (ioveruor \\'iiitliro]i of Massaclnisetts, iu liis "■ His- 
tory of New England from Hi'M) to 1040," says: " They [the Indians] 
came to ^Irs. Htitchinson in way of friendly neighborhood as they had 
been accust(uued, and, taking tlieir opportunity, they killed her and 
Mr. Collins, lier son-iulaw, . . . and all her fauuly, and such 
of Mr. Throckmortou's and ]\[r. Cornell's families as were at home, in 
all sixteen, aud put their cattle into their barns and burned them." 
Throi-kiuorton did not return to the Neck to Vive, or at least did not 
make that place his permanent abode. In 1052 he disposed definitely 
of the whole ]iroperty, conveying it, by virtue of jtermission ]ietitioned 
for and obtained from the Dutch director-general, to one Augustine 
Hermans. From hiiu are descended, according to Bolton, the Tlirock- 
mortons of Middleto^n, N. ,T. Coruell, after j-eceiving the grant to 
CornelFs Neck, erecte(l buildiugs there, which he oecuined until 
forced for the second time liy hostile Indian manifestations to aban- 
don his attempt at residence in the \'redeland. His daughter Sarah 
testified in September, ItitJ-j, that he " was at considerable charges in 
building, manuring, and planting " on Cornell's Neck, and that after 
some years he was " driven off tin* said land by the barbarous violence 
of the Indians, who burnt his home and goods and destroyed his 
cattle." This daughter, Sarah, was married iu New Amsterdam on 
the 1st of September, 1»;43, to Thomas Willett. She inlierited Cor- 
nell's Neck from her father, and it remained in the possession of her 
descendants — the Willetts, of whom several were men of great prom- 
inence in our county — for more than a century. Thomas Cornell, 
after being driven away from Cornell's Neck, returned to Rhode Is- 
land, where he died in 1655. 



* Some Beginnings of Westchester County History. Published for the Westchester County Historical Society, 1890. 



THE EARLIEST SETTLERS 95 

lu the preceding pages we have consecutively traced the several 
known (Efforts at settlement along the southeastern shores of West- 
ciicster County, from the time of Jonas Brouck's i^urohase on the 
Harlem to that of Thomas Cornell's flight from the ruins of his home 
on Cornell's Xeck, covering a period of ten years, more or loss. It is 
a meager and discouraging record. By reference to the map, it will 
be observed that all these first Westchester settlements were closely 
contiguous to one another, and embraced a continuous extent of terri- 
tory. Bronck's patent reached to the mouth of the Bronx River, and 
was there joined by Cornell's; beyond which, successively, were 
Throckmorton's grant and the domain occupied by Anne Hutchinson. 
It is also of interest to note that the upper boundary of the four tracts 
corresponded almost exactly with the present corporate limits of the 
Citv of New York on the Sound. 



CHAPTEK V 

THE REDOUBTABLE CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERHILL —DR. ADRIAN VAN DER 

DONCK 

HE troubles of the Dutch with the Indians, to which rrc<iucnt 
allusion lias been made, beiian in KUl, as the result of a 
revengeful personal act, capitally ilhistrating the vindic- 
tiveness of the Indian character. In KlliCi. fifteen years be- 
fore, a venerable Indian warrior, accompanied by his nephew, a lad 








THE COLLKCT rONU — NEW YORK CITY. 



of tender age, came to New Amsterdam with S(uue furs, which he in- 
tended to sell at the fort. Passing by the edge of the " Collect,'' a 
natural pond in the lower part of Manhattan Island, lie was stopped 



CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERHIIiL 97 

by three laborers belonging- to the farm of Director Minuit (said to 
have been negroes), who, coveting the valnable property which he 
bore, slew him and made off with the goods, bnt permitted the boy to 
escape. The latter, after the cnstoni of his race in circumstances of 
personal grievance, made a vow of vengeance, which in KUl, having 
arrived at manhood's estate, he executed in the most deliberate and 
cruel manner. He one day entered the shop of Claes Cornelisz Smits, 
a wheelwright living near Turtle Bay, in the vicinity of Forty-fifth 
street and the East Kiver. The Dutcliman, who knew him well, sus- 
pected no harm, and, after setting food before him, Avent to a chest to 
get some cloth which the young savage had said he came to purchase. 
The other fell upon him from btdund, and struck him dead with an 
ax. This terrible deed aroused strong feeling throughout the settle- 
ments, and Director Kieft demanded satisfaction of the chief of the 
Weckquaesgecks, the tribe to which the offender belonged. An exas- 
perating answer was returned, to the effect that the accused had but 
avenged a wrong, and that, in the private opinion of the chief, it 
would not have been excessive if twenty Chi-istians had been killed 
in retaliation. The only recourse now left was to declare war against 
tlie savages, and to this end all tlii» heads of families were summoned 
to meet on August 29, 1641, " for the consideration of some important 
and necessary matters." The assembled citizens selected a council 
(if twelve men, who, upon advising togetlier, recommended tliat fur- 
ther elVorts be made to have the murderer delivered up to justice. All 
endeavors in this line proving unsuccessful, war was declared in the 
spring of 1642. Hendrick Van Dyck, an ensign in the company's 
service, was placed in command of eighty men, with instructions to 
l)roceed against the Weckquaesgecks and '' execute summary ven- 
geance upon that tribe with fire and sword."' This party crossed into 
our county, and, under the direction of a guide supposed to be experi- 
enced and trustworthy, marched through the -noods with the intent 
of attacking the Indian village, which then occupied the site of Dobbs 
I'erry. But they lost their way, and were obliged to come inglori- 
ously back. Shortly afterward a treaty of peace -was signed at 
Bronck's house, the Indians engaging to give up the murderer of 
Smits, dead or alive. The first period of tlic war Avas thus brought 
to an end. 

Bnt causes of irritation still existed, which w^ere not done away 
with as time passed. The assassin was not surrendered according to 
agreement, and the savages continued to commit outrages, which 
greatly incensed the not too amiable Dutch director-general. The 
next event of importance was an act of aggression against the In- 
ilians, quite as barbarous as any ever perpetrated by the latter, which 



98 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

has covered Kieft's name with infamy. Early in Februarj', 1643, a 
band of Mohawks from the north made a descent upon the Mohican 
tribes, for the purpose of levying tribute. Many of the Weck- 
quaesgecks and Tappaens, to escape death at the hands of the in- 
vaders, fled to the Dutch settlements; and thus large parties of 
Indian fugitives belonging in part to a tribe against whom Kieft 
cherished bitter resentment were graduallj- congregated within close 
proximity to New Amsterdam. The dii'ector, seizing the opportunity 
for vengeance thus presented, secretly dispatched a body of soldiers 
across the Hudson to Pavonia, which had been selected by most of 
the fleeing savages as their headquarters, and on the night between 
the 25th and 26th of February these natives were indiscriminately 
massacred. " Nearly a hundred," says Bancroft, " perished in the 
carnage. Daybreak did not end its horrors; men might be seen, 
mangled and helpless, suffering from cold and hunger; children were 
tossed into the stream, and as their parents plunged to their rescue 
the soldiers prevented their landing, that both child and parent might 
drown." Similar scenes were enacted at Corlaer's Hook, where forty 
Indians wore slaughtered. In 1886 the renmins of some of these vic- 
tims of Kieft's inhumanity and treachery were unearthed by persons 
making excavations at Communipaw Avenue and Halliday Street, 
Jersey City. A newspaper report published at the time, after recit- 
ing the historical facts of the tragedy, gave the following particulars: 
"Trenches were dug [by the soldiers] and the bodies thrown into them 
indiscriminately. The scene of the butchery is now known as Lafay- 
ette, and after nearly two and a half centuries one of the trenches has 
been opened. Crowds gathered around the place yesterday while the 
excavating was going on, and looked at the skulls and bones. The 
number of the bodies can only be determined by means of the skulls, 
as the bones are all mixed together, and many of them crumble at the 
touch into fine dust." ^ 

A furious war of revenge was now proclaimed by the savages, a 
general alliance of the tribes being effected. Even the Long Island 
Indians, who had formerly dwelt on terms of amity with the settlers, 
rose against the common white foe. The settlement planted in the 
previous year at I\Iasi)eth by the Rev. Francis Doughty, father of 
Ellas Doughty, who in 1666 became the purchaser of Van der Donck's 
patroonship of Yonkers, was entirely swept away; and another Eng- 
lish settlement at C.ravesend. presided over by Lady ]\Ioody fan exile 
from Now England, like Anne Hutchinson, on account of religious 
belief), was three times fiercely attacked, but, being excellently stock- 
aded, successfully resisted the desperate assailants. Historical writ- 

1 New York Trihiinr, April 23, 1SS6. 



CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERHILL 99 

ers upon this gloomy period vie witli each other in vivid descriptions 
of its terrors. "The tonialiawk, llic firctirand, and scalpin^i-lcnife," 
says O'Callaghan, " were clutched witli all the ferocity of frenzy, and 
the war-whoop rang from the Karitan to the Connecticut. 
Every settler on whom they laid liands was nuirdered, women and 
children dragged into captivity, and, though the settlements around 
Fort Amsterdam extended, at this period, thirty English miles to the 
east and twenty-one to the north and south, the enemy burned the 
dwellings, desolated the farms and farmhouses, killed the cattle, de- 
stroyed the crops of grain, hay, and tobacco, laid waste the country all 
around, and drove the settlers, panic-stricken, into Fort Amsterdam." 
Roger \Mlliams, who was in New Amsterdam during that eventful 
spring writes : " Mine eyes saw the flames of their towns, the frights 
and hurries of men, women, and children, and the present removal of 
all who could to Holland." Nevertheless, after a few weeks of violent 
aggression, the Indians were persuaded to sign another peace, nego- 
tiated mainly through the prudent efforts of the patroon David Pie- 
tersen de Yries. This treaty included the solemn declaration that 
" all injuries committed by the said natives against the Netherland- 
ers, or by the Netherlanders against said natives, shall be forgiven 
and forgotten forever, reciprocally promising one the other to cause 
no trouble the one to the other." 

There is no doubt that the Dutch, alarmed for the very existence of 
their New Netherland colony, this time most scrupulously observed 
the compact entered into; but the Indians, still restless and unsa- 
tiated, renewed hostilities with the expiration of the summer season. 
In September they attacked and captui'ed two boats descending the 
river from Fort Orange, and, resuming their programme of promiscu- 
ous slaughter, they soon afterward murdered the New England refu- 
gees on the coast of the Sound and burnt their dwellings. It was 
consequently resolved by the Dutch to take up arms once more, and, 
if possible, administer a crushing blow to the power of their enemy, a 
residve which, during the ensuing winter, tliey were enabled by good 
fortune to realize, at least to the limit of reasonable expectation. 

Kieft first sent a force to scour Staten Island, which, like Van 
Dyck's Westchester expedition of 1042, i-eturned without results, no 
foe l)eing encountered. A detachment of one hundred and twenty 
men was then dispatched by water to the English settlement of 
OrccTiwicli, on tlie Sound, it having l)e(Mi reported that a large body 
of hostile Indians was encamped in tlie vicinity of that place. Disap- 
pointment was also experienced there. After marching all night 
A\ithout fiiiding the expected enemy, the tr()0])s came to StamforcT, 
where they halted to wait for fresh information. From here a raid 



LofC. 



100 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

was made on a small Indiau village iprobal)lY lyini;- within West- 
chester borders), and some twenty braves were put to death. An 
aycd Indian who had been taken jn-isoner nov, volunteered t» lead the 
Dutch to one of the stron<iholds of the natives, consisting of three 
powerful castles. He kept his promise; but, although the castles 
were duly found, they were deserted. Two of them were burned, the 
third being reserved for purposes of retreat in case of emergencj-. 
Thus the second armed expedition sent into Westchester County ac- 
coiiiplislied comparatively little in the way of inflicting the long-de- 
sired punishment upon the audacious savages. Numbers of West- 
chester Indians (mostly women and children) were captured and sent 
to Fort Amsterdam, where, as testified by Dutch official records, they 
were treated with malignant cruelty. 

The next move was somewhat more successful. A mixed force of 
English and Dutch, commanded jointly by Captain John ITnderhill, 
the celebrated Indian fighter from Xew England, and Sergeant Peter 
Cock, of Fort Amsterdam, proceeded to the neighborhood of Heem- 
stede (Ilempstead), Long Island, and attacked two Indian villages. 
INIore than a hundred Indians were killed, the Dutch and English loss 
being only one killed and three wounded. But as the princij)al 
strength of the enemy was known to be in the regions north of the 
Harlem TJiver, whence the Avarriors Avho slew the settlers and de- 
vastated the fields of Manhattan Island were constantly emerging, it 
was deemed indispensable to conduct decisive operations in that 
quarter. Captain IJnderhill, whose long exjterience and known dis- 
cretion in savage warfare indicated him as the man for the occasion, 
was sent to Stamford, with orders to investigate and report upon the 
situation. Being trustworthily informed that a very numerous body 
of the Indians was assembled at a village at no great distance, and 
placing confidence in the representations of a guide Avho claimed to 
know the way to the locality, he advised prompt action. Director 
Kit'ft, ailojiting his recommendation, plac(>d him in command of one 
hundred and thirty armed men, who were immediately transported 
on three yndits to Greenwich. This was in the month of Febru- 
ary, WU.' 

A raging snowstorm jirevented the forward movement of the troops 
from Creenwich for the greater part of a day and night. But the 
weather l)cing more favorable the next morning, they set out about 
daybreak, and, led by (he guide, advanced in a general northwest- 
wai-dly direction. It was a toilsome all-day niar^h through deep 
snow and oxer mountainous hills ami frequent streams, some of the 
latter being scarcely fordable. At eight o'clock in the evening they 
halted within a few miles of the village, "which had been carefullv 



CAPTAIN JOHN UNDEBHILL 101 

arranji^ed for winter quarters, laj- sniifilj' ensconced in a low moun- 
tain recess, completely sheltered from the bleak northerly winds, and 
consisted of a large number of huts disposed in three streets, each 
about eighty paces long." After allowing his men two hours of rest 
and slrengthenlng them with abundant refreshments, Uuderhill gave 
the word to resume the march. The enterprise, attended by extreme 
liardsliips up to this time, was now, in its final stage, favored bj' 
peculiarly satisfactory conditions. It was near midnight, the snow 
completely deadened the footsteps of the avenging host, and a bril- 
liant full moon was shining — " a winter's day could not be brighter." 
O'Callaghan, in his " History of New Netherland," gives the follow- 
ing account of the resulting conflict: 

The Inilians were as iiiiieh on the alert as tlieir enemy. They soon disoovered the Dnteh 
troops, who eharged forthwith, surrounding- the oainp, sword in hand. The Indians evineed 
on this occasion eonsiderahle boldness, and made a rush onee or twice to break the Dutch 
lines and open some way for escape. But in this they failed, leaving one dead and twelve 
prisoners in the hands of the assailants, who now kept up such a brisk fire that it was imj)os- 
sible for any of the besieged to escape. After a desperate conflict of an hour, one hundred 
and eighty Indians lay dead on the snow outside their dwellings. Not one of the survivors 
diirst now show his face. They remained under cover, discharging their arrows from behind, 
to the great annoyance of the Dutch troops. Underbill, now .seeing no other way to overcome 
the obstinate resistance of the foe, gave orders to fire their huts. The order was forthwith 
obe3'ed; the wretched inmates endeavoring in every way to escape from the horrid tlames, but 
mostly without success. The moment they made their appearance they rushed or were driven 
preci|iitatelv back into their burning hovels, preferring to be consumed by tire than to fall l)y 
our weapons. In this merciless manner were butchered, as some of the Indians afterward 
reported, tive hundred human beings. Others carry the number to .seven hundred; "the 
l>ord having collected most of our enemies there to celebrate some pecidiar festival." Of 
the whiile party, no more than eight men escaped thi.i terrible slaughter hy Jire and sword. Three 
of these were badly wounded. Throughout the entire carnage not one of the sufferers — man, 
woman, or child — was heard to utter a shriek or moan. 

This battle, if battle it may be called, was by far the most sanguin- 
ary ever fought on Westchester soil. At White Plains, the most 
considerable Westchester engagement of the Kevolutiou, the com- 
bined losses of both sides in killed, wounded, and missing did not 
reach four hundred. 

The site of the exterminated Indian village has been exactly lo- 
cated by Bolton. It was called NanichiestaAvack, and was in the Town 
(township) of Bedford, not far from the present Bedford village. It 
"occupied the southern spur of Indian Kill, sometimes called the 
Indian P^'arm, and Stony Point (or Hill), stretching toward tiie north- 
west. There is a most romantic approach to the site of the mountain 
fastness by a steep, narrow, beaten track opposite to Stamford cart- 
path, as it was formerly denominated, which followed tlir old Indian 
trail called the Thoroughfare." The i»ictures(|ue ^lianns Kiver lh)\vs 
by the scene. The last ghastly memorials of the slaughter have long 
since passed away, but local tradition preseiwes the recollection of 



102 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

many iiioimds uuder whicU the bones of the slaiu were interred. They 
were i)r()bably laid tliere by friendly hands. Underliill, in the bitter 
winter season, with his small and exhausted party, and with no im- 
plements for turning the frozen sod, naturally could not tarry to give 
burial to five hundred corpses. 

Captain John Underbill is an entirely unique figure in early Amer- 
ican colonial history, both English and Dutch. Although his name, 
when mentioned apart from any specific connection, is usually asso- 
ciated with New England, he belongs at least equally to New Nether- 
laud and New Yoi'k. Indeed, during more than two-thirds of his 
residence in America he lived within the confines of the present State 
of New York, where most of his descendants have continued. West- 
chester County, by his prowess rescued from the anarchy into which 
it had been thrown by the aboriginal barbarians and established on a 
secure foundation for practical development, became the home of one 
of his sons, Nathaniel Underbill, from whom a large and conspicuous 
family of the county has descended. 

The captain sprang from the old Underhill stock of Huningham, in 
Warwickshire, England. He was born about 1600, and eaidy im- 
bibed an ardent love of liberty, civic and religious, by his service as a 
soldier under the illustrious Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, in 
the Low Countries, where he had for one of his comrades-at-arms the 
noted Captain Miles Standish. Coming to New England with Gov- 
ernor \\'inthrop, he immediately took a prominent place in the Massa- 
chusetts colony, being appointed one of tlic first deputies from Boston 
to the General Court, and one of the earliest officers of the Ancient 
and Honorable Artillery Company. In the Pequod War (1G3G-37) he 
was selected by the governor. Sir Harry ^'ane (who was hiu personal 
friend), to command the colonial troops; and, proceeding to the seat 
of the disturbances in Connecticut, he fought (May 2G, 1637) the des- 
perate and victorious battle of Mystic Hill. In this encounter seven 
hundred Pequods were arrayed against him, of whom seven ^yeYe 
taken prisoners, seven escaped, and the remainder were killed — a 
record almost identical, it will be noted, with that made at the battle 
in our Bedford township in 1611. Captain Underhill felt no compunc- 
tions of conscience for the dreadful and almost exterminating de- 
structiveness of his victories over the Indians. In his narrative of 
the Mystic Hill fight, alluding to this feature of tJie subject, he says: 
" It may be demanded: V^'hj should you be so furious? Should not 
Christians have more mercy and compassion? But I would refer 
you to David's war. When a ]H'ople is grown to sucii a height of 
blood and sin against God and man, and alLcon federates in the ac- 
tion, then He hath no respect to persons, but harrows and saws them, 



CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERHILL 303 

and puts them to the sword aud the most terriblest death that may be. 
Sometimes the Scripture declareth that women and children must 
IHTish with their parents; sometimes the ease alters, but we will not 
dispute it now. We had suilicieut light from the Word of God I'or 
our proceedings." 

Esiiousing the religious doctrines and personal cause of Anne 
LIutchiuson, Captain Underhill sull'ered persecution in common with 
the other Hutchinsonians, and in the fall of 1637, only a few months 
after his triumphant return from the wars, was disfranchised and 
forced to leave Massachusetts. He went to England the next year, 
and published a curious book, entitled " News from America; or, A 
Now and Experimental Discoverie of New England: Containing a 
true relation of their warlike proceedings there, two years last past, 
with a figure of the Indian Fort, or Palizado. By Capt. John Under- 
hill, a commander in the warres there." Eeturulng to America, he 
settled in New Hampshire. Later, he lived in Stamford, Conn., and 
was a delegate from that toAvn to the General Court at New Haven. 
From the time that he accepted his commission from the Dutch in 
their wars with the Indians until his death he lived on Long Island. 
He first resided at Flushing, aud finally made his home at Oyster Buy, 
where he died July 21, 1672. In 1653 he was active in defending the 
English colonists of Long Island against the hostilities of the Indians, 
and in that year he fought his last battle Avith the savages, at Fort 
Neck. In 1665 he was a delegate from the Town of Oyster Bay to the 
assembly held at Hempstead under the call of the first English gov- 
ernor, Nicolls, by whom he was later appointed under-sheriff of the 
North Biding of Yorkshire, or Queens County. In 1667 he was pre- 
sented by the Matinecoc Indians with one hundred and fifty acres of 
land, to which he gave the name of Kenil worth or Killingworlh. A 
portion of this tract is still in the possession of his descendants. 

The character and personality of Captain John Underhill have been 
variously estimated and pictured. No doubt most of our readers are 
familiar with Whittier's poem, which quite idealizes him: 

Cxoodly and stately and grave to see, 

Into the clearing's space rode he, 

With the snn on the liilt of his sword in sheath, 

And his silver hnekles anil sjiurs l)en<'ath, 

And the settlers welcinned him, one and all, 

From swift Quanipcagan to (ionic Kail. 

" Tarry with us," tlie settlers cried, 
" Thou man of God, as our ruler and guide." 
And Cajjlain t'nderliill l)i)wed his head, 
" The will of the Lord he done! " he said. 
And the morrow heheld liim sitting down 
In the ruler's seat in Cocheeo town. 



104 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

And he judged therein as a just man should; 
His words were wise and liis rule was good ; 
He coveted iu)t his neighbor's land, 
From the holding of bribes he shook his hand ; 
And through the camps of the heathen ran 
A wholesome fear of this valiant man. 

A niuu of independent and fearless convictions he unquestionably 
was, as also of conscientious princiijles. He was not, however, a 
typical Puritan hero; and it is not frojn the gentle and reverent muse 
of Whittier, which loves to celebrate the grave and stately (but other- 
wise mostly disagreeable) forefathers of New England, that a faithful 
idea of the Captain John Underbill of history is to be obtained. His 
associations during his very brief residence in Massachusetts were 
certainly not with the representative men of that rigorous and somber 
order, but with the imaginative, ardent, and sprightly natures, whose 
presence was felt as a grievous burden upon the theocratic state. He 
was grimlj' hated and scornfully expelled from Boston by the Puri- 
tans, whom he reciprocally despised. In his book he gives decidedly 
unflattering characterizations of Winthrop and others, showing this 
animus. Captain Underhill was really a man of high and im])etuous 
spirits, fond of adventure, always seeking military emijloyment, lead- 
ing a changeful and roving life almost to his last days; yet possessing 
earnest motives and substantial traits of character, which made him 
a good and respected citizen, an<l enabled him to acciimulate consid- 
erable property. But although not a Puritan, his final adoption of 
New Netherland as a place of residence was not from any special 
liking for the Dutch; in fact, he never was satisfied to live in any of 
the distinctive Dutch settlements, and, though much inclined to the 
honors and dignities of public position, never held civic ofifice under 
the Dutch. During his life on Long Island he made his home among 
the English colonists, ami preserved a firm devotion for English in- 
terests, Avhich he manifested on several occasions long before the 
end of Dutch rule, by holding correspondence with the English au- 
thorities concerning the position of affairs on Long Island. 

Soon after Captain Underhill's expedition to Bedford the Indian 
tribes again sued for peace. " Mamaranack, chief of the Indians re- 
siding on the Kicktawanc or Croton Kiver; Mongockonone, Pappeno- 
harrow, from the \\'eck(|uaesgecks and Nochpeems, and the Wap- 
piugs from Stamford, presented themselves, in a few days, at Fort 
Amsterdam; and having ])le(lged themselves that they would not 
henceforth commit any injury whatever on the inhabitants of New 
Netherland, their cattle and houses, nor show themselves, except in a 
canoe, before Fort Amsterdam, should the Dutch be at war with any 
of the Manhattan tribes, and having further promised to deliver up 



UK. AUKIAN VAX DER DONCK 105 

Pachara, the chief of the Taukitekes (who resided iu the rear of Sing 
Sinji), peace was concluded between them and the Dutch, wlip prom- 
ised, on their part, not to molest them in any way." It appears that 
this peace was effected through the interventiou of Underhill, was 
unsatisfactory to the Dutch, and proved but a makeshift; for in the 
fall of 1G44 the " Eight Men " wrote as follows to the home office of 
the West India Company: " A .semblance of peace was attempted to 
be patched up last spring with two or three tribes of savages toward 
the north by a stranger, whom we, for cause, shall not now name, 
without one of the company's servants having been present, while 
our principal enemies have been unmolested. This peace hath borne 
little fruit for the common advantage and reputation of our lords, 
etc., for as soon as the savages had stowed away their mai/e into 
holes, they began again to murder our people in various directions. 
They rove in parties continually around day and night on the island 
of Manhattans, slaying our folks, not a tliousand paces from the fort; 
and 'tis now arrived at such a pass that no one dare move a foot to 
fetch a stick of firewood without a strong escort." 

It was not until the summer of 1045 that a lasting treaty was ar- 
ranged. On the 30th of August, says O'Callaghan, a number of chiefs 
representing the warring tribes " seated themselves, silent and grave, 
in front of Fort Amsterdam, before the director-general and his coun- 
cil and the whole commonalty; and there, having religiously smoked 
the great calumet, concluded in the presence of the sun and ocean a 
solemn and durable peace with the Dutch, which both the contracting 
parties reciprocally bound themselves honorably and firmly to main- 
tain and observe." It was stipulated that all cases of injury on either 
side were to be laid before the respective authorities. No armed 
Indian was to come within the line of settlement, and no colonist was 
to visit the Indian villages without a native to escort him. Hand- 
some presents were made by Kieft to the chiefs, for the purchase of 
which, it is said, he was obliged to borrow money from Adrian Van 
der Donck, at that time sheriff" of Rensselaerswyck. 

The settlement of the lands beyond the Harlem was not, however, 
resumed at once. For some time the restoration of the burned farm- 
houses and ruined fields of Manhattan Island claimed all the energies 
of the Dutch; and the memories of the dreadful experience of the 
colonies of Anne Hutchinson and John Throckmorton effectually de- 
terred other New Englanders from seeking the Vredeland. In 1()4(), 
however, two enterprises of great historic interest were undertaken 
within the limits of our county. One of these was the settlement by 
Thomas Cornell on Cornell's Neck, whose details we have already 
narrated. The other was the creation of " Colen Donck," or Donck's 



lOG 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



sold 
Van 



and 
del* 



colony, embracing the country from Spuyten Duyvil Creek northward 
along tlie Hudson as far as a little stream called the Amackassin, and 
reaching inland to the Bronx Kiver, under a patent granted by the 
Dutch authorities to Adrian Van der Donck. 

The exact date of Van der Donck's grant is unknown, and the 
record of his purchase of the territory from the Indians has not been 
preserved. The tract constituted a portion of the so-called Keskes- 
keck region, bought from the natives for the West India Company by 
Secretary Van Tienhoven, " in consideration of a certain lot of mei*- 
chandise," under date of August 3, 1639. That Van der Donck made 
substantial recompense to the original owners of the soil is legally 
established by testimony taken in IGGG before Richard Nicolls, the 
first English governor of Isew York, in which it is stated that 

the Indian proprietors concerned 
" acknowledged to have 
received satisfaction of 
Donck." 

Adrian Van der Donck 
tieman by birth, being a native of 
Breda, Holland. He was educated at 
the University of Leyden, and studied 
and practiced law,becoming ulrln-squv 
juris. In 1611 he accompanied Kiliaen 
Van Rensselaer to New Netherland, 
and was installed as schout-fiscaal,or 
sheriff, of the patroonship of Rens- 
selaerswyck. In this post he con- 
tinued until the death of the patroon, in 1616. Meantime he had 
manifested a strong inclination to establish a " colonic '' of his own, 
at Katskill; but as such a proceeding by a sworn officer of an already 
existing patroonship would have been violative of the company's reg- 
ulations, he was forced to abandon the project. On October 22, 1645, 
he married Mary, daughter of the Rev. Francis Doughty, of Long Is- 
land. Earlier in the same year he loaned money to Director Kieft, a 
transaction which i)robably helped to pave the way for the prompt 
bestowal upon him of landed rights upon the termination of his offi- 
cial connection with Rensselaerswyck. 

In the Dutch grant to Van der Donck, the territory of which he 
was made patroon was called Nepperhaem, from the Indian name of 
the stream, the Nepperhan, which empties into the Hudson at Yonk- 
ers, where stood at that period, and for perhaps a quarter of a century 
later, the native A'illage of Nappeckamack (the " Rapid Water Settle- 
ment "). The whole extensive patroonship, styled at first Colen 




OLD DUTCH HOUSE. 



DR. ADRIAN VAN DER DONCK 107 

Donck, soon came to be known also as " De Jonkheer's land," or " De 
Jonkheer's," meaning the estate of the jonkheer, or young lord or 
gentleman, as Van der Donck was called. Hence is derived IIh' name 
Yonkers, applied from the earliest days of English rule to that entire 
district, and later conferred upon the township, the village, and 
Uic city. To the possibilities of this inngniticcnt but as yet utterly wild 
property' Van der Donck gave a portion of his attention dining the 
three years following the procurement of his patent. In on<' of his 
papers he states that before 1G49 he built a sawmill on the estate, be- 
sides laying out a farm and plantation; and that, having chosen 
Spuyten Duyvil as his place of residence, he had begun to build there 
and to place the soil under cultivation. His sawmill was located at 
the mouth of the Nepperhan liiver, and from its presence that stream 
was called by the Dutch " De Zaag Kill,'' whence comes its present 
popular name of the Sawmill River. Van der Donck's plantation, " a 
flat, with some convenient meadows about it,'' was located about a 
mile above Kingsbridge, near where the Van Cortlandt mansion now 
stands. " On the flat just behind the present grove of locusts, north 
of the old mill, he built his bouAverie, or farmhouse, wdth his planting 
field on the plain, extending to the southerly end of Vault Hill." 
It is not probable that Van der Donck lived for any considerable time 
upon his lands in our county. He was a man of prominence in Fort 
Amsterdam, A\as its first lawyer, and soon became busied with its 
local affairs in a public-spirited manner, which led to his embroilment 
in contentions with the ruling authoi-ities, and, in that connection, to 
his departure for Europe and protracted absence there. 

In the spring of 1649 he was selected a member of the advisory 
council of the " Nine Men," a body chosen by the popular voice to 
assist in the general government. In this capacity he at once took 
strong ground against the tyrannical conduct of the new director, 
Stuyvesant, and, in behalf of the Nine, drew up a memorial, or re- 
monstrance, reciting the abuses under which the people of New Neth- 
erland suffered. Stuyvesant at first treated this action of his coun- 
cilors with arbitrary vindictiveness, and caused Van der Donck to be 
arrested and imprisoned. After his release, continuing his coui'sc of 
active protest against misgovernment and oppression, he prcpaicd a 
second and more elaborate memorial, and, with two others, was dis- 
patched to Holland by the commonalty to lay the whole subject be- 
fore the States-General. In this mission he had thf moral support of 
the vice-director under Stuyvesant, Van Diiicklagen, who wrote a 
letter to the States-General promotive of his objects. But upon arriv- 
ing in the mother country he found himself opposed by the powerful 
influences of the company, which not only succeeded in defeating the 



108 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

priucipal reforms that lu> sought to secure, but eventually directed 
against biui the persecution of the governuieut, and prevented him, to 
his great inconvenience and loss, from returning to New Netherlaud 
for fully four years. Yet ^"an der Donck's earnest and commendable 
efforts for the public weal were not wholly without result. An act 
was passed separating the local functions of the principal settlement 
on Manhattan Island from the general affairs of the province. By 
this measure the settlement formerly known as Fort Amsterdam be- 
came an incoi-porated Dutch city, with the name of Ncav Amsterdam ; 
and thus to the labors of Yan der Donck the first municipal organiza- 
tion of what is now the City of Xew York is directly traceable. In 
addition, a final modification of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemp- 
tions was effected (May 24, 1(J50), introducing various improvements 
in its detailed provisions. He even procured the adoption of an order 
recalling Stuyvesant, which, however, in view of the critical position 
of political affairs (a war witli England being threatened) was never 
executed. 

While in Holland Yan der Donck was not forgetful of the interests 
of his colony, but in good faith strove to fulfill the obligations which 
he had assumed in acquiring the proprietorship of so extensive a 
domain. On March 11, 1650, in conjunction with his two associate 
delegates, he entered into a contract " to charter a suitalde flyboat of 
two hundred lasts, and therein go to sea on the 1st of June next, and 
convey to New Netherland the number of two hundred passengers, of 
whom one hundred are to be farmers and farm servants, and the re- 
maining one hundred such as the Amsterdam Chamber is accustomed 
to send over, conversant with agriculture, and to furnish them with 
supplies for the voyage." In making this contract (which, on ac- 
count of circumstances, was never carried out), Yan der Donck un- 
doubtedly had in view the locating of at least a portion of the two 
hundred emigrants on his own lands. Pursuant to his perfectly serious 
intentions respecting his estate in this county, he obtained from the 
States-General, on the 26th of April, 1652, the right to dispose by will, 
as patroon, " of the Colonic Nepperhaera, by him called Colon Donck, 
situate in New Netherland." From this time for more than a year 
he was constantly occupied in seeking to overcome the obstacles put 
in the way of his departure for America by his enemies of the West 
India Company. He evidently regarded the securing of this patent 
as the final step preparatory to the systejnatic colonization and de- 
velopment of Colen Donck; for immediately after its issuance he em- 
barked his private goods, Avith a varied assortment of supplies for the 
colony, on board a vessel lying at anchor in the Texel. But upon ap- 
plying to the States-General, on the 13th of May, for a formal permit 



DR. ADRIAN VAN DER DONCK 



109 



to i-cturn, be was refused. On the 24:th, renewing- his application, he 
stated that " proposing to depart b\- your High Mightinesses' consent, 
witli liis wife, mother, sister, brotlier, servants, and maids," lie liad 
" in that design jjacked and shipped all his implements and goods"; 
hut be understood " that the Ilonorahle Directors [of the West India 
( 'om]>any] at Amsterdam had forbidden all skippers to receive him, or 
his, even though exhibiting .your lligli Mightinesses' express orders 
and consent," " by which he must, without any form of procedure or 
aTiything resembling thereto, remain separated from his Avife, mother, 
sister, brother, servants, maids, 
family connections, from two 
good friends, from his merchan- 
dise-, his own necessary goods, 
furniture, and from his real estate 
in Xt'W Netherland." These and 
other strenuous representations 
])roving unavailing, he was at last 
compelled to dispatch his family 
and ctfects, remaining himself in 
Holland to await the more favor- 
able dis]iosition of the authorities. 
lIcsigTiing himself to the situa- 
tion, lie now tui'ued his attention 
to literary labors, wliich resulted 
in the composition of a most valu- 
able work on the Diitch provinces 
in Anu'rica. We reproduce here 
a facsimile of the title page of 
this interesting book, Avhich, 
translated, is as follows: "De- 
scription of New Xetherland (as 



B li <? c H R A' V I N c r. 

NIEUVV- NEDERLANT 

( <!5i)clpch (|ct tcgciitDOO^Diglj m ^tact is ) ' 

Begrijpende de Nature, Aerc, gelcgcntheyt en vrucht- 
bacrhcyt van hetfelvc Lane jmitigadersdc proffijtchjckc cn- 

dcgeivcnftctocvjllen.diealdacr loconderhoutdcrMcofcbcn, (foo 

uy [ bicr fdven ais van buyten ingebra;hc ) gcvondcn wordea. 

A X. s M E t> E 

Dcmanrctc m ottglutniTrtc rpgcnfcliappcn 

• DaiiOc nsUDcn ofcc ^aturcilrn UanomllanDc, 

Cnut 

Een byfooder verhael vanden wonderbjcken AerC 

endc bet Wcefea der B E Vt R S , 

Daer Noch By Cevoecht Is 

<PtnT>ifrour0 oba Oc ffclcgmtficpt dan Nieuw Ncdcrlandc , 
mffrtin) ccti Ncderlaadts pjiriot , cntif cm 

Nieuw Nederlindcr. 
"Btfchmen doer 

A D R I A E N vander D O N C 
Bcyder Rechtcn Doftoor, die tcghcnwoop* 

digh noch in Nieuw Ncderlaotis, 



K, 




t-A t M s T I I, D A M, 



SSpEven Nicuwenhot, Ootthucrhoopcr ; fflooiitiiDtop c 

Bu|lantitmiSij)!5f-to(rIi/ Aw.u i6(f 



TITLE r.\(;E OF VAX PER DONTk's BOOK. 

It is Today), Comprising the Nature, Character, Situation, and Fer- 
tility of the Said Country; Together with the Advantageous and 
Desirable Circumstances (both of Their Own Production and as 
Rrought by External Causes) for the Support of the People Which 
IM'cvail There; as Also the INfanners and Peculiar Qualities of the 
Wild ifen or Natives of the Land. And a Separate Account of the 
Wonderful Character and Habits of the Reavers; to Which is .\ddid 
a C(mversation on the Condition of New* Netherland between a 
Netlierland Patriot and a New Netherlander, Described by Adriaen 
Van der Donck, Doctor in Roth Laws, Who at present is stilf 
in New Netherland. At Amsterdam, by Evert Nieuwenhof, Rook- 
sr-ller, Ttesiding on the Russia fa street or square!, at the [sign of 



110 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

the] Writing-book. Anno 1655." The book was probably first pub- 
lished in 1653, the copy from which the above translation is made 
being of a later edition. It was Van der Donck's intention to enlarge 
upon his facts by consulting the papers on file in the director-general's 
office at New Amsterdam, to which end he obtained the necessary 
permit from the company. But upon his return to America, which 
occurred in the summer of 1653, Stuyvesant, who still harbored re- 
sentment against him, denied him that privilege. 

"Van der Donck's book, despite its formidable title, is a volume of 
but modest pretensions, clearly written for the sole object of spread- 
ing information about the country. Considering the meagerness of 
general knowledge at that time respecting the several parts of the 
broad territory called Ncav Netherland, and remembering that the 
writer peculiarly lacked documentary facilities in its preparation, it 
is a remarkably good account of the AAhole region. Especially in 
those parts of it where he is able to speak from the results of personal 
observation or investigation, he is highly instructive, and is thor- 
oughly entitled to be accepted as an authority. His description of 
the Indians, though quite succinct, ranks with the very best of the 
early accounts of native North American characteristics, customs, 
and institutions. While he makes frequent allusion to his residence 
at Eensselaerswyck, there is no special mention of that part of the 
country where his own patroonship was located — our County of West- 
chester, — a circumstance which may reasonably be taken to indicate 
that he never had made it his habitation for any length of time. 

Some of the statements which appear in Van der Donck's pages 
belong to the decidedly curious annals of early American conditions. 
For example, he relates that in the month of March, 1647, " two 
whales, of common size, swam up the (Hudson) river forty (Dutch) 
miles, from which place one of them returned and stranded about 
twelve miles from the sea, near which place four others also stranded 
the same year. The other ran farther up the river and grounded 
near the great Chahoes Falls, about forty-three miles from the sea. 
This fish was tolerably fat, for, although the citizens of Rens.selaers- 
wyck broiled out a great quantity of train oil, still the w^hole river (the 
current being rapid) Avas oily for three Aveeks, and covered with 
grease." His accounts of the native animals of the country, excellent 
ifor the most part, become amusing in places where he relies not upon 
his individual knowledge but upon vague stories told him by the 
Indian hunters of strange creatures in the interior. Thus, he makes 
New Netherland the habitat of the fabled unicorn. "I have been 
frequently told by the Mohawk Indians," says he, " that far in the 
interior parts of the country there were animals, which were seldom 




VAX DER DOXCK S MAP OF NKW NETIIERLAND. 



112 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

seen, of the size and form of horses, with chjven hoofs, haviug one 
horn in the forehead from a foot and a half to two feet in length, and 
that because of their fleetness and strength thev were seldom oausrht 
or ensnared. I have never seen any certain token or siyn of such 
animals, but that such creatures exist in the country is supported by 
the concurrent declarations of the Indian hunters. There are Chris- 
tians who say that they have seen the skins of this species of animal, 
hut without the horns." He also speaks of '' a bird of prey which lias 
a head like the head of a large cat " — probably a reference to the cat- 
owl. His remarks about the beaver, based upon personal study and 
knowledge, are singularly interesting. The deer, he informs us, " are 
incredibly numerous in this country. Although the Indians through- 
out the year, and every year (but mostly in the fall), kill many thou- 
sands, and the wolves, after the fawns are cast and while they are 
young, also destroy many, still the land altounds with them every- 
where, and their numbers appear to remain undiminished." 

Being finally granted leave to go back to New Netherland, \'an der 
Donck ajjjdied to the West India Company for permission to i)ractice 
his profession of lawyer in the province. But the company', careful 
in conceding substantial favors to a man who had caused it so much 
trouble, allowed him only to give advice in the line of his i)rofes- 
sion, forbidding him to plead, on the novel ground that, " as there was 
no other lawyer in the colony, there would be none to oppose him." 
After his return to New Amsterdam he did not figure prominently in 
public affairs. He died in 1655, leaving, it is supposed, several chil- 
dren, whose names, however, as well as all facts of their subsequent 
lives and traces of their descendants, are unknown. 

Van der Donck's Colen Donck was the onlj' patroonship ever 
erected in Westchester County, and was the first of the great landed 
estates which, during the seventeenth century, were parceled out in 
this section to gentlemen of birth and means, and various enterprising 
and far-seeing individuals. All who had preceded him above the 
Harlem were ordinary settlers, who merely sought farms and honu'- 
steads, without any aristocratic pretensions or aspirations. During 
the nine years which intervened between his death and the end of 
the Dutch regime, the general condition of the province was too un- 
satisfactory to Justify any similar ambitious endeavor in the direction 
of extensive land ownership above the Harlem. The Indians were 
still restless and inclined to harass individual settlers. Indeed, in 
in:")."), the year of Van der Donck's death, a general massacre of set- 
tlers by the Indians occurred, and the people in the outlying localities 
again crowded into Fort Amsterdam for protection. It was not until 
after the beginning of the English government that ])rivate land hold- 
ings in Westchester County at all comparable to Van der Donck's 



DR. ADRIAN VAN DER DONCK 113 

were acquircil. lie was the oiilv Duhli •;ciil Iciiiau — for Bronck be- 
louj^cd sti'ictlj' to the burglicr class — tlirou^hout tbo forty-one years 
of Diitcii rule who, nndor the Charter of l-'reedoiiis and Exemptions, 
an instrument frameil exjtressly to create a landed aristocracy in 
America, formally sought to establish a fief in this county. It is 
noticeable, however, that most of the estate which he owned passed 
before many years — although not unlil (he Dutch period was ended — 
into the hands of one of his fellow count ryiiicu, Frederick Phiiipse, in 
whose family it continued for a century. .Moreover, almost the entire 
Hudson short' of Westchester County was originally acquiicd and 
tenaciously lield by Dutch, and not by English, private proprietors. 

The tract of Nepperhaem, or Colen Donck, was devised by Van der 
Douck, in his will, to his widow. This lady subsequently married 
Hugh O'Xeale, of Patuxeut, .Md., and resided with her husband in 
that ju-ovince. Apjiarently, iiotliing whatevei- was done by O'Neale 
and his wife in the wa\ of contiuuiug the improvements begun by 
Van der Donck; and, for all (hat we know to the contrary, the estate 
remained in a wholly w ild and neglected cdndition for some ten years. 
Put in KKiti the (>"Xeales, desiring to uu)re perfectly establish their 
legal title, Willi a view to realizing from the lands, obtained from the 
Indians who had (U-iginally sold the tract to \'an der Donck formal 
acknowledgment of such sale, and also of their having received from 
him full satisfaction; and tliei-eu]ioii a new and confirmatory patent 
for Nepperhaem was issued by (io\('ruo]' Xicolls. This is dated "at 
I\)rt James, New York, on the Island of Manhattan," October S, KJGti. 
It describes the property in the following words: *' A certain tract 
of laml within this govei-nment, u]ion the main, bounded to the noi-th 
wards by a rivulet called by the Indians ^fackassin, so running south- 
ward to Nepperhaem, from thence to the kill Shorakkapock [f>])uyten 
Duvvil], and then to Paperinemen | the locality of Kingsbridge], 
which is the southernmost bounds; then ro go across the country to 
the eastward by that Avhich is cnnimnuly Unown by the name of 
Proiudc's, his river ami laud, which said ti-act ii.itli heretofore been 
pui'cliased of the Indian projirietors by Adriaen \'an der Douck, de- 
ceased.'' The English patent was bestowed iipon O'Neale and his 
wife jointly. They at once proceeded to sell the lands in fee to dif- 
ferent private persons. Notic(> of the resulting sales must be de- 
ferred to the pi'oper chronologiral ]peiiod iu our narrative. It may 
be noted here, however, that the princi])al i)ur<hasers of \'au der 
Donck's lands were John Ai'i hei- and I're(leri<k IMiilipse, who later 
became the lords, respectively, <d' the ]\[amirs of I'ordham ami Phil- 
ipseburgh, the former lying wimlly, and the latter ])artly, within 
the borders of tlu' old pati'oonshii). 



CHAPTER VI 

BEGINNINGS OF SERIOUS SETTLEMENT WESTCHESTER TOWN, RYE 

HE destruction by the Indians of the early Englisli settle- 
ments in the A'redeland on the Sound was foJlowd by a 
loufj- period of almost eomjdete abstention from further 
colonizing enterprises in that portion of Westchester 
County. It is trvie that after the detinite conclusion of peace be- 
tween the Dutch and the Indians in 10i5, both the Dutch govern- 
ment of New Netherland and the English government of Connec- 
ticut began gradually to give serious attention to llie (piestion of 
the boundary between their rival jurisdictions, and that the result- 
ing conflict of interests touching the ownershiji of those lands gave 
rise to practical measures on both sides. It will be remembered 
that the Dutch authorities, while permitting Throckinorton and his 
associates to settle on Throgg's Neck, and later granting CornelPs 
Neck to Thomas Cornell, simply received these refugees from New 
England as jjersons coming to take ui) their abodes under the pro- 
tection of their gov<'rnment and subject to its laws. Indeed, the 
formal acts of the Dutch director in issuing licenses to the English 
colonists are sulifich'nt evidences of the merely individual character 
of the first English selllements on the Sound. But while willing to 
accommodate separate immigrants from New England with homes, 
the Dutch had always regarded the presence of tlie English on the 
banks of the Connecticut Kiver, and their steady advance westward 
in an organized way, with apprehension and resentment. To secure 
the Dutch title to oriiiinal and exclnsive sovereignty over the whole 
country, Kieft made laud purchases from the Indians, in 1(>31) and 
1040, extending as far east as the Norwalk archipelago, purchases 
which, however, were matched by similnr early deeds granted by the 
natives to the Englisli to much of territory in tlie eastern ]iart of 
Westchester County. After the close of the Dutch and Indian wars, 
the territorial dispute steadily grew in importance, although it was 
a number of years before the Dutch found any special cause for 
coiiil)laint on the score of actual English encroachment. 

On .hdy 14, 1049, Director Stuyvesant, repi'esenting the West 
India Company, conlirnied the former Indian deeds of sale by pur- 
chasing from the sachems Megtegichkama, Oteyochgue, and Wegta- 



SETTLEMENT OF WESTCHESTER TOWN 115 

kockkcii tlic wliole country " bi'twixt tlic Nortli and East Rivers." 
The hoiuuliu-ies of this tract, wliicli in the record of the transaction 
is called Weckquaesgeck, are not very distinctly defined; but the in- 
tent of the purchase was evidently incidental to the general Dutch 
jiolicy of showing a perfect title to the country. At all events, a 
very large part of Westchester County Mas embraced in the sale, 
the recompense given to the Indians consisting of " six fathom cloth 
for jackets, six fathom seawant [wampum], six kettles, six axes, six 
addices, ten knives, ten harrow-teeth, ten corals or beads, ton bells, 
one gun, two lbs. lead, two lbs. powder, and two cloth coats." 

The English of Connecticut, on the other hand, do not seem to 
have attached any peculiar jKilitical ^alue to fudian land purchases. 
There is no record of any punhase of Indian lands extending into 
Westchester County on the i)art of the government of Connecticut. 
The authorities of that colony were evidently satisfied to leave the 
westward extension of lOnglish ]iossessions to the individual enter- 
prise of the settlers, meantime ludding themselves in readiness to 
sup]iort su(di enterprise by their sanction, and regarding all the land 
occujiied by their advancing people as English soil, without refer- 
ence to the counterclaims of the Dutch. 

The purchase made by Nathaniel Turner, for the citizens of New 
Haven, in KUO, of territory reaching considerably to the west of the 
present eastern boundary of our county, was confirmed to the inhab- 
itants of Stamford on August 11, l(i5.5, by the Indian chief Pomis and 
Dnox, his eldest son. The tract bought in 1040 ran to a distance 
sixteen miles north of the Sound. By tlie wording of the new deed of 
10;"),^, its bounds extended " sixteen miles north of the toAvn ))lot of 
Stamford, and two miles still further north for the pasture of their 
[the settlers'] cattle; also eight miles east and west." The Indian 
owners, upon this occasion, received as satisfaction four coats of 
English cloth. No settlement of the region was begun during the 
continuance of Dutch rule in New Netherland, and thus the matter 
did not come prominently to the notice of Directcn* Stuyvesaut. 

Hut in the preceding year a private English purchase from the 
Indians was made of a district lying nearer the Dutch settlements 
and within the limits of the already well-established jurisdiction of 
the New Amsterdam authorities, which became a matter of acute 
irritation. On the 14tli of November, 1()54, Thomas Tell, of Fairtield, 
Conn., bought from the sachems Mamiuepoe and Anu-Uoock (alias 
Wampage), and five other Indians, '• all that tract of land called West 
Chester, wliich is bounded on the east by a brook, called Cedar Tree 
Brook or Gravelly Brook, and so running northward as the said brook 
runs into the woods about eight Hnglish miles, thence west to 



IIG HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Bi-oiu-k"s liivcr to a icitaiu bt'iid iu the said river, Llieuce 
hv marked trees soutli niifil it reaches the tide Avaters of the Sound, 

toi^etlier wit Ii all the islands Ivini;- before tliat tract." This 
is tlu' earliest legal recitrd we have of the application of the name 
Westchester to any section of our county; although there is reason 
for Ixdieving that for several years previously this locality on the 
Sound liad been so called by the people of Connecticut, and that some 
squatters had already made their way thither.' The bounds of INdl's 
purchase overlapped the old Dutch Vredelaud and encroached upon 
the grants formerly made in that region to Throckmorton and Cor- 
nell. Indeed, after the English took jxissession of New Netherland, 
the Town of Westchester set up a claim to the whole of Throgg's Neck, 
and Pell brought suit to recover Cornell's Neck from Thomas Cor- 
nell's heir; but as it was a part of the English policy to confirm all 
legitimate Dutch land grants, both these pretensions were disal- 
loAved. Westchester, as originally so styled, covered a much gr(>atei' 
extent of country than the township of that name, (iravelly IJrook, 
named in the conveyance from the Indians as its eastern boundary 
line, is a creek flowing into th(> Sound in the Township of New 
Roclielle; so that the territory at first called Westchester included, 
besides Westchester toAvnship projter, the townships (or ])orti()ns of 
them) of Pelliam, Eastchester, and New Koidielle. It is an interest- 
ing fact that the first of these four townships to be settled was the 
oTie most remote from Connecticut and near(\st the seat of Dutch 
authority; which lends color to the sti-ong suspicion that the migra- 
tion of the English (o this ([uarter was under the secret direction, or 
at the connivance, of the government of Connecticut, which sought 
to extend settlement as far as ])ossil)le into the disjiuted border terri- 
tory. Later, as roll's purchase became sub-divided, se[iarate local 
names were given to its several parts, the name of Westchester being 
retained for that portion only Avhere the original settlements had 
been established. Thus it canie that the company making the first 
considerable sub-purchase within the Pell tract conferred the name 
of Eastchester upon their lands, which immediately adjoined West- 
chester town at the east. The settlers in Westchester were not ex- 
terminated or driven away, like those on Hutchinson's Eiver and 
Throgg's and Cornell's Necks; and, though interfered with by the 
Dutch, held their ground ])ernianeutly. Westchester Avas therefoi'e 
the earliest enduring English settlement A\^est of Connecticut. This 



> In IfinO tho OutoU Oovornor Stuyvesant then rpsklent tliero vvpre survivors of Tlirock- 

complainprt to the New Englanrt eommissioners morton's settlement of 1642-3, since Throekmor- 

of tlie Knglisli eneroacliments upon " Oost- ton and his eolonists had the express sanction 

dorp ■■ -as Wi'stchfster was called by the of the Dutch government, 
nutch. It is hardly likely that the English 



SETTLEMENT OF WESTCIIESTEK TOWN 117 

was rcint'uiln'i'cd when, in KiS."), under Eui;lisli rule, llu' creel ion of 
rciiuliirly orguuized ((Hinties was nndeitalcen ; and accor<lin_nly (lie 
name ^^'est(•liestel■ was s(deeted as the one must suitable for tin' 
county next above Manliattan Island. 

It is certain that Eunlisli settlci-s had heiiun to arrive in West- 
cliesler before the execution of I'eH's i\('r<\ from the Indians (Novem- 
ber li, l()54j; for ou the 5th of November, KJai, nine days before that 
execution, it was resolved at a meeting of the director-general and 
council of New Netherlaiid that " Whereas a few English are begin- 
ning a settlement at no great distance from our outposts, ou lauds 
long since bought and i^aid for, near \'redelaud," an interdict be 
sent to them, forbidding them to procet^d farther, and commanding 
them to abandon that sjjot. I'ell, in the law suit which he brought 
in UJ()5 against the heir of Thomas Cornell to recover Cornell's Neck, 
stated that in buying the Westidiester tract he had license from the 
governor and council of Counecticut, " who took notice of this laud 
to be under their government,"' and "ordered magistratical power 
to be exercised at Westchester." The colonial records of Connect- 
icut show that such license was in fact granted to him in lti(58. This 
sanction, issued nine years after his original purchase, was i)robably 
])roi'uri'd by him with a view to a second and confii'matory purchase. 
Whether the first settlers came to Westchester as the result of any 
direct instigation on the part of the Connecticut officials can not be 
determined; but it is probable that the latter were fully cognizant of 
theiT- enterprise, and promoted it by some sort of encouragement. 
Certainly the Westchester pit)neers made no false pretenses, and 
sought no favors from the Dnti h, but boldly announced themselves 
as I'^nglish c(donists. One of their tii-st acts was lo nail to a tree the 
arms of the Parliament of I'^ngland. 

Stuyvesant permitted the winter of l(')54-55 to pass without offering 
(o disturb the intruders in the enjoyment of llie lands they had so 
unceremoniously seized. But in Ajiril he dispatched an officer, Claes 
\an Elslaudt, with a writ commanding Thomas Pell, or whomsoever 
else it nught concern, to cease from trespassing, and to leave the 
l)rennses. \'an l^Mslaiidt, u])on arriving at the lOnglish set I lenient, 
was luet by eight or nine anued men, lo whose coiumander he de 
livered the writ. The latter said: "I can not understand Dutch. 
Why did not the tiscaal, or sheriff, send English ? When he sends 
Englisii, theu I will answer. We expect the detei'mi nation on tiie 
boundaries the next vessel. Time will tell whether we shall be under 
l>ut(h government or the Parliament; until then we remain here 
under the Commonwealth of England." Notwithstanding this de- 
fiant behavior, tlie Dutch director- gen era I was reluctant to act severe- 



118 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

\y in the matter, and ucnrly a year elapsed before the next proceed- 
ings were taken, whieli were based ifuite as niueh upon considerations 
affecting tlae cliaractei- of llic English settlement as upon the desire 
to vindicate Dutch territorial rights. The director and council, by 
a resolution adojjted March G, tt>5(j, declared that the English at 
Westchester were guilty' of '' encouraging and sheltering the fugi- 
tives from this province," and also of keeping up a constant corre- 
spondence with the savage enemies of the Dutch. On these grounds, 
and also to defend the rights of the Dutch against territorial usurpa- 
tions, an expedition, commanded by Captains De Koninck and New- 
ton and Attorney-General Van Tienhoven, was sent secretly to West- 
chester. On the 14th of March this party made its descent upon the 
village, and, finding the Englisli drawn up under arms, prepared for 
resistance, overpowered them, and apprehended twenty-three of their 
number, some of whom were fugitives from New Amsterdam and 
the others bona lide English colonists. All the captives were con- 
veyed to Manhattan Island, where the Dutch runaways were con- 
fined in prison and the English settlers placed under civil arrest and 
lodged in the City Hall. The next day Attorney-General Van Tien- 
hoven formally presented his case against the prisoners. In his argu- 
ment he alleged as one of the principal grievances against the people 
of Westchester that thej' were guilty of the offense of " luring and 
accommodating our runaway inhabitants, vagrants, and thieves, and 
others who, for their bad conduct, tind there a refuge." He de- 
manded the complete exjiulsion of the English from the province. 
This denuind was sustained by the director and council, with the 
proviso, however, that the settlers should be allowed six weeks' 
time for the removal of their goods and chattels. At this stage the 
prisoners came forward with a decidedly submissive proposition. 
The}' agreed that, if iiermitted to continue on their lands, they wouhl 
subject themselves to the government and laws of New Netherland, 
only requesting the privilege of choosing their own ofTicers for the 
enforceuK'ut of their local laws. This jx^ition was granted by Stuy- 
vesant, on condition that their choice of magistrates should be sub- 
ject to the approval of the director and coiincil, selections to be made 
from a double list of names sent in by the settlers. Under this 
amicable arrangement. Pell's settlement at AN'estchester (called by 
the Dutch Oostdorp), while r(>taining its existence, was brought under 
the recoguizi'd sovereignty of New Netherland, in which position it 
remained until the Englisli conquest. 

The history of this first organized community in Westchester 
County is fortunately traceable throughout its early years. On 
March 23, 1656, the citizens submitted to Director Stuyvesant their 



SETTLEMENT OP WESTCHESTER TOWN 119 

nominations of magistrates, the persons reconiniciKlcd lur (hese of- 
fifcs being Lientenant Tlioinas Wheeler, Tlioiuas jS'ewiiiaii, Joliii 
Lord, Josiali Liilbert, William Ward, and Nicholas Bayley. From 
this list the director appointed Thomas AVheeler, Thomas Newman, 
and John Lord. Annually thereafter double nominations wave uiade, 
and tlu'ee magistrates were regularly chosen. There is no indication 
in the records of New Netherland of any willful acts of insubordina- 
tiou hj the settlers, or of any further delinquencies by them in the 
Avay of harboring bad characters. The Dutch authorities, on their 
part, manifested a moderate and considerate disposition in their 
supervisorj- government of the place. At the end of 165G Stuyvesant 
sent three of his subordinates to Westchester, to administer the oath 
of office to the newly ajapointed )nagistrates and the oath of alle- 
giance to the other inhabitants. But the latter objected to the form 
of oath, and would j^romise obedience to the law only, provided it was 
conformable to the law of God; and allegiance only " so long as they 
remained in the province.'' This modified form of oath was gener- 
ously consented to. Later (January 3, 1657), Stuyvesant sent to the 
colonists, at their solicitation, twelve muskets, twelve pounds of pow- 
der, twelve pounds of lead, two bundles of matches, and a writing- 
book for the magistrates. At that time the pojmlation of AVest- 
Chester consisted of twenty-five men and ten to twelve women. 

The Dutch commissioners dispatched by Stuyvesant to Westches- 
ter in 1C56 left an interesting journal of their transactions and ob- 
servations there. The following entry sho\\ s that the colonists were 
typical New Englandcrs in practicing the forms of religious worship: 

31 December. — After dinner Cornelius Van Ruy ven went to see their mode of « orsliij), as 
they had, as yet, no preaeher. There I found a gathering of about fifteen men and ten or twelve 
women. Mr. Baly said the prayer, after which one Robert Ka.ssett read from a printed book 
a sermon composed by an English clergyman in England. After the reading Mr. Baly gave 
out another prayer and sang a psalm, and tliey all separated. 

The writing-book for the magistrates j)rovided, with other neces- 
sary articles, by Governor Stuyvesant, was at once put (o use; and 
from that time forward the records of the town were systematically 
kept. All the originals are still preserved in excellent condition. 
The identical magistrates" book of 1657, with many others of the 
ancient records of AA'estchester, and also of \Vest Faruis, are now in 
the possession of a private gentleman in New York City. 

In accepting and quietly submitting to Dutch rule, the English 
were merely obeying the dictates of ordinary jirudence. Their hearts 
continued loyal to the government of Connecticut, and they patiently 
awaited the time when, in the natural course of events, that govern- 
ment should extend its jurisdiction to their locality. After seven 
and one-half years definite action was taken by Connecticut. At a 



120 HISTORY OF WES'L'OHESTEK COUNTY 

rouii of tlie general assciiildv, lidd ai Hartford, October 9, 1602, au 
order was issued to the effect that "tins assembly doth hereby de- 
clare and inform the inhabitanls of Westchester that the plantation 
is included in ye bounds of our rharter, granted to this colony of 
Connecticut." The Westchester iieo[il(? were accordingly notified to 
send deputies to the next assembly, ajipoinled to meet at Hartford 
in May, 1003; and also, in mattei-s of k'gal proceedings, to " take 
the benefit," in common with the towns of Stamford and Greenwicli, 
of a court established at Fairticdd. Iteadily attaching much iiiipor- 
tanc<' to the will of Connecticut thus expressed, they abstained from 
their usual <ustoiii of nominating magistrates for the next year to 
CioveriKU' Stuyvesant. The latter, after some delay, sent to make 
in([uiries as to the reason for this omissi<»n; whereat Kichard Mills, 
one of llie local otticers, addi-essed to him a nu»ek cominiiMicatiou, 
inclosing the notifications from Connecticut and saying: "We 
humbly beseech you to undi'rstand that wee, the inhabitants id' this 
place, have not plotted nor conspired against your Honor." This 
did not satisfy Stuy^'esant, who caused ^Fills to be arresteil and in- 
carcerated in ]N'ew Amsterdam. I'rom his place of continement the 
unhappy Westchester magistrale wrote several doleful and contrite 
letters to the wrathful director. " Ilight Hon. Gov. Lord Peter l^tev- 
ensou," said he in one of these missives, " thy dejected prisoner, 
Richard Mills, do humbly supplicate for your favor and commisera- 
tion towards me, in admitting of me unto your honor's presence, 
there to indicate my free and ready mind to satisfy your honor 
wherein I am able, for any indignity done unto your lordship in 
any way, and if possible to release me or confine me to some more 
wholesome XJlace than where I am. [ have been tenderly br( d from 
my cradle, and now antient and \\cakl_\,"' etc. The claims of Con- 
necticut to Westchester being persisted in, Stuyvesant made a jour- 
ney to Boston in the fall of 1003 to seek a permanent understanding 
with the New England officials about the delicate subject. But no 
conclusion was arrived at, and the AYestchester affair remained in 
statu quo until fcu'cibly settled by the triumph of English force before 
New Amsterdam in the month of Se])tember, 1001. 

The Dutch-English controversy regarding the Westchester tract 
was one of the incidental phases of the general boundary dis])ute, 
which Stuyvesant, from the very beginning of his arrival in New 
Netherland as director-general, had in vain sought to bring to a deci- 
sion. In 1650, as the result of overtures made by him for an amicable 
adjustment of differences, he held a conference at Hartford with 
commis.siouers appointed by the United English Colonies; and on 
the 10th of Sei)tember articles of agreement were signed by both 



SETTLEMENT OF WESTCHESTER TOWN 121 

pai'tics in interest, wliicli proviilcd lliiit tlic ImhiihIs iiixm llic ni:iin 
"should beyiu at the west side of (ireenwifli Bay, beiug- about four 
miles from Stamford, and so to run a nortlierly line twenty miles up 
into the country, and after as it shall be agreed by the two govern- 
ments, of the Dutch and of Xew Haven, provided the said line come 
not within ten miles of the Hudson Iviver.'" 

Itiii these articles, constituting a jn'ovisional treaty, were never 
lalilied by the home governments. In l(>r>4 the States-General of 
I lie Netherlands instructed their ambassadors in London to negotiate 
a boundary line, an undertaking, which, however, they found it im- 
possible to accomplish. The English government, when approached 
on the subject, assumed a haughty attitude, pretending total ignor- 
ance of their High Mightinesses having any colonies in America, and, 
moreover, declaring that, as no proposal on the boundary question 
had been received from the English colonies in America, it would be 
manifestly im^iroper to consider the uLatter in any wise. Subse(iui'nt 
attempts to settle this i.ssue were e(|nally unsuccessful. Neverthe- 
less, it was always urged by Stuyvesaut that, in the absence of a reg- 
uhirly coulirmed treaty, the articles of 1050 imght to be adhered to 
in good faith on both sides, as embracing mulual concessions for the 
sake of neighborly understanding, which were carefully formulated 
at the time and had never been repudiated. It will be admitted by 
most impartial minds that this was a reasonable contention. But 
the Westchester tract was not the only territory in debate. English 
settlement had proceeded rapidly on i.,ong Island, and the onward 
movement of citizens of Connecticut in that quarter was quite as in- 
consistent with the terms of the articles of ir>.">(l as was the presence of 
an organized English colony in the Vredelaud. Thus whatever 
course might be suggested by fairness respecting the ultimate Eng- 
lish attitude toward Westchestei-, that was only one local issue among 
others of very similar nature; and with so much at stake, the policy 
of self-interest required a studied resistance to the Dutch claims in 
general, even if that involved violation of the spirit of an agreement 
made in inchoate conditions which, though in a sense morally bind- 
ing, had never been legally perfected. Finally, there was no conceiv- 
able risk for the English in any proceedings they chose to take, how- 
ever arbitrary or unscrupulous; for in the event of an armed conflict 
over the boundary difticulty, the jiowc ifiil Xew England colonies 
could easily crush the weak and nu^ager Dutch settlements. 

It is not known to what extent, if any, the settlers at Westchester 
suff(U-ed from the great and wi(les])read Indian massacn- of 1(555, 
which occurred before they had submit le<l themselves to the Dutch 
government and consequently before their alTairs became matters 



12'2 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

of record at Noav Ainstei'dam. On Lbo 15th of Sopteiiibcr of that 
year sixty-four canoes of savages — •' Mohicans, Pachamis, \\ith others 
from Esopns, Hackiugsack, Tapi)aan, Stamford, and Onlceway, as 
far east as ('onuecticnt, estimated by some to amount to nineteen 
hundred in number, from five to eiglit hundred of Avhom were armed," 
— landed suddenly, before daj'break, at Fort Amsterdam. They 
came to avenge the recent killing of a squaw I)}' the Dutch for steal- 
ing peaches. Stuyvesant, with most of the arme<l force of the set- 
tlement, was absent at the time upon an expediti<ni to subdue the 
Swedes on the Delaware. A reign of t<»rror followed, lasting for 
three days, during which, says O'Callaghau, " the Dutch lost one 
hundred people, one hundred and fifty were taken into captivity, 
and more than three hundred persons, besides, were deprived of 
house, home, clothes, and food." The Westchester people were 
probably spared on this occasion. It was a deed of vengeance 
agaiust the Dutch, and, as the English pioneers liad up to that time 
firmly resisted Dutch authority, the Indians could have had no reason 
for interfering with them. The reader will remember that when 
Stuyvesant's officer, Van Elslant, came to Westchester with his writ 
of dispossession in the spring of the same year, he was met by only 
eight or nine armed men; whereas one year later tM'enty -three adult 
males were made prisoners by De Koninck's party at that place. 
This demonstrates that the progress of the settlement had at least 
undergone no retardation in the interval. 

Thomas Pell, to whose enterprise was due the foundation of the 
first permanent settlement in the County of Westchester, Avas born, 
according to Bolton's researches, at Southwyck, in Sussex, England, 
about 1608, although he is sometimes styled Thomas Pell of Nor- 
folk. He was of aristocratic and distinguished descent, traciug his 
ancestry to the ancient Pell family of Waiter Willingsley and Dym- 
blesbye, in Lincolnshire. A branch of this Lincolnshire family re- 
moved into the County of Norfolk, of which was John Pell, gentle- 
man, lord of the Manor of Shouldham Priory and BrookhaJl (died 
April 4, 1550). One of his descendants was the Kev. John Pell, of 
Southwyck (born about 1553), who married Mary Holland, a lady of 
royal blood. Thomas Pell, the purchaser of the Westchester tract, 
was their eldest son. As a young man in England he was gentle- 
man of the bedchamber to Charles I., and it is supposed that his 
sympathies were ah\ays on the side of the royalist cause. It is 
uncertain at what period he emigrated to America, but Bolton finds 
that as early as 1G30 he was associated with Boger Ludlow, a mem- 
ber of the Rev. John Warham's company, who settled first at Dor- 
chester, Mass., and later removed to Windsor, Conn. In 1G35, with 



SETTLEMENT OF WESTCHESTER TOWN 123 

Ludlow au(l U'U families, he coiiimeuoed tlic i»laii(atiou at {■'airfield, 
Conn, (called by the Indians Unquowa). In l(i47 he traded to the 
Delaware and Virjiinia. Beinj>' summoned in KiiS tc> take the oatli 
of allegiance to NeAv Haven, he refused, for llic reason that he had 
already subscribed to it in England, "and shnuld nut take it here." 
For his contumacious conduct he was fined, and, icfusing to ])ay 
the tine, "was again summoned before the authorities, au<l again 
amerced." 

Thus his early career in Connecticut was attended by circum- 
stances which, on their face, were hardly favorable to his subse- 
quent selection by the government of that colony as an agent for 
carrying out designs that they may have had regarding tlie absorp- 
tion of Dutch lands. It is altogether presumable that in buying 
the Westchester tract from the Indians in 1654 he acted in a strictly 
private capacity, although the settlers who went there may have 
been stimulated to do so by the colonial authorities. Pell himself 
does not appear to have ever become a resident of Westchester. He 
evidently regarded his purchase solely as a real estate speculation, 
selling his lands in parcels at first to small ])rivate individuals, and 
later to aggregations of enterprising men. 

Of the more important of these sales, as of the conversion of much 
of his property into a manorial estate called Pelham Manor, due men- 
tion will be made farther along in this History. The erection of Pel- 
ham Manor by royal patent dated from October fi, 166G, Thomas Pell 
becoming its first lord. He married Lucy, widow of Francis Brew- 
ster, of New Haven, and died at Fairfield without issue in or about 
the month of Heptember, KWiil. He left property, real and personal, 
valued at £1,294 14s. 4d., all of which was bequeathed to his ne])hew, 
John Pell, of England, who became the second lord of the manor. 

For some six years following Pell's acquisition of Westchester in 
1654, there were, so far as can be ascertained, no other notable land" 
purchases or settlements within our borders. Van der Donck's patent 
of the " Yonkers Land," inherited by his Avidow, continued in force; 
biit the time had not yet arrived for its sub-division and systematic 
settlement. The New Haven Colony's ]mrriiase from Ponus and 
other Indians in 1640, confirmed to the ])eoiile of Stamf(U'd in 1655, 
which covered the Town of Pe(lf(U'd and other ]iortions of AN'estchester 
County, also continued as a mere nominal holding, no efforts being 
made to develop it. No new grants of any mentionable importance 
were made by the Dutch after that to Van der Donck, and while in- 
dividual Dutch farmers were gradually penetrating beyond tlie Har- 
lem, they founded no towns or compi'ehensive settlements of which 
record survives. 



124 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

But M'itli the decade coniiiienciiig in KJGO a general movement of 
land purchasers and settlers bei;an, which, steadily continuing and 
increasing, brought nearly all the principal eastern and southern 
sections under occupation within a comparatively brief period. 

The earliest of these new purchasers were Peter Disbrow, John 
Coe, and Thomas Stedwell (or Wtudwell), all of Greenwich, Conn., 
who in 1660 and the succeeding years bought from the Indians dis- 
tricts now embraced in the Towns of Kye and Harrison. Associated 
with them in some of their later purchases was a fourth man, Jolm 
Budd;^ but the original transactions were conducted by the three. 
Their leader, I'eter Disbrow, says the Kev. Charles W. Baird, the 
historian of lije, was " a young, intelligent, self-reliant man,"* 
who seems to have enjoyed the thorough confidence and esteem 
of his colleagues. On January' 8, KidO, acting by authority from 
the Colony of Connecticut, he purchased " from the then native 
Indian proprietors a certain true ( of land Ij'ing on the maine be- 
tween a certain place then called IJahonaness to the east and to the 
West Chester Path to the north, and up to a river then callfd Moa- 
(|uanes to the west, that is to say, all the laud lying between the 
aforesaid two rivers then called I'euingoe, extending from the said 
I'ath to the north and south to the sea nr Sound." This tract, on 
I'eningo Neck, extended ovei- the lower part of the present Town of 
liye, on the east side of Blind P.rook, reaching as far north as Port 
Chester and bounded by a line of marked trees. 

Six months later (.Tunc 29, KiliO) the Indian owners, thirteen in 
number, conveyed to Disbrow, Coe, and .Stedwell, for the consider- 
ation of eight coats, seven shirts, and fifteen fathom of Avampuni, 
all of JManussing Island, described as " near unto the main, which 
is called in the Indian name Peningo." A third purchase was ef- 
fected by Disbrow May 22, 1661, comprising a tract lying between 
the Byram IJiver and Blind Brook, " which may contain six or seven 
miles from the sea along the liyrani Biver side northward." Other 
purchases west of Blind Brook followed, including Budd's Neck and' 
the neighboring islands; the West Neck, lying between Stony Brook 
and Mamaroneck Biver, and the tract above the Westchester I'ath 
and Avest of Blind Brook, or directly north of Budd's Neck. This 
last-mentioned tract was "the territory of the present Town of llar- 
.rison, a territory owned by the proprietors of Rye, but wrested from 
the town some forty years later." Baird describes as follows the 



» John Budd was a Quaker, originally from niovod to Rye, and was tlie ancestor of tlie 

Southoia, Suffoll< County, N. Y.. and suffered numercnis Horton family of Westcliester Coun- 

perseeution there on account of his religious ty. l''.)r these particulars (not uientiipued in 

antecedents. One of his daughters married previous histories) we are indebted to Charles 

Joseph Horton, also of Southold, who later re- n. Young, Esq., of New Roehelle. 



SETTLEMENT OP RYE 125 

aggref>a((' liiiidcil in-opcrty represented li\ llic scvci-iil deeds: "The 
southeru part of it alone eoniprised Ilic tract of land between Byram 
Eivei- and Maniaroneck IJiver, while to the norlh it extended twenty 
miles, and to the northwest an iudehnite distance. Tiiese honn 
daries inclnded, besides the area now covered by the Towns of Eye 
and Harrison, much of the Towns of North Castle and Bedford, in 
New York, and of (Jreenwich, in Connecticnt; whilst iji a north- 
west direction the territory claimed Avas absolntely Avithoiil a fixed 
limit. As the frontier town of Connecticnt, T{ye long cherished ])i-e- 
tensions to the whole region as far as the Hudson." The satisfac- 
tion given the Indians for all parts of the territory consisted chiefly 
of nseful articles, and foi- some of the section the recompense be- 
stowed was very considerable according to the standards obtain- 
ing in dealings with the Indians in those days. Thns, the value 
paid for IJndd's Neck was " eightie jiounds sterling," and for the 
Harrison tract twenty ])ounds stei-liug. 'i'iies(> sums certainly con- 
ti-ast (|uite inii)Osingly with the value given by the Dntcli in l(i24 
for .Maidiattan Island — twenty-four dcdiars. 

Lilth' tiuie was lost in laying out a settlement. For this jiurpose 
Mannssing Island was selected as the most available spot, and there 

a c uiuuity was established which took the name of Hastings. In 

Disbrow's deed of May '2'2, KIGl, to the lands between the Byram 
Hiver and Blind Brook, mention is made of ''the bounds of Hast- 
ings (III the south and sonthwest," wliicli indicates that al tliat 
early date the island village had already been inaugurated and 
naiiud. The following list of all the inhabitants of Hastings Ithe 
second town oi-ganized in Westchester Countyl whose names have 
come down to us is taken from Baird: I'eter Disbrow, John Coe, 
Thomas Stud well, John Budd, William Odell, Richard VoM'les, !>?aiii- 
nel Ailing, Bobeit Hudson, John Brondish, I'-rederick Harminson, 
Thomas A])plel)e, riiilij) (ialpin, George Clere, John Jackson, and 
Walter Jackson. It will be observed that all these, with one ex- 
ception (("lerei, are good Knglish nanu's. This settlement, only one 
hour's sail from (irecMwich, was too far removed from New Amster- 
dam to excite the jealous notice and protest of Director Sluyvesant, 
although it lay c<insidei*ably to the west of the ])rovisional liuuiidai-y 
line marked olT in the articles of lt).")(). Its founders ai)pareiit l_\' re- 
moNcd there with no other object than to secui-e homes an<l ]ilanta- 
tions, holding thcmschcs in readiness, howcNcr, lil<c (hose of West- 
chester, to come under the ronnecticut gdverniiicnt in due time The 
oldest Hastings town document that has been ])reserved is a decla- 
ration of allegiance to "("liarles the Second, our lawful hud and 
king," dated July 2<i, ItitiL'. At the same period when the pco]plc of 



126 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Westchester Mere iuiunued that their territory belonged to the Col- 
ony of Connecticut, and instructed to act accordinoly, lilve notifica- 
tion Avas sent io Ilastiuys. Early in 16G3 the townsmen, at a public 
meeting, appointed liichard \'owles as constable, who went to Hart- 
ford and was duly qualified. John Budd was selected as the first 
deputy to the Connc^eticut jieneriil court, which body, on the Sth of 
October, 1C()3, designated him as commissioner for the Town of Hast- 
ings with " magistraticall power." 

The Island of Manussing, only one mile in length, Avas in the course 
of two or three years found inadi'quate for the growing requirements 
of the colonists, and they began to build up a new settlement on the 
mainland. This was probably in 16(54. Meantime other colonists 
had joined them, including Thomas and Hachaliah Browne, George 
Lane, George Knil'fen, Stephen Sherwood, and Timothy Knap. They 
called the neAV village Rye, " presumably," says Baird, " in honor of 
Thomas and Hachaliah Browne, the sons of Mr. Thomas Browne, a 
gentleman of good family, from Rye, in Sussex County, England, 
Avho settled at Cambridge, Mass., in 1632." " The original division 
of Rye consisted of ten acres to each individual planter, besides a 
jirivilcge in the undivided lands." The general court of Connec- 
ticut, on the 11th of May, 1665, ordered " that the villages of Hast- 
ings and Rye shall be for the future conjoyned and made one plan- 
tation, and that it shall be called by the appellation of Rye." (Jrad- 
ually the island was abandoned. The village of Rye became within 
a few years a very respectable little settlement. It lay " at the 
upper end of the Neck, along the eastern bank of Blind Brook, and 
the present Milton road was the village street, on either side of 
which the home-lots of the settlers were laid out. . . . The 
houses erected were not mere temporary structures, as on INIanus- 
sins; Island, but solid buildin"S of wood or stone, some of which 
have lasted until our own day. They were long, narrow structures, 
entered from the side, and stood with gable end close upon the road, 
and huge chimney ])rojecting at the rear. Each dwelling generally 
containetl t\A'o rooms on the ground Hoor — a kKchcn and ' l)est room ' 
—with sleeping apartments in the lofl." 

The original Rye purchases of Disbrow and liis associates in ItiCiO 
antedate<l by only one year the ]Mirclias(' of I lie adjacent Mamaro- 
neck lands, extemling from the Mamavoneck River 1o the limits of 
Thomas Pell's Westchester tract. On the 23d of September, 16(11, 
the Indian projjrietors, ^^'ai)]>aipiewam and Maliatahan (brothers), 
sold to Jolin Richbell, of Oystei' Bay, Long Island, three necks of 
land, described as follows in the conveyance: "The Eastermost is 
called Mammaranock Neck, and the Westermost is bounded with 



richbell's mamaroneck purchase 127 

Mr. Pell's purfliase." The three necks later b'-ciuue kuo^\m as the 
East, Middle, and West Necks. All the meadows, vivevs, and islands 
thereunto belonyiun' were included in the sale; and it was also 
specified that Eichbell or his assigns might " fi-eely feed cattle or 
cutt timber twenty miles Northward from the marked Trees of the 
Necks." As payment, he Avas to deliver to Wapj'iaquewaiii, half 
within about a month and the other half in the following spring, 
twenty-tAVo coats, one liundred fathom of A^ampum, twelve shirts, 
ten pairs of stockings, twenty hands of powder, twelve bars of lead, 
two firelocks, fifteen hoes, fifteen hatchets, and tliree kettles. Two 
shirts and ten shillings in Avampum were given in part paynu'nt on 
the day of the transaction. But IJichbell Avas not permitted to enter 
into undislurbe(l possession of Ids fine property. Another English- 
man of Oyster Bay, one Thomas Revell, in the folloAving month (Octo- 
ber, 16G1) aiipeared on the scene and undertook to buy the identical 
lands, or a very considerable portion of them. His negoiiations 
were with I lie same Wappaquewam and certain other Indians, to 
Avhom he paid, or engaged to pay, more than Eichbell had l)oiind 
himself for. Out of his rival claim arose a Avordy legal dispute, 
wherein affidavits were filed by various witnesses, one of \\ Ikiui (tes- 
tifying in Tvichbell's behalf) Avas Feter DisbroAV, of Manussiug Island. 
From the testimony of Wai»paqueAvam it appears that that chief was 
overpersuaded by another Indian, Cockoo, to resell the territory to 
Bevell, upon the alluring promise that " he should have a cole," " on 
Avhich he did it." The bui-deu of the cAidence Avas i)lainly in favor 
of Richbell, Avho, in all the legal proceedings that restilted, Iriuinphed 
OA'er his ojiponent. 

The Indian Cockoo, Avho contributed his good oltices to the assist- 
ance of ReAell in this enterprise, Avas none other than the notable 
Long Island interiu-eter, Cockonoe, Avho was ,lohn Eliofs first in- 
structor in the Indiau language, and Avho Avas a frequent interme- 
diary betAveeu English land purchasers and the native oa\ iiers of 
the soil. What is knoAvn of the history of tliis very uni(|Ue char- 
acter has been embodied in an interesting monograph by Mi-. William 
Wallace Tooker,' to Avhoni Ave are indebted for the article on In<lian 
local naiiies in the second chapter of this volume. 

His name a])i)eai's variously in legal documents as ('nckon, Cokoo, 
and Cockoe — all abbreviations of the correct form, Cockinioe. Kliot, 
in a letter written in KUfl, descriptiA'e of how he learned the Indian 
tongue, relates that he became ac(]uainted while living at Dorchester, 
Mass., with a young Long Island Indiau, "taken in the I'equott 
warres," Avhom he fonml very ingenious, able to rea<l. and whom 

' CoikoiioiMlo-r.i.iii; Islunil. N.w York. ISOG. 



128 



HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



lie lauglii l(( wi'ilc, •• wliirli he quickly k-arnt." "IK- was the first," 
says Eliot, "that 1 made use of to teach me words and to be my in- 
terpreter." And at the end of liis "Indian (irammar." printed at 
Cambridge in l(i()!i. Kliot testifies more particularly to the services 
rendere(i him by this youtii. "By his Iielp," he says, "I translated 
the ("omniandments, tiie Loi-d's Prayer, and many texts of Scripture; 
also I compiled both exhortations and prayers by his iieip." Cooko- 
noe attended Eliot for some time in his evan!j;elistio expeditious, and 
lalci- made his home amony the Eujilish settlers on Long Ishind, 
whom he stood ready at all times to assist in their private dealinjis 

with the Indians. When 



4^ THE i^> 

M OR, jjj^j. 

,S! The way of training up of oitr ^ 

<m kno.vlcage of G.A, in ihc ^>'> 
knowledge ofdicScdp:unc' ^j. 



i 






jW. and in an a'.vliiy to Pfiile. 
V-X . 

•^ Compofed t>j I. E. 

Li^JJ — _ ^ 

i UiM. 3 14,15. ,^(f <^f,:;:.i;j. QST 

-y 'Virflts.,/^ «>;/) n.thcuBtjjsarl'h ^ 

{^ khpahiiit.ic.imnfh, wihi/i'dti^i' 

4^ ytcbAt>b:tihte:<oniclt f§<J. 

^iij -5) ^^b witch fiufnnuti^ffi'fn- STi 

nut ({vnjiy.to nriiriicit'ipuiti, ^t 



Thomas Revell son,i>ht to 
i;('t the njijier hand of 
b'icldicjl in the ])nrchase 
o( lands in the present 
Townshi}! of Mamaroneck, 
lie accordiniily brouiihr 
( 'ockonoe with him from 
I.dUi;- Island, and confided 
to him full anthority in 
the premises, ('ockonoe 
made larjie promises to 
the native owners in He- 
vell's bi-lialf, and readily 
induced them to yrant 
him jiower of attorney to 
sell the lands to Kcxcll. 
The u iiderst nndiiii;- was 
shrewdly planueil, but 
Kichlxdrs claim was too 
well establ ished t o be 
overcome. 

Richbell. unlike IN-ll in 
his AYestchester pur(duise, 
and l>isbrow" and his com- 
panions in their Eye ven- 
ture, did not hold himself indeiieudent of the l)ut(di iM-o\'incial admin- 
istration. He promptly a])plied to the government at New Amster- 
dam for confirmation of his landed rlalits. Perhaps he was actuated 
in this step by a i)rudent desire to avoid the legal eomi»licatioiis and 
annoyances Avhich the settlers at Westchester had experieuct-d, and 
perhaps he sought to strengthen his case against his competitor 
Eevell bv the forms of ofiicial recognition. In an elaboratelj- polite 












«rt*Bfc-ttl, 



FA C-SIMILE OF TH E TITLF. -PAfJF OF THE PRIM ER OF 1669., 



richbell's mamaroneck purchase 129 

(■(iiminmicatioii, (Iatc(I "In New Nctlici-laiids, 2JtIi rH-ccmbci-, KWil," 
and addri'ssed "To the most noldc, jircal, and resitcctf'nl lords, the 
Din-ctor-Ueucral and Council iu .New Netherlands," he solicited 
" most reverently " that letters patent be .uranted him loi- his tract, 
l)romising not only that all i)ersons settlinii- njx'U It should similarly 
crave letters jiatent from the Dutch authorities for such jjarcels of 
land as they should ac(iuire, but also that he would take care to 
"enforce and instruct them of your Honour's iiovernment and \\iii."' 
Hy a document signed 3Iay (i, 1002, Director Stuyvesant conipiicii 
with his request, stipulating, however, that Kichbell and all ))ei'soMS 
associated with him or settling under him should "present llicm- 
selves before us to take the oath of fidelity and obedience, and also, 
as other inhabitants are used to, procure a land brief of what they 
I)ossess." 

The bounds of Richbell's patcmt on the Sound ran from " Mr. I'ell's 
purchase" at the southwest to the Mamaroneck River at the north- 
east. The three necks, constituting its water front, are thus de- 
scribed by the historian of the Jfanors of Westchester County: 

The Middle Xeelc was sometimes styled the " Great Neek," from its longer extent of 
water front, which led to the supposition tliat its area below Westehester Path was {greater 
than tliat of the East Neek. Tlie East Xeek extended from Mamaroneek River to a small 
stream ealled Pipin's Brook, which divided it from the Great Neek, and is the same wliieh 
now (188t)) crosses the Boston Road jnst ea.st of the house of the late Mr. (ieoroe Vander- 
burgh. The North Neck extended from the latter stream westward to the nuiuth of a mueh 
birjjer brook ealled Cedar or Gravelly Brook, wliieh is the one that bounds the land now 
Kelnnjrinr.- to Mr. IMeyer on the west. And the West Neck extended from the latter to 
another smaller brook still further to the westward, also termed Stony or Gravelly Brook, 
wliieh was the east line of the Manor of I'elham. A heated controversy arose between John 
Riehbell and John Pell (second lord of tlie Manor), as to which of the two brooks last named 
was the true boundary between them. Pell claiminy- that it was the former and that the West 
Neek was his land. After proceedings before (iovernor Lovelace and in the Court of 
.\ssizes, the matter was finally settled on the 2'Jd of January, IfiTl, by an agreement prac- 
tically dividing the disputed territory between them. 

Ikichbell erected a liotise on the East Neck, and resided there. in 
the iiiirrior his landed i-iglils, as understood in his deed from the 
Indians, extended "twenty miles northward." By letters patent 
from (ioveinor Lovelace, issned to him October 10, lOOS, the wlnde 
tract was continued to him, "running northward twenty miles into 
the woods." This tract embraced the present Towns (jf Mamaroneck, 
White I'lains, and Scarsdale, and most of New Castle. I'.ul the en- 
terprising men of Rye in 10S8 bought liom the Indians i he While 
Plains tract — a ])urchase which gave rise to a ])rolracle(l conienlion 
about the ownershij) of that section. The West and Middle Necks 
went out of RichbelTs jiossession under nioiigage transactions, the 
principal mortgagi'e being Cornelius Steeiiwyck, a wealthy Dutch 
merchant of New York. Most of the Middle Neck was subse-iueiitly 



130 IIISTOUV OK WESTCHESTER COUNTT 

acquired by the rtihiiei- family (still prominent in the Tuwn of ^Mamar- 
oneck). Toward the end of the eighteenth century Peter J. Munro 
became its principal proprietor, from whom it is called to (his day 
Munro's Neck. Upon it is located the widely known and exclusive 
summer resort of Larchmont, The East Neck was conveyed by 
Richhell, immediately after the procurement of his jiatcnt from Gov- 
ernor Lovelace, to his mother-indaw, Margery Parsons, who forth- 
with deeded it to her daughter Ann, his wife. By her it A\as sold 
in 1697 to Colonel Caleb Heathcote, under whom, Avitli its interior 
extension, it was erected into the Manor of Scarsdale. Heathcote's 
eldest daughter, Ann, married into the distinguished de Lancey 
family. As he left no male heir, Ann de Lancey inherited much of 
the manor property, and the de Lanceys. continuing to have their 
seat here, gave their name to the locality still called de Lancey's 
Neck. 

John Eichbell, the original purchaser of all the lauds whose his- 
tory has thus been briefly traced, was " an Englishman of a Hamp- 
shire family of Southampton or its neighborhood, who were mer- 
chants in London, and who had business transactions with the West 
Indies or New England." ITe was engaged for a time in commer- 
cial enterprises in the British West India Islands of Barbadoes, then 
a prominent center of transatlantic trade. In l^.^n he was a mer- 
chant in Charlestown, Mass. (near Boston). The next year he en- 
tered into a peculiar jirivate uuderstanding with Thomas Mediford, 
of Barbadoes, and AVilliam Sliarpe, of Sout]iaiH])ten, England, which 
is supposed to have afforded the basis for his purthase, four years 
later, of the Mamaroneck tract. The details of the understanding 
are not stated in terms in any document that is extant; but its 
nature can readily be conjectured from the wording of the " Instruc- 
tions " prepared for him by his associates, dated Barbadoes, Septem- 
ber 18, 1657. He is advised to inform himself "by sober under- 
standing men" respecting the seacoast between Connecticut and 
the Dutch settlements, and the islands between Long Island and 
the main, ascertaining "Avithin what government it is, and of what 
kiude that government is, whether very strict or very remisse." 
Having satisfied himself, in these and other particulars, that he 
"may with security settle there and without offense to any," he is 
advised to " buy some small Plantation," which, among other ad- 
vantages, must be " near some navigable Ryver, or at least some 
safe port or harbour," and " the way to it neither long nor ditticult." 
He is next to obtain an indisputable title to the land, to settle there . 
with his family, and to clear and cultivate it. Precise directions 
are given him for his agricultural and economic operations, includ- 



richbell's mamaroneck purchase 131 

ing tbi' I'olldwiug signifioaut ones: " Be sure by the first opportunity 
to put au acre or two of hemp seed into the ground, of which you 
may in the winter make a quantity of canvass and cordage for your 
own use. In the falling and clearing your ground save all your 
l)riiKipal timber for pipe stands and clapboard and knee timber." 
Lastly, he is instructed to "advise us, or either of us, how affairs 
stand with you, what your wants are, and how they may be most 
advantageously employed by us, for the life of our business will 
consist in the nimble, quiet, and full correspondence with us." There 
can be no doubt that all this was with a view to procuring facilities 
for contraband traffic. The navigation laws, at that time as through- 
out the colonial period, were extremely burdensome, and large profits 
were to be made in evading them. Although no direct evidence ex- 
ists that the Mamaroneck shores were utilized to this end, we think 
it highly probable tliat some illicit trade found its destination there. 
It is a fact that EichbelTs lands, unlike those of Thomas IVU and 
Disbrow and his associates, were not taken \i]) to any considerable 
extent by bona fide colonists for many years. Yet he was a poor 
man, always in debt, and could not afford to let his property lie idle. 
As late as 1671 a warrant was issued by Governor Lovelace " for ye 
fetching Mr. John Richliell to \(n\n [New York City] a prisoner," 
wherein it was recited that " John Itichbi'll, of JIamaroneck," was " a 
prisoner under arrest for debt in this city, from wliicli place he hath 
absented liiinself contrary to liis engagement." It may hence justly 
be remarked that, on the otiu-r hand, lie could hardly have been en- 
gaged in any very extensive or remunerative "nimble" business. 

