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THe Hudson River from Ocean 
to Source 

Historical — Legendary — Picturesque 

8°. With over loo Illustrations. 

Chronicles of Tarrytown and 
Sleepy Hollo\v 

iG"". With 23 full-page Illustrations. 

Ne-w "VorK London 

The "Half-Moon" on the Hudson — 1609 
From a painting by L. W. Seavey 

poO/ {(()^!, [\o "nooM-lIiiH" ^jdV 




Ocean to 
Sou rce 

Historical— l.cgcii(hv-\ — l^iiiiircsqiic 


Edgar Mayhew Bacon 

Author of " Chronicles ofTarrytown," etc. 

With TOO Illustrations, and with Sectional Map 
of the Hudson River 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York and London 
Xlbe ikiiichcrbocker press 



"'**'0 CtlPlte Rlckived} 

'^■^<^. B fQ^?, 




Published, November, igo2 

Ubc INnichcibochcr iprcss, iRcw ji'orft 


IN treatino^ of the histor}' and traditions, the men 
and the manners of the valley of the Hudson 
Ri\-er, the author has undertaken to ])resent in 
one coherent work the gist of many volumes and to 
add such hitherto un])ul)lished material as he has l)een 
able to discover. 

From the nature of this boc^k it has not been i^os- 
sible to make the historical narrati\'e continuous, but 
in treating of separate localities the main events con- 
nected with each ha\'e l)een grou])ed, the method of 
arrangement l)eing to])ical rather than consecutive. A 
reference to the index may in many cases dis])el an 
impression that some im])ortant event or i)erson has 
been neglected or forgotten l^ecause its ]dace in a 
chronological sccjuence has of necessity been disre- 

In commencing the story with the arriwal of TTenry 
Hudson, the claims of Verrazani and other early na\-i- 
gators have been ignored, not because history disowns 
them, but for the reason that the record of the river, 
so far as it is clearlv written, commences with the Half 
Moon and the first Dutch settlers. 

In collecting and ]:»roducing illustrations for this 
work great care has been taken to illustrate the text 
and not merely to make a ])icture-book, but the beauty 

iv Preface 

as well as the fitness of the many engravings with 
which it has 1)een embellished is a source of satisfac- 
tion to both the author and the publishers, who pre- 
sent them without misgiving. 

It is a pleasure to acknowledge with hearty apprecia- 
tion the courtesy of many friends who have aided the 
writer in his search for material. Among others, Mr. 
M. H. Bright, the Directors of the Lenox Library, and 
Mr. Joel Benton have the author's sincere acknowledg- 
ment for memoranda and the use of rare ])ictures. To 
Mr. Francis Whiting Halsey, especially, he is indebted 
for a manuscript journal of a voyage up the Hudson in 
the year 1769. This, it is believed, has never before 
been printed. 

TJic Hudson River is offered to the ]iu])lic with a con- 
sciousness of the vastness of the suljject and the im])os- 
sibility of treating it exhaustively in a single volume. 

The author \w\\\ ask his archaological readers kindly 
to bear in mind that for no town in the land vv^ould the 
antiquaries be found in accord concerning all points of 
local history. Whoever writes the history (jf a single 
village, whether on the Hudson or elsewhere, must ex- 
pect the honest criticism of some who do not agree 
with his conclusions. He can only claim to have 
made a careful study of the very interesting records 
of the communities of the Hudson River Valley, and 
may hope that his narrative and conclusions ma>' 
be found in substantial accord with the accepted 


I — Introductory .... 
II — Two Cities on One Site . 
Ill — New Buildings and Old . 
IV— Festivals and Pageants . 
V — Along the Manhattan Shore 
VI — On the Jersey Shore 

VII Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 

VIII— The Passing of the White Wings . 

IX Fulton and the Hudson River Steamhoat 

X — Riverside to In wood 
XI — The Island and the River in 1776 
XII -Forts Washington and Lee 
XIII ^From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkers 
XIV— Spectres of the Tappan Zee . 
XV — In the Land of Irving . 
XVI— Literary Associations of the Hudson 
XVII— Around Haverstraw Bay 
XVIII— The Storming of Stony Point 
XIX — At the Gate of the Highlands 






XX — The Spirit of '76 326 

XXI — A Voyage up the ItIudson in 1769 . 344 

XXII — Among the Hills 357 

XXIII — West Point 370 

XXIV — The Fisher's Reach .... 389 


XXVI — Sports and Industries .... 430 

XXVII — RoNDouT and Kingston .... 443 

XXVIII- -Saugerties and its Neighbours . -471 

XXIX -The Catskill Region ... 486 

XXX — Nantucket Quakers and Dutch 

Fighters . . . » . . 503 

XXXI -An Old Dutch Tchvn . . . .51^ 

XXXII Above Tide-Water .... 55° 

Index 573 


The " Half Moon" oti the Hudson, rdog 


From the paiiUiw^ by L. W. SciiTcy. 

Land i II g of Hudson 

Portrait of Hudson 

Early \^icu' of Wcchawkcn . 

The Month of Spuytoi Dnyvil Creek in Early Days 

Earliest Map of the City 

A Bit of Old Neiv York 

Before the Day of Skyscrapers 

The House that icas Built for Washington 

The Staten Lsland Ferry and Barge Office (about 

Peaks of the Manhattan Range 

The City that Hides Majihattan . 

TJie Barge Office and the Bay 

Cover noCs Island from Battery Park 

A Tow Going out to Sea 












Tlie Narrows, New York Bay 
A' CIV York Harbour from one of the Skyscrapers 
Brick Schooner and SJiad Fishers, off Fort Lee 
A Fleet Thronged the River . 

I^'roni an old print. 

The Sybils Cave, Hoboken . 
The Elysian Fields, Hoboken 

From an old print. 

An Early Yicw (about nS^o) of Haverstraw 

From an old print. 

The Ubiquitous Trig .... 

From a draiving by the author. 

Spreading the ]]liite Wings . 

From a draiving by the antlior. 

Palisades from the ]^ellow Rocks, Tap pan Zc 

From a drawing by the author. 

Departure of the '^Clermont'' on her First Voyage 

'' Car of Neptune,"' 1808 .... 

" Paragon,'' 181 1 ..... 

" Richmond," 181 j ..... 

The " North America" and " Albany,'^ 1 82^-1 82g 

The Modern Flying Dutcliman 

Riverside Drive, Manhattan 

The Apthrope Mansion, Bloomingdale . 

Grant's Tomb, Riverside Drive 

The Notable Buildings on Harlem Heights, ivherc 
tJic Battle was Fought in 1776 

Burnham's Mansion House, Bloomingdale Road 
about i8jj 


Barnard College, on tJic Site of the Battlefield of 
Harlem HeigJits .... 

Under the Palisades .... 
The Old Philipse House and Mill, Tarrytown 
Erected about 16S4 

The Flying DutcJunan .... 

Hook Mountain, from Xyoek 

Tappaji Zee and the Tarrytoion Light . 

]\'ashtngton House at Tappan 

High Taur — Point-no-Point and /larerstraw 

From a lirai^'iiig by the author. 

Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Holloic 
Lookout at Old Quarry, Tarrytoicn 

From (( draionn::, by the oiitlior. 

Idleudld Glen 

The River and Catskill Mor^ntaiiis, from the Lawn 
of the ^Lnltgonlery House, Larrytoion . 

From a draionit^ by W. 7. Wilson. 

The Verplanck Mansion at Fishkill Landing 
Under cliff — TJu^ Home of the Poet .]h->rris . 

From an old print. 

The River Road, near Coldeuham 

Where the Brooks }h^t -Pilewild . 

View South from Sing Sing, about iS4(S 

Croton and Verplanck\s Point and Anthony's Nose 

from Hill back of Sing Sing . 
High Taur and the Short Clove — Haverstraw 











Stony Point and H arc rst raze, jyoiu W-rplanck's 

Bird^s-Eyc View of tJic Hudson from a Peak in tJic 
Highlands ...... 

Draivii by W. 7. Wilson. 

WJicrc tJic Jurisdiction of the Goblin Ceases . 
Near Fort Montgomery .... 

Storm King, from near Storm King Station . 
Broken Xeck (I^reakneck) Hill 
Cro' Xest from Cold spring .... 
On the Face of Ihdl Hill .... 
'M// Old-Fashioned Loaf of Sugar ^' 

I''roiii a draicing by llic .inllh'r. 

]]\\st Point. After the Painting by Robert IlV/r 

Ifcre piiblislicJ by courtesy oj the Lenox Library. 

West Point in i/So ..... 

From an ohi print. 

Looking out of the Highlands, from Coldspring 

PollopeVs Islatui 

Murderer's (Moodna) Creek—By the Butter Hill 
Across the Hudson from Cornwall 

h^roni a ilraieinii bv \V. 'J. ]Vi!.'<oii. 

Ncivburgh as Seen from Ftshkill and Coldspring 

The Cantilever Bridge at Poughkccpsie . 

Tomkins's Cove ...... 

Ice-boat Fleet near Hyde Park 











the Slihirt L'iilU\th>n. 

Mciidiiii^ Wis at (larn'soii . 
Mooiiliglit 0)1 llic Hudson 
River Sccjic, Catskill . 

"J. 11'. C'cisilcar, /'Vjy. J^'rom 
Lenox Library. (By pernii: 

River Scejie near Kingston . 

From a ilraieiiiL:, by the author. 

Donni the River, from Loicer Red Hook 
The Montgomery House at Annandale . 
Woodland Brook near Catskill .... 

L'roiii the paiiilnii^ by A. H. Durand, i)i the Leimx 
Library. (By penuis.'siou) . 

A Glimpse of tJie Catskills, from Saugerties . 
Viezv of Hudson City and the Catskill Mountains . 

L'roii: an ohl print. 

Winter 'I\eiliglit, near Albany .... 

From a paintine l\v (i. .1. Bont^hton in Lenox Library. 
(By permi.s.sion.) 

T/a// Rensselaer Manor-House, lydj 

Plan of Albany, i6gj . 

Schuyler Mansion, iy6o 

Seal of Albany 

Along the River beloiv Troy . 

Looking doivn River, near Troy 

On the Hudson above Troy . 

From an ohl print. 

Congress Spring in 1820 
The Rapids below Glens Falls 









xii Illustrations 

On the River between Glens [''alls and Sandy Hill 

I'l-oni a draicnii^ by \V . 7. Wilson. 


The Bridge at (ilens Falls . . . . . j6q 

A Logjam on the Upper Hudson . . . jyo 

Sectional Map of the Hudson River 

In separate pocket 




.,.>.- -^'- 

_..„.^ 1 

The Hudson River 

Chapter I 


IN a document that for nearly two centuries and a 
half has lain safely tucked away among the royal 
archives of The Hague, there is what the directors 
of the West India Company called " a brief and clear 
account of the situation of New Netherland." 

"This district or country [we read], which is 
right fruitful and salubrious, was first discovered and 
found in the year 1609, by the Netherlanders, as its 
name implies, at their own cost, by means of one Hen- 
drick Hudson, skipper and merchant, in the ship Halve 
Macnc sailing in the service of the incorporated East 
India Company; for the natives or Indians, on his 
first coming there, regarded the ship with mighty won- 

2 The Hudson River 

der and looked upon it as a sea monster, declaring that 
such a ship or people had never before been there." 

In writing a book upon the Hudson River, it is hardly 
possible to avoid a repetition of historic statements 
already more or less familiar to the reader. The vov- 
age of Henry Hudson, English navigator in the service 
of the Dutch East India Company, to find a passage 
through polar seas to the shores of farthest Ind; the 
happy accident which led him into the mouth of the 
river that was afterwards to bear his name and to per- 
petuate his memory; and the wonder of the Indians 
of Manhattan when the Half Moon anchored at last, 
are the details of a more than thrice-told tale. 

There is no doubt that in Hudson's mind the " Groot 
Ri\'iere" he had found was the long-sought passage to 
open seas beyond. With Columbus, Verrazani, Cabot, 
and a host of others who have followed an ignis fatuiis 
through widening zones, the object of their expecta- 
tions "a furlong still before,"' the skipper of the Half 
Moon looked for a speedy realisation of his dreams. It 
was not until the "green, pleasant shores" of Man- 
hattan were far astern, and the lessening tides and 
fresher volume of the river confronted him with un- 
answerable argument, that his faith began to waver. 
Yes, even then, we read, his heart was sore at finding 
the head of navigation in the river, near the present 
site of Albany. He dispatched his mate with a boat's 
crew, to make sure of the disappointing fact, and not 
till this expedition returned, after a journey of eight or 



nine leagues, did he finally abandon the enterprise in 
that direction and prepare to descend the river. 

Hudson ascended the 
stream in eleven days. He 
recorded his impressions 
and adventures, especially 
with regard to the Indians, 
in a report which he fortu- 
nately succeeded in forward- 
ing to his employers in 
Holland, w^iile he himself, 
after re-crossing the Atlan- 
tic, was forcibly detained in 

We shall have occasion in the course of this work to 
refer again to this initial voyage up the river. 

In the year following Hudson's discovery, the Holland 
merchants, acting on the principle that one should not 
refuse a penny because it happens not to be a ])ound, 
conceived the idea that while waiting to open a new 
wa}' to China and Japan it might be profitable to secure 
an exclusive grant to trade in the country that was 
thrust upon them. A chronicle of thj time relates that 

in that year, 1610, they sent a ship thither and obtained after- 
wards, from the High and I\hghty Lords States-General, a grant 
to resort and trade exclusively in these parts, to which end they 
likewise, in the year 161 5, l)uilt on the North River, about the 
Island Manhattans, a redoubt or little fort, wherein was left a 
small garrison, some people usually remaining there to carry on 
trade with the natives or Indians. This was continued and 

6 The Hudson River 

maintained until their High Mightinesses did, in the year 1622, 
include this country of New Netherland in the charter of the 
West India Company. 

It was much easier for Henry Hudson to sail past 
the lower end of Manhattan Island in 1609 than it is 
now for the historian to follow his example. The as- 
sociations of ten generations, the hardships and the 
triumphs of early settlers, the pageants, the frivolities, 
the disasters, and the achievement of an almost un- 
paralleled history, cluster here. Yet to write of these 
things fully would be to compile an encyclopedic his- 
tory of New York City, which is b\' no means our 
present purpose, and if the reader questions the omis- 
sion of this or that detail from the succeeding pages of 
this narrative, we can only plead the limitations of 
time and space. 

The river at the time of Hudson's voyage must have 
presented a scene of strange and solemn beauty. The 
sweeping verdure of a nearly unbroken forest on the 
one bank, and precipitous, wild, pine-clad rocks on the 
other, bordered a land of mysterious possibilities and 
unguessed extent. Early writers have noticed par- 
ticularly the prevalent abundance of the wild grapes 
that in their season filled the air with spicv perfume. 
Yet the forests were not uninhabited, for from every 
covert, every little cove or bay along the shores, the 
canoes of the Indians put out to intercept or at least 
to approach the "yacht" of the voyager. The names 
of tribes and sub-tribes have in large part been pre- 

i r 

Introductory 9 

served in local names, some of which are in familiar use 
until this day. 

The Indian name for the Palisades is said to have 
been Weh-awk-en; awk, the middle s^dlable, meaning 
"rocks that resemble trees." If this is the correct 
etymology and apidication of the name, we may won- 
der how it happened to slip its moorings and drop down 
with the tide to the present Weehawken, where it has 
remained since the Dutch first gained possession of the 
banks of the lower Hudson. An etymology, like a 
horse, may be a vain thing for safety and carries our 
faith on many a break-neck journey into the land of 

There is, however, for those who have sufficient 
patience and enthusiasm, a delightful study in those 
old Indian names that cover the Hudson and its tribu- 
tarv waters with |)oly syllabic strangeness. The Rev. 
Charles E. AUison says of the Algonquin tongue, 
in which these names had their birth, that it "was 
agglutinative. The wild men of the rapid water settle- 
ment strung words together in an extended compound. " 

In their language the region now known as West- 
chester County became Laaphawachking, which meant 
the place w^here beads are strung. The Hudson had 
several names, one of the most familiar being Shatemuc. 
The junction of the Spuyten Duyvil creek with the 
Hudson was called Shoraskappock. A brook at Dobbs 
Ferry was the Wisquaqua, and another the Wecquash- 
queck. The Nepperhan River sought the Hudson— 


The Hudson River 

and still does so — at the place that was once called 
Nappeckamack, and is now Yonkers. Another Yon- 
kers stream was Amackassin. The name of the Nep- 
perhan seems to have been spelled with variations by 
the none-too-careful Dutch orthographers ; its mean- 
ing was "rapid water." Shorackhappock was the 
bluff on the north side of Spuyten Duyvil creek, near 


its mouth, where a Mohegan "castle" is said to have 
stood, the latter being called Nipnichsen. The Spuyten 
Duyvil water was named Papuinemen. The Indians, 
themselves loaded with the unpronounceable name of 
Meckquaskich, called a river between hills, that ran 
near AHpconc (shady place), now Tarry town, Pocan- 
tico or Pockhantes. Besightsick was Sunnyside brook, 
Ossin-ing — "stone upon stone," appropriate prophecy 
of present State buildings — was Sing Sing at a later 
day, though very recently the inhabitants have again 
restored the Indian name. 

Sackhoes was the site of Peekskill and Senasqua of 
Croton Point meadow. Kitchawan signified a swift 

Introductory 1 1 

and strong current and was the niime by which the 
Croton River was known to the red men who hunted 
game on its banks or drew the fish from its waters. 

It is to the credit of the Dutch settlers that they 
obtained their lands from the Indians by purchase. It 
is a threadbare stor}' that Peter Minuit bought the 
island of Manhattan for a sum al)out equivalent to 
twenty-four dollars; taking into account the relative 
values of land and money at that time and place, the 
|)urchase may be regarded as equitable. 

The oldest Indian deed to Westchester property that 
is now^ preserved is that covering a tract included in 
the town of Kingsbridge. All of the great manors and 
patroonships along the river were acquired by pur- 
chase and afterwards confirmed by grants. 

The earliest settlements on the Hudson River were, 
naturally, those surrotmding the several forts that 
afforded protection from the neighbouring savages. 
Albany claims the first of these, a palisaded enclosure 
antedating even that upon Manhattan Island. At the 
extreme ends of the navigable river, nearly a fortnight 
apart in ordinary weather and absolutely shut off from 
communication after the winter ice and snow appeared, 
they became each the centre of dependent communi- 
ties. The settlements from New Amsterdam, or Man- 
hattan, extended northward to Kitchawan, and those 
of Rensselaerwyk (or Albany) included th(^ more 
southerly posts of Kingston, Esopus, and Rondout. 
While it is true that other posts sprang up between, 

12 The Hudson River 

yet the greater part of the river shore was for many 
years practically untouched by the whites. 

In relation to the purchase of Manhattan there is 
one old document, written in 1634, that concludes 
with a burst that has the ring of prophecy: " Further, 
not only were the above named forts enlarged and re- 
newed, but the said company purchased from the In- 
dians, who were the indubitable owners thereof, the 
island of Manhattes, situated at the entrance of said 
river, and there laid the foundations of a city.'' Who- 
ever the forgotten framer of that paragraph, he 
wrote, as his contemporaries builded, better than he 

Noting the orthography of the name Manhattes, as 
given above, it is interesting to find that there are 
forty- two spellings of the word used in old manuscripts. 

In that abounding wilderness which bordered what 
has become the main artery of the Empire State, the 
forests not only afforded a shelter for a large Indian 
population, but a hiding-place for numberless wild ani- 
mals, among which an old document of the year 1645 

lions, but they are few; bears, of which there are many; elks, 
a great number of deer, some of which are entirely v/hite and 
others wholly black, but the latter are very rare. The Indians 
say that the white deer have a great retinue of other deer by 
which they are highly esteemed, beloved, and honoured, and that 
it is quite contrary with those that are black. There are, be- 
sides, divers other wild animals in the interior, but these are un- 
known to Christians. 

Introductory 13 

After the account here quoted of the black and white 
deer, we are inchned to wonder whether it was know- 
ledge or invention that failed. Certainly one may be 
more indulgent to the flocks of flamingoes with which 
Campbell brightened his picttn^e of the Wyoming 

Allusion has been made to the primitive settlements 
that sprang up in the neighbourhood of the principal 
forts. Near the bouweries of New Amsterdam and 
those of Rensselaerwyk, there were others where the 
fields of rye, wheat, maize, and barley began to grow 
in the forest clearings, and these in time centred about 
the orchards and gardens of manor lords whose state 
and power were baronial. 

A very early and shockingly mendacious map, a very 
geographical nightmare, that is preserved in Holland, 
scatters a number of place names, without a clue to 
distance, along the Mauritius (now Hudson) River. 
Albany is discoverable under one of its several aliases, as 
Nassou. Kinderhook — spelled Kinderhoeck — is about 
where it should be, and Hinnieboeck suggests Rhine- 
beck. Esopus has unaccountably slipped down the 
river, and is surrounded by forests belonging to the 
Waronawanka Indians. Then we find Blinkersbergh 
and Vischershoeck (or letters to that effect) in the 
country of the Pachami. Finally the familiar bend of 
"Havestro" and "Tappans" is reached, after which 
another half a dozen miles lands the bewildered voy- 
ager in the Manhattes. 

14 The Hudson River 

It is not important that this erratic stream is in the 
main as fabulous as that which flowed through the 
caverns of Xanadu, or that the map-maker has hmned 
another, not less marvellous (which may be the Mis- 
sissippi or the Yukon, for anything that we know to 
the contrary) , that parallels it a few miles to the west- 
ward. What is really important is that some one who 
constructed a map less than a decade after the dis- 
covery of the river should have known the names of 
Nassau, Kinderhook, Esopus, and Tappan, and should 
have placed them in their approximate order on the 
shores of a river making a line of cleavage through the 

Those little settlements were the nuclei from which 
cultivation spread into the forest lands. Year after 
year the corn and the wheat followed the receding pine 
and chestnut; year after year the "herbes" and the 
simples attended the broader crops; and flowers that 
bloomed for the delight of the eye and the comfort of 
the soul lifted their faces within the walls of the home 

Industr}^ and thrift were the genii that achieved 
these things in time, but industry and thrift v^^ere not 
enough to keep the new plantations from being some- 
times reabsorbed by the surrounding wilderness. 
There were periods of unrest among the forest dwellers, 
and the pitiful stories of massacre and ruin were mtil- 

One Siebout Claessen, house carpenter, burgher, and 



inhabitant of New Netherland, in a jn-otest or petition, 
most respectfully represents that he, 

having married Susanna Janss, at the time widow of Aert 
Teunissen, her previous husband, who had entered into a con- 
tract with Director Kieft to lease a certain boniverie named Hobo- 
g/n'n, situate in Pavonia on the west side of the North River, . . . 
fenced the lands, cleared the fields, and erected a suitable brew 
house which is yet standing there, and brought thither eight and 
twenty head of large cattle, etc. . . . together with many of 
his own fruit trees. And thus considerable value was added to 
the bouwerie . . . tmtil the year 1643, when the cruel, un- 
natural, and very destructive war broke out, and his twenty- 
eight large catile and horses were killed . . . dwelling house, 
barns, and stacks of seed burnt, the brew house alone remaining. 

Another sufferer points out that the piles of ashes 
from the burnt houses, barns, barracks, and other build- 
ings more than sufficiently demon- 
strated the ordinary care that was 
bestowed upon the countr\^ — God 
help it !— particularly during the 
war. " We respectfully request 
3'our honours to institute a rigid 
inquiry into this matter ; how many 
first-class bouweries and ])lanta- 
tions were abandoned in the war 
b}' our Dutch and English, whose 
houses were burnt as has been stated." 

It may well be believed that, except within the stock- 
ades at Manhattan or under the protection of the fort 
at Rensselaerw}'k, few ornamental gardens were per- 


THE crrY 

i6 The Hudson River 

manently established until after the animosity of the 
Indians became a thing of the past. 

In one old paper has been preserved a striking picture 
of colonial hardships: 

The season came for driving out the cattle, which obHged 
many to desire peace. On the other hand, the Indians seeing 
also that it was time to plant maize, were not less solicitous for a 
cessation of hostilities; so, after some negotiation, peace was 
concluded in May, A 1643, rather in consequence of the impor- 
tunity of some, than of the opinion entertained by others, that 
it would be durable. 

The Indians kept still after this peace, associating daily with 
our people; yea, even the greatest chiefs came to visit the Di- 
rector. Meanwhile Pacham, a crafty man, ran through all the 
villages urging the Indians to a general massacre. Thereupon it 
happened that certain Indians called Wappingers, dwelling six- 
teen leagues up the river, with whom we never had the least 
trouble, seized a boat coming from Fort Orange, wherein were 
only two men, and full four hundred beavers. This great booty 
stimulated others to follow the example ; so that they seized two 
boats more, intending to overhaul the fourth also; from which 
they were driven, with loss of six Indians. Nine Christians, in- 
cluding two women, were murdered in these two barks; one 
woman and two children, remaining prisoners. The rest of the 
Indians, as soon as their maize was ripe, followed this example; 
and through seml)lance of selling beavers, killed an old man and 
woman, leaving another man with five wounds, who, however, 
fled to the fort, in a boat, with a little child in his arms, which, in 
the first outbreak, had lost father and mother, and now grand- 
father and grandmother; being thus twice rescued, through 
God's merciful blessing, from the hands of the Indians; first, 
when two years old. Nothing was now heard but murders; 
most of which were committed under pretence of coming to put 
Christians on their guard. 

Finally, the Indians took the field and attacked the bou- 
weries at Pavonia. Two ships of war and a privateer were here 

Introductory 17 

at the time, and saved considerable cattle and grain. Probably 
it was not possible to prevent the destruction of four bouweries 
on Pavonia which were burnt ; not by open violence, but l)y 
stealthy creeping through the bush with fire in hand, and in this 
way igniting the roofs which are all either of reed or straw; one 
covered with plank was preserved at the time. 

Whoever will wade through the mass of Dutch docu- 
ments brought to the light of da}^ through the industry 
of John Romeyn Brodhead may find an old paper 
called "A Representation of the New Netherlands, etc." 
It is a report written for their High Mightinesses, the 
States-General, forty years after the discovery of the 
Hudson. In it there is a statement that 

all fruits which will grow in Netherland will also thrive in 
New Netherland, without requiring as much care as must be 
given in the former. All garden fruits succeed likewise very 
well there, but are drier, sweeter, and better flavoured than in 
Netherland. As a proof of this we may properly instance melons 
and citrons or watermelons, which readily grow, in New Nether- 
land, in the fields, if the briars and weeds be only kept from 
them, whereas in Netherland they rec|uire particular attention 
in gardens. 

The same optimistic writer says in regard to the 
varieties of grapes to be found in New Netherland : 

Some are white, some blue, some very fleshy and fit only to 
make raisins of; some again juicy, some very large, others on the 
contrary small; their juice is very pleasant and some of it white 
like French or Rhenish wines ; that of others again very deep red, 
like Tent; some even paler. The vines run up far into the trees 
and are shaded by their leaves so that the grapes are slow in 
ripening and a little sour, but were cultivation and knowledge 
applied here doubtless as fine wines could be made here as in any 
other wine-growing countries. 

1 8 The Hudson River 

Either this writer, or another of his tribe, was over- 
joyed to report that " indigo silvestris grows spontane- 
ously here without any human aid or cultivation." 
Experiments with this plant were made in the extensive 
gardens of Rensselaerwyk and promised great things. 
We find added to that report a statement that madder 
would " undoubtedly ' ' thrive well ; " even better than in 
Zealand in regard to the land and other circumstances." 

O, those old gardens and plantations, in which were 
planted wheat and apple trees, madder and indigo and 
great expectations; that yielded now a crop of fruit 
and now a har\est of disappointment! Those early 
comers into the American Wonderland planted more 
than their gardens by the shores of Hudson's River. 
The succeeding pages will be in part a record of their 
struggle and their achievement. 

Chapter II 

Two Cities on One Site 

THERE are two wonderful cities at the mouth of 
the Hudson River. One is insistent, ahnost 
overwhehning in its presentation of present- 
day achievement. Its sky-hne is a boldlv serrated 
ridge of stupendous masonry, softened here and there 
by the smoke from a hundred thousand chimnevs. 
Its* shore -hne is broken into leagues of wharves that 
harbour an almost unbroken fleet of vessels. From a 
thousand miles of streets the aur? ')f its multitudinous 
life seems to rise, and the hum ■ traffic and the 

murmur of its striving never ceases 

On the river the scene changes ii oat not in 

character. The boats cross and recross t.^ch other's 
courses like mammoth shuttles, w^eaving a pattern of 
a marvellous ta]:)estry, and the e\-e is bewildered in 
tr\'ing to follow their intricate paths or wearies with 
their imresting procession. 

Hidden by this metropolis of to-day, of which the 
eye takes cognisance, there is a quaint little city, vis- 
ible only to the imagination, contracted, unalterable, 
and peopled with ghosts. 

20 The Hudson River 

It is the city of the Knickerbockers, where the apo- 
cryphal burghers that Irving created were supposed to 
have puffed lazih* upon their long pipes till the smoke 
obscured Communipaw, on the opposite shore. It is 
the city that hid behind palisades for fear of Indian 
neighbours; that fretted and prospered under Dutch 
and English governors; that in j^lace of stock exchanges 
and produce exchanges raised live stock and farm 
produce: the little city that entertained the first re- 
presentative Congress in the Colonies and inaugurated 
the first President of the new Republic. 

Fort Amsterdam, at first a very rude affair of logs, 
but no doubt a sufficient defence against the simple 
weapons of the savages, was remodelled and rebuilt 
almost as many times as the little city had new govern- 
ors. For this reason the earlier descriptions and pict- 


Two Cities on One Site 


ures of this miniature outpost in the wilderness did 
not agree. What was at first designated a fort was, in 
fact, nothing more than a stockade or i)aHsade, enclos- 
ing not only the official buildings but private dwellings 
of the settlers. For many years the church in which 
the early Dutch domines exhorted their flocks fostered 
its s];)iritual courage behind that tem])oral bulwark, 
and no doubt the many-breeked worshippers slei)t 
more comfortably in the knowledge that the hewn tim- 
ber of their fence was strong, and the matchlocks of 
the guard ready for all comers. 

The names by which the fort was known, judging by 
the old records, changed almost as frequently as its 
size or dimensions. From Amsterdam it was altered 
by the English to James, and then by the Dutch again 
to William Hendrick, finally returning to James. At 


22 The Hudson River 

the time of the War for American Independence it had 
become Fort George. 

A detailed description of the fort was given by Gov- 
ernor Dongan (EngHsh) about 1685. He says: 

At New York there is a fortification of four Bastions built 
formerly against the Indians of dry stone & earth with Sods as a 
Breastwork well and pleasantly situated for the defence of the 
Harbor on a point made by Hudsons River on the one side and 
by the sound on the other. It has Thirty nine Guns, two Mortar- 
pieces, thirty Barils of Powder five hundred Ball some Bomb 
Shells and Grenados, small arms for three hundred men, one 
flanker, the face of the Xorth Bastion «& three points of Bastions 
& a Courtin has been done & are rebuilt by mee with Lime and 
Mortar and all the rest of the Fort Pinnd and Rough Cast with 
Lime since my coming here. 

And the most of the Guns I found dismounted and some of 
them continue to bee soe which I hope to have mounted soe soon 
as the mills can sawe. 

I am forced to renew all the batterys with three inch plank & 
have spoke for new planks for the purpose. 

. . . The Ground that the fort stands upon & that be- 
longs to it contains in quantity about two acres or thereabouts, 
about which I have instead of Palisados put a fence of Pales 
which is more lasting. 

To this he adds a word about the human wall, upon 
which more reliance was to be placed than in rotten 
planks and dismantled guns. 

In this country there is a Woman yet ahve from whose Loyns 
there are upward of three hundred and sixty persons now living. 
The men that are here have generally strong and lusty bodies. 

In the face of such a statement as the foregoing the 
historian is dumb, willing in future to look without 
question at any extravagance in census enumeration. 

Two Cities on One Site 23 

Old Ca])tain John Buckhout, of Sleepy Hollow, who 
with his wife Sarah could count two hundred and 
fort\- children and grandchildren, — a statement graven 
large upon his tombstone, — has long been thought to 
hold the record as an ancestor, but his claim vanishes, 
his merits are insignificant, beside the " Woman yet 
alive" of Governor Dongan's report. 

The Albany fort was described by Dongan as being 
made of pine trees fifteen feet high, and fitted with 
batteries, etc., yet all very rotten, and he strongly 
recommends the substitution of masonry for timber at 
this important post. 

From Dutch to English, then back again from Eng- 
lish to Dutch, and finalh' once more into English hands, 
the embryo metropolis passed: but one looks in vain 
for records of carnage or of heroism. The transfers 
were made apparently without undue excitement on 
either side. A report to the Dutch Lords relates how 
one of these events came about. 

High and Mighty Lords. 

One Andries ^Hchielsen, having been placed by Captain 
Binckes, the Commander of a squadron of four ships and one 
sloop-of-war, on board a prize of about fifty tons burthen, taken 
by the aforesaid Commander near Guadeloupe, in the Caribbean 
Islands, to bring her here, was forced, by leakage and insecurity 
of the ship, to run through the Channel, where he had the mis- 
fortune to be captured by the English of Bevesier. He pre- 
sented himself to-day before our Board, and verbally reported 
that, after the abovenamed Captain Binckes, reinforced by Cap- 
tain Cornelius Evertsen's squadron had, together, burnt in the 
River of Virginia five English ships laden with tobacco, and 

24 The Hudson River 

captured six others, without having been able to effect anything 
further there, they had sailed for New Xetherland, and became 
masters of the principal fortress situate on the Island Manhates, 
on the 9th of August ultimo; that also, before his departure on 
the nineteenth ditto, when he was dispatched with letters hither, 
he had heard that they had reduced another fort, situate some 
thirty leagues inland. The English had, some days before his 
departure, been removed elsewhere in four ships, viz., three be- 
longing to this Board and one of Zealand, the remainder staid at 
anchor before the Island Manates. 

Only by a resolute exercise of the imagination can 
we expunge from our vision the artificial canons and 
mesas that have arisen at the bidding of the architect, 
and restore again even the modest town that the his- 
torian vSmith pictured in 1757. 

What a century and a half have wrought of change 
and growth may best be appreciated by reading the 
description he wrote when Domine Ritzemer dispensed 
unadulterated Calvinism to his flock, when the Dutch 
farmers " in the small village of Harlem, pleasanth^ situ- 
ated" on the north-western part of New York Island, 
cultivated ]iroduce for the cit}^ markets, and the oyster 
beds within view of the Battery afforded one of the 
principal sources of food for the poorer people. 

At that date, almost midway in its history (if we 
reckon history by years), New York is described as a 
city of 

about two thousand five hundred buildings. It is a mile in 
length, and not above half that in breadth. Such is its figure, 
its centre of business and the situation of the houses, that the 
mean cartage from one point to another does not exceed above 

Two Cities on One Site 25 

one quarter oj a mile, than leliicli Jiothiiig can be more advaiitai^eons 
to a tradiiii:, city. 

It is thought to Ije as healthy a spot as any in the world. 
The east and south parts, in general, are low, but the rest is 
situated on a dry, elevated soil. The streets are irregular, but 
being paved with round ])ebbles, are clean and lined with well 
built brick houses, many of which are covered with tiled roofs. 

Upon the southwest point stands the fort, which is a square 
with four bastions. Within the walls is the house in which 
our governors usually reside; and opposite to it brick barracks, 
built, formerly, for the independent companies. The Governor's 
house is in height three stories and fronts to the west; having 
from the second story a fine prospect of the bay and the Jersey 
shore. There was formerly a chapel, but this was burned down 
in the negro conspiracy of the spring of 1741- According to 
Governor Burnet's observations this fort stands in the latitude 
of 40° 43' N. 

The following description, by a foreign writer of that 
day, gives a vivid picture of the social life of New York 
when fashion still lingered around the Bowling Green : 

The first society of New York associate together in a style of 
elegance and splendor little inferior to Europeans. Their houses 
are furnished with everything that is useful, agreeable, or orna- 
mental; and many of them are fitted up in the tasteful magni- 
ficence of modern luxury. Many have elegant equipages. The 
dress of the gentlemen is plain, elegant, and fashionable, and 
corresponds in every respect with the English costume. The 
ladies in general seem more partial to the light, various, and 
dashing drapery of the Parisian belles, than to the elegant and 
becoming attire of our London beauties, who improve upon the 
French fashions. The winter is passed in a round of entertain- 
ments and amusements. The servants are mostly negroes or 
mulattoes ; some free and others slaves. Marriages are conducted 
in the most splendid style, and form a most important part of 
the winter's entertainments. For three days after the marriage 
ceremony the newly married couple see company in great state. 

26 The Hudson River 

It is a sort of levee. Sometimes the night concludes with a con- 
cert and ball. 

Of all the comings and goings, the arrivals and the 
departures that form the kaleidoscopic story of old 
New York, and are associated particularly with the 
Battery, none has been more significant than the 
evacuation and embarkation of the British forces in 
1783. For two years the peace negotiations had been 
going forward, and since Yorktown nothing decisive 
had occurred. When at last, in March, the news 
reached America that Great Britain had acknowledged 
the absolute independence of the American States, 
there was a mighty thanksgiving that reached from 
the general commanding the army to the poorest pri- 
vate in the ranks, and included all classes of citizens, 
save those whose hearts were with the cause of royalty. 

New York, which had been in British hands since 
1776, had been the stronghold and base of operations 
for their cause. During that time it had been almost 
abandoned and had again filled up; it had suffered 
hardship and endured privation ; a fire had devastated 
a large part of its stores and dwellings; the people 
were heartily tired of war even when gilded by the 
gaiety of a garrison city. 

Now at last the negotiations had been brought to a 
termination satisfactory to the Continental sym- 
pathisers, and Washington, having disbanded most of 
his army, waited up the river for the beaten foe to 

Two Cities on One Site 27 

Washington met Carleton at the Lix'ingston house/m 
Dobbs Ferry, and received his assurance of a speedy 
departtu-e, but it seemed as though the garrison was 
very loath to leave the ground it had occupied so long, 
and delay after delay occurred. There was a shortage 
of transports, owing probabh' to the fact that a great 
manv loyaHsts wished to leave the city, incited either 
by fear or disgust. 

Washington moved first from Newl:)urgh to West 
Point, then, leisurely, down the river till he reached 
McGowan's Pass, within the present Central Park, 
where he waited with the little force retained for 
the formal occupancy of the city. General Henry 
Knox, who was with the Commander-in-chief, was 
there to take a conspicuous part in the ceremonious 

When the American troops, having marched through 
the length of New York, halted in Broadway, near 
Wall Street, and two companies were sent forward to 
take formal possession of the fort, with instruction to 
hoist the American flag and fire a salute of thirteen 
guns, many of the boats full of retiring British troops 
were still near the Battery wah. The shores were 
crowded with citizens, assembled to witness the em- 
barkation. It has been remarked as a noteworthy 
fact that there seems to have been no disturbance, no 
taunts or jeers, such as might naturahy have been ex- 
pected on the ])art of such a mixed assembly of spec- 
tators. On the contrary, everything was orderly and. 

28 The Hudson River 

to use a phrase unhappily somewhat obsolete, "was 
conducted with propriety." 

The British ships hung in the offing and received 
their barges as they came up; then, without further 
ceremony, sailed away and took with them the last 
shadowy vestige of royal claim to the land where they 
had struggled so long for supremacy. 

There is one bit of comedy associated with the British 
evacuation of New York. The retiring garrison, either 
with the connivance of their officers or as a piece of un- 
authorised waggery, left their flag flying in front of the 
fort. When the Americans, in accordance with orders, 
tried to pull it down to hoist the American colours in its 
place, they found that it had been securely nailed to 
the pole, the halliards cut, and the staff well slushed 
with grease. 

It was a dilemma awkward on one side as it was 
amusing on the other. We may imagine the departing 
soldiers waiting a short distance from the shore to 
watch the frantic efforts of their successors to exchange 
the flags. 

A flag was fastened to a stick by the Americans, and 
while this makeshift was flying several guns of the sa- 
lute were actually fired, but the British ensign was 
still waving overhead, and the American's pot of oint- 
ment was polluted by this very obtrusive fly. 

At the nick of time there came a young soldier, John 
Van Arsdale by name, late of the Continental army, 
and it was his good fortune to succeed where others 

Two Cities on One Site 


had failed. Disdaining to attempt to seale the greased 
pole unaided, as others had done, he called for a ham- 
mer and nails. With pieces of board he fixed cross- 
pieces to the flagpole, making a ladder by which he 
ascended and finally tore down the obnoxious bunting. 


Chapter III 

New Buildings and Old 


AT the end of the eighteenth century there were 
a large number of historic houses clustering 
about the old fort. The names of some of the 
most notable New Yorkers were associated with them, 
and the reign of social leaders long celebrated for 
courtly and unstinted hospitality gave distinction to 
a neighbourhood now occupied by steamship offices 
and noisy with a jargon of foreign tongues. 

It was here that was situated the great house built 
for the first President of the United States and his suc- 
cessors. It was never occupied by Washington, as 
before its completion he had removed with the govern- 
ment to Philadelphia; but it became the residence of 
Governor George Clinton, and after him of John Jay, 
whose wife led the beauty and fashion of the little 
metropolis. Several weddings of note were performed 
at this old mansion, which in its day was the most 
magnificent in the city. 

Mrs. Lamb says: 

The newspapers in November, 1796, chronicle a marriage 
and reception of this character at the governor's mansion as fol- 


New Buildings and Old 3^ 

lows: " Married on the 3d at his Excellency's John Jay, Governor, 
Government House, John Livingston, of the Manor of Livingston, 
to Mrs. Catharine Ridley, daughter of the late Governor William 
Livingston." The bride was Mrs. Jay's accomplished and pi- 
quant sister, Kitty Livingston, who in 1787 became the wife of 
Matthew Ridley, of Baltimore, and after brief wedded happiness 
was left a widow. 

The fort and batter}^ that, to the discomfiture of all 
good Continentals, were held by the British troops, and 
which, to the immense satisfaction of the elect, they 
evacuated in 1783, were in large part within the hne of 
the present elevated railway, and never very far be- 
yond it. The extension of the Battery Park to the 
south and west of the ancient water-front has finally 
resulted in a symmetrical wall that coincides with the 
front of Castle Garden, though the earlier pictures of 
that famous landmark represent it as an isolated 
structure. Even as late as 1852 boats could approach 
it on three sides. 

The ground once occupied by the old fort now holds 
the new Custom House. At the lower end of Broad- 
way is a group of splendid buildings, among them the 
Standard Oil, Welles, Bowhng Green, Columbia, etc. 
Opposite the Green, at what is now No. i Broadway, 
was a lot belonging at one time to i\rent Schuyler, 
brother of Peter Schuyler, the first Mayor of Albany. 
It afterwards came into the possession of Archibald 
Kennedy, who built a house with a handsome broad 
front and spacious rooms. Next door to the Ken- 
nedy house was that of John Watts, whose daughter 

32 The Hudson River 

Kenned}^ married. These two mansions were connected 
by a bridge and staircase. The grounds ran down to 
the water's edge, and were laid out after the approved 
EngHsh fashion of the day, with stately terraces and 
parterres of flowers. Kennedy was the son of the Hon. 
Archibald Kennedy, Receiver General under British 
rule, and he afterwards became by inheritance the 
eleventh Earl of Cassalis. His son, born in the old 
house at No. i, was afterwards Marquis of Ailsa. 

The Kennedy house was famous for the magnificence 
of the entertainments given there. A parlor fifty feet 
long, with a banqueting hall of equal size and grand 
appointments, made this old mansion one of the 
notable ones of the Colony. 

Afterwards the Washington Hotel occupied the place 
of the Kennedy house, and now the Field Btiilding, 
erected by C3TUS W. Field, lifts its bulk on that historic 

Before the War for Independence Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor James de Lancey owned a large and handsome 
house on Broadway. This was another of the well- 
known homes of New York, where the wealth and 
fashion of the day used to enjoy a hospitality that was 
princely, and the fame of which was not confined to 
one side of the Atlantic. It was the favourite meeting- 
place for British officers during the war, and was the 
scene of the great ball given on May 7, 1789, in h(jnour 
of Washington's Inauguration. 

John Peter de Lancey sold the property to a 

New Buildings and Old 35 

syndicate composed of Philii) Li\'ingst()n, Gulian Ver- 
planck, Ivloses Rogers, and others, in trust for sub- 
scribers to the "Tontine hotel and assembly room." 
The price paid was six thousand pounds, New York 
currency. This compan}' pulled down the de Lancey 
house and built in its stead the City Hotel, that long 
occupied a large place in New York's local history. It 
was for years the only large hotel in the city and was 
the scene of many brilliant social events. In 1849 it 
made place for a row of stores, which in turn disa])- 
peared when the present Boreel Building took their 

Old Jan Jansen Damen had, in 1646, a farmhouse in 
the waggon road between Pine and Cedar Streets. It 
was a little back from Broadway, and is described as 
an exceedingly comfortable stone house. This was 
then outside of the cit>-. It was at this house that 
Governor Kieft spent much of his time, and Stuyvesant 
became a frequent guest. Now the Equitable Building 
covers the place where Damen sat on his stocp and 
enjoyed his garden and listened to the hum of bees in 
the apple blossoms, — covers house, garden, orchard, 
and all, to the extent of nearly an acre of grotmd. 

The old Middle Dutch Church in time disappeared 
from Nassau Street, as even churches do in New York, 
and on the i8th of October, 1882, the Mutual Life In- 
surance Company purchased the site for six hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars. 

There is not one of the great buildings that tower 

36 The Hudson River 

even above the ordinar}- chimneys of the cit}', and chal- 
lenge the eye of the traveller upon the river, that has 
not sunk its foundations deep into the associations of an 
historic past. Beneath and within the looming walls 
are traditions and memories; the tragedies, the ro- 
mances, and the comedies of that older day. 

Every year, the "tale of bricks is doubled" in Man- 
hattan, and the huge buildings that stretch from the 
Battery northward multiply. In all that vast collec- 
tion of iron and masonry there are a few individual 
masses that are symmetrical, but these are lost in the 
great aggregation. Separate structures have been shot 
into the air as though impelled by some terrific volcanic 
agency, but there is no hint of any idea of relationship 
between them; they suggest rather the accidental 
huddlins: of more or less unrelated and even incon- 

New Buildino-s and Old 


gruous elements. The saw-tooth sky-hne thus pro- 
duced does not add an element of beauty to the aspect 
of the city as seen from the ri\'er: on the contrary, the 
ragged, irregular procession of domes, pyramids, cones, 
spires, and bricks-on-end give an impression of wealth, 
power, aggressiveness, — of almost an^-thing under 
heaven except taste and relationship. In all this mon- 
ster collection of buildings there is no suggestion of any 
community of interest. Every sky-scraper proclaims, 
as far as it can be seen, that it does not recognise any 
other sky-scraper except as a possible rival to l3e over- 
topped by the addition of several more stories or a 
cupola or two. 

It will seem to many peo]:)le like heresy to afhrm that 
New York from any point of view lacks beauty ; but it 
is sometimes a melancholv dutv to cherish a heresv. 

38 The Hudson River 

or even, upon occasion, to proclaim it. As a matter of 
opinion we hold that there are in the world several 
cities containing a fraction of the population and enter- 
prise and wealth of New York that are much more im- 
pressive in a perspective view. There are cities, and 
even small towns, that present themselves to the im- 
agination as units and are in their degree satisfying to 
that sane something within us that demands balance 
and proportion in art. They are at once comprehen- 
sive and comprehensil^le. But Manhattan is without 
a plan. Each building is a unit, sufficient unto itself, 
and the city is chaos. 

It is aside from the purpose of this book, and more 
fitting for a philosophical treatise, to suggest that there 
is something in the life and activit}" of the metropolis 
that conforms to its architectural sky-line. 

But mere size is impressive in its way, after all. 
The eye sweeps that line of jagged towers and dizzy 
pinnacles in search of food to satisfy the craving for 
the marvellous which is perhaps no more a modern 
than it was an ancient failing. 

We own to a feeling of exultation when we discover 
that the Park Row Building (that looks like the London 
Tower elongated) is three hundred and eight}- — or is it 
ninety? — feet high, and that the Manhattan Life does 
not touch it by forty feet or more, though this in turn 
overtops the Cable, St. Paul, American Surety, Tract 
Society, World, Empire, Gillender, and all other three- 
hundred-footers, as they do such trumpery affairs as 

New Building's and Old 39 


the Produce Exchange, Bowling Green, Equitable, etc. 
There is old Trinit>' spire, that we used to think was in 
danger of tearing the silver lining from the clouds with 
its heavenward-pointing ti]x How dwarfed and in- 
significant it seems now among all its tall worldlx' 
neighbours! And yet, with the rush of a thousand 
thronging associations, how the eye seeks and dwells 
upon it, recognising in it a significance deeper and 
stronger than is suggested by all the iron mills and 
stone quarries of the land. 

However we may take exception to the superficial 
outline of the lower city, it would hardly be possible 
for one not born blind to be insensible to the glorious 
wealth of colour that commonly compensates for all 
other defects. What hues of cream and rose are there, 
with strong Venetian tones to balance dark masses of 
slaty blue; what gleams of yellow, and amber lights, 
and tints of green! Here a dome of gold and there a 
cloud of opalescent steam, catch the sunlight; and 
hundreds of smoke-jets soften and blend the warm, 
rich shades that meet and melt in purple mystery. 

But best of all is the marvellous transformation 
when night comes, and the chimneys are down, and 
the sky-line fades away. There are no drawbacks or 
incongruities then ; but the corruscation of uncounted 
lights — flashing galaxies, not of stars, but of constella- 
tions and firmaments of stars — render the scene one of 
indescribable beauty. Below the zone of white bril- 
liants there is that other, of coloured shore lights. 


The Hudson River 

fountains of emerald and ruby that overflow and paint 
the unresting wave-rims with serpentine hieroglyphs. 

There are few displays of illumination in the world 
that will compare with that which New York exhibits 
every night, and whoever has not seen it from the river 
has missed one of the delights of life. 

A tour of the west shore of Manhattan Island natu- 
rally commences at the Barge Office, at the extreme 
lower end of the city. This was built by the city for 
the use of the Emigration Commissioners, when Castle 
Garden, which had been previously leased as a landing 
station for immigrants, was resigned. The Barge Of- 
fice was first used for the reception of cabin passengers 
from ocean vessels, then became our immigrant station, 
and is now used by the customs inspectors. 



111 i> iHiiimiiii 


Chapter IV 

Festivals and Pageants 

CASTLE GARDEN was formerly called Castle 
Clinton. The site was granted by the Cor- 
])oration of New York City to the United 
States Government in May, 1807, and a fortification 
was built soon afterwards, but owing to bad engineer- 
ing the foundations of the structure were not strong 
enough to support the weight even of what at that day 
was considered as heavy ordnance, and in March, 1822, 
the fort and ground were reconveyed to the city. 

For many years the building was used for the recep- 
tion of distinguished strangers, for fetes and festivals, 
concerts, operas, and public meetings of various kinds. 
Here the annual fairs of the American Institute were 
held until the year 1855, when the Commissioners of 
Emigration secured the premises by lease as a landing- 
place for immigrants. 

Within a few years the long-familiar spectacle of a 
motley throng of poor foreigners, clad in strange garbs, 
and speaking more tongues than Babel ever knew, has 
become a thing of the i)ast. The last change in the 
varied history of Castle Garden was its conversion into 
a great free aquarium, where every day thousands of 
visitors find their recreation. 



The Hudson River 

Of all the various tides in the affairs of this notable 
fort (whose aspect and name have been warlike, but 
whose record has all been suggestive of the piping 
times of peace), none has led more im.mediately to 
fortune, as well as fame, than Jenn}^ Lind's first con- 
cert on September ii, 1850. An account of this event 
was published in the New York Herald of the following 
morning with this commencement: 

The long-looked-for event has come off. Jenny Lind has 
sung in Castle Garden to an audience of five thousand persons. 
. . . Never did a mortal in this city, or perhaps any other, 
receive such homage as the sovereign of song received from the 
sovereign people. 

Among the advertisements of the day preceding the 
concert the following notice appeared: 

JENNY LIND, on Wednesday eve- Overtiire— "Crusaders." (First 

ning, September n, 1850. time in America) Benedict. 

Trio Conccrtante for Voice and two 
PROGRAMME. Flutes. . . . (Camp of Silesia) 

Composed expressly for M'llc Jenny 

M'lle Jenny Lind. 

Flutes — Messrs. Kyle and Siede. 

Aria Buffa — "Largo al factotum." 

(Barbiere) Ros.sini. 

Sig. Belletti. 
Swedish Melody — "Herdsman's 
Song" (known as the Echo Song) 
Sung by M'lle Jenny Lind. 
Greeting to America — Prize Com- 
position, by Bayard Taylor, Esq. 
Benedict — Composed expressly for 
this occasion. 
M'lle Jenny Lind. 
Conductor — Mr. Benedict. 

Overture — "Oberon." C. M. V. 


Aria — ' ' Sorgete. ' ' 

(Maometto secondo) Rossini. 

Sung by Sig. Belletti. 
Scena and Cavatina — "Casta Diva. ' ' 

(Norma) Bellini. 

^I'lle Jenny Lind. 

Grand Duet for two Piano Fortes. 


Messrs. Benedict and Hoffman. 

Duet — "Per Piacer." 

(II Turco in Italia) Rossini. 

M'lle Jenny Lind and Sig. Belletti. 

Festivals and Pageants 45 

Great excitement was caused by the auction sale of 
a choice of seats, Mr. Genin, the hatter, securing the 
first place on the opening night for what was then con- 
sidered the very large sum of S225. A contemporary 
report pictures the scene at the Garden : 

At four o'clock Jenny Lind arrived at the Garden, in order to 
pass quietly and unobserved through the crowd. She dressed 
there instead of at the hotel. At five o'clock the gates were 
thrown open, and from that time until eight o'clock there was a 
continuous tide of human beings passing into the capacious 
building. The numljcrs from the country were very consider- 
able. They were from New Haven, Newport, Albany, Newark 
and various other cities; and when all were seated, it was indeed 
a splendid sight. The ladies' dresses were very magnificent, and 
such as the great mass of women in no other country in the world 
can afford to wear. The fair sex were not as numerous as might 
be expected, the gentlemen outnumbering them considerably; 
but those who were present seemed to enjoy the concert in the 
highest degree. It is very probable that many ladies were kept 
away for the first night by the fear of being crushed; but when 
they find that their apprehensions were groundless, they will 
doubtless take the Castle by storm to-morrow night. 

The river, we read, was thronged with boats that 
stayed throughout the performance, and in many cases 
were manned and occu]:)ied by those to whom the news- 
papers of the time referred as "the rougher element." 

Jenny Lind's .share of the proceeds from the first 
concert was in the neighbomdiood of ten thousand 
dollars, an enormous sum for a singer of that day to re- 
ceive for a single performance. It added greatly to the 
popular appreciation of the "Casta Diva" that she 
bestowed this sum upon various charitable and public 

46 The Hudson River 

institutions in New York City. In the bestowment of 
the largest sum, three thousand dollars, upon the (then 
volunteer) fire department fund, may perhaps be de- 
tected the fine advertising instinct of her manager, Mr. 
P. T. Barnum. 

Many notable pageants and many distinguished 
names are associated with Castle Garden. Here, more 
than once, the people of the city have welcomed a cele- 
brated guest with all the enthusiasm that in later days 
we have seen evinced for an Am.erican or a German 

The accounts given of the landing of Lafayette and 
his reception at Castle Garden, in August, 1824, show 
how far from being a new thing it is for the average 
Manhattanite to express his feehngs vehemently when 
a reception is in progress. The 15th was Sunday, and 
the visitor was escorted from his ship to the Vice- 
President's house. Staten Island. But on Monday New 
York went mad. xA.ll business was suspended; the 
people were thronging every point of vantage, even the 
housetops, and the streets were filled with an expectant 

The animated scenes attending his landing at Castle Garden, 
upon a carpeted stairway, under a magnificent arch, richly decor- 
ated with flags and wreaths of laurel, while groups of escorting 
vessels, alive with ladies and gentlemen, and adorned in the most 
fanciful manner, circled about; and the prolonged shouts of hosts 
of people, and the roar of cannon echoed far away over the 
waters, together with the parade in Broadway, the reception at 
City Hall, the speeches, the banquet, and the illumination — are 

Festivals and Pageants 47 

all more familiar to the public of to-day than many other features 
of the historic visit. Lafayette spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and 
Thursday in shaking hands and sight-seeing in New York, and on 
Friday, August 20, left for Providence and Boston. 

New York had occupied itself in the interval between 
General Lafayette's departure for Boston and his re- 
turn in preparing for a celebration that should make 
all previous celebrations pale their ineffectual fires. It 
was to take place at Castle Garden on the 14th of Sep- 
tember, and was under the immediate supervision of 
Generals Mapes, Morton, Fleming, and Benedict, and 
Colonel W. H. Maxwell, Colonel King, Mr. Colden, and 
Mr. Lynch. The sedate Evening Post even broke into 
expressions of rapture at the result. 

We hazard nothing [it affirmed] in saying that it was the 
most magnificent fete given under cover in the world. ... It 
was a festival that realises all that we read of in the Persian tales 
or Arabian Nights, which dazzled the eye and bewildered the 
imagination, and which produced so many powerful combina- 
tions, by magnificent preparations, as to set description almost 
at defiance. We never saw ladies more brilliantly dressed — 
everything that fashion and elegance could devise was used on 
the occasion. Their head-dresses were principally of flowers, 
with ornamented combs, and some with plumes of ostrich 
feathers. White and black lace dresses over satin were mostly 
worn, with a profusion of steel ornaments and neck chains of gold 
and silver, suspended to which were beautiful gold and silver 
badge medals, bearing a likeness of Lafayette, manufactured for 
the occasion. The gentlemen had suspended from the button- 
holes of their coats a similar likeness, and, with the ladies, had 
the same stamped on their gloves. A belt or sash, with a likeness 
of the general, and entwined with a chaplet of roses, also formed 
part of the dress of the ladies. Foreigners who were present 

48 The Hudson River 

admitted they had never seen anything equal to this fete in the 
several countries from which they came — the blaze of light and 
beauty, the decorations of the military officers, the combination 
of rich colours which met the eye at every glance, the brilliant 
circle of fashion in the galleries, everything in the range of sight 
being inexpressibly beautiful, and doing great credit and honour 
to the managers and all engaged in this novel spectacle. The 
guests numbered several thousand, but there was abundant 
room for the dancing, which commenced at an early hour, and 
was kept up until about three o'clock in the morning. 

Lafayette proceeded up the Hudson almost imme- 
diately, making but few stops on his way to Albany. 
One of these pauses was at Hudson, where a great re- 
ce]:)tion was given in his honour. To have met and 
conversed with the celebrated visitor was an honour 
which many a budding beauty of that day treasured 
till threescore and ten one, indeed, long past four- 
score, told the present writer of her life-long regret 
that she had allowed the denial of a new gown to stand 
in the way of her going, and described the costumes of 
her friends, which included white gloves with the por- 
trait of Lafayette painted upon the backs. 

The year following Lafayette's visit brought another 
event to be written large in the chronicles of Castle 

One of the brightest of the spectacular dis])lays that 
New York witnessed in the first half of the nineteenth 
century was that connected with the completion of 
the Erie Canal, 1825. A fleet as large as had ever as- 
sembled before the city up to that time thronged the 
river, and the vessels were decorated with bunting and 

Festivals and Pa;^ cants 49 

streamers till it seemed as if they conld hold no more. 
This gorgeous concourse of vessels formed a circle about 
the canal-boat — the first canal-boat— from Lake Erie. 
In circumference this marine pageant is said to have 
measured three miles and to have preserved a solemnity 
of deportment r|uite in contrast to that noisy hilarity 
that distinguished the fleet which at a later day sailed 
down to assist at the unveiling of the statue of Liberty, 
upon Bedloe's Island. 

Upon the canal-boat that formed the centre of the 
circle on the earlier occasion here described was a keg 
with gilded hoops, filled to the bunghole with water 
from Lake Erie. With all the dignity which the occa- 
sion demanded and the manners of the day prescribed, 
De Witt Clinton, who was present with his wife and 
retinue, poured the water overboard to mingle with 
that of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a prett}" bit of sym- 
bolism, possible to people bred to the formalities of a 
somewhat artificial life, and no doubt carried out with 
becoming gravity. Medals were then distributed to 
the honoured guests of the occasion, after which we 
may surmise that dignity unbent and a somewhat more 
rampant Americanism reigned. We are told that a 
lad}^ who was present wrote at a late hour that night; 

We met all the world and his wife; military heroes, noble 
statesmen, artificial and natural characters, the audacious, the 
clownish, the polished and refined; but we were squeezed to 
death and heartily tired. 

Fifty-one gold medals were struck in commemora- 

50 The Hudson River 

tion of this event, and were sent in red morocco 
cases to monarchs and celebrated subjects all over the 

Among the latest and in many respects unequalled 
among the naval parades in the history of the world 
was that which swept majestically past the Battery 
and Castle Garden on the fourth day of the Columbian 
celebration in October, 1892. There were four nations 
represented in the parade, and they sent each a 
contingent of warships that when massed together 
formed a fleet the like of which perhaps has never been 

One of the best descriptions of this magnificent dis- 
play was that ]:)ublished in the Magazine of American 
History for November of that year: 

The advance giiard of the marine procession was a broad line 
of some twenty-one tugs, stretching hah' across the mile- wide 
Hudson with an almost perfect alignment, as if a file of soldiers 
on parade; they were manned by white-uniformed volunteers. 
Among the craft that followed the saucy-looking tugs, was con- 
spicuous the torpedo boat Cnshing, on which was Commander 
Kane, and tiny steam yachts darted back and forth like winged 
birds, apparently distributing orders for the chief — a singular 
contrast to the Indian canoes that for centuries monopolized 
these waters. They bore the aides of the commander, among 
whom were General S. V. R. Cruger, James W. Beekman, Wood- 
bury Kane, Archibald Rogers, Irving Grinnell, and many other 
well-known gentlemen. The great steamer Howard Carroll, 
bearing a host of notables — a burden of eminence not easily de- 
scribed — seemed to parade all by herself in lordly grandeur. 
Then came three large steamers sailing abreast, the Sam Sloan, 
Matteawan, and Mohawk, on which was the Committee of One 

Festivals and Pageants 51 

Hundred and their invited guests. An interval of open water 
was given for the gigantic war vessels of America, Spain, Italy, 
and France, a column of stately men-of-war, the chief attraction 
in the pageant. They moved in three Indian tiles, the foreigners 
flanked by the white-hulled vessels of America. On their decks 
and bridges and in their lookouts were drawn up the various 
crews, looking like statues at a distance, so impassively did tlicy 
hold their respective stations. Our flagship Philadelphia, of the 
White Squadron, was on the right, with her high white hull, and 
her two yellow smokestacks. The trim despatch vessel Dolphin 
followed in her wake, and the long, low, dynamite projector 
VesHvins, looking like a torpedo boat enlarged, brought up the 
rear. The place of honor in the centre was given to the French 
flagship Arcthiisc, the largest of the foreign contingent, with her 
triple row of portholes and towering masts, effective for display, 
and behind her came her mate, the rakish white Hnzzard. The 
Italian flagship, Baitsaii, is a big, black, stately ship of modern 
type, which was regarded on all sides with special admiration. 
The little Spanish cruiser Infanta Isabel proudly carried the colors 
of Columbus. On the left was the United States monitor Mian- 
tononioli, our coast defender, which looks very much like a floating 
derrick, and bears promise of deadly work if it should be called 
into use. She was followed by the graceful Atlanta, one of our 
earliest group of steel vessels, and the little yacht-like Blake. 

Behind this majestic craft came the immense flotilla of mer- 
chant vessels, steamers, yachts, excursion boats, and fire-boats 
that lent spectacular interest to the scene by spouting great 
streams of water into the air as they sailed — streams that have 
force enough to knock down brick walls. 

From the start to the finish tliere was no place where the 
pageant made such an impressive display as between the shores 
of the incomparable Hudson. It was a picture of the civilization 
of the nineteenth century, too vast for a painter and inexpressible 
in words. From the vessels in the procession the spectacle was 
even more remarkable. Xo other city in the world has such a 
stretch of water-front as New York, and the space was all taken. 
The tops of the tall buildings were crowded wnth spectators, also 
the masts of vessels at anchor, the roofs of cars and boats, and 

52 The Hudson River 

every foot of shore along the whole route. Staten Island and 
New Jersey were not beholden to New York for a view, but occu- 
pied their own roofs and side-hills. Riverside Park, which is 
three miles long, afforded a continuous bluff that was thoroughly 
appreciated by thousands and thousands of sight-seers, while the 
handsome mansions on the park drive were generously thrown 
oj)en to invited guests. When the war-ships came in front of 
Grant's tomb they anchored while the great procession of civic 
boats passed by, and at every masthead floated the American 
ensign with all the colors of other nations, denoting that the 
foreign vessels were taking part in a ceremonial that was Amer- 
ican and national. The vessel which closed the procession was 
the Wiiuoose, restraining her speed like a greyhound in leash. It 
was altogether a great display, and one of which New York may 
ever be justly proud. "The queen of the western waves sat by 
her waters in glory and in light all day, proud of the past and 
hopeful of the future. " 

Space fails in which to print even a Hst of the nota- 
ble water parades that have passed Manhattan Island. 
How many were the thousands of people that risked 
annihilation to catch even a glimpse of the warships 
that had made history under the guns of Spanish forts 
and aided in the destruction of the Spanish nav}^ 
Through what heat of sun, or bitterness of wind, or 
cheerless, driving rain, have not the population of New 
York stood, hour after hour, to see a fleet of marine 
monsters, with bunting streaming and yards manned, 
sweep by in glorious procession! 

As a race we appreciate spectacles: we love the 
gleam of metal, the concourse of people, the rolling of 
drums, and the fanfare of trumpets. We love a parade, 
and we fall into paroxysms of patriotism when a hero 
appears. We have only one limit: we do not wish our 

Festivals and Pageants 53 

enthusiasms to be remembered against us. When wc 
tell a hero that he is a demigod and can have the 
Presidency of the United States for the asking, we 
resent being taken too seriously. 



Chapter V 

Along the Manhattan Shore 

IT may not be a generally appreciated fact that 
Manhattan Island is the very home of modesty. 
From the earliest times the habit of New York 
has been rather to do things than to talk about them 
after they are done. The shore-line that stretches 
northward from the Battery has been the scene of 
exploits enough to inspire a volume of epics or to make 
the lasting reputation of a dozen ordinary cities. 

The traditions of the ri\'er shore are marked usually 
by a simple directness that suggests the Chronicles of 
the Hebrews. They fill here and there a few lines of 
an old journal, or are parenthetically referred to in 
some manual of obsolete events. So and so did such 
and such a deed, and there was an end of it. 

We have a sample of such tales in the following vera- 
cious narrative: Previous to 1812, a riverman, or 
some one connected with one of the markets along- 
shore, was impressed by the captain of a British vessel. 
The people of the neighbourhood, roused by this high- 
handed proceeding, seized a boat belonging to the said 
captain, broke it up, and burned it. They then coni- 


Along the Manhattan Shore 57 

pelled the captain to release his prisoner. From that 
da\' Shanghai-ing fell into disrepute along the North 

At Cruger's Dock occurred one of the deeds which in 
any other city under the stm would have been cele- 
brated in song and woven into stor}', but which in Xew 
York was allowed to go almost unrecorded. Out of 
some dusty pile of records one draws the scanty ac- 
count of the arrival of Captain Haviland, on the 13th 
of January, 1768, with a supply of stamps, and of the 
gathering at the dock that evening of a company of 
armed men, who captured the stamps and burned 

That is all. If it had been Boston, and a cargo of 
tea, how sonorously the deed would have been ex- 
ploited ! 

At the foot of West loth Street — or near it — was 
the old State prison, which at least one boarding- 
house-keeper in the vicinity advertised as an attrac- 
tion. One of the early morning sights of the city is 
that of the market at West Street, near Gansevoort 
and Little West Tenth. This is one of the survivals 
from the old days of river boats and farm trucking, and 
is a part of the story of the Hudson. 

In the years 1780-85, the Vauxhall Gardens, at the 
North River end of Warren Street, were at the height 
of their vogue. There were other places of resort that 
at a later date monopolised the fashionable throng; 
notably Columbia, not far from the Battery, on 

58 The Hudson River 

Broadway, and Mt. Vernon, about where Leonard 
Street is now. The Vauxhall Gardens of that early 
day must not be confounded with the theatre of the 
same name which was the favourite resort of a later 
generation. Five blocks farther up the shore from 
Vauxhall, just at the end of a hill that figured in the 
plans of the fortifications of 1776-77, was a foundry. 

One of the most prominent buildings from the ri\^er 
a century ago was the hospital that stood near Duane 
Street and Broadway, upon an eminence that was 
considerable then, but has since been "graded" tih un- 
discoverable. Between the hospital and the river stood 
a chapel, and to the south of that, on the double square 
between Murray and Barclay Streets, the old college 
buildings. There was nothing then to hide St. Paul's 
Church from those who w^ent up or down in the sloops 
and schooners that thronged the river, and above all else 
in the city old Trinity loomed, a magnificent landmark. 

Old Paulus Hook Ferry, at the foot of Cortlandt 
Street, was often spelled Powles Hook on old maps. 
In 1780 the Hudson froze from shore to shore, and was 
measured over the ice at this point, proving to be two 
thousand yards wide. Fifteen years afterwards the 
records tell us that "Powles Hook Ferry was leased 
for Two hundred and Fifty Pounds per annum. " Only 
a few years later all of the public wharves and slips, 
piers and docks, around the city sold for one year for 
$42,750. Colonel John Stevens, in 181 1, ran his steam 
ferry-boat from this point. 

Alonir the Manhattan Shore 59 


It would not be possible to write even a meagre 
account of the Manhattan shore and neglect Anneke 
Jans Bogardus and her farm. That farm, which ex- 
tended from where Warren Street is to abo\'e Des- 
brosses Street, was granted as a Bouwerie to Roeloff 
Jansen, who had been employed by the Patroon Van 
Rensselaer, up the river. His widow was considered 
a ver}^ desirable match, and no dotibt had many 
suitors, but she conveyed her goodly inheritance, 
along with her buxom person, to the grave and rever- 
end Domine Everardus Bogardus, stated minister of 
the Dutch Church. 

What a ])air they were! he with his austere bearing, 
his ministerial garb, and theological bent ; she sprightly 
and not too unworldly. It must have been an inter- 
esting sight when Madame Bogardus danced and the 
Domine paid the piper. He was a loyal gentleman 
and knew what his position demanded. We read that 
when some jealous dame declared that Anneke had 
coquettishly shown more of her clocked stocking than 
propriety demanded, her reverend husband promptly 
brought suit for slander, and received damages. It 
appears, indeed, that Bogardus was something of a 
fighter, and figured as plaintift' or defendant in several 

But to return to the farm : e\'ery one who knows his 
New York at all knows what years of litigation over 
the inheritance of part of that property ha\-e made it 
one of the most famous pieces of real estate in the 


The Hudson River 

world, and its mistress as well known as Queen Anne 
or Pocahontas. And wherever the name of Anneke 
Jans is mentioned, and the now fabulously valuable 
property becomes a subject of conversation, the tall 
spire of old Trinity begins to rise upon the mental 
vision like a finger of warning against all profane 

i— . 




— ^^ 



Those who knew this part of the shore a generation 
ago knew Lispenard's swamp, that was in reality a 
salt meadow until comparatively recent years. It lay 
on both sides of the present Canal Street, and when 
New York was young was a favourite resort for all the 
amateur sportsmen of the neighbourhood. The Ocean 
Steamship Company's piers now occupy a part of that 
shore, and bales and boxes and barrels of Savannah 
freight, cotton, and naval stores are spread in ap- 
parent confusion where the wild duck used to fly among 

Aloni;' the Manhattan Shore 6i 

the pools, and the swamp-wren built her nest in the 

Along the river shore above Lispenard's swam]), or 
meadow, and reaching inland nearly to the old Boston 
and Albany Road (that is, the Bowery) was that de- 
lightful suburl) known as Greenwich Village. Along 
the shore northward from old Vauxhall and Harrison's 
Brewery the old maps show the " Road to Greenwich." 
Its first name was Sa]3okanican, which the Dutch 
changed to the Bossen Bouwerie. Where White Star 
and Cunard steamers now come to their wharves, the 
pleasant grassy slopes reached down to the water's 
edge, and nothing more ])retentious than one of the 
"yachts" of some up-river |)otentate ever sent a ripple 
to that strand. 

Through the Bouwerie ran the Manetta brook, that 
famous water that, in spite of burying and cul verting 
and filling in, has been the dread of architects and 
builders down to the present day. Washington 
Square was within the village boundaries when Wash- 
ington Square was nothing but a marsh where the 
crack of a duck-gun might occasionally have been 

"Admiral" Peter Warren (who was only Captain 
Warren at that time) built a house somewhere about 
1744 in Greenwich. That house afterwards became, 
and was for many years, the residence of Abraham Van 
Ness, Esq. Around it clustered other fine houses: 
there came the Bayards and the de Lanceys and James 

62 The Hudson River 

Jauncev, and there the fashionables of their time were 
accustomed to turn for a drive into the country. 

Thomas A. Janvier, who made a dehghtful study of 
old Greenwich Village, says of its inhabitants: 

Very proper and elegant people were all of these, and — their 
seats being at a convenient distance from the city — their elegant 
friends living in New York found pleasure in making Greenwich 
an objective point when taking the air of fine afternoons. And 
even when visiting was out of the question, a turn through 
Greenwich to the Monument was a favorite expedition among 
the gentle-folk of a century or so ago. 

Until about the year 1767, access to this region was only by 
the Greenwich Road, close upon the line of the present Greenwich 
Street and directly upon the water-side. 

Greenwich Lane was called also Monument Lane and Obelisk 
Lane : for the reason that at its northern extremity, a little north 
of the present Eighth Avenue and Fifteenth Street, was a monu- 
ment in honor of General Wolfe. After the erection of this me- 
morial to the hero of Quebec the drive of good society was out 
the Post Road to the Greenwich turning; thence across to the 
Obelisk; thence by the Great Kill Road (the present Gansevoort 
Street) over to the Hudson; and so homeward by the river-side 
while the sun was sinking in golden glory behind the Jersey hills. 
Or the drive could be extended a little by going out the Post 
Road as far as Love Lane, and thence south by the Southampton, 
Warren, or Fitzroy Road to the Great Kill Road, and so by the 
water-side back to town. 

Chelsea was a village that lay principally between 
what is now Seventh Avenue and the river, in the 
neighbourhood of Twenty-second and Twenty-third 
Streets. The land had originally been part of a farm 
or bouwerie belonging to Jacob and Teunis Somerin- 
dyke, but was purchased in 1750 by an English veteran 

Along- the Manhattan Shore 63 

named Thomas Clarke. Afterwards his widow built a 
handsome house, and subsequently Bishop Moore, Presi- 
dent of Columbia College, purchased and made it his 
home. This property was given by President Moore 
to his son, Clement C. Moore, whose name is forever 
enshrined in the hearts of New Yorkers as the author 
of TJic Night before Christinas. 

But popular appreciation had not yet reached far 
enough to restrain the predatory bands of boys and 
men who enjo}'ed the fruits of nocturnal forays upon 
the garden and orchards of Chelsea, so in a fit of des- 
peration the owner sought counsel and concluded to 
survey his land and la}^ it out in building lots. 

There was some question whether merchants doing 
business in New York could be induced to travel so far 
night and morning, but the rapid-transit problem was 
solved b}^ the establishment of the Knickerbocker line 
of stages, run by Palmer & Peters, whose stables stood 
where the Grand Opera House does now. The par- 
tition of the estate into village lots went forward 
rapidly, and fortunes were made by men who saw a 
little way into the future and speculated on the rise in 
realty. After a time Chelsea had its own stores, 
schools, and offices, a church, a theological seminary, 
and a fire com]:)any, and the value of the Moore estate 
is reckoned by millions of dollars. 

The Glass House farm, extending from Thirt_\'-fifth 
Street northward, was so named from an unsuccessful 
attempt to make glass there at an early day. This 

64 * The Hudson River 

farm was purchased just after the Revokition by Rem 
Rapelje, a descendant of the Rapeljes who became 
locally famous as the parents of the first white child 
born in Manhattan. Mr. Rapelje was at one time a 
wine merchant, and the cellars of the house at the farm 
were well stocked with port and Madeira, and a pipe of 
good wine was always on tap for visitors. Perhaps, 
after all, the name of " Glass House" was no misnomer. 
At that time the farm was three miles and a half from 
the city:- it is now practically downtown. Nothing 
could more strikingly illustrate the vastness of the 
change that has taken place on Manhattan Island in a 
little more than a century. 

Chapter VI 

On the Jersey Shore 

OPPOSITE the Battery the ancient settlement 
of Communipaw forms the western gateway 
of the river. It was the last stronghold of 
Dutch manners and customs that the descendants of 
the earliest settlers managed to hold for years against 
the ever-encroaching spirit of the age; and it is hinted 
that even now, however modern their thoughts may be 
in da V time, the true sons of Communipaw always 
dream in Dutch. But the rumble and roar of the 
Philadelphia and Reading cars that find a terminus 
here interfere sadly with dreaming. 

Yet what a land of Nod it was when Diedrich 
Knickerbocker discovered — or did he invent — it? 

Among favoured places, the renowned village of Communipaw 
was ever held by the historian of New Amsterdam in especial 
veneration. Here the intrepid crew of the Gocdc Vroniv first cast 
the seeds of empire. Hence proceeded the expedition under 
Olofife the Dreamer, to found the city of New Amsterdam, vul- 
garly called New- York, which, inheriting the genius of its 
founder, has ever been a city of dreams and speculations. Com- 
munipaw, therefore, may truly be called the parent of New- 
York, though, on comparing the lowly village with the great 
flaunting city which it has engendered, one is forcibly reminded 
' 65 


The Hudson River 

of a squat little hen that has unwittingly hatched out a long- 
legged turkey. 

It is a mirror also of New Amsterdam, as it was before the 
conquest. Everything bears the stamp of the days of OloflEe 
the Dreamer, Walter the Doubter, and the other worthies of the 
golden age; the same gable-fronted houses, surmounted with 
weathercocks, the same knee-buckles and shoe-buckles, and 
close quilled caps, and linsey-woolsey petticoats, and multi- 
farious breeches. In a word, Communipaw is a little Dutch 
Herculaneum, or Pompeii, where the relics of the classic days of 
the New Netherlands are preserved in their pristine state, with 
the exception that they have never been buried. 


The secret of all this wonderful conservation is simple. At 
the time that New Amsterdam was subjugated by the Yankees 
and their British allies, as Spain was, in ancient days, by the 
Saracens, a great dispersion took place among the inhabitants. 
One resolute band determined never to bend their necks to the 
yoke of the invaders, and, led by Garret Van Home, a gigantic 
Dutchman, the Pelaye of the New Netherlands, crossed the bay, 
and buried themselves among the marshes of Communipaw, as 

On the Jersey Shore 67 

did the Spaniards of yore among the Asturian mountains. Here 
they cut off all communication with the captured citv, forbade 
the English language to be spoken in their community, kept 
themselves free from foreign marriage and intermixture, and 
have thus remained the pure Dutch seed of the Manhattoes, with 
which the city may be repeopled, whenever it is effectually 
delivered f.^om the Yankees. 

The citadel erected by Garret Van Home exists to this da y in 
possession of his descendants, and is known by the lordlv ap- 
pellation of the House of the Four Chimneys, from having a 
chimney perched like a turret at every corner. Here are to be 
seen articles of furniture which came over with the first settlers 
from Holland; ancient chests of drawers, and massive clothes- 
presses, quaintly carved, and waxed and polished until they 
shine like mirrors. Here are old black-letter volumes with brass 
clasps, printed of yore in Ley den, and handed down from genera- 
tion to generation, but never read. Also old parchment deeds in 
Dutch and English, bearing the seals of the early governors of the 

In this house the primitive Dutch holydays of Paas and 
Pinxter are faithfully kept up, and New Year celebrated with 
cookies and cherry bounce; nor is the festival of the good vSt. 
Nicholas forgotten; when all the cliildren are sure to hang up 
their stockings, and to have them filled according to their deserts; 
though it is said the good Saint is occasionally perplexed, in his 
nocturnal visits, which chimney to descend. A tradition exists 
concerning this mansion, which, however dubious it may seem, 
is treasured up wdth good faith by the inhabitants. It is said 
that at the founding of it St. Nicholas took it under his protec- 
tion, and the Dutch Dominie of the place, who was a kind of 
soothsayer, predicted that as long as these four chimneys stood 
Communipaw would flourish. Now it came to pass that some 
years since, during the great mania for land speculation, a Yankee 
speculator found his way into Communipaw ; bewildered the 
old burghers with a project to erect their village into a great 
sea-port; made a lithographic map, in which their oyster beds 
were transformed into docks and quays, their cabbage-gardens 
laid out in town lots and squares, and the House of the Four 

68 The Hudson River 

Chimneys metamorphosed into a great bank, with granite pil- 
lars, which was to enrich the whole neighbourhood with paper 

Fortunately at this juncture there rose a high wind, which 
shook the venerable pile to its foundation, toppled down one of 
the chimneys, and blew off a weathercock, the Lord knows 
whither. The community took the alarm, they drove the land 
speculator from their shores, and since that day not a Yankee 
has dared to show his face in Communipaw. 

Among all the gruesome legends of the west shore 
of the river none is more famous than that of the 
"Guests from Gibbet Island." 

Yan Yost Vanderscamp, the scapegrace nephew of 
the innkeeper of Communipaw, disappeared with old 
Pluto, his uncle's negro servant, and reappeared years 
afterwards — "a rough, burly bully ruffian, with fiery 
whiskers, a copper nose, a scar across his face, and a 
great Flaunderish beaver slouched on one side of his 
head." With him was Pluto, grown grizzled, blind of 
an eye, and more devilish in appearance than before. 

According to his own account the prodigal had se- 
cured the fatted calf in his travels and had brought it 
home with him. He had bags full of money and ships 
in every sea. He and a company of roystering com- 
panions he had brought with him made a pandemonium 
of the Wild Goose, as the inn was named, and 
shocked the respectable burghers of Communipaw 
beyond measure. 

At intervals the swaggering crew^ would disappear, 
to return, more riotous than ever, and set the village 
once more by the ears: 

On the Jersey Shore 69 

The mystery of all these proceedings gradually dawned upon 
the tardy intellects of Communipaw. These were the times 
of the notorious Captain Kidd, when the American harbours 
were the resorts of piratical adventurers of all kinds, who, under 
pretext of mercantile voyages, scoured the West Indies, made 
plundering descents upon the Spanish Main, visited even the re- 
mote Indian Seas, and then came to dispose of their booty, have 
their revels, and fit out new expeditions, in the English colonies. 
. . . At length the attention of the British government was 
called to these piratical enterprises, that were becoming so fre- 
quent and outrageous. Vigorous measures were taken to check 
and punish them. Several of the most noted freebooters were 
caught and executed, and three of Vanderscamp's chosen com- 
rades, the most riotous swashbucklers of the Wild Goose, were 
hanged in chains on Gibbet Island, in full sight of their favourite 
resort. As to Vanderscamp himself, he and his man Pluto again 
disappeared, and it was hoped by the people of Communipaw 
that he had fallen in some foreign brawl, or been swung on some 
foreign gallows. . . . This perfect calm was doomed at 
length to be ruffled. The fiery persecution of the ])irates gradu- 
ally subsided. Justice was satisfied with the examples that had 
been made, and there was no more talk of Kidd, and the other 
heroes of like Kidnev. 

On a calm summer evening, a boat, somewhat heavily laden, 
was seen pulling into Communipaw. What was the surprise and 
disquiet of the inhabitants, to see Van Yost Vanderscamp seated 
at the helm, and his man Pluto tugging at the oar. Vander- 
scamp, however, was apparently an altered man. He brought 
home with him a wife, who seemed to be a shrew, and to have 
the upper hand of him. He no longer was the swaggering, bully 
ruffian, but affected the regular merchant, and talked of retiring 
from business, and settling down quietly, to pass the rest of his 
days in his native place. 

The Wild Goose mansion was again opened, but with dim- 
inished splendour, and no riot. It is true, Vanderscamp had fre- 
quent nautical visitors, and the sound of revelry was occasionally 
overheard in his house; but everything seemed to be done under 
the rose; and old Pluto was the onlv servant that officiated at 


The Hudson River 

these orgies. The visitors, indeed, were by no means of the 
turbulent stamp of their predecessors; but quiet, mysterious 
traders, full of nods, and winks, and hieroglyphic signs, with 
whom, to use their cant phrase, "everything was smug." Their 
ships came to anchor at night, in the lower bay ; and, on a private 
signal, Vanderscamp would launch his boat, and, accompanied 
solely by his man Pluto, would make them mysterious visits. 
Sometimes boats pulled in at night, in front of the Wild Goose, 
and various articles of merchandise were landed in the dark, and 
spirited away, nobody knew whither. One of the more curious 
of the inhabitants kept watch, and caught a glimpse of the 
features of some of these night visitors, by the casual glance of a 
lantern, and declared that he recognized more than one of the 
freebooting frequenters of the Wild Goose, in former times: 
from whence he concluded that Vanderscamp was at his old 
game, and that this mysterious merchandise was nothing more 
nor less than piratical plunder. The more charitable opinion, 
however, was, that Vanderscamp and his comrades, having been 
driven from their old line of business, by the "oppressions of 
government," had resorted to smuggling to make both ends 

It happened late one night, that Yan Yost Vanderscamp was 
returning across the broad bay, in his light skiff, rowed by his 
man Pluto. He had been carousing on board of a vessel, newly 
arrived, and was somewhat obfuscated in intellect, by the liquid 
he had imbibed. It was a still, sultry night; a heavy mass of 
lurid clouds was rising in the west, with the low muttering of 
distant thunder. Vanderscamp called on Pluto to pull lustily, 
that they might get home before the gathering storm. The old 
negro made no reply, but shaped his course so as to skirt the 
rocky shores of Gibbet Island. A faint creaking overhead 
caused Vanderscamp to cast up his eyes, when, to his horror, he 
beheld the bodies of his three pot companions and brothers in 
iniquity, dangling in the moonlight, their rags fluttering, and 
their chains creaking, as they were slowly swung backward and 
forward by the rising breeze. 

"What do you mean, you blockhead," cried Vanderscamp, 
"by pulling so close to the island? " 

On the Jersey Shore 71 

" I tliought you 'd be glad to see your old friends once more, " 
growled the negro; ' ' you were never afraid of a living man, what 
do vou fear from the dead? " 

"Who 's afraid?" hiccupped Vanderscamp, partly heated by 
liquor, partly nettled by the jeer of the negro; "who 's afraid? 
Hang me, but I would be glad to see them once more, alive or 
dead, at the Wild Goose. Come, my lads in the wind," con- 
tinued he, taking a draught, and flourishing the bottle above his 
head, " here 's fair weather to you in the other world; and if vou 
should be walking the rounds to-night, odds fish, but I '11 be 
happy if you will drop in to supper. 

The storm burst over the voyagers, while they were yet far 
from shore. The rain fell in torrents, the thunder crashed and 
pealed, and the lightning kept up an incessant blaze. It was 
stark midnight before they landed at Communipaw. 

Dripping and shivering, Vanderscamp crawled homeward. 
He was completely sobered by the storm; the water soaked 
from without having diluted and cooled the liquor within. Ar- 
rived at the Wild Goose, he knocked timidly and dubiously at 
the door, for he dreaded the reception he was to experience from 
his wife. He had reason to do so. She met him at the threshold, 
in a precious ill-hvimour. 

"Is this a time," said she, "to keep people out of their beds, 
and to bring home company, to turn the house upside down?" 

"Company?" said Vanderscamp meekly, ''I have brought no 
company with me, wife." 

"No, indeed! they have got here before you, but by your in- 
vitation; and a blessed looking company they are, truly." 

Vanderscamp's knees smote together. ' ' For the love of 
Heaven, where are they, wife?" 

" Where? — why in the blue room, up stairs, making themselves 
as much at home as if the house were their own.' ' 

Vanderscamp made a desperate effort, scrambled up to the 
room, and threw open the door. Sure enough, there at a table on 
which burned a light as blue as brimstone, sat the three guests 
from Gibbet Island, with halters round their necks, and l)oljbing 
their cups together, as if they were hobnobbing, and trolling the 
old Dutch freebooter's glee, since translated into English; 

72 The Hudson River 

For three merry lads be we, 

And three merry lads be we; 

I on the land, and thou on the sand, 

And Jack on the gallows tree. 

Vanderscamp saw and heard no more. Starting back with 
horror, he missed his footing on the landing-place, and fell from 
the top of the stairs to the bottom. He was taken up speechless, 
and either from the fall or the fright, he was buried in the yard of 
the little Dutch Church at Bergen, on the following Sunday. 

To an earlier generation Jersey City was known as 
Paulus, Powles, or Pauws Hook. It was important as 
the w^estern end of the Paulus Hook Ferry, that was 
one of the chief means of communication between New 
Jersey and Manhattan Island. The Cortlandt Street 
Ferrv still crosses the same water, but the multitude 
that it transports each day would populate a good- 
sized citv; the several railroads making this their ter- 
minal station forming one of the principal arteries of 
New York life. 

In the days of the Revolution Paulus Hook w^as con- 
sidered an important strategic point, and was gar- 
risoned by the British from 1776 till 1779, when Major 
Henry Lee, who had a share in the famous Cow Chase 
of Andre's " epic strain," fell upon it with his veterans. 
There was a sudden night attack, a garrison surprised 
and defeated, and in the early dawn a number of British 
dead in the fort and the American flag fl}'ing over it. 

Between Jersey City and Hoboken there used to be 
a marsh or bay, not now in evidence. Hobock was an 
Indian village, which appears in at least one Dutch 

On the Jersey Shore 'jT) 

record, ah-eady cited, as Hoboquin. Ahiiost its first 
appearance in history is as the scene of murders and 
massacres, of arson and pillage. But the atrocity was 
not all upon the side of the Indians. In 1643, after a 
long feud, marked by excesses on both sides, a body of 
the Dutch, reinforced by Mohawk Indians, crossed the 


(From ID! old print) 

river at night and murdered a hundred men, women, 
and children at the promontory called Castle Point. 
There is no record that suggests any palliation for this 
crime, which is ])robably the blackest one that stains 
the annals of New Netherland. 

Hoboken should be celebrated wherever steam navi- 
gation has helped to solve the problem of tra\'el. Here 
it was that John Stevens lived ; indeed at one time the 

74 The Hudson River 

Stevens family owned nearly all of the land in that 
neighbourhood, and founded the city of Hoboken in 
1804. John Stevens — Colonel Stevens — built the 
steamship Phccnix, the first vessel depending entirely 
upon steam propulsion to cross the Atlantic. The first 
steamer that crossed the ocean was the Savannah, 
built at Corlear's Hook, New York City; but she relied 
partly upon sail power. 

A century ago the woods of Weehawken were the 
scene of one of the most significant and famous private 
encounters that have ever been recorded. Not only 
did the participants hold exalted positions in the poli- 
tical and social world, l^ut at least one of them had 
connected his name indissolubly with the history of his 
country and the record of her progress. 

At the time of the celebrated Burr-Hamilton duel the 
former had just been defeated in his candidacy for 
the governorship of New York. As a consequence of 
the intense political excitement, both parties indulged 
more or less in acrimonious speeches. 

General Alexander Hamilton was the reputed author 
of statements derogatory to the character of his oppo- 
nent. The matter was taken up and made much of by 
some of Hamilton's enemies, and finally led to the 
writing of a letter by Burr, as follows : 

New York, June 18, 1804. 


I send for your perusal a letter signed Charles D. Cooper, 
which, though apparently pubhshed some time ago, has but very 

On the Jersey Shore 75 

recently come to my knowledge. Mr. A''an Ness, who does me 
the favour to deliver this, will ])oint out to you that clause of the 
letter to which 1 particularly request your attention. 

You must perceive, sir, the necessity of a prompt and un- 
qualified acknowledgment or denial of the use of any expression 
which would warrant the assertion of Dr. Cooper. 
I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 

A. Burr. 
Gen. Hamilton. 

To this peremptory communication General Hamil- 
ton replied at some length on June 20th, sa^-ing in sub- 
stance that he considered the charge too vague to ad- 
mit of either denial or acknowledgment. 

" I have become convinced," he wrote, " that I could 
not, without manifest impropriety, make the avowal 
or disavowal which you seem to think necessary." 
There follows a somewhat pedantic examination of the 
grammatical distinction between the terms "despicable" 
and " more despicable " used in Dr. Cooper's letter, and 
concludes in the following words : 

I deem it inadmissible on principle, to consent to be interro- 
gated as to the justness of the inferences which may be drawn by 
others from whatever I have said of a political opponent in the 
course of a fifteen years' competition. 

I stand ready to avow or disavow promptly and explicitly any 
precise or definite opinion which I may be charged with having 
declared of any gentleman. More than this cannot fitly be ex- 
pected of me. 

I trust, on more reflection, that you will see the matter in the 
same light with me. If not I can only regret the circumstance 
and must abide the consequences. The pul)lication of Dr. 
Cooper was never seen by me till after the receipt of your letter. 

76 The Hudson River 

Burr found neither " sincerity nor dehcacy " in Ham- 
ilton's letter. He particularly objected to the charge 
being treated "as a matter of syntax," and again in- 
sisted upon a definite avowal or denial of Dr. Cooper's 
statements. It was not until the receipt of this letter 
that Hamilton saw his friend, Mr. Pendleton, and 
placed the correspondence before him. He told Pen- 
dleton that he considered the letter from Burr rude and 
offensive, and that he had expressed that opinion to 
Van Ness. 

The latter gentleman was a strong partisan, a warm 
personal friend of Burr's and a bitter political enemy 
of Hamilton's. His antipathies were pronounced, and 
his language w^ould be considered in this day of greater 
restraint as intemperate. There can be no doubt that 
his inclination, if not his efforts, was adverse to a 
peaceful solution of the difficulty. 

The correspondence culminated, as might naturally 
be expected, in a challenge delivered by Mr. Van Ness 
in Ijehalf of his princi|xd in the affair. 

From the Lijc of Aaron Burr, by Samuel Lorenze 
Knapp, published in 1835, we may quote a brief ac- 
count. The ])articulars of what then took place will 
appear from the following statement, as agreed upon 
and corrected by the seconds of the parties: 

Colonel Burr arrived first on the ground, as had been pre- 
viously agreed. When General Hamilton arrived, the parties 
exchanged salutations and the seconds proceeded to make their 
arrangements. They measured the distance, ten full paces, and 

On the Jersey Shore Tj 

cast lots for the choice of positions, as also to determine by whom 
the word should be given, both of which fell upon the second of 
General Hamilton (Mr. Pendleton). The gentleman who was to 
give the word then explained to the parties the rules which were 
to govern them in firing, which were as follows: The parties being 
placed at their stations, shall present and fire when they please. 
If one fire before the other the opposite second shall say, one, two, 
three, fire or lose his fire. He then asked if they were prepared. 
Being answered in the affirmative he gave the word present, as 
had been agreed on, and both parties presented and fired in 
succession. The intervening time is not expressed, as the sec- 
onds do not precisely agree on that point. The fire of Colonel 
Burr took efifect and General Hamilton almost instantly fell. 
Colonel Burr then advanced towards General Hamilton with a 
manner and gesture that appeared to General Hamilton's friends 
expressive of regret, but, without speaking, turned about and 
withdrew, being urged from the field by his friend, as has been 
subsequently stated, with a view to prevent his being recognised 
by the surgeon and bargemen who were then approaching. No 
further communication took place between the principals and 
the barge that carried Colonel Burr immediately returned to the 
City. We conceive it proper to add that the conduct of the 
parties in this interview was perfectly proper, as suited the occa- 

After a short time spent at his own house in New 
York Burr travelled south, and was met by crowds of 
enthusiastic adherents, who made his journey almost a 
royal progress. But far different was the feeling in the 
North, where the friends of Hamilton predominated. 
In New York Colonel Burr was execrated as a mur- 
derer, the encounter ha\'ing resulted fatally for Hamil- 
ton, and the grand jury indicted the victor. But the 
case was never brought to trial. At the following ses- 
sion of Congress, Burr calmly took his place as the 

/S The Hudson River 

presiding officer of the Senate, dehvering at the con- 
clusion a speech long remembered for its eloquence. 
The subsequent trial of Aaron Burr for conspiracy 
against the Government of the United States, and the 
intrigue that led up to it, while of extraordinary in- 
terest to the student of American history, has no place 
in the present volume. 

A monument erected to mark the spot of the duel 
was almost entirely chipped away by relic hunters, 
and finally removed to make room for the road that 
now runs directly over its site. This was near the edge 
of the river, below the cliffs. There is now upon a 
more elevated situation a monument surmounted by 
a bust of Hamilton, and enclosed by a raihng to pre- 
serve it from the destructive attentions of sightseers. 

Weehawken has other and pleasanter associations. 
Not far to the south was the pleasure ground known 
as the Elysian Fields, where for a while fashion — not 
then as fastidious as afterwards — found a delightful 

There, on a warm summer afternoon [wrote Lossing], or on a 
moonlit evening, might be seen scores of both sexes strolling upon 
the soft grass, or sitting upon the green sward, recalling to mem- 
ory many beautiful sketches of life in the earlier periods of the 
world, given in the volumes of the old poets. 

Castle Point, the promontory from which the Dutch 
drove the Indians mercilessly into the river, was at the 
southern end of the Elysian Fields, and underneath it 
there used to be a grotto called the Sibyl's Cave, which 

On the Jersey Shore 


cnntaincd a sj^riiig of clear water that was in great re- 

But there was a mysteriDus tragedy connected with 
the Elysian Fields, and the gifted pen of Edgar Allan 
Poe has given it lasting celebrity. Briefly the story 
ma\' be epitomised 
here. Mary Rog- 
ers was a beautiful 
girl employed by a 
well-known tobac- 
co dealer in New- 
York. Her admir- 
ers were man\", 
so that the store 
where she worked 
became a popular 
resort for the 
young men of the 
town. Suddenly 
she disappeared, 
and after a while 
it began to be whis- 
pered that she had 
been foully dealt 
with. The news- 
papers took up the 

matter, and the fate of Mary Rogers became the lead- 
ing toipic of the dav. Clue after clue was followed, 
and all led to the conclusion that a murder had been 



8o The Hudson River 

committed, and that the scene of the atrocity was the 
Elysian Fields. But there the poHce and the papers 
aHke stopped, baffled. Then Poe, changing the scene 
from the Hudson to the Seine, and hiding the name of 
Mary Rogers under a transparent French equivalent, 
wrote one of his most marvellous tales, the Mystery of 
Marie Roget. One by one he took up the clues; with 
an astuteness that seemed almost inspired he worked 
out the history of the murder. Every one at that day 
read the story, and to the popular mind the Mystery 
of Marie Roget fully elucidated the grewsome fate of 
Mary Rogers. There was a story current, impossible 
now to verify, that fifteen or twenty years afterwards, a 
sailor, dying in a hospital, confessed to the murder, 
giving details which substantially agreed with Poe's 

All the river front has changed, almost beyond recog- 
nition. A large part of it at Weehawken is taken up 
with coal and oil depots and the West Shore terminals. 
A trolley line connects with the Forty-second Street 
Ferry and carries the passengers to the top of the bluff 
and beyond. But there are still, between this point 
and Fort Lee, unoccupied and wooded acres lying back 
of the shore along the heights that are still among the 
finest points of ^4ew in the neighbourhood of New York. 

More than half a century ago Fitz-Greene Halleck 
wrote, in praise of this locality: 

Weehawken ! In thy mountain scenery yet 
All we adore of nature in her wild 

On the Jersey Shore 8i 

And frolic hour of infancy, is met; 
And never has a summer's morning smiled 
Upon a lovelier scene, than the full eye 
Of the enthusiast revels in, when high 

Amid thy forest solitudes, he climbs 
O'er crags, that proudly tower above the deep, 
And knows the sense of danger which sublimes 
The breathless moment — when his daring step 
Is on the verge of the cliff, and he can hear 
The low dash of tlie wave with startled ear. 

In such an hour he turns, and on his view. 
Ocean and earth and heaven burst before him, 
Clouds slumbering at his feet and the clear blue 
Of summer's sky in beauty bending o'er him — 
The city bright below: and far away, 
Sparkling in golden light, his own romantic bay. 

Stevens, as elsewhere noted, bnilt and operated the 
first steam ferryboats that were ever used, and they 
ran Ijetween Manhattan Island and Hoboken. 

One cannot realise the primitive Hoboken of that 
day in the place of many wharves, where the ocean 
liners lie at their piers, or move niajesticalh' out into 
the stream. Among the |:)rincipal steamers that make 
a landing at Hoboken are those of the North German 
Lloyd, Hamburg, and Wilson lines. The river front is 
uniriviting — a region of coal-sheds, of depots, and 
elaborate complications of rails. 

Between Hoboken and Fort Lee are the points that 
Benson J. Lossing described as "the little villages of 
Pleasant Valley, Bull's Ferry, and Weehawk." Bull's 
Ferrv, now Shadvside, is distant from Fort Lee about 


82 The Hudson River 

three miles. It was for many years a favourite resort 
for working-men from New York, and pictures made 
along that shore thirty years ago show an inviting pros- 
])ect of green slopes and wooded cliffs. At ])resent 
the favourite objective point of the crowds that cross 
the river to escape the rigours of a " dry Sunday ' ' in the 
metropolis are the gro\'es and public houses of Fort 

But Shady side may claim a more romantic celebrity. 
There was in 1 7S0 a blockhouse near the ferry, and for a 
time it was garrisoned by a British picket, whose duty 
it was to protect the loyalists of the neighbourhood. A 
numl3er of cattle and horses belonging to Americans 
had strayed on to Bergen's Neck, and offered a tempt- 
ing bait for Tory marauders from Paulus Hook. 

From his headquarters near the Ramapo Hills, 
Washington dispatched Wayne — "Mad Anthony," as 
his contemporaries sometimes called him — to attack 
the blockhouse and drive away the British garrison, 
and also to secure the cattle for their owners. Light- 
Horse Harr}' Lee was dispatched on the latter mission, 
while Wayne made the attack upon the blockhouse with 
three Pennsylvania companies and four light ])ieces of 
cannon. But the attack was unavailing, the post prov- 
ing too strong for the artillery of the besiegers, and the 
Americans were repulsed with a loss of sixty men. 

General Wayne succeeded in destroying some boats 
and capturing a number of cattle, with which he re- 
turned to the American lines. 




■^.. ' 


On the Jersey Shore 85 

This affair might have been forgotten as one of the 
minor incidents of the war, without anv particular 
significance or relation to other events, had not one of 
the accomplished }'oung officers in his Majestv's serv- 
ice conceived the idea of making it the subject of a 
ballad. The officer was the ill-fated Major Andre, 
whose name is for ever associated with the attem]3t of 
Arnold to betray West Point into the hands of the 
enemy. In his ballad, which he called the Coiv Chase, 
Andre gave free rein to his satirical humour. As the 
poem contains seventy-one stanzas, the reader will 
excuse its full insertion in this place. But here is a 
sample of it : 

All in a cloud of dust were seen 

The sheep, the horse, the goat, 
The gentle heifer, ass obscene. 

The yearling and the shoate. 

And packhorses with fowls came by 

Befeathered on each side. 
Like Pegasus, the horse that I 

And other poets ride. 

Sublime upon his stirrups rose 

The mighty Lee behind 
And drove the terror smitten cows 

Like chaff before the wind. 

And so on, ad infinitum. It is not always clean nor 
abounding in good taste, nor even clever, except with 
a variety of wit that suggests the barrack room and 
the stables, but it contained one remarkable verse, 
that had a touch of prophecy in it. The verses were 

86 The Hudson River 

published in Rivingtojfs Gazette, the last one being 
as follows: 

And now I 've closed my epic strain 

I tremble as I show it, 
Lest this same warrior-drover, Wayne, 

Should ever catch the poet. 

On the day that that appeared in print Major Andre 
was arrested as a spy, and the commander of the guard 
that accompanied him to the scaffold was General 

Chapter VII 

Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 

THE original patentees of the lands along the 
Hudson lived at first in a way that seems to 
have been a curious compromise between 
primitive frontier conditions and feudal dignity. Pa- 
troons and Manor Lords ruled over uncounted acres of 
wilderness, upon which a sparse and widely scattered 
tenantry cleared land, raised corn and large families, 
and took daily chances of Indian massacre. 

To the reply made by Secretary Van Tienhoven to a 
remonstrance of the colonists, in 1650, we are indebted 
for light upon the relations between the patentees and 
their tenants. 

'T is moreover, to be borne in mind that the Patroon of the 
Colonie Rensselaerwyk causes all his tenants to sign, that thev 
will not appeal to the IManhattans. in direct contravention of 
the exceptions, by which the colonists are bound to render to the 
director and council at the Manhattans an annual report both of 
the colony and the administration of Justice. . . . 'T would 
be a very strange thing if the officers of the country could not 
banish anybody from it, whilst the authorities of the Colonie 
Rensselaerwyk, who are subordinate to the company, absolutely 
banish whomsoever they please, for the welfare of the Colonie: 


88 The Hudson River 

and they do not allow any person to reside there except at their 
pleasure and upon certain conditions. 

The colonists of lower degree held their land only 
upon a rent lease, beaver pelts being accepted instead 
of money, which was a very scarce commodity. So 
little money was there in the country, indeed, that a 
short time previous to the writing of the report just 
cited, a law had been passed which legalised the use of 
the Indian currency — wampum. 

The title of Patroon conveys to most modern minds 
an idea of somewhat exalted rank. We are accustomed 
to point to those colonial princelings as though they 
had brought to the New World the inestimable advan- 
tages of blue blood along with the favour of the sover- 
eign Lords of Holland. But history shows that land 
patents were never supposed to imply either birth, 
breeding, or previous rank of any kind on the part of 
the recipient. Patroonships, like houses, lands, ships, 
or peltries, were in the market to be purchased for 
money. Exactly the requirements insisted upon by 
the company may be learned from the following ex- 
cerpt from a bill of "Freedoms and Exemptions," 
granted by the West India Company in 1640: 

All good inhabitants of the Netherlands and all others in- 
clined to plant any Colonies in New Netherland shall be at liberty 
to send three or four persons in the Company's ships going 
thither, to examine the circumstances there, on condition that 
they swear to the articles, as well as the officers and seamen, as 
far as they relate to them, and pay for board and passage out and 
home, to wit, those who eat in the master's cabin, fifteen stivers 

Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 89 

per day, and those who go and eat in the orlop, shall have their 
board and passage gratis, and in case of an attack, offensive or 
defensive, they shall be obliged to lend a hand with the others, 
on condition of receiving, should any of the enemy's ships be 
overcome, their share of the booty pro rata, each according to 
his quality, to wit: the Colonists eating out of the Cabin shall be 
rated with the seamen, and those eating in the cabin with the 
Company's servants who board there and have the lowest rate of 

In the selection of lands, those who shall have first notified 
and presented themselves to the Company, whether Patroons or 
private Colonists, shall be preferred to others who may follow. 

In case any one be deceived in selecting ground, or should 
the place by him chosen afterwards not please him, he will, upon 
previous representation to the Governor and Council then be at 
liberty to select another situation. 

For Patroons and Feudatories of New Netherland, shall be 
acknowledged all such as shall ship hence, and plant there a 
Colonic of fifty souls, above fifteen years of age, within the space 
of three years after having made a declaration and given notice 
thereof, to some Chamber of the Company here or to the Gover- 
nor or Council there; namely, one-third part within the year, 
and so forth, from year to vear, until the number be completed, 
on pain of losing, through notorious neglect, the obtained Free- 
doms and cattle. But they shall be warned that the Company 
reserves the Island Manhattes to itself. 

All Patroons and Feudatories shall, on requesting it, be 
granted Venia Testandi, or the power to dispose of, or bec[ueath, 
his fief by Will. 

For Masters or Colonists, shall be acknowledged, those who 
will remove to New Netherland with five souls above fifteen 
years; to all such, our Governor there shall grant in property 
one hundred morgens, Rhineland measure, of land, contiguous 
one to the other, wherever they please to select. 

And the Patroons, of themselves or by their agents, at the 
places where they will plant their Colonies, shall have the privi- 
lege to extend the latter one mile (consisting of, or estimated at, 
1600 Rhineland perches) along the coast, bay or a navigable 

90 The Hudson River 

river, and two contiguous miles landward in ; it being well under- 
stood, that no two Patroonships shall be selected on both sides of 
a river or bay, right opposite to each other; and that the Com- 
pany retains to itself the property of the lands lying between the 
limits of the Colonies, to dispose thereof hereafter according to 
its pleasure ; and that the Patroons and Colonists shall be obliged 
to give each other an outlet and issue, (uytteweeghen ende 
uyttewateren) at the nearest place and at the smallest expense; 
and in case of disagreement, it shall be settled in the presence and 
by the decision of the Governor for the time being. 

The Patroons shall forever possess all the lands situate within 
their limits, together with the produce, superficies, minerals, 
rivers and fountains thereof, with high, low and middle jurisdic- 
tion, hunting, fishing, fowling and milling, the lands remaining 
allodial, but the jurisdiction as of a perpetual hereditary fief, 
devolvable by death as well to females as to males, and fealty 
and homage for which is to be rendered to the Company, on each 
of such occasions, with a pair of iron gauntlets, redeemable by 
twentv guilders within a year and six weeks, at the Assembly of 
the XIX., here, or before the Governor there; with this under- 
standing, that in case of division of said fief or jurisdiction, be it 
high, middle or low, the parts shall be and remain of the same 
nature as was originally conferred on the whole, and fealty and 
homage must be rendered for each part thereof by a pair of iron 
gauntlets, redeemable by twenty guilders, as aforesaid. 

There is in the provisions of this act a survival of 
customs fostered under a mediaeval feudatory system, 
— customs that seem strangely out of place in the new 
land. Another clause provides that: 

Should any Patroon, in course of time, happen to prosper in 
his Colonic to such a degree as to be able to found one or more 
towns, he shall have authority to appoint ofificers and magis- 
trates there, and make use of the title of his Colonic, according 
to the pleasure and the quality of the persons, all saving the Com- 
pany's regalia. 

A further explanation of the terms upon which 

Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 91 

Patroons and their colonists lived together is furnished 
in a report of the Committee of the States-General : 

Whereas it is found that greater pains have generally been 
taken to promote the fur trade than the agriculture and poi^ula- 
tion of the country, the supreme court there, shall, in conse- 
quence, above all things, provide that cattle be not exported, 
but be as much as possible retained and reared there : also that a 
good quantity of grain be kept in store to be furnished and sold 
at a reasonable price to newly arrived immegrants, who are to be 
assisted and favoured in every manner, and be located on good 
lands, suitable for cultivation, taking care therein that they shall 
dwell as close and as compact together as possible on such lands 
and places as shall be considered best and most suitable for 
homestead, bouwerie, plantation and security: the Patroons of 
Colonies remaining at liberty to improve their own lands as they 
think proper, they being also obliged to settle the colonists in the 
form of villages. 

The lower Philipse patent, in 1779, embraced a large 
part of Westchester Coimty, though Philipse was not 
a Patroon. North of his extensive territory, more 
particular!}^ defined in another chapter, lay the manor 
of Cortlandt, reaching as far as Anthony's Nose. On 
the north of Van Cortlandt Philipse again appears; the 
Highland Patent, as it was called, taking in nearly all 
of Putnam Coimty and reaching to Fishkill creek. 
Rondout came next, including the land between Fish- 
kill and Wappinger's creek. The Schuylers ruled 
where Poughkeepsie now is, and Falconer's purchase 
lay to the north. Above Falconer's was the Henry 
Beekman tract, that had Esopus as its northern bound- 
ary, and above that the Schuyler name again appears. 

92 The Hudson River 

The manor of Livingston, from Rhinebeck /to Catskill 
Station, lay next to Rensselaerwyk, that reached as 
far as Troy. 

It will be noticed that nearly all of the land chosen 
by the earliest colonists was upon the east bank of 
the river, where the alluring valleys and rolling hills 
afforded a chance for husbandry, while the more for- 
bidding cliffs and headlands of the western shore re- 
mained for the most part unsettled, except at a few 
favourable points. But above the Highlands the 
physical conditions of the shores commence gradually 
to change, and the narrowing stream affords a less 
formidable line of division. The Van Rensselaer pat- 
ent was the first to cover both sides of the Hudson. 

The C[uestion is often raised whether the men who 
colonised the Hudson shores were to any extent edu- 
cated or cultivated persons. Curiosity on such a point 
is natural, considering how many of the families now 
socially prominent in New York trace descent from 

Let us in the first place remember that the scholarly 
men and those whose lives are passed amidst luxurious 
surroundings seldom make colonists. To strike into 
the wilderness for anything more than a dash of ad- 
venture usually indicates that one has more to gain 
than to lose, and that his habit is active rather than 
contemplative. If noble families are represented in 
any colony, it is apt to be through their needy cadets, 
and the}' will usuall}- be found in company with those 

Haiiy Settlers of the Hudson X'alley 95 

who possess the advantage of energy and are un- 
hampered by the obhgations of pedigree. 

Oloffe Stevanson Van Cortlandt was in the mihtary 
service of Holland, and l^ecame afterwards commissary 
of cargoes for the West India Comi)any. His descent 
is said to be from a n()l)le Russian family. Su])se(|uentl\' 
to his employment by the company, which occupied 
ten years, he amassed a fortune as a brewer. He mar- 
ried a wealth}' wife, and became, by purchase, the 
proprietor of the \^an Cortlandt Manor on the river. 

Van Cortlandt 's neighbour, Philipse, began life (ac- 
cording to Chief-Justice John Jay) as a carpenter. 
The ex|)crts in heraldry have also accommodated him 
with noble ancestors — this time of Bohemian blood. 
By shrewdness and energy he won a fortune, and be- 
came not onh' one of the most influential, l^ut also the 
wealthiest man in the colon v. 

These able men were sufficiently distinguished by 
their own remarka]:)le qualities, and it is difficult to 
comprehend the persistent effort to decorate them with 
superfluous pedigrees. The Schuylers appear to have 
been of gentle blood, and Robert Livingston, the 
father of all the Livingstons, was the son of the Rev. 
John Livingston, a Scotch dissenting minister, who 
was banished to Holland for contmnac}- in 1663. The 
remainder of the colonists, from Patroons to tenants, 
seem to have been of that race that has always fur- 
nished the best colonisers in the world, and they have 
left a record of pluck and persistence that is part of the 

96 The Hudson River 

heritage of the country they settled and of the national 
character they helped to mould. 

The first of the Van Rensselaers was a man of 
prominence and wealth in Holland, but he was not a 
resident u])on his American estate. 

The later comers, of whom Li\'ingston was a shining 
example, were three quarters of a century behind the 
first, and enjoyed their manorial rights under new 
patents or confirmations of old ones, granted by the 
English Crown. We find Charles II. in the }-ear 1660 
appointing a " Councill of Forraigne Plantacions" with 
power to investigate all questions of government or 
trade relating to the colonies, and to recommend 
measures beneficial to all parties, but particularly to 
the Crown. Four A^ears afterwards Stuyvesant sur- 
rendered New Amsterdam to the commander of the 
British fleet. 

For the enlightenment of his masters, the States- 
General, and incidentally for the instruction of pos- 
terity, the careful Secretary Van Tienhoven in 1650 
wrote a re])ort that contained a section relating to the 
conveyance of farmers and handicraftsmen, the charges 
and responsibilities for which were assumed by the 
Patroon or land patentee. 

A large fly boat of 200 lasts, which would be chartered for 
the voyage out for fl. 6000. 

A vessel of 200 lasts would probably carry over 250 persons 
exclusive of the ships crew: they would re<iuire for food, for the 
voyage at least 30 guilders, fl. 7500. 

Every 250 farmers would require a superintendant. 

Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 97 

A clergyman, or in his place provisionally, a comforter of the 
sick, who could also act as schoolmaster. 

A surgeon, provided with medicines. 

A blacksmith who is conversent with the treatment of horses 
and cattle. 

Three or four house carpenters who can lay brick. 

One cooper. 

One wheelwright. 

Other tradesmen such as tailors and shoemakers, follow with 

A necessary supply of the munitions of war, for the de- 
fence of the Colonists, in case of misunderstanding with the 

In a colony the necessary stock for beginning was 
provided to each tenant by the landlord. This stock- 
ing included one ]:>air of draught cattle, two cows, and 
one or two sows. " If in the course of time, with God's 
blessing, the stock multiph-, the bouweries can be fully 
stocked with necessary cattle, and new bouweries set 
off with the remainder, as is the practice in Rensselaer's 
Colonic and other places, and so on, dc novo, so as to 
lay out no money for stock." 

The houses used at first by those who settled the new 
lands were rude affairs, often consisting of nothing 
more than a pit, dug cellar fashion, encased, and floored 
with timber, and roofed with spars covered with bark 
and sod. Not only did the poorer settlers use such 
homes, we are informed, but even the "wealthy and 
principal men" commenced to live in that fashion, 
doing so for the twofold reason that they might lose no 
time from the planting and cultivation of necessary 

98 The Hudson River 

crops, and that the poorer colonists might be encouraged 
by their example. 

More substantial dwellings followed those first prim- 
itive makeshifts that at the most could not be expected 
to last above four or five years. 

Reference has already been made to the troubles — 
or, as Van Tienhoven calls them, " misunderstandings" 
— with Indian neighbours. Particular instances of 
such tmfortunate encounters have their place in the 
narratives of individual settlements, and will be touched 
upon more fully in other chapters of this book. 

It is suggestive of recent South African history that 
the tenant farmers were referred to in some of the old 
documents as boors or boers. To us of to-day the 
name is associated with sweltering velts and beleaguered 
kopps and laagers of waggons bristling with guns. 
Perhaps the best way for us to comprehend the Boer 
of the seventeenth century, with his energy, pluck, 
thrift, and courage, is by studying his kinsman of the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to whose uncon- 
querable obstinacy the attention of the world has for 
several years been directed. Instead of a Transvaal 
farm, substitute a Hudson River bouwerie. Let the 
colonist trek with family and household goods and 
gods to the pleasant, well-watered lands of Schuyler or 
Van Rensselaer. He carries a match-lock gun, heavy 
as a weaver's beam, easy to handle as a small cannon, 
and taking probably not more than five minutes to 
load and fire. His garments are of a quaint cut, and 

Early Settlers of the Hudson Valley 99 

he has a cherubic breadth of feature, if we are to trust 
the painters. He is unlettered, practical, not too nice 
in manners and far from fanciful regarding either this 
life or the next. He has accepted Calvinism, but does 
not allow it to disturb him; wherein he differs essen- 
tially from his New England neighbour, who wears his 
creed as an ascetic would wear a hair shirt, to the 
discomfort of himself and the annoyance of his neigh- 

The Hudson River Boer worked out his salvation 
with infinite difficulty and toil, though fear and trem- 
bling were foreign to his disposition. He hewed his 
home out of the wilderness, endured hardshi]) with as 
little complaint as any colonist in the world has ever 
made, and he has furnished the backbone and sinew of 
many a hardy fight. His blood, "transmitted free," 
has reddened many a battle-field and consecrated many 
a victory. 

Is the Boer capable of self-development, of high 
achievement, of ultimate success? It may be that the 
answer lies in the history of the men who settled the 
valley of the Hudson. 

Chapter VIII 

The Passing of the White Wings 

IF one who knew the Hudson in his youth should 
return after half a century of absence, possibly 
the change which would strike him most forcibly 
would be in the character of the shipping. 

Turning his eyes away from the tall buildings, he 
would expect to discover in the river itself some realisa- 
tion of old memories; but in spite of familiar shore 
lines and well-known contours, the aspect of the 
stream would be strange and new. 

He would perhaps be bewildered, while he could not 
fail to be impressed, by the spectacular display of 
steam craft of every description, from the smallest 
launch that darts shoreward from the side of some 
trim yacht or imposing war vessel, to the ocean liners 
that move majestically from their piers and succeed in 
preserving an imposing dignity of demeanour in spite of 
the hustling, bustling, rowdy tugs to whose escort 
they have been committed. The ubiquitous tug is 
the irreclaimable tough of rivers and harbours: a 
swaggering, swearing, cock-sure rufhan, who respects 
neither age nor rank. It will tackle an Olympia with 

THE rilinriTOUS TUG 
(From a draining iy the author) 

The Passing of the White Wings 103 

as little ceremony as it would take hold of a Yucatan 
tramp or a Duluth whaleback, and would swing out an 
ocean gre>'hound with a saug frotd that smacks of lesc 

The tugboat acts upon the assumption that he has 
an unexpired lease upon all rivers, and to avoid "en- 
tangling alliances," other boats by common consent 
give him the widest possible berth. We say "he" ad- 
visedh'. All vessels are feminine except this cockerel 
of the brackish w^aters. 

The ferryboats — floating towns that hurl themselves 
from side to side of the river, transporting poptdations 
— are the w^onderful i:)rogen}" of the little steam ferry- 
boat that Col. John Stevens set afloat between New 
York and Hoboken in 181 1. 

Now the huge arks pass and repass, some to the point 
most nearly opposite, others crossing their course dia- 
gonallv, bound for a distant slip, and all engaged in 
what would seem to be a leviathan performance of Sir 
Roger de Coverley. 

The freighters find their way among the throng, 
some light and riding high, with the rusty red of their 
under hulls dropping sanguinary reflections on the 
waves; others ploughing deep. They carry a sordid, 
toil-worn air, as if to impress one with the fact that 
they have been buffeted by strange seas and moored 
beside unclean wharves imder the equator. 

Among them all is a barkentine, working her way 
through the press. One look is enough to identify her. 

I04 The Hudson River 

The long wooden stock of the anchor that is catted at 
her bow proclaims that she is from Nova Scotia or 
some of its English neighbours. By her course she is 
probably bound to Rockland Lake for ice. 

Beyond an overdecked river side-wheeler that sends 
a tidal wave to port and starboard as she goes, and sets 
all the river rocking, there is the trim, black hull of a 
foreign man-of-war at anchor. She has just arrived, 
and her spars for the present seem to be converted 
to laundry uses. A little farther upstream some 
private yachts glitter with clean paint and resplendent 

Everywhere there is life, motion, the expression of 
strength, — but where is the picture that memory re- 
calls of the old Hudson? Here is power, but at the 
expense of the romance, the poetry, may we say the 
l^eauty and grace of an earlier day. 

What naval spectacle or pageant can compare with 
the flight of the white wings that once were spread 
through all the sunUt reaches of the river, enchanted 
argosies that bore about them, if not the scent of san- 
dal wood and musky odour of spice islands, at least an 
undefined suggestion of remote wharves and unex- 
plored hamlets? 

From Burnet's Key and the old Albany Wharf and 
the market dock and fifty points and piers along the 
river shore they put out with whatever wind Provi- 
dence might send, be it favourable or unfavourable, 
for far-off villages along the Tappan Zee and Haver- 

The Passing of the White Wings 105 

straw Bay, and even beyond the Highlands as far as 
the navigable water flowed. 

The names of the old Hudson River captains of sail- 
ing craft are not all forgotten. Many an old resident 
will recall Thomas Brown, Charles and Isaac Depew, 
the Requas, the Lyons, James B. and John L. Travis, 
Vermilye, Storm, Conkling, Farrington, and others. 

Harvey P. Farrington is, at the time of this writing, a 
hale octogenarian, who graduated from a schooner into 
the steamboat ranks, from captain became owner, and 
is now, at a time of life when most men willingly retire 
from active business, to be found every day during 
business hours at one of the prominent city banks, of 
which he is a director. 

Samuel Requa, — "Captain Sam," — who with his 
father vised to own and run sailing vessels, and who 
afterwards took to steamboating, is now an honoured 
and substantial citizen of Tarry town. 

"Commodore" Vanderbilt once sailed a boat regu- 
larly between New York and Peekskill. 

Before the days of the railroad, and even for a num- 
ber of years after that destroyer of pristine conditions 
had been established, there was hardly a village on the 
Hudson that did not own a fleet of from five or six to 
fifty or sixty sail. Even now nearly half of the old 
men in many a town along shore answer to the title of 
captain, the explanation in each case being that " He 
used to follow the river. " Even the phrase has an old- 
time sound. Once it was an acknowledged and even 

io6 The Hudson River 

a proud profession to "follow the river." He who 
made the best runs and carried the biggest freights 
without loss of either deckload or time was counted a 
man among his fellow-men. 

There are a few of them left, — grizzled, keen-eyed, 
hard-fisted, broad shouldered, — a race by themselves, 
unhappily passing away, — the men who followed the 
river. They were in many cases the sons and grand- 
sons of sires who had browned in the sun and wind and 
shed the blood from their cracked fingers on the frozen 
sails and sheets of their craft long before Fort Wash- 
ington had a name or Newburgh was anything more 
than a place that shipped excellent butter. 

They carried peltries and flour from Rensselaerwyk 
and Esopus, and ran the dreaded gauntlet of the High- 
lands, saying their prayers in Dutch when the awful 
shadow of the phantom ship crossed their bows in the 
moonlight under Point no Point. From generation to 
generation they transmitted the legends and the secrets 
of boatcraf t that no mere landsman can ever know and 
— never one among them all had the wit or the skill to 
put pen to paper and set it down for our delectation 
and his own enduring fame. 

In ancient days it became necessary at times to re- 
strain the adventurous skippers by legislative act, or 
by an order of the New Amsterdam Court, which 
amounted to the same thing. In one of the old docu- 
ments which throw a flood of light upon the early man- 
ners and customs we read that: 

The Passing of the White Wings 107 

Whereas divers Skippers and Sloop captains have requested 
leave to sail to Esopus and Willemstadt with their vessels, 
whereby this city would be almost wholly stripped of craft, and 
the citizens greatly weakened, to prevent which those of the 
Court of this city are ordered to summon all skippers and sloop 
captains of this city before them, and to instruct them that no 
more than two sloops shall go at one time, by lot or rotation, to 
Willemstadt and Esopus and one sloop to the South river; nor 
shall they take any passengers with them from here without a 
pass; for such is found necessary for the better security of this 
city. Done Fort Willem Hendrick, as above. 

Fort Willem Hendrick was the name by which the 
Dutch called their stronghold on Manhattan after its 
recapture from the English. In a year, as we have seen, 
the Government was again in English hands, but 
there seems to have been no lack of honest apprecia- 
tion of the solid Dutch qualities of thrift and industry 
on the part of their new rulers. 

Between the Dutch and English navigators there 
was almost ceaseless trouble arising from the rival 
claims to the river and the jealousy of those who 
figured prospective honours and patroonships as the 
result of Indian trade. 

An amusing record of a Dutch to put a stop 
to English trading is given in the following words: 

7 November 1633. Jacob Jacobson Elkins, of Amsterdam 
merchant, aged about 42 yeares, sworn before William Merricke, 
doctor of lawes, surrogate to the righte worth Sir Henry Marten, 
Knight judge of his Majesties highe court off the Admiralltye. 

To the first interreye, hee sayeth, that within the time in- 
terrogate William Colbery, David Moregead, and John de la 
Barr, of London Merchants, att their owne proper costs and 

io8 The Hudson River 

chardges did freighte. victuall and sett forth the interrogate 
shippe, the Wilham of London (whereof WiUiam Trevorre was 
master) and did lade diverse goodes abord her, with intent, that 
she sould goe to Hutsons river in New England, within the 
dominions of the Kingh of England, to trade and trucke away 
such goods, as she carryed to the natives of those countries, for 
beaver skinnes and other skinnes and furrs; the premisses hee 
knoweth to bee true, for that he was factor for the said mer- 
chants in that voyage. 

To the second hee sayeth, that the said shippe, the William 
arrived att the forte, called ^lanhatton, also Amsterdam, in the 
said Hutsons river, uppon the twelvth daye of Aprill, last past; 
and sayeth, that the entrance of the said river is in the latitude 
of fourtie degrees and a halfe or thereaboutes, and in longitude 
aboud one and fortie degrees and a halfe. And after theire ar- 
rivall neere that forte, this deponente sente the Chirurgeon of 
the said shippe on shoare to the said forte, to intreate the Gover- 
nor to come abord the said shippe the William. Where uppon 
the said Governor bad the chirurgeon to comannde the master 
of the said shippe; and this axiadate beinge the factor to come 
on shoare to the fort, where the said Governor and others were 
sittinge in counsell together. And the said Governor demanded 
his deponente, wherefore hee was come thither, and what his 
business was. And this deponente replyed: to trade with the 
natives there, as hee had formerly done, for beaver and otter 
skinnes, and other skinnes and furrs. And then the said Gover- 
nor asked him for his commission, whereunto this deponente 
answered, that he was not bound to shewe it, for that he was then 
within the King of Englands dominions, and for that he was a 
servante to the subjectes of the said kinge; and desired of them 
to see what Commission they had, to plante there, within the 
King of Englands dominions. And he tould the said Governor, 
if he would not give him his good will soe to doe, hee would goe 
upp the said river without it, although it cost him his life. 
Whereuppon the Governor commannded all the companye of the 
said shippe to come on shoare. And in the presence of them all, 
the said Governor commannded, that the Prince of Orange his 
fiagge should bee putt upp in the forte, and three peeces of 


(From a drawing by the author) 


The Passing of the White Wings 1 1 1 

ordnance to bee shott off for the honor of the said Prince. And 
then this deponente commanded the gunner of the said shippe 
the William, to goe abord and putt upp the englishe flagge, and 
to shoote of three peeces of ordnance for the honor of the King 
of England. And then the said Governor badd this deponente, 
take heede, that it did not cost him his necke, or his (: the said 
Governors). And after the premisses this deponente and the 
companye of the William wente upp the said river to trade, and 
comminge neere the forte, called Orange, the Governor of that 
forte would not suffer theire shallopp to come to the shoare, to 
trade there. Whereuppon this deponente wente a mile belowe 
that forte, and there sett upp a tent, and carried all theire goodes 
on shoare, and was in trade with the Salvages. And the Dutch 
sett up a tent by the said englishe tent, to hinder theire trade 
as much as they could. And then there came souldiers from 
both the said dutch forts with musketts, halfe pikes, swords and 
other weapons, and beat some Indians, which came to trade with 
this deponente, and commannded this exaidate and companye to 
departe from thence, sayinge that that land was theirs, they 
havinge boughte it of the Salvages. And then the Dutch pulled 
downe the tente of the Englishe, and sente theire goodes abord, 
some in a shalloppe, belonginge to the William, and some in a 
boate, belonginge to the Dutch; and then the Dutch weighed the 
anchors of the William, and carrying them abord her. And 
afterwardes the said shippe goinge downe the said river againe 
when she came to Manhatton forte, this deponente beinge there 
on shoare. The Governor commannded him to sende all the 
beaver and other skinnes on shoare to the fort, which this de- 
ponente and companye had gott in trucke with the salvages; 
which this deponente refusinge to doe, the Governor then de- 
manded a particular of all the skinnes that were abord the said 

The principal Towns within this Government [wrote Gover- 
nor Dongan to the home government], are Xew York and 
Albany and Kingston at Esopus. xVU the rest are country 
villages, the Buildings in New York and Albany are generally 
of Stone and brick. In the country the houses are mostly 
new built, having two or three rooms on a floor. The Dutch are 

112 The Hudson River 

great improvers of land. New York and Albany live wholly 
upon trade with the Indians, England and West Indies. The 
returns for England are generally Beaver Peltry, Oile and 
Tobacco when we can have it. To the West Indies wee send 
Flower, Bread, Pease Pork and sometimes Horses: the return 
from thence for the most part is Rumm, which pays the king 
a considerable Excise, and some Molasses which serves the 
people to make drink and pays noe custom. 

There are about nine or ten three Mast Vessels of about 
eighty or a Hundred tons burthen, two or three ketches and Barks 
of about forty Tun ; and about twenty Sloops of about twenty 
or five and twenty Tun belonging to the Government — All of 
which Trade for England Holland and the West Indies, except 
five or six sloops that use the river Trade to Albany and that 

In 1694 there belonged to the city of New Amster- 
dam sixty ships, twenty-five sloops, and forty boats. 
But neither then nor at any time in its history did the 
number of sail owned on the island begin to indicate 
the extent of its river trade, or the size of the fleet at 
its wharves. 

Through two centuries the river traffic under sail in- 
creased, with few setbacks. Of course the War for 
Independence interfered for a while with trade and 
travel, but they were resumed as soon as the country 
was once more at peace. Almost the last to disappear 
when steam superseded sail propulsion were the boats 
that carried the least perishable kinds of farm produce. 
But now, except for an occasional Haverstraw brick 
schooner, or a pleasure boat from Nyack or Piermont, 
there is hardly a sail to be seen on a summer day from 
Paulus Hook to Croton. 

The Passing' of the White Wings 113 

Yes, we acknowledge the |)rogress, the utiht>', the 
convenience; but the picture of another Hudson, 
radiant in the noontide, hke a pkiin of l:)urnished silver 
between its purple hills, is present to the mind's eye. 
It is sparkling with sails, white and glistening as pearls 
upon a baldric. A hundred are in sight, and a hundred 


{From a drawing 6y the author^ 

and a hundred more stretch in endless procession to 
the shallows of the upper ri\'er. They feed the imagi- 
nation and satisfy the sense of beauty as the mechanical 
inventions of the marine steamfitter can never do. 

In the name of sentiment we deplore the passing of 
the white wings. 

It is said that the old rivermen measured the river 

114 The Hudson River 

by "reaches," counting fourteen of these between New 
York and the head of navigation. The first extended 
past the long wall of the PaHsades, the " Great Chip 
rock" of the old deeds. The second reach included 
the Tappan Zee, and took the voyager as far as Haver- 
straw, which gave name to the third. Beyond the 
Haverstraw was Seylmaker's Reach, then Hoge's, next 
Vorsen, which included the hazardous passage of the 
Highlands. After that was Fisher's Reach, to Esopus, 
and Claverack next, with Bacerack, Playsier, Vaste, 
and Hunters succeeding each other as far as Kinder- 

In an earlier — shall we say simpler? — time, the lines 
of social demarkation were more closely drawn than 
even at the present day, and the divinity that hedged 
the matrons and maidens of the upper class frequently 
stipulated for private conveyance. In one instance 
(that came to the writer at first hand, by personal 
narration) a careful father, living at Hudson, had his 
vessel repainted and renovated throughout, that his 
daughter might visit New York in a style befitting her 
social station. The voyage took nearly a week, and 
was remembered as one of the experiences of life for 
threescore years and ten. 

Among the narratives of ri\'er travel a hundred years 
ago, none has been preserved that gives a more graphic 
or delightful picture of old scenes and customs than 
that contained in one of Washington Irving 's letters. 
He is referring to a vovage made in 1800. 

The Passing of the White Wings 115 

I\Iy first voyage up the Hudson was made in early boyhood, 
in the good old times before steamboats and railroads had anni- 
hilated time and space, and driven all poetry and romance out 
of travel. A voyage to Albany then, was equal to a voyage to 
Europe at present, and took almost as much time. We enjoyed 
the beauties of the river in those days; the features of nature 
were not all jumbled together, nor the towns and villages huddled 
one into the other by railroad speed as they are now. 

I was to make the voyage under the protection of a relative 
of mature age; one experienced in the river. His first care was 
to look out for a favorite sloop and captain, in wdiich there was 
great choice. 

The constant voyaging in the river craft by the best families 
of New York and Albany, made the merits of captains and sloops 
matters of notoriety and discussion in both cities. The captains 
were mediums of communication between separated friends and 
families. On the arrival of one of them at either place he had 
messages to deliver and commissions to execute which took him 
from house to house. Some of the ladies of the family had, 
perad venture, made a voyage on board of his sloop, and ex- 
perienced from him that protecting care which is always remem- 
bered with gratitude by female passengers. In this way the 
captains of Albany sloops were personages of more note in the 
community than captains of European packets or steamships at 
the present day. A sloop was at length chosen ; but she had yet 
to complete her freight and secure a sufficient number of passen- 
gers. Days were consumed in " drumming up " a cargo. This 
was a tormenting delay to me who was about to make my first 
voyage, and who, boy-like, had packed up my trunk on the first 
mention of the expedition. How often that trunk had to he un- 
packed and repacked before w^e sailed! 

At length the sloop actually got under w^ay. As she worked 
slowly out of the dock into the stream, there was a great ex- 
change of last words between friends on board and friends on 
shore, and much waving of handkerchiefs when the sloop was 
out of hearing. 

Our captain was a worthy man, native of Albany, of one of 
the old Dutch stocks. His crew was composed of blacks, reared 

ii6 The Hudson River 

in the family and belonging to him; for negro slavery still 
existed in the State. All his communications with them were 
in Dutch. They were obedient to his orders, though they occa- 
sionally had much previous discussion of the wisdom of them, 
and were sometimes positive in maintaining an opposite opinion. 
This was especially the case with an old grey-headed negro, who 
had sailed with the captain's father when the captain was a mere 
boy, and who was very crabbed and conceited on points of sea- 
manship. I observed that the captain generally let him have 
his own way. 

What a time of intense delight was that first sail through 
the Highlands. I sat on the deck as we slowly tided along at the 
foot of those stern mountains, and gazed with wonder and ad- 
miration at cliffs impending far above me, crowned with forests, 
with eagles saiHng and screaming around them; or listened to 
the unseen stream dashing down precipices; or beheld rock, and, 
tree, and cloud, and sky reflected in the glassy stream of the 
river. And then how solemn and thrilling the scene as we an- 
chored at night at the foot of these mountains, clothed with 
overhanging forests; and everything grew dark and mysterious; 
and I heard the plaintive note of the whip-poor-will from the 
mountain-side, or was startled now and then by the sudden leap 
and heavy splash of the sturgeon. 

In 1840 N. P. Willis wrote: 

The passage through the Highlands at West Point still bears 
the old name of Wey Gat or Wind-gate ; and one of the prettiest 
moving dioramas conceivable, is the working through the gorge 
of the myriad sailing craft of the river. The sloops which ply 
the Hudson, by the way, are remarkable for their picturesque 
beauty, and for the enormous quantity of sail they carry on in all 
weathers, and nothing is more beautiful than the little fleets of 
from six to a dozen,] all scudding or tacking together, like so 
many white sea birds on the wing. Up they come, with a dash- 
ing breeze, under Anthony's Nose, and the sugar loaf, and giving 
the rocky toe of West Point a wide berth, all down helm and 
round into the bay: when — just as the peak of Crow Nest slides 

The Passing' of the White Wings 117 

its shadow over the mainsail — slap comes the wind aback and 
the whole fleet is in a flutter. The channel is narrow and ser- 
pentine, the wind baffling, and small room to beat : but the craft 
are worked merrily and well ; and dodging about as if to escape 
some invisible imp of the air they gain point after point till at 
last they get the Dunderbarrck behind them and fall once more 
into the regular current of the wind. 

There ha\'e been not a few of the old river captains 
whose activity led them into new fields when forced 
to abandon the occupation of their earlier days. 

Some of them may be found in directors' chairs in 
transportation companies and financial institutions. 
It took a large amount of hard horse sense to run a 
river schooner successfully in the old days of frequent 
crises and sharp competition, and the man who could 
cope with the shippers and the market men, keep the 
weather gage of rivals and more than hold his own 
with wind and tide, was very apt to be a valuable man 
in any active business. 

In most cases it was the old schooner and sloop 
skippers that became captains of steam craft, and 
afterw^ards were frequently counted among the mag- 
nates of the river. 

Many of the older river steamboats bear the names 
of men who 'Tollowed the river, man and boy" for 
many years, and were better known at most of the 
landing places than the Governor of the State or the 
member of Assembly from the district. 

Chapter IX 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 

ROBERT FULTON, whose name is indissolubly 
connected with the history of navigation and 
no less intimately associated with the story 
of the Hudson River, was born in America before the 
War for Independence. 

According to the most approved precedents, he 
showed in early boyhood a promise of inventive ability, 
in combination with a taste for art; the latter culti- 
vated under the direction of the noted painter, Benja- 
min West. While in London, engaged in his chosen 
work, he became interested in canals and wrote a trea- 
tise on Canal Navigation. This was published, the au- 
thor at the same time ol:)taining patents on a double 
inclined plane designed to take the place of locks in 
small canals. 

This work, done by Fulton while sojourning in Eng- 
land, found its way across the ocean and attracted the 
attention of Albert Gallatin and others, who were the 
means of introducing the inventor and his ideas to 
the notice of Congress, which led to a fuller exposition 
of his views, prepared at the request of that body. Later 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 119 

we find him advocatini^, if he did not suggest, the Erie 
Canal scheme, upon which he re])orted, as one of the 
commissioners. Among his various inventions were a 
mill for sawing marble, a machine for flax-spinning, a 
dredging machine, several types of canal-boats, a sub- 
marine torpedo, and a boat designed to act in conjunc- 
tion w^ith it. The plans for the last invention were 
carried out in France. Fulton actually submerged his 
craft at a depth of twenty feet, and stayed under water 
in her for four hours and a half. He carried a supply of 
air compressed in a copper globe, and propelled the 
boat by means of a hand-engine. , 

We have seen that Bushnell, in 1776, invented a 
torpedo and submarine boat to act in conjunction with 
it, — contrivances in which Israel Putnam seems to have 
placed great confidence, — but he never succeeded in 
making them practicable. Fulton, on the contrary, 
did blow up a vessel provided for the purpose, and 
demonstrated the destructi\'e value of his work. 

Fulton never claimed to be the first to propose steam 
navigation. Experiments in the same direction seem 
to have been made in 1690, or even earlier. The names 
of Blasco de Gary (Spanish), Papin, Jonathan Hulls, 
William Henry, Count d'Auxiron, M. Perier, Marquis 
de Jouffroy, James Rumsey, Nathan Read, John Fitch, 
and several others are in line before we reach that of 
Robert Fulton. His one peculiar title to pre-eminence 
was in the fact that he succeeded. 

Rumsey came very near to success. He not only 

I20 The Hudson River 

completed a steamboat that was capable of moving 
through the water at a very moderate rate of speed, 
but he actually ran his steamer as a public carrier on 
the Delaware all through the summer of 1790. Fitch 
sailed a scrczv steamer on the old collect pond in New 
York before the Clermont was built ; but both Rumsey 
and Fitch died before their tasks were accomplished. 
Then there were Ormsbee, Morey, and others, busy 
with experiments. The thing was so evidently in the 
air that it would have been almost a miracle if a busy 
brain like Fulton's had not caught the infection. 

When Fulton took up the problem of steam navi- 
gation he was fortunate in having as his coadjutor one 
of the remarkable men of his time. The Honourable 
Robert R. Livingston was one of the committee that 
drafted the Declaration of Independence, he was a 
member of the committee that framed the first con- 
stitution of New York, was the first Chancellor of the 
State and forever to be remembered as having ad- 
ministered the oath of office to the first President of 
the United States. 

Livingston, who had himself experimented with steam 
navigation, fell in with Fulton when he was in France 
as American Minister. They became acquainted about 
1802, and were soon mutually engrossed in the plans 
for a steamboat which was made under Fulton's im- 
mediate supervision. In the following year the con- 
trivance was completed. It had been built at their 
joint expense, but we do not find that then or after- 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 121 

wards Livingston was practically engaged in the ac- 
tual labour of invention or construction. His connection 
seems rather to have been that of a business partner or 

Preparations for a trial of their boat in the Seine 
were interrupted by the collapse of the contrivance, 
which broke in two and sunk in the river. Fulton 
succeeded, however, in raising the wreck, and, having 
repaired the hull, proceeded to demonstrate his theory. 
The trial was pronounced a success and the partners 
agreed to construct a larger boat on the Hudson River. 
For this enterprise Livingston was to supply the funds. 

The engine was ordered from Messrs. Boulton and 
Watt, of Birmingham. It was built from specifications 
furnished by Fulton, but so greatly was the work de- 
layed that it arrived in New York subsequently to the 
inventors' return in 1806. 

A bill was passed by the Legislature, similar to one 
previously obtained b}' Livingston, renewing an ex- 
clusive privilege granted him before his departure for 
France. This act gave the associates the sole right to 
navigate the waters of New York State by steam for 
twenty years, an allowance of two years being made 
for the completion of the first steamboat. 

The actual outlay for the boat exceeded the esti- 
mated cost, and it was found necessary to raise money 
by subscription. Among the subscribers was Robert 
Lenox, who, according to one account, put down a 
hundred dollars, but would not allow his name to be 

122 The Hudson River 

used because he did not wish to have it connected with 
such a preposterous scheme. 

The vessel was built at the shipyard of Charles Brown, 
on the East River, and not, as some writers have 
claimed, in the North Bay, near the Livingston manor- 
house of Clermont, at Tivoli. Xor can we find any 
warrant for the tradition that the plans for the boat 
were made at Clermont, though very possibly they 
may have been altered or perfected there. 

Fulton's plans w^ere said to have been marvels of 
careful detail, and we know that the engines for the 
steamboat were ordered in England before he had 
returned to America. We must, therefore, suppose 
that the plans were mainly worked out in .France, 
w^here most of the preliminary experimenting had 
been done. 

The steamer was named the Clcrinont, in compli- 
ment to Livingston. It was one hundred and thirty 
feet long, sixteen feet wide, and four feet deep, of one 
hundred and sixty tons measurement. The engine had 
a steam cylinder twenty-four inches in diameter, with 
a four-foot stroke. The boiler was twenty b}' seven 
by eight feet, and the wheels measured fifteen feet in 
diameter. This singular craft carried a smoke-stack 
that was very tall in comparison w4th the size of the 
boat and her paddle-w^heels were unco\'ered. Alto- 
gether, she was something of a monstrosity, as com- 
pared with the river boats of to-day. 

A contemporaneous account of the trial trip of the 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 125 

CIcnuoiit, in the summer of 1807, makes interesting 

d Nothing could exceed the surprise and admiration of all who 
....nessed the experiment. The minds of the most incredulous 
were changed in a few minutes. Before the boat had made the 
progress of a quarter of a mile, the greatest unbeliever must 
have been converted. The man who, while he looked on the 
expensive machine, thanked his stars that he had more wisdom 
than to waste his money on such idle schemes, changed the 
expression of his features as the boat moved from the wharf and 
gained her speed; his complacent smile gradually stiffened into 
an expression of wonder. The jeers of the ignorant, who had 
neither sense nor feeling enough to suppress their contemptuous 
ridicule and rude jokes, were silenced for a moment by a vulgar 
astonishment, which deprived them of the power of utterance, 
till the triumph of genius extorted from the incredulous multi- j 
tude which crowded the shores, shouts and acclamations of / 
congratvilation and applause. ^^-l 

Fulton, in a letter to the American Citizen, in sen- 
tences that show a stern repression of the pride that 
must ha\'e made his nerves dance, speaks of the achieve- 
ment of his cherished plans. He states, briefly, that 
he has returned from Albany, and modestly mentions 
his hope that "such boats may be rendered of great 
importance to my country." He then proceeds to the 
statement of facts regarding his voyage. 

rl left New Yoi-k on ^Monday at one o'clock, and arrived at 
Clermont, the seat of Chancellor Livingston, at one o'clock on 
Tuesday — time, twenty-four hours: distance, one hundred and 
ten miles. On Wednesday, I departed from the Chancellor's at 
nine in the morning, and arrived at Albany at five in the 
afternoon — distance, forty miles; time, eight hours. The sum 
is one hundred and fifty miles in thirty-two hours, equal to near 
five miles an hour. 

126 The Hudson River 

On Thursday, at nine o'clock in the morning, I left Albany, 
and arrived at the Chancellor's at six in the evening: I started 
from thence at seven, and arrived at New York at four in the 
afternoon — time, thirty hours; space run through, one hundred 
and fifty miles; equal to five miles an hour. Throughout mv 
whole way, both going and returning, the wind was ahead; no 
advantage could be derived from my sails: the whole has, there- 
fore, been performed by the power of the steam-engine. 
1 am sir, your obedient servant, ' 

Robert Fulton. 

One frightened spectator of Fulton's experiment 
described the contrivance as " the Devil in a sawmill ' ' — 
a not inapt comparison. The invited guests who stood 
upon the deck of the first of all successful steamboats 
as it snorted and puffed and clattered on its way up the 
river, must have been prepared for any emergency. 
We can imagine the more timorous ardently wishing 
themselves on shore again, £ind feeling that they had 
indeed taken their lives in their hands. 

The use of fat pine wood for fuel made a particularly 
impressive spectacle when night overtook the voyagers, 
for the sparks flew in a ceaseless stream and warranted the 
statement that " It was a monster, moving on the river, 
defying wind and tide, and breathing flames and smoke. ' ' 

Such wa s the progenitor of all the steam-craft in the 
world, and this the death-warrant to the fleets of sails 
that used to gladden the bosom of the Hudson. True, 
the execution of the warrant was delayed for more than 
half a century, or rather was accomplished by insensible 
degrees, so that no definite date can be assigned to it — 
but accomplished it finally is. 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 127 

When the saiHng vessels had resigned their jxissen- 
ger service, as well as much of the freight traffic, to the 
new-fangled fire-eaters that infested the ri\-er, a class 
of boats developed that never had their like on earth 
before and probably ne\'er will again. They came by 
the scores, monopolising the business until the advent 
of the railwav. They were built for speed and were 


barbaric in their gorgeous display of gingerbread and 
gold. The taste and temperament — in a word, the 
personality — of the average American citizen of ante- 
bellum times was made concrete in the Hudson River 
steamboat. It somehow suggested the man who might 
buy an onyx mantel-piece for the satisfaction of putting 
his feet on it. Those great, resplendent, costly, com- 
fortless, tasteless vessels, overloaded with ornament 
and magnificently vulgar, were the pride of the towns 
from which they hailed, and each boat had its retinue 
of eager partisans, always ready to engage in a wordy 


The Hudson River 

warfare concerning the respective merits of their 
favourite and its rivals. 

The first seven steamboats built to run upon the 
Hudson were the Clcnnont, Xortli River, Car of Nep- 
tune, Hope, Perseverance, Paragon, and Richmond. Of 
these, one was completed in 1807, two in 1808 and 1809, 
respectively, three in 181 1, and one in 18 13. At first, 

" PARAGON," iS] 

the rates of fare were such as to be prohibitive to any 
but travellers of means, though the accommodations 
were hardly such as would be considered "palatial" 
by the tourist of latter days. 

The advertisement of distances, time, and charges, 
was as follows: 

From New York to Newburg S3. Time 14 hours 

" Poughkeepsie 4. " 17 

" Esopus 5. " 20 

" " " " Hudson 51. " 30 " 

" " Albany 7. " 36 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 129 

In an advertisement, ])ublished in 1808, the time- 
table for the boat is sui)plemented by the following 
caution : 

As the time at which the boat may arrive at the different 
places above mentioned may vary an hour, more or less, accord- 
ing to the advantage or disadvantage of wind and tide, those who 
wish to come on board will see the necessity of being on the 
spot an hour before the time. Persons wishing to come on 

-^ '~~^^^ 


board from any landing other than these here specified can 
calculate the time the boat will pass and be ready on her arrival. 
Innkeepers or boatmen who bring passengers on board or take 
them ashore from any part of the river will be allowed one 
shilling for each person. 

All passengers other than those regularly shipped at 
the stated landing-places were required to pay at the 
rate of one dollar for every twenty miles, and half a 
dollar for each meal taken on board. Baggage was al- 
lowed free, if below sixty pounds in w^eight, and freight 
was carried at the rate of three cents a pound. 

Some of the old river boats had an interesting his- 
torv. One, called the New World, that used to run 

130 The Hudson River 

between New York and Albany, was cut up and taken to 
San Francisco, and, having been put together again, ran 
between that city and Sacramento as El Capitan. The 
Sivallow made a disastrous ending on the rocks in the 
forties, another found her final resting-place at Pier- 
mont, while Kingston was for years a tying-up place 
for decrepid hulls that once throbbed and trembled 
under the stress of over-taxed boilers and engines in 
the frequent mad races for supremacy on the river. 

When Vanderbilt's steamer, Westchester, was running 
and trying to monopolise business (in 1832) an associa- 
tion was formed to build and run a ri\'al boat in the 
interest of farmers and shippers. Subscribers were 
found all along the ri\^er and the famous Water Witch 
came into being. Then commenced a rivalry so in- 
tense that the rate of fare dropped to twelve-and-a- 
half cents from New York to Peekskill. The war ended 
b}" the purchase of a controlling interest in the new 
boat by the " Commodore" and the restoration of high 

Thomas Stanton built the Trojan at West Troy, and, 
afterwards, several other steamboats, the two best 
known being the Anjieiiia and the Daniel Drew, which 
was his last. The Dreiv was chartered to take the 
Prince of Wales and his suite to Albany, at the time 
that the Prince (now Edward VII.) made his memor- 
able visit to America. 

A well-known river steamboat, the General Jackson, 
exi^loded her boilers on the trip from Peekskill to New 

„ jii. It mm . *, 



,i •>: 


jl, i- 


Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 133 

York. The accident occurred off Grassy Point and 
resulted in the death of several persons. Jacob Van- 
derbilt, a brother of the Commodore, was her captain. 
One of the noted rivalries of the time we are writing of 
occurred between the steamboats Kosciiisco and Tele- 
graph. It was a never-ending trial of speed between 
the two boats, and became so exciting that they some- 
times omitted to stop for passengers. On one occasion 
fifty people were left behind at Peekskill, cherishing 
emotions that were probably unfit for publication. 
The Kosciusco was finally defeated by her rival. 

We ask about the Reindeer, — that exploded and 
burned at Maiden in 1852, — the Alexis, the Henry Clay; 
and the answer is a melancholy reminiscence. The case 
of the last-named boat was one of the peculiarly dread- 
ful tragedies that the history of steamboating presents. 
In 1852, this po])ular boat, while making her regular 
run and crowded with passengers, was discovered to be 
on fire. She was headed for the shore at Riverdale and 
ran hard aground near the wharf. But while from the 
bow of the boat it was only a step to the shore, yet 
the stern floated in deep water, and the majority of 
the passengers w^ere imprisoned by the flames in that 
part of the boat. A wild panic ensued. The heli)less 
people, without means of escape and maddened l)v the 
intense heat, leaped into the river and literally fought 
w^ith each other in their eagerness to reach the shore, 
pulHng each other, in many instances, under the waves, 
so that the strong went down with the weak. The 

134 The Hudson River 

victims were numbered by scores, and for days the 
river shore was thronged by the relatives and friends 
of missing passengers, trying to identify the bodies 
that the tide washed ashore. This disaster had a sad 
Ijre-eminence and pkmged the whole State in gloom. 
A graphic picture of steamboat travel on the Hudson 
was presented by the lively pen of N. P. Willis, in 1840. 

With most persons [he wrote], to mention the Pahsades is 
only to recall the confusion of a steamer's deck, just off from 
the wharf, with a freight of seven or eight hundred souls hoping 
to "take tea" in Albany. The scene is one of inextricable con- 
fusion, and it is not till the twenty miles of the Palisades are 
well passed that the bewildered passenger knows rightly whether 
his wife, child, or baggage, whichever may be his tender care, is 
not being left behind at the rate of fifteen miles in the hour. 

I have often flung my valise into the corner, and, sure that 
the whole of my person and personal effects was vmder way, 
watched the maniform embarrassments and troubles that beset 
the uninitiated voyager upon the Hudson. Fifteen minutes 
before the starting of the boat, there is not a passenger aboard: 
"time is money," and the American, counting it as part of the 
expense, determines to pay only "on demand." He arrives 
on the narrow pier at the same instant with seven hundred men, 
ladies, and children, besides lapdogs, crammed baskets, uncut 
novels, and baggage for the whole. No commissioner in the 
world would guarantee to get all this freight on board in the 
given time, and yet it is done, to the daily astonishment of news- 
paper hawkers, orange women, and penny-a-liners watching for 
dreadful accidents. 

The plank is drawn in, the wheels begin to paw like foaming 
steeds impatient to be off, the bell rings as if it were letting 
down the steps of the last hackney-coach, and away darts the 
boat, like half a town suddenly slipping off and taking a walk 
on the water. The "hands" (who follow their nomenclature 
literally, and have neither eyes nor bowels) trip up all the little 
children and astonished maids in coiling up the hawser: the 

Fulton and the Hudson River Steamboat 137 

black head-waiter rings a hand-bell as if he were crazy, exhorting 
"Them passengers as has n't settled to step to the Cap'n's office 
and settle," and angry people who have lost sight of their port- 
manteaus and selfish people who will )wt get up to let the young 
gentleman see if his penny trumpet is under them, play a real- 
life farce better than Keeley or Liston. 

A painted notice and a very fat black woman in the doorway 
inform the gentleman who has not seen his wife since the boat 
started, and is not at all sure that she is on board, that "No 
gentleman is permitted to enter the ladies' cabin," and spite of 
his dreadful uncertainty, he is obliged to trust to the dark Hebe 
to find her, among three hundred ladies, by description, and 
amuses all the listeners with his inventory of her dress features 
and general appearance. The negress disappears, is called 
twenty ways in twenty seconds, and an hour afterwards the 
patient husband sees the faithless messenger pass with a glass 
of lemonade, having utterly forgotten him and the lady in the 
black bonnet and gray eyes, who may be, for ought he knows 
to the contrary, wringing her hands at this moment on the 
wharf at New York. 

By this time the young ladies are tired of looking at the Pali- 
sades, and have taken out their novels, the old gentlemen are 
poring over their damp newspapers, and the captain has received 
his fourteen hundred or two thousand dollars, locked up his 
office, and gone to smoke with the black funnel and the engineer. 
The broad waters of the Tappan Zee open before the flying cut- 
water; those who have never been up the river before think of 
poor Andre as they pass Tappan and Tarry town, and those who 
love gentle worth and true genius begin to look out for Sleepy 
Hollow and the house of Washington Irving. It is a ciuiet little 
spot, buried in trees and marked with an old Dutch vane. 
May his latter days, when they shall come, find there the rever- 
ence and repose which are his due! 

Still the old order changes. As the white wings made 
way before the steamboat of Fulton's time and that in 
turn retired to give precedence to the swashbuckling 
river-craft of half a centurv ago, so these, too, have 

138 The Hudson River 

disappeared, and now the traveller finds great floating 
hotels, run to maintain, in comfort and fidelity to 
schedule time, a successful rivalry with the modern 
railroad service. Their appointments are no longer 
barbaric, their accommodations no longer uncomfort- 
able, their voyages no longer invitations to disaster 
and sudden death. By day, they sweep by the base 
of the echoing hihs or into the open river reaches with 
a dignity of presence and a majesty of motion that 
fit well with their surroundings; and, by night, the 
inquisitive eye of the almost omniscient search-light 
explores the secrets of the sleeping shores. But it dis- 
covers no one ready to stand amazed at this or any 
other marvel, as the villagers and boatmen did when 
Fulton directed the little Clermont up the stream a 
century ago, and filled the night with corruscations of 
fat pine sparks, and the quiet sleepy hamlets with the 
rattle and splash of his primitive engine. 

Chapter X 

Riverside to Inwood 

RIVERSIDE PARK has been called "the mere 
aggrandisement of a road." In a sense that 
is true and yet the aggrandisement of such 
a road in such a way suggests the embellishment of a 
book by extra illustration, till the original volume 
appreciates in value beyond computation. 

From 7 2d Street to 130th Street, between Eleventh 
and Twelfth Avenues — the latter near the river level 
— Riverside Drive winds over hill and dale for three 
miles. There are few roads in the world that can com- 
pare with it. Every turn is a revelation of natural 
beauty and every hillock is crowned with some historic 

This is not a single road, but a "cluster of ample 
ways" for pleasure riding and driving, with number- 
less nooks " that a bee might choose to dream in," and 
sudden revelations of the river at points where natural 
advantages have been seized with consummate art. 

x\cross to Fort Lee, along the sheer wall of the Pali- 
sades, or down past the busy shipping to w^here Bar- 
tholdi's statue lifts her unwearied ann, the outlook 


140 The Hudson River 

is a panoramic displa}^ of exquisite charm. There is 
nothing that seems trivial in all the prospect: in all 
that comes within the range of the eye the " large be- 
nignities" of sky and river conspire to delight it. 

The changing hues of colour, the evanescent shadows 
playing across the distant hills, the long lanes of wind- 
drift vanishing in perspective, present not one picture, 
but a never-ending succession of them. 

Near the southern end of Riverside Drive used to 
be a place of resort known as Elm Park. 

Mr. Benson J. Lossing describes it as a camp-ground 
for recruits during the Civil War, " once the seat of the 
Apthorpe family." The Apthorpe mansion stood at 
the corner of 9 1 st Street and Columbus Avenue. Wash- 
ington had his headquarters here for a very brief time. 
The de Lancey house, the property of General Oliver 
de Lancey, stood at about 86th Street. In the winter 
of 1777, while the owner was absent, a party of young 
men came down from Tarrytown, bent on retaliation 
for the burning of the Van Tassel house, not far from 
there. They were led by Martlings and others, and 
succeeded in passing the British lines and setting fire 
to the de Lancey mansion. The ladies escaped in their 
night dresses, as those of the Van Tassel farmhouse 
had done a short time before. 

Ri\-erside looks down at one point into the hollow 
that was known in the old times as Marritje David's 
Vly, now 127th Street. It keeps its watch above the 
turmoil of the waters and the travel upon their bosom, 

Riverside to Inwood 143 

and wears proudh' its own record of Revolutionary 

The trees that crown this ridge and sentinel its slopes 
gi\'e an impression of venerable antic[uity, and it is 
difficult to receive without a grain of allowance the 
record that tells how, during the severe winter of 1779- 
80, when the island was under martial law, General 
Robertson stripped the land of its trees for fuel. 

At the north end of Riverside is the restaurant where 
Jones's Claremont Hotel stood, half a century ago. 
The older dwelling that it rejDlaced was the residence 
of Doctor Post, who gave it the name of Claremont. 
Viscount Courtenay, afterwards Earl of Devon, lived 
there at one time, previous to the War of 181 2. Joseph 
Buonaparte, ex-king of Spain, when in exile, also made 
Claremont his residence for a while, and Francis Jones 
Jackson, the British minister, lived there during his 
term of office. The spot has many historic associations 
to enhance its natural attractiveness, but a far decider 
significance was added when, in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Claremont was selected the site for the 
Grant mausoleum, that, apart from its pretensions 
to architectural excellence, attracts attention by its 
magnetic appeal to one of the noblest of human senti- 

The tomb of General Grant is on Riverside Drive at 
123d Street, and is a conspicuous landmark, as seen 
from the river. With a superficial area of 8100 square 
feet and an extreme height of 150 feet, fashioned in 


The Hudson River 

white granite from Maine, this mausoleum takes rank 
among the most cek^brated commemorative buildings 
in the world. The circular cupola, surrounded by 
columns and surmounted by a conical cap or dome, 
rests upon a massive cube of masonry, relieved by 
entablature, frieze, and columns of pure Ionic design 
and entered through a portico of noble proportions. 

This is not the place to describe the interior of this 
remarkable tomb, with its impressive chamber and the 
crypt wherein lies the dust of General Grant in a sar- 
coi)hagus of red porph}^r>'. The tomb was built with the 
contributions of 90,000 subscriptions to a fund that 
aggregated $600,000, and the corner-stone was laid by 
President Hamson in April, 1892. 

The late Chinese statesman, Li Hung Chang, was an 
early subscriber to the monument fund and presented 
a gingko tree, which is growing at the north side of the 
tomb. Upon it a bronze tablet bears this inscription: 

This tree is planted at the side of the tomb of General U. S. 
Grant, ex- President of the United States of America, for the 
purpose of commemorating his greatness, by Li Hung Chang, 
Guardian of the Prince, Grand Secretary of State, Earl of the 
First Order Yang Hu, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary of China, Vice-President of the Board of Censors. 
Kwang Hsu, 23d year, 4th moon, May, 1897. 

Some distance to the south of Grant's tomb, at 89th- 
90th Streets is the new soldiers' and sailors' monu- 

Back of Riverside, upon the ridge now known as 
Cathedral Heights, the magnificent cathedral of St. 

Riverside to Inwood 147 

John the Divine is now (1902) Ijeing erected on a site 
co^'ering three city blocks, from iioth to 113th Streets. 
The corner-stone was laid in 1892, and possibly most of 
the present generation of men will have passed away 
before the entire work is completed. The cost will a|)- 
proximate six millions of dollars. 

Cathedral Heights is at the southern end of Morn- 
ingside Heights, a region that has been fitly charac- 
terised by Mr. Seth Low as "the Acropolis of the New 
World." Crowning the Heights, among the most con- 
spicuous landmarks of the Hudson, are the buildings 
of Columbia University. These, when all com])leted, 
will number fifteen, central among which is the unique 
Low Memorial Library. It is one of the purest ex- 
amples of classic Greek architecture in America. In 
form, its describes a Maltese cross, surmounted by a 
dome of noble proportions, Ijcneath which is the al- 
ready famous rotunda that constitutes the central 
feature of the building. A statue of Pallas Athene 
stands at the doorway, within the ample colonnade, 
to reach which one must cross the broad, paved espla- 
nade and mount a wide flight of stairs — for the 
architects wisely put this building on a grade far 
enough above that of the street to add to its impres- 
sive beauty. 

The other buildings of the University group that are 
already completed are the Engineering Building, Scher- 
merhorn, Fayerweather, and Havemeyer Halls, and 
part of University Hall. 

148 The Hudson River 

Columbia College was first of all the old King's 
College, founded by Royal charter in the time of 
George II. After the independence of the colonies 
was won, " King's" became " Columbia." The present 
site is the latest, and it is hoped the last, of several 
homes that have been familiar to successive genera- 
tions of Columbia alumuce. 

The buildings of Columbia University are upon the 
ground made memorable in American history by what 
has been called the Battle of Harlem Heights, to which 
particular reference is made in another chapter. On 
the Broadway side of the Engineering Building there 
is a bronze tablet commemorating this action, which 
took place on the i6th of September, 1776. 

Near Columbia, only separated by Broadway, is 
Barnard College, for women, which is a department of 
the University. This is at 119th Street. At 120th 
is the Teachers College, founded in 1886 by Miss Grace 
Dodge. This also is now a part of Columbia. 

One of the most notable structures along the ridge 
is that of St. Luke's Hospital, opposite the Cathedral 
grounds, at 113th Street. 

Back from the river and hidden, except at one or 
two points, where a transverse \^alley crosses the main 
ridge of the island at i6ist Street, stands the historic 
Jumel mansion, as it is usually called. The name is 
that of the first husband of Madame Aaron Burr, who 
owned the house at one time. It was built in 1758 
by Colonel Roger Morris, once Washington's com- 



Riverside to Inwood 151 

panion in arms, when they were both aides to General 
Braddock. Mar}- PhiH])se, for whose hand it is said 
that Washington was a suitor, married Morris and 
Hved in this old house. In 1776, when the Americans 
were retreating after the Battle of Long Island, Wash- 
ington made his headquarters there. Captain Nathan 
Hale received his instructions at that old house and 
started from there on his fatal mission. There Wash- 
ington again came, this time as a guest, with his cabi- 
net, in 1790. Under its roof, Madame Jumel, having 
obtained her divorce from Burr, died in poverty. 

It has a strange, full history, that severe, prim old 
colonial mansion that one may catch a passing glimpse 
of from the river. 

Besides the buildings of a public character that have 
been enumerated here, and others w^hich are omitted 
for lack of space, there are numberless private resi- 
dences, some of them quite palatial in extent, that 
crown the heights or are scattered along the slopes of 
the shore. 

Immediately above Riverside Park is the former 
village known to its residents as Manhattanville. A 
steel viaduct spans the Manhattan Valley and connects 
Riverside Drive with the Harlem Speedway. At Man-- 
hattanville, on 128th Street, near St. Nicholas Avenue, 
is the celebrated convent school, under the charge of the 
sisters of the Sacred Heart. The buildings, of brown 
stone, large enough for the accommodation of several 
hundred scholars, are situated in the middle of a wooded 

152 The Hudson River 

park. Here the pu^jils are not confined to those of one 
creed, though uniformity in dress among the inmates 
of the school is rec[uired. 

Overlooking Manhattanville is the old Lawrence 
homestead, built by John B. Lawrence more than a 
century ago. Lawrence vStreet, in the vicinity, per- 
petuates his name. Between the Watkins and Brad- 
hurst houses, a short distance below 148th Street, 
Alexander Hamilton built his celebrated country seat, 
the Grange. This was not erected until after the Revo- 
lution. Here the statesman and soldier passed the last 
years of his busy and brilliant career, surrounded by 
his friends, but not entirely free from the animosities 
of political life — enmities that finall}^ culminated in the 
fatal encounter between himself and Aaron Burr. 

The thirteen elm trees planted Ijy Hamilton near his 
house, to celebrate the thirteen original states of the 
union, were saved from destruction some years ago by 
Orlando Potter, who paid $140,000 for the ground 
upon which thc}^ stood. 

Dr. Samuel Brad hurst built a house north of the 
Grange, not far from the site of the noted Watkins 
house on St. Xichokis Avenue. These old homes were 
celebrated for the fine and courtly hospitality which 
mingled freedom with conventionality and reconciled 
convival manners with the strict social requirements of 
the ancicn regime. 

The three or four dwellings last noticed lay along 
the line of the Bloomingdale road and covered ground 

Riverside to Inwood 155 

made memorable as the scene of Revolutionary con- 

The valley in which Manhattan ville lies extends 
from the Hudson to the East River, and was once 
known as the Harlem Cove and still earlier as the 
Hollow Way. Fortifications were erected upon its 
sides in 181 2. 

Just above the steamboat landing at 15 2d Street is 
Trinity Cemetery, traversed by the Boulevard Lafay- 
ette. North of this is the cluster of residences that 
occupies Audubon Park, where the famous naturalist 
once had his home. A little above is the building of 
the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, between the Kingsbridge 
road and the Hudson and nine miles from the City 

Now we approach the section known as Washington 
Heights, a region of park-like aspect, traversed by 
delightful avenues, shaded by fine trees, and dotted 
with residences, with here and there some institution 
of a public character. 

Nearly midway along the river front, at 175th Street, 
is Fort Washington, where once stood the fortress that, 
with its garrison of 3000 men, was captured by the Brit- 
ish in November, 1776. A small redoubt, also taken 
at that time, occupied the point that juts into the 
river at this place. The sites of both the fort and re- 
doubt have been set aside as a public park. The 
point, which is now known as Fort Washington Point, 
was formerly called Jeft'rey's Hook, and has been 

156 The Hudson River 

familiar to generations of river men as marking the 
deepest part of the stream. 

It has seemed advisable to give a separate chapter 
to the military associations of Forts Washington and 
Lee. Among the most recent of notable transfers of 
Hudson River property was the sale of a tract of one 
hundred and sixty city blocks at Mount Washing- 
ton in January, 1902. This was formerly a part of 
the estate of Lucius B Chittenden, well known as a 
Broadway merchant, who died about thirty years ago. 
The last owner was Mrs. Chittenden, a widow, living in 
England. This land lies from about 189th to 197th 

Among those who have made a home in this part of 
Manhattan in modern times, few have reached the 
eminence attained by the celebrated lawyer, Charles 
O'Connor, of whom Judge Charles P. Daly said: '"He 
has filled a place in the juris] )rudence of this Stiite 
greater than that of any lawyer who has ever lived 
in it." 

We are nearing the end of Manhattan Island. The 
wooded, inviting knoll of Inwood rises above the haunted 
waters of Spuyten Duy vil creek, itself the home of many 
a spirit, if it l)e true that ghosts walk. The Indians 
long ago gave it a name of unpronounceable gutturals, 
and sowed its rocky soil with arrow-heads and tradi- 
tions. Along the ridges and through the woods where 
they disputed titles with their neighbours, the bears 
and the catamounts, generations of white men have 

Riverside to Inwood 159 

come with their feuds and friendships, their loves and 
their hates, and ha\-e also passed away. From the 
great city, less and less distant every year, the rumble 
and the roar of approaching activity warn the dweller 
among green lawns and trees that the days of his 
seclusion are numbered. 

Chapter XI 

The Island and the River in 1776 

BRITISH plans to gain possession of New York 
in order to command the entrance of the 
Hudson, were reported to Congress in Octo- 
ber, 1775. Inquiries, it was said, had been made by 
Englishmen high in authority as to the feasibility of 
erecting forts in the Highlands, thus controlling the 
navigation of the river. x\lbany was also included in 
these designs for keeping open communication be- 
tween Quebec and the lower provinces. 

vSuch reports, whether well or ill founded, had the 
desirable effect of inciting the Continental leaders to 
measures for the protection of the river and its shores. 
The military importance of the Hudson in the impend- 
ing struggle could not be overestimated, and although 
the scene of conflict shifted from Canada to the Caro- 
linas, and the fields of Pennsylvania and New Jersey 
were de\'astated, yet from first to last the great river 
was the key to the continent for which both sides con- 

On suspicion that New York City was the destina- 
tion of the fleet preparing to sail under command of 


The Island and the River in 1776 103 

Sir Henry Clinton, from Boston, General Lee urged 
Washington to i^ermit him to recruit for its defence a 
force of Connecticut troops. The commander ap- 
proved this plan, Ijut doubted apparentl}' whether his 
authority was sufficient to warrant such an exercise 
of power. John Adams, being near at hand at the 
time, was consulted, and strongly endorsed the pro- 
posed measure, considering as a sufficient warrant the 
extraordinary authority with which Washington had 
recently been invested by Congress. 