T?efore buying the Mamaroneck tract, Richbell had become an in- 
habitant of Long Island, residing at Oyster Bay. On the 5th of Sep- 
tember, 1660, he purchased Lloyd's Neck, on that island, for which 
on December IS. 1665, he obtained a patent from Governor Nicolls. 
Tills property he sold one year later for £150. Through his brother, 
Eobert Richbell, a member of the English Council of Trade created 
by Charles II., he probably received early information of the expe- 
dition intended for the conquest of New Netherland from the Dutch. 
After the conquest he made his home at Mamaroneck, where he died 
July 26, 1681, leaving a widow and three daughters — Elizabeth, 
Mary, and Ann. Elizabeth, according to Bolton, became " the sec- 
ond wife of Adam Mott, of Ilanistead," and their son, William, was 
the ancestor of Dr. Yalentine :Mott, of New York City. Mary Rich- 
bell married Captain James Mott, of Mamaroneck. who, in an entry 
in tlie town records, alludes to "a certain piece of land laying near 
the salt meadow," "in my home lot or field adjoining to my house," 
as being the burial place of John Richbell. 



CHAPTER \11 

" THE POKTION OF THE NORTH RIDING ON THE MAIn" PROGRESS OF 

SETTLEMENT AND BEGINNINGS OF THE MANORIAL ESTATES 




N the Gtli of Hepteiiibcr, 1()()4, the CMty of New Am- 
sterdam suiTeiidercd to ;ui English fleet whicli had 
beeii secretly disiiatchcd an'oss the Atlantic lo take 
ttossessiou of the Diilili dominions in America; and 
soon attei-ward the fortitied places id' the- Dntch on the Dela- 
wai-c and the npper Undson gave in their allegiance to the 
new rnlei'S of the land. For man,\ years tiie wliole conrse <>( events 
in New Netherland had been steadily tending to this event naiity. As 
early as l()5tl, when tlie llarti'oi-d articles of agreement between Stny- 
vesant and the comnnssiducrs uj' tlie T'niteil Colonies of New I'hig- 
laiid were signed, the l>utcii pi-etensions to teirituriai ownersiii]) on 
tlie banks id' the Connecticnt were abandoned, and the lOnglish rights 
as far west as Greenwich on the Sound and to within ten miles of the 
llndson liiver in the interior were rerogiuzed. At the same time, 
sovereignty on Long Island was fni'mally divided with the English, 
it being )>ioviileil in the articdes tli;it " upon Long' Island a line ran 
from the westernmost part of Oyster i!ay, so, and in a sti-aighl and 
direct line, to the sea, shall be the bonnds betwixt the iCnglish and 
Dutch there, the easterly part to belong to the English and the west- 
I'rnmost part to the Dntch.'" Snbsei|nent (U'veloj)mi'nts wei-e nni- 
forndy in the direction of the acipusition by the English of all nn- 
settled intermediate territory. While the Dutch not oidy made no 
encroa(dnaents njion the sections adjoiinng the English settlements, 
but even neglected all systematic orcn]>ation of the undeveloped 
country' indisputably belonging to their own sjihere, such as the 
regions north of the Harlem Kiver, the English were constantly ex- 
tending, by actual seizure and occupation, the limits of their west- 
ward (daims. One after another the Dutch gave up to their rivals 
every point in dispute. In lti(>:'>. after a strenuous endeavor to re- 
tain the Westchester tract, wheie they had preserved the forms of 
jurisdiction since the early days of its colonization by TelFs settlers, 
tliev resigned this inqiortant vantage ground; and early in 1664, 



AFTER TIIK ENGLISH CONQUEST 



i:« 



forced to an issue on l>i)no Island h\ I lie siiililmrii allihidc ul' ilii> 
En.nlisli (owns llicic, llu-y entered into an airani^cnient \t\ w liicii 
all conti-ovei-ted matters in that part of their diniinishini;- realms 
were deterniined ajireeably to the 157'ilisii interests. Bj' this hitler 
transaction the villain's of Newtown, I'liisliinn', .Taniaica, Tlenipstead, 
and (Jravesend beeann- English. The arroj^ant general dis|M)sition 
of (he English in Oouuectiont u\ the closing period of the Dntch 
rnle is described as follows by Stuyvesant in a dispatch to the West 
India Conix>auy, dated IS*o\('nd)er 1(1, Hii;.".: "They know no New 
Netherland, uor government 
of New Xethei-land, except 
oidy the Dnlch jdantation 
on tile Island of .Manhattan. 
"Tis evident and clear that 
were ^^■estchester and the 
five lOnglish to\\iis on ]>ong 
Island snrreiidered by us to 
the Colony of Hartford, and 
\\iial we have justly pos- 
sessed and settled on Long 
Island left to ns, it would 
not satisfy them, because it 
would not be ])ossible to 
bring them sxifltieiently to 
any fnrtlier arrangement 
witii us by commissioners 
to be chosen on both sides 
by the mediation of a third 
party; and as in case of dis- 
agreement they assert, in 
addition, that they may pos- 
sess and occupy, in virtue of 
their unlimited patent, the 
lands lying vacant and un- 
settled on both sides of the Noi"th Ttiver ami elsew here, which would 
certainly always cause and ci-eate ne\\' |)re(ensions and dis]iutes, even 
though the boundaiy Avere jirovisionallN settled here." The ])atent 
here referred to by Stiiyvesant was one granted by Cliaries II. on 
(he 23d of AiM-il. \m2. to the Colony of Coniiecticut, wherein the 
westward bounds of Connecticut were stated to be " (he Soutli Sea " 
— that is, the Pacific Ocean. The southern bounds were likewise 
fixed at •' the F!ea " — meaning not the Sound, but the Atlantic Ocean 
south of Long Island. 




DUTCH COURTSHIP. 



IS'! HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

March 23, IGGl fn. s.J, Cliark'S 11. by ruyal pateut vested in his 
brother, the Dul^e of York (afterward James II.), the proprietorship 
of all of New Xetherland. The sole semblance of justilication of 
this act was the venerable claim of England to the North American 
mainland, based upon the discovery of the Cabots in the reign of 
Henry ^'11., nearly a hundred and seventy years before. At the 
time of the gift to the Duke of York, no state of war existed be- 
tween England and the Netherlands. Neither was there the plau- 
sible excuse of emergency on the ground of any threatening be- 
havior of the Dutch in America, or even of dangerous differences 
between the provinces of New Netherland and Connecticut; for, as 
we have seen, the Dutch had pursued an undeviating course of for- 
bearance and submission, and had but recently yielded all for which 
their English neighbors contended. It was a deed of spoliation pure 
and simple, and as such has been characterized in varying terms of 
denunciation by all impartial historians. Four ships of Avar, car- 
rying ninety-two guns and about four hundred and lifty land troops, 
and commanded by Colonel Richard Nicolls, appeared before New 
Amsterdam at the end of Aiigust, and demanded the surrender of 
the city. Stuyvesant desired to resist to the last, but was over- 
borne by the Avill of the citizens, and on the 6th of September articles 
of capitulation were signed, whicli were extremeh' generous in their 
provisions, the Dutch being granted full privilege to continue in the 
enjoyment of their lands and otlu-r jjossessions, as well as liberty of 
religion and of occupying minor civil offices. Nicolls was installed 
as governor of the province, which took the name of New York. 

One of the first documents wliicli I he new authorities had to con- 
sider Avas a communication from the " iidiabitants of Westchester," 
reciting, under seven different heads, their local grievances against 
the Dutch. In this paper no specific remedy was prayed for, and it 
appears to have been drawn mei'ely to put on record the real and 
supposed injuries that the settlers liad suffered from the New Neth- 
erland government, and to attract official attention to their commu- 
nity. O'Callaghan shows that in some of its more serious charges 
it is distinctly untruthful, suggesting a malignant animus. It con- 
cluded with the bitter complaint that, because of the conduct of the 
Dutch, the plantation is at " a low estate," that conduct having 
operated as " an utter obstruction from the peoi)ling and improv- 
ing of a hopefiil country." 

The form of tenure under which Ncav Netherland was granted to 
the Duke of York by the king Avas defined in the patent as fol- 
lows : " To be holden of us, our heirs, and successors, as of our 
Manor of Greenwich and our County of Kent, in free and common 



AJ^TER THE ENGLISH CONQUEST 1.35 

socage, aud not in capltc, uor by kuight service, yielding aud ren- 
dering of and for tlie same, yearly and every year, forty beaver 
slvins wlieu they sliall be demanded, or within ninety days tliere- 
after." This meant simply that there was to be no feudal tenure 
of lands under its provisions (all feudal t<'nures having, in fad, been 
abolished throughout English dominions by act of Parliament four 
years previously), but that the system introduced should be strictly 
allodial, patterned, moreover, upon that prevailing in " our Manor 
of East Greenwich in the County of Kent," "' the object being to 
give to the new possessions in America the most favorable tenure 
then known to the English law." The basis of the ancient and 
effete feudal system was the complete subjection of the vassal to 
his lord, the vassal being bound to perform military and other per- 
sonal services aud to be judged at hu\ by his lord, and the lord 
guaranteeing him, in consideration of his fealty, sectirity in the pos- 
session of his lands and general protection. On the other hand, allo- 
dial tenure, or " free and common socage," -was " a free tenure, the 
land being a freehold, and the holder a freeman, because he, as well 
as the land, was entirely free from all exactions, and from all rents 
and services except those specified in his grant. So long as these 
last were paid or performed, no lord or other power could deprive 
him of his laud, and he could devise it by will, and in case of his 
death intestate it could be divided among his sons equally." Thus 
in its very origin, English rule in what is now the State of New 
York had for its basic principle an absolutely free yeomanry. The 
erection of '' manors," presided over bj- so-called " lords," did not 
affect in the least this elementary free status; the manors being 
only larger estates, and their lords wealthy proprietors with cer- 
tain incidental aristocratic functions and dignities which violat('(l in 
no manner the principle of perfectly free land tenure^ 

New York, under this patent from Charles II., assumed at once 
the character of a " proprietary province " — that is, a province owned 
absolutely by the beneficiary, James, Duke of York, and ruled ex- 
clusively by him through his subordinates, subject to the genei-al 
laws of England. In this character it continued for nearly Iwniiy- 
one years (excepting a little more than one year, when it was again 
under Dutch sway by virtue of reconquest), at the end of that time 
being merged in the provinces of the crown because of the acces- 
sion of James to the throne of England. Kichard Xicolls, the duke's 
first governor, after substituting for the old uauu- of New Nether- 
land that of New Y'ork, proceeded to rename the various parts of 
the province. lie assigned the comprehensive designation of York- 
shire to the whole district surrounding Manhattan Island, cumpris- 



136 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTEU COUNTY 

Ing Long Island, Stalcii Islainl, iind l lir |mcsciiI W'fstclicster ( 'ounly; 
and, following the local slvl.- (if old ^()l•kshil'(', in England, he snb- 
divlded this district into tlircc so-called " Kidings " — the '" East," 
"West," and "North." The East Jiiding consisted of the present 
Suffolk County; the West Kiding, of Staten Island, ilie jiresent Kings 
('onnty, and the Town of Newtown, in the present (Queens County; 
and the North liidiiig, of the remainder of the present Queens 
County, together Avith the Westchester phmtation. The first offi- 
cial (as well as popular) name for our county, of mor<^ than nu-re 
local ajijdication, was " the jiortion of the North Kidiiig on the main." 
But the hong Island jurisdiction extended only to (he Bronx, the 
settlements whicli later sprang up west of that sti-eani beini; und<'r 
the government of Harlem and New York City until Wesli liester 
County came into existence , in 1(JS3. 

Goverucu- Nicolls, after ])roc]aimiug the Duke of York as lord pro- 
prietor of the province, and exacting recognition of him as such, 
which was readily foil hcoming (SI uyvesant, and the leading Dutch 
citizeiis generally, suhscriljing to the oath of allegiance), permitted 
the former order of things to continue with as littk' interference as 
possible. ^\■ith the transfer of sovereignty, however, it became nec- 
essary to issue new land ]tatents to existing owners, extinguishing 
the condilion in the old deeds thai lands were lield under allegiance 
to the Dutch West India Comi>any, and instituting instead the au- 
tliority of Ihe new regime. This formality was jirovided for in the 
celebrated code known as " The Duke's Laws," adopted by an as- 
sembly of delegates from the towns oi' the ](rovin<e held at Hemp- 
stead in the summer of l(Ki5. It was prescribed that "all persons 
Avhatsoever who may have any grants or ])atents of townships, lands, 
or houses, within this goverumeni, shall bring in the said grants or 
patents to the said governor and shall have them ]'enew("d by au- 
thority from his Boyal Highness, the Duke of York, before the next 
Court of Assizes. That every purchaser, etc., shall pay for every 
huudi'ed acres as an acknowh^dgnu'ut two shillings and six pence." 
The Dutch submitted cheerfully to the regulation, but some oppo- 
sition to it was offered b_\' tlie iuluibitants of the English towns of 
Long Island, who, conceiving that they belonged to the jurisdiction 
of Connecticut, were disinclined to be thus summarily incorporated 
under the new-fledged government. 

The bonndarj' question which so vexed Stuyvesant was immedi- 
ately brought to the serious attention of Nicolls by the Connecticut 
officials. He was no sooner well established in ](ossession of the 
Dutch province than delegates were sent to him from Connecticut 
to congratulate him and arrange a settlement of the boundary line. 



AFTER THE ENGLISH CONQUEST 137 

He api)ointe(l oonniii.ssi()n('rs to iiicct these delej;ates, and (in the 
2Sth of October, 1()G4, it was af^reed that the line should start on 
tlie Sound at a point twenty miles east of the Ilndson Kiver aniJ 
imrsue a north-iiortliwest course until it intersected the line of 
Massachusetts, which at that time was supposed to run across the 
continent to the Pacific Ocean. In locating the twenty-mile start- 
ing point, Nicolls accepted representations made by the Connecticut 
[leople, and it was fixed at tlie mouth of tlie .Mamaroneck Kiver, 
which in point of fact, however, is only ten miles from the Hudson. 
Accordingly, the boundary between NeAV Vork and Connecticut was 
declared to be "a line drawn from tlie east i)oint or side where the 
fresh water falls into the salt,' at high-water mark, north-northwest 
to the line of iMassnchiisetts." This produced a line strilcing the 
east bank of the Hudson just above Crotcm I'oint, and the west bank 
at West Point — an arrangement which, when the New York author- 
ilies discovered tlie fact, was greatly to their dissatisfaction, and 
wliich hiler was rectified on a basis as nearly as convenient adjust- 
able to the original twenty-mile understanding. But for tiie time 
being, notwithstanding the serious miscalculation of distance, the 
division of territory on the Sound appeared equitable enough. It 
was unquestionable that eve rything east of (ireenwich belonged to 
("(inuecticut, by virtue of long settlement and also of the articles of 
l(i.">(l. West of Greenwich there were only three settlements on the 
Sound — those at l\.\e and Westchester, and an infant colony at East- 
chester, — and all of these had been established exclusively by Con- 
necticut people. Wfstchester village, and with it all the ti^'ritory 
on the Sound as far as the Mamaronecdc Kiver, was surrendered by 
Connecticut to New York, only the Kye ])urchase being retained. As 
for the interior, that was wholly unsettled as yet, and there was no 
occasion to make any issue conceriung it. Meantime the New York 
government was able to contend that it was the oi-iginal intent of 
both parties to have the Connecticut line drawn at a distance of 
twenty miles from the Hudson; and anything inconsistent with this 
in the ])recise terms of the arrangement actually effected was natur- 
ally subject to re\'isioii in due time. 

Although the village of Westchester had attained to the inijior- 
tance of a separate organized community, the settlers there had held 



' " Tlif iilnce where the fresh water falls iuto a northerly course, a rock.v reef originally 

llie salt " is. says de Laneey, in his History crossed it nearly at right angles, causing the 

nf ihe M.innrs, the literal translation of the formation of rapids. It was high enough to 

Uidian name Mamaroneik. lie adds: " A short prevent the tide rising over it at high water, 

distance above the present bridge between the so that the fresh water of the river always 

Towns of Mamaroneck and Uye, where the fell Into the salt water of the harbor, and at 

river bends suddenly to the east and then takes low water with a strong rush and sound." 



138 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

their lands from tlif beginning untk-r an arrangement with Thomas 
Pell, the original Avhite owner of the territory, whereby they were to 
pay him " a certain summe of money." Circumstances prevented the 
fHlfilhiient of this obligation, and on the KUh of June, 1664, three 
months befoi'e the surrender of the province to the English, they 
signed a document restoring to him all rights, titles, and claims to 
the tract. One of the signers was " John Acer," probably the John 
Archer who a few years subsequently became lord of the Manor of 
Fordham. The restoration thus made was only temporary, for in 
1667 Westchester received a town jjatent. 

The proprietary liretensions of Thomas Pell were quite unlimited. 
Besides undertaking to hold the Westchester settlers to tlie letter 
of their agreement with him, he asserted and attempted to legally 
enforce a claim to Cornell's Neck, which in 1646 had been patented 
by the Dutch director, Kieft, to Thomas Cornell, and from him had 
descended to his eldest daughter, Sarah, the wife of Thomas Willett 
and later of Charles Bridges. Shortly after the English govern- 
ment of IS'ew York had become established, Pell sought to oust Mrs. 
Bridges from the possession of Cornell's Neck, and in consequence 
of his arbitrary proceedings she, with her husband, brought suit 
to restrain him from interfering with her in the enjoyment of her 
inheritance. The action was tried before a jury on the 29th of 
September, 1665. It i)rt)ved to be a test case as to the validity of 
Dutch grants in the whole territory which had been in dispute be- 
tween New Netherland and Connecticut, Pell set up the plea that 
the so-called CorneH's Neck was comprehended within the tract that 
he had bought from the Indians in 1654; that the governor and 
council of Connecticut had taken "notice of this land to be under 
their government," and had licensed him to purchase it; and that 
any prior Dutch grant ought to be voided, since " where there is no 
right there can be no dominion, so no patent could be granted by 
the Dutch, they having no rigid." On the other hand, the plaintiffs 
alleged " ye articles of surrender, and the King's instructions, where- 
in any grant or conveyance from the Dutch is confirmed." The 
jury promi^tlj- returned a vei'dict for the plaintiffs, with sixpence 
damages; and it was ordered "that the high sheriff or the under- 
sheriif of ye North Biding of Yorkshire upon Long Island do put 
the i)laintifi's in jjossession of the said land and premises; and all 
persons are required to forbear the giving the said plaintiffs or 
their assigns any molestation in their peaceable and quiet enjoy- 
ment thereof." Under this decision the absolute ownership of Cor- 
nell's Neck by the descendants of Thomas Cornell was never sub- 
sequently questioned. Mrs. Bridges deeded the Neck to her eldest 



PROGRESS OF PURCHASE AND SETTLEMENT 



139 



son, William Wilk-tt, who on tliL- ir)tli of April, KiCT, procured from 
Governor NicoUs a new and more earcfiilly worded patent to it. 
The Neck continued in the AVillett family for more than a century 
afterward, and, althongh never invested with manorial dij^nity, was 
recognized throughout the colonial period as one of the most im- 
portant landed estates in Westchester County, the heads of the Wil- 
lett family vying in social and public prominence with the Mor- 
rises, Philipses, de Lauceys, and Van Cortlandts. 




oi-R SAINT Paul's church, eastchester. 



But though defeated in his attempt to acquire CoruelTs Neck, Pell 
was recognized as the " one only master " of the territory reaching 
from the eastern confines of that locality to the Mamaroneck pur- 
chase of Thomas Kichbell. We have seen that the title to the West- 
chester planiation was reconveyed to him by the settlers on the IGth 
of June, ir>(i4; and in the same month another circumstance occurred 
indicating that I'ell's aulliority over the whole domain was undis- 
puted. On the 24th of June, 1G64, he granted to "James Evarts 



140 



HISTORY OK WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



and Philip IMiiekiK^v, lor tluMns<^]vos and their associates, to the 
number of ten faniilit^s," the privih'ue " to settle (h»\vn at Hutch- 
inson's, that is, "where the house stood at the mca^lows ami uplands, 
to Hutchinson's IJivc^r/' This new English e<»lonv, located just above 
Wt'stchester, on the strij) belw'on Thi-o^^'s an<l l*elliani Necks, was 
culled Eastchester, or the " Ten I'^anns." All the graut(M's came from 
Fairfield, PelTs liome. The oriuina! ten families were soon joined 
bj otlu^rs, making (w<*nt.y-six families in all. A curious cov<*nant, 
comprising t\\'enty-seven paragraphs, was adoit'cH fur the govern- 
ment of the place, in which ]»lain rules for the observance of all 
Avere laid down.^ To lM^tt(M' s<^<'ure themselves in the pi)S(^ssi(tn of 



^ Inipriniis, that we by lln' ^'nicc <if (lod, sitt 
down on the tr:K-k of laud lU'iig belwext 
Hiitlu'^son's bi'oo(.'k, whoar the bouse was, un- 
leil H c-om unto the river, that rnneth iu at the 
head ol" the lueados. 

2. That we iudeavor to keepe aud maintayu 
christiau love aud sivell honisty. 

3. That we faithfully eoussall wliat may be 
of lulinnyti iu auy onv "f ns. 

4. I'hiiulie tn deallr niic with auotlier in 
ehrisllan love. 

ft. If auy tri'spas be dun, the trespaed aud 
the tresjiaser sluill ehu.se tow of this eouipany. 
aud tliHy a thirde man if need be recpiiird. T<i 
end the uiater, without auy further trubell. 

r.. Thai all and every oue of us, or that 
sliall be of us, do paye unto the minester. 
aeeordiug to his meadr. 

7. That none exceed the qnaiitily uf liflciii 
acres, uulil all have that quantily. 

s. That every man hath that mradow that, 
is most convenient for him. 

Ji. That every man build aud inhabit <tu bis 
home lot before the next winter. 

10. That no man make sale of his lot before 
he bath bnilt aud inhabited one yi'ar, and then 
ti) render it to the company, or lo a man whom 
they approve. 

11. That any man may sell part of bis alot- 
meut to his nei^^bbor. 

12. That uo uuin shall engrosse to himsi-lf by 
buying his neighbor's lot for his particular in- 
terest, but with respect to sell it if an ap- 
Ijroved man come, and that witliout much ad- 
vantage, to be judged by the company. 

13. That all public altairs, all bridges, high- 
ways, or mil;, be carried on jointly, according 
to meadow and estates. 

14. That provision be endeavoured for educa- 
tion of childreu, and then encouragement be 
given unto any that shall take pains accord- 
ing to our former way of rating. 

15. That uo man shall give entertainment to 
a foreigner who shall carry himself obnoxious 
to the company except ameudment be after 
warning given. 

IG. That all shall join in guarding of cattle 
when the company see it convenient. 



17. Tluu ever.\ man make and maintain a 
good fence about all his arable land, and iu 
due time a man dioscn to view if the coui- 
jiany's be good. 

IN. That evi-ry iiuni su\v his lainl when most 
of I he company sow or plant iu tbtdr fields. 

VX That we give new encouragement to Mr. 
Brewster each other week, to give us word 
nf exhortation, and that when we are settled 
we meet together every other weeke. oue hour, 
to talk of the best things. 

2u. That one man, either of himself, or by 
consi'Ut. may give entertainment to strangers 
for money. 

21. That one day, e\'cr.\' spring, he iui|)ru\cd 
for the destroying of rattle snakes. 

22. That some, every Lord's day, stay at 
home, for safety of our wives and rbildren. 

23. That every num get and keep a good lock 
to his door as soon as be can. 

2t. That a Cfmvenient place be apitointed for 
oxen if need require. 

25. If any man's meadow or upland be worse 
iu quality, that be considered iu quantity. 

2G. That every man that bath taken up lottes 
shall pay to all publick charg<'S equal with 
tliose that got none. That all that hath or 
shall take up lots within this track of land 
mentioned in tlie premises shall snbserilte to 
1 hese articles. 
Thomas Sbnte 
The mark of 

O 
Nathaniel Tompkins, 
riiilip rinkney. 
The mark of X Joseph Joans, 
John IToitt, 
James Everts, 

The mark of X Daniel Godwin, 
The mark of X AVilliam Squire, 
David Osburn, 
John Goding, 
Samuel Drake, 
John Jackson, 

The mark of John Drake, I D 
The mark of 

X 
Nathaniel White, 



PROliUKSS OF I'UnCHASE ANU SIOTTLEMBNT 



HI 



llicir l.-iinis, Ihcy olilaiiicd a fuiilK i- grant Iruni \\n_- liidians in JGGO; 
and (in I lie Dili day ol" .March of that year a ]iatent was issued to 
llicni by Nicolls, IlinniL;!! ilicir representatives — Philip I'iiiclcney, 
-lames Evarts, and \\ illiani liaydeii. They wei-e to have tlie privi- 
lege ot eiecling a dejinly constable, bnt in all other matters were to 
•• have relation to ye town and conrt of Westchester."" Certain bor- 
der lands between them and the Westcheslei- i(eo](le were "to lye in 
common between Iheni and ye inhabitants of Westchestei'," a pro- 
vision which later gave rise to a good deal of local controversy. 
.Mthongh the Eastchester settlement was made by men fresh from 
ConiKM licut, its citizens do not appear to have songht at any time 
to remain under that colony. 

Having parted with all that section of his lands below Hutchin- 
son's Kiver, Thomas I'ell next turned bis attention lo the erection of 
the remainder into one imposing estate. This was aocomijlished by 
letters i)ati'nt procured from Governor Xicolls the Stli of October, 
l()(i(l, a document under which the first manor in Westchester County 
was organized. The boundaries given it were Hutchinson's Kiver 
on the west and Cedar Tree Brook or (Jravelly Brook on the east; 
and it was lo include "all the islands in the l?>ound, not already 
granted nr otherwise dis|)osed of, lying before that tract,'" and to 
"run into the woods about eight English miles in br(>adth."" The 
whole was declared to be "an enfranchised toMUship, mauiu', and 
jilace by itself,"" and lo b<' entirely free from "the rules, orders, or 
directions of any riding, townsliiji or townships, place, or jnrisdic- 
liou, either upon the main or upon Long Islaml."" The iiroprietor 
was to pay annually to the Duke of York " oni' landi upon the lirst 
day of -May, if the same shall be demanded."" The snbse(pieut history 
of I'elham .Manor will be traced in due chronological order. 

'{'he inhabitants of Westchester village acce])ted rlie gd\crnmenl 
of New York without demur. Applying to (iovernor Xicolls for a 
town patent, Ihey were informed by him iDecember 2S, \i\i'ut) that 
he Would defer issuing it until the whole could be e(|ually dividi'd 
into lots according lo each man's assessed valuaiion. Earl.\' in HKiT 
il'ebruary i:'>i the desired inslrumeut was granted to them, being the 
lirsi of lis kind in our c((unt.\'. The jtiMsous mentioned in the docu- 
ment are " dolm *Juiml>,\, dohn I'erris, Nicholas ilayley. William 



Willi.'im H:ii<Ii)ii'.s in;iik, 11 

The- mark of .Idlin (!ny, I G 

.Iciliii .\. rinUin-y. 

Till- mark of .Tolin 'i'miiitkins. O 

liiiliard Sliiitr. 

Thr mark of .Tolni Mulliii.l. I U 

Mos.'s U..itto. 

Iti.liaril Moadloy, 



Till' mark of Hniry .\ Kfowlir, 
.Tohn Emory, 
Moses Jackson, 
John Clrtrko, 

This is a true copy aivorilini; iinio Ihi' oris- 
inall, transirihi'i! by inc, Uichanl Shuli'. this 
23d day of Nov. 'GS. 



142 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Betts, and Edmund Waters, as patentees for and on behalf of them- 
selves and their associates, ve freeholders and inhabitants of ye said 
town." The boundiiries fixed were: At the west, "the Avestern part 
of the lands commonly called Brouks Land "; at the south, the Sound, 
or East River; and at the east, Ann's Hook, or Pelham Neck. At 
the north they extended "into the woods without limitation for 
range of cattle." " All ye rights and privileges belonging to a town 
within this government " were bestow'ed. 

"■ Bronks' land," whose " western part " was indicated as the limit 
of Westchester town in the direction of the Hudson Biver, was a 
territory of quite uncertain dimensions. Together with the lands 
beyond along the Harlem and the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, it was 
dotted with the farms of Dutch settlers who had been gradually 
coming over from the Manhattan Island side. 

On Manhattan Island, from the mouth of the Harlem Biver to 
Spuyten Duyvil, the land was well occupied; and at the northeast- 
ern extremity of the island a village called Harlem had been built 
up. The interests of the settlers on both sides began to demand 
that ferry communication be established. As early as 1658 this 
need had received attention from the Dutch authorities, an ordinance 
having been passed in that year with a vieAV to the inauguration of 
a ferry from Harlem to the mainland, and the construction of a sub- 
stantial wagon road from Fort Amsterdam to Harlem. Nothing 
practical was done by the Dutch in connection with these projected 
improvements. But in 1G66 Governor Jsicolls granted to the people 
of Harlem a charter pro\ iding for " a ferry to and from the main," 
and authorizing them " at their charge to build one or more boats 
for that purpose tit for the transportation of men, horses, and cattle, 
for which there will be such a certain allowance given as shall be 
adjudged reasonable." A ferry was soon afterward imt in opera- 
tion, conducted by Johannes Verveelen, in whom the privilege was 
vested for six years. He was required to maintain a tavern for the 
accommodation of the public. Special favors Avere extended to him 
in consideration of the expense that he Avas under and to encourage 
him in his enterprise. He Avas given a small piece of land on the 
Bronx side to build a liouse on. The sole right to remove cattle 
from one 'shore to the oth(>r belonged to him, and persons 'iwimmiHg 
cattle over were obliged to pay him half the fei-riage rate per head. 
The " fording place " on Spuyten Duyvil Creek Avas fenced about so 
as to prevent its surreptitious use for cattle. Finally, he was ex- 
empted from all excise duties on Avine or beer retailed by him for 
the space of one year. The ferriage charges, as fixed by lav., were: 
For every passenger, tAVo pence silver or six pence wampum; for 



PROGRESS OF PURCHASE AND SETTLEMENT 143 

every ox or cow bronslit into th:' fcrvyhonl, ciuht ])('iicc oi' twenty- 
four stivers Avanipuni; cattle iniilcr a ycai- <ilil, six |)«ii( i- or cioliteen 
stivers wanipnm. Goverunient luessaiios between New Vorl< and 
Couueetient were free. Each passenger wlioni lie entertained was 
to pay " for liis meal, eight pence; every man for his lodging, two 
pence a man; every man for his horse shall ]k\} four pence for his 
night's hay or grass, or twelve stivers wampum, provided the grass 
be in the fence." 

The site of the ferry landing on the Manhattan side is located 
by Kiker, in his " History of Harlem," at the north of One Hun- 
dred and Twenty-third Street, three hundred feet Avest of First Ave- 
nue. But the Harlem and Westchester ferry proved nnprotitable, 
and in IGG'J was abandoned. This step was partly occasioned, how- 
ever, by the growing promise of more favorable conditions over 
toward Spnyten Dnyvil, where, on the Westchester side, the foun- 
dations of the Town of I'^oi'dham were being laid and an era of 
active settlement had set in; and there Yeiweelen obtained a new 
ferry franchise, running from the 1st of November, KiGO. 

The reader will recall that the whole great tract knoA\n vari- 
ously as Nepperhaem, Colen Douck, and the Jonkheer's Laud, or 
Yonkers Land, embraced between tlie Hudson and Bronx Kivers. and 
extending to above the limits of the present City of Yonkers, granted 
by the Dutt-h West India Company as a patroonship to Adrian \'an 
der Douck, was inherited after his death, in 1005, by his wife, Mary, 
daughter of the Eev. Francis Doughty, of Maspeth, Long Island. She 
presently took another husband, Hugh O'Xeale, and removed with 
him to his home in Patuxent, Md. After the English conquest and 
the issuance of notification to existing land proprietors to renew 
their patents, she and her husband journeye<l to New York, and ap- 
peared before Governor Nicolls with satisfactory evidence of legal 
ownership of this tract. The governor therefore (October S, 1()00| 
granted a royal patent to " Hugh O'Neale and Mary his v>ife,"" con- 
firming them in its possession, its limits being thus described: 
"Bounded to the northwards by a rivulet called by th(> Indians 
Macakassin, so running southward to Neperhaem [Yonkers], from 
theu'-e to the Kill Shorakkapoch [Spuyten Duyvil] and I lieu to 
Pai»rinimen [Kingsbridge], which is the soulhernmost bounds, then 
to go across the country to the eastward by that which is com- 
monly known by the name of Bronck's his rivei' and laud." As 
these limits wer(» the original ones of the ]iatroonship, it follows 
that no part of the Yonkers ti-act had been disjjosed of since Yan 
der Donck's death, and thai any persons lixiui: upon it ]irevionsly 
to October. 1000, were either tenants or mei-e squatters. 



144 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

The U"Xc'uk-s lost no tiiiic in divesting tliomselves completely of 
the ownership of the properly, which they donbtless considered 
troublesome because of its i-emoteness from their Maryland home. 
On October 30, KKKi, twenty-two days after the procureuK-nt of the 
Nicolls patent, it was conveyed 1o lOlias Douiihty, of Fiushini^, Mrs. 
O'Neale's brother — a conveyance which was lurtlier and finally per- 
fected May 16, 1667. 

The ncAV proprietor very soon be<;aii to receive and accept offers 
for portions of the estate. In March and September, 1667, he sold 
to John Archer, of Westchester, '• fourscore acres of hind and thirty 
acres of meadow," in the vicinity of the i)resent Kingsbridye, " lying 
and being betwixt Brothers River and the watering place at the end 
of the Island of Manhatans." This was the beginning of a new 
manorial estate — tlie seccmd of our country in ijoint of anviquity. 
Doughty also sold, July 6, 1668. to NA'illiani Betts and (ieoi'ge Tippett, 
his son-in-law (for wliom Tibbet's Brook is named), about two thou- 
sand acres, reaching from the Hudson to the I'.roux. witli its south- 
ern boundary starting just Ixdow Kingsbridge and abcve Archer's 
lands, and its northern ]»assing through \'an ("orthmdt Lake along 
tlie nortli si(h' of " Van dei' l)oiick"s j)lauting held." About the same 
time I Jiine 7, 166S), for the value of a liorse and to, Douglity con- 
veyed to Jose])li Iladden some three liundred and twenty aci-es di- 
rectly north of \'an der Donck's planting hehl, lying in uncciual ])arts 
on both sides of Tibbet's Brook. In 1670 he sold a tract one mile 
scpiarc istill called "'the Alile Sipmre '"i, bordering on the Bi-onx 
liiver, to Francis French, Ebene/.er Jones, and Jolin Westcott. And 
flually, on tlie 29th of November, 1672, all that remained of the 
Yonkers Land was dis])osed of in ('([ual tliirds to 'fhomas DelavaK 
Thomas Lewis, and Frederick I'hilipse. 

Of these various sales, the rti-st, to Arcliei', and the hist, to I'hilipse 
and others, are of special historic interest, each of the two being fol- 
loAved by consecutive devf^lopments which will demand particular 
attention. 

John Archer, the earliest sub-j)ui-cliasei' in the original Van der 
Donck tract, was, as already stated, an inhabitant of the Town of 
Westchestei'. There is some uncertainty wiu'tlu'r he was of Englisli 
or Dxitch origin. According to Bolton he was a descendant of Hum- 
phrey Archer of Warwickshire (ir)27-()2), whose ancestor Avas Fulbert 
I/Aicher, one of the companions of William the Coiujueror; and from 
Humphrey the same authority carefully traces John's descent. Bol- 
ton is of the o])inion that he caine with the early Westchester settlers 
from I'airtield, ("onn., about 16.")4-r). But the wh(de English i)edigree 
for John Arclier which Bolton has so painstakingly constructed is of 



FORDHAIVI MANOR 



145 



at least (lnulil fnl mil Ik '111 icily. Kil<ci-, tlii' hist<ii-i;iii (if llarlciii, states 
lliat in the orijiiiial records of tiiat village liis uame occasionally aj)- 
pears in connection with For<l]iani and similar matters, and that it 
is invariably written "Jan Arccr." It is supposed by l\iker and 
others that he came from Amsterdam. Iltillaiid, and that marrying in 
this conntry an Englislnvoman, and liviiii; in an Ens;iisli-s])eakin<i' 
settlement, he nltimately an.ylicized his original l)nt(h name into 
John Archer. 

Tlis pnrchase in 1607 from ]>onglity of lands below Kingsbridge 
was bnt one step toward the tinal acMpiireiuent of a handsome estate, 
comprising (Bolton says) 1,253 acres. All this property, willi (he 
exception of the hnudred odd acres sold to him by Donght}-, was 
boiiglit from the Indians. There still snr^i\t'S the record of an 
Indian deed to him of territory running from Papirinemen down to 
a ]iiiiiii on the Harlem, and exiending to tlie rti'ojix. This pnr- 









t^':k^^ 



1^ 



V M ii 



''tis ft* Uv l'^J3Qi^>""V^ jl#' 
Iv . 'i' r'T-^''^'?'-; i,**?^-*"-**--,, .i^i^^^^ 







VIKW OK KINGSBKIDGK. 



chase, wliicli mad.e him the sole owner pi-(diably as far south as 
High Bridge, was effected on the I'Stli of September, UJtiO, the con- 
sideration given by him tit the Indians being " lo coats of Duffels, 
one-halfe anchor of Knme, 2 cans of Brandy, wine with several other 
small matters to ye value of (iO guilders wamimm." The lands which 
he bought from Douglity in liWiT, and otlier adjacent lands which he 
possessed, were leased liy liini in iwenty and iweuty fniir acre pai-- 
cels to su(di persons as would clear and cullivale tliem, and accord- 
ingly became occui)ie(l in KiCtS-CiO by a lunuber of former Harlem 
residents. 

A little settlement sjtrang up which, says Edsall in his "ITislory 
of Kingsbridge," was located " on the uidand just across the meadow 
from Papirinemen." The i.lace. from l><-ing lu-ar the " foi-diug place," 
was called Fordham. "It !iad the countenance and protection of 

' Thi- building shown in the cut w;is Mivouil.s i i.l.iijiil. It was blown down in 18,'>li. 



14G HISTORY OF WKSTCIIKSTER COrNTY 

tile L;(>\('iii(ir. tu'iiiii ill !i ((iiivcniciit phici' U>v llic rclid' of si ranticrs, 
it bciiiii till' road tor piisscii^crs to j^o to and from tlic main, as well 
as for nuitnal inti'rt-onrsc with tlic nciiilihorinj; colonv. The villa<;t' 
consisted of about a dozoii houses in an extended line aloni;- the base 
of Tetard's Hill, crossed at the middle b.v the ' old Westchester Tatli " 
llJoston Post l\oad), leadinii' ui> over the hill toward (Vtiinecticut. 
\o traces of these old habitations remain." ( M' course the reader 
will not confound the Fordham of Toe's Cotta.uc (now a station on 
the NeAV York and Harlem Kailroad) with this ancient community 
on Spuyten l>u_\\il ( rei'k. 

The people settled al INu'dliam and thereabouts on botli shores 
felt sorely aii'jirioved al liie divei-sion of eastern travel fidui its nat- 
ural rout(> across the wading' jdace to the ferry al Harlem. The 
assumjition exercised by the Harlem ferryman and his fellow towns- 
men in ftMicinii' in the font so as to ])rotect tlu' ferry monojioly was 
mucli resented by them, and they threw down the fence and claimed 
the i-iiiht to cross at ]tleasure. I'Mnally, in ItiGD, the controversy was 
settled by tlie transfer of the ferry to their locality. John \'er- 
veelen was continued in chari^e. ojierated the line until his death, 
and was succeeded by his son. Daniel, who was still ferryman at 
the time of the erection of the Kini;"s liridiic (1(>!M|. The elder 
^'erveelen, u]ion assumiuin his m-w functions, received "tlie Island, 
or ni'ck of land, rajiirinemen " for his use. where he was "required 
to ]>ro\ide a dwelling house furnished with llii'ee or four ^ood beds 
f(U- the eutertainnu'ut of strani^crs; also ])rovisions at all seasons for 
them, (heir horses and cattle, with stabling and siallinu; also a suf- 
ticient and able boat to transfer passeniicrs and cattle on all occa- 
sions. He was charged with one-thiid the exi>ense of a causeway 
built ai-ross the meadow from rapiiinemen to l'\)rdham. It is note- 
worthy that al)ont the tinu- when the l'(U-dham ferry was ])ut in op- 
eration the Albany aiul Boston Post Koads were projected and their 
construction begun. 

In the contract made with ^'erv(>eh>n for takini; chari;-e of the 
ferry, its location was fixed ''at the place commonly called Spuyten 
Huyvil, between ^Fauhattan Island ami llie new \illai;(' calleil I'ord- 
ham." This name S|>uyten Duyvil, now restricted to tli(> point of 
contluenc(> of the Hudson IJixcr and Spuyten I>uyvil Creek, was, says 
Hdsall, originally " aiiplieil to a strip on the ^lanhallan island side 
of the wadin,n' place, then to the ci'ossinii- itself, and liiially to the 
neck, which still retains it." ' 

' Thei'e lias always boon controvoi's.v as to jort from tlio I!iv. l>r. CuU'. our wi'U known 

tlio (Irrlvatlou anil orisinal signlflcance nf tlio Wi'stohoslor auUioril.v on the Duti'li porlotl and 

lurions name Snu.vton Dnj-vil. Tlio cilltor of Dulcli names. 'I'lio following is Dr. Colo's 

lliis Hlstor.v roiiui'sfoil an opinion on tlio sub ropl.v: 



FORDHAM MANOR 



147 



Tlic \ill;ip' ipf l"uiilli;uii, lilvc thai nf Ihirlcin, liad ils (Irpriidcnce 
iilKiii llic iiiiiviii'"s coMi-l of New Voi-k, alllinii-li causes iiiviil\ iii^ less 
tliaii £."» coiild be Inrall.v (lisi)(is('(l of tliciT. 

.Idliii Ai-clicr was ikiI (nily llic rniinilci' (if I'ni'dhaiii, ImiI rcaiaiiicd 
its jiriiicipal man and conti-ollini; s])irit nnlil his (i<-alii. ( »n May 3, 
KiOl), he received aMtlioi'ity from (ioveninr l>()V(dacc (o sellie sixtoon 
families on (he mainland " m-ai- liie wadiiiii pinco." In the i)eriod 
l(!(il)-71 he leased \arions farms alioni I'ordhani In lenarils. IJul Ids 
private affaii's, like Ihose of IJicdihell of Mamarnneck, had become in- 
volved, and, like Hiclibell, he soniihr ndief b.v morlyafi;ing lands to 
the iMilcli merchant, Cornelius Steenwvck. On vSejiteniber 18, 1()«J9, 
he execnled to Steenwvek a morti;ai;e for 2,2(10 liiiilders; on Novem- 
ber 14, 1(>71, another for 7,(100 i;nilders; and on November 24, 1()7(), 
a third for 24,000 <;iiilders, the last mentioned heinii payable in seven 
years. 

Meanwidie, iiowcver, despite his financial complications. Archer 
obtained from (Jovernor Lovelace a ro\al pa(ent consoli(latin<j; his 
landed jiossessions into one compleie pro])erly, w hich was appointed 
to be "an entire and enfranchised township, manor, and place of 
itself." It iminded the handet of I'ordliam, and was styled Ford- 
ham .Manor, beinii "k" secon<l in point of time amonj; the six manors 
of \\'est(diester ( 'oiinly. Next to the Manor of Morrisaina, which em- 
braced all the mainland liirectiy south of it, it was the smallest. 
Its northern line beyan not far from (lie preseid Kin^sbri(l^(■, where 
the ypuyten Diiyvil Creek bends due south, meryinn into the llar- 



3ly Dt'ar Mr, Shoitnard — 

Of course till" pi>pular notion of ■' Spuyten 
Dii.vvll " comes from nving"s New York (lioolj 
VII.. einiptcr vll.), with wliieh \vp arc both 
familiar. If .vou have the book at hand, notice 
his spcllhif;— " en spljt (leu du.vvll." It is not 
" sptiyt." bnt " spljt." I do not know how 
nnicli of a Diilcli selioiai' Irving was. but as an 
orif^lnal for "in spile of the devil " ills speil- 
liiK (■■ spljt "I is correct. 

" SjiijI " and " spnyt." In tlie Dutch, are 
wholly dilTi-rent wortls. " .*<|)Ijt " Is an emo- 
tion, as sorrow, tfi-lcf, displeasure, vexation, 
oto. Our ICni;llsh word " spite." with ail its 
milder and more Intense tletuilt Ions, meets It 
exactly. 

" Spuyt " Is very dllTerent. Onr words 
"spont." "spit" (F^at.. " sputare "), meaning 
to throw out or belcli forth, are Its equiva- 
lents. 

In till' phrase of which you speak as sug- 
gested by some rule, viz.: "point of tlie dev- 
Hs," the Word Is confounded with anotlier and 
still wholly dllTerent Tentonle root, which Is 
neither " spljt " nor " spuyt," but " spit " or 
"spits." We have this In our English word 



" spit." a siiarp pale or point on wiilcli we im- 
pale. We use this Inslruniciil in oni- r-ooking 
processes. 

The onl.v imitter to be der*ided with our 
phrase Is how It was originally spelled. Was 
li Spljt den Duyvli, or Spuylen Ifuyvii? If It 
were the latter, it meant "Spouting r>evli," 
and could mean nothing else. It might have 
been suggested by an euerg<Mie or iioiling 
spring In the vicinity. This would turn en- 
tirely on :i <iuesthm of fact. Was there sucii a 
local si)ringV See a footnote of Dr. Thomas 
H. Kdsall, on page 748 of Vol. I. of Scharf's 
History, lie suggests that It may have re- 
ferred to a strong dasliing of the tides at cer- 
tain times upon the l>ar at the entrance to the 
strait. We do not know on what historic 
fact the name rests, and so we can not know 
whether the original root was "spljt" or 
"spuyt." of course, Irving's fun decides 
nothing. 11 may, however, Inive rested on 
some tradition which has not come down tons. 

Yours as ever, very cordially. 

David Coi.k. 
Yonkers, February 26, ISOO. 



148 



HISTORY UI' WKSTCHESTER COUNTY 



Iciii Kivcr; jind its soiitlici'ii stni'tcd froiii a jioint on tlic Uailciu bi'low 
Ilijjh Bi'idge. Its eastern boundary was the Bronx. As "acknowl- 
edgment and quit rent '" for his manorial ])atent, Arclier was to pay 
yearly " twenty bushels of good ]ieas, upon the first day of March, 
when it shall be demanded." 

The history of Fordhani ^lanor is brief. Already mortgaged in 
])art two years before its creation, and again mortgaged for a much 
larger amount on the very day after the issuance of the royal patent, 
it never recovered from the burden of indebtedness thus laid upon it. 
^Moreover, at the end of the fifth year of its existence, it became 
pledged beyond the hope of redemption. In Archer's mortgage of 
1676 to Steenwyck, all his rights in the manor were transferred to 
the latter, conditioned only upon the proviso that if before the 24th 

of November, 1683, he should repay the 
amount borrowed, at six per cent, 
yearly interest, he should re-enter as 
])roprietor. The debt was not dis- 
charged, and Steenwyck took the wlioh' 
estate as his property. By the will of 
Cornelius Steenwyck and his wife, ;Mar- 
garetta, drawn November 20, 1684, they 
devised the manor without any reser- 
vations to "the Nether Dutch Eeformed 
< '(Migregation within the City of New 
^'(lrk.'■ By that congregation it was 
])i('sci'ved intact fits lands being leased 
to various persons) until 17.")."), when an 
act was passed permitting the minister, 
elders, and deacons of the church to sell 
the lands. 

.John Archer, the iiatenlce and lord of the manor, is referred to 
in the Avill of the Steeuwycks as '• the late John Archer," and there- 
fore must have died some time before No\'ember 20, 1684, the date 
Avhich that document bears. " It is said (we quote from Bolton) 
that lie suddenly- expired in his coach while journeying from his 
manorial residence to New York City, and was interred on Tetard 
Hill." lie was a contentious man, being involved in many legal 
disputes with liis tenants and neighboring land owners. T^pon one 
occasion Hie nuiyor's court in New York, acting ui)on a complaint 
from the people of Fordhani that he had undertaken to goxcrn them 
by "rigour and force," and had "been at soAeral times the occasion 
of sireat troubles betwixt the inhabitants of the said town," ad- 




CORNELIUS STKENWYCK. 



FORDHAM MANOR 149 

moiiislicd liiiii " to Ir'Iuivc liiiiisclf for tlic future civilly and (]ui('tly, 
as he Avlll answer for the same at his peril. "' lie held the (dtice of 
slieritr of New York City. His son, John, inluriled wliat was left 
of his property. To (^note ayain from IJolton, it is said tiiat three 
hnndred acres upon which stood the old nianoi'ial residence were, 
througli the liberality of Mrs. Steenwyck (wlio survived her hus- 
band), exempted from the bequest to the Dutch Church, and con- 
tiuued in the possession of the Archers. At all events, mend>ers of 
the family continued to I'eside upon tlu'ir anct'stral lands, and in 
the ei;;hteenth century Benjamin Archer, a direct descendant of the 
first Jidin, o\\ ned in fee a considerable section of the (dd manoi'. 
The pi'o,ueny of J(din Archei' in Westchester County at the present 
lime are numerous. 

Although the settlers in Fordham Manor were brou.yht under the 
jurisdiction of Manhattan Island, its lands owed their development 
mainly to the activity of men belouginn to the ancient Town of 
Westchester; and it is with the history of Westchester town that 
this old manorial i)atent will always be associated. Indeed, the 
limits of the Town (townshij)) of Westchester as originally created 
by the legislature of the State of New York embraced all the ter- 
ritory of Fordham and also of Morrlsania Manor. Out of West- 
chester township, as thus first established, was subsecpiently (lS4(i) 
carved the new Township of West Farms, which included both Ford- 
ham and ]Morrisaina Manors; and West Farms was in turn sub- 
divided, the lower section of it being erected (IS.").")) into another 
township, called Morrisauia, whose bounds coincidecl gi^nerally with 
those of the historic Morrisania Manor, having for their northern 
limit a line beginning on the Harlem River near tlie High Bridge; 
and finally, in 1S72, the Township of Kingsbridge was organized, con- 
sisting (if all the former Towushi]) of Yonkers lying south of the south- 
erly line of the City of Yonkers. This township included the whole 
of the original Maiior of Fordham. The three names — I''ordliani, 
West Farms, and .Morrisania — are all of seventeenth cenhiry oiigin; 
and the three localities, as individual ])arts of the original Township 
of Westchester, came into existence within the same general period 
of time. Having given in brief the history of the village an<l Manor 
of Fordham, it is proper to notice its neighboring and associated lo- 
calities of West Farms and Morrisania before turning our attention 
again to other ])oi-tions of the county. 

The West lanus tract, like that of the "Ten Farms,"' or East- 
chester, never attained to manorial dignity. It was a stri]> abing 
the Bronx Bivei-, extending to the vicinity of what is still known 
as West Farms village (now a part of the City of New York). By 



150 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUxNTY 

a deed dated "West Chester, Mareli the 12th, 1GG3," this strip was 
sold by nine Indians tt) Edward Jessup and John Kichardson, of 
Westchester, who on the 25th ot April, lOGG, were confirmed in its 
proprietorsliip by royal letters patent fro)u (iovernor Nicolls, each 
being allotted one-half of the whole. Jessup"s lialf, after his death, 
came into the possession of Thomas Hunt, of \\estchester, and l\ich- 
ardson's was inherited by his three married daugliters, one of whom 
was the wife of Gabriel Leggett, progenitor of the \Vest Farms Leg- 
getts, and the other the Avife of Joseph Hadley, of the Yonkers. The 
whole patent was originally divided into twelve parcels, collectively 
styled " The West Farms,'' a name descriptive of its local relation 
to Westchester, by whose citizens it was opened up and upon whose 
government it depended. Between the West Farms iiatcnt and the 
lauds of the Morrises, at the southwest, lay a strip whose owner- 
ship was long in controversy, and which hence was called '' the de- 
batable ground." 

The foundations of the great Morris estate were begun about 1070, 
when Captain Kichard Jlorris, an English merchant from Barbadoes, 
purchased, in belmlf of himself and his brother Lewis, from Samuel 
Edsall, the old Bronxland tract. This was the identical land, con- 
sisting of some five hundred acres, which about 1639 was granted 
by the Dutch West India Company to Jonas Bronck, the first known 
settler in Westchester County. After Bronck's death, it was owned 
by his Avidow and her second husband, the noted Arendt van Curler 
(or Corlaer), from whom it passed through several proprietors to 
Samuel I]dsall, a beaver-nuiker in New Amsterdam. Edsall's pur- 
chase was made on the 22d day of October, IGOl, almost immedi- 
ately after the conquest of New Netherland by the English; and he 
promptly took out a patent for it from Governor Nicolls. The 
Nicolls patent describes it as " a certaine tract or parcel of land 
formerly in the tenure or occupation of Jonas Bronck's, commonly 
calh'd by the Indians hx the uauu' of Bauackque, and by the Eng- 
lish Bronck's laud, lying and being on the maine to the east and 
over against Harlem town, having a certain small creek or Kill 
which ruus between the north east part of it and Little Barnes 
Island, near Hellgate, and so goes into the East Biver, and a greater 
creek or river which divides it from Manhattan Island, containing 
about ."OO acres or 250 margou of bind." It is an interesting his- 
torical reminiscence tliat this r.ronxlau.l tract, now the most thickly 
populated portion of the old County of Westchester, was not only 
the first locality within our borders to be settled under the Dutch, 
but was also the object of the first private purchase nmde under 
the English. 



THE MORRIS PURCHASE 151 

TliL' brutlicrs IJlchai'd and Lewis Morris, wIid bcciune owners of 
Brouxlaud by purcliasc from Edsall iu ItiTO, were descendi'd from 
au ancient Welsh family of Monmouthsiiire. Lewis inherited the 
paternal estate of Tintern in tliat county, wlii( h was confiscated by 
Charles I. because of his connection witli tlie Parliament party, in 
whose service he fought as commander of a troop of horse. For 
the loss thus suffered he was later indemnified by ("romwell. Emi- 
grating to IJarbadoes, he bougiit u splendid projK'rty on that island. 
He took part in the successful English expedition agaiust Jamaica, 
having received from CroniAvell the commission of colonel. Adopt- 
ing the princiides of the Qualvers, he became a leading member of 
that sect, and entertained George Fox upon his visit to Barbadoes 
in 1G71. 

Bichard Morris, a younger brother of Lewis, fought with him in 
support of the rarliameut, being a captain in his regiment. He 
followed him to Barbadoes after the Bestoration, and there mar- 
ried Sarah I'ole, a wealth}- lad}-. The attention of the brothers was 
attracted to New York as a place offering favorable opportunities 
for enterprise, and it was decided that Bichard should remove to 
that quarter and buy a large landed property. Articdes of agree- 
ment were entered into between the brothers, i)roviding that " if 
either of them shoidd di<' without issue, the survivor, or issue of 
the survivor, if any, should take the estate."' By an instrument 
dated August 10, 1G70, Captain Kichard Morris, who is styled " a 
merchant of XeA\- York," and Colonel Lewis ^lorris, " a merchant 
of Barbadoes," jointly purchased from Edsall the five hundred Bnmx- 
land acres. Here Bichard made his home with his young wife and 
a number of uegro slaves whom he had brought from the West 
Indies. Both Bichard and Sarah Morris died in the fall of 1G72, 
leaving an infant son, Lewis Morris the younger. 

Information being sent to Colonel Lewis Morris of the decease of 
his brother, he came to New Y^ork in 1073 to look after the in- 
terests of the estate. Meantime the province had been recaptured 
by the Dutch, ami the new governor, Anthony Colve, finding that 
"Colonel Morris, being a citizen of Barbadoes, was not, under the 
terms of the capitulation, entitled to the same liberal terms as 
British subjects of Yirginia or Connecticut," and " also that the in- 
fant owned only one-third of the estate and th(» uncle two-thirds," 
resolved upon the confiscation of the latter's two-thirds. Never- 
theless, the uncle managed to arrange matters advantageously with 
the Dutch officials, and was not only ap])oiuted administrator of 
Bichard's estate and guardian of the infant, but was finally " granted 
the entire estate, buildings, and materials thereon, nn a valuation to 



152 HISTORY OF AA'ESTCIIESTER COUNTY 

be made by impartial appraisers for the benefit of the miuor child, 
but Colve ' appropriated ' (due regard being had, of course, to the 
infant's interests) all the fat cattle, such as oxen, cows, and hogs." 

The elder Lewis Morris, having thus brought about a tolerably 
satisfactory adjustment of the matter, returned to Harbadoes to 
close up his private interests. This accomplislied, he came to New 
York again in 1675, with the resolve of making it his permanent 
home. During his absence the English had resumed the govern- 
ment of the country. On March 25, 107G, Governor .\ndros issued 
to him a patent covering not only the original five liundi'cd acres 
of Bronck, but some 1,420 adjoining acres in addition. The word- 
ing of this important patent, in its description of the propcity, is as 
follows: "Whereas, Colonel Lev.is Morris of the Island of Harba- 
does, hath long enjoyed, and by patent stands possest, of a certain 
plantation and tract of land, lying and being upon the niaine, over 
against the town of Harlem, commonly called Bronck's land, the 
same containing about live hundred acres or two hundred and Hfty 
morgen of land, besides the meadow thereunto annexed or adjoin 
ing, called and bounded as in the original Dutch gr<nind brief and 
patent of confirmation is set forth; and the said Colonel Morris 
having made good improvement upon the said land, and there lying 
lands adjacent to him not included in any patent or grants, which 
land the said Colonel Morris doth desire for further improvement, 
this said land and addition being bounded from his own house over 
against Harlem, running up Harlem river to Daniel Turner's land, 
and so along his said land northward to John Archer's line [Ford- 
ham Manor], and from thence stretching east to the land of John 
Bichardson and Thomas Hunt [West Farms patent], and thence 
along the Sound about soutlnvt'st, through Bronck's kill to the said 
Colonel Morris his house, the additional land containing (accord- 
ing to the survey thereof) the quantity of fourteen hundred, and 
the whole, one thousand, nini- hundred and twenty acres." In con- 
sideration of this grant Colonel Morris was to pay " yearly ami every 
year, as a quit-rent to his royal highness, five bushels of good Avinter 
wheat." The land of Daniel Turner, mentioned in the patent, was 
a narrow strip of about eighty acres extending along the Harlem 
Biver just below Fordham Manor. Turner was one of the original 
patentees of Harlem, and was one of the first men of that village to 
compete with the Westchester ])eople in ac(|uiring lands beyond the 
Bronx. 

Colonel ]\rorris, to render his title to the whole estate absolutely 
invulnerable, took the precaution of olttaining a deed from the In- 
dians, dated February 7, 1GS5. Of course this formality Mas not 



THE MORRIS PURCHASE 153 

necessary as to the portion *>( ilif ]>r(ij(crty wliicli t'orincrl^' belonged 
to Edsall, and be bad in view simply to secure liiniself beyond all 
possibility of legal disptite in tlie i)ossession of tlie additional lands 
granted to him by Audros. 

In the same year that the patent for Bi-onxland and its adjacent 
territory \Aas issued, Colonel Jlorris bought a very extensive traet 
in East Jersey, to which he gave the name of Tinteru and Mon- 
mouth, after his ancestral seat in the old country. His New Jer- 
sey property amounted to about 3,500 acres. Thus, besides found- 
ing one of the principal hereditary domains of Westchester County, 
he was among the earliest of large landed proprietors in New Jer- 
sey, where also he selected Avhat has since become a very conspicu- 
ous and valuable section, lie lived on his JJronxland property until 
Ills death, in 1091, occupying a handsome residence, which even in 
those early colonial times was a place of liberal hospitality, lie 
was a prominent man in the province, sustaining intimate relations 
with (iovernor .Vndros and other celebrated official characters, and 
from 1(583 to lOyO was a member of (Joveruor Dougau's council. Dur- 
ing his lifetime, although possessing abundant means and enjoy- 
ing the distinction of aristocratic birth and antecedents, no steps 
were taken to erect the estate into a manor. He was twice mar- 
ried, but left no descendants, his sole heir being his nephew, Lewis, 
the only son of his brother, Kichard. The value of Colonel Morris's 
personal property, etc., exclusive of his real estate, as appraised by 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, Nicholas Bayard, John Pell, and William 
Kichardsou, was estimated at above £4,000. Among the chattels 
enumerated iu the inventory were tlie following: 

NEGROES. 

22 mail negroes at 20 1 440 

11 women at 1.5 1 1G5 

G lx)vs at 15 1 90 

2 ga'rles iit 12 1 24 0^0 

2.5 children at ,5 1 12.5 

844 

In the will of Colonel Morris ajipears this interesting item: ''I 
give and bequeathe unto my honored friend, William Penn, my negro 
man Yaff, provided said I'enn shall come to dwell iu America." Ke- 
ferring to this bequest at a meeting of Friends in Philadeli)hia in 
4700, Penn said: "As I am now fairly established here in America, 
T may readily obtain the servant by mentioning the affair to my 
young friend, Lewis Morris; although a concern hath laid upon my 
mind for some time regarding the negroes, and I almost determined 
to give my own blacks their freedom. For I feel that the poor cap- 



154 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

tured Africaus, like otluT human beiu<;s, have natural rights, which 
can not be withheld from them without great injustice." Upon the 
same occasion Penu spoke of his loug and familiar acquaintance with 
Colonel Morris, Avhich intimacy, he said, had its influence in in- 
ducing him (Morris), altliough mauj- years older, to become a Friend. 
Colonel Morris retained his Quaker convictions to the last, and in 
his will provided for the paynu'ut of annuities to the meeting of 
Friends at Shrewsbury, N. J., and the meeting in the province of 
New York. To his nephew and heir, young Lewis Morris, he refers 
in the will with considerable severity, adverting to " his many and 
great miscarryages and disobedience toward me and my wife, and 
his causeless absenting himself from my house, and adhering to and 
advizeing with those of bad life and conversation." This graceless 
youth soon 2>roved himscdf, however, eminently deserving of his fine 
inheritance. Under him the Bronxland estate was converted into 
the Maiu)r of Morrisania iu 1097. He rose to be one of the most 
distinguished men of his times in Auu^rica, holding, among other 
prominent positions, those of chief-justice of New York and governor 
of New Jersey. 




CHAPTEIJ VIII 

THE PHILIPSES AND THE VAN CORTLANDTS 

E have seen that I lie old patrooiiship of Colen Donck, after 
beiiifi' conflruR'd by (iovcrnor Nit-oUs iu IGlKi lo ^'all dcr 
])oiick"s widow and licr second liiisbaud, llntj;h O'Xcah', 
Mas eouvej'ed by them to Mrs. O'Neale's brother, Elias 
Doughty, and by him sohl in parcels to a number of pimdiiiscrs. 
The southernmost portion was bought b}* John Ardicr, aud, willi 
other laud adjoining, was erected, under his proprietorship, into 
the Lordsliip and Manor of Fordhiim in KJTl. Nortli of Ardier's 
purchase was a tract of about two tliousaud acres, sohl to NN'illiam 
Betts and George Tibbetts, which stretched from the Hudson River 
to the Bronx, forming a piirallclograui. Othci- purchasei-s Mci'e John 
Iladdcu, \\ho bought some three hundred and twenty acres on both 
sides of Tippett's Brook just north of the present Van Cortlandt 
Lake, and Francis French and associates, \\ho were the original 
owners of the "Mile Square" in the present City of Youkers. 
Finally, all the remainder of the Yonkers land, aggregating 7,70S 
acres, Avas disposed of by Doughty, ISToveniber 29, ir)72, iu equal 
thirds, to Thomas Delaval, Thomas Lewis, aud Frederick I'hilipse. 

After Archer, none of these purchasers except Philipse requii'e 
special mention, all the others having been ordinary farmiug uien, 
who, while good citizens aud substantial promoters of the progress 
of settlement, left little impress upon the development of the country. 
TiblK'tts came from Flushing, Long Island. Betts had lived for a 
number of years in Westchester, Avhere he served as one of Stuyve- 
sant's magistrates, and later was a patentee of the town under the 
English patent. Tibbetts, Iladdeu, and Betts, as settlers outside 
the liuiits of Fordham, had various disputes with the authorities of 
that place, and especially with Archer, the lord of the manor. Being 
summoned to assist in the building of the "causeway" from the 
ferry terminal to the firm land, tlipy objected, representing to the 
governor that this improvement would be of less value to them than 
a bridge across the Bronx on the road to Eastchester, to whose 
construction they promised to devote themselves if excused from 
contributing to the other work. The governor sagaciously decided 
that both enterprises should be carried through, and directed that 



156 HISTOItY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Tibbetts, Betts, and Jladdcii should iirst join tlie Foi-dhaiu peuple iu 
making the causeway, alter which au equivalent amount of help 
should he given by the tt)wnsiiieTi toward the building of tlie Bronx 
bridge. Tlie latter structure was completed iu due tinu', bi-ing pro- 
vided with a gate on the Eastchester side to prevent the " Hoggs" 
from coming over. All tlu* lands north of Archer's line, with tlie 
sole exception of the ::\lile Square, were eventually absorbed iu the 
great riiilipse purchase; and accordingly by June 12, 1693, the date 
on which tlie royal charter for the Manor of I'hilipseburgh was is- 
sued, the independent holdings of Huddeii, Belts, and Tibbetts had 
beeu completely extinguished. Such of their former proprietors, or 
their descendants, who continued to live on the lands, remained not 
as OAvners but as tenants of the Philipses. Even the so-called ishind 
of Papirinemen^ (now Kingsbridge), where the ferry from Manhattan 
Island terminated, became a pai-t of the manorial lauds. The south- 
ern section of the old Van der Douck patroonship, embracing the 
parcels originally bought from Doughty by Betts, Tibbetts, and Mad- 
den, was called the Lower Yonkers, the residue, which embraced 
more than three-fourths of the wliole, beiug known as the Tapper 
Yonkers. 

Frederick Philipse, in his first appearance as a purchaser of lands 
in this county, acted only as one of three associates, who combined 
to ac(juire all that was left of the Van der ]>onck grant alter the 
first sales of it to various persons, each of the three agreeing to take 
an equal third of the property. By this arrangement he became 
seized in 1G72 of some twenty-nine hundred acres in the Upper 
Yonkers — certainly a large proprietorship, very much larger than 
either the Archer or the Morris patents. But this was only the 
initial venture in a series of laud-buying transactions, at least eight in 
number, which continued over a period of fifteen years, and, when 
completed, made him .sole owner of the country from Spuyten Duyvil 
to the Croton Biver and from the Hudson to the Bronx. He bought 
additional lands successively as follows: 1681 (confirmed in 1683), 
the Pocantico tract, covering the territory around Tarrytown; 1682 
(confirmed in B)84), the Bissightick tract, or Irvington; 1682 (con- 
firmed in 1684), the Weekquaesgeck tract, or Dobbs Ferry; 16S4 (con- 
firmed in 1684), the Xepperhan tract, stretching from the north line 
of the present Yonkers to the extreme northern limits of the manor, 
between the Sawmill and Bronx Elvers; 1685, the equal thirds of his 

^ In ancieut times tbe Spuytcn I)ti,\vil Creek \\ay was the so-called Island of Papirinemeu, 

at Kingsbridge, while identical with Ihe pres- \\'here Verveelen's ferry terminated. It was 

out channel, formed at high tide another across the shallow tidcwa.v that the " cause- 

(thongh shall(iw) tideway; and the land in- way " was bnilt before the days of the King's 

closed between the main channel and this tide- IJridge. 



THE PIIILIPSKS AND VAN C'ORTLANDTS 157 

associates of KITl', 'I'Ikuikis I>c1;i\;i1 iiml 'riiomas J,c\\ is, in liic rppcr 
Youkers tract; 1G8G, liic Sim Sinck liact, or SSius;' Siiii:, wiiicii IiihI 
previonslv hccii imicliascd In and coiilirincil to his son, I'liilijt I'liil- 
ipse; H'(S7, 111,. •■ Tappan Meadows" iKockland Couiitvi; ami liiially, 
at a dale oi- dates now iiideleniiinalc, Imt previously to June 12, 
l()it:>, the hohlinjis of I'.etts, Tihhetls, and ITadden in the ivower 
YoiiUers tract, toL;etlu'i- A\itli tlie island or tial of I'apiriai'iiien. This 
\asl reiiion, whose iii(li\iduai ]>arts iiad liccii srparalelv coiitiniied to 
hini as jmrchased. ^\■as vested in him as a whole by (iovernor I'^letclier 
on the 12th of June, 1()93. The document is one of (he most elali- 
orate of ancient land deeih^. P.esides t outiiinini; him in liie o\\ iier- 
shi]), it erects the estate into a manor called rhili|iseliui-;:h or I'liil- 
i[)sel)orouiih, and also confers u])oi> I'hilipse the jiriviieuc of hniid- 
iiiji a bridge across Spuyten l»iiy\il Creek at l'a])ii-iuemen, on the 
liiu' of the then existinii ferry, and authorizes him, in recomiienso 
for his expenses in that enterprise, to collect, for his own belaxd', fares 
from all persons using- the bridoe. 

Althou;L;li aloujn the Hudson the lands of Pliilipse reiiched as far 
north as Croton Bay, their limits in the interior were considerably 
farihei' south, not being above the headwaters of the Bronx River; 
and thus the northern boundary of his i)roperty, as tinally converted 
into the Manor of rhilipseburgh, was a southeast line from the mouth 
of the Croton to the sources of the Bronx. At its northwest corner 
it touched the estate of Stei)hanus Van Cortlandt, the brother of liis 
second wife — an estate which also ilCiIlT) became one of the great 
manors, called Cortlandt ^lanor, running east from Croton Bay to 
the Connecticut line, and including, besides ahuost the whole of tlu- 
northern iiart of Westchester County, a tract on the west bank of the 
Hudson. \'an Cortlandt's imrchases did not begin until l(i83, about 
three years after riiilipse had enter(<l actively npon his land-absorb- 
ing operations. 

In addition to his various i)ui'chases in this connly, I'liiliiise bought 
of white people, in IfiST, tiie Tajijian salt meadows lying ojiposite 
Irvington and Dobbs Ferry in the ]tresent County of iiockland, a 
comparatively small but liiiely situated tract, which was incorpor- 
ated in ilie nuinor grant of Jnnc 12, Hi'.i-"'., and always remained a 
part of the hereditary manor. 

The ancestors of Frederick l'hili]ise arc said lo lia\cbeen Hussites 
of I!(diemia, who, diiven fnmi llieii- home by religious ]tersecution, 
I'migi'ated to Friesland, one of the jtrovinces of the Fnited Nether- 
lands. There his father, Frederick, mairicd .Margaret i)a<-res, sup- 
posed to have becTi a lady >>{ good family from Hie jiarish of Dacre, 
in England. The son was born in I'.olsw anl. Friesland. in l(i2<;. and. 



158 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



he was engaged in the shivt 






according to Bolton, came to New Xcthcrlantl some time previously 
to 1(553, in Avhich year he was appointed one of the appraisers of the 
house and lot of Augustine Ileermaus, in New Amsterdam, llis sur- 
name in Dutch was variously written Flypse, Flypseu, Vlypse, N'lyp- 
sen (meaning the sou of Pliilip), which Avas anglicized into IMiilipse 
(pronounced Phillips). Wlietlier lie came to this country in the pos- 
session of any comfortable amount of means is unknown; but it is 
certain that as a young man in New Amsterdam he began life in a 
humble capacity, working af the trade of ciiri)»mter. But soon em- 
barking in commerce, and develo[)ing great shrewdness and money- 
getting ability, his fortunes rapidly improved, lie nuuh^ hirge 
])rofits from transactions with the Indians and from the sliipping 
business, and, having the tact and address to place himsidf (in good 
terms with the government, he enjoyed from an early period valu- 
able special favors. From Stiiyvesant h<' received grunts to desir- 
able lands on ^Manliattau Island. There is little if any doubt that 

trade and also in contrabantl and 
piratical traffic. Final- 
ly, at the age of thirty- 
six, in 1 ()()2, he con- 
tracted a very advan- 
tageous marriage, es- 
] lousing Margaret Har- 
denbroek DeViies, the 
daughter of Adolf llar- 
denbi'oek and widow of 
Pi(4ries Tvudoljihus De 
Tries, a wealthy New 
Amsterdam mere h ant. 
This lady proved to be 
hardly less energetic 
and resourceful than 
Philipse himself, and, 
retaining the manage- 
ment of her own affairs, added uol a little to the growing wealth of 
the famih'. She continued the business of her first husband, and 
made frequent voyages to and from Holland on the vessels which 
she owned, acting as supercargo. In the well-known ''Journal of a 
Voyage to New York and Tour in Several of the American Colonies 
in lf!79-S0," by Jasper Dnukers and Peter Slnyter (published by the 
Long Island Ilistorical Society), the writers, who crossed on one of 
her shi])s, make various allusions to her business characteristics, 
which, while by no means complimentary, give an exccdh-nt idea of 












PHILIPSE MANOR HOUSE, YONKEKS. 



THE PHILIPSES AND VAN COKTLANDTS loO 

her extreme carefulness of lici' private interests. " Tlic I']n,iilisli mate, 
who afterward became captain," these nari-afors say, " was very chise, 
but was compeHed to be much closer, in orch'r to i)lease JMarii'aret. 

It is not to be told Avhat miserable jicuph' .Mar,i;aret ;iiid 
Jan (her man) were, and especially their excessive covetctusness. 

Margaret and her husband would not have a suitable boat 
for the ship built in Falmouth, but it must be done in New 
York, where timber was a little cheaper. ... A nirl attempt- 
ing to rinse out tlie shii)'s mop let it fall overboard, whereu])on the 
captain put the ship immediately to the wind and launched the jolly- 
boat, into which tM'o sailors placed themselves at the risU of their 
lives in order to recover a miserable swab, which was not worth six 
cents. As the Avaves were running high, there was no chance of 
getting it, for we could not see it from the shij). Vet the whole 
voyage must be delayed, three seamen be sent i-oving at tiie risk 
of their lives, and Ave, Avitli all the rest, must work fruitlessly for 
an hour and a half, and all that merely to satisfy and phase the 
miseiable covetousness of Margaret." 

"Within a comparatively few years after liis marriage to .Margaret, 
Frederick Philipse liad become by far the wealthiest man in N(w 
York. During the IMitcli interregnum, iu 1^74, his jiossessiiuis wei'c 
\alued by commissionei's ajjpointed by (iovernor ("ohc at St),(l((0 guil- 
ders, an amount which, though large for the times, was small coin- 
])ared with the wealth that he ultimately amassed. In KlUll, Mai- 
garet having died, he mari-ied foi- his secoml wife Catherina, daughlei- 
of (Moff Stevense Van Corllandl and widow of John Dei-vall — an- 
other fine alliance from the substantial ])oint of \iew. His cniuinei'- 
cial and linancial operatimis continmilly greA\ in niagnit\idi' and 
profitableness. He was the largest trader with the I'ive Nations at 
Albany, sent ships to both the East and West Indies, imported 
slaves from Africa, and, besides enjoying the ])rofits of irregnhir 
commerce, shared, as has been with good reason alleged, in the gaius 
of ])iratical cruises. All the tiiue he maintained his former judicious 
relations with the government. He was a membei' of the governor's 

council for twenty years, extending i'v the administration of .\n 

dros to that of Bellomont. lie resigned IVom the council in Kl'.tS, 
in antici])ation of his removal by the home government in iCngland, 
which followed, in fact, not long ;ifter. Tiiis removal was the re- 
sult of satisfactory evidence that he was intei-ested in the i)iratical 
East Indian trade, having its rendezvous in Madagascar — evidence 
upon which a number of New ^■<n•k citiy.ens had based a petition, 
l)raying that "Fi-edericl^ Philips, whose gi-eat concerns in illegal 
trade are not onlv the subject of ■•oiuinon Cami', but are fully and 



160 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

particularly proved by depositions," "be removed from his i)lace in 
the c-ounoil." Fie died in 1702. His children, four in inuiiber — 
Phili|), Adolplins. Annelje, and Kumbont, — were all by liis tirst wife. 
Philip and IJoiiibout died before himself (the latter probaldy in child- 
hood), and he accordingly divided the manor between his grandson, 
Frederick (Thiliii's son), and his son A(loli)hiis, the former taldng the 
section from Dobbs Ferry southward, and the latter the remainder. 
Frederick, the grandson, succeeded to the title of lord of the manor; 
and his eldest son, Frederick, was not only the third lord, but in- 
herited the whole original estate (Adolphus I'hilipse having died 
without issue). Under Frederick, the third lord, the manor con- 
tinued to exist in its integrity until the devolution, when, in conse- 
(juence of his being a Tory partisan, and his removing himself to the 
British lines, the Avhole property was confiscated, to be sub-divided 
and s(dd in due time by the State commissioners of forfeiture. Annetje 
Philipse, the daughter of Frederick, the tirst lord of the nmnor, mar- 
ried Philip French, and left descendants who intermarried with prom- 
inent patriotic families, including the Brockholsts, Livingstons, and 
Jays. The first Frederick Philipse also had an adopted daughter, 
Eva (child of his wife Margaret by her first husband), who married 
the eminent New York merchant. Jacobus Van C'ortlandt, a brother 
of Catherina, the second wife of Frederick rhili])se the' tirst. Jaco- 
bns Yan Cortlandt bought fifty acres from his father-in-law in the 
Lower Yonkers tract, which formed the nucleus of the historic "S'an 
Cortlandt estate in the present Borough of the Bronx (whenci' the 
names of Van Cortlan<lt Lake and Van Cortlandt Park). 

Frederick Philipse, the original proprietor, with whose history 
alone we are concerned in this portion of our narrative, not long 
after beginning the systematic upbuihliiig of liis great estate, took 
steps toward erecting two residences upon it, one on the banks of 
the Nepperhan, not far from the site of Van der Donck's mill, and 
the other on the I'ocantico, near Tarrytown, in the present Town of 
Mount Pleasant. At what period the Yonkers residence, wlii( li later 
became the "Jlanor House" of the Philijiscs, was begiin is a ipies- 
tion that has never Ixm'u settled satisfaclorilv, although it lias in- 
vohcd some very animated controversy. The date 1(582 was ac- 
cei)ted at the time when the " Manor TTouse "' bcH^ame the City ITall 
of Yonkers; but it is sturdily maintained by respectable authorities 
on the early history of Philipseburgh IManor that the dwelling did 
not have its beginning until many years later. The time of the 
erection of the I'ocantico house, stjded " Castle Philipse," is like- 
wise unknown. Ultimately the " Manor House " at Yonkers became 
the principal seat of the family, much excelling the Pocantico house 



THE PHILIPSES AND VAN CORTLANDTS 161 

in architectural pretensions; but of the two dwellings as originally 
built, the latter was undoubtedly the finer, a fact of which suffi- 
cient evidence is afforded by the circumstance that it was ilie pre- 
ferred habitation of the proprietor after the procurement of the ma- 
norial patent. The selection of the Yonkers site for one of the resi- 
dences was undoubtedly determined by the existence there of Van 
der Donck's mill and the conspicuous natural advantages of the 
locality. The other, being intended as the family seat for the dis- 
tant northern section of the property, was naturally located on the 
most important stream falling into the Hudson in that section, the 
Pocantico Eiver. 

Opinions differ as to whetlier Philipse had a predecessor on the 
Pocantico as on the Nepperhan. Although in the former quarter 
his proprietorship was the earliest of legal record, the question 
whether private settlers boasting no legal pretensions had not ar- 
rived there before his purchase is, of course, a fair one. Bolton finds 
no evidence of any such ancient occupancy. The Rev. Dr. David 
Cole, in his " History of Yonkers," written in 18S6, discussing the 
subject of the two Philip.so houses, makes no allusion to possible 
settlements at or near Tarrytown antedating Philipse's appearance, 
or to the pre-existence of a mill there, simple' remarking that he 
chose the banks of the Pocantico " as a site for a new mill." More- 
over, in the same connection, speculating with regard to the period 
at which Philipse established himself in his residence on the Po- 
cantico, Dr. Cole concludes that it was not until after the death of 
his first wife, :Margaret, in 1G90 or 1 091 . Yet in his historical discourse 
delivered at the third centennial of the old Dutch Church of Tar- 
rytown, October 11, 1897, Dr. Colo, after fixing upon 1083 as the year 
when Philipse removed to the Tarrytown dwelling, says that he found 
there, at that early date, "a small community already gathered." 
Already, he informs us, there was upon the Pocantico " a mill site 
like the Van der Donck site of Yonkers," which already had upon 
it " a simple dwelling for the miller," upon whose foundations Castle 
Philipse Avas built. Continuing, Dr. Cole says that " around were 
farmers who brought to the mill their grain to be ground and their 
logs to be sawed. They (the Philipses) found the old graveyard, as 
old as the settlement, with r(>gard to which T have no difficulty in 
accepting Mr. Irving's belief that it had bc^-n started as early as 
1645, and that it had in it three graves by 10.50, and fifty by 1075. 
and one hundred and eighty by 1700."' According to this changed 

» Apropos of thr- question of tlio antiquity of interments, and Ills opinion Is apparently oon- 

the graveyard, see the statement by Benjamin curred In by the antlior of Scliarfs nrticle nn 

F. Cornell, superintendent of the Sleepy Hol- the Town of Mount Ple.isant. the late Rev. 

low Cemetery, In Scharf, li., 293. Mr. Cornell John A. Todd. 
adopts the date 1645 as that of the earliest 



lO'i HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

vii'W of Dr. C(>k''s, I'arrvtowii and the cuuiilry round about bolouj;- 
to the oldest settled localities of the county. Of course the fact of the 
])r('sence of a mill before Ihe cominj;- of Philipse would lend color 
to the belief that settlers in some numbers had been there and in 
that vicinity for a period of years. This much is certain: that a mill', 
whether an old one established bj' some enterprisinii' pioneer whose 
name is unknown to us, or a new one built by Philii)se, was in 
operation on the Pocantico from the time that Castle Philipse was 
erected by the proprietor. The Yonkers and Tarrytown mills were 
styled by Philipse, respectively, the Lower Mills and the Upper 
Mills. 

The residence on the Xepperhan at Yonkers was very substan- 
tially built, " the bricks, and indeed all the buildinsj- materials,"' says 
Mrs. Lamb, " beinji' imported from Holland at what was then es- 
teemed a prodigal expenditure. The great massive door, which still 
swings in the center of the southern front, was manufactured in 
Holland and imported by the first Lady Philipse in one of her own 
ships." Only the southern front of the structure was built by the 
first Frederick. Here he livc-d for a time with his wife ^largaret; at 
least during the summer seasons. Traces of an undergiound pass- 
age, ai^parently leading from the ]\fanor House, were recently dis- 
covered by some workmen I'ngaged in nmking excavations in Yonk- 
ers; and it has been surmised that this was a secret means of exit 
for the occupants of the dwelling, connecting probably with a neigh- 
boring blockhouse, to be iised in case of an Indian raid. In 1SS2, 
two hundi-ed years after the presumed erection of the original build- 
ing, the ;\lanor House, renamed Manor Hall, after having been ])ut 
in a state of permanent preservation, Avas formally dedicated to tlit> 
uses of the City of Yonkers as a munici]jal building. 

Castle Philipse, on the Pocantico, was also very substantially built,' 
and possessed a feature entirely lacking in the ^lanor House, being 
carefully fortified to resist attack. Its walls were pierced with 



' Mr. William F. Miunerl.v, well known in iuclios rtooii, t<> tlip s.nmp height as before, and 
Tarrytown as a builder, states that in 1S64 he a new jiartition built, fifteen feet long and 
was employed to make some alterations in the nine feet high. The remainder of the brieks 
old (Pooantieo) Manor House. One was in that came out of the rhimney— for, strange to 
taking down the chimney, which was ver.v saj-, there was a remainder, and a large one, 
large. In the second story he found that a too— Mr. .Minnerly bought, and with them he 
room about four feet siinare had been built in fliled in a new house, twenty-two feet front by 
the chimne.v, to be used as a smoke-house for twent.v-eight feet deep and two stories high, 
smoking meat. The number of bricks in this and found them amply sufficient for the pur- 
chimney was a marvel. They had all been pose. The bricks were so hard that when the 
brought from Holland, and landed on the north masons who did the work wished to cut them 
sliore of the rocantico, very near the old mill. the.v were obliged to use a hatcliet. In size, 
one of the prominent objects on the manor. each bi-ick was an inch and a <iuarter thick. 
The portion of the chimney taken down was three and one-h:ilf inches \vidc, and scvi-n 
rchiii] will] Itic lii'icks, five feet breast, sixteen inches long. — ^cjiarf, ii., 309. 



THE PHIIJPSES AND VAN CORTLANDTS 163 

port au(l loop lioK'S for cannon and mnsketrv. The dilVcrcnco be- 
tween the two residences in this respect is convincing- proof that dur- 
ing- tlie last twenty years of the seventeenth centnry, while llic lower 
portion of the connty had become practically secnre against Indian 
depredations, tli(> middle section was still deemed somewliat unsafe. 
The building- of Castle Philipse was followed <iuiclvly by the advent 
of tenants, and in a comparatively few years quite a nund)er of 
farming- people had secured homes as far north as Tarrytown and 
beyond. The progress made tOAvard the general settlement of tlic 
lands of that locality was so encouraging that Philipse deemed him- 
self under obligations to provide the people with fiicilities for re- 
ligious Avorship. To this worthy deed he was prompted iiy his first 
Avife, Margaret; and his second Avife, Catherina, also took a deep in- 
terest in the matter. The result was the building of the Dutch 
Keformed Church of t^leepy IIoHoav, one of tlie most noted of old 
religious edifices in America. From certain circumstances Dr. Cede, 
in the centennial address already referred to, feeds justified in ex- 
pressing the conviction that the ei'ection of tlie clun-ch Avas com- 
menced by Philipse as early as 1084. He points out tlmt its bell 
Avas cast to order in 1G85 — " proof positive," he deidares, " that the 
building liad already been begun." But according to the oidy au- 
thentic records in existence, it Avas not until 1697 that the (dmndi 
organization Avas effected and a niinisrer, Rev. Ciuiliam Bertiiolf, 
summoned. The tablet over tlie door of Die (Imrch stales that it 
Avas built in lODO. but this tablet Avas probably not put up until 
Avithin comparatively recent years, and it reiords the accejited date 
of the completion of the structure, making no mention of the time 
at Avhich it was begun. Phili])se Avas a Avorshipper witliin its walls, 
and he Avas buried in a vault beneath it, Avhich was prepared ex- 
pressly for his family. His decided preference for tlie Pocantico 
house as his ])ermanent place of residence is illustrated by his selec- 
tion of the Pocantico instead of the Xepperhan settlement as the 
location for the church building. 

We have now traced the early hist(n'y of the various original land 
patents and grants along the shore line of W'estcln'sler County, ex- 
tending from the mouth of the Byram River on the Sound to the 
Hudson, with incidental accounts of the i)rincii)al patentees or 
grantees and of the settlements established. This embraces all the 
exterior jiortions of the county exce]it the section from Crotou Bay 
to the Highlands — that is, the present Town of (N>rtlandt.— which, as 
we haA-e indicated, Avas bought by Stephanus \';ni Cortlandt in a 
series of purchases commencing in ](>s:^, and, with its eastward ex- 
tension to the Connecticut line, together Avith a tract on the west 



164 



HISTORl OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



sido of the Hudson Elver, was erected into the Manor of Cortlandt 
in 1697. 

Stephanns Van Cortlandt was the eldest of the seven children of 
Oloff Stovense Van Cortlandt and Annotjo, sister of Govert Locker- 
mans, a very wealthy and distinguished burgher of New Amster- 
dam. His father, Oloff, was a man of note in New Amsterdam 
and New York for forty years. He came to New Netherland in 
1638, with Director Kieft, as a soldier in the service of the Dutch 
West India Company. Oloff was a native of the province of Utrecht, 
in Holland, possessed a good education, and is supposed to have 
been of thoroughly respectable if not gentle descent, although noth- 
ing definite is known of his ancestry. After remaining a brief time 
in the military service in New Amsterdam, he was appointed by 
Kieft to official position, from which he resigned in 1648 to en- 
gage in mercantile and browing pursuits, wherein he was very suc- 
cessful, soon acquiring a large fortune. He was burgomaster (mayor) 

of New Amsterdam al- 
g^fy most uninterruptedly 

^^^ %> -^>^s,jr,-^ \ lish conquest. At the 

■ "^ ~ time of the surrender of 

the province to Nicolls 
he was one of the Dutch 
commissioners to nego- 
tiate the terms of the 
capitulation. Under the 
Englisli government he 
continued to be a prom- 
inent and influential 
citizen until his death 
(April 4, 1684). He mar- 
ried Annetje Locker- 
mans on the 26th of 
February, 1642, and by 
her had seven children, 
three sons and four 
daughters.^ Of these children Stephanus, the eldest (born May 7, 
1643), and Jacobus, the youngest (born -July 7, 16581, were the pro- 
genitors of all the Van Cortland Is of subsequent generations; Steph- 
anus being the f(tunder of the so-called elder Van Cortlandt branch, 







VAN CORTLANDT MANOR HOUSE, CROTON. 



1 Stephauus, whose history is given in the 
text; Maria, man'led Jeromias Van Rensselaer; 
Johannes, died a bachelor; Sophia, married 
Andries Teller; Catherina, married, first, John 



Dervall, and, second. Frederick Philipse the 
lirst; ('ornelia, married Brandt Schuyler; and 
Jacolins. noticed in the text. 



THE I'lULTPSES AND VAN COUTLANDTS 10.3 

of CorlluudL Mauov, ami Jacobus (,\\iio married p]va, stepdaughter of 
the first Frederick Philipsej the founder of the youuger or Vonkers 
branch. 

Stephauus, a uative-boru Dutch-Americau, received an excellent 
education under the direction of the scholarly Dutch clergymen of 
New Amsterdam. He had just become of age when the English 
fleet, in 1004, in the name of the British king and of James, Duke 
of York, demanded aud received the submission of New Netherland. 
His first public employment was therefore under English rule. He 
was a member of the original Court of Assizes created by the duke's 
laws, and thereafter was constantly engaged in olficial service, hold- 
ing practically every position of importance in the province except 
that of governor. His career was probably the most conspicuous 
and creditable of that of any inhabitant of New York in the seven- 
teenth century, and " undoubtedly the first brilliant career that any 
native of New York ever ran." In 1077, at the age of thirty-four, 
he was appointed mayor of New York, being the first native Amer- 
ican to hold that office, in which he continued Avith hardly an in- 
terruption until his death. He was, with Philipse, one of the orig- 
inal members of the governor's council, and served in that body 
without any intermission to the end of his life. At the time of 
the Leisler regime, the responsibility for the government of the 
province was temporarily committed to him and Philipse by the de- 
parting lieutenant-governor, Nicholson, and, although a kinsman of 
Leisler's, he firmly resisted the latter"s assumption of authority, an 
act which for a time endangered his life, so that he was obliged 
to flee from the city. He was later one of the justices of the Supreme 
Court of the province, and for several mouths previously' to his death 
was its chief justice. " He Avas prominent in all the treaties and 
conferences with the Indians as a member of the council, and was 
noted for his influence with them. His letters and dispatches to 
GoAernor Andros, and to the different boards and ofiicers in Eng- 
land charged with the cai'e of the colonies and the management of 
their affairs, remain to show his capacity, clear-headedness, and 
courage. Equally esteemed and confided in by the governments of 
James as duke and king, and by William and JIary in the troublous 
times in which he lived, and sustained by all the governors, even 
though, as in Bellomont's case, they did not like him personally, no 
greater proof could be adduced of his ability, skill, and integrity." 
He died on the 25th of November, 1700. 

Under date of November 16, 1077, \'an Cortlandt received from 
Governor Andros a license authorizing him to acquire such lands 
" on the east side of Hudson's Eiver " as " have not yet been pur- 



166 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

chased of the ludyau proprietors," " payment whereof to be made 
Ijubliely at the Fort or City Ilall.'' He did not begin to avail him- 
self of this privilege, however, until six years later, when (August 24, 
1G83) he bought from seven Indians, " in consideration of the sum 
of twelve pounds and several other merchandises," what is known 
as Verplanck's Point (called by the Indians JNIeanagh, whence the 
present local name of Meahagh), together with an adjacent tract 
running eastward, called Appamapogh. The general situation of 
the purchase thus made is described in the deed as follows: " Being 
on the east side of the Hudson Kivcr, at the entering in of the 
Highlands, just over against llaverstraw." 

Earlier in the same year (July 13, 1683) Van Cortlandt purchased 
from the Haverstraw Indians a tract of about fifteen hundred acres 
on the west side of the Hudson, "directly opposite to the promon- 
tory of Anthony's Nose and north of the Dunderberg Mountain, 
forming the depression or valley tlirough the upper part of which, in 
the Kevolutionary War, Sir Henry ('linton came down and cap- 
tured Forts Clinton and Montgomery." 

The territory below Verplanck's Point, extending to the mouth of 
the Croton Piver, was originally bought from the Indians in part 
by one Cornelius Van Bursum, of New York City, and in part by 
Governor Hongan. Van Bursum was the first white owner of the 
peninsula of Croton I'oint, which in the Indian language was called 
by the pleasing name of Benas(]ua, and, before receiving its present 
name, had long been known as Teller's Point (also Sarah's Point), 
from William and Sarah Teller, who were early settlers ui)on it. 
Governor Dongan's lauds (purchased from the Indians in 1GS5) em- 
braced all the river shore, exce])tiug Croton Point, from the mouth 
of the Croton to Van Coi'tlandt's property, and in the interior reached 
to the Cedar Ponds. Both Van Bursum's and Dongan's holdings 
were later sold to Van Cortlandt. To him was conveyed also a 
tract owned by " Hew MacGregor, (Jentleman, of the City of New 
York," lying above Veri)lanck's I'oint. 

Thus Stephanus Van Cortlandt became the proprietor of nearly 
the whole of Westchester County along the Hudson from Croton 
Bay to the Highlands. In the inlerior his bounds, both at the north 
and the south, ran due east tAventy miles to the Connecticut border 
(which boi-dei' was, by the interprovincial agreenu^nt between Con- 
necticut and New York, considered to be at a distance of twenty 
miles from the Hudson). But there were two strips of land above 
Verplanck's Point of whi(di neitlier A'an Cortlandt nor his heirs ever 
obtained the ownershij). One was the so-called Pyke's patent, a 
tract called by the Indians Sachus or Sackhoes, embracing about 



THE PHILII'SES AND VAX COUTLANDTS 167 

I'igliti'cu liuiidi-cd ;u'ivs hctwTcu N'ci-plaiick's and i'ccUskill Crci'U, 
ft-liereou a largL' portion of the villaj^c of Pt'ekskill has been built. 
Tliis tvacf was boiiyht li-om the Indians, Ajiril 21, KiS.j, by Kichanl 
Abi-anisen, Jacob Abrainscu, Tennis Dekey (or DcKay), iSeba, Jacob, 
and John Harxse, and soon afterward was patented to them for a 
quit-rent of " ten busiiels of <j;ood winter merchantable wheat year- 
ly." Tlie name of liyke's patent is Dutch for Kichard's patent, so 
called after Kichard Abrainseu, the princii)al patentee, who later 
assumed the Enijlish name of Lent. Substantially the whole tract 
passed to Hercules Lent, liichard's son, about i7;>(). The second of 
the two striiJs on the Hudson which always remained independent 
of the Van Cortlandt estate was a three-hundred-acre parcel front- 
ing on the inner and upper part of Peekskill Bay, which was deeded. 
on April 25, 1G85, to Jacobus DeKay " for the value of four iiun- 
dred guilders, seawant," and which ultimately became the projx'rty 
of John Krankhyte (ancestor of the Cronkhites). LTpon this stri]) is 
the Peekskill State Camp of Military Instruction. 

The area of the Van Cortlandt estate in Westchester County, omit- 
ting the two Peekskill strips just noticed, was 8(5,203 acres, and, 
adding that of the tract on the opposite side of the Hudson, aggre- 
gated 87,713 acres. Van Cortlandt, as a man of large business con- 
cerns and important official interests in New York, continued to live 
in the city, or at least to spend most of his time there, iicdwith- 
standing his extensive landed acquisitions and his ultimate design 
of procuring for them manorial dignity. I'ut ii was probably as 
early as 1083 that the historic mansion of the faunly at the mouth 
of the Croton Ei\er, which is still standing in a good stale of |(ri'S(M'- 
vatiun, had its beginning. This house was originally intended as a 
trading ])lace and a fort, and was built ^\■ith vei-y thicdc stone walls, 
]iier(<Ml \\itli loopholes for musketiy, all of which ha\'e been IiIIimI in 
savi- one, in \\hat is iioAV the sitling-rooni, A\hicii is i)resci-\ed as a 
memento of olden times and of the anti(|uity of tlii' dwelling. Sit- 
uated just where the road from Sing Sing to Croton Landing crosses 
the wide mouth of the Croton l.'iver, where that stream empties into 
the Hudson, it commands a magniticent view of the bi-oad Tajqian 
Sea. In foimer times the ferry across the ('rnion Kixci- nmulli, 
whi<-h was the only means (d' reaching the country above without 
making a wide detour, had its northern terminus near the mansion. 
During the first ten years after its construction ilie house was proh 
ably occu]iied by the ])roprietor oidy as a tem])oi'ary residence when 
visiting his lands: but later it was enlarged and im])roved to i>e- 
come suitable for the pnrjiose of a manor house and the accommo- 
dation of the nunuMous familv of its weallhv owner. Ft has re- 



168 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

mained in the possession of tlie Van Cortlandts continuously since 
the time of Stephanus, and has always been used as a habitation by 
some member of the family. Near it is the Van Cortlandt burial 
ground, a small, square inclosure, where a number of the most emi- 
nent descendants of Stephanus, including the noted General and 
Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt of the Kevolution, are in- 
terred. 

Apart from the erection of this dwelling, and of mills for the 
benefit of his existing and prospective tenants, Van Cortlandt ac- 
complished little in the way of developing his estate. On the 17th of 
June, 1697, the whole was established as the Lordship and Mauor of 
Cortlandt, by royal letters patent from Governor Fletcher, a quit- 
rent of " forty shillings current money " to be paid annually to the 
governor " on the feast day of Annunciation of our Blessed Vii'gin 
Mary," " in lieu and stead of all other rents, services, dues, duties, 
and demands whatsoever." Van Cortlandt died at the early age of 
fifty-seven, three years and one-half after the issuance of this manor 
grant. Judging from the well-known character of the man, it may 
readily be believed, in the words of the historian of the " Manors of 
Westchester County," that " had he lived to be seventy-five or eighty 
years old, like so very many of his descendants in every generation, 
instead of dying at fifty-seven, leaving a large family, mostly minors, 
it is probable that he would have left his mauor as flourishing and 
as populous in proportion as that of Eensselaerswyck at the same 
date." The great distance of Cortlandt Manor from New York City 
and its surrounding settlements, as well as its difficulty of access from 
the country immediately below on account of the obstruction pre- 
sented by the Croton, delayed for many years the occupation of its 
lands; and so meagre was its population that it was not until 1734 that 
the Manor of Cortlandt availed itself of the privilege conferred in the 
grant of sending a representative to the general assembly. The first 
settlements were in the neighborhood of Croton and Peekskill. The 
Indians continued numerous, though for the most part peaceable, 
until an advanced period in the eighteenth century. 

Stephanus had fourteen children,^ of whom eleven were living at 



^ 1. Joliauues, married Anne Sophia Van (Mary), married, first, Kilaeu Van Uensselaer, 
Scliaacli, and left one child, Gertrude, who fourth patroon and lirst manorial lord of Rens- 
married Philip VerplaneU, grandson of Abra- selaersw.vcli. 6. Oertrude. died unmarried. 7. 
ham Isaacseu Verplanck, the first of that name Philip, married Catherine de Peyster, daughter 
in America. 2. Margaret, married Colonel of the first Abraham; from this couple sprang 
Samuel Bayard, only son of Nicholas Bayard, the eldest line of Van Cortlandts, now British 
the youngest of the three nephews of Gov- subjects. 8. Stephen, married Catalina Staats; 
ernor Sttiyvesant. 3. Ann, married Etienne these were the ancestors of the " Van Cort- 
(Stephen) de Lancey, founder of the de Laneey landts of Second River " (the Passaic), N. J., 
family of New Yorlt City and Westchester now extinct in the males. 9. Gertrude, mar- 
County. 4. Oliver, died a bachelor. 5. Maria ried Colonel Henry Beekman; no Issue. 10. 



i: 




c 

'A 

5 
o 

O 



170 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



the time of the father's death; aud he devised the manor lands to 
them in equal shares, excepting that the eldest, Johannes, received, 
iu addition to his equal portion, the whole of the peninsula of Ver- 
plauck's Point. (This peninsula was so called for Philip Wrplanck, 
grandson of Johannes, who inherited it, and iu whose family it con- 
tinued until sold to a New York syndicate in the first half of the 
present century.) One of the (deven children, Oliver Van Cort- 
landt, dying without issue in 1706, bequeathed his share equally 
among his brothers and sisters and their heirs. The ten rfuiaiiiing 
heirs kept the property intact and undivided until 1730, when a divi- 
sion was determined upon, which followed in due course. Cort- 
landt Manor remained a separate political division (embracing also, 
for purposes of representation in the assembly, the IJyke and the 
Krankhjte patents) until divided into townships by the New York 
State act of 1788. The original toAvnships carved out of it were 
Cortlandt, Y'orktown, Stephentown (now Soniers), Salem (now North 
Salem and Lewisboro), and about a third of Poundridge. In area 
it was the largest of the six Westchester County manors, consider- 
ably exceeding in this respect the Manor of Philipseburgh, which 
iu its turn was several times larger than the four other manors (Pel- 
ham, Scarsdale, Ford- 
ham, and Morrisania) 
combined. Its eastern 
boundary was fixed 
in the governor's 
grant at a distance 
twenty miles from the 
Hudson, and coincid- 
ed at the time with 
the boundary line be- 
tween NeAv York and 
( 'onnecticut ; but the 
ultimate State line, 
as adjusted by com- 
promise under the 
" Oblong" arrangement, ran somewhat to the east of it; so that the 
extreme northeastern j^ortion of the county, as w(dl as a ]>ai't of 
the extreme northwestern section, was never included in this manor. 
Jacobus Van Cortlandt, younger brother of Stephanns and an- 




VAN CORTLANDT MANSION, NEAR KINGSBRIDGK. 



Gysbert, died young. 11. Eliz.ibeth, died 
young. 12. Eliz.Tbetli, 2d, mnrripd Rev. William 
Sldnnor, of Pertli Amljoy. N. .1. 13. Catharine, 
married Andrew Jolinston, of New Jersey. 14. 
Cornelia, married John Schuyler, of Albany; 



those were the progenitors of the Schuylers 
descended from Oerieral Philip, who was their 
son, aud from iiis brothers and sislers. (The 
above is taken from Edward Floyd de Lancey's 
History of the Manors.) 



THE PHI] IPSKS AND VAN COUTLANDTS 171 

ccstor of the so-called Voiikcis brjiiicli of ilic \'aii CoillaiKK laiiiily, 
was born ou the 7th of July, 1(>.")S, ami on I lie Tlli <>( .May, 1(I!M, 
married Eva Philipse, adopted daiiiihter cd' Hie lirsl I'l-cdcrick I'hil- 
ipse. In IG'JK he purehascd from his latln-r-inlaw fifty acres of 
choice land in the "Lower Vonkers," a ])ropertY wliich lie increased 
to several hundred acres by siibse(]uent ])nrchases. (Mil of this land 
was erected the historic \'an Corthindt estate, about a mile above 

Kinjisbridge. He left the property to his son, Frederick, w li ar- 

ried a daniihter of Augustus Jay (ancestor of Chief Justice John 
Jay). Frederick built in ITJrS the tine Van (Jortlandl mansion, 
which, together with the then existing residue of the estate, was 
purchased by the City of New York in ISSK, the land being con- 
verted into a public park (Van Cortlandt I'arki and the mansion 
placed in the custody of the Colonial DauK's of the Stale t>{ New 
York, anil by them utilized for the puiposes of a historical museum. 

Jacobus ^'au Cortlandt, the ancestor of the Yonkers \'an C(»rt 
landts, also owned a large estate in the Town of Bedfoni, part of 
which descended to Chief Justice John Jay and is still in the jios- 
session of the Jay family. 

Our narrative, from the period when the acri\(' ac(|nisition of 
the lauds of Westchester County began, about tlie time of the Fug- 
lish conquest (IGtU), has naturally' followed the course of the pro- 
gressive new purchases and occupation running from the seat of the 
already settled localities on the Sound westward and northward 
along the formerly unpunduised or undevelo]KMl shores of the Har- 
lem liiver, Si)uyten Duyvil Creek, and the Hudson. Pursuing this 
natural course, our attention has been mainly claimed by the great 
laud grants of Morrisauia, Fcu-dham, IMiilipseburgh, and Cortlandt 
Manors, extending consecutively from near the mouth of the Bronx 
to Anthony's Nose, and covering substantially the whtde of the west- 
ern half and northern section of the county. The reader has, of 
course, borne in mind that throughout the period we have traversed 
in tracing the originial land acquisitions under English rule in the 
western division of the county — that is, a period reaching to the end 
of the seventeenth century, — the nu)re complete settleuH'Ut of the 
already wel]-occu]iied eastern division was steadily ])roceeding, and, 
besides resulting in the constant uid)uildiug of the little communities 
ou the Sound, was inciik'ntally bringing all [ireviously neglected dis- 
tricts of the interior, np to I lie conlims of IMiilipse's and Van Cort- 
landt's lands, under detinite i)rivate ownership, and distributing 
through them an enterprising and energetic elenn-ut cd' new settlers. 
To this onward movement from the east the inhabitants of all the 
existing patents from Westchester town to Byram I'oinI contributed; 



172 HISTORY OF -WESTCHESTER COUKTY 

aud, moreover, the people of the adjoiniug parts of Couuectiout con- 
tinued to manifest a hearty interest and to share in the work of oc- 
cupation aud development. As will be shown later, much of the 
most notable enterprise uudertakeu from the east was by certain 
communities of settlers, or by individuals having only comparatively 
small personal interests, as distinguished from lai-ge lauded proprie- 
tors. Indeed, notwithstandiug the iJreseuce of two quite extensive 
aud very solidly founded manor grants on the Sound (Pelham and 
Scarsdalc), the general character of the original settlement and suc- 
ceeding history of the eastern division of Westchester Couuty differs 
totally fi'om that of the western, in that the former represents 
mainly the results of communal aud minor individual interest and 
activity, while the latter sprang essentially from manorial aspira- 
tion, proprietorship, and patronage. 

But in recurring to the history of the eastern portions of the 
county and of the gradual movement of settlers thence into the 
interior, we shall first review the progress of events in the two 
large proj^rietary estates of that division: the Pell estate, which, 
when last noticed, had been erected into a manor under the lord- 
ship of its founder, Thomas Pell; and the estate of John Richbell, 
of Mamaroneck, transmitted after his death to his Avife, Ann, and 
from her purchased by Caleb Heathcote, who soon afterward pro- 
cured its erection into the Manor of Scarsdale. So luany of our im- 
mediately preceding pages have been devoted to the origin and early 
history of Fordham, Mori-isania, Philipseburgh, and Cortlandt Man- 
ors, that similar accounts of the two remaining manors may very 
fittingly follow here. This, with some general observations, will 
complete what is necessary to be said about the foundations of the 
manors of Westchester County. 



CHAPTER IX 

PELHAM MANOR AND NEW ROCHELLE CALEB HEATHCOTE AND SCAES- 

DALE MANOR GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANORS 




HOMAS PELL died in the month of September, 1669, three 
years after obtaining from Governor Nicolls the manorial 
patent for his magnificent estate on the Sound, stretching 
from Hutchinson's River to Richbell's Mamaronecli grant. 
Leaving no issue, he willed all his possessions, excepting certain 
personal bequests, to his nephew, John Pell, then residing in Eng- 
land, the only son of his only brother, the Rev. John Pell, D.D. 
Doctor Pell, Thomas's brother, was a man of brilliant intellectual 
accomplishments, served as ambassador to Switzerland under Crom- 
well, and subsequently took or<lors in the Church of England. But 
despite his talents he had faults of temperament which prevented 
him from advancing in the church, and being of an improvident dis- 
position he wasted his property to such a degree that he was com- 
mitted to the King's Bench Prison for debt. To his son, John, the 
golden inheritance from the rich uncle in America must have been 
singularly Avelcome. 

John Pell, the successor of Thomas in the '' lordship " of Pelham 
ISranor, was born on the 8d of February, 1643. He arrived in Amer- 
ica and entered into his propriettu'ship in the summer of 1670. On 
the 25th of October, 1687, a new royal patent of Pelham Manor was 
issued to him by frovernor Dougan, the reason for this proceeding 
being, as stated iu the patent, that he desired " a more full and firmc 
grant and confirmation " of his lands. The bounds of the manor as 
specified iu the new instrument wove precisely the same as those pre- 
scribed in the Nicolls patent to his uncle — Ilutchiuson's River on 
the soudi and Cedar Tree or Gravelly Brook on tlic north, willi Ihe 
neighboring islands; but the dignifies ntt.Tching to the manorial lord- 
ship were somewhat more elaborately defined, and instead of i)ay- 
ing to the royal governor as quit-rent " one lamb on the first day of 
^fay," as had been required of Thomas Pell, he was to pay "twenty 
shillings, good and lawful money of this ]irovince," "on the five and 
twontyeth day of the month of March." He married (16S.")) Rachel, 
daughter of Philip Pinkney, one of the first ten proprietors of East- 



174 HISTOKY OF WKSTCHESTEIi COUNTY 

cht'Ster. He rfsidcd ou his cstntc, and seeuis to have taken an active 
and influential interest in publir- matters related to Westchester 
County, having- been appointed by (governor Andros (August 25, 1(JS8) 
the first judge of Westchester ('ounty, and serving as delegate from 
our county in the provincial assembly from 1691 to 1695. He died 
in 1702. The tradition is that he perished in a gaU' while upon a 
pleasure e.vcursion in his yacht off City Island. 

The most notable event of John Pell's administration of his manor 
was the conveyance by him through the celebrated Jacob Leisler of 
six thousand acres as a place of settlement for the Huguenots — a 
transaction out of which resulted the erection of the Town of New 
Rochelle. 

The Edict of Nantes, a decree granting a measure of liberty to the 
Proteh'tants of France, promulgated in l.">98 by King Henry IV., was 
on tlie 22d of October, 1685, revoked by Louis XI \'., and by that act 
of state policy the conditions of life in tlie French kingdom were 
made quite intolerable to most ]»ersons of steadfast Protestant faith. 
For some years previously to tiie revocation numerous French Prot- 
estants had begun to seek homes in foreign lands, especially America; 
and after 1085 the emigration grew to large proportions. A great 
many of the Huguenots came to New York City. Several of the lead- 
ers of the sect abroad enter('<l into correspondence with Leisler 
(known to them as a responsihh' merchant and influential citizen 
of New York and, moreover, a man of strong liberal principles), with 
a view to the pui-chase by him as agent of eligible land for the estab- 
lishment of a Huguenot colony. It happened that a number of the 
Huguenot immigrants in New York City, looking about them for 
suitable phices of residence, had in 168() and 1()87 chosen and secured 
from John Pell parcels of land in that portion of Pelham Manor now 
occupied by the present City of New Kochelle. From this circum- 
stance Leisler, as the constituted agent of the Huguenots, was led to 
locate the settlement at that place. He entered into negotiations 
with Pell, and on the 20th of September, 1689, "John Pell and 
Rachel his wife " conveyed to him, " in consideration of the sum 
of sixteen hundred and seventy-five pimnds sterling, current silver 
money of this province," ''all I hat tract of land lying and being 
within said Manor of Pelham, containing six thousand acres of land, 
and also one hundred acres of land more, which the said John I'ell 
and Rachel his wife do freely give and grant for the French church 
erected, or to be erected, by the inhabitants of the said tract of 
land, or by their assignees, being butted and bounded as herein is 
after expressed, beginning at the west side of a certain white oak 
tree, marked on all four sides, standing at high water mark at the 



SETTLEMENT OF NEW ROCHELLE 175 

sontli ciul of Hog N(H^k, by shoals, Iiai-houi', .-mil runs iioi-t ln\csfci-ly 
tlirongli the great fresh inea(lo\\' lying bclANccn the load ami Ihc 
S^ound, and from the north si(h' of the said meadow to run from 
thence due north to Brouekes I'iver, which is the west division lini> 
between the said John Pell's land and the aforesaid trad, Imunded 
on the southeasterly by the Sound and Salt Water, and to run east- 
northerly to a certain piece of salt meadow lying at the salt creek 
which runneth up to Cedar Tree brook, or Gravelly brook, and is 
the bounds to Southern. Bounded on the east by a line that runs 
from said meadow northwesterly by marked trees, to a certain black 
oak tree standing a little below the road, marked on four sides, and 
from thence to run due north four miles and a half, more or less, and 
from the north side of the said west line, ending at Broncke's river, 
and from thence to run easterly till it meets with the north end of tlie 
said eastern most bounds, together with all and singular the islands 
and the islets before the said tract of land lying and being in the 
sound and salt water," etc. This was an absolute deed of sale of 
the ]iropei-ty. The sum ])aid for it, £1,075, was extraordinarily large, 
in comparison with the usual amounts given in those times for un- 
improved landed property, and is a demonstration of the entirely 
substantial character of the st^ttlement of New Bochelle at its \('ry 
foundation. In addition to the i)urchase money, " said Jacol) Leisler, 
his heirs and assigns," Avere to yield and pay "unto the said John 
I'ell, his heirs and assigns, loi-ds of the said ^lanor of I'eiliam, to 
the assigns of them or him, or their or either of tliem, as an aclcnowl- 
edgnieiit to the lords of the said manor, one fal calf on cvcrii four (iinl 
1innH<lh (hiji of June, yearly and every year forever — if demanded."' 
This proviso was incorporated conformably \\itli the customs of the 
times, which required the vouchsafing of peculiar courtesies to the 
lords of manors on the jiart of individuals u])on whom they bestowed 
their lands. The ceremony of the presentation of the fat calf was 
duly observed for many years, and was always made a festival oc- 
casion. 

Although the deed of sale specified the Bronx River as the western- 
most boumlary of the tract, its bounds as finally established stopped 
at Hutchinson's River or creek. The six thousand acres comprised 
the wliole northern section of tlie manor, I'ell retaining the southern 
portion, a wedge-sha])ed territory, about one-half less in area than the 
part conveyed to I.eisler. 

Shortly after the consumuiatiou of the i)urchase, Troisier began to 
release the lands to the Ilugueiiols, and the place was settled with 
reasonable rapidity. It was called New iloclielle in honor of La 
Bochelle in France, a comniuniiy lUdininriii ly identified with the 



176 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



Huguenot cause in the religious wars. From tlie first tlie French 
refugees proved themselves most desirable additions to the popu- 
lation of our county, and the entire history of New Kochelle is a 
gratifying record of progress. 

It will be remembered that John Eichbell's original purchase from 
the Indians of what is now the Township of Mamaroneck — a purchase 
confirmed to him at the time by the Dutch authorities, and later by 
the English governor, Lovelace — comprised three necks on the Sound 
between the Mamaroneck River and Thomas Pell's lands, and that 
the interior extension of the purchase was twenty miles northward 
" into the woods." Of the three necks, called the East, Middle, and 
West Necks, the first was deeded by Hichbell to his mother-in-law, 
Margery Parsons, and by her immediately conveyed to his wife, Ann; 
but the latter two were mortgaged and finally lost to Richbell's 

estate. These Middle and West 
Necks, with their prolongation 
into the interior, formed a tri- 
angular tract of land owned by 
several persons, which lay 
wedge-shaped between the 
Manor of Pelham, at the south- 
west, and what later became 
the Manor of Scarsdale, at the 
northeast. The East Neck, ter- 
minating at the mouth of the 
Mamaroneck Iviver, continued 
to be the property of Mrs. Rich- 
bell until its sale by her to Caleb Heathcote, in 1697. It formed 
the nucleus of Scarsdale Manor, erected in 1701. It is of interest, 
before coming to the period of Heathcote's proprietorship, to glance 
at the origin of the village of Mamaroneck, which we have omitted to 
do in our account of Richbell's connection with this section. 

Soon after procuring his English patent (1668), John Richbell and 
his wife set apart for the purpose of allotments, or house lots, a 
strip of land running from llie Mamaroneck River westward along 
the harbor shore, and fronting on the old Westchester path. These 
lots were eight in number: one he reserved for himself, one he deeded 
as a gift to John Basset (1669), and the others he leased or sold. 
Among the purchasers was Henry Disbrough, or Disbrow, in 1676, 
who the next year erected on his lot the famous Disbrow house. 
Travelers along the Boston Post Road may still see, on the western 
outskirts of Mamaroneck, a stone chimney, all that remains of this 
structure. The ruin is remarkable for its great size, giving an idea 




OLD GUION PLACE, NEW ROCIIK.LLE. 



SETTLEMENT OP MAMAEONECK 



177 



of tho enormous fireplaces in use at the time when the house was 
built. It is said that the Disbrow house is one of the landmarks 
described by James Fenimoro Cooper (who lived in Mamaroneck) in 
the " Spy," and that a secret cupboard in the chimney served as a 
hiding place for Harvey Birch, the hero of that story. The strip 
devoted by Eichbell to the Mamaroneck house lots was called " Eich- 
bell's two-mile bounds," from the fact that each lot ran two miles 
" northwards into the woods." Such was the beginning of the ven- 
erable village of Mamaroneck. For many years, however, only a 
very few settlers lived there, and in an instrument drawn as late 
as 1707, by " the freeholders of Mamaroneck " in common, the names 
of only eight persons appear as signers. 

Just before his death John Eichbell was engaged in a controversy 
with the townspeople of Eye concerning the ownership of a tract 
called by the Indians Quarop- 
pas, which had already become 
known among the whites as 
"the White Plains." This land 
was unquestionably embraced 
within the limits of Eichbell's 
original purchase, described as 
running northward twenty 
miles into the woods; but in 
1(18.3 the people of Eye bought 
the .same White Plains district 
from the Indians claiming its 
pro])ri('torship. At that time 
the New York and Connecticut 
boundary agreement of 1664 

was still in force, whereby the dividing line between the two provinces 
started at the mouth of the Mamaroneck Ei\er and ran north-north- 
west. Under the then existing boundary division, therefore, Eye 
was still a part of Connecticut, and, moreover, the White Plains tract 
also fell on the Connecticut side. This circumstance, strengthened 
by the incorporating of it within the Eye limits while the old bound- 
ary understanding still prevailed, enabled the Eye men to advance 
plausible pretensions to it when, very soon afterward (in fact, only 
si.x days subsequently), a new boundary line was fixed, beginning at 
the mouth of the Byram Eiver, which gave both the White Plains 
and Eye to New York. The claim set uj) by Eye to the White 
Plains caused Eichbell's title in the upward reaches of his twenty- 
mile patent to assume a decidedly cloudy aspect; and to the confu- 
sion thus brought about was due the comparatively limited range of 




ANCIKXT IiI<r.KO\\ Hi>r 



MAMAIioXKK. 



178 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

the bounds of the Manor of Scarsdale, which otherwise woiihl liave 
run twenty miles north from the mouth of the Mamaroneck River, 
instead of stopping short at the White Plains. 

After Eichbell's death (July 26, 1GS4), his widow continued in 
quiet possession of the estate, making no efforts to further develop 
or improve it, and, with the exception of a renewed protest against 
tbe intrusion of the Eye men iu the White Plains tract, doing nothing 
in the way of asserting lier proprietary rights outside of the East 
Neck, where, of course, they were unquestioned. In IfiOG she gave 
to Caleb Heathcote, of the Town of Westchester, her written consent 
to his procuring from the Indians deeds of confirmation of the old 
Richbell patent; and in the same year Cioveruor Fletcher granted to 
Colonel Heathcote a license authorizing him to buy vacant and un- 
appropriated lands in Westchester County and to extinguish the title 
of the natives. On December 2.S, 1097, Heathcoie bought from Mrs. 
Tkichbell her entire landed estate for £G00, New Yorlc currency. Avail- 
ing himself of the rights and privileges thus accpiired, he not only 
became the founder and lord of au organized manor, but embarked 
iu comprehensive original purchases of the interior lands of West- 
chester County, which ultimately gave him, in association with 
others, the title to most of the county between the Manors of Cort- 
landt on the north, Philipseburgh on the west, Scarsdale on the 
south, and the Connecticut line on the east. These latter purchases, 
made under Governor Fletcher's license of 1690, were entirely dis- 
connected from his manor grant of Scarsdale, and resulted in ex- 
tensive new patents, which are known in the history of the county 
as the " Three Great Patents of Central Westchester," named re- 
spectively the West, Middle, and East Patents, and having an aggre- 
gate area of some seventy thousand acres. The history of the Three 
Patents belongs, however, with our account of Colonel Heathcote as 
one of the great early proprietors, and will receive brief notice after 
the story of Scarsdale Manor has been told. 

Caleb Heathcote was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, 
in 1065, and was the sixth of the seven sons of Gilbert Heathcote, 
gentlenmn, of that place. " The family was an ancient one, the 
first of whom there is authoritative mention having been a master 
of the Mint under IJichai'd II." His father, Gilbert, was a Round- 
head and stanch adherent of the Parliament in the civil wars, serv- 
ing creditably in the Parliamentary army. He held the office of 
mayoi" of Chesterfield. All of the seven sons became successful 
merchants. The eldest, Sir Gilbert, was "Lord Mayor of London, 
member of Pai'liament, one of the founders and the first governor of 
the Bank of England, knighted by Queen Anne, and created a baronet 



COLONEL CALEB HEATHCOTE 



179 



in 1732 by George II." His descendants have ever since belonged 
to the British aristocracy, and his grandson, the third Sir Gilbert, 
was raised to the peerage as Baron Aveland. Another son, Samuel, 
was the progenitor of the Baronets Ileathcute, of Uarsk'v I'ark, 
County of Hampshire. 

Caleb came to America about 1691, making his home in New 
York and pursuing trade there. It is said tliat his removal (o this 
country was occasioned by an unfortunate love affair, his bride- 
elect having broken off her engagement with him to marry his 
brother Gilbert. He immediately became a prominent man in the 
city and province, and served at 
various times in a number of im- 
portant olHces, among llicm being 
those of surveyor-general of His 
Majesty's customs for the eastci'ii 
district of Noi'th America, judge 
of file Court of Admiralty for the 
provinces of New Yoi'k, New Jer- 
sey, and Connecticut, member of 
the governor's council, mayor of 
New Ycu'k City, judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas of Westchester 
County, colonel of the Westchester 
County militia, and mayor of the 
borough Town of Westchester. It 
was from his connection with the 
military that he obtained his title 
of " Colonel," by which he was 
alwavs known. He was niavor 
of New York at the same time ^^•^"" "^^^^".cotk. 

that his brother Gilbert was Lord ilayor of London. lie was firmly 
attached to the Church of England, and probably did more than any 
other man of his times to promote its dominance in New York, being 
one of the founders of the parish of Trinity Church in New York 
City, and the leading person in establishing the parishes of West- 
chester, Eastchester, and Rye in Westchester County. As lord of 
Scarsdale 3Ianor he caused that manor to be constituted one of the 
precincts of tlie parish of Bye, of which he was chosen warden and 
vestryman. He is described by a contemporary writer as "a gen- 
tleman of rare (|nalities, excellent tein]»iT, and virtuous life and 
conversation." 

At an early period of his residence in New York, Heathcote began 
to take a decided interest in the advantages offered by this couniy, 




180 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

and bought property both in the Town of Westchester and East- 
chester patent. In 1696, through his inllnence, Westchester was 
created a " borouoh (own," patterned in all particulars after the 
old English borough towns. It is noteworthy that only two borough 
towns were ever established in New York Province, one being West- 
chester and the other Schenectady. Westchester's town charter, 
dated April 16, 1696, conferred the " municipal privileges of a mayor 
and aldermen and assistants, and the additional one of a repre- 
sentative of its own in the assembly of the province"; and Colonel 
Heathcote was appointed its first mayor. It was in this same year, 
as we have seen, that he took the steps which led to the creation of 
the Manor of Scarsdale and to the great purchases by him and asso- 
ciates of the vacant and unappropriated lands in the central part 
of Westchester County which comprised the " Three Patents." 

By the terms of Mrs. Richbell's conveyance to him of the Rich- 
bell estate in 1697, he succeeded to all of her property rights, both 
on the East Neck and in the interior region patented to h(>r hus- 
band by Governor LoA^elace, running northward " twenty miles into 
the woods." This conveyance did not include, however, the "allot- 
ments " previously made to various persons in the " two-mile bounds " 
(upon which the foundations of the Village of Mamaroneck had al- 
ready been begun); and there was also a small tract of thirty acres 
on wliai is now de Lancey's Neck, previously deeded by Mrs. Rich- 
bell to James Mott, which Colonel Heathcote did not acquire. With 
these exceptions, he became the absolute owner of all the lands in 
Westchester County left by John Richbell at his death. Prepara- 
tory to his application for a manorial grant, he procured Indian con- 
firmations of his title to various portions of thf^ property thus bought; 
and he also extended its limits southward to the Eastchester patent 
by purchasing from the Indians all the country between the head- 
waters of the Hutchinson River and the Bronx, a strip known as the 
Fox Meadows. 

On the 21st of March. 1701. letters patent for the Manor of Scars- 
dale were issued to Caleb Heathcote by LieTitenant-Governor Nanfan. 
Its bounds are not very clearly described in that document. Accord- 
ing to the spirit of the grant, its northward projection was to be a 
distance of twenty miles, as in the original Richbell patent; but 
an express proviso ^vas made that no further title should be given 
to Heathcote than that ■«'hich he " already hath to y<' lands called 
ye White Plains, Avliich is in dispute between ye said Caleb Heath- 
cote and some of the inhabitants of the Town of Rye." In point of 
fact, Scarsdale Manor was always limited at the north by the White 
Plains tract, Heathcote never having been able to legally establish 



COLONEL CALEB HBATHCOTE 181 

bis ownership of the disputed lauds. The uorthern line of the 
mauor followed the Mamaroneok River from its nioutli for about 
two iiiilef^, and thence proceeded <o the Brcnix. At the west and 
east it was bordered, rt>spectively, b^' the Bronx and the Sound. Ou 
the south it was bounded by the wedge-shaped private lands already 
mentioned, by the extreme northern corner of the old Pelham Manor 
(included in the New Kochelle purchase of the Huguenotsj, and by 
the Eastchester patent. The annual quit-rent fixed in the grant 
was " five pounds current money of New Yorke, upon the Nativity 
of our Lord." 

Tlie manor was called Scarsdale by its proprietor after that por- 
tion of Derbyshire in England where he was born — a locality known 
as " the Hundred of Scarsdale." Although his proprietary interest 
in the town lots of Mamaroneck was confined to his personal owner- 
ship of two of them, he was always regarded by the settlers there 
as the controlling spirit of the place, and he gave much attention to 
the promotion of its development and welfare. 

Concerning the improvements made by him upon the manor, and 
his general administration of it, we quote from the account \\ritten 
by his descendant, Edward F. de Lancey: 

Colonel lleatlieote established a grist mill on the Maniaroneek River near the original 
bridg-e crossed by the " Old Westchester Path," and a sawmill high np on that river, now the 
site of the present Mamaroneck Water Works, ujion which site there eontinned to be a mill 
of some kind nntil it was bonght two years ago [1S84] to establish those works, lie made 
leases at different points thronghont the manor, l)nt did not sell in fee many farms, thongh 
always ready and willing to do so, the whole number of the deeds for the latter on record 
being only thirteen during the twenty-three years or thereabout which elapsed between his 
purchase from ilrs. Richbell and his death. .Some of these farms, however, were of great 
extent. He did not establish, as far as now known, any manor courts under his right to do 
so. The population was so scant, and the manor, like all others in the comity, being subject 
to the jn<licial provisions of the provincial legislative acts, there was really no occasion for 
them. He personally attended to all duties and matters connected with his manor and his 
tenants, never having appointed any steward of the manor. Papers still in existence show that 
his tenants were in the habit of commg to him for aid and coimsel iu their most private affairs, 
especially in the settlement of family disputes, and he was often called upon to draw their 
wills 

Upon the eminence at the head of the [Mamaroneck] Harbor, still called lleatlieote 
Hill, he built a large double brick manor house iu the style of that day in England, with all 
the accompanying ofiiees and outbuildings, including the American addition of negro 
quarters in accordance with the laws, habits, and customs of the period. Here he lived 
during the remainder of his life, which terminated on the 'iStli of Pebruary, 1720-1, in his 
fifty-sixth year. The house stood till some six or seven years liefore the American Kev(du- 
tion, occupied, however, only by tenants after the death of his widow in 173G. 1-ater it was 
accidentally destroyed by tire. The present double frame building standing on a iiortion of 
the old site was "built in 1792 by the late John Peter de Lancey, a grandson of Colonel 
Heathcotc, who had succeeded to the property. 

Colonel Ileathcote married IMartha, daughter of tlie distinguished 
William Smith (''Tangier" Smith), of Saint George's Manor, Long 
Island, who was chief justice and president of the council of the 



182 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



province. They had six children, two sons and four daughters, but 
both the sons and two of the daughters died in early life. Thus 
Caleb Heathcote left no descendants in the male line. One of his 
daughters, Anne, married James de Lancey, afterward royal chief 
justice and governor of New York, the progenitor of the present 
de Lancej's of Westchester County. The other surviving daughter, 
Martha, became the wife of Lewis Johnston, of Perth Amboy, N. J. 

The descendants of this 
branch have never been 
identified with our coun- 
ty. ^Irs. de Lancey and 
Mrs. Johnston inherited 
from their father the 
Avlinlc (if the manor prop- 
erty in equal shares. 
Various parcels were 
gradually disposed of by 
the two heirs, and in 1775 
a general partiticm sale 
was held, under which 
both the de Lancey and 
Johnston interests were 
divided up among numer- 
ous purchasers. Scars- 
dale IManor, as it existed before the partition, comprehended the pres- 
ent Towns of Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, with a small part of Har- 
rison. 

The reader will remember that Ileathcote, in addition to buying 
the Richbell estate and some adjacent Indian lands, called the Fox 
Meadows (the latter being secured in order to extend the limits of 
his proposed manor southward to the Eastchester boundary), pro- 
cured from Governor Fletcher a license to purchase vacant and un- 
appropriated land in Westchester County, and extinguish the title 
of the natives. Under this license, dated October 12, 1090, he, with 
a number of associates, bought up practically all of the county that 
si ill remained in the i)ossession of its aboriginal owners — that is, 
all of the previously unpurchased portions bounded on the south by 
Harrison's Purchase and Scarsdale Manor (or, rather, Harrison's 
Purchase and the disymted White Plains tract), on the east by Con- 
necticut, on the north by Cortlandt Manor, and on the west by Phil- 
i])seburgh ^lanor. In the aggregate, the purchases thus made em- 
bi'aced about seventy thousand acres, or some twelve thousand 
seven hundred acres of so-called " improvable land," and they were 




•HEATHCOTE HILL. 



COLONEL CALEB HEATHCOTE 183 

hiruclv ((iiilinned to Heatlicole and his associates iu three patents 
issued by Lieutenant-Goveruor >\aiifan, known as the West, ^Miil- 
dUs and East Patents. The West I'atent, dated February 14, 1701, 
lo JU>bert Walter and nine other patentees, included all of the 
large angle between Philipsebuviih and Cortlaudt IManors, and 
stretched eastwardly to the Liryani IJiver and the Town of Bed- 
ford. It contained five thousand acres of improvable lanti. The 
Middle Patent, dated February 17, 1701, to Caleb Heathcol(; and 
tAvehe others, extended from the West Patent to the Mianus IJiver, 
and had fifteen hundred acres of improvable land. The East Patent, 
the largest of the three, embracing sixty-two hundred acres of im- 
provable land, was granted on the 20th of March, 1701, to K. Walter 
and ten others, and covered much of the northeastern section of the 
county. 

In the purchases consolidated in these three patents Heathcote was 
the original mover, but had the co-operation of several other active 
parties, notably Eobert Walter and Joseph Horton. Heathcote, with 
a view to protecting his individual interests already acquired in the 
deed from Mrs. Kichbell (\Aiiich transferred to him such rights as 
she and her husband had previously possessed " northward twenty 
miles into the woods"'), had a proviso inserted iu each of the new 
patent deeds reserving to himself any lands possibly included in 
these purchases whereof he might already be the owner. The first 
of the purchases leading up to the three patents was made by him 
personally, October 19, IGDO (seven days after the procurement of 
his license from Governor Fletcher), from Pathunck, Wampus, Co- 
hawney, and five other Indians. This is known as " Wampus's Land 
Deed," or the " North Castle Indian Deed," and was " for and iu con- 
sideration of 100 pounds good and lawful money of New York." 
Among the names of Indian cliiefs participating in the sales of the 
northern-central Westchester lands to Ileathcote and his associates 
is the familiar one of Katonah. None of the three patents was ever 
erected into a manor or developed as any recognized separate do- 
main or sphere of settlement. All the lauds comprised in them 
were gradually disposed of to incoming individual aggregations of 
settlers wishing to enlarge their limits. As an example of this 
process, the tract known as the Middle Patent, or Whitefields, was 
iu 173S sub-divided, by agreement of the surviving patentees, into 
thirteen lots, having a total estimated value of £1,989, upon which, 
in 1739, fifteen settlers were living; and in 1765 final settlement with 
the individual occupants of the lands (at that time twenty-six in num- 
ber) was effected by the proprietors on tlie basis of nine shillings 
per acre. 



184 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

All the Three Patents were granted in the same j'ear (1701) that 
the Manor of iScarsdale was erected. AVith the purchases upon which 
this manor and the Three Patents were constructed, the original ac- 
quisition of great areas of land in Westchester County by individual 
proprietors came to an end, there being, indeed, no more " vacant 
and unappropriated " soil to be absorbed. It may therefore be said 
that with the beginning o'f the eighteenth century-, but not until then, 
the whole of our county had come under definite tenure — a period 
of some seventy-five years after the first organized settlement on 
Manhattan Island having been required for that eventuality. With 
the exception of a few localities of quite restricted area — namely, on 
the Sound the Eye, Harrison, Mauiaroneck, New Eochelle, East- 
chester, and Westchester tracts and settlements; on the upper Hud-*' 
son the Eyke and Kranckhyte patents, upon which the village of 
Peekskill lias been built; and in the interior the disputed White 
Plains lands, the Bedford tract, and some minor strips bought or oc- 
cupied by men from the older settlements on the Sound, — all of West- 
chester County, as originally conveyed by the Indians under deeds of 
sale to the whites, was parceled out into a small number of great 
estates or patents representing imposing single proprietorships, as 
distinguished from ordinary homestead lots or moderate tracts taken 
up incidentallj' to the progi'ess of bona fide settlement. These great 
original proprietorships were, indeed, only nine in number, as fol- 
lows: (1) Cortlaudt Manor, the property of Stephanus Van Cortlandt, 
which went after his death to his children and was by them pre- 
served intact for many years; (2) Philipseburgh Manor, founded by 
Frederick Philipse and retained as a whole by the Philipse family 
until confiscated in Eevolutionary times; (3) Fordham Manor, estab- 
lished by John Archer, subsequently forfeited for mortgage indebted- 
ness to Cornells Steenwyck, and by him and his wife willed to the 
Nether Dutch Congregation in New York, which continued in sole 
ownershij) of it until the middle of the eighteenth century; (4) Morris- 
ania Manor, the old " Bronxland," built up into a single estate by 
Colonel Lewis Morris, by him devised to his nephew, Lewis Morris 
the younger, who had the jjroperty erected into a manor, and whose 
descendants continued to own it entire for generations; (5) Pelham 
Manor, originally, as established under Tlioiiias Pell, its first lord, an 
estate of 9,10(5 acres, but by his nephew John, the second lord, di- 
vided into two sections, whereof one (the larger division) was sold to 
the Huguenots, and the other was i)reserved as a manor until after 
the death of the third lord; ((J) kScarsdale Manor, the estate of 
Colonel ("aleb Heathcote, which for the most part remained the prop- 
erty of his heirs until sold by partition in 1775; and (7, 8, 9) the 



OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANORS 185 

Three Great Patents of Central Westchester, granted to Heathcote 
and associates on the basis of purchases from the Indians, and by 
the patentees gradually subsold, mainly to settlers who in the course 
of time occupied the lands. In the nine estates and ])alen1s thus 
enumerated were contained, at a rough estimate, about 225,000 of the 
300.000 acres belonging to the old County of Westchester. 

It will be observed that with the single exception of Pelham the 
six manors of the county long retained their territorial integrity. 
A small portion of the Manor of I'hilipseburgh, it is true, was trans- 
ferred by the Philipses to the younger branch of the Van Cortlandts, 
but this was a strictly friendly conveyance, the two families being 
closely allied by marriage. Even in the three manors where no second 
lord succeeded to exclusive proprietorship — Cortlandt, Fordham, and 
Scarsdale — sales of the manorial lands in fee to strangers were ex- 
tremely rare, and it was an almost invariable rule that persons set- 
tling upon them, as upon Philipseburgh, Morrisania, and Pelliam 
Manors (where the ownership devolved upon successive single heirs), 
did not acquire possession of the soil which they occupied, but merely 
held it as tenants. The disintegration of the manors, and the substi- 
tution of small landed proprietorship for tenantry, was therefore a 
very slow process. Throughout the colonial period tenant fanning 
continued to be the prevailing system of rural economy outside of 
the few settlements and tracts which from the start were independ- 
ent of the manor grants — a system which, however, did not operate 
to the disadvantage of population in the manor lauds. Upon this 
point de Laneey, the historian of the manors, says: " It will give a 
correct idea of the great extent and thoroughness of the maiioiiai 
settlement of Westchester County, as well as the satisfactory nature 
of that method of settlement to its inhabitants, although a surprise, 
probably, to many readers, when it is stated that in the year ITOO one- 
third of the population of the county lived on the two manors of 
Cortlandt and Philipseburgh alone. The manors of Fordham, Mor- 
risania, Pelham, and Hcarsdale, lying nearer to the City of New 
York than these two, and more accessible than either, save only the 
lower end of Philipseburgh, were, if anything, much more settled. 
It is safe to say that upward of live-eighths of the people of West- 
chester County in 17G9 were inhabitants of the six manors.'" 

The distinguishing characteristics of the manors demand notice 
here, although oiir space does not permit any elaborate treatment of 
this particular subject.* First, it should be understood that the 
manors, one and all, were only ordinary landed estates, granted to 



1 Readers desiring a more detailed account " Origin and History of the Manors," In 
are referred to Edward Floyd de Lanccy's Scharfs " History of Westchester County." 



186 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

certain English subjects in America wlio, while popularly styled 
" lords " of the manors, enjoyed no distinguished rank whatever, 
and were in no way elevated titiilarly, by virtue of their manorial 
proijrietorships, above the common people. In no case was a mano- 
rial grant in Westchester County conferred upon a member of the 
British nobility, or even upon an individual boasting the minor rank 
of baronet; and in no case, moreover, was such a grant bestowed in 
recognition of services to the crown or as a mark of special honor 
by the sovereign. Without exce]ition, the proprietors of tlie manors 
were perfectly plain, untitled gentlemen. Yet, says de Lancey, " we 
often, at this day, see them written of and hear them spoken of as 
nobles. 'Lord Philipse ' and 'Lord Pell' are familiar examples of 
this ridiculous blunder in Westchester County. No grant of a feudal 
manor in England at any time from their first introduction ever car- 
ried with it a title, and much less did any grant of a New York 
freehold manor ever do so. Both related to land only. Tlie term 
Lord of a Manor is a technical one, and means simply the owner, the 
possessor of a manor — nothing more. Its use as a title is simply 
a mark of intense or ignorant republican proA'incialism. ' Lord ' as 
a prefix to a manor owner's name was never used in England nor 
in the Province of New York." 

The manor was a very ancient institution in England, but by the 
statute of quia empiorcs, enacted in 12!)n, the erection of new manors 
in tliat kingdom was foi'ever put to an end. The old Englisli man- 
ors, founded in the Middle Ages, were of course based upon the feudal 
system, involving military service by the fief at the will of his lord, 
and, in general, the complete subjectitai of the fief. The whole 
feudal system of land 1 enure having been abolished by the statute 
of Charles II. in 1G60, and the system of " free and common socage " 
(meaning the right to hold land uuvexed by the obligation of feudal 
service) having been substituted in its stead. New York, both as a 
proprietary province under the Duke of Y'ork and subsequt-ntly as a 
royal province, never exhibited any traces of feudality in the mat- 
ter of land tenures, but always had an absolutely free yeomanry. 
But it was never contemplated that New Y^ork or any of the other 
provinces in America should develop a characteristically democratic 
organization of government or basis of society. Titled persons were 
sent to rule over them, and, particularly in New York, there was a 
manifest tendency to render the general aspect of administration and 
social life as congenial as possible to people of high birth and ele- 
gant breeding. Moreover, there being no provision for the creation 
of an American titled aristocracy, it was deemed expedient to offer 
some encouragement to men of aristocratic desires, and the institu- 



OBSERVATIONS ON THE JVIAJMORS 187 

tion of tlie mauor was selected as llie must practicable cuucession 
to the aristocratic instinct — a concession which, while carrying with 
it no title of nobility, did carry a certain wei<;hty dignity, based 
upon the one universally recognized founchilion for all true original 
aristocracy — large landed proprietorship, coupled wilh formally con- 
stituted authority. The establishment of new mauoi'S in England 
was discontinued by the statute of 1-"JU for tlie sole reason that at 
that period no crown lands remained out of wliich such additional 
manors could be formed, the esscjitial ])relimiuary to a manor being 
a land grant by the sovereign to a subject. But in the American 
provinces, where extensive unacquired lands were still awaiting ten- 
ure, the manor system was capable of wide application at discre- 
tion; and in A'ew York and some of the other provinces it was the 
policy of the English government from the beginning to encourage 
the orgauization of manors. " The charter of Pennsylvania," said 
the learned Chief Judge Denio of the Kew York Court of Appeals, in 
his opinion in the Kensselaerswyck case, "empowered Penn, the pat- 
entee, to erect manors and to alien and grant parts of the lands to 
such purchasers as might wish to purchase, 'their heirs and assigns, 
to he hdd of tlu said William Pcuii, his heirs and assif/iis, hj such serv- 
ices, customs, and rents as should seem fit to said William Penn, etc., 
and not immediafeh/ of the said Kin;/ Charles, his heirs or suceessors,' not- 
withstanding the statute of quia einptarcs." Similarly in New York, 
the manor grants issued during the time that it remained a propri- 
etary province (namely, those to Thonuis Pell in IGtiti and to John 
Archer in ICTlj were made by the authority and in the name of the 
Duke of York as proprietor, and not of the king. After New York 
was changed into a royal province, the nmnor grants were continued 
by the authority aud in the name of the king. 

The privileges attaching to the manor grants in Westchester 
County varied. All of them, however, had one fuudanu'ulal char- 
acteristic. Each manor was, in very 2>i'ecise language, appointed to 
be a separate and independent organization or jurisdiction, eiitindy 
detached from other established ])(ditical divisions. To give the 
reader an idea of the formality with which such separation was 
made, we reproduce the wording of one of the manor grants u|Hin 
this i)oiut, Avhich is a fair siH'ciiiien. In his letters patent to John 
Archer for the Mauor of Ford ham, (iovernor Lovelace says: " 1 doe 
gi'ant unto ye said John Ardiei-, Ids heirs and assigns, that the house 
which he shall erect, together with ye said ]>arc(d of land and pnMu- 
i.ses, shall be forever hereafter held, claiuied, reputed and be an 
entire and enfranchised township, manor, and place of itself, and shall 
always, from time to time and at all times hereafter, have, hold, and 



188 



HISTORY OF WESTCHKSTER COUNTY 



enjoy like and equal pvivilej>es and immunities with any town en- 
franchised or manor within this government, and shall in no manner 
or way be suhordinaie or belonging unto, have any dependence upon, or in 
any wise be tinder the ride, order, or direction of any riding, township, place, 
or jurisdiction, either upon the main or Long Island." 

Thus, first of all, and as its great essential characteristic, the ma- 
norial estate was always made a political entity. As such it was 
under the government of its proprietor and his subordinates, who, 
however, in all their acts were subject to the general laws of the 
land, simply applying those laws as circumstances and conditions 

required. According to the 
theory of the old English manors, 
a so-called " Court Baron " was 
an indispensable attachment of 
every manor — that is, a court for 
the trial of civil cases, over which 
the lord or his steward presided, 
the jurors being chosen from 
a m n g the freehold tenants. 
There was also usually a so- 
called " Court Leet," which has 
been described as " a court of 
record having a similar jurisdic- 
tion to the old sheriff's ' Tourns ' 
or migratory courts held by the 
shei'iff in the different districts or 
* hundreds ' of his county, for the 
punishment of minor offenses and 
the preservation of the peace," 
which was provided for in order 
that the lords of manors " might 
administer justice to their tenants at home." In all the West- 
chester County manor grants, except Pordham, authority is given 
to the grantee to hold " one Court Leet and one Court Baron." This 
privilege was not always availed of; for example, we have seen 
that in the Slanor of Scarsdale the manorial courts were never or- 
ganized. It is worth}' of note in this connection that among the 
manor lords of Westchester County were several of the early judges 
of the province, including John Pell (second lord of Pelham Manor), 
who was the first judge of Westchester County; Caleb Heathcote, of 
Scarsdale Manor, who served as county judge for twenty-seven years, 
and was also an admiralty judge; Lewis Morris, of Morrisania, one 
of the most famous of the royal chief justices; and the second Fred- 




GOVERNOR LOVELACK. 



OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANORS 189 

erick Phllipse, who was a puisne judoe of tlie Supreme C(»urt. To 
this list should be added the name of the celebrated chief justice 
and royal aovernor, James de Laocey, who married the eldest daujj^h- 
ter of Caleb Heathcote. In addition lo tlieir civil functions, the pro- 
prietors of four of the manors (Cortlandt, J'hilipseburoh, Pelham, 
and Morrisania) enjoyed the riylit of advowson and church patron- 
age, under which they had the power to exercise controlling influ- 
ence in church matters within their domains. The prevailing sec- 
tarian tendencies of different localiiies in Westchester County during 
the colonial era and for many years subsequently were owing mainly 
to the particular religious preferences and activities of the respective 
manor lords of those localities. In Westchester, Eastchester, and 
Rye the Church of England early secured a firm foundation through 
the zeal of Colonel Caleb Heathcote, of Scarsdale, who Avas its earnest 
supporter. A similar influence, with a similar result, was exercised 
in the Yonkers land by the second Frederick Philipse, who had been 
educated in England, where he became attached to the Established 
Church, and who as proprietor of the lower part of Philipseburgh 
Manor founded Saint John's Church at Yonkers, which to this day 
maintains the leading position in that community. On the other 
hand, at Tarrytown, on the upper part of Philipseburgh Manor, the 
Dutch Reformed Church enjoyed supremacy from the beginning, on 
account of the patronage accorded it by the first lord and by his 
son and successor in that division of the manor, Adolph. 

Upon one of the Westchester manors, Cortlandt, was bestowed an 
extraordinary privilege: that of being represented in th(> general 
assembly of the province by a special member. This privilege 
was granted to no other manor of New York, except Rensselaers- 
wyck and Livingston, although it was enjoyed also by the two bor- 
ough towns, Westchester and Schenectady. But it was provided 
that the exercise of the privilege, so far as Cortlandt Manor was 
concerned, was not to begin until twenty years after the grant (/. e., 
in 1717). At the expiration of that time, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, 
his heirs or assigns, had full authority to "return and send a dis- 
creet inhabitant in and of the said manor to be a representative of 
the said manor in every assembly," who should " be received into 
the house of representatives of asscMubly as n member of the said 
house, to have and enjoy such privilege as the other representatives 
returned and sent from any other county and manors." Cortlnndi 
Manor did not, however, choose a I'epresentative in the assembly 
until 1734;, when Philip Verplanck was (dected to sit for it. He 
continued to serve in that capacity for thirty-four years, being suc- 
ceeded by Piei-re Van Cortlandt, who remained a member of the 



190 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

assembly until 1775. Kotwitlistandinji' the exceptional privilege 
of representation given to Cortlandt Manor as a manor, the other 
manors of Westchester County were equally able to make their influ- 
ence felt in that body. In addition to the special members from 
Cortlandt Manor and Westchester town, the county as a whole was 
entitled to representation by two general delegates. Heathcote, 
John Pell, the Philipses, and the Morrises all sat at various times 
for the county. 

The original purpose of the manor grants being to encourage the 
development of the semi-aristocratic system for which they provided, 
no onerous charges in the way of special taxation were assessed upon 
the manor proprietors. In each grant was incorporated a provision 
for the payment of annual " quit-rent" to the provincial goveimment, 
but the amount fixed was in every case merely nominal. The vari- 
ous quit-rents exacted were, for the Manor of Pelham, as originally 
patented to Thomas Pell, " one lamb on the first day of May (if the 
lamb shall be demanded) "; for Pelham, as repatented to John Pell, 
"twenty shillings, good and lawful money of this province, at the 
City of New York, on the five and twentieth day of March"; for 
Fordham, " twenty bushels of good peas, upon the first day of March, 
when it shall be demanded"; for Philipseburgh, "on the feast day 
of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, . . . the an- 
nual rent of four pounds twelve shillings current money of our said 
province"; for Morrisania, "on the feast day of the Annunciation 
of our Blessed Virgin, . . . the annual rent of six shillings"; 
for Cortlandt, " on the feast day of our Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
yearly rent of forty shillings, current money of our said province"; 
and for Scarsdale, " five pounds current money of New York, upon 
the nativity of our Lord." Appended to most of the quit-rent leases 
was the significant statement that the prescribed payment was to be 
"in lieu of all rents, services, and demands whatever," apparently 
inserted to emphasize the well-understood fact that the manor grants 
were strictly in the line of public policy, and were in no way intended 
to become a source of revenue to the government. 

The importance of the manorial proprietorships in Westchester 
County, in their relations to its political and social character and 
to its eventful history for a hundred years, can not be overestimated. 
All the founders of the six manors were men of forceful traits, native 
ability, and wide influence. With a single exception,^ they left their 
estates, entirely undiminished and unimpaired, either to children or 
to immediate kinsmen, who in turn, by their personal characters and 

1 John Arelipr, of Fordham. In consequence continued to be a respectable and useful one 
of flnancial complications, his manor did not in the country, 
remain in his family. Yet the Archer family 



OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANORS 191 

qualities, as well as by their marital alliauces, solidilied tiie already 
substantial foundations which had been laid, and greatly strenf^th- 
ened the social position and enlarged the spheres of their families. 
To enumerate the marriages contracted during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, in the male and feniah* lines, by the Van Oort- 
hiudts, the riiiliiises, the Morrises, the Pells, and the descendants 
of Caleb lleathcote, would involve almost a comidete recapitulation 
of the more conspicuous and wealthy New York families of the 
entire colonial period, besides many prominent families of other 
provinces. To the Westchester manorial families belonged some of 
the most noted and influential Americans of their times — men of 
shining talents, fascinating manners, masterful energy, and splendi<l 
achievement; statesmen, orators, judges, and soldiers — who were 
among the principal jiopular leaders and civic oHicials of the prov- 
ince and who aaoh renown both in the jjublic service and in the field 
during the devolution. Alike to the patriot cause and the Tory 
faction these families contributed powerful and illustrious support- 
ers. As the issues between the colonies and Great Britain became 
more closely drawn, and the inevitable struggle approached, the in- 
tluences of the representative members of the Westchester families 
were thrown partly on one side and partly on the other. The tenants 
in each case were controlled largely by the pi'oprietor, and thus an 
acute division of sentiment and sympathies was occasioned wliich, in 
connection with the unique geographical position of this county in 
its relations to the contending forces of the Revolution, caused it 
to be torn by constant broils and to be devastated by innumerable 
conflicts and depredations. Keraembering that the old manorial 
families of Westchi'ster County rested ujion an original foundation 
of very recognizable aristocratic dignity, which was made possible 
only by monarchical institutions; that the pride of lineage had, at 
the time of the Revolution, been nourished for the larger jtart of a 
century; and that the disposition of attachment to the king naturally 
arising from these conditions had been much strengthened by con- 
tinuous intermnrriage with other families of higli sorial ])retensiou 
and political conservatism, it seems at this day renuirkable, or at 
least a source of peculiar satisfaction, that their preferences and 
efforts were, on the whole, rather for the poinilar cause than against 
it. Even in the formative period of the Revolution, before passions hail 
been stirred by experience and example, and before actual emergency 
impelled men to ])ut aside caution, it was distinctly ai)iiaren( that the 
Tory i)arty was thi- weaker, both numerically and in ]ioint of leader- 
ship; and at a very early period of the war, notwithstanding the 
loss of New York Citv to the American armv and the retreat of 



192 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Washhiiiton into New Jersey, Toryism became an unwholesome thinjj 
throughout much the larger part of Westchester County. The in- 
fluence of the Tory landlords, cAen upon their own tenantry, was, 
indeed, a constantly- diminishing factor, while that of the patriotic 
leaders steadily grew. This could not have been the case if the 
weight of sentiment among the principal families of the county had 
not been genuinely on the side of American freedom. 




CHAPTER X 

GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO THE BEGINNING OP THE EIGHTEENTH 
CENTURY COMPLETION OF THE WORK OF ORIGINAL SETTLEMENT 

N tracing to the beginning of the eighteenth century the 
history of the great laud purchases and manor erections, 
only incidental alhision has been made to tlie general 
history of the times during the first few decades which 
f(»lloweil the surrender of New Xetherland by the Dutch, and to 
the coincident progress of such settlements as were not directly asso- 
ciated with the manorial estates. After briefly summarizing the 
general history of the province and the county during that period, 
we shall complete the account of original local settlement. The 
narrative as a whole will then proceed more uniformly and rapidly. 

Eichard Nicolls, the first of the English governors, continued in 
office until 1G68, when he was succeeded l)_\ I'vaucis Lovelace. Dur- 
ing Nicolls's administration, the old Dutch land patents throughout 
the province were reissued, bfiug altered oidy so as to provid(> for 
allegiance to the Duke of York and the government of England, in- 
stead of the Dutch West India Company and the government of the 
United Netherlands; the boundary liii«' betw(>en New York and Con- 
necticut was provisionally established, although upon a basis soon 
to be totally reimdiated; and the code known as "the Duke's Laws," 
for the general government of the province, was adopted. This code 
" established a ver}* unmistakable autocracy, making the governor's 
will supreme, and leaving neither officers nor measures to ihe choice 
of the peojjle."' Among its detailed features were " trial by jury, equal 
taxation, tenure of land from the Duke of York, no religio\is estab- 
lishment but requirement of some church foiin, freedom of religion 
to all professing Christianity, obligatory service in each parish on 
Sunday, a recognition of negro slavery under certain restrictions, 
and general liability to military duty." 

The legitimacy and ])ropriety of owning negro slaves was never 
questioned in New York or elsewhere in America in those days. 
Bondmen, both black and white, were brought here during the earli- 
est period of settlenient by the Dutch ; and witli the arrival of Director 



194 



HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



Kieft, iu 1038, the practice of furnisbing uegroes to all who desired 
them had become a thoroughly established one. A distinct article 
providing for the furnishing of blacks to settlers Avas incorporated in 
the " Freedoms and Exemptions " of the Dutch West India Com- 
pany, a series of regulations adojjted to promote colonization. All 
the leading English families who came to the province after the con- 
quest owned negroes, both as laborers and as house servants. Colonel 
Lewis Morris, as has been noticed in another place, possessed at his 
death sixty-six negroes, of an aggregate value of £844; and the house- 
hold slaves left by the first Frederick Philipse, in 1702, as shown 
by an inventory of his estate, numbered fortj'. According to a 
census of the year 1703, says a historian of New York City, there was 
"hardly a family that did not have from half a dozen to a dozen 
or more in their service." This custom of regarding negroes as 

absolute property was, moreover, viewed 
with entire and unquestioning approval 
in the mother country at tliat period. In 
a curious docuiiieiit drawn uj) by "the 
Committee of the Council of Foreigne 
Plantations," about 1(>S3, "certaine prop- 
ositions for the better accommodating 
the Foreigne Plantations with servants" 
are duly formulated. Tliey are prefaced 
witli the statement that "it being uni- 
versally agreed that people are llie foun- 
dations and imi)rovement of ail planta- 
tions, and tliat people are encreased prin- 
cipally by sending of servants thither, it 
is necessary that a settled course be taken 
for tlie furnishing them with servants." 
" Servants," it is next stated, " are either 
blaclvs or whiles,'" and the status of the former is defined as follows: 
" Blacks are such as are brought by waye of trade and are sould at 
about £20 a hi ad one with anotlier, antl are the ]>rinci})all and most 
usefuU appurtenances of a plantation, and are such as are perpetuall 
servants." It would be difficult to find in the literature of slavery 
under English rule a more accurate and ingenuons definition of the 
position of the negro as understood in olden times. 

Lovelace, who succeeded Nicolls as governor in 1668, coiuinued his 
predecessor's liberal policy toward the Dutch po])ula1ion. and ad- 
ministered affairs successfully and smoothly until suddenly forced 
to resurrender the province to its original owners in 1673. During 
liis incumbency the settlers in our county rapidly increased. He 




DUKE OF YORK S SEAL. 



GENEKAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 



195 



took an active interest in iniprovini; tlie means of oonnnnnicalion 
between the ontlvini; localiUes and New York City. lie slronj^ly 
urged upon tlie i)eoi)Ie of Harlem village the necessity of buihling 
a good wagon road to the fort, and at an early period of liis govern- 
ment (he ferry service at Kingsbridge was inaiignraled. I-'i'om his 
time dates the opening of the first regular loute of travel to Con- 
necticut, what was later improved into the I'.oslon Posf TJond. " Once 
a month, beginning with .January 1, U\~'.], the postman, monntcd npon 
a goodly horse, which had to carry him as far as Hartford, collected 
the accumulated mail into his saddlebags. At Hartford he to<»k' 
another horse, and wended his Avay as best he might tlirongli woods 
and swamps, across rivers, and along Indian ti-ails, if he was happy 
enough to find such. On his r(>turn, the city coffe(>-house received 
his ])r('cious burden, and ujion a broad 
table the various missives were displayed 
and delivered when paid for." ^ The begin- 
ning of these regular trips between New 
York and the New England colonies was, 
of course, an event of great importance to 
all the settlers in the eastern ]>art of West- 
chester County, and the road was steadily 
developed into a substiuitial llioronghfare 
for vehicles. 

Louis XIV. of France, liaving deter- 
mined to crush the Dutch Ueimblic for in- 
terfering with some of his designs of state- 
craft, induced Charles TI. of England to 
join him in that enterprise. Tlie Nethi'r- 
lands, hoMever, o])posed a ])owerful and 

eventually successful resistance to the allies, botli on land and sea. 
The dykes wvrv ojiened, the Priure of Orange, \\ho had been invested 
with supreme authority, brilliantly defended liis country against the 
invader at every point, and the French armies were forced to retire. 
The Dutch navy, triumi>liing over both th<' French and l]nglish 
fleets, in a number of decisive engagements, soon enter((l npon a 
course of aggression beyond the seas. A s(|UMdi'iin undei' .\dmirals 
Evertsen an<l P.inckes, after making a successful descent in the W<'st 
Indies, jjroceeded to New Y'ork, anchoring off Sandy Hook on -Inly 
29, 1073. Governor Lovelace was away at the tinu'. ujton business 
relating to our county, in connection with the new P.oston Post IJoad. 
Some resistance Avas offei'ed, whicli was s]i(^edily ovcrconu', thi' Eng- 
lish gari'ison capitulated, and soon Dutch atithority was restored full- 

• Van Pelt's Hist, of tlio Greater Now York, I., 67. 




GOVERNOR DONGAN. 



lf)6 HISTORY OP WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

fledged tliroughout the Province of New York. The city was renamed 
NeAV Orange, in honor of the prince, and Captain Anthony Colve 
was installed as governor. He immediately took measures to put 
the city in a capital condition f>f defense. To that end, and for the 
general purposes of his government, he caused the estates of the 
citizens to be appraised, and taxed them accordingly. It was as 
an incident of this proceeding that Frederick Philipse was ascer- 
tained to be the wealthiest inhabitant, with a fortune of 80,000 guil- 
ders. One of Colve's summary acts was his attempted confiscation 
of the i)roperty of the infant Lewis Morris, which he was prevented 
from accomplishing by the skillful address of Colonel Morris. The 
governor very promptly notified the settlements of the existence of 
the new regime, and demanded their obedient submission. One of 
the first to receive his attention in this regard was Westchester, or 
Oostdorp, whose recalcitrant behavior at the advent of the English 
in 1664 will be recalled by the reader. To the citizens of that back- 
slidden tOAvn Colve, on August 13, sent notification to appear before 
him and his council without delay, " together with their constables' 
staves and English flags, and they Avould, if circumstances permitted, 
be furnished with the prince's colors in place of the British ensign." 
Needless to say, this command was complied with, and the West- 
chester men were warned that " in future they should demean them- 
selves as loyal subjects." The government of the place was re- 
organized on the Dutch plan, with a new set of magistrates and new 
local regulations, among which was the requirement that tlie pc^ople 
should be of the Reformed Christian religion in uniformity with the 
Synod of Dort, or at least well-affectioned thereunto. The village 
of Fordhani, also, was constrained to adapt its local affairs to the 
new conditions. Colve caused its citizens to nominate to him six 
of their number best qualified to act as magistrates, all of whom 
should be of the Reformed Christian religion, and at least one-half 
men of Dutch nationality. This action as to Fordham, however, 
was in part the result of the initiative of the people of the place, who 
desired a new status of village government. The secretary of the 
province under Colve, it is worthy of mention, was Cornelius Steeu- 
wyck, who subsequently became the owner of the Manor of Fordham. 
During the Dutch restoration, which lasted fifteen months, New 
York province (or the Province of New Orange, as it was styled) did 
not revert to the proprietorsliip of the Dutch West India Company, 
but was subject direct and solely to the States-General of the Nether- 
lands. The great commercial corporation which had settled it and 
rule<l it for forty-one years had fallen upon unprosperous times. The 
affluent condition of the company during its early career was mainly 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 197 

due to its revenues from the prizes of war and from wealtby cap- 
tured provinces in the West Indies and South America. These reve- 
nues were cut off by the conclusion of yciicc with Spain, and its 
affairs bej;au to decline, until " finally its liabilities exceeded its as- 
sets by more than five millions of florins. Various schemes were 
proposed and tried to save it from bankruptcy or dissolution, but 
none availed to ward off disaster. In 1G73 it was practically extinct, 
but it was not until 1G74 that it was officially dissolved." Such was 
the melancholy end of this ma;j;nificent oriianizatioii, which can\e 
to pass in the very year that Dutch authority, after a litful period 
of renewal, was terminated forever in New Yorlc. 

Early in 1G74, by the Treaty of Westminster, peace was restored 
between England and Holland, each party agreeing to return to the 
other whatever possessions had been conquered dui'ing the war. On 
November 10 of that year New York was peacefully handed over to 
the representative of the Duke of York, Edmund Andros, who as- 
sumed its government. This new change was attended by no fur- 
ther inconvenience to the citizens than the obligation to take the 
oath of allegiance to England. 

Nothing of importance in the general concerns of the province 
after the resumption of English rule requires our notice until 108.3. 
In that year two events of great consequence occurred — first, the 
division of New York into counties, and, second, the revision of the 
New York and Connecticut boundary agreement of 16G4. 

On the 17th of October, 1GS3, the first legislative assembly in the 
history of NeAV York convened in New York City. It was summoned 
by the new governor, Thomas Dongan, who " came with instructions 
to allow the people in their various towns to elect reiiresenta fives to 
a general assembly, which was to constitute a sort of lower house, 
with the governor's council as the upper house of legislation, the 
governor acting as the sovereign to approve or veto the bills passed. 
The assembly was to meet once in three years at least, and to num- 
ber not more than eighteen members." This first New York assem- 
bly consisted of fourteen representatives, of whom four were from 
Westchester, as follows: Thomas Hunt, Sr., John Palmer, Richard 
Ponton, and William Richardson.' The assembly passed an act, ap- 
proved by the governor on November 1, from which we quote the per- 
tinent portion : " Having taken into consideracon the necessity of 
divideing the province into respective countyes for the better govern- 
ing and setleing Courts in the same. Bee It Enacted by the Gover- 
nour, Councell and Representatives, and by authority of the same. 
That the said Province bee divided into twelve Countyes, as fol- 

» " civil History of Westchester County," by Rev. William J. Cmiinihig, Scharf, 1., 017. 






198 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

lowetli : . . . The Countje of Westchester, to contain West and East 
Chester, Bronx Land, Ffordhaju, Anne Hooks Xeck [Pelham 2\eck], 
lliclibcH's [de Luncey's Nerk], Miuiford's Island [City Island], and 
all the Laud on the Maine to the Eastward of Manhattan's Island, 
as fan- as the Government Extends, and the Yonckers Land and 
Northwards along Hudson's IJivcr as far as the High Lands." The 
other eleven counties named and erected were New York, Kichmond, 
Kings, Queens, Suffolk, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, and Albany, with 
Duke's and Cornwall, the latter two embracing territory noAV belong- 
ing to the States of Massachusetts and Maine,' but at that time the 
property of the Duke of York. It was also provided that there 
should be a high sheriff in each county, and that courts sliould be 
established, including town courts, countje courts, a Court of Oyer 
and Terminer, and a Court of Chancery, the Supreme Court of the 
province consisting of the governor and council. Westchester was 
appointed to be the shire town, or county seat, of the county. It 
continued as such until after the burning of the courthouse (Febru- 
ary 4, 1758), when White Plains was selected. By one of the acts 
passed by the assembly of 1G83, entitled " An act for the more orderly 
hearing and determining matters of controversy," courts of session 
for Westchester County were directed to be held on the tirst Tues- 
days of June and December, one at Westchester and the other at 
Eastchester; and on the first AVednesday of December a Court of 
Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery was to be held. The 
County Court of Westchester County did not begin its existence 
until 1(588, when John Pell was appointed its tirst judge. The first 
high sheriff of the county, Benjamin Collier, was, however, appointed 
almost immediately (November 9, 1G83), and in 1684 a county clerk, 
John Kider, was appointed. From the beginning, all the principal 
officers were appointive, and held their places during the pleasure 
of the governor, excepting only representatives in the general as- 
sembly, who were chosen by the people. 

One of the chief enactments of the assembly of 1G83 was a pro- 
posed " Charter of Liberties and Priviledges, granted by his Royal 
Highness to the Inhabitants of New York and its dependencies,"' 
which, howevei", was disapproved Avhen transmitted to England. In- 
deed, before the time for the convening of the second general as- 
scMubly arrived, this representative body was abolished altogether, 
the Duke of York having mounted the throne as James II. and having 
come to the conclusion that it was not expedient for the people of 
the province to participate in its government. It was not until 1691, 



'Duke's Count.v embraced 'Nautuekot. Mar- Mans Land: and Cornwall County comprised 
tha's Vineyard, Elizabeth Island, and No I'cmaquid and adjacent territory in Maine. 



GENERAL HtSTOKICAL REVIEW TO 1(00 199 

after the accession of William and Mary, that the assembly again 
came together, to continue as a ijermauent iustitui ion. 

The basis of the New York and ("oniiecticut bniiiidai-y agreement 
of October, 1004, as understood by (ioveruor Nicolls and as uni- 
formly insisted upon by the New York provincial government, was 
a line starting at a pidnl on the Sound twenty nules from tlie Hud- 
son Kiver. It was represented tn NiroUs by the ( 'ounecticut com- 
missioners thai this point was at the mouth dI' the Mamaroneck 
Kiver — a very couvenient iilace, moreover, from the ('ounecticut [)oint 
of view, for the line to begin, since it would just take in the Kye 
settlement. So the starting ijoint was fixed at the Mamaroneck's 
mouth, wheuce the bouudary was to run north-Tiortln\'est until it 
should intersect the soul hern line of .Alassachuselts. Here, again, 
great injustice was done to New Y'ork; lor iliis north-northwest line 
would cut the Iludson below the Highlands, utterly dismeuibering 
the Province of New York, and giving to Connecticut all of the river 
above the Highlands, inclnding the settlements at Albany and other 
places along the stream. Of course such a division, when its true 
nature became realized, could not be submitted to. 13ut there was 
no immediate occasion for a different adjustment. New Y'ork at that 
period was not at all disposed to claim Kye, which, from the be- 
ginning, had belonged without question to the jurisdiction of Con- 
necticut; and as for the interior, it mattered little for the time being 
how far Connecticut's nominal boundary reached, as no settleuuuits 
had yet been begun there, and even private proprietary interests on 
the part of subjects of New Y'ork (excepting only Richbell's patent) 
had not yet come into being. The whole matter was left in abeyance 
for nineteen years. 

A new boundary, substantially the one now existing, was estab- 
lished by articles coniduded between Governor Dougau and council 
of New Y'ork and the governor and delegates of Connecticut on the 
24th day of November, 1083. Important concessions were made on 
both sides. New Y'ork demanded, as the fundauiental thiug, that 
the original intention of a twenty-mile distance from the Iludson 
should be adhered to; and, moreover, that the boujulary should run 
north and south, or parallel to the Hudson, instead of uorth-uorlh- 
west — a demand to which Connecticut yielded. On the other hand, 
it was conceded to Connecticut that she should retain her older set- 
tlements on the Sound, extending as far westward as the liuiits of 
the Town of (Jreenwit-lu or the uuiutli of the ISyraui Kiver; but as 
this arrangement would cut off from New ^■oI■k a considerable ter^- 
ritory along the Sound that rightfully belonged to lun- under the 
twenty-mile agreement, the deprivation thus suffered was to be com- 



200 



HISTORY OP AVESTCHESTER COUNTY 



pensated for by assigning to New York an " equivalent tract " (i. e., 
a tract equal in area to the surrendered Sound lands) along the 
whole extent of the fundamental north and south boundary. 

The divisional line traced in conformity with these mutual con- 
cessions is probably the most curious of American State boundaries, 
and must be an iuexi)Iicable jjuzzle to all pei'sons not familiar with 
the historical facts which we have recited. It has no fewer than 
five points of departure. After following the Byram River for a 
short distance, it abruptly leaves that stream and ruus in a straight 
direction northwest; then, forming a right angle, goes northeast; 

then returns again at a right angle to 
northwest; and finally, at a very ob- 
tuse angle, proceeds in a continuous 
course to the Massachusetts boundary. 
But liowever eccentric in appearance, 
it was constructed with strict refer- 
ence to a fair and regular division of 
territory under the terms of the com- 
promise and the iJeculiar conditions 
of existing settlement which made 
such a compromise necessary. 

Beginning at the mouth of the 
Byram Eiver, the line, as thus decided 
upon in 1683, ran up that stream as 
far as the head of tidewater (about a 
mile and a half), where Avas a " wad- 
ing-place" crossed by a road, and 
where stood a rock known as " The 
Great Stone at the Wading-place." 
From this point as a natural boundary 
mark it went north-northwest to a dis- 
tance eight miles from the Sound, 
which was deemed to be a reasonable 
northward limit for the Connecticut 
Sound settlements. From here, making a right angle, the line paral- 
leled the general course of the shore of the Sound for twelve miles. 
Thus the strip on the Sound set olf to Connecticut formed a parallelo- 
gram eight by twelve miles. But as the eastern terniiuatiou of the 
twelve-mile line was beyond the twenty-mile distance from the Hud- 
son, another north-northwest line was drawn from that termination, 
Avhich, after running some eight miles, came to a point distant from 
the Hudson the required twenty miles. Here began the straight 
line to the Massachusetts border, pursuing a course parallel to the 



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VARIOUS BOUNDARY LINES. 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 201 

general direction of the Hudson River. Along these latter two sec- 
tions of the boundary, the so-called " equivalent tract " or • ( )l)long," 
having an area of Gl,440 acres, was, in recompense for the ^ouiul set- 
tlements which Kew York surrendered, i:\kvu from Connecticut and 
given to New York; and as llnis rectified (lie whole north and south 
boundary line, beginning at the uortlieast corner of the Connecticut 
parallelogram, was located some t\\o miles to the eastward of the 
basic twenty-mile distance originally agreed upon. 

The settlements on the Sound which fell to Connecticut by this 
deternunation of the boundary were Hve in number — Greenwich, 
Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, and Norwalk. A sixth settlement. 
Rye, which had previously belonged to Connecticut, was for the most 
part transferred to New York, although a portion of its lauds fell on 
the Connecticut side of the line. It was in large measure owing to 
the aggressiveness of the Rye settlers, and to the questions arising 
out of the territorial claims made by the Town of Rye as the west- 
ernmost locality of Connecticut, that the boundary matter was forced 
to an issue in 168.3. The Rye people, conceiving that the Connecticut 
colony extended all the way to the Hudson River, complained to the 
legislature of Connecticut about the purchases or pretensions of 
New York citizens along the Hudson wliich came to their notice; and 
the Connecticut governor brought the subject to the attention of the 
governor of New Y''ork and urged a settlement. And now, under 
tlie ne\\- boundary treaty of the U\i) pl"o^ iuces, Rye itself was rudely 
sundered from its parent colony and made a part of New York. This 
was extremely repugnant to the settlers of Rye, who, indeed, 
continued to deem themselves as belonging to Connecticut, and 
ultimatelj-, rather than submit to the government of New York, when 
that government took certain steps distasteful to tliem, b(ddly re- 
volted against its authority and organized the famous "Rye Rebel- 
lion." Nor was Rye the only settlement founded by Connecticut 
men and governed by Connecticut which, against its will, was incor- 
porated in New Y'ork. The histoiy of the Town of Bedfoi-d is almost 
as interesting in this respect as that of liye. Previously to l(iS3 the 
Bedford settlement had been begun by Stamford men, and for years 
after the boundary agreement of that year, Bedford, like Ry(>, was 
much disaffected toward New York. It was an active party to 
the " Eye Rebellion." 

The boundary line fixed by interprovincial agreement on tlu' 24th 
of Novendjin", 1G83, was approved by the legislature of Connecticut 
on the 8th of May, 1684, and a surveyor was appointed to lay off the 
line. This surveyor, with the co-operation of ollicers from New York, 
traced the first sections of the boundarv as far as the termination 



202 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

of the agreed line parallel to the Soimd. Thus the territory retained 
by Connecticut on the Sound was formally marked off without de- 
lay; but the "equivalent tract" or "Oblong" to which New York 
was entitled was not apportioned ujjou that occasion, although its 
approximate width was calculated and indicated by the surveyors. 
The new boundary, while accepted by the two provinces, did not re- 
ceive ratilication in England, probably because no special attention 
was paid to the matter; and the lack of such ratification enabled 
Connecticut, after the revolt of Rye and Bedford, to contend that 
the whole arrangement was without legal effect, and to insist that 
it be passed upon by the king before it could be considered binding. 
It was accordingly taken to King William for final decision, who in 
March, 1700, confirmed it, ordering live and Bedford to return to 
the jurisdiction of New York; and on the 10th of October follow- 
ing the two towns were, by the legislature of Connecticut, absolved 
from all allegiance to that colony. 

So far as the political status of Rye and Bedford was concerned, 
this forever ended all doubt on that point; btit the exact location of 
the boundaiy line along each of its various sections still continued 
a subject of dispute, and, in fact, the controversy did not end tmtil 
the present generation. The history of this dispute of two hundred 
years' standing may conveniently be completed in the present con- 
nection. We quote from the excellent summary of it given in the 
Rev. Mr. Baird's " History of Rye ": 

After various failures to effect a settlement, New York aiitl Connecticut selected com- 
missioners, who met at Rye in April, 1725, and l)egau the work of marking tlie boundary. 
They started iit " the Great Stoue at the Wading-place," which had been designated as the 
point of beginning forty-one years before. Their survey was extended as far as that of 1084, 
to " tlie Duke's Trees," at the northwest angle of the Town of Greenwich, wliere three white 
oaks had been marked as the termination of the former survey. Here the work was sus- 
pended for want of funds, and it was not resumed until the spring of 1731. The survey was 
then completed to the Massachusetts line; the " equivalent tract " or " Oblong " was meas- 
ured and " set off to New Y^ork," and the line dividing the Province of New Y'ork from the 
Cobmy of Connecticut was designated by monuments at intervals of two miles. " The (ireat 
Rock at the Wading-place " may still l)e fomul at the northeastern end of the bridge crossing 
the Ryram River. Starting at tliis rock, the boundary line strikes across the King Street 
and follows the course of that road for about two miles. At the distance of five miles from 
the W^ading-place it crosses Blind Brook near the head of that stream at an angle which 
terminates the territory of Rye. The famous " Duke's Trees " are about two miles north of 
this point. 

The boimdary line laid down in 1731 remained without disturbance until 1855, when the 
question arose as to its existing definiteness. On some portions of the line the marks had 
disappeared, and along the whole distance the greatest imcertainty existed. Residents near 
the l)order refrained from voting in either State, while officers of justice and tax collectors 
hesitated to exercise their authority up to any well-defined limit. These circiunstauces were 
taken advantage of by those wishing to evade the payment of taxes or the enforcement of the 
law. In May, 1855, the General Assembly of Connecticut took steps to have the true position 
of the boundary hue ascertained, by means of a new survey and the erection of new monu- 
ments. In the following year the New York legislature took similar action, and the com- 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 203 

missioneis appointed luider the several acts employed an engineer to niii tlic line. Tin- 
commissioners could not agree, however, as to the method of running the line, and nothing 
was done. In Ang\ist, 1859, new cmnmissioners were ajipointed on the part of each State, 
but, owing to the tenacity with which Connecticut adhered to the claim that a straight line 
should be run,' regardless of existing momiuieuts to indicate the original course, no agree- 
ment could be reached. 

The last step taken in the matter occurred in ISGO. On the 3d of April in that year 
the legislature of New York passed an act empowering the eonnnissioners formerly appointed 
" to survey and mark with suitable monuments " tlie " line between the two States, as lixed 
by the survey of 1731." They were to give due notice of their purpose to the eonnnissioners 
of Connecticut, inviting them to join in the duties imposed upon them. But in case of their 
refusal or neglect to do so, they were to proceed alone and perform the work assignetl. The 
commissioners of New York, acting under these instruciions, held several confereiu^:s with 
those of Connecticut, but the latter adhered inflexibly to the prin(riple that the honudary to 
be established must be a straight one. The commissioners from New York therefore pursued 
the cinirse enjoined upon them. They fixed and marked the boundary line between thi^ two 
States, placing monuments along its course, at intervals of one mile, from the Massachusetts 
line to the mouth of the Byram Kiver. This work was undertaken on the 8th of June, IStJO, 
and was completed in the autumn of that year. On December o, 1879, this line was agreed 
to by the legislatures of New Y'ork and Comiecticut, and continued bv congress during the 
session of 1880-81. 

The oxisteiice of Xew York as a proprietary province, hclongiug to 
James, Duke of York, termiuuled iu IGbo, wlieu, Cliarles li. liaviug 
(lied without leaving legitimate issue, James, his brother, succeeded 
to the sovereignty. This was an event of considerable importance, 
not alone for Xew York, but also for the colonies of 2sew England 
and New Jersey. New York at once lost its separate status as a 
proprietary province, and became, like the New England and New 
Jersey possessions of Great Britain, an ordinary j)rovince of the 
crown. Governor Dongau, identified with so many conspicuous meas- 
ures of change and progress in New York, now t)riginated the 
projjosition for uniting the colonies of New Jersey, New York, and 
New England under a single government. " By reason of the dif- 
ferent proprietorships of the various colonies, no uniform rule of 
import or export duties prevailed. An article heavily tax;'d iu New 
York might be free iu New Jersey or Connecticut. The customs 
at New York suffered greatly, and trade was thrown into much con- 
fusion by reason of vessels running over to the New Jersey shore of 
the river and there unloading their goods. These were gradually 
smuggled into Ncav York, and sold at a price below that of articles 
which had honestly passed the custom-house. Dongau, therefore, 
urged the expediency of consolidating all (he king's colonies from the 
Delaware to and including Oonnecticut and ^lassacliusetts." - De- 
spite some local opposition this was done, and in KISS Sir Edmund 

» The representatives of Connecticut contend- tliem. On the r)tli.r liaiiil. Ilii> cnnimlsslon- 

0(1 for a straight line between the two extreme ers of New YorlJ considered their iiuthorit.v 

points, flft.v-three miles apart, because the old limited to "ascertaining" the boiindar.v as 

nicinunuMits and marks upon the line were gen- originall.v defined.— Sehnrf, i., 5. 

orall.v removed, and the oiiginal line eould not = Van Pelt's Hist, of the Gci'ator New York, 

be traced with any certainty by reference to i., SO. 



204 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Audros was appointed the first governor of the combined provinces, 
with headquarters in Boston. A lieutenant-governor, Colonel Fran- 
cis JS'icholsou, was deputized to take chai'ge of the separate affairs 
of the Province of ^'ew York. The old governor's council was re- 
tained, although nothing was as yet done toward reviving the as- 
sembly. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson's councilors were Anthony 
Brockholst, Frederick I'hilipse, Stephauus Van Cortlandt, and Nicho- 
las Bayard. Dongan, before being superseded, granted to the City 
of New York, in IGSG, its first charter as a corporation, under the 
style of " The Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of New 
York," the city having two years previously been divided into wards 
and made to include the whole of Manhattan Island. This advance 
step taken by the city is fairly representative of the general develop- 
ment which had fairly begun at that period — a development to which 
Westchester County contributed its share. 

The reign of James, the last of the Stuart monarchs, was brief. 
Three years after he ascended the throne the people of England, 
weary of the tyrannj-, corruption, and religious intolerance of his 
dynasty, rose against him, and received with open arms the Prot- 
estant William, Prince of Orange, Avho, as the husband of Mary, one 
of the daughters of James, was eligible to rule over them. It was 
a bloodless revolution. In February, 1689, ^Villiam and Mary were 
proclaimed king and queen. James, after making a stand in Ireland, 
where he fought the disastrous battle of the Boyne, fled to Catholic 
France. 