Lee w^as thereupon commissioned to raise volunteers 
in Connecticut, secure military aid from New ycrse^^ 
disarm the Tories in the neighbourhood of New York, 
and to put the city and river in a condition for defence 
against the contemplated attack of the British. After 
some difficult}' he succeeded in accom|;)lishing the 
greater part of this task, and proceeded to take pos- 
session of New York. But the first movement in that 
direction brought a hornet's nest buzzing about his 
ears. Clearly the citizens dreaded nothing so much as 
being defended. 

The merchants and householders saw in the im- 
petuous and often impolitic Lee and his hastily gath- 
ered levies of raw troops a menace to their well being 
much greater than they discovered in the ships of his 
Majesty that were in the harbour. That staunch 
patriot, Pierre Van Cortlandt, Chairman of the Com- 
mittee of Safety, addressed a letter to General Lee, 
protesting that the city was not capable of acting 

i64 The Hudson River 

hostilely against the British ships, as it lacked both 
military works and munitions. He urged the ad- 
visability of doing nothing to provoke attack and more 
than hinted that his correspondent's room would just 
then be greatly preferred to his company. 

We, therefore [continued the letter], ardently wish to remain 
in peace for a little time, and doubt not we have assigned suffi- 
cient reasons for avoiding at present, a dilemma, in which the 
entrance of a large body of troops into the city, will almost 
certainly involve us. Should you have such an entrance in 
design, we beg at least the troops may halt on the western 
confines of Connecticut, till we have been honoured by you 
with such an explanation on this important subject, as you 
may conceive your duty may permit you to enter upon with us, 
the grounds of which, you may easily see, ought to be kept an 
entire secret. 

General Lee's reply was intended to be reassuring. 
He disclaimed any intention of provoking strife or com- 
mencing hostilities, but he threw in such lurid hints of 
funeral pyres and the like that New York merchants 
were panic-stricken. 

On the 4th of February, 1776, Lee arrived in New 
York on the same day that the squadron from Bos- 
ton, with Sir Henry Clinton in command, arrived in 
the harbour. Such a coincidence threw the already 
agitated city into a ferment. An exodus of the more 
timid inhabitants commenced, and even through the 
succeeding hours of darkness it is said " were there carts 
going and boats loading, and women and children 
crying, and distressed voices heard in the roads in the 
dead of night. ' ' 

The Island and the River in 1776 165 

But nothing came of Clinton's visit. He protested 
that he had simply called to pay his respects in a 
friendly way to Governor Tryon, a proceeding that 
Lee reported as " the most whimsical piece of civility 
I ever heard of. ' ' 

The British fleet sailed south and the inhabitants 
of New York, relieved from their fears for the time, 
began to settle down to quiet. An agreement was 
reached, between the Committee of Safety and Lee, as 
to the nature and sco])e of the defence to be attempted. 
They are best explained in the latter 's own words: 

The Congress committees, a certain number of the committees 
of safety, and your humble servant [writes he to Washington], 
have had two conferences. The result is such as will agreeably 
surprise you. It is in the first place agreed, and justly, that to 
fortify the town against shipping is impracticable; but we are 
to fortify lodgments on some commanding part of the city for 
two thousand men. We are to erect enclosed batteries on both 
sides of the water, near Hell Gate, which will answer the double 
purpose of securing the town against piracies through the Sound, 
and secure our communication with Long Island, now become a 
more important point than ever; as it is determined to form a 
strong fortified camp of three thousand men, on the island, im- 
mediately opposite to New York. The pass in the Highlands is 
to be made as respectable as possible, and guarded by a bat- 
talion. In short, I think the plan judicious and complete. 

Kingsbridge, at the upper end of the island, con- 
necting it with the mainland, he considered most im- 
portant, and intended to make preparations for its 

But while most of his plans were still in the air Con- 
gress ordered the energetic ofhcer to another command 

1 66 The Hudson River 

and he bewailed the fact that upon his withdrawal 
the "provincial Congress and the inhabitants in gen- 
eral will relapse into their former hysterics." 

The unfavourable impression left by subsequent acts 
of this energetic but not too well balanced officer may 
blind us to the really excellent service he accomplished. 
His own valuation of that service was not excessive. 
The threats of Governor Tryon, the carpings of Tory 
residents, and the pleas of the timid were all disregarded, 
while with an energy and foresight highly creditable, 
he placed the city in such a condition of defence as was 
then possible. The peremptory measures adopted to put 
an end to supplying the enemy's fleet with provisions 
were efi^ectual; Sir Henry Clinton, evidently discour- 
aged by the military demonstration in the city, with- 
drew without attempting to strike a blow, and time 
was secured for the Americans to do what the British 
had planned to do; that is, to fortify the highlands 
of the river. 

It is interesting to contemplate what might have 
been the course of American history if Clinton's fleet, 
upon its arrival from Boston, had not found General 
Lee and his volunteer forces in New York. 

On the departure of General Lee, Lord Stirling, 
Brigadier-Genenil, remained in temporary command of 
New York; but the Commander-in-chief, anticipating 
an attack in force, dispatched Heath and Sullivan to 
the city with reinforcements, ordered forward a body 
of three thousand Connecticut troops, and placed 

The Island and the River in 1776 167 

General Israel Putnam in authority. This veteran 
officer entered the city on April 4, 1776, just three 
months before the signing of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Following in their general outline the 
plans made by his predecessor, Putnam continued the 
construction of defences on the East River and imder- 
took also to close the Hudson by erecting several bat- 
teries along shore and placing obstructions in the 

Washington arrived on the 14th of the month, his 
appearance being the signal for rejoicing on the part of 
the majority of those who remained in the city. At 
that time the total armed force numbered about 10,000 
men, several regiments having been withdrawn bv 
.Congress, for Canadian service. In May Colonel Rufus 
Putnam was dispatched to the Highkuids, "to put the 
defences there in a fit and proper posture." 

Towards the end of June the long-expected fleet of 
the British began to make its ai;)pearance. Forty 
vessels from Halifax, bringing the troops that had re- 
cently occupied Boston, and accompanied by trans- 
ports with newly arrived Highlanders, led the armada, 
which was soon augmented by other men-of-war and 
troop-ships, till the number reached one hundred and 
thirty. The frigate Greyhound brought the commander, 
of the British forces. General Howe, somewhat in ad- 
vance of the rest of the fleet. 

Colonel James Clinton, who had command of the 
posts in the Highlands, was immediately notified of 

1 68 The Hudson River 

the arrival of this menacing force of the enemy and 
directed to make all possible preparation for its recep- 
tion if a passage of the river should be attempted. 
About this time Clinton was also in receipt of several 
letters from committees in Cornwall and Newburgh, 
informing him of the presence of certain active Royalists 
who were forming a conspiracy to cooperate with the 
British troops upon their arrival. 

But not even the ])resence of a powerful enemy on 
the one side and dangerous neighbours on the other 
could dampen the ardour with which the Colonial party 
in New York greeted the news that the instrument 
which proclaimed the independence of the American 
Colonies had been signed at Philadelphia. For several 
days the patriots celebrated the great event, incident- 
ally pulling down the leaden statue of George III., 
which, in a spasm of loyalty, they had erected only a 
short time before. 

Putnam was not idle: his defences were rapidly 
growing. The forts commanding the North River 
about this time included the Grand Battery, at the 
southern extremity of the island; Fort George, im- 
mediately north of it ; White Hall Battery, on the left 
of the Grand Battery ; Oyster Battery, behind General 
Washington's headquarters; Grenadier Battery, " Near 
the Brew House on the North River"; Jersey Battery, 
at the left of the one last named; Bayard Hill Redoubt, 
on Bayard's Hill, now Grand Street; Spencer's, on a 
hill where General Spencer's brigade was encamped; 

The Island and the River in 1776 169 

and Waterbury's Battery, on a wharf below Spencer's 
hill, and Bedlam's Redoubt, on a hill near the Jews' 

In addition to these works Putnam was completing 
his ]jlans for the destruction of the British fleet and the 
obstruction of the Hudson River. Earh^ in July he 
wrote to General Gates, commanding the Northern 
department, as follows: 

The enemy's fleet now lies in the bay very safe, close under 
Staten Island. Their troops possess no land here but the 
Island. Is it not very strange, that those invincible troops, 
who were to destroy and lay waste all this country with their 
fleets and army, are so fond of islands and peninsulas, and dare 
not put their feet on the main? But, I hope, by the blessing of 
God and good friends we shall pay them a visit on their island. 
For that end, we are preparing fourteen fire-ships to go into 
their fleet, some of which are ready charged and fitted to sail 
and I hope soon to have them all fixed. We are preparing clie- 
vaux-de-frisc, at which we make great dispatch by the help of 
ships, which are to be sunk; a scheme of mine which you may 
be assured is very simple, a plan of which I send you. The two 
ships' sterns lie towards each other, about seventy feet apart. 
Three large logs, which reach from ship to ship, are fastened to 
them. The two ships and logs stop the river two hundred and 
eighty feet. The ships are to be sunk, and, when hauled down 
on one side, the picks will be raised to a proper height, and they 
must inevitably stop the river if the enemy will let us sink 

These well-laid plans miscarried. The fire-ships did 
not accomplish what had been anticipated and a sub- 
marine engine, prepared by " an ingenious Connecticut 
man" failed to explode at the desired time and place. 
Its interior clockwork being badly timed, it merely 

I/O The Hudson River 

"blew up a vast column of water" without doing any 
damage to the enemy's vessels. It had, however, the 
effect of astonishing the British and affording General 
Putnam great amusement. 

More than that, before the obstructions were in 
place in the channel two British war-ships left their 
anchorage and, taking advantage of a brisk breeze, 
sailed past the forts and ascended the river. They 
were fired upon by the shore batteries and replied 
sharply with a broadside, but did not linger or turn 
back. Where they were bound, whether to land troops 
at some point on the mainland, to attack the forts in 
the Highlands, or to harass the inhabitants of the 
villages along the river, could only be conjectured. 

Washington sent a message to General Mifflin, at 
High Bridge, tu'ging him to be alert, and an express 
also warned the New York convention, sitting at White 

George Clinton was at New Windsor above the 
Highlands, and his brother, James, at Fort Constitu- 
tion. They were first warned of the British approach 
by the captains of two river sloops who had seen the 
exchange of fire between the frigates and the forts and 
had fled from the scene of danger as fast as possible. 
The following day Washington's messenger arrived, 
only to find that his orders had been anticipated and 
that the most energetic measures for the defence of the 
river were already under way. 

The arrival of Lord Howe, Admiral of the British 

The Island and the River in 1776 171 

fleet, filled with consternation those whose sym])athies 
were enlisted with the American cause. It was un- 
derstood that affairs were approaching a crisis and 
that the long anticipated attack would no longer be 

Lord Howe's proclamation, offering ])ardon to those 
who had deviated from their allegiance to the Crown, 
seemed to indicate a pacific purpose. It was followed 
almost immediately b}' an attempt to negotiate with 
General Washington, with a view to the restoration of 
peace, but these measures, as the student of history 
knows, were unsuccessful. 

Ha\'ing cnlled attention to the means by which the 
Americans endeavoured to protect the city and ri\'er 
from the British encroachment during the spring and 
summer of 1776, we may now proceed to describe 
briefly the disposition of the opposing forces after the 
disastrous battle of Long Island, in September of that 
year, and especially to indicate the ground upon which 
was fought the important engagement of Harlem 

After Washington's remarkable retreat w^th his 
beaten anny across the East River, the city of New 
York was in a turmoil. On the part of some of the 
troops there were threats of reducing it to ashes, while 
others protested vehemently against such drastic meas- 
ures. Acting upon the theory that the enem}^ wouh? 
follow his recent successes by further aggression, the 
Commander-in-chief ordered that all of the sick and 

172 The Hudson River 

wounded should be removed to Orange, in New Jersey, 
while surplus stores and baggage were to be trans- 
ported to Dobbs Ferry. Desertions were the scandal 
of the day. Two thirds of the Connecticut troops were 
smitten with an irresistible attack of nostalgia, that 
nothing but a sight of their own firesides could remedy- 
Still the indefatigable Putnam continued to construct 
forts and plan chevaiix-dc-frise. Fort Constitution, op- 
posite Fort Washington, was commenced, and a strong 
detachment of troops stationed there. 

It was evident to Washington and his officers that 
the plan of the British was to 

enclose us on the island of New York, by taking posts in 
our rear, while the shipping secures the front, and thus, by 
cutting off our communication with the country, oblige us to 
tight them on their own terms or surrender at discretion; or by 
a briUiant stroke endeavour to cut this army to pieces and 
secure the collection of arms and stores, which, they well know, 
we shall not soon be able to replace. 

On the 7 th of September the question of the abandon- 
ment of the city was discussed and the council of war 
finally decided upon a partial withdrawal. 

Putnam, who had been strongly in favour of evacua- 
tion, was to be left in the city with five thousand 
soldiers, while Heath was to keep the upper part of the 
island with nine thousand, opposing the attempts of 
the enemy to land. A third division, under command 
of Generals Greene and Spencer, was stationed near 
Turtle and Kipp's bays, on the East River. Accord- 
ing to several authorities Washington had his head- 

The Island and the River in 1776 173 

quarters in the old Apthorpe mansion, a short distance 
out of the city, on the Hudson Ri\'er side. 

Congress having left the decision relating to the 
evacuation of New York entirely to the Commander- 
in-chief, and nearly all of his officers determining, upon 
a second council being held, that retreat was a necessity, 
preparations were rapidly made to complete the with- 
drawal of the Continental forces. 

The attack of the British, concentrated upon the 
forces under Greene and Spencer, on the 15th, pre- 
cipitated the movement. The Connecticut levies at 
Kipp's Bay and Turtle Bay fled, making hardly any 
resistance. The presence and almost frantic opposi- 
tion of Washington himself did not serve to check the 
panic into which they were thrown. 

An express was immediately dispatched to Putnam^ 
ordering him to retreat. He called in his pickets and 
guards and abandoned the city, leaving most of his 
stores and the heavy guns to fall into the hands of the 
foe. The day was sultry and torrid and the little army 
encumbered with women and children, besides a hetero- 
geneous assortment of baggage. The strength of the 
men w^as overtaxed and the morale of the command 
low, but the commanding officer was as full of fire and 
courage as ever, and pulled his army through by the 
sheer force of his own personality. 

Colonel Humphreys, acting at the time as a volun- 
teer with Putnam, has left the following account of 
him : 

1/4 The Hudson River 

I had frequent opportunities that day of beholding him, for 
the purpose of issuing orders and encouraging the troops, flying 
on his horse covered with foam, wherever his presence was most 
necessary. Without his extraordinary exertions, the guards 
must have been inevitably lost, and it is probable the entire 
corps would have Ijeen cut in pieces. 

When we were not far from Bloomingdale, an aide-de-camp 
came to him at full speed, to inform him that a column of British 
infantry was descending upon our right. Our rear was soon 
fired upon, and the colonel of our regiment, whose order was 
just communicated for the front to file off to the left, was 
killed upon the spot. With no other loss, we joined the army 
after dark upon the heights of Harlem. 

From Bayard Hill Fort, which was on what is now 
Grand Street, the Hne of retreat was, according to the 
best evidence, across country to the neighbourhood of 
Greenwich village, and then by way of the road that 
was afterwards called the Abingdon-Fitz-Roy road 
to the neighbourhood of Forty-second or Forty-third 
Street. From that point the direction was toward 
Harlem Heights. 

An incident of the march is thus told by Irving: 

Tradition gives a circumstance which favoured Putnam's re- 
treat. The British generals, in passing by Murray Hill, the 
country residence of a patriot of that name, who was of the 
Society of Friends, made a halt to seek some refreshment. 
The proprietor of the house was absent; but his wife set cake 
and wine before them m al)undance. So grateful were these 
refreshments in the heat of the day, that they lingered over 
their wine, quaffing and laughing, and bantering their patriotic 
hostess about the ludicrous panic and discomfiture of her country- 
men. In the meantime, before they were roused from their 
regale, Putnam and his forces had nearly passed by, within a 
mile of them. 

The Island and the River in 1776 175 

Washington's retirement from his i)revious head- 
quarters to the Jumel mansion in Richmond Hill 
occurred on the evening of the 14th, before the British 
had gained possession of the lower end of the island. 

The enemy's line extended from Horcn's Hook on 
the East River across the island to about 91st Street 
on the North River. The vanguard was commanded 
by General Leslie, whose most advanced picket posts 
did not go above 95th Street. The main body of the 
Americans was resting upon Harlem Heights, their 
pickets about 13 2d Street. 

On the morning of the i6th, before daylight. Colonel 
Thomas Knowlton, of Bunker Hill fame, was directed 
by Washington to advance with a reconnoitring party 
of Rangers, to determine the position and strength of 
the enemy. It is not known whether he started from 
the right of our pickets or from a point farther to the 
east; nor is the question important. Professor Henr}* 
P. Johnston, whose study of the action on Harlem 
Heights has been exhaustive, says in this connection : 

It is enough to know that when we hear of tliem [the Rangers] 
a Httle later, they were at the most important point on the 
enemy's front. We hnd them stirring up their pickets on the 
left, that left which rested, as we have seen, somewhere on 
the Bloomingdale Road, not far above Apthorpe's (91st Street), 
between which and our pickets at the Hollow Way (Manhat- 
tanville) intervened the wooded and rolling ground of the two 
farms on Morningside Heights. 

That wooded and rolling ground covered the enem}^ 
and concealed his possible movements on the western 

176 The Hudson River 

or North River side of the island. That was the 
reason for dispatching Knowlton and his Rangers. 

At 1 06th Street, west of the Boulevard, upon a 
knoll, stood the stone farmhouse of Nicholas Jones. 
The reconnoitring party reached this place about sun- 
rise and appear to have used it as a cover, advancing 
cautioush^ in the manner that many of the American 
recruits had learned in Indian warfare. 

They had barely passed the farmhouse when they 
were discovered by the British pickets and a sharp 
skirmish ensued. The Rangers were composed of Con- 
necticut men, and they still smarted under the taunts 
of cowardice that must have been their portion after 
the panic and retreat of the 15th. The honour of Con- 
necticut was smirched and the Rangers, picked men, 
were eager to remove that stain. 

But the odds against them were too great, and after 
holding their ground valiantly for a while, losing about 
ten men, they fell back, the line of their retreat being 
along the old Bloomingdale road "As it was subse- 
quently extended through Manhattanville to the Kings- 
bridge road above." 

Close to where Columbia University and Barnard 
College now stand the British light troops pushed 
the Rangers till they reached the site of Grant's tomb, 
where they halted. Beyond that point the ground 
was probably more open and the pursuers could get a 
view of General Greene's force; but they sent after the 
retreating Connecticut men a message that made their 

The Island and the River in 1776 177 

very ears tingle. The bugle rang out the notes of the 
fox-chase, a call which to the men of that day needed 
no interpreter. As the trees and rocks echoed back those 
derisive notes it seemed as if the cup of humiliation had 
1 )een drained to its dregs. 

How many of the King's trooj^s joined in that ])ur- 
suit is not definitely known. At the first sound of the 
firing the Second and Third Battalions of Light In- 
fantr}', with the Forty-second Highlanders, began to 
move up; and it is probable that Knowlton and his 
Rangers did not retire till these reinforcements com- 
menced to appear upon the scene. 

Washington, on the other hand, put Spencer's and 
Putnam's men in readiness along the line of 147th 
Street, where they seem to have been immediatelv 
engaged in throwing up earthworks. It is doubtful if 
General Putnam could have rested for half an hour in 
any position without leaving something in the nature 
of a redoubt to mark the spot. 

Adjutant-General Reed, who joined Knowlton be- 
fore the retreat, reported the affair to Washington, ask- 
ing for reinforcements. The Commander-in-chief was 
then upon the brow overlooking Manhattan ville (the 
" Hollow Way ' ') from the north. He then, we are told, 
" conceived the project, not of driving the light in- 
fantry back to their camp, but of entrapping them in 
the Hollow Way." 

The plan was to make a feint in front of the enemy 
and induce him to advance into the vallev bv the 

178 The Hudson River 

prospect perhaps of another "fox-chase," while a 
flanking movement, led by Knowlton and his Rangers, 
reinforced by Major Leitch with a detachment of 
Virginians, was arranged to close upon the British rear. 

The feigned attack, however, developed into some- 
thing more than was anticipated and in the skirmish 
that ensued the position of the light infantry was 
changed so that when Knowlton and Leitch, ignorant 
of the new disposition of the troops, closed with their 
foe, they engaged him upon the flank instead of the 
rear. The place where this flank attack occurred has 
been located at 123d Street, east of the Boulevai'd. 

The Connecticut men, then and throughout the day, 
retrieved their honour, fighting like veterans, and for 
the first time driving the seasoned troops of the King 
before them. It must have been a novel sensation for 
both parties. But both the Rangers and the Virginians, 
their companions and equals in courage that day, lost 
their commanders early in the action. 

Colonel Knowlton and Major Leitch were mortally 
hurt, within ten minutes of each other, the former 
being shot through the head and surviving only a short 
time after being carried from the field. 

The firing brought up Leslie's reserves and Wash- 
ington again reinforced his soldiers. From a skirmish, 
a " mere affair of outposts," the action rapidly assumed 
the proportion of a battle. By noon Putnam, Knox, 
and Reed, with other American officers, were very 
actively engaged and reinforcements of Highlanders 

The Island and die River in 1776 179 

and Hessians were l^eing hurried to the rehef of their 
distressed companions in arms. 

The Hessians, according to the report of one of their 
own officers, fought till they had no ammunition left 
and the Highlanders had fired away their last shot, 
but still the Americans showed no sign of flinching. 
General Greene's Connecticut men encountered the foe 
on the hill where the Lawrence mansion afterwards 
stood and gave an excellent account of themselves. 
Other detachments were engaged in various parts of 
a held that embraced woodland, hill, and valley. The 
centre of the battle was in a buckwheat field that ap- 
pears to have been midway between Columbia Uni\'er- 
sity and Grant's tomb. The main engagement lasted 
from eleven o'clock till about half-past two, and was 
participated in l:)y more than four thousand out of the 
eight thousand men comprising the American army, 
while a superior body of British opposed them. 

The American forces were completely victorious, 
finally chasing the King's troops down a hill and being 
recalled with difficulty by order of the Commander-m- 

This necessarily brief account of the famous battle 
of Harlem Heights has followed what seems to be the 
most rational exposition of the perplexing and fre- 
quently contradictory records that have reached us. 
It is greatly to be regretted that for many years no 
effort was made to fix beyond question the scene of 
this important engagement. That it was important 

I So The Hudson River 

a glance at the correspondence of the time will show. 
The Americans, recently disheartened by defeat, found 
their confidence restored and the British had received 
a wholesome check that influenced many a subsequent 

Chapter XII 

Forts Washington and Lee 

FOR a month after the battle of Harlem Heights 
the Americans held possession of the northern 
end of the island, with the works they had 
erected there. 

There were three main lines in the Heights. The 
first was at 147th Street, the second, with four redoubts, 
along 153d to 155th Street, and the third, incomplete 
and with no redoubts, was at i6ist Street. 

Mount Washington, as it was then called, was sub- 
stantially fortified, the defences there covering several 
acres between what are now i8ist and i86th Streets. 
The armament of this citadel consisted of thirty-two 
pieces of heavy ordnance. Besides these fortifications 
the neighbouring heights from Manhattanville to 
Kingsbridge were the sites of several earthworks, the 
whole constituting a formidable system, to assail which, 
after the disastrous attempt of September i6th, the 
British commander naturally hesitated. 

At the point known as Jeffrey's Hook, that juts into 
the river at the base of Mount Washington, a redoubt 
had been built to cover the famous structure of sunken 

1 82 The Hudson River 

vessels and floating bombs that General Putnam had 
bestowed so much labour and ingenuity upon. One 
needs only to insj^ect the river, or even a good map 
of it, to be convinced that if a reasonable hope of con- 
trolling navigation from any point below the High- 
lands could be entertained, this was the place. The 
river between Forts Washington and Lee is narrow and 
is commanded upon both banks by high hills. 

But the stream is swift and deep, as well as narrow, 
and the task of obstructing it was by no means as light 
a one as at first glance it might appear. Then, too, the 
necessity of retaining possession of the shores in order 
to make the blockade effectual would demand the 
presence of a large force. The whole of Washington's 
army was not too large for this work, yet it would have 
been manifesth' absurd to contemplate the retention 
of the army for such a purpose. 

It has been shown that the policy which led to an 
effort to hold this natural gateway after the retirement 
of the Americans from the city was strongly urged by 
Congress; nor must we forget, in criticising the military 
judgment of Washington, that an almost irresistible 
pressure was brought to bear upon him in this matter 
by the civil authorities as well as by the counsel of his 
own officers. 

The security of the Hudson [says Irving], was at this time an 
object of great solicitude with Congress, and much reHance was 
placed on Putnam's obstructions at Fort Washington. Four 
galleys, mounted with heavy guns and swivels, were stationed 

Forts Washington and Lee 183 

at the chcvaitx-dc-fn'sc, and two new ships were at hand, which, 
filled with stones, were to be sunk where they would block up 
the channel. A sloop was also at anchor, having on board a 
machine, invented by a Mr. Bushnell, for submarine explosion, 
with which to blow up the men-of-war; a favourite scheme 
with General Putnam. The obstructions were so commanded 
by batteries on each shore that it was thought no hostile ship 
would be able to pass. 

On the 9th of October, however, the Roebuck and 
Phoenix, each of forty-four guns, and the Tartar, of 
twenty guns, which had l^een lying for some time oppo- 
site Bloomingdale, got under way with their three ten- 
ders, at 8 o'clock in the morning, and came standing 
up the river with an easy southern breeze. At their 
approach, the galleys and the two ships intended to 
be sunk got under way with all haste, as did a schooner 
laden with rum, sugar, and other supplies for the 
American army, and the sloop with Bushnell's sub- 
marine machine. 

The Roebuck, PJiaiiix, and Tartar broke through the 
vaunted barriers as through a cobweb. Seven batteries 
kept a constant lire upon them, yet a gentleman was 
observed walking th? deck of the second shij) as coolly 
as if nothing were the matter. Washington, indeed, 
in a letter to Schuyler, says, "They passed without 
any kind of damage or interruption; but Lord Howe 
reports to the Admiralty that they suffered much in 
their masts and rigging and that a lieutenant, two 
midshipmen, and six men were killed and eighteen 
wounded. ' ' 

1 84 The Hudson River 

The attempt to complete the obstructions occupied, 
it would seem, a considerable portion of Washington's 
attention in the weeks that intervened between the 
battle of Harlem Heights and that of White Plains. 
He ordered that two hulks which lay — as hulks still 
lie — in Spuyten Duyvil creek, be ballasted and sunk, 
and that others that had grounded near Yonkers be 
brought down and consigned to a similar use. 

A council of officers, called by the commander, dis- 
cussed the question of attempting to retain the posi- 
tion occupied by the American army upon Manhattan 
Island, and it was decided — with only the voice of 
General Clinton raised in dissent — to abandon all the 
works with the exception of Fort Washington. This 
fort was to be retained as long as possible in com- 
pliance with the resolution passed by Congress. 

A garrison that was large if measured by the loss its 
subtraction occasioned the little army, but absurdly 
inadequate for the work expected of it, was left under 
command of Colonel Magaw, to whom Washington 
gave a solemn injunction to defend it to the last ex- 
tremity. It was at this time that the name of Fort 
Constitution was changed to Fort Lee, and the com- 
mand of that post given to General Greene. 

The series of moves by which Washington foiled 
Howe's attempt to get in his rear and the resulting 
battle of White Plains are not part of the story of 
the river and must not be dwelt upon here. At the 
time when the assault upon Chatterton's hill was about 

Forts Washington and Lee 185 

to be made the distant thundering of cannon in the 
neighbourhood of Manhattan startled the contestants. 
Two of the enemy's war-ships had anchored at Bur- 
dett's Feny, a short distance below the forts, with the 
evident purpose of cutting communication between 
the island and the mainland, by stopping the ferr3\ 
At the same time British troops appeared on Harlem 
plains. When the lines in that direction w^ere manned 
by Americans from the forts, the vessels opened fire, 
attempting to dislodge them, but an eighteen-pound 
gun on the Manhattan side and two on the Jersey shore 
returned their fire and hulled them repeatedly, so that 
they were glad to drop down the river. 

On the night of the 4th of November and for three 
daA'S afterwards the British army was moving from 
White Plains to Dobbs Ferry, with what ultimate 
object could only be a matter of anxious conjecture to 
the American leader. Washington wrote to General 
William Livingston : 

They have gone towards the North River and King's Bridge. 
Some suppose they are going into winter quarters, and will sit 
down in New York without doing more than investing Fort 
Washington. I cannot subscribe wholly to this opinion myself. 
That they will invest Fort Washington, is a matter of which 
there can be no doubt ; and I think there is a strong probability 
that General Howe will detach a part of his force to make an 
incursion into the Jerseys, provided he is going to New York. 
He must attempt something on account of his reputation, for 
what has he done as yet, with his great army? 

While still in doubt as to the meaning of the manoeu- 
vre, Washington received news of the peril of the 

1 86 The Hudson River 

garrison on Manhattan. Threatened by Lord Perc}^ with 
a large body of troops at the south, and by Knyphausen 
between the Fort and Kingsbridge, Colonel Magaw 
and his command were in a serious position. As 
though to add a feature of discouragement to the 
situation by proving the futility of attempting to 
control the river, a frigate and two transports broke 
through the chcvaux-dc-jrise with supplies for Howe's 
army at Dobbs Ferry. 

Washington wrote to Greene, upon the receipt of 
these tidings: 

If we cannot prevent vessels from passing up the river, and the 
enemv are possessed of all the surrounding country, what val- 
uable purpose can it answer to hold a post from which the 
expected benefit cannot be had? I am, therefore, inchned to 
think, that it will not be prudent to hazard the men and stores 
at Mount Washington; but, as you are on the spot, I leave it 
to vou to give such orders as to evacuating Mount Washington 
as you may judge best, and so far revoking the orders given to 
Colonel Magaw, to defend it to the last. 

Further instructions were sent to Greene, directing 
the removal of superfluous stores, etc., anticipating an 
attack upon Fort Lee upon the Jersey side. But 
Greene could not admit the wisdom of abandoning 
Magaw's position. In this connection Irving says: 

He did not consider the fort in immediate danger. Colonel 
Magaw thought it would take the enemy until the end of Decem- 
ber to carry it. In the meantime the garrison could at any 
time be brought off and even the stores removed, should matters 
grow desperate. 

Forts Washini^ton and Lee 187 

From his camp at Northcastle, to which he had 
removed after White Plains, Washington made a 
hurried march to PeekskiU, on November loth. After 
making a mihtary visit to the Highland posts, recon- 
noitring in company with Generals Heath, Clinton, 
and others, and directing the disposition of the various 
bodies of troops, he crossed the Hudson below Stony 
Point with a force which was to find its way to Hack- 
ensack by a pass in the Ramapo Mountains. 

The commander took a more direct route to Fort Lee. 
Arriving there on the 13th, he found that Fort Wash- 
ington, which was the immediate object of his solici- 
tude, instead of being evacuated had on the contrary 
been reinforced by General Greene, who had made the 
most of the discretionary clause in his chief's letter. 
Both Greene and Magaw believed that the Fort might 
be successfull}^ defended. 

Why Washington, who acknowledged that the use- 
lessness of this post had been demonstrated and whose 
judgment required its evacuation, permitted the repre- 
sentations of his officers to outweigh his own saner 
conclusions has never been explained. For several 
days he remained in the neighbourhood, awaiting 

Upon the 15th, two months to a day after the hurried 
evacuation of New York by Putnam's hard-pressed 
columns, Howe sent Magaw a summons to surrender. 
The latter answered in somewhat stilted butunequi\'ocal 
English that, " Actuated by the most glorious cause 

1 88 The Hudson River 

that mankind e\'er fought in, I am determined to defend 
this post to the very last extremity." 

Greene, across the river, dispatched a rider to 
Washington with tlie intelligence of Magaw's peril; 
and sent reinforcements to the Colonel, who was now 
menaced on three sides by the enemy. 

It was nightfall [says Irving] when Washington arrived at 
Fort Lee. Greene and Putnam were over at the besieged fort- 
ress. He threw himself into a boat and had partly crossed the 
river, when he met those generals returning. They informed 
him of the garrison's having been reinforced and assured him 
that it was in high spirits and capable of making a good defence. 
It was with difficulty, however, that they could prevail on him 
to return with them to the Jersey shore, for he was excessively 

Less discreet historians than Irving have not hesi- 
tated to say that the Father of his Country on that 
occasion expressed his excitement in language of much 
greater vigour than is countenanced by polite custom. 
In other words, this is believed to have been one of the 
rare occasions upon which Washington swore. And 
certainly, if there was ever an excuse for profane in- 
vective, he could plead it at that time. Besides Magaw 
there w^ere Cadwalader, Rawlings, Baxter, and other 
officers of merit at the beleaguered fort, together with a 
force of about two thousand picked men, the flower of 
the army ; while opposed to them was an overwhelming 
force of British regulars and German hirelings, bred to 
the trade of war. 

Lossing has given an anecdote that does not seem 

Forts Washington and Lee 189 

to have any substantial basis of fact, but is offered here 
at its worth: 

The chief crossed the river with Generals Putnam, Greene, 
and Mercer, and made his way stealthily to the house of Roger 
Morris, in which he had had his headquarters a few weeks before. 
From the Morris house, a mile south of Mount Washington, the 
chief made a hurried survey of the field of operations when a 
young, small, and very pretty vivandierc, the wife of a Pennsyl- 
vania soldier, who had followed the chief Hke a guardian angel, 
from the river, came up reverently and touched him on the arm 
and whispered in his ear. AVashington immediately ordered 
his companions into the saddle and they galloped back to their 
boats. Fifteen minutes later a British regiment which had 
been creeping stealthily like a serpent up the rocky acclivity, 
appeared at the mansion. 

This story has a strongly apocrA^phal flavour. 

From Fort Lee the Chief saw the greater part of the 
attack upon Fort Washington and his spirits were 
alternately raised and depressed by the varying for- 
tunes of the fray. The battle commenced about noon, 
with General Kn3^phausen's division attacking from the 
north, General Mathew advancing from the Harlem 
Ri\^er and Lord Percy trying to force the lines gallantly 
held by Colonel Cadwalader, two miles and a half south 
of the fort. 

Much of the action was hidden from the watcher 
across the river by intervening hills and woods, but the 
gallant defence made by Cadwalader s eight hundred 
Pennsylvanians against double their number of English 
and Hessians was in open view. Eagerly the Chief 
directed his glass to that quarter. 

iQO The Hudson River 

Nothing [says Irving] encouraged him more than the gallant 
style in which Cadwalader with an inferior force maintained his 
position. When he saw him, however, assailed in flank, the line 
broken and his troops, overpowered by numbers, retreating to 
the fort, he gave up the game as lost. The worst sight of all 
was to behold his men cut down and bayoneted by the Hessians 
while begging quarter. It is said so completely to have over- 
come him that he wept "with the tenderness of a child." 

By the hands of a daring messenger Washington 
managed to get a note to Magaw, telling him that if 
he could hold out till night, he would then endeavour 
to bring off the garrison. The messenger was one 
Captain Gooch, of Boston, whose intrepidity reminds 
one of some mighty deed from the sagas. General 
Heath is authority for the following account of his 
adventure : 

He ran down to the river, jumped into a small boat, pushed 
over the river, landed under the bank, ran up to the fort and 
delivered the message, came out, ran and jumped over the 
broken ground, dodging the Hessians, some of whom struck 
at him with their pieces and others attempted to thrust him 
with their bayonets; escaping through them, he got to his boat 
and returned to Fort Lee. 

But Magaw found it impossible to hold out. Already 
the summons to surrender had been made, and found 
him surrounded by troops that had been driven in from 
all sides by the overwhelming force of the enem\\ The 
fortress was so filled with men that movement was 
difficult and further defence impossible. Fort Wash- 
ington was therefore surrendered. 

Thus ended the American occupancy of Manhattan 

Forts Washington and Lee 191 

Island. Washington's own reflections upon the closing 
scene, given in a letter to his brother Augustine, will 
throw much light upon the difficulties that beset him, 
and his frame of mind regarding an action against which 
his better judgment rebelled. 

This is a most unfortunate affair and has given me great 
mortification; as we have lost, not onlv two thousand men, 
that were there, but a good deal of artillerv, and some of the best 
arms we had. And what adds to my mortification is, that this 
post, after the last ships went past it, was held contrary to my 
wishes and opinion, as I conceived it to be a hazardous one: but 
it having been determined on by a full council of general officers, 
and a resolution of Congress having been received, strongly 
expressive of their desire that the channel of the river which we 
had been labouring to stop for a long time at that place, might 
be obstructed, if possible; and knowing that this could notice 
done, unless there were batteries to protect the obstructions, I 
did not care to give an absolute order for withdrawing the garri- 
son, till I could get around and see the sittiation of things; and 
then it became too late, as the. place was invested. Upon the 
passing of the last ships, I had given it as my opinion to General 
Greene, under whose care it was, that it would be best to evacu- 
ate the place; but, as the order was discretionary, and his 
opinion differed from mine, it was unhappily delayed too long, 
to my great grief. 

The abandonment of Fort Lee was of course a fore- 
gone conclusion as soon as the enemy was in possession 
of Fort Washington. This movement was hastened 
by the appearance on the west side of the river of six 
thousand British troops tmder Lord Cornwallis. These 
crossed on a rainy night and established themselves 
under the line of the Palisades, five or six miles north 
of Fort Lee. Extending thence with the evident 

192 The Hudson River 

intention of forming a line which should separate the 
garrison of Fort Lee from the remainder of the Ameri- 
can army, their manoeuvre was anticipated by Wash- 
ington's rapid retreat to the Hackensack. 

Artillery, baggage, tents, and camp equipage were 
abandoned. Even camp kettles, we are told, were on 
the fires when the British made their uncontested 
entrance into Fort Lee. 

Chapter XIII 

From S|)in'ten Duyvil to Yonkers 

WHILE we have been deploring the passing 
of the white wings, Anthony Van Corlaer, 
— half trumpeter, half myth, — has delayed 
his drowning in the wild waters of Papuinemen, w^ait- 
ing for an audience. He deserves a Wagner, w^ho might 
do him justice. Anthony the Trumpeter was dispatched 
on a warlike mission to the Patroon Van Rensselaer, 
when he came to the stream that forms the upper 
boundary of Manhattan Island. Warned not to cross, 
he still persisted in advancing, intending to gain the 
other shore by swimming. " Spuyt den Du3^vil!"he 
shouted, " I will reach Shoraskappock. " But his chal- 
lenge to the Duyvil was unfortunately his last recorded 
utterance, as at that moment his Satanic Majesty, in 
the form of an enormous moss bunker, took him at his 
word and tried conclusions then and there. 

That was the end of Anthony the Trumpeter, but 
the phrase that he is supposed to have originated is 
repeated about a thousand times a day by trainmen 
on the railroad, wdio have no idea of invoking Satanic 
interference with their duties. 


194 The Hudson River 

An amusing story is told of a good but somewhat 
dull woman who asked a neighbour for an explanation 
of the strange name that she heard shouted into the 
car where she was seated. The neighbour, who was 
none other than Mr. Benson G. Lossing, related the 
substance of the legend given here. As he proceeded 
his listener became more and more interested. An 
expression of pity and sympathy overflowed her eyes. 
" Did the poor man leave a family?" she finally asked. 

Upon the height behind Spuyten Duyvil there is the 
place of an old redoubt that occupied about the position 
of the Indian stronghold of Nipnichsen. A little way 
up the stream the Manor Lord, Frederick Filipse, 
purchased a ferry right and afterwards erected a bridge 
with a toll gate between the island and the main shore. 

Near the mouth of the creek occurred, in the early 
fifties, one of the most dreadful of the steamboat dis- 
asters of which the history of the Hudson presents not 
a few: it was the burning of the Henry Clay, which is 
more fully noticed in another chapter. 

The earliest historic account that associates the 
white discoverers with Spuyten Duyvil dtaes Sep- 
tember, 1609. Henry Hudson, or his scribe. Master 
Juet, records a fight which he had at this place with 
some Indians who came out in their canoes and attacked 
the Half Moon with arrows. The yacht of the discov- 
erer was at the time anchored at the mouth of the creek. 

Here was the gathering place for the Indians w^ho 
menaced Manhattan in colonial days. Here nearly a 

From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkers 195 

thousand braves came together and threatened to 
destroy New Amsterdam, during Governor Stuyve- 
sant's absence in the South. The frightened burghers 
of the little city took to the forts like rabbits to their 
burrows, for they had tasted the tender mercies of the 
Mohawks and other redskin neighbours. 

During the Revolution, Spuyten Duyvil was regarded 
as an important point and the heights were fortified. 
The road which ran about the base of the hill was the 
scene of many a wild foray and the echoing hillsides 
resounded with the shouts of marauding cattle thieves 
and the lowing of frightened herds, urged towards the 
lines by their reckless drivers. 

Now the mouth of the creek is shut by a drawbridge 
and the northern shore is a place of division between 
the passenger and freight trains of the New York 
Central Railroad, the former swinging inland to take 
the course by way of Kingsbridge, along the Harlem, 
and the latter still following the original line of the 
road, by the river shore. 

At the distance of two or three miles above Spuyten 
Duyvil appears the extensive front of the Mount St. 
Yincent Academy. There is a slight incongruity in 
the view, that at once attracts the attention of a 
stranger; for the foreground is occupied by a stone 
"castle" that is so dwarfed by the red brick edifice 
behind it as to appear almost like a toy house. But 
the castle has a history of its own and presents the 
first if not the chief claim to notice. 

196 The Hudson River 

Edwin Forrest, for years the foremost figure upon 
the stage in America, built that castle for his home and 
brought his bride, who had been the beautiful Miss 
Sinclair, there in 1838. There he enjoyed six years 
of something as nearly approaching calm and happiness 
as one born under his turbulent star could ever hope 
to attain. Within those blue granite walls he enter- 
tained bountifully and indulged his vehement passion 
for historic study. Then, in 1844, he went abroad, 
taking his wife with him. Out of the quiet eddy where 
he had found rest for six years he pushed into the 
turmoil of life, never to return. Domestic troubles in 
a short time overwhelmed him and his rancorous 
quarrel with Macready commenced, that culminated 
in the famous Astor Place riots in New York. The 
celebrated Forrest divorce suit followed, ending in the 
complete separation of the actor from his wife. 

Not caring to live again at Fort Hill, as he called 
his castle, he sold it to the sisters of the Convent of St. 
Vincent, who were under the direction of Mother 
Superior Mary Angela Hughes. The school was opened 
in 1859, though subsequently much enlarged. 

Although Fort Hill looks diminutive under the im- 
posing wall of the Mount St. Vincent Academy, yet 
the tallest tower is said to be seventy feet in height. 

From the Jersey shore, nearly opposite, the wall of 
the Palisades rises, one of the strange and imposing 
features with which nature sometimes surprises the 
geologist and puzzles the artist. 

From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkcrs 197 

Fascinating, if not beautiful in general outline, 
wonderful in detail and often exquisite in colour, the 
great mass of weather-beaten rock seems to rise out 
of the very bosom of the river. Deep at its base runs 
the swift current of the channel and in its crowning 
belt of trees the clouds drift. 

Here and there in the wall are deep rifts cut by little 
torrents that have been industriously mining their way 
for centuries past. Taking advantage of these ravines, 
companies of trees swarm u]3 the sloi)es with flaunting 
banners of green that in the autumn change to royal 
hues of Tyrian splendour. 

The Palisades are seen to best advantage w^hen the 
sun strikes them in the morning or the long shadows 
clothe them with tender mysterious tints at nightfall. 

In one respect our enjoyment of this feature of the 
river is greater to-day than in former years, because 
of the abatement, by law, of an abuse. Notice what 
Professor Archibald Geikie, the celebrated Scotch 
geologist, wrote thirt)^ years ago: 

Hardly is the traveller out of New York than he notices tliat 
every natural rock, islet, or surface of any kind that will hold 
paint is disfigured with advertisements in huge letters. Tlie 
ice- worn bosses of gneiss which, rising out of the Hudson, would 
in themselves be such attractive ol)jects in the landscape, are 
rendered hideous by being the groundwork on which some kind 
of tobacco, or tooth wash, or stove polish, is recommended to 
the notice of the multitude. 

In this particular a great change for the better has 
taken place along the river. The advertising fiend is 

198 The Hudson River 

no longer permitted to disfigure natural scenery with 
his profane brush. But the advertising man was not 
the only vandal, nor the last. 

The Palisades range in height from two hundred and 
fifty or less up to five hundred feet. The latter 
elevation is near the northern extremity, opposite 
Hastings. Taylorsville, just above Fort Lee. is two 
hundred and sixty feet above the tide. 

Opposite Spuyten Duyvil is the pleasant residence 
village of Englewood, across from Riverdale is the pro- 
jection known as Clinton Point, and opposite Ludlow 
is Huyler's Landing. The place where Hudson is said 
to have anchored on the 13th September, 1609, is 
nearly due west from Dudley's Grove, at theuj^per end 
of Yonkers. 

One of the mutilated landmarks that used to be the 
pride of those who lived near the banks of the lower 
Hudson was the jutting shoulder of rock known as 
Indian Head, nearly the highest point of the Palisades. 
It was one of those peculiarly striking features in nature 
that persistently claim and invariably receive the con- 
sideration due to eminence. No one seeing the rugged 
beauty of Indian Head could forget it or refuse to credit 
any remarkable or romantic legend that chanced to at- 
tach itself there. It took its place, without question, 
in every sketch or photograph of that part of the river 
as naturally as King Edward would assume in England 
the chief place at any of^cial function at which he 
chanced to be present. There is a divine right apper- 

From Spiiyten Duy\il to Yonkcrs 201 

taining to headlands and other remarkable landscape 
features, as to kings. 

But one day a contractor saw something more in 
Indian Head than any poet or artist had ever seen. 
He discerned a fortune in it, — a fortune in gravel. 
Now to crush a headland — especially a headland with 
associations and legends belonging to it, — into fine frag- 
ments, for road-beds, may seem to a certain class of 
sentimental people to be rather dreadful. It did seem 
dreadful; but it took the people who really cared so 
long to wake up to the dreadfulness of what was being 
done, and so much longer to discover a way to stop 
it, that before thev could do anything Indian Head was 

However, the people succeeded, though apparently 
with some difficulty, in saving the rest of the Palisades. 
The blasting and crushing processes which were at 
once an offence to the ear, the eye, and the aesthetic 
sensibilities of all good people, were finally interfered 
with effectually and the stone-crushers remo\'ed to 
other fields. 

Years ago that craggy point was a favourite lookout 
station for the red men. For how many hundreds 
of years they had used it, no one can ever know, but 
if the story related to the author b}' one who lived in 
the vicinity and had a curious love for Indian lore can 
be accepted as true, then the immemorial years must 
have rounded almost into millenniums between the time 
of the first outlook on that grey old crag and the last. 

202 The Hudson River 

The ston- is this: That there was a well-defined path 
worn in the rock and leading to the very highest point, 
and there, deeply indented, were three hollows, such 
as would be made by the knees and hand of one who 
was kneeling and bent a little forward. The narrator 
claimed that he fell naturally into that attitude in 
order to get a steady and restful position and that he 
noticed that his knees and palm fitted into the depress- 
ions. It is possible that the gentleman may have been 
in error in his conclusions, but that lonely vidette, 
waiting through uncounted centuries for the appear- 
ance of the ship of destiny that must at last arrive 
with the forerunner of the white conquerors, appeals 
strongly to the imagination. 

The old Dutch voyagers had a name for the Pali- 
sades: " Verdrietegh Hoeck," — grievous point, because 
it took so long to pass, and perhaps for another reason: 
no riverman likes to be becalmed under the cliffs. He 
may be lying motionless with no breath of air to stir 
a sail; when suddenly — slap! comes a " knock-down " 
over the crest, hitting the sails before it touches the 
water, and the vessel goes down before she can get 
headway. Verdrietegh Hoeck is a grievous place to 
be caught. 

It was in front of Nappeckamack (that is now Yon- 
kers), that the Half Moon made her second stoj) after 
leaving the mouth of the river. It was on the 12th of 
September, 1609. The weather, we are told, was 
" Faire and hot. ' ' Master Juet's Journal goes on to say : 

From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkers 203 

In the afternoon, at two of the clocke, wee weighed, the winde 
being variable, between the north and northwest. So we turned 
into the river two leagues, and anchored. This morning at our 
first rode in the River, there came eight-and-twentie canoes full 
of men, women and children to betray vs: but wee saw theire 
intent and suffered none of them to come abord of us. At 
twelue of the clocke they departed; they brought with them 
oysters and beanes, whereof wee bought some. Thev have great 
tobacco pipes of yellow copper, and Pots of Earth to dresse 
their meate in. 

The early history of Yonkers commences with 
Adriaen Van der Donk, a lawyer from Holland who 
came to America in 1641 as sheriff for the Patroon 
Van Rensselaer, at Albany. Van der Donk was a 
man of some property (which he increased by mar- 
riage) and a good deal of ability. His ambition to 
become himself a Patroon was finally gratified by the 
grant of the lower Weckquaskeek region, extending 
from Spuyten DuA^vil on the south to a brook nearh' 
three miles above the present railroad station. The 
Company, or the Company's Director, was under some 
obligations to Van der Donk, it is said, for advances 
of money; and land grants have been convenient for 
discharging obligations of that sort in all ages of the 

The deed named the tract so acquired " Nepper- 
haem" ; but the names by which it was popularly 
known to the Dutchmen of that day were " Coin Donk, " 
or the '■ Colony of Donk," and " De Jonkheer's," or the 
"Young Lord's," which has been corrupted into Yon- 
kers. This grant became a manor in 1652 and Van der 

204 The Hudson River 

Donk was its Lord for three years, though perhaps he 
never hved there. He became involved in a quarrel 
with Stuvvesant and went to Holland with a remon- 
strance, but was beaten b}^ the doughty Governor. 
He left no impression upon the land over which he 
was Lord for so short a time. Between 1681 and 1686 
Vredryk or Frederick Flypse or Filipse became Lord 
of a manor that was really lordly, a domain to put to 
shame many a princeling's patrimony. His various 
Indian and other purchases, confirmed by grants, 
finally included all that tract of land lying between 
the Croton River and Spuyten Duyvil creek, — from 
Ritchaw^an to Papuinemen. When his first wife died, 
in 1690 or '91, he married the daughter of Oloff Van 
Cortlandt and widow of John Dervall, who brought 
him a fortune of considerable extent to add to the 
eighty thousand guilders which made him already the 
richest man in the Colonies. All of his estates were 
confirmed to him in 1693. 

He was actually Lord of the Manor, with baronial 
power. From 1693 till his death in 1702 his country 
residence was probably at Tarrytown, in the stone 
house — called "Castle Filipse" — that he built there, 
and that has been going slowly but surely to decay up 
to this year of grace, 1902, because of a lack of public 
spirit or sentiment, or whatever the emotion may be 
that moves men to the preservation of historic land- 

The Philips manor-house at Yonkers, though not 

From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkers 207 

so old as the "castle" at Tarrytown, is a much more 
pretentious dwelling. It became the home of the 
descendants of the first Sir Frederick. It was there 
that the wedding of the beautiful Mary Philipse took 
place. Tradition has coupled Washington's name 
with hers, as that of a suitor, but there is certainly no 
evidence that he ever proposed marriage to her. As 
already stated, she married his former companion in 
arms, Roger Morris, the builder of the old "Jumel" 
mansion. The marriage, w^hich took place in January, 
1758, was a magnificent affair, long remembered 
throughout the country-side. x\mong the traditions 
that have grown about the event is one to the eftect 
that in the midst of the festivities an Indian sooth- 
sayer made an oracular statement that filled the bride's 
heart with apprehension. Stcinding in the doorway, 
he delivered himself in this wise: "Your possessions 
shall pass away when the eagle shall despoil the lion." 
If the reader wishes to take a grain of salt with that 
Indian no objection will be made. 

All of the central portion of the present city of 
Yonkers was purchased in 181 3 by Lemuel Wells. 
This estate, having the Nepperhan River running 
through the middle of it and including, among other 
buildings, the Philips manor-house, had previously 
been acquired by Cornelius P. Low. from the Com- 
missioners of Forfeiture. Mr. Wells bought it at 
public auction for the sum of $56,000. At that date 
there were less than a dozen houses, including mills, 

2o8 The Hudson River 

on the entire estate of 320 acres. It was not till after 
the death of Mr. Wells, in 1842, that the site of Yonkers 
began to be built upon. The operation of the Hudson 
River Railroad, commencing in 1849, created a lively 
demand for property in that convenient locality, and 
the subsequent growth of the place has been rapid. 
But it is essentially a new town. Its civic history is 
nearly all condensed into a little more than half a 

Modern Yonkers, some one has said, is the child of 
the railroad. As lately as 1841, it was, according to 
the Rev. Doctor David Cole, an insignificant hamlet. 
In 1876 it was thus described: 

A few miles north of Spuyten Duyvil is the large village of 
Yonkers. Thirty years ago a church, a few indifferent houses, 
a single sloop at a small wharf, and the gray walls and roof of a 
venerable structure, which you may see stretching among the 
trees parallel with the river, comprised the whole borough. That 
building is the Philipse Manor house, now occupied for municipal 
purposes by the public authorities of Yonkers. 

The cit}^ of Van der Donk and Philipse is now a 
thri\-ing one, much given to factories and the enjoy- 
ment of a busy local life; but to the outsider its chief 
attraction centres about the names of a few eminent 
people who have made it their home. 

Foremost among these appears the name of one who 
for years was looked upon as the natural leader of one 
of the great pohtical parties of the land; a disciple of 
Martin Van Buren; one who had received the highest 

From Spuyten Duyvil to Yonkers 209 

honour in the gift of the people of the State and had 
been a candidate for the chief magistracy of the nation. 
Samuel Jones Tilden was an American of the Americans. 
Born in an old-fashioned house in Columbia County, 
N. Y., in which four generations of his family had lived, 
he passed the declining years of his busy and influential 
life within the walls of "Graystone," his substantial 
and costly home at Yonkers. 

His house is situated to the north of the city on an 
elevated plateau and is massive and ample rather than 
ornate. Its granite walls and Mansard roof, rising 
from the surrounding verdure, do not easily pass un- 
noticed in the general view. 

But if we accord to Mr. Tilden the first niche in the 
local temple of fame, we would not leave him to soli- 
tude. Somewhere there would be a statue to Frederick 
Swartwout Cozzens, wine merchant and author, and 
the friend of most of the "Knickerbocker" authors. 
His Sparroivgrass Papers, originally published in Pitt- 
nanis Magazine, take rank among the classic works 
of American humour. The author of Nothing to Wear 
is also claimed proudly by Yonkers, and so are Doctor 
Wendell Prime, Mr. T. Astley Atkins, Doctor Armitage, 
and a score of other widely known people.^ 

Along the river shore the towns and villages are 
devouring the rural scenery and replacing its natural 
charm with a more lively human interest: but still 

' Since the above went to press :\Ir. William Allen Butler, the author 
of Notliing io Wear, has passed away. His death occurred at Yonkers 
on September 9th, 1902. 

2IO The Hudson River 

between the httle centres of po])ulation there are fra- 
grant miles of tree-shaded banks where the violets and 
anemones nod in the spring and the scarlet spires of the 
cardinal flower hide in August by the watercourses. 

Half a century ago Alfred B. Street wrote a charac- 
teristic description of the woodland scenery which in 
his day formed so striking a feature of the Hudson, 
and which even now in many places challenges the 
admiration of the observer. 

Here the Spruce thrusts in 
Its bristhng plume, tipped with its pale green points 
The scallop'd beech leaf and the birch's, cut 
Into fine ragged edges, interlace: 
While here and there, through clefts, the laurel lifts 
Its snowy chalices, half brimmed with dew. 

Chapter XIV 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 

THE httle sea that expands between Haverstraw 
and the Palisades is a rare cruising place for 
ghosts and goblins. There is not a shadowy 
hall that rounds Piermont or tacks across from the 
Slaperig Hafen to the Hoeck but is freighted deep 
with legends. 

How briefly told, yet how suggestive, is the melan- 
choly history of Ramxbout Van Dam, the unresting 
oarsman that some witchery compels to never-ending 
labour upon the tides of the Tappan Zee ! He was one 
of those uneasy Dutch blades that counted neither dis- 
tance nor labour as of any moment w^hen a pleasure 
was in view. There had been some notice or rumour 
of a frolic at Kakiat, a secluded hamlet hidden away 
among the hills of Rockland County, and Van Dam on 
hearing the news rowed from his home at Spuyten 
Duyvil the whole length of the Tappan Zee and the 
Palisades to boot in order to be there. 

Most modern yotmgsters would be conscious of some 
slight fatigue after such a ])ull, but not so delicate 
were the Dutchmen of that earlv dav. Rambout 

212 The Hudson River 

danced and drank, drank and danced as though he 
had had no exercise for a week. It was a Saturday 
night, and midnight came and passed before he knew 
it. But when he started for home sohcitous companions 
w^arned him against the peril of sabbath-breaking; for 
upon all matters of religious observance the Nether- 
landers were exceedingly punctilious. A young man 
might play what pranks he would with every pretty 
girl in the county, and make his potations of apple- 
jack both deep and frequent, but it would outrage the 
sentiment of the community if he broke the Sabbath. 

But Rambout was skin-full of recklessness, and dis- 
regarding every warning, he pulled off, " swearing that 
he would not land till he had reached vSpuyten Duyvil." 
According to the best authorities he has not landed 
there yet. Whethei living or dead, none can say, but 
doomed to a perpetual journey across the river he un- 
doubtedly is, for many a boat-man on the river has 
heard the sound of his oars, and more than one damsel, 
being rowed o' moonlit nights on the river, has clung 
in terror to her swain, as she fancied she saw in the 
distance the shadowy form of Rambout Van Dam. 

There is another haunting shape that occasionally 
troubles these waters ; it is that of the Storm-ship that 
makes mysterious journeys, never heeding shoal or head- 
land, tacking when the wind is fair and running free in 
the teeth of a gale, with never a concession to any 
weather that mortals give heed to. Into the moon- 
light she comes suddenly, from some unknown quarter 


Spectres of the Tappan Zee 2 1 5 

and as siiddenl>', while the eye is fixed u])()n her, van- 
ishes completely as a bubble that floats for a moment 
where a wa\'e has broken, and then, in a twinkling, is 

There have been people who have really doul)ted 
the existence of the i)hantom ship and class it with 
fabulous monsters, Brocken spectres, and the like : but 
these are not people who have navigated the waters 
of the Tappan Zee at night. 

Two hundred years ago the Storm-ship was first seen 
passing New Amsterdam, going up the stream against 
a strong ebb tide. She was flying Dutch colours and 
her sails bellied with a w4nd that certainly was not 
apparent to those who gazed at her, wide-eyed and 
whispering, from the fort. In spite of the trade 
regulations that forbade the passing of any vessel up 
the river without a permit, regardless of signals or 
challenge, the stranger sailed on. Then a gun was 
fired from the battery, but her hull did not stop the 
ball, nor did the ball check her course. 

She passed on, weathered the point of Jeffrey's Hook, 
crossed the long stretch of the Grievous Hook, and sailed 
out of sight under some of the headlands of the Tappan 
Zee. From that day to this no one has seen this un- 
substantial stranger sail down the river, past Manhat- 
tan, and out to sea. But many a time the rivermen 
have encountered her and with a muttered invocation 
to St. Nicholas have shortened sail, knowing that a 
storm was soon to come. 

2i6 The Hudson River 

For some reason the Tappan Zee seems to have been 
the favourite cruising-ground for this barometric craft 
since her first adoption of the Hudson; and even to- 
day, when least expected, her strange, tall poop and 
swelling sides sometimes are seen as she rounds the 
tedious shoulder of Point-no-Point, or steals along 
shore under the shadow of Kingsland's Point. Some 


believe that she runs for anchorage into the mouth of 
the Pocantico, and others that she hides near the pine- 
shaded banks of the Hafenje, but no one has ever seen 
her at rest. She is always flying swiftly before a wind 
that mortals cannot feel. 

There is the memory of another craft, more sub- 
stantial than the phantom shi]), and more successful 
in attaining a port than Rambout's boat, that made 
the passage of the river between Wolfert's Roost and 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 217 

the Rockland shore in 1776. Its occupant was the 
dashing soldier and arrant lover, Aaron Burr. 

When the American forces were near White Plains 
Burr was seized with a desire to spend an evening with 
the fascinating widow Provost, — Theodosia Provost, — 
who then lived a dozen miles back towards the Ramapo 
Hills on the other side of the Hudson. 

Riding at full speed along Petticoat Lane, which is 
the old road between White Plains and Tarry town, 
attended by several of his devoted troopers, Bun- 
reached the willow-shaded little bay near Sunnyside, 
w^hile the night was still 3'oung. A boat was waiting 
for him, and, leaving his escort, he embarked, horse and 
all, and was ferried as rapidly and as silentl}^ as possible 
to the Rockland shore, where he remounted. A ride 
of a dozen rough miles, at night, through a country 
picketed by the enemy, should be enough to try the 
mettle of an ordinary lover. But Aaron Burr was no 
ordinary lover, which is perhaps the reason why in his 
generation his enemies were seldom found among the 
gentler sex. History discreetly neglects to furnish the 
details of the courtship that we know ultimately re- 
sulted in the winning of Theodosia 's hand and heart. 

By daybreak horse and rider were back within the 
American lines and no one but the troopers, the ferry- 
man, and the widow knew of that wild trip. 

There are two channels in this part of the river, one 
near the eastern and the other close to the western 
shore; between are flats of comparatively shoal water, 

2i8 The Hudson River 

where formerly some of the older maps showed a small 
island, that was probably nothing more than a sand- 
bar. One of the familiar features of the shoals is that 
of the numerous shad poles that mark the fishing- 

Less important now than formerly are the oyster- 
beds that were once a feature of this part of the river. 
In the days when the Indians inhabited the shores of 


the Hudson these were among their principal sources 
of subsistence, as evidenced by the extensive shell- 
heaps that still mark the site of many of their villages 
or camps. 

The water of the Tappan Zee is brackish, about half 
sea water and half fresh. The width from Tarry town 
to Nyack is between three and a half and four miles, and 
communication between the two shores is kept up dur- 
ing the greater part of the year by ferry. Occasionally 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 219 

the whole expanse is a splendid deck of ice, over which 
skaters and sometimes sleighs cross. There have been 
some perilous episodes connected with the breaking of 
the ice and more than one exciting race for life. 

Years ago a whale, perhaps in search of the North- 
west passage, blundered into the river, it is said, and 
there is even a tradition that he grounded on the flats 
and had to wait for a tide to float him off. Of course 
the boatmen were greatly excited and projected expe- 
ditions to meet and capture the monster, but it is not 
recorded that any one got near enough to seriously 
interfere with his departure. 

Piermont, above the northern extremity of the "ice- 
worn bosses of gneiss," is a village that was created 
when the Erie Railway built the mile-long pier that 
still projects into the river at this point. It is chiefly 
interesting because of its proximity to the village of 
Tappan, where Major Andre w^as executed. The house, 
that was long pointed out as the headquarters at Tap- 
pan, has been allowed to fall to decay. Quite recently, 
within a few 3'ears, the entire front of this building 
fell out. Most readers will remember the fate of the 
stone that Mr. Field erected as a memorial of the his- 
toric association of Tappan. Some rampant patriot, 
with more zeal than propriety, applied an explosive 
and destroyed it. 

The place where Nyack stands was once a part of the 
Philipse manor. This town, though of comparatively 
recent origin, is the principal one in Rockland County, 

220 The Hudson River 

and numbers among its inhabitants many of the repre- 
sentatives of old county famihes. The river front is 
here more accessible to the people of the town than are 
the shores of villages and cities on the eastern side to 
the people there. On the Nyack side there is no railroad 
running close to the river, forming a barrier that is 


not usually either safe or pleasant to cross. On the 
east bank the poorer dwellings and the coal and lumber 
yards are near the river, while on the west the grounds 
of handsome residences slope to the water's edge. 

One of the results of the difference just noted is that 
there is quite a fleet of pleasure boats belonging to 
Nyack and a flourishing boat club there, while Tarry- 
town must be content to enjoy its river prospect from 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 221 

a distance, as most of its well-to-do inhabitants dwell 
upon the hills. 

The sweep of the Hudson River from Haverstraw 
Bay to the Tappan Zee is around the curving base of 
that deceptive headland known as Point-no-Point, or 
Rockland Point. As its name implies, it is at best the 
bluntest of points. It juts into the current, a segment 




dra'cuing by the author) 

of a huge circle, just above the palisaded front of Hook 
Mountain, and just below the venerable crest of old 
Taur. Back of No-Point, over the brow of the hills, 
in a basin to which they are the titanic rim, lies Rock- 
land Lake, and day after day the ice-cars pass and re- 
pass the crest on their way between the ice-houses on 
the lake side and those on the river shore. A headland 
that used to be eagerly looked for by the passengers 

222 The Hudson River 

on the river boats, and was pointed out by every river- 
man, who viewed it with the pride of conscious pro- 
prietorship, No-Point satisfied the cultivated sense of 
the artist and impressed the untutored wayfarer with 
its perfection. 

It is safe to say that not even the Hudson River 
affords a more perfect combination of form and colour 
in landscape than this used to present. The traveller 
from other lands carried away, among his pleasantest 
impressions, the memory of its beautiful sweep of out- 
line and the blending of lush summer foliage into the 
silver grey of weather-beaten rocks, or the rich chrom- 
atic harmony of its autumn dress. Now there is a 
dust-cloud hanging over a scene of increasing desola- 
tion. Acres of broken rock and bare soil scar the cliff 
and make it an offence to the eye. The selfishness of 
those who are robbing the State of one of its most 
charming and beatitiful possessions should arouse 
universal antagonism. The explanation of this van- 
dalism can be given in one word, — gravel. In one 
scale are beauty, sentiment, the delight of the eye, 
the restful, health-conserving qualities inherent in a 
harmonious landscape; in the other — gravel. Gravel 
is a marketable commodity. Gravel pays. Gravel 
fills the pockets of the contractor, and must be secured 
for that purpose without regard to sentiment or local 
pride. The story of the Palisades over again? Yes, 
and worse; for while every one concedes the unic[ue 
character of the great monotonous rock wall — " the 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 223 

ice-worn bosses of gneiss," as Professor Geikie called 
it — that stretches its long, parallel lines of base and 
crest above the river, opposite Yonkers, it is a ques- 
tion if any artist ever greath' admired its parallelism. 
The rectangular structure was tolerable only because 
of the robes of colour that clothed it in the ruddy sun- 
lit morning and the purple-mantled evening. But the 
people of Yonkers and its vicinity love the Palisades, 
and were aroused to effective action against the van- 
dalism that has attem^pted their demolition. 

In the case of No-Point the offence is greater, if pos- 
sible, because the harm done is greater, and the loss 
more irreparable. Without seeking to condone the 
wrong done at the Palisades, it may be pointed out 
that in the course of years the foliage, springing up in 
the fissures and valleys that have been made, will cover 
the site of the blasting. But this palliative can never 
be applied to the conduct of those who are denuding 
the headland of No-Point. Its curving contours, from 
any point of view, are so nearly perfect that it is in- 
conceivable that the work now going on can result in 
anything but permanent injury. No one can tell how 
long this outrage is to continue if the people of the 
State do not take measures to protect themselves ; but 
as there seems to be no limit to the gravel market, it 
is reasonable to suppose that a future generation may 
find a low and barren stone heap on the site of this 
ancient landmark. The offence to the eye, to the 
artistic sense, to our innate love for beauty, is not the 

224 The Hudson River 

only nor the greatest wrong done by the defacement 
of Point-no-Point. The offence to the ear, the injury 
done to the nervous system is a ground on which to 
base pubhc action. A population of several thousand 
people in several towns and villages on the east bank 
of the river is continually disturbed by the heavy 
blasting, that is like the discharge of great parks of 
artillery. Curiously, the jarring and the noise are 
much more severely apparent to the people of Ossin- 
ing, Croton, Scarborough, and Tarrytown than at 
Nyack or New City, or Haverstraw. Even as far away 
as Tarrytown, which is eight or ten miles distant across 
the river, windows are shaken, and the sick often seri- 
ously disturbed by the heavy detonations, while at 
Ossining, more nearly opposite the Point, invalids and 
the aged are particularly distressed by the rattling and 
shaking, the shock and the uproar. 

It is time that there should be a general under- 
standing of the rights of the ]xiblic in such matters. 
Already, in numberless ways, the right of public pro- 
tection is admitted. In the erection of buildings, the 
establishment of unsavoury enterprises, the storage of 
dangerous explosives, or the traffic in infected goods, 
the right of communal defence against individual ag- 
gression is enforced. The property-holder is enjoined 
that he must hold his property subject to the well- 
being of the community. Why has not the commu- 
nity a right to the pleasure of the eye and the rest of 
the ear and the peace of the nerves, as well as to 

Spectres of the Tappan Zee 225 

immunit}^ from noxious odours and unwholesome 
vapours? Do we not admit that diseases of the nerves 
are among the most prevalent, the most varied, the 
most stubborn, and the most dangerous of any with 
which medical science has to cope? 

There is no reason why the population of the towns 
upon the Hudson should sit down supinely. If the 
aesthetic basis is asserted by a community, it will be 
recognised by the law. Let people understand that a 
landscape is a public possession, that beauty in nature, 
the curve of hill and colour of foliage, is educational, 
and that the loss of these things is a serious one to 
them and to their children. 

Chapter XV 

In the Land of Irving 

ONE of the first settlers on PhiUpse's ]mtent was 
a Swede named Jeremiah Dobbs, who took 
up land at the i:)lace variously spelled, in 
old records, Wacquesquick, Wisquaqua, and Weeck- 
quaesguck. Algonc[uin names, after passing through 
various phonetic arrangements, have a varied anthog- 
raphy. The name here c[uoted is translated to mean 
the Place of the Bark Kettle. What the tradition 
may ha\^e been that associated such a name with the 
little brook that enters the river here, and afterwards 
applied it to quite an extensive territory, no antiquary 
has discovered. 

Dobbs had a shanty on Willow Point and eked out 
his modest living by ferrying chance passengers over 
the river in his ]:)eriauger, or dugout. His name was 
easier to pronounce than Weeckquaesguck, and being, 
moreover, associated with a ferry, it was perpetuated 
as a place name, while that of the bark kettle fell into 

But Dobbs is a thorn-in-the-side to the residents 
near his ferry, who have made several very serious 


In the Land of Ir\ing- 227 

efforts to have the Legislature authorise the use of a 
more euphonious name. Several public meetings ha\'e 
been held at different times to agitate the question 
and not a few have been the alternatives suggested. 
Mr. Van Brugh Livingston, who owned much land 
thereabouts and was a prominent citizen, tried to have 
his own name applied to the village ; not a few persons 
were in favour of adopting that of Paulding, one of 
the captors of Andre, and some one suggested Van 
Wart. The last ]}ro])osition was met by a gravely 
advanced argument in favour of dro]^ping the Van 
from the last name and sim])ly calling the place " Wart- 
on-the-Hudson." For a short time, Greenburgh was 
accepted as a compromise, and Dol:)bs Ferry became 
Greenburgh to the ])Ost-office authorities, but as a 
cjuiet after-thought the old name was finally restored. 

There are at this place numerous shell-heaps, and 
other indications that at one time the Indian popula- 
tion was a large one, but there is no record of any par- 
ticular event connected with its history till the dark 
days of 1776, when its situation in relation to the 
Palisades brought it for a time into prominence. From 
no nearer point above Spuyten Duyvil could a landing- 
place upon the opposite side of the river be secured, 
owing to the precipitous cliffs. For this reason we find 
that the dispatches of both the British and American 
commanders bear frequent references to Dobbs Ferry. 

After the battle of White Plains the British force 
encamped here for eight days. From here. Lord Corn- 

228 The Hudson River 

wallis crossed the river into New Jersey. Here are 
the remains of several redoubts and a fort, though 
there was no land engagement at Dobbs Ferry. 

When Arnold arranged his first interview, relative 
to the betrayal of West Point, with Andre, he was to 
meet him at Dobbs Ferry, but as the name seems to 
have applied equally to the eastern and western land- 
ings, it is uncertain which side of the river was indi- 
cated. We know that the plan miscarried, and the 
treacherous American general was so closely pursued 
by a British gunboat that he narrowly escaped cap- 
ture. After the condemnation of Andre, General 
Greene met Sir Henry Clinton at Dobbs Ferry to dis- 
cuss the possibility of ameliorating his sentence. Here, 
in 1777, General Lincoln's division of the Continental 
army camped for a short time. 

In front of an interesting old house at Dobbs Ferry, 
in 1894, a monument was erected by the New York 
State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 
The inscription upon it reads: 

Washington's Headquarters. 

Here, Ji-ilv 6, 1781, the French aUies, under Rochambeau, 
joined the American army. 

Here, August 14, 1781, Washington planned the Yorktown 
campaign, which brought to a triumphant end the War for 
American independence. 

Here, May 6, 1783, Washington and Sir Guy Carleton ar- 
ranged for the evacuation of American soil by the British. 

And opposite this point May 8, 1 783, a British sloop-of-war fired 
seventeen guns in honour of the American Commander-in-chief, 
the first salute by Great Britain to the United States of America. 

In the Land of Irving 229 

111 1861, Lossing wrote: 

The Livingston mansion, owned l)y Stephen Archer, a Quaker, 
is preserved in its original form. Under its roof in past times 
many distinguished men have been sheltered; Washington had 
his headcjuarters there toward the close of the Revolution and 
there in November, 1783, Washington, George Clinton, . 
and Sir Guy Carleton . . . met to confer, etc., etc. 

Both of the statements quoted above are mislead- 
ing. The hotise referred to is not the Livingston family 
seat, but was acc(uired l^y Mr. Van Brugh Li\-ingston 
about 1823. If any part of it was standing during 
the War for Independence, it was the small rear ]:)or- 
tion. One authorit}' states that the interview between 
Washington and Carleton took place on board of a 
British vessel in the river, but this seems strikingly 

On the water, near Dobbs Ferry, in 1781, there was a 
sharp engagement between some British and American 
guard-boats. Almost immediately following this skir- 
mish two gunboats ascended the river from New York, 
with the evident intention of cutting out the vessels 
congregated near the ferry, but they were discovered 
and driven away by shot from the shore l:)atteries. 

Dobbs Ferry was in the heart of that debatable 
region known as the neutral ground, the inhabitants 
of which were so harried and impo\^erished that, ac- 
cording to a record left by a traveller of that time, 
they seemed almost without hope or ambition ; silent, 
apathetic, regarding every man as a possible foe. 

230 The Hudson River 

To-day the place is a collection of attractive countr}"- 
seats, and its inhabitants, like those of most of the 
river towns within thirty-five miles of New York, are 
largely de]_^endent upon the city for their social enter- 
tainment and business life. 

In the neighbourhood of Dobbs Ferry, a little way 
to the north, is the comparatively new station of 
Ardsley-on-the-Hudson, where is a fashionable and 
attractive inn, or club-house, with all the modern 
allurements of golf course, etc. The establishment 
takes its name from that of Cyrus W. Field's former 
estate, upon a portion of which it is built. Mr. Field 
will be remembered, when his eminence as a factor in 
the financial world may be forgotten, as the man 
whose energy and persistence in the face of obstacles 
succeeded in laying the first Atlantic cable. His home 
was in what some one has called the great millionaire 
belt of the east shore of the Hudson. For mile upon 
mile the prospect along shore is that of magnificent 
residences and highly developed grounds. 

Although it is no part of our purpose to fill these 
pages with a descriptive list of the mansions that mul- 
tiply till they suggest a celestial comparison, yet we 
think that no American will quarrel with us for making 
one exception. There is a white-walled house that 
overlooks the river between Irvington and Tarrytown. 
It is a noticeable landmark, in its outlines suggesting 
the gothic dignity of some ecclesiastical edifice by the 
Thames, rather than a dwelling on the Hudson. An 

In the Land of Irving 231 

older house, inckided within its walls, was built in 
1840 by General William Paulding, the brother of 
James K. Paulding. But its chief interest is in the 
fact that it is the property and residence of Miss Helen 
Gould. No one has ever numbered the charities that 
have flowed from Lyndhurst since Miss Gould, of 
whom we love to think as a typical American woman, 
became the mistress of its pleasant acres. Her home 
is palatial, but it was not considered too good to be 
the resting-place for convalescent soldiers, broken 
dowm by a Cuban campaign; her conservatories are 
remarkable even in this neighbourhood of millionaires, 
but they are not too fine to be open wdth a welcome to 
the poorest child that seeks admission. 

Lyndhtu-st means a forest of linden trees, but its 
park-like lawns are shaded by nearly all of the orna- 
mental trees that will thrive in our latitude, and it 
has naturally become one of the show-places of a 
region of parks. 

Lyndhurst lies between Irvington, which is, perhaps, 
the choicest residence section of the river shore, in 
some respects, and Tarry town. The early history of 
the latter place has been already touched upon in the 
reference made to the Manor Lord, Filipse, who built 
his strong house near the Pocantico in 1683 or 1684, 
and soon afterwards erected the stone church which 
became work! famous as the Old Dutch Church of 
Sleepy Hollow, now the oldest church building in use 
in Xew York State. 


The Hudson River 

The Revolutionary history of Tarrytown is in the 
main that of all other hamlets within the neutral ter- 
ritory. It was overridden and pillaged, property and 
life were never safe for an hour, and famine, sickness, 
and terror were the portion of most of the inhabitants. 
The British threatened to destroy stores near the vil- 
lage and made one or two attempts to do so, landing 
in force upon at least one occasion. General Lincoln 
marched through on his way to Kingsbridge; Colonel 
Luddington commanded five hundred militia here; 
"Light-Horse Harry" Lee had a brush with some of 
Dunop's Yagers, — we might go on indefinitely wath 
such details, none of them particularly important. 
Here Van Courtlandt's river guard made a rendezvous, 
and the yeomen of the neighbourhood tried to guard 
the crosswavs and peppered the British boats when 
thev ventured near the shore. On one memorable 
night, fire-ships ascending the river attacked and drove 
awav a number of British vessels that had anchored 
off the Tarrvtown shore, and set fire to one of the 

On Sunday, the 15th of July, 1781, two sloops were 
going down the Hudson, loaded with powder and arms 
for the American army, when several British war-ships 
with their tenders were discovered approaching from 
an opposite direction. In order to avoid an embar- 
rassing meeting, the supply vessels put into Tarry- 
town; but the enemy, who were looking for just such 
game, were not to be eluded, and pursued them so 

In the Land of Ininij;- 235 

closely that in a short time the\' were cornered beyond 
any apparent possibility of escape. The troops in the 
neighbourhood at that time consisted of a sergeant's 
guard of French infantry and a troop of dragoons com- 
manded by Colonel Sheldon, whose regiment lay at 
Dobbs Ferry. These soldiers, dismounting, worked 
with great spirit in assisting to unload the stores from 
the sloops, but were soon subjected to a galling fire 
from the British frigates. Under cover of this can- 
nonading, two gunboats and four barges crept in to 
destroy the sloo]is; but the Americans on board, 
though greatly inferior in number, had no idea of aban- 
doning their task. Captain Hurlburt, of the 2d Regi- 
ment of Dragoons, commanded twelve intrepid men, 
armed only with swords and pistols, who resisted till 
the last possible moment, l:iut were driven awa}' by 
the overwhelming attack of the British. But the in- 
trepid commander rallied his force once more and, 
aided by the fire of the French infantry and dismounted 
dragoons, returned to the sloops by swimming, and 
succeeded in extinguishing the flames kindled by their 

This heroic feat was second to none in daring, as we 
must realise when we consider the nature of the cargo 
contained by the supply vessels, and the immediate 
risk of explosion incurred. 

The British were driven away and failed in their 
purpose, but the brave Hurlburt received injuries from 
which he never recovered, dvine from the eftects of 

236 The Hudson River 

them about two }'ears later. This action, hardly no- 
ticed in general history, should at least be chronicled 
among important minor actions of the war, and the 
name of Hurlburt be honoured with those of Gushing 
or Hobson. 

The most notable of all historic events connected 
with this part of the river was the capture of Major 
John Andre at Tarrytown, in September, 1780. Fresh 
from his interview with the traitorous Arnold, within 
the American lines, Andre was escaping on horseback, 
in disguise, to Xew York, when stopped by the three 
American militiamen, John Paulding, David Williams, 
and Isaac Van Wart. The details of that ca]:)ture 
ha\'e been worn threadbare by constant repetition, and 
the merit of captors and captive have been discussed 
with hardly abated warmth for a century and more. 
We will not enter into that controversy. At a point 
near the present highway, probably about an eighth 
of a mile to the east of it, the trio of scouts were 
apparently waiting for something to turn up. when 
they heard the sound of a horse's hoofs and inter- 
cepted the rider. Forcing him to dismount, they drew 
him into the bushes and under a tree somewhat to the 
east of the present road, searched him, finall}' discov- 
ering the criminating papers in his boot. 

Whether Paulding really exclaimed, " My God, he 
is a spy, ' ' or whether the question of ransom was ever 
seriously discussed, are matters that will probablv 
never be settled. What is important is that the men 

In the Land of Irving- 237 

who captured Andre did not conclude any bargain for 
ransom, but actually held their prisoner till they had 
turned him over to some one who had official author- 
itv to hold him, and that they were honoured by the 
Commander-in-chief of the army and by Congress as 
the saviours of the State. 

The dispatching of Andre to Washington, tmder 
guard, and the sad termination of the life of the active 
and popular young Englishman, belong to one of the 
most familiar narratives of American history. 

Among the legends that are famous wherever the 
English tongue is familiar, or its literature known, that 
of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow has been 
read. To attempt to retell a story so intimately asso- 
ciated with the fame of Washington Irving, savours 
of effrontery, and we can only regret that the length 
of the legend, as accepted, forbids its insertion here. 

Among the famous men whose homes were, for a 
longer or shorter period, at Tarrytown, Commodore 
Matthew Galbraith Perry, to whom the world owes 
the opening of Japan to Western influences, must not 
be forgotten. His house was to the north of the 
estate of Mr. William Aspinwall, now owned b>' Mr. 
William Rockefeller. Not far away was the cottage in 
which Captain Alexander Slidell Mackenzie resided, 
after the distressing episode on the brig Soiucrs, when he 
caused the son of the Secretary of the Navy to be hanged 
from the A-ard-arm for mutin\-. General James Watson 
Webb was also for vears a resident of Tarrvtown, his 


The Hudson River 

estate being afterwards purchased by General John C. 
Fremont^the Pathfinder. 

(From a drawing by the authoy) 

Those whose memories include the stirring days of 
the Civil War will recollect how% in 1863, at the time 

In the Land of Irving 239 

of the dreadful "draft riots" in New York, a demon- 
stration of sympathy with the rioters was suggested 
by some of the inhabitants of what was then known 
as Beekmantown, and how a gunboat, anchored within 
range, produced a change of heart in the most turl)u- 
lent. At that time a company of roughs from farther 
down the ri\-er were marching upon Tarr}^town, with 
the intention of doing mischief to the cok)ured ])or- 
tion of the i;)0])ulation. The latter, badly frightened, 
swarmed over the hills, taking refuge in the woods 
back of the village. But the rioters never reached the 
town. A brave minister of the place, the Rev. Abel 
T. Stewart, accompanied by one or two companions, 
went unarmed to meet that mob of several hundred 
bloodthirsty ruffians, and succeeded l)y his fearless 
resolution and j^ersuasive eloc[uence in turning them 
from their purpose. 

One cannot visit Sleepy Hollow or explore the l)anks 
of the Pocantico as it seeks the Hudson without being 
conscious that Washington Irving stretched his scep- 
tre over these hills and valleys. From the gables of 
Sunn}'side to the belfry of the Old Dutch Church, from 
"Tommy Dean's" store to Carl's mill, his domain ex- 
tended, and is still his inalienable territory, let who 
will pay the taxes! 

The associations which led him back to Tarrytown 
after years of w^andering were formed in boyhood. 
The Pauldings, connected with his family by mar- 
riage, lived near a pleasant bay, just south of the 

240 The Hudson River 

present station, and it was while visiting them that he 
made an early acquaintance with the characters and 
scenes that engaged his pen in later years. 

James Kirke Paulding, his senior by several years, 
was his guide and friend, if not philosopher; and it is 
not improbable that the people of the neighbourhood, 
who have conjured for half a century by Geoffrey 
Crayon's name, must thank that engaging youngster 
for their titular saint. 

It is hard for us to realise, looking at the cultivated 
"grounds," the "improved" residences, and innumer- 
able smooth lawns, what those two boys found as they 
rambled with guns or rods over the hills, or pushed 
their boat into the bays along the river shore. The 
Pocantico and its tributary streams then teemed with 
trout. The quail piped in every cornfield, and the 
grouse whirred from every invaded thicket. One 
little distant church folded the entire rural flock on 
Sabbath days. Revolutionary veterans, in the prime 
of life, fought their battles o\'er at the tavern or the 
store. The market boat that sailed at stated inter- 
vals for New York, wind and weather permitting, tied 
up near the Paulding house, and the farm waggons 
lumbered down with their produce to the landing. A 
century has made mighty changes. 

Years afterward, Washington Irving wrote: 

To me the Hudson is full of storied associations, connected 
as it is with some of the happiest portions of my Hfe. Each 
striking feature brings to mind some early adventure or enjoy- 

In the Land of Irving- 241 

ment, some favourite companion who shared it with me, some 
fair object, perchance, of youthful admiration, who, hkc a star, 
may have beamed her allotted time and passed away. 

There is something dehghtfully youthful and pas- 
toral in that last touch. We catch a glimpse of other 
boyish i:)astimes than gunning or fishing or dreaming 
in a boat under the willows near Mr. Oliver Ferris 's 
house, — the Sunnyside of future years. The "beam- 
ing" objects of youthful admiration, met at the church 
or down by the mill-pond between services, or perhaps 
at the market-boat landing, gave, we cannot doubt, a 
l)eculiar zest to life, a particular delight to memory. 
The granddaughters of those girls of long ago must, 
some of them at least, be with us still. I wonder if 
there are preserved pleasant traditions of those inno- 
cent flirtations. I would like to know how the slower 
country beaux regarded the encroachments of those 
two city bo^'^s. 