The news of the landing of William stirred the American colonies 
Ijrofouudly. Aside from their natural preference for a Protestant 
king, they apprehended that the dethroned James would enlist in 
his cause the power of France, and that they would soon have to 
deal with a French invasion. James's officials were accordingly 
treated without ceremony. In Boston Governor Andros was, in April, 
1689, deposed and cast into prison. In New York Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor Nicholson, having by unguarded behavior and unbecoming lan- 
guage provoked popular resentment and distrust, found himself con- 
fronted by the determined hostility of the captains of the training 
bands, who, in June, compelled him to vacate his office and return 
to England. The province was thus left without a head, and the 
people were quite unwilling to intrust affairs to the council, com- 
posed as it was of the old royal favorites. The training band cap- 
tains, assuming temporary authority in the name of the people, called 
a convention of delegates from all the counties, which assembled on 
June 26, and appointed a committee of safety. By this committee 
Jacob Leisler, one of the captains and a prominent member of the 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 205 

fommimity, was placed in military ooiumaud of the province, and 
the citizens were called upon to come together and choose by popular 
election a successor to Steidiaiuis Van Cortlandt in the mayoralty 
of the city, which they did accordingly. Finally, in December, by vir- 
tue of a letter from their majesties, addressed to " Francis Nicholson, 
Esq., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief in our Province 
of New York, and in /n".s absence io stick as for the time heinij take care for 
preserving the peace and administering the laws," Leisler, at the direction 
of the committee of safety, assumed the functions of lieutenant-siov- 
ernor pro tempore, in addition to those of military commander. The 
committee, consisting of eight members, now transformed itself, at 
Leisler's request, into a gubernatorial council. 

This unprecedented and peculiar rc^gime lasted for a litth- more 
than a year after Leisler's elevation to the executive office, or nearly 
two years from the time of Nicholson's deposition. Born of a pop- 
ular uprising, it was in its entire character, spirit, and conduct a 
people's government. This was one of the principal charges brought 
against it by the opposing aristocratic party, who, however, did not 
vouchsafe it so reputable a name, but styled it an organization of 
" the rabble." The leading members of Nicholson's council — Bay- 
ard, Philipse, and Van Cortlandt — not only lent no countenance to 
the training band captains, the committee of safety, or the popularly 
chosen lieutenant-governor, but boldly opposed each step in the new 
order of things. Bayard, the most active of the three, was arrested 
by Leisler's order in January, 3090, tried, and condemned to death for 
treason on the ground of his opposition to the king's representative; 
but suing for pardon, he received a commutation of his sentence. 
Philipse, at the beginning of the troubles, left the city, but returned, 
and, conducting himself with tolerable prudence, was not molested. 
Van Cortlandt, who was not only one of Nicholson's councilors, but 
mayor of New York, at first remained at his post, and after th(> choice 
of his successor by the elective process declined to recognize the act 
as legal and refused to deliver up his books and seals. At the time 
of Bayard's arrest, fearing a like fate, he saved himself by hasty 
flight. It is an interesting fact that Leisler was related by marriage 
to both Van Cortlandt and Bayard; and Philipse also became of kin 
to Leisler's family by marrying Van C^rtlandt's sister. Yet so in- 
tense were the passions of the times that these ties of relationship 
counted for nothing, and Leisler's own kinsmen were the most bitter 
and unrelenting of the enemies who resisted him during the days of 
his authority and pursued him to ignominious death after his down- 
fall. 

Late in 1G90 King William appointed Colonel ITenry Sloughter as 







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FACSIMILE OF LETTER FROM LEXSLER. 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 



207 



his royal governor for New York, with Major Richard Ingoldsby as 
lieutenaut-sovernor. Injioldsby was the first to arrive, and demanded 
the transfer of the goverunient to himself, a demand witli whieh 
Leisler refused to comply, because Ingoldsby was unable 1o show 
])ro])er credentials. 

This misunderstanding was followed by an nnfoi-tunale attack 
upon the royal troops by Leisler's followers, and, although ho dis- 
avowed responsibility for the manifestation, it was charged up to 
him as one of his offenses. Upon the arrival of Governor Rloughter, 
in March, 1691, he was imprisoned, and then, by swift proceedings, 
sentenced to die the death of a traitor. On May 17, less than two 
months after giving up the reins of government, he was hanged, to- 
gether with his son-in-law, Jacob jrilbourne. No appeal of his case 
to England was permitted, a melancholy circumstance in view of 
the action of Parliament four years later in formally reversing his 
attainder of treason after a dispassionate review of all the facts. 

The name of Jacob Leisler is conspicuously and honorably iden- 
tified with the early history of West- 
chester rounty through his i)urchase 
and sale to the Huguenots, already no- 
tic(Ml, of about two-thirds of the old 
^lanor of Pelham, a tract of soiiu' «ix 
thousand acres. There is no doubt 
th;it in making this purchase and in 
disjiosing of the lands to the Frencli 
religious refugees he was animated en- 
tirely l)y unselfish and sympathetic 
considerations. A German Protest- 
ant by birth, and, moreover, the son of 
a clergyman of the Peformed Ghurch, 
he became known in New York as a zealous supporter and promoter 
of the Protestant religion. It Avas in consequence of the reputation 
which he thus enjoyed that the Ifugui'uots, before emigrating to New 
York, ap])lied to him to select and .secure a suitable locality for their 
contemplated settlement. As a few individual Huguenots had al- 
ready bull I liomes on Pelham Manor, that quarter was already indi- 
cated as the one to be chosen. In the original purchase from John 
and Kachel Pell, September 20, 1689, "Jacob Leisler, of the City of 
New York, merchant," was the sole person interested; and his con- 
scientious spirit in the transaction is indicated l)v the significant 
l)rovision of the deed that, besides the six thousand acres conveyed 
to him, a parcel of one hundr(>d acres should be set ai)art from Pell's 
l>roperty as a free gift to the I'rcncli church. Moreover, he gave for 




LEISLER S TOMB. 



208 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

the lands the large sum of " sixteen hundred and seventy-five shillings 
sterling, current silver money of this province," paying the entire 
amount on the day of purchase — a sum whose comparative magni- 
tude will be appreciated when it is remembered that eight years 
later Caleb Heathcote, in buying from Mrs. Richbell her title to most 
of the present Township of Mamaroneck and other lands (liaving an 
aggregate area much larger than the New Rochelle tract), paid for 
his acquisition only £600. Leisler rapidly transferred his whole pur- 
chase to the Huguenots, and before his executiou they were in full 
possession of it. 

Smith, in his " History of New York," gives the following inter- 
esting item: "Leisler's party was strengthened on the 3d of June, 
1689, by the addition of six captains and four hundred men in New 
York, and a company of seventy men from Eastchester, who had 
all subscribed on that day a solemn declaration to pi-eserve the 
l*rotestaut religion and the Port of New York for the Prince of 
Orange and the governor whom the prince might appoint as their 
protector." The action of the seventy volunteers of our Town of 
Eastchester in marching down to New York to give their support 
to Leisler is highly significant. The men of Eastchester were dem- 
ocrats of democrats in all their antecedents, but at the same time 
were godly and sober citizens, who would not have lightly, or for 
mere emotional or adventurous reasons, espoused a factional 
cause. They evidently believed, most completely and ardently, in 
the righteousness and also the sufficiency of the imi^rovised govern- 
ment. It is indeed impossible to question the sincere and virtuous 
animus of Leisler's followers. 

Leisler, raised to authority by the people, fully recognized the 
people as the source of power. Notwithstanding the previous aboli- 
tion of the ]^^o^•incial assembly, he promptly appealed to the repre- 
sentatives of the people when a grave public emergency arose soon 
after he became acting governor. In February, 1690, the settlement 
of Schenectady was burned and its inhabitants were massacred by 
the Indians at the instigation of the French. Leisler at once sum- 
moned a general assembly for the purpose of providing means and 
supplies for retributive measures. In that body Thomas Browne 
was the delegate from Westchester County. 

The influence of Leisler as a plain citizen, before by the stress of 
events placed in the control of affairs, was uniformly on the side of 
the public welfare, of intelligence, and progmss; and the history of 
his personal career is that of a vigorous, successful, and honest man, 
wlio eminently deserved the position he won. He came to New 
York in 1660, while the city was still known as New Amsterdam, 



(ilO.NKKAI. IIISTOKICAI. KKVIKW TO 1700 209 

being vuv ol' a rumiumy ui liltciMi soldiers toi- tlie re-eut'oiveiiieiit of 
the garrison. Afterward lie traded with the Indians and ae(iuired 
considerable means. He served under Dongan as one of the com- 
missioners of the Admiralty Court. In UWu he was one of the jurors 
in a case of witchcraft tried at Brookhaven, Long Island, against 
Ralph ITall and his wife, which resuKed iu a((iuittal. As one of the 
captains of the training bands he enjoyed (he unusual conlidence of 
the citizen soldiers — a confidence which, because of his reputation 
in the community, was shared by the public in general when the 
necessities of the situation constrained them to assume the tempo- 
rary direction of the government. He was, moreover, sustained 
throughout his administration by some of the best and most substan- 
tial citizens, notwithstanding the opposition and intrigues of the 
former governing class; and the persistent continuance of a per- 
fectly respectable " Leislerian party " for many years after his trag- 
ical end is convincing tribute to the excellence of both his i)rivate 
and civic character. Ilis descendants at this day are very numer- 
ous, and have representatives in many of the old and highly re- 
spectable families of New York and Westchester County. Included 
among them are those of the Gouverneur Mori'is and Wilkins 
branches of the Morrises of Morrisania. For the pedigree of the 
Westchester County descendants of Leisler, we refer our readers to 
Bolton's " History of Westchester County," rev. ed., i., 585. 

When at last, in March, 1(>91, the government of the province was 
resumed by a direct appointee of the king. Colonel Henry Sloughter, 
it was ordered that the i)rovincial assembly should be re-establisiied. 
No time was lost by Governor Sloughter in bringing this to pass; 
and on April 9, 1(>91, the second regidarly constituted assembly of 
New York came together, with John Pell, of the :Manor of Pelham, 
and Joseph Theale, of the Town of Rye, sitting as representatives 
from Westchester County. The assembly "consisted of seventeen 
members, but was afterwards increased to twenty-seven. 
I'.y tlie act of .May 8, 1099, the representatives were elected by the 
freeholders of £40 in value, who were residents of the electoral dis- 
trict at least three months prior to the issue of the act. The elections 
were held by the sheriff at otu' place in each county, and voting was 
rim rorr. The act of November 25, 1751, direct(Hl the sherilT to hold 
his court of election near the Presbyterian meeting-house at White 
Plains. Previously it had been held in the southern part of the 
county, doubtless at Westchester. Cathcdics could neither vote nor 
hold oflice, and at one time the Quakers and :Moravians were also 
virtually disqnalifieil by tlieii' niiwillingness to take the oath." * 

' Seh.irf, 1., 647. 



THE 

LAWS & ACTS 

OF THE 
FOR 

Their Majefties Province 

O F 



NEW-YORK 



^ 



As they were Ena^ed in divers Scffions, the firft of 
which began Afrily the 9th, Annoq; Pomini, 

1 6^1. 



S ^ C-;<i ^ <i" ^&<& 

.*• -5- .* 



. 



At 'New'Tork 

Printed aiicl'Sold by WiHiim Bradford, Printer. to tTieir MajeftleSj KJr.j 



riTLE-l'AGE OF THE EARLIEST VOLUME OF NEW YORK STATUTES. 



GENERAL HISTORICAL REVIEW TO 1700 211 

ExcL'ptiii.y the rein-esentatives in llie guucrul iissembly, only the 
strictly local officers — supervisors, collectors, assessors, and consta- 
bles — were elective. Tlie most ini]K(rl;iiil dl' (licse, the supervisors, 
date from an early period. 

By the " Duke's Laws," promulgated in 1665, the Courts of Sessious levied the taxes 
upDU the towus. By an act of the general assenilily, passed Oetoher IS, 1701 (Kith William 
III. I, tlie justiees of the peaee, in speeial or general .session, were direeted to levy onc-e a year 
the necessary county and town charges and allowauies for their representative in the general 
assenddy, to make provi.sion for the poor, and to issue warrants for the election of two 
assessors aiul one collector, and for the collection of ta.xes. These duties were transferred 
to a lioard of supervisors hy an act of general assemhly passed June 10, 17(),'5 (2d Anne), 
entitled " An Act for the better ex)daining and more ert'ectually putting into execution an act 
cd' general assemhly made in the third year of the reign of tlu'ir late nuijesties. King William 
and (jueen Mary, entith'd An Act for defraying the puhlick and necessary charges thro'ont 
this province, and for maintaining the poor and preventing vagabonds." The freeholders 
and inliabitants of each town were authorized to choose once each year, on the first Tuesday 
of April ( unless otherwise directed), one supervisor, two assessors, and one collector. The 
supervisors elected were directed to meet in the county town on the first Tuesday of October, 
ascertain the contingent charges of the county and such sums as were imposed hy the laws 
of the colony, apportion to each town, manor, liberty, jurisdiction, and precinct their respective 
quotas, and to transmit them to the assessors of the different towns, etc., who should appor- 
tion them among the inhahitants. The supervisors were authorized to choose annually a 
treasni'cr. The court of sessions was thus relieved of that portion of its duties which was 
legislative and not judicial. Supervisors had been cho.sen in several of the towns before the 
I>assage of the act of 1703 (Eastchester, 1(186; Mamaroneck, 1697; New Koehclle, 1700); 
Imt wliat tlieir duties were it is impossible to state." 

During the ten years following the arri^ul of the hrst royal gov- 
ernor under King William, and the definite erection of representative 
government in tiu' province, tlicre was a steady expansion of ])oi)ula- 
tion, wealth, and enterprise. Sloughter died onh* two months after 
Leisler's execution, and was succeeded as governor the next year by 
Benjamin Fletcher, who was superseded in 1(>!18 by the Earl of Bello- 
mont, one of tlie best and most conscientious of New York's early 
colonial rulcis. I'hilipse and Van Cortlandt, who luid licen sent 
into I'etirement by Leisler, were recalled to the council by Sloughtcr, 
and both of them thus resumed their old-time ])romiuence. It has 
already been recorded how rhiiipse, on account of the notoriety at- 
taching to his connection with unlawful Iratlic, was finally forced to 
resign from the council. Tliis trattic, while vexatious to liie gov- 
ernment othci;ils and iucicasingly demoralizing, was far from being 
regarded with general disapprobation by the commercial commu- 
nity of New York. Too many were intereste<l in its gains to admit 
of sucli hostility, and, indeed, the large private interests concerned in 
it were mainly responsible for the extensive proportions to which it 
grew in the closing years of the seventeenth century. It was not 
confined to the ordinary forms of smuggling — mere surreptitious im- 
l)ortations of taxable i:iiio|ie;iii goods. — but included relations of more 

' Scharf, 645. 



212 UISTOltV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

or less iiitiuuu-y with the pirates of tlic liii;]i seas. •' Tlie most ap- 
proved course usually i>nrsiie(l \\as to load a ship with yoods for 
exchange and sale on the Island of Madagascar. Rum costing two 
shillings ]>er gallon in New York would fetch fifty to sixty shillings 
ill .Madagascar. A pipe of Madeira wine costing nineteen pounds in 
New York could be sold for three hundred pounds in that distant 
island. Not that just so nuich specii^ would be given for these 
articles there. Eut here was the rendezvous of the jnrates, or buc- 
caneers, of tlie Indian Ocean, and the goods they offered in exchange 
were extremely costly." ^ Probably the princi]ial reason of Governcn- 
Fletcher's I'ecall was his tolerance of such intercourse. Bellonu)nt, 
who followed him, was charged expressly to deal summarily with it; 
and in consequence, Frederick riiilipse found it expedient to teruii- 
nate his membership in the council, and so avoid disgraceful expul- 
sion. It was as an incident of Bellomont's vigorous policy in this 
line that Captain William Kidd, whose name and fame ha\e become 
immortal in the legendary annals of piracy, was arrested, tried, and 
hanged (May, 1701). Kidd originally appears in the virtuous and 
noble character of a pirate hunter. A number of particularly re- 
si^ectable and distinguished subscribers (among them King William 
and Lord Bellomont, at that time not yet governor), having at heart 
the siippression of piracy, equipped a stanch vessel for Kidd, who 
was known as a bold and experienced mariner, and sent him forth 
to search for these evil men wheresoever they might ply their horrid 
vocation, and scourge them froin the seas. As the story runs, he ren- 
dered valuable services for a time in this chivalric canse, but later 
fell into degenerate ways, and himself became a most desperate cor- 
sair. His favorite hannts after returning from his cruises Avere the 
inlets and islands of Long Island Sound, where he landed his precious 
cargoes, and, according to tradition, buried his gold, silver, and jeAv- 
els. It is said that when brought to trial he confided to the autlior- 
ities the location of a treasure secreted on Gardiner's Island, and 
that it was duly found and ai)propriated by them. From the authen- 
ticated accounts of Captain Kidd's frequentings of the coast of the 
Sound, it may safely be said that from time to time he must have 
steered his bark into some of the numerous places of retreat along 
The Westchester shore. This, however, is only a reasonable infer- 
ence. There is nothing to show that he ever had a rendezvous Avithin 
our waters. In the course of time popular imagination, stimulated 
by the fiction of his buried wealth, even ascribed to him expeditions 
up the Tludson River as far as the Highlands. Bolton reproduces a 
very enterlaining account of an attempt during the present century 



> Van PrU's Hist, of tlic GroaU-r New Yorl;. 1., 9S. 



COMPLETION OF EARLY LOCAL SETTLEMENT 213 

tu luisi- a siiiikcu bark olT Caldwell's l.undiii.n in I lie I lii;hl:Miil.s, sup- 
posed to have been Captain Kidd's jn-ivate sliiji. Suiuc .*i:(l,(MI(l was 
spent in tlie enterprise' 'I'lie pre-eminence which Captain Ividd lias 
always enjoyed in the poi)nlar iniaj;i nation is much out of propor- 
tion to liis achievements. His formal ])iratical career was at all 
events very brief. It was in October, l(>!)li, that he was dispatched 
to hunt down pirates, and at that time he must have had a fairly 
honest reputation. Less than live years later he nni his doom on the 
.^allows. His exceptional p()i)nlarity as a pirate hen> is doubtless 
due to the fanciful stories of his buried treasures, t(» which a certain 
substantial foun<lation was supposed to have been <;iven by the un- 
earthing of one of them — in all probability tli(> only one — by the au- 
thorities. 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century .Manhattan Island had 
attained a population of nearly six thousand souls, and about one 
thousand houses had been erected upon it. Westchester County, 
established upon practically the same boundary lines as exist to-day 
(considering the county in its original integrity), had acquired the 
elements of serious development in all its parts. Practically all its 
land had been approi^riated by purchase. Means of convenient com- 
munication with New York had been secured, and a bridge across 
the Spuyten Duyvil Creek buill. All of the six manorial estates had 
been granted by letters patent, and in part settled by tenants, with 
here and there the foundations of villages laid. The old settlements 
on the Sound had made steady advancement and new settlers had 
generally begun to occupj' the non-manorial lands in the interior. 
The progress of the Sound settlements and of interior occupation 
outside of the manors remains to be glanced at in ordi-r to com]dete 
tlie history of the county to the period at which we have arrived. 

The Rye settlement, which grew out of i)ur(diases made by citizens 
of (Jreenwich, Conn., on the New York side of the I'yram Uiver, be- 
ginning in KJIill, flourished from the start, and gradually ex])anded 
r)ver ail the adjacent counti-y. Included within the Colony of Con- 
necticut by the boundary compact of KitU, there Tievcn- existed any 
(|UesIion as to its political status until, under the new boundary ad- 
justment of 1688, it was detached from Connecticut and incorporated 
in New York. Even during the aggressive Dutch rest(U'alion of 
lt>7;>-74, although Mamaroneck was summoned to submit and readily 
yielded, no atteniju was made to subdue the peo])le of liye, who, 
however, in anticipation (d' (rouble, made ]ire])aration for a sturdy 
resistance, and uinied with those of Slaniloril and Cireeiiwich in i)e- 
titioniug the general louil lor hel]i. I'nm: the earliesi ]ieiiod of 



» Bolton, rev. cd., I., 161. 



214 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

tile Rye settlemcut, ovou bofure IJye itself had come into being, and 
while the founders of the place were still liviug ou Mamissing 
Island iu a comiuuuity kuowu as Hastings, the town had rep- 
resentation in the Connecticut general court at Hartford, and 
received due attention and care from that bodj'. It was probably 
due to the i^rivilege of direct representation thus enjoyed, quite as 
much as to the circumstance of their Connecticut nativity, that the 
Eye people so stoutlj' i^orsisted, long after being legally annexed to 
New York, iu holding themselves allegiant to the mother colony, and 
so bitterly resented the assumption of authority* over them by an 
alien aristocratic government which for a considerable term of years 
conceded no representative rights whatever to its inhabitants, and 
even after instituting a general assembly granted no immediate rep- 
resentation to the indivitlual towns. 

In enumerating here the various additional purchases of the Itye 
people, it is not necessary to go into minute particularization regard- 
ing the several tracts. In lij(i'2 they bought the territory of the 
present Town of Harrison — a territory which was subsequently grant- 
ed by the provincial government of New York to John Harrison and 
others, and on that account became the bone of contention between 
the Kye men and the New York authorities, leading to the celebrated 
revolt. In 1680 and 1081 occurred what were known as " Will "s 
Purchases " from an Indian chief named Lame ^^'ill, or Limping Will, 
extending into the present To^^•u of North Castle. And liually, in 
1()S3, just before the new boundary articles were concluded, tht- Qua- 
roppas, or White I'laius, tract was bought, another purchase destined 
to be a source of difficulty because of the claim to previous owner- 
ship set up by John KichbcU and later persevered in by his widow 
and by her successor in the IJichbell estate. Colonel Caleb Heathcote. 

It has been mentioned in our account of the boundary revision of 
l(i8;^ that the aggressive attitude of the Town of Eye in its territorial 
pretensions as the frontier settlement of Connecticut was one of the 
principal causes leading to that revision. " May, 1G82, John Ogden, 
of Eye, presented himself before the general court and on behalf of 
the people complained that sundry persons, and particularly Fred- 
erick Philipse, had been making improvements of lands within their 
bounds. Mr. Philipse had been building mills near Hudson Kiver, 
encroaching thereby upon the town's territory, which was believed to 
extend in a uorthAvesterly direction from the mouth of Mamaroneck 
Eiver to the Hudson, and even beyond. The general court gave Mr. 
Ogden a letter to the governor of New York, protesting against such 
proceedings, and reminding him that by the agreement made in 1GG4 
a line running northwest from tlie month of Mamaroneck Eiver to 



COMPLETION OF EARLY LOCAL SETTLEMENT 215 

the Massachusetts liuc was to be the dividing line beLwccii Con- 
necticut and New Yorlc." ' On the I'Sth of November of the follow- 
ing year, by tlie new boumliiiy artiiles, live was ccibMl to New York, 
and (iovernor Tri'at of ( 'onuccticuf ])ronii)tly noLitied the inliabitants 
of tiiis change. The (own, while reluctant to accept the fate ap- 
pointed for it, desisted from electing deputies to the general court 
of Connecticut, and did not renew that jjractice until the "I'cvolt " 
in 1097. Nevertheless, attempts v.-ere made from time to time to 
secure some sort of official recognition from Connecticut, reiiresenl- 
atives being dispatched to deal with the governor and general court 
as to various special matters. A summons from Governor Dongan 
of New York, in H\S~->, commanding the Rye settlers to appear before 
him and prove their titles to the lauds Avhich they occupied, was 
ignored. On the other hand, Rye had the honor of contributing one 
of the two rejjresentatives from Westchester County to the earliest 
sessions of the New York provincial assembly held after the organiza- 
tion of that body on a permanent basis. Joseph Theale, one of the 
leading men of Kye, was elected to the New York assembly for 
the years 1(>91 to 1094, inclusive, and again for 1097. " For ten 
years," says Dr. Baird, "disaffection smoldered, the a\ithority of 
the ])rovince was ignored, taxes were paid but irregularly to either 
government, and whenever possible matters in controversy were car- 
ried \i\) to Hartford, and Hartford magistrates came down to per- 
form their functions at Rye. . . . Feuds and dissensions auiong 
themselves added to the perplexity of the inhabitants. Some of them, 
it would appear, sided with the province in the controversy, and hence, 
doubtless, some of the actions for defamation and other ]iroofs of 
disturbance which we find on record about this time."' 

In 1()95 a tract of land which for more than thirty years had be- 
longed to the IJye settlers, "situated abov(»W<'stchest(r Path, between 
Blind Brook and Mamaroneck River, and extending as far north as 
Rye Pond," was bought by a certain John Harrison from an Indian 
who ])rofessed to be " the true oMuer and ])i-o])rietor." After having 
been surveyed by order of Governor Fletcher, of New York, this tract, 
called "Harrison's Purchase," was patented (June 25, 10901 to Har- 
rison and four associates — -William Nicols, Ebenezer Wilson, David 
Jamison, and Samuel Haight. In vain did the people of Rye protest 
against so unrighteous a proceeding. The land was wholly unim- 
proved and unsettled, its rightful prior ownershi|> was claimed by 
the Indian from whom Harrison bought it, and, iiioreovei-, the Rye 
men, by having contemptuously neglected to avail themselves of 
the opportunity extended to them by Dongan in IGSo to ]irove their 

• Balrd's Hist, of Rye. 



216 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



land titles, had incapacitated themselves from establisliin<i- a supe- 
rior title by the records. The issuance of the Harrison patent was 
followed, about the end of 1696, by a verdict adverse to Rye ren- 
dered in the New York courts in a suit brought by Mrs. Ann Rich- 
bell against the Rye people for intrusion on the White Tlains lands. 
These two events brought matters to a crisis. Rye seceded from New 
York, ai)])lied to be received back into Connecticut, and, meeting 
with encouragement, resumed formal connection with the latter guv- 

ernment, until by order of 
the king compelled to aban- 
don it. 

Rye's petition to the gen- 
eral court of C-onnecticut, in 
conjunction witli a similar 
one from Bedford, was sub- 
mitted on January 19, 1G97, 
and was graciously re- 
ceived. On the 8th of April 
following an overt manifes- 
tation against New York's 
authority was made at Rye 
by Major Sellick, of Stam- 
ford, " with about fifty dra- 
gones, whom he called his 
life-guard, with their arms 
presented." The major and 
his " dragones " presumed to 
interfere with an election 
which was being conducted 
there by Benjamin Collier, 
liigh sheriff of Westchester 
County, for representative 
in the New York assembly. 
Apparently no actiml vio- 
lence was done, but the show 
of force excited strong feel- 
ing in New York, and was 
promptly characterized in 
very severe terms by the pro- 
vincial assembly. Governor 
Fletcher issued a proclamation ordering Rye and Bedford to return 
to their allegiance, and also entei-ed into communication on the sub- 
ject with the governor of Connecticut, from whom, however, he 




RYE AND ASSOCIATED TRACTS. 



COJirLETIOX OF KAKI.V I.OCAI, SKTTLE.MENT. 217 

obtuiui'd uo satisfiu-liuu. lu addiLiun, Fk'Lciier trk'il cniuiliatdry 
measures, dispatchiug Colonel Caleb Ileatbcote, oue of the members 
of bis council, to Ivve, Avitb instructions to do what be could by means 
of his personal inlluence toward settliu<; the troubles, lleatbcote's 
report gives a very clear idea of the merits of the controversy, show- 
ing that the live settlers bad only themselves to blame for the loss 
of the llarrison lands. " 1 asked them,'' says ileatbcote, " why they 
did not take out a patent when it was tendered them [by Dongan]. 
They said they never beard that they could have one. I told them 
that their argument might pass with such as knew nothing of the 
matter, but that I knew better; for that to my certain knowledge 
they might have had a patent had they not rejected it, and that it 
was so far from being done in haste or in the dark that there was 
not a boy in the whole town, nor almost in the whole county, but 
must have heard of it; and that 1 must always be a witness against 
them, not only of the many messages they have had from the govern- 
ment about it, but likewise from myself. ... I told them as 
to the last purchase Avhereiu I was concerned [that of the Eichbell 
estates, including the White Plains tract], if that gave them any 
dissatislaction, that I would not only (]uit my claim but use my inllu- 
ence in getting them any part of it they should desire. Their an- 
swer was they valued not that; it was Harrison's patent thai was 
their ruin."' 

For three years, 1697 to 1699, inclusive, Kye was represented in 
the Connecticut general court by regularly elected delegates. Dur- 
ing this jicriiKl and for one year longer, the town was designated 
otticially by its inhabitants as being " in the County of Fairfield." 
New York made no attempt at coer<-ion, but referred the matters at 
issue to the king; and in ilarch, 1700, an order of the king in council 
was issued, not only approving the boundary agreement of 1683-84, 
but directing the revolted towns "forever thereafter to be and re- 
main under the government of the Province of New York." This 
decision was, as a matter of course, accepted by all parties as final. 
Pyc never recovered the Ilarrisdu ]mrcbase, although some of her 
iidiabitants bought laud there and Ixcame influential in its alVairs. 
Moreover, " tintil the Revohilioii ilie inliahitauts of the i)ur(hase 
jiarticiiiated m ith those of Kye in I lie transactioji of town business, 
without any other distinction than ihal of having their own olli- 
cers for the discharge of local rnnrtions "; ami llairison also I'oinied 
"one of the six precincts of the ]>aiisb of Kye, under the semi-eccle- 
siastical system that prevaik'd." llarrison Avas settled largely, how- 
ever, by Quakers from Long Island. The White Plains dispute was 
not determined adversely to Rye. Caleb FTeatlicote, while never in 



218 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

legal form reliuquishing bis claim to " the White Phiius," did uot 
attempt to enforce it, and, indeed, uniformly treated the Rye people 
interested Avitli generous fairness. He consented to the insertion 
in the letters patent for his Manor of Scarsdale of a clause expressly 
withholding from him any further title to the White Plains than 
that which he already possessed. The Kye settlers of White Plains 
always retained the lands which they acquired there, and at length, 
in 1722, obtained a patent for the whole tract of 4,435 acres. •' White 
Plains," says Dr. Baird, '' drew largely on the strength of the com- 
munity of Eye. . . . Some branches of nearly all the ancient 
families established themselves there, and, indeed, those families 
are now represented there more numerously than in the parent set- 
tlement." 

According to the " Lists of Persons and Estates " kept by the 
general court of Connecticut, there were in Eye in 1(]65 twenty-five 
" persons," possessed of estates valued at £1,211; in 1GS3, fortj-seven, 
worth £2,339; and in 1G99, sixty, worth £3,306. By "persons" in 
this connection are probably to be uuderstood heads of families. The 
population of Eye, including White Plains, in 1712, as shown by 
an enumeration then taken, was 510, the town being, next to W\'st- 
chester (which had 572 inhabitants), the most populous in the county. 

A celebrated fact in connection with the history of Eye during the 
first half of the eighteenth century is the establishment of the ferry 
to Oyster Bay, Long Island. This was authorized by royal letters 
patent, dated the 18th of July, 1739, to John Budd, Hachaliah Brown, 
and Jonathan Brown. The fare fixed for " every person " using the 
ferry was one shilling and six pence; and in addition rates of car- 
riage for a great variety of articles were specified. For the i)rivi- 
lege thus conferred upon them, the patentees paid an annual quit- 
rent of two shillings and six pence. The operation of this ferry was 
very instrumental in contributing to the growth of population in 
the towns of Eye and Harrison, and in the central portions of the 
county. 

The early history of White Plains has been so frequently referred 
to in the course of our narrative that this subject may be dismissed 
here with a brief summary. By virtue of the grants to John Eich- 
bell, issued both by the Dutch government and the first English 
governor, it was long claimed that White Plains (or " the White 
Plains," as originally and for many years called) was included in the 
Eichbell lands running northward from the Mamaroneck TJiver 
" twenty miles into the woods." In<lee(l, for nearly forty years 
after the first appearance there of settlers, or intending settlers, the 
legal title to this region remained undetermined. On November 22, 



COMPLETION OF EAllIA- LOCAL SETTLEMENT 219 

1()S,3, six days before the sigiiin<i- of tlic new Ii(Miii<lai-y ail ides hc- 
tweci) New Yoi-k and Coniu'eticul, I he ciilcipi'isiiij;- men ol live imr- 
cliasrd tlic wliolc tract, known by tlie Indian jianie of (^naronpas, 
from liic naiive diitd's wlio at tliat time jn-ofcsscd to own it. Tlius 
Kye oaine under tlie goveranient of New York with a very plausible 
titk' to tlie White Plains, (^iradually l\ye men began to occiijiy llie 
lands — a movement that attracted tiie attention of Mrs. Kiciilicii, 
Willi in Hi'.Ki iMouglil an ejeclmenf suit and obtained a favorable ver- 
dict, which, ho-\vever, was not enforced. During the lifetime of 
Colonel Caleb Heathcote, successor to Mrs. Ivichbell's rights and 
lUdjiiietor (d' Scarsdale Manor, nothing was done toward settling 
the (luestion of ownership. Heathcote died on the 28th of Febru- 
ary, 1721, and soon afterward a<'tiA-e measures were begun by the 
White Plains settlers toward securing a patent from the govern- 
ment. In this endeavor they were put to considerable vexation 
and expense by the authorities. " Three times were they compelle'l 
to make surveys of their goodly land, three times required to notify 
the owners of adjoining lands that such surveys were about to bt' 
made, and all to furnish pretexts for oppressive charges by the 
officers of the governor's council." ' The royal patent was finally 
grant(Ml on the 13th of ]March, 1722, to Joseph Rudd and others. It 
was for ■' All that said tract or parcel of land, situate, lying, and 
being in the County of Westchester, commonly known by the name 
of the White Plains." Among the names of the settlers at that 
jieriod luentioued in the otlicial documents we tind the following: 
Daniel Brundage, Joseph Hunt, Joseph Budd, John Hoit, Caleb Hy- 
att, Humphrey Underhill, Jose])h I'urdy, (ieorge Lane, Daniel Lane, 
Moses Knapp, John Horton, David llorton, Jonathan Lynch, Peter 
Hatfield, James Travis, Isaac Covert, Benjamin Brown, John Turner, 
David Ogden, and William Yeomans. This list is but a partial one, 
being confined to the patentees. " xVt the time this patent was is- 
sued," says the author of the chapter on White Plains in Scharf's 
History, •' Broadway, w'ith its home-lots, had long been established." 
After the procurement of the patent the population increased so rap- 
idly that "in 1725 the inhabitants assumed an indeiiendent organ- 
ization, elected ofiieers, and proceeded to manage tlu-ir own a Hairs." 
In the progress of this History, we have so far followed the move- 
ments of settlement and development along closely connecting lines. 
It has thus hapi)eued that I lie settlement of the Town of P.edford, 
Avhich, under a strictly chronological arrangement, should have re- 
ceived notice among the com])aratively early events, has not as yet 
been traced, or even referred to, except in the merest incideiit.al 
manner. 

> " History of White Plains," by Joslah S. Mitchell, Scbarf, 1., 721. 



220 



HISTORY OF WESTOIIKSTRR COTNTY 



Bcdfui-d, as one of the aiu'icnl towns of the county, jjreseuts inii(ine 
aspects. It is the only one of tlie first si>ttlenients havin>;' an inland 
locafioTi, and the onl\ one whose oiininal history stands (luite ai)art 
from that of the remainder of the county, M"ith no associations or 
relations binding- it to other Westchester settlements of early orijiin 
and respectable importance. In common with Westchester, East- 
chester, I'elham, and IJye, it Avas settled by Connecticut people; but, 
unlike these communities, it Avas by its isolation in the northern cen- 
tral ]iortion of the county removed com})letely from Ncav York en- 
vironment and influence. Bedford, at least until within recent times. 




MAP OF BEDFORD. 



is to be regarded as a jmrely New England village accidentally ab- 
sorbed by New York. 

\\']ia1 is now the Townsliii) of Bedford Avas a jiortion of the pur- 
clia.se made by Nathaniel Turner, for the NeAV Haven colony, July 1, 
Ki-lO, of a tract of land eight miles long on the Sound and extending 
sixteen miles into the wilderness to the northwest. Ui)on that tract 
the village of Stamford Avas begun in KUl; and in 105.") its interior 
extension Avas repurchased from the Indians by the people of Stam- 
ford. No attempt at settlement on the portion of the tract now 
knoAvn as Bedford toAvn Avas made until lOSO. In that year the Town 



COMPLETION OF EAKI.Y LOCAL SETTLEMENT 221 

(if SI:iiiirni-(] i;i-;iiilc(l lo t wcuty-t \vo Slain f(ii-<l lucii' llic lands kiKiwii 
as 1!h' " Hop Oroiinds "" lyin.u- " at tliu north end of Stamford bounds." 
Under tliis i^rant tlu' beneficiaries, on the 23d of Deeeniber, IGSO, 
bou.yht from Katouah, Koelcaway, ami several other Indians, the 
territory in question, 7,(i73 acres, for the value of £4(i ICs. fid. The 
pui-cliase thus mach' became known as " Bedfitrd Three .Miles S(iuare." 
The whole of the southeastern portion of the present township^ 
sometliinii more than one-third of the whole township in area — Avas 
included in it. Subsequent purchases were added at various times, 
the last beinj^- effected on the 2;id of January, 1722, foi- a considera- 
tion of £20. The various deeds of sale from the natives durinj;' the 
eighty-two years from 1(140 to 1722 W(<re signed, altogether, by thirty- 
five Indians. 

According to Dr. Raird in his '' History of the Bedfoi-d Church," 
Hie original settlers were nearly all the sons of English Puritans, 
founders of the Colony of ^Massachusetts 15ay, and there is no author- 
ity for the statement that they came from Bedfordshire, England, 
and from that circumstance gave the Town its name. The name 
Bedford, says Dr. Baird, was probably bestowed by the general 
court of Connecticut, in accordance with the principle adopted many 
years before, intending, as they quaintly expressed it. '' tlieicby to 
keep and leave to posterity the memorial of several jilaces of note 
in our dear native country of England." In March, KJSl, liouse-lots 
were laid out, under a rule providing tlial each man's lot be " pro- 
liortionable in quantity to what it lacks in (|uality." The other lands 
were di\ided on the same principle. The house-lots adjoined one 
another on the village street, it being deemed advisable for tlie set- 
tlers to live close together as a precaution in case of Indian attack. 
-May 12 the genei-al court at Hartford officially recognized the set- 
tlement, and recommended that " tliei'e be a suitable loot laid out 
for ye first minister of \e |)lace, and a loot for ye ministry to be and 
belong to ye ministry forever." This pious injunction was ])r(>nii)ily 
obeyed, and as early as December, IfiSl, tln^ town took stejis to jiro- 
cure a minister. The general court, on May 1(!, 1()S2, issued an 
order to the effect that " T'po71 the ])etition of the ]ieople of llie iIo|> 
Cround, this court doth grant them the ]triviledge of a ]ilantation, 
and doe oi-dei- that the name of the towue shall hencetorth be calleil 
I?edford.'" Jose])li Theale was ap])ointi'<I as the " chiefe niililary 
officer for the trainiiiu band," and Abrarn .\inbler as magistiate. 



> Rlfliani Amblci-. -Miniliam Amliler. Jnsr|ili itl .Toni's. Tlmnins Cniin.i.vi-r. .Inliri IIdHui's. .Ir.. 

Tlioalo. Oanlfl WcimI. Klcazcr Slawsnn. John Honjainlii Slovens. John (Jrccn. Sr.. Oavld 

Wpseol. .Tnnathaii I'i'lit. .lolin Cniss, Ji>hu Wati'ilmi-y. Sanmol Wcnl. and .lonnlhaii KM- 

Miller, Xlclinlas WcbsliT. Kiolianl .\.vri'S. Will- l)orn. 
lam Clark, Jouas Set-ly, Joseph Stevens, Dau- 



222 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

New ])i()|)iicl()r« were <iia«lnally admitted iipon payin<; forty shillings 
each for shares in tlic undivided lands. About the end of the first 
year Joshua ^Vebb was received as an inhabitant upon the under- 
standing that he would ei'ect and operate a niill. This arrange- 
ment was carried out, the mill being built on the Mianus Kiver. All 
(he newcomers for very many yeai-s were New England people. 

Xotwitlistanding the exclusion of Bedford from ronnecticut by 
the provisions of the boundary agreement of 1683-84, Bedford con- 
tinued to recognize the sole authority of Connecticut. Her people, 
like those of Kye, disregarded the summons of Governor Dongan of 
NcAv York in 1685, to take out patents for their lands, although this 
omission did not, as in the case of Rye, cause them any ultimate loss 
of territory. Frecjuent ai)i)lications were, however, made to the 
Connecticut authorities for a town patent: and on May 21, 1697, after 
Bedford and Bye had been taken under the jn'otection of that colony, 
rliese efforts were finally rewarded. The Connecticut patent for Bed- 
ford issued on that date w^as to " John Miller, 8enr., Daniel Simkins, 
Zachariali Boberts, Cornelius Seely, Jeremiah Andrews, John AYest- 
coate, John Miller, Jtinr., John Holmes, Junr., and the rest of the 
present proprietors of Bedford,"' and in it the tract was described 
as follows: "All those lands, boadi meadows, swamps and uplands, 
within these abuttments, \iz. : Soutlierly on the IkjuuiIs of the town- 
shi|) of Stamfiii-d ; Westerly on (lie wilderness; Northerly on the wil- 
derness; and easterly on the wilderness, or land not yet laid out. 
iM'ery of Avhiili sides is six miles in length, to A\itt: from the east 
side AN'csleily, anil trnm I he south side northerly, and is a township 
of six miles sipiare, or six nules on every side, which saiil lands have 
been by purchase or otherwise', lawfully' obtained of the Hidian na- 
tive proprietors.-' Ai)ril 8, 1704, this Connecticut patent was con- 
firmed by New York, an annual (piit-rent of £5 b( ing provided for. 

By reference to a lua]) of the manors of Westchester Cotmty it will 
be observed that the northern section of Bedford I'atent overlaps 
Cortlandt ^lanor, taking a quite considerable area from that manor. 
On the other hand, Steplianus ^'an Cortlandt's manor grant, dated 
June 17, 1697, called for a southern boundary beginning at the mouth 
of the Crolon Biver and running due east " twenty English miles " — 
that is, in a continuous line from the Hudson Biver to Connecticut. 
This interce])tion of the soutlu iii boundary of Cortlandt Manor by 
the Bedford I'atent re(|uires ex])lanation. 

At tlie (ime when the Cortlandt Mam)r grant was issued the Bed- 
fdi-d I'atent for a tract six miles square based upon Stamford bounds 
on the south, as conferred by the general court of Connecticut, was 
already in existence, having, in fact, been obtained some six weeks 



COMPLETION OP EARLY LOCAL SETTLEMENT 223 

])icvi(His]y. ('onsequently, says a Bedford historian, " when Van 
Coi-tlaiidt's surveyor, AvorkiiiiLi on Ids ' due east ' line, was advaneinji' 
tbrougli Bedford, lie was doublless apprised by our settlers that he 
was on Connecticut soil. No use to go farther; so he ran his line 
around the uorth side of Bedford, leaviui;- her out of the Van Cort- 
landt Mauor." ^ Indeed, V.an Coi'tlandt or his heirs, fully acceptlnj;- 
the claims of the Bedford people regarding their northern limits, 
built along those limits, to indicate the line of separation between 
Bedford and the manor, a solid stone wall, much of which still re- 
mains. This wall is to-day, says the writer from whom we have 
just quoted, " imdoubtedly the most notable landmark in this part 
of the county,'' and '' for nearly two miles extends right across the 
country, without regard to the lay of the ground, broken only by 
two highways, and until lately Avith not even a barway through it." 

By the census of 1712 Bedford was given a population of 172. 
There are reasons, however, for supposing that this was an under- 
enumeration. It is noteworthy that no slaves were then owned in 
Bedford, '' the people here being too poor at that early date to in- 
dulge in such luxuries." 

Early in the eighteenth century Jacobus Van Cortlandt, son of 
Oloff Pteveuse Van Cortlandt, and younger brother of Rtephanus 
Van Cortlandt, of Cortlandt IManor, became one of the principal 
landed proprietors of Bedford. Tliis was the same Jacobus Van 
Cortlandt who married Eva, adopted daughter of the first Frederick 
Philiitsc, and founded the Van Cortlandt estate of the Little or 
Tx)wer Yonkers, above Kingsbridge. He purchased lands of the 
Indians and settlers of Bedford as late as 1714, and his landed pos- 
sessions in the town ultimately amounted to 5,11.5 acres, which he 
bequeathed to his son Frederick Van Cortlandt, of the Lower Yon- 
kers, and his three daughters, ^largarct, wife of Abraham de Peyster; 
Anne, wife of John Chambers, and ^Vfaiw, wife of Peter Jay. The 
whole of the original estate was partitioned in 1743. Frederick Van 
Cortlandt receiving 1.424 acres. Abraham de Peyster 1,110 acres, 
John Chambers 1,282 acres, and Peter Jay 1,299 acres. Upon the 
death of Peter Jay (1782) his share was divided among his sons, 
Peter, Frederick, and John (the chief justice"). John Jay subsequently 
became the sole proprietor of the Bedford estate, and after his re- 
tirement from public life made it his home, dying in the old Jay man- 
sion in 1S29. lie was succeeded in the proprietorship by his soti, the 
distinguished Judge William Jay, who in turn was succeeded by his 
son, the Hon. John Jay. 

The great " West, Middle, and East Patents " of central West- 

' " lUstory of Bedford," by Joseph Barrett, Scliarf, li., 59G. 



224 IIISTOKY OF ^^•I^;ST('HESTEI! COUNTY 

Chester, A\lii(li wi- linve alicady described, secured by Caleb Heath- 
cote ami otliers from Lientenaiit-Oovernor Xaufau in 1701. were 
amonii' the foundations u])on Avliich such i)ortious of the county north 
of the White Plains and Harrison tracts as were not included in the 
Rye and Bedford Patents and the Philipseburfj;h and Cortlandt Manor 
tiranls were setth-d. The West Patent, Icnowu as "Wampus's Laud 
T)eed,"'or the "Xorth Castle Indian Deed,"' based upon a purcliasc from 
the Indians made by Heathcote in 1()0(>. but not patented until Febru- 
ary 14, 1702, was bounded on the east by the Byram River and the 
Bedford line, on the north by the Croton River, and at the west took 
in all llie wedge-shaped laud between Philipseburjjh and Cortlandt 
Manors, forming an acute angle on the Hudson at the Croton's numth. 
Its northern b(mudary, howevej', was subsequently removed from the 
Croton to tlie southern line of Cortlamlt !>rauor, in order to conform 
to the Cortlandt Manor grant. Out of the West Patent was erected 
much of the Town of Xorth Castle. The patentees, ten in number, 
included men of promiueiu-e and influence in the province, wliose 
" intei'est A\'as not that of settlers seeking a honu-. but merely that 
of speculators." The lands began to be settled about 171P-20 by 
Quaker faruun's from Long Island, who came by way of Harrison's' 
purchase, and whose descendants to this day belong to the principal 
families of tlmt section of our county, among them the Haights, 
Weckses, Carpenters, Suttous, Quimbys, Hunt.s, Birdsalls, Barneses, 
and Havilands. In August, 1712, the settlei's petitioned Governor 
Bu'iiett to iuc(n"porate their lands into a township, mentioning in 
tliat document that tluur number comprised thirty men able to bear 
arms. Letters patent were soon afterward issued for the Town of 
Xorth Castle. In addition to the lands represented by the West 
Patent, Xorth Castle originally embraced a portion of the Middle 
Patent and also a separate grant made in 1700 to Ann Bridges, Roger 
^lomix'sson, and seven others.^ It cA'en encroached on the bounds 
of the East Patent, covering a considerable part of the present Town 
of Pf)undridge. The number of settlers increased ra])idly, and we 
are informed that at the time of its division by the setting off of 
X^ew CastU' '' it was the second town in the county in assessed valu- 
ation, ranking next to Westchesler in that respect, and the first in 
population." ' Inasmuch as X(uth Castle lay entirely in the interior, 
and quite remote from Xew 'S'ork City, its excc^ptional prosperity is 

1 This grant lay Ix-twi^ou the West and Miti- Thuniiis ^\'enll:^n, a nieinl>er of the governor's 

(lie Patents. Ann Bridges was the wife of council. 

Chief .Tustiei' .Tohn Tlrirlges. Roger Monip(^sson - " TTistory of Xew Ca.stle," by Josepli Rar_ 

^vas chief Jnstice of the province at the time. rett. Seliarf, ii., G15. 
One of their associates in the patent was 



COMPLETION OF EARLY LOCAL SETTLEMENT 225 

a strikhni- ])roof of tlie fact tluit the \vc;illli (if our couuty had its 
m-ifiiu exclusively in tlic at;Ticul(ur;il interest. 

'I'lie old Town of Salem, now constiluting the Towns of North Salem 
and Lewisboro, also has an interesting; e.arly history, on account of 
llie inclusion in it of all of the lands of the "Oblong," or "Equiva- 
lent Tract." It will be remembered that the Oblong was not laid 
off and monumented until 1731. In 1709 twenty-five citizens of 
("onnecticut (mostly residents of NorAvalk) obtained from the gov- 
ernment of that colony- the grant of what is known as the Eidge- 
lield Patent, whose western boundary was the New York State line, 
ar that time supposed to be twenty miles from the Hudson. After 
the measuring off of the Oblong, the Kidgefield patentees, discov- 
ering that a portion of their j^roperty lay in New^ York State, peti- 
tioned the New York authorities for a patent for fifty thousand 
acres within the Oblong bounds, which was duly granted, June 8, 
1731. These patentees were headed by the Eev. Thomas Hawley, 
and are described in the document as " inhabitants of ye town of 
IJidgefield." These Oblong acres subsequently became the eastern 
|i()ition of the original Town of Salem, whereof the western portion 
was taken from Cortlandt Manor. 

The Town of Poundridge was settled by farming people from Con- 
necticut, who began to take up lands within its borders in the latter 
jiiirt of the first half of the eighteenth century. The name comes 
" from the ancient ' Indian pound,' wliich formerly stood at the foot 
of a high ridge a little south of the present locality known as Pound- 
ridget where the Indians set their traps for wild game." The first set- 
tler is supposed to have been Deacon John Fancher. He came in 
1730. In 1741 Joseph Lockwood, James Brown, David Potts, Ebe- 
nezer Scofield, and others from Stamford, made a settlement on the 
site of the present village. The Lockwood family was long the most 
pronunent one in the town. From an early period the settlers of 
Poundridge united the handicraft of shoemaking to their rural pur- 
suits. They " went to the ' shoe-shops ' in the adjoining towns, re- 
ceived their work ciit out, and took it home, each one making the 
whole article, whether boot or shoe."^ The decline in the population 
of the town since 1850 is largely due to the unprofitableness of this 
ancient industiw, consequent upon the use of machinery for the manu- 
facture of shoes. 



' George Thatcher'Smith, in;Schar£,ii., 5(13. 




CHAPTER XI 

A GLANCE AT THE BOROUGH TOWN OF WESTCHESTER 

IIE earliest eimnicriitioii of the inhabitants of the I'rovince 
of New York was made in lGi)8 " by the hij'h sheriffs and 
jnstlees of llie peace in eaeli respective oonnty," at the 
direction of (lovernor Belbunont. It showed a total pop- 
ulation of 1S,0G7, inclndins' 2,170 uej;Toes, of whom 1,003 (917 whites 
and 14(5 negroes) Avere in West<-liester Counly. At that date West- 
cliester was the lifth in rank anioiii; Ihe ten counties embraced within 
the present limits of Xew York Slate, being exceeded by New York, 
Suffolk, Kiniis, Queens, and Albany. At the next census, taken in 
170o, A\'esTchester's population had increased to 1,94(); in 1712, to 
2,815; and in 1723, to l,40'.t. Tlius in the first .piarter of a century 
after the coujity as a whole had bci;un to display a general set11e<l 
condition the number of i(s inhabifants had increaseil threefold. In 
1731 its people were 0,03:;; in 1737, 0,74."); in 1740, 9,235; in 1749, 
10,703; in 1750, 13,257; and in 1771 ( tlie last of tlie colonial censuses), 
21.745. 

Tlie folbiwiu;^ details from (lie census of 1712 show- the distribu- 
lion of iio]iulation thiouiilioul tlic \arious civil diAisions then ex- 
istinsi': 



Westchester 

Eastehester 

Rye 

New Rochelle 

Yonkers 

l'lulipselj)U'gh 

Mamaroneck 

Moriisania 

Pelliain 

Bedford 

Cortlandt Manor 

Ryke's Patent (Peekskill) . 
Scarsdale 



572 

300 

616 

304 

260 

348 

84 

62 

62 

172 

91 

32 

12 



2,815 



The jMirtions of the county styled Yonkers and rhilii)seburuli at 
1hat ]>< lied were, res]iectively, th«' lower and upper divisions of I'hil- 



THE BOROU<;il lOWX (IK WESTCHESTER 227 

ipse'lmr^li Manor, tlu' forincr bciu^ prcsidi'd over by Frederick Phil- 
ipse, 2d, and the latter bv Adolpli I'liilipse, his uncle. After the 
unele's dt-ath, the whole manor was reunited under Frederick Pliil- 
ipse, 2d, and continued as a sinjile political division until after the 
Revolution. To the above-named civil divisions of 1712, the only 
new ones added durinti' the reniaininji sixty odd years of tln^ colonial 
era were White Plains, North Castle, Salem, and Poundridsi'e. 

Under this census the ancient Town of Westchester led all the 
other localities of the county in population, with 572 inhabitants, 
havinji', indeed, a very decided jireponderauce over every community 
except Rye, which numbered 516 souls. But it must be borne in 
nund that in 1712 Rye as a political division in<duded certainly the 
White Plains and Harrison tracts; and probably not a few settlers 
dispersed throuoh the interior scM-tions of the county not as yet com- 
prehended in definitely named settlements were counted also in the 
Hye enunu^ration. 

We have referred in \arious connections to the peculiar privilege 
bestowed upon the Town of Westchester by its erection in IfiOfi into 
a borough, a privilege enjoycnl by only one other community of New 
York Province (Schenectady) from the beii'inninu to the end of the 
colonial ])erio(l. It was entirely fittinji; that Westchester should be 
singled out for this distinction. It was the seat of the earliest or- 
uanized and successful Fni^lish settlement in the province north of 
the Harlem River, datinii' back to lfi54 (and probably earlier); it 
gave its name to the great County of Westchester, and it had always 
been a rural commnnity of exceptional respectability and progres- 
siveness. Detached from the jurisdiction of Manhattan Island by a 
broad river, it occui)ied an isolated position, and its local affairs were 
thus incapal>le of being connected ^\i(h those of the island. More- 
over, Westchester, with its attached locality of West Farms, was 
peculiai-ly justified in ai)i>ealing for sjiecial privileges, in view of the 
excejitiomil functions I hat had been conferi-ed ujion the adjacent 
luannrial hinds of Morrisania, Fordham, Philipseburgh, and Pelham. 
These lauds had been erected into "entire and enfi-anchised towu- 
shii)s, manors, and ]daces by themselves,'' for the gi-atification of 
wealthy individnal projn-ietors. On the other hand, here Avas a 
thriving deniociatic town, whose settlement antedated that of any 
of the manorial estates, and which ii\as more important than aTiy of 
them in the matter of |io])ulation and develo])ment. It was reason- 
able in such circninstaiices to demnnd for it some unusu;il politicfil 
advantages. 

Westchester received its fii'st town patent froTu Oovernor Nicolls 
on ilie ].~)1h of February, KWl. In that instrument " all ye rights and 



228 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

]ii-ivilc'^c!s bulonging lu a t(»\\ii wilbiu this jTovcruuK'Ut "" \\(n\' be- 
st owud upon (be patentees. In l(i8(> it was <b„>emed advisable by 
the inbabiiants to proenre a second patent, wbleli was accordingly 
issut'd (Jjinuary (>) by (TO\('rnor Dongan. Under tbis second patent 
twelve men' were designated as the " Trustees of the Freeholdei-s 
and Comuionaltj- of the Town of Westchester," these trustees being 
constituted as "one body corporate and politick." In oider to dis- 
l)ose forever of any possible hostile claims lo lands williin their 
town limits on the ground of irregularities or defects in the original 
inirchases from the Indians, the trustees, on the 2Ttli of IMay, 1<»!)2, 
obtained a final deed of sale from four Indians — Maminepoe, Wam- 
page (alias Ann Hook), Chrohamanthense, and Mamertekoh — by 
which the latter, for the consideration of goods valued at £8 is Gd, 
released unconditionally to the " county town of Westchester " what- 
ever i^roprietary pretensions they bad to its territory. Also steps 
were taken by the trustees to mark off the noi-thern bounds of the 
town, where it adjoined " JMr. Pell's purchase." The records of the 
town were kept with regularity from 1657. As early as lOTS a bridge 
had been built joining Throgg's Neck to the mainland.- The polit- 
ical limits of the town were always understood and e.\i)ressed as 
extending from the westernmost part of Bronxland to '* ^Ir. Pell's 
purchase," and thus Cornell's Neck, West I'^arms, and Morrisania 
]\Iaii()r belonged to the i)olitical territorj^ of the town. Indeed, the 
|ir(i])rietors of Cornell's Neck I the Willetts), as also the various fam- 
ilies co7isti1uiing the settlement of West Farms, were at all times 
thoroughly ideiititied with the local concerns of Westchesrer town. 

In l(!7(l the good people of Westchester were somewhat exercised 
by llie a]i]>earance of a supposed witch amongst them. An oi'der ap- 
pears in tlie Assize P.ook, dated July 7, 107(1, for the removal of one 
" Katherine Harrison late of Wetbersfield in his Ma*'®® Colony of Con- 
necticott widdoAv." In this order it is related that "contrary to ye 
consent iS: good liking of ye ToAvne she wouhl settle amongst them & 
she being reputed to be a i)erson lyeing und'" ye sujiposiciou of Witch- 
craft bath given some cause of ainu-ehension to ye Inbabiiants there." 
Accordingly, the constable and ovi-rseers are directed to notify her 
to remove out of the precincts " in some short tynie," and also to ad- 
monish her to "returne to ye place of her former abode." Subse- 
(pienlly, however, Katherine Harrison was fully exonerated. 

'William Richnrflson. .Toliii limit. Eilwaril " It is oi'dei-ed that .ve bridge betwixt Throgg's 

Wal<'rs. RobfM't Hiiostis, Richai-d I'untoii. Will- Npcke and the To^^■ue be maintainod and up- 

ian: Barni'S. .John Bugbie, .Tohn I'.ailey, John licld by a rate to be levied and assissed upon 

'i'u<l<ir. .lolin Ferris. Josepli I'almer, and ail persons and estates that are putt in the 

Thomas Baxter. county rate belungins to the Township of 

- Ill this connection tlie following entry from AVestchester, East Chester excepted." 
the towa records, dated .luly 9, KITS, is of interest : 



THE BOROUGH TOWN OK WESTCHESTER 229 

A fact of curious intorest, illustrating in u striking way tlio active 
enterprise which characterized the Town nf Westchester and its 
associated districts from the beginning, has been brought to the 
attention of the present writer b> the kindness of the Kev. Theodore 
A. Leggett, D.D., of Staten Island, a descendant of one of the West 
Farms patentees. We have seen that Elizabeth Kichardson, daugh- 
ter of Thomas Kichardson, co-patentee with Edward Jessup of West 
Farms (16G6), married Gabriel Leggett. Gabriel had a brother, John 
Leggett, who also was a landed proprietor in the section embraced 
iu the political bounds of Westchester town. John Leggett was a 
shipbuilder, and under date of November 30, 1()7G, he executed a 
bill of sale reading as foHoAvs: " John Leggett of Westchester, within 
the Province of N. Y., sliii)riglit, to Jacob Leysler of N. Y. City, mer- 
chant, a good Puick, or ship, Susannah of New York, now laying in 
this harbour, and hi/ xdid L((i(i(it hiiiJf in Bfoiicl-'s )-iver near Wc.slclicslcr, 
together Avith masts. Lay boat, and other materials." Thus tlie ship- 
building industry Avas introduced at the mouth of the Bronx as 
early as KiTti (probably earlier) — that is, seven years or nu)re before 
the organization of the County of Westchester. This Johu Leggett, 
builder of the " Susannah," died in tlie West Indies in 1679. It 
is interesting to note that he named as his executor the first Fred- 
erick Philipse, with whom he seems to have sustained a business 
partuersliip of some kind, and t(» whom he bequeathed the sum of 
thirty pounds sterling. 

U])on tile organization n{ our county, in 1G83, Westchester was 
appointed to be its shire-town, and in legislative acts passed shortly 
after tlie regular institution of ])arliauieiitary government in the 
pi'ovince this community was tlie object of respectful attention. By 
an act passed May H, U\[)',i, "a public and open market" was ap- 
pointed to be held every Wednesday at Wesicliester; and it was 
enacted that "there shall likewise be held and kept twice yearly 
and every year a fair, to which fair it shall and may be likewise lawful 
for all and every pi'rson to go and frequent, . . . the first to 
be kept at the Town of Westchester in the said county on the second 
Tuesday of May and to end on the Friday following, being in all 
four days, inclusive, and no longer; and (he second fair to be kept 
at Bye in the said county on the second Tuesday in October yearly, 
and to end the Friday following," etc. 

From the foregoing survey of the lu-ogress of Westchester town 
nji to the time of its conversion into a borough, the read(>r will see 
liial if had well earned the right to that honor. Tlu> royal charter 
constituting it a borough town is a very elaborate document, which 
if reproduced entire would occupy some fifteen of our ])ages. It 



230 HISTORY OF \\ESTCUESTER COUNTY 

bears dulc the lUtli of April, lODG, aud is signed by Governor Ben- 
jamin Fletclier. After instancing the previous grants of patents to 
tlie town aud describing it witli extreuie aud redundant particularity 
(its bounds being specified as the westernmost part of " Brunks laud " 
at the west and the westernmost line of " Mr. Pell's pattent " at the 
east), the charter provides that the former Town of Westchester 
shall in future be styled " the borrough aud town of AVcstchester." 
The re4uirement is uiade that the local authorities shall pay an- 
nually to the governor of New York, on the 25th day of ^larch, " the 
sum of thirty shillings current money of N. York" as quit-rent. It 
is directed that the freeholders shall elect annually twelve trustees, 
whose duties shall be confined to dis])osiug of any undivided lands 
within the town. Next follows the provision that " in the s'' town 
corporate there shall be a body politick consisting of a mayor, six 
alderuien, aud six assistants, or common council, ... to be 
called and known bj' the name of the mayor, aldermen, and 
commonalty of the borough aud town of AY. Chester." Colonel 
Caleb Ueathcote is api)ointed a.-^ the first major, with " William 
Barns, Jno. Stuert, William Willett, Thos. Baxter, Josiah Stuert, and 
Jno. Baily, gents.," as aldermen, and '' Israel lioneywell, Kobert LIus- 
tis, SanrT Hustis, Sam'l Ferris, Dauiel Turner, and Miles Oakley, 
gents.," as assistants. But these offices, after the expiration of the 
first year, are declared to be elective, and are to be filled annually by 
a majority vote of the freeholders on the first Monday of May. Pro- 
vision is made for the contimmnce of the weekly market, and two 
yearly fail's (instead of one, as previously provided) are to be held 
at Westchester, the first in Maj' an<l the second in October. Ketail 
liquor sellers are to be licensed at the discretion of the mayor, the 
animal license fee exacted being such sum of money as the licensee 
" shall agree for, not exceeding the sum of 20s." Finally the " may- 
or, aldermen, and common council •' are authorized " to return and 
send one discreet burgess of the s'^ toAvn and borough into every 
general assembly hereafter to be summoned or holden within this 
our province of N. Y^'ork." 

Caleb Ueathcote, as mayor, organized the government of the bor- 
ough town on the (5th of June, 1096. In October of that year he pre- 
sented the corporation with an official seal. The first representa- 
tive in the assembly was Josiah Hunt, who served from 1702 to 
1710. The subsequent representatives were Lewis Morris, Sr. (1710- 
2S), Gilbert Willett (1728-32), Lewis Morris, Jr. (1732-50), Peter de 
Lancey (1750-68), Lewis Morris, 3d (176!)), John de Lancey (1769-72), 
aud Isaac AYilkins (1772-75) — all men of distinction, force, and influ- 
ential faiuilv connections. The official stvle of "the Borough and 




KuniB. 4.S. 



f HE 

New-York Gazette 



Front Sefttntber 26. to Monday Oaobtr j. 1726. 




A Liji of tht Nimti of the freferif Kefrtfenmivcs 
Eleiledand chafin by the ftverdCttiei Mid CoMttties 
in tkisColonyto fcFvctn<Jtti^r^:iifiml>in', ' 

For the City 4»d Ctnntj of Nc^rYork, 

ADolfh PbHipfe, Efq; Spcaketi- ' 
Stefhtn De Lancij, Ef(j; 
Capt. Gerrit fun Hsrnt, 
Capt. Anlhony, Rmgrifi, 

Tor th* Ctty Mid Con"!} <>f Albany, 
Coll. Mjnderl Schaylir, KyerCcrrttJe, Efqi 
Capt. Jaeoi Clin, 
Capt. Jeremiah Ranjlaer, 
Mr. Robtrt Li'jingpoti,. jun. 

Fir the County oj UlfVir, 
Coll. Ahrahitm Gaasbeck^ Chan bers, ■ 
Mr. ailbirt Piiwling, 

For Dutchcfs County, 
Mr. Henry BeekntAii, 
Mj*. JthM^n:/ vMK/ecl^ 

For the Burrdugh ftf fVefichejltrl 
Coll. LeWU Morris. 

" '^iwthe. County y^-Wefithifiivi ' 

Coll. mti*$n miuty » ' '■ 

Wljor Fredrick^ Phtlipfe. 

For Queem Cuintf^ 
Coll. Ifaac Htcks, 
Capt. Btnjmmin Hicks. 

For Kmgs County, 
Coll. Richard StiUwett. 
Clpt. Samuel Gerrufe; 

For Sufik. County, 
Capt. EpenetHi Pl.it, 
Mr. Samuel Huichmfin^ 

For Ricijmond Country 
Mr. Richard Mcrnt, 
Mr. ')'!'» Le Count. 

For Orange County. 
Capf. LancaBer Syrru, 
Capt. Corntdis H»rtng. 

Which Rcprcfchtativej being convened tn 
General Afscmbly, onthe l/ih of Sefumb.-r his 
Excellency thcOovcrnoui madetho following 

Speech to them, *»«., 
« 

Ontlemtn ; 

THE Choice. which the People' of this 
Jnovince h«ve fo lately made of you to 
^eprcl'cnt them, gives Mcafrcfh Op- 
iioreunity of knowing their Sentiments and In- 
«linatiorr,',I.h«in&,ftIway S endeavoiircdto promote 
thculnterctttaihfi uunpllef isy^tlity.jhd 



■ it will add to my Pleafurc to do it in the manner 
which the^thcmrdves (Jtfirc. 
" AVhcri-you enquire into the (late of theprc- 
ient Revenue, I believe you will find it inluffi- 
cicnt toanlwcrthcuCual Expcncc foriheSupport 
of the Government. And confidcring the 
tiounfhing and Encreafing Condition of the 
Colony, It would be toiriDiihonour, as wcUa* 
Diiadvantage, to IciFen the Encoumgmient that' 
has been given to the ncccfiary Officers ot the 
Government. I depend on your Readinefs to 
the bed of Kings, who has flicwn, during the 
whole courfc of His Reign, Thu tie confl ant Em^ 
Btoymem of Hts Thoughts, and the moji e.ineji W iihes of 
I^ti Heart, tend u holly to t'e Securingto His Subjeat 
thftrjuft Rights and Mvnt.iges. You need noc 
fear that any of His Servants will dare to abufe 
the Confidence repofed in them, when they muft 
expcft, that their Neglea of Duty or Abufe of 
Fruft, will draw upon them His iuft Difplca- 
lure. ' 

c ^^L^" ^"'^' ''"'^ ^^^ Supply laft provided 
rorrhtWhJng the new Apartments in the Fort, 
has been imployed with the utmoft Frugality ; 
and I hope, that by the fame Management, the 
Repairs of the Roof of the Chappel and the 
.Barracks, which arc in a Condition entirely 
Ruinous, will require no very large Sum, tho' 
.ic IS plain, that the Charge of doing it will cn- 
;crcale confiderably, if it is delay'd sny longer 
; than the next Spring, which Obliges Me to Re- 
commend it to your Care at pref.nt.thatProvifion 
may be made for fo prcffing and neceflary a 
Work. 

I <nuft Remind you, that your Agent continues 
his Dib'gence in watching over the Interefts of 
the Province, tho' he has rcmam'd a long time 
without any Allowance; fo generous a Condudl-, 
onhis part, will not fail of cngnging you to take 
care that his paft Services may not go unrewarded, 
and that fo ultful a Perlon may be fixed in your 
Service, and a lettled Provilion made for his 
Encouragement. 

I {hall lay before you my late Conferences 
with the Six AW/om, in which I flatter my fclf, 
that I have contributed not a little to fix them in 
their Duty to His Majclty, their Aftlftion to 
this Government, and their juft Apprchcnfions 
of the ill Dcfigns of the People of Canada, in 
Fortifyingfo near to them at ':;.igara. 1 have lint 
a. fit Pcrlon to refidc among the 5rw;.-V this 
Winter, -who ism t permuted to Ti-adc, and will 
thcreljy ,hav« thoinorc weight and crtdit with. 

theait 



FROM AN KARI.Y NKWSPAPKK, SHOWING MEMRKR3 OK THE A.SSEMIil.T. 



232 HISTOKY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Town of W't'stcliester " was not aljolislunl until 1785, when, by a leg- 
islative act, it was changed to " the Township of Westchester." 

Westchester borough was the birthphice in our county- of the in- 
stitution of the Established Church of England. On this point Mr. 
Fordham Morris, in his essay on " The Borough Town of Westches- 
ter," takes occasion to correct some mistaken popular impressions. 

Some (lie says) liave likened this aiieieiit town to those of Xevv Englaml and Long 
Island, while others, zealous nieinliers of the Episeopal Cluireh, have tried to make themselves 
and others lielieve that the town was a reproduetion of an Knglish parish of the eighteenth 
eentury, siieh as we read of in the Spectator or the tales of Fielding' and Smollett. They 
fancy the sipiire in his high-baeked pew, the parson in his wig, gown, and surplice, telling 
the congregation its duty to their Maker, and also as to the titlies, the rojal family, the 
House of Hanover, and the Protestant succession. Neither is a correct similitude. The 
ofKcials, though elected, were subject to the governor s approval, and no rigid rule as to 
church membership prevailed as in the New England towns. The town, not the church 
wardens and vestry, attended to most of the temporalities, such as highways and bridges, and 
though the vestry levied the church rates, the town built and paid for the church, and in 
very late colonial times released its interest in the church projierty to the rector, church 
wardens, and vestry. Though the church was supported partially by a tax, the schoolmaster 
was supported by the borough, but until post-Kevolutionary times the poor were a j)arish 
charge. Though an act for settling orthodox nuuisters in the province was passed shortly 
after the establishment of the English colonial system (for of course, the English was the 
orthodox church in colonial times), those sous of Cromwellian soldiers, Quaker refugees, and 
Iudej)endents did not at first take kindly to a State church, and good Parson Bartow 
did not eviui wear a surplice. Many of the people were graduall3" won over to mother church, 
so far as a student can judge from reading the good minister's letters to the Society in 
England, more by his own loving kindness and self-respect rather than any inherent love those 
hard-working farmers had for the Church of England. Besides, the Quakers had established 
their meeting-house in the town almost as early as the Church of England edifice was erected, 
and its graveyard is still to be found, adjoining the Episcojial churchyard, tliough the meeting- 
house and those who were moved l)y__tlie Spirit within it h.ave loiig^since departed. 

In a previous chajiter, in connection with our account of the foun- 
dation of the settlement of ^^'estchester, we have reproduced from 
the journal of one of the Dutch commissioners who visited the place 
in JG5G a description of the forms of AvorshiiD then in vogue there, 
from which it appears that there was no ofticiatiag clergyman, and 
that the exercises were cimducted in homely fashion. Not until 
1G84 was any formal measure taken to procure a minister. It was 
then voted in town meeting (April 2) " that the Justices and Vestry- 
men of Westchester, Eastchester, and Yonckers do accept of Mr. War- 
ham Mather as our minister for one whole year; and that he shall 
have sixty pound, in country produce at moiu'y price, for his salary, 
and that he shall be paid every quarter." Apparently the arrange- 
ment was not effected, or at least did not endure for long; for in 
1G92 the town voted that "there shall be an orthodox minister, as 
soon as jiossible may be," and requested ("olonel Caleb Ueathcote, " in 
his travels in New England," to procure one. 

Septeiuber 21, 1G93, the provincial assembly of New York passed 
an ecclesiastical act, under which Westchester County was divided 



THE BOROUGH TOWN OF WESTCHESTER 233 

into two imi'islios, Westchester aud JJyc, tlie former to iiicliiile the 
ToAvus of Westchester, Eastchester, and Yonkers, aud the Manor of 
Pelhani, and llie hitter the Towns of Rye, Mainaroneck, and Bedford. 
Westchester was required to raise £50 yearly' for the minister's sup- 
port, and to elect on the second Tuesday of January ten vestrymen 
and two churcli wardens. In lODo the Kev. Warham Mather was 
ongaged as the Church of Enghind chn'g^'uian at Westchester. He 
was succeeded in 1702 by the Kev. John Barto^-, a missionary of the 
Venerable Society for the I'ropagation of the (iospel, newly arrived 
from England, who continued to ohiciate until his death, in 172G. He 
was a man of excellent learning and high character, aud his letters 
(of which nuuierous ones are reproduced by Bolton) are of much in- 
terest to students of the early conditions in Westchester County. 
The orthodox church at Westchester was formally chartered under 
the name of Saint Peter's by Lieutenant-Governor Clai'ke in 1762. 

Eastchester, incorporated in the parish of Westchester by the act 
of 1693, was made a separate parish in 1700. From early times 
Eastchester parish was known as Saint Paul's. To this day the 
Westchester and Eastchester Episcopalian churches preserve their 
original names of Saint Peter's and Saint Paul's, respectively. The 
preseut Saint Peter's Church edifice in Westchester village is en- 
tii-ely modern, but Saint Paul's in Eastchester dates from ai)out 1764, 
and is one of the most interesting of the old-time structures in our 
county. 

This is uot the connection, however, in which to relate the church 
history- of Westchester County, or even to note with particularity 
the local facts of church ami religious concerns in the Town of West- 
chester aud its associate<l localities, interesting though those facts 
are. We are occupied with tlie general story of Westchester County 
on broad lines. It has been lifting to intercept our general narra- 
ti\e for a glance at the borough Town of Westchester, whose creation 
constitutes one of the essential phases of the general history of the 
county. Having discharged this duty in as succinct a manner as 
possible, we now proceed with the broader narrative. 

The local history of Westchester County from the beginning of 
the eighteenth century to the Bevolutiou involves nothing remark- 
able, aside from the aspects of the peculiar character from the first 
assumed by the county wliicli iiave been described in our account of 
the (U'igin au<l erection of tlie great manorial estates. Following 
the lines of development naturalh' resulting from its selection as the 
seat of wealth^' and influential landed proprietors, Westchester 
County very soon took a prominent ])osition on this account, and, 
through the powerful aiul distinguished men whose homes aud in- 



234 HISTORY OF \AKSTCIIES'rER COUNTY 

terests were within its boi-dcrs, cxci'tcd iiii intiuciHc of tlic lirsl iiii- 
portaijce, both upon cuiTcnt i)ul)lic alTiiirs and in I he shaping of 
issues and conditions wliieli were to lead lo ui-and events. Tlie liis- 
lor.v of ^^'esl(•llester County, as a oonnly, diirin;n lliis i)eriod, is one 
of steady and reputable growth, but is not specially distinguishable 
from that of other rural New York counties. No large towns were 
built up, and aside from jiolilical contests nothing of exciting in- 
terest or unusual significance transpired lo attract general atten- 
tion to the county or to become memorable in a large way. Tlie 
liurely inlernal history of Weslchester County for three-(|uarlers of 
a ceiidiry following (lie (•om]>ai-ali\'e coniiilcl ion of iis settlement 
comprelicnds, indeed, not hing more limn I he ordinary (dii'oiucles of a 
(cw scattered communities and of a nnxed laud-owning and farming 
po|iulalion, li\ing togellicr in cii'cnmstances of good nndcrsianding 
and of jdeasing though (piite une\cntfiil prospei-it_\- and ]>rogi-css. It 
is in the general historical associations attacliing to the cai-eers of 
i'epres(-n(ative Westchestei' men that tliebi-oad interest of onr coun- 
ty's story u]) to 1 he e\cnts antecedent to I he Ke\olut ion is found. 




CllAl'TEK XII 

THE ELECTION ON THE GREEN AT EASTCHESTER, 1733 

iBi/^"' ■■■-.. ■ '■ 

HE estate of ^lorrisiniin, cstaldislied by ( "olojicl J^-wis Morris, 
of the island of Uarbadix-s, upou the fouudatious of the ohl 
I )utch Brouxland grant — an estate consisting of nearly two 
thousand acres, — was inherited at the colonel's dealh, in 
1(J!)1, by his neijhew, Lewis, who at that time had just come of age. 
^'onug Lewis Morris as a boy was of a vivacious and somewhat way- 
ward disposition, and, tiring of the Innndrum life in the home of his, 
um Ic, ii stei-u old Covenanter and rigid (^nakei-, ran away and roiimed 
iiltout in the world until his craving for ii more animated existence 
liad been pretty well gratihid. He first went to Virginin, ;ui(l then 
to -laiiiaica, trying to support himscdf as a (copyist and in other ways, 
and finally returned, tractable enough, to his uncle's roof. The old 
gentleman ]iot only granted him full j)ar(lon, but i)romptly to(d< an 
interest in procuring a suitable wife for him, with the result that, in 
November, 1G91, he received the hand of Isabella, daughter of James 
(iraham, Esq., attorney-general and one of the ](rincipal men of the 
province. Being his uncle's s(de heir, lie inherited not only the Mor- 
risania estate, but the large tract of land which ('(donel .Morris had 
bought in Monmouth Tounty, N. J. Turning his attention to the 
interests of the latter pi-operty, he took up his residence on that 
jiortion of it call Tintern. Here, it is said, was established the first 
iron mill in this country. He at once took an active part in i)ublic 
affairs in New Jersey. In 1092 lie was appointed a judge of the 
Court of Common Kight in East Jersey, and he also became a mem- 
ber of the council of Governor Hamilton. He did not, however, neg- 
lect his proiK'rty in NeAV York. Following the example of other large 
land-owners, he had his 'Westchester County estate erected into the 
"Loi'dsliip or Manor of Morrisania." This was done by letters patent 
granted to him on the Sth of May, l(i!)7, by Covernor Fletcher, where- 
in authority was given him and his successors to hold a court leet 
and court baron, to exercise jurisdiction over all waifs, estrays, 
wrecks, deodands, goods, or felons hap[H'ning and being within the 



236 HISTOKY OF WESTCHESTEK COUNTY 

luauor limits, and to t'lijoy tlie advowson and right of patronage over 
all churches in the manor. It aa^rs a considerable time, however, be 
fore the Manor of Morrisania became' lariicly tcnianted. At the census 
of 1712 its ])opulation was only sixty-tAAo. This Avas probably due in 
part to the preference manifested by its young lord, during the first 
years of his proprietorship, for residence and political activity in NeAV 
Jersey, and in part to his disinclination during that period to take 
any particularly vigorous measures toAvard tenanting its lands. It 
Avas not until 1710 that Lewis Morris was first elected to represent 
Westchester Borough in the general assembly of New York. 

A man of ardent teiuperament, fine talents, high ambitions, and 
abundant Avealth, and one of the new-fiedged manorial "lords" of 
the province, it A\ould not have been surprising it Morris had from 
the beginning of his career associated himself with the ultra-aristo- 
cratic party and liad uniformly confined his sympathies and activities 
to th(> aristocratic sphere. There were feAV encouragements in those 
times for (he development of independent and lofty civic character. 
All high positions Avere appointive, depending upon the faA'or of the 
royal go\ernor, who was as likely as not to be a man utterly cor- 
r-upt, mercenary, and unscrupulous. But from an early period of his 
public life, ^Morris disiilayed a bold and aggressive spirit, and an espe- 
cial contempt for consequences Avhen, in his judgment, opposition to 
the acts of the governors became a matter of duty. The sou of a cap- 
tain iu CroniAvell's army, and reared from infancy by an uncle who 
had fought Avith distinction on the same side and Avho was charac- 
terized by particularly inflexible personal conscientiousness, his birth 
and training gave him, moreover, instiucis of vigorous hostility to 
arrogaut and sellish despotism. It can not be doubted that this latter 
element of his character Avas the cliief contributing influence Avhich 
led him, at the zenith of his career, to sacrifice his elevated position 
and stake his entire reputation in the cause of righteous resistance 
to official tyranny, an act whicli, as Ave shall presently see, was the 
occasion of the first grand assertion of the principle of American 
liberty. 

After the appointment of Jeremiah Basse as governor of New Jer- 
sey, in 1698, Morris Avas one of the principal leaders of the party 
which refused to acknowledge his authority. lie was in consequence 
expelled from the council and fined £50 for contempt. In 1700, when 
Hamilton was again made governor of Ncav Jersey, Morris Avas ap- 
pointed president of the council. In this po.sition he strongly adA'o- 
cated the surrender of the proprietary government of New Jersey to 
the crown, persuaded the Ncav Jersey x>i'oprietors to lend their co- 
operation to the project, and Avent to England to urge the reform 



THE ELECTION OF 1733 



237 



iijxiii I lie (jiK^'n. Ilis proposals were received with favor, and he was 
nominated for the Jioveruorshli) of New Jersey nn(h'r the new ar- 
r;nii;enient; but as it was finally decided to appoint a singl(> <fov- 
criior for the two provinces of New York and New Jersey, Lord 
Cornbnry, a cousin of (^ueen Anne, being chosen for that post, Mor- 
ris's appointment was not confirmed. He was, however, placed in 
I lie ((iiincil. This was in 1703. As one of Gornbury's councilors he 
made an honorable record of uncompromising' antagonism to that 
iiKist cori'uitt, tyrannical, and villainous of New York's colonial gov- 
ernors. Smith, the Tory historian of New York — certainly not a 
]ii'eju(lic('(l authority in this particular connection, — says of Lord 
( 'ornbury : '' We never had a governor so universally detested, nor any 
who so richly deserved the public 
abhorrence. In spite of his noble de- 
scent, his behavior was trifling, 
mean, and extravagant. It was not 
uncommon for him to dress in a 
wcman's habit, and then to ]iati'ol 
I lie fori in which he lived. Such 
Iri'uks of low hiimor exposed him to 
I he univevsal contempt of th<' whole 
j)eo])lc. Their indignation was kin- 
dled by his despotic rule, savage big 
otry, insatiable avarice, and injus 
lice, iiol only to the public, but even 
to his private creditors." In brief, 
be ])lun(lered the public treasni'y, 
convei'ted subscription funds to his 
personal uses, and borrowed sums 
riglil and left, which he coolly re- 
])udiale(l. After his removal from 

the ollice of governor he was arrested and imprisoned for debt in 
New York; but by the death of his father, the Karl of Clarendon, he 
became a member of the House of Jjords, a dignity which carrh'd 
with it exemi^tion from being held for debt, whereof he took advan- 
tage to decamp without settling with his creditors. IMorris, as a 
member of the council, became at once a thorn in Cornbury's si(k'. 
The governor removed liini in 17(14. l!y order of Queen Anne he 
was reinstated the next year, only to be again and i)ermanently dis- 
nussed by Coi-nburv. He then, as a member of the New Jersey leg- 
islature, ])nt himself, witli (lordon and Jennings, at the heail of tiie 
liarly that sought to drive Cornbnry from oflh-e. To this end resolu- 
lions were passed detailing the evils and infamies of his administra- 




CORNBURV IX WOMAN S DRESS. 



238 inSTOItV 01' WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

tioii, which were sent to En^liiml mid resulted in Cornbury's recall 
(1708). Durinj; tlie brief nde of I.oi-d Lovelace, Morris again sat in 
the coiuK-il ; but under L()\elace"s siiceessor, Ini;f)l(lsby, he was once 
more suspended because of personal unacceptability to tlie executive. 

l'"'inaily, in 1710, a governor was sent over witli wlioni Morris was 
able to establish the most satisfactory relations, lioth official and 
personal — tlie noted (Jeiieral l{obert Hunter. His arrival is memora- 
ble ill New York iirovincial ;iiiii;ils because of the great Palatinate 
iiiiiiiigration fif whicli it marked (lie beginning. Some three thou- 
sand I'alatinatcs — refugees from the Palatine or Pfalz provinces of 
Germany, wiiom continual wars and religious persecutions had driven 
from their homes — sailed witli Cbivernor Hunter from Plymouth, Eng- 
land. The vessels bearing tiieni were separated by terrible siorms at 
sea, and hundreds of the immigrants died before port was reached. 
These Palatine immigrants and their countrymi-n who followed them 
Ave»re distributed mainly among the central and upjier Hudson Piver 
counties — Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess — and throughout the Mo- 
hawk Valley. But very many of them naturally remained in New 
York City, and from there gradually made their way into the sur- 
rounding country. Individual Palatine families sought homes from 
time to time in Westchester County, but our county was not one of 
the chosen places of colonization for these people, and no Palatinate 
settlements were established here. 

Hunter was an entirely different manner of man from the gover- 
nors who preceded him. He boasted no dazzling ancestry. As a 
lad he was apprenticed to an apothecary, but left that employment 
to enter the army, as a private, without either money or influence. 
Possessing marked natural abilities, he soon attracted the attention 
of his superiors, and was steadily promoted until he attained the 
rank of brigadier-general. He associated and corresponded on terms 
of intimacy with the celebrated literary characters of that sparkling 
age, and, although not himself a man of great pretensions, had very 
excellent parts, especially " a pleasant wit, and was never more 
happy in his sallies, as he wrote to his fi-iend Dean Swift, than when 
he was most annoyed." Tn Lewis Morris he found a congenial soul. 
The two collaborated in the composition of a farce entitled " Andro- 
borus," which hit off the peculiarities of some of their opponents in 
a lively fashion. Morris was iiromptly installed by Hunter as presi- 
dent of the council. Tt was in 1710, the year of Hunter's assumption 
of the governorship, that he entered the New York assembly as a 
delegate from the borough Town of Westchester, and in that body 
he at once became a zealous supporter of the governor. Tn this 
chiiiiipionship he strongly ojiposed the jiopular party, which resisted 




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THE ELECTION OF 1733 239 

the governor's desire for the grantinj!: of supplies in bulk and for a 
mimber of years at once, and "insislcd iijxm granting supplit-s of 
money only from year to year, and with applications specified, thus 
fixing the salaries for governor and other officials only per annum and 
by name, so that obnoxious persons were in danger of being left nn- 
paiil." The issue was a radical one, and gave rise to strong feeling 
on both sides. It is a curious fact that Lewis Morris, whose chief 
claim to remembrance is his identification with the great popular 
agitation of a later period, whereof, indeed, he was one of the heroes, 
was, in this early controversy between the " Court party " and the 
people, the mainstay of the former. Moreover, the warmth of his 
advocacy of the governor's cause was such that, on account of violent 
language in the course of debate, he was expelled from the assem- 
bly. He was thereupon re-elected to his seat by his Westchester con- 
stituents. 

Morris was appointed to the office of chief justice of New York by 
Governor ITunter on the 13th of March, 1715. He still continued to 
sit for Westchester Borough in the assembly, and did not retire from 
that body until 1728. His Westchester County colleagues in the 
assembly during his eighteen years of service for the borough from 
1710 to 172S were Joseph Budd, Joseph Drake, John Hoite, Josiah 
Hunt, Jonathan Odell, Edmund Ward, William Willet, Frederick 
Philipse, 2d, and Adolph Philipse. As chief justice he served unin- 
terruptedly until August 21, 1733, when, on account of his attitude 
in the Van Dam case, he was removed by Governor Cosby, and James 
de Lancey, the son-in-law of Caleb Heathcote, of Scarsdale Manor, 
was named in his stead. 

Tlie affairs of the ProA'incf> of New Y(n'k moved along smoothly 
enough, exceptinj:: for the differences between the assembly and th" 
executive, from the time of Hunter's appointment as governor, in 
1710, until the arrival of Cosby, in .\ugust. 1732. Hunter T\as suc- 
ceeded by Williaui Burnet, also a highly polished and amiable man, 
with M'hom ^forris sustained relations quite as friendly and agree- 
able as with Hunter. Burnet was followed by Colonel John IMout- 
gomerie, remembered as the grantor of the Monttromerie Charter of 
New York City, who died suddenly on the 1st of .July, 1731, a victim, 
as is supposed, of a smallpox epidemic then raging. 

.\t the head of ^rontgomerie's council, occupying that position by 
virtue of his long service as a councilor, coverimj- a period of twenty- 
nine years, was an old and very resyiected New "^'ork mei'chant, Rij) 
Y;in T);im. He was, as his name indicates, a thorough Dutchman, 
and wiis a ty]ucal representative of the t1irif(y and solid Dutch 
trading-class, who, not\\i(hstandiug the English conquest and the 



240 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



chanjiC'S bvmiiilit about by it, bad ucver ceased to enjoy the highest 
staudiiiji' iu the commuuity and to share in tlie government of the 
city and province. A native American (having been born in Albany), 
he was an entirely self-made man, modest, honest, and public spirited. 
It also stood to his credit that he was the father of a family of fifteen 
childi'en.* Ponding the selection of a new governor by the appointive 
power in England, Van Dam, in his cai^acity of president of the coun- 
cil, became vested Avith the authority of acting chief magistrate. 
None of the complicated circumstances attending the like eleva- 
tion of the unfortunate Leisler forty years before existed at this time. 
The regularity of his official succession was beyond question, no fac- 
tional controversy of any sort resulted from it, and, indeed, the whole 

public viewed Avith satisfaction the tem- 
porary exercise of power by a native cit- 
izen of so much respectability. 

The citizen-governor continiied to ad- 
minister affairs for thirteen months, duly 
turning over the office to his chosen suc- 
cessor, William Cosby, in the month of 
August, 1732. This Cosby was another 
Corn1)nry — narrow, vain, avaricious, un- 
l principled, contemptible, and tyrannical. 
Tie had previously been governor of the 
Island of Minorca, using the opportuni- 
ties of that position to promote his 
private financial interests. After his 
apiioiuiment as governor of New York, 
while still in England, he had been paid 
fees and perquisites amounting to sev- 
eral thousand pounds as his due, al- 
though he had not yet begun to perform the functions of the place. 
From Van Dam's accounts he found, to his great disgust, that the pro 
tempore governor had drawn and pocketeil the entire salary belong- 
ing to the position during the thirteen mouths of his occupancy of 
it. Such ridiculous conduct on the part of a mere acting governor, 
who was only a plain, merchandizing citizen and Dutchman, could 
not be submitted to by the sensitive Cosby. He demanded that Kip 
Van Dam should deliver over to him one-half of the salary thus taken. 
Van Dam shrewdly responded tlint he would cheerfully do so if Cosby 
Avould, on his part, relinquish half the fees that had been paid him 




RIP VAN DAM. 



1 One of his sons, Rip Van D.nm, .7r.. iiiar- 
riod Jurtith nny.ird, !i grantldaugliter of Sfcpli- 
anus Van Cortlandt. Tliis couple had a daugh- 
ter, Margaret Van Dam, who married Will- 



iam Coclu-oft, of New York Cit.T, whose 
lirollier .Tames was tlie aneestor of the present 
Coeiiroft famiiy of Sing Sing. 



THE ELECTION OK 1733 241 

for the same [tcriod. Cosby scornfully rcfuscMl lo Jislcii to so iiiipii- 
(Iciil a proposal, and Van Dam stubbornly declined lo accept any 
less e(|uitable terms. This unseemly disjiute over a jiallry matler of 
salary led to oflicial ]iroceedin|L;s of tlie most jjcciiliar and arhilrary 
nature, wliiidi aroused the ])eople to stronjj,- resentment, and out of 
wliich was developed a question of ]io])ular light as fumlameidal and 
\veit;hty as any that ever came up for decision in c(donial times. 