One of the resorts well known to all the fishermen 
on the Tappan Zee was the Hafenje, or little harbour, 
a i^leasant bay that indented the shore to the north of 
the "Yellow Rocks." In later days the old Dutch 
name became corrupted to "Hobbinger." It can 
hardly be doubted that the youthful companions wet 
their lines in its quiet water or beached their boat under 
the pines and hemlocks that bordered it. What is left 
of the Hafenje now is a shallow cove between the rail- 
road track and the dam behind which General Watson 
Webb confined its tributary brook. John C. Fremont 

242 The Hudson River 

afterward bought that property, and the pond and 
cove are locally known by his name. From an old 
sketch written l:)y Paulding and published in 1828 in 
one of the then fashionable annuals, we get a glimpse 
of the local oddities, the characters, whose originality 
appealed so strongly to Irving, and of landmarks that 
have been obliterated. He describes "the little mar- 
ket town on the river, from whence the boats plied 
weekly to New York with produce," as a "pestilent 
little place [in 1793] for running races, pitching quoits, 
and wrestling for gin-slings," but adds: 

I must do it credit to say that it is now [1S28] a very orderly 
town, sober and quiet, save when Parson Mathias, who calls 
himself a Son of Thunder, is praying in secret so as to be heard 
across the river. It so happened that of all the days in the 
year, this was the very day [one Tuesday in November] a rumour 
had got into the town that I myself, the veritable writer of this 
true story, had been poisoned by a dish of souchong tea. 
There was not a stroke of work done in the village that day. 
The shoemaker abandoned his awl, the hatter his bowstring, the 
tailor his goose, and the forge of the blacksmith was cool from 
dawn till nightfall. Silent was the sonorous harmony of the big 
spinning wheel, silent the village song, and silent the fiddle of 
Master Timothy Canty, who passed his livelong time in playing 
tuneful measures and catching bugs and butterflies. 

It may not be out of place to let the careful Duyck- 
inck supply the grain of salt with which he warns us 
that Paulding should be enjoyed: 

In almost all the writings of Paulding there is occasionally 
infused a dash of his peculiar vein of humorous satire and keen 
sarcastic irony. . . . It is sometimes somewhat difficult to 
decide when he is jesting and when he is in earnest. This is on 

In the Land of Irvine: 243 


the whole a great disadvantage in an age when irony is seldom 
resorted to. 

With this timely caution ])Osted in the path of Htera- 
ture, we must be dull indeed if we do not suspect that 
perhaps the voice of the Rev. Mathias did not reach 
altogether across the river, — let us say half-way over 
— or that the wrestling for gin-slings was overesti- 
mated. But must we give up Tim Canty bodily? 
That would be almost as hard as to admit that Ichabod 
Crane had no actual prototype. 

Around his garret were disposed a number of unframed pic- 
tures, painted on glass, as in the olden time, representing the 
four seasons, the old King of Prussia, and Prince Ferdinand of 
Brunswick, . . . the beautiful Constantia Phillips, and 
divers others. . . . The whole village poured into the garret 
to gaze at these cltcfs d\vitvrcs, and it is my confirmed opinion 
. that neither the gallery of Florence, Dresden, nor the 
Louvre was ever visited bv so many real amateurs. 

There can be little doubt that, under the guidance 
of this lively companion, Washington Irving became 
familiar with what in the literary jargon of to-day is 
called local colour, used afterwards so lavishly upon 
the canvas whereon Ichabod and Katrina and Brom 
the Devil are painted with a master hand. 

We may suppose that the seed which was to come 
to fruition in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was planted 
in those youthful days and germinated during the 
twenty years' interval. The vivid impressions made 
by new and picturesque surroundings upon the im- 
pressionable mind of the lad of fifteen years of age 

244 The Hudson River 

were destined to affect the life and the fame of an 
American author in whose work, perhaps, as much as 
in that of any other, there is evidence of permanency. 
By his own confession, Irving was but an indifferent 
sportsman. His nephew teUs us that he explored the 
recesses of Sleepy Hollow with a gun in 1798, but we 
know that the best spoils of those expeditions were not 
to be found in his game-bag. 

Clarence Cook, writing, in 1887, of his school days 
at Tarry town, more than half a century ago, gives a 
pleasing picture not only of the place that still retained 
enough of simplicity to stamp its image upon his 
memory " as a sleepy neighbourhood, where dreaming 
was more the fashion than doing," but of its historic 
and legendary associations. 

Considering how dead the village was, so far as active inter- 
ests were concerned, we were fortunate as schoolboys in having 
anything to quicken our minds in the history and associations of 
the region. We became strongly interested in the legendary 
gossip of the time of the Revolution, much of which centred 
about Andre; his capture on our side of the river, and his trial 
and execution at Tappan, directly opposite us, on the other side 
of the broad Tappan Zee. The tree under which Andre's captors 
were sitting, playing cards, when he came up — for so the story ran 
— still stood in the field by the roadside; although, between the 
relic-hunters and the lightning, it had come, when I knew it. to 
present a rather forlorn appearance. Mr. Irving made good dra- 
matic use of this tree in his Legend of Sleepy Hollozu, but it is 
likelv enough he had not seen it when he wrote the story. . . . 
While I was at school at Tarry town, Mr. Irving was Hving on 
his little Sabine farm of Wolfert's Roost, which afterward was 
so widely known as Sunny side. The place, which originally con- 
tained ten acres, afterward increased first to fifteen and finally 

In the Land of Irving 245 

to eighteen acres, lay on the river-bank a few miles below the 
village, in a neighbourhood vaguely known as " Dearman's." 
There was no distinct settlement at this point in my time, but in 
1854, the place, having secreted enough population to warrant 
it, was set off from Tarrytown and incorporated as a village, to 
which, out of compliment to Mr. Irving, the name of Irvington 
was given. . . . Mr. Irving had never been a man of means, 
and at the time I speak of his early fame as a writer had almost 
died away. Had I been at school in any other place than Tarry- 
town, I suspect I should have heard very little about him. But 
our schoolmaster had named his school the Irving Institute, and 
had persuaded Mr. Irving, out of his abounding good nature and 
hking for young folks, to visit the school occasionally at "com- 
mencement" time and give out the prizes. This, of course, 
made it necessary to keep us acquainted with Irving's writings, 
and there were some of us who found this no ungrateful task. 
TJic History of Xcw York and The Sketch Book we knew by heart. 
Mr. Irving first heard the story of the headless horseman from 
his brother-in-law, Mr. Van Wart, in Birmingham, at the time 
of his visit to England in 1819. The two homesick friends fell 
to talking about old times and scenes, and among the stories 
that Mr. Van Wart recalled was this one, which so tickled Ir- 
ving's fancy that he sat down at once — such was his happy, off- 
hand way — and rapidly sketched the outline of his story, which 
he afterward finished in London and sent home to America, to 
be published, with other stories, as the sixth number of The 
Sketch Book. 

Chapter XVI 

The Literary Associations of the Hudson 

NO review of the literary associations of the 
Hudson would be complete that did not 
have written large at the very head of it 
the name of Washington Irving. We might copy a 
fashion much in vogue among art publishers of a 
generation ago and style our picture Irving and his 
Friends; for it is certain that the names that pre- 
sent themselves most prominently in this connection 
are those of his intimate associates. 

Irving may almost be said to have discovered the 
Hudson. He found a stream that was wonderful in 
beauty and already rich in material for history, but 
the beauty was uncelebrated and the history unre- 
corded. It is princii)ally to his pen that we owe the 
romantic interest of "the river that he loved and 

His own acquaintance with the Hudson began dur- 
ing the impressional)le years of boyhood, when, in com- 
pany with his madcap associate, James K. Paulding, he 
explored the bays and coves along the Tappan Zee, and 
haunted the woods that covered its shores, drawing 


Literary Associations of the Hudson 247 

his boat into the shade of the willows that hung over 
the little brook at the place that has since become 


one of the im]3ortant literary landmarks of the world. 
There, with a book, under the trees, he mav have 

248 The Hudson River 

dreamed that enchanting mythology of the Wizard 
Sachem and Woh'ert's Roost, that formed the legend- 
ary background for the quaint crow-step gables and 
clustering ivy of Sunnyside. Irving loved the allure- 
ments of nature; they were the inducements held out 
with invitations to his friends. "Come and see me." 
he wrote, years afterward, from Sunnyside, " and I 
will give you a book and a tree." 

A whimsical picture he drew of his first reading of 
Scott's Lady of the Lake, while he was at the Hoffmans' 
home on the Hudson in 18 10: " Seated leaning against 
a rock, with a wild-cherry tree over my head, reading 
Scott's Lady of the Lake ; the busy ant hurrying over 
the page — crickets skipping into my bosom — ^wind 
rustling among the top branches of the trees. Broad 
masses of shade darken the Hudson and cast the oppo- 
site shore in black." 

With the eminent lawyer, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, 
he read law after Brockholst Livingston, in whose 
office he began his studies, had been called to the bench 
of the Supreme Court. At Mr. Hoffman's house he 
soon became an intimate and most welcome visitor and 
at times an inmate, for he had a rare faculty for win- 
ning hearts. 

It was during this early period that he lost his own 
heart to Matilda Hoffman, the daughter of his friend. 
Of more than ordinary beauty, fineness of character, 
and sweetness of disposition, that winsome girl of long 
ago will be remembered wherever Irving 's life is read, 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 249 

her name linked with his in one of the world's i)athetic 
love stories. Under all the humour and the gaiety 
that marked his work and intercourse with friends 
during his long life, he hid the troubling memory of 
her loss. Miss Hoffman's death occurred in 1809, 
when she was but eighteen years old and he twenty- 
six. From that time till, in 1859, his own dust was 
laid to rest in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, he w^as 
never knowm to mention her name, even to his most 
intimate friends; but, after his death, his literary 
executor found a paper relating the story of his pas- 
sion and lifelong attachment to her memory, together 
with her miniature and a braid of her hair. The fidel- 
it\' of half a century is not less an evidence of his worth 
than a tribute to hers. 

At Kinderhook, at the historic home of Judge Wil- 
liam P. Van Ness, where Martin Van Buren after- 
w^ards lived, Irving spent the tw^o months immediatelv 
succeeding his bereavement. It has been shown by 
a gentleman to whom Kinderhook owes much for 
the presentation of matters of local interest, that 
there is a strong probability at least, that the origi- 
nal of the immortal character of Ichabod Crane was 
met and studied by Irving while at the Van Ness 

A tragic interest is connected with the name of 
Irving 's host at Kinderhook. It will be remembered 
that he was Aaron Burr's second in the duel that 
resulted in Alexander Hamilton's death, though he 

250 The Hudson River 

apparently did not share the odium that attached to 
his principal's name. 

Another of Irving 's early hamits on the Hudson was 
the Philipse house in the Highlands. There Paulding, 
Renwick, and the Kembles — Peter and Gouverneur — 
met, along with Henry Brevoort, whose acquaintance 
Irving had made while travelling on the St. Lawrence 
with Mr. Hoffman. The two young men soon formed 
a friendship which was destined to be lifelong. 

Of a visit to the Highlands during the year 18 12, 
just before the commencement of hostiUties between 
America and Great Britain, Irving wrote to Brevoort 
as follows: 

hi August I sallied off for the residence of the Highland chief- 
tain, whither I was accompanied by James Renwick. We passed 
a few days very pleasantly there, during which time Renwick 
took a variety of sketches of the surrounding scenery. From 

the Captain's I proceeded to the country-seat of John R. L , 

where I remained for a week in complete fairy-land. His seat 
is spacious and elegant, with fine grounds around it, and the 
neighbourhood is very gay and hospitable. I dined twice at 
the Chancellor's and once at old Mrs. Montgomery's. Our own 
household was numerous and charming. In addition to the 
ladies of the family there were Miss McEvers and Ahss Hay- 
ward. Had you but seen me, happy rogue, up to my ears in "an 
ocean of peacock's feathers," or rather like a " strawberry smoth- 
ered in cream "! The mode of living at the Manor is exactly 
after my own heart. You have every variety of rural amuse- 
ment within your reach, and are left to yourself to occupy your 
time as you please. We made several charming excursions, and 
you may suppose how delightful they were, through such beauti- 
ful scenery, with such fine women to accompany you. They 
surpassed even our Sunday morning rambles among the groves 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 251 

on the banks of the Hudson, when you and the divine H 

were so tender and sentimental, and you displayed your horse- 
manship so gallantly by leaping over a three-barred gate. 


{From a drawiftg; hy 11'. f. Wilson) 

It may Ije remembered that James P.enwick, at 
nineteen years of age, succeeded Doctor Kemp as Pro- 
fessor of Natural History at Columbia College. Irving 
was highly tickled and, jumping from one extreme to 

252 The Hudson River 

the other, addressed him sometimes with exaggerated 
deference and at others as "my worthy lad." 

The name of Gouverneur Kemble at once suggests 
Cockloft Hall, of which he was, by inheritance, the 
owner. It was near Newark. There the " Lads of 
Kilkenny" used to hold their informal meetings, as 
partly told in the Salmagundi papers. Peter Irving and 
Henry Ogden were both members of that convivial 
nine, and long afterwards the former alluded in a let- 
ter to " the procession in the Chinese saloon, in which 
we made poor Dick McCall a knight; and I, as the 
senior of our order, dubbed him by some fatality on 
the seat of honour instead of the shoulder." 

There was a sort of general family connection ])e- 
tween several of those companions. Kemble 's sister, 
Gertrude, was afterwards the wife of James K. Pauld- 
ing, while the Paulding and Irving families were also 
allied by marriage. 

Paulding was by birth a Dutchess County boy, of 
Dutch ancestry, whose first widely known work was 
done in conjunction with Washington Irving, in the 
Salmagundi papers. In the course of a long life he 
wrote voluminously, both in prose and verse, though 
little of his work is familiar to the general reader of 
to-day. He had a dry and caustic humour, little un- 
derstood or appreciated by the more serious critics 
of his day. Novels, histories, fables and allegories, 
poems and satirical comments upon most of the public 
questions of the moment flowed from his almost too 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 253 

facile pen. Having filled various honourable offices in 
his native State, he was appointed Secretary of the 
Navy during the Van Buren administration. His 
home, near Hyde Park, where he passed in retirement 
the final years of a busy life, is described in another 
chapter. In the effervescent period of Cockloft Hall 
and Salmagundi, his familiar nickname was Billy Tay- 
lor, from a song that he was fond of singing upon fes- 
tive occasions. 

Closely connected with Irving, in that circle of 
writers that we are wont to group under the general 
title of Knickerbocker, were, among others, Fitz- 
Greene Halleck, Charles Fenno Hoffman, Jose])h 
Rodman Drake, Nathaniel Parker Willis, General 
George P. Morris, Frederick Swartwout Cozzens, the 
brothers Duyckinck, and Gulian Crommelin Verplanck. 
These were all associated either by residence or 
by virtue of some particular work with the Hudson 

Charles Fenno Hoffman was one of the most distin- 
guished of the coterie. He shared with Morris the 
leadership among American lyric writers, and filled a 
large place in the earlier anthologies. Of such as he 
it was that Walter Savage Landor wrote: "We often 
hear that such and such things ' are not worth an old 
song.' Alas, how few things are! " 

No song in our language is more perfect, after its 
kind, than Hoffman's famous Sparkling and Bright, 
that for twenty years w^as literally on every one 's lips : 

254 The Hudson River 

. . . in liquid light 

Does the wine our goblets gleam in, 
With hue as red as the rosy bed 

Which a bee would choose to dream in. 

He sang of the Hudson in an exalted strain, in verse 
that may sound formal and, perhaps, a little pedantic 
to our modern ears ; but the fashions change in fifty or 
sixty years, and it is certain that he celebrated her 
beauties as only a lover could. At West Point, during 
his early life, Hoffman wrote a poem called Moonlight 
on the Hudson, from which a brief c|uotation may be 
admitted here : 

What though no cloister grey nor ivied column 

Along these cliffs their sombre ruins rear? 
What though no frowning tower nor temple solemn 
Of despots tell and superstition here — 

What though that mouldering fort's fast crumbling walls 
Did ne'er enclose a baron's bannered halls. 

Its sinking arches once gave back as proud 
An echo to the war-blown clarion's peal, 
As gallant hearts its battlements did crowd, 
As ever beat beneath a vest of steel, 

When herald's trump on knighthood's haughtiest day 
Called forth chivalric host to battle fray. 

For here amid these woods did he keep court, 

Before whose mighty soul the common crowd 
Of heroes, who alone for fame have fought. 

Are like the patriarch's sheaves to Heaven's chosen bowed- 
He who his country's eagle taught to soar, 
And fired those stars which shine o'er every shore. 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 255 

And sights and sounds at which the world have wonder"d 

Within these wild ravines have had their birth ; 
Young Freedom's cannon from these glens have thunder'd 
And sent their startling echoes o'er the earth ; 
And not a verdant glade nor mountain hoary 
But treasures up within the glorious story. 

And vet not rich in high-soul'd memories only. 

Is everv moon-kiss'd headland round me gleaming, 
Each cavern'd glen and leafy valley lonely, 

And silver torrent o'er the bald rock streaming: 
But such soft fancies here may breathe around 
As make Vaucluse and Clarens hallow'd ground. 

There was something more than the ordinary' ties of 
friendship to bind Irving and Hoffman. He was one 
of that nearer circle to which Matilda l^elonged, though 
at the time of her death he was liut four }'ears old. 
On one occasion Irving speaks of him in a letter as 
"little Charles." In early l^oyhood he was crippled 
for life by being crushed between a river steamboat 
and the wharf, an accident that may have driven him 
to more diligent stud\% by depriving him of many of 
the active sports of boyhood. He was sent to the 
old Poughkeepsie Academy, then a somewhat famous 
school, but ran away because of alleged harsh treat- 
ment, and prepared for college under private tuition. 
He entered Columbia at the early age of fifteen, leav- 
ing, however, before graduation. 

Having studied law with Mr. Hermanns Bleecker of 
Albany, he was admitted to the bar when he attained 
his majority. But after a short time he abandoned 
the i^rofession of the law for the more alluring pursuit 

256 The Hudson River 

of literature, finding in the new field a congenial em- 
ployment for powers which, if not great, were at least 
of a high order. A tour of the West, undertaken in 
search of health, furnished material for numerous con- 
tributions to The American and other magazines; and 
these were afterwards collected into one or two 
volumes. The Romance of Greyslaer followed after 
a few years, and several books of prose and verse, pub- 
lished at intervals, added to the writer's reputation. 

Some time before the publication of Greyslaer., Mr. 
Hoffman commenced the afterwards widely known 
Knickerbocker Magazine, and was also connected at 
difi'erent times with TJie Mirror, The Literary World, 
and The New York American Magazine. This editorial 
work threw him into agreeable relations with some of 
the most brilliant and celebrated men of his day. His 
familiar associates included William Cullen Bryant, 
Chancellor Kent, Lewis Gaylord Clarke, Colonel Wil- 
liam Leete Stone, and a score of others, some of whose 
names have a prominent place in this chapter. The 
honourary degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon 
him by Columbia College, his companions upon that 
occasion being Bryant and Halleck. 

We may be permitted one further quotation from 
this representative Hudson River poet. It is from a 
short poem called Indian Summer, written in 1828: 

Light as love's smiles, the silvery mist at morn 
Floats in loose flakes along the limpid river; 

The blue bird's notes upon the soft breeze borne. 
As high in air he carols, faintly quiver; 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 257 

The weeping birch, hke banners idly waving, 
Bends to the stream, its spicy branches laving; 

Beaded with dew, the witch elm's tassels shiver; 
The timid rabbit from the furze is peeping, 
And from the springy spray the squirrel 's gaily leaping. 

In 1850, while occupying a government position at 
Washington, Hoffman was stricken with mental dis- 
order, from which he did not recover. He lived in 
retirement thirty-four years, outliving his companions 
and his fame. 

Fitz-Greene Halleck, whose name is on our roster 
next to that of Paulding, was a Connecticut boy. His 
first visit to New York was made in 1808, and was an 
event to which the metropolis may point with pride, 
for no native-born son of Manhattan, with the blood 
of all the Dams and Bilts and Blinkers in his veins, 
ever became more intimately associated with the city. 
His celebrated friendship for Joseph Rodman Drake, — 
a memory embalmed in the exquisite tribute of verse 
that he paid at the latter 's death — commenced in 181 3, 
when the future author of Marco Bozzaris had been 
two years away from his Connecticut skies. Their 
joint production were the papers signed " Croaker and 
Co.," published in the Evening Post in 18 19. That 
same year, Halleck wrote the long poem, Fanny, in 
which occur the lines on Weehawken, which will be 
found in another chapter. Almost at the ver)' end of 
his long life, the poet wrote from Fort Lee, on the 
Hudson, to Lewis Gaylord Clarke: 

258 The Hudson River 

I hope thou wilt not banish hence 

These few and fading flowers of mine, 

But let their theme be their defence — 

The love, the joy, the frankincense 
And fragrance of Langsyne. 

Drake's claim to association with the Hudson River 
rests on his beautiful and imaginative creation, The 
Culprit Fay, which was composed among the High- 
lands in the same year that saw the production of the 
" Croaker" papers and of Fanny. The story goes that 
while walking with some friends, one of them remarked 
to the poet that, without the introduction of human 
characters it would be next to impossible to write a 
purely imaginative fairy poem. Drake accepted this 
as a challenge, and in a very short time submitted to 
his associates the manuscript of the work upon which 
rests his principal title to fame. 

The scheme or plot of TJic Culprit Fay is familiar. 
A fairy has stained his wings and lost the light of his 
torch by falling in love with a mortal maid. The de- 
cree of the King is that he must wash the stain away 
with a drop of water, caught in a colen-bell from the 
spray scattered on the river by the leap of a sturgeon. 
The torch must be relighted by a spark from a meteor. 
Some of the descriptions are exquisite, as in the lines: 

Onward still he held his way. 

Till he came where the column of moonshine lay. 

And saw beneath the surface dim 

The brown-back'd sturgeon slowly swim; 

Around him were the goblin train — 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 259 

But he scull'd with all his might and main, 

And follow'd wherever the sturgeon led, 

Till he saw him upward point his head ; 

Then he dropp'd his paddle blade. 

And held his colen-goblet up 

To catch the drop in its crimson cup. 

With sweeping tail and cjuivering fin, 

Through the wave the stvirgeon Hew, 
And, like the heaven-shot javelin, 

He sprung above the waters blue. 
Instant as the star-fall light, 

He plunged him in the deep again, 
But left an arch of silver bright, 

The rainbow of the moony main. 
It was a strange and lovely sight 

To see the puny gobhn there; 
He seem'd an angel form of light, 

With azure wing and sunny hair, 
Throned on a cloud of purple fair. 

Circled with blue and edged with white. 
And sitting at the fall of even 

Beneath the bow of summer heaven. 

A moment, and its lustre fell; 

But ere it met the billow blue, 
He caught within his crimson bell 

A droplet of its sparkling dew — 
Joy to thee. Fay! thy task is done; 
Thy wings are pure, for the gem is won. 
Cheerily ply thy dripping oar, 
And haste away to the elfin shore. 

It was once the fashion among admirers of Drake's 
dainty work to ])lace the author upon a somewhat 
dizzy pedestal. More than one has compared the 
hvely trochaic tetrameter that concludes The Culprit 

26o The Hudson River 

Fay with Milton's U allegro, which was unquestionably 
its inspiration. This is Drake's: 

Ouphe and goblin, imp and sprite, 

Elf of eve and starry Fay, 
Ye that love the moon's soft light 

Hither — hither wend your way: 
Twine ye in a jocund ring. 

Sing and trip it merrily, 
Hand to hand and wing to wing, 

Round the wild witch-hazel tree. 

Now turn to Milton and read 

Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee 
Jest and youthful Jollity, 
Quips and cranks and wanton wiles. 
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles, 
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, 
And love to live in dimple sleek : 
Sport that wrinkled care derides. 
And Laughter holding both his sides. 
Come, and trip it as you go 
On the light fantastic toe. 

I die wild was the home of N. P. WilHs, that versa- 
tile worker, idler, flaneur, poet, city dandy, and coun- 
try gentleman, who made no deep impression by his 
literarv labours, but is nevertheless vividly remem- 
bered when many a man of greater power is forgotten. 
General James Grant Wilson wTote, in 1886, in a remi- 
niscent vein, of a visit to the scene of the poet's retire- 
ment at Cornwall, where he was trying to recuperate 
the strength of which he had been, from his youth up, 
somewhat of a spendthrift: 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 261 

It was on a sunny summer's mornini^ in the month of Sep- 
tember [wrote Wilson] that we landed from a steamer at the 
wharf known as Cornwall's Landing. We then wended our wav 
to a picturesque, many-gabled, gothic structure, nestled among 
luxurious evergreens, admirably situated in the plateau north 
of the Highlands, and within sound, under favourable conditions 
of the weather, of the evening gun at West Point. 

A tall and elegant figure, with rosy cheeks and a luxuriance of 
clustering hair, which upwards of sixty winters had failed to 
whiten, enters with the easy grace of a man of the world, and 
we see before us our friend the master of the mansion. 

We sally forth to see his loved domain, and to look at the 
extensive and varied views commanded by his coign of vantage. 

Around us we see the Storm King and other wooded moun- 
tains, towering to a height of nearly two thousand feet: the 
whole river, — here expanded into a broad bay, on whose bosom 
the white-sailed sloops and schooners are idly floating with the 
flood tide: and on the opposite shore vallevs and hillsides, 
sprinkled with country-seats ; from aniong which our companion 
points out the ancestral home of the veneral)le Gulian C. Ver- 
planck, and the summer residences of other mutual New York 

Seated on the grey rocks, Mr. Willis described his first visit to 
the site on which his beautiful home stands: 

"It was one of the roughest pieces of uncultivated land that 
I ever looked at; Ijut it had capabilities. I saw trees, knolls, 
rocks, and this ravine, musical with water-falls, and looking to 
the south a noble, wild prospect, as Sam Johnson would have 
said. I passed over the rough and rocky fifty acres with the 
owner, who looked his astonishment as well as expressed it, that 
a New Yorker should have any use for his unimproved property. 
He said, 'What on earth can you do with it" it is only an idle 
wild.' I did not tell him, but I bought it and you see what I 
have done with it, and that I was indebted to my Dutch prede- 
cessor for a very pretty and appropriate name." 

Irving, Halleck, and numerous other friends of Wil- 
Hs visited him at Idlewild, and on one occasion, when 

262 The Hudson River 

he had been there with Mr. and Mrs. Moses H. Grin- 
nell, his neighbours at Sunnyside, Washington Irving 
expressed the opinion that the poet's cough was hkely 
to prolong his hfe by making him more careful of his 
health. "I do not think his lungs are affected," was 
the cheerful diagnosis. 

The reference made by General Wilson to the dis- 
tant view^ from Idlewild of Gulian C. Verplanck's home 
suggests the strong contrast between these Highland 
neighbours. Bryant says of Verplanck: 

As a young man he took no part in the Cockloft and other 
froUcs of his friends Irving, Paulding, and Kemble; but on the 
contrary, he was held up by the elder men of the period as an 
example of steady, studious, and spotless youth. 

Mr. Verplanck was born in Wall Street, New York, 
in 1786. His grandmother was a daughter of Daniel 
Crommelin of Amsterdam, and by her the boy, mother- 
less from infancy, was reared. He graduated at Col- 
umbia College when only fifteen years of age, and 
studied law with Edward Livingston, being finally 
admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one years, 
by Chief- Justice (afterwards Chancellor) Kent. 

Mr. Verplanck was one of those earnest men, of many 
activities and tireless energy, who undertake seemingly 
incongruous tasks without hesitation and perform them 
wdth credit. Such as he are not plentiful in any gener- 
ation. His first public appearance, we are told, was as 
a Fourth of July orator. A year or two later we find 


Literary Associations of the Hudson 265 

him in trou1)lc with Mayor De Witt Chnton, then writ- 
ing ])ohtical articles, satires aimed at the Mavor and 
his friends, and afterwards contributing to Irving 's 
magazine, TJic Analcctic. He was elected to the As- 
sembly by the "Bucktail" party, and while still a 
member of that body wrote a book on the Uses of the 
Evidences of Revealed Religion, and was chosen to fill 
a professorshi]) in the General Theological Seminary. 
Several years later. New York elected him to Congress, 
and his voice was heard on ]:)ublic cjuestions with no 
uncertain sound. After his retirement from ])olitical 
life, he gave himself devotedly to literary pursuits, and 
was for half a century one of the best known writers 
of the city. 

Space would fail should we attempt to tell of his 
occupations or recount his honours. He was Regent 
of the University of the State of New York ; member, 
and afterwards Warden, of the Vestry of Trinity 
Church; President of the Century Clul:); President of 
the Board of Emigration; and chairman of various 
charitable bodies. To the task of editing the edition 
of Shakespeare that bears his name, he added that of 
making a strenuous and successful fight for the exten- 
sion of the copyright law^ from twenty-eight to forty- 
eight years. 

An entertaining anecdote of Verjdanck's reception 
of Irving 's Knickerbocker well illustrates the temper of 
his mind. In 181 8, during an address before the New 
York Historical vSociety, he took occasion to deprecate 

266 The Hudson River 

the injustice done to the Dutch character by Knicker- 
bocker : 

It is painful [he said] to see a mind as admirable for its exquis- 
ite perception of the beautiful as it is for its quick sense of the 
ridiculous wasting the riches of its fancy on an ungrateful theme, 
and its exuberant humour in a coarse caricature. 

Commenting on this, Irving wrote to his brother, 
Ebenezer : 

I have seen what Verplanck says of my work. ... He 
is one of the honestest men I know of in speaking his opinion. 
. . . I am sure he wishes me well . . . but were I his 
bitterest enemy, such an opinion have I of his integrity of mind, 
that I would refer any one to him for an honest account of me, 
sooner than to almost any one else. 

Mr. Verplanck 's ancestral home was at FishkilJ-on- 
the-Hudson. There his last years were spent under 
the roof that his grandfather erected; and there he 
died, a sober-minded man of many gifts. His friends 
included nearly all of the literary men of his day, and 
no citizen was more honoured. 

George P. Morris, the " Dear Morris" of so many of 
Willis's " hurrygraphs" and letters from various places, 
belongs particularly to the Hudson. Near the village 
of Coldspring, his " summer seat" (as it used to be the 
fashion to call one's country home), commanded a 
noble view of the Highlands, and was the goal of many 
a pilgrimage. "America's best lyric poet," as Benson 
J. Lossing calls him, was in intimate relations with 
most American men of letters in his day. His long 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 269 

association with TJic Home Joitnial, together with the 
wide |)0|)ularity of his songs, made Morris's name a 
household word where\^er our somewhat embr>'onic 
literature found its way. 

One of the best descriptive stanzas by a Hudson 
River poet was inspired by Morris's memory of his 
home in the Highlands: 

Where Hudson's wave o'er silvery sands 

Winds through the hills afar, 
Old cro'nest like a monarch stands, 

Crowned with a single star. 

One needs only to consult Griswold's Poets of Amer- 
ica, the best anthology of half a century ago, to api^re- 
ciate the fact that, with few exceptions, sweetness 
rather than strength characterised even the best of the 
work of our native poets ; while in prose the names of 
Prescott, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Irving stood like 
towers upon a flowery plain. 

A man greatly valued by his literary cotemporaries 
and hand in glove with the leading spirits of the Knick- 
erbocker school was that delightful humourist, Fred- 
erick Swartw^out Cozzens, author of the Sparron'grass 
Papers. He was younger than Irving and Halleck, of 
the generation to w^hich Willis and Hoffman belonged ; 
a New Yorker by birth and a wine merchant b\' occu- 

The Sparrowgrass Papers, which w^ere exaggerated 
accounts of his experiences at his country home, 
Chestnut Cottage, in Yonkers, were published first 

270 The Hudson River 

in Pittnains MontJily, and were immediately appre- 
ciated as the work of a true humovirist. Cozzens pub- 
lished a number of fugitive pieces, both in prose and 
verse, and was the writer of several books, but he will 
be remembered as the author of the Sparrowgrass 

His fame was not merely local. Thackeray, who 
loved a humourist with fraternal affection, was his 
friend and correspondent. Halleck, writing to General 
Wilson in 1867, says: " I have long more than fancied, 
I have felt, that Mr. Cozzens, in that department of 
genius to which Mr. Irving 's Knickerbocker belongs, is 
the best, or among the best writers of our time in any 
language." This was apropos of the work called The 
Sayings of Doctor Bushwacker, which, in spite of Hal- 
leck 's eulogium, is hardly known to a generation of 
readers that still cherishes Knickerbocker as one of the 
bright examples of American genius. 

We cannot long dwell with the Knickerbocker group 
without coming in close contact with the patient col- 
lector of every printed scrap of American writing. 
Evart Augustus Duyckinck, compiler, with the assist- 
ance of his brother, of the monumental cyclopedia 
that bears his name, was the preserver of many a local 
reputation. There are numberless early American au- 
thors who were only rescued from drowning in the sea 
of oblivion by being forcibly dragged into Duyckinck s 
literary life-boat. He had out a drag-net that seemed 
not to have missed even the smallest fry; but he was 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 271 

not the less appreciative of the merits of the abler men 
of successive generations, and was in close friendshi]) 
with nearly all those of his own time. Mr. Du>-ck- 
inck's biographer writes of him as " a scholar of sin- 
gularlv pure and stainless character." He also was a 
lawyer as well as a student and man of letters, and 
was a " Hudson-Riverite " by virtue of long residence. 
His grave lies in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, at Tarry- 
town, a short distance to the north-west of Washington 
Irving 's plot. 

For a number of years subsequent to 1847, Mr. 
Duyckinck conducted The Literary World. There was, 
however, an intermission of one year in his editorial 
labours, during which Hoffman was in charge of the 
paper. The Literary World was established by Duyck- 
inck and his brother, and was considered by the ]]»oet 
Dana to be the best journal of its kind ever published 
in America. One of the bibliographer's associates and 
warm admirers was William Allen Butler, the author 
of Nothing to Wear, who pronounced an eulogy upon 
his memory at a meeting of the New York Historical 
Society in 1879. Mr. Butler, himself a member of the 
bar, was of a well-known Hudson River family. His 
father was Benjamin F. Butler of Albany, in whose 
office Martin Van Buren studied law. 

The pages of Duyckinck, Griswold, and other edi- 
tors disclose names once fragrant, but now withered 
as the handful of pressed rose petals that flutter out, 
leaving a faint, ghostly impression and a fleeting, musky 

272 The Hudson River 

perfume. There, for instance, we find reference to James 
Gordon Brooks, who was born in 1801, at Claverack, in 
Columbia County. He studied law at Poughkeepsie 
and passed most of his life at Albany, where he de- 
voted much of his time to literary labour. It is said 
of him that, "half a century ago the now-forgotten 
singer's name was one of the brightest poetical names 
of the dcLY, and alwa^'s mentioned along with those of 
Bryant, Dana, Halleck, Percivale, Pierpont, Pinckney, 
Sprague, and Woodworth. " Leggett, in his Biographies 
of American Poets, included Brooks and excluded 

Another early poet, once of considerable celebrity, 
but long since forgotten, w^as Henry Pickering. He 
was born in the latter part of the eighteenth century at 
Newburgh, in the house which is now known as Wash- 
ington's Headciuarters. His own description of that 
house may be appropriately quoted here : 

Square and rough-hewn, and solid is the mass. 
And ancient, if aught ancient here appear. 
Beside yon rock-ribb'd hills: but many a year 

Hath into dim oblivion swept, alas! 

Since bright in arms, tlie. worthies of the land 
Were here assembled. Let me reverent tread; 
For now, meseems, the spirits of the dead 

Are slowly gathering round, while I am fann'd 

By gales unearthly. Ay, they hover near — 
Patriots and Heroes — the august and great — 
The founders of a young and mighty state. 

Whose grandeur who shall tell? With holy fear, 

While tears unbidden my dim eyes sufftise, 

I mark them one by one, and marvelling muse. 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 273 

I gaze, but they have vanish'd; and the eve, 
Free now to roam from where I take my stand, 
Dwells on the hoary pile, let no rash hand 
Attempt its desecration: for though I 
Beneath the sod shall sleep, and memory's sigh 
Be there for ever stifled in this breast, — 
Yet all who boast them of a land so blest, 
Whose pilgrim feet may some day hither hie, — 
Shall melt, alike, and kindle at the thought 

That these rude walls have echoed to the sound 
Of the great Patriot's voice' that even the ground 
I tread was trodden too by him who fought 
To make us free; and whose unsullied name. 
Still, like the sun, illustrious shines the same. 

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, of Irving 's generation, was 
a nati\'e of the \'er}- Dutch town of Albany, though of 
EngHsh ancestry. His books cover a wide field of 
travel, history, and scientific research, but it was par- 
ticularly in the field of ethnology that he excelled, and 
his monumental works relating to the history, mode 
of life, and traditions of various Indian tribes have 
given him a permanent place among great American 
investigators. But we cannot accord to Schoolcraft 
any prominent place in the literary associations of the 
Hudson, for his work was mainly the result of thirty 
years of sojourn and study among the redskins upon 
the frontier. 

John Romeyn Brodhead, the patient comj^iler of the 
ten great tomes that contain transcripts of all discov- 
erable documents relating to the early history of New 
York, was bom in Saugerties. He ransacked the lib- 
raries of The Hague and of London, scenting an old 

2/4 The Hudson River 

document with the unerring sense of a true bookworm, 
and coming home at last laden with wonderful spoil. 
To his stupendous work we have been indebted for 
many of the facts contained in the early pages of this 

When a great impulse was given to botanical study 
by the group of scientists, of which Linnaeus was the 
most distinguished member, the New World became a 
fruitful field for original research. John Bartram of 
Philadelphia, Mark Catesby in the Carolinas, John 
Clayton in Virginia, John Logan in Pennsylvania, and 
near a dozen others dug the fields, delved among the 
rocks, and ex])lored the forests in search of the un- 
classed flora of America. At the same time, New 
York ];)resented her champion in the person of the dis- 
tinguished citizen, Cadwallader Colden. He lived near 
Newburgh in the early half of the eighteenth century, 
devoting himself assiduously to the study of botany. 
At his place, which he named Coldenham, he spent the 
delightful leisure years of a life that had known, and 
was destined to know, many activities. There he col- 
lected, cultivated, and classified plants, assisted by his 
daughter, of whom Peter Collinson wrote to Linuceus 
that she was "perhaps the first lady who has so per- 
fectly studied your system. She deserves to be cele- 

Cadwallader Colden, whose full name was afterwards 
shared by his no less famous grandson, was a success- 
ful physician of Philadelphia from 1708 to 1718, when 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 277 

he remo\-ed to Xew York. After filHng several piibhc 
offices, among them that of Sur\'eyor-General, he was 
appointed Lieutenant-Governor in 1761, and, as the 
poHtical Hves of his immediate su|_)eriors were usually 
brief, he became, by virtue of his experience and great 
ability, practically the chief executive of the State for 
fifteen years. He was the author of several books, the 
most important one being a History of the Five Nations 
of Cajiada. He did not survive the Revolution, his 
death occurring a short time after the battle of Har- 
lem Heights. He died in Long Island at the age of 
seventy-eight years. 

A century later, another celel)rity among nature 
students lived near the shore of the river, not many 
miles from Coldenham. Many an elderly man will 
remember with pleasure and no small degree of grati- 
tude America's first landscape-gardener, — first in emi- 
nence if not in time, — Andrew Jackson Downing. He 
had two qualities that are not always combined in one 
individual, namely, artistic sensibility and practical 
sense. The latter enabled him to make the former 
effective. Before his day we are led to believe that in 
the laying out of rural estates, grotesque and chaotic 
arrangement of natural material was the rule rather 
than the exception. Mr. Downing not only possessed 
taste and sense, but he managed to impart them to 
others, and in the exercise of his chosen profession 
became widely and favourably known, especially to 
residents of the Hudson Ri\'er towns. 

278 The Hudson River 

His books were .4 Treatise on the TJieory and Prac- 
tice of Landscape Gardening and Fruit and Fruit Trees 
of America, both of them widely read. He was for 
some time the editor of The Horticultiiralist, pubhshed 
in Allianv. Mr. Downing was one of those who met 
death on the steamer Henry Clay, that was burned at 
Riverdale in 1852. 

From 1830 to 1842, while the Knickerbocker au- 
thors w^ere stiU many of them in the hey-day of their 
powers, and a new generation of writers were just com- 
mencing to be heard, Dr. George W. Bethune w^as the 
pastor of the Reformed Church at Rhinebeck. He 
will be remembered as a scholarly man of sweet, rare 
character. His contributions to Christian hymnology 
possibly constitute his chief claim to remembrance, 
though he devoted nearly twenty years of his life to 
public speaking and writing. While James K. Polk 
was President, Doctor Bethune was offered the ap- 
pointment to the chair of Moral Philosophy at West 
Point, which he felt obliged to decline, as he also did 
the chancellorship of New York University, to which 
he was chosen as the successor of Mr. Frelinghuysen. 
He lived just long enough to make a stirring address 
at the great Union meeting, held in New York on the 
20th of April, 1 86 1, departing soon after that to Italy, 
where he died. 

The name of Alfred B. Street belongs to the Hud- 
son. He was born at Poughkeepsie, passed many 
years of his life in Albany, was descended from an old 

Literary Associations of the Hiulson 279 

Hudson River family, — the Livingstons, — and did not 
neglect to celel:)rate with his ])en the wilder ])eauties 
of his native region. Street's poems, particularh" 
those dealing with the sterner asj^ects of nature, ga\'e 
him an earh' rank among the liest American ijoets. In 
his day, among both poets and |)ainters, there was a 
painstaking fashion of presenting minutiae. Breadth 
of effect was apt to be sacrificed to delicacy of detail. 
He wrote as artists of his day painted; every leaf on 
every last twig was described with conscientious care. 
His almost ])assionate love for nature was retained 
through the cares and acti\'ities of professional life, 
and the influence of the wild, rugged scenery amidst 
which several years of his boyhood were passed never 
deserted him. He loved to sing of "sweet forest 
odours" that 

Have their birth 

From the clothed boughs and teeming eartli ; 

"Where pine-cones dropp'd, leaves piled and dead, 
Long tufts of grass, and stars of fern. 
With many a wild flower's fairv urn, 

A thick, elastic carpet spread; 
Here, with its mossy pall, the trunk. 
Resolving into soil, is sunk; 
There, wrench 'd but lately from its throne, 

By some fierce whirlwind circling past. 
Its huge roots mass'd with earth and stone, 

One of the woodland kings is cast. 

Street wrote many biographies and descri])tive 
works. The Indian Pass, alreadv referred to, and 

28o The Hudson River 

Pictures in the Adiroudacks were published in 1869. He 
was for many years State Librarian, dying in 1881, 

Among all the writers to whom our pen has pointed 
(veering madly as a weathercock on a March day or a 
needle amidst a hundred electric points), none has a 
stronger claim to Hudson River celebrity than Susan 
and Anna B. Warner. While others have lived upon 
one bank or the other of the river, they have spent 
their lives almost in the midst of it, on an island in 
the \'ery wonderland of the Highlands. 

Henry Warner, a member of the New York bar, 
removed to Constitution Island with his family before 
the middle of the nineteenth century. An old house, 
occupied as headc[uarters during the Revolution, was 
added to and partly rebuilt by him, and is still the 
residence of his surviving daughter, Miss Anna B. 

Susan Warner, to quote the words of Evert Duyck- 
inck, "made a sudden step into eminence as a writer, 
by the publication, in 1849, of TJie Wide, Wide World, 
a novel in two volumes. It is a story of American 
domestic life, WTitten in an easy and somewhat diffuse 
style." The Wide, Wide World was soon followed by 
Queechy, and this by a theological work called The 
Laiv and the Testimony. Her earlier writings were 
published over the pen name of Elizabeth Wetherell. 
Duyckinck did not tell the half when he said that Miss 
Warner made a sudden step into eminence by the pub- 
lication of her first novel. During the first ten years 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 281 

over one hundred thousand copies were sold of the 
American edition, a record which, bearing in mind the 
Hmited pubHc of the day, was noteworthy, and it has 
remained in steady demand during the half century 
since its first issue. Some hundreds of thousands of 
copies were sold in European editions, which brought 
to the writer fame, if not wealth. 

The sisters frequently worked together. The 
younger, who had chosen Amy Lathrop as her lit- 
erary title, made her Ijow to the reading public with 
a novel called Dollars and Cents; ])ut she was asso- 
ciated with the elder Miss Warner in the production of 
The Hills of the Shateniuc, the title being one of the 
Indian names for the Hudson River. Some of the 
most successful and delightful of Miss Anna Warner's 
books have been written for juvenile readers. 

But there has been a work, self-imposed and long 
continued, in which the world of publishers and readers 
have had no part, that give to the Warner sisters an 
almost pre-eminent claim to recognition in this chap- 
ter. It is probable for nearly a generation not a class 
has gone out from West Point that has not in some 
measure been moulded by the influence of these gifted 
women. Year after year it was their custom to wel- 
come a group of cadets from the National Academy 
for religious instruction every Sunday afternoon, a 
favoured few remaining sometimes to partake of their 

It is safe to say that there is hardlv an officer in the 

282 The Hudson River 

regular army of the United States to-da>' to whom 
the name of the two sisters is not famihar, and the 
impression of their work has gone wherever the flag 
has gone. 

When Miss Susan Warner died, in 1885, the Gov- 
ernment, upon special application of the cadets, per- 
mitted her burial in the military cemetery at the 
Point, — an honour, it is said, never granted to any 
other woman. Miss Anna Warner still carries on 
the work that her sister laid down nearly eighteen 
years ago. 

How they come crowding, the names of those who 
belong, if not under the very central dome of our Hall 
of Fame, at least within its ample corridors! There, 
for instance, are the Primes: the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel 
Scudder Prime, the father of many well-known sons 
and author of several hardly remembered books, was 
Principal of the Female Academy at Sing Sing in 1830, 
and afterwards continued the same occupation at 
Poughkeepsie. Samuel Irengeus, afterwards the editor 
of the Nciv York Observer, was associated with him in 
his educational work. Edward D. was also of the 
Observer; and William C, at one time connected with 
the Journal of Commerce, is widely known as one of 
the most entertaining writers of travel in foreign lands 
that America has produced. 

All the world knows that Henry Ward Beecher made 
his summer home at Peekskill. His great personality 
makes him a national figure, to whom it is impossible 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 285 

to assign merely local limits; Init the writer likes to 
recall a walk over one of the rough Highland roads, 
while, beside him, leading his horse by the reins, the 
great orator forgot his greatness to talk in a wdse, 
sweet way of wayside things. 

Mrs. Fremont — Jessie Benton Fremont — used to live 
just above Tarry town, and the house that was General 
Fremont's had formerly been the home of James Wat- 
son Webb, the well-known journalist. 

Benson J. Lossing, himself, next to Irving, the ablest 
and most delightful chronicler the Hudson has had, 
was a resident of Poughkeepsie. His work. The Hud- 
sou, was first published serially in an English periodi- 
cal, being brought out in book form in America just 
after the Civil War. 

The neighbourhood of Storm King seems to have 
been particularly attractive to literary workers. A 
mile or two south of Idlewild, in her delightful cottage 
of Cherry Croft, Mrs. Amelia E. Barr evolves the books 
that have made her the friend of most of the girls in 
America. Her workroom is in the tow^er that com- 
mands a \-iew that an eagle might envy, — a view of 
river and hill, farmland and town, — that melts at last 
in a horizon that is sixty miles distant. Next door 
to Cherry Croft is Julian Hawthorne's summer home, 
and nearer the foot of the hill lives Dr. Lyman Abbott, 
at whose house, it need hardly be suggested, Hamilton 
Wright Mabie is a familiar visitor. Mr. Mabie is him- 
self a Hudson River man, in his youth a resident of 

286 The Hudson River 

Tarrytown, where his earliest Hterary aspirations were 
fostered by congenial associates. Of the little coterie 
whose comradeship has not been without an influence 
u]:)on his subsec[uent career, no name is more promi- 
nently suggested than that of Marshal H. Bright, the 
able editor of CJiristiau Work. 

John Burroughs has what Bradford Torrey would 
call a ramljler's lease, that covers half the country 
al:)ove the Highlands. He can vie w4th old "Sherd" 
Minnerly, w^ho "knew all the fish in the river by their 
Christian names," in that he is intimate with all the 
feathered creatiu'es that nest on the shores. His own 
stated residence is a properly constituted country 
home, where he raises the best Niagara grapes that 
come into the market; but, to satisfy the cravings of 
a born woodsman, he has built for retiring a less pre- 
tentious nest, which he calls Slabsides, a little "city 
where nobody lives," and the number of those who 
find it are few. 

Stephen Henry Thayer, long a resident of Tarry- 
town, has given us, in many a sweet transcript, the 
voices of the woods and waters of Sleepy Hollow. His 
hues upon the Nyack behs, heard at evening on the 
opposite shore of the Tappan Zee, are peculiarly ten- 
der in sentiment : 

The lurking shadows, dim and mute, 
Fall vaguely on the dusky river ; 

Vexed breezes play a phantom lute, 

Athwart the waves that curl and quiver: 

Literary Associations of the Hudson 287 

And hedged against an amber light, 

The lone hills cling, in vain endeavor, 
To touch the curtained clouds of night. 

That, weird-hke, form and fade for ever. 

Then break upon the blessed calm. — 
Deep, dying melodies of even. — 

Those Nyack bells; like some sweet psalm 
Thev float along the fields of heaven. 

Now laden with a nameless Ijalm. 

Now musical with song thou art ; 
I tune thee l:)y an inward charm. 

And make thee minstrel of my heart. 

O bells of Xyack, faintly toll 

Across the starry-lighted sea, 
Thv murmurs thrill a thirsty soul, 

xVnd wing a heavenly hymn to me. 

There is not space to mention all. We have with 
us as this is written, Doctor David Cole, at Yonkers, a 
veteran in educational work, in pulpit work, in histori- 
cal work ; Joel Benton at Poughkeepsie ; Harrold Van 
Santvoord at Kinderhook. We remember that E. P. 
Roe, when he was " Driven Back to Eden," found the 
delectable mountains of that blessed country al )0\'e the 
Highlands, with John Burroughs established as a sort 
of titular angel to show him the glories of the land. 

General Adam Badeau, the biographer of General 
Grant, was a Tarrytownian by birth, and in his }'outh 
edited a lively little pai)er called the Pocantico Gazette, 

288 The Hudson River 

which was devoted mainly to local matters. The Rev. 
Charles Rockwell, who signed himself " Dutch Domine 
of the Catskills," i)u1)lished, about thirty years ago, a 
very charming book relating to that region, to which 
we are indebted for valuable material. 

From mouth to source, from the last stone of the 
Battery to the first spring that wells in Indian Pass, 
the Hudson is replete with literary associations, and 
these crowding memories enrich it beyond measure. 
Already it begins to take rank among the storied rivers 
of the world, and the Thames and the Seine, the Rhine 
and the Nile admit it to their fellowship. 

Chapter XVII 
Around Haverstraw Bay 

WITH many a pleasant point and bay, the 
river shore used to stretch between 
Tarrytown and Ossining, but now that 
undulating line has been almost straightened by the 
tracks of the New York Central road. The station 
at Scarborough is an isolated building, an outpost 
for the village that lies eastward over the hill. In the 
distance one sees a massive group of low, marble 
buildings, the melancholy residence of convicts, — it is 
the State prison at Sing Sing. 

It is natural, but unfortunate, that the fair fame of one 
of the most attractive of Hudson River towns should 
for years have been damaged by such an ogre squatting 
at its very gates. Nor is it surprising that there has 
been a resolute and recently successful effort to change 
the name of the village from Sing Sing to Ossining. 

Ossining is a corruption of Ossin-sing, an Indian 
name, which, according to Schoolcraft, signified "sing- 
ing stones." The brook which ran through the jilace 
was "Sint vSink," and the village, according to the old 
maps. " Sink Sink." 


290 The Hudson River 

The land here rises ahiiost abruptly from the river, 
reaching with the first half mile an altitude of three 
hundred feet above tide level. The plateau above is 
the residence portion of the place and very attractive. 
Long ago, when New York was still a British posses- 
sion and Sing Sing a ])art of the mammoth estate that 
owned the sway of the Philipse family, silver and cop- 
per were sought in the neighbourhood. A mine was 
worked where the prison now stands, the shaft having 
been within a few yards of the north wall. Not far 
away, at the mouth of the kill that finds its wa}- to 
the Hudson, through a deep gore, from the plateau 
above, the smelting furnace was erected. There the 
ore was reduced, the precious metal being shipped to 
England. The Revolution put a stop to the opera- 
tions of the mine, which seems never to ha\'e been 
reopened. At the time of its abandonment, the length 
of the works is said to have reached one hundred and 
twenty feet. 

According to Bolton, the historian of Westchester 
County, Colonel James, who was superintending the 
mine, had command of a regiment stationed at Sing 
Sing in 1774. At the commencement of hostilities it 
was ordered to Boston. According to certificates 
signed and sworn to by several reputable citizens, the 
mine was a very rich one and was worked with energy 
to the last; but modern attempts to re\-ive the silver 
dream have not been successful. 

Immediatelv after the Revolution, according to an- 

Around Havcrstraw Bay 293 

other author! t_\', there were only three dwehing-houses 
in Sing Sing. Moses Ward had a stone house that was 
also a fort, about where the intersection of Main 
Street and the Croton aqueduct occurs. There were 
even in his day numerous Indians in the neighbour- 
hood, but they seem to have been generally peaceful 
fishermen. Many of them, it is said, found their lodg- 
ing in what used to be known as the Great Kill cave, 
near the brook already referred to. 

Years ago. Sing Sing was the terminal station for 
the stages that ran on the Bedford Pike. Hachaliah 
Bailey of Somers, who had a stage route between New 
York and Danbury, Conn,, made the Bedford Pike 
line a connecting link between the latter place and his 
steamboat, the John Jay, that touched at the Sing 
Sing wharf. This satisfied the popular conception of 
rapid transit, before the days of the railroads. 

Ossining has long been noted for its excellent schools. 
One or two military academies and a girls' seminary 
have had for many years a more than local reputation. 

The northern boundary of the village is the Croton 
River, important as a tributary to the lower Hudson, 
but still more so as the sole source of the water supply 
of New York City for more than a generation. 

The Indians called the stream Kitchawan, and so it 
is named in the old land grants. The mouth of the 
stream is crossed by a drawbridge belonging to the 
railroad. Not far above is the reser\^oir from which 
the "old" Croton aqueduct carries the water to the 

294 The Hudson River 

citv. Its capacity is 100,000,000 gallons a day, but 
this supply was found to be inadec[uate for the rapidly 
growing city, and a new aqueduct, commenced in 1884 
and finished in 1890, was constructed to the east of the 
earlier one. This has a capacity three times as great 
as the first, and taps the numerous lakes of a water- 
shed embracing between three and four hundred square 

Above the ba}^ into which the Croton enters is the 
old house of the Van Cortlandts, for we have now 
passed from the domain of Philipse to that of his 
neighbour and brother-in-law. From a paper pul3- 
hshed by Benson J. Lossing in Harper's Monthly, about 
ten years after his Hudson appeared in book form, we 
quote the following description of the Van Cortlandt 
manor-house : 

Up the narrowing bay at the east, below Croton Point and 
beyond the line of the Hudson River Railroad, may be seen, 
near its head, a quaint old mansion. 

The water, once deep, now rapidly changing into salt meadow 
land, is Croton Bay, in which Henry Hudson anchored his little 
exploring vessel. The mansion is the Van Cortlandts' manor- 
house, one of the most ancient and interesting, in its association 
of its class upon the Hudson. Recent [1876] discoveries, while 
repairing it, of loopholes for musketry near the floor of the dining- 
room clearly show that it originally composed a fort, which was 
probably built by Governor Dongan. John Van Cortlandt en- 
larged it to its present dimensions in the early years of Queen 
Anne's reign. . . . 

Over the main entrance to the manor-house hangs the strong 
bow of Croton, the Sachem whose name has been given to the 
Kitchawan River and Bav, and within the mansion are interest- 

Around Haxerstraw l>ay 295 

ing mementoes of the country from which and the famil\- from 
wliom the \'an Cortlandts came, — the Dukes of Courkmd, in 

The \^an Cortlandt house has a ghost that wanders 
at tinies through the rooms with a sound of rusthng 
silks, and another that treads heavily through the 

But even earlier than the building of the manor- 
house, Chief Croton, the Sachem who rided the ])oint 
and neighbomdiood of the stream that l)ears his name, 
haunted the S])ot with his warriors. An Indian fort 
had been Ijuilt where the manor-house afterwards stood, 
and there the chief made his last stand against the 
fierce enemies that swept down on one of their forays 
from the north. Encompassed and o\'erwhelmed, 
amid showers of arrows and surrounded by the smoke 
and flames of his burning ]3alisades, he fought with 
desperate valour, as one by one his com])anions fell; 
till at length, he stood alone and wounded; then, as 
his foes rushed forward, he fell headlong into the l:)laz- 
ing fire. But again and again, it is said, he has a])- 
peared in great crises, urging men to coin"ageous deeds. 

The Kitchawans, or Kitchawonks, had an imj^ortant 
village on the neck connecting the point with the main- 
land. The oyster beds in the ^dcinity were es])ecially 
valued by them, and were, no doubt, the object of 
frequent disputes. The Indian name of the point was 
Senasqua. An early settler on the point was one 
Teller, and the land became known to rivermen as 

296 The Hudson River 

Teller's; but after a while this man died, and his wife, 
Sarah, surviving him by some years, the neighbours, 
with easy formality, dubbed it Sarah's Point. Then 
the Cortlandt name was attached to it; and after that. 
Doctor Underbill, having built his handsome Italian 
villa and established his famous grapery there, stood 
god-father to the locality. Somewhere in the course 
of its history the name of old Chief Croton was attached 
to it, and is gradually superseding all the others. From 
the Underbill vineyards have gone out unnumbered 
thousands of bottles of sweet Catawba wine. 

At the old ferry-house at Croton, a party of New 
York yeomen, under the command of Captain Daniel 
Williams, were surprised and captured in 1782 by a 
party of British cavalry. 

But there was one incident in the history of this 
place that seems to have been the small pivot upon 
which the great structure of America's future swung. 
From Haverstraw, on the other side of the river, on 
the twenty-second of September, 1780, Major Andre 
saw the war-ship Vulture drop down the river to 
escape a galling fire from Teller's Point. Fresh from 
his interview with Arnold, the British spy was anxious 
to return to New York by the only safe way, — the way 
by which he had come. His uneasiness at the depart- 
ure of the Vulture from her anchorage ma}^ be im- 
agined. Once on board of her, all danger of detection 
and capture would have flown, and the details of 
Arnold's treacherous plan would in all human proba- 

Around Haxerstraw Bay 


bilit\' have been worked out successfully. But there 
was a guard at Teller's Point, and the Vulture made 
an admirable target. That was all; yet it certainly 
cost Andre his life and Arnold his reward — and ])os- 
sibly cost King George a kingdom. 

Early on the twenty-first, Arnold had, in expecta- 
tion of his meetine, left the Robinson house, his head- 




quarters, and proceeded to Verplanck's Point; from 
thence he went to the house of Joshua Hett Smith, on 
the opposite side of the river. 

When he crossed over to Stony Point [to quote Judge Dyk- 
man's admirable account], he dispatched an officer in his own 
barge up the river to Peekskill creek, and thence up Canopus 
creek to Continental Village, with orders to bring down a row- 

298 The Hudson River 

boat from that place, and directed Major Kerse, the (juarter- 
master at Stony Point, to send the boat, the moment it should 
arrive, to a certain place in Haverstraw creek (now called Aline- 
secongo creek), which I assume to have been Colonel Hays's 
dock. . . . After receiving intelligence of the arrival of the 
boat, Arnold induced two of Smith's tenants ... to row 
Smith in the boat to the Vitltnrc that night and directed them 
to muffle their oars with sheepskin. There was an old lane 
leading from Smith's house to Colonel Hays's landing, through 
which they doubtless passed to find the boat. 

. The landing [of Andre, from the V';(/////-r] was made at 
a dock used as a shipping place for wood and stone. A portion 
of this dock still remains. There is an old stone house three 
hundred feet north of the dock and an abandoned stone quarry 
north of the house, and the landing place is therefore easily 
found. There was a road leading up from the dock to the Long 
Clove road and traces of that old disused way are yet distinctly 
visible. Upon that way below the Long Clove road there is a 
small plateau, comparatively level, encircled by firs, where the 
interview between Arnold and Andre probably took place. 

Andre, finding the Vulture gone, hid at the house of 
Smith till near the close of the day, when he and his 
host started for King's Ferry, on the Stony Point side. 
From there they crossed to Verplanck's Point, and 
Andre went on to his doom. 

The present aspect of Haverstraw is not one to whet 
expectation for a great historic event. The chief in- 
dustry is the making of bricks, and the ];)art of the 
population most in evidence from the river shore is 
such as busy l^rick-yards naturally gather; but there 
are, nevertheless, pleasant country-seats in the neigh- 
bourhood, and, beyond the range of the brick-yards, 
dwellers of another sort have their homes. The view 

Around Havcrstraw Bay 301 

from the Haverstraw hills — or, one should say, views, 
for there is a panorama of them — are of unique 
beauty. The swelling shoulder of Point-no-Point is 
below, and, still more to the south, the venerable 
figure of High Taur. Croton and Sing Sing lie opposite, 
and;' northward, the buttressed gates of the Highlands. 

There is a legend of High Taur that runs something 
in this wise: Amasis, one of the magi, long ago found 
his way to America and took to himself a native wife, 
by whom he had one child. On the summit of High 
Taur he built an altar, refusing the sun worship of the 
Indians; but they were enraged, and set upon and 
would have killed him had not a miracle saved him. 
An earthquake swallowed his enemies, and incident- 
ally opened the present channel through which the 
Hudson flows. 

Another story follows : A band of German colonists 
settled here two centuries or more ago, men who knew 
how to extract metal from the rocks. Their leader, a 
nobleman, Hugo by name, refused to follow the cus- 
tom of the old country, which decreed that the forge 
fires should be extinguished once in seven years. The 
belief used to ol)tain that a salamander grew in the 
fire, and if allowed to remain unmolested for more 
than seven years would develop his perfect form and 
be able to issue from the flames and work incalculable 
mischief among men. But Hugo laughed at the super- 
stitious murmurings of his men, till one day he and 
they saw the dreadful monster take shape, — the shape 

302 The Hudson River 

of a serpent or dragon, — with darting tongue and blaz- 
ing eves, and body and tail that seemed like metal at 
a white heat. 

Hugo's wife saved her husband and extinguished 
the fire with holy water, but lost her own life in doing 
so. Then seven years more, and his only son was 
snatched away. Again seven years, and Hugo, upon 
the summit of High Taur, was shown the treasures of 
the earth which he might win, only at the peril of his 
soul, but his daughter's prayer and touch saved him. 
There, in the depths, the salamander glowed, but his 
spell was powerless. 

Then appeared in the mountain a knightly man, 
between whom and the daughter of Hugo there sprang 
uv a pure passion. She in her innocence would have 
ex]:)ressed her love for him, but he repelled her gently, 
saying: "When you sle^^t, I came and put a crown of 
gems on vour head; that was because I was in the 
power of the earth S]:)irit. Then I had power only o\'er 
tlie element of fire, that either consumes or hardens to 
Stone, but now water and life are mine. Behold! 
wear these, for you are worthy." Then he touched 
the tears that fell from the girl's eyes and the}' turned 
into lilies in his hands, and he placed them upon her 
brow. He told her that, having left heaven for love 
of man, passing through the ordeal of the fire, he 
was liberated by her mother's act and took a child's 
form. He rehearsed his trials, his love for her, the 
danger he encountered of becoming again an earth 

Around Haverstraw Bay 303 

spirit. While they con\-ersed, Hugo and his followers 
burst upon them. ^Misunderstanding his daughter's 
agitation, the old man in a rage ordered his followers 
to seize the stranger and fling him into the furnace. 

What the girl saw, when this inhuman decree had 
been obeyed, was a form clad in robes of sih'er float 
from the furnace and drift upward into the night. It 
is said that that sight brought peace to her soul and 
serenity to her countenance, which is hardh' less 
strange than all the other incidents of this marvellous 

Chapter XVIII 

The Storming of Stony Point 

BETWEEN Croton Point and Peekskill, above 
the railway station, are scattered pleasant 
residences. A few miles to the north is the 
little village of Cruger's; then, just above Montrose's 
Point, back of the bay that forms the south shore of 
Verplanck's Point, is the historic ground where Baron 
Steuben laboured to lick the raw material of '76 into 
serviceable battalions. 

The history of Verplanck's Point is intimately con- 
nected with that of Stony Point, on the opposite side 
of the river. The storming and reduction of Stony 
Point by the American army under General Wayne 
occurred on the night of the 15th of July, 1779. It 
w^as one of the brilliant achievements of the Revolu- 
tion, and, indeed, in some respects, can hardly be 
excelled by any action in our history. 

The British had retired from Philadelphia; Wash- 
ington's army had passed through the trying experi- 
ence of Valley Forge, and Monmouth had been fought. 
Now the old struggle for supremacy on the Hudson 
was renewed. Sir Henry Clinton had captured the 


The Storming;- of Stony Point 305 

American ]:)Osts at Stony Point and Vcrplanck's Point, 
opposite; while Washington still held the important 
fortresses in the Highlands. 

Clinton "s attack was made on the first of June. The 
American force at Stony Point consisted of six hundred 
men, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, 
while at Vcrplanck's, Lieutenant-Colonel Webster had 
a detachment of about the same numerical strength. 
They yielded to the combined land and water attack 
of a greatly superior foe, who proceeded, after the re- 
duction of the forts, to increase their armament and 
man them with strong garrisons. Washington at once 
saw not only the military disadvantage of having his 
outposts in the hands of the enemy, but realised also 
hoW' bad an effect such a condition of affairs would 
produce upon the sentiment of the country. He dis- 
cussed the possibility of dislodging the invaders. An 
amusing and characteristic (and possibly true) anec- 
dote records a conversation sujjposed to have taken 
])lace between the Commander and General Wayne on 
this topic. A'^ked whether he thought he could storm 
Stony Point, the impetuous Wayne — -"Mad Anthony" 
— replied : 

" I '11 storm hell, if you'll make the plans, sir!" 
Washington looked at him meditatively for a mo- 
ment, and then replied quietly: 

"Better try Stony Point first, General." 
Try Stony Point they did. That "Gibraltar" of 
the Highlands, to use Washington Irving 's phrase, 

3o6 The Hudson River 

presented an obstacle worthy of the mettle of the best 
troops in the world. Two hundred feet in height, with 
bold, rocky sides descending precipitously to the shore, 
and surrounded on the landward side by a marsh, this 
fortress could only be won by the same soldierly quali- 
ties that had made the British masters of it forty-five 
days earher. 

The utmost secrecy was preserved in preparing for 
the enteri^rise. Not more than half a dozen officers 
knew of the movement on foot. The main army of 
the Americans was encamped about ten miles back 
of West Point, within reach either of the Jerseys or 
the Hudson. A strong detachment occupied West 
Point, Constitution Island, and that neighbourhood, 
and two Connecticut brigades were on the east side of 
the river. Washington's headquarters at this time 
were at New Windsor. 

The column destined for the attack upon Stony 
Point marched from Sandy Beach, fourteen miles 
above, at noon of the fifteenth. The soldiers num- 
bered twelve hundred light infantry. Their march 
was over bad roads and rocky hills and through heavy 
swamps. They halted after nightfall at the house of 
a man named Springsteel, a mile and a half from the 
British position, and here the final arrangements for 
the attack were completed. 

General Wayne's disposition of the troops before 
Stony Point was as follows: The column on the right, 
to be led by Wayne himself, consisted of the regiments 

The Storming of Stony Point 309 

of Meigs and Febiger, and a detachment commanded 
by Major Hull: Butler's regiment constituted the left 
column; and Major Murfee was ordered forward in 
the centre to engage the attention of the British garri- 
son by a feint. Two bodies of \'olunteers, led by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Fleury and Major Posey on the right, 
and Major Stewart on the left, served as i)ioneers to 
precede the main body of the assailants; and in the 
van of each com])any of ]:)ioneers was " a forlorn hope" 
of twenty men, led l)y Lieutenants Gibbon and Knox. 
It was their work to remove the obstructions in the 
wa}' of the troops. 

It was nearh' midnight when the advance com- 
menced. Absolute silence was enjoined, and like 
spectres the two storming parties faded from each 
other's sight in the gloom. The marshes were over- 
flowed with two feet of water, and through this the 
men followed their officers, eager and alert, for the 
object of the expedition was no longer a secret to any 

Xot a musket was loaded, exce])t in Murfee 's com- 
mand, for the attack was to be made entirely with the 
bayonet. What greater evidence could be offered of 
the value of three arduous years in transforming into 
stern, reliant soldiers the raw miaterial of 1776? 

The almost perpendicular wall that confronted them 
after the passage of the morass was to be scaled before 
the British works, dimly silhouetted against the night 
skv, could be attacked. Between the summit and the 

3IO The Hudson River 

base, several lines of abatis were to be encountered. 
To right and left the attacking wings ascended, while 
Murfee and his men kept a straight course for the 
centre of the works. Suddenly a shot rang out ; a sen- 
tinel had discovered the invaders. With a cheer the 
Carolinians replied, waking a thousand echoes by their 
volley, and drawing in return the concentrated fire of 
the garrison. In a few minutes the roar of cannon 
joined with the rattle of musketry, and the devoted 
centre was the object of the British attentions, while 
the real attacking parties, giving no indication of their 
approach, were pushing eagerly forward. 

An officer saw one of his men step aside and com- 
mence to load his musket. Ordering him to desist, 
he was met with the surly c|uestion, " How am I going 
to fight if I don't load?" Seeing that the fellow was 
obstinate and refused to obey, the officer ran him 
through with his sword. This was done in accord- 
ance with general orders given before the attack com- 
menced, and was necessary under the circumstances, 
as it probably prevented a premature betra}^al of the 

But when at last the discovery was made, the storm- 
ing parties found themselves the targets for a hail of 
bullets. The top of the hill was a volcano of " villain- 
ous saltpetre" and men in the American ranks began 
to drop. Colonel Hay fell, wounded in the thigh ; Cap- 
tain Selden received a wound in the side; seventeen 
out of twentv men in the advance fell, either killed or 

The Storming of Stony Point 311 

injured. Wayne received a flesh wound in the head, 
and called u])on two of his officers to carry him into 
the works, for he thought that he was mortally wounded 
and wished to die at the head of his troops. 

Still not a shot came from the grim, eager, unde- 
viating ranks of the Americans in re])ly to the rever- 
berating volleys of the enem}% but thc}^ entered the 
works with the bayonet and they subdued the garrison 
at close quarters. 

Then the silence was broken. A cheer rang out, — a 
cheer that reached the ears of the men on the British 
war-shi])s in the river, satisfying those good servants 
of King George that their own side had succeeded in 
repulsing their assailants. Xot till the guns of the 
fort were turned upon them by the Americans were 
they convinced of their error. 

Verplanck s Point was not taken from the enem\', 
and Washington soon abandoned Stony Point; but 
the value of Wa}'ne's brilliant deed was permanent, as 
it not only inspired the patriots throughout the countrv 
with renewed confidence, but won them increased re- 
spect from their foes. 

An interesting letter, written just after the battle 
of Stony Point by one who particiijated in that mem- 
orable action, was contributed to TJic Magazine of 
American History, several years ago, by the Hon. 
James W. Gerard. It was addressed to Doctor Daniel 
Sheldon, and dated July i, 1779. From its graphic 
pages we may be permitted to quote Ijriefly : 

312 The Hudson River 

Perhaps you have heard of the prowess of our troops at Kings- 
ferry, it may be from vague reports and hearsay. The morning 
of the 16'^'^ inst, General Wayne with a party of infantry attacked 
the enemy's works at Stony Point — the garrison consisted of 
about six hundred men — it being the dead of night they were 
not discovered until they had got within about sixteen rods of 
the works, the alarm was instantly given, but such was the dex- 
terity of our men that they gained some part of the enemy's 
works before their picket guard. Our men were distinguished 
by having white paper in their hats and by these words The 
Fort is our own. The fire for a few minutes was verv fierce 
from them, Ijut our people never fired a gun until they had 
gained the Fort — most of the enemy were killed with Bayonets 
after our people were in the works — we had nine men killed, and 
about thirty or forty wounded. 

Tlie enemy's loss was sixty killed and forty wounded — 447 
rank and file marched out of the fort the next morning with 
twentv-four commissioned officers. Docf Auchmuty of New 
York was their surgeon — some few men made their escape in 
boats to the other side the River, others in attempting to swim 
were drowned — S. C. M. Johnson commanded the Britons. Gen- 
eral Wayne's party tis said consisted of about 4200 men. There 
were five deserters from us in the fort, three of which they 
hanged with little ceremony — 10 pieces of cannon, a large num- 
ber of small arms, with military stores of all kinds fell into our 
hands. Sunday we should have attacked the fort on this side 
the River, but General Clinton's arrival at Croton Bridge with 
a large force prevented it. It must otherwise have fallen into 
our hands soon. 

Your Friend and Brother 

Richard Sill. 

Chapter XIX 
At the Gate of the Highlands 

JOHN PEAK, some time before 1685, Hved on a 
creek, or "kill," that has been ever afterwards 
called b}' his name. It was on the land 
claimed by Chief Sirham, sachem of the Sachus 
Indians, and became afterwards part of the broad 
manor of Cortlandt. Three hundred acres were 
bought in the }'ear above mentioned, for the value of 
three hundred guilders in sea-want. The grounds of 
the New York State cam]3 for military instruction 
occupy part of that purchase. 

The pleasant village of Peekskill has a memorable 
history, associated as it was during the War for Inde- 
pendence with important military movements. From 
its position, so near the lower gate of the Highlands, 
it was destined to be ridden over by both of the oppos- 
ing armies. We have spoken elsewhere of some of the 
more noteworthy occurrences of Revolutionary days, 
as they presented themselves in sequence with other 
events. Fort Independence occupied the point above, 
the stores and barracks that the British burned were 
near by, Washington once had his headc[uarters here 


The Hudson River 

for a short time, and here old Israel Putnam com- 
manded in 1777. Paulding, one of the captors of 

(Drawn by 11'. C. H'llson) 

Andre, was born in Peekskill and was buried there in 
181 8. Andre himself stopped at the Wayside Inn on 
the day following his memorable interview with Arnold. 

At the Gate of the Highlands 315 

Washington made a flyinj^^ \'isit to Peekskill after the 
battle of White Plains to reconnoitre; Lee came here 
while tardily and reluctantly obeying Washington's 
orders to advance into New Jersey. General Heath 
was then in conmiand of the post and had received 
positive orders from Washington to retain all the 
troops then w^ith him. General Lee, as Heath's senior 
in rank, ordered that two of the latter 's regiments at 
Continental Village should accompany his own troops 
across the river. Heath instantly refused to give the 
necessary directions, exclaiming, " I have received posi- 
tive written orders to the contrary." 

Lee replied that he would then give the orders him- 
self, to which Heath could not do otherwise than to 
assent. "That makes all the difference," he said. 
"You are my senior; but I will not myself break 
those orders." He then showed Lee General Washing- 
ton's letter of instructions, upon which his visitor made 
some comment to the effect that being upon the ground 
he would feel at liberty to act according to his own 
judgment in the matter. He attempted then to give 
the order through Heath's adjutant, but the latter w^as 
sternly forbidden by his chief to have any part in the 
affair. "Sir," said he to Lee, "if you come to this 
post and mean to issue orders here w^hich w411 break 
the positive ones I have received, I pray you to do it 
yourself and through your own deputy Adjutant-Gen- 
eral, who is present, and not draw me or any of my 
family in as partners in the guilt." 

3i6 The Hudson River 

To appreciate this scene one must pictm-e the con- 
testants. Heath, bald and very corpulent, but sol- 
dierly and alert; "a man one could not see without 
loving," was said of him; Lee, on the other hand, not 
unpleasing as to feature or figure, but slovenly in his 
dress and consumed with a sense of his own importance. 
George Clinton, General and Governor of New York, 
was present. 

Heath resolutely demanded and received from Lee 
a certificate that he had assumed command of the 
post. Then, when the comedy was all played, and 
his wayward will satisfied, the usurper of authority 
changed his mind and recalled the regiments he had 
ordered out. 

"The erratic Lee," as some one has called him, 
crossed the Hudson with his army on the 2nd and 3rd 
of December, to the great relief of the commander of 
the post. 

When the French allies, under Rochambeau, marched 
north after the winter of 1782, they were received by 
their American brothers-in-arms at Verplanck's Point 
and conducted to their encampment south of Peeks- 
kill. Seeing the steadiness and discipline of the lines 
extending from the ferry to headquarters, the French 
commander exclaimed ui admiration: "You have 
formed an alliance with the King of Prussia! These 
troops are Prussians!" 

The house at which Washington stopped at one 
time during the war, and where not a few of the 

At the Gate of the Highlands 3^7 

notable figures of Revolutionary story were entertained 
from time to time, was that Ixiilt In- the Hon. Pierre 
Van Cortlandt in 1773. This must not be confounded 
with the manor-house at Croton, to which reference 
has already been made. A year after the building of 
the Peekskill house, Van Cortlandt seems to have been 
living in the older one at the Point, for it was there 
that Governor Tryon visited him in 1774, to secure, if 
possible, his interest for the King's cause in the ap- 
proaching contest. 

In 1775, Phili]), the son of General Van Cortlandt, 
accepted a commission in the Continental army, an act 
which incurred the enmity of the Royalists against the 
whole family and led to f)itter persecutions. 

The Peekskill house was the one occupied by Mrs. 
Beekman during the war. On one occasion she faced 
a party of Tories, led by Colonel Fanning, and shar])ly 
rebuked them for calling her father "an old rebel." 
"I am the daughter of Pierre Van Cortlandt," she 
exclaimed, " and it becomes not such as you to call m}^ 
father a rebel." So she turned them out of the house. 

The little hamlet of Continental Village, on Canopus 
creek, just above Peekskill, was the place where the 
stores for the American army in the Highlands were 
accumulated. Gallows Hill, the place where Palmer 
the spy was executed, is a little north of a highway 
that intersects the Albany Post road, or Broadway, 
from the east ; near the southern side of that hill was 
the house to which Andre was taken after his capture. 

3i8 The Hudson River 

John Paulding, the captor, hved for a number of 
years after the e\'ent which made him famous on a 
farm on the Crom-pond road, about three miles east of 
Peekskill. A number of tales concerning him are cur- 
rent, for one of which we have space. He was atten- 
tive to a young woman named Teed whose brother 
was a lo}^alist. Upon one of his frequent \'isits to the 
homic of his lady-love, he was set upon by a number 
of Tories and forced to seek refuge in a barn, from 
which he fired upon his assailants, wounding some of 
them. Young Teed was one of the party and con- 
ducted a parley with the beleaguered lover, who finally 
agreed to surrender himself. He was handed over to 
the British officer near by and taken a prisoner to the 
vSugar House, on Liberty Street, New York. From 
that dreadful prison he managed to escape, and through 
the aid of a negress, who disguised him in the green 
coat of a Hessian soldier, he finally reached the Ameri- 
can lines. A few days later, while wearing the same 
conspicuous garment, he assisted in capturing ]\Iajor 
Andre at Tarry town. 

After the foregoing cursory glance at Peekskilbs his- 
toric past, which we reluctantly leave, we must make 
an equalh' rapid stu'vey of more recent days. - Of the 
man}^ eminent men that the inhabitants of the town 
have delighted to honour, there are several that we 
may not be forgi\'en for omitting. One of these is 
Henry Ward Beecher, whose summer home was a 
short distance east of the village. Senator Chauncey 

At the Gate of the Highlands 3^9 

M. Depew was born in this |)lace. and has enUvened a 
thousand dinner- tables with his more or less apocry- 
phal recollections of it. Then there is the long roster 
of those who went out to battle for the Re])ublic on 
Southern 1 lattle-fields in the dark days of the Civil 
War. To name an\', when we ha\'e not room for all, 
would be to make a distinction that their patriotism 
neither suggests nor warrants. 

In 1882, the Governor of Xew York, Alonzo B. Cor- 
nell, sent a committee of officers of the National Guard 
to select a site for a mihtary camp of instruction. The 
choice finally rested upon the plateau to the north of 
Annsville creek, which comprised ninety-seven acres 
belonging to the estate of John McCoy. This was 
purchased, with an additional tract for a rifle-range. 
Here, at an elevation of a hundred feet above the 
river, all arrangements were made for the convenience 
of a permanent camp. A reser\'oir was formed by 
damming a brook, and the water distributed in jnpes 
through the grounds, while facilities for cooking on a 
large scale have also l:)een perfected. Here, summer 
after summer, the \'arious regiments of the National 
Guard have succeeded each other in encampments 
that have come to be a feature of the service. 

The point known as Roa Hook was the site of Fort 
Independence. A hotel occupied the s]:)ot in the forties 
and some of the steamboats made it a stopping place; 
but the working of valuable gravel pits gradually un- 
dermined the bluff' on which it stood. 

320 The Hudson River 

Peekskill looks out upon the Dunderberg and Bear 
Mountain. Verplanck's Point stretches to the south, 
and northward is the deep, narrow channel of the 
Highlands. Irving compared Peekskill Bay with Lake 
Como; it would be difficult in any part of the world 
to find a spot the natural features of which conspire to 
form a scene of more exquisite loveliness. From the 
lighthouse at Stony Point to that on lona Island the 
grand sweep of the opi^osite shore appeals to the imagi- 
nation, producing a sense of delight. The trains that 
creep about the base of the Dunderberg are pigmy affairs ; 
the swift current that flows through the Horse Race 
and into Seylmaker's Reach catches broken reflections 
of the towering masses above them, and all the contriv- 
ances of man — his wharves, his boats, and his villages 
— cannot impair the invincible majesty of nature. 

Some years ago there was a coffer-dam and pumping 
station at the foot of the Dunderberg, and the story 
that is connected with them is one of several of a simi- 
lar character that the river can boast. Some one of 
the skippers of the numerous river craft came to an 
anchor near the foot of the mountain, but found, when 
he wished to resume his course, that his anchor's 
flukes were caught in something heavy that could not 
be detached from the bottom without great effort. 
However, yielding to the persuasion of the windlass, 
the obstacle, whatever it was, after a while began to 
come slowly to the surface, with many an tmeasy tug. 
The skipper's curiosity was great, and richly w^as it 

At the Gate of the Highlands 321 

rewarded, for, with one supreme effort, the crew raised 
to the surface and into the vessel — a small cannon ! 

It might have been taken as a natural inference 
that the rusty weapon belonged to some British vessel 
of war, or was a trophy of American valour; but not 
so did the wiseacres decide. It was gravely j^ro- 
nounced to be a relic of Captain Kidd! 

Then a speculator worked up the idea and inter- 
ested a number of people of the class that the j)roverb 
mentions as being soon parted from their money, and 
a company was formed with $22,000 capital to explore 
for the wealth that everybody at once knew must be 
lying there. People talked of the auger that had 
bored through the deck of the sunken ship and brought 
up silver with it. To be sure, no one had seen the 
silver, but the auger was probably not denied to any 
seeker after conviction. The work went on merrily 
for some time, but after a while funds ran low and 
faith began to waver, and the pumping station no 
longer pumped. Well, after all, was it any more silly 
than to be duped into subscribing to a compan}^ that 
engaged to make gold out of sea-water? 

From the veracious chronicle of the adventures of 
that delightful son of Manhattan, Dolph Heyliger, as 
told by Washington Irving, we get an invaluable 
treasure of goblin lore. The Dunderberg is particu- 
larly mentioned as being the haunt of unearthly creat- 
ures whose instinct for mischief was calculated to 
keep the toiling sons of the river in perpetual disquiet. 

322 The Hudson River 

It is certain that strange things have been seen in these high- 
lands in storms. The captains of the river craft talk of a little 
bulbous-bottomed Dutch goblin, in trunk-hose and sugar-loafed 
hat, with a speaking-trumpet in his hand, which they say keeps 
about the Dunderberg. They declare that they have heard 
him, in stormy weather, in the midst of the turmoil, giving 
orders in Low Dutch for the piping up of a fresh gust of wind, 
or the rattling off of another thunder-clap. That sometimes he 
has been seen surrounded by a crew of little imps in broad 
breeches and short doublets; tumbling hcad-over-heels in the 
rack and mist, and playing a thousand gambols in the air; or 
buzzing like a swarm of flies about Antony's Nose; and that, 
at such times, the hurry scurry of the storm was always greatest. 
One time a sloop, in passing by the Dunderberg, was over- 
taken by a thunder gust, that came scouring round the mount- 
ain, and seemed to burst just over the vessel. Though tight 
and well ballasted, she laboured dreadfully, and the water came 
over the gunwale. All the crew were amazed when it was dis- 
covered that there was a little white sugar-loaf hat on the 
mast-head, known at once to be the hat of the Heer of the 
Dunderberg. Nobody, however, dared to climb to the mast- 
head and get rid of this terrible hat. The sloop continued labour- 
ing and rocking, as if she would have rolled her mast overboard, 
and seemed in continued danger either of upsetting or of running 
on shore. In this way she drove quite through the highlands, 
until she had passed Pollopol's Island, where, it is said, the 
jurisdiction of the Dunderberg potentate ceases. No sooner had 
she passed this bourn, than the little hat spun up into the air 
like a top, whirled up all the clouds into a vortex, and hurried 
them back to the summit of the Dunderberg; while the sloop 
righted herself, and sailed on as ciuietly as if in a mill-pond. 
Nothing saved her from utter wreck but the fortunate circum- 
stance of having a horse-shoe nailed against the mast— a wise 
precaution against evil spirits, since adopted by all the Dutch 
captains that navigate this haunted river. 

There is another story told of this foul-weather urchin by 
Skipper Daniel Ouselsticker of Fishkill, who was never known 
to tell a lie. He declared that, in a severe squall, he saw him 

At the Gate of the Highlands 325 

seated astride of his bowsprit, riding the sloop ashore, full butt 
against Antony's Nose, and that he was exorcised by Dominie 
Van Gieson, of Esopus, who happened to be on board, and who 
sang the hymn of St. Nicholas; whereupon the goblin threw 
himself up in the air like a ball and went off in a whirlwind, 
carrying away with him the nightcap of the Dominie's wife; 
which was discovered the next Sunday morning hanging on the 
weathercock of Esopus church steeple, at least forty miles ofif! 
Several events of this kind having taken place, the regular skip- 
pers of the river, for a long time, did not venture to pass the 
Dunderberg without lowering their peaks, out of homage to the 
Heer of the mountain ; and it was observed that all such as paid 
this tribute of respect were suffered to pass unmolested. 

Chapter XX 
The Spirit of '76 

THE mihtary and na^•al operations along the 
Hudson and its shores during the War for 
Independence cannot be exhaustively dis- 
cussed in a work that of necessity covers so wide a 
field as the present volume. At the most, w^e may 
only hope to indicate, by the selection of several in- 
cidents, the character of the iuA-asion and the spirit of 
those who opposed it. 

Tor}'ism, it may be said in passing, was not entirely 
confined to the cities, yet it had its strongholds there, 
and the general tem]3er of the country people seems to 
have inclined towards the Continental cause. 

Before the battle of Long Island, in .\ugust, 1776, 
the New York Con\'ention sent delegates to stir up the 
veomanr\' along the river. As the enemy's ships w^ere 
at anchor near Tarrytown, powder and ball w^ere sent 
to that place. Colonel Hammond, of local celebrity, 
w^as actively engaged in organising the militia for 
defence; Colonel Pierre Van Cortlandt, of the Croton 
manor of that name, was an active and efficient guard- 
ian of the east shore of the Tappan Zee ; while Colonel 


The Spirit of '76 327 

Hay kept guard with his regiment over the western 
shore, from Nyaek to the Highlands, the centre of his 
operations being at Haverstraw. 

The yeomen on both sides of the river patrohed the 
shores even as they guarded the highwa3's, and tradi- 
tion asserts that wives and daughters stood beside the 
men as they shouldered the flint-lock guns and handled 
powder-horns and bullet-pouches. Whenever the foe 
might ap])car, rustic marksmen were ready to re-enact 
Lexington and Concord. 

The British war-ships, shifting ground occasionally 
with the tide, or to avoid the galling attentions of the 
sharjvshooters, that annoyed them like so many wasps, 
were not holding their ground in the Tappan Zee and 
Haverstraw^ Bay from ain}^ holida\' motive. Their 
boats were out constantlv making soundings, locating 
shoals, determining the course of the channel, and pre- 
paring charts for the service of the flotilla. The Tories 
alongshore w^ere suspected of furnishing both provis- 
ions and information. 

A tender beat u]3 from Ha\^erstraw Bay nearh^ to 
Fort Montgomery in the Highlands, when General 
Clinton greeted the unwelcome visitor with a ball from 
a 32-pounder, that had the effect of sending her about 
in short order. 

But soundings and observations had been com- 
pleted, and the chart of the river was sufflcientlv ac- 
curate to enable the war-shi]3s to move up without 
other peril than that encountered from the American 

?,2S The Hudson River 

guns. They therefore advanced to within six miles of 
Fort Montgomery. George CHnton anticipated an 
effort to shp by him at night, and gain the defence- 
less reaches of the river above the Highlands, where 
the enemy might not only ravage the country, but 
destroy the little fleet that was then being built at 
Poughkeepsie. He therefore placed a guard at a point 
nearly midway between the vessels and the fort, with 
material at hand for a mammoth signal fire, and simi- 
lar piles of combustibles were placed at intervals all 
through the Highlands, except at the fort. In case of 
activity on the part of the fleet, its every movement 
would be illuminated. 

As a further safeguard, fire-rafts were brought down 
from Poughkeepsie and held in readiness, like hounds 
in leash, ready to be let loose at the favourable moment. 
" They were to be lashed together," we read, " between 
old sloops filled with combustibles and sent down with 
a strong wind and tide, to drive upon the ships." 

Besides these preparations, an effective barrier was 
to be made by stretching a huge iron chain across the 
river in an oblique direction, from Fort Montgomery 
to Anthony's Nose. 

Van Cortlandt and others were busy at this time in 
organising the river guard, a fleet of whale-boats, 
manned by patriotic rivermen, and stationed in the 
bays and coves of the Tappan Zee and Haverstraw. 
This organisation afterwards did yeoman's service, 
reconnoitring, acting as despatch bearers, cutting oft' 

The vSpirit of "76 329 

intelligence and supplies destined for the enemy's 
ships, and more than once engaging in close conflict 
with the King's marines. Oar galleys, mounting light 
guns in their bows, were also put in commission. 

There are a few brighter lights in the dark picture 
of that time. The PJiccnix and Rose, the British war- 
vessels that had ascended the river, were attacked at 
their anchorage in the Tappan Zee by a fleet of six 
"row galleys," and a spirited fight kept up for two 
hours. The galleys " hulled the ships repeatedl}', but 
sustained great damage in return." 

This exjjloit was soon followed by another that is 
worthy the tribute of enduring verse. The story has 
been graphically told by Irving in his Life of Washing- 

Two of the fire-ships recently constructed went up the Hud- 
son to attempt the destruction of the ships which had so long 
been domineering over its waters. One succeeded in grapphng 
the Phccnix, and would soon have set her in flames, but in the 
darkness got to leeward, and was cast loose without effecting 
any damage. The other, in making for the Rose, fell foul of one 
of the tenders, grappled and burnt her. The enterprise was 
conducted with spirit, and though it failed of its main object, 
had an important effect. The commanders of the sliips deter- 
mined to abandon those waters, where their boats were fired 
upon by the very yeomanry whenever they attempted to land; 
and where their ships were in danger from midnight incendiaries, 
while riding at anchor. Taking advantage of a brisk wind and 
favoring tide, they made all sail early on the morning of the 
18th of August and stood down the river, keeping close under 
the eastern shore, where they supposed the guns from Mount 
Washington could not be brought to bear upon them. Not- 
withstanding this precaution, the Phoenix was thrice hulled by 

330 The Hudson River 

shots from the fort, and one of the tenders once. The Rose, 
also, was hulled once by a shot from Burdett's Ferry. The men 
on board were kept close, to avoid being picked off by a party 
of riflemen posted on the river bank. The ships fired grape- 
shot as they passed, but without effecting any injury. Unfor- 
tunately, a passage had been left open in the obstructions on 
which General Putnam had calculated so sanguinely; it was to 
have been closed in the course of a day or two. Through this 
they made their way, guided by a deserter; which alone, in 
Putnam's opinion, saved them from being checked in their 
career, and utterly destroyed by the batteries. 

We have noticed these actions particularly, because 
they were among the very first marine engagements 
recorded in our national history. 

Only a few months after the excitement caused by 
this "eruption of the Phoenix and the Rose into the 
quiet waters of the Hudson ' ' had begun to subside in a 
measure, we find the war-ships again brushing past 
the American defences at Fort Washington. The new 
vessels designed for obstruction, the sloop with Bush- 
nell's submarine engine on board, a schooner, and sev- 
eral scows were driven ashore, captured, or sunk. The 
galleys made strenuous efforts to escape, some by 
darting into convenient bays and others by trusting to 
their speed and ability to sail over shallows where the 
British must have grounded. But two of them ran 
ashore, and the crew took to the boat and made for 
land with aU possible speed, their vessels falling into 
the hands of the British. 

All was hurry and alarm at Spuyten Du>^vil, Yon- 
kers, and other places along the lower river shores, 

The Spirit of '76 331 

and fleet craft carried the news and spread the con- 
sternation from Manhattan to the Highlands. The 
thrill of anticipation again disturbed the garrisons of 
the Highland forts, and swift messengers were sent to 
Fishkill, where the Provincial Congress was sitting, 
presided over by Peter R. Livingston. The Commit- 
tee of Safety, at their wit's end, wTote an appealing 
letter to Washington, detailing the dangers and pic- 
turing the inadequacy of the American force in the 
Highlands, and pra^'ing him to send reinforcements 

Among the budgets of advice and the plans for de- 
fence that poured in at that time, one letter, written 
by John Jay, member of the secret committee for the 
defence of the Hudson, to Gouverneur Morris, chair- 
man of another committee, is worth quoting. He sa>'s : 

Had I been vested with absolute power in this State, I have 
often said, and still think, that I would last spring have deso- 
lated all Long Island, Staten Island, the city and county of New 
York, and all that part of the county of Westchester which lies 
below the mountains. I would then have stationed the main 
body of the army in the mountains on the east, and eight or 
ten thousand men in the Highlands on the west side of the river. 
I would have directed the river at Fort Montgomery, which is 
nearly at the southern extremity of the mountains, to be so 
shallowed as to afford only depth sufficient for an Albany sloop, 
and all the southern passes and defiles in the mountains to be 
strongly fortified. Nor do I think the shallowing of the river a 
romantic scheme. Rocky mountains rise immediately from the 
shores. The breadth is not very great, though the depth is. 
But what cannot eight or ten thousand men, well worked, effect? 
According to this plan of defence, the State would be absolutely 

33^ The Hudson River 

impregnable against all the world, on the sea side, and would 
have nothing to fear except from the way of the lake. Should 
the enemy gain the river, even below the mountains, I think I 
foresee that a retreat would become necessary, and I can't for- 
bear wishing that a desire of saving a few acres may not lead 
us into difficulties. 

Mr. Ja}^ at the same time applied for leave of ab- 
sence, stating as a reason his solicitude for the welfare 
of his aged parents, whom he desired to remove to a 
place of safety. 

When, after the winter of 1776-77, the river was 
again free from ice so as to be navigable, General 
Howe sent a squadron of war-vessels, with troops, to 
destroy or capture American stores, one of the princi- 
pal depots for which was at Peekskill. General Mc- 
Dougall was, during the absence of General Heath, in 
command there, and, learning of the approach of the 
British, he undertook to remove most of the supplies 
to a place of greater security. The enemy landed 
five hundred men, with four field-pieces, at Lents 
Cove, on the southern side of Peekskill Bay. McDou- 
gall, w^hose command numbered less than three hun- 
dred, retreated, having set fire to his barracks and 
store-houses. He fell back about two miles on the 
road to Continental Village, where the stores had been 
sent, and occupied a strong post that Washington had 
noted in his reconnoissance after the battle of White 
Plains in the previous autumn. 

Colonel Willett hastened to McDougall's relief from 
Fort Constitution, and after a sharp skirmish the 



The Spirit of '76 335 

British decamped, returning down the river without 
having acconi])hshed the object of the expedition. 

This affair aroused new anxiet\' for the Highland 
passes and their defence. General George Clinton, 
who had command of the Highland forts, ordered out 
the militia of Westchester, Orange, and Dutchess 
counties. He also strengthened the chain previously 
extended across the ri\'er from Fort Montgomery. 
General McDougall. still in command at Peekskill, re- 
ceived instructions from Washington to co-operate 
with Clinton in ] cutting the fortifications in as perfect 
condition as possible for defence. Clinton was di- 
rected to put as large a force as he could spare on the 
mountains west of the ri\'er. 

General Greene was ordered to the Highlands to 
inspect the forts and re]3ort u])on the ])ossi1)ility of 
attacks b\- water or land. He was accom])anied by 
General Knox, and, with McDougall, Clinton, and 
Wa}'ne, made the rec[uired examination. These five 
generals recommended that the heavy chain and cables 
stretched across the river be com|.deted and made 

Arnold was now offered the general command of the 
Hudson, but declined. Putnam, who was named in 
his place, hastened to the Highlands, and entered with 
alacrit}' into the completion of Clinton's defences. 

It was while at Verplanck's Point that Putnam had 
that famous brief correspondence with Sir Henry 
Clinton regarding a spy taken within the American 

2)^6 The Hudson River 

lines. A vessel of war, proceeding with haste from 
New York, landed a flag of truce at Verplanck's Point 
with a message from the British general, claiming the 
spv, Edmund Palmer, as a lieutenant in the King's 
service. Putnam did not waste words in writing his 
reply : 

Headquarters, 7^^ Aug. 1777. 
Edmund Palmer, an officer in the enemy's service, was taken as 
a spy lurking within our lines. He has been tried as a spy, con- 
demned as a spy and shall be executed as a spy; and the flag 
is ordered to depart immediately. 

Israel Putnam. 
p s. — He has, accordingly, been executed. 

That the temper of the country was such as to give 
great satisfaction to the leaders at this time may be 
gathered from Clinton's own words: "I never knew 
the mihtia to come out with greater alacrity." But 
he adds, in the same connection, " as a great many of 
them have harvests in the field, I fear it wiU be diffi- 
cult to detain them long, unless the enemy will make 
some movements that indicate a design of coming this 
way suddenly, and so obvious as to be believed by the 

With Burgoyne trying to force his way to Albany 
from the north, and Clinton planning to co-operate 
with him by way of the Hudson, the general anxiety 
regarding the Highlands increased as the season ad- 
vanced. The forts, by autumn, were feebly garri- 
soned. On the 2Qth of September, Putnam, from his 

The Spirit of '76 3^7 

headquarters at Peekskill, wrote to General George 
CUnton as follows: 

I have received intelligence on which I can fully depend, that 
the enemy had received a reinforcement at New York last 
Thursday, of about three thousand British and foreign troops, 
that General Clinton has called in guides who belong about 
Croton River; has ordered hard bread to be baked; that the 
troops are called from Paulus Hook to Kings Bridge, and that 
the whole troops are now under marching orders. 

I think it highly probable the designs of the enemy are against 
the posts of the Highlands or of some part of the counties of 
Westchester or Dutchess. . . . The ships are drawn up in 
the river and I believe nothing prevents them from paying us 
an immediate visit but a contrary wind. 

Clinton, absent from his military post w^hile attend- 
ing to his civil duties as Governor, received this urgent 
letter at Kingston, and at once hastened to the High- 
lands, collecting all the militia that he could, more 
effectual!}' to man the defences. 

Irving has given the following descri]:)tion of the 
forts at that time: 

We have spoken of his (Clinton's) Highland citadel of Fort 
Montgomery, and of the obstructions of chain, boom, and chc- 
vaux-de-frise between it and the opposite promontory of An- 
thony's Nose. Fort Clinton had subsequently been erected 
within rifle shot of Fort [Montgomery, to occupv ground which 
commanded it. A deep ravine and stream, called Peploep's 
Kill, intervened between the two forts, across which there was 
a bridge. The governor had his headquarters in Fort Mont- 
gomery, which was the northern and largest fort, but its works 
were unfinished. His brother James had charge of Fort Clinton, 
which was complete. The whole force to garrison the associate 
forts did not exceed six hundred men, chiefly militia, but they 

338 The Hudson River 

had the veteran Colonel Lamb, of the artillery, with them, who 
had served in Canada, and a company of his artillerists was dis- 
tributed in the two forts. 

Early in October, Sir Henry Clinton sailed up the 
Hudson with a fleet carrying three or four thousand 
British troops and Tories. The object of the expedi- 
tion was to take the forts, Montgomery and Clinton, 
opposite Anthony's Nose. There were American 
stores there, that had been collected in the neighbour- 
hood, and the destruction of these was the ostensible 
object of the expedition; but it is almost certain that 
the idea of relieving Burgoyne by a diversion carried 
greater weight. 

A body of troops was landed at Tarry town, marched 
a short distance into the country, returned, and re- 
embarked. This ruse had the desired effect of deceiv- 
ing General Putnam at Peekskill. On the next day, 
the fifth, Clinton landed in force at Verplanck's Point, 
below Peekskill, thus strengthening the impression 
already created that Fort Independence and the east- 
ern shore of the river were to be the scene of his attack. 

Almost immediately, however, the greater part of 
the troops were ferried across in barges from Ver- 
planck's to the opposite shore, and while a body of 
Tories on shore and the war-ships in the river kept up 
the pretence of attacking Fort Independence, Clinton 
hurried the main body of his command, by a circuitous 
route, over the hill passes back of the Dunderberg, 
towards Forts Montgomery and Clinton. General Put- 

The Spirit of '76 339 

nam was completch' outwitted and e\'en sent to the 
Governor, General George CHnton, for reinforcements. 
But that active officer was not deceived. He had 
despatched scouts to the southern extremity of the 
Highlands, and they soon returned with the intelli- 
gence that the enemy were crossing to Stony Point in 
large numbers. He therefore made ready with all the 
haste possible to receive the unwelcome visitors, and 
in his turn sent to Putnam for aid. But, through the 
treachery of the messenger, his appeal did not reach its 

Dividing his force, vSir Henry Clinton sent Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Campbell, with nine hundred men, to take 
a circuitous course by the western side of Bear Hill 
and a])proach Fort Montgomery from the north or 
north-west — that is to say, in the rear. Sir Henry pro- 
ceeded towards the river from the point of division, 
which was between the Dunderberg and Bear Hill. 
He then intended to advance along a neck of land lying 
between the river and vSinipink Pond ar.d fall upon 
Fort Clinton. 

A reconnoitring party sent out by the Governor 
fell in with Sir Henry's ad\'ance-guard, and opened the 
day's fighting, falling back towards the fort after a 
sharp skirmish. 

Campbell, advancing along the Bear Hill ravine, was 
met by a sudden outburst of cannon and musketry, 
against which for a time his men could make no head- 
way. Filing off into the woods they attempted to 

340 The Hudson River 

surround their assailants, and finally succeeded in 
driving them into the fort. 

The resistance at both of the forts was obstinate. 
The garrisons were insufficient to man the works, but 
even after the enemy, by sheer force of numbers, had 
effected an entrance, the defenders refused to surren- 
der and literally fought their way out, many of them 
escaping by the woods and down the precipitous rocks. 
Two hundred and fifty were either slain or captured 
by the British. 

Putnam did not suspect the true direction of the 
British advance till the reverberations of the battle, 
thundering along the cliffs of the Highlands, revealed 
the true state of affairs. 

The escape of the brothers George and James Clin- 
ton was almost marvellous. The Governor leaped down 
the rocks to the riverside, a breakneck proceeding, but 
accomplished without injury, and crossed the river in 
a boat, to join Putnam on the other side. His brother, 
though wounded, " slid down a precipice, one hundred 
feet high, and escaped to the woods." 

The American frigates and galleys stationed above, 
finding it impossible to escape the advance of the Brit- 
ish ships or withstand their fire, were consigned to de- 
struction, and one after another went up in flames. 
Then the victorious enemy proceeded to destroy the 
chcvaux-de-frise and clear the river. Proceeding 
through the passage thus made, Sir James Wallace and 
General Vaughn advanced to Kingston, then the State 

The Spirit of "76 343 

capital; but this is another story, and will find its 
place in another chapter. 

The main object of Sir Henry Clinton's attack, which 
was to create a diversion in favour of General Bur- 
goyne, w^as a complete failure, as that officer, in the 
course of ten days, yielded to the harassing attentions 
of his foes. 

Chapter XXI 
A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 

A HITHERTO unpublished account of a voyage 
up the Hudson in 1769 is here presented. It 
is taken from a manuscript journal, written 
by the proprietor of the great tract of land in the in- 
terior of New York State, that was known to the old 
map-makers as the Smith patent: 

With a View to survey a large Tract of Land then lately pur- 
chased from the Indians I departed from BurHngton for Otego 
May 3d, 1769, in company with Rich'd Wells, now of Philadel- 
phia, and the Surveyors Joseph Biddle Junr. & WiUiam Ridg- 
way, as also John Hicks. May 5th. In the Morning we ar- 
rived at Paulus Hook Ferry, went over and dined at Burns's 
Tavern in New York & this we deemed an indifferent House, 
here we saw the Govr. Sir Henry Moore and other noted men, 
in the Afternoon we took passage in a sloop, Richd. Scoonhoven, 
Skipper, for Albany, had fine weather and found it extremely 
agreeable Sailing with the country Seats of the Citizens on the 
Right Hand, the high Lands of Bergen on the Left and the Nar- 
rows abaft. We sailed about 13 or 14 Miles Sz then came to 
Anchor for the Night, the great Rains just before we set out 
had caused the Water of the North River to taste almost fresh 
at this Place. The Bergen Shore is high and Rocky & the East- 
ern Side diversified with Hill and Gully. 

6th. These Albany Sloops contain very convenient Cabins. 
We eat from a regular Table accommodated with Plates, Knives 


A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 345 

& Forks & enjoyed our Tea in the Afternoon, we had laid in 
some Provision at N. York & the Capt. some more so that we 
lived very well, our Commander is very jocose & good company. 
About 7 ocloc w^e passed Spite the Devil (why so called I know 
not) or Harlem River which divides the Manhattan Island from 
the Connecticut, the Entrance here appears to be narrow, 
bounded on each side with high Land, Kings Bridge said to be 
about a Mile from this Entrance but not in Sight. The Bergen 
Coast continues to be lined with lofty Rocks, thinly overspread 
with Cedars, Spruce & wShrubs. Nearly opposite to Tappan we 
took a Turn on Shore to a Part of Col. Philips's Manor, from 
the Hills of which are beautiful Prospects. All the Country on 
both sides of the River from the City is hilly. The ^lanor of 

Philipsburg according to our Information, extends about 

Miles on the River and about 6 Aliles back and is joined above 
by the Manor of Cortland, this ]\Iorng. the Sloop passed by Col. 
Philips's Mansion House and Gardens situate in a pleasant Val- 
ley between Highlands, the country hereabout excels ours by far 
in fine Prospects and the Trees & Vegetables appear to be as 
forward almost as those at Burlington when we left it, but I 
conceive that our countrymen excel the People here in cultiva- 
tion — hardly any Houses appear on the Bergen Side from 
Paulus Hook to the Line of Orange County. The Tenant for 
Life here tells me he pays to Col. Philips only £-j , per Annum 
for about 200 acres of Land & thinks it an extravagant Rent 
because on his demise or Sale his Son or Vendee is obliged to 
pay to the Landlord one Third of the Value of the Farm for a 
Renewal of the Lease. The Skipper gave here 5 coppers for a 
Quart of Milk & Mr. Wells bought Ten small Rock Fish for 1 2 
coppers. The Freight of a Bushel of Wheat from Albany to N. 
York according to our Skipper is Four Pence, of a Barrel of 
Flour one Shilling and of a Hogshead of Flour 7/6 and he thinks 
they have the same rates from Kaatskill. In the Night we ran 
ground among the Highlands about 50 Miles from N. York be- 
tween Orange and Duchess Counties. The Highlands here are 
not so lofty as I expected and the River at this place appears 
to be about Half a Mile wide. 

7th Our Company went on Shore up the Rocks to a miserable 

346 The Hudson River 

Farm and House in Orange & left with the Farmer a Direction 
for Otego (the Name of a Creek of the River Susquehannah 
whereon & in the Vicinity we afterwards formed a Settlement) 
as he and a few of his Neighbours seemed desirous to seek new 
Habitations, he pays Seven Pounds a Year Rent for about loo 
acres including Rocks and Mountains — Hudson's River is strait 
to the Highlands, but thro them very crooked, many Straw- 
berries are to be seen about the Banks & stony Fields. Mar- 
tiler's Rock stands in a part of the River w^hich is exceeding 
deep wnth a bold Shore encircled on either Hand by aspiring 
Mountains & thro them there is a View^ of a fine Country above, 
here it is chiefly that the sudden Flaws sometimes take the 
River Vessels for which Reason they have upright Masts for the 
more expeditious lowering of the Sails on any sudden Occasion 
— beyond the above Rock lies Pollaples Island — but a few Wheat 
and Rye Fields appear along the East Side of the River from 
N. York hither and a very few Fields are ploughed as if intended 
for Indian Corn, the Lands seem proper for Sheep or perhaps 
(if the severity of our Winters will admit) for Vineyards. On 
the W^est Side among the Highlands are only a few Houses 
seated in the small Vallies between the Mountains. From the 
streights between Butter Hill and Broken Neck Hill & below 
them there is a distant Prospect of the Kaatskill Mounts, to the 
N. W. Murderers Creek which runs by the Butter Hill divides 
the Counties of Orange and Ulster, there are a few Houses at 
the Mouth of the Creek. The soil in these Parts is broken, 
stony and few places proper for the Plow. What grain we saw 
growing was but indifferent. About one ocloc we passed by the 
Town of New Windsor on the Left, seeming at a Distance to 
consist of about 50 Houses Stores and Out houses placed with- 
out anv regular Order, here end the Highlands. This Town has 
some Trade and probably hereafter may be a place of Conse- 
quence as the fine Country of Goshen is said to lie back about 
1 2 or more Miles. On the East Side of the River a little above 
Windsor is the Fish Kill & Landing whence the Sloops carry the 
Produce of that Side for Market. The North River is here 
thought to be near Two Miles wide and the General Range of 
the Highlands by the Compass as taken on the N. Side by our 

A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 349 

Surveyors is W. S. \V. & E. N. E. We took a Turn on Shore 
at Denton's ^Mill called 60 Miles from X. York and walked above 
Two Miles down the River to Newbury a small scattered Village 
& to Denton's Ferry, we found excellent Cyder at both. The 
New England men cross here & hereabouts almost daily for 
Susquehannah, their Rout is from hence to the Minisink's ac- 
counted only 40 Miles distant, & we are told that 700 of their 
Men are to be in that Country by the first of June next, A sen- 
sible Woman informed Us that Two Men of her Neighbourhood 
have been several Times across to those Parts of Susquehannah 
which lie in York Government & here the people say our Rout 
by Albany is above 100 Miles out of the Way, this is since found 
to be true, yet that Rout is used because it is the only Waggon 
Road to Lake Otsego. The Lands near Hudsons River now 
appear less Hilly tho not level, & a few Settlements are visible 
here and there, the Houses & Improvements not extraordinary. 
Denton's Mill above mentioned has a remarkable large Fall of 
Water forming a beautiful Cascade, we saw several other Cas- 
cades and Rills — divers LimeKills and much Lime Stone on each 
Shore hereaway & some Appearance of Meadow Land of which 
we have hitherto seen very little. Lime Stone, it is said, may be 
found on either Side of the River from the Highlands to Sopus. 
We have the pleasure of seeing sundry Sloops & Shallops passing 
back and forwards with the Produce of the Country and Returns, 
in the Evening we sailed thro' a remarkable Undulation of the 
Water for a Mile or Two which tossed the Sloop about much and 
made several passengers sick, the more observable as the Pas- 
sage before and and after was quite smooth & little Wind stirring 
at the Time, We anchored between Two high Shores bespread 
with Spruce, Chestnut Oaks and other Trees, very like the tower- 
ing Banks of Bergen. 

8th. There is a high Road from New York to Albany on 
both sides of the River, but that on the East side is most fre- 
quented; both Roads have a View now and then of the River. 
Poughkeepsing the County Town of Duchess stands above the 
FishKill a little beyond the rough Water already noted. We 
passed the Town in the Night. Slate Stone Rocks on the West 
Shore at and below Little Sopus from whence N. York has of 

350 The Hudson River 

late been supplied: they reckon Little Sopus Island to be Half- 
Way between N. York and Albany, the Weather yesterday 
and to day very warm but the Mornings and Evenings are cool. 
Our Skipper says there are at Albany 31 Sloops all larger than 
this, which carry from 400 to 500 Barrels of Flour each, trading 
constantly from thence to York & that they make Eleven or 1 2 
Trips a year each. The general Course of Hudson's River as 
taken by compass is N. & by E. and S. and by W. in some Places 
North North and South. Between the Highlands and Kaats- 
kill both these Mountains are in view at the same Time. At 
Two ocloc we arrived off the Walkill, there are 2 or 3 Houses at 
the Mouth of the Creek & a Trade carried on in Six or Seven 
sloops. Kingston the County Town of Ulster stands about Two 
Miles distant but not visible from the Water (this Town has 
been since burnt by the British Gen. Vaughan) The Kaatskill 
Mountains to the N. W. appear to be very near tho they are at 
a considerable Distance. The Country on both Sides continues 
still hilly and rugged and what Wheat is growing, looks much 
thrown out and gullied — more Houses & Improvements shew 
themselves along the Sopus Shore and Opposite being an old 
settled Country — our Vessel came to Anchor a little above the 
Walkill about 60 Miles from Albany. We went on shore to Two 
stone Farm Houses on Beekman Manor in the County of Duch- 
ess, the Men were absent & the Women and children could 
speak no other Language than Low Dutch, our Skipper was 
Interpreter. One of these Tenants for Life or a very Long 
Term or for Lives (uncertain which) pays 20 Bushels of Wheat 
in Kind for 97 Acres of cleared Land & Liberty to get Wood for 
necessary Uses anv where in the Manor — 12 Eggs sold here for 
six pence, Butter i4d per pound and 2 shad cost 6d. One 
Woman was very neat & the Iron Hoops of her Pails scowered 
bright, the Houses are mean. We saw one Piece of good Meadow 
which is scarce here away, the Wheat was very much thrown 
out, the Aspect of the Farms rough and hilly like all the rest and 
the Soil a stiff clay. One Woman had Twelve good counte- 
nanced Boys and Girls all clad in Homespun both Linen and 
Woolen, here was a Two wheeled Plow drawn by 3 horses abreast, 
a Scythe with a short, crooked Handle and a Kind of Hook both 

A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 351 

used to cut down Grain, for the Sickle is not much known in 
Albany County or in this Part of Duchess. 

9th We arose in the Morng. opposite to a large Brick House 
on the East Side belonging to Mr. Livingston's Father to Robert 
R. Livingston the Judge, in the Lower Manor of Livingston. 
Albany County now on either Hand, & sloping Hills here and 
there covered with Grain like all the rest we we have seen, much 
thrown out by the Frost of last Winter. Landing on the West 
Shore we found a Number of People fishing with a Sein, they 
caught plenty of Shad and Herring and use Canoes altogether 
having long, neat and strong Ropes made by the People them- 
selves of Elm Bark. Here we saw the first Indian a Mohicon 
named Hans clad in no other Garment than a shattered Blanket, 
he lives near the KaatsKill & had a Scunk Skin for his Tobacco 
Pouch, the Tavern of this Place is most wretched — Trees are 
out in Leaf, Cattle and Sheep, nothing different from ours, are 
now feeding on the Grass which seems to be nearly as forward 
as with us when we left Burlington, the Trees quite as forward 
& the White Pine is common. One Shad taken with the rest had 
a Lamprey Eel about 7 Inches long fastened to his Back, I was 
informed hereby a person concerned in measuring it that the 
Distance from KaatsKill Landing to Schoharie is 32^ Miles 
reckoned to Capt. Eckerson's House, a good Waggon Road and 
Produce brot. down daily from thence to Cherry Valley half a 
Day's Journey, that People are now laying out a New Road 
from SopusKill to Schoharie which is supposed to be about 32^- 
Miles, Sopus Creek is about 11 Miles below KatsKill Creek and 
a Mile below where we now landed, they say that 7 or 8 Sloops 
belong to Sopus — the Fish are the same in Hudsons River above 
the salt Water as in the Delaware — the Skipper bought a Parcel 
of Fish here cheap, these Fishermen draw their Nets oftener 
than ours not stopping between the Draughts. At 3 ocloc we 
passed by the German Camp a small Village so called having 
Two Churches, situated on the East Side of the River, upon a 
rising Ground which shews the Place to Advantage, some Dis- 
tance further on the same Side of the River we sailed by the 
Upper Manor House of Livingston, a Quantity of low cripple 
Land may be seen on the opposite Side & this reaches 4 miles 

352 The Hudson River 

to the KaatsKill called 36 Miles from Albany off the ]\Iouth of 
this Creek we have a View of the large House built by John 
Dyer the Person who made the Road from hence to Schoharie 
at the Expensce of ;£4oo, if common Report may be credited — 
Two Sloops belong to KaatsKill, a little beyond the Mouth 
whereof lies the large Island of Vastic — there is a House on the 
North Side of the Creek and another with several Saw Mills on 
the South Side but no Town as we expected. Sloops go no fur- 
ther than Dyer about Half a Mile up the Creek, the Lands on 
both Sides of KaatsKill belong to Vanberger, Van Vecthe, Salis- 
bury, Dubois & a Man in York, their Lands, as our Skipper 
says, extend up the Creek 12 Miles to Barber the English Gentle- 
man his Settlement, the Creek runs thro the KaatsKill Mounts, 
said hereabouts to be at the Distance of 12 or 14 Miles from the 
North River but there are Falls above which obstruct the Navi- 
gation (these particular Enquiries were made because this was 
supposed to be the nearest Port to our newly purchased Terri- 
tory.) We landed in the Evening on the KaatsKill Shore 4 
Miles above the Creek but could gain no satisfactory Intelli- 
gence only that the Dutchess of Gordon and her Husband Col. 
Staats Long Morris were just gone from Dyer's House for Cherry 
Valley & Susquehanna with Two Waggons, they went by the 
Way of Freehold at the Foot of the Mountains on this Side and 
so over them to Schoharie guessed to be about 3 2^ Miles as was 
said before. 

loth. We passed by Sunday Islands whereof Scutters Island 
affords a good low Bottom fit for Meadow and some of it is 
improved. Bear's Island said to be the Beginning of the Manor 
of Renslaerwic which extends on both Sides of the River, the 
Lords of Manors are called by the common People Patroons, 
Bearen Island or Bears Island just mentioned is reputed to be 
12 Miles below Albany — Cojemans Houses with Two Grist Mills 
& Two Saw Mills stand a little above on the West Side and 
opposite is an Island of about Two Acres covered with young 
Button Wood Trees which Island, our Skipper says, has arisen 
there to his Knowledge within 16 years and since he has navi- 
gated the River — more low, bottom Land is discovered as we 
pass up, generally covered with Trees being cleared might be 

A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 353 

made good Meadow by Banking an Improvement to whicli the 
Inhabitants are altogether Strangers, the upper End of Scotoc's 
Island is a fine cleared Bottom not in Grass but partly in Wheat 
& partly in Tilth, however there was one rich Meadow improved, 
wc saw the the first Batteaux a few Miles below Albany, Canoes 
being the Common Craft. One Staat's House is prettily fixed 
on a rising Ground in a low Island, the City of Albany being 3 
miles a Head we discovered for the first Time a Spot of Meadow 
Ground, ploughed and sowed with Peas in the Broad Cast Way, 
the Uplands are now covered with Pitch Pine & are sandy and 
barren as the Desarts of N. Jersey, as we approach the Town 
the Houses multiply on each shore and we observe a person in the 
Act of Sowing Peas upon a fruitful Meadow on an Island to the 
right. The Hudson near Albany seems to be about Half a Mile 
over. Henry Cuyler's Brick House on the East Side about a 
mile below the Town looks well & we descry the King's stables 
a long wooden Building on the left & on the same side Philip 
Schuyler's Grand House with whom at present resides Col. 
Bradstreet (since deceased & Schuyler is now a Major Gen. in 
the Service of the United States) Col. John Van Renslaer has 
a good House on the East Side. At Half after 10 oCloc we 
arrived at Albany estimated to be 164 Miles by Water from N. 
York and by Land 157. In the afternoon we viewed the Town 
which contains according to several Gentlemen residing here, 
about 500 Dwelling Houses besides Stores and Out Houses. 
The Streets are irregular and badly laid out, some paved others 
not, Two or Three are broad the rest narrow & not straight, 
most of the Buildings are pyramidically shaped like the old 
Dutch Houses in N. York, we found Cartwright's a good Tavern 
tho his charges were exorbitant & it is justly remarked by Kahn 
the Swedish Traveller in America that the Townsmen of Albany 
in general sustained the character of being close, mercenary and 
avaricious — they deem it 60 miles from Albany to Cherry Valley 
— We did not note any extraordinary Edifices in the Town nor is 
there a single Building facing Albany on the other Side of the 
River. The Fort is in a ruinous neglected Condition and no- 
thing now to be seen of Fort Orange erected by the Dutch but 
part of the Fosse or Ditch which surrounded it. The Barracks 

354 The Hudson River 

are built of Wood and of ordinary Workmanship the same 
may be said of the King's Store Houses. The Court House is 
large and the Jail under it, one miserable Woman is now in it 
for cutting the Throat of her Child about 5 years old. There 
are 4 Houses of Worship for different Denominations and a 
public Library which we did not visit, most of the Houses are 
built of Brick or faced with Brick. The Inhabitants generally 
speak both Dutch and English & some do not understand the 
latter. The Shore and the Wharves 3 in Number abounded in 
Lumber. Stephen VanRenslaer the Patron or Lord of the 
Manor of Renslaerwick his House stands a little above the Town 
he is a young man (since deceased) — the Site of the Town is 
hilly and the Soil clay but round the place it is a mere Sand 
bearing pine Trees chiefly of the Pitch Pine, some Lime or Linden 
Trees as well as other Trees are planted before the Doors as at 
N. York and indeed Albany has in other Respects much the 
Aspect of that City, the Houses are for the most Part covered 
with Shingles made of White Pine, some few with red or black 
Tiles. In one of the Streets there is a Sign of the Jersey Shoe 
Ware House being supplied in Part with Shoes by Henry Guest 
of N. Brunswick, there is a Town Cloc which strikes regularly. 
We saw some Indians here & found the Weather very warm and 

nth Having hired an open Waggon the Company quitted 
Albany early in the Morng. intending for Schenectady by way 
of Cahoe's Falls, the Fare of the Waggon with Two Horses was 
2op. It is called 7 miles from the City to the Mouth of the 
Mohawk's River & from thence to the Cahoes 5 Miles, from the 
Cahoes to Schenectady 1 6 Miles from Albany to Schenectady in 
a Direct Line along the usual Road 1 7 Miles (there are now Mile 
Stones set up) The Patroons House at the North End of Albany 
is a large handsome Mansion with a good Garden & Wheat 
Field that reaches down to the North River, the Road leads 
along the Bank for about 6 or 7 miles from Albany and the rich 
Bottom on each side of the River is near Half a Mile broad con- 
sisting of a black Mould very level & low, proper for the best 
Sort of Meadow, but here sown with Wheat and Peas both 
which look well, some of the Peas are up and some are now sow- 

A Voyage up the Hudson in 1769 355 

ing, very little Indian corn is raised in these Parts & that not 
planted in Furrows & Rows but at random, one Field excepted, 
they plant three or 4 Feet apart in the Hills & the same Ground 
every year, the Land back of this fertile Space is covered with 
the Pitch and White Pine chiefly and yet not bad Land, and 
along the Alohawks River also this rich flat Ground extends 
from a Quarter to Half a Mile wide, but somewhat narrower on 
the upper parts of that River. This Stream at the Cahocs is 
reckoned to be about a Quarter of a Mile in Breadth & the Falls 
extend quite across, the Heighth of the Fall is conjectured by 
Mr. Wells & the Two Surveyors to be 60 Feet or upwards but I 
have seen a Copper plate that calls it 75, tho' upon ocular view 
it appears less, the Fall is almost perpendicular, the whole Body 
of the River brawling over a Slate Rock, the Banks of the River 
consist of this Rock intermixed with a crumbling stone and are 
perhaps 30 feet higher than the Bed of the River, the whole 
looks as white as cream except in the middle where the black 
Rock projects a little and the w\ater breaks into many small 
Rills, We descended down to the Shore by a dangerous passage 
and ascended by the same after examining every Thing below 
particularlv some heavy Stones and other Indications of a Cop- 
per Mine being not far off, upon quitting this Spot we directed 
our Course for Schenectady & passed some excellent Farms and 
likewise some poor barren Pine Land yet we saw choice Ground 
bearing the Jersey or Pitch Pine a Thing to me heretofore un- 
known, the Course from the Cahoes to Schenectady was nearly 
West, about six Miles below that Town we are told that the 
rich Bottoms sell at £t,s or ^^40 p Acre while the Upland will 
only fetch £t, or thereabouts, they hardly ever plow their Up- 
land the Indian Corn in the Rich Lands is said to produce from 
40 to 60 Bushels an Acre altho every Year planted in the same 
Earth. By the Information reed. Stephen Van Renslaers 
Manor extends on each Side of the North River 12 Miles below 
Albany and 12 above by 48 Miles across East & West. Along 
the Road the Trees are out in full Leaf and the Grass in the 
Vales several Inches high, Clover and Timothy common to the 
Country, they use wheeled Plows mostly with 3 Horses abreast 
& plow and harrow sometimes on a full Trot, a Boy sitting on 

356 The Hudson River 

one Horse, the Timber in these Parts besides the Two sorts of 
Pine consists of Blac & White Oak, White and brown Aspen 
large and small Bilberry, Maple red Oak Hazel Bushes, Ash and 
Gum together with Butternut and Shellbark Hiccory in plenty, 
Elm and others, the Woods abound in Strawberries, and we 
find the Apple Trees, Bilberries, Cherries and some others in 
Blossom as are the wild Plums which are very common here. 
We were informed by Dr. Stringer at Albany that the Owners 
of Hardenberghs or the great Patent sell their Lands in Fee at 
7/6 per Acre. 

Chapter XXII 

Among the Hills 

A POET was abroad when the Highland hills were 
named. Dunderberg, first, — what a sonorous 
mouthful it is! — is equal to all the creatures 
of history and the creations of romance that can ever 
be added to it. Cro' Nest has a unique suggestion of 
untamed crags and the sweep of wdngs through cling- 
ing masses of cloud. Storm King is not quite so good; 
it is artificial, and one needs hardly to be told that 
Willis invented the name to take the place of Boter- 
berg, or Butter Hill, so called by the Dutch because it 
was thought to resemble a huge pat of butter. Then 
there is Beacon Hill, reminiscent of the fires that 
blazed to tell the cotmtry for miles around that the 
war was over; and Bull Hill, that has been latinised 
into Mount Taurus. There used to be a wild bull that 
terrorised the country back of that hill for many a day, 
till at last a strong hunting party undertook to hunt 
him down and slay him. Forced to flee before his 
pursuers, he made one final, mad rush for the very 
crest of the hill and plunged out into space, to leave 
his magnificent body a broken and shapeless mass on 


358 The Hudson River 

the rocks below and his name as a legacy to the moun- 
tain he used to haunt. Sugar-Loaf was so called for 
the obvious reason that it is, in form, simply an old- 
fashioned loaf of sugar, of brobdignagian proportions. 
What Bear Mountain owes its name to we confess that 
we are unable to say, but it is probable that some 
early hunter's exploit, or perhaps the prevalence of the 
tribe of bruin, suggested it. 

There is one more of the principal elevations of the 
Highlands to mention. Mr. Charles M. Skinner, in his 
delightful Myths and Legends, calls it " the aquiline 
promontory that abuts on the Hudson opposite Dun- 
derberg." There is at its base an opening that, from 
a distance, resembles nothing so much as an ant-hill 
entrance, and from near at hand suggests the den of 
some fabulous monster that issues, with basilisk eye, 
and flame and smoke, from the bowels of the earth. 
Really it is a fair compromise between these two ex- 
treme estimates, being nothing more nor less than a 
railway tunnel. The origin of the name of this hill is 
not a matter of doubt, since it has been satisfactorily 
explained by the grand arbiter of Hudson River names 
and legends. 

It was not named after the redoubtable saint of the 
same name, as one might naturally suppose, but was 
called in honour of that Dutchman of parts, Anthony 
Van Corlaer, the trumpeter: 

It must be known then that the nose of Anthony the 
trumpeter was of a very lusty size, strutting boldly from his 

Amono- the Hills 361 


countenance like a mountain of Golconda, being sumptuously 
bedecked with rubies and other precious stones — the true regaha 
of a king of good fellows, which jolly Bacchus grants to all who 
bouse it heartily at the flagon. Now thus it happened, that 
bright and early in the morning, the good Anthony, having 
washed his burly visage, was leaning over the quarter rail of 
the galley (of Stuyvesant's yacht, in the Highlands), contem- 
plating the glassy wave below. Just at this moment the illus- 
trious sun, breaking in all his splendour from behind a high 
bluff of the Highlands, did dart one of his most potent beams 
full upon the refulgent nose of the sounder of brass — the reflec- 
tion of which shot straightway down hissing hot, into the water, 
and killed a mighty sturgeon that was sporting beside the vessel. 
This huge monster being with infinite labour hoisted on board, 
furnished a luxurious repast to all on board, being accounted of 
excellent flavor, except about the wound, where it smacked a 
little of brimstone — and this, on my veracity, was the first time 
that sturgeon was ever eaten in these parts by Christian people. 
When this astonishing miracle came to be known to Peter Stuy- 
vesant, and that he tasted of the unknown fish, he, as may well 
be supposed, marvelled exceedingly ; and as a monument thereof, 
he gave the name of Anthony's Nose to a stout promontory in 
that neighbourhood, and it has continued to be called Anthony's 
Nose ever since. 

As an offset to the foregoing, we ma}^ quote from 
Dolph Heyliger's adventures the unequalled descrip- 
tion of Highland scenery and a gathering stomi: 

In the second day of the voyage they came to the highlands. 
It was the latter part of a calm, sultry day, that they floated 
gently with the tide between these stern mountains. There 
was that perfect quiet which prevails over nature in the languor 
of summer heat; the turning of a plank, or the accidental fall- 
ing of an oar on deck, was echoed from the mountain-side and 
reverberated along the shores; and if by chance the captain 
gave a shout of command, there were airy tongues which mocked 
it from everv cliff. 

362 The Hudson River 

Dolph gazed about him in mute delight and wonder at these 
scenes of nature's magnificence. To the left the Dunderberg 
reared its woody precipices, height over height, forest over 
forest, away into the deep summer sky. To the right strutted 
forth the bold promontory of Antony's Nose, with a solitary 
eagle wheeling about it, while beyond, mountain succeeded 
to mountain, until they seemed to lock their arms together, and 
confine this mighty river in their embraces. There was a feeling 
of quiet luxury in gazing at the broad, green bosoms here and 
there scooped out among the precipices ; or at woodlands high 
in air, nodding over the edge of some beetling bluff, and their 
foliage all transparent in the yellow sunshine. 

In the midst of his admiration, Dolph remarked a pile of 
bright, snowy clouds, peering above the western heights. It 
was succeeded by another and another, each seemingly pushing 
onwards its predecessor, and towering, with dazzling briUiancy, 
in the deep-blue atmosphere; and now muttering peals of 
thunder were faintly heard rolling behind the mountains. The 
river, hitherto still and glassy, reflecting pictures of the sky and 
land, now showed a dark ripple at a distance, as the breeze came 
creeping up it. The fish-hawks wheeled and screamed, and 
sought their nests on the high, dry trees; the crows flew clam- 
orously to the crevices of the rocks, and all nature seemed con- 
scious of the approaching thunder-gust. 

The clouds now rolled in volumes over the mountain-tops; 
their summits still bright and snowy, but the lower parts of an 
inky blackness. The rain began to patter down in broad and 
scattered drops; the wind freshened and curled up the waves; 
at length it seemed as if the bellying clouds were torn open by 
the mountain-tops, and complete torrents of rain came rattling 
down. The lightning leaped from cloud to cloud, and streamed 
quivering against the rocks, splitting and rending the stoutest 
forest trees. The thunder burst in tremendous explosions; the 
peals were echoed from mountain to mountain; they crashed 
upon Dunderberg, and rolled up the long defile of the highlands, 
each headland making a new echo, until old Bull Hill seemed 
to bellow back the storm. 

For a time the scudding rack and mist, and the sheeted rain, 


■ > 











Among the Hills 365 

almost hid the landscape from the sight. There was a fearful 
gloom, illumined still more fearfully by the streams of lightning 
which glittered among the rain-drops. Never had Dolph beheld 
such an absolute warring of the elements; it seemed as if the 
storm was tearing and rending its way through this mountain 
dehle, and had brought all the artillery of heaven into action. 

The vessel was hurried on by the increasing wind, until she 
came to where the river makes a sudden bend, the only one in 
the whole course of its majestic career. Just as they turned the 
point, a violent flaw of wind came sweeping down a mountain 
gully, bending the forest before it, and, in a moment, lashing up 
the river into white froth and foam. The captain saw the 
danger, and cried out to lower the sail. Before the order could 
be obeyed, the flaw struck the sloop and threw her on her beam 
end. This must have been the bend at West Point. Every- 
thing now was fright and confusion: the flapping of the sails, 
the whistling and rushing of the wind, the bawling of the cap- 
tain and crew, the shrieking of the passengers, all mingled with 
the rolling and bellowing of the thunder. In the midst of the 
uproar the sloop righted; at the same time the mainsail shifted, 
the boom came sweeping the quarter-deck, and Dolph, who was 
gazing unguardedly at the clouds, found himself, in a moment, 
floundering in the river. 

In the year 1697 the northern boundary of Van 
Cortlandt's manor was defined as running 

unto the north side of a high hill called Anthony's Nose, to a 
cedar tree which marks the southernmost bound of the land now 
in the tenure of .Mr. Adolphe Philipse; and from the red cedar 
tree another due easterly line running into the woods twenty 
English miles. 

The "land in the tenure of Mr. Adolphe PhiHpse," 
was the tract known as the Philipse patent in the High- 
lands. Its northern boundary was the southern line 
of the Beekman patent, " beginning at the north side 

366 The Hudson River 

of the Highlands." Adolphe PhiHpse was the son of 
the lord of the lower manor of Philipsburg, who died 
in 1702. From him the property descended to his 
nephew Frederick, who, in 1751, died, leaving the 
Highland patent to his children, Philip, Susannah, 
Mary, and Margaret. Margaret died, her share going 
to the survivors. The first thing these heirs did was 
to take legal steps to bar the entail imposed by their 
father. Susannah, who married Beverly Robinson, 
conveyed her share to William Livingston, who recon- 
veyed it to her husband. It was in his possession up 
to the time of the Revolution, but was confiscated 
after the war. The mansion in which Colonel Robin- 
son and his wife lived was known as the Beverly house. 
It stood at the foot of the Sugar- Loaf Mountain until 
1892, when it w^as destroyed by fire. In this house 
Arnold had his headquarters. There, with Hamilton 
and Lafayette, just arrived to announce to the Com- 
mander of West Point that Washington w^as about to 
visit him, the traitor received the despatch announcing 
Andre's capture, and it was here that Washington had 
the affecting interview with the frantic Mrs. Arnold. 

Mary Phili|_)se, who, if her admirers did not (and her 
portraits did) belie her, was a singularly beautiful 
woman, was the youngest of Frederick Philips 's sur- 
viving heirs. She it was who married Roger Morris, 
at the old Philipse house at Yonkers, and went to live 
in the brave new mansion that her husband built for 
her on Richmond Hill. Time, the juggler, sent Morris 


O -r 


Among the Hills 369 

a fugitive to the Beverly house in the Highlands, while 
Washington made his headquarters at the house on 
Richmond Hill, and finally sent Robinson and Morris, 
with all who belonged to them, overseas in exile. 

The third share of the Patent, whieh went to Philip 
Philipse, was left by him to his sons, of whom only 
one, Frederick, survived. His daughter, Mary, mar- 
ried Samuel Gouverneur. By them the major part of 
the estate was sold, only the portion embracing Bull 
Hill remaining in possession of their heirs. 

Chapter XXIII 
West Point 

THE Military Academy at West Point is so much 
an object of national pride to-day, that it is 
a Httle hard to realise the difficulty that at- 
tended its establishment, or the discouraging apathy 
with which those who saw the necessity of such an 
institution had to contend. Washington, among other 
paternal responsibilities, must father the MiHtary 
Academy, for the plan was his, though its accomplish- 
ment was not immediately realised. 

Indeed, though Washington, in his annual message 
in 1793, strongly advised the founding of an academy, 
the necessity for which had been so forcibly demon- 
strated during the war, when his trained officers were 
often chosen from among the ranks of foreign soldiers 
of fortune, yet the recommendation had little or no 
effect for several \^ears. Congress displayed its accus- 
tomed dilatory spirit. It is true that some inadequate 
provision for the instruction of a corps of cadets was 
made during the following year, and spasmodic re- 
vivals of the plan occurred at several subsequent dates 
during the years 1798, 1800, and 1801. The Academy 

West Point 37i 

may properly be said to have begun its existence in 
1802; yet from that date till 181 1 it lived "at a poor, 
dying rate," part of the time under the tacit opjjtosi- 
tion of the Secretary of War, till at the expiration of 
that i^eriod, though the country was then on the eve 
of a second war with England, there were actually no 
cadets at West Point. 

Not till hostilities had commenced did our dilatory 
legislators wake to the necessity of prompt and de- 
cisive measures for placing the Military Academy on 
a broad and strong foundation. The number of cadets 
was fixed, by an act passed in 181 2, at two hundred 
and fifty, while the cor]:)S of teachers was increased. 
Candidates were for the first time examined for admis- 
sion to the Academy. Provision was also made for 
the maintenance of the establishment and the projjer 
instruction of the cadets in all branches of military 
science. To Major Thayer, appointed Superintendent 
in 1 8 1 7 , the Academy owes more than to any one man 
for the ground j^lan of its s\'stem of work and the first 
great impulse towards its present efficiency. He was 
Superintendent for sixteen years, during which time 
570 cadets were graduated, — men who were soon to 
test the value of their instruction and training under 
the skies of Mexico, where, in two campaigns, accord- 
ing to General Scott's tribute, "we conquered a great 
country and peace without the loss of a single battle 
or skirmish." 

In no war that has occurred within the knowledge 

372 The Hudson River 

of man has such a display of mihtary skill been ex- 
hibited by the leaders on both sides, through a series of 
operations of such magnitude and extending over so 
long a period of time, as made the American Civil War 
for ever memorable. We cannot forget that the list of 
those who won distinction in that deplorable but un- 
avoidable strife, in the Confederate as well as the Fed- 
eral armies, was mainly from the roster of West Point 
graduates. McClellan and Jackson, Burnside and 
Beauregard, Hooker and Pemberton, Sherman and 
Johnston, Grant and Lee, — the list rolls on. In blue 
and grey, for conscience sake, they fought a good fight, 
and fought it better because the old Academy with its 
training was behind them. 

The mihtary post at West Point formerly was dis- 
tinct from the Academy, and, until 1842, was some- 
times under separate command; but at that time 
Congress very wisely put an end to contentions arising 
from a conflict of rank and authority between the Com- 
mander of the post and the Superintendent of the 
Academy, by providing that the latter should also 
command the post. 

While the requirements for examination, both for 
admission and graduation, have increased, and the 
training has become more thorough and proportion- 
ately severe with each decade of the history of "the 
Point," the superstructure has been reared, as we have 
already suggested, on the foundation laid by Major 
Thayer. From the first, the tendency of the Academy 

West Point 375 

has been towards a spirit of democracy. Mere birth 
counts for less here than perhaps in any other uni- 
versity in the world, except our Naval Academy. It 
is an article of faith among army men that West Point 
graduates gentlemen, and yet it is conceded that not 
fifty per cent, of the cadets are born of distinguished or 
wealthy parents. The majority of the fathers of West 
Pointers are wage-earners; but their sons, almost 
without exception, go out after five years of training 
the finest types of physical manhood that the race has 
produced, with cultivated minds and poHshed manners, 
and a splendid sense of honour. Take a man who can 
ride, dance, fight, speak the truth in his own and sev- 
eral other languages, and pass a stiff college examina- 
tion, and 3'ou have the kind of man that West Point 
is turning out b\^ the scores every year. 

While the standards of physical, mental, and moral 
excellence have been rigorously upheld at the Acad- 
emv, and the instruction and drill have advanced with 
the progress of the world in science, many of the 
buildings erected at an earlier day, and still in use, have 
become antiquated and insufficient. There are more 
than a hundred and sixty buildings of all sorts. Among 
the older ones are the north wing of the quadrangle, 
built previous to 1851, and containing most of the 
cadet quarters; the cadet mess-hall, erected in 1850, 
of native granite; and the quaint riding-hall, with its 
arched roof, that dates from 1855; while the Adminis- 
tration and Academic buildings are more modern. 

376 The Hudson River 

The former is usually known as headquarters, contain- 
ing the offices of Superintendent, Adjutant, Quarter- 
master, etc. Opposite is the Academic building, 
erected in 1891-95. It is, like the other, of granite, 
and cost in round figures $500,000. It forms the 
south side of the quadrangle, of which the cadet quar- 
ters constitute the north and west sides. 

The Cha]3el lies to the north of the Administration 
and Academic buildings. It was built in 1836, and is 
decorated within with flags, cannon, and other tro- 
phies. Tablets honouring the memory of Washington's 
generals are placed upon the walls, one alone being 
remarkable from the fact that the name is erased, leav- 
ing only the dates of birth and death. It is that for- 
merly inscribed with the name of Benedict Arnold, 
who tried to betray West Point to the British enemy. 
Above the altar is a picture representing War and 
Peace, ])ainted iDy Professor Wier, who at one time 
was instructor in drawing at the Academy. 

The Librar}^ a comparativeh' new and well-equipped 
building, is the repository for some forty-five thousand 
volumes. Of this collection, Mr. H. Irving Hancock, 
in his recent book on West Point, says: " The a\'erage 
annual appropriation of Congress is $3000 — an amount 
decidedh^ inadequate to the maintenance of the library 
of the foremost military academy in the world." 

Our space is insufficient for the mention of all the 
structures devoted to the use of the national school, 
or even for a description of the notable statues and 

West Point z-]-] 

monuments that adorn the grounds. But not to be 
passed over without notice is the classic structure of 
purest Greek design, in pink granite, that stands on 
the edge of the plain overlooking the river. It is the 
Memorial Hall, provided for in the will of General 
CuUum, and cost above $2 50.000. It is a museum of 
war trophies and memorials, besides containing the 
large and beautiful Assembly Hall and the Thayer 
Hall, fitted with a stage and all the accessories of a w^ell- 
a])pointed theatre. 

The conditions of good work ha\'e grown more ex- 
acting with every year, till the Academy has been 
cramped for the lack of modern facilities and equip- 
ment. The barracks have been overcrowded and in- 
sufficiently furnished with such conveniences as light, 
water, and heat. The cavalry and artillery drill-room 
and grounds have proved inadequate to the needs of 
the school ; the lecture-rooms and laboratories are too 
small, and are constantly overcrowded, and all of the 
scientific departments are cramped. 

To meet the demands that have so obvioush^ grown 
out of the real needs of the institution. Congress, dur- 
ing May, 1902, voted in confirmation of a bill calling 
for the appropriation of five million dollars to be 
expended principalh' in new buildings and topograph- 
ical improvements at West Point. The additions when 
completed will include an extension of the barracks, a 
new academic building, a power-house, officers' mess 
hall, chapel, cavalry and artillery barracks and stables, 

37^ The Hudson River 

additions to several of the buildings now in use, and 
an enlargement of the plain for purposes of cavalry 
and artillery drill. But it has been wisely considered 
inadvisable to destroy the old buildings now in use or 
make any radical changes in their structure or arrange- 
ment. They are the witnesses of a hundred years, 
connected with the names of the nation's heroes, and 
rich with the traditions of successive generations of 
brave men. In spite of the fact, or it may be because 
of the fact, that we are not a soldier people, the senti- 
ment of the nation centres at West Point more really 
than even at the White House or the Capitol. Per- 
haps no nation on earth has ever seen a case parallel 
to that of the United States, that has gone through 
most of its history without a standing army worthy 
of mention, yet has persistently trained men (as few 
men have ever been trained elsewhere) in all the sci- 
ence of war and the practice of manly exercises, to find 
them in the hour of national stress the nucleus of an 
army of unexcelled strength. Within the confines of 
the Military i\cademy at West Point the United States 
has concentrated its standing army. Because the 
knowledge of this fact appeals to our imagination, and 
also for another reason, that the Academy is the con- 
crete symbol of that altar of patriotism upon which so 
great a treasure of blood has been ofi^ered, it has be- 
come to us a place of sacred associations. 

We have seen how both of the contending parties in 
the Revolution recognised the military importance of 

West Point 379 

the Highlands. The contest for the possession of 
Forts CUnton and Montgomery was iUustrative of the 
desire of the British to wrest the control of this natural 
gateway of the river from the Americans, and the 
resolution of Washington and his generals to main- 
tain, as long as ])ossible, a supremacy upon which so 
much depended. It is not too much to say that the 
loss of the Highlands of the Hudson would probably 
have meant the downfall of the Continental cause. 
Never but once during that long struggle for freedom 
did the patriot army temporarily lose this point of 
vantage: that was when, after the reduction of the 
forts by Sir Henry Clinton in October, 1777, the 
chcvaux-dc-frisc and other obstructions were cleared 
away, the Americans hastily evacuated Forts Inde- 
pendence and Constitution, and the British fleet sailed 
up the river as far as Kingston. It was a destructive 
progress, but without lasting results, as the surrender 
of Burgoyne, on the 17th of that month, rendered 
abortive the plan to co-operate with him from the 

At the time of this reverse to the American arms. 
Fort Putnam was not yet completed, and West Point, 
as we know it, cannot be said to have existed. The 
four defences already mentioned were all that had 
then been erected. Fort Constitution was on the 
island opposite West Point, from which place one of 
Putnam's numerous chains was stretched. Its insu- 
lar character can hardly be recognised to-day, as the 


The Hudson River 

marshes between it and the eastern shore of the river 
have gradually filled up and now appear as meadow- 
land. The old house, about which the home of the 
Warner sisters was built in the course of years, was of 
colonial date and was used at one time as headquarters 
by the commander of the American forces in the 

(Front an old print) 

When Arnold was in command of West Point, he 
made his home in the old "Beverly" house, to which 
we have had occasion to refer. Beverly Robinson was 
serving in the British army, with the rank of Colonel; 
and the State of New York had confiscated his prop- 
erty. The overtures made to Arnold, the negotia- 
tions that led to the ruin of Major Andre, the sad story 
of the downfall of a man who had proved himself a 
brave soldier and a competent General, are surely the 
most familiar details of the War for Independence. Yet, 

West Point 381 

in sj)ite of repetition, the dramatic incidents of that 
September morning that saw the confusion of the trait- 
or's plans can never stale. What impulse of chance or 
Providence led Washington, with Knox and Lafayette, 
to change his i)lan of breakfasting with Arnold, baffles 
conjecture. We onh' know^ that the General and his 
aides turned aside to inspect some fortifications and 
sent a note to apprise Arnold of the fact, and that in 
that \'erv hour Colonel Jameson s fatuous letter, in- 
forming him of Andre's capture, was delivered to him 
as he sat at the breakfast table with his wife. 

The mine had exploded beneath Arnold's feet; yet in this 
awful moment he gave an evidence of that quickness of mind 
which had won laurels for him when in the path of duty. Con- 
trolling the dismay which must have smitten him to the heart, 
he beckoned Mrs. Arnold from the breakfast table, signifying a 
wish to speak with her in private. When alone with her in her 
room up-stairs, he announced in hurried words that he was a 
ruined man and must instantly fly for his life! Overcome by 
the shock, she fell senseless to the floor. Without pausing to 
aid her, he hurried down-stairs, sent the messenger to her assist- 
ance, probably to keep him from an interview with the other 
officers; returned to the breakfast-room and informed his guests 
that he must haste to West Point to prepare for the reception 
of the commander-in-chief; and, mounting the horse of the 
messenger, wiiich stood saddled at the door, galloped down by 
what is still called Arnold's Path, to the landing-place, where 
his six-oared barge was moored. Throwing himself into it, he 
ordered his men to pull out into the middle of the river, and 
then made down with all speed. 

Another hour revealed the treachery, but the traitor 
was out of reach. 

382 The Hudson River 

The landing where Arnold kept his barge in readi- 
ness for such an emergency as he was finally compelled 
to face was where a jutting promontory makes out 
into the river above Anthony's Nose. 

The Catholic Institute, formerly a hotel, that forms 
a conspicuous landmark south of the Point, has been 
the resting-place for many a distinguished visitor in 
years gone by. About 1850, Willis wrote to his 
friend and partner, Morris, as follows: 

Within a stone's throw from the portico of the hotel, upon a 
knoll half hidden with trees, stands one of the most beautiful 
structures, of its kind, in this country — a stone church, of Eng- 
lish rural architecture, built by the painter, Robert Weir. The 
story of its construction is a touching poem. When Mr. Weir 
received ten thousand dollars from the government for liis pict- 
ure on the panel of the Capitol, he invested it, untouched, for 
the benefit of his three children. On the death of these children 
— all three — soon after, the money reverted to him, but he had 
a feeling which forbade him to use it. Struck with the favour- 
ableness of this knoll under the mountains as a site for a place 
of worship, much needed by the village nearby, he applied for it 
to Mr. Cozzens, on whose property it stood, and who at once 
made a free gift of it for the purpose. The painter's taste and 
heart were set to work, and with the money left him by his child- 
ren and contributions from General Scott and others, he erected 
this simple and beautiful structure, as a memorial of hallowed 
utility. Its bell for evening service sounded a few minutes ago 
— the tone selected, apparently, with the taste which governed 
all, and making sweet music among the mountains that look 
down upon it. 

Willis is so quotable that another excerpt from an- 
other letter to his "Dear Morris" may be forgiven. 

West Point 383 

This time he is writing of " the grey- tailed l^ird of war" 
of his section of the nineteenth century : 

Speaking of grey coats, I understand, at the Point, that this 
classic uniform of the miHtary Academy is to be changed to a 
blue frock. It will be a sensible and embellishing alteration, 
and the cadets will look more like reasoning adults and less like 
plover in pantaloons — but what is to become of all the tender 
memories, "thick as leaves in Vallambrosa," which are con- 
nected with that uniform only? What belle of other days ever 
comes back to the Point without looking out upon the Parade 
from the windows of the hotel and indulging in a dreamy recall 
of the losing of her heart, pro tciii., on her first summer tour, to 
one of those grey-tailed birds of war? A flirtation with a grey- 
coat at the Point is in every pretty woman's history, from 
Maine to Florida. Suppress those tapering swallow-tails! 
Whv, it would be a moulting of the feathers of first loves, which 
will make a cold shiver throughout the Union. I doubt whether 
the blue frock, with its similarity to the coats of common mor- 
tals, will ever acquire the same mystic irresistibleness which 
has belonged to that uniform of grey. The blue may be ad- 
mired, but the pepper-and-salt of other days will be perpetuated 
in poems. 

Upon the rising ground near Fort Chnton, a memor- 
able fete, attended by the civil and military officers of 
high rank in the United States, occurred in 1785. The 
occasion was the birth of the Dauphin of France, and 
Washington presided over an assemblage that was 
bright with the beauty of what Griswold called "the 
Republican court." With whatever of splendour the 
resources or the taste of the time could accomplish, 
the celebration took place, for the gratitude of the 
lately liberated country towards France was still keen 
and the desire to do honour to the heir to her throne, 

384 The Hudson River 

though somewhat at variance with the sentiment of 
a democratic declaration, was yet strong and spontan- 
eous. Who, at that time of rejoicing and congratula- 
tions, could anticipate the horror and mystery that 
would afterwards surround the fate of this ro\-al 
infant ? History has related the imprisonment of the 
Dauphin, after the downfall of his ill-fated house, has 
told of the cruelty of the brutish Simon, and has re- 
corded the prince's death from a scrofulous affection 
induced by the filth and malnutrition which made his 
lot more to be pitied than that of the meanest peasant 
in the land. History, however, asserts this denoue- 
ment with less assurance since the publication, half a 
century ago, of the story of the Rev. Eleazer Williams. 
In 1850, a strong claim w^as advanced that Mr. Williams, 
of Green Bay, Wisconsin, an adopted member of an 
Indian tribe and afterwards a missionary among that 
people, was none other than Louis XVII.. long thought 
to be dead. There was a curious succession of evid- 
ences, sufficient to convince many astute men, in 
support of this claim, which Mr. Williams himself be- 
lieved, though he made no attempt to take advantage 
of his supposed birthright. Our limited space will not 
permit the discussion of this interesting subject, which 
the reader will find amply set forth in periodicals of 
the years 1850-52. 

Fort Putnam is one of the most celebrated and, in 
some respects, the most attractive of the military re- 
mains of the Revolutionary period at the Point. It 

West Point 385 

was built upon a spur six hundred feet above the level 
of the river, and so situated that it commands an 
extensive view of the water and of the Highlands on 
both sides. It is somewhat back of the Point, and, 
though long since disused by troops, its parapets and 
several of its ancient casemates are still preserved. 

"The spot where Kosciusko dreamed" is still a 
place where the young man may see visions not less 
exalted than those of the liberty-loving Pole. Among 
the mementos of many battle-fields, the trophies of 
man}' victories, and reminders of the fame of captains 
whose lives were gloriously spent for the salvation of 
the State, the feet of those who in their turn shall lead 
now tread the daily round of discipline. 

Before West Point the river is a lake, across which 
a miniature ferry-boat plies from Garrison's, upon the 
eastern shore. From that inconsiderable elevation no 
inlet or outlet to the placid and beautiful sheet of 
water is visible. It was here, in a time long past, that 
Fanny Kemble loved to row her boat, mooring it in 
some attractive little cove along shore when the heat 
became burdensome. A brook that flows into the bay 
north of Garrison's was a favourite haunt of hers, and 
the cascade that for years had been known as Indian 
Falls was afterwards rechristened Fanny Kemble 's 
Bath. Only a short distance from this stream and 
almost directly east of Constitution Island is the 
house owned by Clara Louise Kellogg. Beyond Cold- 
spring, with its smoking foundry and wharf, at the 

386 The Hudson River 

very foot of Bull Hill is Morris's Undercliff. Opposite, 
old Cro'nest lifts its rugged brow fourteen hundred feet 
in air. Above them still are Storm King, upon the 
west, and Breakneck on the east shore, making the 
upper gate of the Highlands. In that curious jour- 
nal of a voyage up the Hudson in 1769 which we have 
the good fortune to publish in this volume, the reader 
will notice that the name " Broken Neck Hill" appears, 
and a glance at the camel-like profile of the mountain 
in question will go far toward convincing one that the 
later name, "Breakneck," is a corruption of a title 
that was really descriptive. The name Breakneck 
might be applied with equal propriety to any of the 
steep-sided promontories along the rock-wall of the 

Uninteresting in many respects as Coldspring is to 
those not immediately concerned in foundry work, it 
has contributed its share to national military strength, 
having been for years engaged in the production of 
ordnance for the United States army and navy. 

Chapter XXIV 

The Fisher's Reach 

IT is as difficult now to get beyond the Highlands as 
it was in 1777. Instead of the chevaux-dc-frise, 
chains, and fortresses with which Sir Henry Clin- 
ton had to contend, we are stayed by the no less im- 
perative challenge of natural beauty, at once majestic 
and imique; while the imagination carries by assault 
the heights that are buttressed with historic associa- 
tions and garrisoned with legions of romantic fancies. 
We hear in the thunder that reverberates from crag 
to crag the echo of long silent artillery; we see in the 
mists of morning the smoke of British guns, and under 
the downright rays of noon seem to distinguish the 
entrenchments of patriotic levies. But when night 
falls the mysterious significance of nature asserts a 
sway that is stronger than embattled arms and older 
than history. Then the passions and the conquests of 
man are forgotten and the abiding mystery of imme- 
morial hills possesses the soul. The pen of Irving has 
fixed on an inimitable page the subtle charm of a 
nio^ht in the Hio^hlands: 

390 The Hudson River 

The moon had just raised her silver horns above the round 
back of old Bull Hill, and lit up the grey rocks and shagged 
forests, and glittered on the waving bosom of the river. The 
night-dew was falling, and the late gloomy mountains began to 
soften and put on a grey, aerial tint in the dewy light. The 
hunters stirred the fire, and threw on fresh fuel to qualify the 
damp of the night -air. Thev ^hen prepared a bed of branches 
and dry leaves under a ledge of rocks for Dolph ; while Antony 
Vander Heyden, wrapping himself in a huge coat of skins, 
stretched himself before the fire. It was some time, however, 
before Dolph could close his eyes. He lay contemplating the 
strange scene before him: the wild woods and rocks around; 
the fire throwing fitful gleams on the faces of the sleeping sav- 
ages; and the Heer Antony, too, who so singularly, yet vaguely, 
reminded him of the nightly visitant to the haunted house. 
Now and then he heard the cry of some animal from the forest ; 
or the hooting of the owl; or the notes of the whippoorwill, 
which seemed to abound among these solitudes ; or the splash of 
a sturgeon leaping out of the river and falling back full-length 
on its placid surface. 

It is said to have been an old custom among the 
river skippers to christen new hands by sousing them 
in the current when near Pollopel's Island, and this 
was done ostensibly because it was supposed to make 
the victim immune against the goblins that were well 
known to haunt every available spot on the river 
shore, but especially the tree-shaded, bush-grown rock 
that guards the northern Highland gate. It may be 
imagined that besides affording protection to the 
apprentice, the ducking also gratified the love for horse- 
play that has always distinguished sailors of every 
degree, and for that reason did not fall into disuse till 
the popular belief in goblins was well-nigh obsolete. 

The Fisher's Reach 393 

Pollopel's has long been considered as a haunted 
spot, especially infested by the evil s])irits that in time 
of storm fly with the storm through the Highlands. 
In this particular it resembles the Duyvel's Dans 
Kamer. Crtiger's Island, on the contrary, enjoys the 
distinction of never having been visited by death, even 
down to the present day. 

Above the Highlands, on the western shore of the 
river, the northern slope of vStorm King declines into 
a bluff that is broken by numerous ravines, each at 
some time the bed of a watercourse. It is here that 
the village of Cornwall, with its many literary asso- 
ciations, pursues the quiet and orderly tenor of life. 
It w^as a secluded and almost unknown hamlet till it 
secured for the trumpeter of its delights a poet and a 
nature lover. 

At Idlewild, now part of Cornwall, the poet settled 
down to a life of busy idleness. He had been driven 
back to Eden, to borrow Mr. Roe's phrase, and he pro- 
posed to make the most of it. He superintended the 
laying-out of paths, the building of roads and dams; 
he cultivated the acquaintance of trees and wild 
flowers, protected the birds, and evinced a kindly fel- 
lowship for the frogs. To many of those who have 
read Willis's work, no part of it seems more satisfac- 
tory than the chatty, personal chronicle of nature 
happenings, the unforced record of his surroundings, 
as they appeared in the old Home Jotirual. It is 
difficult to estimate our indebtedness to him for his 

394 The Hudson River 

example of appreciation in a field where most of 
his countrymen were stolidly tmappreciative. 

Bryant went into the woods with uncovered head 
and found them cathedrals. His trees were all gothic 
columns, that ranged themselves in dim, churchly 
aisles. Autumn was a holy festival, and a pool in the 
woods was a sort of stoup of holy water. Drake went 
into the woods to find a background for a fairv tale. 
But Willis bought a glen with a brook in it, built his 
dams and bridges, delighted to note that his chestnut 
fence-posts sprouted, scraped acquaintance with feath- 
ered or furry neighbours, and loved his hemlock trees 
as though they had been human friends. To a genera- 
tion whose eyes had not been educated to see, and who 
generally understood that the country was designed by 
Providence as the place in which to raise corn and 
potatoes, his letters were a revelation. They were the 
better for being reportorial rather than philosophical. 

If, from some dust}^ shelf corner, you take down a 
copy of Out-Doors at Idlcwild, blow the dust of years 
from it, and settle yourself to read, you may presently 
say, " Burroughs would have done this better, or Brad- 
ford Torrey that." Very possibly. Please to recol- 
lect that Willis did it first. 

To-day every man — lawyer, physician, clergyman, 
hack, storekeeper, or clerk — finds his way at least once 
a year into the country, where he follows his patron 
prophet, who has pointed out what he should enjoy 
and appreciate. The beauties of nature are now as 

The Fisher's Reach 395 

com|)letcly labelled as the trees in Central Park, but 
half a century ago the man who could write those old 
letters to the Home Journal was a discoverer. Those 
who attempted at first to follow him went in patent- 
leather boots; they scrambled in broadcloth over the 
rocks, and knocked silk hats against the branches ; but 
it was a beginning. 

The enchanted glen that has been famous for half a 
century, under the name of Idlewild, has escaped with 
marvellous strange fortune the destroying influences 
that have assailed so many Meccas. The house which 
the poet owned is to-day unaltered in any essential 
feature. The i)resent holder of its title-deeds deserves 
the gratitude of those who have frequent occasion to 
deplore the demolition of local shrines. He has mine. 

My cottage at Idlewild [wrote Willis] is a pretty type of the 
two lives they live who are wise — the life in full view, which the 
world thinks all, and the life out of sight, of which the world 
knows nothing. You see its front porch from the thronged 
thoroughfares of the Hudson, but the grove Ijehind it overhangs 
a deep down glen, tracked but by my own tangled paths, and 
the wild torrent which by turns they avoid and follow. 

That description, which might have been written yes- 
terday, has been applicable for nearly fifty years. 
Other hands trim the lawns and repair the drives; 
other eyes enjoy the beauty of the successive years of 
growth and development, but the place is still "Wil- 
lis's Idlewild," as though its earlier tenant 

— held in mortmain still his old estate. 

39^ The Hudson River 

The drives are probably better kept and the lawns 
better groomed than they were in the early fifties, and 
the shade trees are taller and more dense ; but one step 
aside over the edge of the wooded declivity instantly 
translates the pilgrim into a "land of faery," where 
the hand of man has not interfered except with the 
consummate art that conceals art. 

From the commencement of the descent the sound 
of the stream far below comes up through the rustling 
foliage. The tops of the trees that grow along the 
bottom of the glen are below the level of the eye, and 
the crowding companies of birch and hemlock, chest- 
nut and maple, swarm the hillside. 

The glen of Idlewild [Willis said] is but a morning's ramble 
in extent — a kind of Trenton Falls for one — but its stream, fall- 
ing over a hundred feet within one's own gate, and sometimes a 
cataract that would bring down a lumber sloop or raft; it has 
varieties of charm that will at least occupy what loving I have 
time for. 

Step by step in a zigzag course the visitor gets 
toward that stream that is "sometimes a cataract," 
and, with every moment the remoteness from human 
life increases. If it was ever true that " Idlewild is 
getting fast peopled with the viewless crowd that will 
make haunted ground of it," the gentle ghosts must 
have departed with him for whom they first appeared. 
I could imagine Willis there — Willis and the Irishman 
who wielded axe and spade at his command; but the 
people he had conjured into the glen are all gone — 

The Fisher's Reach 397 

astral bodies and all. However, expectation looked 
for the obese old toad that used to sit in the middle of 
the path and moved reluctantly at a stranger's ap- 
proach, and peered over to see whether the great 
freshet of 1853 had left any discernible marks on the 
tree tmnks, and hoped with every tread to hear the 
whirr of frightened quail. 

No one — not Willis or any other — could do justice 
to the beauty of the stream that is the chief charm of 
the glen. To a])preciate its hurryings and haltings, its 
cascades and pools, its encompassing boulders and 
bridging tree trunks, one must see and hear it. Far 
off, in a world that is out of sight, on that level a hun- 
dred feet or so above the stream, there are people. A 
hundred miles could not make their remoteness more 
complete. The trees are full of singing and calling 
birds, the banks covered with ferns and wild flowers; 
the solitude is that of a beautiful wilderness. 

What Idlewild was in its prehistoric days we may 
conjecture from a letter written by its master in Feb- 
ruary, 1854: 

We were fortunate enough to identify yesterday a mysterious 
inmate of Idlewild, who lias been the subject of a great deal 
of discussion. . . . Summer before last the ox-drag 
turned up ... a spirited bust, carved in grey rock. 
The crown of the head was broken off, but the lower part 
of the face remained, and the neck and shoulders and the 
fold of drapery across the breast were still complete. The 
design was that of a head turned aside with a look of aroused 
attention, and to me it seemed exceedingly expressive and well 

398 The Hudson River 

He goes on to relate how this reHc gradually was de- 
graded into a mere hat-rack, until our friend Copway, 
the Ojibbeway Chief 

. stopped surprised before the nameless bust on the 
hat-stand. " What! " he said; "you have an Indian god there? " 
He looked a httle closer, as I told him how we had found it. 
" It is the god of the winds and the birds," he continued — " Mesa- 

Mesa-ba-wa-sin still presides in spirit and fact over 
the glen, and his altars are everywhere. The wood- 
thrush and the vireo sing his praises still, and the wake 
robins are proxies for his redskin worshippers. 

There is a pathetic side to the Idlewild days. In 
many of the cheery, entertaining letters, and increas- 
ingly toward the last, there is an acknowledgment of 
illness. The man who wrote them was nearing the 
end of life, and he knew it. A consumptive, whose 
work and pleasure alike were frequently interrupted 
by the setbacks peculiar to that disease; prevented 
by weakness from participation in man}^ of the activ- 
ities of life ; feeling the ground slipping from under his 
feet month by month, WilHs uttered no note of de- 
spondency or alarm. He was like a swimmer striking 
out for a receding shore and singing till the water over- 
whelmed him. 

It is meet that there should be an indissoluble con- 
nection in the thoughts of readers between his name 
and that of the little spot of earth that he loved so well 
and where his last days were spent. 

The Fisher's Reach 401 

The stream into which Idlewild brook flows and 
which itself meanders between banks that are a per- 
petual temptation to the artist, finally finds its way 
to the Hudson under the trestles of a railroad bridge. 
That is Moodna. Moodua, or Murderer's Creek. The 
last and least attracti\'e name is, of course, the one on 
which a tradition depends — the story of the compas- 
sion of a red man, the steadfast loyalty of a woman, 
and the lust for blood that has seemed at times an 
uncontrollable instinct with the Indian. 

A family named Murdoch lived near the mouth of 
the stream and frequently welcomed to their cabin an 
Indian called Naoman, who showed great friendliness 
towards them. In some wa\' Murdoch had incurred 
the hatred of the men of Naoman 's tribe, who resolved 
to kill the whole family. The faithful friend managed 
to impart this news, at the same time obtaining a 
promise that his action should never be betrayed. 

Murdoch and his family stole away at night and 
took a boat to escape through the Highlands, but 
when passing Pollopel's Island a canoe put out and 
gave chase. Murdoch with his rifle succeeded in kill- 
ing several of the occupants of the canoe, but was fin- 
ally overcome, and he, with his wife and children, were 
carried in triumph to the Indian village. The chief 
demanded of the wife of Murdoch the name of the 
one who had warned them, threatening her husband 
and children with instant death if she withheld it; 
but the heroic woman refused to answer. Then 

402 The Hudson River 

Naoman stepped forward and acknowledged that he 
was the guilty one. He was immediately struck down, 
and the savages, rendered furious by the sight of 
blood, rushed upon the captives and slew them every 
one, casting their bodies into the creek. 

A small company of German Palatines, by the fav- 
our of Queen Anne and under the escort of Governor 
Lovelace, crossed the ocean in 1709 and settled where 
is now the city of Newburgh. Directed by their pas- 
tor, the able and beloved Kocherthall, they formed a 
colony which struggled for nearly forty years against 
the hardships incident to frontier life and the en- 
croachments of incoming neighbours. At last they 
abandoned the homes they had made, being greatly 
dissatisfied, and a majority of them migrated to Penn- 
sylvania. Incidentally it may be observed that, in 
spite of their many noble and sterling qualities, the 
Palatines seem to have been uncomfortable neigh- 
bours, difficult to please and prone to nourish a sense 
of injury. The attempt to colonise them in the New 
Forest in England was a failure, the Newburgh ex- 
periment was a failure, the settlements at East and 
West Camps, hereafter to be noticed, were scenes of 
bewailing and protests against the bad faith of those 
who had taken them, a band of homeless, penniless 
exiles, and had spent many thousands of pounds for 
their transportation and maintenance. For that in- 
vestment they certainly seemed unwilling to make 

The Fisher's Reach 405 

The few who remained in Newburgh after the ex- 
odus of their brethren seem to have been immediately 
in\-olved in a dispute with their new neighbours, the 
subject being the possession of the church building. 
This discussion terminated with the death of the Pala- 
tine leader, who was crushed by a falling door. 

Among the peculiar features of Newburgh 's history 
is the fact that the "rude forefathers" of that hamlet 
were not generall\' Dutchmen. To the German settle- 
ment were soon added English, Irish, and Huguenot 

Though not equal in antiquity to the towns near the 
mouth of the river, or yet higher up. in the neighbour- 
hood of Albany, Newburgh enjoys the distinction of 
being the oldest settlement in Orange County. It was 
shortly followed b}' the planting of New Windsor, two 
miles below, that for some time was Newburgh s rival 
in size and importance. 

What the Orange County metropolis lacks in earh^ 
history is more than made up by the importance of 
later events. It is to the story of Washington and the 
Revolution what Camelot was to the i\rthurian legends. 
Here, during the long, gloomy months that preceded 
the dawn of American independence, the great chief of 
the Continental army fought and won his greatest 
battles — fought the growing and just indignation of 
that army against a dilatory and ungrateful Congress, 
fought the spectres of want and care, fought the fool- 
ish, fond enthusiasm of his own generals when they 

4o6 The Hudson River 

clamoured to make him king. In the whole great 
round of national history there is no incident so heroic 
as Washington's refusal of the crown that was offered 
him in the old Hasbrouck house at Newburgh. 

From almost the very beginning of the war, both 
the British and patriot leaders saw the necessity for 
controlling the river at Newburgh. It was, after the 
reduction of Fort Washington and the subsequent 
eruption of British war-vessels into the waters south 
of the Highlands, the only available ferry for the Amer- 
ican troops that were hurried now east, now west, to 
relieve New England and New Jersey or Pennsylvania 
in turn, and compensate by their rapidity of move- 
ment for the pitiful inadequacy of every division of 
Washington's army. With that communication bro- 
ken, that army must have been almost hopelessly 

The American military force in the Revolution 
consisted of three distinct grades or classes of sol- 
diers: the regulars, known as continentals; the levies, 
drafted either from militia regiments or from the 
people; and the militia. The continentals were long- 
term men, always under arms, commanded by the 
chief of the army — in a word, professional soldiers. 
The levies were drawn for a short term, but could be 
called upon for service outside of their own State as 
well as in it. They were an inconvenient, not to say 
exasperating compromise between civilians and sol- 
diers, at critical times nearly always reaching the limit 

The Fisher's Reach 407 

of their enhstment and going cahiily away home, 
leaving their commander imi^otent for offence or de- 
fence. This seemed to happen whene\'er a body of 
levies had been licked into something resembling sol- 
dierly shape. As for the militia, its members could 
only be called upon for three months' consecutive serv- 
ice outside of the State in which they were enlisted. 
They were called out and disbanded as the exigencies 
of war demanded, and were nearly as a])t to leave a 
cannon in a ditch as a plough in a furrow. But they 
were frequently good, serviceable soldiers in spite of 
the miserable system under which they served, and 
they sprang, armed, from the soil whenever a pressing 
occasion presented itself. It was the militia and the 
levies that enabled the commanding general to throw 
reinforcements into the scale of battle when his little 
army of regulars was hard ])ressed. The\' were to the 
British always an unknown riuantity, and set calcula- 
tions at naught. When Gates needed a larger force 
of men to oppose to Burgoyne, Clinton sent him the 
farmer-soldiers of Ulster County — men of mingled 
Dutch and German blood — to complete the auxiliary 

On the sole occasion upon which the war-shi])s of 
the British penetrated the Highlands and for a short 
time controlled the whole of the navigable i:)art of the 
Hudson in 1777, their commander held in his hands 
the destiny of America. 

Had Sir Henrv Clinton succeeded in establishine a 

4o8 The Hudson River 

conjunction with Burgo}'ne, or in hemming Gates be- 
tween the force he had brought to bay at Saratoga and 
the victorious army from the south, the wisest general- 
ship and the most hardy valour would hardly have 
sufficed to save the American cause. 

Even with the foregone defeat of Burgoyne, Clinton 
must have retired with deep regret, for he could not 
have been l3lind to the supreme importance of retain- 
ing the mastery that had been won by his expedition 
against the forts. From a military standpoint, that 
expedition, though brilliant in execution, was product- 
ive of no permanent results. Yet it would have been 
worth almost an\' effort or sacrifice to have held the 
river. Granting the numerical superiority of the 
Americans on shore, it does not seem impossible that 
a man of greater genius than Sir Henr}^ Clinton might 
haA^e maintained an effectual blockade with his fleet 
U]3on the river. 

Upon the military road of which the Newburgh 
ferry was so important a feature, not only troops, but 
waggon-trains and artillery were continually being 
moved. Most of the material for carr}^ing on the war 
came through New England, her ports being the only 
ones then available and was transported by way of 
Fishkill and Newburgh, and so back of the Highlands 
on the west shore, and southward. 