Governor Cosby, still determined to wrino- the money from the ob- 
stinate Van Dam, was now compelled to resort to the forms of law 
to com])ass tiiat eml. Not content to leave the case to the decision 
of the ordinary courts of the i)rovince, he ju'occ'eded to erect a Courl 
of Chancery foi' its trial. E(piity courts, of which tlie no^crnoi- was 
r.r officio chanccdlor, had always been extremely distasteful to the 
people, and beini; constituted liy the exclusiAc act of the executive, 
witlii>ut the consent of the leiiislatuT-e, wei-e, according to the best 
legal o|iinion, tribunals of at least doubtful authority. The assump- 
tion of the powers of chancellor by former governors had given rise 
to intense jxijuilai- discontent, and the more intelligent predecessors 
of Cosby had shrunk from attempting to exercise them, except quite 
sparingly. But Cosby recognized no such scruples of prudence. He 
designated three of the Supreme Court judges — Chief Justici- ^forris, 
Frederick I'hiliiise, and James de l^ancey — as <'quity judges to act in 
the Van Dam prosecution, stopping short only of the extreme meas- 
ure of personally sitting at the head of the coui-t as chancellor. Van 
Dam's counsid, ^^■illiam Smith "the elder," and James Alexander, 
when the cause came up, boldly denied the legality of the court, 
maintaining that the governor and council were utterly without 
power to organize such a body. To the great astonishment of Judges 
l'liili]ise and de Lancey, Chief Justice Morris at once held with 
Smith and Alexander, and, on the ground that the Equity Court was 
a tribu7ial of irregular creation, delivered a decision in favor of Van 
Dam. This, of course, brought matters to a crisis. Cosby, incensed 
at tlie act of the chief justice, wrote to him in decidedly discourteous 
terms, re(]uesting a copy of his opinion. IMorris, in transmitting the 
document to him, accompanied it with a communication couched in 
strong but dignified language. "This, sir," he wrote, "is a copy of 
the paper 1 read in court. I have no reason to expect that it or 
anything that I can say will be at all grateful or have any weight 
with your Excellency, after the answer I received to a message T 
did myself the hoTior to send you, concerning an ordinance you were 
about to make for establishing a Court of l']quity in the Supreme 
Court as being in my opinion contrary to law, which T begged might 
be delaved till T could be heard on that head. T thought mvself 



242 



HISTORY OF WKSTCHESTER COUNTY 



well ill the <lnry of my oflicc in sending this iue8sa;j,(', aud iiopc I 
(jo not flatter nivsclf in tliiiii<in.u- I shall be justified in it bj your 
sn])erl(>i-s, as well as mine. The answer yonr EKcellenry was pleased 
to send me was, that I need not liive myself any trouble about that 
affair, that you would neither receive a visit nor any message from 
me, that you would neither ndy upon my integi-ity nor depend on 
my judgment, that you thoufiht me a person not at all fit to be trusted 
with any concerns relating to the king, that ever since your coming 
to the government I had treated you both as to your person and as 
the king's representative with slight, rudeness, and impertinence; 
that you did not desire to hear or see anything further of me." De- 
fending himself against the various charges and intimations made 
by the governor, he reminds his excellency that " if judges can be so 

intimidated as not to dare to give 
any opinion but what is pleasing 
to a governor and agreeable to 
his private views," the people of 
the province must suffer in for- 
tune or even life. In relation to 
the accusation of inattention or 
Avant of politeness, and other 
IK'vsonal matters, he adds these 
]iointed words: "If a bow awk- 
wardly made, or anj^thing of that 
kind, or some defect in ceremo- 
nial in addressing j'ou, has occa- 
sioned that remark, I beg it may 
be attributed to want of courtly 
education, or to anything else 
'} rather than to want of respect to 
his Majesty's representative. As 
to my integrity, I have given you 
no occasion to call it in question. 
^^ ^ I have been in office almost 

twenty years. My hands were 
never soiled with a bribe, iioi- am I conscious to myself that power 
or ]»overty hath been able to induce me to be partial in favor of 
eithei- of them; and as I have no reason to expect any favor from 
you, so 1 am neither afraid nor ashamed to stand the test of the 
strictest inquiry you can make concerning my conduct. I have served 
the public faithfully and honestly, according to the best of my knowl- 
ed're, and I dare and do appeal to it for my justification." Cosby, 
without cercmonv, now deinivcd ^lorris of his office bv handing to 




^^.^^^VU^ff- 



<rrrU. 



THK ELECTION OF 1733 243 

the yt)uug James de Lancey a notice of his appointment as chief 
justice. 

.Mt)iTis Avas removed from tlie chief justiceship on the 21st of Au- 
i-ust, 1733. Five years previously he had terminated his Umg service 
in the New York assembly. Thus, after more than forty years of 
connection with public affairs, interrupted only by brief suspen- 
sions from office during his early career, he was now retired to pri- 
vate life. From the be^iuninfij of Cosby's arbitrary proceedings in 
the Van Dam matter, the indignation of the people had been power- 
fully stirred. Always opposed to the institution of the Court of Chan- 
cery, the extemporization of that tribunal by Cosby for the special 
purpose of procuring a judgment in his own favor was an outrage 
deeply offensive to their sense of decency and right; and the rude 
expulsion of Chief Justice Morris from the bench, because of his un- 
willingness to be a party to such a flagrant transaction, was, in 
their eyes, a deliberate and insolent attempt at despotic power. Mor- 
ris was universally regarded as a victim of official tyranny, and the 
people were not slow to find in his personality a rallying point for 
the effective expression of their feeling. He was urged to stand as 
a candidate for the assembly at the coming election, a demand to 
which he willingly acceded, offering himself for the suffrages of the 
electors of Westchester County, William Willet, one of the members 
for the county, having retired in his favor. The other representa- 
tive of the county at that time was Frederick Philipse. Lewis Morris, 
Jr., son of the chief justice, had been elected the preceding year to 
sit for the Borough of Westchester. 

The resulting election, held on the 29th of October, on " the (xreen " 
at the Town of Eastchester, was probably the most notable one in 
the whole colonial history of Westchester County. The elaborate and 
trraphic description of it, published in the first number of the famous 
Xew York WnTclji Jnurnnl, November 5, 1733, is undoubtedly familiar 
to many of our readers, having been frequently reproduced. This 
description gives, however, so interesting a picture of the political 
customs of the times, and, in its entirety, is so pertinent to our nar- 
rative, that we copy it here withoxit abridgment: 

October 29, 1 1^^. 
On this day, Lewis Morris, Ksq., late Chief 'tice of this Province, was by a majority 
of voices elected a Representative from the Coiinty of Westchester. It was an Election of 
great Expectation : the Court and the County's interest 'was exerted*'(as is said) to the 
utmost. I shall fjive my readers a particular account of it. Nicholas Cooper, Esq., Ilifjh 
Sheriff of the said County, ha\'inf; by papers affixed to the Church of Eastchester and other 
public places, ji^ven notice of the D.av and Place of Election, without mentioning any time of 
Day when it was to be done, which made the Electors on tlie side of the late Judge very 
suspicious that some Fraud was intended — to prevent which about fifty of them ke)>t wntcli 
upon and about the Green at Eastchester ftlie Place of Election) from 12 o'clock the night 
before till the Morning of the Day. The other Electors, beginning to move on .Sunday 



244 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

aftt'iniidii and fveniiig, so as to be at New Rocliellc by Midniglit, their way lav thrmi-jb 
Hariison's Purchase, the Inliabitants of whieli provided for their Entcrtaiimient as they 
passed each linuse in their way, having a table jdentifidly covered for that Purpose. About 
midnight they all met at the lionsc of William Lc Court at New RochcUe, whose house not 
being large enough to entertain so great a number, a large fire was made in the street by 
which they sat till daylight, at which time they began to move. They were joined on the 
hill at the East end of the Town by about seventy horse of the Electors of the lower ])art of 
the County; and then proceeded toward the place of Election in the following order, viz: 
First rode two trumpeters and three violins; next, four of the princi|)al Freeholders, one of 
which carried a banner, on one side of which was affixed in gold capitals " King George " and 
on the other in golden capitals "Liberty and Law"; ne.xt followed the Candidate, Lewis 
Morris, Esq., then two Colours; and at sun rising they entered upon the fireen at Eastchester, 
followed by above three hundred horse of the princi])le Freeholders of the County, a greater 
nundier than had ever api)eared for one man since the settlement of that County. 

After having rode three times round the (ireeu, they went to the houses of Josejih 
Fowler and Mr. Child, who were well prepared for tlieir reception; the late Chief .Justice 
was met on his alighting by several (ieutlemen who came there to give their votes for him. 
About 11 o'clock appeared the Candidate of the other side, 'William Forster, Esc]., the 
schoolmaster, appointed by the Society for Proi)agation of the (Tosjiel, and lately made, by 
eonnnission frcmi his Excellency the present (iovernor. Clerk of the Peace and Common 
Pleas in that C(mnty; which commission it is said he purchased for the valuable consideration 
of one hundred pistoles given the Governor. Next came two ensigns borne by two of the 
Freeholders; then followed the Honourable James I)e Laneey, Escp, Chief Justice of the 
Province of New York, and the Honourable Frederick Phillipse, Esq., Second Judge of the 
said Province and Baron of the Exchequer, attended by about a hundred and seventy horse 
of the Freeholders and friends of the said Forster and the two Judges ; they entered the 
Green on the East side; and riding twice round it. their word was '^No Land Tax." 

As they passed, the second Judge civilly saluted the late Chief Justice by taking otV his 
hat, which the late Judge returned in the same manner, some of the late Judge's party crying 
out " No Excise," and one of them was heard to say (though not by the Judge), " No 
Pretender," upon which Forster, the Candidate, replied, " I will take notice of you." They 
after that retired to the house of Mr. Baker, which was prepared to receive and entertain 
them. About an hour after, the High Sheriff came to town, finely mounted; the housings 
and holster ca])s being scarlet, richly laced with silver. Upon his apjiroach, the Electiu's on 
lioth sides went into the (ireen, where they were to elect, and, after having read his Majesty's 
writ, bid the Electors proceed to a choice, which they did, and a great majority api)eared for 
Mr. Morris, the late Judg(^; upon which a poll was demanded, but by whom is not known to 
the relator, though it was said by many to be done l>y the Sheritf himself. 

Morris, the Candidate, several times asked the sheriff upon whose side the majority 
api)eared, but could get no other rejdy but that a i)oll must be had; and, accordingly, after 
about two hours' delay in getting benches, chairs and tables, they began to poll. Soon after, 
one of those called Quakers, a man of known worth and estate, came to give bis vote for the 
late Judge. Upon this, Forster and the two Fowlers, Moses and William, chosen by him to 
be inspectors, questioned his having an estate, and re(piired of the Sheriff to tender him the 
book to swear in due form of law, which he refused to do, but offered to take his solenm 
affirmation, which lioth by the laws of England and of this Province was indulged to the 
people called Quakers, and had always been practiced from the first election of representatives 
in tlus Province to this tinu', and never refused, but the Sheriff was deaf to all that could be 
alleged on that side; and, notwithstanding that he was told by the late Chief Justice and 
James Alexander, Esq., one of his Majesty's Council and Coimcillor at Law, and by William 
Smith, E-scj., Councillor at Law, that such a ])rocedure was contrary to law, and a violent 
attempt of the liberties of the i)eople, he still ]>ersistcd in refusing the said Quaker to vote, 
and in like manner did refuse seven-and-thirty Quakers more — men of known and visible 
estates. 

This Cooper, now High Sheriff of the said Comity, is said not only to be a stranger in 
that County, but not having a foot of land or other visible estate in it, unless very lately 
grantc'd, and it is believed lie had not wherewithal to purchase any. The polling bad not 
long been continued before Mr. Edward Stephens, a man of a very considerable estate in the 



THE ELECTION UK 1733 245 

said County, (lid iiprnly, in till' licarinj;' of all tlio FrcclidldiTS tluTc asscnilili'd, c'liai'f;c Williain 
Foi'stci', Ksi),, tlu' Candidati' on the otiirr side, with liiMiio- a .lacobite, and in the interest of 
the Pretender, and that he shoidd say to Mr. William Willet (a i)erson of good estate and 
known intei;rity, who was at that time present and rea<ly to make oath to the truth of 
what was said) that true it was that he had not taken the oaths to his Majesty Kinj;- George, 
and enjoyed a plaee in the (iovernment under liim whieh gave liim his bri'ad; yet notwith- 
standing that, should King James come into England he should think himself oliliged to go 
there and tight f(U- him. This was loudly and strongly urged to Forster's faee, who denied 
it to be true; and no more was said of it at that time. 

About 11 o'clock that night the poll was closed, and it stood thus: 

For the Late Cliief Justice 2^1 

The Quakers 38 

269 

For William Forster, Ksij 151 

The Difference 118 

Total 269 

So that the late Chief Justice carried it by a great majority without the Quakers. Upon 
closing the poll the other candidate, Forster, and the Sheriff, wished the late Chief Justice 
much joy. F^orster said he hoped the late ,Jndge would not think the worse of him for 
setting up against liim, to which the Judge replied he believed he \vas put upon it against his 
inclinations, but that he was highly blamablc, and who did or should know better for 
putting the Sheriff', who was a stranger and ignorant upon such matters, upon making so 
violent an attempt upon the liberty of the people, which would expo.sc him to ruin if he were 
worth <;;i(),0()(), if the people aggrieved should commence suit against him. The people made 
a loud huzza, which the late Chief Judge blamed very iiiueli, as what he thimght not right. 
Forster replied he took no notice of what the common people did, since Mr. Morris did not 
put them njion the doing of it. The indentures being sealed, the whole body of Klectors 
waited on their new Representative to his lodgings with trumpets sounding and violins 
playing, and in a little time took their leave of him, and thus ended the Election to the general 
sati.sfaction. 

Tli(» rallying cries of the two parties, " No Land Tax " and " No 
Excise,'" related to a current political issue of some importance. I'hil- 
ipse had opposed the levying of quit-rents on his manor, which his 
jiartisans tei-nied a " land tax," and instead of it had advocated the 
raising of revenue by excise duties. This issue, however, was only 
an incidental one in the great contest of 1733. (^uit-rents had always 
been exceedingly objectionable to the rural population, and excise 
iluties wen- almost e(|u.ally un]H)pular. As the I'hilipse and de Lan- 
rcy ]iai-ty chose to take tlieir stand against the so-called laml tax, 
the .Morrisites met thiejn by raising the counter issue of no excise. 
I'ul ill reality it was a' contest on the sole question of the go\('rSior's 
outrageous abuse of authority, and as such it became a ])errecl" test 
of the disposition and readiness of the people to shake olf ilic fetters 
ol' an odious government and to array themseh'es for free institu- 
lioiis. There was no mistaking the true nature of the emergency, 
and llie minds (d' the ])eo]ile wei-e not to be confused by the' pre- 
tense liial it was an ordinarv struggle over the oiijiosing docti-ines 



246 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

of " land tax "" and " excise." All the government influence was ar- 
rayed against Morris, and w ith a formality and determination most 
conspicuous. The Morris party, on the other hand, stood just as un- 
mistakably and resolutely for the principle of popular defiance of op- 
pressive government. The electors of the county were conscious that 
the verdict which they Avere called ujjon to render would have the 
greatest moral Aveight, and would be taken as a crucial test of the 
state of public opinion. In these circumstances, emphatic as was 
the majority for Morris, the character and composition of his fol- 
loAving were even more significant than the mere proportions of his 
vote. We are told that his supporters from the lower part of the 
county " numbered only about seventy liorse." The remainder came 
from far and wide, contributed by every portion of the county except 
the borough Town of Westchester, which was a constituency by itself, 
and the Manor of Philipseburgh, Avhich, under the influence of its 
proprietor, was a unit for his antagonist. From Pelham and New 
Rochelle to the remotest parts of the Manor of Cortlandt the word 
had gone forth to gather on the Green at Eastchester early on the 
morning of Monday, the 29th of October. Even the Quakers, the 
strictest of Sabbath observers, joined in the throng which began to 
move thither on Sunday morning and afternoon. It was a sponta- 
neous assembling of the people to register their votes in a great cause. 
On the other hand, the government candidate commanded practically 
no support, except that which was directly subordinate to the will 
of the powerful landlord Philipse and the influence of Chief Justice 
de Lancey. This sujiport was in the aggregate of no mean propor- 
tions, but when measured against the sentiment of the untrameled 
people of the county it was utterly overborne. 

The cry of the Morris party, " No Pretender! " and the altercation 
about the supposed Jacobite principles of Forster aftord added illus- 
tration of the fundamental character of the contest. At that period 
the exiled Stuarts were still scheming to make their way back to 
the throne of England. In the minds of the plain people, particularly 
in the American colonies, the associations of the degraded dynasty 
were entirely those of oppressive rule, licentiousness, corruption, and 
religious intolerance. No severer political reproach could attach to 
an American subject (especiallj^ if he sought elective office) than the 
suspicion of being a Jacobite or sujjporter of the Stuart Pretender. 
Hence the alacrity with which that reproach Avas flung at the govern- 
ment candidate by the democratic Morrisites. With such an accu- 
mulation of aristocratic sins upon him, it was truly an inconvenient 
position in which Forster stood when he faced the Westchester yeo- 
manry. 



THE ELECTION OF 1733 



247 



Tlic ncwspaixT report of the election reproduced above was writ- 
ten by a i)rlnter from New Yorlc, one Jolin Peter Zenger, who liad 
gone to Eastchester to witness the struggle, and doubtless intended 
his account of it for the columns of the New York Weeklij Gazette, 
at that time the only news])aper in the province. The first number 
of the Gazrftc appeared on October 1(5, 1725, under the direction of 
William Bradford, who was originally a printer in Philadelphia, but 
since 1693 had been government printer in New York on a salary 
of £40 per annum over and above what he might earn at his craft. 
The Gazette, naturally a government organ, had, throughout the Van 
Dam controversy, been scrupulously carefxil to print nothing objec- 
tionable to the governor and his partisans; and Zenger's strongly 
pro-Morris I'eport of the Westchester 
County election was therefore quite uu- 
adapted for insertion in it. It is said 
that Zenger, before returning to New 
York, showed his manuscript to a lead- 
ing Friend, who, referring to the Quak- 
er vote, said: "Send me eight-and- 
thirty copies." At all events, he at once 
took steps to begin the publication of a 
rival newspaper; and a week later the 
first issue of the New Y'ork Weekli/ Jour- 
nal came from the press. The election 
report accompanied the edition proper 
as a broadside, or supplement; and, in 
addition, appeared the following notable piece of new's: 

On Wednt'sdaj', tlie 31st of October, tlie late Chief .Justii/e, but now Representative, lauded 
in this city about five o'cloek at the Ferry stairs. On his landing he was saluted by a General 
Fire of the guns from the merchant vessels lying in the Roads, and was received by great num- 
bers of tlie most considerable Merchants and Inhabitants of the city, and by them with loud 
acclamations of the people as he walked in the streets, conducted to the Black Horse Tavern 
[northwest corner of .Smith Street, now William, and Garden Street, now Exchange Place], 
where a handsome entertainment was prepared for him at the charge of the gentleinen who 
received him, and in the middle of one side of the room was fixed a tablet with golden 
Capitals, " King George, Liberty and Law." 

Indeed, the greatest enthusiasm prevailed among all classes of the 
people except those immediately identifieil with the governor's cause, 
and the news was hailed with rejoicing in distant ])arts of the coun- 
try. The bells of the Middle Dutch Church, on Nassau Street, of 
which Kip Van Dam was a member, rang out a jubilant peal, and 
the bellringer, to commemorate the event, carved deep in the wooden 
wall of the cupola the inscription " L. M. Oct. 31, A.D. 1733," which 
could still be deciphered at the time when that ancient edifice was 
dismantled, some twenty years ago. 




OLD DUTCH CIlURCn, NASSAU STREET. 



248 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Zenger's attendanoo as a self-ooiistituted reporter at the election 
at Eastchester, and his resulting- establishment of the New York 
Wiekli/ Journal, led to a train of remarkable consequences. Like 
Leisier, Zeuger was a (ierman by birth — a topical representative of 
the early class of alien imniigi-ants who came to America to better 
their condition, and readily adajited themselves to the institutions 
which they found here, lie came over as a lad in the Palatinate 
immigration of 1710, served as an a]i])rcntice at the printing trade 
with William Bradford for eight years, and later opened a printing 
ollicc (if his own, wliicli was located on Stone Street, near the corner 
of W'iiitfhall. Zealously devoted lo the lu-iiiciides of the anti-Cosby 
parly, he embarked boldly in his oi>[iosition newsjiaper publishing 
venture without weighing and doubtless witliout caring Uw the con- 
siderations of caution wliicli naturally sliould have suggested them- 
sehes to a ])erson assuming such a resjiousibility in those times of 
very limited license for the jiress. He was immediately supported 
and encouraged by the foremost leaders of the ijopular party — men 
like \'au Dam, ilorris, and the two most eiiiiuent New York lawyers 
of the period, James Alexander and William Smith, both of whom 
had been ])resent in Morris's belialf at the Westchester County elec- 
tion. These and others furnished him. for his paper, numerous able 
and aggressive articles u]Kin 1o])ics germane to the absorliing ques- 
tion of popular rights, wliicli were printed over iitiiiii< dc iihniif. The 
rone of the WcelJji Jniinuil gradually became more direct, personal- 
ities were indulged in, and unsjtaring i)oetical eifusiuiis, of very man- 
ifestly personal application to the governor and his creatures, were 
]U'ovi(led from time to time for a smiling public. Governor Cosby 
endured these wicked polemics and exacerbating satires, though not 
without much misery of soul, for the s])ace of about a year. Then, 
unable longer to restrain his rage, he resolved to crush the atrocious 
sheet forever and to visit condign punishment upon its owner. 

In lliis undertaking the governor had the cordial assistance of 
Chief Justice de Lancey, who a])])lied to the grand jury to find an 
indictment against Zenger. But that body, made up from the ranks 
of the people, ignored the demand. Next, Cosby caused his council 
to send to the general assembly a message on the subject of the 
scurrilous publications. The assembly, no more com])laisant than 
the grand jury, calmly laid the matter on the table. Finally, in con- 
sequence of some new and particularly llagitious publications,, de 
Lancey procured from the gi'and jury a jn-esentment against the spe- 
cial numbers of the paper containing them, which were accordingly 
burned by the hangman. But what was most desired, the indictment 
of Zenger, was still refused. Tie was nevertheless arrested on an in- 



THE ELECTION OF 1733 



249 



fdrnintioii for lilicl, and, aftci- laiinuisliiui; in prison several months, 
was hi-DUiilil to trial on a charge of printing matter that was " false, 
scandalous, and seditions." His connsel, Alexander and Smith, conr- 
a;;cously tool; I lie ground that the whole proeeedini;s before de l.,an- 
cey were illegal, inasmucli as the new chief justice had l)een ap- 
pointed by the nieri' execntive act <d' the governor, withont the con- 
sent of the council. De I^ancey met this contention by summarily 
disbarring the two lawyers. With their exit from the scene the 
entire defense seemed doomed to fall to the ground, as there was no 
other surticiently able lawyer in New York to take it up. In this 
emergency Andrew Hamilton, of Philadeljjhia, an advocate of con- 
summate intellectual qualities 
and fascinating ehxiuence, and 
the Nestor of the whole colo- 
nial bar, was persuade(l to 
come to New York and assume 
the defense of the unfortunate 
printei'. ITamilton admitted 
the jiublication of the matters 
complained of, but demanded 
tliat witnesses be summoned 
to prove them libelous. This 
was not to the taste of the chief 
justice, and was denied on the 
princii)Ie that "the greater 
the truth, the greater the 
libel." Thereupon, accejiting 
with good grace the ruling 
of the court, Hamilton pro- 
ceeded to address a power- 
ful plea to the jury as judges 
both of the law and the facts. 

He urged them, as ]iatriots and freemen, to dismiss all prejudice 
from their minds and determine fi-om the facts whether the ac- 
cused had not I'eally published the tinitli, or what re|iresented legiti- 
mate jiublic opinion, which he had the right to do and which 
tliei-e was need of doing under a free government. " I make no 
doubt," said he, in i)rophetic words, " but your upright conduct this 
day will not only entitle you to the love and esteem of your fellow- 
citizens, but every man who prefers freedom to a life of slavery w-ill 
l)less and honor you as men who have baflh'd the attempts of tyranny, 
and, by an impartial and incorrupt verdict, have laid a noble founda- 
tion for securing to ourselves, our posterity, and our neighbors that 




ANDREW H.\MILTON. 



250 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

to which nature and the laws of our country have given us a right — 
the liberty of both exposing and opposing arbitrary power in these 
parts of the world, at least by speaking and writing truth." To this 
unanswerable argument the jury responded by an almost immedi- 
ate verdict of acquittal. Hamilton was hailed by the people with 
acclaims even more enthusiastic and flattering than those which had 
greeted Morris. He was presented by the common council with the 
freedom of the city in a gold box, and ujion his departure for Phila- 
delphia a salute was fired in his honor. It was in the month of Au- 
gust, 1785, that this crowning victory of the people over their tyran- 
nous governor was won — just two years after the humiliation of 
Chief Justice Morris. 

The Zenger verdict established forever the principle of the liberty 
of the press in America. During the long controversy and agitation 
which preceded it, the people had familiarized themselves with the 
doctrine of resistance to tyrants. " If all governors are to be rever- 
enced," said one of the writers in Zenger's Journal, " why not the 
Turk and old Muley, or Nero?" It became decidedly the fashion to 
exalt the people above their rulers, and to make pungent retorts to 
those who urged the old ideas of obedience to authority. In the spirit 
of political independence nurtured and matured during that period, 
reflective historical writers have recognized one of the earliest foun- 
dations of the Amei'ican Revolution. That spirit, as an active force, 
underwent a suspension after the realization of its immediate ob- 
ject, only to be revived, however, with increased energy, when the 
issues antecedent to the Eevolution began to take shape. From that 
October day, when the people of AVestchester County gathered in 
front of the old Eastchester church to rebuke the presumption of 
the royal governor, the ultimate attitude of New York concerning 
any question of popular right never could have been in doubt. The 
sentiment so emphatically expressed by Westchester County was 
most heartily sustained by the people of New York City whenever 
the citizens of that municipality had ojjportunity to make their at- 
titude felt. The public bodies of the city were uniformly opposed 
to Cosby's attempts. In September, 1734, when the agitation arising 
out of the \"an Dam mattei', Morris's dismissal, and the course of 
the Weekly Journal was at its height, an election for aldermen and 
assistants was held, at which only one of the government candi- 
dates was successful. As we have seen, the grand jury from first 
to last refused to indict Zenger; and the comuion council was equally 
refractory when demands were made upon it hj the governor, and at 
the happy termination of the Zenger prosecution celebrated the 
grand popular victory hy awarding the highest public honors to 



THE 



New -York Weekly JOURNAL 



Conmmng the frejhejl Ad-viccj, Fare.gn, aod, Domcfiick. 



MUNDAT November 12, 1733 



Mr. Zenger. 

INcert the following in your next. 
and you'll oblige your FrienJ, 

CATO. 

Mm temporum fflicitas iJiif-ntiri qua 
veils, & qua feiaras dicere lldt. 

Tacit. 

THE Liberty of the Prefs 
is a SubjicT: of the great- 
ejt ImportflncCj and in 
which every Individual 
is as much concern'd as 
I'C is in any other Part of Liberty : 
Ti.crefjrc it will not be improper to 
comiiiunit.ite to the I'ablitk theSenti- 
rnrnts of a liic exrellent Writer upon 
this Poin'. fuch is the Elegance and 
Pcrfpiryiiy of his Writings fuch the 
inimitjbL- Fcce of his Ri-.ifjnini, that 
it will be difiic'jlt to fay any Thing 
new that he has not faid, or not to 
fay that much woiTc which he has 
faid. 

There are tiro Sorts of Monarchies, 
an abfolute and a limited one. In the 
firfl, the Liberty of the Prefs can never 
be maintained, it is inconfiflent with 
it •, for \('hat abfolute Monarch would 
fuffer any Subjofl to animadvert 
On his Actions, when it is in his Pow- 
er to declare the Criiiie, and to nomi- 
nate the Punifhmcnt > This would 
inakc it very dangerous to exercifefuch 
a Liberty Bcfidcs the Objefl: againd 
wiiich thole Pens niuft be direfled, is 



th^^t Sovereign, the tole fupreamMi- 
!il r ti f^^ t.''>;'-c being no Law in 
thole Monarchies, but the V/Jll of tha 
I rince, „ makes it nrceifary for his 
Mmiikrs to confult his Plcafure be- 
fore any Thmg can be undcTtSUcn : 
He IS therefore properly chnrgfdb!- 
with the Grievances of his Siibicfls, 
and what the Minifter there afts bdir.g 
m Obedience to the Prince, he ought 
not to incur the Haticd of the People ; 
for It would be hard to impute ih.i- 10 
him for a Crimea jwhich is theFruit of 
his Allegiance, and for refufing which 
he might incur the Penalties of Trea- 
fon. Bcfides, in an abfolute Monar- 
chy, the Will of the Prince being the 
Law,a Liberty of the Prefs to complain 
of Grievances would be complainn;^ 
againft the Law, and the Conftitution, 
to which they have fubmitted,or have 
been obliged to fubmit-, and therefore 
in one Scnfe, may bo fai'd to delerve 
Punifhment, So that under in abio 
lute Monarchy, I fay, fuch a Liberty 
is inconfiftent with the Conflitution, 
having_ no proper Subjeft in Politics, 
on which it mig!it be excrci,'d, and if 
cxcrcis'd Would incur a certain Pemkv 
But in a limited Monarchy, a- Fng 
land IS, our Laws are known, lixed 
and edablilhed. 1 hey are the llreigh 
Rule and fureOuide to dir'eft theKing, 
the Minifters, and other his Subjcas : 
And therefore an Offence againft the 
Laws is fuch an Offence againfl Ihe 
Conftitution as ought to receive a pto 
per adequate Punifhment ; the (event 

Coiiftfj" 



PAGE FROM ZENGER'S JOURNAL. 



252 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Zt'Uj;('i''s lawyer. No ulhcr uttiHuk' was to have becu cxiH-ctinl, how- 
ever, of New York City, with its largely preponderant element of 
tra(lcsi)co]ile and other plain citizens, \a1io were substantially united 
in opposition to offensive manifestations of power. P>ut in West- 
chester County, dominated to so great an extent by conservative 
landlords, the case was widely ditferent. In this county the real 
battle was fought and won, determining unmistakably the exist- 
ence of a decisive majority against royal oppression among the peo- 
ple of the province at large. Nothing is more interesting in con- 
nection with the Westchester electoral contest of 1733 than the fact 
that the lines of local division upon which it was fought were pre- 
cisely the ones that divided the rival Whig and Loyalist factions of 
the county when they came to make their trial of sti'ength forty 
years later on the issue of co-operation or non-co-operation with the 
general cause of the American colonies. At the historic meeting of 
the freeholders of ^^'estchester ('ounty held at White Plains on the 
11th of April, 1775, the contending parties were again led by the 
heads of the Morris and I'hilipse families — Lewis Morris, 3d, grand- 
son of the chief justice, and Frederick Philipse, 3d, son of the Judge 
I'hilipse of Cosby's Court of Chancery. And the result was the same 
as on the first occasion — a com]dete triumph for the Morris pJirty, 
representing, as before, the princi]ile of non-obodience to objection- 
able government. 

Lewis Morris, the deposed chief justice, upon re-entering the as- 
sembly became at once the leader of the po]iular forces in that body. 
It being decided to send a representati\e to lOngland to inform the 
home government of Cosby's ba<l acts, and if possible get him re- 
called, Morris was selected to go on that errand. lie made the 
journey in 1731, duh' laid the grievances of the colonists before the 
privy council, and procured a decision pronouncing the grounds of 
his own removal from the chief justiceship inadequate, but received 
no further satisfaction. Soon afterward, in 173(>, Cosby died. Morris, 
upon his return to America, was very warndy greeted by the people. 
Notwithstanding his pronnnent connection with the events whose 
history Ave have traced, and in spite of the comparative failure ol 
his mission to England, he retained the friendship and appreciation 
of inlluential men at the British court, ;ni(l was. in 173S, appointed 
colonial governor of New Jersey, a iiosition which he continued to 
hold until his death. May 21, 1746. He left his Morrisania property 
jointly to his son Lewis and his widow, directing that the whole 
should go to the former upon the latter's <leath. His New Jersey 
property he bequeathed to another son, Robert Hunter Morris, who 
held, at the time of the father's death, the distinguished office of 



THE EI.ECTION OF 1733 



253 



chicr justice of lliat province. Lewis Morris, Sr., represented the 
County of Westchester in tlie ]provin(ial assembly until his appoint- 
ment as jiovernor of New Jersey, when he resigned, retiring perma- 
nently from public life in New York. 

Chief Justice Morris gave bis Manor of Morrisania to his eldest 
son, Lewis, third of the name, who was known by his contemi)ora- 
ries, and is referred to in all historical works, as Lewis Morris, Jr. 
lie was the father of Colonel Lewis Morris, the signer of the Declara- 
tion of Independence; of the still more noted statesman, Gouverneur 
Morris; of Judge Richard ^Alorris, successor to John Jay as chief 
justice of the Su])reme Court of New York State; and of (Jeneral 
Staats Long Morris, of tlie British army. 

Lewis Morris, Ji-., third proprietor and second lord of the Jlorris 
estates in AN'estchester County, was 
born September 23, 1098. jMost of his 
]iolitical career was conteinjioraneous 
Avith that of his father, which it closely 
re.sembled in its general characteris- 
tics. He was a deputy for Westchester 
Borough in the general assembly from 
1732 to 1750, serving as speaker 
in 17:>7. Trevionsly to entering the 
assembly he had been a member of 
the go\-ernor's council for some years, 
but liad been removed from that 
body in 1730 because of his deter- 
mined opposition to the policies of 
Oovernor ^fontgomerie. Tie was, in- 
deed, quite as heartily disliked by 
!\rontgomerie as his father was by 

Cosby, and a]ii)ai'ently for quite similar reasons. In justilication 
of his course in the council he wrote a very able letter to the 
English government, w liich is a luminous presentation of the par- 
tisan dilTerences of the time. ^Vhen the great po])ular issue arose 
in 1733 on the Van Dam salary (|nestion he Avas a zealous supi)orter 
of his father's cause. Cosby, in liis denunciatoi-y communications to 
tlic {.mils of 'rradc I'espectiiig the attitude of Cliief Justice .M(u-ris, 
sjK'aks wiiji savage resent meni of the son also, who, he says, lia\ing 
"got himself elected an assemblyman for a boi'ough, gave all th<' 
opposition he could to the measures the house took to make the gov- 
ernment easy." \Vith this wanton behavior of the junior ^lorris, 
Cosby continues, the father was well i)leased, "wherein without 




PETER FANEUIL. 



254 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

flrmbt he bad an eye on the Boston assembly,' whose spirit bej^ins to 
(liriuse itself too much amongst the other provinces.'' Durinjj; the 
absence of the deposed chief justice in England (1734-36) the son 
took his place here in public leadership. After Cosby's death, early 
in 173(1, an animated controversy sprang up concerning the legality 
of the accession of Clarke, at that time president of the council, to 
(lie position of lieutenant-governor, the popular faction declaring his 
assumption of power to be irregular. This was the occasion of nu- 
merous official letters of complaint by the vinhappy lieutenant-gov- 
ernor. He related how Morris and liis son, Van Dam, Smith, and 
Alexander had by their long-continued acts '•wrought the people to 
a pitch of rebellion." "These are the men," he said, "who declaim 
against the king's prerogative, who poison the minds of the people, 
who libel the governor and all in authority in weekly printed papers, 
and who have endeavored to distress the governor in his just ad- 
minislration." TTe went so far as to recommend, as a drastic remedy, 
thar the younger Morris and others be sent to England for sedition, 
a thing which he regretted he could not venture to do without orders, 
because "forbidden by Tlis Majesty's instructions to send any pris- 
oners to England without sufficient proof of their crimes to be trans- 
mitted with them." They were a. worrisome set, these Morrises, to 
royal governors having a fancy for arbitrary power and a strong dis- 
taste for popular interference with their executive ease. 

The younger Morris was also a judge of the Court of Admiralty, 
and at one time a judge of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. He was 
twice married, his first wife being Catherine Staats, and his second 
Sarah Gouverneur. Like his father, he possessed a positive tempera- 
ment, an unbending will, and a rather domineering manner. His 
uncompromising disposition in all matters of opinion and feeling 
is well illustrated by the celebrated direction given in his will re- 
garding the education of his son Gouverneur. " It is my wish," he 
says, " that my son Gouverneur shall have the best education that 
can be furnished him in England or America, but my express will and 
directions are that under no circumstances shall he be sent to the 
Colony of Connecticut for that purpose, lest in his youth he should 
imbibe that low craft and cunning so incident to the people of that 
country, and which are so interwoven in their constitution that they 
can not conceal it from the world, though many of them, under the 
sanctified garb of religion, have attempted to impose themselves 
upon the world as honest men." 

lit was durine tlif poiinri of the pvpnts re- nnrt Peter obtained employment with him and 

corded in this ehapter that Faneuil Hall. inhorUed his fortune. In 1740 the people of 

identified so eonspienousiy with the subseqnent Boston were divided in opinion npon the ques- 

.-igitatiiin for Anieriean liberty, was built in „ r. » i »r i * 

„ ., . . .^ lion of the erection of a new Central Market 

I'.ostou. Peter Faneuil. for whom it was „ ,, ^ , ^.^ , ,, 

, ,, . m „ * -NT „ Ha . and much bitter feeling was aroused, 

named, was a native of our Town of New " 

Uochelle, whence he went to Boston In the Thereupon, Peter Faneuil, actuated by public 
year 1720, at the age of eighteen. His uncle spirit, erected Faneuil Hall, and presented It 
Andrew was a wealthy merchant of that city, to the city. 




CHAPTEK XllI 

THE ARISTOCRATIC FAMILIES AND THEIR INFLUENCES 

HE great Manor of Pliilipsclmiiili at the death of its founder, 
llie fir.si Fiv(lei'u-k riiilijisc, Xovi-nibci' 0, 1702, was divided 
hetMeen two heirs, his son, Adolphus or Adolph, and his 
i>randson, Fredericli. Adolph took the northern portion, 
cxtciidiiii; on (lie soiitli to the present r)obV)S Ferry and bounded on 
tlie west bA- the Hudson Eiver, on the north by a line ruuninj;' from 
the month of the Croton to the sources of the Bronx, and on the 
cast by the Bronx IJiver. Frederiek's share, also reachiuin- from the 
Hudson to the Bronx, had for its southern limits Spuyten Duyvil 
Creek and the line of Fordham Manor. In this divided condition the 
manor remained until the death of Adol])h in 1749, when, as no Issue 
survived him, it was consolidated under the sole ow'uership of Fred- 
erick. By him the whole manor was transmitted at his death in 
17.")1 to his (ddest son, the third I'rederick, who continued in ])os- 
session of it until the lievolution. 

When the first Frederick Philipse died, the manor had been in ex- 
istence only nine years. But he had previously devoted many years 
lo tlie purchase of the estate and its si'rfidual preparation for aristo- 
cratic iireteusions, had built two mansions, one on the Nepperhan 
and one on the Pocautico, had established well-equipped mills, and 
had encduraiicd the comino' of tenants by f^ivinjj- them land on the 
most liberal terms. After the erection of the manor he Avas active 
in various Avays in improving the property and promoting its avail- 
ability for permanent settlement. He built across the Spuyten 
Duyvil Creek, in 1004, the first bridge connecting the mainland witii 
Manhattan Island, Avhich has been known from that day to this as 
llie King's Bridge. HaA'ing established his ])ermanent country resi- 
dence at Castle Pliili]ise, on tiie present site of Tai'rytown, lu^ built 
near there the first clnncli in the Avestern section of the county — the 
far-famed Dutch Cliun li of Sleepy HoIIoaa.^ In a communication from 

' Sec p. ]G3. AVliiU' tlii' iircsciit History has every personal and local name, of its four f;rcat 

l>eeii K.iins tlirousb tile press, there has been lefflsters of inember.s, consistorvmon, baptisms, 

published a little book entitled, " First Record „„„ ,„,,,, .|„gos, from lis on.'ani7.ation to the 

l!.iok of the f)hl nutdi Church of Sleepy Hoi- „ . , , 

, ,, • , ■ .m- I tv. t^i i r. ond of the elfchteenth einturv. Translated and 

Imw. ort'aniziMl in IdOT. and now the First Re- " 

|-.,riii,il rinirch of Tarrytown. N. Y. An orig- copied from the oricinnl. and carefully proof- 
lual Irauslatiou of ils brief historical matter. read, by Iti-v. Iiavid Cole, li.li.. Vonkers. 
anil a n'liroduethm. faithful to the letter of N. Y." 



256 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



(iovcnior P.ellomont to the Ivords of Trade, Avritten in 1698, it is 
stated that at tliat liinc llierc w<'re not more than twenty "poor 
faniilit'S " in the w hoh' .Manor of I'liilijischiir^h; but there are strong 
reasons for regarding this as an utterly unreliable estimate. Bello- 
mont was a governor of reform tendencies, and was partieularly nn- 
sjiai'ing in liis denuneiations of the enormous land grants of his 
predecessors. He naturally wished to make these grants appear in 
as bad a light as jiossible, and so, in writing upon the subject to 
his sui)eriors, represente<l that practically nothing had been done 
by tlie grantees toward populating their lands. It is unquestion- 
able that the tii'st lord of the manor laid substantial foundations for 
its develo]unent and transmitted it to liis successors in a condition 
of reasonably good preparediu'ss for rapid progress. At tlie census 

of 1712, only ten years after Ids death, the 
po])ulation of rhilipseburgh Manor was 
fiOS — more than one-fifth of the whole 
lH)]nilation of the county. 

All of the first I'rpderick's children 
were the offspring of his first wife, Mar- 
garet Hardenbi-ook De Vries. Flis sec- 
ond Avifp, CaTlierina, a sister of Stephanas 
Yaji Cortlandt and widow of ,Tolin Der- 
A'.'ill, survived him many years, dying in 
1730. She liveil with her step-^on, Adoljiii, 
at Castle rhiii])se, and was uiuversally 
beloved for her gentle and jiions (diar- 
acter. In th<' records of the Slee])y TI(d- 
Inw church she is spoken of as " the 
Iiiglit Honorable, (lodfearing, vei-y wise 
and iirudoil Lady Calherinc riiili](se.'" l!y her will she left to the 
congregation of that cliuicli a chalice hearing lier name, a baptismal 
bowl, and a damask cloth. 

Both .\dol])h and I'-redericdc, the surviving male heirs of the first 
lord, were men of mark and intluence, not only as Westchester County 
landlords, but in the geni-ral concerns of the province. Adolph was 
his second son and Frederick his grandson — the only child of his 
eldest son, Philip, who died ou the Island (d' I'arbadoes in 171)11. 

Ad(d]ih I'hilipse was born in New York <'ity, November 15, 1(5(55. 
He was reared to mercantile pnr.suits, and according to all accounts 
Avas, like his father, a shrewd and successful man of affairs. From 
old official documents it ajjpears that he was his father's trusted and 
active lieutenant in the conduct of delicate transactions with the 
l)irafical skipi>ers of the Indian Ocean. Xot(U-ious as Avero the rela- 




GOVERNOR BELLOMONT. 



TIIK ATMSTOfUATIC FA^III.IES 257 

(i<Mis wliicli I'liili]tsc iiiid nllicrs siisl;iin''il with ihc |pir;il(s, i( was 
(if course iidl sale t'oi- llic pii-alc sliijis lo alli'in|ii lo dclivrr tlieir 
cariincs at \r\\ \'(H'k. di' ryt'w lo rcii(lc/,\ oils within too close |»r((x- 
iiiiitv to that port. It was tlie i iistoiii to dispatch li-oiii New N'ork 
\essels to meet lh( III at more or less distant poiuts aloiij;' the coast, 
w liich \('ssels, at'ter recei\iini their valuahle merchandise, would 
either return to the \icinity of New ^■(lrk and await opjiortunity to 
smuiiiile the stulT in, or sail to l'>iirope and disjiose of it llu're. Adolph 
was tlie discreet re|)reseiitati\e of tlie house of I'hilipse in llie man- 
ajicment of these imiioilant details. In a memorable report of the 
liritisli Board id' Trade, October 19, 1()!>S, on the connections sub- 
sisting;- between the New York merchants and the pirates, the opera- 
tions of the (dever Adoljili in one instance are explicitly described. A 
ship or sloop calieil tlie ■• I'rederick," b(d()nf;iuii' to Frederick Pliilipse, 
at that time " one of his Majesty's ( 'oiiucii of New York," was, " upon 
exjiectalion of a \cssel from Madaj^ascar," sent otit under tlie con- 
duct of A(ltd|)h l'hili]ise. This was " upon pretence of a voya.H'e to 
\'ir^inia, but really to cruize at sea, in order to meet The said vessel 
from ^Iadaiiasc:ir. I'pon meetinii of that vessel ^reat ](aicells of East 
India i^oods were b\- direction of the said .Vdolphus I'liilipse taken 
out of her, and put aboard the said sloop ' Frederick,' with which, by 
his order, she sayled ro Dcdaware Bay an«l lay there ])rivately. He 
in ye meanwhile returned in the Mailaiiascar sliiji (having then only 
nej;roes on boardi to \ew ^'ork, and after some days came as^ain to 
the • I'rederii k " sloop in Delaware Bay. There the said sloo]i deliv- 
ered some small |)art of Ivisi India carii'o. and frftm thence, l)y his 
direction, s.iyhd with the rest (North about Scotlani!) to IIaniburi;li, 
where some seizure having; been made- by Sii- I'aul Kicaut (His ^laj- 
esty's Besident Iherei, and the men sent hither (London), they have 
eai h (d them severally iiiaile depositions ndatino,' to that matter be- 
fore Sir Charles Ilediics, Judye of the Admirality. We observe that 
Cornelius -lacobs (the niasteri ajijiears to be the same Capn. Jacobs 
who is named to li;i\c traded with the Pirates.'' B(datious with the 
pirates on the jiart of Fre<lerick and Adolph I'hilipse beinj; thus 
established to the satisfaction of the authorities in England, both 
father and sou fell under the (lisfavf)r of the government. Frederick 
riiiliiise was forced to give up the seat in the council which he had 
held for a score of years; and Adolph, who had been nominated for 
membei'ship in that body a short time jireviously by (iovernor Bello- 
inont, was pronounced unworthy of such an honor, and his name 
was withdi-awn. ISut the disgrace was only a passing (loud. No 
judicial pro<-eedings were taken against either of the Philii)ses. The 



258 



HISTOIIY OP WKSTCHESTEU COUNTY 



fiithcr (lied soon after, and the son was jirariouslv f(iriii\rn in <lno 
tinu'. 

Adoljili I'liilipsf in tliu yc-ar bctoi-c lliis episode of tlie " l'i-edei-ici< " 
had become on his oMn acconnt one of the principal land o\\ iieis of 
the ])i'ovince. On the ITIh of Jnne, KJ'JT, Governor Flelcher i;ranted 
to him a patent (known historically as "The (ireat llij;hland l*atent"i 
for the territory immediately above Westchester Connty, rnnninjj, 
from the Hudson to the Connecticut line, a distance of some twenty 
miles, and extending nortlnvard about twelve miles. Out of the 
patent thus conferred Putnam County (then a poition of r)utchess 
County) has since been ei-ected. Tlie sole consideration cliarj^cd for 
the jirant v\'as a " Yearly Rent of twenty Shillings Currant money of 

our said Province," payable u])on the 
feast day of the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin ^Fary. Adolph Philipse, 
al Ids death, left the ITighland Patent, 
with .ill his other landed possessif)ns, to 
his neohew, the second Frederick, who 
divided it ecpially among his three chi! 
dren — Frederick (3d), IMary, wife of Iloger 
Morris, a colonel iti the British army, and 
Susannah, wife of ("<doiud Beverly llobin- 
son, also a noted Tory. The whole patent 
Avas partitioned off into three parts and 
nine lots, each child receiving one-third 
](ail and three lots. The lots ai-ipiired by 
Colonel Kobinson and Major Morris, says 
Blake in his '•History of Putnam Coun- 
ty," were confiscated by the legisla- 
ture, but the reversionary interest was not affected by this action, 
and that interest was purchased of the heirs for fldO.ddO by the 
first John Jacob Astor, who ten years aftei'ward received for it fi-om 
the State of Xew York .'tf.")()O,()00 in State stock at six per cent. 

After the death of his father, Adolph became the head of the 
faniilj', a position which he divided with his nephew. Frederick, when 
the latter came of age. On the 7th of February, 1705, he was ap- 
pointed a member of the governor's council, and in 1718 he was made 
one of the commissioners for nmning tlie boundary line between 
New York and Connecticut. He was removed from tiie council in 
1721, on the representation of Governor Burnet, for opposing the con- 
tinuance of the assembly after His Excellency's arrival. In 1722 he 
was (dected a member of the assembly fi'om Westchester County, 
of which body he was chosen speaker in 172.3. He sat for West- 




GOVERNOR BURNF.T. 



THE AUISTOCHATIC I'A.MILIKS 259 

Chester County until the ch'ctidu of 172(), beinp; then returned as 
one of the four members from New York City. lie oecnpied the 
speaker's oliair until 1737, when he lost his seat; but at an election 
held soon aflci-ward to fill a vacancy from the city he was once 
more returned, although, it was charged, only by means of the "most 
bar<'faced villany " practiced in his behalf by the sheriff. He was 
again chosen speaker in 1739, and I'cmained as such until 1745, when, 
at the age of eighty, his legislative careei- was terminated. He died 
in 1740. He was never married. 

It is llius seen that Adoljjh rhilii)se was one of the most ini])()rtant 
public characters of his times, being speaker of the assembly for 
eighteen years. ITis retirement as a member for Westchester County 
was in the interest of his nephew, Frederick, who promptly took 
the seat that he vacated, retaining it without any interruption for 
twenty-four years. 

In the memories of the pe()])le of Westchester County the name of 
Philipse is, from the political point of view, iiientified exclusively 
with the idea of ultra devotion to royal authority in the person of 
the king's constiluted representative. It is hence an extremely curi- 
ous fact that, six years before the i*emoval of Lewis Morris from the 
chief justiceship, Adolph Philipse, the senior member of this family, 
gave his voice and exercised his official power in exactly the same 
cause as that to which Morris became a martyr — the cause of oppo- 
sition to the Court of Chancery as an extra-constitutional organiza- 
tion, none the less (indeed, all the more) illegal and odious because 
finding its sole Avarrant for existence in the governor's prerogative. 
In 1727 we find Governor Burnet bitterly complaining to the Lords 
of Trade about some " extraordinary resolves '' concerning the Court 
of Chancery, " which," he says, " was all done at the suggestion of 
their speaker, who had lately lost a cause in chancery." Philipse, 
he continues, had "the least reason of any man to disown the Court 
of Chancery, for he himself was a member of council when that court 
was established by the council and when the Lords of Trade ap- 
proved that establishment, and he himself three years ago being cast 
in a suit at common law brought it into chancery and obtained some 
relief from it." Btirnet intimates that the conduct of Speak(>r Phil- 
ipse in this matter was not occasioned by any high sense of principle, 
but was merely personal; and certainly Philipse had no cause in (his 
connection, or regarding any other question of policy, to make him- 
self specially complaisant toward Governor Burnet, who had pro- 
cured his dismissal from the council. On the other hand, antago- 
nism to the Court of Chancery was emphatically a popular cause, 
only less so in degree fbecause of the less emergent circumstances) 



260 



HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



in IJiinicfs tiiiK^ tluiii in Cosby \s; and whati'Vcr personal niotivus 
niav liavc intlucnccd IMiilipse's course, that course could not be sepa- 
rated from a.ssociaTion with the popular feeling-. Adolph Philipse, 
moreover, was never an intense ](artisan; and his loun-coutlnued 
service as speaker of Ihe assembly is sufficient testimony to the 
f>eueral fairness and acceptabi]il.\' of his ])(diti(al disposition. lie 
ahvays adliei-ed to Ihe simph' rdinious faith in wliicli he had been 
broniilit up, that of the Dutcli ileformed ("hurch, althouiih the 
('hnrcli of iMiiibuid imi-easinuly clainied the attachment of the rich, 
jxiwerfnl, and ambitions; and il occasioned jL;i-ie\'ous rejiret to the 
Episcopalians that a man of his pidininence should be so conspicu- 




SAINT JOHN S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, YONKEKS. 



ously unidentiticd with '•tlie" Churc h. His public character has beeu 
summed up in words of un(|ualihed approval by the eminent patriot 
and statesman, John Jay. " lie was," says Jay, "a man of superior 
talents, well educated, sedate, highly respected, and popular. Except 
that he was penurious, I have heard nothing to his disadvantaije." 

Frederick Philipse, 2d, co-heir with his uu<de Adolph under the 
will of the first lord of the manor, Avas born on the Island of Bar- 
badoes in 1G95. His parents wei-e Philip, eldest son of Frederick and 
IMargaret Philipse, and ilaria, daughter of Governor Sparks, of Bar- 
badoes. Philip Philipse, born in New York City in 1G63, went to 



TIIH AKlSldCUATIC FAMILIES 261 

Barbadot'S to ivside on an estate of liis ralliei's railed S]irin^ Head. 
Frederick was the only child, and was left an oriihan al ilie age of 
five. Ilis grandfather, Avho was still living, theren[)on sold the Bar- 
badoes in'oi)erty, and the boy was sent to England to be reared by 
his mother's people. There he remained nutil his early manhood, en- 
joying every educational and social advantage which wealth and dis- 
tingnished connections could give. Although from these associa- 
tions he derived marked aristocratic predilections, which, in turn, 
were inbred in his children, and became the cause of their undoing 
in the evil days of the IJevolution, his character, as thus foi'uied, was 
that of an accomidished and aunable gentleman, (]uite free from 
corrupt and arrogant traits. By his tenants and the public he was 
always known as "Lord" Thilipse, and his personality wcdl corres- 
ponded to his title. " lie was," says Mrs. Lamb, " polished in his 
manners, hospitable, generous, cordial, nuiidy. Ills cultivated Euro- 
pean tastes were soon distinguishable in his improvements. The 
manor house swelled into thrice its former size, and was beautiful 
in innumerable ways. The two entrances on the new eastern 
front were ornamented with eight columns and corresponding 
pilasters. A broad, velvety lawn appeari'd skirted by garden ter- 
races, horse chestnuts, and the old Albany and New York Post 
Road, above which rose Locust Hill. To the right and left were 
laid out gardens and grounds, in which floui'islied valuable trees and 
choice shrubs and howers, and through which, in all directions, 
sti'etched graveled walks, bordered with box. To the west the green- 
sward sloped gradually toward the river, dotted with tine specimens 
of ornamental trees, and was emparked and stockt-d with deer. The 
roof of the manor house was surmounted by a heavy line of balus- 
trade, foi'uiing a terrace, Avhich commanded an extensive view. The 
interior of the new part was elaborately tinished. The walls were 
wainscoted, and the ceilings highly ornamented in arabesijue work. 
The marble mantels were imported from England, and were curious 
specimens of ancient an in the way of carving. The main halls of 
the entrance were about foui-teen feet wide, and the sui)erb stair- 
cases, with their mahogany handrails ami balusters, were ])ropor- 
tionately broad. The city <\stab]ishnii'nt of the family was, in its 
interior arrangements, (piite as ])retenlious as the manor house, and 
it was whei-e flu courtly aristocracy ol tlie ]n<>\ince were wont to 
meet in gay and joyous throng." " It was he," says .Vllison in his 
" History of Vonkers," " who enlarged the ^lanor House on the Xep- 
perhan in 171."), by extending it lo the noiili, changing its front to 
the east, ami gi\ing it its impusiiig array of windows, its too |)or- 



202 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

ticocs as now seen, aud its surroumliug balustrade, from which views 
of the river and the Palisades are commanded." 

About the time of his return to America to claim his inheritance, 
young Frederick was married to Joanna, daughter of Lieutenant- 
Ciovernor Anthony Brockholst, who also had been tenderly reared in 
England. During the first few years of his residence on his estate he 
took no part in public life. But from the time of his first election to 
the assembly, in 172G, until his death, in 1751, he was constantly in 
official position. His career in the assembly was not specially note- 
worthy. Despite the rivali-y of the Morrises, who stood for political 
views radically opposed to his own, his seat in the assembly seems 
never to have been imi^eriled. It was an understood thing in West- 
chester County for more than half a century that one of the county 
members should always be a i'hilipse. He was appointed by Gover- 
nor Montgomerie on June 24, 1731, third judge of the Supreme Court 
of the province, and on August 21, 1733, b}' the removal of Morris 
from the chief justiceship aud the elevation of de Lancey to that 
office, he became second judge, continuing as such until his death, 
lie was also, from 1735 until his death, judge of the Court of Com- 
mon I'k-as of Westchester County. 

in opposing Chief Justice Morris and siding with de Lancey upon 
the question of the legality of the Court of Chancery appointed to 
try the Van Dam case, Frederick I'hilipse followed the natural bent 
of his sympathies. It is related in Governor Cosby's official letter to 
the home government concerning Morris's famous decision that Jus- 
tice Philipse, in common with Justice de Lancey, heard " with aston- 
ishment " the abrupt declaration by the chief justice that the Court 
of Chancery was not a legal tribunal; and this no doubt was a quite 
faithful representation of his mental attitude on that trying occa- 
sion. \Vhatever may be thought of the conduct of the ambitious de 
T.aiucy, riiilipse's action was unmistakably ingenuous. It probably 
never occurred to him to doubt the peifcct regularity and sutliciency 
of a court which had been set over the people at the discretion of 
the king's governor and his advisers. Philipse's career on the bench, 
exceiiting in this single case, was uneventful and wholly acceptable. 
After the Van Dam decision the Supreme Court was dominali'il by 
the individuality of de Lancey, as it had previously been by that of 
^lorris, and the function of a second judge was not an onerous one. 
Judge Philipse is descrilied in an official communication from the 
council to the English government as "a very worthy gentleman of 
plentiful fortune and good education." 

On his manor — or rather his section of the manor, for it was only 
during the last two years of his life, after the death of his uncle 



THE ARISTOCRATIC FAMILIES 263 

iVddliili, I hat he ciijoyt'd possession of tlie whole property — he ruled 
Avith nuich appreciiitioii of his proprietary dij;nity and eorresponding 
observance of eereniony, but (o the uniform satisfaction of his ten- 
ants, rie disjdayed none of the puffed-up characteristics of the par- 
venue lord, but was liind, approachable, moderate, and good to the 
poor, lie presid<'d in ])erson over the manorial court. Tlie inhab- 
itants of the estate, exce])t liis immediate liousehold, continued to 
be tenant farmers. He is said to have had fifty family servants, of 
whom thirty were whites and twenty' were negro slaves. He was a 
devoted member of the Chnrcli of England, and was the founder of 
Saint John's Ejiiscopal Church of Yonkers. Bnt it was not until after 
his death that that church had its beginning; during his life he was 
content at sucli times of the year as he resided in the Manor House 
to worship at the family altar, his tenants being under the mis- 
sionary care of the Parish of Westchester. The first Church of Eng- 
land minister established at Westchester whose duties included visi- 
tations of the Yonkers portion of riiilipseburgh Manor was the Rev. 
Mr. Bartow. He died in 1726. " As often as he could," says a con- 
temporaneous church writer, " he visited Yonkers. A large congre- 
gation, chielly of Dutch people, canu' to hear him. There was no 
church built here, so they assembled for divine worship at the house 
of 'Sir. Joseph Bebits, and sometimes in a barn when emi)ty." That 
this unsatisfactory condition of things was i)ermitted by the second 
lord to continue throughout his lifetime, although meanwhile he 
made the most elaborate expenditures upon his manorial mansion 
and grounds, must be set down positively to his discredit. When, 
finally, by his will he directed his executors to expend £400 for the 
erection of a churcli, he took care to specify that the money should 
come out of the rentals from the tenants. He dona*^ed. however, a 
farm, with residence and outbuildings, lying east of the Sawmill 
TJivci-, as a gleb<> for the minister. The cliunli was promptly built 
(1752-53) by his heir. 

He died in 1751. He had ten children, of whom only f(Uir — Fred- 
erick, Philip, Susanna, and ]\Iary — grew to luatui'ity. Frederick was 
the third and last lord of the manor; Philip died in 1708, leaving 
three children; and Susanna and Mary, as already noted, mari'ied, 
resiiectively, Colonel Beverly Kobinson and Major Roger i\Iorris. 
This Mary was the celebrated ilary l'hilii)se for whom George Wash- 
ington, according to some of his biographers, formed in his youth a 
romantic attachment. 

The Manor of Scarsdale, patented to Colonel t'aleb Heathcote in 
1701, had only a nominal continuance after his death (1721'). He left 
no male heir to take a pcrsoual interest in the development of the 



2G4 



HISTORY OF WESTCUKSTEK COIXTY 




DE LANCET ARMS. 



])i-(i|)ci-ty as KiH' dl' Ihc lii'cal lamily (•slat(s >>[ W'cslclicslcr ("oniity, 
and I lins Scai-sdalc iic\'ci- ranked wiili i lie nt Iut inanni-s. Il was pre- 
served iiitacl, l)(i\ve\'ei-, under the joint inoprietdrslii]! nC Heath- 
cole's two dauiiliters, until just l)el'ore llie iJe\dlulion, w lien iis lands 
were dis]Mis('d of to various jiersons hy parliliini sale. Its ]U'onress 
in pojMilaiion, although vei'v slow at Mrsi, was ultimately alioul the 
sauH' as that of the ordinary i-ural sections of the counly. The vil- 
laiic of ;\Ianiar()iU'ck, lyiui; within iis iiordi is, hut Jiot lielou^inji' to 
the nianin-ial estate, enjoyed sleady hut slow growth as one of the (dd 
connnunilies (m tlie Sound. 

lleallicote's daughters, Ann and .Martha, niarried, resi)ectivel\, 
•lauK s de I.ancey, of New ^■ork City, and Dr. Lewis .Johnston, of 
rei-th Anilxty, N. -1. Of these two nu-ii, the latter 
re(|uires no s])ecial not ice in our ])aii('s; but de Lan- 
cey has uhm-c than (udiiuiry (hums u])on our at- 
teiilion. This remarkable man, besides beini;' the 
son in law of Heat licole, was a orandson of Stepha- 
nus \'au Cortlaudt, the fonmler of A'aii Cortlandt 
]\raiior, and 1hei-ef(u-e may be reyardetl as one of 
^^'estc•h ester's sons. As the hnsband of Ann Ileatii- 
cote he became a lariic Westchester County land 
o\\ner. The de l.am'ey family of the c(Uiuty, de- 
scended in jtart from him and in part from liis brother I'eter. is one 
to which uncommon histiuical interest atla(dies. 

His father, Stejdien de l.ancey, a descendant in the Huguenot 
branch of an r.ncient and noble I'^rendi house, tied from France after 
the re\<ication of the ICdict of Nantes, and in lOStJ arrived in New 
York with a capital id' £:!(l(l. Embarking in mercantile i)nrsults, he 
soon amassed wealth ami gained a vei'V influential position, not only 
in the commercial c(uumunity of NeA\' '\'ori<, but in the government. 
He was a meml)er ol' the general assembly for many years, was a 
vestryman of Trinity Church in New York, and was noted for his 
public-s]iirited interest in the concerns of the city. He was a waian 
friend of the llugnenots of New Iiocdndle. In 1700 he married Ann, 
secoml daughter of Steidianus \'an Coi'tlandt. .Tanu-s do Lancey, 
the future (hief jnstice and govei-nor, was their eldest sou, boi-n in 
New ^'ork City, November 27, 17().'>. 

James was educated al the Fniversity of Camliridge, lOngland. In 
172!) h(> Avas api»oiuted a iiiendier ol' Hie go\-ernor's council, snooeed- 
ing John Barberie, who was his nncle by marriage. In 17:51 ho was 
niaile an associate justice <d' the Sniu-enu' Court, and in 17:}o, at the 
age of thirty, was piomoted to (he chief justicoshii). Whatovor may 
liave been the (h'teiani in ng reasons for his su]»i)ort of Cio\crnor Cosby 



THE ARISTOCRATIC FA^FTLIES 265 

luid jiiiliii^oiiisni of ('lii( r .liislicc .Mollis in tli:' \';in Dam case, lie 
imbesitatiiijiiy followed to iis lojiical coiiclusioii I lie course liial lie 
adopted \i\u)u Ilia! occasion. Of a \ cry proud nature, lie deeply rt-- 
seiited the assnniption by t lie other side of siijierior virtue and superior 
reiiard for liberty and law. .Morris was a man of positive traits, and 
by the exercise of nn(|iiest ioned judicial authority had lirown dicta- 
torial in his old aiic Incensed at the attitude of his yoniiiii associate 
justices, both of whom were still in their thirties, he did not hesitate 
to make known his personal views of their conduct. "On the day 
after the \'an Dam decision," writes (Jovernor Cosby to the Duke of 
Newcastle, " the (diief justice, coming to court, told those two jndji'es, 
op(>nly and publiidy upon the beiudi before a nuinerous audience, thai 
I heir reasons for their o]iinion wei'e mean, weak, and futile; that they 
were only his assistants, j^iviiii; them to understand that their ojiin- 
ions, or rather jiidf^iiieiits, were of no siiiiiification." One can imaiiine 
how the haii.ulity spii-it of de Lancey must have chafed under such lan- 
siuafje. .Mliiounh tlie (piarrel resulted in the dismissal of .Morris 
and his own a]i|>ointuieiit to the vacated oflice, he had to suiter for 
two years the humiliation of extreme unpo[mlarity and of utter 
failure to c(mi]iel acceptation for his otliciai orders and rulinjis in 
the further devcdopments of the controvei-sy. The t;rand jury, de- 
siiite his strenuous and i'e])ealed application, refused to indict Zeni;er, 
and on the final trial of that an h-lilxder the jury in the case con- 
teiii])tuoiisly scorned the urgeiit instructions jiiNcii them by the chief 
justice to liud against tli(> accused, and instantly rendered a verdict 
of not nuilty aiuid the i-ajiturous a](]daiise of the assembled ]iopiilace. 
15uf after the subsidence (d' the passions of that excitinii jierioil, the 
real wortii of de Lancey's ( haracter became by dejArees apjireciated. 
Stroniiw illed and anil)itious, he was yvt a man of perfect honesty and 
o])enness, frt'c from all meanness and low craft and servility to the 
SiTcat. To the manliest of jiersonal (pialitics he added brilliant abil- 
ities, an extraordinary capacity for ])ublic affairs, and an alTability 
and ^race t,{' manner whi( h made him an (diject of i;eneral admira- 
tion and affection. Duriiiii the administration of the royal (Jovernor 
Cliulou, faliier i>\' Sir Henry ("Jintou, he severed his connections with 
the "court party" and was conseiiuently re.yarded with scant favor 
by tile executi\'e and his adherents. He \\as app(dnted to the oHice 
of lieutenant-governor by the ]u-o]ter authority in lCm;]aiid, biil ('iiii- 
loii re\-eniiefull\' wifliludd the commission for six years, dtdivering it 
to him only upon the e\(' of his own iternianent retirement. This 
liap|icii(d in (>ciober, IT.").'!, when the newly apiminted ^oxcinor. Sir 
Danveis ( »sboru, arrived. A very few da\s latei- ( ►sborii committed 
suicide, and de i.ancey thus became act inj; ,uo\<'i-iior. lie held tliepo- 



26G HISTORY OK WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

sitidii uutil 1755, serviiio- so acceptably that when aiidtlici- vacancy 
occinTcd in 1757 the lionic government permitt"(l Jiim to pi-acdcally 
succeed to the full diiiiiily of liovcrnor, havinii decided to make no 
new .appointment to the place durinin his lifetime. Thus de Lancey 
was the first native American to serve regularly as governor of the 
Province of New York, as his grandfather, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, 
was the first to hold the office of mayor of New York City. He died 
on the 30th of July, 1700, being at that time both governor and chief 
justice of NeAV York. 

Governor de Lancey had three sons who grew up — James, Stephen, 
and John Peter. James was prominent politically after his father's 
(lea 111 until the Kevolution, and then became a Tory; he marrie<l a 
(hiugliter of Chief Justice William Allen, of Pennsylvania; two of his 
sons \\ere otiicers in the British nulitary and uaval service. Stephen 
received from his father as a gift what is now the Town of North 
Salem in this county (which came to the elder de Lancey as his 
share in the Manor of Cortlandt). It was under his laud sales that 
that town was settled. He built a large double dwelling, later con- 
verted into the North Salem Academy, where many distinguished 
men (including Governor Daniel D. Tompkins and Chancellor Kent) 
have been educated. John Peter was the ancestor of the Mamaroueck 
de Lanceys. He received a military education in England, and fought 
on the British side in the Bevolution, but after the war retired from 
the army and returned to America, taking up his residence on the 
Heathcote estates on Scarsdale Manor, which he inherited from his 
mother, and where he built the dwelling still known as Heathcote 
Hill. He married Elizabeth Floyd, daughter of Colonel Kichard 
Floyd, of Long Island, and among his children were Bishop William 
Heathcote de Lancey, of Western New York, and Susan Augusta de 
Lancey, who married James Fenimore Cooper. 

A young brother of Governor de Lancey, Peter, was politically 
prominent in Westchester County, and left a numerous family, sev- 
eral of whom became noted or made advantageous marital alliances. 
He lived at West Farms and was known as " Peter of the Mills." He 
represented the borough Town of Westchester in the assembly from 
1750 to 17()S. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Governor Cadwalla- 
der Colden. Among his children were John, who sat in the assembly 
for AV'estchester Borough from 1708 to 1775, and was high sheriff" of 
the county in 1709-70; James, high sheriff from 1770 to 1777, the 
famous colonel of the Westchester Light Horse (British), Avho after 
the Kevolution lived and died a refugee in Nova Scotia; and Oliver, of 
West Farms, a lieutenant in the British navy, who resigned his com- 




By the Honourable 
J^MRS DE LANCE 



His Majeftfs Lii tttenant-Governor and Commana r in Chiefs in and 



over the Province of New-York, and the Territor. 
in America. 



M, Proclamation. 



r, Efq; 



'es depending thereon 



WIIEREASjit appears, That certain Perfons lefiding on flncar the Eaftern Borders of 
this Provirft, have entered irrto a Combination to difpoflefb Rohirt ^M/i^y?cn, jun. Ef^i Proprietor of the 
Alamr of LuingJIon^ within this Province, and the Tenant hoidirtg failer him, of the Lands comprifed 
within the aid Manor, under Pretence of Title from the Ooverfimeiijof the Mfija.hujitii Bo)'^ a^ alfo cf 
anIf>dianPuchafe lately made by (be faidPerions } altho' tib moift rtotdrcus thai ttvr X»id Manor hatli, 'til 
very h^i^becn peaceably hcW 'and cnipye^Vy the faid R^Ofrf Livin^bn^ afiii'iws /\nceftur&, for Seventy 

Y<ag.b[flp^:~3P^*?St*r< £W?fg»e- rh « w y <i * r i t^» , m ii imrri i Vm i i mi VHni i l f t mitAnfil l . %i^<pon^%^y^ only 't;- cefreei^^j 

the faid Government can legally fAid their Claim. Notwiihftanding which clear and nunif* /Right on the Part ol (his Ciovotn- 
f-with their former Intrufionson His Mjjefty's Lands wihi the fame, hrft bcg^n tu carry their 
punng to corrupt and turn Mr. Livin^?on's own Ttiian againli him, in which they fo far 
16 'til within a few Years held Lands as Tenants ijntl>.f and paid their Rtnti to him, now 
ptnce of, and fct up a p(elcnded Right againft him, under ;C Government ot the Majjoihujettt 
iPurchafe; by which illegal Proceedings, fupportcd wilh drcc, the Courfe of 



ment, lire faid Perfons, not contei 
Defigns into Execution, by cndc. 
fijcceeded, that feveral Perloi 
keep PoQeffion of the Landb in D< 
Bayt wd the aforementioned Ind 



liice fiath. 
been obftruiied, the Lives of fev( ^1 of his Majeft^'s Subjei£ls loft, and"private Piopcrty u ringe^ and grc.nly injured. And 
Whereas Thirty One of fuch evil inded Perfons, m order to profccute their unjuft Dtfigns,liu the 7th Day ot . !•/«'> laft, armed 
and riotoufly ailemblcd themfelve^ : Tadhunui^ at the Houfe of Jonathm Du/bu^ which lland|Bt the Dillancc uf not more than 
Eighuen Miles from Hudfon% Riv, , among whom were the faid Jonathan Darbies alfo Johmnn Rtrfft Iloiifuk E^vfity Jcfrph 
VanitldfT^ and bis Brother, faid t be Andriet f'an^eldtr, Samuel TayUr, Ebtntxtr T'2)hr, : id J>iJiui 'J. Rf^'e , sno being fo 
riotoufly aflembled, were comman* ij to difperfc by the Deputy Sheriff of the County, in thu frefcnce ot one of His Majclty s 
Joflices of the Peace, two Conftabl », and other Perfons who came thither with the laid Mcbi \'ti^mgJloR^ to fupprefs the Riot, 
and c'ifperfe the Rioters ; four only f whom went off, the others fhutting thcmfcives up in the I t4 Darby's Houfe, in which ^ihcte 
were Loop Hole, fired through the une, and before they difpcrfcd, feveral were wounded on hv 1 Sides, one of whom died in about 
ao Hour therea.'ier, and another fon j Time after, of the Wounds they then received. IN Ord< therefore to put a Stop as much as 
may be to P'occ.-rdingi, the Confc( fences whereof have already been fatal to fome, and wh'ch if not timely prevented, may flill 
be produ^ve of the worft EvUs to niers ; and to eftablifh and keep up Peace and a good Und ftanding among the Bofdcrefs, till 
thii unhappy Controverfy (ball be i^jiA in a legal Courfe : I HaVE thought fit, with the A -ice of His Majcfty's Council, to 
ifliie this Proclamation, Hereby in l3i Maiefty':. Name, ftri*£lly enjoining all His Majcfty's gnoKubjeas in this Province, to fot- 
bear and refrain from fee h violent an unjuft Proceedings, as every Inftance of that Nature will Bpuniflicd with the utmoft Rigouf 
of the Law. And that the Offcnde before named may be brought tojuftice, the Sheriffs of tfc Counties of Man; zn4 Dauhefs 
and all other Officers ihci^ein, are h( fey commanded and required to apprehend the faid Jumthaimparhit^ Jobanntt Kffp, Htndno 
Brvfuy "joftph VangtlMry Samuit Ta ir, Ebtntztr Toskr, and Andriti J. R//s, and all -■ ' " 



r of their Affociates, who fliali 



■ppcar to have been aiding or abctii Uhc faid Offenders in the Riot aforefaid j and them and cvJy of them to keep, or caufe to be 

committed, infafc Cuftody, inihe( jinty Goal, until delivered by due Couife of Law: AnJb like Manner, to apprehend and 

keep in fafe Cuftody all and every < riPcrfon and Perfons who fball hereafter be guilty of I tb riotous and illegaJ Pra<ilicci. 

And all His Majcfty'sSubje^s m t faid Counties of ^/ijny and Z)u/fA,/f» are to give due AiliK kc to the faid Shcnft within their 

refpedivc Counties, who ate hereby fipowercdflnd required, if neceffary* to fummon the PulVt, ft whole Power of the County, for 
putting the Premifes Iri Execution. 

GIVEN under my Han, find Seal at Jrms, at Fort-George, in the City of iftw-Vork, tU Eighth Day «/ 
June, One Tboufand S k» Hundred and Fifty Sevcn^ in the Thirtieth Tear , ' the Reign of our Sovereign 
Lord G^OKGE the i :ond^ ^ the Grace cf GO Dy 0/ Great-Britain, hrAudgonJ IrcUnd, King, Defender 
of the Faith, andfofo h. 

Ey Kia Honour's Command, 

Gtr. Banyar, Dep. Set y 



JAMES 



)E LAN GEY. 



d 



GOD Save the KliNG. 

1M:0( I.AMATION SKiNK.I) ItY I>F. LANCEY. 



268 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

naission rather than tii;lil a-iaiiisl liis nativi' huid, and, rcturiiiuj; to 
this countrj, speiit the remainder of liis life at Westchester. 

AiKdlier hrotlier of (ioxcrnor de Lancey, Oliver, was a eonspicnous 
figure in puldic life until the end (d' the (-(doniai regime, alliiougli 
never connected with Westchester ("on nty. In the Kevolution lie v»as 
the British commander of th<> r)e])artment of Long Island, and raised 
three regiments, known as " De Lancey's Battalion," of which he 
was brigadier-general. His descendants contracted hrilliant mar- 
riages with p]nglish fannlies. 

Governor de Lancey had two sisters — Susan, who married Admiral 
Sir Peter Warren, and Anne, who became the wife of John Watts, 
Sr., whose son becanu' county judge of Westchester County. 

The de Lancey fandly, as a Avliole, was emphatically pro-British 
in the American struggle for independence, and contributed many 
brave officers to the armies of the king. In this latter respect the 
de Lanceys contrast with the l*hilipses, who, while Tory to the heart's 
core, were not fighters, and kept themselves at a safe distance from 
the scenes of carnage-. Vet an element of the de Lanceys Ixdongi'd 
to the ]jatriot side, and leading members of the family who took ujt 
arms for Great Britain became reconciled to the situation after the 
recognition of independence, and made themselves acceptable citi- 
zens of the republic. The family has always since been honorably 
connected with Westchester County. 

The Manor of Cortlandt, devised by Stephanus Van Cortlandt at 
his death, in 1700, to his eleven surviving children in equal shares 
(except that his eldest son, J(diannes, received, in addition to his 
equal ])ortion, what is now Verplamdc's Point on the Hudson, a Tract 
of some twenty-tive hundred acri^s), remaiTied undivided for many 
years. The family was a very united one. The widow of Ste])haiius, 
Gertrude Schuyler, outlived her liusband twenty-three years, and it 
was tacitly agreed that during her lifetime nothing should be done 
toward splitting up the estate. Meanwhile one of the eleven heirs, 
Oliver, <lied childless, willing his interest to his brothers and sistcM*.-;. 
The manor thenceforth, until its final dismemberment, comprised ten 
proprietary interests. Although after the death of Stephanus tlicir 
was always a recognized "head" of the \'an Corthiiidt family, there 
was never a second ''loi'd" of the manor. 

Johannes, the eldest son of Steidianus, died at a comparativcdy 
early age, leaving one child, Gertrude, who married Philip \'er- 
planck, a descendant of one of tlie early Dutch settlei-s of New Am- 
sterdam' and a man of varied abilities. Among his accomplishments 

' Abrabmii Isancspn Vcipl.nnf k. or riani'U. He ipImthI;. who h.is (Ipscoiulnnts still livlnj; In tills 

was oiip of tho Instigators of tho Diitfli war coiiTit.w The Verplancks of Fisliklll-on-dic- 

of retaliation affainst the Uulians (1643-1&43). Hudson belong to another branch of the family. 
Verplanck's Point was named tor rhiiip Ver- 



THE ARISTOCUATIC FAMILIES 



269 



\\!is ail expert kiiowlciluc of' siirvcyini;'. lly iirficlcs of n.urot'liiciir cn- 
t('r<'(l into by the \';\n ( "(HtliUKlt heirs in Xoxciiilx i-, 1 ToO, Philii) 
\'ei-]plaii(k was apiidiiited to sin-\('y ami lav out tlie inaiiof into lliirty 
lots. This coiiiinissicm was duly executed, althounJi N'eiidanek's sui'- 
\{'y was coutined to the juirtiou of (lie iiiaiioi- iioi-tli of the ('I'otoii 
Ki\'et'. The lots wei'e soon aftei->\'af(l conveyed to the several parlies 
in interest by jiartition deeds, aiijiraisals of value haviiii; been made 
by Daniel and Samuel I'urdy, who were sjiecially s(dected f(n- that 
]iurpose. The followinji table shows tlu' number of acres and their 
estimate*] value at this time (IT.'io) apportioned for (-acli share: 

NAMES. ACRES. VALUES IN NEW YORK 

MONEY. 

Philip Verplanek' (!,8:}1 £973 

Margaret Bayartl= 7,.'i98 948 

Stephen de I^anoey' 7,377 999 

Phili|) Vail Corthiiult 6,648 975 

Steplien Van Cortlaiidt 6,894 972 

Jiiliu Mihi^ 7,714 988 

fiertnide Keekmaii= 8,062 912 

Williaiii Skinner" 8,163 951 

Andrew Johnston' 9,023 889 

John Sehnyler, Jr. " 7,364 1,018 

75,474 £9,625 

'Grandson of Jolianiies Van Cortlandt. '' lIiishMinl nf O.iinnlr \':iii ('(irtl.-imlt. 

-' Mai-^aret Van Cortlamlt. wife of Colonel " HusIimikI of KlizalH-ili Van enrtlan.li. 

S.Miinu'l i;ayanl. Mlnshnnd nf Catherine Van Cortlaniit. 

■'Husband of Ann Van Cortlandt. " Husliand "f Cormlia Van Ciirllandt. 
* Second husband of Maria Van Cortlandt. 



Thus in 17:*>;! all of Wcsltdiester ("onnty north of the ("rotoii Kiver, 
atid between that stn am and the Connecticut line, having an ajijire- 
liate area of over seveiity-tive thousauil acres, was ap]iraised for the 
paltry sum of ."Ji;4S,(l(l(). This territory now imdndes the Towns of 
Cortlandt, Yorktown, Somers, ^Xoith Salem, Lewisboro, and a jtorliou 
of Poundi'idji*', whose combined taxable value amounts to not a few 
millions. 

In 1753 the manoi' lands south of the Croton Kiver wei-e di\ided. 
The heirs-at-law, eiiteriiiif into eiiioyment of their individual ]ii-o]ier- 
ties as iiartitii'iied to them, ni-adiially leased the lands to settlers or 
S(dd tlieni in fee. The subsetpieiit history of the whole .i;reat Van 
Coitlandt estate, from the ])ro](rietarv point of view, is well repre- 
sented by that of the share whi(di fidl to yoiinu Ste])lieii de Lancey, 
the son of the ( hief justice — a share, as already lueiil ioiied, embraciufj; 
nearly all of the jiresent Town of North Salem. We (|Uote fioui Mr. 
lOdward 1"1(M(1 de J^ancey's " History of the .Mamus": 

Chief Justice de Lancey in 1744 conveyed them (liis Cortlandt Manor lots), as a gift, to 
his .second son, Stephen. .Stephen a few years later began tlieir settlement, and hronj^ht in 



THE AKISTOCUVTIC FA^flTJES 271 

many fanners and scinie ineuhanies. Tlif wliole tract was laid i)ut into farms, rectangular in 
sliape, of two hundred acres each as a rule. These were leasi^d for lou<>- terms of y^'iii's at 
low rents, the liighest not being more than tlO and the lowest about £2 or £{i. The rent 
rolls and niaj) showed the farms, which were all nund)ered, the tenants' names, and the rent 
|iayable by each. It was always understood that the tenants might buy "the soil right," as 
I he fee was termed, at any time the parties could agree upon price. In praetiei", however, 
tlie tenants did not begin to api>ly for the fee till about the time of the Revolution, and then 
hut rarely, .\ftcr that event more were sold to applicants, but many farms continued in the 
families of the tenants till late in this century. The last, which had descended to himself 
and the widow of a deceased brotlier, the writer sold in 1875, after the expiration of a lease 
for ninety-nine years. The same sy.stem of leasing out their lots in farms was carried out by 
all tile other owners of the manor lands. Some sold the fee of their lands at an early day to 
relatives, wlio thus increased their holdings. Otlier.s retained them. 

NotwitlislaiKliiiy- the ooiui)lett^ partition of tlii' estate, tlie "Lord- 
ship and Manuour " of Corthiudt, as erected b^' letters palent from 
Governor Fletcher in 1697, did not in any respect lose its ori<;inal 
identity or the pecnliar privileges bcsto'ved npon it by Thr terms of 
that grant. II continned to be a distinct political division, and, in- 
deed, was separated from the remainder of Westchester ("ounty in 
an even more formal way than any of tlie other manors, since it en- 
joyed the exceptional right of sending its own exclusive representa- 
tive to the ](rovincial assembly. It was not until 17S8, under the 
ri'gime of the State of New York, when Westchester Tonnty was 
divided into townshii)s, that Cortlaudt Manor ceast^d to exist. 

'i'lic ajiportionment to this manor of a seiiarate assembly repre- 
sentative was conditioned iipi'ii the proviso that no such repre- 
sentative should be chosen until tlie year 1717. In point of fact, the 
manor did not elect its first delegate to the assembly until 1734. 
I'liiliii Wrplauck was then chosen. Early in his career in that body 
lie brought in a bill directing that "one supervisor, one treasurer, 
iwii assessors, and one collector" should be elected annually by the 
jteople of the manor, Avhich was passed. In 1750, on account of in- 
creasing population, the election of two constables was authorized — 
one for the portion of the mani>r near the Hudson Kiver and the 
other for the interior sections. In 1708 the number of constables 
was increased to three. Ryck's Patent (Peekskilli ac(|nircd in 1770 
the privilege of choosing its own local ohicers imleiKMidently of the 
manor, although the inhabitants of this settleniein still joined with 
the peo])le of the manor in electing the member of assembly. \'er- 
]>lanck re]iresented Cortlaudt ^lanor for the reinark;ible |iriiod of 
thirty-four years, his success(n- being i'ierre \'an Corthunlt, who 
served during the remaimh r of the colonial era. 

.\fter the deatii of .lohannes and (»li\cr, the first and second sons 
ef Sie|)lianns \'an ('orllamll. I'liilip \'an ("ortlandt, the lliinl son, 
became the head of the family. He was born in l(is:>. lie was 
a merchant in Xew York, and has been describeil as " a man 



272 HlSTOItY OF AVESTCIIESTEK COl'NTY 

of clear head, of lioixl aliilitics, ami jmsscsscd of i^i-cat deci- 
sion of cliaiacter." I'nuii 17.">(» until his death (174(1) he was a 
member of the gubernatorial council. Ilis eldest son. Ste|)lien, died 
yoinii;', leavinf>' a soji, riiili|), who succeeded as the next head of tlie 
family. But this second l'liili]i, preferrini; a military life, entered the 
British ai-niy, in v.iiich he hail a ]ini<x cai-eer, tinhtinii' ajiaiust Amer- 
ican freedom in the Kevolulion.' His uncle Pierre (youngest son of the 
first rhilip and grandson of Steiihanus) ultimately becanu- the lead- 
ing member of tlie ^'an ("oi-tlandt family resident on the manor. 

Pierre ^'an Corllandt's is one of the great names of Westolu-ster 
County, second, indeed, lo none in all the illustrious an<l noble ar- 
ray. This is not the ]dace for a i)ailicular account of his career, 
which, in its more distinctive- features, is connected with the events 
of the Kevolutionary and snbsecjueut ])eriods. Wlien those events 
come to l>e treated we shall see tliat in the almost balanced condition 
of sentiment in this country at the time (d' the Bevolution, his was 
probably the detei mining influence. Others led the political hosts 
for independence, l)Ut \'an Cortlandt's sujjport, calmly and unju-e- 
tendingly given, though with all resoluteness and conviction, was 
a faci<u- that counted for (|uite as mu( h as the activities of the agita- 
tors. Not an old man, and yet arrived at an age of gravity: not a 
])olitician in the common sense, but well experienced in ])ublic af- 
faii-s and having a i-cpulalion for great judiciousness ami \irtuous 
lo\c of truth and right; the head of a family as rejiulable and a; 
Iiighly and \\idei,\' connected as any in the jirovince, his exampb 
was of inestimable moi-al value to a cause wliicli. in this county 
at least, had little need for vehement and aggressive advocates, but 
niucli for courageous njiludders from among the dignified ami con- 
servative classes of society. His services to the jiali'Iot nioveiiienl 
began in the colonial assembly, of whi(di he was a member, and 
from that time until after the organization of the government of the 
I'luted States he was one of the most earnest, useful, and prominent 
promoters of political independence and stable republican institu- 
tions. His jirivate life was identified almost exclusively with West- 
chester County. Born on the Kith of .January, 1712, he lived on the 
manor from boyhood, taking an active i)art at an early age in the 
family interests. His father. Philii>. Ixniueatlied to him "all that 

' He was the aiieestor of Uie EuKlisli biaucL ters iiiairyiug into the best i;ii;;lisli ami SiiUch 

of the Van Corthuiilts— the " ehlest " braneh. families. The presiMit Lonl Klphinstoiii'. one 

At the (ernilnation of the war, he went to of the Queen's lords in wailiiiK. is a Kreat- 

Ensland to reside, and died at Ilaiishatn. in grandson of Colonel Van Cortlandt. of the 

1S14. lie had twenty-three ehildren. twelve of Kn^-lish braneh no niab' ileseendant of tin' 

whom reaebed iTiat\irity, the sons all attaiuiug name is livin;;.— 7'/ii' Van Corlldiiill I'limihi- '','/ 

high rank in the British army and the daugh- J/cs. Pknx E. Van CorllumU, Svlidrf. ii., 42S. 



IS 



THE AltlSlOClJATIC FAMILIRS 273 

my lioiifSi' and I'anu or lolt of land, — bciiij;' tlu- east town lolt li-oni 
Teller's Toliit exteudiun all along" Croton Itivev, toii'etlier willi the 
I'erry House and ferry thereunto belonniui;." He married -Foanna, 
daujihter of (Jilbert Liviniiston and j;randdaui;hter (d' Ivobert, the 
tirst lord of Li\nij;ston Manor; and in SeptemluT, 17-11), he made the 
manor house his permaueut place of abode. There Avere born all of his 
'hihlren, four sons and three dattnliti'is, of aaIioui IMiilip, the distin- 
liuished (ieneral I'hilip Van ("ortlandt <i( the Kevidutionary army, 
was the eldest. Those Were palmy days for the old manor house, f'ad- 
wallader ('olden, writimi to liis wife in 117)'.], said: "I have had a 
\ery pleasant ride from I'ishkill to ^'an f'ortlaiidt, where I lodged, 
jiassiug' easily through tin' mountains. Vouui;' I'ierre and his rliarm- 
iiiii' \\ife keej) ti]* the hosjiitaiity of the house e(]ual to his late father." 
His time was lariicly dexoted to cariuii for tlu- interests of the numer- 
ous \'aii Cortlaiidi heirs in connection with the manor lands — a very 
responsible business, invid\ini: many delicate matters. He died in the 
manor house on the 1st of !May, 1.SL4, being aged more than ninety- 
three years. He lies buried in the cemetery of the Van Cortlandts. 
The following is the inscription on his tomb: 

'■ .M;iik tlif perftet iiiiiii and beliold the u]uij;-lit ; for tlie end of that man is peace." 

Ill iiH'iuoiy of the Hoiii>ia1ile I'iene Van C'oitlandt, late Lieutenaiit-Oovernor of the 
State of New York, and President of tlie Convention tliat formed the C'onstitntion tliereof 
dminjj tlie Kevolntionarv war witli Gre.at Britain. He departed this life on the first dav of 
May, 1814, in the ninety-fourth year of his age. 

He was a jiatriot of tlie first order, zealous to the last for the Liberties of his Country. 

A man of exemplary A'irtnes ; kind as a neighbor, fond and indulgent as a Parent — An 
honest man, ever tlie friend of the Poor. 

Kespeeted and lieloved, the simplieity of his private life was that of an ancient Patri.arch. 
lie died a bright witness of that perfect Love which casts out the fear of Death, putting his 
trust in the Living (!od, and with full assurance of Salvation in the redeeming love of Jesus 
Christ, retaining his recollection to the last and calling upon his .Saviour to take him to 
himself. 