When, on the 4th of April, 1782, Washington finally 
established his headquarters in the famous old house 
that Jonathan Hasbrouck built in 1750, the battle of 

The Fisher's Reach 


Yorktown had been fought and the tidings of the sur- 
render of Corn\\-anis had been received bv Lord North 
" as a bullet in his heart." Rochambeau was now left 
in command in New Jersey, and the chief settled him- 
self with the army at Newburgh for those last weary 
months of waiting for the definite estaljlishment of 
peace. Should the enemy again become actively en- 
gaged, the importance of retaining control of the Hud- 
son would not be less than formerl}'. 

The Commander was accompanied by his wife and 
military family, and lived at Newburgh till the latter 
part of the succeeding year. The old house, which is 
in an excellent state of preservation and is used as a 
repository for military relics, is upon a little plateau 
commanding a comj^rehensive view of the river, par- 
ticularh^ where it flows between the towering hills that 
form the northern gatewa}' of the Highlands. 

The cottage has six rooms, besides the hall and 
kitchen. From the small i)iazza or "stoop" u]:»on the 
east, the entrance is into a large room, to which six 
other doors furnish ingress, while the one small window 
affords a subdued light. There is, on the south side 
of this room, a noble fireplace, where an ox might have 
been roasted whole. The visitor, standing upon the 
hearth, can see the sky through the chimne\'-to]:). The 
walls of the house are of stone, two feet thick, and 
the hewn rafters are of savoury cedar. 

Knox, Greene, Wayne, Hamilton, Steuben, Morris — 
how the ghosts gather about that old table and train 

412 The Hudson River 

their soldier wit to gallantr}^ while the wife of their 
chief presides over the tea urn, or gravely discuss, 
after her retirement, the matters that have pre-emi- 
nency in American history. It was while living at 
Newburgh that Washington narrowly esca]3ed capture 
by an envoy of Sir Henry Clinton — at least, so the 
legend runs. A man named Ettrick lived with his 
daughter in a secluded valley to the south of head- 
quarters ; a place known as the Vale of Avoca. It was 
at the head of a long, narrow bay, but though only a 
short distance, as the bird flies, from the Hasbrouck 
cottage, it could only be reached by the road after 
making a detour of nearly two miles. Here the chief 
was in the habit of going upon occasion, and Ettrick 
had planned to seize him with the aid of several con- 
federates and take him out into the river before the 
alarm could be given. Fortunately, Ettrick s daugh- 
ter betrayed her father's plan and preserved the tenor 
of history. 

The condition of the army so soon to be disbanded 
moved Washington to expressions of emotion that 
sovmd strange coming from one whose reserve and self- 
control were proverbial. His letter to the Secretary 
of War, wrung from him by his deej) sense of the 
injury sustained by the army through the neglect of 
Congress, was, from such a pen as his, an epistle of 
singular intensity. 

Under present circumstances, when I see a number of men 
goaded by a thousand stings of reflections on the past and an- 

The Fisher's Reach 4^3 

ticipations of the future about to ])e turned on the world, forced 
by penury and by what they call the ingratitude of the public, 
involved in debt, without one farthing to carry them home, 
after spending the flower of their days, and many of them their 
patrimonies, in establishing the freedom of their country, and 
suffering everything this side death — I repeat it — when I con- 
sider these irritating circumstances, without one thing to soothe 
their feelings or dispel their prospects, I can not avoid appre- 
hending that a train of evils will follow of a very serious and 
distressing nature. . . . You may rely upon it the patriot- 
ism and long-suffering of this army is well-nigh exhausted, and 
there never was so great a spirit of discontent as at present. 

But however \-ehement his protest on l^ehalf of his 
long-suffering soldiers, to them his counsels were tem- 
perate and charged with lofty dignity. To them he 
defended the rulers, and pledged his own w^ord that 
right should be done. 

When the paper, drawn up and signed by officers 
who had stood at his side through the darkest of the 
conflict, informed this man of kingly nature that they 
w^ould have him king in name and fact, grief and in- 
dignation contended for mastery in his breast. 

It is with a mixture of surprise and astonishment [so his 
answer ran] I have read the sentiments you have submitted for 
mv perusal. Be assured, sir, no occurrences in the course of the 
war have given me more painful sensations than your informa- 
tion of there being such ideas existing in the army as you 
have expressed, and which I must view with abhorrence and 
reprehend with severity. I am much at a loss to conceive 
what part of my conduct could have given encouragement 
to an address which to me seems Ijig with the greatest mis- 
chief that can befall my country. If I am not deceived in 
the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to 
whom your schemes are more disagreeable. Let me conjure 

414 The Hudson River 

you, then, as you have regard for your country, for yourself, or 
posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your 

Having, with infinite pains, kept in check the grow- 
ing discontent of the soldiers on the one side, and the 
ill-considered adulation of his officers on the other, 
Washington at last reached the day when the order 
disbanding the army must be given. It was issued on 
the loth of April, 1783, in these terms: 

The commander-in-chief orders the cessation of hostilities 
between the United States of America and the King of Great 
Britain to be publicly read to-morrow at 12 o'clock at the new 
building, and the proclamation which will be communicated 
herewith to be read to-morrow evening at the head of every 
regiment and corps of the army. After which the chaplains 
with the several brigades will render thanks to Almighty God 
for all His mercies, particularly for His overruling the wrath of 
men to His own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease 
among the nations. 

After noble admonitions addressed to the reason and 
consciences of the men who had followed him so long, 
the General proclaimed a day of jubilee and ordered 
for every man an extra ration of grog. The last act 
was an illumination on a gigantic scale, the watch- 
fires on prominent hills blazing from huge stacks of 
timber to announce the welcome tidings of peace to a 
country that had trembled so long at the tramp of 
armies and the roar of cannon. 

Newburgh is a State repository for relics pertaining 
to the Revolution, the war of 181 2, and other national 
conflicts. The house that was so long used as head- 

The Fisher's Reach 4^5 

quarters by Washington is the centre of a little ])ark 
that is open at all times to the ])u])lic. The old Senate 
House at Kingston is similarly preserved, and it is 
becoming yearly more and more a matter of local 
pride in the various ri\'er towns to guard the reminders 
of an historic past. 

Xot onl\' is the feeling towards the preservation of 
old buildings increasing, but thoughtful people are 
alive to the necessity for vigorous action to protect 
prominent natural landmarks. To sto]) the destruc- 
tion being wrought by the d}'namite of the contractor 
and save the Palisades from ultimate exodus through 
the jaws of the stone-crusher, the Interstate Park Com- 
mission was formed. After a great deal of hard work 
and no little application of faith and patience, an ap- 
propriation of four hundred thousand dollars was 
secured from the State of New York and fifty thousand 
from the State of New Jersey, and the result was 
the establishment of the Palisades Park, which is in 
charge of the Commission. Back of the Commission is 
the American Scenic and Historic Preservation So- 
ciety, organised first as a local New York association, 
but now national in its scope. Either directly, or 
through auxiliary societies, it has become the custodian 
of public parks founded to preserve historic sites. 

Thirty-three acres at Ston}' Point, covering the field 
of Wayne's gallant exploit, were purchased by New 
York State and delivered to the guardianship of the 
Society for improvement and preservation. 

Chapter XXV 

Fishkill to Poughkeepsie 

FROM Brinkerhoff's historical sketch of Fishkill 
we learn that here was made the first ]:)ur- 
chase of land in Dutchess County. The 
buyers were Francis Rombout and Gulian VerPlanck, 
and the date of the transfer of their property from the 
Wappinger Indians was August, 1683. "Gulian Ver- 
Planck died before the English patent was granted by 
Governor Dongan ; Stephanus Van Cortlandt was then 
joined in it with Rombout, and Jacobus Kipp sub- 
stituted as the representative of the children of Gulian 
VerPlanck." The tract contained seventy-six thou- 
sand acres in Fishkill and nine thousand more within 
the limits of the present town of Poughkeepsie. 

The position of Fishkill in relation to Newburgh and 
the ferry brought it into prominence during the War 
for Independence. Hither flocked many refugees from 
New York and Long Island, and the place became 
naturally a repository for military stores. Here, at 
the VerPlanck house. Baron Steuben had his head- 
quarters; the Legislature held its sessions here before 
going to Kingston. Here Lafayette lay ill of a fever, 


Fishkill to Poughkcepsie 417 

here Enoch Crosby was su]3posed to have been con- 
fined in the cliurch, here Washington came, making the 
old Brinkerhoff house his resting-place. 

Back of Fishkill rises a ridge of lofty hills, still cov- 
ered with forests in many places, the highest point 
recently made accessible by the construction of an 
"incline" railway that is nearly perpendicular. From 
the summit the view is unsurpassed in extent and 
\-ariety by any in New York State. From Beacon Hill 
the huge watch-fires, lighted to give warning of the 
approach of the enemy or to celebrate the advent of 
peace, could be seen from the peaks of the Catskills, 
the rugged tops of the Highlands, the hills of West- 
chester, or the far-away elevations of Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire. 

On a level plateau at the base of the hills the en- 
campment of the American army was at one time 
situated; and fortified works, manned by detach- 
ments from the camp, were placed upon hills that 
commanded the approach. Here, after the battle of 
White Plains, were brought the wounded soldiers, 
many of whom lie in unidentified graves near the spot. 
According to the writer c(uoted above, "Upon one of 
the hills rising out of this mountain passway very 
distinct lines of earthworks are still apparent. ' ' 

Fishkill Landing, Matteawan (so named from an 
Indian sub-tribe), and Fishkill village are here grouped, 
as they are in reality, under one name. Along with 
Re\^olutionary story there is a later flavour of the 

41 S The Hudson River 

delightful conser\'ative life of old country families, with 
traditions of wholesome living and hospitalitv to bal- 
ance the inborn thrift of a race whose forebears wrested 
their acres with pain and sweat of brow from the 
abounding wilderness. 

Modern Fishkill is generally known as a place where 
brick-makers nourish a perennial strike and where hat 
factories abound. It is stated with authorit}^ however, 
that the idea of associating bricks with hats did not 
originate in Fishkill. 

Carthage lies about four miles to the north of Fish- 
kill Landing. It was formerly known as Low Point, 
to distinguish it from the High Point — New Hamburg 
— two miles above. The latter village lies at the 
mouth of Wappenger's (or Wappingi's) Creek, so named 
from the Indians who once owned the land on the 
east shore from this vicinity south to the island of 

From this point is the best view of that projection 
upon the western shore that has borne from early 
colonial times the significant name of den DnyvcVs 
Dans Kauicr — the Devil's Dance Chamber. It is a 
rock, half an acre in extent (an island by courtesy), 
where formerly the Indians held their pow-wows. 
Here, with wild, savage ceremonies, the imaginative 
sons of the forest invoked their evil spirit. Under the 
lead of their medicine-men they worked themselves 
to a frenzy with violent dances and chanted invoca- 
tions. According to the belief of the Dutch skippers. 

Fishkill to Poughkeepsie 421 

the devil appeared here to his \'otaries and set them 
on when any ])articularly atrocious deed was to be 
accomplished. The crew of Peter Stuyvesant, on pass- 
ing this place in ascending the river, were " horribly 
frightened by roystering devils," if we may believe the 
sober narrative of Knickerbocker. The traditions re- 
lating to this miniature island commenced when Hen- 
drick Hudson made his voyage of discovery, and have 
reached quite to the present day, for there are many 
young men — not to mention maidens — who would 
hesitate long before venturing to spend the lonely 
hours of night in a solitary vigil on the Dans Kamer. 

For some reason not >'et fathomed the spectre of 
Kidd rises where\'er there is a remarkable rock or cove 
on the river bank. Kidd's Rock appears on " Kings- 
land's" Point at Tarry town, and again in the High- 
lands. A futile attempt to discover a portion of his 
treasure in a sunken wreck off the foot of the Dunder- 
berg has already been alluded to, and the Dans Kamer 
has been the scene of one or more similar endeavours 
to possess the Spanish gold pieces with which he was 
supposed to have recklessly planted the shores near 
which he ma}^ have sailed. 

But it is necessary to put away the childish things 
of superstition and credulity before entering a city 
long devoted to the work of disseminating knowledge. 
Men that the nation has delighted to honour passed 
their schooldays at the old Poughkeepsie Collegiate 
School, that received its charter in 1836. It afterwards 

422 The Hudson River 

became the Riverview Academy, the change of name 
corresponding with the removal from College Hill, the 
old site, to Riverview. The Eastman College, devoted 
to the work of preparing young men for business, has 
also been long established and is widely known; but 
to a great many thousands of educated women all over 
the world Poughkeepsie means " Vassar. " 

When Matthew Vassar conceived the idea of doing 
something of public value with his wealth, he hit at 
first u]3on the plan of erecting a monument. It should 
be a thing to look and wonder at, something to com- 
memorate the most important event in the historv of 
the river, namely, its discovery. He would build a 
monument to Henry Htidson. Some one suggested 
Pollopel's Island as the proper location for such a 
work, and Mr. Vassar, full of the project, announced 
it in the local papers. To his disappointment no one 
so much as spoke of it. and he then resolved to give 
to the world a greater and worthier monument than 
he at first imagined. So the first college in the world 
to be devoted exclusively to the higher education of 
women was founded. It solved in the only practical 
wa}' a question that had been fruitlessly discussed for 
years. Through all the ages there had been exception- 
ally favoured women who had been specially trained, 
in the way that men were trained, and had left such 
records of intellectual achievement that the world gen- 
erally regarded them as peculiar creatures, excessively 
endowed. There was alwavs, in the minds of the ma- 

Fishkill to PouL;"hkecpsie 423 

jority even of educated men, a doubt whether the 
whole fa]:)nc of social life would not go to pieces if 
women were granted equal intellectual ad\'antages with 
men, even supposing their brains could stand the strain. 
To meet such objections the only effectual reph^ must 
come in the way of an object-lesson, and this lesson 
Vassar College has furnished. 

It is situated two miles east of the city, on an ele- 
vation of several hundred feet, though it is not seen 


from the river. To offer here a mere catalogue of its 
extensive buildings, or such a meagre list of its advan- 
tages as our space permits, would serve no jmrpose. 
Its fame has gone out through all the world, and the 
lessons it has taught have not all been included in its 
regular curriculum of studies. 

Matthew Vassar was born in England in 1792 and 
was brought to America when four years old. He was 

424 The Hudson River 

consequently sixty-nine years of age when Vassar Col- 
lege was incorporated in 1861. 

At the old Huguenot village of New Paltz, on the 
opposite side of the river from Poughkeepsie, is situ- 
ated the State Normal School, and here recently a 
number of young women from Cuba have been prepar- 
ing for educational work in their own lately liberated 

Perhaps no writer who has lived on the Hudson has 
linked so really a generation that has passed with the 
men of to-day as John Bigelow, — author, editor, man 
of affairs, representative of his countrymen both at 
home and abroad. Mr. Bigelow, born in 181 7, had 
taken an active part in the world's work and had 
made a reputation in letters before many of the men 
now before the public had seen the light. He was a 
partner of William Cullen Bryant in the ownership of 
the New York Evening Post in 1849, ^^^d was its man- 
aging editor till called by Lincoln in 1861 to represent 
the United States in France. He was afterwards Sec- 
retary of State for New York and filled other important 
offices. A member of the Chamber of Commerce, the 
biographer of Bryant and of Franklin, trustee under 
Samuel J. Tilden's will of several million dollars for the 
proposed New York Public Library, and the editor of 
Tilden's speeches, Mr. Bigelow 's stor}^ is one of many 
and varied activities, and his personality has attracted 
the friendship of the most distinguished men of his 
times. He began his life at Maiden, N. Y., and 

Fishkill to Poughkeepsie 425 

finally retired to his delightful home near the shore of 
the Hudson. 

There is an Indian legend connected with the name 
of Poughkeepsie, which is said to be derived from 
the Mohegan word apo-kccp-sinck — " a safe and pleas- 
ant harbour. ' ' Between the rocky bluffs called Slange 
Klippe and Call Rock, the Fall Kill flowed into a bay 
near which was formed the earliest nucleus of the vil- 
lage. The hidian legend, giving a plausible genesis 
to the name apo-kccp-sinck, is to the effect that a 
Pequod warrior, being captured by some Delawares 
and condemned to torture, was offered his liberty if 
he would renounce his own tribe and become a mem- 
ber of theirs. He rejected the proposition 

and was bound to a tree for sacrifice, when a shriek from a 
thicket startled the executioners. A young girl leaped before 
them and implored his life. She was a captive Pequod, with 
the turtle on her bosom, and the young chief was her affianced. 
The Delawares consulted, when suddenly the war-whoop of 
some fierce Hurons made them snatch their arms for defence. 
The maiden severed the thongs that bound her lover, but in the 
deadly conflict that ensued they were separated, and a Huron 
chief carried off the captive as a trophy. Her affianced con- 
ceived a bold design for her rescue, and proceeded immediately 
to execute it. In the character of a wizard he entered the 
Huron camp. The maiden was sick, and her captor employed 
the wizard to prolong her life until he should satisfy his revenge 
upon Uncas, her uncle, the great chief of the Mohegans. They 
eluded the vigilance of the Hurons, fled at night, with swift feet, 
towards the Hudson, and in the darkness shot out upon its 
bosom, in a light canoe, followed by bloodthirsty pursuers. The 
strong arm of the young Pequod paddled his beloved one 
safely to a deep, rocky nook near the mouth of the Winnakee, 

426 The Hudson River 

concealed her there, and with a few friendly Delawares, whom he 
had secured by a shout, he fought, conquered, and drove off the 
Huron warriors. The sheltered nook where the maiden lay was 
a safe harbour for her and the brave Pequod, and his friends joy- 
fully confirmed its title of Apo-kcep-Siiick. 

Should there be any so skejjtical as to question this 
ingenious tale, he must l:)e allowed to cherish his douljt 
unchallenged, for, unfortunately, there are no docu- 
ments by which it may be verified. 

It was a long time afterwards, quite near the close 
of the seventeenth century, that the Dutch settled 
Poughkeepsie. They not only discovered the little 
safe harbour, but contrived more than twenty ways to 
spell it, ultimately choosing the most difficult. Near 
the spot where the Indians were supposed to have 
landed, Baltus Van Kleeck built a stone house in the 
year 1705. This house stood till after the Revolution, 
and was used by the Legislature of New York after the 
burning of Kingston. About 1835 it was torn down. 

Poughkeepsie was incorporated as a city in 1854. It 
early became the centre for the trade of Dutchess 
County, which, it must be confessed, was at first but 
meagre; but it was also connected by the Dutchess 
turninke with Sharon, Conn., and thence with Litch- 
field, and over this line the stages and market waggons 
travelled with profitable frequency. 

Mr. Joel Benton, long a resident of Poughkeepsie, 

has written concerning its early history : 

In colonial days few were the people here; but they were a 
bright and stirring handful. It seems as if every man counted 

Fishkill to Poughkeepsic 427 

as ten. ... I suppose it need not now be counted strange 
that the strong mixture of Dutch and EngHsh settlers, with a 
few Huguenots, which finally made Dutchess County, were not 
a little divided between Tory and Whig inclinations. Around 
Poughkeepsie, and in its allied towns stretching between the 
Hudson River and the Connecticut line, there was much strife. 
Gov. George Clinton in his day ruled in the midst of much 
tumult and turbulence; but he held the reins with vigour, in 
spite of kidnappers or critics. When the British burned King- 
ston he prorogued the Legislature to Poughkeepsie, which still 
served as a "safe harbour." As the Revolution progressed, the 
Tory faction was weakened, either by suppression or surrender. 

It was in the Poughkeepsie Court House that, by one vote, 
after a Homeric l)attle, the colony of New York consented to 
become a part of the American Republic, which consent was 
practically necessary to its existence. . . . Poughkeepsie 
honoured, in May, 1824, the arrival of Lafayette. . . . 
Daniel Webster has spoken in her Court House; and Henry 
Clay, in 1844, when a presidential candidate, stopped for a 
reception. And it is said that, by a mere accident, she just 
missed contributing a name to the list of Presidents of tlie 
United States. The omitted candidate was Nathaniel P. Tal- 
madge. He could have had the Vice-Presidency, so the story 
goes, in 1840; but would not take it. If he had accepted it he 
would have gone into history, not merely as United States Sena- 
tor from New York and afterwards Governor of Wisconsin Terri- 
torv, but as President in John Tyler's place. 

In 1S44, the New York State fair was held here, somewhere 
east of what is now Hooker Avenue. It was an occasion thought 
important enough then to be pictured and reported in the 
London Illustrated Xacs. Two years after, the telegraph wires 
were put up in this city, before they had yet reached the city 
of New York. Considering the fact that Professor S. F. B. 
Morse, the telegraph inventor, had his residence here, this inci- 
dent was not wholly inappropriate. 

Professor Morse's home was called Locust Grove, and 
lay a couple of miles to the south of the city. It 

428 The Hudson River 

should not be forgotten that before he had made his 
great reputation as an inventor he was widely known 
as an artist. To him the American Academy of De- 
sign owed its first impulse. It is said that his summer 
home at Locust Grove was connected by telegraphic 
wires with all prominent points upon the American 

Not far below Locust Grove is the famous ferry 
where for many years the Milton horse-boat plied to 
and fro across the river. At the eastern end of the 
ferry, in the old war times, dwelt the blacksmith and 
jack-of-all-trades, Theophilus Anthony. There, at his 
forge, he worked over the mammoth chain that was 
used to obstruct the river at Fort Montgomery. He 
gave what assistance he could to the patriot army, and 
it may well be believed that a strong and willing arm 
and a good forge found plenty of occupation; but 
retribution came when Vaughan's ships passed up the 
river with the torch. The smithy and mill were among 
the first places to be laid in ashes, and the smith him- 
self was carried a captive to the most detestable prison- 
ship that history has made a record of — the filthy and 
disease-saturated Jersey. Past the middle of the nine- 
teenth century the horse-boats at Milton and Coxsac- 
kie ran, the only survivors of an obsolete class. 

North of Poughkee]3sie the river is spanned by the 
fragile-looking cantilever bridge, that was commenced 
in 1873, but abandoned and the work not again re- 
sumed till 1886. Three years later it was completed 

Fishkill to Poughkeepsie 429 

by the Union Bridge Comi)any. The bridge is over 
tweh'e thousand feet long — about two and a half miles 
— and at the centre is one hundred and sixty-five feet 
clear above the river. Its cost was over three million 
dollars. The purpose for which the Poughkeepsie 
Bridge was built, it was understood, was to place Penn- 
sylvania coal in New England by a direct route, and it 
was owned and controlled by the Philadelphia & Read- 
ing Railroad. This arrangement, it was thought, 
would preclude the possibility of dictation of prices by 
any intermediate company. But the original purpose 
was defeated, if not lost sight of, when the ownership 
of the bridge was acquired by another company. 

For seven years past the river at Poughkeepsie has 
been the scene of one of the ga^'cst and most popular 
of all the great annual features of college athletics. 
There the regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Asso- 
ciation is held every June, and over one of the finest 
straightaway courses in the world the eager crews 
from six great universities contend for the champion- 
ship. The crowds of spectators generally cross the 
river to Highland Station, where observation trains on 
the West Shore Road are in waiting to receive them. 

Chapter XXVI 

Sports and Industries 

A BRIEF commentary on riparian pastimes and 
industries seems to be necessary to complete 
the story of the river. A reference, at least, 
to these matters will be permitted, if not demanded, 
by the reader. One recalls in this connection the fam- 
ous delivery of a well-known critic concerning a popu- 
lar book: " If you like this sort of a book, this is the 
sort of a book you like." If one cares for ice-boating, 
fishing, and kindred occupations, this is the sort of a 
subject that he cares for; but, realising that the con- 
verse is also true, we frankly re-echo the advice given 
by Mrs. vStowe, in the preface to a chapter on New 
England theology, " If the reader is not interested in 
the subject of this chapter, he is invited to skij^^ it." 

We have already spoken of the intercollegiate races 
that for nearly a decade have enlivened the waters 
about Poughkeepsie and have drawn each year a mul- 
titude of enthusiastic spectators. But it is not only 
at summer time that the waters offer a field for exciting 
contests of strength or skill. The upper reaches of the 
river become in winter the theatre of sports that recall 


Sports and Industries 43 1 

the tales that are told of the vigorous generation in- 
habiting that region in old eolonial days. 

We have read how, in the time of Volckert Douw — 
recorder, mayor, vice-president of the first Provincial 
Congress, judge, Indian commissioner, and what not — 
the ice on the vixev in front of his house at Wolven- 
hoek was the race-course upon which the speed of rival 
horses was matched in many an exciting contest. 
There the great and fashionable world of x\lbany and 
Kingston, we may suppose, entered into that exhilarat- 
ing pastime with a zest that belonged to a simpler phase 
of life. It is a trite reflection that the fathers enjoyed 
their pleasures more heartily, having fewer to enjoy. 

There is a story told of a dinner given by Douw 
to Red Jacket, the Indian chief, at which were present 
not only a number of his fellow-redskins, but a few 
prominent white men, with General Schuyler at their 
head. There was plenty of good cheer, the peace pipe 
circulated, and it may be that something more ex- 
hilarating was not lacking, for after awhile the Gen- 
eral and his host became engaged in an eager discussion 
upon the relative merits of two horses, one the mount 
upon which Schuyler had ridden from Albany and the 
other a famous race-horse, Sturgeon, that was the pride 
of Douw's stable. Of course, the Indian guests pricked 
up their ears, for an Indian, drunk or sober, loves 
nothing so well as a horse-race. There seem to have 
been obstacles enough in the way of a race at that 
moment. It was night and the sky was overcast, while 

432 The Hudson River 

from recent rain the ice was in a sloppy condition. But 
neither white nor red men were incHned to stand at 
obstacles. At a hint from one of the disputants, red- 
skin and negro servants in a crowd made for the river, 
where in a short time they marked and cleared a 
course across and down stream, lighting the way with 
torches and lanterns. Peter Van Loan, the overseer, 
was master of ceremonies, and King Charles, a famous 
jockey in his day, rode Sturgeon. The bets were 
large, Schuyler having backed his own horse heavily, 
and the excitement was intense as the contestants went 
flying down the course between the rows of flaring 
lights and shouting spectators. When old Sturgeon 
came in first, we may hope that Douw concealed his 
satisfaction and Schuyler his chagrin, since both were 
true-blue sportsmen of the old school, who could take 
good or ill fortune and give no sign. 

After a century and a half we find that the old spirit 
has not died out. Still the ice-decked river is the 
scene of many a winter carnival. Horses of famous 
pedigrees, sharp-shod and with nerves tingling in an 
atmosphere like an electric bath, have literally flung 
distance to the winds over those crystal courses, where, 
in summer, the boats tack lazily from shore to shore. 

Even more exciting than the horse-races are the con- 
tests of ice-boats, for which the upper Hudson, espe- 
cially in the neighbourhood of Tivoli and Hyde Park, is 
famous. An ice-boat is to an ordinary boat what the 
Empire State Express is to a way freight. It does not 

Sports and Industries 433 

sail, it flies, reminding one of the Chinaman's famous de- 
scri] )tion of his first toboggan shde, — ' ' Phwt ! ! ! Walkee 
back two mik^e." At a speed of something approach- 
ing a mile a minute, a zero temperature is very much 


like a keen-edged sword; it will certainly suggest "a 
dividing asunder of the joints and marrow," unless the 
sailor on that perilous plain has taken the precaution 
to swathe himself in as many garments as one of 
Knickerbocker's beswaddled Dutchmen, and is equipped 
with a circulatory system that can bid defiance to a 
nipping air. 

434 The Hudson River 

Not infrequently wreck and disaster add a spice of 
uncertainty to the ice-boatman's career. There is a 
fair percentage of danger to be encountered, sufficient 
to insure the sportsman against any risk of ennui. 
Sometimes an air-hole, invisible half a mile away, is 
an imminent condition in thirty seconds ; sometimes an 
unmanageable craft crosses a racer's bows, or a sudden 
squall keels her over. The crew of a boat that is 
going at a rate of speed that would put the cannon- 
ball flight of a wild duck to shame may escape with 
life and limb the shock of arrested motion, but that 
will be because the ways of Providence are past find- 
ing out. 

It is a matter of course (but no less a subject for 
congratulation) that the passion for skating has not 
yet died out. The army of those who every year glide 
and stumble, stagger and pirouette on the frozen face 
of the waters still must be reckoned by the thousands. 
Nor can we imagine it otherwise as long as the Hudson 
valley is largely inhabited by descendants of those who 
brought to the new countr}^ the tastes and habits that 
had been fostered for generations in the sturdy little 
land of dykes and canals. 

Another form of winter sport, that frequently 
assumes the careful gravity of business, is ice fishing. 
There are still a number of sportsmen as well as pro- 
fessional fishermen, though not as many as formerly, 
who engage in this occujoation. The solitary fisherman 
sets his lines through holes in the ice, fixing to each one 

Sports and Industries 435 

a tell-tale, sometimes in the form of a flag, that ])y a 
simple mechanical arrangement indicates when a fish 
has been hooked. With a sled to carry his parapher- 
nalia and a cube of frozen salt pork for his luncheon, 
such a fisherman may skate ten or twelve miles to find 
a favourable ground, and the fewer his com]:)anions the 
more he is to be congratulated. But usually the pro- 
fessionals are gregarious in their habits, which is neces- 
sary from the methods they employ. A long fissure, 
cut at right angles with the current of the river, admits 
the insertion of a weighted net, the upper edge of 
which is secured to transverse sticks above the open- 
ing. Such fishing is serious business and not likely to 
conduce to levity. The lines of the net freeze rigid as 
steel rods, the icy water soaks the thickest gloves till 
they are sodden and cold, the very fish that are drawn 
out of that dark and mysterious current under the ice 
are congealed — stiff as stakes — the moment they are 
exposed to the atmosphere, and to handle them is like 
handling pieces of ice. In the face of these discom- 
forts the winter fisherman, slapping his legs to restore 
lost circulation, moving stiffly because of the rheumat- 
ism contracted last year, or nursing the cracked and 
bleeding fingers that were frozen last week, is as cheer- 
ful a citizen as circumstances will permit; but it is a 
far cry from the frozen river as he sees it, a field of 
labour and a scene of drudgery, to the glittering, joy- 
ous plain that the well clad and nourished ice-boatman 

43^ The Hudson River 

As every one knows, the most imj)ortant fisheries on 
the Hudson are those where the shad is taken. There 
has long been a rivah-y between Hudson River and 
Chesapeake shad, New York and Maryland each claim- 
ing precedence, and finally agreeing only upon one 
point — that lieside those two there are no others. 
From the mouth of the river almost to the head of 
navigation, as soon as winter closes, the boats of the 
fishermen |)ut out to set the shad poles and get ah in 
readiness for the approaching season. From the vicin- 
ity of Fort Lee, Piermont, Croton, Poughkeepsie, and 
many another favourable point, they range themselves 
" in order serviceable " and wait the advent of the van- 
guard of that unnumbered host that about the ist of 
April begins to move towards the headwaters of the 
river. The first "run" sends a quiver of excitement 
through the communities of fishers, and the news is 
telegraphed from New York to Albany. The news- 
papers herald the coming of the shad and the market- 
men display them with pride and expatiate upon their 
merits. At that time a multitude of the passengers re- 
turning from the Jersey shore to Manhattan by w^ay 
of the upper ferries may be seen carrying mysterious 
newspaper packages, that emit a fishy odour. These 
are generally heads of families who have learned the 
advantage of buying their shad as they come fresh 
from the nets. 

The schools of fish ascend the river to spawn and are 
in prime condition during their upward migration, re- 

Sports and Industries 437 

turning in a few weeks so ]:)oor and thin that a prover- 
bial synonym for leanness and poverty is " the last run 
of shad." 

The Fish Commissioners have a shad station at Cats- 
kill where the weio^ht and size of the fish taken, the 


preponderance of the roe over buck shad, and all other 
data for statistical reports are carefully noted. Mr. 
A. N. Cheney, State Fish Culturalist, wrote, in 1895, 

It is extremely doul^tful, under the present law, and present 
manner of fishing the river, if the Hudson can be considered a 
self-sustaining shad river. The demand upon it grows with in- 
crease of population and improved facilities for shipping shad to 
a distance. It is not alone among the people living along the 
river that the shad find a market, but hundreds of miles of rail- 
ways act as distributing agents and take shad where formerly 
thev w^ere unknown. Since 1S82. the United States Fish Com- 
mission has made large contributions of shad fry and eggs to the 
Hudson, and these contributions have been important factors in 
keeping the supply up to the present figures. 

The "contributions" of shad fry for restocking the 

438 The Hudson River 

river, from all sources, have in fifteen years aggregated 
probably not less than a hundred million. 

Years ago the shad used to run up the river to 
Baker's Falls, nearly fifty miles above Troy, and the 
farmers came from distant points to camp at the 
Falls and catch the fish to salt down. But the build- 
ing of the Troy dam put a stop to that industry. 

The statistics for a recent year, published by the 
State Fish Commissioners, show that in three thousand 
five hundred nets over a million shad were caught. 
During the two months or less that the shad season 
lasts the fishing stations are scenes of picturesque ac- 
tivity, retaining, perhaps, more suggestion of the old 
distinctive ri\'er life than anything else that we can 
witness to-day. The toiling groups of roughly clad 
rivermen, handling and shipping the fish, the midget 
fieets of clustering boats, and the endless labour of 
spreading, drying, and repairing the nets, are details 
of a quaint and fascinating picture. The greatest 
number of nets operated are at Alpine and Fort Lee 
on the Jersey shore, and at Nyack and Ossining in 
New York. 

The striped bass, while caught for market, is more 
of a fish for sportsmen, for he takes only live bait and 
makes a fight that will cause an angler's blood to leap. 
This fish is to be found as far as the brackish water runs. 
In the lower part of the river for many years the prac- 
tice of fishing for bass in the spring fell into disuse. 
Only when the water began to be cold in the autumn 

Sports and Industries 439 

did Piscator, equipped with rod and reel and store of 
shrimp or "shedder," seek some fortunate spot, by 
bearings which may have been transmitted from an 
earher generation, there to make long casts and in- 
dulge in large anticipations. But a few years ago 
some one recollected that in the old days the best time 
to fish for bass was in the spring. Two or three fish 
of phenomenal size rewarded the anglers who were 
hardv enough to brave public opinion, and from that 
day the striped bass has had a troubled life. 

Long ago the Indians found the bays and shallows 
of the river prolific breeding-grounds for oysters, and 
some of the tribes are said to have used the bivalves as 
one of their chief means of sustenance. Their frequent 
shell heaps, some of them not yet obliterated, bear 
witness to the favour in which this epicurean morsel 
was held by the aborigines. During the early years of 
New York's history, the poorer people depended 
largely upon the plentiful oyster supply as one of the 
cheapest varieties of food they could obtain, but now 
the supply is at best meagre and the oyster industry 
decadent. Within comparatively recent times it was 
a common sight to see little fleets of boats, their occu- 
pants wielding the long, ungainly rakes with which 
their spoil was detached from the river-bed and brought 
aboard; but that spectacle is growing 3^early less 

The giant of the upper ri\^er for many years was the 
sturgeon, a monster of uncouth appearance, whose 

440 The Hudson River 

coarse flesh, if properly cooked, is not unpalatable. 
This fish is not extinct, though not nearly as plentiful 
as formerl}', when its consumption at the vState capital 
ga\-e it the popular name of Albany beef. The stur- 
geon attains a length of five or six and (exce]jtionallv) 
eight feet, while the weight of a single specimen is said 
sometimes to exceed four hundred and fifty pounds. 
When sturgeon were more plentiful than now, they 
were caught for the oil, that has been esteemed equal 
to the best sperm. The leap of the sturgeon, immor- 
talised by Drake in TJic Culprit Fay, was a frequent 
sight a generation ago, and it was worth a day's jour- 
ney to see that quivering bulk ])ierce the surface, a 
living projectile, and, descril)ing a parabola of eight 
or ten feet, fling a rainbow arch of spra)^ into the 

The herring have also frequented the waters of the 
Hudson at intervals, and perch, white-fish, snappers 
(young bluefish), and a multitude of the smaller fry, 
are familiar to every American boy who is in training 
for the Presidency. 

Within the past fifteen years the Fish Commissioners 
have put thousands of salmon and other fry in the 
river, and occasionally fine specimens of varieties thus 
introduced have been taken, while it is expected that 
the future will more than justify the outlay, but in 
general it is acknowledged that this great volume of 
water flowing seaward with slow gradations from the 
freshness of a mountain stream to the saltness of the 

Sports and Industries 441 

ocean is no longer a fisherman's river. One can 
hardly believe that the schools of fish have been de- 
pleted by the industry of the fisheiTnen. By the 
ordinary process of multiplication, if unchecked by 
other untoward influences, the supply of fish in such a 
river must ahva}'s be in excess of the number caught 
with hook and line. But there are other pernicious 
influences, among them the pollution which results 
from sewage in the vicinity of large towns. There can 
be little doubt that fish are poisoned by the fouling of 
the element in which they live. It may be too that 
the constant accretion of cinders and ashes upon the 
bed of the channels has ]3revented the development of 
those forms of life upon which the fish depend for food. 
That this view is not entirely fanciful the reader will 
readily see if he will take paper and pencil, and with 
such data as he may have at hand calculate the num- 
ber of steamers that have dumped their ashpans in the 
river in the ]3ast threescore years. A million tons 
would fall far short of the probable deposit. 

The restocking of the waters will only be an efficient 
remedy in places where the fry will not be subject to 
the disadvantages we have suggested and others of 
equal importance. It is well known that man}% if not 
all, of the fish that frequent the Hudson, or any large 
river, run into the smaller streams to spawn. The 
practical closing of many such streams by means of 
dams, where no fish-ways are provided, must of neces- 
sity militate greath' against the natural increase. 

442 The Hudson River 

Under favourable conditions this increase would be 
enormous. A single female tomcod, for instance, will 
produce fifty thousand eggs or more. Two hundred 
and eighty-eight thousand such eggs would just fill a 
quart measure. But in order to secure the develop- 
ment of even a small percentage of all this embryonic 
life it is necessary to have undisturbed, fairly pure, and 
abundant water. 

At the hatcheries of the State Commission it has 
been found that the shad fry, if they are to be raised 
at all, must never be handled even with the nets that 
may be used in the rearing of young trout or salmon. 
The ideal pond for hatching purposes is one that has 
been dry for months, so that all life in it is destroyed, 
and then filled by seepage, thus excluding enemies that 
would otherwise destroy the adolescent shadlings. It 
will be readily seen that the natural conditions of the 
Hudson and its tributaries at the present day are not 
conducive to the increase of delicate fish. 

Chapter XXVII 

Rondout and Kingston 

THE name Rondout signifies a fort or earthwork; 
it was first applied to the Dutch post near 
Esopus River, and afterwards to the settled 
land in the neighbourhood. The word Esopus, it is 
said, was derived from seepus, a river, and was first 
given to the Indians dwelling upon the banks of the 
river that afterwards bore that name. The Indians 
whose settlements extended through Ulster and Greene 
counties belonged to the Mingua nation, that Leather- 
stocking was fond of referring to as Mingos. The 
Minnesinks, one of the largest clans, were originally 
dwellers on a minnis, or island, in the upper waters of 
the Delaware. The Mohegan Indians lived upon the 
upper shore of the Hudson. Northward of Esopus, on 
the west shore, the land was claimed by the Mohawks, 
who ruled the forests as far north as Champlain and 
through the valley of the Mohawk River. The}^ were 
to the more peaceable tribes of the south as a hawk 
is to a heron, being fierce, revengeful, and cruel almost 
beyond conception. Their occasional forays into the 

444 The Hudson River 

lands of their neighbours were events to be anticipated 
with dread and remembered with horror. 

Hidden under a modern post-office designation w^e 
frequently find half a dozen earlier place-names, as the 
geologist discovers in a river-bed successive deposits. 
"I am surprised to find," said a gentleman of an en- 
quiring mind, "that Esopus had at one time a larger 
trade than Albany; yet I do not find Esopus on my 
map or on the time-table. Where w^as it?" Esopus 
has disappeared from the map, as have Wiltwyck, 
Atkarkarton, and Rondout, but all these old names, 
that are folded down and put away, like old garments 
in camphor and lavender, are covered by the corporate 
body of Kingston. 

Two hundred and fifty years of eventful history be- 
long to this very Dutch borough, where Ten Broeks and 
Van Gaasbeeks, Schoonmakers and Swartwouts, sat 
under the spiritual ministrations of Domine Blom, or 
joined w^ith that excellent and valiant divine in driving 
away the Indian invaders that occasionally swooped 
down on the almost defenceless settlement. But truth 
compels the admission that the first notable proprietor 
of land at Kingston (or Atkarkarton) was not a Dutch- 
man. This is on the authority of the Rev. I. Mega- 
polensis, the third stated minister of the Collegiate 
Dutch Church of New^ York, who, in 1657, wrote: 

Thomas Chambers and a few others removed to Atkarkarton 
or Esopus, an exceedingly beautiful land, in 1652, and began the 
actual settlement of Ulster County; it was also known among 
the savages as " the pleasant land." 

Ron do lit and Kinoston 44 


This Thomas Chambers, for services rendered the 
country during Indian troubles, was rewarded in the 
time of Governor Lovelace by having his house (near 
Kingston) erected into the Manor of Foxhall. This 
grant was confirmed by Dongan in 1686. The name 
of Foxhall subsequently disappeared. 

The Dutch church of Kingston had a settled pastor 
as early as 1660, in which year Doniine Hermanns 
Blom commenced his labours. His salary was j^ayable 
in wheat, and his accounts for the same are still pre- 
served in the county records. The name Wiltwyck 
signified the Indian (or wild) district, yet even then 
the little church, worshipping in a rude building of 
logs, had a membership of sixteen souls. Two other 
edifices succeeded each other on the ground where the 
first one stood, and from the tower of the last the Hol- 
land bell, imported in 1794 from Amsterdam, used 
formerly to ring three times a day to notify the good 
people of their meal hours. In those far-off days 
sober and respectable people did things in an orderly 
and customary way. It required unheard-of temerity 
to break away from the honoured traditions of a 
neighbourhood, and breakfast, dine, or sup at unheard- 
of hours. The church sanctioned the established order 
and lent its bell for the promotion of sobriety and 
regular habits. A writer in 1826 notes a modern in- 
novation when he says that "at present the town 
clock regulates the kitchen." 

A custom observed among the fathers of the church 

448 The Hudson River 

deserves to be kept in remembrance, like a quaint 
Dutch picture. Between the sounding of the first and 
last bell for church service the grey-haired sexton 
hobbled from door to door, carrying an ivory-headed 
cane, with which he rapped loudly three times and 
cried, "Church time!" For this he was paid by each 
householder a yearly fee of two shillings. 

Notices of all kinds, whether of funerals, weddings, 
or christenings, were given to the sexton, who took 
them to the clerk ; and the latter, having a bamboo rod 
with a split end kej^t for that very purpose, stuck the 
paper in the slit and jjassed it up to the domine, who 
was perched overhead in a half-globe pulpit, canopied 
by a sounding board. "The minister wore (out of the 
pulpit) a black silk mantle, cocked hat, and a neck- 
band with linen cambrick bcffy on his breast; for 
cravats were then uncanonical/' 

The first psalm, we are informed, "used to be set 
with moveable figures, suspended on three sides of the 
pulpit, so that all, as they entered, might prepare for 
the lofty notes. " At the end of the service the deacons 
took the contribution bags, which were fixed on the 
ends of poles, and made their rounds to collect the 
coppers of the congregation. It is a significant fact 
that besides the bag there was an alarm bell on the 
end of each pole, as though to notify the soundest 
sleepers that the sermon had come to an end. Tokens, 
stamped by the church and redeemable at stated times, 
were received instead of money, which was a scarce 

Rondout and Kinc^ston 449 


commodity at a time when the government stiU legal- 
ised the payment of "seawant" or wampum for debts. 
At the communion table church members always wore 
black, and invariably stood to receive the sacrament. 

The Kingston church is ] particularly worthy of notice 
from the fact that it occupied a unique position, being 
an inde])endent church as late as 1808. For a century 
and a half it had rejected the jurisdiction of the Gen- 
eral Synod of the Dutch Church in America. The 
ministers had been called from Europe, and an indi- 
vidual charter was granted in 17 19 by the British 

Besides these Dutch and Huguenot settlers, it is said 
that a few Irish found their way into Kingston at an 
early day; however that may be, we know that not the 
least energetic and successful of her citizens to-day 
ma\^ boast of forbears that may have hung their 
shields in Tara's halls. 

In Dr. Miller "s History of Nciv York, published in 
London in 1695, there were shown the plans of three 
places on the Hudson River. New Amsterdam was 
the first of these in importance ; Albany (Fort Orange) , 
the second; and Kingston, third. This same order is 
preserved to-day. It is a fact to remember that, in 
expressing her choice for a site for the national capital, 
New York voted in favour of Kingston. 

Ulster County, formed in 1683, lay between Moodna 
or Murderer's Creek on the south, and Sawyer's, the 
line dividing: from Greene Count\', on the north. It 

450 The Hudson River 

borders the west bank of the river and embraced at 
that time all of the important settlements between the 
Highlands and vSaugerties. The trading post of Ron- 
dout, one of the very earliest to be established, ante- 
dated the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth 
by six years. The Indian name, Ponckhockie, is still 
retained to designate a section of the town. 

The Rondout and Esopus settlers were driven away 
by the Indians prior to 1640, about which time a new 
attempt to colonise was made. In 1655, there was 
another exodus of the whites, and then Governor 
Stuyvesant came in person from New York and staked 
out ground for a new village, leaving twenty-four sol- 
diers to protect the place. The land chosen was a free 
gift from the Indians to the "Grand Sachem . . . 
to grease his feet, as he had undertaken so long and 
painful a journey." 

New Indian troubles arose, owing to a supply of 
fire-water that some red men received in payment for 
husking corn for the before-mentioned Thomas Cham- 
bers in 1659. One of the recipients, during the revel 
which followed, fired a gun. A party of white men, 
who were possibly not too sober themselves, construed 
the discharge of the firearm to mean the commence- 
ment of an attack, upon which they fired upon a party 
of the Indians, killing several of them. In retaliation 
the lately peaceable redskins took thirteen prisoners, 
and, soon gathering a force of five hundred warriors, 
surrounded the fort, so that no one durst leave it for 

Rondout and Kingston 45' 

three weeks. Cro|)s were burned, cattle slaughtered, 
and houses destroyed. Finally, a number of ca])tives 
were put to death by torture. This brought the Gov- 
ernor again to Kingston, liut the Indians disj^ersed 
before his arrival. A truce was secured, through the 
intervention of other Indians, and two prisoners were 
finally restored. 

Then, possessed by a fatuous confidence that the 
enemy had experienced a change of heart, the ]3eople 
of Wiltwyck (Kingston) "left the gates of their fort 
0])en day and night." In the summer of 1663, they 
paid dearly for their temerity. In June of that year, 
having come to the fort in great numbers, under pre- 
tence of trading, the Indians made a sudden attack 
while most of the men were outside of the walls. 
Thomas Chambers, whose foolish bestowal of brandy 
had brought on the original trouble, aided by the mili- 
tant valour of the Dutch domine, led his companions 
in such a desperate fight that they succeeded in driv- 
ing the invaders from the fort, but not before eighteen 
of the whites had been killed. Forty- two prisoners 
were carried away by the savages, and all of the newly 
established farms and bouweries were destroyed. 

This foray led to a war which did not end till the 
Ulster Indians were nearly destroyed. The expedi- 
tion which concluded the war was led by a man named 
Krygier, a burgomaster in New Amsterdam. A treaty 
was made by Stuyvesant with the remnant of the 
tribe, by the terms of which they abandoned the river 

452 The Hudson River 

settlements to the Dutch, retaining permission to trade 
at Rondout " provided but three canoes came at a 
time, preceded by a flag of truce." 

New Paltz was settled by the Huguenots in 1677. 
Some people of this faith had come to Kingston in 
1660 and settled there. Among them was a man 
named Louis Dubois, whose wife, Catherine, had been 
one of those captured by the savages. Word came to 
Dubois by a friendly Indian that the prisoners had 
been taken to a certain place that he could guide the 
white men to. He directed them to follow Rondout 
Creek to the Wall kill and to leave that for a third 
stream, where the encampment of their enemies would 
be found. The statement that the Indians intended 
putting their prisoners to death urged the rescuers to 
greater haste if possible. Dubois and his companions, 
guided by the savage, pushed through the wilderness 
for a distance of twenty-six miles, and though they 
were burdened with the heav}^ arms of the period, 
besides knapsacks and provisions, we do not read that 
they paused till they were in the neighbourhood of the 

While they were stealing up, making a reconnoissance 
previous to the attack, Dubois suddenly came across 
an Indian, who was slain by his sword before he could 
alami his companions. The attac^k was delayed until 
evening, but the dogs, running at large, betrayed them. 
The Indians recognised them as "white man's dogs," 
and fled in consternation, having evidently had enough 

Rondout and Kinoston 


of Wiltwyck fighting qualities. Dulxjis saw his wife 
fleeing along with the savages and lustily shouted her 


(7. ir. Casi/car, 1859. From the Stuart Collection, Lenox Library) 

name, whereu]3on she and her companions turned back 
and were welcomed with great joy by their rescuers. 

The discovery had been made none too soon. Cath- 
erine Dubois had already been placed on a funeral 
]^yre of wood, preparator}* to being burned, and had 

454 The Hudson River 

evidenced her Christian fortitude by singing hvmns 
that pleased her cai^tors so that they demanded a 
repetition of them. It was no new thing for them to 
hear a warrior sing his death- song in the face of his 
enemies, but for a woman to show such courage may 
have excited their admiration, and the strange sweet- 
ness of the unusual melodies she sang no doubt arrested 
their attention. 

It was the knowledge gained upon this expedition, 
so the story goes, that led the Huguenots to settle upon 
the banks of the Wallkill, for which they obtained a 
deed from the Indians in consideration of fortv kettles, 
the same number of adzes and shirts, seven hundred 
strings of beads, four quarter-casks of wine, and other 
goods. This tract, twelve miles in extent, reached 
from the Hudson River back to the Shawangunk 
Moim tains. 

There is an interesting tradition to the effect that 
the hymn sang by Mrs. Dubois on the occasion just 
mentioned was the 137th in the Dutch collection, which 
is translated thus: 

By Babel's stream the captives sate 
And wept for Zion's hapless fate; 
Useless their harps on willows hung 
While foes required a sacred song. 

The village of New Paltz is a delightful reminiscence, 
a legacy of old habitations and simple customs, be- 
queathed by generations of God-fearing folk to our 
restless time as a salutary reminder of pristine peace 

Rondout and Kingston 455 

and contentment. But about the c^ld Huguenot vil- 
lage, especially since the establishment of the vState 
Normal School, there has grown a modern town, with 
modern houses and modern wa}^s. 

We admiie the sagacity of the French exiles who 
discovered and appreciated the rare desiraljihty of the 
Wallkill valle\-. It is still a region of dairy farms and 
vine^'ards — a land flowing with milk and honey, a land 
of corn and wine. Old Louis Dubois and his com- 
patriots were the fathers of a race that still retain many 
of the distinguishing characteristics of the exiles who 
for conscience ' sake sought in the wilderness their ])ro- 
mised land of liljerty. It is said that so fine and free 
from animosity and greed has been the life of the 
people of New Paltz that i)revious to 1873 no lawyer 
ever found a permanent residence there. 

Johannes Nevius and others, in a report to the 
States-General in 1663, spoke feelingly of 

the deplorable massacre and slaughter of the good people of the 
beautiful and fruitful country of Esopus, recently committed by 
the barbarians after the premature and, for this state, in this 
conjuncture of time, wholly unpractical reduction of the mili- 
tary force of this province, which was notoriously and very ur- 
gently required to be completed and reinforced. 

Among the stories of the early settlers of Ulster 
County are many harrowing ones of captivity, with an 
occasional thrilling account of escape or rescue, but in 
general there is a dreadful sameness in the details. 
Now it is a Dutch family, now a Huguenot one — 

456 The Hudson River 

Lefever, Dubois, Schoonmaker, Osterhout, from Wilt- 
wyck or from Murderer's Creek, or the settlements that 
lay between. Down to the time of the Revolution the 
out-settlements of this region were much exposed to 
Indian attack. According to one of the numerous 
local legends of Ulster County, two men, Andresen and 
Osterhout, were taken by the Indians, but when within 
a single day's march of Niagara Andresen managed at 
night to work one of his arms free and subsequently 
removed his bonds. Then, with necessary stealthiness 
and caution, he succeeded in freeing his companion, 
and falling iipon the sleeping Indians thev killed all 
except two squaws, who escaped. Providing them- 
selves with the arms and provisions of their late capt- 
ors, they undertook the return journey of four or five 
hundred miles through the woods. Their lives were 
barely sa\-ed by the game they managed to shoot on 
the way, for weakened by hunger as well as by fatigue, 
at the end of seventeen days they staggered into their 
homes, weak but rejoicing at their almost miraculous 
escape. This occurred in 1776. 

The inauguration of George CHnton, the first Gov- 
ernor of the vState of New York, was i^roclaimed at 
Kingston, then the capital of the State, the election 
having taken place on the 30th of July, 1777. Onlv 
a little more than two months previous to that event, 
the convention which had drafted the constitution of 
the new State, adjourned, leaving power in the hands 
of a Committee of Safety. The Fourth Provincial Con- 

Rondout and Kingston 457 

gress, which met at White Plains, Westchester County, 
on the 9th of July, 1776, then accepting the Declara- 
tion of Independence, adjourned to Fishkill and sul)- 
sec[uently to Kingston. The centennial celebration of 
Clinton's inauguration, held on July 30, 1877, at King- 
ston, was necessarily a celebration also of the vener- 
able house in which the deliberations oi John Jay and 
his associates had l)een held. The previous year, 1876, 
had been the l^i-centennial anniversary of the building 
of what has been known niodernly as the Old vSenate 
House. This building, that has so deep an historic 
interest, is long and low, constructed of stone and sup- 
plemented at a late period of its history by a "linto," 
or lean-to. It was erected in 1676 by Wessel Ten 
Broeck, a West])halian, who, emigrating to America at 
an early age, was elected ScJioppcr at Esopus and was 
a commissioner chosen to sujjerintend the settlement 
of the Nieuw Dorp, including the villages of Hurley 
and Marbletown. 

Ten Broeck 's wife was a daughter of the Rev. Laur- 
entius \^an Gaasbeek, by whom he had eight children, 
who are supposed to be the ancestors of all the Ten 
Broecks in the country. The well-known Knicker- 
bocker explanation of the derivation of the name of 
Ten Broeck was not relished by the descendants of that 
forceful ancestor. 

Wessel's wife's name would make a telling title for 
a Dutch story or poem. Jacomyntie — how it suggests 
flax-white hair neath' c[uoiffed under a muslin cap, a 

45^ The Hudson River 

well-lilled, trim stomacher laced to the top, quilted 
]_)etticoats with a neat vision of blue or red yarn stock- 
ings showing between it and the polished shoe-buckles. 
We seem to know that as Jacomyntie Ten Broeck stood 
in the doorway of that goodly stone house, there was 
in her roimd and ])leasant face a consciousness of well- 
stocked larders and fruitful orchards, of cream in the 
dairy and butter in the crocks, and oily koeks on the 
ample sheh'cs of the i)antry. 

At a later day the old house, then one hundred and 
one years old, sheltered a notal:)le company. There 
Robert R. Livingston, Pierre Van Cortlandt, Gou- 
verneur Morris, Colonel De Witt, Gansevoort, Scott, 
Ten Broeck, and others met to deliberate about the 
form of government to be adopted by New York State. 
There John Jay presented the draft of the constitution 
that was afterwards adopted at the old Bogardus Inn, 
at the corner of Maiden Lane and Fair Street in New 
York City. 

We quote from an article by Miss Margaret Win- 
slow, published in the New York Observer in 1883: 

Here, from time to time, have come the great men whom 
Kingston has either received or sent forth into ptibhc hfe. Here 
General Armstrong, the boy hero of the Revolution, father-in- 
law of William B. Astor and ex-Secretary of War, lived in 1S04, 
previous to his departure as Minister to the French Court, leav- 
ing a small marble fireplace, the first ever seen in Kingston, as 
a memorial of his residence; and here, last spring. General 
Arthur, the Republican candidate for Vice-President, bowed his 
tall head to escape collision with the time-honoured and smoke- 
begrimed rafters; and here we — the honoured Drs. Van Sant- 

Rondout and Kingston 459 

voord and Hoes, with the host and the writer — sat and (hseussed 
the history of Kingston; its first and seeond Indian wars, 1659 
and 1661, and the l)urning of the fort, 1663 ; Stuyvesant's treaty 
of peace, 1661, at which ]:)eriod the wily savages ceded him 
the land on which the city now stands, "to grease his feet" in 
return for the compliment of his visit, on which occasion the 
renowned warrior changed the Dutch name of Esopus, or Groote 
Esopus, variously stated to be derived from the Latin falailist 
and from a soft place, to Wiltwyck, or Wild man's village. The 
Dutch regained the town after its capture along with the Swedish 
possessions east of the Hudson in 1664, holding it, however, only 
for a very short time, as said one of my informants, adding 
thereto much of the intermediate history till its consolidation 
with Rondout and Wilbur into a city in 1872, and the building 
of the splendid new City Hall and Arniory, the latter onlv just 

There are many other buildings and several localities of special 
interest to those who love the mild anticjuities of our brand-new 
country — the Academy, founded in 1774, in which De Witt Clin- 
ton and Thomas De Witt, Edward Livingston, Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer, and Abram Van Vechten received their early education; 
the stone Court House, built in 1S18 upon the site of a much 
older one; and the First Dutch Church, organised August, 1659, 
by Rev. Harmanus Blom, sent from Holland as a candidate, and 
ordained by the Classis of Amsterdam, 1660. The fac-similes of 
signatures of the fifteen successors of Blom, carefully gathered 
l)y the venerable Dr. Hoes, and shown me at the close of our 
pleasant evening conversation, are sufficient guarantee that, from 
the first, Esopus — Wiltwyck — Kingston has been in the care of 
that blessed people "whose God is the Lord." 

William Beekman, from whom have sprung all who 
bear that respected name in the annals of New York, 
was Sheriff of Kingston up to the departure of Gov- 
ernor Lovelace from the colony, when he returned to 
New York. His son Henry lived in Kingston, where 
he became Judge of Ulster County and a member of 

46o The Hudson River 

the Pro\4ncial Legislature. His daughter was the wife 
of Robert R. Livingston, and the mother of the distin- 
guished chancellor of that name, as well as of Janet, 
the wife of General Montgomery. The old Senate 
House was at one time occupied by Chancellor Living- 
ston and by General Armstrong, the " boy hero of the 
Revolution," who was afterwards United States Sena- 
tor and Secretary of War. 

Governor Clinton married Cornelia Tappen of King- 
ston, and their son was educated there. John Jay sat 
as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
State of New York during the first term of that court 
at Kingston. Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh, a mem- 
ber of the Colonial Assembly, was a familiar character 
in Kingston, and on one occasion entertained Mrs. 
Washington, with Governor and Mrs. Clinton, at his 
home in Rosendale. He was a descendant of the i)ro- 
prietor of the great Hardenbergh Patent. The list of 
w^ell-knovvn men who have been associated with the 
history of this old town is a long and honourable one. 

Memorable in the annals of the Hudson, the de- 
struction of Kingston b>' fire occurred in the eventful 
year 1777. It was after the reduction of Forts Mont- 
gomery and Clinton, or the one occasion upon which 
the British forces penetrated the gateway of the High- 
lands into the upper river. The cJicvcaii-dc-jrisc and 
other obstructions had been removed, the American 
shipping had gone up in a magnificent conflagration, 
and the way seemed at last open for the ships and sol- 

Rondout and Kinirstoii 461 


diers of George III. to take possession of the region 
above West Point, either to ereate a diversion in favour 
of Burgoyne, then face to face with Gates near Sara- 
toga, or to co-operate with him according to agreement. 

Sir Henry Chnton did not proceed in person with the 
expedition up the ri\'er, but left the command to Gen- 
eral Vaughan and Sir James Wallace, who were ac- 
companied bv a considerable number of troops, with 
a squadron of the lighter vessels of war. 

Putnam, near Fishkill, whither he had retreated, 
concerted immediately with Governor Clinton, who had 
escaped to New Windsor, to move northward with 
their hastily assembled forces to intercept and check 
the advance of the enemy. There is an admiral^le 
ring of courage in the note written at this time to the 
Council of Safety by Clinton: " I am persuaded, if the 
militia will join me, we can save the country from 
destruction and defeat the enemy's design of assisting 
the northern army." 

A new and definite evidence of this design had been 
strangely received by the Governor about the time of 
the penning of those words. The arrest of two per- 
sons coming from the direction of Fort Montgomery 
led to important developments. One of the twain, 
seeming to swallow something, was given an emetic, 
upon which a silver bullet was produced, but, being 
more nimble than his captors, he succeeded in dispos- 
ing of the morsel again in the same manner as before. 
He refused so energetically to be dosed a second time 

462 The Hudson River 

that the Governor threatened to have him hanged and 
his body cut open. He then 34elded, and the buUet, 
again dehvered, was found to enclose a paper bearing 
a note from Sir Henry Chnton to General Burgoyne: 
" Here we are (Fort Montgomery — Oct. 8th) and no- 
thing between us and Gates. I sincerely ho]5e this little 
success of ours will facilitate your operations." The 
resolute postman did not escape the penalty of his mis- 
sion ; he was tried as a spy and sentenced to be hanged. 

The Governor ])ressed forward with what force he 
could hastily get together to protect Kingston if pos- 
sible, as that was then the seat of the State Legislature. 
He saw here and there at villages and hamlets, and 
even single residences on the river shore, marauding 
parties of British at work, their motions being marked 
by flames and depredation, but he could not move 
rapidly enough to intercept them. 

When General Vaughan and his force landed from 
their vessels, a little body of about a hundred and fifty 
militia opposed them at Kingston, but these valiant 
defenders were soon overcome and put to flight. The 
invaders then marched to the village, whence the people 
and officials had for the most part fled at their ap- 
proach, and set fire to it at a number of points, having 
sacked it. A great quantity of stores collected there 
and nearly all of the princii;)al dwellings and public 
buildings were consumed. 

An entertaining story is told by Lossing of the 
fright of some Dutchmen who were working in the 

Rondout and Kingston 463 

flats near Rondout and did not know of the ap- 
]iroach of the British till one of Vaughan's two attack- 
ing columns was actually upon them. They fled for 
their lives across the shallow water and into the fields 
on the other side, whence the labourers had very re- 
cently made their esca|)e, leaving their farming im]:)le- 
ments on the ground. One of the Dutchmen, in 
running ]:)lindl\' forward, stepped u])on the teeth of a 
rake, whereupon, according to the time-honoured cus- 
tom of rakes when their teeth are stepped on. the 
handle sprang up and rapped him on the head. That 
was too much for overwrought ner\'es. Thinking that 
the enemy had overtaken him, the fugitive fell upon 
his knees, shouting, " I gifs up — I gifs up! Hurrah for 
King Shorge ! ' ' 

According to an estimate made by Sharpe, there 
stood in Kingston, after the conflagration, the stone 
walls of above forty of the strongly built Dutch houses, 
though the woodwork was entirely consumed. Among 
this number was the old Senate House, the roof and 
interior of which were absolutely destroyed, though the 
walls were uninjured. In common with several other 
fire- washed shells of the same class, it was afterwards 
repaired and occupied. The Hasbrouck mansion was 
similarly preserved, as were also the old academy 
building, the vSchoonmaker mansion, and the Beekman 

It has been stated that Vaughan with great reluct- 
ance gave the order to burn the church deciding to do 

4^4 The Hudson River 

it only as a matter of military duty. Whether this 
is or is not true, there is no doubt that to most Ameri- 
cans the burning of Kingston has always seemed a 
wanton act of barbarity on the part of troops flushed 
with recent victory and unrestrained by authority. 
The smoke and flame spread consternation among the 
inhabitants of other villages, and fugitives from the 
destroyed town sought asylum among the hills and in 
remote places. The spectacle of Kingston burning 
must have moved with rage and pity the stout hearts 
of Putnam and Clinton, on opposite sides of the river, 
witnesses to a calamity they were powerless to avert. 

Clinton had used the utmost dispatch, but was two 
hours too late to interpose an effort to save the town. 
It is recorded that he had the spy, he of the silver 
bullet, brought forward and hanged to the liml:) of an 
apple tree in sight of Kingston, an act which we can 
hardly conceive to have afforded any satisfaction to 
one of his disposition and character. 

At Rhinebeck, Tivoli, and elsewhere the destruction 
was repeated on a smaller scale. Here a mansion and 
there a barn or a hay-rick added a flame to the general 
conflagration. The intention of the enemy was evi- 
dentl}^ to advance to Albany, which seemed doomed 
to share the fate of Kingston, and there to effect that 
conjunction with Burgo}^ne which was the object of the 

But Burg03me was in no condition to co-operate with 
any armv. The diversion had come too late. Almost 

Rondout an( 



simultaneoush' with the mo\-ements of CHnton and his 
subordinates on the Hudson, the forces of Burgoyne 
and Gates were in mortal conflict, and the decisive 
victory of the latter put a sudden end to Vaughan s 
advance. The State Legislature, in session at Kings- 

"^^^^^^^^i^^^, ^' 

{From a drawing by the author) 

ton when the British approached, hastily dispersed, 
to reassemble afterwards at Albany. 

Kingston, the modern town, was incorporated in the 
year 1805. Its growth at first was slow. From the 
third place on the river in point of population, it had 
been struck down at a blow, its trade ruined, its Iniild- 
ings destroyed, its prestige gone. To rcco\'er from 
such a crushing injury it was necessary that it should 
possess or develop some signal superiority in natural 

466 The Hudson River 

or artificial facilities for manufacture, agriculture, or 
trade. There were, unchanged, the same natural ad- 
vantages of situation that had, in the earlier years of 
its settlement, made it more desirable than neighbour- 
ing villages. The deep mouth of the creek, sheltered 
yet accessible, furnished one of the most convenient 
harbours for the river boats, and the fertile and pleas- 
ant lands were inviting to the farmer. But farmers 
do not make villages, and facilities for the landing of 
boats do not make trade. The Indian traffic in pelt- 
ries, which in the first centur\' of its growth had been 
so important an item of its commercial life, naturally 
flowed from the interior with the stream. Then, too, 
in a primitive age, the course of a river is the course 
of a highway. Men followed the water from point to 
point rather than traverse unbroken wilderness, so that 
the first roads were surveyed by the hand that laid the 
beds of the water-courses. Between New York and 
Albany there were but two or three tributary streams 
that were of such size or were the natural outlets of so 
desirable a country as that which flowed l^y Wiltwyck. 
The benefit derived from this position was not abated 
till Kingston's position was an assured one, when it con- 
tinued naturally to hold its place as a distributing and 
shipping centre, even after the Indian trade had died 
away and other highways had subtracted much from 
the original importance of the creek. 

When Kingston tried to rise from her own ashes the 
conditions were all changed. Thirty-five years after 

Rondout and Kingston 467 

its incorporation and sixty-three after the great fire, 
the total population of Kingston and Rondout to- 
gether did not much exceed fifty-five hundred souls. 
In the succeeding thirty years, however, the popula- 
tion had increased fourfold, while the population of 
Ulster Count}' in the same ]3eriod had doubled. This 
increase was in |)art due to the development of cer- 
tain industries, ])articularly the trade in bluestone and 
flagging, which amounts to millions of dollars every 
year. The terminus of the Delaware and Hudson 
Canal, the city finds itself again possessed of the unique 
advantages that the creek presented at an earlier and 
more primiti\'e stage of its histor}'. Coal, lime, ce- 
ment, stone and gravel, and agricultural products now 
make the business of its wharves and warehouses, 
where formerh' the skins of bear and beaver and the 
product of scattered mills formed the sta]:)les of trade. 
The shipments of old ma\' ha\'e been calculated by 
thousands of ])ounds annually; those of to-day are 
estimated at millions of tons. The hills that face Ron- 
dout Creek are honeycombed with galleries from wliich 
cement is obtained. The ciuarries for bluestone and 
flagging extend for nearly ninety miles through the 
region of countr\' for which the canal furnishes the 
outlet. Besides this, several railroads either touch at 
this place or make it a terminal station, and a fleet of 
steamboats equal in number to a combination of all 
others that ply upon the upper river give the front of 
the city a metropolitan aspect. Of course, on the 

468 The Hudson River 

principle that nothing succeeds hke success, the growth 
of population and of business due to foundries and 
machine shops has been considerable. 

Commercial Kingston has nearly swallowed the 
C[uaint, historic town that used to sit comfortabh^ on 
the site of old Wiltwyck. Gradually it has absorbed 
its neighbours, Rondout being the last to be digested. 
There is a ferry from Rhinebeck on the east shore of 
the river. The city has twenty-four churches, several 
daily newspapers, four national banks, and excellent 
schools and seminaries. Altogether, it is phenomen- 
alh' active for a Hudson River town. 

In going forward from older times to more modern 
days, we have been obliged to omit mention of many 
people and events. But one name tempts a return for 
one brief jmragraph. John Vanderlyn, the celebrated 
painter, was born in Kingston late in the eighteenth 
century. He was first apprenticed to a waggon-painter, 
and the genius that was in him developed in spite of 
this prosaic occupation. For several years he struggled 
>to reconcile his vocation with his avocation, to possess 
his soul while laying smooth panels of coach varnish 
and striping wheels. At length one day that meddler 
with many fortunes. Colonel Aaron Burr, strayed into 
the Kingston tavern, and while waiting there saw some 
of Vanderlyn 's work. He called for the artist, and the 
result of that interview was that the young man ceased 
to paint waggons and went to Europe to learn to paint 
pictures. In 1808, at the Louvre, he received a gold 

Rondout and Kingston 469 

medal offered I)}' Xapoleon for the Ijest composition of 
the }-ear. His subject was Mariiis on the Ruins of 
Carthage. Nearly forty >-ears later he ]:)ainted the 
Landing of Columbus, which is in the Ca]ntol at Wash- 
ington, but even then his power had l)egun to decline, 
and the work is considered quite inferior to some of his 
earlier productions. 

Eight years later the painter died in po\'ertv in 
Kingston, and his remains were laid in the old Wilt- 
w^yck cemetery. 

Allusion has been made to the Huguenots who 
founded New Paltz. At first their national language 
and form of worshi]) distinguished them from their 
Dutch neighbours, but gradually, in the course of sev- 
eral generations, both of these distinguishing ])eculiar- 
ities were forgotten and the descendants of Dubois, 
Hasbrouck, Lefever, Bevier, Crispell, and then* com- 
panions could not be distinguished except by name 
from those of Ten Broeck, Van Gaasbeek, or Blom. 
A descendant of Dubois became one of the prominent 
ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, and others 
of Huguenot lineage have followed his example. 

In 1883, Mr. Frederick Edward Westbrook, a de- 
scendant of Wessel Ten Broeck, published a history of 
the old Senate House, his own residence, and in it is 
contained the following interesting reference to the 
Huguenot settlers: 

The region selected by the Huguenots for their future abode 
was like their own delightful France. It wanted the culture and 

470 The Hudson River 

improvements of the former, but the picturesque and the sub- 
lime in nature appeared on every side. Running streams, verd- 
ant lawns, hills, and woods charmed the eye. Toward the east 
the charming prospect was bounded by the noble and ever-roll- 
ing Hudson. The lofty Catskills delighted their vision while at 
Kingston, where they remained about fifteen years before leav- 
ing for New Paltz, about 1683, where they remained as their 
final resting-place. The Shawangunk and the Fishkill range of 
mountains gave additional beauty to the scene. The Rosendale 
begins its course far in the interior, and, uniting with the Wall- 
kill, then rapidly passes on till it unites with the Hudson. So 
with the Esopus Creek; its source is among the mountains of 
the Delaware, whence it rushes furiously onward until it reaches 
Marbletown ; from thence it runs northerly until it mingles with 
the Hudson at Saugerties, Ulster County. About twenty fami- 
lies remained at Kingston. The Dutch and French Huguenots 
followed these noble streams. Their descendants now enjoy the 
rich and glorious patrimony secured by the industry, frugahty, 
and piety of their ancestors. 

A copy of their treaty with the Indians exists, and was exe- 
cuted May 26, 1677. They were three days on their journey 
from Kingston to New Paltz. Soon, however, they selected a 
more elevated site upon the banks of the beautiful Wallkill, 
where the ancient village now stands. Kingston was then their 
only trading village. 

The French church, of which Louis DuBois was the first elder, 
was established in 1683. For fifty years the language they used 
was French; subsequently for seventy years succeeded by the 
Low Dutch; since the beginning of the nineteenth century Eng- 
lish has been their church vernacular. 

Rev. Mr. Dalhe, from New York, visited New Paltz, January 
26, 1683, and occasionally conducted services for them. Their 
then house of worship was a stone edifice, where thev worshipped 
eighty years, when it was demolished. . . . The Huguenots 
finally, by intermarriages and intercourse with the Dutch, 
adopted their language, manners, and customs, and finally gave 
up their French church and accepted and joined with the Re- 
formed Dutch denomination, and worshipped with the Dutch in 
the same church edifice. 

Chapter XXVIII 

Saugerties and its Neighbours 

IN old descriptions of county boundaries the hmits 
of Ulster are set at Murderer's Creek on the south, 
and Sawyer's Creek on the north. The Sawyer's 
Creek, or Sawkill of local maps, was the scene of an 
unaccountable activity on the ]:>art of a man whose 
name, antecedents, residence, mode of life, and fate 
are all unknown, yet from whom a ]3opulous town 
derives its appellation. The "Little Sawyer," who 
established himself on the bank of a stream some ten 
miles above Kingston and antedated the earliest set- 
tlers whose names are recorded, has been referred to 
in old accounts as de Zaagertje and his mill as Zaar- 
gertje's, of which Saugerties is a simple corruption. 

What the object of the sawyer's coming was, for 
whom his logs were sawn, or where they were shipped, 
are questions to which no answers have been suggested. 
The Indians, in a transaction the record of which was 
officially preserved, acknowledged definitely that they 
had sold and conveyed to this mysterious man a tract 
of several thousand acres of land on the l^anks of the 


4/2 The Hudson River 

stream, but he was never known to have had the pur- 
chase confirmed by royal grant. 

In course of time this region, well watered, fertile, 
and abounding in game, attracted settlers. The pleas- 
ant meadows that bordered the mouth of Esopus 
Creek drew, first of all, Cornelius Lambertsen Brink, 
who built a stone house at the junction of the Platte- 
kill and Esopus Creek, in witness whereof the house 
stands to this day. There are also descendants of the 
pioneer Brink, in the seventh and eighth generations, 
whose filial piety keeps his memory green. Brink had 
been a prisoner among the Indians after the horrible 
Esopus massacre in 1663 ; but, with twenty- two fellow- 
captives, he managed to escape from the hands of the 
savages. A few other hardy Dutch frontiersmen took 
up land between the great Hardenbergh patent and 
the river. A large holding to the north of Saugerties 
was known as Fullerton's tract, upon which afterwards 
the West Camp of the Palatines was established. This 
at that time was included in the county of Albany, of 
which the southern boundary was then Esopus Creek. 

North of Saugerties were fruitful plantations of 
maize, cultivated by the Indians, from which, at a 
time when the savages had assumed a hostile attitude, 
some white men took a quantity of corn. But it may 
be said that the people of Saugerties generally escaped 
broils with their redskin neighbours. As early as 
1 61 8, a treaty was made between one Eelkins, com- 
mander of the trading-post at Albany, and the repre- 

Saugerties and its Neighbours 473 

sentatives of the Five Nations, b>- which the latter 
pledged themselves to friendship for the white men, 
and it is stated that that treaty was never broken. 

The Indians that harassed Kingston and other set- 
tlements, tomahawking the men and carrying away 
women and children, were of the Esopus and Catskill 
tribes, who finally allied themselves with the Mohegans 
against their greatly dreaded enemy, the Mohawks. 
We read of the subjugation of the Mohegans and their 
aUies by the Mohawks and the estabHshment of their 
overlordship or suzerainty, and we can understand 
how the latter compelled the adversaries of the Dutch 
to surrender prisoners that they had taken. 

Near the beginning of the eighteenth century, at the 
same time that a purchase (elsewhere referred to) was 
made of Judge Livingston for the Palatines, the Fuller- 
ton tract was also secured on the west shore, and what 
was known as West Camj) was established. 

It is not possible to overestimate the value of the 
faithful and conscientious, though often obstinate and 
discontented, Germans upon the life of the community 
that was then in its earh' formative stage. The com- 
bination of this stock with that of the Dutch and the 
Huguenot exiles that came to Kingston and afterwards 
settled the banks of the Wallkill resulted in a "blend" 
of unusual excellence. The amalgamation seems to 
have been very complete in course of time, as we note 
that the Huguenots adopted both the language and 
form of worship of the Dutch, while one of the most 

474 The Hudson River 

successful and widel}^ known ministers of the Dutch 
Church in that region was of Palatine parentage, and 
came m time to be known as "the Dutch Domine." 
Immediately upon settling, the Palatines established 
schools and churches. The first school was com- 
menced within three months after the arrival of the 
emigrants at West Camp. This alone should for ever 
set at rest the common notion that they were illiterate 
peasants. Poor they were certainly, the victims of 
persecution that seemed to follow them even from 
their own land in the lower Palatinate, on the Rhine, 
across the seas, at first to England and afterwards to 
America. The statesmen of Qtieen Anne's time an- 
ticipated that the labour of the Palatines would at 
least repay the outlay necessary for their transport and 
maintenance. The i:)lan was to employ them in get- 
ting out timbers for the royal navy, particularly masts 
and spars; and the j^roduction of pitch, turpentine, 
resin, etc., or what are known as naval stores. 

The first years of the settlement were years of hard- 
ship and suffering and great discontent. The people 
believed that the establishment of the camps upon the 
Hudson was a breach of faith, they having understood 
that they were to have lands elsewhere. Fortv thou- 
sand dollars had been expended in the experiment by 
the British government, and a hundred and thirty 
thousand more from Governor Hunter's private pocket; 
but at length the whole scheme of colonisation was 
acknowledred to be a failure, and the colonists were 

Saugerties and its Neighbours 475 

permitted to mcn'e where they pleased or to buy the 
lands upon which they were settled. 

The settlement was made in 1 7 1 o-i i . In the French 
and Indian War which soon followed, the Enghsh found 
no more ready volunteers than the Palatines, who had 
old scores to wipe out. This same warlike spirit was 
again shown, when in sui:)port of the Continental cause, 


this time in o])])Osition to the English, their descend- 
ants filled not only the ranks of the Ulster regiments, 
but ];)rovided not a few of the military officers. Gen- 
eral Herkimer was the most distinguished soldier of 
Palatine descent. Under such leaders as Captain John 
Conrad Weiser and Captain Hartman Winedecker, the 
yeomen of Saugerties and \'icinity made a good record. 
Oiie of the early ministers of the German exiles was 
Josiah Kocherthal, a man of scholarly attainments and 
a poetic temperament. His epitaph in the cemetery at 

47^ The Hudson River 

West Camp (Newton) is given in translation by Ben- 
jamin Myer Brink, in his History of Saugerties, as 
follows : 

Know traveller, under this stone rests, beside his Sibylla 
Charlotte, a real traveller, of the High Dutch in North America 
their Joshua, and a pure Lutheran preacher of the same on the 
east and west side of the Hudson River. His first arrival was 
with Lord Lovelace in 1709, the first of January. His second 
with Col. Hunter, 17 10, the fourteenth of June. The journey of 
his soul to Heaven on St. John's day 17 19, interrupted his return 
to England. Do you wish to know more ? Seek in Melancthon's 
Fatherland who was Kocherthal, who Harschias, who Winchen- 
bach ? 

Through vSatigerties and along that shore of the river, 
in the eighteenth century, a tri-weekl}^ mail from New 
York to Albany was carried by a post-rider on horse- 
back, and this mail, we may suppose, was never burden- 
some enough to distress his horse. 

But now we ma}^ turn our attention again for a while 
to the eastern shore of the stream. We find ourselves 
in what may be known as the land of the Livingstons. 
Mr. Ellis H. Roberts points out that 

in the assembly of 1759, consisting of twenty-seven members, no 
less than four Livingstons sat: Philip for New York, WiUiam for 
the Manor, and Robert and Henry for Dutchess. By alHance 
by marriage with the Schuylers and the Jays, and by its wealth, 
the Livingston family held a pre-eminence rarely equalled in 
this country. 

To write fidly the local history of Tivoli, Hyde Park, 
and the neighbouring region would be to undertake the 
extensive chronicle of that prominent family. The 

Saugerties and its Neighbours 477 

name of Livingston is intimately eonnccted with the 
story of New York State and ])artieularh' with its 
great river. Robert Livingston, the immediate pro- 
genitor of the American branch of the family, was of 
Scotch parentage. He settled first in Albany, where 
he was emplo}'ed as secretary b>^ the Commissioners of 
Indian Affairs, acquiring several lots of land from the 
Indians. In 1710, he had his various purchases and 
grants consolidated into an estate of something more 
than a hundred and fift\' thousand acres, which w^as 
seciu-ed by a patent that was burdened w4th the stipu- 
lation that for the enjoyment of this wilderness he 
should pa\' an annual rent amounting in value to about 
three and a half dollars. Nothing now remains of 
the old manor-house which he erected at the mouth of 
Roeleff Jansen's Kill, or Ancram Creek. 

Six thousand acres of Robert Livingston's land was 
bought the same year that the grant w^as dated by the 
government for the use of the unfortunate Palatines. 

Early in the eighteenth century, the tenants of the 
Livingston Manor w^ere allow^ed one representative, 
elected by the freeholders, in the colonial Legislature, 
and in 17 16 the lord of the Manor was chosen for that 
office. When the old proprietor died, he was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Robert R., in the ownership of the 
lower part of the Manor. There he built a fine man- 
sion, w^hich he named Clermont. This w^as Judge 
Livingston, the father of that Robert R. w4io was Chan- 
cellor of the State of New York. The latter was born 

47^ The Hudson River 

in old Clermont, but soon after his marriage built for 
himself a mansion a short distance to the south of his 
father's house. Both of these dwellings were burned 
by the British under General Vaughan in 1777. The 
commodious dwelling that the Chancellor built upon 
the ruins of his former home is the one u]3on which has 
centred all the sacredness of family traditions, as it 
was here that he closed his busy career in 18 13. 

We have elsewhere referred to his connection with 
Robert Fulton in the production of the first successful 
steamboat. Fulton married a niece of Livingston's, 
whose own wife was the daughter of that John Stevens 
who owned most of the site of Hoboken, and sister of 
the second John Stevens, the builder of the first ocean- 
going steamer. The atmosphere in which he lived 
seems to have been surcharged with the spirit of in- 
vention. The origin of the fallacious tradition that 
the Clermont steamer was built near Tivoli may be 
found in a story mentioned by Lossing, to the effect 
that Nesbit, the Englishman whose experiments were 
encouraged by Livingston in 1797, did build an un- 
successful steamboat in De Koven's Bay, just below 
Upper Red Hook landing. 

It was at De Koven's Bay that the British landed 
when they burned old Clermont. They made a demon- 
stration at the house of John Swift Livingston, another 
descendant of the original proprietor, but were met 
with such jovial hospitality that they were pleased to 
forego the burning. It was a case where the cellar 

Saugcrties and its Neighbours 479 

sa\'ed the huusc, for, \vc are told, the master pHed his 
guests with wine and other refreshment till the\- de- 
parted in high good humour. 

At Annandale, nearly midway between Tivoli and 
Barry town, is another notable spot, once the residence 
of General Richard Montgomery. His birthplace was 
Dublin, Ireland; and at Dublin College he was edu- 
cated, afterwards entering the British army. When 
his regiment, the 17th, was ordered for service in en- 
forcing the Stamp Act in America, Montgomery, 
among others, resigned his commission. In 1772, or 
the early part of 1773, he came to New York, purchas- 
ing a farm near Kingsbridge, but that same year he 
married a daughter of Judge Livingston and removed 
to Rhinebeck. The letters which passed between 
Montgomery and his prosiiective father-in-law are in 
the stilted st\-le of a bygone day. Among other 
delightful bits of rhetoric the suitor w^'ites : 

I have ventured at last to request, Sir. that you will consent 
to a union which to me has the most ])romising appearance of 
happiness, from the lady's uncommon merit and amiable worth. 
Nor will it be an inconsiderable addition to be favoured by such 
respectable characters with the title of son, should I be so fort- 
unate as to deserve it. And if to contribute to the happiness 
of a beloved daughter can claim any share with tender parents, 
I hope hereafter to have some title to your esteem. 

The answer was propitious and, it may be said, 
equally elegant in diction, and the marriage between 
the future General and his beloved Janet took place in 
Julv, 1773. In 1775, he was chosen one of the Council 

48o The Hudson River 

of Fifty from Dutchess County, and afterwards, upon 
the appointment of PhiHp Schuyler as Major-General, 
he was tendered the rank of Brigadier-General. His 
young wife was nearly overcome with emotion when 
he brought her the news of this appointment, but, 
quickly recovering herself, she with her own hands 
placed a ribbon cockade upon his hat and gave him 
such encouragement as a brave wife, who loves her 
husband's honour more than her own hapi^iness, may 
give. The parting between these married lovers took 
place at Saratoga. It was marked by deep feeling and 
a no less strong self-control. Then the young soldier 
turned his face towards Canada, and his wife saw him 
no more. 

We know how General Schuyler's resignation, on 
account of ill-health, raised Montgomery to chief com- 
mand at Isle aux Noix. He had a difficult task in 
dealing with discontent and even instibordination 
among his troops, but his progress through Canada 
was triumphant, and he went to the attack of Quebec 
with a feeling that he " had courted fortune and found 
her kind." 

With his half-starved and half-naked little army, in 
the bitter cold of a Canadian winter morning, before 
the dawn, on the 31st December, 1775, Montgomery 
arranged his forces for the attack. Through the dark- 
ness and the falling snow he urged his benumbed sol- 
diers, till he received the wound that proved mortal. 
When his body was afterwards identified among a 





Scumcrties and its Neighbours 4^3 


number of others, the British eommander had it l^uricd 
within the walls of the city with military honours. By 
his will, made at Crown Point during the preceding 
August, and found a few days after his death by Bene- 
dict Arnold and Donald Campbell, Montgomery's 
estate on the Hudson was given to his wife, Janet. 

After forty-three years the body of General Mont- 
gomery was delivered, through the courtesy of Sir 
John Sherbrooke, to Colonel Lewis Livingston, and, 
escorted by the Adjutant-General, with Colonel Van 
Rensselaer and a detachment of cavalry, it was brought 
to Albany and lay in state in the Capitol. The im- 
pressive ceremonies held there extended over the 
Fourth of July. Two days later commenced a funeral 
progress without parallel in the history of New York. 
Placed in a magnificent coffin and accompanied by a 
suitable military escort, the remains of the hero of 
Quebec were taken aboard the steamer Richmond, ' 
which had been temporarih^ converted into a funeral 
catafalc[ue. The sombre spectacle made a dee]) im- 
pression upon the thousands of people who witnessed 
the departure. The villages along the course of this 
mournful procession paid every possible mark of re- 
spect and grief, and at some places the melancholy 
rei^ort of minute guns announced the passing of the 

But more imj^ressive than the beat of mufifled drums 
or the salute of the cannon, more significant than the 
emblems of mourning, more sad than the tears of a 

484 The Hudson River 

multitude, was the presence of one woman, past the 
prime of Hfe, with hair whitened by nearh* half a cent- 
ur}' of widow^hood. At her own request, Mrs. Mont- 
gomer}' was left alone upon the ]:)iazza of her home, 
"Montgomery Place." There, un watched, she coidd 
witness the pomp and ceremony of that melanchoh^ 
progress that, w4iile it could not fail to gratify her 
pride, yet renewed the anguish of her loss and brought 
the scalding tears to her aged eyes. The steamboat 
stopped before her house and the troops stood under 
arms as the distant strains of the dead-march came 
up from the river. 

At last the final honours to Montgomery were paid 
in New York City, and on the 8th of July, 181 8, his 
remains were interred under the monument in St. 
Paul's Churchyard. 

We have, in a former chapter, made reference to 
Hyde Park as the scene of James Kirke Paulding's re- 
tirement, and no account of the river written fiftv 
years ago could have omitted to mention the beauties 
of his country home, " Placentia," and the fame of the 
author and jniblic servant who lived there. But who 
recollects to-day in whose administration Paulding was 
Secretary of State — or was it war? — and what library 
in active circulation to-day would be cumbered by 
keeping his once-popular books on its shelves ? James 
K. Paulding is to most Americans a scarcely remem- 
bered name, recalled only because of his association 
with Washington Irving in some youthful literary 

Saugerties and its Neighbours 4^S 

ventures. His pleasant home at Hyde Park was re- 
ehristened b_\' a subseciuent owner, as though to em- 
phasise the vanity of popular reputation. An in(|uiry 
about the last scene of his earthly sojourn elicits from 
one whose leisure, if not elegant, is at least obvious, 
such a re])ly : 

Paulding's house? What Paulding? Th' feller that used to 
be barkeeper at the hotel? Well, then, I don't know who you 
mean: I guess he ain't lived round here none fer quite a spell. 

Chapter XXIX 

The Catskill Region 

THE greater portion of that part of Greene 
County bordering upon the ri\'er was. in 
early times, held by a few proprietors. In 
accordance with the instructions of the Company, the 
lands were jjurchased from the Indian owners, being 
afterwards in nearly all instances confirmed by royal 
grants. The same method of procedure was followed 
along the shores of the lower part of the river. 

A little to the south of Catskill, a dozen or more 
yoemen settled with their families —numbering, slaves 
and all, seventy or more souls — upon land which was 
then, and has ever since been called the imhogt. This 
was included in the Loverage patent. Beekman's, al- 
ready alluded to, was in Kiskatom, adjoining Greene s. 
The land where the village of Catskill stands was in- 
cluded in Lindsay's patent. 

Silvester Salsbury and Martin G. Bergen, in 1677, 
purchased a large tract of land from the Indians. Sals- 
bury was a British captain, who had charge of the fort 
at Albany in the time of Governor Nicoll. A patent 
for this land was not obtained till 1688, when Salsbury 


The Catskill Region 


was no longer living; but his widow held his ])ortion 
of the estate, which la}' on Catskill Creek. Neither of 
the original patentees lived upon the land thus ac- 

{From the painting by A. B. Durand, in the Lenox Library. By pe 

quired, but continued residents of Albany; their sons, 
however, moved into the Catskill wilderness. 

Francis Salsbury, in 1705, built upon his portion of 

4^3 The Hudson River 

the domain a stone house that was a sufficient protec- 
tion against the arms or military science of the redskins 
and also proof against the ravages of two centuries. 
For many years this dwelling enjoyed the distinction 
of being the largest house between Newburgh and Al- 
bany. The Van Bergen mansion, though equally en- 
during, was somewhat altered architecturally a number 
of years ago. It was built of brick, being a unique 
example of the use of this material in old Catskill. 

Benjamin Dubois had a wooden house, probably a 
roomy log-cabin, near the mouth of the creek; and 
others of the prominent men of the settlement were 
similarly housed. Among the names of the older 
Catskill families are Van Ordens, Van Vechtens, Over- 
baghs, Abeels, Oothoudts, Schunemans, Wynkoops, 
Fieros, Webers, Plancks, Newkirks — a mingling of 
Dutch and German ap]3ellations still to be found in the 
Catskill directory. 

There is a tradition that, on Wanton Island, near 
Catskill, a fierce battle was once fought between the 
Mohawks and the river Indians. The former claimed 
the right to name a sachem for their neighbours, or, 
in other words, the}^ tried to enforce the right of over- 
lordship, which the others resisted. After a day of 
hard fighting, according to Indian methods, the Mohe- 
gans succeeded in dri\4ng their enemies from the field. 
The Mohawks then retreated to another island, where 
they built fires and pretended to encamp. But, having 
spread their blankets upon poles near the fire, so that 

The Catskill Region 489 


thev shotild resemble men seated there, they retired to 
the forest and waited in ambush till the Mohegans 
a})] reared to complete their \-ictory. The latter, steal- 
ing u]) in the dead of night, tomahawk in hand, fell 
ui)on the unsusi)eeting blankets with great fury. While 
thus exposed in the glare of the firelight, and no doubt 
thrown into confusion ])y the ruse that had du|jed 
them, they fell a read)' ])re}' to the arrows of the crafty 
Mohawks. In another narrative of this battle (one, it 
must be confessed, more in keeping with probabilities) , 
no mention is made of the strategy of the blankets and 
cam]3-fire. It is stated that the Mohawks, finding the 
Mohegans' ]:)osition on the island imjjregnable, retired 
to the mainland, pretending to he beaten, and that the 
others foolishly followed them, to their own destruc- 
tion. The result of this battle was a treaty, l)y the 
terms of which the Mohawks were to choose a king for 
the Mohegans, and the}' were ])ledged to reverence him 
and call him by the honourable title of " Uncle." 

Van Rensselaer's agent coveted and laid claim to the 
region about Catskill, but his pretensions were set at 
naught by Governor Kieft, who granted the land to 
Cornelius Antonissen Van vSlyck of Bruckelin. This 
was in 1644; but, in 1649, Van Rensselaer, who paid 
little regard to what was done b}^ the Go\'ernor of New 
Amsterdam, asserted his rights by ])urchasing of the 
Indians their pro]:ierty in the disputed territory. In 
1650, the Dutch West India Company denied the valid- 
ity of the purchase made b\' Van Slechtenhorst, \"an 

490 The Hudson River 

Rensselaer's agent, and Stuyvesant declared the title 
void, ordering that the purchase money be restored, 
\'et making a condition that if those holding such 
lands would, within six weeks, petition the Director 
and Council, they might have their holdings confirmed. 
Of course, this was a crafty effort on the Governor's 
part to make the too independent patroon of Renssel- 
aerswyck own the authority of the Company's Director 
at Manhattan. Grants free from dependence upon the 
Patroon were subsequently given by the powers at 

William Leete Stone, editor at one time of the New 
York Couinicycial Advertiser, wrote regarding the settle- 
ment of Catskill, that 

its Dutch founders, with characteristic prudence, placed it en- 
tirely out of sight from the river, probably to render themselves 
secure from bombardment by a foreign fleet and from invasion 
from the armies of the Yankees, which formerly much annoyed 
our primitive settlements. 

The Indians from whom the lands of the early set- 
tlers were purchased disappeared entirely from the 
scene. Their sachem, Mahak-Neminaw, seems to have 
been a poor sort of a chief, drunken and beggarly. He 
had a share in the earlier transactions for the transfer 
of his tribe's patrimony, but when the final sale, which 
left his people without a habitation on earth, was 
made, he was not present, and his fellovz-tribesmen stip- 
ulated that when he appeared he was to receive, as his 
share of the price, two pieces of duffels and six cans of 

The Catskill Region 491 

rum. Where these eadier inhal:)itants, whose wigwams 
occupied the terrace that l)eeame the site of old Cats- 
kill, betook themselves, is not recorded. The sub- 
sequent Indian troubles, which this ])lace shared with 
other river towns, were due to conflict with other 

The most tragic stories of Indian atrocities are of 
Revolutionary date. The fierce Mohawks, acting as 
allies with the British, and aided l^y Tories who were 
scattered throughout the countr\', swoojjcd down upon 
solitary farmhouses and ca])tured the inmates, taking 
them by arduous forest ways to Canada, where a re- 
ward was paid for each ])risoner. It seems almost in- 
credible that a party of twenty or more redskins, with 
possibly several white men, would undertake a toil- 
some journey of hundreds of miles, on foot, through a 
wilderness, where hunger often assailed them, for the 
sake of one or two miserable farmer ca])ti\'es, usually 
boys or old men. Yet such Vv^as the fact. 

One of the best known of local stones is that of the 
cajjtivity of the Abeels — David Abeel and Anthony his 
son. These people lived in a house about three miles 
back of Catskill. The father, who was old, had l)cen 
an Indian trader and understood the Mohawk tongue. 
When seated at their noonday meal one Sunday, the 
family was surprised by the sudden entrance of a num- 
ber of Indians, led by a white man, painted and dis- 
guised, but recognised by the sharp eyes of the old 
Indian trader, who thoughtlessly called him by name. 

492 The Hudson River 

"Since you know who I am," said this man, who was 
a Tory neighbour of the Abeels, "you will have to 
come too." It was not at first the intention of the 
marauders to take the old man, who was thought too 
feeble to sustain the fatigue of the long march. 

In honour of the holy day both David and Anthony 
had on their best clothes and finery, and it grieved the 
thrifty soul of a daughter, who was present, that the 
sih'er shoe- and knee-buckles that were the pride of 
the family should fall into the hands of the enemy, so 
while the palaver was going on she hid under the table, 
and, detaching these valuable trinkets, slipped them 
into her bosom. 

Torn from his family, David Abeel made heroic 
efforts to keep up with his captors, knowing that 
should he fail to do so he would be put out of the way 
without hesitation. When the savages learned that he 
could converse with them in their own language, and 
had been among their j^eople as a trader, they treated 
him with consideration. The son was compelled to 
run the gauntlet, that is, to make what speed he could 
between two armed files of Indians, whose blows he 
might esca]3e by dodging. His father warned him that 
the yoimg men would try to get in his way and impede 
him. Remembering this caution, he struck the first 
one who interfered so hard a blow that the Indian fell 
sprawling among his companions and in the confusion 
Anthony completed his run without injurv. 

About the same time Captain Jeremiah Snyder and 

The Catskill Region 493 

his son Elias, of Saugcrties, were taken b)' Tories and 
Indians whik^ ])loughing in a field. The}' atteni])ted 
to escape by running, ])iit were captured, and Ca])tain 
Snyder wounded l)y a l)low from a tomahaw4<. These 
captives were conducted ])y the same general route as 
that generally taken by marauding bands from Canada 
— by way of the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Genesee 
rivers. They were closely guarded by day, and at 
night a rope, ])assed around the arms of each and se- 
curely tied behind, was stretched to l)egs on either side, 
an Indian sleeping upon each ro]3e. The stor}' of the 
captivity of these men is a romance, but too long for 
insertion here. The Snyders and Abeels met in Can- 
ada, and afterw^ards succeeded in making their escape 
together, subsequently returning to their homes. 

The capture of the boy Schermerhorn, known as the 
'Tvow Dutch Prisoner," was attended with the horror 
of murder and arson. The old i;)eo|)le with whom he 
lived, Mr. Stro]:)e and his wife, were tomahawked, and 
the house rifled of all of \-alue that it contained before 
it was finall_\- fired. Like the Snyders and Abeels, 
Schermerhorn finally returned to his home, but not till 
he had endured almost inconcei\'al)le hardships as a 
captive, and had afterwards been forced to fight in the 
British armv. Upon his enlistment a bounty of forty 
Si^anish dollars (the customary sum) w^as paid to the 
Indian who had captured him. 

A bounty was paid by the British for scalps, and 
women and children as well as men furnished these 

494 The Hudson River 

horrible trophies, which were to the savages a source 
of income. 

Most of the inhabitants of Catskill were ardent 
"Whigs," as they were called, and the wrath of their 
scattered Tory neighbours was roused against them. It 
is recorded that one sixth of the male population of 
Catskill were in the patriot army, some serving near 
home and others offering their lives on distant battle- 

A man of great influence at that day was Domine 
Schuneman, whose pastorate of forty years had en- 
deared him to the i^eople to such an extent that he was 
their leader in things temporal as well as spiritual. 
Mr. Schuneman was not of HoUandish descent, but had 
sprung from the German peasant blood of the Palatin- 
ate settlement. He, however, was a minister of the 
Dutch Church, and had been in Holland to complete 
at Leyden the theological education commenced under 
Domine Theodorus Frielinghuysen at Albany. His 
pastorate included Coxsackie as well as Catskill, an 
arrangement frequently made between neighbouring 
villages at that day, when congregations were small 
and ministers few. Schuneman was a strong supporter 
of the colonial cause, and there is no doubt that to his 
great influence was due much of the intense patriotism 
of his neighl)ours. 

In common with other great men, the Catskill 
Domine was the subject of many anecdotes, some of 
them amusing. There is a story told of an entry 

The Catskill Rei'ion 495 


made in his minute-book, as fohows: "Attended the 

funeral of ; sold my gray mare; all flesh is 


When he went abroad to complete his studies he was 
engaged to the youngest daughter of the wealthy |)ro- 
prietor, Martin Van Bergen. On his return he was so 
pitted with smallpox that she did not know him, but 
love was strong enough to overlook the disfigurement 
and the course of their true love ran smooth. After 
old Martin's death, the Domine became by inheritance 
a rich man, and built a splendid house, where he passed 
the remainder of his days. His funeral was in the 
good old Dutch manner, a medley of grief and junket- 
ing, of piety and punch. Each comer, man or woman, 
was met at the outset with a glass of rum, and, after a 
service in Dutch and a long procession on foot (the 
coffin upon an open bier leading the way), the assem- 
bled company returned to the house and, amid clouds 
of tobacco smoke and deep potations, discussed the 
merits of the departed pastor and the merits of the 
last horse sale. 

One of the traditionary stories of Catskill is told in 
Barber and Howe's Collections, the author, William 
Leete Stone, having perhaps added a touch of imag- 
ination to the original version of the tale. At an old 
stone house standing at Cairo, about ten miles to the 
northward of Catskill, there lived in the early part of 
the eighteenth century a young man of arbitrary, pas- 
sionate disposition; one whose passions often rose 

49^ The Hudson River 

beyond control. A young woman, one of the " re- 
demptioners" or white bond-servants of the time, ran 
away from the service of this man. He pursued her 
on horseback, and, finally overtaking her, tied her to 
the tail of his horse, which became frightened and 
dashed madly among the rocks and stones till the poor 
victim was killed and her body terribly mutilated. 
The man was tried for murder and found guilty, but 
through the influence of his family he escaped punish- 
ment, or, rather, the court decreed that he should be 
hanged when he attained the age of ninety-nine 3^ears. 
In addition to this sentence, he was to present himself 
annually to the judges when the court was in session, 
and wear always a cord about his neck as a memorial 
of his crime. He lived for many years, and continued 
each year to fulfil the conditions of his sentence. 
People talked of the silken cord that he wore, and he 
was shunned and solitary in his life, while spectres of 
various sorts gathered around his isolated dwelling. 
Sometimes a female figure would appear alone, then a 
terrific white horse followed by a ghastlv thing in tat- 
tered clothes, and again a wraith in a winding-sheet — 
altogether the neighbourhood of the house became un- 
canny. The Revolutionary war came and found the 
criminal an old man; his ninety-ninth year, that had 
been selected in what seems like grim ijleasantry as 
the date of his execution, came, and he lived on. When 
over a hundred years of age he fell quietly asleep, 
and who shall doubt that the crime of his youth was 


The Catskill Region 499 

expiated by three quarters of a century of punish- 

The details of this story have no doubt been col- 
oured, but there is a foundation in fact. The man in 
question did tie a servant to a rope, to make her return 
to his home, from which she had escaped; but he tied 
the other end of the rope to his own body and was him- 
self dragged to the ground w^hen the horse ran awa}'. 
He gave himself up to the authorities, who, it is said, 
acquitted him and let him go free. 

The history of Catskill has shown an industrial de- 
cline during some years of the past century. The 
town had a great deal of trade, particularly with West- 
ern New York and Northern Pennsylvania, but the 
building of the Erie Canal and the establishment of 
the railroads u]3on the o])posite sides of the river 
served successiveh' to rob it of its advantages of posi- 
tion for trade. 

, Back of Catskill village, a dozen or more miles away, 
rise the most imj^ressive peaks on the outer wall of 
the movmtain range that gives it its name. Not as 
lofty as many of the famous chains that are celebrated 
by travellers, the Catskills have a rare beauty of their 
own and are fully worthy of the admiration of the 
artist or the poet. Irving says: 

Of all the scenery of the Hudson, the Kaatskill ^Mountains had 
the most witching effect on my boyish imagination. Never 
shall I forget the effect upon me of the first view of them pre- 
dominating over a wide extent of country, part wild, woody, and 

500 The Hudson River 

rugged; part softened away into all the graces of cultivation. 
As we slowly floated along, 1 lay on the deck and watched them 
through a long summer's day; undergoing a thousand muta- 
tions under the magical effects of atmosphere ; sometimes seem- 
ing to approach, at other times to recede; now almost melting 
into hazv distance, now burnished by the setting sun, until, in 
the evening, they printed themselves against the glowing sky in 
the deep purple of an Italian landscape. 

As Kingston cherishes in her hall of fame the name 
of John Vanderlyn, artist, so Catskill points with pride 
to Thomas Cole, who, though of English birth, yet for 
many years, and indeed to the close of his life, lived 
and worked near that ])lace. He is best known by the 
Voyage of Life, which at the time of its exhibition was 
considered. |:)erhaps, the most remarkable painting pro- 
duced in America. Cole had a deeply re\^erent spirit, 
evinced no less in the works of his brush than in the 
poems b}^ which he lo\'ed to express his strong appre- 
ciation of nature, 

Slowly unfolding to the enraptured gaze 
Her thousand charms. 

Here we may go aside for a short excursion into 
those enchanted hills where dwelt the old squaw who 
"made the new moons, and cut u]) the old ones into 
stars. " Her factory for making clouds is still in opera- 
tion as she sends them off, "flake after flake, to float 
in the air and give light smnmer showers," or "black 
thunder-storms and drenching rains, to swell the 
streams and sweep everything away." 

In the days of William Kieft, Governor of New 

The Catskill Region 501 

Amsterdam, he, in com]:)any with Adrian Vander Donck 
and others, met the chiefs of the Mohawks in confer- 
ence and noticed the metahic histre of certain ])igments 
used by the savages in personal adornment. They 
procured some of this metal and Johannes de la Mon- 
tague put it in a crucible. When assayed it produced 
gold, to the great delight of the Governor and his 
friends, who managed, upon the arrangement of peace, 
to send an exj^edition in search of the source of treas- 
ure. The result of the expedition was a bucketful of 
ore that yielded |)leasing results w^hen put to the cruci- 
ble's test. The rest of the story may be told in Irving 's 
words : 

William Kieft now dispatched a confidential agent, one Arent 
Corsen, to convey a sackful of the precious ore to Holland. Cor- 
sen embarked at New Haven in a British vessel bound to Eng- 
land, whence he was to cross to Rotterdam. The ship set sail 
about Christmas, but never reached port. All on board perished. 

In 1647, when the redoubtable Petrus Stuyvesant took com- 
mand of the New Netherlands, William Kicft embarked on his 
return to Flolland, provided with further specimens of the Cats- 
kill Mountain ore, from which he doubtless indulged golden an- 
ticipations. A similar fate attended him with that which had 
befallen his agent. The ship in which he had embarked was cast 
away, and he and his treasure were swallowed up in the waves. 

Here closes the golden legend of the Catskills, but another one 
of a similar import succeeds. In 1679, about two years after the 
shipwreck of Wilhelmus Kieft, there was again a rumour of the 
precious metals in these mountains. Mynheer Brant Arent Van 
Slechtenhorst, agent of the Patroon of Rensselaerswyck, had pur- 
chased, in behalf of the Patroon, a tract of the Catskill lands, 
and leased it out in farms. A Dutch lass, in the household of 
one of the farmers, found one day a glittering substance, which, 

502 The Hudson River 

on being examined, was pronounced silver ore. Brant Van 
Slechtenhorst forthwith sent his son from Rensselaerswyck to 
explore the mountains in quest of the supposed mines. The 
young man put up in the farmer's house, which had recently 
been erected on the margin of a mountain stream. Scarcely was 
he housed when a furious storm burst forth on the mountains. 
The thunders rolled, the lightnings flashed, the rain came down 
in cataracts; tlie stream was suddenly swollen to a furious tor- 
rent thirty feet deep; the farmhouse and all its contents were 
swept away, and it was only by dint of excellent swimming that 
young Slechtenhorst saved his own life and the lives of his 
horses. Shortly after this a feud broke out between Peter Stuy- 
vesant and the Patroon of Rensselaerswyck, on account of the 
right and title to the Catskill Mountains, in the course of which 
the elder Slechtenhorst was taken captive by the potentate of 
the New Netherlands, and thrown into prison at New Amsterdam. 
We have met with no record of any further attempt to get at 
the treasures of the Catskills. Adventurers may have been dis- 
couraged bv the ill-luck which appeared to attend all who 
meddled with them, as if they were under the guardian keep of 
the same spirits or goblins who once haunted the mountains and 
ruled over the weather. That gold and silver ore was actually 
procured from these mountains in days of yore we have histori- 
cal evidence to prove ; and the recorded word of Adrian Van der 
Donk, a man of weight, who was an eye-witness. If gold and 
silver were once to be found there, they must be there at present. 
It remains to be seen, in these gold-hunting days, whether the 
quest will be renewed; and some daring adventurer, with a true 
Calif ornian spirit, will penetrate the mysteries of these mount- 
ains, and open a golden region on the l.iorders of the Hudson. 

Chapter XXX 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 

TO celebrate the city of Hudson, judicial seat of 
Columl)ia County, requires the pen of Knick- 
erbocker. To the modern mind its reason for 
being seems as deliciousl\ a1:)surd as anything in the 
inconsecjuent adventures of Alice in Wonderland. 

A little company of sturdy New England men, from 
Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Providence, de- 
cided in 1784 that they would found a city. The 
humour of the proposition lay in the fact that, being 
mighty in the handling of the harpoon and seasoned 
with the salt of many seas, they proposed to establish, 
one hundred and fifteen miles inland from New York, 
a city devoted to whaling and kindred industries. 

There is no suggestion that these grave humourists 
ever dreamed of finding whales in the Hudson, though 
there is a tradition that one mighty cetacean went in 
search of his ancient antagonists, or for some other 
reason ascended the waters of the river till he stranded 
on the Hudson Flats, to the great consternation of the 
regular navigators from Coxsackie to vSaugerties. 

There is one strong argument to ad\^ance in favour 

504 The Hudson River 

of the sanity of the proprietors of Hudson. Their ])lan 
succeeded. From old Cla\'erack Landing, as the place 
was at first known, whalers were disi)atched and re- 
turned reeking with unsavour}' si)erm. Other vessels 
brought their merchandise from the ends of the earth 
to this harbour, so secure against any wind that ever 
troubled the ocean. 

A year after its settlement, Hudson was incorporated 
as a city. Its growth was i)henomenal, onl}' excelled, 
it is said, by that of Baltimore, and the ])roprietors 
Avaxed wealthy. For the large region of Columbia 
Count}' it became at once the distriliuting centre for 
all manner of merchandise, and after a while manu- 
factures were established and prospered. The names 
of the ] )ro]3rictors were all familiar along the southern 
Massachusetts shore. Their leader was Thomas Jen- 
kins of Nantucket; while Marshal Jenkins of Martha's 
Vineyard, with others of the same surname, ap])ear 
prominently in earl\- records. Biblical names seemed 
to abound in the family of Thomas. We find Seth, 
Lemuel, and Benjamin in the second generation; the 
first named figuring as ma}'or. Marshal Jenkins was 
the grandfather of Major- General William Jenkins 
Worth, whose feats of arms in Mexico made him a 
po|3ular hero and whose dust reposes under the gran- 
ite monument erected to him on Fifth Avenue, New 

In speculating upon the motives which induced the 
"thirty New Englanders, mostly Quakers," to choose 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 507 

this site for their city, it is tUfficult to behevc that mere 
prudence or a commercial s])irit impelled them. It is 
true that after the troublesome exi)erienees of the war, 
when their vessels had been captured and destroyed 
and their liberties menaced by the British enemv, they 
must have exi)erienced great satisfaction in hnding so 
safe a retreat ; 1 )ut it is also to Ijc believed that to eves 
accustomed to the unmitigated sand and unrelieved 
levels of Cape Cod, the green and fertile billows of the 
landscape that lies between the river and the " Katz- 
bergs" must ha\-e been like a vision of Paradise. 

Hudson has attracted se\^eral artists of repute — in- 
deed, has been the birth] )lace of more than one of the 
school that it was the fashion a few years ago to refer 
to slightingl}^ as "Hudson River." Chin-ch and Gif-. 
ford lead the list of those who have been honoured 
among American painters. 

The first steamboat owned in Hudson was the Legis- 
lature, l)uilt elsewhere, but purchased l)y a Hudson firm 
in 1828 for towing puq^oses. Before that date all of 
the traffic had depended upon sail propulsion. One 
can hardly realise to-day how considerable that trade 
was ; for while Hudson is still a place of many factories 
and some business acti\'it\\ it no longer holds the 
prominent rank it once did among the ri\^er towns. 

Claverack Creek enters the river a short distance 
north of the old city. Its name is deri\^ed from Klauver 
Rack, which is the Dutch for Clover Reach. Athens, a 
thriving little town that was first named Lunenberg and 

5o8 The Hudson River 

afterwards Esperanza, is opposite Hudson and con- 
nected Dv ferr\' to its more opulent vis-a-vis. 

The high hill to the south of Hudson is Mount Merino, 
and nearer at hand, within the city. Prospect Hill 
affords an outlook that embraces at once the Catskills, 
the Green Mountains, the Luzerne range, and the Hud- 
son Highlands. The whole neighbourhood of this 
maritime city of the inland w^aters is hilly and excep- 
tionally beautiful, while the quiet, tree-shaded streets 
are marked by a sedate New England air. The family 
names in the directory are mainly those that have been 
familiar since the founders brouglit with them the 
energy, the conscience, and the thrift that built the 
town. There is to-da}^ a conservatism that distin- 
guishes the manners and public acts of the inhabitants 
of this pleasant city; it is, perhaps, a reminiscence of 
Quaker habits of thought and speech. We ma}" only 
conjecture how rudely this spirit must at times be 
shocked by the unguarded humour of aliens. A 
hundred and fifteen years ago the Gazette of Hudson 
published, in Ma^^ the following news item: "Robert 
White was married to Betsie Harris on Tuesday, May 
I St. Who was brought sick on Wednesday, delivered 
of three children on Thursday, who all died on Fridav 
and w^ere buried on Saturday." And still the local 
authorities are uncertain whether this astonishing state- 
ment may be classed as a piece of reprehensible pleas- 
antry or a dispensation of Providence. It will at least 
interest the student to learn that at such an early 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 509 

period in its civic histor}', Hudson enjo}-ed the then 
rare distinction of ]uibHshing a Gazette devoted to local 

A few miles south of Hudson, at Linlithgo, is the 
point where Hudson anchored the Halj-Moou, and, 
u])on the 17 th of September, sent his boats ex|)loring 
among the islands and shoals of the u])per reaches. In 
an opposite direction is Kinderhook (KtJidcr's Hoeck), 
where the numerous progeny of the first settler so 
swarmed about the water's edge when the trading 
boats went l)y that the skippers could think of no 
more appro] ')riate name than this. The present village 
is not on the ri\'er shore, but is reached from Stu}'\'e- 
sant landing. The Kinderhook Creek, a jncturesque 
little stream, finds its way to the Hudson at Columbia- 
\'ille, about midw^ay Ijetween Stu)'\^esant and the 
county seat. 

At Kinderhook, in his country seat, Lindenwald, 
Martin Van Buren kept open house for his |)olitical 
friends. The house was liuilt Ijy Judge William P. 
Van Ness, the intimate associate of Aaron Burr and 
his second in the duel which resulted in the death of 
Alexander Hamilton. Washington Irving was a guest 
at Lindenwald during one period of which we ha\'e 
record, and not improbal:)l}' at other times. He is 
said to ha\'e niade there the acquaintance of the 
school-teacher, Jesse Merwin, who is credited with be- 
ing the original of the character of Ichabod Crane 
in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Referring to this, 

5IO The Hudson River 

Mr. Harrold Van Santvoord, the author of Half 
Holidays, wrote, in 1898: 

After the Skctch-Book was published it was feared that the 
caricature of Ichabod Crane would occasion strained relations 
between the honest schoolmaster and his friend. It was in a 
spirit of playful humour, such as that in which Butler burlesqued 
his host, Sir Samuel Luke, that Irving caricatured Jesse Merwin, 
and the pedagogue seemed to enjoy the grotesque humour of the 
portraiture as much as the author himself. In proof of his 
affection he named one of his sons after his early friend, who is 
still living, a prosperous farmer in Illinois. The remains of 
Merwin repose in the village cemetery, not far from the burial 
plot of Martin Van Buren. A few years ago the plain slab with 
its simple inscription, at the head of the grave, was replaced by 
a neat monument, and residents of the village take pride in 
exhibiting to strangers the grave of Ichabod Crane. 

Coxsackie station, on the east side of the river, com- 
municates by ferry with the village of that name upon 
the opposite bank. The Iroquois Indians called that 
part of the shore by the descriptive name of Cut Banks 
(Kiixakcc), because along there the current made a 
marked depression. The older portion of the town lies 
well back from the water, having been built along the 
line of the post-road. 

Schodack means a place of fire, or fire-plain. Before 
there was any settlement at this point the site was so 
called because there was the ancient i)lace for the 
council fires of the Mohegans. Opposite Schodack are 
the considerable towns of New Baltimore andCoe}^mans. 

One of the most attractive of rural towns is Castle- 
ton, a place of pleasant houses and shaded streets, of 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 511 

thrift)' gardens and trim orchards, with its main thor- 
oughfare running nearly ])arallel with the ri\-er, Ijut a 
short distance awa}-. Near by are those chffs where 
the eternal fires of the redskins burned, and where 
ruled chief Aepgin, who sold his land, "from Beerin 
Island to Smack's Island," to the representative of 
the Patroon Van Rensselaer. 

Beerin, Beam, or Bear Island, as it has been vari- 
ously called, is a little above Castleton and near the 
west bank of the stream. It is from various causes one 
of the best known of the many islands that diversify 
the river from Coxsackie north to the head of nav- 
igation. It enjoys the distinction of being the birth- 
place of the first white child born to any of the earl}' 
settlers upon the Hudson, and was also the fortified 
place that was so great a bone of contention between 
the powers of the lower and those of the upper ri\'er. 

Ir\'ing, in one of his maddest moods, with a refresh- 
ing disregard for historical accuracy, told the story 
of Beam Island, "showing the rise of the great Van 
Rensselaer dynasty and the first seeds of the Helder- 
berg war." Regardless of the fact that the first Van 
Rensselaer is not known to have \'isited in person his 
lordly estate in the New World, the author of Knicker- 
bocker describes his coming and appearance. It was 
in the time of Walter the Doubter: 

Now so it happened that one day as that most dubious of 
governors and his burgermeesters were smoking and pondering 
over the affairs of the province, they were roused by the report 

512 The Hudson River 

of a cannon. Sallying forth, they beheld a strange vessel at 
anchor in the bay. It was unquestionably of Dutch build, 
broad-bottomed and high poo]jed, and bore the flag of their High 
Mightinesses at the mast-head. 

After a while a boat put off for land, and a stranger stepped 
on shore, a lofty, lordly kind of man, tall and dry, with a meagre 
face, furnished with huge moustaches. He was clad in Flemish 
doublet and hose, and an insufferably tall hat, with a cocktail 
feather. Such was the patroon Killian Van Renselaer, who had 
come out from Holland to found a colony or patroonship on a 
great tract of wild land, granted to him by their High Mighti- 
nesses, the Lords States General, in the upper regions of the 

Killian Van Rensselaer was a nine davs' wonder in New Am- 
sterdam ; for he carried a high head, looked down upon the 
portly, short-legged burgomasters, and owned no allegiance to 
the governor himself; boasting that he held his patroonship 
directly from the Lords States General. 

He did not tarry long (in the httle city that he actu- 
ally never visited, and where he would have disdained 
to Ijeat up recruits for his colony, which the reader 
knows actually antedated that of New Amsterdam), 
but pushed on up the river, from whence reports of his 
doings were brought to the ears of the jealous Governor. 

At length tidings came that the patroon of Rensselaerswyk 
had extended his usurpations along the river, beyond the limits 
granted him by their High Mightinesses: that he had even seized 
upon a rocky island in the Hudson, commonly known by the 
name of Beam or Bear's Island, where he was erecting a fortress 
to be called by the lofty name of Rensselaerstein. 

Wouter Van Twiller was roused by this intelligence. After 
consulting with his burgomasters, he dispatched a letter to the 
patroon of Rensselaerswyk, demanding by what right he had 
seized upon this island, which lay beyond the bounds of his pa- 
troonship. The answer of Killian Van Rensselaer was in his own 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 513 

lordly style, ''By ii.\ipcii rccht .' " that is to say, by the right 
of arms, or, in common parlance, by club-law. This answer 
plunged the worthy Wouter into one of the deepest doubts he 
encountered in the whole course of his administration ; but while 
he doubted, the lordly Killian went on to complete his sturdy 
little castellum of Rensselaerstein. This done, he garrisoned it 
with a number of his tenants from the Helderberg, a mountain 
region, famous for the hardest heads and hardest fists in the 
province. Nicholas Koorn, his faithful scjuire, accustomed to 
strut at his heels, wear his cast-off clothes, and imitate his lofty 
bearing, was estal)lished in this i^ost as wacht meester. His duty 
it was to keep an eve on the river, and oblige every vessel that 
passed, unless on the service of their High Mightinesses, the 
Lords States General of Holland, to strike its flag, lower its 
peak, and pay toll to the lord of Rensselaerstein. 

William Kicft — "William the Testy" — succeeded 
Walter the Doubter, and still the affair of Beam Island 
was tmsettled, that is to say, unsettled to an}' liking 
but that of the ]:)atroon. The irritable soul of the Gov- 
ernor, we are informed, winced at the ver}' name of 

Now it came to pass, that on a fine sunny day the Company's 
yacht, the Halj-Moon, having been on one of its stated visits to 
Fort Aurania, was quietly tiding it down the Hudson; the com- 
mander. Go vert Lockerman, a veteran Dutch skipper of few 
words but great bottom, was seated on the high poop, rjuietly 
smoking his pipe, under the shadow of the proud flag of Orange, 
when, on arriving abreast of Beam Island, he was saluted by a 

stentorian voice from the shore, " Lower thy flag, and be d d 

to thee!" 

Go vert Lockerman, without taking his pipe out of his mouth, 
turned up his eye from under his broad-brimmed hat to see who 
hailed him thus discourteously. There, on the ramparts of the 
fort, stood Nicholas Koorn, armed to the teeth, flourishing a 

SH The Hudson River 

brass-hilted sword, while a steeple-crowned hat and cock's tail- 
feather, formerly worn by Killian Van Rensselaer himself, gave 
an inexpressible loftiness to his demeanour. 

Go vert Lockerman eyed the warrior from top to toe, but was 
not to be dismayed. Taking the pipe slowly out of his mouth, 
"To whom should I lower my flag?" demanded he. 

"To the high and mighty Killian Van Rensselaer, the lord of 
Rensselaerstein ! " was the reply. 

" I lower it to none but the Prince of Orange, and mv masters, 
the Lords States General." So saying he resumed his pipe, and 
smoked with an air of dogged determination. 

Bang! went a gun from the fortress; the l)all cut both sail and 
rigging. Govert Lockerman said nothing, but smoked the more 

Bang! went another gun, the shot whistling close astern. 

"Fire and Ije d d," cried Govert Lockerman, cramming a 

new charge of tobacco in his pipe and smoking with still increas- 
ing vehemence. 

Bang! went a third gun. The shot passed over his head, 
tearing a hole in the "princely flag of Orange." This was the 
hardest trial of all for the pride and patience of Govert Locker- 
man: he maintained a smothered, though swelling silence, but 
his smothered rage might be perceived by the short, vehement 
puffs of smoke he emitted from his pipe as he slowly floated out 
of shot and out of sight of Beam Island. In fact, he never gave 
vent to his passion until he got fairly among the Highlands of 
the Hudson; when he let fly a whole voUev of Dutch oaths, 
which are said to linger to this very dav aniong the echoes of the 
Dunderberg, and to give particular effect to the thunderstorms 
in that neighbourhood. 

How William the Testy took the news of this out- 
rage, how he sent Lockerman back on a mission that 
failed because the honest envoy coidd not understand 
certain cabalistic signs made by the commander of the 
fort (which consisted of weaving all the fingers of the 
right hand, the while the thumb pointed to the nose), 

Nantucket Quakers and Dutch Fighters 515 

and how the whole c[uarrel hiially simmered down and 
died out, are told in the same racy fashion, and the 
narrative is altogether more vivid and more easy to 
remember and belie\-e than many a sol:)er page of 

The sober page of history relates that the Dutch 
built their first fort on the Hudson in 16 14 u])on an 
island at the mouth of Norman's Kill, and named the 
island Kasteel, or Castle, from which Castleton derives 
its name. An actual altercation between the Director 
at New Amsterdam and the patroon's agent at Rens- 
selaerswyckfurnished the basis for Irving's lively sketch. 

The low l:)ar that for many years impeded na\-igation 
in the neighbourhood of Castleton, together with num- 
erous other flats and obstructions, led to the construc- 
tion, by the Government, in 1868, of dykes to protect 
the channel, which has been deepened by dredging as 
far as the State dam at Troy. 

Near Castleton flows the delightful stream known as 
Mourdener's Kill, or Creek. Its legend is a dreadful 
story of Indian cruelty. A girl, captured by the sav- 
ages, was tied by them to a horse, that was then lashed 
into frenzy and dashed awa\', dragging the \'ictim till 
life had lon^ been extinct. 

Chapter XXXI 

An Old Dutch Town 

LEAVING out of our reckoning the Frenchmen 
who are supposed to have built a " castle" on 
the site about the year 1540, Albany is one of 
the oldest settlements made by white men in America. 
Its only rivals in age are Jamestown and one or two 
of the Spanish towns of the far south. The genesis of 
its history will be found in the little trading station 
called Fort Orange, which was established in 16 14. 
The hardiness of the pioneers who gained this foothold 
in the remote wilderness may only be estimated when 
we recall the fact that the nearest neighbours of their 
own blood were more than three thousand miles dis- 
tant and that the ocean lay between. 

The story of the tenure of that outpost may best be 
told in the words of a petition 

of the Patroon and Co-directors of the Colonic called Renssel- 
aers-Wyck, situate along the North river in New Netherland, to 
the effect that the Freedoms which were granted to whomsoever 
should plant any Colonies in New Netherland being drawn up 
and made public in print in the year 1630, by the Assembly of 
the Nineteen of the bicorporated West India Company; Kiliaen 


An Old Dutch Town 519 

van Rensselaer did, in the same year 1650, purcliase from the 
owners and proprietors, and them paid for a certain ])arccl of 
land, extending up the river South and North off from Fort 
Orange unto a little besouth of Moeneminnes Castle; and tlic 
land called Semesseeck lying on the East l)ank opposite Castle 
Island, up unto the aforesaid fort. Item, from Petanoch the 
millstream North unto Negagonse, in extent about three leagues, 
with all the timber, appendices and dependencies thereof. And, 
accordingly, being entered into possession of said lands, he had 
there, at his great cost, established a considerable Colonic and 
from time to time so improved it that a village or hamlet was 
founded there, first called de Fuyck, afterwards Beverswyck and 
now Willemstadt, whereabouts the aforesaid Fort Orange was 
formerly built. That said Rensselaer and afterwards the Peti- 
tioners, had also exercised there High, Middle and Low juris- 
diction, and accordingly appointed the necessary officers and 
Magistrates and enjoyed all the Freedoms, Rights and Privileges 
which were granted by said Company and you. High and Mighty, 
to him Rensselaer and other Patroons of Colonies; that after- 
wards, the aforementioned West India Company's Director had 
indeed disquieted the Petitioners in the possession of the afore- 
said hamlet or village, leaving in the meanwhile the Petitioners 
only in the possession of the remainder of their aforesaid Colonic. 

That in the year 1664, New Netherland and consequentlv the 
Colonic aforesaid fell and remained in the hands of his Majesty 
the King of Great Britain, when the name of Albany was given 
to the aforesaid Fort Orange which is situate in the Petitioners' 
aforesaid Colonic Rensselaerswyck, with said Colonic and other 
lands lying thereabout, until they were again recovered by their 
High Mightinesses' glorious arms. 

The first patroon of Rensselaerswyck has been the 
William the Conqueror of Dutch New York. All 
ancient families trace their descent from him, and poor 
indeed is the upstart who cannot claim him for an 

520 The Hudson River 

In the days when that "great, armed, mercantile 
monopoly," as Mrs. Laml^ called the West India Com- 
])any, was exploring and ex|:)loiting distant countries, 
was making alliances with something of the assump- 
tion of independent sovereignty, and commissioning its 
admirals for foreign conc[uest, a member of its govern- 
ing body, one of the all-|)owerful Nineteen, was Kiliaen 
Van Rensselaer. 

He was a pem'l merchant, wealthy and well born, who 
sent over se\^eral of his own ships with agents to select 
territory for him. Three tracts of land were chosen, 
one in Delaware, one in New Jersey (at Pavonia), and 
the third in the immediate neighbourhood of Fort 

The last-named tract became in time the site of sev- 
eral thriving cities and villages, among which Albany, 
Troy, and Lansingburg are the most important. Under 
the act of 1629, styled a "Charter of Freedoms and 
exemptions," Van Rensselaer secured his title as pa- 
troon and proceeded to send colonists to settle his land. 
Previous to that time the settlers had been traders, but 
not colonists. 

The earh^ history of Beverwyck, or Albany, does not 
furnish us with any of the thrilling stories of Indian 
cruelty and Dutch retaliation that we read in the 
chronicles of New Amsterdam. While the settlers near 
the mouth of the river suffered from the arrow and the 
tomahawk, their brethren a hundred and forty miles 
to the north were serenely planting, building, and rais- 

An Old Dutch Town 521 

ing families. The scriptural injunction to be fruitful 
and multiply was not neglected, and as every child was 
expected to set out a sa]jling to mark its birthday, in 
course of time the town became a vernal bower. 

There was something very modern in the way that 
Van Rensselaer built uj) his domain. While other 
colonies were either maintaining an ai)athetic silence or 
else comi3laining bitterly of the hardships of their lot 
and the difficult}^ of sustaining life without aid from 
the company or government that i)lanted them, the 
long reports of the great advantages and rich fertility 
of Rensselaerswyck stirred the imagination of many a 
seventeenth-century Boer. Other shi])s might bring 
]3ro\4sions and encouragement for those alread}' on the 
ground, but those of our patroon brought colonists, 
with implements for the farm, the forest, and the mill. 
The documents that have been preser\'ed would i)ut to 
shame most modern advertisers. 

Of course, the growth of the up-ri\'er colon)' could 
not be effected without rousing the jealous opposition 
of the Company's director at New Amsterdam. The 
patroon 's director, Van vSlechtenhorst, if he did not 
exceed the original patent, at least stretched it to its 
uttermost limit. The fortification of Beam Island, 
undertaken with a view to controlling the commerce of 
the river, called forth a most energetic protest from 
Stuy^'esant. With singleness of purpose he gave his 
undivided attention to reducing this "government 
within a government," and finally succeeded in tem- 

522 The Hudson River 

porarily separating the village of Beverwyck from the 
manor of Rensselaerswyck. But though the Company 
had backed the Go\'ernor in his action, the States- 
General, before whom the matter was finally brought, 
decided that Fort Orange stood within the limits of the 
patroon's estate, while the corporation did not own a 
foot of land in that part of the country. 

The second patroon, also a non-resident, was Johan- 
nes Van Rensselaer, whose half-brother, Jan Baptist, 
succeeded Van vSlechtenhorst as agent. Johannes vis- 
ited his possessions on one or two occasions, but re- 
turned to Holland. It was not till the third proprietor 
of this princely estate came to his own that the people 
of Rensselaersw}xk enjoyed the novelty of ha\4ng their 
landlord make his home among them. 

There is not space to go into the genealogical records 
of this great family, or to note the marriages by which 
it became allied with all of the leading men of the 
colony. The Van Cortlandts, Schuylers, Livingstons, 
Nicollses,Wattses, and others were thus connected, and 
formed an aristocracy about which cluster the tradi- 
tions of a day that is dead. Writing of the pomp and 
circumstance attending the mo\xments of the Van 
Rensselaer chief, Mrs. Lamb, the historian, says: 

To many of the present generation a simple sketch of the style 
of life of these old feudal chieftains would read like a veritable 
romance. Upon the Van Rensselaer manor there were at one 
period several thousand tenants, and their gatherings were simi- 
lar to those of the old Scottish clans. When a lord of the manor 
died, these people swarmed about the manor-house to do honour 

An Old Dutch Town 523 

at the funeral. They regarded the head of the family with rev- 
erence, a feeling shared by the whole country. The manor- 
house was well peopled with negro slaves. The manor always 
had its representative in the assembly; and whenever it was 
announced in New York that the patroon was coming to the 
city by land, the day he was expected crowds would turn out to 
see him drive through Broadway with his coach and four as if 
he were a prince of the blood. An actual glimpse of the Van 
Rensselaer estate, in its old-time grandeur, would unfold as much 
to astonish the progressive New Yorkers of to-day as the 
patroons of colonial memory would be lost in wonder and 
amazement could they but be with us long enough to cross the 
Brooklyn Bridge! 

The great Van Rensselaer manor-house, long con- 
sidered the most ])alatial dwelling in the New World, 
and noted for the princely character of its entertain- 
ments, was built by Stephen, the fourth patroon. His 
wife was Catherine, the daughter of Philip Livingston, 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. Their 
son, born in New York City, was the fifth and last 
patroon, known in later life as General Stephen Van 
Rensselaer. He was not only a lordly gentleman, liv- 
ing according to all the traditions of his house, but was 
also a thorough republican, enlisted heart and soul in 
the cause of American liberty. No man in the country 
staked more for conscience sake than he, for he willingly 
relinquished the power and pomp that had been the 
vital atmosphere of his house for generations, to accept 
the doctrine of the equality of man. 

During the War of 181 2 the last patroon received 
at the hands of Governor Tompkins, his political 

524 The Hudson River 

adversary, a commission to command a large body of 
militia. He stipulated that his assistant in command 
should he Solomon Van Rensselaer, the son of his uncle 
Kilian, and at that time Adjutant-General of the State. 
This Solomon had proved himself upon several occasions 
to be a brave and dashing soldier ; but the most enter- 
taining of all the stories told of his adventures is the 
one that describes his marriage to his cousin, Harriet 
Van Rensselaer. 

For some reason, long forgotten, the prospective 
bridegroom had failed to win the favour of his aunt, 
the young lady's mother, who emphatically refused 
her consent to the marriage. vShe was not one whose 
will was lightly disregarded in her household. Mis- 
tress Harriet, we may well believe, was in despair and 
would, no doubt, have wept her pretty eyes out if she 
had not received secret comfort and encouragement 
from her father, who was proud of his handsome and 
valiant nephew, and promised to assist the lovers in 
spite of maternal opposition. 

Having formed this insurrectionary resolve, but 
doubting, evidently, his ability to cope openly with a 
power to which he was no stranger. Van Rensselaer set 
about accomplishing his ]iurpose without unnecessary 
publicity. One autumn day, while Madame his wife 
was enjoymg her after-dinner nap in the library, he 
gathered the young people and their witnesses in an 
adjoining room and smuggled in the minister to marry 
them. The deep and regular respirations from the 

An Old Dutch Town 525 

library were an immediate assurance of safety, so with- 
out dela}' or noise the \'ows were made and the cus- 
tomary blessing pronounced. But just as the knot was 
firmly tied and the arch-conspirator was gleefully shak- 
ing hands with the domine, while the bride, half fright- 
ened, was clinging to the bridegroom and receix'ing the 


congratulations of the witnesses, the sounds from the 
library suddenly ceased. Madame Van Rensselaer was 
waking. It is not difficult to be l)rave before or after 
a crisis. The thing that is really hard is to display 
moral heroism at the \'ery moment of sur|)rise or dan- 
ger. Tf Van Rensselaer had had time to consider this 
he would, no doubt, have stayed and faced the situa- 
tion, but as it was, no one ])aused to consider. Out of 
a back window they fled, the bride and the bridegroom, 
the witnesses and the domine — even Van Rensselaer 

5^6 The Hudson River 

perc himself. In a panic they escaped, Hke boys from 
an orchard when they hear the gardener coming, and 
never halted till they were out of sight from that side 
of the house; then the domine tried to look dignified 
again, the witnesses smoothed down their ruffled ])lum- 
age, the uncle slapped his nephew and new-made son- 
in-law on the l:)ack and swore that never had there been 
such a wedding in Albany before, while the bride did 
not know whether to laugh or cry. 

The generations of the Van Rensselaers have lured 
us on, to the neglect of the little city that was incor- 
porated in 1686, after the claims laid by the patroon 
had been finally settled by formal sale of his feudal 
rights to Governor Dongan. Phili]) Schuyler, the head 
of another ancient family, was the first mayor of the 
future capital of New York. Under the Dongan char- 
ter the limits of the city were included in an area of 
one mile upon the river and three and a half miles 
westward. It was not only the centre of social life and 
the metropolis of trade, but also the home of religious 
authority. When the Dutch church was organised 
there in 1640, it was the only one on the northern part 
of the river that had a regular ministry, and until after 
1700 there was no settled domine north of Esopus 
except the pastors at Albany and Schenectady. 

The early ministers at Albany were Domines Mega- 
polensis, Schaats, Dellius, Lydius, Van Driessen, Van 
vSchie, Frelinghuysen, Westerloo, and Johnson. Mega- 
polensis, "the pious and well learned," was the first 

An Old Dutch Town 


domine located in Al])any. He arrived in 1642, and 
the church that was erected for his use stood l)ack of 
the fort on what is still called Church Street. The use 
of this building was discontinued in 1656, when the 
congregation moved to another edifice, occu])\-ing the 
intersection of State Street and Broadway. This 
house was occupied till 1806, when it was torn down, 
its bells, furniture, and some of the materials being 
used in a new edifice. 

Early in the eighteenth century the Dutch church 
owned all of the city west of Broadwa>' and south of 
Beaver Street. It was then and for long afterwards 
known as the Pasture; indeed, the name is not un- 
heard to-day, even as the leather district in Manhattan 
is still called the Swamp. The streets that intersect 
the Pasture bear the names of the old Dutch domines, 
Westerloo, Lydius, etc. 

When one stands upon some eminence — as the tower 
of the Capitol — and looks out over the city at its num- 
erous churches and imposing cathedrals, he wonders 
whether Domine Megapolensis would be able to dis- 
cover amid all those labyrinths of brick and stone the 
place where he expounded in Low Dutch the ])rincii)les 
of Cahdnism to a congregation of hardy pioneers. 

The houses of the olden time, a few of which have 
been spared for the instruction of the present genera- 
tion, were part dwelling, part store; for the founders 
of our proudest families were never ashamed of the 
means by w^hich they won their wealth, and it was 

528 The Hudson River 

customary for a merchant to coui)le under one roof his 
residence and ]:)lace of business. The lofts were then 
commonly storehouses, and furs formed the largest 
and most valuable portion of their contents. Let us 
see who these men of strong character and abundant 
common-sense were in the old days, when honest men 
were not afraid or ashamed to be "in trade." A list 
of the freeholders of Albany for the year 1701 includes 
the names of Philip and David Schuyler, Wessel Ten 
Broeck, Albert Rijckman, Gerrit Teunise, Johannes 
Glen, Harmensen, Robert Livingston, Henry Van Dvke, 
Van Ness, Van Sh^k, Van Epps, Van Allen, Van Voorst, 
Philipse, and about two hundred and fiftv others. It 
should be a matter for congratulation that back of the 
proudest aristocracy of New York we find "the nobil- 
ity of labour, the long pedigree of toil." Mrs. Grant, 
the " American Lady," whose memoirs are classic, says: 
" The very idea of being ashamed of anything that was 
neither vicious nor indecent never entered the head of 
an Albanian." 

Theirs must have been an almost ideally peaceable 
life, neither too laborious nor given up to repose, but 
preserving always the happy medium. They culti- 
vated their gardens — paas hloomtjcs and cabbages, no 
doubt, cheek by jowl, like the parlour and the counting- 
house. The wilderness around Pearl and Jonkers and 
Handlers Streets blossomed with May roses and tulips, 
and the vernal procession swept up to the gates of win- 
ter, like an army with banners; though at the very 

An Old Dutch Town 529 

doors of the settlers the wolf, aetnal as well as meta- 
phorieal, was ready to howl when the snow l)cgan to fly, 
and the deer came from the forest to browse im])ar- 
tiallv u])on tulijjs and cabljages, and any intermission 
in the dail_\' fight against the encroaching wilderness 
meant a backsliding into original cussedness. 

One fact should be recorded to the everlasting credit 
of the Albanians of a centur\' and a half ago. They 
had a court-house, it is true, — a room upon the second 
floor of a house within the fort, — but Vander Donck, 
the first and at th^it time the only law)'er of the ])laee, 
was not permitted to practice, as there -was no one to 
o Pilose hi in. The Schepeii heard and decided, without 
haste or delay, upon the few cases that were brought 
before him, ruling by a code as simple and effectual as 
that of Solomon. 

From the pages of Dol])h He}diger we may borrow 
a vi\4d i)icture of the Albany of that day : 

On their arrival at All)any, the sight of Dolph's companion 
seemed to cause universal satisfaction. Many were the greetings 
at the river-side, and the salutations in the streets; the dogs 
bounded before him; the bovs whooped as he passed; everv- 
body seemed to know Antony Vander Hey den. Dolph followed 
on in silence, admiring the neatness of tliis worth v l)urgh; for in 
those days Albany was in all its glory, and inhabited almost ex- 
clusively by the descendants of the original Dutch settlers, not 
having as yet been discovered and colonised by the restless 
people of New England. Everything was quiet and orderly; 
everything was conducted calmly and leisurely; no hurry, no 
bustle, no struggling and scrambling for existence. The grass 
grew about the unpaved streets, and relieved the eye by its 
refreshing verdure. Tall sycamores or pendent willows shaded 

530 The Hudson River 

the houses, with caterpillars swinging, in long silken strings, from 
their branches; or moths, fluttering about like coxcombs, in joy 
at their gay transformation. The houses were built in the old 
Dutch style, with the gable-ends towards the street. The thrifty 
housewife was seated on a bench before her door, in close-crimped 
cap, bright-flowered gown, and white apron, busily employed in 
knitting. The husband smoked his pipe on the opposite bench; 
and the little pet negro girl, seated on the step at her mistress's 
feet, was industriously plying her needle. The swallows sported 
about the eaves, or skimmed along the streets, and brought back 
some rich bootv for their clamorous young; and the little house- 
keeping wren flew in and out of a Liliputian house, or an old 
hat nailed against the wall. The cows were coming home, low- 
ing through the streets, to be milked at their owner's door; and 
if, perchance, there were any loiterers, some negro urchin, with 
a long goad, was gently urging them homewards. 

In Gorham A. Worth's Rccollcctwjis of Albany, pub- 
hshed first in 1 849, there is a description of an old Albany 
house, that of Balthazar Lydius, who died about the 
beginning of the nineteenth century: 

This old gentleman, if tradition may be relied upon, was some- 
thing of a lion in his day. He was unusually tall, raw-boned, 
and of a most forbidding aspect — singular in his habits and 
eccentric in his character — but independent, honest, and gruff as 
a bear. He occupied, at the commencement of the present 
[nineteenth] century, the old and somewhat mysterious-looking 
mansion then standing at the southeast corner of North Pearl 
and State streets, and was, of course, next door ncii^hboiir. in an 
easterly line, to the old elm tree on the eorner. Its position 
admitted tieo front gables, and two front gables it had ; thus rival- 
ing, if not excelling, in architectural dignity the celebrated man- 
sion of the Vander Heyden family. ()ne front rested on Pearl, 
the other on State. Each had its full complement of outside 
decorative adjuncts — namelv, long spouts for the eaves, little 
benches at the door, iron figures on the wall, and a rooster on the 
gable head. 

An Old Dutch Town 531 

In a footnote the editor adds this j^recious bit of 
information regarding this house : 

It is said to liave been imported from Holland, bricks, wood- 
work, tiles, and ornamental irons, with whicli it was profusely 
adorned, expressly for the use of the Rev. Gideon Schaets, who 
came over in 1652. It is said that the materials arrived simul- 
taneously with the pulpit and the old church bell in 1657. It is 
supposed to have been the oldest brick building in America at 
the time it was demolished in 1833 to make room for the present 
Apothecary's Hall. . . . The Pearl Street door is said to 
have been used only for the egress of the dead. The orgies of a 
Dutch funeral are fast receding from the memory of the living. 
Few remain who have witnessed them. The records of the 
church show the expenses of the funerals of church paupers two 
hundred years ago in rum, beer, tobacco, pipes, etc. 

Mr. Worth mentions Lydius Street as having been 
named for the venerable gentleman he described, but 
the editor corrects him: 

The street was named in honour of Rev. John Lydius (ancestor 
of Balthazar), who preached here from 1 700 to i 709. It was the 
camp ground of the British armies in the Frencli and Indian 
wars. The ancient church pasture, which came into the posses- 
sion of the Dutch Church in 1668, was laid out into lots in 1791, 
and sold at auction. The streets were named after the domines 
or ministers of that church. Beginning with Lydius Street on 
the north, then Westerlo, Bassett, Nucella, and Johnson run- 
ning parallel with it. Among those running north and south 
were Dellius (pronounced Dallius and now so written), from Rev. 
Godfrey Dell, who came over in 1683; Frelinghuysen and Van 

The reference to the " funeral orgies " of the Albanian 
Dutch is not fanciful. The dood-fcst, or dead feast, 
was an established custom. Every burgher kept in his 


The Hudson River 

cellar a cask of wine, spiced, for that particular occa- 
sion when, he having gone the way of all flesh, his 
friends and neidibours should assemble to sustain their 


'x^i^j:xj^o^>s;i^^^^iacm . 


grief with feasting and drinking. The table was loaded 
with such delicacies as oily-kocks, dood-kocks, rollctjcs 
and bollctjcs, Jwofdkaas and ivorst, with many another 
toothsome concoction, while wine and beer flowed 
plentifully. And the women, who occupied a separate 

An Old Dutch Town 533 

chamber from their men folk, sii)i)ed their burnt wine 
and discussed the viands and their neighbours. If any 
one went home sol)er from a dood-jcst it was not con- 
sidered a mark of special \'irtue. 

But there w^ere li\-elier festivals than those incident 
to the taking-off of honest and considerate burghers. 
Many an odd custom marked the keei)ing of such holi- 
days as Kecstijd (Christmas), Nicmvjaarsdag, Paasch- 
dag (Easter), and Pinxtcrfccst. Christmas, to be sure, 
was not held in great esteem, for New Year's day was 
the occasion upon which St. Nicholas and his A'rouw, 
Molly Grietje, visited the faithful. 

About the fireplaces of the old All^an}- houses, on 
New^ Year's eve, the children stood a-row and sang the 
time-honoured verses : 

Santa Klaus, goedt heilig man! 
Knopyebest van Amsterdam, 
Van Amsterdam aan Spanje, 
Van Spanje aan Orange, 
En brang deze kindjes eenige graps. 

The old custom of making New Year's calls has con- 
tinued down to our own day, dying hard after more 
than two centuries of use. 

Pinxter was the negroes' festival, and celebrated by 
the slaves under the leadership of the " Pinxter King' 
with W'ildest mummeries. They paraded in grotesque 
costumes through the streets, varying their mareh with 
tmeouth dances and accompanying them with their own 
songs. The last of these parades took place in 1822. 

534 The Hudson River 

It is hard to get away from the thread of homely 
yet dehghtful Hfe that winds in and out between the 
landmarks of Albany's history and the biographies of 
her many eminent men. We listen to the eloquence of 
Jay or Livingston, but with an ear open to catch the 
crooning of a cradle-song, somewhere within a gable- 
ended dwelling, over whose sanded floor some Schuy- 
ler, or Beekman, or Van Dyke has taken his first 
tottering steps in infancy. 

How many a small morsel of Dutch humanity, nest- 
ling his flaxen poll on his mother's arm, has closed his 
blue eyes to the music of 

Trip a trop a troontjes, 

De varkens in de boontjes, 

De koetjes in de klaver, 

De paarden in de haver, 

De eenjes in de waterplas, 

De kalf in de lang gras, 

So groot mijn kleine poppet je was. 

Varkens are pigs; boontjes, as every one must know, is 
the Dutch equivalent for bean vines; and koetjes for 
cow^s. Klaver needs translation no more than lang 
gras, or kalf. Paarden are horses, eenjes, ducks; a 
haver is an oat-field; and, of course, a waterplas is 
a pond — and then, " So great my little poppet was," a 
conclusion illogical but dear. What a lullaby that was 
commencing : 

Sleep, baby, sleep, 

In the fields runs a sheep, 

A sheep with four white feet. 

An Old Dutch Town 535 

Only the baby of Satigerties or Kingston or Allxmy 
would have ruminated over the broader vowels of 

Slaap, kindje, slaap, 

Daar buiten loopt een schaap; 

Een schaap met vier witte voetjes. 

To this day the English-speaking mother talks to 
her little one about his "footies." Is it possibly an 
echo of " voetjes"? But listen to the stamp and swag- 
ger and hustle that is compressed into four lines here : 

Daar komt liij ! lien snoeshaan geweldig gestampen ! 
Een beest hij gebruUen! Een mansheeld gezwollen; 
Een openlijk bloodard! Het maakt neen vershil; 
Het ware Jan van Spanje zonder zijn bril. 

To the industry of Mr. Benjamin Myer Brink, the 
historian of Saugerties, is due the collection of about 
thirty of the ballads and folk-songs of the Dutch fore- 
fathers of Hudson River folks from which wc ha\'e 
borrowed the above verses and w^ould gladly appro- 
priate more if we had si)ace. There are songs for 
nearly all the simple occasions of life, — some for the 
cradle, some for the churn-dasher, others for the social 
gathering. Catches, riddles, and homilies follow in all 
their quaint orthography. They should have a sep- 
arate volume, with music and illuminations. 

Old Albany was the fountain-head of the Knicker- 
bocker race, though they who spell it in this corru])t 
way do but deny the original, which was Knickker- 
bakker ; that is to sa}^ a baker of knickers, or marbles. 
Some have claimed that knicknacks, such as oily-koeks, 

536 The Hudson River 

dood-kocks, and niciiivjaarskocks, rather than the trifl- 
ing knickcr, stood sponsor to that Dutchest of titles, and 
that the first Knickerbocker of eminence was Volckert 
Jan Pietersen Van Amsterdam, whose name was too 
long for even the patience of his neighbours, who 
shortened it to Baas — that is to say. Boss. If this 
etymology be correct, Boss Knickkerbakker Volckert 
Jan Pietersen Van Amsterdam seems to be entitled to 
a monument or other memorial, broad enough to bear 
the full inscri|_)tion of his name. 

An ancient Albany tradition is that of the witch who 
visited his shop on New Year's eve and demanded of 
Baas Jan a dozen New Year's cookies. She threw a 
piece of wampum or seawant on the counter, and 
watched the baker sharply as he counted out twelve 
of the cakes. 

"Thirteen," she said. "I want thirteen; here are 
only twelve." 

" You said a dozen, and twelve are a dozen," shouted 

" I tell you, I want one more!" screamed the hag. 

Baas pointed to the door. " Go to the Duyvel and 
get the thirteenth!" he yelled, growing purple in the 
face with rage. 

The witch went away, threatening the baker with 
dire calamity, and her words were not empty ones, as 
the event proved, for from that time Baas and his poor 
wife Maritje knew no peace. For a year everything 
went wrong. The chimney fell in, the neighbours fell 

An Old Dutch Town 537 

out, the trade fell off. It was a l)ad season and the 
rotund haker and his wife shrank pereeptiblv. 

Then Xew \'ear's eve eanie again, and while Baas 
stood Ijehind his counter and thought gloomily of his 
changed condition, suddenly the hag stood before him 
once more. 

"I want a dozen New Year's cookies," she said. 

One look Baas gave her, then silently counted out 
thirteen of the fragrant cakes. 

"I see that you have learned your lesson," said the 
witch. "Rememljer then that henceforth thirteen 
shall be a baker's dozen, and all will prosper with you." 

The idea that this transaction should be considered 
in any wa\' tyi)ical of the union of the thirteen States 
that was to come is held b>' many Albanians to be 
naught but superstitious nonsense. 

For \'ery man\' A^ears Albany was altogether a trad- 
ing city. Its inhabitants took what measures they 
could to prevent the intrusion of aliens, and, in order 
to secure the cream of the traffic in ])eltries, the mer- 
chants sent runners into the wilderness to intercept 
Indians who might carr)' their goods to other markets. 
They owned a fleet of x'cssels, u])on which all, or nearly 
all, of the carrying trade of the city was done. They 
ha\-e been charged with unfairness and craft in their 
dealings with the savages, but this animadversion 
seems to be aljundantly refuted by the fact that the 
Indians were not only at peace but very friendl}' with 
the Albanians through the troubled years when other 

53^ The Hudson River 

colonists lived in daily terror of the torch and the 

Money was scarce, and the use of seawant was legal- 
ised. Six white beads or three black ones were accepted 
as the equivalent of one penny {stuyver). A beaver- 
skin had also a recognised standard value in exchange, 
and beaver-skins were used in payment of debts, rents, 

Two of the principal streets of modern Albany, State 
Street and Broadway, were known in the English 
colonial time as King and Court Streets, and in Dutch 
days as Jonker (Young Gentleman) and Handelaer 
Streets. A part of Broadway used to be called North 
Market, and, still earlier, Brewers Street. 

At first merchandise used to be conveyed to the ves- 
sels in skiffs and afterwards wharves were built for the 
convenience of shippers. 

At the time of the Revolution three or four Albany 
men stand out prominently in national annals. Ganse- 
voort. President of the Convention that adopted the 
first constitution of the State, lived in the old home- 
stead of the Gansevoort family that stood upon the 
ground afterwards occupied by Stanwix Hall. Philip 
Schuyler, Philip Livingston, and George Clinton were 
the leaders of the party that secured New York State 
to the Union. The latter, as we have already noted, 
was not only the first Governor of the State, but was 
also an officer of ability and courage, whose service in 
the Continental army was of untold value. Philip Liv- 

An Old Dutch Town 539 

ingston was one o( the signers of the Declaration of 
Inde]:)endence. Phili]) vSchu>-ler, the son of an old and 
honoured race, was a man not only of intense ])atriot- 
ism and splendid personal character, but of rare al:)iht>\ 

The great influence which General vSchuyler ])os- 
sessed with the Indians, though often neutralised l)y 
the Johnsons, yet in a great measure pacified and kept 
in check the Mohawks during the Revolution. To him 
was given the task of watching Governor Tr_\'on on the 
south, the British and Indian force under Colonel Guy 
Johnson at the west, and the enemy that menaced the 
northern frontier. He led the advance upon Quebec 
until forced by illness to resign his command to the 
unfortunate Montgomery. His was the la])our of ])ro- 
visioning the posts upon Lake Champlain. In fact, 
there was hardly a man in the American arm}% with the 
exception of the Commander-in-chief, upon whom 
rested so many and varied responsibilities, and who 
could so combine skill, forethought, and energy with 
an almost boundless patience. 

To meet the army of Burgoyne, which, in 1777, ad- 
vanced from Canada to effect a union with Sir Henry 
Clinton, Schuyler used not only the means at hand, 
but ]3ledged his pri\'ate fortune for the equipment of 
his forces. He made the ])reparations that enabled 
Gates to win a signal victory over Burgoyne at Sara- 
toga, yet retired without complaint and permitted one 
who constantly tried to undermine him to enjoy the 
honours of that victory. 


The Hudson River 

vSchuyler's ];)ro])erty had been destroyed and his 
house at Schuylers\'ille burned by Burgoyne, A'et after 
the latter "s fall, when he had been brought a j^risoner 
to Albany, it was at the Schuyler house that he found 
entertainment for himself and his family ; and it is said 
that the noble hosi)itality of his host moved himi to 


tears. Baroness Reidesel and Lady Harriet Ackland 
were among those who accom]3anied the vanquished 
British General, and the former has left on record an 
eulogium tipon the character and generosity of her 

There have been three Schuyler houses that have 
lasted until the present day to puzzle the searcher after 
landmarks. The home of General Philip Schuyler has 

An Old Dutch Town 541 

been thus clcscril)ed by P'rederic G. Alathcr in an article 
written for the Magazine of America u History in 1884: 

The Albany of the Revolution was still a stockaded city. To 
the northward were "the flats/' to the southward were "the 
pastures," where the city herdsmen cared for the cattle and 
drove them home at night. At a distance of half a mile from 
the stockade, and just l)eyond the pastures, stood the mansion 
of General Schuyler. It wa.s of honest brick througliout, and 
not, like most of the city houses, a wooden structure with a ven- 
eered front of l)ricks " brouglit from Holland." To-day tlie walls 
and the oaken window-sills sliow no reason why they miglit not 
last for centuries to come, unless the onward march of business 
shall demand the destruction of the relic. So long as it lasts, the 
Scluiyler mansion stands as a link between the past and the 

An effort to capture General Schuyler at his home 
was made at one time l:»y a band of Tories and Indians, 
who siuToundcd the house and forced an entrance 1)e- 
fore the inmates could effect their esca]:)e. When the 
latter had reached the upi)er floor, Mrs. Schu}der dis- 
covered that her infant, Catherine, had l)een left in a 
room upon the lower floor and would ha\'e returned 
for it if the General had not forcibly detained her. The 
savages and their allies were now in the house, ]:)illag- 
ing the dining-room of the rich plate it contained. 

Unobserved in the turmoil, Margaret, one of General 
Schuyler's daughters, slipped away and rescued the 
infant, though she narrowly missed death from a toma- 
hawk thrown by one of the Indians as she was ascend- 
ing the stairs. A Tor}', taking her for one of the 
servants, called out, " Wench, where is vour master?" — 

542 The Hudson River 

"Gone to alarm the town," was the ready answer. 
Schuyler, hearing this, acted upon the hint, and, put- 
ting his head out of a window, called as though to a 
large body of men, to surround the house and capture 
the rascals ; u]ion which the in\'aders fled, but, unfor- 
tmiately, took the plate with them. 

Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler, 
and was counted by the General as one of his dearest 
friends. When Aaron Burr came first to practise in 
Albany he was befriended by Schuyler, to whom, 
through Hamilton, he was destined to deal one of the 
gravest blows he could endure. 

Among the chief of those interested in the construc- 
tion of the great waterway which we moderns know as 
the Erie Canal, but which to the wiseacres and wits of 
that day was familiar as Clinton's Ditch, Schuyler 
made, in company with Clinton and one or two others, 
a long horseback journey over the course now followed 
by the canal. 

The names of those that Albany delights to honour 
are legion. We have mentioned but a few of them, and 
those with a brevity for which the sco])e and variety 
of the subject-matter of this book must be the excuse. 

After the Revolution, in 1797, Albany was made the 
permanent State capital of New York, and its import- 
ance from a political point of view drew to it many 
men of ability and reputation ; but its growth in popu- 
lation was not rapid until after the advent of the steam- 
boat and the completion of the Erie Canal, which has 

An Old Dutch Town 543 

its terminus at the nortliern end (jf the cit_\'. During 
the years 1797 and 1848 two wide-s])read fires did a 
great deal of daniage. 

The city has four or five miles of water-front, and for 
several hundred feet back from the river the ground is 
low and nearly level, so that 
when the water rises by reason /1\^^ 

of an ice- dam or from some Xj 
other cause, it frequently m \p '~ _ 
o\"erflows the lower streets, d ^'^ i J^^ 
and in former }^ears wrought [j|'j ,7^ 
great ha\'Oc at times. There 
are still living those who can 


recall how% during one spring 

freshet, a schooner floated in from the river and was 
found, when the waters had subsided, high and dry on 
State Street. 

As a curious anti-climax to the feudal system under 
which the ])eople of Rensselaerwyk lived ])rior to the 
War for Independence, there occurred in the earl\' half 
of the nineteenth century an agitation known as the 
anti-rent war, that stirred Alban\' and the surrounding 
countr}^ for man}' years. 

This trouble was the result of a persistent effort on 
the i^art of the heirs of the Van Rensselaer estate to 
collect rents which they claimed as their due u]Jon pro- 
perty formerly a part of that domain. The tenants as 
persistently resisted, denying the claim. When the 
sheriff and his posse attempted to enforce an order in 

544 The Hudson River 

favour of the kmdlords a riot ensued. This experience 
was several times repeated, and the mihtia was called 
into service to quell what bid fair to be an insurrection. 
In man}' respects this trouble formed a parallel to those 
disturbances that have marked the relations of land- 
lord and tenant in Ireland. In a mock-heroic poem of 
ninety-three cantos, written after the style of Hudi- 
bras, and published anonymously in 1855, H. R. School- 
craft a]:)otheosised the heroes of the anti-rent war, and 
pictures, among other things, the tarring and feather- 
ing of the sheriff. 

The anti-rent trouble was finally settled, in 1852, by 
the State, which issued titles in fee simple to those in 
actual possession of the disputed property. 

Other feuds marked the middle period in Albany's 
history, the transition stage between a somewhat over- 
grown village and the cit>- of a hundred thousand in- 
habitants. For instance, there was the great battle on 
State Street, in which the |)rinci])al actors were John 
Ta\der and General Solomon Van Rensselaer, a num- 
ber of lesser combatants participating. The fray oc- 
curred in 1807, and was occasioned by some caustic 
resolutions presented at a RepubHcan meeting and 
aimed at General Van Rensselaer and his fellow Fed- 
eralists. Mr. Elisha Jenkins was the secretar}' of the 
meeting, and as he walked the next dav on State Street 
the angry General overtook and caned him. Later in 
the day the Governor and the General met, almost in 
front of the former's house, and the ci\-il officer took 

An Old Dutch Town 545 

the other severeh* to task for his assault upon Mr. 
Jenkins. In a moment the two irate partisans had 
squared off for an encounter in which e\'ery one with- 
in sight or hearing seems to have taken a hand. Dr. 
Cooper and Mr. Frank Bloodgood, l)oth connections of 
the Governor, were in the thick of the fracas, the last- 
named dealing a blow from behind that com|)letely 
felled Van Rensselaer. Even Tayler's daughter, Mrs. 
Cooper, was numbered among the combatants. When 
the opposing forces were at last separated, the i;)arties 
began to think of legal redress for the hurts they had 
received, and a number of lawsuits was the outcome 
of the matter. It is interesting to note how im]:)ar- 
tially the arbitrators in the case — Simeon de Witt, 
James Kane, and John Van Schaick — chstributed the 
damages for assault : 

Jenkins against Van Rensselaer $2500 

Van Rensselaer against Tayler 300 

Van Rensselaer against Cooper 500 

Van Rensselaer against Bloodgood 3700 

From which it appears that the General, who com- 
menced the affray, had his wounds salved to the ex- 
tent of two thousand dollars, net. 

A perpetual warfare was waged, something over half 
a century ago, between the juvenile portion of the 
community residing on the hill (Arbor Hill being par- 
ticularly meant) and those who li\'ed under the hill. 
They had no dealings with each other except for war- 
like encounters, and woe to any urchin who was found 

54^ The Hudson River 

alone by those of the opposing camp. How this deep 
and long-continued animosity commenced history does 
not relate, but many an old Albanian will recollect the 
encounters that took place between the "hillers" and 
their adversaries, and recall, perhaps, the names of 
leaders more famous in their generation than any 
Schuyler or Clinton who ever guided the councils of 
the State. 

Mr. Gorham A. Worth, already quoted in this chap- 
ter, has given a list of the men who seemed to him most 
prominent in the city at that time. They were George 
Clinton ; John Tayler, who was Lieutenant-Governor of 
the State and acting in Governor Tompkins's place after 
the latter's election to the Vice- Presidency; Ambrose 
Spenser, Attorney-General and Judge of the Supreme 
Court; James Kent; Chancellor Lansing; Abraham 
Van Vechten; John V. Henry; John Woodworth; 
Thomas Tillotson, Secretary of State in 1801-07 ; Abra- 
ham G. Lansing; Elisha Jenkins, a merchant, of the 
Hudson family of that name; Edmond Charles Genet; 
and Solomon Southwick, editor of the Albany Register. 
This, it will be understood, is only a very partial list 
of the Albany celebrities of the time, yet it furnishes 
a clue to the character and standing of the men who 
constituted the better element of society at the State 
capital two generations ago. 

We have spoken of the level strip of low land bor- 
dering the river for several miles. Back of this rise, 
almost abruptly, four hills, separated by ravines and 

An Old Dutch Town 547 

attaining a height of from two to three hundred feet. 
Prospect Hill is the highest of these. There are many 
narrow streets, paved as of old with col)l)lestones, to 
remind us of a former day; but there are also some 
noble thoroughfares, chief among them being State 
Street, which is accounted one of the broadest streets in 
the country, and was, until quite recently, only second 
to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. 

The chief object that challenges the attention from 
State Street, and, indeed, the principal attraction of 
Albany to strangers, is, of course, the Capitol. Its 
architectural beauty and commanding position con- 
spire to render it one of the most imposing buildings in 
the world. The effect of the steep approach is aug- 
mented by the pyramidal tiers of steps, up which a 
regiment might pass with tmbroken ranks. The struc- 
ture is of Maine granite, built in the style of the French 
renaissance, and is surmounted by a tower and dome, 
from which the eye may sweep over sixty miles of 
country to rest u])on the blue profiles of the Catskills, 
or follow the windings of the river, or return to trace 
the streets that are spread like a map at our feet. 

There is the City Hall, that was built in 1882, carry- 
ing in the spirit of its architectural design a suggestion 
of the Hollandish origin of the city. There are the two 
cathedrals — one to the north and the other southward 
— and numerous churches that testify to the religious 
sentiment still animating the descendants and succes- 
sors of those who nodded to the preaching of Domine 

548 The Hudson River 

Megapolensis. There are the four libraries, the num- 
erous educational institutions, the Dudley Observatory 
that was opened with such a flourish of trumpets in 
1856, the numerous houses of a public character, and 
the residences of prominent citizens of the past and 
the present. On the outskirts of the town hangs a 
cloud of smoke from its blast-furnaces and factories, 
and at its wharves are the great lumber yards that con- 
tribute to its industry. 

The Capitol was commenced in 1881 and completed 
at a cost to the State of twenty-one million dollars, and 
is of such noble proportions that its mere bulk alone is 
impressive. The main structure is three hundred by 
four hundred feet on the floor plan, with walls that 
rise one hundred and eight feet from water-table to 
cornice. It contains chambers ample for all the de- 
partments and business of the government, besides 
housing the magnificent State Library, with its one 
hundred and fifty thousand volumes and its collection 
of priceless manuscripts and documents relative to the 
history of the State. 

In these few notes u])on the history and the legends 
of a fascinating old city we have hardly opened the 
subject. The records are so full and rich, the tradi- 
tions so abundant and so varied, that it is with deep 
regret and the sense of a pleasant task left uncom- 
pleted that the chronicler closes this chapter. 

Albany has, within comparatively a short time, 
taken a new start, and in public improvements and new 

An Old Dutch Town 549 

buildings, as well as in a marked increase in business, 
gives evidence of having commenced with the new 
century a new epoch in its life. Among the causes 
suggested for the rapid increase in ])opulation is an 
improved water supply. New life has been infused 
into a formerly inacti\'e chamber of commerce, and 
whereas a few years ago business enter])rise was in 
many quarters somewhat conspicuous by its al^sence, 
now there is e\'idence of more stirring activity. The 
first change in Albany's life occurred when the New 
England element came in and began to mingle with 
the Dutch and " the dogs began to bark in broken Eng- 
lish." The second period ended with the appearance 
of the river steamboat; the third seems to have given 
place to a fourth, the cause or causes yet unknown. 

Chapter XXXII 

Above Tide- Water 

TROY and the Trojans were primarily of New 
England origin, and this difference in blood 
has perhaps been the cause of not a little of 
the lack of affiliation between the city that rests on 
Mount Ida and Mount Olympus and its neighbour of 
Dutch descent, six miles to the south. 


Troy is the capital of Rensselaer County, the head of 
tide- water in the Hudson, the site of the State dam 
and of various manufacturing concerns. It is a busy 
place and owes much of its prosperity to the Erie, 
Hudson, and Champlain canals. Its shipping is con- 
siderable, and, with the neighbouring towns of Cohoes, 
Lansingburg, etc., its pojjulation reaches about the 
figure at which the census fixes that of Albany. 

Its first proprietor was one Vander Heyden, who re- 

Above Tide-Water 551 

ceived it from the Patroon Van Rensselaer in 1720. 
About 1787 the site of the future eity was laid out in 
town lots. At West Tro)— or Watcr^dlet— ui 181 3, 
the United States Government purchased ground upon 
which was established an arsenal, near the present east 
bank of the Erie Canal. Sex'cral widely known educa- 
tional establishments add interest to a city that is not 
devoid of beauty, though lacking the charm of man>- 
a Hudson River town. 

For man}' )-ears the Poestenkill and Wynant's Kill, 
which enter the river at this place, ha^^e furnished a 
great deal of the water-i)ower for the local mills. The 
largest of the Hudson's tributaries, the Mohawk, adds 
Its volume to our river a few miles above Troy. 

The course of the Hudson above tide-water may be 
briefly outlined here. Its north branch rises in Indian 
Pass, at the foot of Mount McInt>Te, in the Adiron- 
dacks; and the east branch has its source in the 
lake called "Tear of the Clouds," above which rises 
Mount Tahawas, fifty -four hundred feet in height. 
The stream takes in, first, the Boreas River and the 
Schroon, and fifteen miles north of Saratoga recei^•es 
the water of the Sacandaga. South of that the Batten- 
kill is added to it, and, between the Battenkill and the 
Mohawk, the Walloomsac. It will be noticed that 
these streams, with two exceptions, have Indian names, 
and this recalls the prophecy of a dying chief, who, 
while chanting his death-song, surrounded bv his 
enemies, foretold the disappearance of his race, but 

552 The Hudson River 

promised that the streams should retain the Indian 
names, to keep his people in remembrance for ever. 

In his admiral^le Reminiscences of Saratoga, Mr. 
William L. Stone quotes the " Interesting narrative of 
a visit to the ' High Rock Spring ' in 1789, a httle more 
than twenty years after Sir William Johnson's visit 
. . . taken down from the lips of Mrs. Dwight, by 



her son, the Hon. Theodore Dwight." This account of 
the condition of Saratoga and the route thither is so 
graphic that our onh^ apology in making the following 
excerpts is that we cannot quote it entire: 

Our party originally consisted of five, three gentlemen and 
two ladies, who travelled with two gigs (then called chairs) and 
a saddle-horse. 

From Hartford, where I resided, our party proceeded west- 
ward, and some idea of the fashions may be formed from the 
dress of one of the ladies, who wore a black beaver with a sugar- 
loaf crown eight or nine inches high, called a steeple-crown, 
wound round with black and red tassels. Habits having gone 
out of fashion, the dress was of London smoke broadcloth, but- 
toned down in front, and at the side with twenty-four gilt but- 
tons, about the size of a half dollar. Large waists and stays 
were the fashion and the shoes were extremely sharp-toed and 
high-heeled, ornamented with large paste buckles at the instep. 

Above Tide-Water 553 

. . . We hardly met any one on this j)art of the way, except 
an old man with a long, white beard, who looked like a palmer 
on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and his wife, who was as 
ugly as one of Shakespeare's old crones. . . . After three 
days we reached Hudson, where a gentleman who had come to 
attend a l)all joined our party, sending a message home for 
clothes; and, although he did not receive them and had only his 
dancing dress, persisted in proceeding with us. He mounted his 
horse therefore in a suit of white broadcloth, with powdered 
hair, small clothes, and white silk stockings. 

Cotild an>-thing l^e more delightful than this instan- 
taneous photograi)h of a beau of a hundred and thir- 
teen years ago, whose abounding spirits and love of 
adventure were not to be held in check l)y such trifles 
as white broadcloth, ])owdered hair, and silk small- 
clothes? But to continue: 

While at Hudson it was determined to go directly to Saratoga, 
the efihcacy of the water being much celebrated as well as the 
curious round and hollow rock from which it flowed. Hudson 
was a flourishing village, although it had been settled but about 
seven years, by people from Xantucket and Rhode Island. 

In the afternoon the prospect of a storm made us hasten our 
gait and we tarried over night at an old Dutch house, which, not- 
withstanding the uncouth aspect of a fireplace without jambs, 
was a welcome retreat from the weather. Early in the morning 
we proceeded and reached Albany at breakfast-time. The old 
Dutch church, with its pointed roof and great window of painted 
glass, stood at that time at the foot of State Street. 

At Troy, where we took tea, there were only a dozen houses, 
the place having been settled only three years before by people 
from Killingworth, Saybrook, and other towns in Connecticut. 
Lansingburg was an older and more considerable town, contain- 
ing more than a hundred houses, and inhabited principally by 
emigrants from the same State. The tavern was a very good 
one, but the inhabitants were so hospitable to our party that the 

554 The Hudson River 

time was spent almost entirely in private houses. After a delay 
of two nights and a day we proceeded on our journey. Crossing 
the Hudson to Waterford by a ferry, we went back as far as the 
Mohawk to see the Cohoes falls, of which we had a fine view from 
the northern bank, riding along the brow of the precipice in 
going and returning. 

On the road to the Mohawk we met a party of some of the 
most respectable citizens of Albany — among whom was the pa- 
troon Van Rensselaer — in a common country waggon without a 
cover, with straw under their feet and wooden chairs for seats. 
Two gentlemen on horseback, in their company, finding that we 
were going to Saratoga, offered to accompany us to the scene 
of the battle of Behmus Heights, and thither we proceeded after 
visiting Cohoes. 