The •• \'oidvers branch " of the \'an ( 'ortlandt.s, founded by the New 
^'ork merchant. Jacobus V;\]i ("orllaudt (a younger sou of Ohdf Stev- 
ense \'an Cortlandtl, who married Eva, stepdaughter of the tirst Fred- 
eri(di l'hili])se, was thraughout the colonial era a tlourishing race, 
-lacobns jiurchased from his fathei -in-law, IMiilipse, in Kiit!), fifty acres, 
lo which he later added se\"eral liumlred acres more, lie j)roinptIy 
bigan to impro\( his estate. About 1700 he dammed Tiiyjx't's 
i'.iook. thus creating the pres<'iit ^'an ("ortlandt Lake; and probably 
not long aflerw aril he erecteil below the dam the A'aii Cortlandt mill, 
which until as recent a date as issil (when it came into the jiosses- 
sion of I he City of New \'orki continued to grind corn for the neighbor- 
ing fanners, dacobus in his will bci|uc;ii hcd to his onl\' son, I-^ red- 
crick V;\\i Coiilandt, his farm, "sitnale, lying, and being in a place 



274 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

L-oiumoiily calkMl ami known bv lli<' name of Little or Lower Vonck- 
ers." Frederick (born in 1(>98) niairieil I'raiicina, danjiliter of Au- 
,<;nstns and Anna ]\raria (T!a_\ar(li -lay, \\hereby Ids descendants be- 
came of kin to Chief Justice John Jay. It was nnder Frederick's pro- 
prietorshiii that the Van Cortlandl mansion now in the custody of tlie 
Colonial Dames — a dwelling' wliic h rivals the Philipse ]\ranoi- liouse 
at Youkers as a specimen of hij;h-class colonial architecture, and, 
like the latter, is still in a state of jjerfect preservation — Avas con- 
structed. 

The Van Coitlaiidt Mansion (wo qiuite from the interesting; (leserij)tive jianiphlet pub- 
lished by its present custodians) is liuilt of rubble stone, with briek trininiinj^s about tlie 
windows. It is unpretentious in a|)pearanee, }'et possessing; a stateliness all its own, which 
grows upon the visitor. It was erected in 1748 by Frederick ^'an Cortlandt — a stone on the 
southwest corner bears the date — and possesses within and without many peculiarities of the 
last century. . . . The style of architecture of the liouse is essentially Dutch. The old 
Dutch builders were thorough masters of their trade, and put up a structure which is as 
strong to-day as when New York was a colony. All the windows on the front are surnu)unted 
by curious corbels, with faces grave or gay, satyrs or humans, but each different from the 
other. Felix Oldboy innocently asked if they were portraits of the Van Cortlandts, and the 
owner replied, " Y^es, and that the particularly solemn one was taken after be had spent a 
night with the boys." The window sills are wide and solidly b\iilt into tlie thick stone walls, 
as was the fashion of the tinu', ;uid vary somewhat in form in tlie second story. Tlic side 
hall and the dining-romn, with the rooms above, belong to an addition built a year or two 
later than the main house, and the " lean-to " is an addition of this century. 

h^rederick Van Cortlandt and his wife, Francina, had six children, 
(d' whom Jacobus, the eldest (born March 3, 1727), became the jtro- 
]>rietor of the " Little Yonkers " estate after the father's death, in 
1750. This Jacobus (third proprietor) anglicized his name to James; 
he was the hij^hly respected and prominent Colonel James Van Cort- 
lamli of the Kevolution. 'i'honiili an undoubted patriot, and resi- 
(h'lit within the British lines, lie was not disturbed by the enemy 
in his possessions, and, indeed, so ^reat was the respect in which his 
character was held, was able fre(|ueuily to exercise powerful influ- 
ence with the British authorities in New York in behalf of his dis- 
tressed countrymen. He died in ISOO without issue, whereupon the 
"Little Youkers" estate passed to his brother, Anijustus; and after 
the death of the latter the principal ])ortion of it (including the man- 
sion) was held, until its imrchase by the City of New York, in the 
family of his daughter Anna, who married ITenry White, the White 
heirs of Augustus assuming (be niinie of Van Cortlandt agreeably 
to a recpiirement of his will. 

The Manor of Pelham, having been reduced to one-third its original 
dimensions in consequence of the sal(> in 16S9 by John Pell (second 
lord) of six thousand acres to the Huguenots of New Kochelle, never 
subsequently to that time enjoyed very conspicuous rank among the 
great original landed estates of Westchester County. Moreover, the 



THE ARISTOCRATIC FAMILIES 



275 



successors of Jolin Poll in its " lordsliii* " tlid not compare in influ- 
ence or public activity Avith tbe descemlanls of liie founders of Mor- 
risauia, Pliilipseburfi'li, Van Cortlandt, and Scarsdale Manors; and 
tbe roll of members of tbe colonial assembly from Westcbester 
County durini;' tbe eiiibteentb century does not contain tbe name of 
a single Pell. However, tbe manor was preserved as sucb until tbe 
deatli of tbe last '' lord," Josepb Pell, in 1776; and tbe Pells in tbeir 
various bi'ancbes were always a numerous and respectable family, 
contracting advantageous marital alliances in botb tbe male and 
female lines. Tbe principal person of tbe Pell name in later colonial 
and Revolutionary tiuu-s was Pliilip Pell, a conscientious, able, and 
prominent patriot, wbo represented tbe State of New York in the con- 
(inental congress of 1788, served as judge-advocnte of tbe American 
army, and after tbe war was slieriff of Ibe county, bis son, IMiilip 
Pell, Jr., serving for many years as surrogate. 

A family of very notable importance in political activity and rei)- 
resentative cbaracter for maTij' years — rival- 
ing, indeed, tbe Morrises, Pbilipses, de Lan- 
ceys, an<l \'an Tortlandts — A\as tlie ancient 
Willett family of Cornell's Neck on tbe Sound. 
Tbe ])bintation of CorneU's Neck, identical 
witb ibe present (lason's Point, was granted 
((I Thomas Cornell, a former colonist of Rbode 
Island and Massacbusetts, by tbe Dulcb di- 
T'ector, Kieft, in 1640. Tbis ■was the third 
recorded land grant in point of time witb- 
iu tbe borders of what subsequently be- 
came Westcbester County, being antedated only by tbe grants to 
Jonas Ih'onck of Prouxland and to Jobn Throckmorton and asso- 
ciates of Tbrogg's Neck. From Tbomas Cornell tbe estate passed 
successi\'ely to bis widoAA', to his two daugbters, Sarab and Re- 
becca, and to bis grandsctn, ^^■illiam \\'illett, son of bis eldest 
daughter, Sarab, by ber first husband, Tbomas Willett. William 
Willett (liorn 1644) in 1()()7 obtained froiu tbe first Englisli governor, 
Nicolls, a new patent to Cornell's Neck, lie made bis abode there, 
apparently, soon afteiward, and lived in quiet enjoyment of his hand- 
some property until bis death, in 1701. lie was one of tbe first alder- 
men of tbe borough Town of Westcbester. Having no descendants — in 
fact, be never married — be left Cornell's Neck to his younger brother, 
tbe noted C(donel Thomas Willett, of I'lusjiing. Tbe latter at once 
(March 28, 1701) conveyed it to bis eldest son, William, expressing 
auiong bis reasons for Hint a<'t his desii-c for " (be advancement and 
jirefernient of ye " said son. The '" adNaiueuieiil and lu'eferment " of 



tttktt 
1 1 1 1 1 

U?. .T« -t. .1. .t. ,»_ 



PELL ARMS. 



276 



HtSTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



the sfcoud William Wilk'tt transpired immediately; for in the same 
year he was elected a delei^ate fnmi Westchester County to the 
provincial assembly, in whicli capacity he served almost contin- 
uously until his death (1T;«|. This is a circumstance of peculiar 
consequence when it is remembered that Cornell's Neck was com- 
prised within the limits of I lie l)ni'<)n^li Town of Westchester, which 
reiiularlv elected a deputy of its own to the assembly. William 
Willett must have been a iiarticularly forceful character to have 
commanded the suffrages of I lie couniy for a generation, notwith- 
standing his residence in the exceptionally favored borough town. 
lie was thoroughly ideutitied with the popular party. We have seen 

in a previous chapter 
that when the great 
issue of the abuse of 
the governor's prerog- 
ative arose, and a test 
of pojiular sentiment 
was instituted by 
causing the deposed 
Chief Justice Morris 
to stand for the as- 
semldy, William Wil- 
lett resigned his seat 
in that body to afford 
opportunity for the 
desired test; and also 
that he was one of the 
most zealous of ilor- 
ris's partisans at the 
famous electoral con- 
t e s t on the East- 
chester (ircen. In addition to his disiiiiguished career in the as- 
sembly, he Avas the successor of Caleb lleathcote (1721) as county 
judge of Westchester County and colonel of the Westchester County 
militia. His eldest son, William Willett, 3d, also sat in the as- 
sembly for the count}' (1T3S), and was appointed colonel of the 
nnlitia. This third William's brother, (Jilbert Willett, was sherilT 
of the county from 1723 to 1727, and represented Westchester Bor- 
oiigli in the assembly from 172S lo his death, in 1732. The two 
brothers Avere joint iirojirietoi's of Cornell's Neck, which in the next 
generation becauu^ the exclusive property of ( iilbert's son, Isaac Wil- 
lett, after whose death it was oAvned by his AvidoAV, finally being dis- 
tributed amongst various heirs. 








OLD DUTCH CHURCH, FORDHAM. 



CHAPTER XIV 

FROM THE STAMP ACT TO THE LAST SESSION OF THE COLONIAL ASSEMBLY 




HE theory nnd ])ii),ctiro of t-olouiiil st'lt-tiovcrnment were of 
no sudden development in the I'rovinee of New York. Still 
less were they the resuJl of mere observation and imitation 
of bold examples set by tht' people of other British colonies 
in Aniericii. In the earliest days of English rule, the people of New 
York were not only ready for any measure of self-government that 
might be granted to them, but were eager and aggressive in demand- 
ing the privileges of free men. Under the proprietary rule of that 
despotic prince, James, Duke of York, after nearly twenty years of 
I'xelusively personal adunnistration through his gubernatorial rep- 
resentative, the pro\inee was, in 1(J83, oonci-ded a certain share in 
the government hj the erection of a legislative assembly. The very 
lirst act i)assed by that body was a proposed " Charter of Liberties 
and I'rivileges gianted by his Itoyal Highness to the Inhabitants of 
New Y'ork and its dependencies," Avbich was entirely in the line of 
lioi)ular i)arti(i])ation in the direction of affairs and i^opular limita- 
tion of the functions of the executive. The Duke ot York considered 
the manifestations of the assembly of 1683 so inconsistent with liis 
notions of essentially prerogative government for the province that 
the New York legislature was never again convened while he re- 
tained authoritA', either during the remainder of the proprietary pe- 
riod (ir during his reign as king of England. The liberty-desiring 
pe(i])le of the province harbored no kindly feeling for James as pro- 
prietor oi- James as sovereign, and when the news arrived of the 
Kevolution of 1688 and the accession under liberal auspices of Will- 
iam, Prince of Orange, tliey hailed it with joy, treated James's lieu- 
tenant-governor, Nicholson, with scant courtesy, and finally e-xju'lled 
him from his post and organized a temporary government of their 
own which had all the character and effect of a purely repub- 
lican rc'gime, although without the slighrest taint or suspicion 
of anar(diy. And this popular government of l(iS9-Dl, while originat- 
ing in force, was in no sense a militai-y institution. The chiefs of 
the traiuing-ltands, who were responsible for it in the first instance, 
immediately sniniiioMed a ]ii>iMilar assembly. A\hich a])])ointed a strict- 
ly civil council of safety. Ry the will of (he general governing l)ody 



278 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 






established with .so iiuich courage vet dccoriini, Jacob Leislor took 
tlie i)iiiiciiial charge of affairs. TIi<' wliolc policy of l.t'islcr ami his 
associates was that of conscientious re}iubiican rulers, who, it is 
true, held the goverunient in trust for the new king of England, but 
held it as constituted representatives of the iteople, whos<' will, pend- 
ing the detinite expression of the will of the lawful sovereign, they 
deemed paramount. In a vital i)ublic emergency, with which they 
were quite competent to deal if they had chosen, they preferred to 
leave the matter to tlie people, and accordingly called a new legis- 
lative assembly. Eegarding the existing government of the City of 
New York as unadapted to the changed order of things, they did not, 
however, presume to reorganize it by the use of ai)])olntive powers, 
but orde'-"d a popular election for the choice of a new mayor and 
aldermen. The spirit and transactions of the Leisler period alTord 

convincing evidence of 
the very early pre- 
paredness of the peo- 
ple of New York for 
political independence, 
and also of their per- 
fect caijacity for its 
orderly and creditable 
exercise. There is no b"tter established fact than this in American 
colonial history. 

After the restitution of the i)rovin(iai assembly as a permanent 
parliament by William III. in KiiH, the ])eople ardently availed them- 
selves of the resources jirovidtMl by that body for defending snch 
rights as they possessed against royal invasion, for harassing arbi- 
trary or objectionable governors, and for gradually asserting the 
broad principle of Amerit-an liberty. The government of the province 
was modeled upon that of England, with important differences. The 
assembly corresponded to the house of commons, to which, as a 
representative elective body of the peoi)le at large, it bore a perfect 
similitude. The council took the place of both the house of lords 
and the ministerial cabinet, being in theory partly a higher chamber 
and partly a body of executive advisers. It was in })i'actice wholly 
subservient to the governor, since its members were appointable and 
removable by the home government in England, subject singly to his 
recommendation. By the entire absence of a " government of the 
day," executive power was concenti'ated in the hands of the governor, 
who, unless a man of exceptionally virtuous and moderate character 
(which seldom hap]iened), was theref(U'e under strong tem])tation to 
regard hims<'lf as a ruler to wht)m uncouimou individual iiuthoritj' 




EVENTS FKOJI 1765 TO 1775 279 

belonged iu the natural oi-dci- of things. But this condition operated 
powerfully to make of llie assciiilily not merely a counterpoise in 
the go\eiiim('nt, hut an irrecoiicilahlc antagonistic force. As there 
was no established ministry responsible to the assembly and capable 
of reversal by it on the merits of administrative acts and policies, 
the assembly was not a liigldy organized and nicely related depart- 
ment in a carefully adjusted scheme of government, but stood with 
great foruuility on an independent footing. The result was that, in- 
stead of being a co-operative factor in the business of managing the 
province, it held itself in an attitude of confirmed reserve toward 
the executive. It was a substantial repetition of the feud between 
the parlianu'Ut and the king, with the diii'erence that, while that un- 
happy feud iu tlie mother country endured for only a brief compara- 
tive period, its simulacrum in New York covered the entire time of 
the existence of the province. 

To the New York assembly, as to the British house of commons, 
was reserved the exclusive right to originate money bills, which, 
moreover, were unamendable by the council. This power was early 
apitreciated by the people as their great safeguard against effectual 
tyranny, and in the case of every governor of unacceptable behavior 
t lu'y enforced it with unsparing rigidity. Holding the purse-strings, 
they could excei'dingly embarrass the haughtiest governor, and, iu 
fact, there Avas a per])etual irritation between the executive and the 
legislature on the subject of grants of supplies. Governor after gov- 
ernor was sent over from Englaml with express instructions to cor- 
lect these exasperating practices, but dismal faihire resulted in every 
instance. To such a pitch had the resohite spirit of the colonists 
reached after sixty years of representative governnu'ut, that upon the 
arrival of the I'Oj'al Governor Osborn, in 1753, he was greeted by the 
city corporation with an address in which was expressed the signifi- 
cant expectation that he would be as "averse from countenancing 
as we from brooking any infringements of our inestimable liberties.'' 
It hai)]K-ned that Osborn had been particularly directed by the British 
go\('rnment to curb the aggressive tendencies of the colonists. He 
was a man of peculiarly sensitive soul, and the tise of such terms iu 
an (dticial address of welconu' from the capital of the ])rovince over 
wliicli lie was to rule greatly disturbed liim. Inquiring of sonu' of 
the principal men about the general political conditions, he was 
told of the exlreine obstiviacy of the assembly, notably in the mat- 
ter of voting supplies — an obstinacy from which it would never re- 
ce(h' one ste]), however commanded, ^vlieedjed, or threatened. It was 
well established at the time that Governor Osborn's sensational sui- 
cide was due to despondency over the gloomy i)rospect thus held 



280 HISTORY OF WESTCHKSTER COUNTY 

Iirlnrc liiui. A ti'ii^ifiil ei)is{i(lc <>( aiintlicr kind, the " hattk' of 
Cioldcii Hill," New York ("ity |.fami:nv 111 and 20, 177(11, rt'snltiiiji in 
the .slicddinj; of tlu' lirst blood oT liic Kevolution, is direetly tniee- 
able lo I he j^rini policy of the Xc\\ \'oik provincial assembly in re- 
lation to money yranls. 'Die assenihl\- had ])ersistently refused to 
provide certain, articles, such as beer and cider, for the use of the 
British <;arrisou quartered in New NOik City, and this conduct had 
j^really incoused tlu' soldiei-y, avIio had borne themselves toward the 
poi)ulace of the city with a particularly swagiieriuf; demeanor, be- 
sides committing overt acts of serious offensiveuess. Hence arose 
extreme bad feeling, terminating in the (!(»lden Hill affair. It was 
also as a consequence of tlie assembly's course in the contro\<'rsy 
about sup[dies for the troops that the extraordinary act of parlia- 
ment suspending the business of the New York assembly on the 
ground of insubordination was passed (October, 17<;7). This act was 
" for restraining and prohibiting the governor, council, and house 
of representatives of the l'ro\ incc of New York, until provision shall 
have been made for furnishing the king's troops with all the neces- 
saries required by law, from passing or assenting to any act of as- 
sembly, vote, or resolution for an^- other purpose.'' 

Com])ared, however, with the general disposition of the masses of 
the pco]ile, the course of the assembly toward the crown and its orti- 
cial r(']>res(ntatives was eminently respectful and amiable. The pro- 
vincial assembly of New York was always entirely loyal to the king 
in its professi(tns, and also in its true spirit; and even to the last 
days of its last session, when the clouds of war were about to spread 
over the land, was aver.se from being otherwise regarded. It was a 
relatively small legislative IxmIv, never having more than thirty mem- 
bers; and it uniformly contained a large proportionate element of 
gentlemen of wealth, culture, and select social connections, who, 
wliile dilTering on jniblic (|uestions, and I'Specially on the great (pu's- 
tion of colonial rights, had an abiding respect for the forms of attach- 
ment to the crown so long a.s thos( forms Avere not abrogated. In- 
dee(], des|)it(> the characteristic stubbornness of the assend)ly toward 
the gd\'ernoi-s, it was not wholly unamenable to executive persua- 
sion, e\'en upon critical occasions (d' ])opnlar feeling. Concerning the 
burning issm' of su]i]>lies for the troo]>s, which \\as coincident with 
the Stamp -Vet agitation, it first assumed a, jiositien (d" uncompro- 
niising resistaiic<', I'efusiiig to fui-nish not only beer and cider, but 
such absidulel_\' necessai-y articles as fuel, lights, beilding;, cooking 
utensils, and salt as well. Yet from this radical stand it gradually 
recede<l, granting fii'st one it(^m and then another. The m(>asu7'e of 
parliament practically extinguishing the New York assembly — 



EVENTS Flt("»>r 17G5 TO 1775 



281 



wliicli \v;is ;iii iicl of (liahnlical tyraiiiiv if ever tlicrc was one — was 
iiicl not witli scornful (lotiano*^ but with submission! It is true that 
the assembly continued to s>ive snfticient trouble to the <i-overnor, 
but it caused quite as much dissatisfaction to the rev(dutionary 
s])irils among' the citizens, who could not brook the (liouuht Ihat 
the re])i-esentaiive body of the jieople sliould be in the least sub- 
servient to I hell' assumed masters. In the vacillatint;,' record of the 
assembly i-; certainly to be found the exjdanation (d' the general 
imiiression wlii(di has always existed and probably never will be 
(|uite removed, that New York was comparatively a conservative and 
reluctani (actor in the moA^emeut of iln- thii-(een c(donies lor inde- 
]iendence — an impression which is 
most unjust, ncvt to be encouraged for 
a moment by any historical student 
who impartially examines the evi- 
dences of the true dis]iosition of the 
]ieopie of New 'N'ork l'l-o\i!lce through- 
out colonial times. 

The several cons]iicuons examples of 
this charai-teristic iMi]nilar disposition 
whi( h have been noted in the progress 
of oni' narrative need not be multi- 
plied liere. A few words respecting its 
mole imiiorfant special relations are, 
however, necessary to a proi»er under- 
standing of general conditions before 
resuming the thread of the story. 

lieutenant - (iovernor Cadwallader 
• 'niden, who occujiied the chief magistracy of the i)rovince 
most of the time from (h' T.ancey's death until the Kev(d>ition — an 
able and widl-intentioned man, but an extremist in the assertion of 
the |)i-erogatives of the crown, — very instructively snmmed nji the par- 
tisan situation in one of his official rejtorts to the British nunistry. 
\\iiting on the 21st of l'\'bruary, 1770, soon after the (iolden Hill con- 
tlict, he said: " The jtersons who ai)i)eai' on these occasions are (d' in- 
feri(U- raid<, but it is not doubted that they are directed by sonu' ])er- 
sons (d' distinction in this place. It is likewise thought they are en- 
couragetl by some persons of note in England. They consist (diielly of 
dissenteis, who are very numerous, especially in the counti-y, and 
ha\«' a great inlluence over- the country members of the assembly. 
The most actixc among them are indejieiidents from New Englaml, 
or educated there, and of reimblican ju-inciples." On the other hand, 
said (iovernoT' ("iddeii, " the fricTuls <d' government ai-e of the ('hurch 




CAinVAI.I-ADKli COI.DKN. 



for 



282 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

of Eujiland, tlio Lntlicians, juid tlie old Dutch congregation, with 
several Presbyterians." l-'roni this classitication the great prepon- 
derance of aggressive sentiment in the province is a very manifest 
fact. The "dissenters" were, indeed, overwhelmingly in the major-, 
ity. Even in our County of Westchester, where powerful inllueiices 
were arrayed on the side of the Church of England, its adherents did 
not compare in numbers witli those of other denominations. Accord- 
ing to a list compiled by the Eev. W. S. Coffey, of Mount Vernon, of 
the church edifices erected in this county previouslj- to the Revolu- 
tion, only seven of those structures belonged to the Church of Eng- 
land, while nineteen were built by other congregations, including 
"Independents," Friends, Presbyterians, riuguenots, Peformed Dutch, 
and Iteformed Protestant, (iovernor Colden's enumeration of the 
Lutherans, the old Dutch, and " several Presbyterians " among the 
" friends of government '' is merely a recognition that Toryism did 
not wholly depend for support upon the aristocratic cliurch. The 
Lutherans, or (U'rmans, and the " old Dutch," belonging to an alien 
race, deliberate, slow, easily satisfied with moderately free institu- 
tions, accustomed by all their traditions to live under authority with- 
out very jealously s( lutiiiizing its nature or limiting its bounds, had 
ways of thinking (|uite foreign to those of the restless propagandists 
of American libei-ty, whom, indeed, they ni'ither understood nor de- 
sired to understan<l. It was not a (juarrel of these German and 
Dutch aliens; as a rule, they felt <mly a languid interest in it, and 
held aloof from it until forced tis choose sides, when, as a rule, f(d- 
lowing the conservative instincts of their natures, they preferred the 
side of established order to that of i-evolutionary convulsion. Th(^y 
really const it ute<l a passive element, and were loyalists nuiinly in 
the sense that they were not disturbers of the prevailing conditions. 
i\s for the "several Pi-esbyterians " claimed by Govern(U' Colden as 
belonging to the anti-revolutionaiy party, his application of that 
diminutive numerical to tliem was well chosen. In earlier times the 
name " Presbyterians " was generic for all Avho were not of the 
"Court"' part}' — that is, for all who arrayed themselves politically 
against the " Episcopalian," or arrogant ruling, class — the Chui'ch 
of England having been the institution of those who cherished pe- 
culiarly Iheii- British breeding and antecedc^nts, lioliiing tliemselves 
as a suiiei'ior society amid a mixed citizenshi]) of colonials, and, con- 
sistently with such pretensions, forming an always reliable i)ro]) for 
the croAvn and the crow n's officers. To be a " Presbyterian " in the 
political meaning of the word in K(>w York at that early period 
was to be identified with the factious populace, the populace of 
i^mith and Alexander, Chief Justice I\Iorris and Peter Zenger, al- 



EVENTS FROJI 1765 TO 1775 



283 



llioiiyli that populace was far too respectably led for ilie desiffua- 
tiou ever to have been oue of derisiou. I>ater, the party names Whig 
and T<»ry came into vogue. At tlie time when (Jovernor Colden 
made the above quoted analysis of popular sentiment in the province 
tlie Presbyterian religious sect, like every oilier non-conformist Eug- 
lish-S])eaking denomination, was almost solidly against l>ritish op- 
pression, with only here and there an iullnential opponent of the 
2)opular cause. 

Nor did the defenders of tlie crown at all hazards make u]) in 
relative influence and abilily what they lacked so distressingly in 
numbers. With all their 
boasts of superiority, the 
Tories of New York have left 
few names remarkable for 
anything more meritorious 
than proud faithfulness to 
the British monarchy, which 
faithfulness, moreover — as, 
for example, in the lamenta- 
ble case of our Frederick 
Philipse, — was p r o m p t e d 
quite as often by miseal- 
culating conceptions of the 
chances of the war as by 
nervous scorn for sordid self- 
interest. On the other hand, 
the contributions made by 
New York to the roll of Rev- 
olutionary patriots of the 
more ennnent order are im- 
l>ressively numerous. From 
whatever aspect the state of 
political society in New 

^'ork cm the eve of the Ikcvoliilioii is viewed, (lie ad\autage was with 
I he fi'iends of freedom. 

Till' immediate causes of the {{evolution were the enactments of 
]i;irliam(Mit for taxing the colonies, the uncomproniising resistance 
Willi which these measures wei-e met in America, and the conse- 
(|Ueiit resentment of Great Britain, leading to ucav manifestations of 
various kinds. The triumi>hant conclusion of the I'^reuch and In- 
dian War, by which Canada was wrested from France and made a 
jiait of the c(donial empire of England, was an unmixed blessing for 
the people of the thirteen colonies. It put an end forever to a con- 




KIN(i (JEOlUiF. III. 



284 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

(lition which had bi'i'ii a standinii iiiciiaci' to their peace and pros- 
perity — the existence of a liostih- iiciyiibor at the north. The col- 
onists had cheerfnlly borne their part in tlie yreat acliieveineut, and, 
if properly appealed to, would ha\e diseharged as cheerfully their 
share of the resulting indebtedness. But the British government 
had ni'own weary of submittinii' to the cajirices of the cidonial as- 
semblies in the matter of money grants, and, in looking to America 
after the close of the war for financial assistance on a substantial 
scale, resolved to make that necessity the occasion of some decided 
changes in the former order of things. The changes determine<l upon 
were, in their essential details, startling innovations. The assem- 
blies were required to abandon tiieir old i)ractice of limiting, in 
amount or as to time, the supplies demanded by the governors, and 
to obediently vote them without discussion. They were to vote the 
civil list first of all and without question, which meant that all the 
royal officers were to be made independent of any disfavor con- 
ceived toward them by the popular assemblies; and, as a logical sequel 
to this, tenure of office was to be in future at the royal pleasure, 
without reference to "good behavior." In order that the operation 
of these and other plans might not be interfered with by possibly 
conflicting provisions in existing colonial charters, all such charters 
were i)ut to an end. The drastic navigation laws, which had always 
been a crying grievance, wei'e to be rigidly enforced. Finally, the 
colonies were to be taxed directly by parliament, through the me- 
dium of stamped paper, whose use was to be obligatory in all mer- 
cantile transactions, ami even for marriage licenses. And as a 
means for compelling acquiescence in the new regulations a stand- 
ing army of ten thousand men \\as to be sent over and (piartered 
on the Americans, who were recpiired to pay toward its maintenance 
some £100,000 annually, or one-third of the entire cost. There 
was a i)retense that the purpose of the tro()])s was to afford protec- 
tion to the colonists, btit no one \\as decei\('d ity it. 

Early in the year 17(i.~) the Stamp Act was inlidduced in parlia- 
ment, and on the 22d of .Alai-ch it receivi'd the signature of the king. 
The time ap[(ointed for its taking effect was the 1st of November. 
As soon as the neA\s of its passage reached .Vnierica, measures were 
set on foot for offering as effective an opposition as possible to its 
enforcement. f\tminunications on the subject were exchanged by 
the various colonial assemblies; and il was decided to hold a gen- 
eral congress of the ((doiiies to discuss the matter and to lake stei)S 
for united action. This Ixtdy came togethei- on October 7 in the 
assembly (handier (d' the city hall in New York, twenty-eight dele- 
gates being in attendance, rejires^nting lune of the thirteen colonies. 



EVENTS FUOil 1705 TO 1775 285 

Till' dclciiutcs fniiii New ^'oT'k wcic Jolm Ciuiicr, Knbcrl I{. M\iii^- 
ston, Philip Livingston, William l^ayard. and Lcunanl Lispenard. 
Stronii rcscdntions were adojjlcd, as well as ix'dtioiis to tlie kin<r, 
llic lionsc of lords, and tlic house of conimons, for the repeal of 
the act. On October 23 the shiji bearini;- New York's eonsif^nment 
of the staniiK'd ])a]ier ai-rived in the harbor. This M'as the sijiiial for 
jinoressive popular denH)ns( rations, m hieh were so formidable and 
were attended by such sicnificant evidences of the determination 
of the ])eople to prevent the enforcement of the act and of the sj;en- 
eral co-operation of the merchants in that ]iurpose, that the goveru- 
meut did not dare attempt its execution. Indeed, the first packages 
of stamped ])a])er were, at the request of the citizens, turned over 
to the city corporation for " .safe keeinnji," and upon the arrival of a 
second shipment from England the vessel bringing it was boarded by 
a deputation of the i)eople and the ])ackages were taken ashore and 
burned. But the most ])owerful weai)ou used by the inhabitants of 
New York against the Stamp Act was the celebrated "Non-Importa- 
tion Agreement." This was a(h)pted on the evening of October 31, 
]7t')5, by some two hundred New York merchants, at a meeting held 
in liurns's coffee house. They pledged themselves to import no goods 
from England until the Stamp Act should be repealed. The merchants 
of IMiiladelphia ado])ted a like agreement on November 7, and those 
of Boston on ]>ecember 1. The conse(iuences were immediately felt 
by the shipping public in England, and were so disastrous that pres- 
sure was brought to bear u])on ])arliament, which resulted in the 
re])eal of the act on h"'ebruary 22, 17(><), less than a year after its pro- 
mulgation. The event caused great rejoicing in flie ('ity of Kevv 
York. The king's birthday, the -Ith of June, was made the occasion 
of a grand celebration, one of whose incidents was the erection of a 
liberty pole under the auspices of the Sons of Liberty. This organ- 
ization was a secret confraternity of the luoi-e radical element of 
the i)eo])le, ■\Aith ramitications throughout tlie colonies. It a[)pears 
to have been full tledged at the time of the taking effect of the 
Stani]! Act, since the lhoi'o\ighly organized i-esistance to the act Avhich 
was oll'ered by the peojile at large was uniformly ti'aceable to its 
iiii'iiibeis. The Sous of Liberty were the mainstay of the w liole pop- 
uhir ai:italion against I'.ritish o|)|)ression and in favor of American 
imlepeiideuce from the time of the ])assage of the Stamp Act until 
the champioushi]) of tlieii- cause became tlie business of armies in 
the field. 

The Staiii]! .\ct rejieal was followed by a year of (|uiet. But in 
May, 17<i7, aimlher ]iarliamentary sclieiiie for taxing the colonies 
was instituted, which iuijKJsed port duties on uiany articles of com- 



286 



HISTORY OF WKSTCHESTER COUNTY 



moil use, i!icludin<i <;liiss, jiapcr, Iciul, ])aint('rs' colors, and tea. Al- 
tliou<>h intense feeling was excited tlirongliout the colonies by the 
new law, two years ])nssed by Iiel'ore a systematic jiolicy of effective 
opposition was entered n])oii. Then, in the sprinj;- of ITCiU, Uie mer- 
chants of New York anain met and formulated a second Non-Impor- 
tation Ajireeinent, under which no Eniilish ji'oods, with but few ex- 
ceptions, Avere to be purchased so lony- as the duties should remain 
in force. Tlie mercantile communities of Philadelphia and Boston 
were somewhat tardy in assenting;- to this instrument, but by the 
fall they gave in their adhesion. A.gain the British ministry, ap- 
palled at the falling off in American trade, was forced to yi(dd, and 

in 1770 all the duties objected to, ex- 
cept ihat on tea, were annulled. 
Meantime New York, while observ- 
iiig to the letter the obligations of 
the Non-Importation Agreement, 
ha<l great cause of complaint against 
Boston and Philadelphia, where it 
was secretly violated on a large «rale 
by tlie merchants. Exasperated at 
this lack of faith, the New Yorkers, 
after the abrogation of all the taxes 
except on tea, retired from the agree- 
ment, wliicli thereafter fell to the 
ground in the other cities as w'ell. 
II was, liow(>ver, generally under- 

st 1 that no tea should be import e<l 

whilst the tax endured — an under- 
standing which, despite the greater 
historic fame in that connection en- 
joyed by Boston on account of iier 
so-called "Tea Party,'' was executed 
with ecjiial (lelermination and success in New York. For some 
three years practically all I he tea bought in America was from 
Englamrs Europc^ui commercial rivals. Finally, in 1778, the Brit- 
ish cabinet attempted a master stroke. They rescinded the large 
export duty taxed on tea leaving British ports, retaining, however, 
the small import duty of three ])ence per pound on American impor- 
tations of the article. The Boston Tea Party occurred on the KUh 
of December, 1773. Up to that date no tea had arrived at New- 
York, but more than a month previously careful aiTangenuMits had 
been made by the Sons of Liberty and others to prevent the landing 




WILLIAM PITT. 



EVENTS KUOiM 1705 TO 1775 287 

of any and all the jiackaijes tliat should he hroimlit llici-c Two 
tea ships, the "Nancy" and the " J.ondon," canic inlo poi'l tlic next 
April. One of (lieui was obliiicd to rcliivn (o ICiinland wKliont de- 
liverinji' her ear,ii(>, and (li(> other was hoarded by tlie iSons of Lib- 
erty, who, brealcinji- open the chests, tlireAv the tea into the East 
IJiver. 

The rejection id' tlie tea by JJoston liad already made it niauifest 
to (lie kiuo- ami his ministers that no plan for taxing- llie colonies by 
direct action of parliament could succeed thronyh the operation of 
the ordinary forms of law, and that the time had come to resort to 
extremities. Early in 1774 an act knoAVU as the Boston Port Bill was 
])assed — a ])nnitive measure, desiii'ni'd to coerce the city by closing- 
her port. News of the proceedings reached New York on the 12th 
of May. It Avas instantly recocnized that a like fate was undoubtedly 
in store for New York, and accordingly a great meeting was held, 
under the joint auspices of the Sons of Liberty and the more dig- 
nified (dasses of the community, iu"esided over by Isaac Loav, a prom- 
inent merchant, a heading member of the Church of England, ami, 
although a sympathizer with the cause of liberty, well known for 
his comparatively moderate principles. Out of this meeting re- 
sulted the formation of the New York " Committee of Correspond- 
ence," consisting of fifty-one members, which assumed the direction 
of the ])o]iular movement througluMit the province, and Avhence the 
measures taken for organizing the country districts in behalf of 
American liberties emanated, l^rom the creation of the committee 
of corresi)ondence dates the beginning (d' the hist estaljlished means 
for bringing the patriotic sentiment of Westchester County into ac- 
tive co-operation with that of the American people at large. 

In that truly astonishing i)roduction, the late Henry B. Dawson's 
"Westchester County During the American Kevolution," ^ a labored 
attempt is made to establish the reasonableness of the author's fa- 
vorite dogma that the Bevolution A\'as a grie\nus offense to the good 
and loyal i)eo])le of our county, and found tilth' or no fa\or among 
them, at least in the formative state of things. ^Ir. Dawson i-egards 
it as scaiidal(Uisly im[irobable that the lionest, discn'ct, humble, and 
virtuous iuiiabitauts of tins strictly rural couuTy, feaiing (!od and 
loxing tlK'ii- lawful king, could have had anything in coniumn with 
the greedy, smuggling nu-rcliants and uid)lusliing ])olilical dema- 



' AlthotiKli this poi'fornmuc'O (if Oawsnn's is lliat worl;. N(itwitlist:nii1lns tin' onorminis 

very elaborate', it is reail.v but a fraRinent, labor manifestly expeuded upon 1(, it possesses 

terinin.itlnd with the battle of White I'lains. little Interest for the general reader, beinj; 

It was undertaken by its author as a eontrlbu- prodlslonsly formal in its style and burdened 

tion to Scharfs History, and oeenpies two with excessive redundaueies. It is i>re-emlnent- 

liumlred and eiglity pages of the first volume of ly one of the curiosities of historical literature. 



288 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

jidjiiics of New York City, who sliiicd )i]i llir iiiiuulity i-chcllion and 
l)i'('l)iir('(l woo and havoc for the jxxir, h>yal cniinli-viMan. " Sui-li a 
conininnily as that Avhich constitntcil ilic ("ounly of Wcstclicster,'" 
says he, "a connnnnity of wcll-sitnatcd, intrlliucnt, and wcll-to-chi 
farmers, diligently and discreetly attendini; to its own afiairs, with- 
ont the disturbing intlucnces t>( any \ilhijic or county coterie, has 
i;i'nerally been distiunnislied for ils riyid conservatism in all its 
i-elations; and such a community has always been more inclined to 
maiiilaiii those vaiious lonii-conl inued, well-setlled, and ucnerally 
satisfactory ndations with more than ordinary tenacity, jirefei'rinji 
very often to continue an existiniLi- inconvenience or an inlanj;il)le 
wroDfi', to which it had become accustomed, rather than to accept, 
in ils stciid, the possibility of an advautaj^e, indetinitely promise<l, 
ill an untried and niu'ertain (diannc" This curious theory he sup- 
jMiils in his application (d' it to Weslchester County by the sinj;le 
lanj;ible statement thai "there is not any known evidence of the 
existence, at auj' time, of any material excitement amonjj- these farm- 
ers, on any subject." It is of course unjirohtable to discuss either 
the ji(-neral proposition of .Mr. Dawson concerninj; the unifoi'm nat- 
ural conservatism of inl(dlii;cnt rural communities, or his claim that 
this county had always before the Hevolution been exem])f from ])o- 
lilical excilement. Tii \iew, Jiowe\'er, of Mr. Dawson's rejuilation 
as a minute and entirely well-meaniiin historical writei- — a i-epnta- 
tion appreciat(Ml especially by his many sur\ivini;- friends in West- 
chester County, — his study of oiii- i;e\dlutionary jieiiod can nut, in 
a woi'k on the licnei-al history of the county, i-scape the ])assini;- criti- 
cism whi(di its s])irit merits, as, on the other hand, tlie abundant his- 
loiical data that we owe to his researches can not esca])e {irateful 
recofiuition. It is greatly to be regretted that to an essay jirepared 
with so much i)ainstaking he should, on grounds not only the most 
unjust ihed but the most trivial, have given a general tendency of 
such extreme uuacceptability lo American readers. We have char- 
acterized his jierformance as astonishing, and we know of no other 
♦itting term to be ap])lied to a cynically i»ro-Tory account by an 
.\iiierican historian, more than a cenlury after the Kevolutiouary 
War, of the course of that struggle in a county distinguished for 
])rompt acceptance and unfaltering and scdf-sacriticing sui>pori of the 
issue of liberty under the most ditlicult and menacing cii'cumstaiices 
imaginable. 

During the ten years from the passage of the Stamii Act, in 17(55, 
to the end of the ]irovincial assembly, in ITT.'), the county (including 
the Manor of Cortlandt and the borough Town of Westchester) was 



EVENTS FKOJi 1705 TO 1775 289 

i-c]in'scnl(Ml in llic assembly, for loniicr (H- hiicfVr periods, by Colonel 
I'rederick I'hilipse i'M), Peter de Lancey and John, his brother, Judge 
.l(din Thomas, riiiliii ^'erl)lan(•k, Pierre Van Cortlandt, Isaac Wil- 
kiiis, and Coh)nel Lewis ^Morris (3d). Philipse and Tliomas served 
continuously tliroughout that i)eriod, both sitting for the county. Van 
Cortlandt succeeded A'erplanck as member from Cortlandt Manor. 
Morris was a delegate for only one year. The de Lanceys and Wil- 
kins were from Westchester Borough, Wilkins being. assemblyman 
(hiring the four closing years (1772-75). James de Lancey, son of 
Peter and a nephew of the chief justice, in addition to his duties 
as high sheriff of Westchester County, represented a New York City 
constituency during the period in question. With the names ot 
I'liiliitse, the de Lanceys, Van Cortlandt, ami ^lorris the reader is 
already familiar. They will recur prominently in the succeeding 
pages. Phili]ise and James de Lancey were stanch op])onents of the 
wliide Kevolutionaiy pi-ogi-amme; Van Cortlandt and ^lorris M'ere as 
stanch sui)porters of it. tT«din Thomas was judge of the Court of 
("onimon Pleas of Westchester County in 1737-39, and again from 
17t>5 to 177G. He was a son of the Pev. John Thomas, a missionary 
and rector of the Church of England. Judge Thomas was a very 
Itroniineiit citizen of Pye, and one of the most consistent and valu- 
able advocates of independenc(% dying a niartA'r to the cause in a 
]irisnn in X<'w 'S'ork City in 1777. Isaac Wilkins, of Castle Hill 
Neck, in the Porough of Westchester, was a brother-in-law of Lewis 
and (iouverneur Morris, but was on theojiposite side politically. He 
was one of the leaders of the conser\at i\e forces in the last pro- 
vincial assembly, and was suspected of being the author of the 
noted 'i'oi'v tracts published over the signature of " A. W. Fanner.*' 
lie acted as spokesman for the motley adherents of " Creat George, 
our King," at the county meeting at White Plains in A]iril, 1775, and 
two months later tied to England. After a varii-d career, which com- 
prehended a prolonged residence (subsequently to the war) among the 
forlorn refugee Loyalists in Nova Scotia, he returned in 17flS to West- 
chester and became rector of Saint Peter's Church. In the historic 
assembly of 1775, when the issues for and against aggressive re- 
sistance to England were sharply drawn, Westclic^ster County's rep- 
resentatives were Van Cortlandt, Thomas, I'hili])se, and Wilkins. 

it is thus seen tliat, as concerns representation in the assembly, 
llie o]i])osing parties of liberty and loyalty w(M'e exactly balanced in 
this county. On the one side were Pierre Van C(U-tlandt ami Ju<lge 
Thomas; on the other, Frederick Philipse and Isaac Wilkins. Phil- 
ipse, of course, had at his back the whole of his great manor. M'ilkins 
really i-ejiresenteil the de Lancey interest, which controlled the Bor- 



290 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



(;iigli of Westchester, where mIso a Tory miiyor, Nathaniel L'liderhill, 
fjrandson of tlie " i-edoiibtable " Captain .leini, la-esided. Aoainst 
this powerful eoiiser\ative coiiihiiiatioii stood liie .Moirises in tlie ex- 
treme soiitliern part of tlie countv, Judj;«' Tliomas, represent iu<>- no 
landed estates but the siin]>ie yeomanry of Rye, Harrison's Pur- 
chase, and the central sections, and Pierre Xnu Cortlandt, the head 

of the great Van Cortlandt family. 
The popular side, therefore, comprised 
diverse (dements. The IMorrises Avere 
known (diietly as an asigressive polit- 
ical family, with a well-defined follow- 
ing, but hardly adapted to attract the 
normally conservative or as yet unde- 
cided classes. Thomas represented a 
constituency of sturdy settlers, mostly 
of New England antecedents and 
largely b(donging to zealous religioiis 
sects. Van Cortlandt Avas in all re- 
spects a match for Philipse and the 




de Lanceys, to whatever elevation of 



v\AC WII.KINS. 



dignity or social importance they pre- 
tended; and it was his personalit\' 
wiiicli gave to the Kevolut ionary movement in Westchester County 
a far different aspect than that of a mere propaganda of agitators. 
His supi)ort of the cause stamped it necf-ssarily as one demanding 
the most respectful consideration of honest and intelligt'Ut men; for 
it was beyond (luestion that his attachnient to it was wholly due to 
a (•oncei)tion of its singular righteousness and of liis high duty. He 
was no new convert, but had stood for the rights of the colonies from 
the beginning. The arts of the tempter and briber had, moreover, 
been practiced n])oii him in the P>ritish interest. The late Mrs. Pierre 
E. Van Cortlandt, in her historical account of the Van Cortlandt 
fauujy, tells bow he nobly rebuked the royal Governor Tryon when 
ap|)roached by that personage with corrupt offers: 

111 1774 Goveiiior Tryon came to Croton, ostensiljly on a visit of courtesy, l)iiiioiii<r with 
liiiii liis wife, Miss Watts, a daugliter of the Hun. John Watts (a kinsman of the \'aii 
Coitlaii(tts), and Colonel Fanning, his secretary. They remained for a night at tlie Manor 
House, and the next morning Governor Tryon proposed a walk. They all proceeded to one 
of the highest points on the estate, and, pausing, Tryon announced to the listening Van Cort- 
landt the great favors that would be granted to him if he would espouse the royal cause and 
give his adhesion to the king and the parliament. Large grants of land would be added to 
his estate, and Tryon hinted that a title might be bestowed. Van Cortlandt answered that 
" he was chosen a representative by unanimous approbation of a people who placed coutideuce 
ill his integrity to use all his ability for their benetit and the good of his country as a true 
patriot, which line of conduct he was determined to pursue." Tryon, finding persuasion and 



EVENTS FROM 1765 TO 1775 291 

luibi'.s viiin, tuiiu'il to CoUiiu'l Faiuiinn with the hriuf remark, " I tiiul our business here must 
terminate, for uothinj; ean be eifeeted in this place " ; and after hasty farewells they embarked 
on their sloop and retiuued to New York. 

After the appointment of tlic coiniiiit tee of con-espondence by the 
iiHH'tiiiL; hehl in New York in Mny, 1774, events moved rapidly for- 
ward to a crisis. Boston, liavinu received earlier news of the closin"- 
(»f her port, had taken action on the matter two or three days before 
New York, and at a imblic meetin<i jiresided over by Samuel Adams 
had adopted a resolution appealing; for the united support of the 
colonies in a new Non-Importation Ayreemeut. On the afternoon of 
Tuesday, the 17th of May, Paul Revere passed through Westchester 
County, along the old Boston Post Road, bearing dispatches fiom 
tJie Boston citizens to tlieir brethren in New York and Philadelphia. 
New York responded immediately with a recommendation for a. new 
colonial congress, which was adopted. The people of New York City 
on July 1 elected as delegates to that body Philip Livingston, .T(din 
Alsop, Isaac Low, James Duane, and John Jay. 

John Jay, who on this occasion made his first appearance in a high 
representative capacity, ^\•as reared from infancy in Westchester 
C<ninty and began among us his career as a lawyer. His great- 
grandfather, Pierre Ja.\-, a Huguenot of La Rochelle, France, emi- 
grated to England during the troublous times of Catholic persecu- 
tion, leaving a son, Augustus, who came to New York about l(iS6, 
married Anna ^laria Bayard, daughter of Balthazar Bayard, and led 
a prosperous life as a merchant. Augustus's son, Peter, after ac- 
<|uiring a com]ietency in business pursuits in the city, purchased a 
farm in our Town of Rye, where he lived with his numerous family 
for the remainder of his days. He is described by Smith, the Tory 
historian of New York, as " a gentleman of opulence, character, and 
reputation," and by Baird, the historian of Rye, as " a man of sin- 
cere and fervent piety, of cheerful temper, warm affections, and 
strong good sense." He married IVfary, daughter of Jacobus Van 
Cortlandt and gTanddaughter of Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt and 
the first Frederick Philipse. Their eighth child was John Jay, born 
in NcAv York City, December 12, 1745. He lived with his parents 
throughout his childhood and youth in the homestead at Rye — "a 
long, low building, but one room deep and eighty feet wide, having 
attained this size to meet the wants of a numerous family." He Avas 
educated at King's College Cnow Columbia), taking the bachelor of 
arts degree in 17(!4, and, after being admitted to the bar, entered 
upon a professional career in which lie soon gained a reptitation as 
one of the most brilliant and intellectual men in New York. He 



292 



HISTORY OF WKSTCIiESTER COIXTY 



lodk a Icadini;- jiai-t- in tho public discussion nf (lie (incstinns between 
tlie colonies and the mother country, lioldiui; aloof from the radical 



and noisy iKiliticians, but enjoying tin- unbound( 



)ntideuce and 



admiiali(m of the judicious friends of Anu^rican indejiendence. By 
the lime matters had beconu' shaped for the in<'vitable, he stood 
foremost among the well-balanced and sagacious pati-iots of New 

York. In 1774 lie married Sai-ah 
"Van Rrngh [a\ingston, danghtei- 
of William Livingston. .Vfter the 
com]>letion of his illustrious ]>ub- 
lic career, he retired to an estate in 
the Town of Redford, this conuty, 
where he died.^ He was the father 
of the eminent and beloved .Tudge 
William Jay, of our county bench, 
and the grandfather of the late dis- 
tinguished statesman, John Jay, 
also a prominent Westchester 
County character. One of the feat- 
ures of the Town of Rye is the cem- 
etery of the Jay family, in which 
stands a monument to the nuMuory 
of the great chief justice. 
The committee of correspondence in New York ("ity, soon after its 
oi-ganization, opened communication with the rural counties. A sub- 
committee of five (John Jay being one of its members) was appointed 
on the .'iOth of ]May ''to write a circular letter to the supervisors in 
the different counties, acquainting them of the appointment (d' this 
committee, and submitting to the consideration of the inhabitants 
of the counties whether it could m)t be expedient for them to aj)- 
poiut persons to correspond with this committee uixm matters reUv 
tiA'e to the purposes for which ihey were appointed." A circular let- 
ter was accordingly written, of Miiich thirty cojjies were sent to the 
treasurer of Westchester County, A\itli a request to distribute them 
among "the supervisors of the several districts." It is not known 
whether this was done. At all events, nothing resulted, as no re- 
plies from Westchester County appear among the records of the 
committee. Rut in July a second circular was .sent, Avhich met with 
a different treatment from this count v. It communicated informa- 




.\CGUSTUS .JAY. 



' Tlio .lay homestead at Bedford, sn.vs Bol- 
1o)i. " for four j:encr:itions the resJdonee and 
estate of the .7ay family," deseeiided to them 



■■ tiom their aiieestor, .Tacobiis Van Corthmdt, 
\vh(i pnrehased it of tln^ nidian saehem Ka- 

Ini.iiaii. in ITii:!." (Uev. ed., i., 77.1 



EVENTS inioM ITC).") TO 1775 2i)3 

tiou of (he clcrtion of (k'leyatcs to tlic ;ip]»i-oiicliiiiii' foii^rcss by the 
( "ily and Coiuitj^ of New York, and i-iMincstt'd the other i.-ounlics citlifi- 
to ai>i)<)int additional dclef^atcs of their own or to signify their will- 
ingness that the delegates already cdiosen in the city shonld act for 
lliem als(!, on the \niderstanding that whatever nnnd)er of repre- 
sentatives sluuild ap]iear from this province at the congress they 
wonld be entitled to l)nt one vote. Pnrsnant to this second circnlar 
a \\'estchester County convention was called to meet in the conrt- 
lioiise at White I'lains, on the 22d of August, various towns and 
districts choosing local delegates to represent them. The Towns of 
Kye and ^\'estchester held particularly well-attended meetings for 
that purpose and adopted rousing resolutions. The Rye delegation 
was headed by .Tolni Thomas, Jr., and the Westchester by Colonel 
Lew is .Morris. It is noteworthy, however, that both the Kye and West- 
chester resolutions, although cx^jressing the views of the two most 
radical political leaders in the county, were emphatic in the asser- 
tion of loyalty to the king — so far removed from the public mind 
was the thought of rebelliori. U])on this point the IJye people said: 
"That they think it their greatest happim-ss lo live under the illus- 
trious House of Hanover; and that they will steadfastly and uni- 
formly bear true and faithful allegiance to His Majesty, King George 
ihe Third, under the enjoyment of their constitutional rights and 
privileges as fellow-subjeds with those of England.." And the West- 
chester citizens declared: " That we do and will bear true allegiance 
to His IMajesty, George the Third, King of Great Britain, etc., ac- 
cording to the British Constitution." 

The county convention at White Plains on August 22, 177-i, was 
not a sjK'cially important body, at least from the standjioint of its 
jiroct'cdings. The most interesting thing in connection with it is 
that its presiding officer was Frederick Philipse, the Tory "lord," 
who, less than a year later, was to lead his tenant clans at the 
same j)lace, though in very difl'erent circumstances and emergencies, 
in a vain protest against a repetition of the same political action for 
wiiich he now stood the chief sponsor. There was no dissident ele- 
ment in the convention, and by unanimous consent the live men pre- 
viously elected by the people of New York City as delegates to the 
general congress were accejited as delegates for the County of West- 
chesti'r likewise. 

Tlie general congress of the colonies, the first held since the Stamj) 
.\ct congress of 17().~), assembled in Philadeljihia on the oth of Se])- 
Icmber, 1771, and conlinned in session until October 2<i. It ])roved 
in (■\ eiv way wmlhy of the great occasion which called it into being, 
and the result of i(s delibeiations was to imunMiselv stimulate diy- 



294 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

ciissioii tLii-(juyli()Ut the colonics and to strengthen the resolntion an<l 
liope of the jjeople. It prepared and issued a declaration of rij^hts, 
advised the adoiition of a third Nonimportation Agreement, and 
made provision for the election in each colony of delegates to an- 
other congress, which Mas appointed to meet on the 10th of May, 
1775. 

The citizens of Westchester County, having made a beginning in 
the matter of public action on the rising questions of the da\', soon 
commenced to display a lixcly interest in their narrower considera- 
tion. This interest found exin'cssion in all the varying degrees of 
radicalism, moderation, liiiiidity, and protest. The pulilic prints of 
the times contain a number of communications from Westchester 
County, some of them in the form of avitwals or (lisavo\\als, formally 
signed, and some in that of anonymous newspaper articles advocat- 
ing one set of opinions or another with more or less zeal and dex- 
terity. One of the earliest and uiost notable of these documents is 
a communication from IJye, dated September 21, 1771, and jiublislied 
October 13 in Eivington's New York Gazetteer. It is an emphatic i>ro- 
test against the agitation of the period, as follows: 

We, the subscriber.s. Freeholders and Inhaljitants of tlie Town of Rye, in tlie County of 
Westchester, being uuich concerned with the unliappy situation of public affairs, think it our 
Duty to our King and Country, to Declare that we have not been concerned in any Resolu- 
tions entered into or measures taken, with regard to the Disputes at present subsisting with 
the Mother Country ; we also testify our dislike to many hot and furious Proceedings, in con- 
sequence of said Disputes, which we think are more likely to ruui this once happy Country, 
than remove Grievances, it any there are. 

We also declare our great Desire and full Resolution to live and die peaceable Subjects 
to our Gracious Sovereign, Kiug George the Third, and his Laws. 

Then follow eighty-three signatures, headed by Isaac Gidney. Evi- 
<lentl\' some local pressure hostile to the Thomas interest was brought 
to bear upon the conservative element of the Eye people; and evi- 
dently, also, not a few of the signers had been overpersuaded, for in 
IJivington's next issue appears a humble disclaimer, signed by fifteen 
of them, who say that, after mature deliberation, they are fully con- 
vinced that in indorsing the former paper they " acted preposter- 
(uisly and without properly adverting to the matter in dispute," and 
"• do utterly disclaim every part thereof, except our expressions of 
Jioyalty to the King and Obedience to the Constitutional l.aws of 
the liealm." 

A "Weaver in Harrison's Purchase" writes to Holt's Neio York .lour- 
naJ of December 22, 1771, combating tlie sophisms of the Tory pam- 
phleteer, "A. W. Farmer"; and letters from correspondents in Cort- 
landt Mancu', representing both sides, appear in Rivington's Gazetteer 
and Gaines's New York Gazclh during the early months of 1775. 



EVENTS FROJt 1765 TO 1775 295 

Sonic of this newspaper discussion by Westchester contributors is 
couclied in very strong terms. Indeed, tliere is abundant evidence 
tliat nowliere in America were stronger passions aroused by the un- 
fortunate divisions of tlie period tliau amon<i- the farmers of West- 
chester County. When tlie tinal confiict came, botli parties in the 
county were ripe for the most bitter persecutions and tlie most re- 
venii-eful reprisals, which frequently reco^iiiiizcd ncillicr iK'iiihhorly 
considerations nor the sacred ties of blood. 



CHAPTER XV 

WESTCHESTER COUNTY IN LINE FOK INDEPENDENCE EVENTS TO JULY 

9, 1776 

HAT was destined to be the last session of the general as- 
sembly of the Province of New York convened on the lUth 
of January, 1775, in New York City. Althon,i;h the general 
aspect of afliiirs had undergone no improvement since the 
adjournment of the Philadelphia congress — and, indeed, the tendency 
had been toward a further estrangement from Great Britain, espe- 
cially through the operation of the " Association " recommended by 
the congress, — the state of the public mind was rather that of expec- 
tancy than of active revolt. Lexington had not yet been fought, and 
there had been no new overt act of any very sensational nature on the 
part of the British ministry. It was still the devout hope of good 
men that a reconciliation might eventually be accomplished. In these 
circuiiistances the conservative leaders of the New York assembly — 
among whom .Tames d(^ Laucey, Frederick Philipse, and Isaac Wilkins 
were cons])icuoiis — had every advantage througiiout the session, uni- 
formly coiuiiianding a majority against the proposals of the radicals. 
IJesolutions extending thaid^s to the New York delegates to the Phil- 
adelplna congress, commending the New York merchants for their 
self-sacriflcing observance of the ''Association," and favoring the elec- 
tion of delegates from New York to the next general congress, Aver(! 
voted down. On questions involving a division the vote was usually 
iifieen to ten, Pierre Van Cortlandt and John Thomas being inva- 
riably among the minority. But the house frauu'd and passed a state 
of grievances, iJetition to the king, memorial to tlie lords, and rep- 
resentation or remonstrance to the commons, to wliicli little or no 
exception could reasonably be taken. These papers were resjiectful, 
but comiH'ehensive and tirm, and did honor to the leaders of the ma- 
jority. The complaint made against the assembly of 1775 was not 
on the score of its positive transactions, but of what it refused to do. 
It utterly and in the most studied manner ignored the great and 
spontaneous manifestations of American sentiment, as expressed in 
such organized ageiu-ies of the times as dejiarted from the regular 
channels of legislation and official administration. This was felt by 
the impatient people as a sore affront. The closing act of the assem- 



FROM .TANUAIIV, 1(75, TO JULY 0, 177G 297 

111}- was the aiipoiutiiu'iit of a " Standing Comiiiittce of CoiT«'S])on(l- 
cnce,'' composed almost exclusively of coustrvatives, whose ftiiictions 
were strict ly limited to observing the proceedings of the British par- 
liament and administration and commnnicating with the sister colo- 
nies thereui)on. Of this committee IMiilipse and Wilkins were made 
the members for Westchester County. 

The assembly having declined to assume the initiative as to the 
election of the provincial delegates to the approaching general con- 
gress, tluit duty reverted to the still surviving people's committee in 
New York City. The committee decided that the delegates sliould be 
chosen this time not by the individual counties in an independent 
capacity, but by a provincial convention; and such a convention was 
called for the 20th of April, the counties being severally recpiested 
to send representatives to it. Circular letters to this end were dis- 
patched under date of March IG. There was at that time no com- 
mittee existing in Westchester County to take cognizance of the noti- 
fication and summon the necessary county conventitm or meeting. 
It hence became needful for some private person or persons interested 
in the cause to take the lead in the matter. The man for the occasion 
liroved to be C(donel Lewis ^lorris, who, since the death of his father, in 
1762, had l)een at the head of i he Morris family of Morrisania. Colonel 
Monis was born in 172r(, and was graduate(l at Vale in 17J:(!. While 
inheriling the political Temi)erament and abilities of his race, he had 
as yet taken little part in public affairs, preferring the quiet and un- 
ostentatious life of a. country gentleman. Even in the first move- 
ment of protest against the policy- of Great Britain organized in this 
county, resulting in the White Plains convention of August, 1774, he 
had not bi'en specially consjiicuons. But after the refusal of the 
assembly to identity itself in any manner with the prevailing senti- 
ment, he became profoundly impressed with the importance of imme- 
diate and emphatic action by the people in their original capacity. The 
occasion now presented was one demanding energy and management. 
It was not to be doubted that the powerful conservative party would 
exert its influence to the utmost to prevent any radical expi-ession by 
Westchester County. There was more than a suspicion that this had 
been done deliberately, though insidiously, in 1774, when Frederick 
Philipse, the head and front of the conservatives, had been chosen 
chairman of the county convention, and that representative body, the 
first of its kind to meet in the county, had adjourned without adopt- 
ing any aggressive resolutions or apjiointing a committee of corre- 
spondence to co-operate with the one in the city, or making any pro- 
vision for the calling and assembling of future conventions of the 
county. With the issues now more closely <li'awn by the unfriendly 



298 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



tvttil iidc uf tJiL' provincial asseiiibiy, it was certaiu that Pliilipse, Wil- 
Ivius, the de Lanceys, and their friends would assume to again control 
the course of Westchester County and to keep it well within the 
former moderate bounds. 

Principally tlirouj;h the efforts of Colonel Morris, a temporary com- 
mittee or caucus for the county Avas imju-ovised, which on the 28th 
of March met at White Plains " for the purpose of devising meaus for 
taking the sense of the county " relative to the appointment of dele- 
gates to the jiroposed 
provincial convention. 
There were present Col- 
o n e 1 L e Av i s Morris, 
T h o m as II u u t, and 
Abraham Leggett, of 
Westchester; Theodo- 
sius Bartow, J a m e s 
^Villis, and Abraham 
Guion, of New Eochelle; 
W i 1 1 i a m Sutton, of 
Mamaroneck; ( 'aptaiu 
Joseph Drake, Benja- 
m in D r a k e, Moses 
Drake, and S t e p h e u 
Ward, of Eastchester; 
and James Horton, Jr.. 
of Rye. A call was 
issued for a general 
meetiug of freeholders 
of the county, to be held 
in the court house at 
White Plains on Tues- 
day, the 11th of April, 
a n d communications 
were sent to represen- 
tative persons in every 
locality, requesting 
them to give notice to all the freeholders, A\itliout exception, '' as 
those who do not appear and vote on that day will be presumed to 
acquiesce in the sentiment of the majority of those who vote." 

Because of the well-known radical vie^ws of Colonel Morris and 
most of his associates, this action ;it once became a subject of general 
discussion, causing much disquietude to the opposing faction. Of 
course no formal objection to the projected meeting could have been 




THE THIRD FREDERICK PHII.IPSK. 



FROM .lANiTAUY, ITTH, TO .iiiLY !), ITTn 209 

ollVre'd, lor lluit would Luivc been nut merely a L-oiili'S.sioii of wcnk- 
ness, but highly inconsistent with the professed motives of the con- 
scr\ii1i^'es, who claimed to be quite as much ih'voted as the radicals 
(o tlie liberties of the country, differing with Ihem only as to melhods. 
The challenge for a test of strength was promi)tly accepted, and steps 
Avere taken throughout the county to make as strong an antagoinstic 
demonstration as possible at ^^"hite i'lains on the ap])ointed day. This 
was made manifest by an address " To the Freeholders and Inhabi- 
tants of the County of ^^'('st(■hester," Avhich apjx'ared in Rivington's 
New York Gazetteer on the tlth of April, signed "A White Oak,'' it 
not being deemed politic by its author or authors to attach any names 
to it. It is very significant that, while the White Plains call a|>pealed 
only to the freeholders — that is, to the legally qualified voters ex- 
clusively, — the counter-address comprehended the " inhabitants " as 
well. As a body, the tenant farmers of the Manor of I'hilipseburgh 
were not freeholders, but only non-voting "'inhabitants"; and of 
course it would never do, in the coming struggle of the factions, to 
accept a basis of representation ruling out so considerable an ele- 
ment of support for the programme of which the lord of that manor 
was the embodiment. The " ^^'hite Oak" address earnestly recom- 
mended a full attendance of " the friends of government and our 
hapjiy constitution,'" in order that the proposal to appoint delegates 
to meet in i)roviucial congress — '' a measure so replete with ruin and 
nusery " — might be voted down so far as Westchester County was 
concernt'd. They were ui'ged to " Remember the extravagant price 
we are now obliged to pay for goods purchased of tlif merchants in 
consequence of the Non-Importation Agreement," " and," it was add- 
ed, " when the Non-Exportation Agreement takes place, we shall be 
in the situation of those who were obliged to make bricks without 
straw." 

Early on the morning of the llth of April the rival forces began 
to gather at White Plains. The supporters of the announced busi- 
ness of the day made their headquarters at the tavern kept by Isaac 
Oakley, and the "friends of government" at the establishment of 
Captain Hatfield. About noon the former party proceeded to the 
court house, and, without waiting for the appearance of their friends 
of the other side, organized a meeting and elected Colonel Lewis Mor- 
ris chairman. Soon after the opposite faction entered in a body, 
headed by Colonel Frederick Philipse and Isaac Wilkins, and Mr. Wil- 
kius made a brief stalcment to the expectant Morrisifes. He informed 
tlicm that, " as they had been unlawfully called together, and for an 
unlaw ful jiurpose, they [the friends of government] did not intend 
to contest the matter by a poll, wliicli would be tacitlj' acknowdedging 



300 HISTOUY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

the authority that liad suniiiioncd them liither; but that they came 
only with a design to protest ayainst all such disorderly proceedings, 
and to show their detestation of all unlawful committees and con- 
gresses." They then, according to the account of their transactions 
which their leaders furnished to the press, "declared their deter- 
mined resolution to continue steadfast in their allegiance to their 
gracious and merciful sovereign, King (Jeorge the Third, to submit 
to lawful authority, and to abide by and sui)port the only true repre- 
sentatives of the people of the colony, the general assembly. Then, 
giving three huz/.as, they returned to Captain Ilatfiidd's, singing as 
thej' went, with loyal enthusiasm, the good and animating song of — 
" God save great George our King; 
Long live our noble King, etc." 

The declination of the followers of Thilipse and Wilkins to con- 
test the matter by a poll was an unexpected measure of tactics. In 
the address signed by " White Oak " the friends of government had 
been expressly solicited to rally at White Plains in order to give their 
votes on the vital question to be propounded there, and the conse- 
(|iiciices of failure to attend and declare their sentiments in (•ontr(d- 
liiig numbers had been pictured in vivid words. Notwithstanding the 
organization of the meeting by the Morris party, the conservatives 
could, of course, have made its ])roceedings conformable to their will 
if they liad been in the majority. Their preference to retire with 
nothing more than a protest, and convert themselves into a mere 
rum]), was an act either of political petulance or studied discretion. 
The reasonable conclusion is that they were with good cause appre- 
hensive of the result of a vote, and that their experienced leaders de- 
cided upon the safer course of a dignified retreat. 

The radicals in the court house, being left to themselves, put 
through the programme arranged for them with expedition and en- 
thusiasm. By a unanimous vot<' it was agreed to unite with the other 
counties in sending delegates to the proposed provincial convention, 
and eight delegates were accordingly chosen, as follows: Colonel Lewis 
Morris and Dr. Robert Graham, of Westchester; Stephen Ward, of 
Eastchester; Colonel James Uolmes and Jonathan Tlatt, of Bedford; 
John Thomas, Jr., of Eye; and Samuel Drake and Philip Van Cort- 
landt, of the Manor of Cortlandt. Resolutions were adopted extend- 
ing thanks to " the virtuous minority of the general assembly of 
this province, and particularly to John Thomas and Pierre Van Cort- 
landt, Es(iuires, two of our representatives, for tlieir firm attachment 
to and zeal for, on a late occasion, the preservation of the union of 
the colonies and the rights and liberties of America," and also thank- 
ing " the delegates who composed the late congress for the essential 



TO ALL BRAVE, HEALTl 

DISPOSEli 

IN THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD, WHO HAl 

NOW RAIS; 

GENERAL I 
liberties' AI 

OF THE U] 

Againft the hoft 

TAKE 



TofUtcft 




Firtficch. 



Ramnur' . Jg7"i 



^^^^. ''^^^:^^^^2^ ^^'^^^ 



'^^^^%?^. ^<^^.±f^^ ^ ^ . '-^vith h,s mufjj] 



THAT 

different parts of this beautiful continent in the linnnl.rnMi j\ 
home to L WendH, wxth h.s pockelfp"u'LrofcL"e";"^1'L'"heal 

GOD Sit! 
REPRESENTING AMERICAN SOLDIERS GOING THROUGH THE 

NOW IN POSSESSION 01 



BLE BODIED, AND WELL 

ING MEN, 

INCLINATION TO JOIN THE TROOPS, 
DER 

MINGTON, 
TDEPENTDENCE 

D STATES. 

foreign enemies, 

OTICE, 




ting' party gf fc^ 



«2--^t-^3f c^^z-^ZZ^t-'aC' 



courfty, attendance \vill be given bj^ 



Colonel AafSrTOglleny^tor the purpole of receiving the enrolment of 
rvirp. ^ 



Tvice. 

us, namely, a bounty of twelve dollars, an annual and fully fufficicnt 
Tiple ration of provifions, together with sixty dollars a year in gold 
13- up for himfelf and friends, asall articles proper for his fubtftancc ajid 

vc, will have an opportunity of hearing; and feeing in a more particular 
jibrace this opportunity of fpcndin^ a few hapjjy years in inewinj; the 
able charafter of a foldier, after which , he may, if he pleafes return 
with laurels. 
ITED STATES. 

A FACSIMILE OF THF, ONLY COPY KNOWN TO HAVF, BEF.N PRESERVED, 
• RTCAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA. 



KitoM .lAM'Aitv, 1775, TO .niLY 0, 177(; .'}01 

services ( liev ll.l \ c relideled lo A lliencjl." Tile meet i lit; I hell ;i<l jdllllieil 
\y\i]\ llll-ee clieel'S for the killi;'. 

The "friends of j;()\'enmieiil," iifler le;niiii; (hi- ((lurt JKtiise, or- 
UJiiiized ill! iiideiieiideiil iiiectinfi' iiiid ^Khipted I he foUowiufj;' dt'Cla- 
rjilioii, l(( wiiicii all itreseiif sii;iied (heir iiaiiies: 

Wi', tin- iiii(lcrsi}rii((l, frc(li<il(lcrs ruiil iiiliabitants of the ('oiiiity "f Wcstclicstcr, liaviiig 
asseiiiMod at tlii' Wliltf Plains In (Miiisifiuciicit of certain advcrtlscniciits, do now dcclaic tliat 
we met licic to express onr honest al>liorronee of all nnlawtid eonfjiesses and eoniniittees, and 
tliat WI' are deteiinini^d at tlie hazard of oni' lives and |ii(i]>i'rti('S to snpport the kin;; and thf 
eonstitntion, anil that we ai'knowled;;e no representatives lint the ^'eneral asseiiilily, to whose 
wisdom and inte^'i'lty we snhiuit the ^nardiaiiship of onr rights and lllierties. 

There were in all three hundred and t wehc signers In liiis dneii- 
nieiil, headed by I'rederick I'hilipse, [satic WilUins, the Ivevs. Samuel 
Seai)iiry and laike IJalx-ock, Jnd<;('s Jonathan I'owler and ( 'aleb l*'o\v- 
ler, and se\eral olhei' ])roniin('iit ])orsons, includini;- Mayor Natlianiel 
Underliill, of tlie i;oron.i;h of Weslcjiester, and !Miili|i j'l 11, of I'elhani 
IMaiior. 

The palriolic nieeliiiL; al W'iiite I'lains was condnrted wiiii perfect 
(lecoriini, and, in spile of the aff<>TC'Ssivt' spoecli of .Mr. Wilkins ajiuinst 
"disorderly inoceedinus" and "unlawful roniiiiil lees and congresses,'' 
Colonel Morris and his tidhcreiits had the jiood taste to refrain from 
all \i(denl or \ indict ixc e\|iressions or doinf^s on I iial oc<asion. ,\ Iso in 
his pnhli,>lied report ol t he e\cnls of the day Colonel .Morris abstained 
from lani;iiaL;e llial could ]iossibly jiive offense, continin^ iiiniseif to 
a dispassionate narrative of facts. I!ul llie " friends of i;overiiiiienl "' 
Wi-vc not so moderate. They caused an elalxuale stalemeni to be 
lii-iuted in I he .New \\>\-k press, tilled \\itii animad\ crsioiis of an ex- 
asjM'ratin^ naluie. In I ids slalemeiii, wiiicli a|(iii'are<l in i;i\ in^lon's 
p.ijier on the L'dtli of A])ril, the day after the battle of Lexington, it 
Wiis cliarjLied that llie nieetin<i held at Ihc court house had, by assiini- 
iriii to re]ireseiit I he true sentiiiieiit of Westchester ('ounly, jinposed 
n]ioii llie wiirhl and insulted tlie "loyal ("oiiiity ol' Weslchestei' " in 
a most barefaced manner"; tliat it was "the ad of i lew individuals 
unlawfully assembled," and tliat it was well known tiiat al least two- 
thirds of the inhabitants of the county were " fi-ieiids to order and 
fiovernment, and op]»osed to committees and all unlawlnl combina 
tions." 'i'lie ire of ("(doni'l .Moriis was aroused by such reljeci ions ami 
alleviations, and in a cninmiinicat ion to Ihe press piildisiied soon 
afterward he rejilied willi j;reat \i;;(»r and cutliiiu satire, also sub- 
jectinji the list i>( sinners to a merciless analysis. " I shall pass over," 
said he, "the many iillle embellislmienis willi wiiicli Ihe authf)r's 
fancy lias einleavored to decoi-ate his narrative; noi- is it necessary 
to call in (Hiesti(»n the reality of that loyal enthusiasm by whicii it 



302 niSTOUV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

wiis siiid tlicsi' i;uo(l pcopk- wrrc iullucuoed; and 1 really wish it 
liad hccii the fact, because when inconsistencies and fooleries result 
from inebriety or enthusiasni, tliey merit our pity and escape iudis;:- 
nation and resent meiit. Much pains, I confess, were on that day 
taken to iiial<e teiiiiMnai-y enthusiasts, and Avith other exhilaratinj; 
spirit than tlie si)irit of loyalty. To jjive the appearance of difiuity 
to these cui'ious and very orderly protestors, the author has been 
very mindful to annex everj- man's addition to his name, upon a pre- 
sumption perhaps that it would derive weisiht from the title of Mayor, 
Esquire, Captain, Lieutenant, Judge, etc. But it is not easy to con- 
ceive why the publisher should be less civil to the clergy than to 
the gentry or commonalty. Samuel Seabury and Luke Babcock cer- 
tainly ought not to have been sent into the world floating on a news- 
paper in that plain way. The one is the Kev. Mr. Samuel Seabury, 
I'ector of the united parishes of East and West Chester, and one of 
the missionaries for propagating the Gospel, and not politicks, in 
foreign parts, etc., etc.; the other is the Kev. Mr. Luke Babcock, who 
preaches and prays for Colonel Philipse and his tenants at Philipse- 
burgh." In his analysis of the signers of the protest he showed that 
no fewer than one hundred and seventy of the three hundred and 
twelve were persons not possessing the least pretensions to a vote, 
many of them being lads under age; while of the one hundred and 
forty-two wlio were freidiolders many h(dd lands at the will of Colonel 
Philipse. " so that," he concluded, " very few independent freeholders 
objected totlie a]ipointment of deputies." Theaccuracy of this analysis 
was never challenged; and it thus appears that with all the advant- 
ages of prestige enjoyed by the conservative leaders they were able to 
muster scarcely a hundred disinterested voters in o]iposition to a po 
litical ])rogi-amme ^Aiiicli they had announced to be '' replete witli 
ruin and misery." IMoreover, several formal recantations of the pro- 
test by ])ersons taIio had signed it followed, showing that, as in the 
case of the Bye protestants of the year before, various indixiduals 
who lufd been drawn into support of Tory principles were speedily 
brought to a realizing sense of the odiousness of their behavior. 
Among the recant<'rs was Jonatlian Fowler, one of the judges of 
the Court of Common Pleas of the county, \\lio, in a ])ublish(^d card, 
declared that "upon inatu.re deliberation and more full knowledge 
of the matter" he Inul come to the conclusion tliat the sentiments 
expressed in tlie ])rotest Mere "not only injurious to our ])resent 
cause, but likewise offensive to our fellow-colonists," and therefore 
repudiated and testified his abhorrence of them. 

The New York provincial convention f(U' the appointment of dele- 
gates to the congress at Pliiladeljiliia met in New York City on the 



FKOM JANUARY, 1775, TO .1ULY 9, 1776 



303 



20th of .Vpril. All the represcutatives for \\'('st(h(sl('i" Coiiiilv se- 
lected hy the meetinp; at White Plains were in attcmliince excepting 
Jonathan Piatt and Colonel James rTolnies. ,V deleiialion of twelve 
men — live from New York Connt.v and (>ne eaeli from Ivin^s, Snffolk, 
Orange, Albany, Ulster, Westchester, and Dnti^liess Counties — was 
chosen to rejiresent the province. The delegate for Westchester 
County was Colonel Lewis Morris. John Jay was re-elected as a dele- 
gate for New York City. The convention adjourned on the 22(1. 

On tli(> morning of the next day, Sunday, A])ril 23, 1775, the news 
of the battle of Lexington Avas received by the people of our county 




TIIK NK.WS OF LEXINGTON. 



residing along the Boston Post Koad from the express lidcr \\ Im had 
b<'en dis])atch;>d to bear it as far as NeA\' York. Spread Ironi nioutli 
to mouth thi'oughout tlie county, it cverywhei''- iutcnsitied the pas- 
sions wiiich hail been stirred by the local political exents of the pre- 
vious few weeks. Already iiiceused at the arrogant bearing of the 
conseT'vati\(' jiarty, Mhich had just been freshly illustrated by the 
injudicious narrati\i' of the )ii-oce( dings at W'liile I'lains lliat the 
leaders of that ])arty had insertetj in the New ^'ol■k newspapers, the 
pali'ioiic element was aroused by this alarnnng inteliigem-e to bit- 
terness and aggression. Numerous were tJie intei-\ie\\s held with 
signers of the jirotest who were sn]i]iosed to be open to persuasion. 



304 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

iiinl Willi Jill iiiilividiials of imviduslv unccrlaiii tendencies. A week 
later Judjie Jonathan Fowler piiblislied his meek recantation, and 
even the bold spirit of Isaac Wilkius, the eloquent leader of the ma- 



NEW- YORK, Committee-Chamber, 

WEDNESDAY, 26tK April, 3775. 

THE CommitteeTiaving taken. Into Conlldera.rioa tha Commotions 
occafioned by the fanguinary Meafures purfucd by the Briiitli, 
Mmiftry, and that tte Powers with which this Committee is 
invefted, reftieft only the AfTocixtion. are unanimoufly of 
Opinion, That a new Committee be elefted by the Freeholders 
and Freemen of this City and County,, for the prefent unhappy Exigency 
of Affairs, as well as to obfervc the Conduft. of all Pcrfons touching the 
Affbciation; That the ^aid Committee confift of loo Perfons; that 33 be a 
Quorum, and that they difTolvc within a Fortnight next after the End of 
the next Seflions of the Continenul Congrefs. And that the Senfe of the 
Freeholders and Freemen of this City and County, upon this Subjeft, may 
be better procured and afceitained, the Committee are further unanimoufly 
of Opinion, That the Polls "be taken on Friday Morning next, at po' Clock, 
at the ufual Places of-EIefticnln each Ward, under the Infped\ion of the 
two VeArymen of each Ward, and two of this Committee, or any two 
of the four J and that at the faid Eledions the Votes of the Freemen and 
Freeholder,':, be taken on the following Qucftions, vis. Whether fuch New. 
Committee (hall be conftitufed J andiflVa, of whom it (hallconfift. AntI 
this Committee is further unanimoufly of Opinion, That at the prefent 
alarming Juncture, it is highly advifeable that a Provincial CongrcCs be 
immediately fummoned ; and that it be recommended to the Freeholders 
and Freemen of this City and County, to choofc at the fame Time that 
they vote for the New Committee aforefaid. Twenty Deputies to rcprefcnt 
them at the faid Congrefs. And that a Letter be forthwith prepared and 
difpatched to all the Counties, rec^uefting them to unite with us in forming 
a Provincial Congrefs, and to appoint their Deputies withoutDelay, to meet 
at New -York, oa Monday the 22d of May next. 

By Order of the Committee.^ 

ISAAC LOW, Chatrman. 



FACSIMILE OK NKW YORK COMMITTEE CIRCULAI! AETEU TIIK BATTLE OF LEXINGTON. 

jority in the provincial assembly, yielded ilself lo tlie inevitable. 
Against Wilkins jjarticularly severe ainniosKy was cherished. It 
was he who, at ^Vhite Plains, had denounced {lie i)atriotlc assem- 
blage as disorderly and nnlawful, and common report attributed to 



KKOM .lAXTAKY, 1775, TO .TTTIA" 9, 177G 305 

liiiii the iiullidi'slii]! (>(' tlic in-olcsliui; '' i!iii'ra(iv(-," widi its oH'i'iisive 
assunii)tions and liupiidciit iliaracterizatious. The jiiililic i-cscnt- 
iiiciit t()A\ard liiiii Avas so d('(>]», and Avas manifested willi such acliv- 
ily, tliat without delay he formed tlie resoliif ion to h-ave tiie country. 
Tiiis was annonnced in an open letter addressed to '' My Conntry- 
nicii," dated New York, May 3, 1775. The i)recipitation of his fliiiilit 
may he judgeil from Ills statement that he li'ft beliind " Cverytiiint; 
that is dear to me — my wife, my children, my friends, and my prop- 
erty."' He avowed that he was aetnated not by fear or a conscious- 
ness of ha\ini; done wroni;, but b^' an unwilliniiness to become in- 
volved in the fratricidal strife that was impending;'. " I leave 
America, and every endearinf;- connection," he concluded, " because 
I \\\\\ not raise my hand a;iiainst my Soverei,nn, nor will I draw my 
sword against my Country; when I can conscientiously draw it in 
liei' fa\'our, my life shall be chearfully devoted to her service." 

In New York City, the center of political aiiitation and manage- 
UK ut, the thrillini; news from Lexington evoked more energetic and 
a.u^rcssive measures tlian had yet been attem])ted. Although a pro- 
vincial con\-eiition had just been lield, and a continental congress was 
aliout to meet, it was decided to summon a jii-ovincial congress; and 
a call Avas proui|)tly issued Utr such a body to meet in New York City 
on the 22(1 of May and "deliberate u])on ami from time to tiun^ to 
direct such measures as may be expedient for our common safety." 
In the cii'cular sent to the counties the gravity of the situation was 
pointed out in strong language, and for the first time the hint of 
wai' was gi\-en to the jieojile of the Colony. \\'estchester County re- 
sjxinded to this m-w appeal by holdinii a meeting at "White Plains 
on the Sth of .May, James Yan Cortlandt, of th(> r5orouiili of West- 
chester, occupying the chair. It appointed a jiermanent counly com- 
mit tee of ninety jter^ons, twenty of whom were em])owered to act 
lor the ccomty, and to that committee was referred the authority to 
choose the delegates to the proposed congress. The delegates select- 
ed under this provision wei'e Couverneur ^lorris, Dr. TJobert Craham, 
Colonel Lewis (iraham, and Colonel James N'an Cortlandt, all of the 
Town of Westchester; Ste]ihen Ward and Joseph Drake, of East- 
chesler; Major I'liiliji Yan Cortlandt, of Cortlandt ]\LTnor; Colonel 
Janu'S Holmes, of ISedfoi-d; John Thomas, Jr., of TJye; David Dayton, 
of North Castle; and William Paulding, of Philii)seburgh Manor. It 
is noteworthy that anntng the i-esults of this White Plains meeting 
two men whose names were destined to rank among the most im- 
lioitant in the annals of Westchester County obtained their first en- 
trance into iniblic life — Converneur Morris and Jonathan C. Tom])- 
kins. The former headed the delegation to the provim'ial congress, 



306 



HISTOKY OF WKSTCHESTER CDfXPY 



niiil the inttcr Avas one nf tlic piiiiciiial iiiciiili''i-s <if lli<- (•niniiiiltee 

<if iiiiict.v wliifli was cicalrd lo taUc oliargv of atTaiis in tlir coimty. 

< i(MiV('iU('iu- .AJonis was the fniiitli sdii <tf Lewis .Morris, .li., and a 



stciihi'otlier of Culuiiel Lewis .Morris. He was horn in T 



was "rad- 



ualcd at Columbia College in lT(iS, slndicd law under llie preceptor- 
slii]) of ^Villianl Sniitli llie youni^er (afterward royal chief justice), 
and was admitted to the bar in 1771, when only twenty years old. 
He immediately espoused the cause of the anti-<>overnraent pai'ty, al- 
thoujih identifying' himself, like Jay, with its more moderate advo- 
cates; and it was not until the die had been oast by the introduction 
of the Declaration of Independence in the continental congress that 
he took a pronounced position in support of radical doctrines. As 
a delegate from Westchestei- County to the provincial congress of 
1775 and 177G he attracted general attention by his abilities, and 

thenceforward his services were con- 
stantly employed in behalf of the 
nation. His mother was a lady of 
strong Loyalist prejudices, and Gou- 
vernenr's championship of the Kevo- 
luiionary cause was a gn'ar disap- 
pointment to lu-r. His sister, Isabella, 
married Isaac Wilkins, whose nu'lan- 
clioly farewell to his conntiymen has 
just been noticed. Couvenieur Mor- 
ris, being liis father's youngest son, 
did not iulierit any portion of the 
IMorrisania estate; but some years 
after the conclusion of jyeace with 
Creat Britain he purchased from his 
brother. General Staats Long Morris, 
of the British army, all that portion 
of the ancestral ])ro])erty lying east 
(if .Mill lirnok. There he n'sidcd during the clnsing years of his life, 
and died on the IHth of NoNcmber, ISlli. 

.lonalhan G. Tomiddns,' of Scarsdale, llic fatlier of <!nverunr and 
N'ice-President Daniel l». Touipkins, was a prnuiincnt West (duster 
County figure throughout the Ilevolutiou and for many years after. 
His ancestors emigrated from the north of England to .Massachu- 




UOIV'EUNKLU MORRIS. 



* He was buru Josliu.i Tompkins, hoiiifi so 
iiMtiicil for his fatbor. wbo removed to Sears- 
dale from Westchfcsier Town. One of the 
family's neisthbors in Scarsdale was Captain 
.lonalhan Crin'cn. a well-to-do farmer, who, 
bi'inc ehildless, and taking a fanr-y to yonns 



.Toslnia, adopted him and liad him baptized by 
the name of .Touatliaii Griffeu Tompkins. Caji- 
lain GrilTeu eonvt\ved to liini a farm of one 
iinndrr'd acres. .Tonathau G. Tompkins mar- 
ried a daujrhter of Caleb Hyatt, a respeetable 
fai-nier in White riains. 



FHOM JANUARY, 1775, TO JULY 9, 177G 307 

setts, iicsides scrviiiL; on the coiitity ('(111111111 Ice, Ik- was supervisor 
for the Manor of Searsdale, and later was a member of tlie committee 
of safety, a delegate to two [iro\ iiieial coniiresses, member of the as- 
sembly and county judge under flie 8tate governmeut, and one of the 
first regents of the State University. He lived lo ihe venerable age 
of eighty-seven, dying in 1823. 

The second Continental congress began its sessions at I'hiladel- 
pliia on tlie 10th of May. Accepting the proceedings at Lexington 
and their associated ev(mts as acts of wai-, it imniediat(dy began to 
lay i)iaiis for a general armed resistance. Steps were taken for the 
creation of an army by the enlisiinciil of V(diinteers, Washington was 
ajipointed (•ommander-in-chief, and the preliminary arrangements 
were made for meeting the expenses of the struggle. 

When the New York jiroviucial congress assembled on the 22d of 
May, the ])rograiiiiiie of revolution had already been well marked out. 
This provincial body was equal to the emergency, being fully con- 
trolled by the patriotic element, although well balanced in its mem- 
bership. It entered at once upon the serious business of the hour. 
By the election of Peter Van I>rugli Livingston, an extremist, as its 
]iresi(liiig ol'licer, it testified its complete readiness for co-operation 
wilh the sister c(donies in radical action. Yet it took a firm stand 
in insisting upon the local autonomy of the Colony of Xew York, one 
(>( its earli(^st acts being the rejection of a resolution providing for 
iiii](licit obedience to the continental congress in all matters excejit 
tlutse of local ])(dice regulation. On the first (\n\ of the session pro- 
vision was made for effective organization in the several counties by 
the establishing of committees in sympathy with the general plans 
of the friends of liberty. A plan for a continental currency, sub- 
mitted and advocated with great ability by Gouverneur Morris, was 
recommended to the consideration of the continental congi'ess. Final- 
ly, detailed arrangements were adopted for iintting the province in 
a state of military defense, for the levying of troops, ami for active 
local administration and sujiervision in the interest of assuring full 
exercise of authority by the Revolutionary party and repressing dis- 
;i flection. 

The British garrison in Xew York had given little trouble lo the 
iMPimlai-e since the Golden Hill affray of January, 177(1. During its 
brief stay in the city after the battle of Lexington it was not re- 
iiifoiccd. .\lthougli as yet no armed body of colonists had arisen to 
ilirtaleii ili<' British soldiers, it was perfectly understood that the 
lieojde, and not llie garrison, were masters of the local situation, and 
that at the slightest manifestation of aggression <ui the jiarl of llie 
troops sanguinary events A\-ould be |ireci])ilate(|. The P.ritish com- 



308 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COl'XTY 

uiaadfi- had the good sense to alisiain ri-om aiivlliiiii; of tliat uature, 
and, on the other hand, tlie ptipuhice nunh' no atteiiii)t to interfere; 
witli liiin. But this forlx-arance was about the only instance of mod- 
eration displaj-ed in the City of New Yorlv at that critical time. The 
jK'ople, under the leadership of the Sons of Liberty, committed overt 
acts which were in the line of open rebellion. A novernnient store- 
liotise at Turtle Bay was seized, and about one hundred pieces of 
ordnance were carted to Kiuji,sbridge, which, as the point of com- 
munication with the mainland, was instantly recognized as a prin- 
ci])al strategic position, denmndiug intreuchment. Indeed, as early 
as the 4th of May the New York City committee ordered ''that Cap- 
tain Sears, Captain Bandall, and Captain Fleming be a committee to 
procure i»roper judges to go and vicAV the ground at or near Kings- 
bridge, and report to tliis committee, with all convenient spee<l, 
whether it will answer for the purposes intended by it." Thus the 
very first warlike measure determined upon in this portion of the 
country had referi'uce to a locality ui)on the borders of our county. 