We dined in the house which was General Burgoyne's head- 
quarters in 1777 and one of the females who attended us was 
there during the battle. 

Mr. Stone, in a footnote, corrects this statement, 
averring that General Burgoyne's headquarters were 
"on high ground, the present [1875] farm of Mr. Wil- 
bur." But the account of Mrs. Dwight is circumstan- 

She [the woman referred to] informed us of many particulars, 
and showed us a spot upon the fioor, which was stained with the 
blood of General Frazer, who, she added, when brought in mor- 
tally wounded, was laid upon the very table at which we were 
seated. During the funeral, she also stated, the American 
troops, who had got into the rear of the British on the opposite 
side of the river, and had been firing over the house, on discover- 
ing the cause of the procession up the steep hill, where Frazer 
had requested to be interred, not only ceased firing, but played 
a dead march in complement to his memory. 

On leaving the battleground for Saratoga Lake . . . the 
country we had to pass over, after leaving the Hudson, was very 
uninviting and almost uninhabited. The road lay through a 

Above Tide-Water 557 

forest and was formed of logs [The road cut by General 
Schuyler in 1783.] We travelled till late in the afternoon 
before we reached a house, to which we had been directed for 
our lodging. It stood in a solitary place in an opening of 
the dark forest, and had so comfortless an appearance that, 
without approaching to take a nearer view, or alighting, we 
determined to proceed farther. . . . One of the gentlemen 
rode up to take a nearer view. Standing u]) in his saddle, 
he peeped into a square hole which served as a window, but 
had no glass or shutter, and found the floor the bare earth, 
with scarcely any furniture to be seen. Nothing remained 
but to proceed and make our way to the Spring as fast 
as possible, for we knew of no human habitation nearer. We 
were for a time extremely dispirited, until the gentleman who 
had joined us at Hudson came forward (still in his ball dress) 
and endeavoured to encourage us, saying that if we would but 
trust to his guidance he doubted not that he should be able to 
conduct us safely and speedily to a more comfortable habitation. 
This raised our hopes, and we followed him cheerfully, though 
the day was now at its close and the forest seemed thicker and 
darker than before. When the last light had disappeared, and 
we found ourselves in the deepest gloom, our guide confessed 
that he had encouraged us to keep us from despair, and as to 
any knowledge of the road, he had never been there before in 
his life. 

One would give much to have seen this cheerful 
"gentleman from Hudson" at that moment: 

He . . . dismounted, tied his horse behind our chair, and 
taking the bridle of our own began, to lead him on, groping his 
way as well as he was able, stepping into one mud hole after 
another, without regard to his silk stockings, sometimes up to 
his beauish knee buckles. At length one of the gentlemen de- 
clared that a sound which we had heard for some time at a dis- 
tance could not be the howl of a wolf, but must be the barking 
of a wolf dog, and indicated that the habitation of his master was 
not very far off, proposing at the same time to go in search of 

55S The Hudson River 

it. . . . We found our way to a log house, containing but 
one room and destitute of everything except hospitable inhab- 
itants . . . there was no lamp or candles, light being 
supplied by pine knots stuck in crevices in the walls. The conver- 
sation of the family proved that wild beasts were very numerous 
and bold in the surrounding forests and that they sometimes, 
when hungry, approached the house. . . . On reaching the 
springs at Saratoga we found but three habitations and those but 
poor log houses, on the high bank of the meadow, where is now 
the eastern side of the street on the ridge near the Round Rock. 
This was the only spring then visited. The log cabins were 
almost full of strangers, among whom were several ladies and 
gentlemen from Albany, and we found it almost impossible 
to obtain accommodations even for two nights. . . . The 
neighbourhood of the Spring, like all the country we had seen 
for many miles, was a perfect forest. 

The earliest advertising that Saratoga Springs seems 
to have received was through those recruits from differ- 
ent parts of the country who, having been called to- 
gether to dispute the advance of Burgoyne and his 
army, became, when again dispersed to their homes, 
the pro]:)agandists of exaggerated tales of the wonder- 
ful fertility of the region. 

The Saratoga Springs of modern ken, having de- 
veloped in three quarters of a century to one of the 
greatest watering-places on earth, with all the attrac- 
tions that wealth and fashion can add to great natural 
advantages, cannot be described in such a work as this. 
The tale of its splendoin* is bewildering, the roll of those 
who have added to its gaiety, overwhelming. A list 
of those who have lodged in its great hostelries, or 
drank of its waters, would, perhaps, include a majority 

Above Tide-Water 


of the famous people who have hved during the past 
half -century. 

The peculiar virtues of the waters of Saratoga were 
long known to the Indians, who, in 1767, revealed 
them as a mark of special fricndshi]) to Sir William 


Johnson. Johnson, wounded at the battle of Lake 
George, twelve years before, was subject to recurring 
attacks of illness due to that injury. The Mohawks, 
who held him in greater esteem probabl}' than any 
other white man ever won from them, carried him 
through the forest to the " High Rock," and with sol- 
emn ceremonies laid him in the healing pool. His 
letter to his friend, General Philip Schuyler, is interest- 

j\Iy Dear Schuyler [he wrote], I have just returned from a 
visit to a most amazing Spring, which has almost effected my 
cure; and I have sent to Doctor Stringer, of New York, to come 
up and analyse it. 

56o The Hudson River 

The fact seems to have been that vSir WilHam, having 
reached the spring on a litter, carried on the shoulders of 
his Mohawk friends, was so far restored that he accom- 
plished part of his return journey to Schenectady on foot. 

In 1783, General vSchuyler, who had not forgotten 
the letter of his quondam friend, though the sad events 
of the war had cut him off from intimacy with the 
Johnsons, made a road through the woods from his 
estate at Schuylersville to the spring, and, taking his 
family there, encamped for several weeks. 

The same year, General Washington, being distracted 
by the long idleness of his waiting at Newburgh, under- 
took a brief tour of the northern and western part of 
the State, to study particularly the topography of the 
country and its battle-fields. During that tour he vis- 
ited the springs in company with Governor Clinton and 
Alexander Hamilton. An amusing anecdote is pre- 
served of one Tom Conner, who was standing by his 
cabin door, axe in hand, when Washington and his 
party rode by. Reining his horse, the chief court- 
eously asked to be directed to the High Rock. Having 
given the required direction, Tom went on with his 
wood-chop]jing, and was presently surprised by the 
return of the party, when Washington asked for fur- 
ther directions. Tom looked at him but a moment and 
then burst forth, " I tell you, turn back and take the 
first right-hand path into the woods and stick to it. 
Any darned fool would know the way." What the 
Father of his Country replied has not been recorded. 

Above Tide-Water 561 

Repeated reference has been made to the battle of 
Saratoga, and its great importance in relation to 
American history can hardh^ be overestimated. It 
should not be forgotten that Sir Edward Creasy, the 
English military writer, has numbered this among the 
fifteen decisive battles of the world. 

Burgoyne started from Canada towards Albany with 
a reasonable expectation of uniting his forces with those 
of Clinton and keeping open a direct line of communi- 
cation from New York to the St. Lawrence. But he 
was harassed by the New Hampshire levies and checked 
at every step of the way by the obstructions that the 
forethought and activity of Schuyler had reared. The 
American army, organised b\^ Schuyler and transfeiTcd 
to Gates for reasons political, had been reinforced by two 
brigades from the Highlands, besides a force of artillerv 
and Morgan's efficient corjjs of riflemen, sent hv Wash- 
ington. Gates's army numbered about ten thousand 
men, many of them niihtia or levies. It must not be un- 
derstood, however, that the New York or Connecticut 
troops of this description were necessarily raw recruits. 
On the contrary, it was one of the ];)eculiarities of the 
American army that its numbers alternately swelled 
and dwindled as occasion demanded. In two vears' 
time both the militia and the levies may have been 
called out on several occasions under the stress of cir- 
cumstances, returning to their farms and villages in 
the intervals between active campaigns. 

While Gates was being thus reinforced, General 


562 The Hudson River 

vSchuyler, having retired to Albany, was receiving 
deputations of Indian chiefs and exerting his great 
influence to secure their services as scouts, thus materi- 
ally aiding the forces in the field. One is compelled to 
admire the greatness of soul of this man, who refused 
to permit the cavalier treatment accorded him by 
Gates, or the apparent neglect of higher powers, to 
interrupt the efficiency of his service or chill the ardour 
of his patriotism. 

Burgoyne, having gathered in what forces he could 
from Skenesborough and other posts, reached the Hud- 
son and constructed a bridge by which to cross from 
the east to the west bank of the river. Meanwhile, a 
lookout upon Willard's Mountain, on the east shore, 
watched his movements and reported them to the 
American commander. We have some hints of the 
gloomy anticipation with which the British com- 
mander found himself face to face with the American 
army. He knew that the posts in his rear had been 
retaken by the Americans. The defeat of St. Leger at 
Fort Schuyler had been disheartening; now the fre- 
quent desertions from his army depleted his force of 
fighting men. 

On the 13 th and 14th of September he crossed the 
river on his bridge of boats, landing upon the plain 
near the mouth of Fishkill Creek, afterwards Schuyler- 
ville, about five miles north of the American position. 

The arrangement of the opposing forces on the 19th 
was similar, each resting — right and left respectively — 

Above Tide-Water 563 

upon the river, whence the Hnes stretched at right 
angles with the stream and parallel to each other, west- 
ward, across the hills. Burgc)>-ne's left wing, on the 
flats near the river, consisted of the artillery. The 
General-in-chief commanded the centre and right in 

The American right, opposite the British artlller^- 
and extending over the low hills and flats near the 
ri^'er, was under the immediate command of General 
Gates. The left, that included Livingston's, Van 
Cortlandt s, Hale's, Scannel's, and Cillev's regiments, 
the Connecticut militia, and Morgan's famous sharp- 
shooters, was on the heights three quarters of a mile 
from the river, under command of the impetuous Bene- 
dict Arnold. 

Arnold, together with Thaddeus Kosciusco, the 
Polish engineer, had selected Bemis Heights as the 
theatre of battle and laid out fortifications there. 

Having, on the i8th, advanced slowly to within two 
miles of General Gates's position, Burgoyne rested 
over night and prepared for an attack ui)on the morn- 
ing of the 19th. The plan, in brief, was to inake a 
demonstration with Canadians and Indians threaten- 
mg the American centre, while the grenadiers and 
light infantry, under Frazer, on the left of Gates's 
position, and the British left-wing, under Philips and 
Reidesel, were to move simultaneously and b}' a cir- 
cuitous route to gain the American rear. Burgo}-ne 
himself was with the British right. 

564 The Hudson River 

Gates received advice of the advance of the enemy 
upon his left, but made no movement in resj^onse to 
repeated appeals, until about noon Arnold succeeded 
in getting permission to order Morgan and Dearborn 
out. Arnold in person followed this party with an- 
other detachment and was soon engaged with General 
Frazer's superior force. Gates refused the reinforce- 
ments applied for by Arnold, and the latter, finding 
Frazer's position too strong for him, by a sudden move- 
ment attempted to flank his adversary, with the result 
that he soon found himself in conflict with the main 
line of the British advance. 

Unperturbed by the numbers opposed to him, he 
attacked with his inferior force, advancing so impetu- 
ously that he nearly broke the British line and com- 
]3elled Philips and Reidesel to hasten to the supi)ort of 

Grudgingh^ reinforcements were then given to Ar- 
nold, and he continued for four hours a spirited action 
with the whole of the British right, though his force 
at no time exceeded three thousand, or, as some have 
said, twenty-five hundred men. Both Reidesel and 
Burgoyne afterwards described this battle as having 
been fought with great obstinacy and valour, the fire 
having been unusually fierce and well sustained. 

Burgo3me, though he could claim no decisive advan- 
tage, having indeed been repulsed and thwarted by the 
Americans, yet remained in possession of his ground 
and proceeded to strengthen his position. His situa- 

Above Tide-Water 565 

tion was sufficiently grave. From almost every 
quarter came discouraging news, the one exception 
being the arri\'al of a messenger with a dispatch from 
Sir Henr}' Clinton, informing him of the projected ex- 
pedition up the Hudson and proposed co-operation 
with the northern arm>\ In rei^l}' to this communica- 
tion Burgoyne urged Clinton to hasten, and ])romised 
to endeavour to wait for him until the 12 th of October. 
But, either made impatient by the desertions that 
were rapidly reducing his army, or rendered bold by 
the apparent disinclination of the superior American 
force to oppose him, or swayed from his purpose by 
the councils of his officers, he determined, upon the 
7th of October, "to make a grand movement on the 
left of the American camj), to discover whether he 
could force a jxassage, should it be necessary to ad- 
vance, or dislodge it from its position, should he have 
to retreat." 

Hidden b}' the intervening forest, with fifteen 
hundred picked troops formed within a mile of the 
American left, the British commander dispatched a 
reconnoitring part}' to gain the rear of Gates's position 
and feign an attack to cover the actual assault. But 
through the watchfulness of the Americans this ])lan 
resulted in a complete failure. A counter-plan of at- 
tack was arranged l)y which Morgan, with his riflemen, 
was to win the hills on Burgoyne 's right, while the 
New York and New Hampshire troops, under General 
Poor, with a part of Learned 's brigade, were to make 


The Hudson River 

a vigorous attack ujDon the Hessian artillery and grena- 
diers on the left. 

The New Yorkers, with their New Hampshire com- 
rades, did magnificent work that day. The Hessian 
gunners, serving their artillery with the precision and 


effectiveness of well-trained veterans, were amazed to 
see the Americans advance without hesitation in the 
face of a rain of grape-shot. The grenadiers, unused 
to meeting opponents who could stand before them, 
found it impossible to meet this impetuous onslaught. 
The guns were taken and retaken, both sides fighting 
stubbornly, till at last the Americans drove their 

Above Tide-Water 567 

opponents from the ])osition, turning upon them their 
own artillery. Xo doubt a great deal of the valour and 
determination shown by the attaeking ]iart\' was due 
to the presence of Arnold, who, though without a 
command, owing to a recent ([uarrel with General 
Gates, yet took the lead to which his position as rank- 
ing officer in the field entitled him, and displaved such 
mad courage that one historian at least has gravely 
charged him with being intoxicated upon that occa- 
sion. In this connection, Irving very justly remarks 
that "Arnold needed only his own irritated pride and 
the smell of gunpowder to rouse him to acts of mad- 

While this action was in progress, in another part of 
the field General Frazer was trying to make a stand 
against Morgan and his sharpshooters, but received at 
last a mortal w^ound. His corps fell 1:)ack in confusion. 

Overcome at all points, Burgoyne made an effort to 
save his camix This and a subsequent effort to cross 
the ri\'er in the face of an American battery on the 
eastern shore, were ec[ually unsuccessful. He made 
repeated efforts to withdraw, only to find that the way 
was completely blocked in every direction, and at 
length, upon the 17th of October, articles of cajjitula- 
tion were signed and the great battle was finished. It 
was a strange coincidence that brought to Burgoyne 's 
camp, between the agreement for ca])itulation and the 
signing of the articles, news from Sir Henry Clinton, 
announcing that he had reduced the forts in the 


The Hudson River 

Highlands and was advancing to the relief of the van- 
quished army. 

The course of the river for a number of miles above 
Saratoga is a succession of falls and rapids of great 
natural beaut}% though now often concealed or dis- 
figured by a multitude of mills. It is hard to realise 
that Fort Edward, for example, has hidden away, be- 
neath the evidences of modern industry and thrift, an 
early history that is full of romance and derring-do. 

(From a draixjing hy W. G. M'ilso)!) 

First of all, it was granted to Domine Dellius of 
Albany, who transferred his title to his successor in 
the church, John Lydius, the latter building there a 
trading house. Then a fort was erected on the spot, 
and in honour of the Lieutenant-Governor of New 
York it was named Nicholson. Next it was rebuilt and 
called Fort Lyman by one of Sir William Johnson's 
subordinates, but the commander soon rechristened it 
Edward. It was a place of great importance during 

Above Tide-Water 


the French and Indian wars, and was at that time the 
scene of the well-known ex])loit of Israel Putnam, when 
he stood upon the roof of the powder magazine and 
fought, single-handed, the fire that consumed the 
structure next to it. Here, too, it was that the mur- 

idc;e at glens falls 

der of Jennie McCrea, by some of Burgoyne's Indian 
allies, gave Gates a telling argument, with which not 
a few wavering partisans w^ere turned against the 
British cause. 

With Fort Edw^ard, as with nearly all of the upper 
river towns, the possession of one of the most magnifi- 


The Hudson River 

cent water-powers in the world has decided the direc- 
tion of its activity. 

Glens Falls, eighteen miles above Saratoga, was once 
known as Wing's Falls, and long before that the In- 
dians gave it a name of their own. As usual, the 


Indians' name was the only one of the three that was 
neither stupid nor commonplace. They called it Che- 
pon-Uic, which, being interpreted, means " a hard place 
to get around." 

Wing was simply the name of an unimaginative 
white man who used to own the Falls, and knew no 

Above Tide-Water 


better name for them than his own. The transfer of 
name from Wing to Glen was the price of a dinner at 
the ta\-ern. Glen i)aid for the dinner, and then posted 
all the roads around with handbills announcing the 
change of title. The place is now a busy town of 
about ten thousand inhabitants, or about one third of 
the total population of Warren County. It also has a 
water-power of great value, and, besides the features 
of natural beauty which even the ubiquitous mills can- 
not entirely conceal, it has a notal^le aggregation and 
variety of " works. " Here are the marble works, where 
the black marble, native to the place, is prepared for 
market; the gun works, sewing-machine works, lime 
works, and a legion more. But if the average citizen 
was to be suddenly asked to name the staple product 
of Glens Falls and neighbouring river towns, he would 
be apt to answer, "wood-pulp." Wood-])ul]) is turn- 
ing a great many factory wheels to-day, as it is feeding 
a great many thousand printing-presses, and it has 
made the paper mills of the upper Hudson the scene 
of a great industry. 

It is time "this tale should have an ending." Al- 
ready it has run beyond the limits that the author 
assigned for his work; yet he leaves it with reluctance, 
conscious most of all of its many omissions. 


Abbott, Rev. Lyman, D.D., 2S5 

Abeel, Anthony, 491-492 

Abecl. David, 491-492 

Al)L'cl family, 491-492 

Abintjdon-Fitz-Roy Road, 174 

Academy Building, Kingston, 463 

Ackland, Lady Harriet, 530 

Act regvilating navigation, i 2 i 

Adams, John, 163 

Adirondacks, 551 

Advertisement of steamboats, 12.S- 

Aepgin, Chief, 5 i i 

Ailsa, Marquis of (Kennedy), 7,2 

Albany, 2, 13, 4S, 111-112, 125- 
126, 272-273, 278, 336, 344 
340. 350-354. 356. 405, 43'. 436 
444, 449- 464-466, 472, 476-477 
483, 486-488, 494, 516, 519, 520 
526-529, 530, 541-542, 544, 546- 
550. 553-554, 55'*^- 561-562 
beef, 440; Dutch, 531; festi- 
vals, 533; fort, II, 23; houses, 
ST,T,\ post road, 317; sloops 
115; wharf, 104 

Alexis, steamboat, 133 

Algonquin tongue, 9 

Alipconc, 10 

Allison, Rev. Charles E., 9 

Alpine, 438 

Amackassin Brook, 10 

Amasis, 301 

America, 407 

American, Academy, 428: army 
179, 184, 192, 232, 317, 331, 380 
406, 461-462; camp, 565; citi- 
zen, the, 125; Civil WaV, 372 
colonies, 68; colours, 28; de- 
fences, 330; independence, 26 
405, 523; Institute Fairs, 41 

Republic, 427; Scenic and His- 
toric Preservation Society, 415; 

seamen, 54; stores, 332, 338; 

Surety Building, t,^\ troops, 554, 

563-565; vessels, 340 
Americans, 28 
Amsterdam, 2 1, .108, 446 
Ancram Creek, 477 
Andre, Major John, 72, 85, 86, 219, 

228, 236-237, 244, 296-297, 314, 

317-318, 380 
Andresen, his captivity, 456 
Annandale, 479 
Anthony, Theophilus, 426 
Anthony's Nose, 91, 116, 322, 325, 

328, 337-33''^. 358. 361-362, 365, 

Apothecarx's Hal'. Albany, s?, 
Apthorpe Niansion, 140, 175 
Arbor Hill, Albany, 545 
Archer, Ste])hen. 229 
Ardsley-on -the- Hudson. 230 
■\riiienia, stc-amboat, 130 
Armitage, D. D., 209 
Armstrong, Oencral, 458, 460 
Arnold, General Benedict, 85, 228, 

296-298, 314, 3.35-336,380.463- 

464. 483. 567 
Arnold, Mrs., 366 
Arthur, General Chester A., 458 
Aspinwall, William, 237 
Assembly of Nineteen, the, 516, 

Astor, William B., 458 
Astor Place Riots, 196 
Athens, ^07 
Atkarkarton, 444 
Atkins, T. Astley, 209 
Atlanta, warship, 51 
Atlantic cable, 230 
Auchmut}', Doctor. 312 
Audubon Park, 155 




Baas, Jan, 536-537 

Baccrack Reach, 114 

Badeau, General Adam, 2S7 

Bailey. Hachaliah, 293 

Baker's dozen, its origin, 536 

Baker's F'alls, 438 

Ball, Washington's inauguration, 

Baltimore, 504 

Barber and Howe's Collections, 495 

Barclay Street and college build- 
ings,' 58 

Barge Office, New York, 40 

Barnard College, 14S, 176 

Barnum, P. T., and Jenny Lind, 46 

Barr, Mrs. Amelia E., 2S5 

Barrytown, 479 

Bartholdi Statue of Liberty, 139 

Bartram, John, 274 

Bassett Street, Albany, 531 

Battenkill, 551 

Battery, the, 24, 26-27, 31, 36, 50, 
54, 57- 65, 288 

Battle of Behmus (Bemis) Heights, 

554. 563 
Battle of Harlem Heights, 277 
Battle of Lake George, 559 
Battle of Long Island. 151, 326 
Battle of White Plains, 332 
Bausan, Italian warship, 51 
Baxter, 188 

Bayard family and residence, 61 
Bayard Hill, 168; Redoubt, 168, 

T. ^74 

Beacon Hill, 357, 417 

Bear Island (Beam), 352, 51 1-5 14, 

Bear Mountain, 319, 339, 358 
Beaviregard, 372 
Beaver Street, Albany, 527 
Bedford Pike, 293 
Bedlam's Redoubt, 169 
Bedloe's Island, 49 
Beecher, Rev. Henrv Ward, 282, 

Beekman, 534 
Beekman, Henry, 91, 459 
Beekman, James W., 50 
Beekman. Mrs., 317 
Beekman House, 463 
Beekman Manor, 350 
Beekman Patent, 365, 486 
Beekmantown, 239 
Belletti, Signor, 42 
Benedict, 42 
Benedict, Israel, 47 

Benton, Joel, 287, 426 

Bergen, 344. 345, 341, 

Bergen, Martin G., 486 

Bergen Dutch Chiux-h, 72 

Bergen Neck, 82 

Besightsick, 10 

Bethune, Rev. Geo. W., D.D., 278 

Beverly House, 366, 369, 380 

Beversier, 23 

Beverwyck, 519, 520 

Bevier, 469 

Biddle, Joseph, Jr., 344 

Bigelow, John, 424 

Bill of Freedoms, etc., 88 

Binckes, Captain, 23 

lUakc, British warship, 51 

Bleecker, Hermanns, 255 

Blinkcrsbergh, 13 

Blockhouse at Shadyside, 82 

Blom, Domine Hermanns, 444, 447, 

459. 469 

Bloodgood, Frank, 545 

Bloomingdale, 174; road, 1^2, 175- 

Boers in America, 98, gt) 

Bogardus, Anneke Jans, 59; Dom- 
ine Everardus, 59 

Bogardus Inn, 458 

Bolton, Rev. Robert, 290 

Boreas River, 551 

Boreel Building, New York, 35 

Bossen Bouwerie, 61 

Boston, 167, 290 

Boston and Albany Road, 61 

Boston Tea Party, 57 

Boulevard, the, 176, 178 

Boulevard, Lafayette, 155 

Boulton and Watt, 121 

Bouwerie, Roeloff jansen's, 59 

Bowery, 61 

Bowling Green, 25, 31 

BowHng Green Building, 39 

Braddock, General, 151 

Bradhurst, Dr. Samuel, 152 

Bradstreet, Colonel, 3^3 

Breakneck Hill, 386 

Brevoort, Henry, 250 

Brewers Street, Albany, 538 

Brewhouse on North River, 168 

Bright, Marshal H., 286 

Brink, Benjamin Meyer, 476, 535 

Brink, Cornelius L., 472 

Brinkcrhoff's History of Fishkill, 

BrinkerhofT's house, 417 

British, army, 531; artillery, 563; 
cause, 569; ensign, 28; fleet, 
169, 329. 379. 406, 407; force. 



British army — Continitcd 

53q; garrison, 72; GovcTninrnt, 
60,474; officers, 32: ])lans, lOo 
ships, 28, 54, 64,' 170, 228, 232 
235; troops, 31, 168, 176, 185 
188, igi, 227, 554 

Broadway, Albany, 527, 538 

Broadway, New York, 27, t,^, 46 
5S. 317- 523 

Brodhead, John Romeyn, 17, 273 

Broken Neck Ilih, 346, 386 

Brooks, James Gordon, 272 

_Brown, Charles, i 22 

Brown, Thomas, 10:; 

Bryant, William ("ullcn, 2^6, 262, 
272, 394, 424 

Buckhout, t"a])lain |(ilui, 23 

Bucklail i)arl\-, 265" 

Buildings in New York, 24, 31, 52, 
35. 3S, 39 

Bull Hill, 357, 362, 360, 386, 300 

Bull's Ferry, Si 

Buonaparte, Jose]3h, 14 ^ 

Burdett's Ferry, 1S5, 330 

Burgoyne, 336, 338^ 343, 379- 407, 
408, 460, 462, 464, 530, 554, 55,s, 

56.1-565, 567. 569 
Burlington, 344 
Burnet, Governor, 25 
Burnet's Key, 104 
Burnside, General, 372 
Burr, Aaron, 74-7S,' 148, 152, 217, 

249, 468, 509, 542 
Burroughs, John, 286, 289, 394 
Bushnell, inventor, 119, 183', 330 
Butler, Benjamin F., 277 
Butler, Colonel, 309 
Butler, Samuel, 510 
Butler, William Allen, 271 
Butter Hill (Butter Alt.), 346, 357 

(\il)le Building, New York, ^8 

C'al.cit, John, 2 

Caclwalader, Colonel, 188-190 

Cahoes, 355 

Cairo, 495 

Call Rock, 425 

Campbell, 13, 339 

Campbell, Donald. 4S3 

Canada, 160, t,7,^. 4S0, 491, 49:;, 561 

Canal Street and Lispenard's 

swamp, 60 
Canals, treatise by Fulton, 118 
Canopus Creek, 297, 317 
Canty, Master Tim, 242, 243 
Cape Cod, 507 

Capitol at Washington. 469 

Car of Xcptiiuc. steamboat, 128 

Caribbean Islands, 23 

Carleton, Sir Guy, 27, 220, 288 

Carl's Mill, 230 

Carolina troojjs, 310 

Carolinas, 160 

Carthage, 416 

Cartwright's ta\'ern, 353 

Cassalis, Earl of, 32 

Casta Diva, 42, 45 

Castle Clinton, 41 

Castle Filipse, 206 

Castle Garden, 31, 40-42, 45-48, 

Castle Island, :; u; 

Castle Point, 73, 78 

Castleton, 510, :; i 5 

Catesby, Mark, "274 

Cathedral Heii,dits. 144, 147 

Cathedral of St. J-.lin ihr Divine, 

144. 147 
Catskill Creek, 48 7 
Catskill Mcnmtaiiis, 417, .|-o, 400, 

502, ^o&, S47 
Catskill Station, 02 
Catskill Village, 437, 473, 486, 488- 

^ 4S9, 491, 494-495, 499, 500 
Cedar Street and Damen's farm, 5:^ 
Central Park and MeGowan's Pass, 


Chamber of Comnirree. 424 
Chaml)ers, Thomas, 444, 447, 4^0, 

Chamjjlain Canal, :^i;o 
Chancellor of New 'York, Living- 
ston, 120 
Charles II., 96 

Charter of Freedoms, etc-., 520 
Chatterton's Hill, 184 
Chelsea village, 62, 63 
Cheney, A. N., 437 
Chepontuc, 570 
Cherry Valley, 352, 353 
Cherrycroft, 285 
Chesapeake shad, 436 
Chittenden, Lucius B., and widow 

Church, Frederick E., 507 
Church notices, 44S 
Church Street, Albany, 527 
Church tokens, 448 
Cilley's regiment at Saratoga, ^62 
City Hall, Albany, 547 ' ^ • 
City Hall, site ofde Lancey house, 

Civil War, the, 319 
Claessen, Siebout, 14 



Clarcmont Hotel, 14,^ 

Clarke, Lewis (iaylord, 256-257 

Clarke, Thomas, 63 

Classis of Amsterdam, 459 

Clavcrack, 272, 504 

Claverack Creek, 507 

Claverack Reaeh, 114 

Clay, Henry, 427 

Clayton, John, 274 

Clermont, J22, 125, 471s 

Clcrmonl, steamer, 120, 122, 125, 
T2S, 15S 

Clinton, Colonel James, 167-168, 
1 70. ,i.>7. 340; be Witt, 49, 265, 
459; Governor George, 30, 170, 
184, 187, 312, 316, 327-328, 335- 
.337. 339. 340, 407. 427. 456, 460- 
461, 464-465, 53S, 542, 546, 560; 
Mrs. George, 460; Sir Henry, 
163-166, 228, 304, 335, 338, 339, 
343, 379. 3S<), 407-40S, 412, 439, 
461, 467-46S 

Clinton Point, ujS 

Cockloft Hall, 252, 253 

Coeymans, 510 

Cohoes, 550, 554 

Cojemans House, 352 

Colljcrg, William, 107 

Colden, Cadwallader, 47. 274 

Coldenham, 274, 277 

Coldspring, 266, 3S5, 3.S6 

Cole, Rev. David, D.D., 208, 287 

Cole, Thomas, 500 

Collect Pond, 1^20 

Collegiate Church, 444 

Collinson, Peter, 274 

Coin Donk, 203 

Colonial Assembly, 460 

Colonial Legislature, 477 

Colonial Party, 168 

Colonies, go, 96 

Colonists, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 95 

Cokimbia College, 63, 251, 256, 262 

Columbia County, 272, 503-504 

Columbia Garden, 57 

Columbia University, 147, 14^^. 176. 

Columbian Celebration, 1892, 50 

Columbiaville, 509 

Columbus, 2, 5 

Commissioners of Emigration, 41 

Commissioners of Indian Affairs, 

Committee of 100, 50-51 
Committee of Safety, 331, 456 
Committee of States-General, 91 
Communipaw, 20, 65-69,71 
Company's rules for patents, 89, 90 

Company's ships, 88 

Congress, 377, 405, 412; United 

States Senate and Burr, 77 
Conkling, Captain, 105 
Connecticut, 344, 427 
Connecticut troops, 166, 172-173 

176, 178-179 
Connor, Tom, 560 
Constitution Island, 306, 3S5 
Constitution of New York, 120 
Continental army, 228, 405, 538 
Continental cause, 379, 475 
Continental village, 297, 317, 332 
Convent of the Sacred Heart, 151 
Cooper, Charles D., 74-76 
Cooper, Doctor, 545 
Copway, Ojibbeway Chief, 31)8 
Corlear's Hook, 74 
Cornell, Alonzo B., 319 
Cornwall, 168, 260-261, 393 
Cornwallis, General Lord, 190, 227- 

228, 41 I 
Corporation of New York City, 41 
Corsen, Arcnt, 501 
Cortlandt Manor, 91, 313, 326, 345 
Cortlandt Street Ferry, 58, 72 
Council of Fifty, 480 
Council of Safety, 460 
Courtenay, Viscount, 143 
Cow Chase, the, 72, 85 
Coxsackie, 494, 503, 510, 511 
Coxsackie boats, 428 
Cozzens, Frcdk. Swartwout, 209, 

253. 269 
Cozzens's hotel at West Pomt, 382 
Crane, Ichabod, 243, 2 4(), 509, 510 
Creasey, Sir Edward, 561 
Crispell, 469 
Crommelin, Daniel, 262 
Crom-Pond road, 318 
Cro' Nest, 116, 357 
Crosby, Enoch, 417 
Crotoh, 112, 224, 436 
Croton Aqueduct, 293 
Croton Bridge, 312 
Croton, Chief, 295-296 
Croton Manor-house, 317 
Croton Point, 10, 301, 304 
Croton River, 11, 206, 21)3, 2()4, 337 
Crown Point, 483 
Cruger, General S. Y. R., 50 
Cruger's, 304 
Cruger's Dock, 57 
Cruger's Island, 393 
Cullum, General, 377 
CuUum Memorial Hall, 377 
Culprit Fay, The, 258, 440 
Cunard steamers, 61 



cashing, torpedo-boat, 50 
Custom House. 3 I 
Cut Banks, 510 
Cuyler, Henry, 353 

Dallie, Rev. Mr., 470 

Daly, jud-e t^has. P.. 156 

Damen, jan Jansen, 35' 

Dan bury, 293 

Dan id /)rezi.\ steamboat ,130 

Dauphin of Franee, 383-584 

D'Auxiron, i iq 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum, i:^c; 

Dearborn, Colonel, 564 ' '^ 

Declaration of Independence n 

167, 457. 523 
De Fuyck, 519 
De Gary, Blasco, 119 
De Jouffroy, Marquis, iiq 
De Koven's Bav, 478 
De La Barr. 107 
De Lancey, Lieutenant-dovenK 

James, 32 
De Lancev, John Peter, ^ 5:; 
De Lancey, General Oliver,' i'40 
De Lancey family residence, 61 
Delaware and Hudson Canal, 467 
Delaware Indians, 42^ 
Delaware River, 3.=; ' . 44S. 47o. 4q 5 
.520 ' • 

Delaware, steamer. 120 
Dell (Dellius), Rev. Godfrev s-fi 

Delhus Street. Albany, =; 5 r 
Denton's Ferrv, 349 ' ' ' " 
Denton's Mill,'349 
Depew, Charles, 105 
Depew, Chauncev M., 318, ^rg 
Depew, Isaac, 105 
Dervall, John, 206 
Desbrosses Street, ^^g 
De Witt, Simeon, 54=; 


DeWitt, Thomas, 4,0-4. 
Dobbs, Jeremiah, 226-220 '30 ^i 
Dobbs Ferry. 9, 27, 172, i 8^'. ,'86 
Dodge, Miss Grace, 148 
Dolphin, dispatch boat, =; 
Domines, Dutch, 21, 474 
Dongan, Governor, 22-23, ir 

294, 416, 447, 526 
Dood Fest (Deadfeast), C31. =133 
Don w , Vol kert , 4 3 1 , 4 3 2' ■ 
Downing, Andrew l'., 277-078 
Drake, Joseph Rodman. 255, 257 

259, 394, 440 
Duane Street, New York, c8 

Dublin, 478; College, 47S 
Dubois, Benjamin, "498 
Dubois, Catherine, 452-4:54 
Dubois, Louis, 352, 452-453 

456, 469, 470 ' 

Dudley Observatorv, Albanv 
Dudley's grove, 198 
Duel. Burr-Hamilton, 78 
Dunderljarrck, 117 
I Dunderberg, the, 220-0^0 
.1.3«-330, 357-35<^. ,^62, 421 
Dutch Church. S9. 72- \lba,, 
526. 553; Kingston, 447. 44 
450. 474 
Dutch domines, 21, 474 
Dutch East India Comi)any. o 
Dutch improvers of land. I'l i 
Dutch Lords, 23 
Dutch possessions. 9 
Dutch record of Hoboken, 72--^ 
Dutch settlers. 11 ' ' ~"' 

Dutch West India Comp; 
Dutchess CouiUv, 357,' 

3,s°' 416. 426-42 7. "4S0 
Duyckinck. A. E.. 242. 

271, 280 
Diiyx-el's Dans Kamer, 

Dwight, Hon. Thecxlorc 
Dwight, Mrs., 554 
Dyer, John, -^^'2 
Dykman, Judge, 297 



5 '4 

4 So 

Earl of De\-on, 143 
East Cam]), 402 
East India Comjiany, t 
Eastman College. 422 
East River, 15^, ',67. ,7 
(Brown's shipyard), i 
Eckerson, Capta'in, 35 
Eelkins, commander 
post, 472 

Eighth A\-enue and W 
ment, 62 

El Capitan. steamboat 

Elkins, Jacob [acob.sen 

Elm Park, 140 

Elysian Fields. 78-80 

Emigration Commission! 

Empire Building, New ^ 

Empire State, 12 

E^nglewood, 198 

Equital)le Building. New 

Erie Canal, 48, 1 19, 499, 

Erie Lake, 49 

>f tni 

.be M, 


■rs, 40 
ork. -., 

• York 
.542, 5 



Esopus, II, 13, 14, 01. 106, 107, 
III, 114, 325, 443. 444, 450, 455. 
457. 459. 473. 526 

Esopus Creek, 470, 472 

Esopus Massacre, 472 

Esperanza, 508 

Ettrick, his attempt to kidnap 
Washington ,412 

Ei'cnhig Post, New York, and La- 
fayette fete, 47 

Evertsen, Captain Cornelius, 23 

Fair Street, New York, 45S 

Falconer's purchase, 91 

Fall Kill, 425 

Fanning, Colonel, 317 

Farrington, Harvey P., 105 

Febiger, Colonel, 30Q 

Federalists of Albany, 544 

Ferris, Oliver, 241 

Feudatories, Sg 

Field Building, New York, 32 

Field, Cyrus W., ^^2. 230 

Fiero, 4S8 

Filipse, Frederick. 104, 206, 231 

Fish Commission, 437. 438, 440, 

Fish hatcheries, 440, 442 
Fisher's Reach, 114 
Fishkill, 226, 322, 346, 349, 408, 

416-418, 457, 470 
Fishkill Creek, 91, 562 
Fitch, John, 119, 120 
Fitzroy Road. 62 
Five Nations, the, 473 
Fleming, General, and Lafayette, 

, 47 

Fleury, Lieutenant-Colonel, 301) 
Fort, Amsterdam, 20, 21; Clinton, 
3.37-339. 3S3. 460; Constitu- 
tion, 170, 172, 1,^2, 379; Ed- 
ward, 568-569; George, 22, 168; 
Ilill, i()6; Independence, 313, 
319. 33&, 379; Lee, S0-S2, 139, 
156, 182, 184, 186-189, 190, 192, 
198, 257,436,438; Lyman, 56S; 
Montgomery, 328, 335, 337-339, 
379, 428, 460, 461-462; Nichol- 
son, 568; Orange, 6, iii, 353, 
516,519,520,522; Oranier, 513; 
Putnam, 379, 384; Schmder, 562 ; 
Washington, 106, 155-156, 172, 
181-182, 184-185, 187, 189, 190, 
330,416; Willem Hendrick, 107 
Fortifications and Governor Don- 
gan, 22 

Forty-second Street Ferry, New 

York, 80 
Fourth Provincial Congress, 456, 

Franklin, Benjamin, 424 
Frazer, General, 554, 563, 564, 567 
Freehold, 352 

Frclinghuysen, Chancellor, 2 78 
Frelinghuysen, Rev. Theodorus, 

494. 526, 531 
Fremont, General John C, 238, 

241, 285 
Fremont, Jessie Benton, 285 
French and Indian Wars, 475, 569 
French Church at New Paltz, 470 
FuUerton's tract, 472, 473 
Fulton, Robert, 118-122!^ 125-126, 

Fur trade and agriculture, 91 

Gallatin, Albert, 118 
GaUows Hill, 317 
Gansevoort, 45S, 53S 
Gansevoort famih', 538 
Gansevoort Street, New York, 57, 

Garrisons, 3S5 
Gates, General Horatio, 169, 407, 

408, 460, 465, 53(), 561, 562-565, 

567, 569 
Gazelle, of Hudson, 508-509 
Geikie, Professor Archibald, 197, 

Genera! y'aeL-si>)i, the, steamboat, 

General Synod of Dutch Chiu-ch, 

Genesee River, 493 
Genet, Edmond Charles, 546 
George III., 297, 461 
Gei'ard, Hon. James W., 311 
German camp, 351 
German exiles, 474 
Giljbet Island, 69, 70-71 
Gibbon, Lieutenant, ^09 
Gififord, S. R., 507 
Gillender Building, New York, 38 
Glass House farm, 63, 64 
Glen, Johannes, 528 
Glens Falls, 570-571 
Goede Vroviw, the, 65 
Gooch, Captain, 190 
Gordon, Duchess of, 352 
Goshen, 346 
Gould, Miss Helen, 231 
Gou^•crneln^ Samuel, 369 



Governors, Dutch and Ensjlish 
Grand Battery, the, 168 " 
Grand Ojjera House, 63 
Grange, the, 152 
Grant, General U. S., 372 
Grant, Mr.s., an American ladv 
Grant's Tomb, 52, 145 144 i' 

Grassy Point, 133 
Graystone, 209 
Great Britain and American Iik 

pendence, 26 
Great Chip Rock, 1 14 
Great Kill Road, 62 
Green Mountains, 50S 
Greenburgh, 227 

Greene, General Nathanael, rj 
173. 176, 179. 1S4. 186. 1.S7 I,'- 
189, 190, 228, 33:^. 41 , 
Greene County, 443. 44,,. 4S6 
Greene s Patent, 486 
Greenwich Road. 61, 62 
Greenwich Village, 6r, 62 1-4 
Grenadier Battery. i6'8 ' ' 
Greyhound. British frigate, 167 
Grievous Hook, 215 
Grinnell, Irving, 50 
Grinnell, Moses H.. 262 
Griswold, Rufus W., 269, 271, -? 
Groot Esopus, 459 ' ' ■^" 

Groot Riviere, 2 
Guadaloupe, 23 
Guest, Henry, 354 
Guests from'Gibbet Island 68 


Ilackensack, 192 
Hafenje, 216, 241 
Hague, The, i 
Hale, Captain Nathan, 151 
Hale's regiment at Saratoga 56:; 
Hall Moon. 2, 194. 2or, ^og, SM 
Hahfax, 167 ' ' 

Halleck, Fitz-Grcene, 80, 255, 2:^6 

257, 261, 269, 270 ^' ' ' 

Halve Maene, i 

Hamburg-American steamships Sr 
Hamilton, General Alexander, 74- 

77. 152, 249, 366, 411, 509, "542, 

Hammond, Colonel James 226 
Hancock. H. Irving '376 
Handlers Street. Albany, ^28 c,8 
Hardenbergh. Colonel Johannes 

Hardenbergh's Patent. 3^ :.6o 

372 ■ ■ • ' 

569 Harlem, 24; battle of, ,48 j-, 
,^7-^^'75. 179. i<S4: C.ive.' i^z 
Heights, 174-17^; Riv,.,- /So 
195. 344; Speedwav, ici 

ilarmensen, 528 

Harrison's brewery, 6r 

Harschias, 476 

Hartford. 552, 406. 412,463 
Ha.stings, 198 

Haverstraw (Ilavestro), 13. 2,, 

224, 296, 298, 301, 327-3^8 
HavenstrawBav, 104-ios i , . 00, 

Haviland. Captain, 57 

Ilawthornc, }ulian, 285 

Hawthorne. Nathanieh 269 

Hay. Colonel. 310. 326. 327 

Hays's landing. 298 

Hay ward. Miss, 250 

Heath, General, x66, 172, ,89. iqo 

Hebrews, ^^4 

Helderberg war, i^i i 

Henry ( 7aV. steamboat, 133 104 

Henry, John V.. 546 " " ' 

Henry. William, rig 

Flerkimer. General. 475 

Hessian artillery, 566 

Hessians, 179, nSg" 

Hc3-liger, Dolph. 321, 361-362, 390. 

Hicks, John, 344 
High Bridge, "170 

g?-ti^^"f^ Spring. 552, 559, 560 
Highland forts, 33:; 
Highland Patent.' 91 
Highland Station, 429 
Highlanders, 167, 177-1 7,^ 
Highlands, 92. 105-106, 114, 1,6 
160, 170, 256, 266, 286, 301 313' 

^f • ^^J- 365-366, 369, 379, 380, 
J84-3S6, 389. 390, 393, 401, 406- 
408, 411. 417, 449, 460, 508, S14, 
561, 568 

Hinnieboeck, i 3 

Hoboken (HoluKiuin), 15, 7^ -^ 
74. <Si ■ ■ '•" 

Hoes. Rev. Dr.. 459 
Hoffman, Charles 'Fenno, 253-257 
269 .. - • 

Hoffman, Josiah Ogdcn, 248, 250 
Hoffman, Matilda, 248-249 
Hoffman, vocalist, 42 
Hoge's Reach, 114 
Holland, 5. 13. 501, 512 
Hollow Way, the, 155, 157, 177 



Hook (Hoeck) Mountain, 211, 221 
Hooker, General Joseph, 372 
Hooker's Aventie. Poughkeepsie, 

Hope, steamboat, 12S 
Horse Race, the, 320 
Howard i'arroll. steamboat, 50 
Howe, A(hniral Richard, 170, 171, 

Howe, General William, 167, 184, 

185. 187. U^ 
Hudson Canal, 550-551 
Hudson, city of, 48, 503-504, 507- 

509. 553 

Hudson, Henr}-, i, 2, 5. 6, i()4, igN, 
2Q4, 421-422, 50Q 

Hudson (Hudson's) River, q, 11, 
13, 18, 19, 48, 51. 57-58, 87, 92, 
100, 108, 118, 121, 155, 160, 167, 
i6g. 182, ig4, 197-198, 210, 217, 
221, 232, 240, 246, 249, 250-251, 
266, 278, 281, 285, 2S8, 290, 304, 
306, 326, 329. 330-331, 336, 338, 
344, 346, 353, 358, 379, 395, 401, 
407, 424-425, 427, 432, 436-437, 
440-443, 449- 434. 459. 47°' 474. 
483, 499, 502-503, 509, 5 1 1-5 15, 

554. 571 
Hudson steamboats, 126 
Hughes, Mother vSuperior Mary 

Angela, 196 
Huguenots, 427, 452, 454, 469, 470, 

Hulls, Jonathan, 119 
Humphreys, Colonel, 173 
Hunter, Colonel, 476 
Hunter, Governor, 474 
Hunters Reach, 1 14 
HurH)urt. Colonel, 2 :;5-2 :;6 
Hurley, 456 
Huron Indians, 425 
Huyler's Landing, 198 
Hiizzard, French warship, 51 
Hyde Park, 253, 432, 476, 484-485 

Idlewild, 260, 285, 393, 395-397' 

Ind, farthest, 2 
Indian Head, 98, 201 
Indian lands, 489, 490 
Indian Pass, 288, 551 
Indian seas and Captain Kidd, 69 
Indian troubles, 450, 491 
Indian wars, 459 
Indians, 2 

Indigo silvestris, 18 

hifaiiia Isabel, Spanish warship, 51 

Intercollegiate Rowing Association, 

Interstate Park Commissioners, 415 

In wood, 156 

lona Island, 320 

Irorjuois Indians, 510 

Irving, Ebenezer, 266 

Irving Institute, the, 245 

Irving, Peter, 252 

Irving, Washington, 20, 114, 137, 
i88\ 237, 239, 240, 243-246, 250- 
253, 255, 261, 262, 266, 269, 305, 
321, 329, 337, 389, 484, 499, 501, 
509, 511, 567 

Irvington, 231, 245 

Jackson, Francis Jones, 143 

J ackson . ' ' Stonewall , " 372 

James, Colonel, 290 

Jamestown, 516 

Jans, Anneke, 60 

Jansen, Roeloff, 59 

Janss, Susanna (Claessen) , 15 

Janvier, Thomas A., 62 

Japan, 5 

Jauncey, James, 61, 62 

Jay, Johm 3°- 3^- 95- 33^- 33^, 457" 

45S, 460, 533 
Jay family, 476 
Jenkins, Benjamin, 504 
Jenkins, Elisha, 544-546 
Jenkins, Lemuel, 504 
Jenkins, Marshal, 504 
Jenkins, Seth, 504 
Jenkins, Thomas, 504 
Jersey Battery, 168 
Jersey City, 72 
Jersey, prison-ship, 428 
John Jay, steainboat, 291 
Johnson, Colonel Gtiy, 539 
Johnson, General Joseph, 372 
Johnson, Lieutenant-Colonel, 305 
Johnson, Rev., 526 
Johnson, S. C. M., 312 
Johnson, Sir William, 552, 558- 

559. 560 . 
Johnson family, 539, 560 
Johnston, Professor Henry P., 175 
Johnston Street, Albany, 531 
Jones, Nicholas, 176 
Juet, Master, 194 
Jiimel, 151 
jumel mansion, 151, 175, 207 




Kaatskill, 345. 346. .i5o-35i- 5°? 
Kaatskill (Kaatsbcrgs) Mountains, 

Kahn, the Swedish traveller, 353 
Kakiat, 21 1 

Kane, Commander, U.S.N., 50 
Kane, James, 545 
Kane, Woodbury, 50 
Kasteel, 515 

Kellogg, Clara Louise, 3S5 
Kemble, Fanny, 3S5 
Kemble, Gertrude, 252 
Kemble, Gouverneur, 250, 252, 262 
Kemble, Peter, 250 
Kemp, Professor, 251 
Kennedy, Archibald. 31. 32 
Kennedy house, t,2 
Kent, Chancellor, 256, 262 
Kent, James, 546 
Kerse, Major, Quartermaster at 

Stony Point, 2q8 
Kidd, Captain William, 69, 321, 

Kidd's Rock, 421 
Kieft, William, 15. 35. 4S9, 500, 

501. 513 
Kindcrhook (Kinderhoeck) . 13. 14, 

249, 2S7. 509 
Kinderhook Creek, 509 
Kinderhook Reach. 114 
King Charles, jockey. 432 
King, Colonel. 47 
King Street, Albany. 52S 
King's College, 14S 
Kingsbridge, 11. 165, iSi. 1S5. 186. 

195' 232, 337, 345'. 479 
Kingsbridge Road. 155, 176 
Kingsbridge Ferry, 298, 312 
Kingsland's Point, 216 
Kingston. 11. in. 130, 337. 340. 

350, 379, 416, 426-427, 431, 433- 

434. 447. 44^). 451-452, 456-460, 

462, 464-469, 470. 473, 500, 535 
Kingston Church, 449 
Kipp. Jacobus, 416 
Kipp's Bay, 172, 173 
Kiskatom. 486 
Kitchawan River. 10, 11. 206. 293. 

294, 295 
Klauver Rack. 507 
Knapp, Samuel Laurens, 76 
Knickerbocker , 5 3 5-5 3 6 
Knickerbocker, Diedrich. 65, 253. 

265, 266, 270. 421, 43:;. 502, s". 

535- 53(^ 
Knickerbocker authors, 209 

Knickerbocker stage line, 63 

Knickerbockers, 20 

Knowlton, Colonel Thomas, 175— 

Knox, General llenrv, 27, 178, 335, 

382. 411 
Knox, Lieutenant, 309 
Knyphausen, General, 186, 189 
Kocherthall, Rev. Josiiih, 402, 475- 

Kocherthall, Sibylla Charlotte. 476 
Koorn, Nicholas, 513 
Kosciusko, Thaddeus, 385 
Kosciiisco. steaml)oat, 133 
Krvgier, Burgomaster, 451 

Laaphawaehking, 9 

Lafayette. Marquis de, 46, 47. 48, 

366. 382, 416, 427 
Lake Champlain, 539 
Lamb, Colonel of Artillery, 338 
Lamb, Mrs. Mather J., 30, 520, 522 
Land patents, 88 
Landor, Walter Savage, 253 
Lands, 89 

Lansing, Abraham, 54() 
Lansing, Chancellor, 546 
Lansinglnxrg, 520, 550. 553 
Lathrop. Amy. 281 
Lawrence. John B., 152 
Lawrence mansion. 179 
Leatherstocking, 443 
Lee, General Charles. 163, 164, 165, 

315- 316 
Lee, Major Henry. 72, 82. 232 
Lee. General Robert E., 372 
Lefever family, 456. 468 
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The. 243, 

Legislature of New York, the, 426 
Legislature, steamboat. 507 
Leitch, Major, 178 
Lenox, Robert. 121 
Leonard Street. 58 
Leslie, General, 175, 178 
Leyden, 494 
Liberty Statue, 49 
Liberty Street, New York, 31S 
Li Ilung Chang. 144 
Lincoln, General. 228, 232 
Lind, Jenny, 42, 45 
Lindsay's patent, 486 
Linlithgo. 50() 
Linna-us, 274 
Lisjjenard Swamp, 60, 61 
Litchfield, 426 



Literary World, the, 271 

" Little Sawver," the, 471 

Little West Tenth Street, 57 

Livingston, Broekholst, 248; Chan- 
celfor Robert R., 1 20-121, 125, 
460, 476—478; Colonel Lewis, 
483; Edward, 262, 459; family, 
279, 476—477, 522; General Wil- 
liam ,31,185; i I enry ,47''; house , 
27, 229; Janet. 460; John, 31, 
95; John R., 250; Jiihn Swift, 
478; Judge Robert R., 351, 458, 
473,4*77,471); Kitty, 31; manor, 
92, 122, 351, 476-477; Peter R., 
331; Phihp, 35, 476. 5-.b 53^^- 
539; Robert, 95-<)6, 477- 527- 
533; Upper Manor house, 351; 
Van Brugh, 226, 229; William, 
366, 476 

Livingston's regiment at Saratoga, 

Lockerman, Go vert. 513-514 

Locust Grove. 427-428 

Logan. John. 274 

Long Clove Road, the, 298 

Long Island, 331. 416 

Long Island, battle of. 171 

Lords States-General. 5. 512-514 

Lossing, Benson J.. 78. 81. 140, 188, 
193, '266, 285."294i 462, 478 

Louvre, the, 468 

Love Lane, 62 

Lovelace, Governor, 402, 447, 459, 

Loverage Patent, 486 

Low, Cornelius P., 207 

Low, Seth. 147 

Low Memorial Lil)rary, 147 

Low Point, 418 

Luddington, Colonel. 232 

Ludlow, 198 

Luke, Sir Samuel. 510 

Lundenwald, 509 

Lunenburg, 507 

Luzerne Mountains, 508 

Lydiiis, Balthazar. 530. 531 

Lvdius, Domine Jf)hn, 226, 531, 

Lydius Street, 227, 531 

Lynch, Mrs.. 47 

Lyndhvirst. 231 

Lyon family. 105 


Mal)ie. Hamilton W.. 2S5 
Mackenzie, Alex. Slidell."2 

Macready, 196 

Magaw, Colonel Robert, 184, 186, 
187, 188, 190 

I\[agazinc of American History, 50 

Mahak-Ncminaw, 490 

Maiden Lane, New York, 458 

Maiden, N. Y., 133, 424 

Manetta Brook, 61 

Manhattan (Manhattans, Manhat- 
ton, Manhattes, Manhates, etc.), 
2, 5, II, 12, 13, 15, 24, 36, 38, 40, 
52, 72, 87, 89, 108, III, 156, 184, 
185, 193, 194, 215, 331, 345 

Manhattan, 418, 436, 490 

Manhattan, first white child born, 

Manhattan Life' Insurance Com- 
pany Building, 38 

Manhattan shore, 59 

Manhattan the home of mf)desty, 
54, 64. 81 

Manhattanville. 151, 152, 155, 175, 

Manor Lords, 87 

Manor of Foxhall, 447 

Manorial rights granted. 96 

Ma]ies, General. 47 

Marbletown, 457, 470 

Marie Roget (Marv Rogers). 80 

Market Dock, 104' 

Marriages in New York, 25 

Marritje, Davids Vly, 140 

Martha's Vineyard, 503 

Martilcr's Rock, 346 

Martin, Sir Henry, 107 

Martlings, Abraham. 140 

Maryland, 436 

Mather, Frederick G., 541 

Mathew, General, 189 

Mathias, Parson, 242, 243 

Matteawan, 41 7 

Matteaivan, steamer, 50 

Mauritius, 13 

Maxwell, Col. W. H., 47 

McCall. Dick, 252 

McClellan, General Geo. B., 372 

McCoy, John, 319 

McCrea, Jennie, 569 

McDougall, General, 332, 335 

McEvers, Miss, 250 

McGowan's Pass, 27 

Mcckquaskich, 10 

Megapolensis, Rev. J., 444, 526- 
.S27. 548 

Meigs, Colonel, 309 

Mercer, General, 189 

Merrick, William, 107 

Merwin, Jesse, 509-510 




Mesabawasin, 30S 
Mexico, 371 

Miantono)}ioIi, monitor. 51 
Michielscn. Andrirs. j^ 
Middle Dutch (diuivh,':;; 
Mitllin, (loncral Thomas, i 
MihLarv Acadrmv, the ' t.-. 
„ 378. 383 ■ ■ ■ 

Mihtia, the, 335 
M i Iton , horse- 1 )oa t , t li e , 428 
Minesecongo Creek, jgS 
Mingua. 443 

Minnerl3^ " Sherd," 2S6 
Minnesinks, 443 
Minuit, Peter, "i i 
Moeneminncs Castle, i;io 
Mohawk Indians, 73. 44:;, 47 

491- 501. 530. 55'). 5f>o 
Mohawk River, 355, 443. 1^51. --_^ 
il/o//aa'^', steamerVso 
Mohegan Castle, 10^ 
Mohegan Indians, 425. 44;;, 4-. 

488-489, ^10 
Molly Grietjc. 533 
Monmouth, 304 
Montague, Johannes de la, 501 
Montgomery, General Richard, 460, 
479. 480, 483, 4S6, 539; Mrs. 
Janet, 250, 479, 483, 484; estate, 
4S3; house, 484 
Montrose Point, 304 
Monument Lane, 62 
Moodna (Murderer's) Creek, :;46, 

401, 449- 456, 471, 515 
Moore, Clement C. 63^ 
Moore, Governor Sir Henry, :!44 
Moore, President of Columbia, 65 
Moregead, 107 
Mnrcy, inventor, 120 
Morgan's Rifles, 561, 156 5-1^65, 567 
Morningside Heights, "175 ' ' ' ' 
Morris, Colonel "Roger, ' 1 48 , 151, 

189, 207, 366, 369" 
Morris, Colonel Staats Long, 7,^2 
Morris, General George P '"^r- 
266, 269 ■' '■■" 

Morris, Gouverneur, 331, 458 
Morris, Robert, 411 
Morris, William P., 382 
Morse, Professor Samuel F. B 
Morton, General, 47 
Mount Ida, 550 
Mount Mclntyre, 551 
Mount Olympus, 550 
Mount St. Vincent, 165, 196 
Mount Tahawas, 551 
Mount Taurus, 357 
Mcnmt Vernon, 8 




Mount Washington, 156, r8i 1S6 

189, 329 
Murdock familv, 401 
Murfee, Major,' ^o() 310 
Murray Hill, 174 
Murray Strei't. 58 
Mutual Life Insiiranee Huildin<r ^c 

Nantucket, 503, 553 
Naoman, Indian," 401 
Napoleon, 469 
Nappeckamack, 10, 202 
Nassau, or Nassou, 14 
Nassau Street, New York 
National Academv, the 2 
Natnmal Guard, the, ^k, 
Naval Academv, the, ^75 
Navigators. Ihitch and 

Negogouse. =; k; 
Ncpperhan, 9, 10, 207 
Nesbitt, inventor. 478 
Netherlands. 17, 88 
Nevius. Johannes. 455 
New Amsterdam, iT. 65 
106, 112. 195. 440. 4:;,". 
^ .512, 515, 520 
New Amsterdam Bouweri 
New Baltimore, 510 
Newliurgh, 27. 106, 168. : 
349. 402. 405-406, 408. 
414. 416. 488, 560 
New City. 224 
New England, 406, 408, 4: 
New Forest, 402 
New Hamburg, 418 
New Hami)shin>, 565-566 
New Haven, 50 r 
New Jersey. 52, 72, 160, i 

315, 406. 41 1, 415, 420 
Newkirk family, 4,S8 
New Netherlands, 1.6. 15 
66. 73, 88, 89. 502. 5 lo' 
New Paltz. 452. 454, 46,;, 
Newton, 476 
New Windsor, 170. 306 


Ncic World, steaml:)oat, 1 

New Year's customs. 5 5 :; 

New York, City, 22, 26," 2 

T,?<. 40, 46, 47, 48, 51,5 

59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 7 

82, 92, 103, 105. I T I , 
125, I 26, 160, 171. T72. 

23g, 273, 290, 291, 2()3, 
337- 349- 350. 353-354- 

6,?. 2 28, 


7. 28, 
2. 54. 
4. 77. 




' '4. 

. 185, 

, ^;;6, 




New York, City — Continued 

459, 466, 470, 476, 4S4. 503-504 
523, 561 ; Historical Society, 265 
271; Public Library, 424; State 
415, 417, 427, 436, 449, 45S, 499 
526, 528; State Camp, 313; Statt 
Fair, 427; troops, 565, 566 

Niagara, 456 

NichoU, Governor, 4S6 

Nichols family, 522 

Nieuw Dorp, 457 

Nipnichsen, 10, 194 

Norman's Kill, 5 15 

North Bav. 122" 

North Castle, 1S7 

North German Lloyd boats. Si 

North, Lord, 41 1 

North Market Street, Albanv. 5 38 

North Pearl Street, Albany,' ^jo 

North River, the, 5, i5,'5 7."'i6S 
174, 176, 185, 346, 35-2. 516 

Xorth River, steamboat, i 2S 

Nucella Street, Albany, 531 

Nvack, 112, 218. 210. 
"327. 438 


Oath of of'tlee adminisleri'i 

Washington, 120 
Obelisk Lane (Greenwicli) , 62 
Ocean Steamshiji Com])any ] 

O'Connor, Charles, 156 
Ogden, Ilenrv, 252 
Old Dutch Church, Sleri.y lb. 

23, 239 
Oloflfe the Dreamer, 65, 69 
Oothoudts, 4S8 
Orange Coitnty, 345. 34(1, 405 
Orange, N. [.. 1 72 
Order dislumding Washing 

army, 4 1 4 
Ormsl)ec, 120 

Ossining, 10, 224. 289, 2(13, 43 
Osterhout family, 4:^6 
Otego, 344, 346' 
Otsego. 349 

Ouselstickcr, Ski])per, ^,22 
Overbaghs, 488 
Oyster Battery, 168 

Paas and Pinxter, 6; 
Pacham, Pachami. 1 

Palatinate, 474 

;1 t< 

Palatines, 402, 472-475, 477, 494 
Palisades, 9. 114, 139. 191, 196, 
197, 19S, 201, 211, 223. 415; Park, 

Palmer & Peters's stages, 63 
Palmer, Lieutenant Edmund, the 

spy- 317- 33^ 
Papin, inventor, 119 
Papuinemen, 10, 193, 194, 206 
Paragon, steamboat, 128 
Park Row Building, 38 
Pasture, the Albany, 527 
Patentees, 87 
Patroons, 87, 89, 90, 91, 06, 352; 

of Rensselaerswyck, 501 
Patroons' ships, 88, 90, 107 
Paulding family, the, 239 
Paulding, General William. 231 
Paulding, James Kirke, 231, 240. 

242. 246, 250, 252, 262, 484-4S5 
Paulding, John, 236, 314, 318 
Paulus Hook, 82, 112, 337 
Paulus Hook Ferry, 58, 72, 344- 

^ 345 

Pavonia, i:^, 16, 17. :;20 

Peak, John, 313 

Pearl vStreet.\\lbany, 528, 531 

Peekskill, 10. 105. 'iS^ 2S2, 304. 

338 ' " ' ' '' 
Peekskill Bay, ^-o. SS2 
Peekskill Creek, 207 
Pembertnn, Gent'ral, 372 
Pendleton. Hamilton's st'cond, 76, 


Pennsylvania, 60. 402. 406, 409 

Pennsylvania soldiers, 82, i8q 

Pe])loei)'s Kill, 337 

Peijuod, Indians, 42;; lo\-cr, 425- 

Privy, Lord. 186. tS<) 

I'cricr, in\Tnlor. 1 1 ij 

Perry. Commander M;itllie\v 
braith, 237 

Perseverance, steamltoat. 128 

Petanoch, 5 19 

Philadelphia. 304 

Philadelphia and Keading terminal, 
65, 429 

Philadelphia, removal of Govern- 
inent to. 30 

Philadelphia, steam.ship, 51 

Philips, 528; Constantia, 243; Fred- 
erick, 366; General, at Saratoga, 
563; manor-house. 206, 207, 208, 
219; Margaret, 366; Mary, 151, 
207, 366, 369; Philip, 366, 369; 
Siisannah, 366; 




Philipse, 95, 20S; Adolphus, ,^65- 
366; family, 290; Ikhisc at Yon- 
kers, 366; house in Ilii^^'hlands, 
25O' 345; patent (lower), 91; 
(upper), 365 

Philipsbursj, 366 

I'luviiix, ship of war, 1S3, 329, 3^0 

I'lhvnix, steamboat, 79 

I'iekering, Henry, 272 

Piermtint, 112, J30, 211, 219, 436 

Pine Street and Danien's farm, 35 

Placentia, 484 

Place of the Bark Kettle, 226 

Planck family, 488 

Playsier Reach, 114 

Pleasant Valley, 81 

Plymouth and' the Pilcrriins, 450 

Pocantico, 10, 216, 231, 239, 240 

Pockhantes, 10 

Poe, Edgar Allen, 7(;, 80 

Poestenkill, 55 i 

Point-no-Poin't, 106, 216, 221, 22(;, 

Polk, James K,, 278 

Polopel's Island, 322, 346, 3(;o, 31) ^, 

401, 422 
Ponckhockie, 450 
Poor, General, 563 
Posey, Major, 301; 
Post Road, at (ireenwieli, 62 
Potter, Orlando, 152 
Poughkeepsie, ()i, 278, 28:^, 328, 

416-422, 424-428, 430, 436 
Poughkeepsie Academy, 25::; 
Poughkeepsie Bridge, 428-429 
Poughkeepsie Collegiate School, 

Poughkeepsing, 349 
Prescott, 269 
Prime, Edward D., 2S2 
Prime, Nathaniel Scudder, 282 
Prime, Samuel Iren;eus, 282 
Prime, Rev. Wendell, D.I)., 209 
Prime, William C, 282 
Prince of Orange, 514 
Prince of Wales's visit to America, 

Produce Exchange Building, T,i) 
Prospect Hill, Albany, 547' 
Prospect Hill, Hudson, '508 
Providence, R. I., 503 
Provincial Congress, 331,431 
Provincial Legislature, 460 
Provost, Theodosia, 217 
Putnam Cotmty, 91 
Putnam, Colonel Rufus, 167 
Putnam, General Israel, i 19, 168, 

169, 170, 172, 173, 174, !77, 178, 

182, 1S3, 187, 188, 1S9, 314, 330, 
3,i5' 3.16, 338, -^^(j, ^40, 57,;, 4()i_ 
464. 5^5^ 
I'ltlnatu's Moiitli/y, 270 


Ouebcc, 480, ^ i^i) 
Queen Anne, 402, 474 


Ramapo Hills, 82, 217 
Rangers, Knowlton's, 17c 170 ,77 
178 .'/•//. 

Rapelje, Rem, O4 

Rawlings, 188 

Read, Nathan, 1 19 

Red Jacket, 431 

Reed, Adjutant-General, 177, 178 

Reidesel, Baron de, 5 ft 3-:; (14 ' 

Reindeer, steamboat , 1 :; :;' 

Remonstrance of colonists, 87 

Rensselaer County, t:;o 

Rensselaers\v\-cl<, ij, i ^. 1:;, iS, 

106,352, 354, 4 ()0 , T O 2 , :; 1 6 , :^ I 1; , 

543- 521-522 
Rensselaerswyck, Patrooii of, 87, 92 
Rensselaerstein, 5 I 2-5 1 4 
Renwick, James, 250, 251 
Requa, Captain Samuel, 10^ 
Revolution, the, 72, 277, 280, 2(;o, 

378, 406, 414, 426, 427, 459, 4q,s,' 

496, 538, 542 
Rhinebeck, 13, 02, 278, 464, 467, 

Rh.xU' Islan.l, ^^^ 
Richmond Hill,' 174, ^r,h ^o„ Hill, sleanil-.'.at, 128 

Ridgway, William, 344 
Ridley, Mrs. Catherine, 3: 
Ridley, Matthew, 31 
Rijckman, Albert, 528 
Ritzemer, Domine, 24 
River craft and jiassengers, j i :;; 
Riverdale, 133, 198 
Riverside Park and I)ri\-e, ^2, i ^(;, 

140, 143. 144. i.Si 

Riverview Academy, llie, 422 
Riviiigton's Gazette, 86 
Roa Hook, 319 
Roberts, Elfis H., 476 
Robinson, Beverly, 366, 36(), 380 
Robinson hotise, the, 297 
Rochambeau, 2 28, 316, 411 
Rockefeller, William, 237 
Rockland Countv, N. Y., 219 



Rockland Lake, 104, 221 

Rockland Point. 221 

Rockwell, Rev. Charles, 2SS 

Roe, Rev. E. P., 393 

R(H^hiick, British warship, 183 

Roeleff jansen's Kill, 477 

Rollers, Archibald, 50 

Rogers, Mary (Marie Roget) , 79, 80 

Rogers, Moses, 35 

Rombout, Francis, 4 1 6 

Rondout, II, 91, 443-444, 450, 452, 

45Q' 463. 467-468 
Rondout Creek, 467 
Rose, warship, 329, 330 
Rosendalc Creek, 470 
Rotterdam, ^01 
Round Rock, 558 
Royalists, 168"^^ 
Rumsey, James, 119, 120 


Sacandaga River. 551 

Sachus Indians, 313 

Sackhoes, 10 

Salislnn^y, 352 

Salisl)ury, Francis, 487 

Salisbury, Silvester, 486 

Salmagundi Papers, the, 252, 2:^3 

Sam Sli'un. steamboat, 50 ' 

Sandy Beach. 306 

Sapokanican, 61 

Sarah's Point, 296 

Saratoga, 408, 460, 539, 551-554, 

558-559. 568, 570 
Saratoga Lake, 554 
Saugerties, 273, 450, 470-472, 475- 
. 476, 5o,v 535 
Sm'tiuiiali, steamer, 74 
Sawyer's Creek, 449. 470 
Sayi)!gsof Doctor Miisln.Hickcr. The, 

Scannell's regiment at Saratoga 

Scarborough, 224, 289 
Schaets, Rev. Gideon. 526, 531 
Schenectady, 3 54-:; 5 5 
Schermerhorn, boy prisoner, 49^ 
Schodack, 510 ' 
Schoharie, 351-352 
Schoolcraft", "llenrv Rowe, 273, 2S9, 

Schoonmaker, 444, 4:; 6 
Schoonmaker house \at Kingston 

Schroon, R., 551 
Schuneman, 488, 494 
Schuyler, 534 

Schuyler, Arent, 31 
Schuyler, Catherine, 541 
Schuyler, David, 528 
Scluiyler, Elizabeth, 542 
Schuyler family, 91, 95, 476, 522 
Schuyler, General Philip, 353, 431- 

432, 480, 526, 528, 538-539, 540- 

541. 547, 559, 560, 562 
Schuyler house, 530 
Schtiyler houses, 530 
Schuvler, Margaret, 541 
Schuyler, Mrs. Phili]i, 541 
Schuyler, Peter, 3 i 
Sehuylersvillc, 530, 560, 562 
Scotoc Island, 353 
Scott, 458 

Scott, General Wintield, ^71, 382 
Scutters Island, 352 
Seawant (wampum), 44(), 538 
Seine, river, the, 80, 121 
Selden, Captain, 310 
Semesseeck, 519 
Senas(|ua, 10, 295 
Senate at Kingston, 415, 457, 

460, 463, 469 
Senati', United States, i)residcd 

over by Burr, 78 
Seylmaker's Reach, 114, 320 
Shad fisheries, 436-438 
Shadyside, 8r, 82 
Shanghai-ing, 57 
Sharon, Conn., 426 
Shateinuc, 9 

Shawangunk Mountains, 4=^4, 470 
Sheldon, Colonel. 235 
Sheldon, Doct(jr Daniel. 311 
vSherbrooke, Sir John, 483 
Sherman, General Tecumseh, 372 
Shoraskappock, 9, 10 
Sibyl's Cave, 78 

Siede at Jenny Lind concert, 42 
Sill, Richard, 312 
Sinclair, Miss, 195 
Sing Sing, 10, 289, 290, 293, 301 
Sirham, Sachem, 313 
Skenesborough, 562 
Skelcli-Book,^TIie. 245 
Skinner, Charles M.,358 
Slaange Klij)]K', 425 
Slaperig Hafi'U, 2 i i 
Sleepy Hollow, 23, 137, 239, 243, 

244, 286 
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, 249, 271 
Sloops on the Hudson, 116 
Smack's Island, 511 
Smith, historian of New York, 24 
Smith, Joshua Hett, 297, 298 
Smith Patent, the, 344 



Snyder, Elias, 493 

Snyder, Captain Jeremiah, 492-403 

Somerindyke, Jacob and Tennis, 62 

Soiners, brig, 237 

Sons of American Revolution, 228 

Sopus, 340, 351 

Sopus Kill, 351 

Southampton Road, 62 

South River, 107 

Southwick, Solomon, 546 

Spanish forts and navy, 51 

Spanish Main and Captain Kidd, Ch) 

Sparrowgrass Papers, The, 269, 270 

Spencer, Ambrose, 546 

Spencer, General, 168, 172, 173, 

177 ^ 
Spencer's Hill, 160 
Spencer's Redoubt, 168 
Springsteel house, 306 
Spuyten Duyvil, 0. 10, 156, 1S4, 

194, 195, 198, 206, 208, 211, 212, 

227, 330, 345 
Stamp Act, the, 479 
Stanton, Thomas, 130 
Stanwix Hall, 538 
State Capitol, 547, 548 
State Legislature, 462, 465 
State Library, 548 
State Normal School, 424, 455 
State Prison, 57 
State Records, 348 
State Street, Albany, 527, 530, 53S, 

343-544. 547. 553 
Statem Island, 46, 52, i6(), 331 
States-General, the, 17. 9O, 455, 522 
Sterhng, Lord, BriL^adier-General, 

Steuben, Baron, 304, 411, 416 
Stevens, Colonel John, 58, 73, 74, 

81, 103, 478 
Stevens family, 74 
Stewart, Rev. Abel T., 239 
Stewart, Major, 309 
St. Lawrence River, 561 
St. Leger, 562 
St. Luke's Hospital, 148 
St. Nicholas, 533 
Stone, William L., 552, 554 
Stone, Colonel William Lecte, 256, 

490. 495 
Stony Point, 1S7, 297,298,304-306, 

311, 312, 320, 339, 415 
Storm, Captain Jacob, 105 
Storm King, 261, 285, 357, 3S6, 393 
Storm-ship, the, 215 
Stowe, Mrs. H. B., 430 
St. Paul Building, New York, 38 
St. Paul's Church, 58, 484 

Street, Alfred B., 2 to, 2 78, 279 
Streets of Albany, 527, 538 
Stringer, Doctor, 356, ^^i) 
Stro])e family, 493 
Stuyvesant, Peter, 35, ()6, kj^, 206, 

361, 421, 450, 451, 45c;, 4(;0, 302, 

Stuyvesant Village, 509 
Sugar Loaf, 116, 338, 366 
Sugar House Prison, 318 
Sullivan, General, 166 
Sunday Islands, 352 
Sunnyside, 239, 241, 244, 248, 262 
Supreme Court, New York, 466 
Susquehannah River, the, 346, 349, 

352, 493 
Sii'alloiv, steamljoat, 130 
Swartwovit family, 444 

Talmadge, Nallianiel P., 427 

Ta])])an, 14, 218, 210, 345 

Ta])]ian. Cornelia, 4O0 

Tapjians, 13 

Ta]>pan Zee, 104, 1 14, 137, 2 1 1 , 2 13, 
216, 217, 221, 241, 244, 246, 286, 
326, T,2^. 320 

Tarrytown, 10, 103. 137, 140, 206, 
207, 217, 218, 220, 224, 231, 232, 
236, 237, 230, 244, 243, 271, 285, 
286, 280, 318, 326, 338, 421 

Tartar, ship of war, 183 

Taylor, Bayard, 42 

Taylor, John, 544-546 

Taylorsville, i()8 

Teachers College, 148 

Tear of the Clouds, 551 

Teed, Royalist family, 31S 

Telegraph, steamboat, 133 

Teller, Sarah, 295, 296 

Teller's Point, 297 

Tenants and patentees, 87 

T#n Broeck, jacomyntie, 457-458 

Ten Broeck, Wessel, 437-438, 469, 

Ten Broeck family, 444 

Teunise, Gerrit, 528 

Teunissen, Aert, 15 

Thackeray, William M., 270 

Thayer Hall, 377 

Thayer, Major Sylvanus, 371, 372 

Thayer, Stephen Henry, 286 

Tild'en, Samuel J., 209, 424 

Tillotson, Thomas, 546 

Tivoli, 432, 464, 476-479 

Tivoli and the Clermont, 122 



Tompkins, Governor Daniel D., 

523. 546 
Tontine Hotel, 35 
Torrey, Bradford, 286, 304 
Tory marauders, 82 
Tract Society Building, New York, 

Travis, James B., 105 
Travis, John L., 105 
Trevorre, William, 108 
Tril)Utaries to the Hudson, 551 
Trojan, steamboat, 130 
Trinity Cemetery, 155 
Trinity Church, 39, 58, 60 
Troy, 92, 438, 520, 550, 551, 553 
Troy dam, 438 
Tryon, Governor William, 165, 166, 

317- 539 
Tugboats. 100 
Ttirtle Bav, 172, 173 
Tyler, John, 4 ^^7 


Ulster County, 346, 350, 407, 443- 
444, 440, 455-45^'' 450. 4^'/' 470- 

47 ■ 
Ulster Indians. 451 
Ulster regiments, 475 
Uncas, 42=^ 
Undercliff, 3S6 
Underhill, Doctor, 206 
Union Bridge Comi)any, 421) 
United States, 53 
United States Government, 41, 78, 

United States slandmg armv, 37'"^ 
Upper Red Hock, 478 

Vale of Avoea, 41 2 

Valley Forge, 304 

1 'ainoosc, 52 

Van Allen", 528 

Van Amsterdam, Jan I'eter, 536 

Van Arsdale, John, 28 

Van Bergen house, 488 

Van Bergen, Martin, 495 

Van Buren, Martin, 208, 240, 277, 

500, 510 
Van Corlaer, Anthony, i()3, 358 
Van Cortlandt family, 295, 522 
Van Cortlandt house, 294-295 
Van Cortlandt, John, 294 
Van Cortlandt Manor, 95, 365 
Van Cortlandt, Oloff, 95, 206 
Van Cortlandt, Phili]), 317 

Van Cortlandt. Pierre. 163, 232, 

317, 326. 45^"^ 

Van Cortlandt regmient at Sara- 
toga, 563 

Van Cortlandt, Stephen, 416 

Van Dam, Rambout, 211-212 

Vanderbilt, Commodore, 105 

Vanderbilt, Jacob, 133 

Vander Donck, Adrian, 203, 206, 
208, 501, 502, 529 

Vander Heyden. Antony, 390.529, 


Vander Heyden tamily, 530 

Vanderlyn, John, 468, 500 

Vanders'camp, Jan Jost, 68-72 

Van Driessen, 526 

Van D\^ke, Henry, 528. 534 

Van Epps, 528 

Van GaasVjeek family, 444 

Van Gaasbeek.Laurentius. 457, 469 

Van Gieson, Domine, 325 

Van Home, Garret, 66-67 

Van Kleeck, Baltus, 426 

Van Loan, Peter, 432 

Van Ness, Abraham, 61 

Van Ness, Judge William I'.. 75-76, 
249, 500. 528 

Van Orden, 488 

Van Rensselaer, 193, 202; Cath- 
erine, 523; Colonel John, 353, 
483; colony, 97: estate, 523, 
543; familv, 526; Harriet, 524; 
jail Baptist, 522; Johannes, 522; 
"kilian, 489, 490, 511-514, 519- 
521. 524, 550: Madame, 524-525; 
manor-house, 523 ; Patent, 92, 96; 
Patroon, 554; Solomon, 524, 544- 
545: Stephen. 59, 354, 450- 522, 

Van Sanlvoord, Dcetdr, 458-459 
Van Santv(jord, llarrol.l. 287, 510 
Van Schaick, Jcjhn, 545 
Van Schie, 526, 53 i 
Van Slechtenhorst. 48(), 501-502, 

Van Slyek, Cornelius Antonissen, 

Van Slyk, 528 
Van Tassel farmhouse. 140 
Van Tienhoven. Seeretarv,87,96,98 
Van Twiller (Walter the', 

66, 511-513 
Van Vechten, Abraham. 546 
Van Vechten (Veethi-). "352, 459, 

Van Voorst, 528 
Van Wart, Isaac, 236, 245 
Vassar College, 422-424 



Vassar, Matthew, 422-423 
Vastf Reach, i 14 
Vastic Island, 352 
Vatii^hn, (rcneral, 340, 350, 

460, 4(13, 405, 477 
Vauxhall ( rardeiis, 57, 58, 61 
Verdriete.i^h ll(.eek,'202 
\\Tmilye, Ca]itain, 105 
\\Tl)hinc'k, (lulian, 35, 253, 

2b2. 260, 41b 
Verplanck house, 416 
Verpkmck's Pomt, 207, 20S, 

305, 311, 316, 320, 335, 33O. 
Verrazani, 2 

I'csm'iits, dynamite boat, 51 
Yice-Presidi'nt's house at St 

Islan.k 46 
\"ir,>,nnian lrc)(i|)S, 17S 
Vi.schershoeck, 13 
Yorsen Reach ,114 
Voyage up tlie Hudson, W. Ir\ 

1 15 
\'iilturc, the, 2q6-2()S 




Walkin, 350, 452, 454-455, 470 
WaU vStreet on evacuation of 

York, 27 
Wallace, Sir James, 340, 461 
Walloonsac River, 5 5 1 
Walter the Doubter "(Yan Twil 

66, 511, 512, 513 
Wanton Island, 48S 
Wappinger Indians, 16, 416 
Waj^pinger's Creek, gi, 41S 
War for Independence, 22, 32, 

22g, 313, 326, 380, 543 
War with England, 371; of i 

War vessels, 5 i 
Ward, Moses, 2Q1 
Waronawanka Indians, 13 
Warner, Anna B., 280-282 
Warner, Henry, 280 
Warner, Susan, 280-282 
Warner Sisters, 380 
Warren, Admiral Peter, 61 
Warren Street, New York, 

Yauxhall, 57, 59 
Warren County, 571 
Warren Road, 62 
Washington, Avigustine, iqi 
Washington, General George, 
27, 32, 82, 120, 163, 167, 170, 
177, 178, 182, 183, 184, 18:^, 
187, 18S, IQO, igl, lg2, 228, . 
2 :;7, ;o5, :;o6, ;i i , ;i ;, ;i 5, 

• 473 

1 12, 


41 I. 

427; Lieut enant- 

.S3I. .^v>2, 335, 366, 36g, 370, 375, 

37g, 381, 405-406, 408, 412, 414, 

417, 560-561 
Washington head(iuarters. 140, 151, 

168, 172, 173, 228, 272, 414, 415 
Washington Heights, 155 
Washington Hotel, 32 
Washington, house built for, ^o 
Washington, Martha, 460 
Washington S(|uare, 61 
Water] lurv Batterv, ifnj 
Waterforci, 554 
Watervliet, ■5'5 1 
Water 11 '//(/; Vsteamlioat, i :;o 
Watts fannlv, -^22 
Watts, jolni, 31 
Wayne,' "General Antlionx 

86, 304-306, 311, 312, 33 

Wayside Inn, :; 1 4 
Webl>, (leneral lanu-s Wats.. 

241. -^^5 
Weber. 488 
Webster, Danic 

Colonel, 305 
Wecquash(|ueck, g, 202, 226 
Weehawken, 0, 74, 78. 80, 8r 
Weh-awk-en, g 

Weiser, Cai)tain John Conrad, 475 
Wells, Lemuel, 207, 208 
Wells, Richard, 344 
West, Benjamin. 118 
Westbrook, F. E.. 4(10 
West Camp. 402. 472-474, 476 
Westerlo<,, l),,mine, s^O 
Westerloo Street, 527, 531 
West India Comjiany, i'.'6. 88, 516, 

519 . 

West Indies, 112; and Ca])tain 

Kidd, 6g 
Westchester County, g, 1 1 , g i , 33 i , 

?<M- 417- 457 
Wcstrlu-stcr. steamboat, 130 
West Point, 27, 85. 116. '281, 305, 

365-166, 371-372, 375, 370, 380- 

382, 384-385, 460 
West Shore Road, 42g; Terminal, 

West Street Market, 57 
West Tenth Street, 57 
West Trov, 551 
WetherelL Elizabeth, 280 
Weygat, 116 
White House, the, 378 
White Plains, 170, 187, 217, 315, 

417. 457 
White Plains battle, 184, 227 
White, Robert, 168 



White Star Wharves, 6i 

Whitehall Battery, 508 

Wier. Robert, 376, 3S2 

Wilbur, 45q; farm at Saratoga, 554 

Wild Goose Inn, 68, 6g, 70,71 

Willard's Mountain, 562 

Willem Hendrick, fort, 21 

Willemstadt, 107, 519 

Willett, Colonel, 332 

William the Testy, 514 

Williams, David, 236 

Williams, Captain Daniel, 296 

Williams, Rev. Eleazer, 384 

Willis, Nathaniel P., 116, 134, 253, 

259, 266, 269, 357, 382, 393-398 
Willow Point, 226 
Wilson Steamship Line, Si 
Wilson, General James Grant. 260- 

262, 270 
Wiltwyck. 444, 447- 451- 453. 456. 

459, 466, 468 
Wiltwyck Cemetery, 469 
Winchenback, 476 
Winedecker, Captain Hartman, 475 
Wing's Falls, 570-571 
Winnakee, 425 

I. 546 

Win slow, Margaret, 458 

Wisquaqua, 9 

Wolfert's Roost, 216, 244, 248 

Wolvenhoek, 431 

Woodworth, John, 546 

World Building, New York, 38 

Worth, General William Jenkins 

Worth. Gorham A., 5 
Wynant's Kill, 551 
Wynkoop, 48S 
Wyoming Valley (Campbell's poem) 


Yonkers, 10, 184, 188, 202, 20 

208, 223, 230 
Yonkers Street, Albany, 528, 538 
Yorktown, 26, 411 

Zaargertje, 471 
Zealand, 18, 24