The supremacj' of the po]iular power in New York was well evi- 
denced by the dictatorial authority assumed and successfully en- 
forced by the committee of one hundred upon the occasion of the 
de])arture of the garrison from the city. This event occurred early 
in June, tl:e frigate " Asia " having come into the harboi- with oi-ders 
to reiiioNc tlie soldiers to Iioston. The committee gave its coiiseni 
to th<' transaction, witli the proxiso, however, that the troops shouhl 
carry a\vay Avitli them no other arms than tliose u])on their own 
|)ersons. An attempt A^as made to violate the arl)itrary order thus 
pi'onniigated, and the first detaclniieiit that issued fioiii the fort was 
accompanied b^' several vehicles loaded with stacks of arms. At 
the corner nf Broad and Beaver Streets a single citizen, ^larinus \Vil- 
left by name, emergecl from the crowd, seized tlie horse of the leading 
vehicle by the bridle, and commanded the driver to turn back. .Vn 
allei-cation now ensued, several iironiinent genllemen e-vju'essing their 
o](ini(ins — among them Gouverneur Morris, wh.o, consistently with 
the ]iacitic attitude that he had taken, deprecated ^Villett's act. But 
the aggri'ssive faction was reiiresented by well known s]iokesmeii, 
haxing behind them o\crwlielming nund)ers of the S(uis of Liberty, 
and they gave it to be understood that unless Ihe ai'ms were left in 
the city, in obedience to the directions of the committee, Idood would 
flow. The judicious British (.Iticer in command yielded to these re])- 
resentations, and the citizens were ]K'rmitt(^d to nii]iro])riate the arms. 
After that trium]dial ternnnation of the matter, Willett mounted 
one of the carts and delivered an imjiassioned address to the meek 
soldierv, exhorting them to desist from the unnatural business of 



FIIO.M .lANUAIlY, 1775, TO JTILY !), 177(> 



:}()9 



slicddiiiL; tlic blood ul' tbt-ir bid lii-cii, and prdiuisim; lirulrctioii tu 
aiiv oC I heir iiuinbLT who should liaNo (he courage to leave the ranks 
and join tlie ])alrio(ic nniltitudc llistoi-y records that one of the 
men deserted in resjionse lo this a]i]K'al. In all the i)reliininar3- events 
of the ilexdintion there is no nioic di-aniatic episode tliau this ex- 
ploit of .Marinus W'illett. It is typical of the whole conrse of th<> 
peo](le of ^New York from the earliest period of the troubles with 
the mother country — a course of unfaltering' aggression, taking no 
thought of consequences. Willett subsequently became an ofUcer in 
the Anu'rican army, and, as we shall see, distinguished himself upon 




KXPLOIT OF MARINl'S WILLKTT. 



a notable occasion in repelling a British expedition near I'eekskill, in 
our county. 

The continental congress at riiiladelphia, imrsuing the IJevolu 
lionary programme which had been inaugurated at the beginiung of 
its session, early turned its attention to the subject of preparing the 
Province of New York for defensive and offensive oi)erations. In this 
connection the fortitication of the passes at Kingsbridge and ai lh<' 
entrance to the Highlands, and plans for obstructing the navigation 
of the Hudson Kiver in case of necessity, received (diief consideration. 
( >i> the li.lth of May a number of resolutions ])ertaining to New \drk 
were adopted by I he congre. s, jncluiling I he I'nl low ing: 

That a post l)i' iniim(Hati'ly taken ami t'oititiiil at or iiiai' l<iMirsl)ri(lf;c, in tlip Colony of 
New York ; and that tlu' ^jround In- chosen witli a partienhir view to prevent the eonininniea- 
tion between the City of New York and tlie country from lieing- interrupted liy land. 



310 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

That a post be also taken in the Ilinhlands, on each side of Hudson's River, and bat- 
teries erected in such a manner as will most ettectually prevent any vessels ])assing tliat may 
be sent to liarass the inhabitants on the borders of said river ; and that experienced persons 
be immediately sent to examine said river, in order to discover where it will be most advis- 
alile and proper to obstruct the navigation. 

These resolves, with otlicrs, \vci<' couuiiuuicated to the provincial 
congress of New York, with insiructious to keep tliem secret. That 
body referred the two matters to separate couimittees, which in due 
time rei)orted plans for carrying the recommendations into effect. 
The result as to Kingsbridge was the construction of three redoubts, 
one of which (on Tetard's llill) was called Fort Independence; and 
the first iutrenchments thus established were soon supplemented by 
others along the Harlem and t^puyten Duyvil waterway. Fort Wash- 
ington, on Manhattan Island, overlooking the Hudson at about the 
foot of ISlst Street, was built under the supervision of Colonel Kufus 
I'utuam, of Washiugton's sialV, previously to Ihc British occupation 
of New York. It was designed to Ik — and was, in fact — the main de- 
fensive i>osi1ion guarding New York City below and the open country 
above; and Fort Washington and the Kingsbridge defenses were 
closely interdependent. In addition to its function as a citadel at the 
northern end of ^lanhattan Island, Fort Washington covered the 
passage up the Hudson Itiver, to which end Fort Lee, erected about 
the same time directly opposite on the New Jersey bank, alst) con- 
tributed. 

The committee having in charge the matter of advising as to forti- 
fying both banks of the Hudson in the neighborhood of the High- 
lauds and obstructing the river navigation paved the way for equally 
important undertakings in that quarter. Expert commissioners who 
were sent to examine the country laid stress in their report upon 
the natural military advantages offered by the northwestern section 
of Westchester County, which, besides guarding the Highlands, was 
the eastern terminus of the King's Ferry route (at that time the 
]nin(i]>al means of communication between the Eastern andSouthern 
colonit'si, and also afforded an excellent road leading into Connecticut. 
The famous chain across tlie Hudson at Anthony's Nose was soon 
afterward manufactured, it is said to have cost £70,000, almost 
bankrupting the continental treastiry, whereas no com])ensa1ing ben- 
efits Mere derived from it. On tw >) occasions it bridce from its own 
weight. The ill-fated Forts Clinton and ^Montgomery were con- 
structed in the Highlands on the west side of the river, with Fort 
Constitution on an island opposite West Point. The erection of Fort 
Lafayette at Yerplanck's Point and Fort Independence at Peekskill 
(as also of the famous wcu-ks at Stony Point, opposite Yerplanck's) 



IKOM lAXT'ARY, 177."), TO JTLY 9. 177<i 311 

ltcl(iiii;s til ;i hilci- ]icrin(l. ( )f ilic \;irinus I Jc\ iil ill i(iii;n-y fortresses in 
llic Ilii;lil;iiHls and lliar seftinii, ^\■(■sl I'oiiil was huill last. 

Ill addilidii to its iiartioiihir recoiiniieiidations respecting Kino's- 
liiidiic, llie Ilijililaiids, and the iludsoii, tlie (•(ndinenf al cDngress ad- 
\ised New ^Oi'k to iiave its militia i horon^lil y armed and trained, 
and piace'l in "eonslanl readiness to act at a moment's warninin' "; 
and, as a tinal matter, tJie colony was summoued to enlist and efjnip 
three thousand volunteers, who were to serve luilii ilie .31st of De- 
cember, 177"), unless sooiu'i' discharged. In response to the demand 
for three thousand enlisted men, four regiments were formed, of which 
one, though known as the Dutchess County regiment, was composed 
to a considerable extent of Westchester County men. Its colonel 
was James Holmes, of Bedford, a grandson of one of the original 
proprietors of that town, who had served with credit as a captain in 
liie French and Indian \s'nr. Although, in addition to accepting this 
coiumission. Holmes had been a delegate to the provincial congress, 
and soon afterward served with his command in ihe invasion of Can- 
ada, he subsequently became one of the disaffected, turned Loyalist, 
and was appointed lieutenant-colonel in the corps of Westchester 
County IJefugees. Philip Van Cortlandt, son of Pierre \'au Cortlaudt 
and a leading member of the provincial congress, was made lieuten- 
ant-colonel of the Dutchess County regiment. Three of its ten com 
panics were largely from Westchester County. 

In the summer of 177.5 the provincial congress ordered a complete 
reorganization of the militia of the colony, and required every mem- 
ber of that body, between the ages of sixteen and fifty, to provide 
liimself with a musket and bayonet, a sword or tomahawk, a cartridge- 
iiox to contain twenly-three rounds of cartridges, a knapsack, one 
]ioiind of gunpowder, and three pounds of balls. There were no reg- 
ulations as to uniform. Cndci- this order AVestchester County thor- 
oughly reconstrmled its militia, depo.sing all officers of uusatisfac- 
toi-y or doubtful antecedents, and electing stanch patriots in their 
stead. 

The battle of Hunker Hill, on the 17tli of June, had still farther 
wideiii'il the lu'each, which, indeed, now seemed inia]iaiile of being 
rhise<l. Three days pre\iously George ^^'ashiugton luid been ap- 
pointed by the continental congress commander-in-chief of the .Vmer- 
ican armii's. On June 2.") he arrived in New 'N'ork on his way to the 
seal of war in ^lassachuset ts, lining been met at Newark by a de])U- 
tation of citizens, of whom ( loincineiii- .Morris was one of the prin- 
cipal members. I ie stopped over night in the city, and the next morn 
iiig continued his joiirnev, being escorted for some distance by thi' 



312 



HISTORY OK WI'.STCriESTEU COUNTY 



local militia. His muU-, of courst', lay through our couut.v, along 
the Boston Post Road. 

One of the luo.st notewovtliY (Miactnicnts of the provincial congress 
of 177") was a series of regulations for preventing and ])unishing un- 
acceptable acts and language bj' the Tory element of the province, 
riiese regulations were drastic, and, as they were a])plied with par- 
licular severity in Westchester County, a somewhat detailed notice 
mT ilicm is called for. The measure embodying them was adopted on 
the 2(ith of August. It prohibited the furnishing of provisions or 
other necessaries, " contrary to the rescdutions of the continental 
oi- of this congress," to the ministerial army or navy, as well as com- 
municating by correspondence or otherv.'ise to the British military 
or naval officers any information prejudicial to the interests or plans 
of the colonists. Pei'sons accused of offending against the act in tlief?e 
respects were to be brought before the county or city committee, the 
])rovincial congress, or the committee of safety, and, if found 
guilty, were to be disarmed, to forfeit double the value of the 
articles furnished, and to be imprisoned not to 
exceed three months. In case of a second of- 
fense, the guilty person was to be banished from 
the colony for seven years. Continuing, the act 
declared that, " although this congress, having 
tender regard to the freedom of speech, the 
rights of conscience, and personal liberty, so far 
as indulgence in these particulars may be con- 
sistent with our general security, yet, for the 
general safety," it was necessary to sternly pun- 
ish abuses of such privileges. Consequently all 
persons were prohibited fi-om opposing or deny- 
ing ■• tiic authority of the continental lu- this congress, or the commit- 
ice of safety, or the committees of the respective counties, cities, 
towns, manors, precincts, or districts in this colony" and from "dis- 
suading aii_\- person or persons from olicying the recommendations of 
the contiuejital or this congress, or the committee of safety, or the 
comniitt(>es aforesaid." Susjx'cts were to be tried before the county 
committees, and, if convicted, were lo be disarmed for the first offense 
and committed to close contiiieiin'iit, at tlieir respective expense, for 
llie second. Committees and militia olticers were enjoined to appre- 
liciid every person discovered lo be enlisted or in arms against the 
libci-ties of the country, and to keej) him in custody until his fate 
siiould be determined by the congress; and the estate of every such in- 
dividual was to be seized and confiscated. 

Very soon after tin- })assage of this measure the zealous local com- 
mitteemen in AVestchester County began to take steps for its wide- 




PHILIPSK ARMS. 



FROM JANUAKV. 1775, TO JULY 9, 1776 ' 313 

s|'rc;iii ;ni(l striugenl ciirorcenient. With (he iiuliinni of 1775 coui- 
mcTiccd those numerous acts of inforniation, fi-equentlv by ueigbbor 
n.uaiiisl neiulibor, and as frequently violative of everv private confi- 
dence and decent oblijiation between man and man, which form so 
much (d' the history of our county during tiu' Kevolution. In no 
other county of the province did sucli abundant and invitim; ma- 
terial exist for the exercise of the peculiar activities of tlic patriotic 
informer. It is true that Kings, (2ueens, Suffoliv, and Uiclimond 
Counti(>s contained a large Loyalist population — perliajis as numer- 
ous and important, ]iroi)ortionately, as that of Westchester. Hut with 
the capture of New York City in the summer uf 1776 these island 
counties came under the complete protection of the British forces, 
and their Tory inhabitants were conse([uently exempte<l from the 
iu(iuisitorial observation and regulation through a long term of years 
which the British sympathizers in West(diest( r County had to suffer. 
There is no doubt that many of the individual proceedings in this 
connection in our county were fully wai ranted. It should also be 
remembered that sucli doings are the inevitable concomitants of 
war — especially civil war, — even at the present day and under the 
most enlightened and generous govei-nments. Yet the history of this 
aspect of the devolution in Westcheslei' County is peculiai'ly dis- 
tressing. The proscri])tions were appalling in number, and whatever 
individual justice, wisdom, or necessity attached to special cases, the 
characteristic spirit of the Kevolutiouaiy authoi'ities was without 
([Uestion nu'rciless. A certain satisfaction, though but a melancholy 
one, is afforded by the reflection that the British, so far as they had 
the power to pursue retribuli\c ])ractices here, were even more vin- 
dictive in their spirit and barbarous in its execution. The Americans 
at least seldom burned private mansions or devastated estates, which 
the Britisji did not fail to do in their raids; and, indeed, th(> West- 
chester raids of the British were often exclusively for these precise 
purposes. Summary arrests by the British in this county of persons 
not in arms, but deemed obnoxious for political reasons, were also 
very frequent; and many a Westchester patriot, including some of 
the most honored sons of the county, perished miserably in the loath- 
sorie dungeons and frightful prison-ships which the English com- 
manders maintained for political captives. 

The first list of sus^jects for the County of \Vestchester reported 
to the provincial congress was headed by the nann- of Colonel Fred- 
erick I'liilipse. Anotiu-r conspicucms person denounced on the same 
occasion was the Rev. Samuel Seabury, of Eastchester, to w horn Col- 
onel Lewis .Morris had sarcastically alluded a few months before as a 
missionary for " ]iropagating the Cosjiel, and not politicks, in for- 



314 HISTOKY (»F WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

ciiiu parts." I'liilip.sr was destiiu'd to a brief re'spitc bclnrc being 
summoned to the Kevolutionary bar, but Beabury was soon to ex])e- 
rience even harsher treatment than that provided for in tlie sutli- 
cieutly aggressive provincial act. This initial list comprised alto- 
gether thirty-one persons. So far as their individual cases have been 
traced, documentary evidence has been tV)Uud showing that at least 
twenty of the number were dul^- convicted and cast into prison. A 
specially interesting case was that of Godfrey Hains, of Ifye, de- 
nounced by one Eunice Purdy, supposed to have been a revengeful 
sweetheart, in an attidavit over her mark. Eunice, being sworn " upon 
the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God," alleged that Hains liad used 
extremely incendiary language in her hearing against congresses and 
committees, and moreover had expressed the heinous wish that men- 
of-war would come along the Sound. Hains was arrested, and, after 
being examined by the committee at White Plains, was about to be 
discharged with the mild sentence that he be disarmed; whereupon 
he deliantly admitted that he possessed arms, but would not reveal 
their hiding-place. The committee dispatched him to New York, 
with a letter describing him as a particularly dangerous man. He 
was confined in the City Hall Prison, and after a time was arraigned 
before the provincial congress and recommitted to jail. Taking ad- 
viuitage of a favorable o])])ort unity he escaped, and then, with sev- 
eral associates, he loaded a vessel with provisions and sailed for 
Boston, intending to deliver his supplies to General Howe. The 
shi]) was wrecked, its cargo was seized by the Revolutionary gov- 
ernment, and Hains was again imprisoned, this time in the Ulster 
County jail, where a strong guard was jilaced over him, and Avhere, 
presumabh-, he languislied long enough for liis Tory ardor to become 
cooled. 

Hains was supposed to have been concerned in a plot to seize the 
distinguished Judge John Thomas, and other pronunent Westchester 
patriots, and carry thi'ui captives to the British general at l?oston. 
Throughout the fall of 1775 there were whisperings of serious Tory 
cons])iracies in Westchester County, which were likely to result at 
any time in retaliatory measures of a formidable nature. The arrests 
of Tories had in some instances been resisted by companies of their 
armed partisans, and in general a spirit of resentment had been 
manifested which gave considerable uneasiness to the committee. In 
a letter dated White Plains, the 1st of November, and signed by Jona- 
than G. Tompkins and others, concerning the rumored plot to abduct 
Judge Thomas, the president of the provincial congTess was besought 
to take the necessary steps for causing a number of specified persons 
to appear before that body and testify. " We would not have troubled 



FROAI .TAM AI!V, 177."), TO .]VIA' J», 177<i '^15 

the congress," it was iiildcd, "ahdiii apid-cliciidiny the abovc-naiiifd 
persons, but tliat we loolc upon ourselves, at present, as too \veal< to 
do it without jiveat dannci-."" Kenienibevinii tliat (lie c-ouiniittee had 
full poMer to suiumou the militia ollieers to their aid, this is a rather 
curious confession. It was particulaiiy feared that British vessels 
of war Avould ajjpear on the Westchester shore of the Sound and 
land marines to carry out concerted local Tory plans. Stron<i feelinji 
had been excited in this county by an order of the committee of 
safety for the lieneral impi'essnu'ut of arms — that is, the seiziUM^ of 
all fire-pieces belonging to private persons — on the ground that they 
were needed for the equipment of the troops. The complaints against 
this order were so bitter that it had to be rescinded after a few 
sporadic attempts at its enforcement, none of which appear to have 
been ventured upon in Westchester County. Unfavorable comment 
was also caused by the bringing of some four hundred militiamen 
from Connecticut, who were quartered at the northern end of Man- 
liattan Island under the command of General Wooster. There was 
at the time no enemy in the vicinity of New York, and none expected, 
and the necessity of employing troops from another colony in the ab- 
sence of any such emergency could not be explained to the satisfac- 
tion of the people. There is no evidence that thei'e was fear of an 
armed rising in Westchester County, and yet many circumstances 
of the htcal situation in the fall of 177.5 indicate a well-founded dis- 
tiust of I lie Tory faction. 

In tills i)osition of affairs occurred the celebrated Westchester raid 
of Captain Isaac Sears, resulting iu the apprehension and removal to 
Connecticut of three of the leading men of the Loyalist party — the 
Rev. Samuel Seabury, Mayor Nathaniel Underbill, of Westchester 
Borough, and Judge .Jouathan Fowler. Seabury and Underbill were 
men of undisguised and strong Tory sentiments. Fowler, although 
he had signed a recantation of expressed views of a similar char- 
acter, was still regarded with a good deal of suspicion. The three 
men were leading representatives of the disaffected classes who were 
giving so much trouble to the Revolutiouary committee in West- 
chester County, and Sears conceived the idea that their simultaneous 
arrest by means of a dasliing expedition would exert a wholesome in- 
fluence toward the proper regulation of tliat much Tory-ridden region. 

(/aptain Isaac Sears was a pictiires(|ue Kevolutionary personage. In 
the French and Indian War he was in command of a privateer sloop, 
with which, although it carried but fourteen guns, he attacked a 
French ship of twenty-four, grappling with it three times but finally 
being compelled by a storm to abandon his bold attempt. Later, he 
engaged in shipping pursuits in New York of a more or less ques- 



316 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

tioiKiblc cljanu-ter. At the b(';j,iuiuji<^ of the fStanip Act troubles he 
took I lie leadership of the Sons of Liberty iu that city, and through 
his many exploits in this connection he came to be poimiarly known 
as Kiny iSears. At the time of the Golden Hill couhict between the 
citizens and the soldiers, in 1770, he was in the thick of the fray, and, 
finding himself confronted at one stage of it by a fierce grenadier 
^\it]i a bayonet, with great presence of mind and precision of aim 
hurled a ram's horn at the unfortunate man, which struck him full 
iu the foreliead and put him hors de coiiihtiL \Mierever there was an 
affray Sears was sure to be, always rough and ready and always 
victorious. As time sped on to the Kevolution, he sought to give to 
his country's cause the benefit also of his co-operation in council, but 

received not overmuch encourage- 
ment in that line from the aristocratic 
and coldly intellectual Jaya, Duanes, 
Livingstons, and Morrises. Yet as 
the leading man of the democratic 
masses he was not to be ignored, and 
he not only was connected with the 
New York committee from its organi- 
zation, but sat in the provincial con- 
gi-ess of 1775 as a delegate from the 



'1/Vo f^c4ncju 



K. 



LIBERTY PLACARD. '•''.>• Keslguiug hls membership in 

that bodj', he went to New Haven, 
CoJin., where, continuing to obsei-ve the march of events iu New York, 
he was particularly impressed with the unsuitable spirit of so many 
citizens of Westchester County, and concluded that a little vigorous 
correction in that quartm- would be entirely ai)ropos. 

With sixteen mounted and armed men, described by a New Haven 
newspaper of the day as " respectable citizens of this town," Sears 
set out ou the 20th of November for the avowed purpose of an ex- 
])edition " to East and West Chester, in the Province of New York, to 
disarm tlie principal Tories there and secure the persons of Parson 
Seal)ury, Judge Fowler, and Lord ruderhill." On the way they were 
joined by Captaius Kichards, Silleck, and Mead, with about eighty 
men. At Mamaroneck they burned a sloop that had been purchased 
by the British governor to convey pro\isious to the man-of-war 
''Asia." A detachment of forty men, commauded by Captain Lo- 
throp, was sent to Westchester, which without ceremony took Sea- 
bury aud Underbill in custody, the main body meantime proceeding 
to Eastchester aud securing Judge Fowler. The three prisoners were 
dispatched with a guard of twenty to Connecticut. This completed 
Sears's business in Westchester County, but he had still another reg- 



FROM .TAxrAKY, 1775, TO .n'l.Y It, 177(; ;n7 

ulatinj; duty to pwfonii. He liiul louj;- been displeast-il with I lie 
editorial coiKhu-t of Kiviniiton's New Yo)-k Gazetteer, and he uow rode 
witli liis ri'iiiaininf>: men, a troop of about seveuty-five, down to the 
city, " which they entered at noon-day, with bayonets fixed and the 
greatest rejjularity, W(Mit down the main streets, and drew up in 
close order before tlie printing oflfice of tlie infamous James Tiivin.i;- 
toii."' The3' completely wrecked the eslablishment, dem(disliinii Hil- 
l)resses and takiui;' away the types; and, having so successfully com- 
pleted this final part of their mission, remounted, struck up the tune 
of " Yankee Doodle," and amid the cheers of the populace retuiMied 
whence they came. 

Some incidents of Sears's raid suggest that it was not exclusively' 
an enterprise of patriotic enthusiasm, (.'ertain acts of indecorum • 
were committed, to characterize them by no harsher term. At Sea- 
bury's house they broke open his desk, examined and scattered his 
papers, ai)i)ropriated snuie three or four dollars in money, and (piite 
offen.sively threatened and insulied jiis daughter. From I'owlei's 
residence they carried away a bea\<'i- hat, a silver-mounted liorse- 
\\hip, and two silvei' s])oons, besides tlu- sword, gun, and jiistols w liicli 
belonged To his olfiiial dignity as mlonel in the militia. They more- 
over visited the homes of \arious Tories along the route, where sujj- 
))osably they did not uniformly resist taking such articles as wer(^ 
to tlieir liking. Our nineteenth ceiifury Tory historian, Dawson, iu 
his account of this raid, coiunients with un((intr(dle(l and terrible 
exciteiiient u]ion every ]ihas<' of it, describing Sears a ; a cowardly, 
phiiiili ring iMitliaii of the (lirti<'sl water. aTid liis li-<)o]iers as dialicilical 
banditti, and insists that they returned to Connecticut laden wilh 
spoils. Of this there is no evidence whatever. Abundant evidence 
does exist that they br(mght back with tiiem a large and nniou-i 
(•(dlection (d' arms from Westchester l.,oyalists (d' notorious re]iute. 
The ex])edition, however lawless and reiirehensible, was a Iidiki fiilr 
one in the patriot interest, and iioi an adventure for mere jirivate 
plunder, although it can not be (|uestioned that some incidental ])ecu- 
lating was done. Compared with the villainous tloings of the Cow- 
boy and Skinner bands of subsequent years, it was a quite virtuous 
and legitimate enterprise. 

As such it was unhesitallngly regarded by Ih,' good peojile of Con- 
necticut, who right royally welcomed home the returning regulators. 
The guard having the three prisoners in charge had halted at Horse- 



' Till' circumstanop. as reeordrtl l).v the vera- iiesseil inniiy iiKiiiiiled IriM.ps K"inK iuln or in 

riMus iliroiiiclcr. that they rode into the eity iirnc-ess of ai-lion. Iiut docs not reeall any oeca- 

" with liayonc'ts fixed." is powerful evidenee of sic.ii >vIm-ii fixed liayonels were anions llieir 

the Brininess of the business upon wliieh they arms. 
were lieiit. The editor of this History has wit- 



318 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

neck, where on the 27tli of November tliey were joined by the parent 
band. 'IMie next day the whole party took up their triumphal march 
to New Haven. They were escorted, says the local newspaper from 
Avhich we have already' quoted, '' by a number of gentlemen from the 
westward, the w^hole making a grand procession. Upon their en- 
trance into town they Avere saluted with the discharge of rwo can- 
nons, and received by the inhabitants with every mark of approba- 
tion and respect. The company divided into two parts, and con- 
cluded the day in festivities and innocent mirth. " Captain Sears," 
ingenuously adds this patriotic sheet, " returned in company with 
the other gentlemen, and proposes to spend the winter here, unless 
publick business should require his presence in New York." It does 
not aiq>ear that any such "publick business," so far as Westchester 
County was concerned, transpired to interfere with the virtuous cap- 
tain's amiable arrangements. He does not again figure, at least to 
the knowledge of the present historian, in the concerns of our county. 
Judge Fowler and Mayor Uuderhill were released in a day or two, 
after signing papers presented to them by the Connecticut officials, 
wherein they declared themselves to be heartily sorry for their " in- 
considerate conduct," and promised never more to transgress in like 
manner. But the Rev. Mr. Seabury Avas not so leniently dealt with. It 
was widely believed that he w^as the author of '' A. W. Farmer " tracts, 
so peculiarly offensive to the patriotic sentiment of the times; and 
however that might be he was undeniably a Tory of the most in- 
tractable and odious type. It was remembered with great indigna- 
tion against him that he had refused to open the church at East- 
chester on the day appointed for the continental fast. Finally, he 
was regarded with deep private resentment by Captain Sears, who 
.-uspected him of coinidicity in a scheme to seize him (Sears) while 
he was passing through Westchester County on a former occasion, 
and carry him on board a man-of-war. lie was held in contiiiement 
for more than a month, at his own financial charge, his prayers to 
the courts for relief being utterly ignored. At length he submitted 
an able memorial to the Connecticut legislature, in which he dwelt 
upon the flagrant illegality of the whole pi-oceedings in his case, and 
that body presently ordered his release. Returning to ^Vestcllester, 
he found his affairs there in a sorry plight. The private school upon 
which he had mainly de])ended forsuppoi't was completely broken uj). 
He was under a heavy burden of debt, his influence in the community 
was at an end, and he and his family were obliged to submit to many 
discourtesies and insults. During the military campaign of 177(5 he 
was obliged to give accommodation in his house to a company of 



FROM JANUARY, ITT.l, TO JULY 9, 1776 319 

Kcvoliilioiiaiy cavalry, who, says Dawson, coiisiiiiicd or destroyed all 
the products of his olebe. The poor Tory cler<iymaii finally, in desper- 
ation, fled with his wife and six children to the British lines. 

Like Isaac Wilkins, also of the Roi-ongh of Westchester, Seabury 
coiitiniKMl a British sympathizer throughout the war; hut after the 
Kevolution he returned to America and became bishop of the (Epis- 
coi)alian| diocese of (/ouneoticut. WiJkins, after a more protracted 
absejicc, came back to Westchester Town, and, taking holy orders, 
was made rector of the same parish of Saint Peter's which his com- 
patriot t^eabury vacated in 1770. The question of the authorship of 
the A. W. Farmer tracts has puzzled many minds; but there is no 
reasonable doubt that they were written either by Beabury or by 
\Mlkins. They were almost as noted in the polemic literature of 
their times as was Tom Paine's " Common Sense." Whatever the 
doubts resi>ectiug their authorship, it is certain that the apparent 
pseudonym "A. W. Farmer" stood for "A Westchester Farmer"; 
and both Seabury and Wilkins, though persons of polite character, 
were gentlemen farmers. The detestation in which these tracts were 
held by the patriotic people is well instanced by a resolution adopted 
by the committee of safety of Sufi'olk County, N. Y., February, 1775, 
in which it was declared "That all those publications which have 
a tendency to divide us, and thereby weaken oiir opposition to meas- 
ures talceii to enslave us, ouglit to be treated with tlie utmost con- 
teiiipl by every friend to his country; in particular the pamphlet en- 
titled .V Friendly Address, &c., and those under the signatur*- of A. W. 
Farmer, and many others to the same purpose, which are replete with 
the most imjiudent falsehoods an<l the grossest misrepi'esentations; 
and that the autliors, printers, and abettors of the above and such 
like jiublications ought to be esteemed and treated as traitors to 
their country, and enemies to tlie liberties of America." A writer in 
Diiirsiiii's f/ixt(iri<-iii' }f(iii(i:iii( (January, ISGS) says: "When copies 
(if these pamphlets fell into the h^K^ls of the Whigs they were dis- 
jiosed of in such a manner as most emphatically to express detesta- 
tion of the anonymous autliors and their sentiments. Sonu'times they 
w<M'e ])ublicly burned with imposing formality, sometimes decorated 
wit h tar and feathers (from the turkey buzzard, as ' the fittest emblem 
^>f tile author's odiousness 'l and nailed to the whipping-post." In 
the di'aft of a document claimed to be in Seabury's own writing, he 
says that he was the author of a pamphlet entitled " Free Thoughts 
on the Proceedings of the Congress at Philadeli>iiia,"" and of other 
publications which followed, all signed "A. W. Farmer." Dawson, 
however, after a careful study of the whole subject, coucludes that 



320 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



llic burden of evideiict' fuvors the opiuuiu that ^VilkiIls was Iheir 
author.' 

The proviucial couiircss whicli assembled in May, 1775, contiuued 
in session, with several brief recesses, uutil tlu^ 4th of November, 
when it adjourned sine die. On the 7th of November elections for del- 
egates to a second provincial congi-ess were held in a number of the 
counties of New York, those in Westchester County occurrinij, as 
usual, at White Plains. . The representatives chosen were Colonel 
Lewis Graham, Stephen Ward, Colonel Joseph Drake, Robert Gra- 
ham, John Thomas, Jr.. "S^'illiam Pauldiui;, Major Ebenezer Lockwood, 




Colonel Pierre Van Cortlaudt, and Colniul (iilbert Drake, any three of 
whom were authorized to cast the vole (if the (■(tunty. Tlic new body 
experienced considerable diflicnlty in procurinji' a quovuin, and did not 
enter upon its active business until the Gth of December. Tliis busi- 
ness was in continuation of the a,iii;Tessive political and military meas- 
ures, harmonizing- with the policies i>{ the continental congress, that 
had been instituted by the tirst cDUgress of the province. Like its 
predecessoi", the second (■(Uigress adjoui-ne<l temporai'ily several times, 
vesting cnniiilc^e adniinistrat i\<' antlmril>-. dni-iug such iiitei-vals. 



' See ScUart, i., .■'.13, note. 



FROM .TAXfAKY, 177."., Id .HI.V !t, 177(1 321 

ill a uciicral coniiiiit tee of safely, nt wliicli I'icn-c N'aii ( 'orl lamll was 
cliairiii.iii (or sdiuc luoiiilis. The lasl session of the second provincial 
coiinicss was held on the 1:51 li of May, 177(i. 

Dui-iiii; its lifetime the ncneral condition of affaii-s steadily j;)'ew 
iiioi-e ciitical, events cd' coiiniiandin^ iiii|ioi-tance ti'anspired, and de- 
\clo|iinents of jiorteiitons sinniticance to the peo])le of New Yoi-k and 
Westchester County i-esulteil. In the early ])art of tliis period the 
invasion of Canada l>y the American troojis was brongbt to a disas- 
trous <'n(] before the walls of (Quebec,' but the collai)se in that (jnarter 
was more tlian compensated for by the surrender of Iioston to Gen- 
eral Washington in March. Thereuiion the war, whicli had previously 
been localized in New l']nj;]and, was terminated tliere for tlu' time 
beinj;. It needed no Iceeu prevision to forecast its course in tlie near 
future. New Yorlv City, as the central point of vautage, conimand- 
inii a waterway whicli coniidctely divided the rebidlious coloines, 
would un(|uestionably be attacked as soon as a sufHcient expedi- 
tiomiry force for thi' purpose could be gathered. Any other plan 
of camiiaign was unthinkable. New "i'ork Avas the only (juartt'r from 
which oU'ensive o](ei-ations could be conducted with eipial facility 
against every section of the counliy. With New York in their hands, 
the Kritish would hv prepared for any emergency that the strategy 
of ^^■ashingtou or the forluiu's of battle might produce. Al)solutely 
secure against recapture from the sea, siuce tlie Americans possessed 
no tiei't, and almost complet(dy incaiiable of being invested by land, 
that city would certainly remain theirs to the last. Even if exten- 
sive caiiiijaigns should fail, and pit(died battle after pit(du'd battle 
should go against them, with New York as a base tlu\v could still 
wage the conflict with gnat advantage of position. Such was tlu' 
reasoning which naturally occurred to inttdligeJit men aftei- ilie fall 
of Boston, and it was fully sustained by results. If the liritish ha<l 
not cai)tnred and held New York, it is in every way historically im- 
probable that they could have ma<le even a respectable struggle for 



•The l.imeulcil Ooncral Kii-li;iril Mniitt'unHT.v. .i-.iiic LiviTiiistiiii fMiiill.v. Mcnil^'.inM'ry's Kiiit's- 

wlinso iIiMtli ill tlii.s oNinMlilioii will nlways bv hriil;;!' hoiisi — or ratlior coltai;'— «'«« !i" <'iitli'<?- 

ri'inemliprcil as niie iif Ilii' rapital trajinlifs iif ly mipretcntimis building, a stoi-y ami a half 

Ihi' Rcvnhitiiiii, was a rcsuU'iit of our coiiiity. liitiii. His sister was tlie Viscountess of Kane- 

aiiil .some of the most iiiiportant associations la^li. ni his will, made at Crown I'oiiit. he 

of the War of Indciiendeiici- duster around the says: •' T Kive to my sisliT. Lady Uanelanh, 

place where his lioinc stood. It was on the . . . my estate at Kin;rsl>ri<lse. near New 

spot now occupied liy llie residince of William York." adding lliat • my dear sister's iarRc 

0;;den Oilcs. at KluKslu-idfje— the idcnlical spot family want all I i-an spare lliem." One of the 

where Kort Independence was built. About wiincsses of this will w;is the Uev. .Iidin 

1772 MontKoniery. after several years of serv- I'ctcr Telard. also of Kint'sliridjic. whose fara- 

ice as a captain in tlie liritish army, resigned ily f-'ave its name to Telard's Hill. Uev. Mr. 

his imission. pureliaseil this land wllli ion- Tctard was a chaplain in <«ie of the re;.'iriicnl» 

sid.-rable more, and cnjiat'cd in acriiultnral belon«iiig to the Canadian cNpedition. 
pursuits. In 1773 he married oui' of the aristu- 



322 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

l]ie r('t('uti(m of the colonies, and, indeed, it is not likel\' tliat tliey 
would have persevereil long in the attempt. In the very act of taking 
New York they all but annihilated the American nation at one blow, 
missini;- by a mere chance the cajiture of Wasliiuiitou's whole army; 
and thereafter for a dreary period the distin^uishine,- phases of the 
War of Independence were complete British prestige and almost as 
eomplde American confusion, relieved only by masterly retreat, 
bi-illianl Iriumpli in a few minor engagements, and heroic forti- 
tude. Finally the destruction of Burgoyne's army gave an altered 
aspect to the uneijual warfare. But this did not at all reverse condi- 
tions. It merely eslablished for tlie Anu-ricans a fighting chance, 
and decided I'rance to espouse tiieir cause. The principal element of 
the situation remaiiie(1 the jiosscssiou of New York by the British. 
That overwiielming disadvantage could only be neutralized by con- 
secutive successes in campaigns large and small elsewhere, wliose 
net result would be to convince tl:e British statesmen that they coidd 
never conquer America. It was ,i (lisad\autage that could not be 
eliminated by the reduction of New York itself, which was never at- 
tem])led and ])robably never seriously thouglit of. On the other hand, 
if New York liad continued .Viucrican, the British would have been 
left witliout any assured standing as combatants. They might have 
taken the Bevolulionary capital, IMiiladelphia, but that would have 
been an utterly ridiculous i)roceeding in vivw of its untenal)ilily as 
a ]iriniary base compared with New York. In such an event, or in 
any otlu'r except the mastery of New Y'ork, which, with its inev- 
itable consequences, seemed to establish the supremacy of Great 
Britain beyond the possibility of dispute, the French alliance would 
have been a matter of months instead of years. 

After the evacuation of New York by its small British garrison, in 
.lunc, 1775, the city, although in fact fully controlled by the patriot 
]>arty, remained nominally for a brief time under a divided authority. 
It is a curious fact that on the same day when Washington arrived 
in New York en rmili to the ai'uiy in Massachusetts, the royal Gov- 
ernor Tryon retucned there after a short abs(>nce, and that both were 
received with every manifestation of popular respect. But before 
many Aveeks Governor Tryon perceived that his residence in the 
city was perilous. Intimations Avere given him of a plot to seize 
his iK'i'son and arraign him before the provincial congress, which 
had already begun to take high-handed measures against loj-al Brit- 
ish subjects. lie accordingly fled to a ship in the harbor, from which 
safe retreat he continued to administer the forms of government 
until the retaking of the city. 

The removal of the guns in the city to Kingsbridge by the Sons 




TMSBL&MO) SK®H^®€)SSn§IB.T. 



^/ .^^^.^^^^'^ 



FROM. .TANUAUY, 177"), TO JULY 9, 177(5 323 

of IJbci'ly, jillcr I lie ]ic\\s of T.cx'iii^loii, ^\•:^s, ;is we liavc seen, tli(! 
lirsl ()\ei-f (leiiionsli'nlioii by (he lie\ olulioiiiiry eleiiieiil in NcAV York. 
Tlie liiiiis liikeii lip al |]int time, and dnvinj; (lie nex( few months, did 
ii(>( iiichide, liowever, the fine ordiuiiice of tlie fiivt. Nevertheless 
they ina(h' a foi-midable slioA\inj;' as to miiiibei-s, althongli liardly as 
lo serviceability. At Kiniisbriduc tliey were divi(b:'d, by tlie ordei' of 
(■oin;ress, into three parcels, one jtortion beiu>;' left (here, another 
sent to Williams's Bridge, and a (bird to Valentine's Hill, near Kings- 
bridge.' " r.efore the close of the year 177")," says Dawson, whose 
lads may generally be accepte<l withoni ([nestion, "between iliree 
and fonr hnndred cannon, of all calibers, grades, and conditions, 
some of them good and serviceable, others less valuable an<l less use- 
ful, the greater nnmber honeycombed and A\'ort]dess, unless for old 
iron, and all of them nnnionnted and withont carriages, were accu- 
mulated in three large gatherings, one of abont fifty gnns being at 
• .Tohn Williams's,' the Willi;>.ms's Piridge of the present day, one ' at 
or near Kingsbridge,' and the third or larger parcel Avithin two hun- 
dred and fifty yards of Isaac Valentine's house, the Valentine's Hill 
of that ]teriod as well as this." For a nnmber of months they re- 
c( ived no further attentiou, and w'ere even left unguarded. Their 
unprotected condition pi'esented an irresistible temy)tation to some 
mischievous Tory si)irits, who one night in January, 177(). ])lugged 
them with large stones, effectually spiking them. This incident threw 
the county into great excitement, and w^as the occasion of numerous 
arrests of suspected citizens of the Towns of Westchester, Eastchester, 
Mamaroneck, and Youkers. Soon afterward all the guns were accu- 
mulated at Valentine's, unspiked, and placed under guard. Subse- 
(|uently, during the military administration of the noted and noto- 
rious (ieiieral ('harles Lee in New York City, mf)st of the heavy cannon 
in I'ort (leorge and ujion the Eattery wei'e, in anticipation of the 
ca])ture of the place by the rtritish, removed to Kingsbridge. These 
AA'ere abont two hundred altogether, mostly (excellent ]iieces of artil- 
lery. The re]ily of frcneral Lee to the persons charged with trans- 
]M)i-ting them to Kingsliridge, mIio comjilained to him that they could 
not get sufficient horses foi' the work, is somewhat celebrated, "riiain 
twenty damned Tories to each gun," said he, "and let them draw 
fhein out and be cni-sed. It is a ])ro])er emiiloynn'ul for such villains, 
and a ]innishment they deserve for their eternal ]oyalt.y they so much 
boast of." 

General riiarles Lee, at (he lime second in command of the conti- 



' Tills locality sliould not be confimiiiU'd wllli liriilitc i.-s Im-iitcMl. on old iiiaps, liui'd by tlip 
Uip omini'tipo of the samo iiamo in tlic present l)rld;;i'. Valentine's Hill In Yonker.s is the spot 
City of Ynnkei's. The Valentine's Hill at Kinj,'s- wliere Saint .Toseph's Si'niinary now stands. 



324 HISTOKV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

iiciitiil ai'iiiy, was (lis|iat(']ic<l by Wasliiiiiiton to New York in the latter 
]iart of .liiiiuary, 177(1, with iuslriiclioiis to put the place " in the best 
postui-e of (iel'eiise the seasou aud cii-ciuustances will admit of."' In 
his niai-eh tlifouj^h Westchester Counly lie caused numerous dwell- 
inj;s to be eidered and searched for arms, which he appropriated and 
bore away with iiim for the good of the cause. Dawsou pathetically 
observes that this \\as indeed a lieaAy and melancholy visitation of 
fate ui)on the wretched farmers of the Boston I'ost lload, who thus, 
only a U'w weeks after being pillaged by the cowardly banditti from 
Conneclicnt, \\ere forced to submit to a similar diabolical outrage by 
an infamous military dt'spot. J.ee, establishing himself in >i'ew York, 
entered upon a very energetic regime. Skilled in military science, he 
constructed defenses which would undoubtedly have jiroved of con- 
siderable utility if the city had been held to resist a siege. One of 
these defenses, a redoubt on Hoern's Hook, al the mouth of the Har- 
lem IJiver, commanding tlie llellgate ])ass and also the Long Island 
ferry, was erected by Colonel Samuel l>rake"s regiment of Westchester 
County minute men, a body of one hundred ;\\\(\ eleven privates and 
numerous oHicers. Of this organization it is recordeil in an official 
document that it |)ossessed, when summoned into active duty, no 
fewer than " four lield officers, two captains, thirteen other commis- 
sioned ollicers, and twenty non-commissioned olhcers " — a most ridic- 
ulous state of things, about which Dawson makes merry as illustrat- 
ing the abominable propensit_\ lo ottice-holiling among the so-called 
" frienils of Liberty " in ^Vestchester County, (ii'ueral Lee oi-dere<l a 
rigorous reduction of the staff, and directed the eliminated otticers to 
"return to their county, in order to comi>leie their corps," which 
were as deficient in numbers as the list of tlieii' commanders was 
enormous. 

I'^idislments in the continental line ^\'ere certaiidy not attended by 
attractive conditions. I!y an act of the continental congress, passed 
•Tanuary lit, 177(i, four battalions were ordei'cd to be raised for the 
defense of the Colony of Xe\\- ^'ork. The committee of safety, in its 
instructions to the recruiting otticers charged with eidisting men 
uudei- this act, prescribed that the pay of jn-ivates should be .f.j per 
month, and that each shouhl receive, as a bounty, a felt hat, a pair 
of yarn stockings, a i)air of shoes, and, if they could be procured, a 
hunting-shirt and a blanket. On the other hand, the men were to 
furnish their own arms, or, if too ])oor to do so, were to be ariued 
at the imblic expense, the value of their wea])ons to be deducted from 
their ]iay. Concerning this matter of arms, tlie following explicit 
statemi-nl was made in a circular letter from the president of the 
provim iai congress: "It is exi»ected that each man furnishes him- 



FROM lAM AKV. Id.'), lO ,TU1,V 0, 1770 325 

self willi ;i uiMxl mm nnd lui yuinM, lumaliawk, knaitsack or liavcr- 
sack, and two hills. I!ul those who arc iiol aide to furnish llicni- 
s«'lv{'S with tlicsr arms and accontrcnicnts will he sujiiilicd at tlic 
public ('X|)('ns(', for the jiavnicnt of \vlii( li small stoiijfaiics will he 
made out of t heir mont hl,\- ]ia_\-, til! t lir w licdc arc |iaid for; I Ik mi t hcv 
arc to remain the iiropcrl.\ of tlu' men."" Little wonder that tii<' rela- 
ti\(' niimhci's of oIlH-crs and Nolnntecr pri\atcs were soniewhal dispro- 
portionate. 

<»ii the \'Mh of February, 177*!, at a mectinii' in TTarrisoii's I're- 
ciiirt, a cavalry force was oriianized, Samuel Trcdwcll bein,i; elected 
caplain. This was ihe hc^innin^of the welhknown Westchestf^r Troop 
of Horse. About the same time there were various enlistments in 
Hk' county for the infantry service. Local zeal for the cause con- 
tinued to manifest itself in the ominous forms of informalioii and 
arrest, and it was even projioscd by some West(dicster enthusiasts, 
who doubtless had acquired thorouiih experience in that particular 
line at home, to proceed to other counties where Tories notoriously 
abounded and lay upon them the heavy hand of discipline. One W"i\- 
liam .Miller, (d' White IMains, in a communication to the committee of 
safety, informed thai honorable body that, as many i>\' riic inhabit- 
ants of (Queens County \A('re behavini; themselves in a manner preju- 
dicial to the American cause, he and other " J"'riends of Jaberty in 
tills County" were desirous to <;o thither and "reduce the Enemies 
to their Country before they are sujiporled by the Kei^nlar Troops." 
Of course no attention was paid to the offer. 

in ^larch, 177(5, (ieneral Lee was superseded in command in New 
York ( 'ity by ( ieneral Lord Stirlinj;, son of the famous c(donial lawyer, 
James Alexander. He was rei)lace(l by (ieneral rutnam, who re- 
mained in chartie until Washinsiton's arrival (April 14). 

The second provincial couiiress exjiired on the l.">th of May, 177(!, 
and the f(dlo\\in<; day was aiii)ointed for the assemblinji, of the third. 
No quorum was obtained, however, until the 18th. The delegates 
from Westchester Cminty were Colonel I'icrre Van Cortlandt, Colonel 
Lewis (Jraham, ("(donel (tilbert Drake, .Major Ebenczer Lockwood, 
(iouvcriicur .Morris, N\'illiam I'auidinu, .lonalhau (!. Toni]ikins, Sam- 
uel Haviland, and I*eter Fleming'. The third provincial coni;ress was 
the last of tlie series to sit in the City of New York, where its sessions 
came to an abru]d end on the :?Oth of June, the enemy's lonii-expecled 
lleel ha\in^ arrived tiie day before in tJic bay. .Viiioni; tl:c memberH 
of this couiiri'ss wcic -Tcdin .|a_\-. -lames Duanc, .F(din .Vlsop, I'liili)) 
Livingston, and I'rancis Lewis, who also were representatives from 
New ^'ork City in the continental coiiyress then siltini; at JMiila- 
(lel]i]iia. 



32ti HISTORY OF WKS'l'CIIKSTER rOT'XTY 

A ll lidiinJi tlu' career of the IhinI cun^i-ess 'if llie l'in\iiii-e of New 
"Nnik was exceedingly brief, its i lansacdons were lii,i;lilv iiiiei-esting. 
'J'lie I'cader will (ib.serve Hint lis exisleiice coincided willi ilic period 
ttf I lie linal deliberations of (he conlineiital congress on the siihjecl 
of inde]»endence — a period tlnring wliicli also cnlniinaled ilie slartling 
transformation of the sirnggle AvilJi (ireal Britain from a iiriiicipally 
M'ordy ciiai-actei-, Mitli luU a sligld jdiysical aspect, into a grim and 
gigantic war. On tlie day when lids congress snddenly disitersed 
there were riding in the Lower J5ay llie advance vessels (d' a thct of 
one hundred and thii-ty sail — ships-of-t lie line, frigates, teridei's, and 
ti'ansports — whicdi bore an in\ading army of thirty-three thonsand 
men, all of tliem expciiejHcd in the business of lighting and magniti- 
cently e(|ui]i]ie(l. The i-epreseidat i\ cs of the patriotic ])eo|)le of New 
\'ork, in lcgislali\c liody assendjled at this critical lime, could not 
ha\(' failed to be occupied with the most grave and emergent luiblic 
business, some of it ver_\ naturally retlecting the i>owerl'ul popular 
passions (»f the day. 

()ne of th<' tirst acts of the congi-ess was the ap|Miint nient nl' a 
committee "to consider of the ways and means to preveni the dan- 
gers to which this colony is e.\])osed by ils iidesline enendes." Al- 
though the (-(Mnndttee was headed b_\' one of the ]ii-iucipal cousei'va- 
tives td' the province, -bdiii Alsop, who soon afterward i-esigiied his 
seat in the continental congi-ess on account (d' the Decdaration of 
Independence, it bi-ought in a repoi-| i-ecommemlinii stringent meas- 
ures against suspected jku'sous. Humors (d' conspii'acics by the Tories 
of New \i>yk had long been rife, s(une id rliem resting on umuc sub- 
stantial IdUiidatious than suspicion. I n\est igations of \arious al- 
lege(l transactions b\' endssaries (d' (io\ei-mii' Tryon's for ])ro\iding 
susjiecded individuals with arms and ammunition dis(losed strong 
UHU-al e\idem-e in s\ipi)orl of the charges. In the month of dune 
t he fann)us '" llickey |ilot "" to poison Washington and ot her .\ meiican 
geiu'i-ais was uncart Ik d ; ami pro(d's were foumi w hich resulteil in the 
hanging <d' the (dnef jierson accused. In smli circumstances, and in 
view (»f t he crisis (d' invasion t hen impending, it is not surprising I hat 
the Ihird |)ro\incial congress, although couiprising in its meudiei'- 
ship inlhu'utial nnui of singularly calm and judicious tempera- 
ment, who had |ir('\iously been noted for nioderati(Ui, was pervaded 
by a detrrmination to deal summarilx with all Toi'ies of the dangei'- 
oiis iH- iri'(M(mcilable t_\p''. The .\lsop report was followed by an 
elaborate series of resolutions concerning su(di (diaractei's, wherein 
a nnndtei- of (hem weie indicated by name, wi(h dii-eclious that they 
be brought before the congi'ess either by the process of summons 
or l)y that (d' arrest. 'I'he sjiecilied persons were divided into two 



from',ianuai:y, 177."), to .iuly 9, 1770 



327 



classes — private individuals and oriicfi'.s of llic ciowii. A special com- 
mit (cc of the (■()n<;i-e.ss, kiKiwn as the ("(jiiiiiiitlee to Detect Conspir- 
acies, was created to dc;il with all cases. John .lay was made its 
cliaiiiiian, and anions its members were (Jonverncnr .Morris and 
Lewis (iraham, of WeslcJiester County. 

In >\'esicliest('i- County tlie private persons desij;iialfd as "suspi- 
cious or (Mjuivocal ■' were i"i-ederiek riiiii|)se, Caleb i\lor,<;an, Xa- 
liianicl Umlerhiii, Sannud Merritt, I'eter Corne, I'eter nuj;<;-eford. 
•lames llorton, Jr., William Sutton, William I'.arker, Joshua I'ni'dy, 
and Absalom Gidney, all of whom were yivcn t Ik^ opporlunitv to 
show their resi)ect for the committee throuj;h tlie medjiim of a snm- 
mons, but, in default of appearance, were to be; ar- 
rested. The committee was directed to inijuire as 
to their j;uilt or innocence upon the following- points : 
(1) Whether they had afforded aid or sustenance to 
I lie r.rilish fleets or armies; (2) whether they bad 
been active in dissuading' inhabitants from associat- 
ing for the defense of tlie united colonies; (3) 
wlietiier they had decried the value of the conti- 
nental money and endeavored to prevent its cur- 
rency; and (4) whetlier tliey hail been concerned or 
actually eTigagcd in any schemes to defeat, retard, 
or opjiose I lie measures in I he interest of the united 
colonies. All found innocent were to be discliaiged 
willi certiticates of character. Those found guilt.\ 
were, al I he discretion of I he committee, to be im- 
prisoned or removed under |)ar(de from their usnal 
jdaces of residence, or simi)ly relea.sed under bonds 
guaranleeiiig siibse(|nent good behavior. The only 
crown ollicials icsiding in Westchester County who 
were named in the resolntioiis were SoloTiioii ['"owler 
and liicliard Morris, neillier of whoni was found 
guilty of iiny offense. Jiichaid .Morris was a brother 
of Colomd Lewis Mori-is, the signer of the Declar- 
ation of Independence, and a half-brother of Gouverneur Mor- 
lis. Me was Judge of the ccdonial Court of .\dmiralty, but his 
designation as a ])ossible foe to the Ivevolutionary programme seems 
lo li;i\c been w holl\- Undeserved. He resigned bis crown commission, 
giving as his reason ilial lie cuiild not conscientiously i-elain il, and 
his couni ry-seat at Scaisdale was subse(|iiently burned by I lie I'rilisli 
anil his estate ile\aslaled. ()n July .''1, I77(i, less llian two hkiuiIis 
after lie was singled out as a possible traitor, he was uiuuiimonsly a])- 
pointed by the fourth pi-o\inci;il congress judge of the [[igh Court 




CDNl'INKN lAL 
SOI.IIIKU. 



328 HISTORY OF WESTCIIKSTER COUNTY 

lit' Admiralty iiudri- the new provisional <;(ivmiiin'Ut. In 177'J he 
liccaiiic ( liief justicf of the New York Stale Supreme Court, suceeed- 
iiij; John Jay. 

The coniniittee to th-tcct (•(inspii-acics bt'jian its sessions on tiie 
i."(tli of June, witii John Jay as its ciiairnian. It sent suniiuonses 
to all the Westchester County men named in tiie resolutions. The 
liuiils of our spaee do not admit i>( a detailed notice of the action of 
the committee concerninf> tin se various cases, none of which, exce]»t- 
inj;- that of Frederick IMiilipse, ])ossesses any very im])ortant historic 
interest. The history of l'hilii)s<''s case may properly be com]ileted 
in tlic present connection. 

In the summons sent to him he was ordered to api)ear before the 
committee on the 3d of July. He sent the followint;- re]ily: 

Philipsboroiigli, July \i, 1776. 

Oentlemen : — I was served on Saturday evening last with a pa])er signed by you, in 
wliicli you sugg-est tliat you are authorized by the Congress to summon certain persons to 
appear before you, wliose conduct liad been represented as inimical to the rights of America, 
of wliicli numljer you say I am one. 

^Vho it is tliat has made such a representation, or upon what particular facts it is 
founded, as you have not stated tliem it is impos.sible for me to imagine ; but, considering my 
situation and tlie near and intimate ties and connections which I have in this country, which 
can be secured and rendered hap])y to nu^ only by the real and permanent prosperity of 
America, I shoukl have lio])ed that suspicions of this harsh nature would not be easily har- 
boured. However, as they have been thought of weight sufficient to attract the notice of 
the Congress, I can only observe that, conscious of the uprightness of my intentions and the 
integrity of my conduct, I would most reailily comply with your summons, but that the situ- 
ation of my health is such as woidd render it very unadvisable for me to take a jt)urncy to 
New York at this time. I have had the misfortune, gentlemen, of being deprived, totally, 
of the sight of my left eye ; and the other is so much att'ected and inflamed as to make me 
very cautious how I expose it, for fear of a total loss of sight. This being my real situation, 
1 must request the favour of you to excuse my attendance to-morrow ; but you may rest 
assured. Gentlemen, that I shall punctually attend, as soon as I can, consistent with my 
health, Hattering myself, in the meantime, that, ujion further consideration, yon will think 
that my being a friend to the rights and interests of my native country is a fact so strongly 
implied as to require no evidence on my part to prove it, until something more substantial 
than mere suspicion or vague surmises is proved to the coutrarj'. 

I am, flentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant, 

Freoeukk PhII.II'SK. 

To Leonard Gansevoort, Philip Livingston, Thomas Tredwell, Lewis Graham, (iouver- 
neur Morris, Thomas Randall, Esquires. 

The terms of this letter, considered ajiait from riiilipse's specilic 
excuse for declining to attend, are entertaining to a decree. Sum- 
moned by a Ivevolutionary tribunal to ajipear before it and answer 
ihe accusation of hostility !(> .\merican liberly, he ret oi^nizes in llie 
situation which confronts him no circumstance of /.jravily. lie delays 
his reply until the day before the time appointed for his attendance, 
ami the ])eremptory command sent lo him b\ the committee he al- 
ludes to as "a paper ... in wliidi you suyjicst that you are 
authorized," etc. A naive inter]H-elation, indeed, of a stern Kevolu- 



FROM .TAXTATtY. ITT.',, TO .TTT.Y 9, 1770 329 

tioiKiiy siiiiiiiioiis. I'iiiallv, lie disinisscs tlic iiicdinciiiciit mailer liy 
tlalln-iii^ liiiiisclf lliat the roiinuil Ice i-cally will ikiI i-ccjuii-c liis 
pn'sciicc al all. The lord of l'liili]iseliiir;Lili .Maiuu- (leemed jiiniself 
well wil hill I lie liouiids of ](olii ical saii'acily in ti-eatiiiu I lie coiiiniillee 
with sucli exact tlioii;.;]! couiieous reserve. The o\(M](o\\criiiL; licet 
and army of (ii'cat I'ritain had just arrived, the provincial coiniicss 
was scurryiiiiLi out of New York City, and, indeed, if Frederick IMiili]tsc 
liad hoen so oblii^iiif!;- as to journey to the ciiy on that :'>(1 of .inly 
conformably to tlie " susjicstion " wliich had been conveyed to him, 
he would iiave found no committee tliere to interrojuate him. 

It does not ajipear that Pliiliiise was aj;ain summoned or that he 
was ever sulijected to any in(]uisit(>rial examination. He was, how- 
ever, com]K'lled lo liive his pande to liiiarantee his j;dod behavior. 
That summer of 177(i was a most critical period for the palriol in- 
tei'ests on the banks of the Hudson, r.iiiish \\arsiii])s were in the 
river, anil it was susjx'cted tliat they were Inddinti nit;lit!y coiiimu- 
nioati(U\ with the intluential Tories. Washington deemed it e.\]te- 
dient to remove I'hilijjse from his manor house on the Ne|iiierhnii to 
a (|uarter where his preseiUM' would not be a |)ossibl_\- dist urbiii^ I liinii. 
On tlie '.Ith of Auiiust Philipse, l)y Washiui^ton's oider, was taken to 
New Kochelie. There, says a histoi-iaii of ^'onkers, " he was (dosely 
(•onhiied, under iLiuard, for ideveii ila\s, when he was removed to 
Connecliciit anil i;a\'e his paride iliat In- would not ^o beyond t he 
limits of .Mid diet o\s n. He was accoiujianied by An^e\iue, his fail lifiil 
(•(dored valet, who afterward went w ith Mr. I'hilipse to EnL;laiid, and 
siir\i\ed him but one year. They are intti-red in the same church- 
yard. Charley I'hilips. son of Anjievine, lived for many years on 
tlie banks of the lludsiui, and was sexton of f>aint J(din"s Church 
iVonkersi forty-five years. After the Philipse family had left Philipse- 
bur^h 11777), Joliii Williams, stewai-d of the manor, had possession 
of the manor until its confiscation, in 177'.l." ' 

l'hilii)se"s undoing; was at every stage the conseiiuence of his o\\ ii 
deliberate acts, if he had retnained discreetly within the American 
lines until the fortunes of the war were decided, it is highly im]irob- 
able that the extremity of confiscating his estates would lia\c iieeii 
resorted to; for lie was a man of generally ])riident character, with 
absoluti'ly nothing against liim exce]it the conjecture th.at he pre- 
ferred the triumph of England. P.iil he was tirml,\ con\inced from 
the beginning tiiar the " rebellion " would be crnslied, and he shaped 
his cotirse accordingly. After his remo\al to Coiinecticiii he was 
granted leave to visit New York City, subject to recall. lie was sum- 



' Alisoirs Hist. i)f Youkprs, 91. 



330 HISTOltY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

moiK'd back, but did not rdiiic TluU st'tllcd I'verytliiug.' Slioi-tlv 
afterwjird the State of N<mv Voik cDiilisi-ak'd Ins property. lie died 
at Clicsicr, Eiiiilaud, in ITS"), and was })nried in tiie Cathedral Chnrcli 
(if tliat ]daee, where the following tablet to his memory is to be 
seen :" 

Sacred to the Memory 

of 

Frederick Pliilipse, P'fquire, I>atp of the 

Province of New Yorlc ; A (ieiitleinan in Whom 

tlie Varions focial, domeftic and Kelij;;ious 

Virtues were eminently United. Tlie Uniform 

Rectitude of His conduct commanded tlie 

Efteem of others ; Wliilft the Henevolence of His 

Heart and Gentleness of His Manners secured 

their Love. Firmly attached to His Sovereign 

and the British Constitution, He opposed, at 

the Hazard of His life, the late Keliellion in 

North America ; and for this Faithful discharge 

of His Duty to His King and Country He was 

Proscrihed, and His Estate, one of the Largest in 

New York, confifcated, by the usur|)ed Legislature 

of that Province. When the British Troops were 

withdrawn from New York in 178;! He cpiitted 

A Province to which He had always been an 

Ornament and Benefactor, and came to 

England, leaving all His Property behind Him ; 

which reverse of Fortune He bore with 

that calmness. Fortitude and Hignity 

which had distingui.shed Him through 

every former stage of Life. 

He was born at New York the 12th day of Septeud)er 

in the year 1720 ; and Died in this Place the 30th 

day of April, in the Year 178.5, Aged O.j Years. 

The British government, as a partial recompense to Philipse for 
his forfeited American estates, jiaid liiiii a sum eqnal to abont .'*;:>( 10,(10(1 
of onr money. 

In addition to siiiiiiiioiniiL; (»r arresting the various individiiais 
sjK'citied in the resolul inns to \\hi(di we ha\c alluded, the third \no- 
vincial congress authorized its committee for the detection of con- 
spiracies to summon or a]»[>re]iend all oilier peisons deemed danger- 
ous or disalfi'cted, and to use for that jmrposi' not nu'rely detach- 
ments of the militia, Init troo]is of the continental line, the latl<'r to 
be obtained by ai)plicalion lo I he coiuiiiandei iri-'liief. Also the town 
and distiict committees were encouraged to exercise zeal and \ igi- 
lance to the same end, and were em})owere(l to summon or arrest, 

'A facsimile of this tablet is suspciiili'd in a By its terms lii' pledjied his "faith mikI won! 

conspicuous place in the Maimr Hall in of honor" not to bear arms against the rnilcil 

Yi^nkers. It has always appeared lo the editor Slatrs, and to return to Connecticut wIh-ii re- 

of the present TUstory that this is in rather iuti-lligence to the enemies of the TJiiited 

c|uestionable taste. States, and to return to Connecticut when re- 

= His pnriile, dated December 23. 17711. was ipiin^d by the governor or General Washinfftim 

issued by Governor Trumlnill. of Conneei ir-iii. so to do. 



FROM .TANUAKY, 177."), TO JT'l.Y I), 1 77(i 



331 



u|i(iii llicir iiwii i-('S])(iiisiliilil V ami willidiit wailiiiu' I'nr a(l\icc from 
the county coniinittee, everybody wliom tliey reiiardcd willi snf<j)ici()ii. 
rcisoiis thus siiiiiiuoiied or arrested by tlie toM n and dislriet com- 
mil lees were required to i;ive j^ood security thai they would a]»i)car 
before the county committee at its next session, or, in dd'auli of 
such security, were to be committed to custody. It will thus be 
seen how riyid and detailed were the arrangements, upon the eve 
of the breakin<i' out of the war in the ('olony of New York, for com 
]icl!inti absolute submission i-verywhere lo the will of the Kevolu- 
iionai-,\' authoiities, and for visitin,>j; swift ar.d condiiin ])unishmeni 
u]ion all refractory or sullen spirits. It is m'cdless to remark Ihat 
I hei'e was no relaxation of this severi' projiramme dui-inii the proni-ess 
of the war. Vet the extrenu^ limits of the l('^al processes ])Ut in ojicra- 
(ion against the Tories were imprisonment or deportation to olhci- 
]iarts of the country, with the added punishment later, in special in- 
stances, of confiscation of estates. There was no resend)lance to the 
sanguinar}' scenes of the I'^i-cnch K'cxdiulion. IjI'c was unifoiiuly 
K'spccted, unless the offense was of a natui-e ]iunishablc ])\ death 
under the articles of civilized war. 

Some of the common Tory suspects arrested in W'eslchesier County 
who were deemed daniierous, and therefore not lit 



persons to go at large, were, for the laclc of local 



r 



FI.AC OF TUF. 
THUtTKF.V COI.OXIKS. 



prison facilities, sent to the forts in the Highlands 
and put at hard lalior. 

The third provincial congress, as the reader no 
doubt will remember, was a very short-lived body, 
extending only from the 18th of ^lay to the oOth of 
June. It was deliberately planned by the eminent 
men Avho were its controlling members to bring 
its labors promptly to a conclusion, and to have 
il superseded by a new congress, freshly elected by the people 
upon the great issue of American independence which was 
being shajieil foi' ultimate decision at rhiladel[)hia. In an- 
licii)ation of the Declaration of hKh'jiemh'Uce, the continental 
congress had, as early as the Kith of .May, adopted a preandde 
and resoluti(ni declaring it to be absolutely irreconcilable to 
reason ami good conscii-nce for the p( o])le of the colonies longci- to 
lake the oaths an<l aliirmations necessary for tlie sujijiorl of an,\ 
government under the crown of Great Britain, and recommending 
to the various colonial assemblies and conventions to take measures 
for the ado]iliou of " sucli government as shall, in the o]iinion of the 
rein-eseiitatives of the peojile, best conduce to the ha]i])iness and 
safety of tlieii' const iluents in particular and Ameriia in genei-al." 



332 IIISTOKY OF WESTCHESTER COTNTY 

Tlic siyiiiticaiicc of tlic iirciiiulilc iiinl rcsnlulioii was fully apju-e- 
ciatcd 1)\ the iiin\ iiicial coiniicss of New York, whose leaders 
pi'diiipf ly decided rlial the respiuisihililv fur dealiiiii with the issue 
of a foiiiial ahi-oiialioii of I he i;(>\'eiiiiiieiil of <!reat r.ritaiii and of 
the crealioii of a new form of i;o\ei-nnient shoulil he refciTed lo an 
enlirely new con^i-ess to be elected by the people without delay. 
( 'onse(|Ueutly 07I the .'>lst of May action was taken suninioninji' the 
electors of the various counties to meet at an early (bite and choose 
(hdeiLiates to a fonrlh ]u-o\iucial congress. .Meantime steail\ pro;L;ress 
was beinn made at I'hiladel])liia toward the detinite consideration 
of tli<' subject of American iu<lependeuce, and some of the New \'ork 
i-epi-escjitativi's in the coniinental congress conceived a stronii de- 
sire for fatejj;orical instructions fi-om home as to that vital ipiestion. 
Ou the Sth day of June four of these representatives — William I'loyd, 
Henry \'\'isner, l\obei-1 I». I,i\in^ston, and Francis Lewis — sent a let- 
ter to the New ^'ork juovincial con.i;i-ess, recjuestinji that smii in- 
strnctious be sent them immediately. It was not nntil the lltli that 
the latter body com])lied with t)ie request thns made. It then adojited 
a series of resolutions wiiose essential piiri)ort was to declare the 
congress's unwillinfiness ami incapacity to deal with the matter, and 
to commit it for (h^cision to the peo])le at the fortliconnuii election 
foi- a ne\\' ]u-o\incial coniiress. The first of tliese resolntions was 
an eni])hatic intimation to the d(dejj,ates at Philadelphia that they 
possessed as yet no authority- to vote in favor of indejtendence, bein<;' 
to the effect that " the <.;((od ])eo]de of this c(dony have not, in the 
opinion nl' this congress, aulliori/.ed tliis coniiress oi- the deleyates of 
this colony in the continental conj^ress to declare this c(dony to 
l>e and continue indejiendent of the crown of (Ireat liritain." The 
wiiole matter was submitted in most explicit terms to the electors, 
who were earnestly iccommended to vest their representatives in 
the soon-to-be (hosen fourth pro\im-ial conji'ress " witli full ])ower 
to deliberate and determine on e\cry (|Uestion whatever that may 
concerii or affect the interest of this colony, ami to conclude ui)on, 
ordain, and execute every act ami measure wliicli to them siiall a])- 
pear conducive to tlu' ha]>piness, security, anil welfare of this colony," 
and particularly, " by instructions or otherwise, to inform their said 
de|)uties of their sentiments relative to tlie j^reat (juestion of Inde- 
pendency and such otiier jioints as they ma\' think iiro]ter." 

The resolutions of the lltJi (d' dune wei-e passed by the ]M-o\incial 
coiiiiress mainly at the instance of John Jay, who is su])j.osed to 
lia\c left his seat in the contin<'ntal couiii'css and become a nuMnber 
(d' tile third provincial con,nress of New ^'ork for the express object 
of holdiui; the latter body to a judicious course on the subject of 



FROM .TAXUAKY, 1775, TO JULY 9, 177G 



333 



iiHlciH'iidi'iicc |i('ii(liuu jinssililc final ('Hkiis Ioi- rrcoiicilialinn wiili 
tilt' iiKitlii'i' rouutry. Tln' rcsnhii inns cniltodicd, so far as it was pos- 
sililc for tlii'iii to do, an absoli;lc inolnliition <d' su]i]i('rt of in<l(iicinl 
cncc 1)_\- the New York dclciiatcs at I'liiladi'lphiit until liniiicr in 
striictioiis should be disiiatclK d t<i Ihcni. No ftirtlicr Inst iiiclioiis 
\\('i-(' scut tiji to tlu' lime of Ihc proinnluation of tlic Declaration of 
Indcjicndciu-c — the 4th of .Itily. Notwithstanding; this condition of 
thiui^s, four of the delciiatcs from New York — William I'loyd, I'hilii) 
Ia\iu.t;slon, I'-raucis Lewis, and our Lewis Mortis — had the iif<'at cour- 
age to iynore the dissuasions of the (|iialilied re]>reseutatives ol i Ik 
people in llieir hcune colony, and simi their names to the immortal 
instrument. Of this number, there is no room for doubt that the 
sillier contributed by Westchester ("oiiiity was infjexiljly res(dved 
npon that line of conduct from the tirsl, and <'ntirely without refer- 
ence to instrnotions from Inune. lie did not ninte with I'loyd, Wis- 
ner, Kobert 1{. Liviujistoii, atid 
Lewis in I heir letter of June S 
solicit ini; instructions,but deemed 
himself fully (|ualitied as a duly 
chosen repi-eseiitative from New 
York to act ui>on the measure ac- 
cording; to his imiividual jinli;- 
nieut. It can scarcely be ijues- 
lione(l that his Ixdd attitude, in 
which he was joined by the hi.uhly 
resjiectiMl I'hilip Livingston, was 
iidlnential in persua<liuj; two of 
the i-iuners of the communication 
of .Line s to in like maniu'r set 
duty abo\f cauticMi. I'art icniarly 
aiiropos to the fonr conra^eons 
(IcU'jiates from New ^'ork, in \ iew 
f»f the embarrassinu circuiu- 
staiH-es which comjiassi-d them 
about, is the niaguiflcent tiihnte 
of the Abbe Kavual to the sinners 
of the Declaration: "With what 

grandeur, with what enthusiasm, should I no! speak of i hose L^eiierous 
men who elected this grand edilice by llieir |»alience, their wisdom, 
and their couragel Hancock, I'ranklin, lln^ two Adamses were the 

greatest actors in the affecting scene; but t hey weii' not 1 1 nly ones. 

I'osterity shall know them all. Their honored names shall be irans- 
iuitte<l (o it by a hajipier pen tliaii mine. IJrass ami marble shall show 




I.l^WIS MOHKIS, 

Sij;ner of the Declaration of Independence. 



334 HISTOUY OF WESTCIIKSTKU COUNTY 

them t(p I lie rcjuolcst jiiics. In Itclioldiii;^ llicia ^;liiill llic fi-iciid of 
freedom feel bis lic;iri pnlpilatc witli joy — feel liis eyes lioat in ddi- 
i-ious tears. ruder I he bust of (tiie of them lias been written: ' ile 
wrested llnmder fiom Heaven, and the sce])ter from tyrants.' Of the 
hist woi'ds of this eiHoyy sliall all of I hem partake." 

l-c\\ is .Morris, \\'esteliester (\)tinty"s siyiier of the Deelaration, affi'r 
completing; the term of ser\iee in tile eontinental eoni:ress for wliicli 
lie had been eleeteil, lotirrd from thai body and was succeeded by 
his yonniicr brother, ( louxcrnenr. In Jniu', 177<), he was a]iiioinlcd 
by the New York jirovincial coniiress briiiadier-iicneral of the mililia 
of Westchester ( "on nty, and later he was iiiad(> major-ncm-ral of mili- 
tia. .\1\\ ays de Noted to ani'iciiltnral pnrsnits, he resnme(l his faxorile 
a\ocalion as soon as jieace was restored. He lived to witness the 
complete realization of all the patriotic aims and liovi-rninental ]irin- 
cijiles of which he had been one of the earliest and most radical ]iro- 
moters, and for which he had made consiiicnons sacritices, dyin^- on 
the 22d day of January, 1798, aged seventy-two. 



CHAPTEK XVI 



THE STATE OF NEW YORK BORN AT WHITE PLAINS- 

12, 177G 



-EVENTS TO ()( TOHKR 




JIIl'v tliii-d ])r(>viiiciiil cdii^i-i'ss, in (liscontiiiu.iiii;- its siKiiifjs 
ill >.'c\\- ^'ork ("ity as a (•()iisc(|ii('iic(- of 1li(> siiililin.u of tlic 
Britisli flt'i't, ado])te(l a i-csnlutinii w iiicli ]irci\ idnl lor its 
i-rassciiibliiiii at Wliifc I'laius, tbt' oouiity-scal oi W'rsl- 
clicslci- Coiiiiiv, on Tuesday, llic I'd day of July. Hiil ii did uot 
a^ain conic loiiciln'i-, ciliici- on tind day or snbsciiuciitly. 

On till' inoinini; of 'I'licsday, llic !llli (d' July, rcin'cscniai ixcs from 
a majority of tlu' r(niiili('s of New ^'ol•k appeared in the court house 
in Wliite riaius, and ]iidin]tlly organized the foui'th proviucial coii- 
yress, eh'clinii General Nathaniel Woodhull as president. From llial 
dale until the 27th day of July, \\liile IMaius conrinuod to lie the 
scat of the Revolutionary jnovernmeid, which now, for tjie lirsl lime, 
liecame the resj^ousible Ji()^•el■nnM'nt of a new commonwealtii. It was 
iliere that till' Declaration of liidepi ndence was foi-mally proclaimed, 
that liie name of the State of New ^'ol•k was substituted for the au- 
cieid designation of the Provinct- of New York, and that the original 
steps fiu' the orjianization of the i^tate machinery were taken. To 
I lie lastiufj' rejjret of all who hold venerable associaticms dear, the 
historic court house where these ever-memorable events transpired 
ceased to exist very soon afterAvard, beinii burned by some vandal 
soldiers of Wasliiufi'tou's army on the nii;hl of the 5th of November, 
177(i. This original ^^'estchester rounty court house, as Ave have 
already noted, was built after the destruction by tire ll-'ebrnary 4, 
17r)S) of I he court house in West(dii'ster 'I'owii. and was (irsi used 
by I he Court of ("onimon Pleas on the 7tli day of November, 17")!),' 
The re])resen1atives from Westchester County to the imjiortant body 
w hose sessions began within its walls on I lie IM li of July were Colonel 
Lewis (IraJiaiii, Cidonel Pierre Van Coi-tiand(, ^laj(U' Ebenezev Lock- 



' To III', itohoit Graliuni. who was supervisor 
of Wliito riains from 17(;9 to 1775. and coimt.v 
jnilirc in 177S, is iiiaini.v dm' tlie croilit of liavint; 
W'liiU' riains llxed upon as llio oounl.v-scat. 
liavlng llio court liouso building ercptcd, and 
having; llir courts removed tiierc from West- 
diesler. He gave to the county the site upon 



wliieli llie court liouse was eroded. His ef- 
t'r>rls were ahi.v secondi'd liy .Tolin Tliomas, of 
Itye, who was tlien a member of llic colonial 
assembly. Dr. Graliam also, at considerable 
expiMise. caused two holds and a country store 
(o be built, and thus gave tlie county-seat a 
start.— Shh77i's Manual of M'cstchculcr County, 33. 



336 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



\V(i(i(l, Williaiu raiihliii^, ''apiaiii -Iniiatliau I'latt, Saiiiucl llavilaiid, 
Zcbadiab Mills, Colonel (iillicii Drake, •Toiiathaii (i. Touiiikiiis, (icii- 
eial L('\Ais Morris, and (Joincriicin' .Morris, all of whom, the Jouriial 
records, were iu attendance on lliai historic morning. John Jay also, 
as a de]nil y from New York City, was there. 

Tile tirsi business of tlie (lav was the considcT-ation of the i)eclara- 




.TONATIIAN G. TOMPKINS. 



tion of Independence, an hich was referred to a committee headed by 
Jolin Jay. In the afternoon the foHowin^ icjtorl^ was broniibt in and 
adoi)ted without a dissentinin voice: 

bi C'DHvention of tlie lii'prescntativfs 
of till- Stiite of New York, Wliite Plains, 
.Tilly 9, UK). 
Kesolvrd, iiiiiiiiiiiiously, That the reasons assijjneil by the continental eonoress for declar- 
ing the United Colonies free anil indeiiendent States are cogent and conclusive ; and that 
while we lament the cruel necessity which has rendered that measure unavoidable, we approve 
the same, and will, at the risk of om' lives and fortunes, join the other colonies in supporting it. 



EVio.XTs I'KoM .ivLV 'I'o ()( "i( )i!i:i: 12, 1771! 337 

Resolved, That ii copy of the said Declai'afion and tlio t'mvfjoiiif;' H'sdhifioii \iv si'iit to the 
ohairniau of the eoininittee of the Comity of Westchester, witli order to pidjlish the same, 
with heat of driiiii, at this phiee, on Thursday next, and to give directions tliat it he pub- 
lished, with all convenient speed, in the several districts witliin the said comity ; and that 
copies thereof be fortliwith transmitted to the other county conunittccs witliin tlic State of 
New York, with order to cause the same to he piiblislicd in the several districts of their 
respective counties. 

Resolved, That five hundred copies of the Ueehuation of Indepcndenee, witli the two 
last-mentioned resolutions of tliis congress for approving- and proclaimini;- the same, be pub- 
lished in liandliills and sent to all the county committees in this State. 

Resolved, That the deleo'ates of this State, in continental congress, be and tliey are 
hereby authorized to consent to and ado|it all such measures as tliey may deem coiidueive to 
tlie hapiiiness and welfare of tlie United States of America. 

Ou Tliur.s'lay, the lltli (l;iy of -luly, therefore, " with bcnl i>f dnim," 
(lie oflicijil prochmiatioii of the ^reat Declaration on the part of the 
I'cpreseiilativi'S of the State of New York was made before the old 
court house at ^\'llite I'lains. 'Pliere unfortunately existed at the 
time no local newspaper in the county to record the undoubtedly in- 
terestiuii' circumstances attending the ijTand event. 

On the second day of its sessions at White Plains, the "Conven- 
tion of Ikein-esentatives of the State of New York " began to consider 
plans for the oroanization of the proposed State government, but 
nothing definite was accomplished in that dinn-tion during the con- 
tinuance of tlie body at our county-seat. ( )n tlie 27th of -Inly I he con- 
vention terminated its sessions at A\'hite I'lains, and from the 2!tth 
of July to the 2!>tli of August it sat at Harlem. A committee of thir- 
teen, of which -Tcdin Jay \Aas chairman and (Jouverneur Morris was a 
luember, was apjiointed on the 1st of August to talce into considera- 
tion and report a plan for instituting a form of government. (Mit of 
this action resulted the first constitution of the State, which was re- 
jiorted on March 12 and adopteil on April 20, 1777. ^leantime, and 
until tlie new governmental machinery was started. New York rc- 
uiaineil under exclusive legislative and committee goverumeiit. The 
State convention, after leaving Harlem, met successively at Fishkill 
and Kingston, being dissolved on the 13th of May, 1777. Through- 
out the critical period wliith incduded the succi-ssive Ih-itisii occuiia- 
lii.ns of Staten Island, Long Islaiul, and ^Manhattan Island, anil the 
Westclu ster CNiunty campaign, the convention was indefatigable in 
lierforming the maiufold onerous duties that belonged to its si)here. 

An interesting and significant resolution adopted by the convention 
while in session at our county-seat (July 1.")) Avas the following: 

Resolved, unanimously. That it is the opinion of this [convention that if liis Excellency, 
(ieneral Wasliington, should think it expedient for the ])reservatiou of tliis State and the 
general interest of .Vmeriea to abandon the City of Xew York and witlidraw the troops to 
the north side of Kingsbridge, this convention will cheerfully co-operate with him in every 
measure that mav be necessary — etc. 



338 HISTORY OF WESTOHESTEJl COUNTY 

Tlic priiclaiuatidii nf ludepcndciicc was of necessity submitt('(l to 
(liiietly, tlioujili with varied imirmuriu^s, by tlie Tory faetioii of 
Westcliester Couuty. The hical coniiiiitlees everywhere were sii- 
])renie, and manifestations of an unfriendly nntnre, even in the form 
of disfavorinij;- remark, were pretty certain lo involve liic (■nli)rit.s 
in difliciiity. The name of one bold spirit, who for three weeks perse- 
vered in a public attitude of defiance, has come down to us; and be- 
fore proceeding with the narrative of the momentous events Avhich 
now crowd thick upon us, this interestini; local e])is(id(' sliunld be 
recorded. 

It is not surprisiuii' that the aii'fi,Tessivc individual was a clerjxy- 
man of the Church of Eu.iiland, the IJev. Epenetus Townseud by name, 
who since IKifi had oiticiated as n missionary of the Venerable Projia- 
ji;ation Society in the I'arisli ul' Salem, lie was a man of ability, 
thoufiii not of distinjiiiished talents like Parson Seabury. of West- 
chester. For inveterate devotion to the kinii and scorn id' all rebels 
he certainly yielded to none in all our County of Westchester. He 
relates in one of his letters that as early as the end of the year 1773 he 
began to strongly susiiect that "the leaders (d' opposition to govern- 
ment in America " were aindng at iude])end<-nce; whereupon he un- 
derto(dc to do all that lay in his jxiwer, " liy ]>ri'a(hing, reading the 
Homilies against Kelxdlion," ami ihe like, to persuade his ix-ojde 
against connlemincing sucdi wicked tendencies. "And blessed be 
God," he exclaims, "I have the satisfaction that the Church people 
[Episcopalians] in all my iiarishes [Salem, Ridgehidd, and IJidge- 
bury] have almost unanimously — there being three or four excej)- 
tions — maintaine<l their loyalty from the first.'' In 3Iay, 177(i, he sa,\s 
he was called before the "' I{(d»(d ("ommiltee of Cortlandfs ^lanor" 
and " invited " to join their association. This he indignantly declined 
to do. Next, he was ordei-ed to furnish blankets for the "Rebel s(d- 
diers," and, refusing, was sent under guard to the committee, which, 
failing to i>ei-suade him on the same i)oint, gave orders to search his 
house and appro]»rinte Ihe desired goods; but happily his wife liad 
safely seci-eted all they possesse(l. Then he was directed to ]iay "" uji- 
wards (;f thirty shillings " to flu- nn)r;ified searcdiing i)arty, r(duse<l to 
obey, and was detaine(l under guard until he produced the money. 
After that he was esc(U'tcd b( fore the Westchester County comuut- 
tee, on complaint made by the Cortlandt ^lanor c(nuuuttee, to be 
examined as to his political ]irinciples. These several unpleasant in- 
cidents all occiirred in the months of ]May and June, 177(1; and con- 
sidering the respectable and rev(M-eiid character of ^fr. Townsend, 
together with the circumstance that all but "three oi' four" of the 
" Church people '" of his parishes w( re Loyalists, the severity and per- 



i:VKN'l-8 I'KOM .11 I, V ;t TO OCTUBKU 12, 1770 339 

tiiincilv with whicli lie was (lis(i|iliiic(l arc loi-cililv illiisirali\c nf 
the nciicral s]iiiil of llii- times in \\csl(li(stci- ('ouiily. 

On ilif Sunday al'Icr the Dcclaial ion of I iKlcitcndcncc Mas ])ro- 
claiincd l>y llic aiitliority iif (lie assembled delei;ales (d the Slale of 
New Vuik at Wliiie J'laiiis, llie Kcv. Epenetus Townsend, lioldinii 
ser\ices as usual in his chiii-eli at Salem, omitled not one jot of 
the preseribed formnlai'ies in i-elalion to the Idny- and the royal 
family. On the second Sunday he still pin'sued the even tonor of 
his duties in this particular; but on the third Sunday, says Bolton, 
•• when in the afternoon he was oHiciatinj;-, and had proceeded some 
leniith in the service, a coniitaiiy of armed soldiers — said to have be- 
lomicd to Colonel Sheldon's i-eiiiment, stationed on Keeler's Hill, op- 
])osite — marched into the church with drums beatini;- and fifes play- 
iuii, their <iuns loaded and bayonets fixed, as if ii'oin<;' to battle; and as 
soon as he comiiienced reailin^;- the collects for the kinti' and i-oyal 
family tlie^ rose to their feet, and the oflic"r commanded him upon 
the peril of his life to desist. .Mr. Townsend immediately stopped 
readinfj', closed his ]irayerbook', descended from the rcii( ling-desk, and 
so the matter jjassed over without any accident." On the 21st of Oc- 
tober following lie was sent to Fishkill as an enemy of America, and 
for six nn)nths was kept on parole at his own expense. In the spring 
of 1777, having refused to take the oath of allegiance to the i-e])iiblic, 
lie was ]iermiTted to renmve with his " family, apjiarel, and liouse- 
hcdd furiiii lire ■■ to the British lines, his property in Salem — a very 
•• genteel '" one — being confiscated. In 1779 he was appointed chap- 
lain to a Loyalist battalicm, which was ordered to Halifax, and he 
sailed with it thither, accompanied by his wife and five children. Ills 
slii]i foundered, and he and his whole family perished. 

The first vessels of the British exjjedition against New York. \vhi<h 
ariived at Sandy Hook on June 20, were gradually joined by the 
eniire tlect. The iiuifcd militaiy f(U-ci comprised the army jormerly 
(|uariered in Boston (whi(di, after evacuating that place, had been 
transported to ilalifaxi. some troo])s from the Southern colonies, a 
large ailditioii of fresh iroojis from l']ngland. and some fonrteen 
thousaml Hessian mercenaries. In the aggregate there were 3o,Gll 
men, of whom 2-1, Kil were in condition for battle. It was by far Ihi' 
largest army ever gathered in America during the Bevolntion. It 
seemed probable that (oiieral Howe's attack on New York would 
not be in the fortii of a naval bombardment of tlie city or of a de- 
barkatitin of the army on ^Manhattan Island, but of a movement 
thither friuii ]>ong Island, 'i'liei-e Washington had caused defenses 
to be fortitied and occupied, whose inner line extended from Oowanus 



340 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Creek to Wallabuut Bay. General Howe's orijiiual iutenlion seems 
to have been to disembark immediately on Loiij;' Island and move to 
bis destination with all possible eneruy. On July 1 the Meet was 
brought up to Gravesend Bay (Coney Island), with the evident de- 
sign of ell'eeting- a landing the next morning, lint if sueh was the 
purpose of the British commander, he promptly abandoned it (being 
actuated, it is supposed, by the prudential feeding that it would be 
wisest to await the arrival of the bulk of his forces); and, indeed, 
it was not until the 22d of August that the landing on Long Island 
was made. There Washington was granted a respite of seven Aveeks, 
which he availed of by perfecting the Long Island defenses and 
making all practical arrangements for concentrating in that quarter 
a force cai)able of resisting the invasion. Ilow nearly this j)roved 
fatal to the American cause is a theme that the historians of the 
Revolution never weary of expatiating upon. 

General Howe, in bringing his formidable command to America, 
had, at least nominally, a double funrlion to discharge. While he 
grasped the sword willi one hand he bore the olive branch in the 
other. Before proceeding to sanguinary measures he was to proffer 
terms of reconciliation, whi(h were to include gracious ]iar(lon for 
all acts of rebi'llioii. i5ut toward the end of peace so devoutly to be 
wislied for, he unfortunately was not able to make any jirogress 
whatever. One of his tirst acts was to disiiatch an olticer under a 
flag of truce with a letter addressed to "'George AVashington, Esq.," 
reminding one of that other historic British im])ertinence, tlu' ofh- 
cial <lesignation of the fallen and caiitive I'^mperor Najioleon, after 
Waterloo, as " General Bonaparte." Howe's messenger, after ex- 
changing the most elegant and amiable courtesies with the Amer- 
ican otlicer who came to meet him, stated that he had a letter for a 
" 31r. " Washington. The otlii'r informed him that some unaccount- 
able nnstake must have l)ei'n made, that there was no pei-son an- 
swering to such a name in the whole patriot camp. The missive 
was next ])roduced, and still it was disavowed that tlu' specified pri- 
vate indi\idual had any known existence. The puzzled iTiessenger 
was fain to return to his chief without accom])lishing his laudable 
object. This was the last offer lo sjtare tin* erring colonies the fear- 
ful chastisenu'ut that had so long lieen threatened. 

On the 2d of July the British ships left Gravesend, advanced in 
stately ]irocession through the Narrows, di'0])])ed anchor one by one 
along the shoi-es of Staten Island, and began to discharge the troojis, 
who, gladly remarks Dawson, were " welcomed by the inhabitants of 
that beautiful island as their dediverers from the terrible oppression 
of the Eevolutionary powers." Not until the 12th of July was any 



EVENTS FROM JULY 9 TO OOTOP.KR 12, 1770 341 

f'di'innl (lenionstrnlioTi iiyaiiist the Anicrican foe atU'iiii)lc(l. 'I'licn 
two vcsst'ls, the " IMidMiix," of forty-fom- .miiis, and the " llosc," of 
twenty guns, with three tenders, were dispatelied on an exiiedition 
u]i I lie Hudson River. They were fired on by the shore batteries, 
witli little or no effect, and responded by droi)]iinn- a number of shells 
into the city, which killed three of Washington's soldiers. Anchor- 
ing at Spuyten Duyvil Creek, they got a Avarm reception fi-oni the 
new batteries which had been planted on Tippet's and Cock's Hills. 
They then resumed their voyage up stream as far as Tarrytown, 
where the local company of militia, known as the Associated Com- 
pany of the upper part of Philipseburgh Manor, showed itself ready 
for the emergency. That body turned out, under the command of 
Lieutenant Daniel Martling, and guarded the shore during the night 
to prevent any possible attempt at landing. But there was no such 
endeavor; and, although tlie hostile ships remained opposite Tarry- 
town for four days, no clash of arms occurred there. IMeantime the 
State convention at White Plains sent supplies of poAvder and ball 
to Tarrytown, and also ordered re-enforcements thither. It is very 
conjecturable that the purpose of the British warshijis in staying 
so long at that spot was to cari'y on communication with the Tories 
of Philipseburgh ^[anor and the opposite shore. Washington was con- 
cerned about this movement up the Hudson. Keferring to it in a letter 
to the convention dated the 14th, he expressed the opinion that the 
ships " may have carried up arms and ammunition to be dealt 
out to those who may favor their cause, and co-operate witli 
them at a fixed time," and urged vigilant action for nii)ping so dan- 
gerous a scheme in the bud. He also a])]irehended that troops might 
be on board, intended for the seizure of the important Highland de- 
files, "in which case the intercourse between the two |.\merican] 
armies, both by land and water, will be wholly cut otT, than which 
a greater misfortune could hardly befall the province and army." 
Steps w'ere accordingly taken to guard against such a catastrophe, 
particular attention being direct<'d toward ])rotecting the road which 
passed around .Vnt hony's Nose. Solicitude was likewise felt lor Kings- 
bridge, a ]ioint of even greater immediate importance. In June Wash- 
ington had made a ])ersoiial visit of inspection to Kingsbridge and 
vicinity, had found the locality to admit of advantageous fnrtitica- 
tion in .seven distinct places, and, " esteeming it a pass of tlie inmost 
inijioi-tancc in order to kecji open comuiuiMcat ion willi the country," 
had assigned troojis to ])nsli forward tlie defensive woi'ks deter- 
mined iiptiii. On the I'd <il' .Inly (ieneral .Milllin was sent to Kings- 
bridge to assume cliarg<', and frnui tliat time foi'ward there was the 
utmost activity in and around this spot. The great fear was that 




O 



EVENTS FKO\r .TTI.Y i) TO OCTOUKU 12, ITTG 343 

tlic liiid^c itself, mill Willi it the I'ariucrs" Bridjio, would bo do- 
sti-(i.v((l hv ;i li(i;il cxpcd i I ioii rnuii ilir Hudson IJiver, and that a por- 
tion 111 till' Uiiiisli iniii\ WDiild he (■oincidriirlv landed in Westchester 
("(Minlv. wliicli wniild li;ne sliiii up \\ 'asliiiij;ton's whole force on 
Manhattan Island. I'ut these di-eaded attempts were never niaih, 
and even if they had heeii the precantions taken wonhl itmlialdv 
liav<' sntlice<l tn counteract them. 

It is well known that Cleucral llowo placed not a little dependence 
n])on the ho])e of receivini;' active co-operation in the field from the 
loyal iidialiitants of the lo\\'er counties of this State, ami in that 
ho]»e he A\as encouraiied liy assurances which hi' received from Gov- 
ernor Tryon and others upon his arrival. So far as Westchester 
County is concerned, no evidence exists that any results to Mistain 
him in such an expectation followed the undoubted attempts to stiiu- 
nlate Tory couruiic incidental to the dispatch of the " Pho-nix " and 
" liose " u]i The Hudson. 

Too much praise can not be uiven the New York State coincntioii 
for its \ii;(M-ous and well-considered measures at this time of uncer- 
tainty rej;ardin,ii the intentions of the enemy. With the situati(Ui 
below the Harlem Kiver Washiniitou was competent to <leal in all 
its details, l)ut the conxcntion ridieved him of much of the responsi- 
bilitj' and distraction that would have been involved in carinji for 
the security of the country above. Provisions and other stores havinjf 
bi-en accumulated in the neiiihlKU-hood of Peekskill, the convention 
ordered their removal to places which would be less exposed to 
danger fiom possible Uritish lauding- parties. ^lilitia re-euforce- 
nients for I'oi'ts Constitution and Montgomery were provided for. 
One-fourth of the entire militia of Westchester, Dutchess, and Orange 
Counties was called out, and, in view of the emergency, each militia- 
nnin taking the field was granted a bounty of twenty dollars la gen- 
erous allowance in the circumstam-es of the time), with continental 
l»ay and subsistence. This whole militia force (Westchester County's 
( ontingent being under the c<unmand of Cohuiel Thomas Thomas) was 
ordered to Pickskill as the strategic ]ioint fiw rejielling the expectt>d 
attack on the Highlands. The com-ention i)ledged itself to defray 
the expenses of any practicable plans for obstructing the naviga- 
lion of the Hudson and annoying the enemy's shi])s. Not having 
sullicient ammunition for the militia, it riMjuested Washington to 
loan w liat was needed, jiromising to replace it at the earliest opjior- 
tiinity. It also advised Washington to use his offices with Governor 
Trumbull, of Conncctic\it, for the creation of a cam]> of six thousand 
men on the I'.yrani b'ivei-, in the interest of bringing to confusion 
anv schemes (d" the I'ritish for seizing the country abov(» Kingsbridge. 



344 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

Tliis i-('C()iiiiiicii(liiti(iu was (IcciiiL'd by Wasliiiijitnu most cxi'i-llciit, but 
iK'Vci- bore any fruits. 

On tlu' Kith (if .Tilly tlic " Pbd-nix " and " Rose," witli their tcn(h'rs, 
left Tarrytown and sailed up the river ti> near Verplanek's i'oiul. 
Finding that their iH-ogress into the Highlands would be prevented 
by the batteries of Forts Constitution and Montgomery, they merely 
took soundings, received such infoi-niation as could be got from sym- 
pathizers on shore, and landed small parties here and there, \vhi(di 
committed a feAV minor de]iredations. ]{e1 inning slowly down the 
stream, they soon found tliat some tolerably lively adventures liad 
been prepared for tlieiii by the alert American commander. 

At Tarrytown, on the ith af August, they were boldly engaged by 
a number of galleys — the " Washington," " Lady Washington," " Sjiit- 
fire,'- "Whiting," "Independence," and " Crane "^ — which Washing- 
ton had procured from the governors of Connecticut and IJhode Island, 
and dispatched for the purpose of annoying the two warships. One 
of the participants on the American side, in an account of this s])irited 
encounter, says: " \\e had as hot a fire as, perhaps, was ever known, 
for an hour and a half. Our commodore. Colonel Tupper, thought it 
ju'udent to give the signal for our little fleet to withdraw, after man- 
fully fighting a much superior force for two hours. Never did men 
behave with more firm, determined spirits than otir little crews. One 
of our tars, being mortally wounded, cried to bis messmate: ' I am 
a dying man; revenge my blood, my boys, and carry me alongside 
my gun, that I may die there.' We \\'ere so preserved by a gracious 
I'rovidence that in all our galleys we had but two men killed and 
fourteen wounded, two of whicli are thought dangerous." 

An even nuu'e exciting exjierience was reserved for the " riio'iiix," 
" Kose," and their tenders. Two fir<' vessels, constructed by Wash- 
ington's orders, approached them at their anchorage on the night of 
the Kith of August. The resulting transactions have been pictur- 
es(]U(dy described by numerous writers, but with many variations as 
to details. The precise location of this affair of the fire-shiijs is im- 
possible of determination, so conflicting are the statements on that 
p(dnt. The thrilling scene is variously located oif Tarrytov.n, Dobbs 
Ferry, Hastings, and Youkers. According to a very circuiiistani ial 
account by a princi])al particijiant on the American side — Cajjtain 
.losepli I'ass, ap])areiit]y tlie mnigator of one of the fire-ships, — it oc- 
curred not in the jtirisdiction of Westcliesler County but in that of 
Kockland County, the British vess( Is, h<' says, having taken stations 
on the west side of the river, because 'A' the greater deptli of the 
^\■atel• tliere, upon receiving an inlimation from some (|uarter that 
miscldef was impending. The narrative of Captain I?ass (originally 



EVENTS rnoAr .tt'ly to octoret; 12, 1770 345 

imlilislici] ill I lie Warci sh )■ Maii<rJii< in 1S20) is so cNpiicil mid in rsscn 
(i:il rcs|K(ls so iiil('iliL;ciit tli;it it sci'iiis to us liis sliitciin'iit liuil liii' 
I'Vciil li;ins|)in'(l on the \\( si side of tJic ii\cr iiiiisl lie iicccplcd willi- 
oiit (incstion. W'i Diiwson, iiflci cxiuniiiiiii; nunnTous oriuiinil iin- 
I liofilics, all ciirc rullv cited in liis I'ooliiott's, ^ivcs no su<ij;('slioii of 
I his; altlioni;li lie does not spcciJically sa}' that tlu- fnyai;('nicnl or- 
(iiiTod on tiic oast bank. Again, the individual prooci'diniis and 
piTloi-niaiu-es of tlu' two fiiv-sliips arc strangely confused by dilTeicnl 
nanatois, the exact ]iaft borne by one in some accounts being as- 
signed to its coni]iniiion in others. I^'uving aside the minuter de- 
tails involving discrei>ancies, which after all are not very material — 
and, indeed, tht- whok' affair is of no distinct importance in its r(da- 
tioii to the progress of general events, although exceedingly interest- 
ing as an episode, — we shall confine ourselves to a brief statenient 
of the essential facts, about which there are no disagreements. 

Tlu^ advisaljility of converting small river craft into fire-ships to 
attack the enemy's war vessels received early consideration by the 
State convention after the advent of the J'.ritish fleet. The subje<-t 
was assigned to a secret committee, whose practical projects were en- 
couraged by Washington and also by (ieneral (Jeorge Clinton. After 
the ])assage of the "Hose," " Plneiiix," and their tenders U]) the 
liver, two fire-ships, or rafts, were fitted out and held in readiness 
at Sjiuyten Duyvil Inlet for a favorable opiiorvunity. " The {ire-siii)(s," 
says IJuttenber, whose accotmt is digested from the narrative of Cap- 
lain I'.ass, " had been ])reiiare<l with fagots of the most combustible 
l^iuds of A\'ood, which had been di]>]>ed in iiielte(l pitch, and with 
Imndles of straw cut about a foot long, piriiaicd in the sanKMuaiinef. 
Tile fagots and bundles tilled the <leck and hold as far aft as the cabin, 
and into this mass of combustible materials was inserted a match, 
that might be fired by a jx'rson in the cabin, who would have to 
escajie through a door cut in the side of ilie vt'ssel into a whaleboat 
that was lasheii to tiic (|uarter of the slooji. Hesides these coinbiis- 
libies, there Mere in each vessel ten or twelve barrels of jiitcli. A 
(|uaiitity of canvas, amounting to niiiuy yards, was cut into sliijis 
about a foot in width, then di]))KNl in s]nrits of turpentine, and iiiing 
npon the spars and rigging, extending down to the deck. " 

On the niglit of the Kith of August the two tire-siii]>s, comnianded 
lsa\s Dawson) by ( "aptains I'osdick and Thomas, but li \ohinleers from 
the army, sailed uji the rixcr on the serious business for which they 
hail been constructed. They ke])t in midstream, and in the darlv- 
IK-ss Were unable to deled the enemy's shi](S, lint located lliein by 
the cry of the lookouts, "All's well!" and bore down u]ion them. 
• •lie of the tire-ships grappled a tender (or " bombketch," according 



346 IIISTOIIV OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

lit I'iissi, iind the (iIIk 1- inadi' I'.-isl Id ilic " I'luniix." Tlic lircs were 
liiililrd, ;iiiil iiis!;inlly llic rails were athmic. Tlic tender, or Ixiinh- 
kel( li, was liunied to I lie water's ed^c, and tlie •• IMid-nix " seemed 
in a fair way of total destrnetion, hut was saved )i\ desjierate exer- 
tions. Xe\-ertli(dess slie was fired in several ])laces, and niiicli of her 
riiii;in,n- was eiit away so that ihe Ihiincs iiii<;ht not catcii it. .Most 
(d' the crew of the tender ])eris]ie(l. and it is sn])])osed that some 
mill on I lie " I'lio'iiix " were lost. ( ajitaiii Thoinas and h\-e of his 
men \\-ere unahle to escajx' to llieir whalehoat after apid,\in;Li' the 
matfli to the eomhnstibles. Tiiey jiiiiiiied into the water and were 
drowned. Washinsiton's accoiini of this <larin;n and, indeed, very 
brilliant affair is as follows: 

The iiifi-lit of the Kitli two (if our fire vessels attemptptl to Imrii the ships of war up tlie 
liver. Oue of these bourdeil tlie " Phueni.x," of forty-four f;uiis, aiul was grappled with her 
for some miuutes, Imt uuluekily she eleared lior.self. The only damage tlie enemy sustained 
was the destrnetion of oue tender. It is agreed on all hands that our people engaged in this 
affair behaved with great resolution and intrepidity. One of the eajitains, Thomas, it is to 
be feared, perished in the attempt, or in making his eseape by swimming, as he has not been 
lieard of. Ilis bravery entitled him to a better fate. Tliongb this enterprise did not 
sueeeed to our wishes. I ineline to think it alarmed the enemy greatly; for this morning 
(August 18) the " Pluenix " and " Rose," with their two remaining tenders, taking advantage 
of a brisk and prosperous gale and favorable tide, quitted their stations and have returned 
and joined the rest of tile Heet 

Willi the final sailing away of Ihe Uritish shi[is on the iiiornino 
of the ISlh of Anjiii^t, the Hudson liiver, from the bay up, was re- 
lieved of Ihe enenix, whose eiiliie Heel was uow anchored alonn' the 
Stateii Island slmii . li w as neail,\ a month before the much-dreaded 
vessels id' war ai^aiii vein nred above I he liattery, and it was not nnl il 
the 9tli of October that the cili/.ens of \Vesicliester ("onnly were 
throwTi into renewed a|>|>reliensioii b_\ the reappearance of Ihe un- 
welcome visitors in I heir (piarlc r. 

The transportation <if Ihe iuvadiiij; army from its temporary qiiar- 
t( IS on Slaten Island lo Loni; Islanil was beo'iin early on the morn- 
iiiLi of the 22d of Annitsl, the landing- beinj; efl'ected at (ira\cseud 
without opposition. With the details of the battle of Loiii; Island, 
which ])resently followed, our narrali\(' is n(d concerned, and il is 
sul'licient for the pnr|)ose of this History to brietly summarize its re- 
sults. \\\ iKion on Ihe 2Tth of Anj;iist that disastrous battle ended in 
complete \iclory for the Kritish, and \\'ashiniiton, havinii' sustained 
a hea\'.\' loss in killed, wounded, and i)risonei's, retired with his 
w hole remainiuo force, w liicli, as slij;htly re-enforced the next day, did 
nol exceed nine thotisand, behind his inner intreiichinents, stretchinji', 
as already notice(l, froiii the (Jowaiiiis to the Wallabout. I'^rontinji' 
him was an army of fully twenty thousand, and at any moment the 
whole tieinendoiis lirilish fleet miiiht ei'ter the ICast TJiver and cut 



EVENTS FROM .TTI-V i» 'I'O OCTOP.EU 12, ITU) 347 

olT liis rclicat lo .M;iiili;itl;iii Isl.-iiid. In siicli ;iii cvciil u;ilil v liis iiii- 
(•()ii(li(i(niiil siuTciidcr would be bill ;i (|ii('sli(iii of a bvit-f liiiic, and 
Willi il the cause of .Vnu'iicaii indcix'iidcucc \\-ould iu all ])robabilily 
rccrhc its dcatliblow. The sole problnn loi' W'asliiiijilon io solve 
w as (lierefoi-e that of tlu' most expedii ions iiossible escape W il Imul 
dclav lie beiiau to make bis arrauincmeuts. ]>y the eveiiiu}; of the 
I'lltli all the available craft in the survoundinn waters had been ccd- 
lected and bi-ouii'lil to tile liriioklyii end of tlie ferry. The uiiilit was 
lorfunately dark, and nol a slii]) of tin' enemy's had yet apjicarcd 
in the vicinity, while Howe's army lay before our works in comidele 
itinera lire of the desifjii <d' the American general. One by one the 
icjiinieiits left their posts and were safely transferred to the New 
^'ork side. At dawn the business was still untiuished, but, happily, 
a liea\y fof^' obscured river and land. Nevertheless the last boat- 
loads had scarcely left the I?ro(d<lyn shore when the Britisli aji- 
jx'ared on the scene, and, indei'il, tlieii- arrival was in time to ca])- 
tiire some of the strajiglers. It was a narrow escape for the |iati-iot 
army fi-om the jaws of cei'tain deslruci ion, made jiossible only by a 
combination of circumstances which seems providential. It is told 
that tile wife of a Toiy named Kapelje, living near the ferry, as 
soon as the retreatinjj,- mox'emeut be<ian after nightfall, disjiatched 
a uejii-o with information of it to the I'ritish camp, but that the mes- 
scnji'ei-, after safely makinii' liis wa_\' tlii-out;li tlie American lines, 
lia<l lli( ill luck to stumble ujion an outpost of Hessian mercenaries, 
w ho wci-e unable to undei'stand a word of his lani;ua,ii'e, and, not aj)- 
prelicndinti that he was a ]>erson of any inijiortance, did not turn 
him over to the I>rilish until moi'iiinti. The battle of I-oni; Island, 
althouiih in its immediate i-esull to the Aniericans a terrible defeat, 
followed by the abandonment of Lon^ Island and of New "^'ork (Mty 
also, was, if thoughtfully rdlected u]M.n, a defeat of jirodiiiioiis ulti- 
mate ad\anta!n-e. If 'Washimiton had triunijdu'd in that battle, nv 
e\cu if its outcome had been comparatively indecisive, his generals 
Would almost certainly lia\'e insisted on standiuL;' their ;L;round, and 
in that event he would almost ine\itably have suffered a mlseiabh- 
end on Lonii' Island. It was the coni|)leteniss of his defeat alone 
which ]ireser\ed the army by h'axinii no course of actiori o|ten ex- 
cept immediate rc^treat. .,VltlioUiili the loss of New York ("ily also 
was ins(d\('d, that, fi'om the American iioini of \iew, was more a 
relief than a catastrophe, ^^'itllout a lleet, \\'asliint:tou ne\ci- could 
ha\c held the cit\', which, as ji base absolutely indispensable foi' the 
Ib'itish to ac<|iiiie, w<iiild have lieeii taken by them in the end, e\cn 
at the cost of rediiciiiL; it to ashes. .\ n attemjit to hold it could have 
resulted iu nothing but a futile sacrilice of encM'uies, troops, and 



348 HISTORY OF WESTCHKSTEU COUNTY 

iiiniicy on ;iii ciKii'iimiis sciilc It was best llial lie slmiild lie rid of it 
al once Willi no ni-catci- sacrilicc than lliat iiicni-rcd in tiic briof Long 
Island (•anii)ainn and tlic mainly dcl('nsi\c nioNi'int-nts thaf followed 
it. He was tlicrvhy released from a most perilnns sit nation and en- 
abled to withdraw his army into the interioi-, where it conld recruit 
its strength, improNc its discijiline, and lirasp oji])oi'tnnities as they 
should be presented in a stmuiile f(n- libert\' whii h everyone knew 
must be ]>rotracted and could succee(l only IhroULih endurance. 

The tirst encounter ni the Kevolution on the soil of Westidiester 
ConutA' occurred on the I'Sth of Aiiii.ust in the vicinity of ^lamai'o- 
neck between a jiarty (d' Loyalist recruits led by one William Louns- 
i>ni-y and an American force commanded by Cajitain Johu i'^lood, 
which was sent in pursuit of them. According; to the records of the 
State convention Icr the 2".M h (d' Aujiust, ITKJ, " ^Ir. Tompkins came 
into convention and informed that ^fr. I>ounsburv was con\e into 
Westchester County with a commission from Oeneral ]b)we to raise 
rangers; and that a party of the militia went in pursuit of him, and 
were under the necessity of killing him, as he would iKd surrender; 
auother was wounded, and four were taken prisoners — all his re- 
cruits." The prisoners were Jacob Sclmreman, Bloomer Neilson 
I wounded), .Tose])h Turner, and Samuel Haines. T,ouusl)ury had 
been on board the " I'ha-nix '" in the North Kiver, and his enlisting or- 
ders were found on his person. Ea( h of his recruits was to ri'ceive £3. 

On Maidiattan Island Washington was still undis])uled master, 
and the British, without any ])recipitancy but with great thorough- 
ness, proceeded to brijig him to another reckoning there. Although 
the fleet made uo attempt to dis])ose itself around the island for 
purposes of co-operation with Howe's land forces until several days 
after the battle of Long Island, two of the warships, with a brig, had 
on the very day of that battle takcui a station above Throgg's Neck. 
This was an ominous move, suggesting an intention to come up 
tlirough the East lUver and seize the numerous strategic points of- 
fered by the islands and necks of the river and Soun<l. Between 
the 8d and 14:th of September a number of the most powerful frigates 
of the rte(>t were stationed in the East Kiver, ami what are now Kan- 
dall's and Ward's Islan<ls \vere occujued. On the 15th the frigates 
took a ])osition at the head of Kip's Bay and opened a terrific fire 
upon a selected spot on the shore, umler whose cover eighty-four boat- 
loads of soldiers wcic landed wilhont the least resistance. It is true 
that Wasliiugton had placed a considerable foi'ce of Connecticut and 
.Massai husetts troojjs in that vicinity — eight regiments in all, — but 
they beat a hastj' and decidedly discreditable retreat as soon as the 
enemy showed himself. With the English army present in force on 



EVENTS FKO.M .Il'LV 9 TO OCTOBKIt 12, 177(5 



:j4<) 



M;iiili;ilt;ui Island, it \\as now iiiipcral i\ cly iicccssarv I'lii- Wasliiiiii- 
l(Pii (() willidraw liis whole roininaiKl lo llic ikuM licrii jjorlioii of (lie 
islaud, whirli he was forlunatel.v able to do, l'(dlo\\iiiy the IJIooiiiiiii;- 
dale IJoad on the west side, and campiiiii on ihc e\cnius>- of the ITith 
on Harlem Heights. IIer(» he established his head(|naiters in I lie 
lloycr Morris mansion, which aflei-ward became the .Jniiiel mansion, 
and is still preserved (One Ilnndred and Sixty-first Street near Saint 
.\i<-holas Avenne). 

As has already been ri-latt'd, Colonel Koi;cr .Morris, the owner of t iiis 
stately residence, married Mary Philipse, for whose hand Washington 
liimselt is saiil to have been a snitor. Mary \\as the yonniicst snr- 
\i\inii danii'liter of Fre<lerick 
riiilipse. tile liiird lord (d' the 
manor, and was born on the 3d (d' 
July, 1730, nearly two years be- 
fore ^\'ashini;ton saw the liiiht. 
The romantic story that Washini;- 
ton actually sought her in luar- 
riajie, and A\as I'efused, does not 
rest on any known foundations; 
yet there is strong- presumptiM- 
evidence that he admired her very 
heartily, and that if opportunity 
had enabled him to pay diligent 
conrt to her he probably wonid 
have embraced it. Much as has 
been written on this subject, noth- 
iu'j; that is authentic, so far as we 
have been able to discover, has 
been added to Sparks's w<dl- 
known reference to it. " While 
in N(M\- York in 175(5," says 

Sparks, " W'ashiiiiiton was loducd and kindly entertained at the house 
of Ml-. lieverly Kobinson, between whom ai'd himself an intimacy 
of friendshij) subsisted, which, indeed, conlinurd wilhoui cii.'iniic till 
severed b_\- their ()]ii)osite fortunes twenty .vears afterward in tiie 
Kevolution. It hai)pened that Miss Mary l'liilii»s(>, a sister of .Mrs. 
iiobinson, and a youni; lady of rare accoin|ilisl:ments, ^\•a^ an in 
mate in liie family. The charms of the lady made a deep impi'cs- 
sion n])on the heart of the \'ii'^inia colonel. He \\('nl to I'.oston, re- 
turned, and was ayain welcomed to the liosphality of .Mr. Kobinson. 
lie liniicred there till duty called him away; but he was careful to 
intrust his secret to a coulidential fi-ieiid, whose letters kei»t him in- 








MARY rillLIPSE. 



350 HISTORY OF WKSTCHESTER COUNTY 

I'oiiiicd ol (■\civ iiiipdriiiiif cNciil. In ;i few iiioiitlis inlcllii;ciHc caiiic 
That a rival was in tin- Held, iiinl ilint tlic (•(hisciiucikcs could noi he 
answered for if lie dela vrd lo iciifw his visits to New 'S'ork. ^^'heth^■r 
(inie, the bustle of eanip, or I In- scenes of war had moderated his 
adniiratit)n, or whether lie dcspaii-ed of success, is nol known, lit- 
never saw the lady a,uain till she was married to thai same rival, 
('aptain Morris, his foriuei associate in arms and one of I'raddock's 
aids-de-camp.'' Mary IMiilipse's husband took a ])osilive stand 
a.ijainst the patriot cause in the Kevolution, and as a consiMpience 
Ills property in America was confiseated. The lady lived to be ninety- 
live years old, dyini;- in Kni;land in 1S25. The Ilarlem lleinhls resi- 
dence was occupied for a timo after the Kevolution as a tavern, and 
was then ptirchased by Ste])hen Jumel. a wealthy frenchman, wiiose 
widow became the wife of Aaron Iturr. 

On the 16th of Septendx-r occurred the lively encounter of Har- 
lem Plains, in Mhicdi the .Vmericans aciiuitted thenis(dves well an<l 
for the first time in the open field had the satisfaction of jiutlinu' 
their adversaries to fiij;lil. After that no steps of any j^cneia! ini 
])ortance were taken on eitliei- side for several weeks. The Ameri- 
can army continued to occu])y its stron;i position on Harlem Ilei^lds, 
preserviujj;' unimpaired, by way of Kiniisbridjic, its communication 
with the country above, and fully pre]iared to move thither in case 
of enu'rp:ency. The royal ai'ni_\ made no attempt aiiainst the .Vnier- 
ican iulremdiments, but conleiited itsidf with takim;' ]iossession of 
the city and throwinii uj) new defenses for its more adeipiale pro- 
tection, while <iradually makinn' ready to throw its(df bodily into 
^^'ashin,i;ton's rear, an<l thus eilhei- entrap him or force him to i;ive 
battle. 

After the defeat on Lonu Island, the New York State convention, 
then sitiiiiij, at Harlem, deemiini that place iusecurt>, adjourned to 
I'ishkill. /.'// roiifc to the i!(m\- seal of Ivevolutionary no\-ei'nment ses- 
sions wei'e lield by the commillee of safety at Kinnsbridiif i August 
;'>()), at Mr. Odell's house in Philipseburnh .Manor (Auijust 31), and at 
.Ml-. Illa.ujic's house at Croton Kiver lAuynst 31). In the wecd^s that 
followed the convention ado])le(l a iireat number of measures inci- 
dental to the serious silualion. of whicdi many ajiplied sjiecially to 
\\'est(dies(ei- Count.v. We can not here attemi)t anythinLi,- moi-e than 
a mere allusion to some of the more intei'cstinii of these measui'es. 
l'ro\ision \\as made foi- I'iMuoxiui;' all the hoi-ses, cattle, and other 
li\cslo(dv fi'om ;\lanhatli!n Island and the exjiosed poi-tions (d' W'est- 
cliesler Couidy into the interior; the Westchester <'ounty farmers 
were dir<cted to immediately thresh out all tlieii- i^rain, in ordei' to 
furnish straw for the army; stores were takeJi from the State maga- 



EVENTS FROM JULY 9 TO OCTOBER 12, 1T7(! 351 

zincs ill W'cslclicstcr ('(iiiiit,\ ;iiiil sciil In llic m-iiiy; imiitIkiscs of 
clotliiii'i' and other iiiatci-ials for llic aniiv were made, ami il was 
Di-dcrcd that all the Ixdls should be lakcii li-oiii llic ( liiii'iics, and alf 
llic brass kuookers from the doors nl' iionscs, so as lo acciiiimlalc 
material for the manufacture of cannon in ( asi- of nerd. 

On the same day that the Bi-itish (dTcclcd liicir landing on ^lan- 
hattan Island, the 15th of September, (hev sent three of liieir besi 
warships, tlie " riiu'nix," "];oebu(d<," and '■'rnrtar," up \\\i- Ndrl h 
Kiver as far as iUoomiiiii-dale. There they i-ode at anchoi- until liie 
!Mh of ()ct(dier, when they pushed farther u]», easily passing a clirnni.r 
ill ji-'ixr that had been constructed Avith mm ii pains jusi above I'oit 
\\ asliin^lon. This chcvavx dc frise consisted of a line of sunken ci-afl 
sIrelcliiiiL;- across the stream, and it was hoixd that the obstructions 
woiihi at least detain the enemy's vessels long- euousih to admit of 
their beinj; so destructively played ujton by the Fort Washimiloii 
and l'\irt Lee batteries as to compid them to turn Inick. It is line 
the batteries did some execution, killing and wdumlinji men on each 
sliij); but the obstructions in the river uidortunately bej;an some 
distance from the shore, leavin,n' an open s]iace of tolerably deep 
water iliidin^h which the expedition i)assed without dilliniity and 
with little delay. Tlie warships proceeded as far as Dobbs I'eiry, 
and later moved u]) to Tarrytown, where tliev vemaiiied, wlndly in- 
arti\'e. throiiuiioul the jieriod of the e\( ntliil military- o|ierations in 
W'estchcstei- County. It does not a])pear that they accomplished 
anytliiiiii except the seizure of a few river craft c.irryini^- suiiidics to 
llie .\meiican army, altlioiiL;li imideiililly ilu \- closed the navi^aiioii 
of the lower ri\'er to the .Vmericans and perha]>s diverted to the 
Hudson shore of W'estcliester County some troojis that otherwise 
\\(mld ha\e been used to streniitheii I he coal ineiital army. It is 
the general o]iinion of historical writers that the real ]uii]iose (d' tlie 
Urilish commander in seiidini;- them up the stream was to make a 
feint and cause the .Americans to fix their attention niton the Hud- 
son while he was pri'|iarinii to out Hank \\asliini;ton from the Sound. 
The incident ceiiainly did ]iro(liice a \ast deal ol' uneasiness on the 
.\iiierican side. We shall recur to this subject in detail later. 

While W'ashinnton lay emamiied on the lleiiilits of Harlem, the 
whole soiil hern border of \\'<'Sl(liester ( 'ouiily, stretchiui;' from S]my 
ten l»uy\il Creek to the Sound, was ])idlecl(cl by a larji'e force under 
the ellicieiit command of (Jeneral Heath, with heaihpiarters at Kinus 
bridge. The defensive works at Kin^sbriduc and its \icinity, com- 
menced in the spi-iiiii, had by arduous laixir been completed, ami 
now comprised nine widl fortified and garrisoned |)ositions, ha\ini: 
for Iheir central and most powerful point what was called Fort In- 



352 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTEU COUNTY 



(k'pL'U(k'ine, oil Ti'l aid's 1 1 ill, \\ 1 1 ere t lie taiiii of < iciicial Ki chard .Mont- 
gomery then was, and ahoiii w licic the house of NN'illiani 0<;(len Giles 
now stands. It " oconpied a most coniniandinii position. ovcrlo(dvin<j; 
the Albany road on oik- side and the Bosttm road on the other," 
and "had two bastions at ihc westerly auales." After the battle of 
Loni; Island, and ]n'evionsl\ to the oceii]ialion of .Manliattan Island 
by the enemy, General I leal h had ado])tcd cvcellcnt ])recautions 
ai;aiust a possible landing in Westchester County. Early in Septem- 
ber he established a chain of vedettes from Morrisania to Throjig's 
Neck, so as to provide for immediate information of any hostile move- 
ment that might reqtnre resistance in force. He also began to render 
the roads leading from tin 



iini)assable to the Britisli art 




OLD BLUE BELL TAVP;RN. 



villages OH the Harlem and the Sound 
rtiiiery by felling trees athwart them 
and digging deep pits. His 
division Avas increased to ten 
thonsand men of all arms 
( iiichiding ineffectives), while 
about an e(jual number re- 
mained with Washington on 
.Manhattan Island. This dis- 
])osition shows how imjior- 
tant was deemed the busi- 
ness of guarding against 
the contingency of a sudden 
attempt to cut olV the re- 
treat of the army to the 
north. The suggestion of the 
liktdiliood of siudi an at- 
temi»t was received, as we ha\c noted, on the 27th of August, when 
two liritish ships and a brig took a station above Throgg's Neck. 
That was, however, only a preliminary movement, and, although men 
from the ships were landed on City Island and seized all tlu' catth' 
they found there, they quickly retired ui)on the arrival of a regi- 
ment sent by General Heath to protect that locality. On the 10th 
of Se]>lember, five days before the IJrifish army moved upon Wash- 
ington's forces from Kip's P>ay, Montressor's (now Randall's) Island 
was taken, and a defaidnuent was placed there, with a large amount 
of stores. The island coiniuanded the Morrisania shore, and Colonel 
]\Torris's manor house was -within con\cnienl range. Some four hun- 
dred of Heath's men were jjosted along the shoris and for a lime 
there were fre(iuent interchanges of com]diments between their sen- 
tinels and those of the British on the island. Much irritation was 
caused on both sides by occasional exchanges of shots between the 



EVENTS FlIOM .ni.V 9 TO OCTOBEIt 12, 1T7(! 353 

si'iitiii(-ls, (•(iiilri!i-y lo llic I'ciiuliitions of wiir, .nid ;is ji icsiilt tlu' 
Uiilisli (•(imiiiiiiikIci- tlii-ciilciicd to cjuuioiiiKlc llic .Morris house. Tlies»! 
|ii-ii(ticcs wi'V:' liiiiill.v slopiicd. iuul il is rcliilcd lli;il the o|)])osin<>' 
|iickcts were ;irtci-\viu-(l "so civil lo carli oilier lii;il thev used to ox- 
tliain;!' tobacco by tlirowiiiii I lie roll across the creek." On the l! It h of 
Septeiiibc'r a dariiiii aJleiiipl was made to recajitiire the island. Diirinu 
the preceilinii niiiht an exiieditiou of two liiin<lred and fort v men, 
loaded on three (latboais, with a I'onrth boat lieariiij; a small cannon, 
drojiped down I he I larleni from Kinnsbrid^e. depending; npon t he t ide 
to float t hem up on t he island about daybreak. They .-irrived al t he cal- 
culated time, with lU) other misad\ "uture I han an unfortunate experi- 
ence with an American sentry, who, refusing to b(die\'e that they were 
friemis, dis( hai'ucd his jiun at them, theicby ])i<diably alai-miiin- the 
enemy. Vet the endeavor would undoublt'dly have succeeded if it 
had not been for tlie cowardly Ixdiavior of the troojis on two of the 
boats, who at the critical nnmn'ut failed to land. The heroic party 
that did land according to ]»roiiranune was easily repulsed and made 
to retreat, sustainiuii a loss of fourteen kilh^l and wounded. Amon^ 
the killed was a very promisinu younji: otiticer, .Major llcnly, whose 
death was mu(di lamented. 

After this affair of Se])ieml)ei' 24 on Kaudall's Island, the lii'st en 
counter of the war aloti^' the soutliern side of Wesichi'sler County, 
Ihei-e was ii pei-iod of nearly three we(d<s during which ,-ibs;dnt(dy 
no collision worth mentioniniioccurred between the American and 
r>ritisli foi-ces, either on ^laidiattan Island t>v in Westchester Connly 
or its watei's. (Jeneral Heath was not inactive, however. With keen 
foresight, he made a careful inspection, on the :!d <d' (»ct(dier, of ilie 
'l\twn of Westcdiester and the a]>iiroa(h to i! fruni the miv,hboriu^ 
peninsula of Thro^ji's N:'(d< (or Frof^'s Xe(d<, as il was usually called 
in those daysi. That jm innsula, ('xtondiny- more than two miles into 
the Siniml, was at hii;]i tide a complete island, separated fr<Mu the 
maiidand by W'estchest I'r Creek and a marsh, o\cr which were built 
a plaidc bridjic and a causeway. At the west<M'u extremity of the 
bridge stood a wooden I ide-mill, erected f])robably in the last dec;ideof 
the seven I cent h cent uryl, at his own ex ixuise, by Colonel ( 'aleb I b at !i- 
cote, first uia_\(U- id' the b(Uoui;h Town of ^^'esl chest er. \\ thai point 
also a larii'e (pnintity of cordwood had Iximi ]iiled up, which (ieneral 
Heath fiMind to be "as ad va nt aneously situated to cover a jiost de- 
fi'udiui; the jiass as if constructed foi" the very |)Ui'pose."" It was a 
\aluable stratc'LiU- jiosition — a fi'W men posted there could hold an 
army al bay. and, moreover, as the bridge and causeway comniii- 
uicaled direct with the X'ilhi^e of \\'esl(diester, it w .as a \er,\- neces- 
sary precaution (o have them jiuarded, <iuile irresi)ec(ive of the p<»s- 



354 HISTOKY OF ^V•ESTCIIESTEK COUNTY 

sibililY lliat Tlirojiji's Neck iniulil jd-ovf to hv the rliuscu liiiidinj;- 
place of the now diulv expected im adiiig- host. Accordiugly the jjeu- 
eral— "we quote from " lleatli's Mciiioirs " — '"directed Colonel Hand, 
immediately on his return to caiiiji, to lix upon one of the best snlial 
tern oUticers and twent,v-fiYe picked men of his corps, and assifiii lliciii 
to this pass, as their alarm post at all times; and in case the enemy 
made a landing- on Frofi's Neck to ilirect this otiticer immediately to 
take up the planks of the bridi;!'; to liave everything in readiness to 
set tlie mill ou fire, but not to do it unless the tire of the riflemen 
should appear insufficient to check the advance of the enemy on the 
causeway; to assign another party to the liead of the creek; to re- 
enforce both, in case the ciiciny huidcd; and that he should be sup- 
ported." Upon the arrangcmcnls llius made Avere to depend, a few 
days later, perhaps the very salvation of the American army. Of 
the fight which occurred there, Mr. Fordliani Morris, in his " History 
of the Town of Westchester," a](])ro]iriately says that il was the 
"Lexington of Westchester,"" and lliat it is to be " hoited that the 
wealth and patriotism of (lie Town id' ^^ estchester A\ill some da\ 
caiise an appi'opriate monument to be erecti'd Jiear I lie hrid;^c in 
commemoration of the battle of \\'estchester Creek. ""^ 

Long before the period at w liicli we have now arri\cd the w liole of 
the Westchestt'r Counly militia had been ordered into acti\(' s>'rvice. 
Some were sent to I'eeksjcill and tlie Iliglibanls, and some wei'e 
posted along the Hudson I\i\cr; but most of tliem were attached lo 
Ceiieral HeatlTs command a( Kiiigsbridge, and were detaileil to 
guard the southern and easteiii shore line. It was, in the aggregate, 
a curious armament that Westchester County contributed to the con- 
tinental battalions. The State convention, in ordering out these mili- 
tiamen, directed that if any of the men Avere without arms they 
should bring "a shovel, a pickaxe, or scythe, straightened and li.\<Ml 
on a iwle." They were, moreover, to take Avith them all "disarmed 
and disaffected (Tory) male inhabitants betAveen sixteen and fifty- 
five years of age," avIio Avere (o make themselves useful' as " fatigue 
men"; and persons of this descrijition who resisttnl orders were to 
be sunnnarily court-martialed. The State convention evidently did 
not cherish a high opinion of the efhciency of the farmer soldiery. 

1 The mill stood sit the southwpstcrii othI of tolil me lii' .-issisfod in ro-covoriiip: It iiKiny 

the stnue bridge wliicL now connects TlirofiK's yeiirs before, .nnd found nnder tin' sliint'le!! 

Neck with the inuinland. It was destroyed by then eoverini; it another coyeriuK. iiii'rced In 

lire early in December, 1S74. To the last it was many places with bullet holes." .\bout a third 

in a good state of preservation for its age, and of a mile from the bridge, on the premises of 

was still in use for grinding grain. "The old Mr. Brainerd T. Harrington, grape-shot were 

mill," writes a venerable resident of the local- found as late as l,S6li. These evidently were 

ily to the present historian, " was sided in some of the missiles tired over by the .\mer- 

wilh shingles, and a man living here in 1S49 lean artillery. 



EVENTS FKoM iiLv it Ti) ()(r(ii;i:i; 12, 1 TTC) 355 

111 :i Idler lo (iciiri-al \\';isliiiiul()ii, dalcd Hi" mill (if Ocldbcr, il.s 
I'liiiiiiiil Ice of safety iir.iied hi in lo lal<(' incasni-es of 1 1 is own for yiiard- 
iiii; ai^aiiist laii(liiii;s h.v t lie eiieiii.v al all poiiils, addiiit;- (liiit. "no 
reliance at all ran be placed on the iiiililia of Westchester ("ouiity." 
But tills wa.s no exclusive reliection upon (lie soldierly ((iialities of 
the lueii of our coniit.v, Hie i-aw iiii-al militia of all sections naturally 
receivinii like ciiticisni. In nunieroiis coiniiiiiiiications written dur- 
inii' those ](erilous days Washington wi'ole with a^'ony of soul ahoul 
the miserable sul)ject of the militia. "The militia," he said in a 
letter to tlie president of Hie continental congress, '' instead of callim;- 
forth their utmost efforts to a brave and manly o|)])ositioii, in order 
to repair our losses, are dismayed, intractable, and impatient to re- 
turn. Great numbers of Hiem have m'one off; in some instances 
almost by Avhole regiments, by half ones, and by coni])anies at a 
time." And in a letter to his brother he liiive the followiiii; vivid 
account of the situation: "The dependence which the conj;-ress have 
l)hiced ujioii Hi(> militia has already oreatly injured and, I fear, will 
totally ruin our cause. Beini;- subject to no control themselves, they 
introduce disorder amoiifi' the troops Avhoni we have attempted to 
discijdiue, while the chalice in th<>ir livinji' brings on sickness, and 
this causes an ini])atieiice to get home, which spreads universally 
and introduces abominable desertions. In short, it is not in the 
power (d' \\(U'ds to describe the task I have to ])erforni." 

Notwithstar.ding the terrible emergencies \\itli whicii Washing- 
ton was confi'onted, his efl'ective force after his escape to the Heights 
of Harlem (September 1(>) showed a diminishing tendency. On the 
LMst of September the whole army, including General Heath's com- 
mand, coni]n'ised (exclusive of officers) about 10,100 men fit for duty; 
on the :50th of September, about 15,100; and on the r)tli of October, 
about 14,r)00. These, besides embracing a large proportion of crude 
militiamen who were an element of weakness, were encumbered by 
Ihousaiids (d' sick. On the other hand. General Howe had at his 
dis]H)sal for the invasion of \\'esfcliester County, after leaving behind 
him ample garrisons, as \\(dl as ail his sick, an arni^' many thousands 
hirger — all |irofessionai s(ddi"rs. The contrastiiiii' conditions are thus 
|H(wei-fuliy suiiiniari/.ed in the noioiioiis .Tose]di (!ailowa_\'s "Letters 
to a Xobleman": "The l!i-ilish ainiy ^\•as commanded by al>le and 
experienced othceis; the rebel by men destitute of military skill or 
ex]ieii,Mi(e, and, for the mosi par', taken fi-oni mechanic arts or the 
1i1oul;]i. Tile first were jiossessed of the best appointments, anil more 
ihan tiiey could use; and the other of the wcu'st, and less than they 
wanted. The one were ill tended by the ablest surgeons and jdiysi- 
ciaiis, healthy and lii.uh-spiriteij ; tin* other were negiecled in Hieir 



356 HISTORY OF ^VEs'I('Ill•;sTEl^ county 

licallli, tlotliin.u, and ])ay, were sickly, and coustantly nmrniurinfi- and 
dissatisfied. And tlic one w ci'c vctcraji troojis, carryinii victory and 
(■(MKiucst wlicresoever they wci-c led; the other Avere new raised and 
niidiscipiined, a panicstnic]< and defeated enemy w ticrever a(- 
lacl<e(l. Sncli is file true conijiarative difference Uetwcen tlie force 
sent to suppress anil that which supported the rcliellioM." 



CHAPTER XVII 



THE CAMPAIGN AND BATTLE OF WHITE PLAINS 




KXEKAL HOWE'S (letcniiinjition to move his ;iriiiy into 
W'csttlu'ster Coiuity by way of the East River and I.onji 
Island Sound was i)erfeetly j;uai'(kMl from Wasliinnlon's 
knowh'diic In all the otticial correspondence on the Amer- 
ica]) side u\> to rhc day of Howe's landinj; in onr county (Octoltcr 12), 
tlici'c ajijicars not the sliyhtest iidclinj;- of the real desiyns of the 
Rritish commander. Indeed, during (he days when Howe was makiuff 
the Hual preparations for his i;rand coup, American attention was 
ahsorlM'd l)y the successful passaiie of the tliree Rritish friualcs (the 
" riio'nix," "Roebuck," and "Tartar"! np I he Hudson River past 
tlie batteries of the forts and around tlio clicrdii.r dc frisi\ wliicli 
was deemed a most calamitous occurreiuc I'rom the time ol' llio 
a])]K'arancc of the Rritish expedition in New York waters the greatest 
solicit ndc had been felt for the safety of the Avhole Hudson Valley; 
and it scciiicd scarcely to admit of doubt that the early mastery of 
tile llndsou as fai' as the llinlilands, to be followe(l by proi^ressive 
occupation of that most vital iciiion, \\as a necessary fcatui-e of the 
comi)reh('nsive scheme for jKnalyzinii all American resistance which 
this ]H)\\(iful expedition was manifestly intended to comjjass. Pop- 
ular a]>])relii']isiou on this i)oint was stimulated by the action of 
the Ibitish commander in dis])at(hin;i ships up the Hudson almost 
imnu'diately after his arrival in New Vork Ray. Durinj; tlie pause 
after the bitter American defeat on i.on<i Island, all the conditions 
seemed to indicate that whatever (ieneral Howe's ])reference mi.i;ht 
be in the selectiini of a quarter from \\lii<h to renew his direct oper- 
ations aiiainst Wasliinnlon's army, he Avouhl at least not neglect to 
sec>ir<' a substantial foiithold ai the essential ])oints alonj;- the lower 
Hudson. Hence the Auiei-ican measures tor obsli-uci iii^' the uaviga- 
tion of tile river and for ]»roiectinu the IIii;hhnid jias.si's. It is of 
course idle to sjieculate as to the probabh' results, in their relations 
tit least to the uliiuiate fortunes of ihe wai-. thai would have at- 
tended an elfecti\e la ml occupat loll at t his early ]>eriod of the western 
part of onr county, or even of the very small section from \'erplanck's 



358 



HISTOUV OF WKSTCHESTER COUNTY 



I'oiiit til Aiillioiiy's Xnsc. Itui il si-ciiis an in-csislihlc cnnrlusinii 
lliiit, witli tlu' latter slialcuic siMiioii in the hands nf ilic I'.iitish. 
and Mil' vivcr from Kinji's l^'ci-ry In S|Mi\i(Mi Diiyvil Ci'cck jjatrollrd 
l)y a (Ictachniciit from tlicir licet, the entire theater of war wmild 
iiave lieen rliani;('<l and a jirinie obj'-ct of the Britisli uovernment — 
the ])ossession of the llmlsoii Uivcr throughout its (-(nirse and the 
fonstMjueut division of the colouieb — would have bt-eu almost com- 
pletely realiz<-(l at t)iice. The escape of Washington to New Jersey 
would" tlien have been cut (dT, and h(> would have been obliged to 
retreat into New England, wiili the single alternative of waging a 
defensive local war tin re or proceeding by a round-about noitiiern 

route to the middle colonies, where 
also he would have been un<ler the 
disability of local confinement, with 
his lines of eastern communication 
closed by the Hudson. Ueiieral 
Howe's calculations were not, how 
ever, so fai'-reaching; he was en- 
grossed with the immediate busi- 
ness (d' annihilating the j)atriot 
army. He jtrobably felt that the 
diversi(m of so large a force as 
would be necessary to hold the 
^^'estchester bank of the Hudson 
, Avould be an unprotitable division 

GENERAL HOWE. of his Strength at the time, and 

he did not care to risk the losses 
likely to result in passing numerous warships and transports around 
the cJicraiij- dc /r/sc under the gnus of I-'ort ^^'ashington and I.i'c. 

The final decision of Howe to move on (ieneral Washington from 
tlie Sound without ]ireliminarily closing the Hudson against him as 
far north as the Highlands was indeed a reversal of what was ex- 
pected by the best American opinion. Not that it was seriously sup- 
jMised Howe's main attack would proceed from the river side of 
AN'estchester County. It was not doubted that when he got I'eady to 
act he would choose some ]ioint on the Sound for his out tlaidciug 
mo\'euu>nt, since that coast was wludly unprotected by .\merican 
forts or im])rovised imjx'dinn-uls to navigation, and from its low 
i'ornial ion alTorded perfectly satisfactory condiliiuis foi' landing, w I lich 
nowhere existed on the ]ii('ci|>ilous shores ol the Hudson. Hut there 
"was an appi-ehen.sion on the AmericaTi side which amounted to con- 
viction that before making his next mo\enieut in force he would 
secure the innigation <>( the Hudson; and upon that ipiartei- .\meri- 




CAMrAiGN AAD nAr'rr.i: of white plains ;.io9 

(•.•III iillciilioii \v;is fixed willi in iiiixicly wliirli hrcame iiaiiiCul aficr 

I lie easy passage of tlic climillr ilc //-/.vr \t\ I lie tlll^cc liostilc slli|is nil 

tlic '.till of October. 

Ill a series of iioteworl li\ otiicial lei lers ol' i iiat iieiiod, wiiose orii;- 
iiials Jiave been placed at the disposal of the editor of the ]ii'eseiit 
Ilistoi^v, the wjiole situation from the American jioint of view is 
made slrikinnly clear. After tlie removal of the iui<;ratory State 
convention from White I'Jains to {''ishkill, that body appointed "u 
coiiimitlee of corresiiondence for the [Mirjiose of obtainiiii; intelli- 
jicnce from the army""; and the committee,of which William Uner was 
till' active spirit, made arraiiiicmeiit with Lieutenant-Colonel Tench 
'ril^liiuan, one of Wasliiiii:ton"s aides, for a daily letter from army 
lieaihinarters. The resnltinii letters extend from the 22d of September 
to the 21st of October. The originals furnished us, thirty-seven in 
number, are from the documentary remains of Colonel Tilj^hman 
now owned by his descendant, lion. Oswald Tilghman, of Maryland; 
and lor the most part are the communications of Dner, on behalf of 
the committee, in rejily to Til,i;liman"s notes of information, allhouj;li 
a few letters to Til<;hman from other members of the committee, to- 
^■ther with copies of some of Tilnhman's notes to the committee, are 
tomprehended in tlie collection. The circtimstance that most of the 
letters are from Duer, one of the most intelli.i;:'nt and valuable meiu- 
bei's of the State convention, and represent in an unstinted way the 
icelinsis and ojiinions entertained in State government quarters about 
the posture of affairs on the basis of daily news from Washington's 
army, adds naturally to the interest of the whol(> correspondence.' 

The documents begin with a letter from Dm-r to Tilghman, daleil 
" I'Msh-Kills, Sept. 22d, 177(i,"" in which llie latter is informt'd (d' the 
a|iiioinInient of the committee and re(|uesled to ac<-e]tt the function 
of head(iuarters correspondent. The following are extracts from the 
curresiKtudem^e up to the dale of ihe landing of the Uritish army in 
our count_\-: 

Duel- to Tiijjhniaii, September 25. — I shall comimiiiicate your Letter to the ("ouvention 
— to-uiorrow wlio will (I doubt not) be haj)]>y to find that their Attention to the Obstruetion 
of Hudson's Hiver meets with General \Vasliin<;ton's appiubation. 

Duer to Til^liniaii, Sejiteniber '2(>. — I exjieet daily to hear of (lie Eiieniy's making- some 
fjreat Attempt. It is surely their Business if they hope to malii' a ('ampai<;n any wise hon- 
orable to theni. Your present station [<ui Harlem Heii^hts] appears to nu" extrenu'ly advan- 
taijeous, and 1 have no doubt but you will fjive a f^ood aeeoiint of them should they be hardy 
rniMij;!! toattaek your Lines. I should have little an.xietv were I eonvineed of the Suflieiency 
nf our Obstruetions in Hudson's Kiver 1 do not think it improbable that the Knemy may 
Tuaridi (lart of their l-'oree to the Eastern Part of Lon;.; Island, and endi'avor to transjiort 

'The e*irres|Miinleiiee was printed In detail In Interest, whleli. however, not helnp specially 
the New York Tinus of April 7. 14, 21. and 2S. piTtlnent to our );eneral narrative, nuist be 
1895. n inrluiles niueh subsidiary nuitter of oncillid here. 



3G0 HISTORY OK WESTCHESTIOR COUNTY 

them ai'ioss tlie Sound, in older to come on the Hear of iiiii- Works. I ihire say however 
tliat Precautious will be made here to prevent any Surprise of tliat Kind. 

Duer to LiviniTston, Septendjer 27. — I have lieard it reported that near 1011 Sail of tiie 
Enemy's ships are gone out of the llook [Sandy Hook]. Is it true? If so, it is far from 
improl>al)le that they will go round Long Island into the Sound, and Endeavor to Land in the 
Rear of our Army. From many Circumstances I do not think it iniprobalih' they may 
attempt to land at Sutton's Neck,' al)ont 10 niih's from Kingsbridge. I Hatter myself we 
shall be on o\ir (iuard to prevent any Manoeuvre of this kind. 

I expect every Moment to hear of some Attempt at Mount [Fort] VVasliingtou, wh' is 
in my opinion the most Important Post in all America as it commands the Communication 
betwi.vt the United States. Is it practicalih' for the Enemy to get Possession of the high 
Grounds on tlie West Side of the River? If they should succeed in an Attempt of that kind 
— the (iarrison in that Post [Fort LccJ would be made very Uneasy. I trust liowever tliat 
our Army would never desert .so important a Station witliont making it tlie dearest bought 
(iround wh' the Enemy have hitherto got. 

Duer to Tilghman, September 28. — Voii observe that if the Passage of the North Kiver 
is sufficiently obstructed that our Lines will keep the Enemy from making any Progress in 
Front. This is certainly true; but you must recollect that the Sound is, and must ever be, 
open; and if they should succeed in Lauding a Body of Men in Westchester Ciumty, they 
might by drawing lines to the North River as elfcctnally hem us in, as if we were in New 
York, from Sutton's Neck to the North River (if I am not mistaken) is not aliovc Twelve 
Miles. ... 

I expect that the Vessells wh the Convention of this State have ordered to Mount 
[Fort] Washington will be arrived before this letter; no Time I dare say will be lost in 
sinking them in the proper Cliaimell, since the Sticcess of our Army depends .so much on this 
Measure. 

Duer to Tilghman, September 30. — 1 am I'xtremely hajifiy to liear that you are in so 
good a Situation fiu' opposing the Enemy should they make an Attempt to force your Lines, 
and I should be still more so were the Vessells, we have lately .sent down, properly Sunk. 
The Precaution you have taken by breaking up the Roads from the Sound are certainly are 
very proper; and will of course tend to impede the Motions of the Enemy should they land 
in that (Quarter, wh for my own Part 1 think may be the Case. . . 

The late Strong Southerly Wind atforded in my Opinion a Strong Temptation to the 
Enemy to try the Strength of our Clie\au de Frise. Probalily they esteem them more 
effectual than we do. May this Sentiment prevail till we have completed these Obstructions. 

Duer to Tilghman, October 1. — I am happy to tind by your Letter of the 3()th ulto. 
that you are upon a Guard against the Enemys Operations of coming upon your Rear; you 
may (I think) depend that this will be their Mode of Attack. From the Nature however of 
the Grounds I think you will be able to make a Formidable Opposition. They ought not, 
must not, shall not get in your Rear. Should they succeed no Event so fatal could ever 
bid'all the American Cause. 

I am sorry the Ships have been so long detained; but I hope they will be with you 
before this arrives. Don't let their Youth or their Reality plead for them, if there is the 
least Probability of their rendering the Obstructions in that part of Hudson's River more 
effectual. I am convinced upon the Maturest Reflection that a Million of Money would be a 
triding Compensation for the Loss of the Navigation of Hudson's River. 

Duer to Tilghman, October 2. — I can scarcely describe to you my feelings at this 
interesting Period. What, with the Situatiiui of our Enemies in your Quarter, and the 
cursed Machinations of our Intcriial3Foes,'_tlic Fatc'of this State bangs on a Single Batth- of 



I Tlic nock fit land just below .MaiiKiroiicc-k ;v lilnw :il llir .\iniTl<-.ins or seeking' iiii.v iitlicr 

ll.irli.ir. MaiiKironock provcil to In' (lie nlll- nliieoi ih.iii .'i s.-il isfiii'tni-y linsic posilicni. tii 

luMlc iioiut on the Sound occ-iipieil by lliv LSrlt- New HoclicMe. wlinicc tlic.v sent a ilctach- 

ish ill their Wcstcliester Coiinl.v cniuiiaign— ment to tlie pI.Tce iiiilicated liy luier as tlieir 

lliat is. iifler Inndin^' far lielow, .-it 'I'liroK^'s most ;iv:iil.ibl -iKiiKil lanilin^ point for elTect- 

Ncck, Ilie.v siowly ndvnnecil. willioiil striking ivc pnrposos ol' si rMlcgy. 



CAMPAIGN AXn KATTIJ-: OF WlUTi; PLAINS 361 

any liiiiiiii'tamc. 1 am liajiiiy to find you aic sfoiiiinf^; ^'oiir I'laiiUs ami 1 Impc diir best 
riiiops will l(e r('a<ly to <;ivi' the Eni-niy a Keicirtioii on their l/andin^^ 

I hojie to hear in your next that tlie North River is completely olistrneteil. 
Tili^hnian to Duer, Oetoher 3. — C'apt. Cook is now up the River eutting I'iMiher for 
(lievaux (le Krise, as he is mneh wanted here to sink the old Vessels — the General hejjs that 
he may he sent down immediately, we are at a Stand for want of him, for as he has Super- 
intended the Matter from the lie<;inning he best knows the pro])erest plaees to be obstrneted. 
If the new ships should be found neeessary to our Salvation you need not fear their being 
Sacritieed, but (Uir public Money goes fast emnigh without using it wantonly. 

Duer to Tilghmau, October 3. — I am glad you have so nearly completed your Defences 
in the Front, and hope yon will be expeditious in fortifying your Flanks to the Eastward of 
Harlem Hiver. I think that the Enemy must be meditating some (ieneral Attack — but as 
Providence has been generally kind to us I hojie they will postpone it till Ei'e, and MifHin 
return to Camp. 

Robert Benson to Tilghmau, October 5. — Agreeable to your request, our I'ri'sideut [of 
the State ccuivention] dispatched a letter to ("apt. Cooke at Poughkeepsie re(piesting him to 
repair immediately to Mount [Fort] Washington. He is now at Fisbkill Lamling on liis 
Way down X' is to set out in the Morning with a ipiantity of t)ak Plank tVc. 

Duer to Tilghmau, October 8. — I cannot account for the Enemys Procrastination unless 
it proceeds from some of their Ships being .sent into the Sound round Long Island for the 
I'uriiose of making an Attemjit to Land in West Chester County. 

I'liev never certainly will make any Attempt but on our Flanks ? 

Tilghmau to the committee, October i). — About 8 O'clock this Morning the Kocbuck & 
I'lioenix of 44 (iuus each and a Frigate of about 20 fJuns got under way from about Bloom- 
ingdale, where they have been laying some time, and stood on with an easy Southerly Breeze 
towards our Chevauz de Frise, which we hoped would have given them some Interruption 
while our Batteries jilayed upon them. But to our Surprise and Mortification they all ran 
through without the least difHc\dty, and without receiving any apparent damage from our 
Forts, wliich kept playing (ui them from Ijoth sides of the River. How far they intend up I 
dont know, but His Excellency thought to give yon the earliest Information, that you may 
put (ieul. Clinton upon his Guard at the Highlau<ls, for they nuiy have troops <rcuu'ealed on 
Board with intent to surprise those Forts. If you have any Stores on the Water Side yon 
had better have them removed or secured in time. Boards esi)ecially for which we shall be 
put to great Streights if the Ci>mmmiicatiiui above should be cut otf. The Enemy have 
made no Move on the land Side. 

P. S. — Be Pleased to forward this Intelligence up the River and to Albany. The two 
new .Ships are put in near Colo. Phillips's. A party of Artillery with \i twelve pounders and 
KM) Kitle Men are sent up to endeavor to secure them. 

Duer to Tilghman, October 10. — There is no Event wli could have happened that could 
have given me more Uneasiness than the Passage of the Enemys Ships u]) the Rivei'. I can- 
not persuade myself that there indy design is to cut off the Communication of .Supplies by 
U ater to our Army at Kingsbridge: thougli that is an Event which will be highly jireju- 
dicial to our Army. They certainly mean to send up a Force (if their Ships have not Soldiers 
alrea<Iy on board) so as to take Possessicm of the Passes by Land in the Hylamls. In this 
they will be muloubtedly joined by the Villains in Westchester and Dutchess County. It is 
therefore of the utmost Conse<pu'nce that a Force should be innnediately detached from the 
Main Body of our Army to occupy these Posts. It is impossible for the Convention to draw 
out a force wliieh can be depended on from the Counties last mentioned. 

By the Influence and Artifices of the Capital Tories of this State the Majority of 
Iidiabitants in those Counties are ripe for a Rev(dt; uiany Companies of Men have actually 
been enlisted in the Enemys .service, several of whom are now concealed in the Mountains. 
From the Frontier Counties little Strength can with Safety be drawn, and that not in Time 
to prevent such an attempt of the Enemy. These Matters I have in a few Words suggested 
to the Convention (for my Pmsiuess on the Committee I am in is so urgent that I have onlj- 
licen a few Minutes in Convention this Day). If they have not wrote to Geul. Washington, 
let me eariu-stlv entreat that a Force mav la- innnediatelv sent to the Highlands on this Side. 



362 HISTORY OF WESTCHESTKR COUNTY 

l)y this Mfiins 3UI1 will not only keep np tlii' Coninmnieation with the Aini\ , Iml 1 vurily 
believe prevent a Revolt in Westehester and Dntcliiss Counties. 

How are jon of for Flonr, and Salt Provisions ? Will it not lie wise to lay in Ma>^a- 
zines in Time in this Qnarter [Fislikill] lest through the Fortune of War our Army should 
be obliijed to retreat to the Highlands ? 

Tilgbman to tlie committee, October 11. — We have no Intelligence of any Troops, 
either Horse or Foot, going round long Island into the Sound. 

Duer to Tilghman, October 12. — Notwithstanding the Knemj- had, agreeable to 3'onr 
last Advices, sent no Vessells up the Sound, depend upon it they will endeavor to make an 
Attack upon your Flanks by uu'ans of Hudson's and the Fast River. Seveial K.xaininations 
wh we have taken mention this as their int<'nded Operation: and indeed it is the only luie wh 
can give them any Probability of Success. If we nuiy give Credit to Intelligence procur'd 
through the Channell of the Tories, Thursday next is fix'd upon for them to make their 
Attack, and for their Partisans m this State to Cooperate with them. 

You will now have an Anxious Task to watch both the Rivers, and 1 am afraid all your 
Vigilance will not be altogether eft'ectual. 

Tliire facts stand out very disiiiictly i'voin this (•uiTespiindcnct' — 
first, that the protection of the Hudson IJiver w'as the thiuy of fore- 
most concern to the Americans, even a tentative intrusion of the 
enemy above Fort AVasliin^ton causing tiie direst foicl»odiiij;s of ini- 
]>endini; jji-eparations for seizing the Westchester river bank as a 
]>rinciiial factor of tlie new British cami)aijin about to be iuau^'U- 
rated; second, that tiie superior availability of the Sound sliore of 
Westcliester County as a departing point for the main body of Howe's 
army was well a])i>reciated, altliouiiii there were but vaijut^ notions 
as In Howe's probable intentions in that direction; and lliii-d, that 
Howe's slowness in dcNelopinii liis plans was supposed lo indicate 
that they were much more elaborati than they eventually proved 
to be, and that they contemplated idtimate connecting operations 
between river and Sound. 

As late as the 11th id' October (the very day before ITowi 's com- 
plete disclosure of his piojecti ("olontd Tilghiiiiin, wi-itiiig to the 
(•(iinmittee of the State con\enti(iii from the .\meiican camp, wiih 
full knowledge of such information as Wasliington himself i)os- 
sessed, made this peculiarly mabiproiios statement: "We liave no in- 
telligence of any troops, either horse or foot, going nntml Lmni IsIhihI 
iiilo Ihc SiiiiikL" Thus up to the bist moment AVasJiington was not 
only (juite (insusi)icious of the impending blow, but apjiarently re- 
garded Ihc ]iossibility of a mo\emeid against him from the Sound 
as a still remote eventuality, to be considered for the time only in 
ndation to the rumored (le](arture of an exjiedition nnmiul Long 
Island (that is, around the eastern extremity (d' the island niid thcn<e 
through the Sound). W(dl mny it be believed, as several histoi'ical 
writers aver, that the intelligence brought to WashiTigton on the 
murning of October VI that the whole British army was sailing u]) 
the East IJiver and disembarking on Throgg's Neck, completely sur- 



3(M HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 

jiiiscd hiiu. W'c arc told liy J>a\\S(tii thai hv " appi'm-s In liavc tiivcu 
\yi\y to (l('xi)air iji view of his powcrlessness, and to have hcconif di'- 
s|)(iiidcMt,"' and dial llic record of Ins otticial acts for tlic day is 
rciuarl<alilc cliictly I'or siu^nlar \;\(k of the active proceediiii;s nat- 
urally to hare been expected froin tiic coniniauder-iii-chicf in such 
an cinerti'euey. 

It is true that, conli'asled with the conditions which would have 
obtained if Ilowe had been in i)ossession of the Hudson sinuilta- 
neously with opening his cani])aij;ii from the Sound, the situation 
created by his sudilen descent on Throii^i^'s Xeclc was not without an 
element of hope. At least, one Hank of the American army re- 
mained (|uite iiiiim]ieriled, which alt'orded scope for thwai'tinj;' the 
desi,i;ns of the enemy upon the other by tlu' resources of defensive 
li'enei'alship. l!ut aside from tiiat single comfortini:;' aspect, tiie out- 
look was alarming in an extreme dei;ree. Washiniiton, intreni lied 
on (he Ileijihts of Harlem — that is, in the northwestern jiortion of 
.Manliattan Island, — with New York Vity below him in the hands 
of the British, and Howe niakiuiH ready to fall upon him on his tiank, 
had but three possible courses of action — first, to remain in that posi- 
tion and underiio a siej^c, which could have resulted in nothing; but 
early capitulation, as he would have had no sources from which to 
ilraw sujjplies; second, to reti'eat at once across the Hudson Kivei' 
into New Jersey under I he jirotection of Fort Washiuiiton and I'ort 
Lee, a iirogranime not to be t!ioii,L;ht of even if il could lia\i' been 
carried otit successfully, since it would have involved aliandoniuy 
the whole country northward, inidndinii the Iliiihiands and conse- 
(piently the river to its source; or third, to seek a new defensive 
]iosition at the north, where he could tioht the enemy under t(der- 
ably advantageous geograiilii( a) conditions, backi'd by the West- 
chester hills and finally by the Highlands, with the King's Ferry 
route to New Jeisey and l'hila(leii)iiia ojien. Of these three ])ossible 
courses, one was eipiivalent to ruin and another to disgrace, while 
the third and only feasible one was hedged about by a variety of 
strangely doubtful and dil'licult circumstances. In tlie first place, 
^\■asllington was under ( \cry disadvantage of uniireiiaredness for 
such a movement. He was even nni>rei)ared in judgment, so unex- 
])ectedly did the necessity of considering the matter present its(df. 
Tt was by no means i»lain to him at first just what ullimale (dtject 
Howe's appearance on Tiirogg's Neck imiiorted, or whether il rejire- 
sented all or even the essential part of the T'.iilish scheme. .\ too 
](reci])il ate retirement to the north on ^^'asllington's jiart would have 
had the asi>ect and all the ill moral elTect of a cowardly retreat; 
whereas just on this occasion il was nn)st im)>ortant for him to gain 



CAMPAIGN AND BATTLIO OF WHITK I'LAINS 365 

s.iiiic in-rs(iiic. I'iiKill.v, wlicii tlicrc wiis no niislnkin^- llic fuel tliat 
Howe's sole aim was lo oiitMaiik liiiii, he riiiiiid liiniscIC lcii-il)l\- ciu- 
liari-asscd in niaiiliiiii; lo a new position by (iciicicnl larililics in 
llic way of foams ami wagons I'oi- (lie I i-ans|)oi-(alion of his 
liiins and ha.iiiia.-io. Indcod, it was nol nnlil liio iMMJi of (».i(dioi- — 
oiiiht days aftt-r the laiidiiiu of tlu- Hiilisli on WCslclicsIci- soil — lliaf, 
iia\inu at last evacuated his intrenchinenls on llai-lem lleiuhls, 
W'ashiniilon hai! so Car moved up his rear as to make his liead(piai- 
lei-s at Kin.ushridiie. .Mcveover, he had to jd-ovide for tiie hiiihlv 
probable enieriicncy of battle aloni; the route, or a* least of sei-ious 
interferences with the ])ro<iTess and inte.nrity of his c(dumn. To this 
end it was necessary to protect himself by a series of intrenched 
camps at intervals all alon^- tiie line id' march, liis destination beiny 
White Plains, ]irea|)pointed by certain circumstances which will be 
set fortli later. .AleaTitinie the royal army, as the aii-j^ressor, had but 
to inarch with reasonable ex])edition to White Plains — the natural 
destination f(u- Howe as for Wasliiii<;ton, because, in Howe's case, of 
its central location, and the excellent roads leading thither from the 
Sound, and the circumstance that all the otlu-r roads of the county 
couverued there, — and Wasliin<iton would be coni])lete]y liemmed in. 
In the linht of all that f(dlowed, tlu' one vital (piestion at the outset 
id' this campaiiiu was, A\'ho should tiisl airixc at and i)ossess Winle 
riains'.' and the advantage was decidedly witli Ifowe, because lie 
was not liaiii|>ired by any of the physical ditliculfies that beset Wash 
iiiuloii. Such were the elements of the starlliiiL;' Westchester silna 
t ion w hose details we shall now trace with as much bre\'it \' as is con- 
sistent with (dearness. 

About daybreak on the nuirning of Saturday, October 12. 177(>, — a 
very foiigy nu)rnin<i, — many boatloads of l>ritish Iroojis, led by <!en- 
eral Howe in ])ei'son, embarked at Ki]>*s Pay, ^fanhatlan Island, ])ro- 
ceeded throuiih llelljuale and up the Sound, iind landed, umler the 
Willis of I he frinate " ( 'arysfort," on Throu^Li's I'oiul, wliei'e I'ort S( buy 
lei- now stands. A second large detachiiieni, conxcNcil by " fort \ two 
sail," was deposited al liie sanu' ]ilace in (he al'lernoon; and for se\- 
eral days afterwaid I here was a coittinucuis ti-ansporlalion thither of 
soldiers and all inaiiiier of army ajjiiointnients. Neither the roiiii 
nor any part <d' ilu Neck was occn]>iiMl by Ane'rican troops, but ai 
Westchester caiisewa.N and also at the head of the creek", the only lo- 
i-alilies affording jiassage to the niaiidand, the picked lillemen posted 
about a weid'C previously, through the liaii]i,\' foresight i\\' (leiieral 
lleatli, still stood guard. As soon as the jiresence of the invader on 
llie Neck became known to them, the men at the bridge ri|i]ied n|i 
iis plani<iiig; and when the tirsi rei-oiiiioitering part\' id' redcoats 



366 HISTOKl OF WESTCHESTEU COUNTY 

;i])ln-<iiiclHMl they liiivc tliciii tlic (•(mtciits of their iimskcls. The ciiciuy 
beat a hasty aud disorderly retreat; and, althouiili the defenders of 
the bridge were oidy twenty-five against many thonsauds, juid the 
])ossession of tliat pass was of sni)reine importance to (ieneral Ifowe, 
no serious attempt was made to secnre it. lie ho\ve\('r ordered a 
breastwork erected, facing I lie siniclure. For tlie rest, he scni out 
detacliments to ex])lore the unknown and mysterious land upon which 
ill' iiad debarked, who, retui'uing, gave him the disheartening infor- 
mal iou that it was an island, with only one possible crossing-point 
to the main, a fording-place, where also a party of rebels with ritles of 
]>articularly deadly (juality (lisi)uted the way. In such circumstances 
Howe was powerless, at least pending the conveyance of intelligence 
to the American cani]t, which, of coiirse, resulted in the dis]iatching 
of re-enforcements. (Jeneral Ileath "immediately ordered Colonel 
Prescott, the hero of Bunki-r Ilill, with his regiment, and Cajitain- 
Lieutenant Bryant, of the artillery, with a three-pounder, to re- 
enforce the riflemen at Westchester causeway, and Colonel (iraham, 
of the New York line, with his regiment, and Lieutenant .Inckson, ni 
the artillery, with a si.K-pounder, to re-enforce at the head of the 
creek; all of which was promjitly done." These forces, insigniticant 
though they were in comparison with what Howe could have hiiileil 
against them, proved sufficient. He did not care to take the hazard 
of forcing either pass; and from the 12th to the 18th i,( ()ct(dier he 
remained ridiculously i)enned up on Throgg's Neck by a conlcmiilihle 
few of the starveling continentals who up to that nudancholy hour 
had fled terror-stricken before his ferocious grenadiers. Indeed, his 
whole lu-ogramme of entering West(diester County by way of Tlirogg's 
Neck had to be abandoned finally; and he was obliged, after six days' 
delay, to ])ut his army on boats and ship it across Eastchester T?ay to 
I'elham (or Kodman"s) I'oint, a locality not cut off from the main by 
creeks aud nmrshes and strategic passes. 

The responsibility for the selection of Throgg's Neck as the I'.rit- 
ish landing jdace has been (diarged to the commander id' the 
licet. Admiral Lord Howe, General Howe's brother; and in ex- 
](laiiation of the choice of that locality it has beiMi urged that a 
ilii-ect landing on Pcdl's Neck would have been an imprudent meas- 
ure because of the shallowness of the water at the latter place, 
])reventing the co-o]ieration o\' any vessel of sufficient battery 
to cover the landing. F.ut whatever share of the responsibility 
may be shifted to Admiral Howe, General Howe at least offered 
no objection to Throgg's Ne(dc, and indeed he subsequently justi- 
fied its selection. " I'onr or five days," h<' said in a speeidi before 
an investigating committee of the House of Commons in 1779, " had 



CAMPAKJN AM> lIATTLi: (IK WlIITi: l'I>AINS 367 



70 HEATIi's MEMOIRS. [Oct. 1776. 

1 1 th. — There was a coniiderable movement among 
the Britifti boats below. This afternoon, Gen. 
Wafhington's pleafure-boat, coming down the river 
■with a trelh breeze, and a topfail hoifled, was lui>- 
pofed, by the artilierills at Mount Wafhington, to be 
one of the Britifh tenders running down. A 12 
pounder was difcharged at her, which was fo exaclly 
pointed, as unfortunately to kill three Americans, 
who were much laniented. The fame day, feveral of 
Gen. Lincoln's regiments arrived, two of which were 
■pofted on the North River. 

lath. — Early in the morning, 80 or 90 Britifh 
boats, full of men, ftood up the found, from Montre- 
fors llland, Long-lfland, &c. 'Ihe troops landed 
at Frog's Neck, and their advance pulhed towards 
the caufeway and bridge, at Walt Chefler mill. 
Col. Hand's riflemen took up the planks of the 
bridge, as had been direded, and commenced a fir- 
ing with their rifles. The Britifh moved towards 
the head of the creek, but found h«re aifo the Amer- 
icans in pofiefTion of the pafs. Our General imme- 
diately (as he had afTuxed Col. Hand he would do) 
ordered Col. Prefcott, the hero of Bunker Hill, with 
his regiment, and Capt. Lieut. Bryant of the artil- 
lery, with a 3 pounder, to reinforce the riflemen at 
Weil-Chefler caufeway ; and Col. Graham of the 
New-Ycrk.tine, with his regiment, and Lieut. Jack- 
ion of the artillery, with a 6 poundor, to reinforce 
at the head of the creek ; all of which was promptly 
done, to the check and difappointment of the en- 
cmy. The Britifh encamped on the neck. The 
riflemen and Yagers kept up a fcattcring popping 
at each other acrofs the marih ; and the i^'mcricans 
on their fiJe, and the Britifh 6n ihe other, threw up 
a work at the end of the caufeway. Capt. Bryant, 
now and then, when there was an object, falutcd the 
Britifh with a ficid-piece. 

la 

PAGK KKOM IIKATU'S MK.MOIKS. 



368 



HISTORY OF \Vi:STClli:STi;U COUNTY 



hccii iiiiavoidiilily talicii ii|i in laiidinii at I'roii's Neck, inslcail of 
going at once to Pell's roini, wliicli would have been an iniiniidciit 
measure, as it oonld iiol ha\c been executed without much iiuiieces- 
sary risk." It is ditlicult to conceive what great risk woidd have 
been involved in the latter ]iroceeding, since there was no American 
I'.osf at the point of Pelham Xec k on the 12th of October, or, for that 
matter, on tlie ISth of October either — the final landing of the 
British there on the latter date being accomplished Avithont the 
sJiglitest interference on the part of the Americans, and indeed with- 
out being known to them until the advance ])artY of the invaders 
suddenly showed themscdxcs to the American ])ic]cets a fall mile and 
a half above the point. But even granting the force of the sju'cial 
objection to Pelham Neck as an original landing place, one marvels 
why 'riirogg's Xtck should ha\'e been regarded as the only altei'ua- 
tive sjjot. Surely there was adeipiate depth td water at ]ioiuts 
farther up the Sound (.Man!aron(<k llai-bor, for instancei; and (U-n- 
eral Howe's sole object being to oulllank A>'ashington, it would have 
been rather an advantage than a disadvanljige for him lo disem 
bark at a comparativcdy northernly locality. In whatever aspicl liie 
'I'hrogg's Neck landing is viewed, it is hard for the dispassionate mind 
to regard it otherwise than as a prodigious strategic blunder.' 

During the six days of Howe's supine occui)ation of Throgg's Neidc, 
Washington's headiiuartei's were continued at Harlem Heights, 
where also, in conjunction willi the Kingsbridge dependency, the 



' A glance at the map shows that Throgg's 
Nc'fk, in a purel.v gcographiral sense (not tak- 
ing Into ai'oonnt either its practical insular 
diaracter or the fact, which mtist have ttccn 
known to Howe, tliat the adjacent conntry was 
well guarded by tlie Americans and its roads 
!iad largely l>een rendered Iniitassabli'l, was 
about the most unfavorable i)Iaee that e^iuld 
have been hit upon for initiating a movement 
to set the royal army down in Washington's 
rear. U is, indeed, on a due-east line, some- 
what south of the Heights of Harlem and 
Ivingsbridge; so that upon Howe's arrival at 
Throgg's Neck Washington was actually in ad- 
vance of him along the one open line of n)ove- 
meiil. The roinplaeency of Washington In re- 
maining In his Harlem Heights and Klngs- 
bridg<' position until after Howe had pushed 
h.irthward to roll's Neck, although six days 
liad elapsed meanwhile, is of itsiOf plain dem- 
onstration that Howe blundered cgregiously In 
his choice of ground so far as his intention of 
oultlanklng the patriot general was concerned. 
The civilian Duer, of the State convention, in 
his correspondence with Washington's head- 
quarters, shows a perfect grasp of the elements 
of the situation. In a letter to Tilghman, Oc- 



tolMT 14. he writes: 

•■ Thi y IMh' enemy] could not. I think, have 

blundered e effectually than by Landing on 

the Neck of I,:iiid they are now on. I should 
think a small Number of Men with I''leld 
I'ieces would sntfice to prevent their penetrat- 
ing further into the Country from that (}\iar- 

ti'r. Yon say that you think moi f tbi' Kne- 

my's Troops are nnjvcd up the Sound. I think 
they will endeavor to Land the Main Rody 
of Ibi'lr Army near Itye and endeavor to sur- 
round our Troops from the Sound to the North 
Itiver." .Vnd the next day, writing to I{oI)ert 
Harrison. Washington's secreiai-y. be says; 

"I . . . am hapiiy to fiml ,\'ni hax'e got the 
i*;nemy in so desirable a Silu.-itlon. 

" There appears to nie an aclu;il l-'.-ilalil.T al 
lending all their Measures. One would liave 
mil ni'ally iuiagined from the Tralho's they have 
;iMioug ttiem. who are capable of giving llieni 
I In- iii'isl MiiiMli- l>escriptlon of Ihe Oi-ounds in 
llie Coiuily of Westchester. Ilinl they woulii 
have landed mm.-h farther lo iln' lOaslward 
rnorlhwardl. Had they pnzzi'd Ihelr Imaglna 
tions to iliscovcr tlie worse IM.-n-e I hey <*ould 
in)t hav<' succeeded better 1li;iii Ihey li.'ive 
done." 



CAMI'AICX AND BATTLK Ol' WlllTi; PLAINS 3(39 

niiiiii body of (lie Aiuciicaii iiiiuy rciii;iiiic(l. Tlic ;ii>]>;ii-cnl cniiriisioii 
ni iiiiiul wliirli lif cxiKTiciR-c'd uimui bcinji iiii|n-is<tl uT Howe's lautl- 
iiiii \\;is not of loiii; diiralion; and indeed Ids eneri;cl ic <|nalilies as a 
coniinandei- were ))rohal)ly ueNcr displa.scd willi ^realei- of more 
judicions altenlinn lo detail than tlii-(>ni;iionl liie pei-iod of llie Hi-it- 
isli i^cneral's inacli\ity on the Sound. On liie evening of the llMh 
he i-o(h' o\cr lo Westchester vilhi^e and personally inspected liie sit- 
nalion, IxToiiiinii satislied tlial it threatened no ininie<liale daii.uir 
and liial liis plain duty, pending a further disclosure of the enemy's 
intentions, A\as to streni^then his defensive position in every way. 
At a loss to understaml why Tliroji<>"s Neolv should liave been se- 
lected if the r.ritisli purp(tse was to (piickly ])us]i into his rear and 
enlia]! him, he inclined to the ()])iiiion tliat Howe's final object was 
to ino\<' on his works at Kiniisbrid^e, and tliat to tliat end he would 
])reseiilly be su])ported by a second expedition, to be landed lower 
down, |(r(d)ably at ^forrisania. On the other hand, he was l)y no 
means unmindful <d' Hie contingency that the <;Tander project niijiht 
be meditated; but he was convinced tliat so lonii iis Howe stayed on 
Throiiji's Xe( li he could afford to wait for actualities. His contidence 
in his ability to re])el a mere movement against Kinjisbridjie is well 
rellected in the followinii' extract from a letter written from head- 
(|uaiiers on the l.'^th of October by Lieutenant-roloncd 'ril^hmaii to 
llie committee of correspondence of the State convention: 

Tlic Oroiiiids li-adiiif; from Fniijs I'oiiit towards our Post at Kiiigsbridge are as dcfrnsililr 
as tlii'V I'aii be wislud, tlie Hoads are all lined witli Stone fences and the adjacent fields 
divide<l ott' with Stone likewise, which will make it ini])ossil)le for them to advance their 
.\rtillerv and Aninninition Wagn-ons by any otiier Iloute than the <;reat Roads, and I think 
if they are well lined with Troops, we may make a eonsiilerable slannhter if not discomfit 
tliem totally. Onr UiHe Men have directions to attend particularly to taking- down their 
llor.ses, which if done, will impede their March ett'eetnally. Onr Troops are in good Spirits 
.and sei'm inclined and determined to dis])nte every Inch of Ground. Our Front ix now so 
trcll scciiretl that ice can spare a consltlcrahle A^umher of our tiest Troops from hcjicc if thetf arc 
wante'l. 

If we are forced from this ])ost we must make the best Retreat we can, but I think this 
(iround should not be given n|) but upon the last K.xtremity.' 

The cheerful remark in tliis letter that the commander-in clnef had 
mailers so well in hand as to be able to s])aie a considerable ninnber 
id' his best troops for i)urposes other than his own defense aiiainst 
IIoAve received ]n'actical ap])licatioii im the same day by the send- 

* This lettci* of 'I'ili^liuinu's was replied to on ■ I a|»ipro\e nnn-h of selling; al a d<';ir I*rje)> 

the Mill, hy Williaui Oner, rrom the eilatlon.'t ever.v font of Oroiinil; hut If the Kueru.v slmulil. 

made in previniis pai^es from the I uier Tilffh- by tlieir Manoeuvrrs. eontl-ive to encircle our 

mail eorrespondeuce. the reader will doubtless .\riny, and as I before Observed Occupy these 

have been impressed with the perspicacity of Mounts [the niglilaiidsl. while llieir Vessells 

liner's views of the luilllary siluation: and the obstruct Ihe Navinjillon of Hudson's Ulver and 

f'lllowliis eommenl made by him In his letter tlii> Sound, there will have no Oeeasiou to haz- 

of llic> Nth, upon one of TilKhnian's optimistic ;vrd a lialtle. Wants of Supjily would, I fear, 

ixpiesslous. is a further Instance of his discrc- make us fall au inglorious Racrince." 
lion: 



370 



HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY 



iui; nir (if Colonel Tasli's i-i'j;iuiciil of New llaiiipshii-c iiiilitia to I'ish- 
kill " for the assistance of the eoinniittee of safely in holdinj; the dis- 
affecte(l ill check." Ry n'curi'iiiii to the consecutive extracts from 
the Duer-Tiljihnian correspondence printed on jip . :i~>[):W2, it will 
be seen that Duer, on the 12th of October, communicated to Wash- 
ington's head(iuartei-s information (or supposed information! which 
the t^tate convention, by " several examinations " of Tories had ob- 
tained, of a concerted pUxn for a grand British movement upon both 
lianks of the American army "by means of Hudson's and the East 
lliver," in which enterprise "their partisans in this State'' wi-re to 
co-operate — ''Thursday next" (the ITth of October) beinj; hxed foi- 
the united unih-rtakiny. In almost every h'tter written by Dner to 
Tiljilunan during the eventful mouth from the 22d of September to 
the 21st of October, mention is made with much particularity and 
in the bitterest terms of the very numerous Tory conspiracies then 
rife.' Mi>reover, Washington was constantly ai)i)i'eliending conspir- 
ators and suspects, and no one had a keener appreciation than he 
of tlie need of strict measures against the se(lith)us Tories. The de- 
tachment of a whole regiment from his ami}' for the h)cal purposes 
of the committee of safety in such critical circumstances as prevailed 
on the loth of October is a peculiarly interesting incident. Wash- 
ington seems also to have been considerably imj)ressed by Oner's in- 
telligence of a general British plan for the 17th of October. The pre 
diction was evidently treasured up at liead(|uarters, for Tilghman, 
writing to Duer on tlu^ 15th, remaiks: "The information you fur- 
nish concerning the intended operations on Thuisday next deser\e 
our highest thanks; it may be false, if it is, there is no harm done, but 
we shall be better prejtared for them if true. It will elTectually pre- 
vent surju-ise, the most fatal thing that can befall an Army." And 
on tlie ITtli he takes occasion to remind !iis coi-respondent that "the 
17th October is c(»me and nearly passed without the ])r(Mlicted 

A Discovery of .Tusticc b.iiiK two or tlirco of tlio Villains 
you li.ivp appichoiuii'd. They will cortalnly 
come under the Denomination of Spies." Octo- 
l)er 8, lie says: " I am sorry to tell you (for 
tiiG Credit of tills State) tiiat tlie Committee 
I l)eIonff to malic daily fresh Discoveries of the 
infernal Practices of our Kneniics to e.xcite In- 
surrectious aiiionffsr the Inhabitants of this 
State. To-morrow (tnc Company actually en- 
listed in the Enemy's Service will be niarcii'd 
to l^iiiiadelphia. there to be confined in jail 
till the Establishment of our Courts enables us 
to hang the Rinff-leaders." And on October 10 
(see p. 361) he goes so far as to declare that 
unless vigorous nie;isures are instantly taiien 
a revolt will surely supervene In Westchester 
and Dutchess Counties. 



' September 'JS. he writes that 
was made sometime ago of a Hattalion of 
Uangi'rs, which was raising in Westchester 
('iiuiily to be commanded Iiy Major Rogers, 
wiio Is for (hat Purpose connnissioned b.y Lord 
Howe"; also of the discovery of a company 
enlisting in Dutchess Couiit.v, whose mnster- 
ridl containeti fifty-seven names. " Twenty-five 
of wlioni we lia\e already aiiprehenili'd." Oc- 
tober ]. he reports that thirty-two of the latter 
organization have been taken into custody, 
and. alluding to other conspirators, says: " I 
hope Matters may be so managed that two or 
three of I lie principal Misoreants who have 
bi'en taken may be hanged as Spies." October 
3, n'ferring to the Tory conspirators captured 
by WMshington, be exclaims: "In the Name 



CAMPAICX AND BATTLK OF WIHI'i; PLAINS 371 

lilow." Eviili'iilly iMicr's propliccy lor Ihc ITtli was one of (lie 
various coujitininii tliiuiis wliicli iutiucmcd Washington (o snsjiccL 
lliat Ilowr-'s niovcnicnt to Tlii-ojii;"s Xcck was hnt a ]iavt of tlic 
enemy's ]ilan, and accovdiniily to allow a lull wee k lo jta'^s 1)\ with 
out inau^ui-alin^- any new jilan of Ids own. 

On the morning of the loth Washington issned a stirring address 
to the army, probably as chai-acteristic a s])eciinen of his writiiijis 
of this natnre as his cai'eer affords: "As the enemy seem miw to 
be endi'a\'orinii' to strike some stroke before the close of the cam- 
paii^in," said he, "the (ieneral most eariu'stly conjui-es botli ollicei-s 
and men, if they have any love for their country an<l concei-n for 
its liberties and regard to the safety of their parents, wives, childi-en, 
and counti-ymen, that they \\ill act with bravery and spirit beconnn^ 
ilie cause in which they ai-e eni;a,i;cd; and to encourage and animate 
I heni so to do, there is every adxantai^c of iiround and situation, so 
that if we do not con(pi'r it must be our omii faults. ITow much bet- 
ter will it be to die liouorabl,\', tiL;htiuii in the field, than to return 
liouu' covered with shame and disgrace, even if the crnelty of the 
iiiemy shiaild allow you to i-etnrnl A brave and i^allant behavior 
for a few days, and patience under some little hardshijis, may save 
our country and enable us to ^o into wintei' ([uarters with safety and 
honor. ■■ 

(ieiieial W'ashiuuion lost no time in streniithenin^' Heath's com- 
mand, which made the foice above KiuLisbriiliic the nmjor ])art of 
the Anu'rican army; and troo])S were posted at all important jniints 
so as to check any possible advam-e of the enemy. On the 14th ilajor- 
(!enei-al Charles L<'e arrived from the t^onth, and was assi^iu'd by 
Washinjiton to the chief command in ^Vestchester County — an assi^n- 
UH-nt not to take effi'ct, however, "until h<' could make himself ae- 
<|uainted with the ]»ost, its circumstances, ami arraniicnu-nts of duly," 
Cem-ral Heath in the inti'rim retaining the anlhoi-ity which he had 
administered so conscieni iousl\ ,iud ably. At thai jieriod I.ee was 
still lieneially estimate<l at his own enormous valuation of himself; 
and it is amnsiiiin- to note in the ])nblic and pi-i\a1e correspondence 
of the lime the satisfact imi with w hich the cominu of this littlest of 
little souls, nntst vile of nntri)lots, and nmst heiinnis ami des])icable 
of willin.ii' thouiih im]»otent traitois was hailed on account of his 
supposed majestic jicnius and scientific (pmlilications for the 

l*ri<li', primp, and eiiriiiii.staiice of glorioii.s war. 

"I bet; my Affectionate Comidinu'iits to (ienl. Lee," wrote the im- 
pressionable but, as we have seen, eniiueutly sensible Dner, in one 
of his letters lOctober 15), "whom I sincerely con^i'atulate on his 
arrival in Camji — jcirtly on account of himself, as he will have it in 



372 HISTOUV OK WESTCHKSTEll COUNTY 

Ills jtower to reap a fresh llarvest ui Laurels, and iiiurt' ou accuimt 
()(■ I Ills Country wh looks up to him as one of the brave Apostles of 
licr dearest Kights." Ix^e's machinations to supplant Wasinni;t()n 
in I lie supreme command were in course of develojiment at this juaiotl, 
and the gloomy outlook for the American cause, Avith the appalling 
record of recent disaster, gave buoyancy to his selfish expectations. 
His ])articipation in the campaign that followed is best remembered 
for his sneers and gibes at his commander, Avhich passed from mouth 
(o mouth of his cliciue, liotli in the army and in congress. His re- 
mai-k that Washington was conducting the war mainly with the 
jtickax and the sjiade was circulated with particular enjoyment. 
Finally, when AVashington departed to New Jersey after the battle 
of White IMains, Lee, left in command in Westchester (N)unty, took 
a course of almost open insubordination. 

It was not until the Kith of October that any official decision was 
arrived at looking to abandonment of the Harlem Heights and Kings- 
l)ri(lgc position, and even then tiie action taken was only in the f(U'ui 
of a icsolve upon a proposition i>( ]Mdi(y. A council of war was hehl 
at the headquarters of General Lee, the officers in att(Mi(lance. be- 
sides the commander-in-chief, being iMajor-lienerals Lee, Putnam, 
Heath, Spencer, and Sullivan, lirigadier-Generals Lord Stirling, 
MifHin, IMcDougal, Parsons, Nixon, Wadsworth, Scott, Fellows, 
George Clinton, ami Lincoln, and Colonel Knox, commanding the 
artillery — to whom Washington, after conveying such informat